Saturday, 27 July 2013

Adventures with Queenie Dot Part 1

I'm so excited to share with you a little project I'm doing with paper cutting extraordinaire QueenieDot! QueenieDot also known as Jo is a lovely friend and local artist and tutor who I met at a knit & Natter at Make Do & Mend. She's a fellow veggie, Bluetones lover, stationary fiend, bookworm and lover of cake! (Needless to say we get on very well!) Here's some of her gorgeous work, I absolutely love this personalised wedding paper cut.

The lady herself.

We didn't really plan much of our collaboration, just that it would be lovely to do something together - I love the bright colours behind Jo's work and thought it might be nice to have a very small scale pattern behind them also. So it being so gorgeous and summery at the moment we thought we'd choose a floral theme and just see what happened. Which is what I love about this the most - we met up a few weeks ago to show each other what we'd done and didn't have a clue of what to expect, was kind of exciting! Anyway, what I love about Jo's work is the crisp, delicate and yet structured lines, and so with my pattern I wanted to do something a bit different to that. So I first got out my watercolours and did some swishy swashy florals....although I just couldn't get these to work on their own, so I then layered tracing paper on top and drew more detail. It was really lovely to work in a slightly different way.

I'm going to save showing you all my final patterns until my next post, but here's a sneak peek of Jo's wonderful paper cut. I'll post a picture of the final pieces together very soon.

Also take a look at Jo's fantastic blog and shop here:, you'll be glad you did! xxx

Monday, 1 July 2013

Delicious Delights!

You know how sometimes when you retweet competitions on twitter it kind of feels a bit pointless what with so may people etc etc, well it really isn't as I won the most wonderful prize this weekend through Lurpak and Delicious magazine! It was a meal for 2 cooked by amazing Chef James Ramsden. The meal was held in a gorgeous little Cafe on Holloway Road called Vagabond 7, it had the most beautiful rustic tables and such a lovely homely feel.

There were only about 18 people invited to the supper club, I had assumed that everyone would have won the competition in the way that I had, but actually there were food bloggers, cooks, people who run their own supper clubs and lots of other lovely people all who loved food! I was intimidated at first, and kind of somehow felt like I'd cheated in being there, but that didn't last long, as everyone was so warm and friendly, it was such a pleasure to be there.

Here was the beautiful chilled watercress soup with edible flowers - so pretty and tasty. My first taste of a chilled soup, was so delicious and refreshing, especially as the weather gorgeously warm on Saturday.

 The main course, unfortunately I can't remember what it was called, but it was Aubergine with a tomatoey type sauce with goats curd and salad, was so so nice - and not something I'd usually order so especially nice to have.

.....and the dessert, Ian and I have been talking about this ever since the moment we stopped eating it! I wish I could describe it in a way that would do it justice, but I'm a rubbish writer. Basically the base was made with Amaretti biscuits, then there was a lemony cheese cakey type cream with lots of Basil and then topped with strawberries, it was the most delicious thing I've ever eaten, scrummy!

Followed by wonderfully decadent homemade truffles (not sure they stayed around long enough for me to photograph!) and deliciously strong coffee.

Ian and I with chef James Ramsden (I look like I've swallowed a watermelon!)- who was a fantastic host and very lovely (even though I must be one of the most annoying diners being both Veggie and pregnant!) Also Laura (I think that was her name, really sorry if I got it wrong) who was helping and serving was also extremely great in making us feel welcome and comfortable, we had such a nice evening.

We each got a copy of James' new book Small Adventures in Cooking and a Lurpak tea towel (I like to think I'm building up a good collection of their products, I have a lovely toast rack and butter dish I got from a vintage fair a while ago) - it's a gorgeous book and I was so pleased to see the pattern design on the front designed by one of my favourite illustrators Debbie Powell.

Thanks so much to James, Lurpak and Delicious Magazine for a wonderful evening, after talking to all the people there I now have a renewed enthusiasm for food. Now, who was it that told me about rose flavoured salt and how do I get hold of some?!xx