Sunday, 21 April 2019

Happy Easter

The Easter bunny visited us - I always get the Lindt chocolate bunnies and often that's all we have - but as I visited my sister yesterday, they were joined by these sweet little sheep.
(A work colleague said that Lindt bunnies always sound unpalatable to him because in his mind he thinks dust bunnies. We have those too, it has to be confessed. They seem to proliferate in no time!)

This day last year we were enjoying the wonderful sunshine in Paris - below is the Jardins de Luxembourg. It's sunshine and blue skies here too today, but not as hot.

Friday, 19 April 2019


I visited my aunt during the week, and since it was the first of the lovely warm sunny (actually, quite hazy but still a vast improvement) day after some very cold grey days, I took an earlier train and went for a walk along the seafront first. I can't remember what the big tall plants are called - they have a single decorative flowering stalk. Anyway, they had obviously all been severely cut back and I really liked the way the wind over the winter had frayed all the ends.

I've been seeing plenty of bluebells out - which feels early as I think of them more as May flowers.

The first photo, it always amuses me to see now. This is pretty much high tide - and the chances of anyone diving in are slim and remote. But in my childhood days it was a bathing spot even at low tide.


Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Town Fox, Country Fox

I've been having great fun with the Tim Holtz Cityscape dies (as used in the Castles in the Air card last month).

The second card was a rare foray into an inspiration challenge. I used the artwork from the Mary Poppins album in Disney's Legacy Collection. I'm glad we don't have black smoke like that any more, though I could swear I smelled a little smog in the air today.  I substituted my cute little fox for Mary Poppins!

Sunday, 31 March 2019

March favourites...

Here are my favourite cards for March - though I've already shared my two favourite projects, Castles in the Air and the Imagination canvas.

I don't normally include Christmas cards - but this following one was a failed St. Patrick's Day card. I laid on the Brushos and the bead medium with far too heavy a hand, but I thought the green would work with red for a Christmas card, and very judicious and careful positioning of the poinsettia obscured the Irish blessing which had been stamped in the centre.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Recipe time: Flaounes

A work colleague had a lot of cheese and eggs that she was bringing in to share around; I think that someone she knew in the food business had received stuff she hadn't ordered and was unable to return. There were some little tubs of  buffalo burrata, so I thought that I would make Cypriot cheese breads for lunch today - Flaounes. I've had this recipe, which originally came from a BBC Good Food magazine,  for about 25 years, and there are more authentic recipes available now - I had to look online because I wasn't sure I could find this one, scrawled on an index card. Halloumi is definitely easier to come by now, whatever about the esoteric Cyprus seasoning that should be used rather than mint, but I stuck with what I'm used to, after finding a scrawled index card tucked away on top of the microwave.

Flaounes are traditionally made at Easter.

12 oz strong flour, ½ tsp salt
1tsp yeast, 1 tsp sugar, (that is active dried yeast, use less for instant, more for fresh)
enough water to mix
1 tblsp olive oil.

Make dough and allow to rise

Filling: 4 oz coarsely grated cheddar and 2 mozzarella, mixed with two beaten eggs, ½ tblsp each mint and flour, ½ tsp baking powder.

Makes 7 or 8.
Divide the dough and roll into 4” circles. Spoon filling into the centre. Pull up four “corners” or the three points of a triangle and pinch together, covering most of the filling.
Allow to rise.

Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 12-15 minutes in a hot oven (220°C).

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Spring Sunshine

Yesterday a friend of C's came up from Cork for the day, and after lunch they went off for a walk in Farmleigh. I was sorry to have missed it, so today C picked me up after work and we went for a stroll around before heading home for a very late lunch. So everything else has been running late today too...

These are my favourite photos - I have 18 altogether so if you wish to see them all they are in THIS album.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Boundless Imagination

I'm losing track of days and weeks right now! I thought my canvas was for a challenge later in the month or even into April, but it turns out that it was actually today so I can share it here already.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

St. Patrick's Day

Last year's unexpected snow days in March meant more people than usual got cards from me in the mail. This year I managed to make just one, and another "Irish" one which sufficed.

While  looking for a quote to use on a canvas I have been working on, I found one from Jean-Jacques Rousseau which is similar to the one I posted last week from Zhang Heng. Rousseau said that " The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless." I'm afraid I can't share the canvas right now as I was making it for an upcoming challenge - but you'll see it next month.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Just Because...

Still very slowly recovering from the 'flu and without a lot of energy. But on my day off last week I decided to just sit down and create for the fun of it with no goal in mind. I've called this Castles in the Air, and to go with it, here's  a quote from Mark Kurlansky's book on paper which C picked up the last time we were at the library (I've already read Cod and Salt).

Here he is quoting Zhang Heng, the earliest Chinese painter whose name is on record: "Real objects are difficult to represent, but the realm of the unreal is infinite."

I didn't want a traditional rainbow, so I used the three different packs of gilding flakes which I have. They look very different in the packaging, not so much when you see them side by side like this. I would have preferred a more mythical looking bird or even an owl - but none of the ones I have are flying.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

February Favourites

I did quite a lot of colouring while I was in bed with the flu, but I then find it hard to make cards with the images afterwards - so only two of those make it into my favourites for the month - although I also did both the dotting of the tissue paper for the first card,and the doodling after it had been collaged onto the background, in bed.

I had two choices of pictures to use for a header for March - one was of a thrush in the snow in the back garden (our big snow started on the 28th February last year), and the one I have used, which was later in the month and was taken as we crossed "the Vee", so I'm not sure if it's Tipperary or Waterford.