Saturday, 25 December 2010

Doe, a Deer

A female deer. Rae a drop of falling sun.
Me a name I call myself.

I hope you have all had a very Merry Christmas indeed! I myself am quite full and sleepy. I think of all the presents I recieved this Christmas these are among my favourite. My family is fortunately well acquainted with Etsy, a fact which really works in my favour. It is one of my favourite sites and I have been known to spend hours trawling it. These caught my eye a few months ago. I am thoroughly in love with almost all things related to animals and most of my artworks involve animals with people things or people with animal things. So indeed these clips were very appropriate.

If you wish to purchase some of your very own the Woodland Belle shop can be found here. 


Christmas in a Lick

The making of Pfeffernusse has become highly linked to Christmas for me. While I eat store bought ones all year round the MAKING of these tasty treats smells like Christmas. It's the mix of the spices and honey I think. I was going to make these earlier in the week but I love making them on Christmas Eve and I ran out of time earlier in the week. If you don't know what they are they are a slightly cakey German/Dutch gingerbread in little dollops rather than figures or shapes. They are usually iced in a thin layer of crunchy white icing. Sometimes I ice mine with icing, sometimes with melted chocolate and sometimes with just icing sugar. All are very tasty but the icing sugar ones last a bit longer.

Here is the recipe that I use courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.


  • 200g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground mace
  • A pinch of salt
  • 225g honey
  • 30g butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 2 eggs

For finishing

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • A little plum jam
  • About 150g dark chocolate

Method: How to make pfeffernusse

1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. (This stage smells so good.)

2. Melt the honey and butter together in a saucepan then leave to cool until lukewarm.

3. Whisk the eggs into the cooled honey and butter, then add this to the flour mix and beat together with a wooden spoon. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, to firm up. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/325F/gas mark 3.
4. Lightly grease a baking tray with butter. Take dessert spoonfuls of the mix, roll into balls using floured hands, and place on the baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until risen and golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

The next couple of steps are up to you depending on how you want to ice them.
5. Whisk together the icing sugar and water. Melt the chocolate gently in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Dip half the pfeffernusse in the icing, and put them back on the rack. When the icing has set, dip again. Cut the tops off the other half, scoop out a little of the inside, and dab in a little plum jam. Replace the tops, and dip in the chocolate. Return to the wire rack.
6. Remove the pfeffernusse to a silicone mat or baking parchment before they set completely, to stop them welding themselves to the rack. They don’t keep well - eat within two days.

 Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

I heard you fell into a rabbit hole

Covered yourself up in snow.
-Down in a Rabbit Hole, Bright Eyes
A good friend of mine recently obtained a position as a Christmas casual at a Tree of Life shop. When I went to visit her today she had apparently been spending her spare time shopping for things for me and so had many Madolin-esque things to show me. One item was a fox ring which I was particularly fond of but was unable to afford. I of course chose the more expensive option of this necklace which I was simply unable to resist and lack of funds was not stopping me! I think it is pretty adorable. I am thoroughly looking forward to wearing it.


We move like cagey tigers, oh we couldn't get closer than this

the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we stalk, the way we kiss
-The Lovecats, The Cure

So I have been being mildly creative of late and have spent a couple of weeks decopaging this box/bag in between art projects. It has taken me so long because one of my printmaking projects for uni involved covering a whole box in decopaged book pages. After that I had no desire to ever decopage again, but I really wanted to finish this so a couple of days ago I decided to perservere. I quite like the end result. I am not entirely sure what to do regarding the inside which is still its original paper bag brown colour. Might leave it at that, might paint it red or cream, or might find the will to decopage the inside as well. I am also going to make a new strap or two for it I think.

I have another bag/box to cover which I am going to cover in some vintage Peter Pan paper I got for my Birthday.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Thunder told the rain to come

Last night a friend and I attended a gig of a band I really like. I worked late though so we missed the artist I actually went to see. They were the support act for the Whitely gig I went to a few months ago. Fortunately though the gig was wonderously free and the second act, Dan Parsons, was equally amazing. The night turned into a Dan Parsons and Seagull improv blues jam session. It was fantastic.

I have a collection of signed cds by support bands going. I remembered to take the Seagull album that I bought off him at the Whitley gig but forgot to get signed. Well I definitely got it signed this time. The most elabortae cd signing I think I have ever recieved in fact.

the squiggley bits say <3 from Seeeaggullll

Dan Parsons & Steve Grady