Monday, November 28, 2011

Bread Weather

It felt like baking weather today, and operating under the influence of having read through most of Historical Foods last night (a great site - I kind of want to make some of the Medieval recipes for our next D&D night), I decided on the Dyett Bread  - a fennel seed/sage bread recipe from the Tudor period.  It occurred to me as the bread was baking that while I bake a fair amount, it's usually buns or cupcakes or cookies - I'd never actually made a loaf of bread before. He came out quite nicely, I think.

I ended up using regular white flour since I wasn't of a mind to run out to the store (and had soup going while I was baking), but I think I'd like to try this again with some stoneground or whole wheat flour.  With the sage and fennel seed in there, I think this might work well with spelt flour as well.

I'm looking forward to using the leftovers for some Welsh rabbit tomorrow (though it was pointed out that the sagey-ness would make for some beautiful dressing...) 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Quilty as Charged!

So, this year for one of the Christmas presents I'm making, I thought it'd be nice to give quilting a try - nothing huge, just a nice throw with a simple pattern.  It's a craft I've never really tried before, and we get a fair number of quilters coming in at work, so it seemed like a good idea to get a little experience with it.

This is just four of the blocks laid out to give a general idea of the overall pattern.  I realised once I drew things out on some graph paper that the best way to assemble the quilt itself was going to be to sew the blocks into strips, then sew the strips together - otherwise things were going to get a bit awkward cramming everything into the machine.

Now the part where this gets tricky is that I forgot we weren't actually going to be seeing them at Christmas. I need to have this finished in time to give it at less than a week.  I am so very glad that I remembered to buy a fresh case of energy drinks last time I was at the store.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Presents Ahoy!

Our friends were getting married, and they'd really just asked for cash as wedding presents.  On the one hand, I like giving cash as presents - always a welcome gift - but the packaging nerd in me cringes. How do you make a cash gift look pretty? Fancy envelope? Hidden at the bottom of a box of marbles? Then I had a flash of brilliance.

One unpainted wooden chest from the craft store:

Plus this awesome tutorial on crackle finishes using regular school glue:
(my test sample)

Plus a little stiffened felt and coins, equals:

I thought about posting a tutorial for this, but honestly, this is it - the hardest part was actually finding the unfinished box to paint. I painted the whole thing dark brown inside and out (you could even spray it if you were so inclined/able), then did the crackle finish over the inset parts in a cream color.  I gave it a couple of hits of clearcoat, and glued some felt on the bottom for more usability, but that would really be optional if you were just doing it for decoration.