Friday, 9 March 2012

Getting friendly with Herman

A couple of weeks ago I was given 'Herman' by a friend at work.  Herman is a German friendship cake.  For those of you who haven't heard of this before, a friendship cake is sort of like a chain letter, but without the horrible bad luck/your puppy will die bits and the added bonus of cake at the end!  My sister and I had one when we were at school and I remember it being a lot of fun, it sat on top of the fridge bubbling away in a very bizzare science experiment way!

Herman is a sour dough cake, you get given a small portion, keep it for 10 days during which time you feed it and stir it and he grows.  At the end of your ten days you give portions to friends and mix up a cake from your portion.  Below is a photo diary of my ten days with Herman, at the very bottom of the post is the instructions for Herman, including how to start your own if no-one you know has one.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Ideas for a dress

So, you're getting married, what's the first thing you think about?  I have been looking at wedding dresses since Arthur proposed some time ago I even have a little book of cut outs from magazines of all the ones I like, but none of them were quite right and all ridiculously expensive so I decided very early on that I would make my own dress.

There were a couple key themes in the dresses I liked, lace (apparently I'm a fan and who knew!) and accents of colour (yellow being my colour of choice of course).  Having thought about it for quite some time I also decided I didn't want a floor length dress and train as I am clumsy enough without 3 feet of fabric to fall over!

So this is what I was thinking when I caught a tantalising glimpse of a photo of a lace dress made from crochet doilies. I'm fairly certain that I saw it in an issue of Mollie Makes magazine but having been through all my copies of the magazine this evening page by page I have failed to find it.  So I cant be sure where I first saw it (or if I dreamed it...!), if anyone has seen this in Mollie Makes and can tell me what issue (and even what page if your keen) I'd really appreciate it as I'm starting to think I'm going mad!

Anyway, after a quick Google search I found some more stunning images of this dress and wedding over on pursuing the picture perfect wedding and 100 Layer cake blog.  

I love the crochet overlay, think it looks fantastic so this is what I (along with a small group of crocheting friends!) will be doing.

I think I'm going to use the pattern I drafted for my green dress as an underdress, and layer the crochet doilies over it, stitching to the bodice and letting them hang loose over the skirt. I haven't yet been able to decide on a colour for the under-dress, I like the idea of the dress being all 'white' (whatever shade) but I also really like the colour statement.  I think I will make up a couple of different under-dresses in different colours (as that bit is the easy bit!) then see which I like the best.

I ordered about eight different shades of white/cream/silver/beige crochet cotton and ran up some test doilies to decide on a shade

They may all look the same colour just blame my photography! In real life they look very different.
And the winner is...  Anchor Aida 09002 (cream) come on down! I have ordered lots of this now and am ready to go (hopefully my happy helpers are to!)

I have a selection of doily patterns to work with and I'm hoping some of my crochet team will have their own (or make some up) so they are all different.  Also one of my friends does crochet 'doodles' in wool that look amazing and she has agreed to do some in the cotton for my dress so there should be lots of variety :)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Not quite raisin schnecken!

We visited Achern in the Black Forest in Germany when I was younger and where we stayed a bakers van drove round every morning selling the most amazing baked delights.  My favourite of these was raisin schnecken, a spiral cinnamon sticky bun with a glut of raisins.  I've tried several recipies to replicate them and as yet have not found anything quite right.  

This was another failed but tasty attempt where I combined a Nigella recipie with a chocolate bun recipe (minus chocolate!).  The Nigella recipe is 'Schnecken' from Domestic goddess, the chocolate recipe is Richard Berinet's 'Chocolate Buns' from 101 Best loved chocolate recipes by Hotel Chocolate.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Bake the cold away

Today has been a cold day.  Throughout the week the weather has been getting warmer, the skies bluer, the evenings are longer and the garden is waking up, all signs that the year is moving on, out of the darkness and into the light.  Then today it was cold, and wet, and dismal.  A parting gift from Winter reminding us that he's not yet ready to give it all up to Spring.

So today I wanted to bake, I wanted the warmth of the oven, the security of the kitchen and the sweet comfort of some baked goodies. But what to make?  Well Karen from Lavendar and Lovage and Kate from What Kate Baked host a monthly blogging and baking event called Tea Time Treats.  The March event is being hosted by Kate on Lavendar and Lovage and the theme is scones.

This fit my mood very well today.  Scones are comfort food, they are hearty and warming, yet synonymous with summer afternoons and luxurious afternoon teas. So scones I decided to bake.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Here comes the bride!

Arthur and I have set the date!  This September we will become Mr and Mrs, it is all very exciting :)  We have booked the church:

© Copyright Richard Law and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 

and yesterday we went to see the registrar so even if we get nothing else on the list done the wedding can happen!

Of course I'm sure we will work our way down the list, and as we are doing a lot of it ourselves (with much help from friends and family!) there will probably be a lot of wedding themed blogging over the next few months, including dress, bunting, felt/origami flowers, cakes... and much more!

So fair warning!

Friday, 2 March 2012


We have a multi-fuel stove in our living room which has been very useful over the winter.  I love the flames, find it very relaxing and it kicks out a powerful amount of heat.  I was playing around with the camera the other day and here are some photos of what I enjoy so much.

I like it in black and white too!

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