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Social media apologies!

 The Poisonous Plant

Just a quickie to say that if we've been connected in some way via facebook or instagram, you may notice that I've disappeared. This has nothing to do with me and I apologise that we're not connected anymore. Facebook refuse to believe I exist (the problem with an odd name - they want a birth certificate would you believe?!! As if) and Instagram have deleted my account without warning - either they think the same or it's the life painting images on it and someone has objected - again.. It's impossible to get in touch with them about this so I am done for!!

Still I expect I shall survive, and after all this data leaking that's been going on, I'm not overly impressed by them anyway. I can make another account of course but I'll see how it goes!

 Your account has been disabled for violating our terms: http://instagram.com/about/legal/terms/

Dense, moist chocolate and orange cake


1 Orange - zest and juice, made up to 250ml with boiling water 60 g of cocoa powder 30g dark chocolate grated or chopped 225g butter softened 325g light brown muscovado sugar 2 eggs plus an extra 2 egg yolks (mixed together with a fork) tsp vanilla extract (not flavouring) 4 tblsps of creme fraiche (not the low fat type - it goes watery and spoils the texture) 225g self raising flour.

For the icing

Halve or double quantities depending on how much of the cake you want to ice and how much you like icing. 1 Orange - zest and juice 225g butter softened 500g icing sugar vanilla essence Cocoa powder - this amount of butter cream needs at least 3 tablespoons sieved. Decoration - a chocolate orange works well  

To Make the Cake

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan). Sift the cocoa into a bowl and whisk in the orange juice and boiling water until smooth. Set aside to cool. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mix until fluffy and paler. Gradually add the eggs to the mix, beating well after each addition. Fold in the cooled cocoa, orange zest, and creme fraiche. Sieve in the flour, folding carefully. Divide the mixture between 3 x 20.5 tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the centre springs back when gently pressed with your finger. Turn out and leave to cool.  

To Make the Icing

Cream the butter, adding the icing sugar gradually until it's all combined. Mix in the orange zest and enough orange juice to give a good consistency - soft but able to be piped. Divide into 2 and add cocoa to one half. Fill the cakes with the icing you wish and pipe the remainder on top of the cake and add the chocolate orange segments as shown. The one in the picture has added sprinkles and a drizzle of melted chocolate.         Save Save Save

The Last Vision - process posting 3

I'm continuing to work on The Last Vision. Hopefully this will form part of a new body of work in a new series, The Quilt as a Canvas (more about that a bit later on).

Here's some process pictures of how the background was done.

The Last Vision - some prep

The Last Vision is a quilt in at least 2 parts. I'm working on part one and prepping part 2 at the moment. The idea is to hang the pieces alongside each other so they can be seen together, but at the same time allow me some leeway in making as I only have a small domestic sewing machine. If I had a long arm or similar then it would be a different matter and I could go large with ease!

Part one - The Last Vision

3 portraits of one of my daughters, myself and my mother. A comment on the ephemeral nature of time and life.

The prep for part two so far.

Fabric background in sketchbook, with stencils, applique and monoprinting. Gesso on space for portrait.(this is an experiment, I don't usually bother)

 Round 2 of paint - open acrylics

Round 3 of paint - not finished yet.