Awesome Artboard …

I’ve been having some fun with my new programme ‘Artboard’. There seems to be a lot of scope for creating some amazing images. I am taking my time though as I know that if I don’t, I’ll just become frustrated with myself.

Here are my latest images:

spring flowers With this first one ‘Spring Flowers’, I was practising layering different colours with different opacities – I wanted to be able to see the petals underneath.trio of tulips I posted about a tulip a few days ago, today though I wanted to make the colour gradually lighten towards the tip of each tulip – I think this technique has worked well for this type of flower.dandelionFinally, I did a quick free hand drawing of a dandelion type flower, here I wanted to see how different line thicknesses would effect the overall image.

Artboard – it’s been fun experimenting with you but now I must stop, there’s a meal to be cooked for tonight and lessons to prepare for this week!!


A Week of Comfort Food …

We all need comfort food at some point, I’m sure! Anyone one who says they don’t is probably only kidding themselves. Last week was a case in point for us. Not only had the beautiful snow turned to ice and slush but the weather remained bitterly cold all week. As I mentioned in a previous post, we are all very concerned for a dear friend and her family. It was very hard to carry on as normal as she was and continues to be (rightly) uppermost in our thoughts. It was good to chat things through with my family, around the table over some plates of warming and indeed comforting food:

This Lemon Drizzle Cake was without a shadow of a doubt the best Lemon Drizzle Cake that I have ever made. The recipe is from Paul Hollywood and he uses home made lemon curd in his recipe, this made the sponge incredible lemon-y and it also gave the cake a real depth of flavour. The cake baked evenly too, which is always a bonus!

IMG_2332I also cooked from my ‘Spice Trip’ recipe book this week and the following were a real hit with everyone – my son who will quite happily eat a raw chilli or two, loved this chilli dipping sauce. Not only were there chillies and sugar in the recipe, there was also Thai fish sauce, rice wine and rice wine vinegar. We still have a little left in the fridge, having used it instead of ketchup on many occasions this week.IMG_2330 My other son is not such a fan of hot, spicy food but he loved this shallow fried chicken as it was coated in a delicious spice mix which included freshly ground cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and fennel seeds. This is definitely one meal we shall be having again soon.IMG_2331Later in the week, we had some ‘open’ sausage rolls:

As I mixed the sausage meat to break it up a little, I managed to add onions, mushrooms and celery, without either of my boys noticing and they cleared their plates!!

To follow our main course, we had pancakes. It’s been a while since I used my ‘go-to’ recipe for pancakes so I thought it was time to give it a whirl. We had our lovely pancakes with thinly sliced banana, caramalised apples and a dribble of maple syrup – yum! IMG_2343 To finish off our week of comfort inspired food, we had Lemon and Lavender Chicken. This is a very simple recipe from Rachel Khoo’s ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ and although I didn’t have any fresh lavender seeds to hand, I used some heavily lavender infused honey which worked really well as a glaze on the chicken. I had run out of kitchen foil and so covered the chicken, quite tightly in baking parchment. It really worked – as the parchment became damp it kept the chicken really moist. It’s great when you discover something new completely by accident!IMG_2337That’s it for our ‘comfort food eating week’, I’m sure there will be some more next week too.


A Bit of Trial and a Lot of Error …

I’m so pleased I’ve managed to work out how to post images of designs that I’ve done on Artboard, a new programme that I downloaded yesterday. Now all I need to do is remember how I did it!!

I’m trying to follow the tutorials that are linked to the programme but it is good to just have a go and see what can be done.

This tulip was done earlier today, I like the fact that I can change the opacity of the colours so overlaying petals can be seen:


This image was done yesterday, it was my first attempt at using artboard and I stuck to using the ready made templates:

art spring 1I’m going to watch another tutorial now and then I’ll have a go at something else!!

Watercolour Wednesday … Winter Whiteout …

Time ran away from me today and I only managed a postcard sized painting with watercolour pencils. We’ve had plenty of snow here over the past few days and I wanted to try to capture it in a picture somehow. Here’s my attempt:

Our park looks beautiful covered in its snow white blanket, the boys have had lots of fun sledging and there have been plenty of snowball fights !

These are some of the photos that I took at the weekend:


Another reason for me posting this image today is that I went to visit a dear friend in hospital this morning, I won’t go in to details but she is incredibly ill and has become so with an unbelievable speed. She loves our park and really misses walking her dog here. She is astonishingly brave and is being so in the knowledge that she will not get better, so L, this is for you, the park won’t be the same without you xx

Waste no Wool …

I had been thinking for a while about how I could use up the various scraps of wool that I have left over from different blankets, scarves and snoods. I have tried crochet but have not succeeded  with it yet. I am persevering with it but I have to be in the right frame of mind to tackle it. What I was after was something that wouldn’t be too taxing, that I could do in front of the fire & tv in the evenings. Suddenly, it occurred to me – bunting! Yes, maybe life is too short to knit your own bunting however, I think it’s a great use of leftovers. Here’s what I’ve knitted over a couple of evenings this week:

Knitted bunting!Hopefully, by the time I’ve used up my leftover wool, I’ll have a length or two to hang up somewhere.

Foodie Friday … and some Snow …

I’m on time this week although I don’t have as many yummy photos as I did last week. The highlight of our food this week was without a shadow of a doubt our own home made brioche:

BriocheI’d always avoided making brioche in the past because I (wrongly) assumed that it was too fiddly to make. In fact it was easy and having to leave it overnight to prove plus 3 hours whilst I was at work on monday meant that we had a treat treat for our tea on monday evening:

BriocheWe also had some left over for lunch on tuesday. Think I’ll be making this again and soon!

As for the snow, it finally came:

This was 7:30 today, walking to school through the park. When we got home, there was someone else who wanted to play in the snow:


Watercolour Wednesday … Waiting for the Snow …

We’ve been waiting for the snow to come. All the forecasts tell us that it’ll be here in the south west of the UK on friday. Everywhere looks different shades of greys, blues and purples – occasionally when the sun manages to make a slight appearance we see some hints of yellow-orange. It’s these shades which inspired my painting today:

Trees Before the SnowFingers crossed we get to go sledging at the weekend !