Is it a Bird …

What began as a sketch of a bird, turned in to an abstract of a bird and a tulip. I think I’ve been influenced by the range of floral birds that I’ve seen in various magazines recently. This was my own take on this interiors trend – I may well try something similarly floral and bird like again soon but for now, I’ve got this current fashion out of my system!

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Let Them Eat Cake …

The title refers to my family eating yet another cake to celebrate my parents’ 70th birthdays  rather than the much disputed quote allegedly made by Marie Antoinette! The cake took a ridiculous 8 hours to make – baking, making the decorations, making the lemon curd to sandwich it all together and then the final arrangement of the decorations. The heat that we have been experiencing here in the UK did not really help with the latter but I got there in the end:

 

It was seemingly enjoyed by all, it was particularly lovely to be able to share it with my Canadian cousin and his family.

Phew, what a Scorcher …

Now that Wimbledon’s over (very exciting towards the end), I can get back to some painting. I went to paint once the day had started to cool a little (down to only 32ºC in my ‘shudio’!) and was struck by how perfect the weather would be for a hot air balloon ride. Bristol is well known for its balloons, we have the fiesta in August and it’s not that unusual to see several balloons flying across the city throughout the summer months. It was thought of these that inspired this painting:

Whilst watching the tennis, I’ve been doing a cheeky chicken cross stitch, there will be 9 of them when I’ve finished, so far, 6 are complete: Lunch today was a very summery affair, my mother-in-law came for a pre-Wimbledon final lunch – I prepared the caramelised red onion and goats’ cheese tartlets and sausage rolls earlier this morning: We had these with a green salad which included beetroot and ‘tomberries’. The latter are the smallest tomatoes that I have ever seen, literally the size of berries. They were deliciously sweet and juicy.

To follow we had our old favourites of raspberries and shortbread biscuits – again, made before the day became too hot. The ice cream was a new recipe, lemon,vanilla and cardamom ice cream. The mixture had been infused overnight with lemon zest, lemon rind, a vanilla pod and lots of crushed cardamom pods. The result was a rich yet lightly refreshing ice cream which went incredibly well with the juicy raspberries. I look forward to trying out more ice cream and sorbet recipes over the next few weeks – hopefully our summer will last that long!

This last photo is of the beautiful sky this evening, I hope that the sun is shining wherever you are.