I continue to get over excited about stationery. Look at these beauties from Arminho. So simple and smart but softened by the lovely textured, recycled board. Such a striking colour palette to top it off. I never realised I enjoyed rusts and teals this much!
Controversial as it may be, I would always choose a blondie over a brownie. The only exception being when peanut butter is involved...naturally. Here’s a very yummy recipe I tried out recently. The blueberries add moisture and I really liked that you could taste the nuttiness of the ground almonds. So here's the recipe for you to try and some photos to make you salivate.
To make the blondies...
85g cup all-purpose flour
65g cup finely ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
120g unsalted butter110g (4 ounces) premium quality white chocolate plus 100g for drizzling
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
150g dried or fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Line 9 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk flour, ground almonds and salt together.
- Melt the butter and the 110g white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of lightly simmering water. Stir frequently
- Add the sugar and whisk to combine, then take the bowl off the heat. Stir in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the batter and fold them in until completely incorporated and smooth batter has formed. Add berries and fold in gently. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake come out clean. Allow the blondies to cool to room temperature before removing from the pan.
- Meanwhile melt the rest of the white chocolate as you did before and then drizzle over the blondies with a knife. Then they can be cut into slices.
To make the blueberry coulis...
2 tbsp caster sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
- Mash the blueberries.
- Simmer on a low heat with the sugar and lemon juice until it thickens.
- Sieve into a container.
- Serve blondies with a dash of coulis, a scattering of blueberries and a sprinkling of icing sugar.
Happy weekend! I thought I'd post a few sneaky photos from my trip to Pick Me Up. Be inspired by these cute and colourful visual treats. It made me aware that there hasn't been enough typography doodle time in my life recently. I'll try and get that sorted.
Tote bags are undoubtably very useful but I don't think there's any excuse for them not to look nice whilst doing their job. Here's a simple idea to give a plain canvas tote some life. Personally I think everything you need can be bought most reasonably from Ebay. All you need is....
- a plain canvas tote bag (or you could make one very simply)
- a speedball carving kit and a scalpel
- all purpose glue
- a square of cardboard and a A4 sheet of card
- black fabric paint
- 1 square of gold leaf
- matte Mod Podge and a small paint brush
- Cut a square of the rubber from your kit and draw a heart shape in pencil. Carve chunks of the rubber away to leave the heart shaped raised. Using your all purpose glue, stick the rubber stamp to your card board as a backing.
- Put your card sheet inside the bag to prevent the ink seeping through.You can mark out where you want your hearts to go with a pencil or just freestyle. I painted the fabric paint onto the stamp because I like the textured affect you get when it prints. Once covered press down firmly and remove. Repeat all over, leaving a gap for your foiled heart.
- Once the black hearts are dry you can mark out the outline for the foiled heart. I actually stamped a heart with gold fabric paint to make the shape consistent. Then cover the area with Mod Podge using a delicate brush and gently put the foil over the top, lightly pressing down (do not rub). Leave to dry and pull off the edges. If edges need neatening up, use a little more glue and the spare foil. Cover with two layers of Mod Podge, allowing to dry in between.
- Once everything has dried you can iron the bag flat, avoiding the foiled heart and then you're ready to use your creation.
From top right...* A case of misplaced eagerness perhaps? The day before it had been snowing for most of the day!
* My friend introduced me to Gail's Bakery last month and I felt it very necessary to drag Nick along to experience the yum factor too.
* So you may have noticed I love old fashioned signs. I found this one at Borough Market.
* Spring finally arrived, much to every one's relief.
* After years of attempting to go to 'Pick Me Up' graphics art exhibition at Somerset House, I finally made it. I'd recommend it to any interested in graphics or illustration.
* On April 9th, Nick and I had been together for 3 years. I was totally oblivious to this fact (oops) but swiftly realised when I came home to roses, cute!
* Pizza making with the boy, courtesy of our underused breadmaker. Try fig, goats cheese, prosciutto and caramelised onions. You won't regret it!
*This month I've really enjoyed going through the book of Ruth at Trinity West and was happy to have another chance to do some artwork for TW. Have a listen here.