Saturday, 22 August 2009

we have a winner!

I used an old-fashioned random generator, a large teacup and names on paper, and the winner of one very rosy prize is......


Congratulations! Email me your address and I'll put your prize in the post.

Thanks to everyone else who entered, it's been really great to find out so many people read little old Homely Heroine. I also had some fantastic blog recommendations, here is the complete list, with a few recent discoveries of my own added in ~

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, 21 August 2009

last chance to put your name in the hat...

Thanks to all those who have entered so far, it's been great to find out who's reading...

I'll announce the winner tomorrow evening (I have a BBQ tonight and then work tomorrow), good luck to any late entrants.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

nice things, and 2 days left to enter my rosy giveaway

I was hunting for wedding presents today and came across a few nice things that I'd love (isn't that always the way when looking for presents?).

love mug from big tomato company

Union Jack heart from heart & parcel

Jug for flowers from cape henley...I like flowers in jugs just like creative little daisy has done here.

clicking on the pictures will take you to the websites...hopefully.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

only 3 days left to enter my giveaway...

...and time to reveal the prize.

malabrigo lace weight yarn in dusky rose
rose petal tea from bath's own tea emporium

and a couple of other little goodies...are you sensing a theme?
simply leave a comment letting me know what your favourite blog is, and I'll enter you in my random draw, the deadline is midnight on friday, good luck!
2 years old on saturday, huzzay!

Monday, 10 August 2009

a relic of my teenage bedroom

is this large white framed mirror, which I've salvaged from the dispersing of my mother's home, and put up in my bathroom. It keeps taking me by surprise, each time I walk past it...

I'm halfway through knitting a second haven in rowan country heather, because I have quite a bit of it since I frogged poor old branwen. She, like the other designs in the rowan country book I imagine, was lovely to knit and look at, but far far too bulky to wear. But I love the yarn, I love the colours. In something as narrow as haven the orange, pink and blue stripes are much broader and clearer. I've cut one of the three 'repeats' so that my heather haven will be approximately the same width as my cocoon haven. Its a good pattern, the lace is intuitive, and I like the little detail of the slipped stitch at the beginning of each row to create a more finished border.

I've decided to back the scarf in some soft cotton fabric to make it more wearable, as lets face it, rowan country isn't the softest wool. I can't decide between choosing pink or blue in the same tone as the yarn, or whether to go for something contrasting... Has anyone else done this with a non-reversible scarf?

Friday, 7 August 2009

At My French Table

Isn’t this the most gorgeous cookery book you’ve ever seen? I was blown away be the charm of this book and had to have it. On the same day I went out and bought some springform cake tins so I could start baking that afternoon. I had a blissful evening making a tarte au citron and remembering my trip to Paris last year.

It’s not so much a cookery book as an account of the author’s decision to move her family from Australia to France to start a cookery school in a Normandy ch√Ęteau. It’s this story, right though house-hunting, renovation, language and schools for the children, to the arrival of her first paying guests, that take up most of the book. It’s packed with stunning photography, of family life in France, local markets and food, and their beautiful new home. Also included are 37 French-inspired recipes, divided into seasonal chapters; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. All this is printed on pages that feel like the best quality writing paper, thick and matt. It’s a book to sit and read, as well as to prop up behind the mixing bowl. And the three ribbons; red, white and blue, for the tricolour, are pretty cool too.

But the measure of a cookery book is in the recipes. I’ve tried the following; cheese sables; Lou’s potato and spinach soup; tarte au citron; blackberry butter cake; chicken and leek pie.

All of these are excellent, both the soup and the pie being particularly yummy. Clear instructions on uncluttered pages with enticing photos of almost every recipe, nothing too tricky, and always great results. If you’re looking for a flavour of France in your kitchen, this is a good, friendly place to start. Some of the recipes I want to do soon are; raspberry almond clafoutis (pictured); salad of beetroot, pink grapefruit, goat’s cheese and mint; pommes charlotte salad; stuffed tomatos; and pear tarte tatin.

Its true that some of the recipes are a little outside my budget (such as Milk-fed Veal with Vermouth and Tarragon), that there is the occasional mistake (clotted cream is listed for the soup, but never added), and that at £25.00 for just under 40 recipes its not the best value cookery book available, but I hope you’ll overlook these minor flaws if you’re thinking of buying this book, because it’s now one of my favourites, and I will always love it for the sheer beauty, flavour, skill, warmth, style, and joie de vivre it exudes.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Coco Avant Chanel

I just saw the new Coco Before Chanel film, its beautifully done. The acting, the music, the atmosphere, and the costumes ~ oh the costumes!

Is it wrong that I want a Breton shirt, to crop my hair and smoke thin cigarettes?

Audrey Tautou is compelling, the women are beautiful in a realistic way, and the script is neat, emotional, and often funny.

I saw it at the Little Theatre Cinema, the only cinema in Bath showing it. They played the new Chanel ad before the main feature too, have you seen it?

Time for me to find a really good Chanel biography...

Sunday, 2 August 2009

oh, it seems I'm knitting?!

Well, that was quite a slump wasn't it? Apart from bonnie, which was tiny, I've done no knitting since March.


But recently I found myself surfing Loop's pretty website, investigating stockists of malabrigo, finding out what the most popular silk and cashmere yarns on ravelry are, wondering what to do with all that rowan country heather I have since I unravelled branwen, and even, gasp!, picking up my striped jemima sweater.

Shh, don't make any sudden movements, my knitting is back...

Oh, and I'm going to recommend a cookery book. Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook. Its arranged by the predominant ingredient in the recipe, usually a vegetable or herb, then by season. If you feel in the mood for lemons, or cucumber, or strawberries, then this is the book to dive into. I esp. love her spinach and gruyere tarte, which is so tasty you'll never look at a shop-bought quiche again, her french goats cheese salad, her rosemary flat bread and her cucumber raita. The index of recipes is 13 pages long. Its very good, try it.

everyone needs a whale

I have my Sundays back, after 6 months of bookselling on the quietest day of the week, I get to kick back and relax with the rest of the world. Ahhh....

Have you seen this book by Therese Laskey? I love the whale on the cover, and had a go at making my own mini version today. May I introduce you...

He's about 10cm high, made from some fabric scraps left over from my quilt, some blue embroidery thread, and some cotton filling. I added some lavender stuffing so he can keep my sock drawer sweet, but I think he would also make a good pin cushion.

I'd really like to attempt this pink elephant too, a much prettier version of Peanut.