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Monday, 31 May 2010

Early birthday treat

For some time now I had been dreaming to spend my birthday on the West Coast: drive to Ullapool, have the best fish&chips in the area, walk on the beach and treat myself to a silk shawl from a very special craft shop we discovered few years ago there. We had been talking about when would the best time be for my dream to come true as I wanted that day to be... well... maybe not perfect but at least not wet! But in Scotland you can never be sure what the weather would be in the next few hours so planning ahead is almost impossible. Today the weather was so summery, so sunny and warm that even though my birthday is still two weeks away we spontaneously decided to celebrate it NOW! At midday we set off for Ullapool and from then on the day was just perfect :)We stopped at a car park to admire the view over Loch Broom... and for some sunbathing :)

We had the fish&chips and then took a lazy stroll in the village now flooded with flowers! (on the photo a little local bar). Then we drove few miles further North and had a walk on the beach in perfect sunshine:

And if you think I forgot about my last treat... well, how about a royal blue-and-purple Pashmina with cashmere and silk :DEarly Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Little gift

A little gift for a friend: large Rhyolite flat drop adorned only with simple Art Nouveau style design and one tiny Freshwater Pearl. Heavily oxidised and delicately polished to keep the black and shiny patina.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

NEW rings made to order

Little wild flowers are now covering our garden like a colourful carpet. I couldn't resist this inspiration and during the last few days I was creating like mad new delicate rings. Each ring features just one gemstone in a colour representing one of the litte gems of Nature - the meadow flowers I can see in the grass. There is yellow Citrine, blue Iolite (or Water Sapphire), snow white Freshwater Pearl, grass green Vesuvian. Every stone is measures about 2-3mm and is of exceptional quality. I wrapped the band in my now favourite basket weave and then oxidised and hand polished the ring to bring out the pattern. Simple, everyday adornment.These rings will be made to order: you can pick the stone you want in your ring and let me know your ring size :) I will be listing the rings in the next few days so check my shop regularly! And there will be more gems too: I really want use my little orange Carnelians and smooth purple Garnets...

Sunday, 9 May 2010

My Kaiserschmarrn recipe

Having posted on Facebook that the Kaiserschmarrn is my favourite Sunday breakfast I received an email from a friend who asked me to share my recipe which I happened to mention was easy. I thought I'd share it here - the dish really deserves to be appreciated worldwide :) So, here it is - my version of the special pancake or omelette, enjoy!

Serves as a breakfast for 2 hungry people:

4 eggs (yolks and whites separated)1 tablespoon of sugar (I use Demerara cane sugar but it can be the usual white one)
1/2 glass of milk
4 tablespoons of fine plain flour (heaped, not flattened!)
1 pinch of baking soda (mix it with the flour)
1 tablespoon of soft butter
1 tablespoon of dried cranberries or sultanas (you can mix them with 1tbsp of rum the night before if you like) or any dried fruit or nuts that you like

You'll need 2 bowls (salad size) and one frying pan of medium size which in my kitchen means 25cm/9.8" in diameter. If you use a bigger one the pancake will come slightly thinner but it won't affect the taste ;)
  • first beat the egg whites stiff in one bowl. I use my electric hand mixer - it's faster and that matters especially when I wake up hungry on Sunday morning!
  • in the other bowl mix the yolks with sugar till they are pale yellow
  • still mixing gradually add some flour and then milk, flour and milk. When you add it all the batter should not be to thick but runny like when making crepes
  • now put the pan with butter on low heat, the butter will melt while you are finishing the batter
  • using a metal spoon (NOT mixer!) combine very gently the whites with the yolk-milk-flour mixture. You should stop when you still can see some white fluffy lumps, don't try to mix it to make it completly smooth!
  • pour the batter into your pan and sprinkle with the cranberries. If you have a lid you can put it over the pan or use a sheet of the kitchen aluminium foil.
  • when the surface of the pancake is set (after about 2-3mins) flip the pancake over and let the other side cook for about 1min till it's golden on both sides. If you don't feel like flipping a pancake just put the pan under medium heated grill and keep it there till you see it's golden.
  • I would now cut the pancake in four pieces and... put it on the plates :) Don't worry if the pancake collapses a little.
we love it with thick cream and maple syrup or raspberry jam...


Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Beginning

Spring - the time of new life. The beginning.

The second ring in the Spring theme features beautiful sparkling chocolate brown Smoke Quartz accompanied by microfaceted rounds: deep cognac Tourmalines, soft pale green Prehnite, moss green Vesuvian and delicate Moonstone with flashes of blue. All the colours of awaking Nature.

And I think I'm beginning to like work with cabochons - those stones with no hole drilled, the very tricky ones to set when you're working with wire only... but hey, what a joy when a cab finally gets in place you wanted it to be :D

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Glass From Space

I made this pendant for my Mom. She chose the stone - Moldavite - accodring to Wkipedia: a substance possibly formed by a meteorite impact. A glass from the Space! Bottle green, strangely shaped it looks like very unusual glass. Or like a jelly baby ;) The shape of Mom's stone was so wavy and uncomfortable to work with I not only sketched the design but even made a detailed drawing!I made this pendant in the Art Nouveau style, in a butterfly shape, and decorated with very fine Black Spinel and Peridote briolettes. All metal is Sterling Silver, oxidised and then hand polished.