Thursday, 20 August 2015

Change: As Good as a Holiday

In case you were worried.
I am back.
And, thank you for asking.
I have been up to all sorts.
Sorry to go awol.
Not quite visiting the Queen in London, but
I had to take life by its horns and make a few changes.

I have re-booted my chalkface life.
Risen up against the tyranny of workload intensification
and found myself a lovely little alternative to my usual
schedule of relentless marking and maximum teaching load.
Life is good.
 I have time to notice the small things again.
That old adage is true; a change can be as good as a holiday.
There's a work-life balance now going on.
But, it did take some determination.
And careful planning.
I am still gainfully employed.
And loving what I do.
But have a bit more time for the important things.
Like cake-making.
Chocolate Mud.
Pear and Almond Tart.
Lime and syrup cake.

Time for pondering.
 Flower arranging.
The odd soiree.

Appreciating the little things.

Some feather flower-making.
Slowly fashioned.

 I've picked up a few more millinery techniques thanks to the Milliners' Convention
which was held in Brisbane this year.
I will show you more on that later.
I promise.
On a sad note.
 I am missing my little poodle companion terribly.
I can still imagine him walking around the House of Flora.
I keep googling unwanted poodles in my region.
This lovely portrait of Coco Chanel with hers by artist Marie Laurencin is one
of my favourites despite the melancholia.
 How's everything?
Making any changes?
Missing anyone?


Monday, 15 June 2015

I am in Print, People.

 I love Art Quill Studio's blog.
It has became a veritable oasis of knowledge for me; augmenting
the textile theory lessons at the chalkface.
Marie-Therese, an academic posts most Saturdays, early, and I
always seemed to read her posts when my spirits are flagging a little at the end of the
working week. I confess to being a textile tragic, as she does.
Marie-Therese is also a co-editor at Textile Fibre Forum magazine.
One day I hope to meet her.
She found me via the enthusiastic comments I would leave on her blog.
I meant every word.
She invited me to be in an edition of Textile Fibre Forum.
My friend J, came over and shot the high-resolution photos.
That was the day the light-box bath-tub got the flick.

My article is a nod to fashioning fleurs from thermoplastic fabrics.
I am a cover-girl, well, just inside it anyway.
I would be lying to say I am not chuffed.

Thank you, Textile Fibre Forum, it is an absolute thrill to be in the magazine.
I will be getting a subscription.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Must Love Dogs. And Cooking

I'll be honest with you; there were two deal-breakers
between Mr Fascinata and me when we first met.
 Cooking and dogs.
Both had to be in the affirmative.
I have kept up my end of the deal.
And he, his.
He has bought me many beautiful cookbooks.
The Artist's Lunch is about how art and cooking is a happy marriage.
Haven't road tested it, but I should.
However, it is nothing for me to be one minute slumped on the couch, half asleep.
Then in another sixty seconds pounding a lump of dough on the bench.

Here's Rachel Khoo's brioche, sausage and onion recipe.
French Hot Dogs.
If you've got room to spare around your middle or not, try it.
It's comforting.
I don't muck around.
If I am caramelising onions I might as well do a whole bag.
But I do have a mandolin.
I can't stand the frippery of chopping and dicing.
You do have to simmer the snags first.
Bit graphic I know.
Then caramelise.

Throw the spices in.

Let the sausages cool.
You've got to knead about a kilogram of butter through the brioche.
So don't leave it 'til the last minute.
You also have to have time for it to rise.
The whole thing can be quite vexing for those who are impatient.
Wrap the dogs up in pastry.

Let those buttery buns proof again.
Serve the Hot Dogs with onion jam and mustard.
And tomato sauce, if you are inclined.

By the way who is reading AUS L'Officiel?
Where is the June edition?
In pressing news it is very late at my news-stand and no-one seems to know why.
Stay true to whatever you have promised others.