Saturday, 22 December 2012

'Kimono', baking, baking and baking

Lampwork Glass Lentil Beads

The bright colours and stylised design on these beads remind me of Japanese kimono fabrics.

These comfy-to-wear lentils are made in translucent purple glass, dusted with purple enamel and decorated with dark brown branches and orange blooms and blossom. They are only decorated on one side so they would be lovely turned into a bracelet.

Lampwork Glass Lentil Beads

The 'Kimono' beads are for sale right now over in the usual place.

So, Christmas is nearly upon us. My fridge is empty, bar three jars of pesto, half a pint of milk, a jar of horseradish sauce and the guinea pigs' lettuce, carrot and apple. This means I have to go and do THE food shop of the year. Chris is currently in Manchester but I'm hoping he'll be home later and then the Chrimble preparations can finally start.

I've got to marzipan my cake today. I'm also going to make a stollen and some biscotti. I've been baking like a mad thing recently, with good reason; I have an audition for The Great British Bake Off in January. It was supposed to have been this week but a mix-up with a double booking by the audition venue meant that they had to postpone it. But yes, I've been baking like a crazy baking person.

Hand Raised Pie

I've made some hand-raised pies that I've been really proud of. Hot water crust pastry is a doddle to make but flipping heck, shaping it into a pie case is not easy. That ceramics module of my Art A-Level finally came in handy! This chicken and bacon pie with homemade sage and onion stuffing (which is a Mrs Beeton recipe) was my second attempt and my goodness it tasted yum!

Sour Cherry & Almond Biscotti

I have become addicted to baking sour cherry and almond biscotti.

I've also been making cinnamon bread and Chelsea buns. These ones are quite Christmassy as they contain orange and cranberries. The icing is orange too. Tell you what, though, they weren't half sweet and it's not often you hear pudding monster me utter those "too sweet" words. Nice, though.

Orange & Cranberry Chelsea Buns

So yeah, I've been drowning in baked goods. I've sent some to friends, Chris has taken some to work and I even took some to Slimming World for our little Christmas party thing. I KNOW. That makes zero sense but when you cut a pie into very small pieces and you halve slices of biscotti it becomes less naughty to eat. Or something ...

I keep thinking about what Mum would say about my baking. I honestly don't think she'd believe it. She'd find it hilarious that I'm having a go at entering a cookery competition, I know that!

Right, time to get on and DO something. I have a to-do list as long as The Nile and I need to be crossing things off it.

Have a good Saturday!


Blue Eyed Night Owl said...

How exciting! I love the Great British Bake-Off and would be thrilled if you got to be in it! Good luck:) The pictures look very promising!

And those beads are stunning as well. Quite different from what you usually do, but equally amazing:)

Caroline B said...

Absolutely love those beads! Good luck with the audition - let us know how you get on.

Nicole Beadwright Campanella said...

Great beads. Hope you make it to the bake off.
Happy Christmas

Jane said...

Oh that would be amazing!!! We love the GBBO in our house :)

Celeste Kemmerer said...

Love the beads. When you only decorate one side, how do you keep them from flipping? My beads that I only decorated on one side always want to turn wrong-side up. And stay that way.

Laura Sparling said...

Thank you all for the lovely comments!

@Celeste I guess it depends how 'heavy' the design is, and how raised it is. These will flip - all beads do, even round ones with raised designs will move. The joy of beads!