Weekly Inspiration – Letter writing

I miss having an excuse to write a proper letter to someone. Everyone loves getting post, don’t they? Being newly-weds, my husband and I are currently ploughing through the task of writing our thank you cards. Personally I have relished having to write long notes to people, having actually got something important to write about; something to say.

All this has got me thinking that I should write more letters. Everyone should write more letters. You should definitely write a letter. You can write one to me if you like.

After a bit of digging around on the internet (though I really feel I should’ve gone to my local library and sat making notes surrounded by a huge pile of old books- let’s pretend I did that) I discovered a whole heap of stuff that has inspired me to write letters even more:

The Letter-Writing Project, Boston: Writing stations, complete with stationery, where people could sit and write letters, then either leave them to be posted or leave them there to be read.

Letters To The Dead: In ancient Eygpt, there was a custom of writing letters to dead relatives; usually asking for help with problems. Well it can’t hurt to ask…

Round Robin: Yes, I have actually discovered what this means! “It’s a letter where you have a group of people and you basically write letters in a circle — Person 1 sends her letter to Person 2. That person writes a letter and then sends his letter AND Person 1’s letter to Person 3 who writes a letter and sends ALL the letters on to Person 4. The pattern continues until all the letters make it back to Person 1. She then removes her original letter and replaces it with a new one, then sends the whole batch on to Person 2 again. Ad infinitum.” Thanks to Passion For Letters for that.

Quotes on letter-writing: “Letter-writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.” Lord Byron

“One good thing about not seeing you is that I can write you letters.” Svetlana Alliluveya

“Please write again soon. Though my own life is filled with activity, letters encourage momentary escape into others lives and I come back to my own with greater contentment.” Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

“There must be millions of people all over the world who never get any love letters… I could be their leader.” Charlie Brown

 

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Cut-out flower card.

Ta-da! I have only made this so far, but I really like the idea and enjoyed doing it, so I’m going to have a see what else I can come up with.

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Knitting progress

My brother in law’s partner is having a baby in October and so I have taken it upon myself to knit something. I am not quite sure why, as I haven’t knitted anything in my life bar those tiny hats for Innocent Smoothie bottles; still, it seemed like the thing to do. I fully intend to knit a hat, a really cute blue and white striped hat, with a pom pom on top naturally.

In the meantime, I’m practicing by knitting a… thing… I’m just knitting really. Knit two, pearl one; as the pearling is not so easy and makes me cross. It started life as a baby scarf, but when I quickly realised the proportions were all wrong, I started to pretend I never said that it was going to be a scarf at all- no, no, I’ve been knitting a ‘thing’ all along.

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Weekend Baking- chocolate truffles.

This Saturday was supposed to be a craft evening. Instead, we got rather caught up in making chocolate truffles and chatting. I’ve made truffles quite a bit, but wanted to try out a new mold I’ve got- a silicone one. Previously I’ve used the Wilton plastic molds, which are great, but are easy to crack if you’re not careful.

Firstly, I coated the molds with plain melted chocolate and put them in the fridge to set:

While they were setting, I made the ganache from a mixture of lovely dark 60 & 72 % cocoa solids chocolate and double cream. Mmm. Being in an experimenting mood, I split the ganache in two bowls and added Bailey’s to one. This turned out to be a very good idea. Once everthing was nice and set, I filled the molds with the ganache and once that was a bit firmer I coated the bottom with more plain melted chocolate. Then back into the fridge for much longer than you want to wait.

We got impatient and tried to take some out a bit too soon, resulting in some mushed-ness:

Happily, we didn’t ruin all of them though, and after a short spell in the freezer they turned out… better, for the most part:

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Cut-out card – result.

Here’s the finished card I made. It was really tricky, actually, and I did feel like I was under pressure to get it done in time to send it off- but I think it turned out ok for a first attempt! Like I said in my previous post, not very creative or adventurous, but it did the job. I do feel like if I had more time and planned more I could get some good results making these.

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Weekly Inspiration- Matisse cut outs

At the end of the week it’s my husband’s uncle’s 80th birthday (is there such thing as an uncle in-law??) and so I have been commissioned to make a special card. It’s been decided that a ‘cut-out’ style card is what’s to be made and I was reminded of my book on Matisse ’gouaches découpés’ – the paper cut outs he did towards the end of his life. Whilst on this occassion my creativity has been reigned in to a mere ‘HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY’ cut out of the front of the card, I feel inspired to create something rather more colourful and less rigid. I’m thinking outlines of flowers.

In the meantime, enjoy these:

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Weekend Baking- Star Wars cookies

One of my most exciting wedding presents was a set of Williams-Sonoma Star Wars cookie cutters. Having had lots of practice with making cookies, I thought it would be simple- but I hadn’t banked on the stamp-style cutters being quite so faffy! And the icing…! It’s really tricky! Maybe, though, it would have been easier if I had propper icing equipment and was’t applying it with a knife. Ah well. You learn!

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Sunday Arts Market- a damp but promising start!

Well it did drizzle rather a lot on the day we had our craft stall, but despite the ‘sod’s law’ weather I think we did pretty well. It was, after all, the first thing like this we’d done and we managed to make back the money we’d paid for the stall plus a teeny tiny profit.

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Northampton Sunday Arts Market- June 12th

The Craft Fantastic has their very first stall at the Sunday Arts Market in Northampton’s market square!

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