Misericordia

Author: Katy (page 3 of 17)

To A Bodkin

The furniture rearranging continues apace.

Sewing Drawer - Misericordia

I’ve reordered my supplies by genre rather than work/not-work and realised that I had only been using the front half of my plan chest drawers. (I suppose that’s part of the challenge of a large drawer in a small space!)

Drawing Drawer - Misericordia

With the liberal application of hoarded fruit punnets and clicky-sticky tape, I’m slowly bringing a bit of order to things (no clear flat surfaces though, let’s not be too hasty).

Corded rouleau - Misericordia

I’m still itching to draw rather than sew, which hopefully explains the slow progress on anything involving a needle and thread (no matter how beautifully organised). I did get a bodkin out, which is always pleasing. I’ve been playing with corded rouleau to use as stems for the Ark Project tablecloth, and it’s been unnecessarily difficult.

Bodkin - Misericordia

In the end I’ve settled on turning the loops empty and then threading it with a homemade cord made of scrap fabric. I’ve managed to streamline the production so much that I’ve stopped cutting holes into the ends of the fabric in favour of slits so I don’t have to put the wee flappy pieces in the bin.

Corded rouleau with recycled padding - Misericordia

I’ve become very callous and started to cut up abandoned or unsold embroidery. I just don’t seem to have the energy spare to deal with shuffling it around or looking after it.

Recycled cording for padded rouleaux - Misericordia

I wish I could say it was helping me get more work done, but it’s been mainly infinitesimal updates to various baby books, half rows of knitting, and a pleasant return to regular Pilates sessions.

Recycle scrap fabric into yarn - Misericordia

This is my favourite bit of the cord-making process, when you pull the two ends and they lock together. I’m not sure what the emotional equivalent is, but I’ll let you know when I find it.

Use fabric scraps to make corded padding - Misericordia

And Everything In Its Place

Cookbook shelf - Misericordia

One of the best bits about this making and selling thing is becoming confident in buying from other makers in a small measure of solidarity.

Bookshelf - Misericordia

This gigantic statement of support was the result of a serendipitous craft fair table placement near the lovely guys of Sorell (who also made the ark).

Bookcase - Misericordia

Not only did they put up with our rather haphazard requests (make it pretty! fit the sewing machine in! all the power points ever! irregular shelving!) but they even managed to use up the very last of the bamboo countertops from the kitchen which had been languishing behind the ramshackle bookcase village which had sprung up in the front room.

Bookcase - Misericordia

Bookcase - Misericordia

Now my challenge is to fill it in an attractive and organised manner. I looked on Pinterest for bookcase styling (horrible word) tips, but most of the ideas started with getting rid of all of your books or turning them with their spines to the back of the shelves or similar nonsense, so I’m working out my own system.

Gorey shelf - Misericordia

Apart from finally having shelves deep enough for art books and Very Large Sketchbooks, it’s nice to have a home for all the tchotchkes and ornaments that have been frustrating me elsewhere. (Especially that blue bowl. It was a wedding present from my godmother and we love it, but I almost gave it away because I couldn’t find a home for it.)

Mysterious - Misericordia

Any suggestions, styling tips or cataloguing ideas are most welcome! I’ve been dreaming of a pair of library steps, but what else is new…

 

Bunting Frenzy

I can’t get over how miserable I was this time last year…

Bunting Layout - Misericordia

But here we are, and I’m up to my elbows in a very pleasant project: Little Lion’s Birthday Bunting.

Bunting Layout - Misericordia

It started when The Flat Buddy offered to organise an interactive baby shower for Dragon and we came up with the idea of people making and sending in bunting flags. It was a huge success, and hanging out of the Birthday Bunting marks the beginning of birthday festivities.

Blue and purple bunting - Misericordia

Now that The Flat Buddy is several hundred miles away, I organised Little Lion’s Bunting Appeal (discovering in the process just how much work went into the whole thing) and again was properly overwhelmed at how lovely people are.

Taggy Lion Bunting - Misericordia

Even Dragon got into the act, designing two flags and doing some of the stitching himself.

Dragon's First Embroidery - Misericordia

I’m looking forward to getting it all stitched together in time (I hope) for birthday festivities on the weekend (and more cake, which we missed doing this week).

Shirt Label Bunting - Misericordia

Deeds not Words Bunting - Misericordia

In lieu of cake, here is a photo of the Lovely Young Man posing expertly in his Gentleman’s Relish. Because he is as wise as he is tall, he’s already worn it enough to avoid the Boyfriend Jumper Curse, which we’re all very pleased about.

Gentleman's Relish - Misericordia

Disembarking from the Mary Celeste

March has come in with Little Lion’s first Nursery Plague which rapidly swept through the family.

Hovel in chaos - Misericordia

There is nothing like the zombie-film aura which surrounds you as poorly parents of poorly children. Even the cat joined in after indulging in a sumptuous floor-feast because we couldn’t face tidying up around the high chair.

Bunting ingredients - Misericordia

Eclipse Bunting - Misericordia

When we emerged, I discovered that I had 10 days to make Little Lion’s birthday bunting, a jumper which has been haunting me for two years was complete and I’d read War and Peace.

Gentleman's Relish - Misericordia

Readjusting to life on land has been unexpectedly tricky. I’m still looking for my concentration, I’ve lost the ability to tell time and if anyone wants to do my invoices for February, I’d pay you in plum tart!

Plum Tart - Misericordia

(Not shown – Welsh cakes and brownies.)

“Whatever you do, it’s never enough”

I was sitting on the (very crumb-covered) kitchen floor (because it’s better than sitting in a chair), trying to document the 25 minutes (using my new productivity app*) I’ve spent this week on the Ark Project, when the radio intruded on my internal monologue and presented me with the title of the post.

Sketchbooks and ginger cat - Misericordia

I have a few sketchbook pages of notes and a little swatch of stiffened silk which really represents me coming to realise that I’m going to be cutting hundreds of leaves out of silk very shortly, and I don’t really want to hem them. I also have to get a handle on properly 3D rouleaux which use the minimum of silk, more on that when I get it to work.

Fabric glue test - Misericordia

*I’m using the Pomodoro Technique which times you working for 25 minute blocks. It’s been quite helpful for taming my distractible nature, even though the free app I have keeps demoting me to Unrepentant Slacker!

And now it’s time for …Cake of the Week, iced buns!

Iced Bun - Misericordia

I’m very pleased with these, they’re hitting the not-too-sweet spot nicely. (I didn’t fill them because the first iced bun I ever ate didn’t have filling so I have grown to love them as oddly sweet bread rolls.) I can only show you the elegant pale yellow icing. After the first four were iced the colour scheme descended rapidly into the lurid and sludgy spectrum. I’m thinking about making half-sized ones for Little Lion’s upcoming first birthday celebrations (which is a bewildered post for another day).

Seeping Through the Cracks

It’s half term, and we’ve reached maximum entropy.

Loom Band Entropy - Misericordia

I have very little to show for myself since last week apart from a small but significant gusset for LYM’s jumper, some rather decadent cake and a half-written blog post about flapjacks.

Knitted underarm gusset - Misericordia

We are a broad-shouldered family, so I suspect that the adding of gussets will become a useful skill for me. I have a small pile of bought clothes which could do with the addition of a little more room in the oxter department, so this will be the first of many. I used this TECHknitting tutorial, which was quite helpful and also provided a chance to learn a few more decreasing and i cord-making skills.

Knitted underarm gusset - Misericordia

Have you noticed that all of my cake photography is half-eaten?

Chocolate and salted caramel tart - Misericordia

This was one of those dinner party desserts that look desperately complicated but really aren’t. Blind bake a shortcrust case (I added a little sugar to Delia’s recipe), when cool pour over some salted caramel sauce. (I had a jar of caramel sauce left over from Shrove Tuesday, but it had the same ingredients as most of the recipes I’ve seen online). Allow to cool and make ganache. Allow to cool and pour over while still just runny. I had some leakage where my pastry case wasn’t quite chocolate-tight, but no one seemed to mind!

Sprinkle with a little more sea salt if desired and serve in very small slivers with blood oranges.

If you’re crawling to the end of half-term, I wish you the best of luck.

 

 

Broken Is Beautiful

Ah progress, could we not agree to a more linear approach to our adventures?

Jumping in with both feet - Misericordia

Having decided to jump in with both feet and aggressively line the bimah cloth, I’m now picking out the lining and starting again. I haven’t exactly decided how, which is a touch awkward, but at the speed I’m going with it, there’s plenty of time to work things out.

Wrinkled linen - Misericordia

The cake of the week (quite apt, really) is Broken Biscuit Cake (or Tiffin, or Fudge Cake). It’s a rather glorious cupboard-cleaning exercise, and this particular one isn’t quite as lavish in terms of chocolate as many recipes (but still tastes like it).

Broken Biscuit cake with recipe - Misericordia

Marie’s Grandma’s Tiffen (or Ailene’s Fudge Cake)

4 oz butter

4 oz sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons drinking chocolate

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

1 cup fruit and nuts (or other lumpy things you’d fancy)

1/2 pound digestive biscuits, crushed in varying sizes

Grease and line a 9 inch square tin or traybake pan.

Melt butter and sugar in a pan, add drinking chocolate and milk (and fruit if using). Simmer for three minutes. Gradually add remaining ingredients and mix well. Press into the pan and cover with melted chocolate (add a half slice of toast’s worth of butter to the chocolate before you start to melt it so the chocolate doesn’t crack). Cool.

I used pretzels because LYM can’t eat nuts and I’m still undecided about putting fruit in chocolate. This one turned out a little crumbly because I didn’t measure any of the crispy bits, but if I’d stirred in a little of the melted chocolate I think it would have been perfect.

Certainly, it’s soothing my picking-out angst!

Holding Up A Mirror

If anyone out there is undecided about having children, allow me to recommend it wholeheartedly (but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect).

Little Hand - Misericordia

Children are absolutely the quickest path to self-knowledge. Why waste time on introspection and self-help books when you could learn just as much by watching the flesh of your flesh stand for 10 minutes naked and wailing about how cold he is rather than getting some sodding clothes on? The latter will neatly demonstrate to you your own proclivity towards speaking about, rather than doing, the things that trouble you.

Bimah cloth process - Misericordia

As a result of my newly-found understanding of my faults, here’s the start of the Ark Project’s bimah cover. I’ve been pondering various methods of edge finishing for far too long, but I’ve decided to bag line it (with large gaps at both sides so I can applique and embroider on the wrong side of the top only) and move on with my life.

Chocolate Chip Muffin - Misericordia

In cake news, it’s chocolate chip muffins this week. The funny thing is that with all of this cake about, I’m finding a lot of recipes too sweet. Any favourite not-too-sweet cake recipes (maybe vintage recipes aren’t as sweet?) would be much appreciated!

Stitch by Crumb

What a week!

Kipling - Misericordia

We’ve all been struggling with various forms of P1 and Nursery Plague since before Christmas, and it’s all come to a head with various children home in various stages of pathetically poorly or irritatingly not quite well enough to return to school but full of energy.

Despite these challenges, I’ve been steaming ahead with various projects. It turns out that concentrating on finishing just one thing makes it much easier to finish a lot of other things (or at least start to finish them).

Children's Badge Banner - Misericordia

First, there was the badge banner, which was the simplest possible project that took us about three months from purchase of the felt to application to the wall. It looks a little bare at the moment, but I have high hopes for the pair of them, and there’s a whole second knitting needle that can be put to use if they prove particularly keen on badge-based achievements.

Hand embroidered silk banner - Misericordia

I’ve been getting on with the banner for the Ark Project tablecloth, it’s very slow going but it was infinitely eased by a friend’s Profane Embroidery Night (I like to think I provided the sacred counterpoint). Somehow my opportunities to work safely with white silk are a little limited at the moment!

Cast iron bracket - Misericordia

A few house-y things are coming together too, so there’s rather a pleasant sense of momentum going into February.

Cinnamon Cake with Brown Sugar Icing - Misericordia

Oh, and on the cake front we’ve made a cinnamon cake with brown sugar icing and a batch each of brownies and flapjacks.

Flapjacks and Brownies - Misericordia

I’ll write you a post about the flapjacks because I’m a bit proud of an alteration I’ve made to the recipe to assuage a little of my inevitable sugar-guilt.

Nina – Commission

With Christmas embargoes over, I can show you a baby name piece in a new style.

Nina's Hamsa hand embroidered hoop - Misericordia 2015

I love a hamsa, I wore one around my neck the entire time I was pregnant with both the weans. I have always liked the idea of protective amulets, rhymes and other practices (while maintaining an irritating inability to believe that they work), and given the brief to use patterns and designs influenced by Nina’s North African and Balkan heritage, I had the perfect opportunity.

Nina's Hamsa hand embroidered hoop - Misericordia 2015

It’s very easy to get into a groove with your house style, and stepping outside the confines of a font and being in charge of the black lines was a little daunting.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and I’m looking forward to trying some more pattern-making and drawing.

Nina's Hamsa hand embroidered hoop - Misericordia 2015

Interestingly, once I’d made the shapes, I could hardly bear to distract from them with exciting embroidery stitches, and did the thread equivalent of carefully colouring within the lines!

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