Thursday, 19 January 2017

Pickled Vegetables

A while ago I attended a Fermentation workshop at Nama, a raw food restaurant in Notting Hill. It was great fun and the pickled vegetables was the easiest and by far my favourite recipe of the evening. The recipe below is inspired by Nama's head chef (who created Nama's recipe based on her mum's home-made pickles).

This recipe is very flexible so you can alter things to your own tastes.
The most suitable vegetables to use need to have a crunchy texture and be fresh.

Ingredients (amounts can vary depending on what you have in the fridge):

Large cucumber
Three carrots
20 radishes
5 sticks of celery
Cyder vinegar (enough to fully submerge the veg. I used a whole bottle)
Salt (a couple of generous pinches to taste)
Coconut sugar (you can use regular sugar instead)


  • Very finely slice all hard vegetables like carrots and celery. I used a food processor but you can just as easily cut the vegetables by hand
  • Finely slice the cucumber (if it is too finely sliced it tends to loose its shape when pickled)
  • Put all vegetables in one bowl and mix together

  • Completely submerge the vegetables in cyder vinegar. I used the whole bottle in the photo below

  •  Add two or three generous pinches of salt. Adjust amount to your preference. It is the combination of vinegar and salt that pickles the vegetables

  • Add a few teaspoons of coconut sugar to taste. You are aiming for a balance between salty, sweet and sour.

  •  Your pickled vegetables can be eaten immediately for a refreshing side accompaniment to a meal. I have got a generous amount in my lunches this week alongside quinoa, fresh tomatoes and chicken
  • To store the pickled vegetables place a sealable container and keep in the fridge. It would make a lovely gift if you put the pickled veg in pretty glass jars with a hand-made label!
  • My last batch lasted about two weeks in the fridge
  • Any remaining pickling liquid can be added to marinades or used for a salad dressing
  • I hope you enjoy this simple and tasty recipe!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Brick Lane & Fashion Street Paste-Ups

I recently saw these amazing fashion inspired paste-ups in Shoreditch on Brick Lane, Fashion Street and Seven Stars Yard. I suspect these are either hand-screen printed or enlarged copyshop versions of fashion illustrations that have been pasted onto the graffitied walls of Shoreditch.

I tried a variety of google searches to find out the name of the street artist who creates these fabulously cool figures but alas no luck! Whoever created them certainly has an eye for 1960's style and glamour!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Hand-Made Gift Bag

A while ago I attended a craft workshop with my friend Alex at Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road to make a gift bag.
I meant to blog about it before Christmas but never got around to it. Luckily these gift bags are great for any type of event where you want to put that extra bit of love and effort into it!

Card (an empty cereal box would do)
Wrapping paper (this is a great way to use scraps of wallpaper / recycle gift wrap)
Craft knife
Cutting mat
Ribbon, string or lace for the handle

The size of your bag will differ depending on the card you use. The card I used for the example below was about 45cm x 45cm. I cut the corners of the card about 5cm from the edges.

Trim the wrapping paper so it has about a 2cm border beyond the edges of the card, fold over and glue to the card.

To make the decorative flap (you can cut any design for this) I created an Art Deco style flap and glued the wrapping paper to the outside.

Fold the wrapping paper around the card and glue into position. Cut 45 degree angles into the internal corners so they could be folded neatly. Then cover this side with a piece of wrapping paper cut to the same size as the flap to hide the folded paper.

The next step is to mark the base of the bag. As long as the base is centrally located on the card you can decide the dimensions yourself. The bag below had about a 15cm wide base with the remainder of the card folded for the sides of the bag. Measure, score and fold over one side of the bag and glue the flap into position.

Measure, score and fold the opposite side and fold into position. The last part is to fold the remaining sides so it forms a gift bag. Score diagonally from the base of the each sides of the bag and fold internally to create a triangle fold. Glue the overlapping section on the sides of the bag (I forgot to take photos of this bit - sorry!).

Finish the gift bag with lengths of ribbon, decorative cord or lace for the handle and on the flap to add a decorative flourish.

Ready to give to somebody extra special!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

And Other Vices.....

You may know, as well as my love for art and sewing I have another vice in the form of Tatty Devine jewellery. Over the past few years I have bought some lovely pieces, received gifts, grabbed bargains at sample sales and most of all enjoyed the jewellery workshops held at their Brick Lane shop in London.

Below is a montage of images for the workshops I attended in 2016. Some of these lovely pieces I kept for myself and a few I gifted to close friends. After attending five workshops last year I am pretty speedy at fastening jump rings now!
  • Sequin necklace (gift)
  • Mini Mexican Garden necklace (gift)
  • Turquoise Swallow necklace
  • White Dinosaur necklace
  • Rainbow necklace
My favourite piece is the Dino necklace which was the most time-consuming to make as there were lots of fiddly connections.

Which piece do you like best?

Thursday, 5 January 2017

FTM 1920's Jazz Age: Fashion & Photography

I spent an hour after work at the Fashion and Textiles Museum in Bermondsey. It was a lovely way to bring some much needed inspiration and glamour into my life after the shock of returning back to work after a gloriously relaxing Christmas holiday.

If you haven't yet had a chance to visit this exhibition be quick, as it ends on Sunday 15th January. The FTM is a petit and bijou museum but it rarely disappoints. Tonight was no exception as the show opens with a gaggle of gorgeous gowns and coats to hit you with a blast of 1920's glamour. The accompanying literature offers some insight into the purpose, styes and fads of the 1920's fashion era as women were expressing the cultural changes of their role in society.

From a textile enthusiast's perspective the show had me leaning very closely to every mannequin to see the construction techniques, hand embroidery, pin-tucking, beading, tassels and fringing. There were so many sumptuous fabrics, colours and patterns to behold!

I shall leave you with a visual feast of photos.

An added bonus was the sale in the museum shop. I have consciously stayed clear of any high street shops to avoid any knee-jerk sales purchases of things I don't need, but I really couldn't say no to 50% off Sew Over It patterns! The Shift Dress and Pussy Bow Blouse found their way into my life before my return home. Oopss!