Monday, January 28, 2008

Cold Comfort Farm

"There's always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm."

I simply must write to let all and sundry know about this absolutely wonderful movie. I recently got it from the library (though I have seen it before!) and spent a wonderful evening laughing out loud at the screen.

This film is eccentric, witty, British humor in the charmingly idyllic 1930's Sussex countryside. Kate Beckinsale is my heroine as Flora Poste, who's aim is to experience life and then write a novel about it at the age of fifty-three. After her parents die, she moves in with her Great Aunt's mad family and fixes them all quite tidily. The characters are marvelous, from Ian McKellen's fire and brimstone preacher, to Sheila Burrell's Aunt Ada Doom who 'saw something nasty in the woodshed' (what that was has sadly been quite forgotten). Another favourite actor, Rufus Sewell (watch him in ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew with Shirley Henderson. Excellent!) plays the highly sexed cousin Seth, who longs to be in the Talkies. Overall, it's a great parody of all the things the countryside ought to be.

Not only is the dialogue extremely diverting, but the costumes are brilliant. I wish I had a wardrobe full of Flora's clothes and hats.
Rated PG (mostly because of Seth..)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Homemade Holidays

Christmas was a flurry of homemade items and I was busy all month baking and sewing away for my family. It was such a treat to be able to give each one such a unique gift to suit their own lives and personalities. I was inspired by the Homemade Holidays tutorials posted over at Sew, Mama, Sew. Since the holidays are officially over now I can finally post up my projects..

Here is my favourite knitting needle case I made for my mum.

Rolled Out (notice the bit of ribbon for tying in stitch markers.)

All Rolled Up.

Sew, Mama, Sew

Craftsters amazing and easy Jordy Purse

The capacious tinyhappy shoulder bag (missing it's button in this picture, oops.)

The ultimate Sock Monkey (I actually made two for Christmas this year)

Jungle theme Coasters (shown without matching hotpad and placemats)

My first attempt at tea dyed stocking. Lace for me, red cuff for the fella.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Baking Baguettes

"Without wishing in the slightest degree to disparage the skill and labour of breadmakers by trade, truth compels us to assert our conviction of the superior wholesomeness of bread made in our own homes."

- Elisa Acton, Modern Cookery for Private Families, 1845.

Inspired by a library book,
Joie de Vivre; Simple French Style for Everyday Living
by Robert Arbor I set about trying my hand at making baguettes. I've been baking bread for years, though mostly relying on my bread machine to do the kneading for me. This time though, I did it the old fashioned way and was pleasantly pleased with the result. Lovely crisp, crunchy, crust and dense interior - perfect for smothering with butter and honey. Yum!

The recipe I loosely based my bread on was the One-a-day Baguette over at Try it!