And the snow comes tumbling down…

Finally winter comes to Zurich!

And the snow comes tumbling down

So post Christmas and New Year I am full of optisims, change, challenge, bright things!

So much to share with you, possibly my biggest revelations is i’ve discovered instagram… how you ask has it taken me so long? Who knows! Anyway i’ve already found some really cool people to follow in Zurich so loads of ideas for cool places to eat/ drink/ shop 🙂

Find me at crafting_a_London_balcony, Jennie Holden xxx

I’ve got a few crafts on the go at the moment, crochet and some lino cutting for cards.

I’ve loved discorvering you can create cables with crochet so i’ve been putting it to good use making winter headbands thanks to this lovely pattern… Cable stitch headband

We popped over the board into Germay yesterday (i say popped, it was a 1 3/4hr train journey). Therefore perfect opportunity to get cableing!

Train craftKonstanz was lovely!! Gorgeous old town made all the nicer by the snow.

Konstanz Old Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway the headband will be finished soon and can be added to the collecttion; ripple and bow!

Bow headband

Abigail Abbotoy’s Ravelry Store – Ribbed headband

Ripple stitch headband

Bow headband - People websRipple stitch head bandRibbed headband

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also time to restock my shelf at Lys Boutique – out with Christmas stock and in with some new bright lino cuts for spring!

My Shelf!

My Shelf!

I’ve really enjoyed getting back into carving after a break over the festive period. It took a while to get my hand back in but i came up with this little guy 🙂

FoxyHope you’ve all had restful sundays xxx

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Honeymoon!

Hello All

I’ve been away sometime…. I found  job, planning a wedding and life generally a wee bit too much with a blog. However it was one of mine and J’s marriage resolutions that I spend more time blogging, hurrah! 

My plan over the next months is to update you on some wedding crafty ideas, one or two honeymoon highlights and current projects (which at the moment seem to be based around all my friends having babies and no doubt soon – Christmas!)

So we’ve been home from honeymoon a few days now, I found it really difficult to get myself up and doing stuff (gong back to work blues I think), but today I’ve done so well. Cleaned the spare room, bathroom, stairs and landing and our house is looking less of a hovel and now out at one of my favourite Chiswick coffee haunts, Laveli Bakery on South Parade 🙂 Currently enjoying a decaf skinny flat white.

www.lavelibakery.com/

So my honey was a complete surprise. I didn’t find out till we checked in at T5 Heathrow, and then only found out the first location where I was a presented with a spreadsheet of plans for said location! J is very organised, but he stressed there was room for variation, thank the lord!

And J says i'm a planner!

And J says i’m a planner!

We started off in Singapore for 2 nights, then to various locations in Saba, Borneo, finally ending with 4 night in Ubud and Bali. I’m one lucky lady.

One major highlight was a cooking course we did in Bali. It started off with an early morning market visit….

Ubud Market Veggies

The fresh veg and fruit was amazing, but the market also masses and masses of flowers and petals for the creation of offerings to the Hindu gods. Just sacks and sacks of petals. it was amazing!

One of my favourite images was a huge bunch of Hydrangeas strapped to the back of a motorbike, they’re about £7 a stem in Chiswick!!!!

 

Motorbike HydrangesI’m not sure what these chicks were used for… offerings? Suggestions welcome… 

How do they do this? spray hen, dip dye, genetically modify??

How do they do this? spray them, dip dye, genetically modify??

Pink chick anyone?

So the cooking, a chicken noodle soup (Soto Ayam), snapper fish curry (Kare Ikan Java) and rice flour dough sweeties (Kelepon) filled with palm sugar 🙂

We started off making our chicken stock for the soup and prepared spices for the soup paste which was blended and fried out to release the flavours. We were using fresh turmeric, which is something I’ve not used before, it still got your hands as yellow. Coconut milk was added and chicken breasts.. When the soup was assembled there was a base of fine vermicelli rice noodles, hard boiled egg, the slice cooked chicken breast, the soup broth and finished with fresh coriander and fired shallots. it was yummy.

 Chicken soup base                                     Chicken Stock                                        Fished soup

Main course, the fish curry followed a similar pattern, spices prepared for the curry paste, coconut milk and fish added, but… I recon I could have a go at home… watch this space!                         SONY DSC

The pudding was fun to make, it used a natural food dye from the XXXX plant and were poached. Have to say they had quite a gelatinous texture, I image cold they would be hard work! Fab experience though.                       

 Shaping          SONY DSC         SONY DSC          SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC

Well I think that’s quite enough photos for now…!

Next post – crochet storage!

x

 

 

Brazilian adventures #2

So many weeks have pasted since my first two posts, excuses…. Life…! I need to update about Brazil!

We’ll it was a very interesting trip. As you know I went to ‘help’ a family cook while on holiday. So there house was amazing, such a gorgeous view…

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There’s the large White House!

My day started about 7.30 every day, making pancakes for the kids and fresh fruit, the oldies surfaced a bit later for spicy scrambled eggs (red onion, fresh tomatoes, fresh coriander, dry coriander and cumin) or soufflé omelette.

Shopping then needed to be done, the local supermarket or down to the fish market (earlier the better) to buy lobster, cray fish, some large white fish (?) with my non existent Brazilian! The main meal of the day tended to be around 3pm as the heat started to go out of the sun. I taught the nanny some Asian recipies; prawn Thai green curry, butter chicken, chicken masala curry, potato tikis, tandoori lobster, hari chutney, beef satay….

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The fish was superb, if only I new what it was… Made an amazing ceviche dish from a recipe I found in The Times before I went by Gaston Acurio, yum.

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The evenings were pretty quite, so of course time for crochet and caipirinhas! I’ve started making a baby blanket for my good friend Beth who is due in September. I’ve used a granny square pattern from Lavender and Wild Rose blog spot: http://www.lavenderwildrose.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/vintage-flower-bag.html

It’s a really lovely blog with some gorgeous crochet and musings 🙂

We’ll the blanket is coming along….

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I also made a start on the flowers for my bridesmaids coat hangers that will hold their kimono dressing gowns for the morning 🙂

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Well after fresh coconuts on the beach, a couple of hours on Cococabana Beach and a gaze up at ‘the Christ’ it was time to come home to a Jon waiting with flowers and hit cross buns, I love that boy 🙂

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Wedding craft updates soon x

Brazilian adventures #1

So the journey began last night… Send off glass or 2 with Jon at The Swan.

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This morning though I feel I may have had one too many, not great to start an 11hr flight dehydrated!

So where am I going? Brazil!!!! 10 days with a UK family teaching them how to make the most of the amazing fresh fruits, veg and seafood/ fish that’s available over there.

It’s all a bit surreal, met this lady at one of my Saturday classes – Thai green curry – and it’s spiralled from there, ending up in an invite to Brazil to help them cook. God I hope I’m up to it.
The last 4 weeks have been cooking central in our flat, practice practice practise. Bless Jon, he’s been amazing, so supportive and encouraging. Especially when I’d had a full on day at school and the thought of trying out new recipe was really not appealing! What was lovely is one day we got out first balcony meal of the year, a defo sign the weather is turning! Anyway feel I’m going with a bank of recipes I feel confident with, some extra ingredients packed up in my luggage (chaat masala, tamarind paste) and then there is the internet. What more could I need?!

Crochet is of course packed, baby blanket on the cards and will keep an update of how I’m getting on!

Currently making the most of every aspect of the journey, I love flying! Got to the airport in plenty of time. Had a good mooch around duty free and enjoying a grande, decaf, skinny cap with sugar free hazelnut syrup ( was there any point!)

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Go jennie!