Saturday, 21 March 2009

variegated thread ... ?

When you do embroidery, you got a lot of short floss, not long enough to start stitching with it but long enough that you cannot throw it away. When you make thimbles, the same happens and I have stashed these threads in a small box and it got nearly full. I thought it was about time to do something about it otherwise there wouldn't be a point to collect all those threads in the first place.

I dumped the accumulated threads on the table and sorted them by colours; blue & green & purple, brown family, red & pink & orange, yellow & white and I made this thimble from red & pink & orange pile. I aimed at the variegated thread effect so the design had to be simple. I firstly thought about the simple stripe like this but because I had to change threads so much I decided against it. I does look as if I used variegated thread, doesn't it?

Sunday, 15 March 2009


I am a thimble maker but I do Japanese embroidery, too. The most obvious characteristics of Japanese embroidery is using silk floss. Well, the embroidery threads are called floss, but what I mean here is untwisted silk fibers. You twist the fibers as you go, or choose not to twist, depending on what effect you want to create or what stitches you choose.

This camellia is not very big, and I haven't decided what to do with it. I originally planned to make a small fabric covered box but it may end up as a cosmetic bag. We will see...

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Orange and Almond Cake

I love chocolate cake, I love everything chocolate, so naturally I prone to make chocolate cake or cookies whenever I bake. However, I bought a cookbook called 'Sweet Food' (Murdock Books) the other day and there is this delicious looking orange and almond cake and I just had to make it myself.

I only made half the portion because 23cm round tin is too much for us. The ingredients are what you think it should be for an orange and almond cake; orange, almond powder, sugar, eggs, orange liqueur, baking powder, nothing special, but you have to boil whole oranges for two hours and put them through blender until smooth and add the orange puree to beaten eggs and sugar, then add almond powder and bake. That's why the cake looks orange (a bit greenish in the picture, I know). Cook the orange juice, white wine, and sugar until becomes syrupy and pour the orange syrup on the cake to soak. So it is like orange savarin I think. I had some reservation while I cooked oranges in the hot water but all in all, it turned out quite good.

I modified the ingredients for syrup and although I found this cake in the book I think it's okay to share it with you because it's a kind of my original now.

Orange juice 500ml (about 2 cups)

Sugar 120g (about 1/2 cup)

White Wine 200ml (about 1 cup)

Orange Liqueur 2 table spoon

Put everything except orange liqueur in a saucepan over medium heat and once the sugar dissolved, reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or reduced by half and slightly syrupy. Do not overcook otherwise it becomes like marmalade without peels. Add orange liqueur while still hot.

It's good with the orange and almond cake but I think it's goes quite well with chocolate cake, too and we are going to have pancakes tomorrow morning with this orange syrup and why don't you join us?

Monday, 2 March 2009

A thimble as a ring

Here is an another blue wave design. It looks as same as the others however, I made this one as a ring. I got an order for a ring the other day and the base did not turn out the right size. It was slightly bigger than I preferred, but I decided to make my own ring instead of wasting the base. The inner circumference is 63mm and it's rather big when compered to the ones I usually make which are 51mm. Although I used a paper for a core of the base as usual, I opted for cotton wadding over silk floss. Using silk floss wadding makes things easier when you want a plump thimble while I prefer flat cylinder for a ring.

The material used do not like being wet so I have to be very careful not to wash my hands without removing it. It's also virtually impossible to clean it since you cannot either wash it or dry clean it. I have kind of discouraged people against wearing this type of thimbles as rings so far, and this was the first time I wore one for myself for more than a few days and I liked how it looked on my finger and it caught quite a few people's (mostly women's) eyes. Well, I ought to wear it for a while longer and see how it fare before making some more.