Thursday, 31 January 2013

Shrove Tuesday Treats

Well it's not long until another Shrove Tuesday, or 'pancake day' is upon us. My kids are really excited as they love tossing those pancakes up in the air & trying to catch them before they land into the dog's mouth who has learnt over the years to position himself in just the right spot for any 'accidents'!!


Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. it is celebrated throughout the UK by making as many pancakes as possible & scoffing the lot! Basically it was historically a way to use up the flour & a last feast before the the fasting of Lent. For the more adventurous there's even pancake races where you try to run & toss pancakes all at the same time!

So what do we need for some good pancakes?

100g ( 4 oz) plain flour &
an egg or two





8 fl oz of Milk & a good bowl to whisk them all together in;




(I don't bother with salt as I'm about splurge a whole lot of other flavours on my pancakes!)

Then you need a frying pan & a little butter to melt in the middle;





Heat the butter in the pan to leave a film of grease & then ladle in  a large spoonful of your batter. Get the topping ready by squeezing some lemon & having a little sugar to serve!




Cook on a moderate heat until golden light brown & able to slide on the pan.  Only takes a minute or two. And a with lot of enthusiasm get ready for that daring toss! If all succeeds cook the other side for about 30 to 60 seconds until golden brown too - if you're a bit confident, try another toss or two!

If all ends in failure - find a good local pub who cooks great pancakes!




Enjoy!






Thursday, 24 January 2013

How To Get Inspired, no.1 ..It's Icy Out There!

As a bit of a creative type I'm often asked where do I get my inspiration from? Let's be honest, even though most of us in the creative world, live with dozens of ideas most of the time, there are those moments when you seize up. So how do you get the ideas kick started once more?


I thought I'd share with you some of the things I do at times like this & whilst you read this you can also peruse some fabulously inspired items by a few favourite sellers 
(links to their shops are below the photos)

This week, I'm starting with what I do first...
LOOK OUT THE WINDOW!
So what's out your window right now? Here in the UK for most, it is a layering of snow, icicles, frost & a few bare twigs of winter trees sticking out & dangling their icicles. Generally speaking - brrrrrrr!
 It's ICY OUT THERE.....



For you it might be different, but have a look out that window again & ask yourself;

1.What colours are there?

2.What shapes dominate the view?

3.Are there curvy lines on most things or straight or jagged? Types of lines are great for ideas with wire jewellery.




4.Nature - what plants, animals & insects are there? What do they look like from a distance, perhaps silhouetted  only & what do they look like on a close up view - a piece of grey fur maybe, or the veins on a leaf?

5.Are there people there? What are they wearing? What are they doing..they might be building a snowman!




6.Are vehicles passing by? What are they like or the people in them like?

7.What's happening in the sky? Layers of colour, ominous dark stormy clouds or small fluffy ones on a background of blue?



8. Are there street lights? Are they tall or small, flickering or still, what colour light is emitting?

9.What's the weather? Is it raining with water gushing down gullies or delicate snowflakes cascading onto the window?



Ann Cawley Jewellery

10.Now look at the ground - what's it made of? Earth, grass, stones, pavements or tiny pebbles layered in snow maybe?



11.Look at your horizon...what shape is it? Maybe it's not just a straight line, but even straight lines can 
inspire!



12. What's moving out there. Maybe a piece of litter blowing across the ground or a bird's feather floating down?

Now get the pencil & paper out & scribble down some of those ideas until you can develop them into that masterpiece!



Enjoy your inspiration & hope you are all keeping warm!


Friday, 11 January 2013

Dallying With Dragons


Forged from a deep love of such mystical creatures & twitchy fingers that love playing with wire, I created my first dragon Dafydd last year. He was the first necklace that I was very sad to see leave the nest, ( normally it's wonderful to sell something!) I had become rather attached to him. However, as with all dragons, he had to eventually fly. He was soon followed by his cousin Esmeralda who also now enjoys a happy life in America & I'm very pleased that her new owner lets me know how she is getting on. Dragons are very personal, the right one for each person can vary greatly.

Having forged 2 dragons, it was only a matter of time before the rest of the dragon family started appearing. So here they all are to date;

DAFYDD


A strong forceful dragon, leading the way. His name means 'beloved.'


ESMERALDA

A beautiful loving dragon, who loves to travel. Her name is actually Spanish and dervives from 'Emerald' Although not green herself, her name is a throwback from her Mother who can trace her ancestry to the green dragons. She is Dafydd's cousin.

BLODEUWEDD


Blodeuwedd has a cool stunning beauty & she attracts a lot of admirers, especially as she is a bearer of a dragon vein agate, which is believed to symbolise protection, strength & harmony. She is also cousin to Esmeralda. Her name means 'flower' 

GORAWEN


Gorawen is another cousin of Esmeralda. Her name means 'joy' and it is true to say she will bring much joy to all those around her. She is a bearer of an amethyst, believed to be a dream stone & protection stone. Amethysts are also often worn by healers.

CALANDRA


Calandra is a gorgeous & voluptuous dragon, sister to Esmeralda. She has inherited some green from her ancestors. Her name is Greek in origin & means 'lovely' - well that says it all about Calandra, except she secretly loves singing! She also bears a chrysocolla stone, which is believed also to be a healing stone & a stone of peace, calmness & wisdom.

ADEON


This very cute & chubby toddler dragon is Dafydd's nephew. He hero worships his famous uncle & has recently learnt to snort his flame out just like his Uncle Dafydd. Let's hope he keeps it under control! His name means 'royal'. Does he know something about the future that I don't?!! He bears a mooakite, Australian jasper, which is believed to be a grounding crystal & helps with self esteem.

MALDWYN


Last, but certainly not least is little Maldwyn - an Elfin dragon. These are an ancient breed of dragons & although much smaller than their counterparts they are very brave & spiritual. His name is the Welsh version of Baldwin - 'brave friend.' He bears a small freshwater potatoe pearl, which symbolises purity & sincerity.

Those dragons that have not yet flown the nest can still be found at
See if you can find them! 
Don't be disappointed if they have all gone, in time there will be more members of the dragon families revealed. Eventually I'll hopefully be able to show you a family tree!