April 2019

Illustration

Its full steam ahead on making my handmade books in anticipation of the turn the page artists’ book fair which is taking place in the Forum, Norwich on Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th May, 10.00am – 5.00pm each day. To read more about the event and other participating book artists click on the link turn the page.

I’m delighted to announce that my new ‘Tulips’ book will be launched at the event, along with my new ‘British Butterflies’ book. Both books feature my watercolour illustrations, calligraphy and, of course, pop-ups.

Both my new pop-up books will then be available in my online Etsy shop The Museum Shelves after the event.

Gardening

I’m delighted that so many tulips have made it through the Winter and have re-emerged this Spring. The bulbs in the ‘Jewel Garden’ seem to be doing particularly well – perhaps it was all that sunshine and dry weather we had last Summer?

Recipes

If you want a really easy to make fruit scones that have the wow factor then give my scone recipe a go. They’ve been designed to look like the ones you get in the National Trust tearooms and they’re super easy as you melt the butter and then stir it in rather than having to rub it into the flour like more traditional recipes. And the secret to such high rise success? Roll the dough out nice and thick (about 3cm) and then invest in a deep pastry cutter!

Fruit Scones

Makes 6-7 large scones 

100g unsalted butter
350g self-raising white flour
50g self-raising wholemeal flour
75g caster sugar
75g sultanas
150ml semi-skimmed milk

You will need

1 baking sheet
butter for greasing
7cm plain or fluted cutter

  • Gently melt the butter (either in a small pan or in the microwave) and set aside to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6 and lightly grease the baking sheet with butter.
  • Sift the self-raising flour and baking powder together into a mixing bowl, add the wholemeal flour and sugar and stir to mix. 
  • Make a well in the centre of the dried ingredients and add the melted butter.  Use a flat-bladed knife to mix the melted butter into the dried ingredients. Stir in the sultanas.
  • Gradually add the milk, using just enough to make the scone mixture hold together – you want a soft but not sticky dough.
  • Lightly bring the dough together with floured hands and turn it out onto a floured surface.  Gently roll the dough (or pat it with your hands) to 3cm thick.  Cut out the scones with the 7mm cutter and place them on the baking sheet.  Lightly knead the remaining dough together and repeat the process.
  • Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool briefly.
  • These are delicious warm.  If they’re not going to be eaten on the day they are baked they can be frozen as soon as they are totally cool and then taken out and thawed when required.

Until May….

Who’s Hoddy?

Hoddy in the HallWho’s Hoddy? The character of Hoddy developed out of illustration work that I did for Hodmedod’s. hod1redHodmedod is the Norfolk dialect word for hedgehog and the charming hedgehog that is part of the Hodmedod’s logo was designed by Andy Croft of andygraphics. The first cartoon manifestation of Hoddy appeared as a doodle on one of the original roughs for the Split Dried Fava Beans carton. Hug a HoddyIn an idle moment I had added the caption “hug a hoddy?” Those sharp-eyed folk at Hodmedod’s spotted the doodle and, with their love of wordplay, came up with a range of puns on the words Hod and Hoddy. These puns can now be Carton Hoddyseen on the base of their pulse cartons, together with an explanation of the word ‘Hodmedod’. Next time you buy a carton, have a look for the Hoddy hiding on the base….

Cute HoddyA cuter manifestation of Hoddy emerged in another doodle: by now, I was often doodling hedgehogs! This led on to the first anthropomorphised Hoddy – stirring Baked British Beans in the Hodmedod’s development kitchen. My friend, Janet Peachey of Peachey’s Preserves “modelled” for the image by putting on her best chef’s hat while stirring a large pan of preserves! Cooking Hoddy Hoddy is now often found in the kitchen, developing recipes using Hodmedod’s peas and beans. He’s such a fan of the canned products that he has wallpapered his house using the designs on the can labels!

Hoddy has now broken out of the kitchen and is starting adventures in the wider world. See him above putting on his hat, scarf and gloves before venturing out into the Norfolk countryside…. (The “wallpaper” in the hallway is from the Fava Beans in Water label!)