Sunday, October 18, 2015

My visual MUSE for Esther; The Heroes of the Ashes Book 1: The Ache Inside Part I

Memories of her youth and future dreams for Tardun

I have blogged previously about the songs I listen to while I'm writing my series The Heroes of The Ashes. Today I thought I would share with you my visual muse for Esther.


I found these pictures online and I believe most of them have the original artists signature featured. So just to be clear, these are not my pictures. I do however use my own photographs for my book

Esther in disguise after a price is put on her head

I hope these pictures bring the characters even more to life for you, as you read The Heroes of The Ashes, as they do for me.

Esther and Eden; constantly drawn to each other

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hand made Mini Album

Until I was browsing through some old photos the other day I had completely forgotten a little mini album I had made many Mothers Days ago.

The front of Grandma Carols Brag Book

When my friend had her twins, someone had made the two girls identical little pastel albums with a concertina looking spine, and tied closed with ribbon.  My friend let me look the books over and take pics so that I could figure out how it had been assembled.

Showing the spine and construction of the book

Then I went to spotlight and found a kit that looked very similar.  I purchased the kit but only used it as a template, and combined the ideas from the kit and the pics I had of my friends albums.

I was very pleased with the results for the childrens Grandma Carol.  It was neat and compact; small enough to slip into her handbag.

I'm glad that most times these days, thanks to my smart phone, I remember to take pictures of my creations, but just 5 or 6 years ago it wasn't that easy.

I think it's time to make an update version of this mini album with step by step instructions that you can also follow, to make you own beautiful hand made gift. :-)

The back cover with a secret letter to unwrap!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Basic Buttermilk Pancakes

For some tasty, light and fluffy pancakes try this recipe.

I had a 1 litre value pack of buttermilk in the fridge and the following recipe used up all but one mouthful :-)

3/4 cup of castor sugar
1 tsp bicarb of soda
3 cups self raising flour
3 3/4 cups of butter milk
3 eggs

Sift flour and bicarb into a bowl

In another bowl beat your eggs gently and add your buttermilk.

Making a well in the flour slowly add your egg/buttermilk mixture to your flour mix, whisking as you go to eliminate lumps.  I had Little Miss 6 hold the bowl for me at this point, to stop it spinning on the bench as I whisked.

When all the ingredients are incorporated and your batter is lump free you are ready to cook!  Careful not to overwork the batter at this stage.  Your batter should look bubbly and airy in the bowl.

To cook my pancakes I used a small frying pan with a 14cm base to make my pancakes a set size, and cooked them one at a time.

One ladle of batter at a time was the perfect amount for the size of my frying pan.

I also prefer to use a tiny amount of butter instead of oil on the base of my frying pan, but be careful how high you set the heat as butter burns.

Let your batter cook in the frying pan until plenty of bubbles appear.  Then flip  carefully and cook the other side just long enough to make sure the batter in the middle is cooked. 

Your pancakes should be visibly fat and fluffy :-)