Welcome to my latest obsession, macrame. After watching this youtube video Dave ordered me some cotton macrame cord. Two days later I was hooked and whipping up coasters like nobodies business. So far i have made three coasters, a medium coaster for candles to sit on our coffee table and one large table place mat for hot food. I plan to make another 3 coasters and then 6 table setting place mats, oh and a plant hanger. I’ve filled my Pinterest full of ideas i want to make. Currently I’ve just done basic knots but excited to try out new ones especially on the plant hanger!
If you’re interested in me creating a step by step guide to follow I’d be more than happy to! There are lots of great videos on youtube but i had to watch them over and over again, pause it and rewind so I could understand where I went wrong, i think an easy step by step picture guide would have helped me out big time.
As I return to my little corner of the internet creating and posting. I want you to know that although i shall be posting my usual content, that does not mean I’m stopping taking action or learning in every part of my life, especially offline and taking actions beyond social media.
Back in London we used to have a Sunday ritual of walking to our favourite coffee shop one tube stop over, having breakfast and then walking back home through the common and often stopping to take some blog pictures. The last couple of Sunday’s we’ve got up early – 6.30am to be exact, I know what your thinking, thats bloody early for a Sunday! We get dressed and head to down to Venice beach for a walk and so that Dave can fly his drone, before it gets too busy and windy. The wind seems to pick up in the afternoons making it unsuitable for drone flying.
Then before heading back we stop for a coffee from Menottis, which has reopened for curb-side pick up. Don’t worry when in public/crowded spaces we wear our face coverings, its just too bloody hot to wear it all the time, plus it didn’t go with my outfit!
I took advantage of this new weekend routine and got Dave to take some pictures on the way back home. Plus as its super early there is hardly anyone around, meaning I can pose to my hearts content without anyone stopping to stare. Even after all these years when people stop and stare I get embarrassed. This brick wall we found might be my new favourite local location. It worked perfectly with my polka-dot dress. I must say i really love wearing this dress and so proud of how it turned out. Plus when people ask where it’s from and I get to say that I made it from scratch, including the pattern, it’s a pretty good feeling.
I’m probably going to say the wrong thing but I simply cannot stay silent about the injustice that the Black community face on a daily basis. I’ve been writing and re-writing this post for over a week now trying to find the right words. I know how privileged I am as a white woman that I am not judged on the colour of my skin. As I have this platform I wanted to use it to help educate and share some resources I’ve been collecting over the last few days and share some of the beautiful artwork supporting Black Lives Matter that I’ve seen.
Seeing these videos of George Floyd, Armaud Arbery, Amy Cooper and Breonna Taylor being brutally murdered for the colour of their skin sickens me. Enough is enough and it needs to change.
I’m reading up about allyship and how I can do my part. I found this post on instagram by Giselle Buchanan a very good place to start. When putting together this post I have to remember that allyship is in our actions, none of us are done learning and it’s ok to have made mistakes. What matters is that you are doing the work to become actively anti-racist and holding yourselves and each other accountable.
Active allyship for me started by signing all the petitions I’ve found online, and putting money where my mouth is and donating to Bail funds and Black Lives Matter.
If money is an issue, you can watch or passively leave this youtube playlist running (don’t skip the Ads, and make sure you don’t have an Ad-blocker). All ad revenue will be donated to the BLM movement.
There are plenty of ways we can help now by using our platforms to amplify Black voices. You might not think of yourself as an influencer but even if you have 30 followers you are still influencing them. Use this opportunity to teach Susan and all her white friends how to grow.
My Instagram feed has always been pretty diverse, I hate seeing ‘perfect’ images of skinny blonde white women that I can’t relate to and have always sought out mid-size babes, colourful dresses and pretty flowers, now those are things I can relate to! If you’d also like to diversify your feed I’ve added links below to some of my favourite babes for you to follow too.
When I create illustrations I strive to represent all hair colours and skin tones and will continue to do so and push myself even further. I’ve always thought it important to represent as many as I can and now I’m realising it’s even more so right now.
I’m also looking how I can change my shopping habits to support Black independent brands and side eye-ing big corporations I usually love to shop from but have stayed silent in this time or don’t have diversity with their models or workplaces.
We are never done learning and I for one will commit to growing and educating myself. We need to have those uncomfortable conversations and we need to take it upon ourselves to change behaviours and call out racism in our circles. It’s not for the Black community to teach us, we have to educate ourselves, our family members and friends and put a stop to racism. It’s going to be uncomfortable but we need to start breaking down barriers and make it an equal playing field for all.
I started off with this recipe but didn’t have all the ingredients it called for, even after visiting the supermarket to pick up supplies. It still seems everyones going crazy for baking while in lockdown and it’s still really hard to get hold of flour, let alone gluten free flour. I guess this makes it a good quarantine recipe as I’ve thrown things together and it turned out tasty!!
Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 1 hour Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes Servings 10
For lemon cake:
1 2/3 cups (200 g) plain gluten free flour blend (I ended up using half a cup of gluten free flour and the rest GF coconut flour)
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
2 sticks (226 g) unsalted butter, softened or olive oil if you can’t get hold of butter
zest of 3 lemons
4 medium eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (120 mL) milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla flavouring
6 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
For lemon drizzle:
1 cup (120 g) powdered/icing sugar, sifted
6 – 7 tsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
Lemon loaf cake:
Pre-heat the oven to 355ºF (180ºC) and line a load baking tin with baking/greaseproof paper. Butter can be used if you can’t get hold of greaseproof paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the 1 2/3 cups (200 g) of flour, 3 tsp of baking powder and add 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar and mix until combined.
Then add the softened butter and mix together working the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a texture resembling breadcrumbs in size – if you have a mixer with paddle attachment use this, I however do not and mixed by hand. Time to add the lemon zest.
Then in a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon juice. Add the wet ingredients to the dry & butter mixture, and mix well until no flour clumps remain and everything is evenly distributed.
Transfer the cake mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth out the top. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 355ºF (180ºC) for about 1 hour or until risen and golden on top and an inserted fork until comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the loaf tin for about 10-15 minutes, then remove from the tin, and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack or baking tray if you don’t have a cooling rack like me.
Lemon drizzle icing:
Stir the powdered sugar and 6 tsp of lemon juice together until you get a thick even mixture. Add 1 – 2 tsp of lemon juice, mixing well, until you get the correct icing consistency. I love lemon and add more lemon juice to make it runnier, or more powdered sugar to make it thicker, as required. I would also recommend putting the icing in the fridge for around 5 mins so it thickens up as I seem to alway make it too runny and it just slides off my cakes.
Finally drizzle the lemon icing over the cooled cake, spreading it evenly across the top with the back of a spoon, and letting it drip down the sides. I also used a fork to poke holes in the top of the cake so the drizzle seeped into the sponge.
I forgot to take a snap of the cake once I had iced it, doh! I made the cake for Dave’s birthday so heres a quick phone snap before he blew his candles out.