Monday, 31 October 2011

New Patchwork Pillows

Available on Etsy: daydreamer-ooak-pillow-cover

We specialize in patchwork pillows which combine 100% Dutch wax print batik cotton in exotic designs and colours with simple traveller hand embroidery and added textures of claret and lilac velvet ribbon to create our wanderlust range - those hours spent daydreaming with our hands.......come to this.....

All pillows are professionally serged/ overlocked and lined with neutral cotton for superb quality.

Thank you for supporting independent handmade!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Perfect Teal - Set of Two Pillows

Both Teal sets offer ooak pillow creations which perfectly compliment eachother - we loved putting these together and hope you will too xx

Chicken My Way

I was once invited round to dinner by a French man.  An excellent cook (via maman), who was serving overtime on the charm offensive with his cheeky self-titled Poulet a ma fa├žon which translates as Chicken My Way (I really liked it).  This is not what he cooked, but by way of an explanantion for my bestowing his title on my own rustic roast chicken for a cold and damp day like today in London - for your loved ones : )
Everyone who enjoys making roast chicken has a recipe or ingredients they swear by.  Chicken "my way" is a combination I trust of a thyme butter used in a recipe that was self-deprecatingly called "The best roast chicken EVER"  on youtube and my thing for lemons (in this case I use poussin - a smaller chicken).  Serve whole or halved with roasted baby potatoes and boiled kale.
For two poussin:

75g cold butter (left to soften at room temp so it is pliable)
30g fresh thyme
3 lemons
1/2 chicken stock cube

Preheat the oven to 200'C.

Finely chop 15g of thyme and mix with cold butter till well combined.  Chop one lemon into thin slices, and halve the other two lemons.

Loosen the skin over the breast and legs.  Under the skin, stuff with nuggets of the thyme butter and lemon slices, so these are evenly spread and gently flattened.  Stuff the lemon halves into the main cavities of each poussin.

Crumb the stock cube and season, rubbing these fairly evenly over the skin of both.  Dress with remaining thyme for a rustic look.  Roast between 45-50minutes - juices should run clear (or follow instructions for temperature and timing on meat packaging, temperature setting may also vary according to your oven).

Make sure to rest the roast chicken for optimum 30minutes after removing from the oven.

The juices that run off from roasting should be collected, the top layer of fat removed.  I simmer the remaining juice and thicken with a little flour.

For dessert try my favourite comforting apple strudle and custard recipe Food tonight - done!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

New Pillows

Available on Etsy: teal-peacock-floral-pillow

Thanks for loving our pillows xx

Skylon SouthBank

That evening, we crossed from where we had dinner to the Royal Festival Hall in anticipation of cocktails at Skylon.  We had enjoyed a brief window of Indian summer, but now summer was well and truly over and though I don't think it was raining, the chill wind in my eyes and empty bank-side, or the feeling deep down in my heart, gave the illusion of damp pavements - as I turned up the collar on my cigar tone overcoat. 

The first floor doorway non descript and sullen opened onto a lofty space.  The fine dining restaurant and the brasserie Grill divided by a central bar were both slowly emptying, leaving a collective feeling of the end of a weekday night still conspiring to linger. And beyond this were panoramic glass panes with uninterrupted views across the River Thames.  Our seats by the window looked out onto still night.  The riverfront tables and chairs that had been laid out were slightly quaking which made you reflect on the change in season.  The once bustle and breeze of summer along the South Bank, and its bevvy of culture vultures, pre-theatre buzz and after-work loosening of ties.  The street performers that juggled or stood like statues, the second hand book stall under the bridge where I found a copy of the Old man and the sea, and being reminded of the movie Last Chance Harvey (which begins on the South Bank).  Returning to the room, something about the pristine matching uniform of the orderly staff made me think the place insipid, and when we were automatically brought glasses of water at the start, it felt like part of the pretense and the space quickly started to feel vacuous.  Then a solitary worker began in his weighted system to clear away the outside tables and chairs under darkness.

I think the cocktails or mixologist at Skylon may have an accolade - I cannot be sure.  I went for something called Aromatic Pear on the recommended list.  When it comes to cocktails my taste buds are tuned to 70% spirits and 30% other flavours - what do you think?  I don't speak as a connoisseur, just my own palate.  Too often it is tipped too far the way of 30:70, so it becomes too sweet or limp and in some cities such as Hong Kong or Munich, it is tipped too far in the other, more like 90:10 - "hard spirited for the hard working".  There are some places, you expect too much; the Long Bar at Raffles in Singapore and others where you had no expectation at all (Casa, Soho) but loved and began frequenting.  Unfortunately, Skylon felt lacking and I am afraid a once-off for me.

The Edward Hopper stillness compounded the feeling that you were maybe one of those on the inside being looked at, whilst on the inside, the best part was looking out at the magnificent city view.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Sense of an Ending: Man Booker Prize Winner 2011

I currently have 5 books on the go (all having been started and with my promise to return) - a terrible habit.   But I couldn't help a 150 page novella by Julian Barnes and winner of this year's Man Booker Prize, sneaking in for a couple of hours.  A short and absorbing read but loses none of the sense of length with consumed meditation; on memory, of a life spent fooling oneself and remorse in later years.

Have you read it?  What are your thoughts and do you find the ending frustrating?  Perhaps some of the brevity in characterisation left you wanting?  I think sometimes that a writer of command write's exactly as he wants to and not necessarily for the comfort of the audience.  Never spoonfeeding exacting details to leave room for your own interaction and interpretation.  Or perhaps intentionally, embedding the sense of continued misunderstanding and inevitability of never knowing everything of the whole truth.

The prose at certain points is so concise and beautiful, you feel both swept away by the mind of the protagonist and yet knowing precisely how it feels - turning windmills in your mind or blowing through cobwebs.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Giveaway Winner! generated the number 42!  Entry number 42 below (skip out my comments) is........Robin - Yay!  I will be in touch : )

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Tea Salon

Silk cloth woven for Marie Antoinette for the summer furnishings of her own room at Versailles, 1785
Salon de Venus of Versailles

Taking inspiration for the Tea salon look.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Teal to Love

I am totally in Love!
with these prints for my pillows : )
Available now on Etsy: teal-peacock-patchwork-bolster-ooak 
and teal-floral-deluxe-accent-pillow-cover


A glorious statement pillow in Teal to treasure!

SisterBatik One Of A Kind pillow covers with our own creative patchwork design on the front.

Using genuine Dutch wax print batik - 100% crisp cotton. Additional inside lining of neutral cotton give our pillows a luxury decor fabric feel - superb quality.  Our pillows are all professionally serged/ over locked.

Rectangular - 12" x 22". Concealed phlox zip at base.
This longer length pillow is perfect as a feature for a stand alone armchair.

Super comfortable and huggable!!

Links to decorating with shades of Teal:

Monday, 10 October 2011

Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp - Gift Service

The Holiday season is going to be rolling in and I am abit eak.....but excited at the challenge and opportunity.  I am working through the resources available on Etsy to help me plan for it and hopefully make a success.  I thought it might be useful to put these links together here for friends and readers who are also sellers on Etsy. Good Luck - let's make it a great season!

First thing is to sign up for the Etsy Success Boot Camp Newsletter with calendar updates of things to prepare and How-Tos from small business drill instructors.  And if you are, like me, based in the UK and looking for location based tips for the festive season make sure to sign up for the Etsy UK Newsletter too.

You can also find the complete Holiday Boot Camp series via Etsy Blog.

This is a link to a great article on Holiday Services you might like to offer as add-ons to your products.

I am particularly thinking about Getting it there in time , especially with the extra demands and cut-off dates for shipping services, you might want to offer priority/ upgraded shipping while making sure that you are not left out of pocket for your hard work during the busy period.

And how about offering your customers' their item ready in beautiful Gift Wrap for a stand alone fee? I have started experimenting for SisterBatik Gift Wrap this, I will share the results in the near future!

And for that last minute gift purchase, be prepared with a range of e-Gift Certificates

I hope you find these resources helpful while you are thinking ahead : )

Sisterbatik xx

Still time to enter my giveaway-celebration-flock-of-12 - fabric-origami-cranes - decorative favours.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Resort Styling - OOAK Blue Bird with Pink Trim Pillow

A great Pillow with lots of resort style in a large relaxing size - now available on Etsy OOAK blue-bird-deluxe-cushion-accent-pillow

100% Crisp Dutch Print Cotton. 

Saturday, 8 October 2011

New Prints of Persuasion....

I am so excited to have these new prints and cannot wait to make a start!
  Exotic emerald shade with tear drops like peacock plumage.

This next one, I am in love with the pale blue wash of the fabric and it's bindi repeat motif - like India ink impressions on a weathered manuscript.

 And how about this one, like star bursts of white blossoms on calm Hokusai Blue?
 Vincent van Gogh
Coming soon!

Still time to enter my blog giveaway-celebration-flock-of-12 -fabric-origami-cranes - Good Luck!