Tuesday, 28 June 2011

I HEART Marrakech

 Collection of bolster and decorative pillow covers in our Marrakech collection: shop/SISTERBATIK 

Be inspired by the Bold & Breezy Riad lifestyle this summer.

Last day for a chance to win one of our OOAK Marrakech pillow covers - for details and entry: This has now closed.

UPDATE 29th June:  Marrakech Winner
First of all - thank you to everyone who participated in this Giveaway, I have been wowed by the response!  I did it the old fashioned way - writing, cutting, folding, so it took awhile longer, but here goes : )

I am excited and happy to announce the winner from the lucky drawer:

Woop!  Woop!

ps.  I will be in touch

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Family dumplings

Preparing food can be a pleasure, so I learnt.

My sister and I, from time to time, get together to make Gyoza (Japanese dumplings), some destined for the freezer and some to eat fresh, with whomever shares our table. 

After coveting their more-ishness in restaurants for many years, I was over the moon to discover a good recipe for it.  The recipe, I learnt from my brother, who dictated it as I watched him prepare it, pestering him for quantities that don't formally exist, more intuitive estimates and portions - get a taste for it, change it, flavours are malleable.  He in turn had learnt it watching someone before him.  I had to work fast to get it written down (apologies for the handwriting); I get an idea of what it must be like to be an apprentice in his kitchen.

In Italy, traditionally girls with their mother and grandmother would set time aside to wrap gnocchi (dumplings) for a large Sunday lunch - they call them parcels of love.  The act of folding and repetition, wrapping each individually to be enjoyed and shared amongst many, really is an exercise of great affection.

Some destined for the freezer.
Some destined for the plate.
(Missing from the bottom is Japanese Rice vinegar to be combined in the dipping sauce) 

This was the best video I found to demonstrate wrapping on youtube: youtube.com/gyoza wrapping

NB  When packing to store in the freezer, put cling film between each layer of gyoza, to prevent them all sticking together.

Enjoy preparing these and enjoy Eating them even more!

You might like to read:

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Collier Campbell Design Sisters

 There is currently a free exhibition at the National Theatre of the design story of the Collier Campbell sisters, prolific painters onto fabric.  It is well worth poking your head around this exbition and being utterly charmed and understanding their footprint on English textiles and bohemia; it is quietly and leisurely tucked away: collier-campbell-exhibition

The exhibition is a celebration of 50 years of Collier Campbell.

Their bold use of colour, clashing compositions and immediate florals played a part in the burgeoning British bohemia in textiles during the 60s, rejecting the subtle and traditional depictions of English gentility, they brought the colours of Matisse and foreign lands to their paintings and prints.  Working initially for Liberty's of London and also feted by design houses such as Yves St Laurent, they now licence their prints to many British department stores, for home decor, crockery, paper goods as well as producing an independent line.

Susan Campbell has said that she "wanted to be a painter, but was no Matisse".  I loved seeing the Sisters' paintings on pieces of brown parcel paper and corrugated cardboard included in the exhibition.  Reminding me of times when I would paint on anything to hand, scrap cardboard mostly and directly onto the back boards of old picture frames.

It is easy to see their influence on English designers who followed, such as Matthew Williamson, who is famous for his bohemian and colourful designs.


(photograph from Collier Campbell)

To:  Susan Collier, 12 October 1938 - 7 May 2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Africa Rich

 Avalaible on Etsy: africa-rich-patchwork-pillow

Africa Rich Patchwork Pillow - celebrating African print and colour in all it's glory.

My current favourite : )

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Where the Wild Things go

"Wild" he described me in his misunderstanding of the English language, or so I thought.
"Really?" I imagined adjectives; crazy, fantastical, edgy, extravagant in the pursuit of pleasure.....the cool stuff.
But he meant, the form which takes you "Into the wild", reclusive and untamed by customary society.

 Images from thedeptfordproject a reclaimed train carriage now coffee fix for local artists.

The New York Times describes Deptford as the Wild West in their 2009 article travel.nytimes.com.  BBC2's Culture Show as a "No Mans Land" while visions of it's devoid creekside float before your eyes in case you needed affirmation.

A place for the unfashioned charming and where hunger is good discipline, as Ernest Hemingway once described of the creativity that feeds him while his belly remained empty; not orchestrated of the mind, nor a self-conscious soul and nor indeed of transient hearts.

Oh, to the wild things...........creating under railway arches.

Railway Arch creativity (images from Deptford Project)
 Art Space - bearspace (Bearspace and additional source deptforddame.blogspot) 
 APT Gallery on Creekside
 Deptford High Street: Artists, meet Nigerian fabric purveyor, meet Vietnamese supermarkets, meet Hallal Butchers, meet South londoners flea market, meet pies and mash, meet bric-a-brac.....all is here.....criminals and drunks too, to be true.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Prawn Risotto

I mentioned before my favourite cook book:  sunday-bread

Here is my recipe-share today - it is a dish I approached with some trepidation, fearing the sort of risotto that goes wrong; gloopy, mushy and bland.  But the tone of Giogio Locatelli's book made it calm and alright - I just gave it time and respect the stock it's the most important part : )

Still time to enter my Giveaway:  marrakech-ooak-giveaway

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Butley at the Duchess Theatre

The curtain falls.

Dominic West as Ben Butley © Harpers Bazaar

I don't often go to the theatre and this was a challenging play to keep-with sometimes.  The protagonist Ben Butley is an intellectual, quick at drawing his tongue and Dominic West (US show The Wire) delivers this performance at an unforgiving verbal pace with apparent relish and a few tempo hiccups as a result; the audience is left to catch up. 

The play is based on a day on which Butley, a Literary Professor, makes several discoveries that effectively leaves him behind in the lives of those around him.  He jostles (on occasion physically) with the joy of a solitary man at needling and interrogating the neatness and "in point of fact"ness of others.  In particular, toying with timorous Joey his once "protege" and now colleague.  They are co-habitees at home as well as at work - is this proximity they maintain a clue to their real attraction?  Butley gleefully goes on to ridicule a series of earnest young students, and mock the affected masculinity of Joeys gay lover from "up north" and his estranged wife, on her would-be suitor, who all come through his door.  This is really a one-man act, and the other actors are a rotation of knock-outs with only slight dialogue.

But I also blame myself for missing some of the finer dialogue and points of the play.  Veteran theatre-goers would love this play.  It was well worth seeing for Dominic West's dynamic performance, he does some comical turns in regional accents and he pitches perfectly the physical idiosyncrasies of a college professor; the slouchy shoulders, knock kneedness and gait of locked-adolescence in man. 

There is alot of honesty and sharp wit in the writing which makes me want to reach for the script by Simon Gray, for a second chance with some of the dialogue which loses clarity due to speed.  It is interesting and entertaining to witness Butley's disregard and self-destruction - an Englishman, middle class, middle aged and repressed, who will only end up alone.

wiki/Dominic West

Giveaway:  marrakech-ooak-giveaway

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Marrakech OOAK - GiveAway

SisterBatik OOAK pillow cover - inspired by one of my favourite escape places : )

Using genuine Dutch wax print batik - 100% cotton. Additional inside lining of neutral cotton.  Our own creative patchwork mixed-batik pillow cover. With Royal print batik on the back.  Rectangular 12" x 18" with envelope enclosure.  Pillow cover only - insert is not included.

Create your own Medina hideaway with this gorgeous feature pillow.

We have made two, and one we have selected for a Giveaway here.

To enter: 

You must be a Follower and leave a comment at the end of this post as your first entry.

If you love what we do then spread the word about this Giveaway via your Twitter/ Facebook or blog and leave the link to it in your comment here - for another entry.

Score an extra entry by liking our Facebook page and leave a message on our wall to let us know:  SisterBatik Facebook

We will make the draw on June 28th (just before midnight) - Good luck!We are excited about this and hope you are : )

If you can't wait or miss out on the Giveaway, the other one is for sale at our store:  marrakech-ooak-throw-pillow-cover  


This has closed - no entry after 28th June will be accepted.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Comfort Pudding

It has been raining an awful lot in London these past weeks.

Wet weather for curling up at home.  The thunderous grey clouds and downpour, are no matter when the oven is warming up : )

 I use English Braeburn apples and blush pears.  I use blush pears to sweeten this dessert (my preference) as it can be quite tart, that's all : )  And I serve with warm custard.