Saturday, 30 January 2010
I thought you might like to see Darren's latest Furgotten Bear called Ephraim. Darren is not happy unless he is making a perfectly good piece of mohair look like it has seen better days :-) This poor little bear looks as if he has been well and truly loved, and even perhaps left un-noticed in the corner of an attic somewhere. Ephraim has been in the wars with one boot button eye and the other is an old black button, but as you can see from the pictures he can still manage a slight little smile! I must remember not to leave Darren alone for too long with any of my mohair...goodness knows what I will come back too :-) If you would like to see Ephraims details please click onto my website JAC-Q-LYN BEARS and visit the Furgotten page. I must get back to my own sewing now as I have a sweet little girl bear waiting to be photographed.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
It has been a little while since I last made an Urchin, and never did I think when I first put pencil to paper that Urchins would take me to the other side of the world., and a TV appearance. Its nearly been 16 months since I produced the first Urchin, well 300 later! I have this last week made another 2. One called Joey and the other called Hermione both found a home within minutes of their release. Early last year I added a larger variation to the Urchin range at 16 inches one was an Elephant and one a Hippo, these are named after musical instruments, I must admit I think the smaller 8/9 inch ones are far sweeter, as they are just the right size to sit in the palm of your hand. I bet my Mum did not think 302 bears later she would still be making little outfits for the Urchins, she has worn her needles to fine points...NO JOKE!!! :-)
Monday, 25 January 2010
As promised the answer to the question, where did I get my latest bears name "Eccles" from?
As early as 1818 they were said to be sold "at all the markets and fairs around and are even exported to America and the West Indies". Whatever the origins of the cakes, James Birch was certainly the first person credited with selling them on a commercial basis. They were sold from a shop at the corner of Vicarage Road and St Mary’s Road (now known as Church Street) in Eccles. Eccles Cakes are sometimes, though always with affection, referred to as 'dead fly pies'
This is a good recipe for Traditional Eccles Cakes.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes Pre-heat oven to 220°C
- 500g flaky pastry
- 25g melted butter
- 50g candied peel
- 100g sugar
- 200g currants
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and butter and cook over a medium heat until melted
- Off the heat, add currants, candied peel, nutmeg and allspice
- On a lightly-floured surface, roll the pastry thinly and cut into rounds of about 0.5cm thickness and 10cm diameter
- Place a small spoonful of filling onto centre of each pastry circle
- Dampen the edges of the pastry and draw the edges together over the fruit and pinch to seal
- Turn over, then press gently with a rolling pin to flatten the cakes
- Flatten and snip a V in the top with scissors. Place on a baking tray
- Brush with water and sprinkle with a little extra sugar
- Bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes (220°C) or until lightly browned round the edges
- Place on a wire rack and allow to cool.
- Try not to eat them all at once!
Friday, 22 January 2010
I would like to show you my latest Open Edition bear, called Eccles. Well the question is, was he named after a Lancashire town, or the famous character in the Goons played by Spike Milligan or maybe the famous cake named and made in the Lancashire town. Well if you know me or have followed my bear creations over the years you will know the answer to this question (and for those of you who do not, I will put the answer hidden in tomorrows post, so keep an eye open ;-) )
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Well it is not just me who has been a busy bee since Christmas, Darren has been working his fingers to the bone creating new bears to add to his Furgotten Range. He sits there quietly ageing and wearing his sad little bears, its a good job they do not complain :-)
Friday, 15 January 2010
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
It is Wednesday already, where is the time going? I have been busy beavering away, well keeping warm really by making bears :-) as we cannot seem to shake off this snowy weather. I am beginning to wonder what green grass looks like. Anyway this is Prestbury (named after one of our local villages) a big hunk of a bear who is 23 inches tall and one of my new Open Edition bears. Prestbury has been made from a marvelous looking immitation sable fur, and I must not forget that he has a very loud, deep sounding growler in his tummy.
Friday, 8 January 2010
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Monday, 4 January 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR!