Monday, February 23, 2009

Australian Country Threads Article

Just recently Australian Country Threads invited me to appear in their Special Appliqué Yearbook issue. Naturally I was thrilled. Being a lover of hand appliqué, designing a suitable project for the magazine was an easy and enjoyable task.
When the magazine arrived in my mailbox I was excited to find my cushion featured on the front cover and a lovely 3 page article with the title "Meet Australia's Leading Craft Talent", wow what can I say but that I was taken back.
It's always a wonderful feeling to see your own designs in print.
Here are some photos of the article and project.

I also have two new designs commissioned for a special children's issue coming soon, so keep your eyes open.
Thanks Australian Country Threads for your continued support.

Warmly Lenna

Monday, February 16, 2009

Best apricot jam recipe

Today I'm going to share my best apricot jam recipe. If you would like to learn how to make apricot jam then keep reading.

One of my favourite things about summer is the seasonal fruit that becomes available. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my mother and sisters with buckets in hand on our quest for apricots. Although we lived in town, we were fortune enough to have family and friends on nearby farms. Each year we would get the call to say "The apricots are ready, come out and help yourself"
What followed was buckets brimming with fresh, sweet smelling apricots and tummies full to bursting point.
The next day was jam making day and the house filled with the divine smell of apricots cooking as I learned from mum how to make apricot jam.
These memories came flooding back to me recently when our neighbour called over the fence "Want some apricots? There's more than I can manage over here so help yourselves"
As we scurried next door with our buckets in hand I felt like Martha B Rabbit excited about the prospect of stocking the pantry with jams for winter.
That afternoon I looked out my best apricot jam recipe and started processing.
Here's how to make apricot jam.

Wash then cut in half 1.5kg of apricots.

Measure out 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 1.25kg of sugar.

Place the apricots in a large saucepan with 1/2 cup of water and 1/3 of the sugar.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Boil the apricots until they are soft then add the remainder of the sugar and the lemon juice.

Boil over low heart for approximately 30 minutes-to 1 hour.
The jam should turn a darker colour and should jell when cool.

I normally spoon a small amount out and cool on a crockery plate.
When the apricot jam is cool it should be thicker.

Bottle in clean jars. Yummy!

Learning how to make apricot jam is easy when you have a good recipe.
Hope you enjoy my best apricot jam recipe.

Warmly Lenna

Creative Hand Embroidey Magazine Project

Finally the kids are back at school and I can catch up on all my blogging. I can't believe that weeks and weeks have passed since I shared all my news with you. Very remiss of me.
So, where to start?
Maybe it would be best to give you a summary of my hectic and crazy life since my sister's visit back in November. Yikes can that really be almost 3 months ago?
Sadly I didn't get much of a chance for sewing days in the holidays although I was commissioned by a leading American craft magazine to design a project for a special up coming addition.

I started with a brief sketch of two throw cushions.

Then it was off to buy some fabrics and as usual I came home with a lovely bundle to help get the creative juices flowing.

I also found some Ricrak in my braid basket that was the perfect shade.
And some yummy DMC embroidery threads...just right!

I also decided to antique some fabric that had been in my fabric cupboard for years, just waiting for its out coming and moment of glory. Little did it know it was heading overseas!

Then my next challenge was to find a free afternoon for some serious sewing.
Here's a glimpse of what emerged.

I decided to attach the Ricrak with French knots.

The next day they were both on their way to the United States, lucky them.
Unfortunately there wasn't enough room for me!

The cushions will be published in a Creative Hand Embroidery issue later in the year.
But more about that later.
If you would like to see some more of my embroidery patterns.

Chat again soon.
Warmly Lenna


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