Wednesday, November 17, 2010

send no money now

The latest thing to delay the Death of the Cupcake is the cupcake in a jar. Imagine how cross this makes me. Blogging has taught me a thing or two about cupcake presentation and jar use, but it never occurred to me to marry both concepts. If I were JK Rowling, I'd have sat there thinking "hmmm, a school story?... or, hmmm, a wizardry story?" and then "hmmm, I'll do some crochet instead."

So others have got there first, and another opportunity for commercialism is foiled.

Increasingly capitalist as I age, I spot all the billboard advertisments for Rite Price This and That and I think to myself that I shan't buy a Rite Price Thing, thanks, in case it rattles, but I'd like to sell them, truckloads of them, so that I could swan around product launches in my Rong Price Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II, never having to worry about where the next roll of beautiful handpainted wallpaper would come from.

[Image: de Gournay chinoiserie wallpaper]

Here's a plan: I'll patent a Rite Price Popomatronic cereal popper, so that the Helped Selves who read the Self Help books can popstart their day with their own organic cereal, freshly popped right in their own homes with an affirming CD playing in the background.

And I shan't forget you guys when I make it big. Not initially anyhow. I plan to send every one of you a platinum-"effect" Popomatronic. That'll be the best one, more expensive than the gold-"effect" and the vintage-"effect" Popomatronic. But totally free to you.

It's hard to see beyond that lovely wallpaper. Scroll up, have another look. Can't you just see the Popomatronic corporate offices with these blithely papered walls, Tom Dixon copper shades and some leggy teak furniture? Perhaps with clocks telling the time in New York, Paris and Tokyo, if I can be bothered.

Friday, November 12, 2010

the indisposable romance of Eilis Boyle

A classic is classic, says Edith Wharton, because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness. How true that is of these Eilis Boyle dresses.

I'd wear the white if I were feeling like an ethereal creature of the stony plains, as one does, or the black if Edith and I were popping exquisitely over to tea at Henry James' place. Either, like all of Eilis' beautiful designs, would make me feel as though I'd risen to any occasion.

For Eilis' clear and timeless romantic vision, her careful talent and imagination, and for her kindness, I'm honoured to take part in the international online launch of her 10th collection fashion film.

10th collection from Eilis Boyle on Vimeo.

Monday, November 8, 2010

becoming my sister

There I was in town on Saturday, staring intently at a scented candle in a china teacup, when someone came up and asked whether I was the blogging person with all the jam jars.

"Yes, I guess I am," I replied brightly, immediately aware that I was wearing my second-best butterfly clip.

"No, actually, no no no," I continued coherently, "she's my sister, and much nicer than she appears. Much. What a wet day."

And so we left an unsatisfactory encounter. I'll never leave home again without my best butterfly clip.

[image: Paul Sherwood for House and Home]

And here's the online addendum to the print article in House & Home.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Everything happens at once

First I was over at Jaboopee (a blog written by Elaine Prunty, glass artist and creative wonder), reading a little poem (ahem) of my own composition to while away the long hours while she finished her St Brigid mosaic.

[the making of St Brigid, from Jaboopee]

And then I appeared in the current issue of House & Home, defiantly disregarding the state of the nation to talk about myself. Paul Sherwood, the photographer, was an easy and affable presence about the house and made even our wellington boots look glamorous.

[House & Home, Nov/Dec 2010]

St Brigid was finished by then, I gladly heard, and I promised Elaine I'd rally the imaginary women of the parish to hold a cake sale to pay for a bus (the Mosaic-Mobile, we'd call it) up to Dublin to admire it. The imaginary women would show up with their crumbling rice krispie buns and banal scones* and there I'd be modestly brandishing my magnificent chocolate cake, one euro a slice.

*the imaginary women are really very good bakers

Magnificent chocolate cake (serves 10)
4 oz butter
8 oz caster sugar
2 eggs
8 oz flour (plain or self-raising)
1 teaspoon bread soda
2 oz cocoa powder
250 ml milk
juice of half a lemon

Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, then add the flour, bread soda and cocoa, alternating with the milk. Add the lemon juice and mix. Spoon into a tall 20 cm (or so) round cake tin (lined and greased) and bake at 180C/350F/Gas mark 4 for an hour. Allow to cool, remove from tin and adorn as you wish.
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