Thursday, April 30, 2015

Please do me the honour of voting for my new design at Spoonflower

I just finished up this new design, "Folkloric Lily Border" in time for the weekly challenge over at Spoonflower - this is the first competition I have entered over there in quite some time as most of the subject matter for them has not been pertinent to my style - but this one this week was right up my alley.

The directive was to create a border design with Mother's Day in mind as the inspiration. I thought the beautiful Madonna Lily was the perfect choice for the flower and then wanted to create a layered look that had the feel of a folkloric pattern from Hungary or thereabouts.

So I set to work painting up the three separate borders you see here pictured in watercolour on paper, then I scanned and cleaned them and put them together in Photoshop, adding the dynamic black ground which may not be so much in the sentiment of Mother's Day but looked so good I just couldn't resist. 
The design will appear as you see in the top picture please click
to vote - the images are shuffled for each voter - each person can only vote once and multiple votes from the same IP address will be automatically disqualified, you don't have to sign in or have an account to vote and you can vote for as many designs as take your fancy. 
(if you click control F on a PC or command F on a Mac a search box will come up lower left and you can enter patricia_shea to quickly find my entry when you have landed at Spoonflower) 

Wish me good luck and my sincere thanks to you in advance for your vote!! 

I will be formatting this new design in all sorts of ways for scarves, leggings, totes, smartphone cases etc etc etc and will post links to all in my next blogpost.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Having fun mixing and matching patterns on my capris and ankle leggings!

Capri leggings are available HERE
I will admit to being a lover of the busy when it comes to mix and match patterns and just lately I have been having great fun mixing and matching textile patterns I have created for my Spoonflower online shop on my spandex capri and ankle leggings.

My leggings are designed by yours truly in Maine and then made to order in Canada. The spandex is technically called PolySpandex and is 88% polyester and 12% spandex - it is beautifully smooth with a semi shiny lustre and wonderful feel, and the colour saturated printing will not fade even with multiple washings.  The fabric is made with EcoPoly - a production process that uses significantly less water than other polyester production processes.

All the patterns you see featured here were originally hand painted by me in watercolour on paper before being scanned formatted for their online applications.
Ankle leggings are available as a variation HERE
TICKER TAPE and GILDING THE LILY (please click on the names to be taken to the designs in my Spoonflower shop)
Capri leggings are available HERE
Ankle leggings are available as a variation HERE
ALPEN ROSE STRIPES and ALPEN ROSE on BLACK are available as fabric, wallpaper and wrapping paper if you click on their names.

...and for something a little more subdued perhaps.....
Capri leggings are available HERE
Ankle leggings are available as a variation HERE
(please click on the name to go to the designs in my Spoonflower shop)

Here are the size charts for my capris and  ankle leggings:
For less exuberant legging offerings, plus fitted and flared skirts and children's leggings, please visit my Art of Where shop HERE

Mother and Child (6 months to 3 years) co-ordinates are now also available in my Art of Where shop
If you see a pattern/design on an adult legging that you would like on a child's legging but it's not yet available in my shop please BE IN TOUCH and I will post the item for you promptly - Thank You!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look - please
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Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day 2015! A round up of my Irish desserts is in good order!

I can hardly believe I have a total of eight delightful and delicious Irish desserts for you to share on this wondrous and most Irish of days! And how could I not address the fact that Saint Patrick is indeed my own Patron Saint - thank you kind Sir!

So without further ado I give you....
(Click on the recipe name to be taken to the recipe itself - there is a print button at the bottom of each recipe to make it easy for you to print it out!)

Dark, rich and delicious, and with my own glaceed orange peel atop.

A fruity cake that just calls for buttering each slice!

A very old-fashioned and traditional steamed pudding.

Two layers of buttery oatmeal with stewed apples and raisins between - one of my most pinned recipes

My most unusual Irish recipe - much more like a pie than a cake - and how can you go wrong with potatoes in a pudding?

an Irish  yeasted raisin studded loaf - perfect for slicing, toasting and slathering in butter on a rainy afternoon - See more at:
The iconic and lovely yeasted tea bread redolent with raisins and great toasted with a piping hot cuppa!! 

A lovely cut-and-come-again cake!

Last but surely not least the lovely Irish Christmas Cake - a truly traditional cake which should be made a few months ahead to mature the flavours. Well worth the effort!!

So a very, very Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you all! What will you be baking this year?

Here's a LINK to my Pinterest board of British and Irish Cakes and Puddings, from myself and others - there's some great desserts in there, traditional and unusual and everything in between!!
an Irish  yeasted raisin studded loaf - perfect for slicing, toasting and slathering in butter on a rainy afternoon - See more at:
an Irish  yeasted raisin studded loaf - perfect for slicing, toasting and slathering in butter on a rainy afternoon - See more at:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Happy Saint David's Day, Sunday March 1st - a round up of my Welsh recipes from the past.

"Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus!"
Please enjoy this round up of the sweet Welsh recipes I have featured here on my blog these past few years - click on the name of the treat to go to the recipe!

Lovely WELSH CAKES for breakfast or a nice snack with a cuppa! 
Sorry about the rubbish photo - it's from long, long ago!

A nice MONMOUTH PUDDING - a breadcrumb custard pudding with jam and meringue

Marvellous BARA BRITH - a delicious and ever so easy to make fruity tea bread - much lighter and quicker to make than your normal fruit cake - great with an afternoon cuppa!

 SNOWDON PUDDING - Pwdin Eryri -
a delightful, traditional steamed pudding with lovely lemony sauce.

....and last but not least dainty and charming WELSH HONEY CAKES - Tiessennau Mel
Happy Baking, Steaming and Eating!!
Here's my own watercolour Daffodil - available in my Etsy shop along with many other illustration prints HERE 

Friday, February 13, 2015

An Earl Grey Possett for your Valentine's perhaps?

A divine Earl Grey Possett...swoon....sigh......
OED definition is: Drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine etc (sounds charming....) formerly used much as a remedy for colds. In the Elizabethan era it became the recipe you see below...a more refined pudding in the truest Blighty tradition.

OK I’ve said some of my other desserts/puddings here were simple but this beats them all….4 ingredients (you can even make it 3 if you want to exclude the tea flavouring and just have it as a Lemon Possett) and 3 minutes of cooking and a really impressive and divine dessert results!! Sure to impress your beloved on Valentine’s Day!!

Makes 4 servings.
3 1/2oz/ mounded half cup sugar (I used organic slightly brown sugar but if you want your posset the palest of colours then use white)

1 1/2 cups/12 fl oz heavy/double cream

1 tablespoon of the best, most perfumed Earl Grey tea you can find
(it doesn't have to be Earl Grey - it can be any tea you like but Earl Grey is so romantic!)

3 tablespoons lemon juice (from one lemon) - organic preferably, so you can use the peel for glacee'ing (is that a word?) if you'd like. 

1. Put cream, sugar and tea in a heavy bottomed pan.

2. Warm to just barely boiling

3. Simmer very gently for 3 minutes and stir occasionally to prevent stickage.

4. Strain into a bowl, some flecks of the tea may go through the strainer - that's OK - it looks quite pretty - then gently and slowly whisk in the lemon juice dribble by dribble…be in awe as the mixture starts to thicken - you can stir instead of whisk but as I found when you whisk it gives you a nice bubbly surface on the creams as they set and when served in a teacup look like a frothy cuppa as seen below :)
5. Pour into small, ½ cup containers and allow to cool then pop
into the fridgerdator (tee hee) for about 4 hours until completely set.

6. I still am in awe of how this dessert sets with just the lemon juice.

WHAT a sublimely delicious, smooth, luxurious treat this is....PLEASE do try it sometime.

I embellished mine with candied/glaceed lemon peel:
which is simply a combination of peel, water and sugar:
as I have my wood stove cranked during this period of Arctic bleakness and vast episodes of heavy snow I utilize the heat to make candied/glaceed peel from any and all organic oranges and lemons that come through the house - I simply save the peels and then boil, boil, boil them in a simple syrup of one cup of water to one cup of sugar in a small pan and keep adding water and sugar as I see fit when the mixture reduces down, I let it boil down maybe 4 or 5 times to a thickish syrup then fill again with water - not at all scientific but eventually the peel softens, becomes translucent, tastes really good when you fish out a piece and allow it cool - beware this stuff is screaming hot -  and when the syrup boils down to a bubbly thickness after you decide it is ready - keep your eyes peeled on the pan as if it burns the house will smell for days and you've lost your lovely peel -  then I strain and roll the peel in more sugar and leave on a plate on a shelf above the stove to dry out - doesn't usually get much chance to do so as James and I are both rather fond of this and it disappear quite quickly.
 I save the sugar syrup from the straining in a jar to help start the next batch off in good stead.

In the background of these pics are my fabrics EUROPA and BLUE RHAPSODY - click on the names to go to my online shop - Thank YOU!!!
Meanwhile outside in Maine:
The snow has been piling up....
and the sculpture has been disappearing:

          As of this Valentine's evening we should be seeing yet another 1 or 2 feet of snow arriving and settling on top of the already 4 feet we have right now - I love a good blizzard and can't wait to cosy down and eat my possett!!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Are you watching The Great British Baking Show??

Please do consider watching this wonderful show now airing in the US on PBS Sunday evenings at 8pm, just before Downton Abbey. What a delightful programme it is, it's known as The Great British Bake Off (click on the name there to be taken to their YouTube channel) in Blighty - and I am so thrilled it is now airing in the US. It is a charming, sweet, witty, informative and fun show.

 I was trying to keep up with the series via YouTube but it kept being taken down by Auntie Beeb (The BBC) - now my Sunday evenings are complete and I try each Sunday afternoon or earlier to make something delicious to eat while I watch because it does make me hungry.

Something like lovely

You can catch up with most of the shows thus far
 online at MPBN - YEA!!!!!

Next up on my blog why 2015 is off to a SLOW start and why that's just fine by me!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015!!

A very HAPPY, sweet, bubbly, creative, fulfilling, charming, witty, compassionate, healthy and jolly New Year full of cake and deliciousness to you and yours.

Cheers! Patricia

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sticky Toffee Pear and Gingerbread Upside Down Cake Pudding!

She may not win any competitions for prettiest cake but she might win some for taste - especially if you're after a sticky, gooey, gingerbready cake with tooth and lusciousness!

If you follow my blog recipes you will know by now how many times I use my sticky toffee pudding sauce in other recipes - it is just fantastic - very simple, easy to make and it goes with or on almost anything sweet - over ice cream, in actually sticky toffee pudding recipes, over steamed puddings and cakes, in apple pies and gallettes - you name it I bet this sauce will improve it!

So make your sticky toffee sauce first:

2 1/2oz/ heaped 1/4 cup brown sugar 

 1 1/2 oz / 3 tablespoons salted butter 

 2 tablespoons cream or half and half 

1. Put all three ingredients in a pan to melt together, mix and keep mixing whilst letting it bubble a couple of minutes until it gets a bit thick - allow to cool and then pour into a well buttered cake tin - I always use a 6" round so the cake is small in diameter and taller because of it but you can do an 8" and the cake of course will be shallower and may take a shorter time to bake - so beware of that!!

2. Now slice one good firm pear into about 1/4" slices and arrange on top of the sauce in the bottom of the tin:
 For the cake part: please have your ingredients at room temperature and your oven at 350F to start
5 1/5 ozs/ 1 1/4 cups/ 150 g white flour sifted

1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda/baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt 

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

 1 teaspoon cardamom 

2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger root - I was lucky enough to get local Maine ginger and it is gorgeous!

1 egg whisked

2 fluid ounces/ 1/4 cup treacle/molasses 

4 oz/ 1/2 cup/ 125g sugar 

1 fluid ounce/ 1/8 cup  whole milk 

2 1/2 ozs/ 5 tablespoons/60g melted butter 

2oz chopped crystallized ginger 

1/2 a chopped pear
1. Sift all the dry ingredients together (not the pear or ginger) in a medium sized bowl.
2. Mix all the wet ingredients together and blend well.

3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet and mix together til smooth and even.

4. Add the ginger and chopped pear - mix well til evenly distributed.

5. Dollop batter atop pears and sauce and gently smooth until evenly spread in the pan

6. Cover with parchment to prevent the top burning - I didn't do that at the very beginning and I should have done - my cake top got a little burnt as you can see:
7. Bake at 350F for 30 mins and then lower to 325F for about another half an hour, but check at 15 mins (especially if you used an 8" cake pan) until a toothpick comes out of the cake clean - don't push the toothpick to the bottom of the pan or you'll get sauce on it and think the cake is not done.

8. Leave in the pan for about 10 minutes and then flip onto a plate and watch the sauce flow over the cake and pool around - ahhhhh!!!
If you're really lucky - as I was - the pears will be in tact and stay on the cake neatly when you flip it over!
Allow to cool completely, and if it's possible keep to the next day for the ginger flavour to develop - if you can't wait that long wait as long as you can before devouring!
We had half the day of and the rest the next day - a fair compromise methinks!!
Soft caramelly pears, sticky gooey top to the cake and a toothsome cake gingerbread body - just aching to be eaten with a nice hot cuppa!!!

And may I introduce you to my little buddy Ginger - doesn't this look like a little clown like creature with eyes closed and little eyelashes - such a character - it was hard to eat but I managed!!
Well HAPPY BAKING my friends - please let me know if you make this - it would be a good Thanksgiving dessert - very seasonally appropriate.

You can post your pics on my FACEBOOK PAGE - I'd love to see your cakes!

Thanks, Patricia