The blog of BaggieAggie, designer of bags, gadget cases and other fabulous accessories handmade in Wales. Sprinkled with recipes, gardening chat, the odd piece of short fiction, and anything else that inspires (or annoys!) me. So pull up a comfy chair and stay a while.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Crafters: Does Feedback Inspire You...?

Knit and felt no-sew shoulder bag pattern designed by BaggieAggie.
I've been busy making and promoting accessories for BaggieAggietoo, so my bag shop (BaggieAggie) has been rather neglected over the last few months. Not helped by the series of mega disasters OH and I have been (and still are) coping with! But a couple of weeks ago one of my felted bags sold, and I received the following feedback:

"Absolutely stunning!! I couldn't be happier with the bag I have bought. Beautifully crafted and great attention to detail. A highly recommended maker...Thank You!!"

This has spurred me to get BaggieAggie back on track, and the above Pleat bag is now available here. It's fully-lined in vintage Laura Ashley cotton to match, has a zipped internal pocket, and fastens with a magnetic snap. Other colours and designs to be added soon.

(For those of you who'd like to have a go at making Pleat yourself, the pattern download is available here. Ravelry is a US site, and most of my pattern customers are American, hence the $ prices. But Paypal automatically shows the price in your particular currency, so you see the exact cost before hitting that final button.)

Anyway, enough blogging for now - time to get making! While I'm away, why not tell me your feedback stories? I'd love to read them!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Fast Fiction Friday - "Anosmia: The Pros and Cons"

This multi award-winning short story is probably the one I enjoyed writing the most. The first Fast Fiction Friday for quite a while, I hope you enjoy reading it. (©opyright, as always, remains solely with me, the author.)

(Removed to make space. If you'd like to read it, let me know via the Comments box.)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Gorgeous New Card Wallets listed on Folksy!

Coco-Loco was a custom order for a Belgian jeweller, so the scrumptious chocolate-coloured fabric was the perfect choice...! Seriously, the quality cotton fabrics were picked to match her business cards - brown, red, and modern but elegant. I chose a delicious cherry-wine fabric for the lining, and I'm so pleased with the results I've made another for my Folksy shop.

The second new wallet is Owls. I adore the fabric, a quality Michael Miller design, and decided to line it in plain black cotton to match the owls' wings. Available here but it's so cute, I can hardly bear to part with it!

They hold 30 business cards or 8 credit/store cards, and would make lovely gifts or stocking fillers.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Herbs

Vegetarian food recipe: Fennel & Quinoa Salad with Herbs - Yotam Ottolenghi
Looking for a recipe yesterday to help use up our glut of herbs and chillies, I came across this vegetarian dish, devised by Yotam Ottolenghi. I replaced the limes with lemons as we always have plenty of those, and didn't add any extra salt near the end. It was absolutely delish!

4 servings:

About 70ml olive oil
3 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp cider vinegar
Salt and black pepper
150g quinoa
300g broad beans (fresh or frozen)
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
1½ tsp ground cumin
25g chopped mint
25g chopped coriander
25g chopped dill
3 limes or 2 small lemons

1. Pour 50ml oil into a large sauté pan, add the fennel and cook on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and soft. Add the sugar, vinegar and some salt, and cook, stirring, for two minutes, then move pan from heat.
2. Add the quinoa to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 8-10 minutes. (It should still have some bite.) Drain into a fine sieve, run under cold water, shake to remove excess liquid and add to the fennel.
3. Add the broad beans to a pan of boiling water, cook for one minute, drain and refresh under cold running water. Press beans gently to remove leathery skins, then stir into the quinoa and fennel mixture, with the chilli, cumin and herbs. Season with black pepper and salt if desired.
4. Using a small, sharp knife, trim off the tops and tails of the limes or lemons. Remove the skin and white pith. Over a bowl to catch any juice, remove the segments from each lime or lemon by slicing between the membranes. Cut each segment into three and, with the juice, add to the quinoa salad.
5. Add the remaining olive oil and taste, adjusting the seasoning as necessary and possibly adding a little more olive oil if it seems a bit dry.