Friday, 17 September 2010

beads, baking and Gramma

Hi everyone!

Things around these parts have been a bit emotional and hectic. My grandmother passed away last week. It's very difficult to be so far away from home at a time like this. Interestingly, I woke up that morning feeling very out of sorts. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong. I decided, as you do, to visit Canterbury Cathedral. While I was there, I wrote out a prayer for my grandmother (as well as for my sister and her unborn daughter and a friend who recently passed) which is then placed on the altar during mass the following morning. I asked that god watch over her and keep her in his arms as her health has been failing for some time now. (Some of you will remember I took an emergency trip to Florida during the spring to spend some time with her.) A few minutes after returning home, my sister called to tell me that Gramma had passed in the night. I believe it was her spirit that moved me to make the trip and I am so glad that I did it. I'm sure she'll always know how much I love her.

I felt inspired to create a series of beads in Gramma's memory. She was always very supportive of my art and always asked how the beads were going :) She would tell me how proud she was of me and she was so excited when my beads and artist profile appeared in Bead Magazine (I took a copy with me to Florida and we read it together). So I created the above series which I entitled Granlee Gardens and I am so pleased with how they turned out. I think she really would have loved them.

There are two things I do when I can't sit still with my own thoughts: make beads and bake. I've been doing lots of baking this past week! The above shot is of my Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies from Bakerella's site. I iced mine with chocolate fudge icing and WOW are these awesome! The brownie is gorgeous and chewy while the cookie is more like a standard chocolate chip cookie. It has wonderful textures and they are so ridiculously easy to make that it's almost embarrassing!

Next up are Jelly Donut Muffins. I made these from a fantastic USA compilation cookbook that contains loads of wonderful American recipes. The downside, of course, is that it's also full of ingredients that I can't get in this country. I've been looking into importing certain things and, failing that, making some components from scratch. Did you know you can make homemade Cool Whip? Yeah, I didn't either! Anyway, back to the muffins! These were very, very tasty but not really worth the extra effort of putting the jam INSIDE the muffins, if you ask me. They bake up light and fluffy with a gorgeous, slightly crispy top. Next time I'll make the muffins and just serve them with jam, though ;)

I've been craving cinnamon sugar-y stuff lately so this morning I whipped up a batch of Cinnamon Sugar Muffins. These are FANTASTIC! The muffin is a basic recipe which I added nutmeg to for an extra bit of flavour. Once they're baked (but still a bit warm), they're dipped in melted butter and rolled around in cinnamon sugar. HEAVEN! The cinnamon sugar becomes a bit crisp and complements the airy muffin perfectly. Also: everything in my kitchen is cupcake-themed. In this shot you can see my sugar, coffee and tea tins as well as my cutting board and coffee mug. You should see the other side of the kitchen!! Cupcake stuff EVERYWHERE! I even have a little cupcake bank for loose change.. lol :)

Lest you think that I've been doing nothing but baking, here are some beads I made the past two days. I also made a massive number of lovely little earring pairs for the show, too! I try very hard to stick to a relatively simple sounding rule when I have an upcoming show: for each bead I make for a customer, I make a bead for the show. Sounds simple, right? Welllll, not so much! Both days I had to quit before I really wanted to because my kiln was too full! I think it might be time to invest in a bigger kiln ;) I seem to have outgrown my Paragon SC2 :( Poor baby.. lol :)

As always, I have new beads (and old favourites) in my by keiara Etsy shop (including one of the Granlee Garden focals) and in my by keiara webshop (including a Granlee Garden necklace which is so pretty I desperately want to keep it for myself!)

Have a wonderful weekend!



Jane said...

Hi Keiara, again my thoughts are with you at this very sad time. Your Gran would be so proud to have those beads made in her memory, all 3 colourways are very beautiful. Your blogs always make me feel so hungry-such scrummy cakes- I just wish you could send a slice through an email-LOL!
Have a peaceful weekend,
Love Jane xx

Crafting with Mel said...

So sorry to hear about your grandmother. I'm sure she would love the beads you made in her memory - they are really beautiful

Pretty Things said...

I'm so, so sorry about your grandmother. ((((Keiara))))

by keiara - lampwork beads said...

thanks, girls.. she'll always be a part of me xox

Christine said...

Hi Keiara, I'm so very sorry to hear about your grandmother. I know she would adore the beads you made in her honor. They are wonderfully beautiful!

And those chocolate chip cookie brownies!? Oh. I think i am going to have to make them...soon! :)

Shelley said...

Big (((hugs))) sweetie. I'm so sorry about your dear Gramma. I know she is so proud of you!

About Me

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Folkestone, Kent, United Kingdom
Hi! My name is keiara and I'm a native Floridian currently living in Folkestone, England. I am a hot glass and jewellery artist and I'm passionate about what I do! I love to 'talk shop' so feel free to contact me. Thanks for stopping by!