Flowers all the way!

We’re now well into May and here in Somerset the hedgerows, gardens and woodlands are all blooming – it really is the most beautiful time of year.  And if I stand beneath the two large horse chestnut trees at the front of our house I can hear a low buzzing sound – the noise of probably hundreds, if not thousands, of bees feasting on the nectar within the wonderful creamy candles that bloom in spring.  And spring, of course, is a time for sorting and cleaning. While I was having a bit of a sort out and tidy up in my work room I came across a small stack of Floral Bee packs that I’d forgotten all about.

Bustle & Sew isn’t offering kits at the moment as I decided to take a little time to concentrate on my pattern designs, so I thought I would put these Floral Bee packs in my Etsy shop as a clearance offer at just £7.50 each (free postage within the UK).
The packs contain printed panel, all the genuine DMC floss you’ll need, a needle and full stitching instructions.  The only thing the pack doesn’t contain is a 6″ (15cm) hoop – but these are very easily (and cheaply) available both online and in craft stores.  If you’d like one of these very limited packs then please just CLICK HERE to visit Bustle & Sew on Etsy, and remember, when they’re gone – they’re gone – I simply don’t have any more available to list.
If you’re a Bustle & Sew Magazine reader you’ll know that, as well as stitching related patterns and articles, I also include other things I love about life here in the English countryside.  And I do enjoy cooking and baking, especially when using seasonal ingredients that I’ve either grown or foraged for myself.  When I went down to the end of the garden yesterday to check on my newly planted borlotti beans and second sowing of peas, I noticed that the elder tree that overhangs the fence is coming into bloom.  So I thought now would be a good time to share my favourite recipe for elderflower and lemon drizzle cake….
  • Cake
  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster Sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g Self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp milk
Drizzle
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp Elderflower cordial
  • Juice 1 lemon
Icing
  • 55g icing sugar (sifted)
  • Elderflower cordial to mix to pouring consistency
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 170C
  • Line a 2lb loaf tin with grease proof paper.
  • Beat together butter and sugar.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Beat between each addition.
  • Stir in self-rising flour and baking powder. Mix in milk.
  • Bake for 45 minutes in the prepared loaf pan. If the top becomes too brown then cover loosely with foil
  • Drizzle
  • In a saucepan, gently heat the cordial, lemon juice, and caster sugar until dissolved into a syrup.
  • Pierce holes in the top of the cake with a skewer while it’s still in the tin and pour the warm syrup  over the cake, while it is still warm from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin.
  • Icing
  • Combine icing sugar with elderflower cordial.
  • After the cake has cooled, take it out of the loaf tin. Pour the icing on top. If you wish, decorate the cake with lemon slices.

 

This is one of our family favourites and I do hope you enjoy it too!  I make my own elderflower cordial and have done for many years but it’s easy to find in stores if you prefer to buy ready made.

And finally, I thought I’d show you my progress on my carp and lily pond design for the June Bustle & Sew Magazine. I’ve pictured both sides as it’s interesting to see how the Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy (how I wish they’d give it a shorter name!) obscures the background fabric colour.  I have to turn my work over to see how the colours are all working together!

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