Tuesday, 15 July 2014

First page and the tragedy of the choccy frosting

Well, you know how it is; you start with great enthusiasm determined this is going to be the best work you've ever done, then it all goes a bit pear-shaped and you have to start a rescue job.

Perhaps there ought to be a breakdown recovery service for Altered Books!

There now follows a description of what I did in case anyone is interested.  If you're not, perhaps just skip to the chocolate frosting recipe?

 The map I was sent obviously got me thinking about travel. The newspaper from the 1800's got me thinking about travel, but through time and space. The poetry book got me thinking about travel, but through emotions.  So in essence, all three items were about journeys of some sort.

I sewed three pages together at the sides but didn't stick the pages together - they are held by the stitching.  I covered these resulting thicker page on the left side with acrylic modelling paste and sculpted so that it would have a bleak rainy feel when covered with watery grey, blue and yellow paint. The circled text on the top of the page says "The Waste Land", a poem by TS Elliot.

The other side of this page had a map of Alaska covered with acrylic gel.  After I'd painted the left hand side and blended in the right hand side to match, I thought, Yuck. How dismal.  Very waste land but very boring. So I covered it all with gesso to start again.

However, the gesso skimmed the deep indentations on the left hand side and left it looking rather nice.  I began scraping the right hand side back but could only uncover some black ink at the top of the page.

We'll leave it there for now, whilst I carry on with the textile work - blog on the website.

And the frosting?  Well, I had visitors at the weekend, and a birthday cake was a necessary addition to the celebrations. These days, my cooking, along with my waistline, is quite alarming. We never quite know what we're going to be eating and in what state it will be.

However this wasn't bad!!!  I'm not sure about printing the whole recipe from the book but thought I'd share the frosting which was the best I'd ever made and folk seemed to like it.

The cake itself is dense, chocolately and moist. It's a Great British Bake Off recipe, I think.


I used 60% cocoa solids milk chocolate and dark chocolate mixed, as I find the very dark chocolate a bit bitter on it's own.

It's a complex recipe, but do-able!  I dare you not to use your fingers to scrape the bowl when you've finished.  Don't give a thought, not even one tiny one, to the horrendous amounts of fat, sugar, and lardyness.  Oh no, definitely not,  that way lies madness.

So why tragedy???

Well, when the cake had been be-candled, blown out and cut up, and the visitors had left, I had a good half of cake left.

So, I threw it in the bin.

The thought of troughing all the remains on my own was just too much. Tragedy.


  1. Thought you'd gone all silent on me, but instead here you are bringing joy, sunshine and chocolate cake to my early morning!!!

    We must bully young Laura into another workshop, rock up together clutching our art supplies and cake, and have a hoot!!

    Are you at FOQ? I have the joys of helping set up the CQ Dislocations gallery. Really looking forward to it. Perhaps we could meet up if you are.

    H xxx

    Ps just added you to my reading list so I won't loose touch with you again.

    1. Hello LTW, glad you found this newish blog. It's a very old blog with postings from when I first started in about 2003!! I'm definitely not showing those :)) I've added a few posts from the collection, mostly travels and sketchbook pages, but will be writing my nonsense here from now on. The url makes more sense than grumpyandmad and is easier for people to find. But, I have put all the textile blogs and my workings on the website. For the moment, that makes me happier. I'm not at Festival this year, and am only visiting for a meeting on Sunday afternoon, but I will be going to Laura's workshops so maybe see you there?!! Ax