Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pancake Day morning...

Our morning so far...

Wrapping a big box of cushions to be collected by courier later today! A lovely selection, don't you think?

I made pancakes for our breakfast this morning, seeing as how it's Shrove Tuesday and all... found a little punnet of blueberries in the fridge, too, so warmed them through with some golden syrup to make a tasty topping. SUPER healthy... just think of all that vitamin C! ;)

And, a lovely surprise for us arrived in the post this morning - courtesy of the lovely Tom McShane. It's his new album, The Ural Winter, which we are so excited to listen to... isn't the cover just gorgeous? Thanks so much Tom! We're looking forward to listening to it while we work today... 

You can find Tom's website here, and be sure to 'like' his facebook page, too! 
Tom is the Mister to Michelle, who's blog Quietly Colourful I've been enjoying recently...

Tell us, what did you have on your pancakes today?!


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Bits and Pieces...

Hmm. The weekend kind of crept up on me, or even, the week kind of disappeared on me... i'm a little unsettled today, thinking it should be Friday, or even Thursday if the universe wanted to be a tad kind of something!

Anyway, so far today, we've been working pretty hard on an application and I'm just taking a little break now from all the typing (to do more typing and online looking, go figure!) while the pup, and Ryan have a little nap. In that respect, it totally feels like the weekend. Planning on cooking a Laksa tonight to keep the cold away (we have had snow flurries and crazy hail), and maybe an early night.

Remember I mentioned I had made Ryan a birthday present? Well, here it is: it's an amazing slanted wooden box with a glass lid I rescued from my Gran when she was going to throw it out some years ago, and I have kept it since. I have never found a good use for it, and don't have any idea what it was for, but I gave it a little TLC, and a new olive green washi tape edge around the glass and made a new embroidery for R. Elderflower leaves (again!) - can't get enough. I had planned for it to be a box for him to keep all his watches safe in - but he wanted it on display so he could see it all the time (secret smile) so I made space up on our mantel (cube unit from ikea, but it's as close as we have!)... and it looks pretty nice amongst all our little bits and pieces...

In other news, we're going to our first wedding fair tomorrow and I am SUPER excited. We have been talking about plans almost non-stop since getting engaged, and, I'm not going to fib - there is a huge amount of frustration at this stage of the game in relation to finding a venue that we feel is 'us' and that fits our budget (pretty small!)! We have felt a little deflated more than once when quotes come flooding in - Ryan has actually even exclaimed 'we're not BUYING the place' a few times ;) However, we're slowly but surely getting an idea of what we want and it's like the fog is lifting a little and we are beginning to come up with plans and ideas that actually inspire us, and starting to put together the bigger picture of the how's and why's. All good.

Hopefully tomorrow will help us on our way even more... we will report back!

What are you doing this weekend, anything nice?
xo! A@a*r

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Yellow and Green...

Oh my goodness - I am rather excited. Having just updated to the new blogger editor, I guess we have awesome extra large images... that is something VERY nice for a Tuesday morning!

I rescued these little daffodils from the front garden after they got trampled in an epic weekend ivy-cull on the front of the house, I couldn't bear to leave them after they've been pushing up and being all promising for the last few weeks. They've done so well indoors, I am tempted to bring in the rest, just in case we get a cold snap...

Just stopping in to wish everyone a very happy valentines day - are you doing anything nice? I'm cooking asparagus with poached eggs to start, beef stew (Ryan's favourite) and probably some little crumbled with soya custard. Getting stuck in sorting the workshop/paperwork out today, so nothing romantic about that! ;)

Happy new week, all.

A@a*r xo

Friday, 10 February 2012


Beautiful chickens pecking around for their breakfast, snowdrops springing up on the ground and frost patterns on shed window panes, hidden with spider webs... last friday.

Have you seen Sandra's frost patterns? They're amazing!

Happy Friday, everyone!


Thursday, 9 February 2012


I made this Pavlova for Ryan's birthday last Saturday... as per request!

I used golden caster sugar for the meringue (5 egg whites, free-range, and 3 tbsp of sugar per egg-white), which gave us a wonderful chewy toffee-ish texture to the Pav base, but I opened the oven to peek as I wasn't working with a recipe, so it cracked - BUT, that's why you have cream, right?! Fill in those craters!

I softly whipped the cream, and combined with some Mascarpone, and a little vanilla paste and teensy bit of the custard that was left from making the icing for the poppy seed cake I also baked, just to add the slightest hint of sweet. I macerated the Summer fruits (just frozen ones I'm afraid) with some more golden caster and black pepper and mixed through the seeds of two passion fruit to enhance the fruit just before serving. It was really delicious and I am tempted to make (and EAT) another one this weekend...


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

a*r in Red Magazine...

We were absolutely delighted when our friend Kelly alerted us that one of our cushions at Liberty has ended up gracing the pages of the March edition Red Magazine! I have been reading Red since it launched, and have always loved it...

We were even more delighted when we actually saw the spread and the feature, Pretty Modern, which has me gasping at the gorgeous colour-palette and beautiful cyclamen blooms adorning the pages... our Sycamore Scatter cushion in Coral & Seafoam is sitting atop a gorgeous stack of home textiles, and looks very happy in it's good company ;)

A big thank you to Mary Norden, Red's Interiors Director who styled the shoot, Polly Wreford who photographed it, and Liberty who provided the cushion. It's made our week!

Don't you just love the colour story?! Bright.Bazaar has the whole feature up on his blog - so be sure to check it out if you don't have your copy yet...


Thursday, 2 February 2012

abigail*ryan does WEDDINGS!

Ooh, we're so excited! This has been a long time coming, you see.

Last year we made a cake for Ryan's Mum, which caused quite a stir! It took us almost a whole week to make and decorate, and we had a blast. We were very tempted to give everything up and just make cakes for a living... ;) Since then, we have had a lot of requests for the sugar decorations we made which adorned the cake, namely, my hand-painted Butterflies and our stylish white pollen-centred Daisies.

Now that we are planning our own Wedding, our mind is on these things again, and we have decided to offer them in our shop, in the special section we have created for all things celebratory (yes, we will be adding more!)... so, even if you're not planning a Wedding, these would be perfect for a gorgeous childrens party, a special birthday, any time when you have cake and you want some pretty!

We hope you love them as much as we do...

Abigail @ abigail*ryan

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Wednesday, so far...

An early morning today as we headed up to Carrick Enterprise to have our photograph taken for the Carrick Times... on the way home, we treated ourselves to another local 'delicacy'. Honeymoon Loaf - a rediculously bad for you treat from our bakery, large squashy bread loaf, filled with faux cream (which is really lovely, and not sickly like real cream - we think it might be almost like an italian meringue buttercream?) with icing and coconut on top... it was very tasty indeed...

In other news, I am almost finished my anemone embroidery - and will soon reveal what it will become part of! Just the middle to do today and the french knot stamens!

Happy Wednesday all,
A @ a*r