Category Archives: baking

The festive luncheon

In what has become an eagerly awaited (I believe this is true for everyone involved!) festive tradition among myself and a group of very lovely and talented ladies, our annual lunch took place last weekend at Vanessa’s pretty home <3

Besides great, homemade food (we’re each delegated a course and/or drinks/snacks), you can also trust these ladies for the most beautifully presented and thoughtful gifts and as ever, the best of company! Unfortunately this year, one of the merry bunch had to miss the festivities due to sickness, but she was there in spirit nonetheless (get well soon, Carla!).

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2012, you’ve been quite a year

As we welcome the new year with the traditional excessive amounts of food and drink, I find myself looking back at the past year, and how formative it has been. Here, before I wave 2012 off properly, I round up a few noteworthy developments from the past 12 months.

A full-timer
2012 is the first full year in which I’ve worked full-time. Whereas I felt the change quite dramatically, particularly because it left me with less time to work on The Secret Rose, I cannot go so far as to say I dislike it. I find my job as editor of a local publication, despite being stressful at times, satisfying, and even though I could do without the hassles it sometimes entails, I do enjoy co-ordinating fashion shoots, feature writing, meeting interesting people & learning new things.

A trip to Dubai
In March, my dad and I travelled to Dubai to visit my brother Ryan for his birthday. Ryan and I have always been close, and since he works as an air steward for Emirates and is based there, I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like. It was nice to experience his world for a little while and get a taste of life in Dubai, and I’m really looking forward to our ‘siblings holiday’ in Thailand in 2013!

After putting it off for as long as I could, and two failed tests, April 2012 saw me getting my driving license. I have since been a menace on Maltese roads and loving it. It’s so great to finally be able to have the freedom to zip around at my leisure and transport bulkier things (which I seem to accumulate) with ease.

Participating in the promo video for V18, alongside Maria of Babettopolis, was certainly a highlight, and I was very flattered to be asked. Setting up our pretend atelier was fun, and the result was great. Now that Valletta has been declared European Capital of Culture for 2018, I’m excited to see what happens next!

London calling
Everyone who knows me knows how I feel about London, so it’s no surprise I fit in another short visit in summer 2012. Air fare is cheap and my boyfriend and I have the added bonus of being able to stay with a sweet couple who are friends of ours, so its just the ticket when I feel the need to get my creative juices flowing again.

Summer fun
After the previous year’s summer being overshadowed by my MA dissertation, I was determined to make the most of this one, and I did! Having my own car meant I was able to go to the beach and other events whenever I liked. Besides this, I swam, snorkled and paraglided my way to a great summer indeed.

Girly time 
Despite my perceived ladylike persona, I have never been one to have many ‘girlfriends’ with which to have ‘girly time’ in the past. In recent years though, I’ve been lucky enough to bond with a number of lovely like-minded ladies whose company I really enjoy. 2012 saw a sweet birthday picnic which I was really touched by, as well as a fancy high-tea at Palazzo Parisio among other girly get-togethers. Roll on our festive luncheon, for which I really must decide what dessert I’m making!

Despite my main endeavour being crafts and embroidery, I have always loved playing around in the kitchen, especially when it comes to sweet treats. Even though this year’s been a very busy one on both VIDA and The Secret Rose fronts, I’m happy I still managed to find some time to bake. When I have my own home and kitchen (which, fingers crossed, I’ll be writing about in next year’s yearly round-up) I look forward to many baking adventures indeed!

Me, a model?
Having worked as a stylist and shoot coordinator for three years now, I had gotten used to that hat. For this reason, it was quite interesting to get out of my element and model for a shoot for Hey-Birdie Pie – a friend’s vintage venture – along with a couple of other glamorous girls. It took some getting used to, but I warmed up to it in the end, and have since even been involved in another – the results of which have yet to be made public, so shh!

© Elaine Bugeja

Creative collaborations
Having worked with Maria from Babettopolis on a wedding dress in the past, this year had us working together again on a pretty jacket with custom embroidery. The result is one I’m very proud of, and if I can help it, it certainly won’t be the last time I collaborate with this talented lady.

December saw the staging of dance production The Death of Snow White, for which I collaborated with costume designer Luke to design and carry out custom embroidery on the title character’s costumes. It was exhilarating seeing them on stage, and I’m still in the process of collecting photos. Once I do, I promise a full post dedicated to that! 

© Charles Paul Azzopardi

I took part in the summer and Christmas editions of Patches in 2012, with the latter being the most successful, both in terms of market sales and custom orders, in the Secret Rose’s journey thus far. Besides market success, I was also *very* excited to have my first celebrity customer in the form of Dame Helen Mirren – jeweller to the stars, anyone? Here’s hoping it just gets better in 2013!

Happy New Year everyone!

Busier than Santa’s elves!

Following Patches Christmas market a few weeks ago, I’ve been hard at work on a variety of custom Christmas orders. Due to time constraints, I had no choice but to separate orders into three, i.e. ‘due by xmas’, ‘due by nye’ or ‘not specified’. So far, I’ve just about managed to finish off the ones that needed doing by Christmas day (excluding a couple that came in late, but should be done soon)… though still got loads more to keep me busy well into 2013!

 Among the orders intended as Christmas presents are a trio of frame diaries, a recipe book with embroidered motif (not pictured, sorry!), a little ornamental embroidered notebook as well as a variety of embroidered wall art with bespoke messages. 

 Amidst all the chaos though, I still somehow managed to do a little baking, and whipped up a batch of delightfully light strawberry & cream cupcakes for dessert on Christmas day (as you may have guessed, dessert generally falls to me!)

Must get back to it now though… designs to be drawn and embroidery to be done.
Happy holidays everyone!

The last supper… for a while

Even though this is another food post – making that two in a row – it will probably be the last in a while, so I thought it’d be a shame not to share it with you! The reason why I won’t be sharing photos of culinary escapades in the near future is a simple (and boring) one… you see, I aim to be on a health kick for the coming weeks, so any adventures in the kitchen will be understandably limited!

Seeing as healthy eating has been scheduled to start from tomorrow, this weekend I was (of course!) especially naughty 😉 For lunch I whipped out this yummy tuna pasta bake that was a favourite of my brother’s when he was on the island and went down a treat.

No naughty day is complete without dessert, so back I went to my new baking book and produced these vanilla cupcakes. Unfortunately, they didn’t turn out to be the greatest tasting cupcakes to come of my cupcake-baking hands, and I think I’ll stick to my other cupcake recipe book in future, but hey – they still look nice, and will certainly not last long regardless!

Happy Sunday everyone 🙂

– S