Thursday, 15 August 2013

Something for the weekend...check out Cat Boy and his travelling circus!

Something for the weekend....

The bears and circus animals have settled in at Blackduke & Cashman. You can find them nesting in between high quality hand picked mid century furniture and amongst adorable hand made gifts! This collaboration is one based on a love for  beautiful design and tapping in on local talent. This friendly trio -Black Duke & Cashman, Cat Boy and Craft Guerrilla- are proud to present the best of the best in art, design and hand made goods!

Pop by on the weekend and see the exhibition which will be on until the beginning of September (from 3rd of August to 1st of September )... though please don't feed the bears!

Black Duke & Cashman/Craft Guerrilla : 83 Grove Road Walthamstow London E17 9BU
Friday 12 pm to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 6 pm
Or by appointment please email: 

How to get there:
Tube Victoria Line North Bound to Walthamstow Central
Train: From London Liverpool Street toward Chingford get off at Walthamstow Central
From town on the bus: 48, 56 or 55


Monday, 12 August 2013

Lemon ripple ice cream!

Well as it's still summer and the weather's feeling glorious we really wanted to post another ice cream recipe! Not that I need much convincing but I have to say that I'd never thought that I would make my own ice cream with such diligence!
The idea of having an ice cream maker at first made me think that it would become just another gadget sitting in the back of the cupboard... but far from it.
By having a little machine it's made it possible to experiment -as well as follow a few recipes- and it has been so much fun making up my own flavours. And one of my all time favourite -apart from chocolate of course- is lemon!
 Lemon is one of those flavours that you either love or hate. It's divisive but what you can't get away from is the cleansing and refreshing quality of lemons especially after a hearty meal so... this is just the tonic after a big eat! Though of course you can eat it on it's own and skip the meal entirely!

For this recipe I've added yogurt to the cream (a 50/50 split) as I wanted it to be less fatty then others made with just full double cream but it's still smooth, rich and packed full of flavour.
You can't see it in the photo but there's a "vein" of lemon curd running through it and lots of zesty lemon which looks inviting and yummy! A jolly, bright, mellow yellow treat for all...

Ah Lemons... use the best quality ones you can find/afford. Preferably Sicilian lemons would have been used but these are run of the mill veg market fodder but the ice cream still tasted amazing! I'm going to try this recipe again when I visit my mum as she has an amazing organic lemon tree in the garden...

For this recipe you'll need:
An ice cream maker; fear not if you haven't got one you can slightly adapt it so it can go directly to the freezer! I'll add the directions as we go along...
zest and juice of 2 lemons
100g of icing sugar
300ml of double cream -for straight to the freezer use whipping cream-
300ml of honey Greek style yogurt
3 tbsp of lemon curd

The ice cream maker method:
In a large bowl which all the ingredients together. Add to your ice cream maker and leave to thicken. In mine it took circa 30 minutes but please refer to your maker's manual.
Right at the end add the curd just so it ripples but doesn't  mix in completely. Transfer to a freezer safe container.

The freezer method:Whisk the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the sugar, lemon zest and juice to the yogurt and mix well. Take a small amount of your yogurt mix and add to the whipped cream so it's incorporated. Now gently fold the remaining yogurt making sure not to knock out too much of the air from the whipped cream.
Add the curd and mix just so it ripples but doesn't  mix in completely. Transfer to a freezer safe container.
Leave for at least 4 hours to set. Remove a few minutes before serving.

It's also a great base for smoothies and shakes... add fresh berries and whiz to make a refreshing summer drink or spooned over home made meringues with a generous sprinkling of flaked toasted almonds for a gorgeous desert...

We'd love to know what you think and if you've tried this recipe let us know.
Share your ideas, tips or how you've adapted this recipe to create your own in the comment section below... we'd love to try your recipes too!!!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Amanartis... if you haven't heard about it yet then you are missing a trick!

We are so excited about our friend Amma's new venture! She's one formidable chica and even though she's just become a mum and is a fabulous working designer maker she still found time -and the energy- to kick start an amazing new project in Watford.
So if you'd like to know more about Amma Gyan and Amanartis read on as she explains to us the idea behind the project...

How did it all come about?
Like most ideas it came from the need to find space myself. I'd been working in a studio that was owned by JJB however when they closed we all had to move out. So back to the home studio I went. However since moving to Watford I had made it my goal to get to know the creative scene and find out what was happening. This led me to becoming friends with the local arts development officer, who in trying to solve my studio issue introduced to me the building. It's grade II listed so has lots and character but it wasn't right for me with no lift access and I have a very small baby. So I thought about for a while and decided that although it wasn't right for me it had to be right for someone else and surely I wasn't the only person in the same situation. So there it happened I decided if i can't find a studio space in Watford, I'll start one up.

The stunning Amanartis premises...

We love people who D.I.Y. their own opportunities! So what's the aim behind the project?
To provide creatives with a base to work from where their business can grow by networking, exhibiting and collaborating with other artists and designers.
Provide business support and mentoring for creative start ups. Offer guidance for design graduates on turning their craft into a business.
Supporting local artists in providing them with a venue to exhibit and sell their work.
Provide work experience for students who wish to gain experience in the creative sector.
Establish a creative destination for design and craft lovers to come and purchase beautiful, unique, quality items.
To offer designer makers from all over the country a reputable venue in which to raise their profile and gain recognition for making and selling quality goods.
To provide a launch pad for design graduates to exhibit and sell their work.
To grow a loyal and discerning customer base.
To offer benefits to our members from associated partners.

A well appointed board room for conducting meeting...

One of the work space which will be available...
I hear you're planning a design fair too?
Launching in October 2013 is a new exciting event for hand made lovers in Herts.
Amanartis design fair will host 20 of some of the best design led makers in the country hosted in the beautiful grade II listed school hall.
Each designer will be chosen for their creativity, ingenuity and style broadening the concept of hand made and crafts.
The aim of the event is to not only showcase and sell beautiful unique items to the public but also to act as a place for designer makers to network and grow their business. If you think this is the venue for you then... please contact us for an application form!

Wow, that sounds amazing! Any last bit of advice for any budding creatives who want to make their hand made business a success?
I feel it's important to take yourself seriously, don't be shy, say your amazing, you may not believe but after a while you will because you are.
I'm still making bags and jewellery so I'm extremely busy especially as I'm also preparing for Hertfordshire Arts Open Studio in Sept.

A fully equipped modern kitchen...

...and a light, modern studio space!

Amma Gyan is the creative director behind Wear Me a hand made Leather goods company specialising in jewellery and quality hand made leather bags! We're so proud of our Amma and we wish her lots of luck... though I have a feeling she won't need it as she's one smart little cookie!

For further info please contact Amma via the Amanartis Face Book page:
or via email: