Earlier this week the Borders Book Festival was officially launched overlooked by Calton Hill in the stunning roof top venue of The Glasshouse Hotel on Greenside Lane, Edinburgh.
I hope to be involved this year sketching from the four day festival which takes place each year within the walled gardens of Harmony House in the centre of Melrose.
The beautiful town of Melrose, just 35 miles from Edinburgh can now be reached via the Borders Railway, which reopened less than two years ago and rolls through some beautiful scenery. HERE is my sketch blog from the opening journey in 2015, I am looking forward to returning to the train for the trip to the festival, which runs from the 15th to 18th June.
With over 100 events at this years Borders Book Festival there is something for everyone, including a number of big name celebrities (John Cleese, Judy Murray and Steve Backshall to name just three) and an extensive Family Book Festival which I will be taking the Sketcher Twins to. I like the fact all there is no entry charge for adults accompanying children to Family Book Festival events.
So have a look at the full programme using the link below and book yourself a few events, and be sure to take the train for a lovely relaxing way to arrive.
I recently received this beautiful cookbook by Victoria Hall, a gluten free baker and restauranteur, and went straight to T for tiramisu.
Being a coeliac means eating a gluten free diet and although these days when most supermarkets have a ‘free from’ section this isn’t so hard, I am well accustomed to a very limited choice of desserts and pastries when eating out.
As chef Victoria cannot eat gluten herself she obviously knows the feeling of seeing the treats you cannot eat and has filled the book with such delights, from cherry backwells to chocolate eclaires. There is also a savoury section including a steak and ale pie which I might make at the weekend.
But first I chose the tiramisu, something I havent had for at least 5 years, when my diet changed. Many of of the ingredients I had already in the kitchen thanks to years of gluten free baking, some I had to ‘borrow’ (like the Tia Maria) in exchange for a slice of the finshed cake.
The recipe was easy to follow and I like the way everything was made from scratch, no shop bought sponge fingers here! It took time but I felt a sense of achievement once I had it resting in the fridge.
And the resulting taste? Delicious, and that was the reaction from everyone who tried it. If you follow a gluten free diet or bake for someone who does then this is definitely the book for you.
This is Gluten-Free features recipes by Victoria Hall, photography by Adrian Lawrence. Published by Ryland Peters & Small 2017. Find out more HERE
It is a privilege to capture such a special day with my watercolours.
As a wedding sketcher I attend the event and move around in the background drawing the details which catch my eye, like the flower arrangements, personal decorations, architectural details and colourful guests!
Slightly nervous at first I always relax into it once the first sketch is done, and soon have a sketch book full of pen and watercolour illustrations which capture the day in an original way.
Key locations or events to sketch during the day can be discussed before hand but I always like to draw the ceremony and venue exterior.
Above are a few of my wedding books which I have printed with all the sketches and some hand written notes for the bride and groom. Originals and prints can also be purchased as part of the tailored service.
A Wedding Sketcher package creates a personal, original memory of your special day, and also can be a perfect present for the bride and groom who have everything!
Leave a message below for more information and I will be in touch, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Last night an old friend launched their debut book and I was there to capture the night in watercolour.
‘Expecting: The Inner Life of Pregnancy’ is Chitra Ramaswamy’s first book and goes on sale online and on the high street today. Through a series of nine essays, one for each month of her pregnancy the author shows a fascinating and honest glimpse of being pregnant.
This beautiful and creative postcard book helps to tell children that hospital isn’t a scary place but one with many friendly faces all ready to help them.
Funded by the Sick Kids Friends Foundation writer and illustrator Linda Cracknell and Cate James have developed the All Write project, encouraging staff and visitors to write and draw their experiences in the hospital.
They have also been developing characters from everyday medical equipment, a fantastic idea which must make them more familiar and less daunting to children.
Regular readers will know I have been in and out of Sick Kids a great deal over the last few years with my son who has haemophilia, and I know that anything that might make a hospital visit a more relaxing experience is to be commended.
For more information follow the link below to The Sick Kids Friends Foundation website.