Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Grand Day In

I had a very special guest at Pigeon Loft HQ today. The lovely Lucy came for a cup of tea, some gocco machine action and to pick up Lofty (a.k.a. Mr.Pigeon 030).

As well as some (much appreciated!) custard slices, Lucy brought me a very special something.

Can you tell what it is yet?...

It's a crochet hook roll!

Not only is it beautifully made with gorgeous fabrics, it will also help to double pigeon production as I seem to spend an awful lot of time locating crochet hooks before I can start. Now they're all in one place. Thank you, Lucy, I LOVE it!

After our custard slices, we got out the Gocco machine. As my photos are dark and wobbly, you can see the resulting seed packets plus an explanation of the whole exciting process on Lucy's blog here.

Talking of Gocco-ing, these scary monster notelets will be appearing in the Pigeon Loft Etsy Shop very shortly. Hopefully with matching envelopes if I ever track some down...

And finally, Mr.Pigeon would like to give a huge "coo" of thanks to Michelle, Mr.Pigeon 037's owner, for finding us some old-style pigeon yarn. Original Mr.Ps can continue for a while yet. Hooray!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Problems at The Pigeon Loft

I'm afraid there's some bad news for pigeon fanciers. Lana Grossa, the company who make Mr.Pigeon yarn, have discontinued Mr.Pigeon's colour and I can't buy it ANYWHERE. This means that there will only be a few more old-style Mr.Pigeons up for sale in future.

Don't worry, this is not the end of pigeon production. I have found some yarn of identical weight in a similar colour and this will hopefully prove to be a decent substitute. It will be arriving shortly so I will unveil the new look Mr.P in the near future and you can tell me what you think of the substitution.

Please feel free to send Lana Grossa angry e-mails...I have!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mr. Pigeon's Grand Day Out

After a year of living in and traveling around Europe, I suspected that Mr.Pigeon might be getting a bit bored at home so I invited him on our annual "Grannies' Day Out" (a day when my friends and I drive out somewhere in Northumberland and have 'a cup of tea and a nice sit down').

Last year we had a picnic at Cragside and this year we decided on a trip to Holy Island (Lindisfarne).

It was a bit cloudy at first...

...so we headed for the tearoom...

...which, to Mr.Pigeon's dismay, was not very pigeon-friendly.

In the afternoon the sun (and a horse) came out...

...and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a photo of Mr.Pigeon ruining posing in front of the beautiful view...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Real Pigeon Loft

Though you might like a picture of where the magic happens! Well, to be honest I make most of the birds on a sofa in front of Desperate Housewives...and the table has only been there for a week (thanks to the ILVA closing down sale)...but it is a real loft!

As so many of you mentioned gingerbread-related disasters and blobby-looking men I thought I'd post my perfect gingerbread recipe. It's never failed me, even when I've used different types of sugar:

350g / 12oz plain flour
1tsp bicarb.
4tsp ground ginger
110g/ 4oz butter
175g/ 6oz soft light brown sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

1) Sift flour, bicarb and ginger into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.
2) Beat golden syrup and egg together in another bowl.
3) Pour syrup mixture into the well, mix to a dough and then knead until smooth.
4) Divide in half and roll out to 5mm thickness. As I always go a bit mad with the syrup, quite a bit extra flour is needed to stop the dough sticking to the bench. Cut out men and decorate with currants.
5) Bake for 12-15 minutes at 190 oC (although mine never exceed 8 mins.)
6) Make yourself a nice cup of tea and enjoy :)