Month: February 2018

Hello Lovely: Abstract Paintings

Abstract paintings by Lola Donoghue | Hello Victoria

abstract paintings by Lola Donoghue

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know that I’ve been trying to make a couple of abstract paintings for our living room. I’ve been having a hard time, and keep starting over because I don’t like how they turn out. The problem I have with painting something myself, is that I know I made it. I would probably like the painting if someone else had done it, but when I remember every brush stroke, I think it looks amature. Weird right? Does anyone else automatically hate their own handiwork?

I keep looking at photos of other paintings by artists that I like, but I don’t want to simply copy. I’ll probably never truly like my own work, but it’s cheaper than the alternative. Or at least that’s what I thought. There are lots of artists out there on places like Etsy these days, that can actually be quite affordable. Here are a few of my favorites.

Etsy

Lola Donoghue’s work were probably the first abstract paintings that I fell in love with. I’ve had my eye on her painting “Turn Left at the Pitch” for years now, and apparently she only has a few prints left, so I may need to buy it quick. She tends towards recognisable shapes, in bright colours, with plenty of pink and teal. She’s almost always on people’s lists of affordable abstract art, and for good reason!

Abstract paintings by Lola Donoghue | Hello Victoria

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I recently discovered Dan Hobday’s work and can’t believe how affordable his stuff is. I especially love that he does sets which pair together well for diptychs and tryptichs. There is a fair range of abstract styles, unlike many artists who tend to stick to one ‘look’.

Abstract paintings by Dan Hobday | Hello Victoria

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Camilo Matiz is another Etsy artist who does fairly colourful abstract paintings. They remind me a bit of Lola Donoghue’s work, with the colours and shapes.

Abstract paintings by Camilo Matiz | Hello Victoria

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Minted

Like Etsy, Minted have been a great resource for affordable art. Not only do they sell prints for the home, but they also do plenty of cards and other personalized items. They sell individual prints, as well as whole gallery walls, if you’re new to coordinating artwork.

Abstract paintings from Minted | Hello Victoria

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Making Your Own Sourdough Starter

Sourdough starter recipe | Hello Victoria

I recently had a conversation with someone about sourdough bread. It all started when I mentioned I was a baker. He told me that there was a bakery near him that sold sourdough, but he didn’t know what it was or what all the fuss was about. I was quite happy to explain as I love talking about baking science.

See, sourdough isn’t a new thing. Despite its recent popularity, sourdough is what all bread used to be back in the day. Before breweries developed the commercial yeast that we now use today, the only kind of yeast we had was wild! Wild yeast is everywhere… in the air, on the walls, etc. – all you need to do is provide it with food, and water to let it grow!

Sourdough starter recipe | Hello Victoria

Make your own sourdough starter | Hello Victoria

They say Egyptians first discovered how to bake bread – someone left a bowl of a porridge type dish (made of wheat) lying around and discovered it started bubbling. I love the idea of whoever thought “let’s put this in an oven!” And since that day, we have been raising cultures of wild yeast to add air and flavor into our breads.

So, you want to make your own starter? You can go about it two different ways – first you can make one out of just flour and water, or you can use fruit and vegetables! Unwashed fruit contains lots of wild yeast on the surface, plus plenty of sugar inside to feed the yeast culture. Grapes are an obvious choice, but really any fruit and certain vegetables will do (apparently beets work). (more…)

Hello Shopping: H&M Home

H&M Home store interior | Hello Victoria

H&M Home store photo from Ideal Home

Unless you’ve been asleep for the last 20 years or so, you’ve definitely heard of H&M. Their low priced clothing and accessories have been a staple in many people’s wardrobes for the last few decades – as the second largest clothing retailer in the world, it has stores in 62 countries. You’ve probably been to one before, and mostly likely own a piece or two of their clothing. But did you know that they also sell home decor items?

I first heard about H&M Home a few years back, but hadn’t seen any of their items until I moved to the UK. There are a few stores here that sell their home decor line, but otherwise you can purchase it online. As with their clothing, the home decor items are current, on trend, and cost effective. Pretty much the perfect thing for someone like me, ha! Our flat still feels like it needs more finishing touches and accessories, yet I don’t have money to burn on frivolous things.

Most of the items that they sell are kitchen/table based, as well as some pillows, picture frames, and other items. I wish they had furniture or lighting, but I still love the rest of the stuff they have. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they sold sofas and tables? I can only imagine how sleek, minimal, and functional they would be.

So, have you seen their stuff in stores? Do you like it as much as I do? Here are some of my favorite H&M Home items in stores now.

Textiles

H&M Home textiles | Hello Victoria

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Beetroot Ravioli: Making your own Striped Pasta

Beetroot ravioli recipe | Hello Victoria

When I used to work in Vancouver, BC, my office was right near Granville Island. Every now and then, when I forgot my lunch, I would wander over to the Granville Public Market to see what took my fancy. One of the stalls I always stopped to admire, was the fresh pasta from Duso’s. The flavour combinations were always inventive, and they would add stripes to their pasta! Ever since seeing them, I have wanted to make my own striped pasta.

A few years back, I was given a pasta roller as a Christmas present. It was a most unexpected gift, as it was from a secret santa exchange, and I didn’t know the person who had my name very well. It was absolutely perfect, as I had been dying to try my hand at making fresh pasta! And once you’ve mastered making plain pasta, striped or coloured pasta isn’t very far off! It’s not any more difficult, but it is time consuming – oh so time consuming…

How to make striped pasta | Hello Victoria

Making fresh ravioli is only really worth it if you’re going to make unusual flavours. It takes so much time, that’s it’s not worth making regular cheese or spinach pasta. You have to mix together the dough, allow it to rest, make the filling, roll out the dough, fold + roll some more, then fill and cut the ravioli. Honestly, sometimes I’m not sure if I’m a masochist, or just love to cook and bake. It’s up for debate. 😉

To make your pasta striped, you have to mix together both regular dough, as well as coloured. While you could use food colouring, good coloured pasta is made with natural ingredients. Cocoa powder makes brown, beetroot powder for red/pink, spirulina powder for green, tumeric or saffron for yellow, and tomato paste for orange. All of those ingredients have intense enough colours, so you only need a little bit.  It means that they won’t alter the flavour of your pasta considerably. (But remember, the colour of the pasta will lighten when you boil them.)

How to make striped pasta | Hello Victoria

As I was making beetroot filled pasta, I opted to add beetroot powder to 1/4 of the dough recipe, substituting for 5-10g of the flour. It gave it a lovely bright fuschia colour. You’ll need to experiment to see how much colour ingredient you need to get your desired shade.

How to make striped pasta | Hello Victoria

Okay, now the instructions for how to make fresh ravioli (using a roller). It’s a bit of a long explanation, but stay with me! If you already know how, and just want the recipe for the filling, scroll to the bottom! (more…)

Convent Garden Antiques Market

Covent Garden antiques market | Hello Victoria

Covent Garden is known for being a part of London full of designer shops, and fancy restaurants. Wander around this area and it’s all Chanel, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton as far as the eye can see. But, if you visit on a Monday, you’ll find something quite different from the usual finery.

Covent Garden antiques market | Hello Victoria

Covent Garden antiques market | Hello Victoria

Covent Garden antiques market | Hello Victoria

Every Monday the Apple and Jubilee markets at Covent garden make way for antiques! Once home to fruit and vegetable sellers back in the day, these markets are usually home to stalls selling handmade wares and lots of touristy kitsch. The antiques you find on Mondays are a refreshing reprieve from what you find the rest of the week. They tend to set up a bit later than most markets, so if you end up there too early, just wait until closer to 11 or 12. I thought that being there around 10:30 would be late, but half the sellers were still setting up their wares. (more…)