Down Time!

As a new business person just starting out, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the whole process. It's important to remember that big things start from small beginnings and it's ok to take time out for yourself.

With this in mind this weekend was devoted to down time. Saturday was market research day; this really means we (my business consultant, Heather and I) went to John Lewis At Home and Next At Home to look at all the on trend colours to see what I should be weaving. There are some beautiful combinations out there and taking time out to gaze at all those bright, squishy displays has filled me with fresh inspiration and energy. Also filling us with energy was cake and coffee! What trip out isn't complete without a spot of cake and coffee?!

Sunday's down time was spent baking bread. Once you've tasted homemade bread there's no going back. There is often a misconception that baking bread takes a lot of time - wrong! As long as you can pop back to it every couple of hours it will sit quite happily in between times minding its own business. Here's the recipe I use; it's not failed me yet -

1kg bread flour (I use half white and half wholemeal, spelt or granary)

20g salt

10g dried fast action yeast

a good glug of olive oil

600ml of tepid water

Mix together the dry ingredients taking care not to put the salt in on top of the yeast or it will kill it; then add the water and mix to a smooth dough; then knead for 10 minutes until the dough is elastic.

Set aside in a greased, covered bowl until doubled in size (this usually takes about 2 hours in a warm kitchen); then, either knock back and allow to double in size again or if you prefer you can shape it into 2 large loaves or 3 small loaves and allow them to double in size again.

Once doubled, bake as hot as your oven will go for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes until the loaves are brown and sound hollow when knocked on their bottoms!

This is what they should look like when ready; although not for long...we've already demolished a whole loaf!

Now, enough down time - back to designing and weaving. I think the next pair of cushions will be in grey and yellow - popular in the shops and also a recent request. Watch this space!

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