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Blog Category: MYO Magazine

MYO: Cherry Almond Alternative Christmas Cake

19 December 2017

MYO Volume 2 is now available and features more projects, interviews and recipes than ever before! Just in time for Christmas, here’s a little taster.

Amy Burnand’s Cherry Almond Christmas Cake is an easy alternative to a traditional fruit cake and much speedier to make – it takes less than two hours from make to bake to yummy in your tummy.

Let us know if you have a go – we’d love to see your makes! Share your bakes tagging @myocreate on Instagram and Twitter, post to our Facebook page, or email to info@myocreate.com.

For the cake

200g glacé cherries

200g self-raising flour

1tsp baking powder

150g unsalted butter – soft

150g golden caster sugar

100g marzipan (plus more for under icing)

2 large eggs

Finely grated zest of half an orange

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

50g ground almonds

For the icing

Ready-made fondant icing

Apricot jam

Marzipan

Method

Preheat oven 160c, fan 140c, gas 3

1/ Grease and line a 15cm cake tin.

2/ Roughly chop glacé cherries, leaving behind as much syrup as possible, and dust in a little flour.

3/ Cube marzipan into 1cm pieces. Add to cherries.

4/ Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add beaten eggs.

5/ Add orange zest. Fold in flour, baking powder and spices. Add ground almonds and the cherries and marzipan and combine well. Can add a drop of milk if too stiff.

6/ Spoon mixture into cake tin and level off.

7/ Bake for an hour until golden and risen.

8/ Leave in tin to cool.

9/ Allow to cool completely on wire rack before icing.

10/ On an icing sugar-dusted surface roll out marzipan and fondant icing to about 3-4 mm each (or to your liking). Use the cake tin as a template to cut both.

11/ If cake is very domed level it off by cutting across top with a bread knife, turning cake as you cut.

12/ Warm the apricot jam or glaze to thin it and make it easier to spread. Brush onto the cake and lay the marzipan on top. Brush the marzipan with more glaze and then lay on the fondant icing.

13/ Decorate.

Discover all the projects, recipes and interviews packed into the pages of the new volume of MYO here.


Order MYO Volume 2 here, or save money with a MYO subscription of 2 editions every year, delivered to your door.

Behind the scenes of our photoshoot: Meet Karen Nicol

6 December 2017

We photographed our AW17 sweater collection in the London home of textile artist Karen Nicol, which she shares with her husband, collage artist Peter Clark. I spoke to Karen to discover more about her beautiful house and her inspirational career.

Firstly, can tell us a little about your home?

We live just up the road from Hampton Court Palace in a place called East Molesey, thirty-five minutes from Waterloo but with meadows and rivers close by to walk the dog. The house is really beautiful, built in 1857 and spaced over four floors; we’ve lived here for twenty-two years.
My husband is a collage artist and now that the kids have left home we use two floors as studios, workshops and showrooms, and the other two floors for living – it’s bliss.

You use colour in a really interesting way in your own home – can you talk a little about this?

The house is all painted white but we really love colour so the refreshing slabs of colour here and there make differences in the character of each room, the light in the house is wonderful so it makes the colours sing.

You have lots of collections of objects – can you tell us a little more about these?

Pete and I are slightly obsessive in our love for car boots and flea markets, finding materials for our work and inspiration in a miscellany of vintage finds. I find materials that, chances are, no one else will be using, like old Belgian black, shiny straw milliner’s fabric or vintage matte white sequins in the shape of wings… I even have a collection of teeth that one day I want to use to replace pearls in a piece inspired by Russian Tsars. There is also the technical inspiration in beautiful traditional embroidery, everything from old fagoted collars to bits of old embroidered cushions. Then there is the pure visual inspiration of things that just look beautiful, like our matte white pots with their multitudes of simple smooth textures. Our house becomes a big white canvas to visually play with all these ‘found’ visual treats. I tend to build little scenarios in my studio – I spend so many hours in here it’s great to have a little grouping of things that make me smile.

How did your career in textiles begin?

My mother was an embroiderer, milliner, upholsterer, painter and dressmaker and flower arranger so I was around it all my childhood, she made my sister and me our own pattern blocks to make our own clothes when we were 13 and we made everything we wore, so it was probably pretty well set from there.
I went to Manchester Metropolitan University to do a BA and at first wanted to do something with a bit more street-cred than embroidery, like fine art, but in the end the diversity of textiles couldn’t be beaten so I did my BA in embroidery.

I then went to the Royal College of Art where, as there was no embroidery/mixed media course at that time, I did my MA in knit and embroidered on it, falling in love with embroidered fashion. Leaving the RCA, I put my work in a suitcase and went off to Paris (to impress a new boyfriend with my courage!) and managed to get some orders for my embroidered knitwear. I put my contact details in the labels and was subsequently approached by a German fashion designer who had bought a piece She flew over to London the next day and we worked together for the next ten years, giving me an amazing opportunity to learn the ropes.

Does your work have a signature style, and how would you describe this?

I’m not sure you can see your own signature style, but I suppose when you look over my fashion, interiors and gallery work you can see they have all the same hand. I hope mine has a light touch and a bit of irreverence.

What inspires you?

Everything! So much inspires me, changing all the time. I carry a notebook and camera everywhere and record anything that I like visually so my archives of images and inspiration are huge and can be anything – a plant, a bit of street style, a bit of wood and of course hundreds of artists.

As a textile artist, you’ve collaborated with so many prestigious brands and artists – do you have any particular favourites?

Collaborations are fantastic. You can be given amazingly comprehensive briefs, or something like ‘I want something funky in silver’, but they constantly push you out of your comfort zone, into the unknown.
These are my favourites:
– When non-embroiderers will unknowingly ask for things which can’t be achieved with normal embroidery techniques and suddenly you have to start being inventive to make it happen. Then you find ways of working you can develop for other jobs and so it goes on…
– Betty Jackson once showed me an image of water droplets running down a window pane, an effect she wanted on blouses… glass beads just didn’t do it so I ended up dripping resin on fabric…and then later I used this technique and trapped photos in the resin for a series of fish I did for a gallery show.
– Clements Ribeiro wanted Mexican-inspired beaded skirts for a ‘Frida Khalo meets Singapore whorehouse’ collection but I had to be able to bead the whole skirt in an hour! I found I could buy sequin film and cut my own sequins and machine them down. I later found I could develop this and shape the film with my iron and create large flowers and feathers for swans.

Shop our sweater collection here.
View the campaign lookbook here.

You can read an extended version of our interview with Karen in the new issue of MYO magazine, Volume 2, available to order now – or subscribe to MYO to have two issues a year delivered straight to your door.

MYO Mask Making

3 July 2017

We’ve updated the MYO Magazine blog!

Read all about the MYO Launch party where another popular activity was mask making!  We brought along the basic cardboard base cut with eyes and a nose and let the people loose on them…the results were fantastic! Read all about it here.

PS. If you want to make your very own MYO Mask, we sell the kits here!

MYO with Line us

7 June 2017

Presenting Line us… the robot that can draw!

We were very privileged to have the inventors Durrell Bishop and Robert Poll at the MYO Launch party. Line us also helped us illustrate our guest interviews in volume 1 of MYO Magazine.

Learn more about it here at the MYO Blog.

Make Your Own Fox Mask with Noodoll

5 June 2017

Our friends at Noodoll have some great creative ideas to get you making! Donna has shared how to make this super easy DIY Fox mask over at Noodoll’s blog. Looks a bit like Cyril Squirrel Fox! Find out how to make your own here. Take a look at Donna’s Pinterest board for more Mask inspiration.

You’ll also find more fantastic coverage of our MYO Magazine Launch Party from the other weekend. Thank you to the Noodoll team Yi Ying, Darcy and Dana for joining our fun!

MYO Launch Party

30 May 2017

I hope everyone had great bank holiday weekend and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. On Saturday we hosted the launch party for my new magazine MYO. Wow! What a great turn out. Lots of creative minds (little and large) attended our afternoon of creativity at Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London.

I can’t wait to share pics of everyone’s handmade masks, badges, animal cupcakes, necklaces and selfies with our knitted creatures. If you were at our launch party, join our competition. Please share your pics using hashtag #myocreate and our favourite pic will receive a prize of £100 gift voucher to spend at www.donnawilson.com

We’ll be sharing our own pics of the day over the next couple of days. We’ll have coverage of the creative workshops and of course, the brilliant puppet show “Goose The Bear”.

MYO Launch Party Audience Trees

MYO Launch Party Audience

Read all about it at the MYO Newsstand.

MYO Launch Party Audience

MYO Launch Party Donna Wilson

Thank you to everyone that attended this fantastic afternoon of creativity. I hope you feel inspired to get making!

Also, thank you to our sponsors Hey! Yum, Noodoll, Pip Organic, Rebel Kitchen. A very special thanks to Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, BKD, The Amazing Art Cart, Rosy Nicholas, Line Us, Protein Studios, Gareth Hacker and the Donna Wilson / MYO team for all your hard work and making this spectacular event such a wonderful afternoon.

Photo credit: Gareth Hacker.