Royal Baking Powder Pens

Royal Baking Powder tinpaper knifeIt was the tin that attracted me but we used the Royal Baking Powder years ago and it ended up, like the treacle and syrup tins that sit alongside it at the end of my bookshelves, as a pot for pens. I have an awful lot of pens. This little tin usually has a dowdy assortment of fibre tips in it but I’ve done the pen equivalent of flower arranging to make it more interesting for me to draw.


Some of the pens are in need of refills but I’ve listed each working pen – using each pen – on the right. For the drawing itself I used a uni-ball gel grip, which, unlike them, doesn’t bleed through the absorbent paper of my current about town sketchbook (yep, still the Wainwright one, when will get to the end of it?).

The smooth-haired fox terrier paper knife was what my parents used in the 1950s and early 60s until they went for something more practical in steel.

Royal Baking Powder is made in Spain by United Biscuits Iberia S.L., Montornés del Vallés, Barcelona. It contains the raising agents disodium diphosphate and sodium bicarbonate, plus some maize starch.

All this talk of Barcelona and Baking Powder, makes me want to make a cake. How about the Nutty Magdalenas recipe from Sophie Ruggles My Barcelona Kitchen?


David Lebovitz version of Sophie Ruggles’ Nutty Magdalenas recipe from his blog Living the Sweet Life in Paris

Sophie Ruggles tasting the good life in Barcelona

Ash Trees

ash treesToday’s snow showers have been punctuated by brighter intervals but it doesn’t seem worth going out and clearing the driveway as the thin slushy layer that has accumulated here is likely to melt away in rain showers and warmer temperatures tomorrow. I hope that the forecast is right and that it won’t freeze solid and need scraping off laboriously.
pheasantThe snow brings a cock pheasant to our bird feeders and I guess that, now he’s discovered us, he’ll become a regular. Other colourful visitors today have included bullfinch, chaffinch, goldfinch and greenfinch.
I enjoyed drawing with my dip pen with the Tower Pen nib so much yesterday evening that I wanted to try it on a landscape and, as it would have been an uncomfortable business to set myself up outdoors I goldfinchdrew the view from my studio window. I’d hoped to include the snow-covered meadow but the sun was soon masked by the next bank of cloud approaching from the northwest and it was getting late in the afternoon anyway so I confined myself to the silhouette of the ash trees against the eastern sky.