I have been hooked on this recipe/method for a few weeks now. In my opinion the stone is really integral to the whole thing and really is not of such a high cost that makes it unaffordable. You probably make the cost back in about 4 loaves!
For absolute sheer beauty you cannot go past http://tartelette.blogspot.com/. Don't worry about trying to do the same as she does, especially if you are learning. Just enjoy the food pron. Then start to follow links she has- but try to only do a couple at a time. You are right in that it can get overwhelming out there!
Bill's recipes are always fabulous. The coconut bread recipe a little further on in that article is fantastic. Looks plain, but toast a thick slice and serve with lemon butter (curd) for brunch and you are set.
Or you can boil up beets (cut them first so they bleed lots of colour) in as little water as possible. Eat the beets, and boil the cooking water to reduce and intensify colour. Cool before using. Works fine. I also often make berry coulis when I can get cheap berries and freeze in ice cube trays. I have used these in icing with great success too.
Gorgeous. Though it is kind of a shame you won't see much of the lining while it is on. I would be tempted to maybe cut off the bottom 4 inches, turn it inside out and reattach to show it off a little. Or if you had spare fabric a little bundle of 3 circles appliqued in the bottom corner.