Monday, 26 July 2010

Three for the price of one

The Girl's leggings, having done sterling service for a couple of years, were having a major argument with her socks this morning. So I set to with my big scissors and some rick-rack and hey presto, a pair of funky shorts and (this was the Girl's own idea)....a ridiculous hat!

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Tuesday, 20 July 2010

It's a dog's life

'Tis the Boy's first birthday today. We have made a cake (mince and carrot and egg and oatmeal, with yoghurt icing and bacon sprinkles....). He got his nails done as a treat, but he wasn't allowed to unwrap the neighbour's cat...

Monday, 19 July 2010

My scattered mind

My scattered mind means that I often work surrounded by what some would call mess, and I call getting things done...such as this pic, done spontaneously after a bit of fabric/papier mâché:

And this, the start of Warming Pot 2, drying in the sun:

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Saturday, 17 July 2010

Floods of stickiness!

The Girl and I picked two overflowing punnets of redcurrants in less than 5 minutes. It seemed only proper to deal with some of the excess by baking them into fairy cakes, then concoct a juicy sugary drooly icing to go on them (and yes, the overflow has now been scraped and eaten off the kitchen paper). And while a flood OR some stickiness can make me twitchy, a sticky flood can make me hyperventilate. But when the sticky flood can be licked off the worktop, well, I'm flexible...
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Friday, 16 July 2010

I think he's tired now

After 8 walks in one day, the Whippet finally admitted defeat and lay down to die on the rug.

One early morning play with a stick at the field.
One walk to town to take the Girl to the bus stop.
One walk three times around the field before the working day began.
One walk with Mum around the field and the woods after lunch.
One walk to town to collect the Girl from the bus stop.
One walk with Dad around the field before tea.
One big run at dusk with some bunnies and some baby cows (got shouted at for that) and Max the Greyhound.
One walk to do a bit of business before bedtime.

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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Stuff I've been meaning to do for ages...

I’ve had “try using papier mâché paste with fabric” on my To Do list for weeks now, and this morning I finally got round to trying it. Took about 5 minutes, as the paste was already made up (to make the wretched Egyptian tomb homework) and has been lurking at the back of the fridge ever since….
And just as I had hoped, the fabric is unmarked and unblemished – no shiny bits, no flaky bits, no white marks….just glued down and ready to stitch. So I did. I even tried “tricky” fabrics like felt and silk…and look what happens when you hold it up to the light!

I also finally got round to a first attempt at a chimney brush brooch. This isn’t IT exactly, this is just half-finished with a scrappy embroidered flower sat on top to see what it would look like.

Any other suggestions how I could make the bristles? These are machine wrapped twisted wire with beads at the end inside the twist.

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Sunday, 11 July 2010

Ultimate flapjack

Think we've cracked it, folks:

Melt 2oz golden syrup with 6oz butter and 1tbsp water (I weigh the syrup straight into the pan by sitting it on the scales). Mix with 8oz porridge oats (NOT jumbo oats, unless that’s all you’ve got), 4oz plain wholemeal flour, two pinches of bicarb of soda and 6oz Demerara sugar. Chuck in a bit of cinnamon if you like that kind of thing, perhaps some dried fruit as well.

Mix it all up until no dry bits are left and pack it into a 8”x11” tin, lined with baking parchment. Level it off and pack it down with the back of a spoon or a spatula, then bake at 150°C (140°C fan oven) for 35 minutes.

Leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully lift the whole shebang out using the edges of the baking parchment, and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into as many pieces as you feel is appropriate (we do about 15 squares, enough for 5 pieces each…).

This recipe makes a dense and satisfying flapjack, with a good bit of crunch, but not so much crunch that it hurts your jaws.


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Umbelliferous dill

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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

My new toy

I found my new toy in Lakeland when I was supposed to be looking for wedding shoes. It was the last in the shop, probably last in the whole of the Lakeland kingdom of shops. The extra freebie attachments were not in stock (only a citrus juicer, and I can do that by hand) but the lovely people in the shop have tracked down a pasta attachment and a multi mill for me to collect.

In a week I've made several loaves of bread, two batches of rolls, two cakes and a lot of coleslaw...

Yes, I'm supposed to be stitching.

I'm also considering applying for a job (art technician), which is distressing me somewhat. I don't want a job, not really even one where I get to play with the kiln. I want to make things and have people give me lots of money for them. But then I met some friends at the school sports day (second in Skipping, third in Beanbag and second in Relay, offspring not myself) who were hinting all too strongly that their new posh sofa was in need of a coupla embroidered cushions hint hint, and THAT filled me with gloom as well. I'm not a performing minky, I like doing what I do because I want to do it, not because someone has told me to. I'm also stubborn. And skint (especially now I've blown all my birthday money and my invigilating wages on a hunky new kitchen mixer).

Friday, 2 July 2010

Warming Pot 1

Finally got round to stitching some braids and wrapping them around my papier mache cooling tower, for an exhibition theme of Chimney Pots....but because it looks like a bit of a woolly cooling tower, I am going to make a series of Warming Towers - comment on global warming?? A fair point, but as I don't much care for political art...I just like the colours and the threads.

This is a WIP - beads and cords and stitching (curved needle?) to be added. Hopefully by the beginning of October....
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