Thursday, 30 September 2010



Crying out to be stitched...

All within minutes of home. 
Wonderful things, whippets.  Get you out of the house.

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Monday, 20 September 2010

Still Struggling with Spikes

Still struggling to make a spiky thing, as inspired by chimney brushes...

This next one is even less spiky, more fluffy
Sometimes I really despair.  I have ideas, but no idea how to translate them into something pleasing.  I footle around and create these ridiculous things, but never seem to make any sort of creative breakthrough.
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This is how my brain feels right now

I found out last week that my machine embroidery course is going to run after all, even with just 6 students.
So I was launched unexpectedly into writing a scheme of work and learning objectives and lesson plans and the chaos and confusion that is RARPA....(Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement)

or as we like to call it in this house:

Ridiculous Administrative Right Pain in the....
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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

And if that's not beautiful enough

Perhaps a tray of these little beauties will do the trick.

Blackberry muffins.

300g SR flour
150g soft brown sugar
150g blackberries
mix together in a bowl

180ml milk
120ml vegetable oil
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 egg
all in a jug

mix wet with dry

22 fairy cake cases (ran out of muffin cases)

170C fan oven, 22 minutes
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Look at this beauty

Look what I was given from the charity shop - I arrived for my volunteering stint just as this babe was discovered in the donations.  I was told not to get too excited until I had looked inside, so I did.  It wasn't pretty.  It was agreed that I could take it - FREE - and try and rescue it.  Challenge and bargain in one!

Four boil-ups of bio washing powder (from the £ shop) and I think it's passable.  The bottom and the rim are a little on the rusty side, so I've wiped them with oil. 

So having rescued a pot worth over £100 from the binbag of doom, I now I have to 'fess up and pay up...

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Winner of the Mutant Vegetable Championships

 Did some gardening on Sunday, and tidied up the vegetable patch.  Found a couple of courgettes lurking around (despite early fears of a glut, due to mismanagement, neglect, drought then floods, we've only had a handful), lots of green tomatoes, lots of slugs and snails,
and THIS!


However, the hedgerows have been making up for our own incompetence.  We've picked kilos of blackberries, having discovered the Mother Lode on our favourite walk with the Whippet.  Luckily the boy likes picking his own, so he's happy to guzzle while we pick.  We've also found a wild plum tree, cob nuts, have bags of sloes in the freezer ready for steeping in gin, and have played field mushroom roulette a handful of times...

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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Can you tell what it is yet?

No, I can't tell what it is either.
I did a workshop with Gavin Fry last week.  We all had a great day with lots and lots of hand stitching (despite me being utterly useless at it - I have all the wrong sort of needles and threads, and don't know any fancy stitches). 
After a day's hard work, I came home with this little object.  It is unfinished (I think that's obvious).  Gavin had a lot of stitch on his little sculptures, and they were not quite so bulgy as this little creature.... I think some goggly eyes stuck on the horny bits might do the trick, as it has been sitting on my desk staring at me.

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Monday, 6 September 2010

Sweet Pea gets married

Bridesmaid and Great Grandmother

Grumpy bridesmaid

Did I mention that I also made three bouquets and a basket of sweet peas?

Just something I knocked up this weekend

I decorated my sister's wedding cake, according to Mother's instructions:

"You're decorating the cake and the marquee and the hall for the ceremony.  Here are two buckets of flowers to do 16 table vases and 9 window vases, save the flowers you need to do the cake, how about these big pom pom dahlias for the top - there are only these three, no more where they came from. Here are three very delicate yet heavy cakes with soft icing to transport across the welsh countryside in the boot of your car, here are two spare cakes for top tiers but there is no spare cake for the bottom tier.  Here is some wire, here are some polystyrene blocks and cake sticks, here are the instructions.  Oh, and take this pot of parsley and this recipe over to Jane and show her how to make 3kg of couscous according to this recipe, and if Nick could blow up 100 balloons and arrange them in the marquee that would be great, and we'll see you in two hours".

Amazing what you can do with a bit of adrenalin, wire and a bucket load of sweet peas...(and an Aunt, Uncle, sister-in-law and a 9 year old to boss about....)
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Thursday, 2 September 2010

For Jen

I made a wedding card for the little sis today.

After battling with those wired flowers this morning, I'm just glad I kept quiet and didn't offer to make sweet pea headdresses for her and her bridesmaids....

There was some very bad language involved in making this, particularly when I ripped the first purple sweet pea, but I think it was worth it in the end....
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