Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Beads, seeds, berries and buns

I sold some of the (no longer sticky) beads on Saturday!  Hooray.  I didn't, however, sell any of these little beaded chaps:

(hard to photograph to show the humbug shape)

which is a shame, because I liked the idea, but then again I now have a new key-ring! I hit upon the idea of making them because I found a stash of little pieces like this, left over from making books in the summer:

I added a few beads on twisted cords:

and stitched them up, but twisted, to make a humbug shape:

Maybe I should put them in the neglected etsy shop...But the thing that puts me off sorting out things for etsy? Working out how to package and post things for a reasonable sum of money...and fat things cost more to post than thin things, even if they are tiny.  How ridiculous is that?  The postage would cost more than the little humbug key-ring.

In other news, I've also been making (or rather, eating) far too many of these blackberry bakewell tarts:

I don't bother with the fiddle of arranging the berries on top, I just mix them all in.

and then of course I have to ice them (not in the recipe) otherwise I'd be lynched:

The other day I was side-tracked from my otherwise obsessive blackberry picking by thistledown, of all things...

I intend to "do something" with it, something more than "putting it in a little jar" (have you every tried to get thistledown in a jar?).  Same as I intend to "do something" with these bits:

polyester shreds from the fabric I'm preparing for class:

We're going to be playing with leaves and transfer paints, and I think the thistledown is going to feature somewhere in my autumnal layers...I think!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Sticky beads

Hmm, not sure about these beads.  

They are sticky and a bit time-consuming to make, take ages to dry, and I'm terrified of washing Paverpol down the sink and blocking up all our pipes...

BUT they are a fantastic way to use up lots of different bits and pieces, and funnily enough I have quite a lot of bits and pieces - and a slowly growing collection of weatherproof beads!  

I'm just a bit frustrated because "other people" seem to be able to spend a happy hour or two making beads and end up with hundreds, not five.  How do you do yours?!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The wanderer returns

Except anyone who knows me could guess that I haven't exactly been wandering, I've been lounging around in my favourite bit of Brittany for the summer hols. Here's a taster:

Best Brittany Weather Ever.  That's official. We've been going there for 9 years, and this year we only had one rainy day. We swam in the sea nearly every day, including at our favourite secret beach.

We walked with the Whippet over sand dunes

Even the roadsides are pretty

Much as we love "our" little bit of Breton coast, we would really quite like to live on the little island of Molene

which only has seven cars and is small enough to walk across in half an hour

Back on dry land (ish) a little bit of local culture: the goemonier (seaweed harvesting) festival

including "embarrassing" photos of seaweed in baskets (Girl finds it deeply embarrassing that her mother takes photos of seaweed)

like this stuff, draped over the oyster beds revealed at very low tides (she also finds it deeply embarrassing that I take photos of oyster beds)

and rusting posts and bits of net

and street art - in this case a whole wall covered in painted bottles - by local school children

and it is of course hugely shameful that I should lean out of the car window to take pictures of roundabouts. (The cycling road championships were held in the nearest town, so there was a definite bicycle theme around).  I found this sphere very inspiring...

Our home from home.  Actually, we all prefer it to our "real" home and wish we could stay all year.  Except of course I think the autumn and winter and spring in a tent in Brittany would be a bit nippy and damp.  After all, it can be a bit nippy and damp in the summer too.... 

But three weeks later, bronzed and windswept and sandy, inevitably we have to pack it all away.  One of my favourite tasks is fitting things inside things inside things, which is the only way we can get everything there in the first place and the only way we can bring it all back again, with added sardines and buckwheat crepe flour and shells.  And every year we marvel that even though our tent is big enough to drive the car into, the tent itself fits into the car.  Well, sort of.  Bits of it have to go on the roof.   

This year I experimented with bringing home some of my seaweeds.  I dried it all out in the sunshine, wrapped it carefully, and the idea is that I can reconstitute it and draw and paint it at my leisure, on a real table, instead of trying to draw and paint it in a high wind on a plastic picnic table.  Well, that's the plan.  The plastic bundle is currently sitting on the back doorstep awaiting its fate...

So home again home again, but back to a real kitchen and luxuries like an oven and a fridge, and dinner with friends who brought flowers to remind of us France

and seasonal sweetcorn scone making (Girl is living off them at the moment) and endless blackberries and scrumped apples

and a chance to show off the Whippet at the Long Dog show (he came fourth; he would rather just lounge about on a picnic rug with Mum than strut his stuff in the ring)

and of course the inevitable planning and preparation for a busy term of teaching.  I sort of enjoy the decluttering and sorting out that I always do when I return from holiday.  Three weeks in a tent does teach you what you do and don't need.  

And then finally today I actually got some time to myself to get creative.  Here are some cling-filmed knitting needles awaiting their fate in their silver-foiled block of oasis...Carole, if you're reading this, you can guess what happens next.  For everyone else, you'll have to wait until next time!  That'll do for now.