Saturday, 31 July 2010

dandilion day

Here's my dandilion scarf, which is my final project for this textiles module. Its designed to be
reversible, so depending on how you want to wear it, the stalks should still be in the right direction. It was a complete nightmare trying to think how to make dandilions that would look wispy - I tried all sorts of things; taking a blow torch to material, slashing material, layering materials - I finally settled on this which is deconstructed climbing rope - hope Colin doesn't have any lengthy climbs in mind!
I'm planning to start my next module soon, which will include screen printing, and looking at inspirations from different cultures

Monday, 26 July 2010

Harvest Sunday

We went down the allotment and came back with mountains of courgettes, they're the size of marrows! even after giving loads away, and chopping up loads and filling the freezer, theres still too many.

In fact we've got loads of everything; potatoes, onions, garlic, beans and peas - I think i spent over an hour shelling all the peas there were that many

I've been sent another running schedule for the next couple of weeks by mad dog; I'm sure he's got my schedule confused with someone elses, theres no way i can up my weekly mileage to 46 miles

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A blazing day

Seeing as we were both off work today, we decided to head up to Blaze farm, near Buxton in Derbyshire. Its really set up as a working farm with animals for kids to play with _ Great!!!

After playing with the kittens, and then being stalked by a cat, that was more interested in us than the chickens, we spent most of the time laughing at a peacock that was so vain that he was admiring himself in the reflection of a shiny black car. At one point he actually headbutted the car to scare the other peacock it thought it could see away!

If you get the chance you have to go to Blaze Farm, it has a whole host of ice creams freshly made on the premises

This evening has been spent using up some of the apples from the tree in the back garden - there's tonnes, far to many to use, even after giving loads away - Thanks to the freecycle freezer we've at least managed to make a big batch of apple crumbles, - 'made loads of apple chutneys too (but haven't frozen these), .... we still have loads of courgettes, so courgette soup again tomorrow...

Going to try making sticky onion marmalade tomorrow - which will also use up some of our homemade port as well as a big stash of red onions
who said gardening was relaxing!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

having a bad day

Well, it all started ok, i'm moving on with my dandilion scarf and had some new ideas for it which i'm hoping will work well, Col came back with armfuls of courgettes - again! I'm hoping my veggie cookbook will inspire me with some more ideas for what to do with so many.
Everything was going fine, up until I stepped out the door at 4.30pm for my long run of 13 miles .... The fact that it just started to spot with rain the very moment that I closed the door behind me, should have given me some idea that the run might not be a good idea. As I set off the rain just got heavier and heavier and heavier and heavier, at one point I couldn't see, was soaked to the skin, and was running through a river where there is usually a path. When lo and behold it started to thunder and lighten (ing?) AND then, there was the sound of cracking - really big branches started breaking off the trees - but not just any old trees, oh no, the ones that were above and around me - oops.
Have to say, I started to get a bit concerned, as at the moment I'm very tired, and only have one running pace; slow. After the branches had hit the floor, I decided that 13 miles was probably going to be pushing my luck, and made for a quick (well slow) exit home and a warm bath -
on the bright side, my mad dog trainer, who is normally non to sympathetic has suggested that i just do a short 7-8 mile run on friday, and put this week behind me. Here's to drier and less traumatic runs next week

Sunday, 11 July 2010

loads of crops days

Hoorah the allotment is doing us proud - we've got loads of lettuce, courgettes, potatoes, onions, peas and beans, and suprisingly garlic (we hadn't thought the garlic had taken, and had thought it was a row of onions)
i'm trying to be as creative as i can with all our lovely crops; so courgette and pesto soup, courgette fritters, courgette and cheese bread, lettuce soup, courgette and chocolate cake, have all been made, and i'm busy scouring recipe books for more ideas.
Please feel free to post more ideas

Our fellow allotmenters have given us some loveage - hmmm any ideas of what to do with it? (sadly, and embarrasingly, my familiarity with loveage only goes as far as "my lucky number" and "I want money, that's what i want" )

I'm busy creating a dandilion scarf for my textile course - I'll post my progress later

Thursday, 1 July 2010

lots of gifts days.

I swapped some books with a friend in Ethiopia, and in return I got an amazing stash of beautiful materials and silks, some of them are pictured here but there are far too many to photograph. She also sent some Ethiopian coffee beans, we haven't roasted them yet, but apparently the Ethiopian way to roast them is just to put them on a pan over a fire and shunt the beans around until they're all black, then grind them with a pestle and mortar. They smell lovely.
Our neighbour has also been kind to give us a bottle of wine made from grapes from their sisters home in Italy, apparently its a red thats best drank chilled, sounds interesting too.
I've been hearing lots about the Random Acts of Kindness movement over the last few weeks, this is where poeple do kind things mostly for complete strangers, with the idea that those who benefit will also do a random act of kindness and the world will be a better place. My favourite so far (although i'm not a fan of McDonalds) is where a man going through the McDs drive in, paid for his meal and for the car behinds; he pulled over to witness what would happen, and 6 cars, when told their meal had been paid for, paid for the car behind - it only stopped when the 7th car was a family of 4!