Saturday, 31 August 2013

Plums and buses

Several years ago I planted a yellow plum tree just outside the kitchen window; I bought it in Lidl, labelled as a yellow plum. Being a big fan of yellow plum jam, I bought it, and have been waiting for it to fruit, which it has this year. Except it's not a yellow plum, it's a greengage :)  Certainly not a problem, greengages are my very favourite stone fruit, so quite happy with that.

And the buses?  Well, for years I've hankered after a perpetual calendar, but never got around to acquiring one. Now I have two, in as many days - just like buses, all come along at once. I got  one from the wonderful Molly's Den vintage warehouse, the other from a local animal charity shop.  I really can't decide between them for now, so will hang on to both for the foreseeable future.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Shiny things.................

My entry for the 'item of jewellery' in the County  Show; I really enjoyed making this, although knitting the wire was a bit tough on the fingers.  Winged it all the way, starting without any clear idea, just went with the flow. Am very pleased with how it turned out.  Wired sea glass drop on a stainless steel knitted form, and a hemp thong.

I also got my wee watercolour framed for the show; I picked up a very pretty recycled frame for £5 at the incredible Molly's Den when I visited on Monday. I think it's perfect for the picture.


Leave them alone..............

- wasps that is.

They do very little harm to humans really, it makes me angry and upset when I see someone killing them, or reading about killing them, suggestions for getting rid of them, trapping them, etc. I was having lunch in a pub recently when an old man sitting in the window seat beside the open  window killed two in the space of five minutes, just because they had the perceived audacity to actually come in through the window. Agree, they can be a bit of a nuisance, especially in the kitchen, but they are about this time of year, early autumn, it's what they do. My kitchen is full of good things they like at this time of year - chutney on the stove, jam cooling, wine glasses............ I'll shoo them away yes, but I cover up what I don't want them to get at, and will gently fish them out of anything they happen to fall in, and take them outside and gently put them on the wall until they are fully recovered. There, they will go on to eat  my ripening plums, my apples and other fruit, but they need to surv Yes they can sting, but don't annoy them and they won't annoy you. There is never, ever any excuse for killing them in my house. Leave them be to take their place in nature.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Wool gatherings

Two new tea cosies finished and some rather nice organic River Cottage wool from e-bay


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Dyeing with avocado skins

Been intending for a while to have a go with avocado skins, so managed to get a few reduced in the supermarket for an initial experiment.  Skins and pits only, into the dye pot with small cotton pieces mordanted with alum.  Very encouraging result, a very pretty shell pink colour. The pieces are unevenly dyed as I only used a small pot, but are fine for experimental pieces - I can incorporate pieces of them in other projects. I'll definitely be doing it again, next time on some knitting wool; the avocado skins can be kept in the freezer until you have enough for what you want to do.

Stock Gaylard Oak Fair

I spent the day here yesterday, here are a few pics to give a flavour of the day. Lots of very interesting people to talk to about straw bale building, charcoal making, besom brooms, cider, cheese.............and of course a huge amount of wood, which is what it's all about.

Loved the Hall & Woodhouse pop up inflatable pub

The evocative sight of smoke from a charcoal burn

Copy of what they think is a still, unearthed in a dig in the Czech republic, and ongoing experiment

Scything demonstrations

Very good fishcakes for lunch, and some excellent local cider

Prize winning sheep and their rosettes :)

Watching the skep making is one of my favourites