Friday, 29 April 2011


How cute is this? I just love the material. It's a 1960s apron and I got it for £5. I love it.
I bought it from marigold costumes  in Cardiff, which is the most amazing place which does costume hire, makes costumes and sells some vintage. They have been making some Tudor costumes for me for work for children to try on, and I'll try and get some pictures tomorrow as the outfits they have made are just beautiful.

I have a day off today as it's a bank holiday for the Royal Wedding...

linking to her library adventures again... but am also going to a vintage market tonight (sunday) so may have to add more goodies!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

cranes and backdrops

I've been practicing making cranes for  a fundraiser for Japan tonight. Finally I can make them! hurray.

Have also been working on a backdrop for photographs. We've got a tudor based event in work this weekend and children can dress up in Tudor clothes and then I thought it would be cute for them to have a background to stand in front of and have their photos taken.

I haven't finished it yet and am also painting it in a narrow corridor, hence the weird angle

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Baby quilt number 2.

So, using more or less the same materials as the other baby quilt that you can see here, tonight I started planning and cutting for quilt number two.

I really love this flowery blue piece in the middle, and I like it even more placed next to the zingy yellow.

(although I did enhance the colour a little bit.. and yep, I should probably iron the pieces too)

the blue floral piece is from a vintage apron I bought a little while ago.

I also really love the floral material above (also vintage), which I nearly didn't buy as it's not really my usual taste.  It's funny how some materials become favourites, I love this floral partly because it just seems to go with everything and isn't too busy.

Sadie seems to be feeling a bit better today, although she still looks a little grumpy in this photo.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Easter Monday

It's cooler today which is nice because I think that the heat was getting a bit too much for sadie-cat (she is hiding on top of the wardrobe in the bedroom with the blinds drawn). I have got out my sundress today though... it's not much style wise (it was a cheap one from asda) but the material is lovely...

have been doing a little bit of sketchbooking as well...

There is lots of writing in my sketchbooks... mainly stuff I'm reading and quotes. Here are a few recent ones....

'All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds.' - Richard Brautigan
'The trick is to go on living even when you 've found out what kind of a world it really is.' - Harvey Swados
'I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.' - Jorge Luis Borges
'There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.' - Albert Einstein.

Am also listening to the wonderful wonderful Baby Dee which is beyond beautiful.x

oh, and I thought I'd add some pictures of a bag I made for Bert a little while ago....

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Sunday

I hope everyone has had a lovely Easter. I've had a splendid day kinda relaxing, cooking, reading and drinking wine.

On the cooking front - this blog has been a bit food related this weekend (but that's just because I've had time off to cook!) and I therefore add another food picture of focaccia!

Seems that once you cook pizza dough you can make focaccia (it's pretty much the same recipe, just the assembling that's different) and we had a lovely Easter lunch with the hummous I made yesterday, ja ja tofu (tofu with spring onion, ginger and soy sauce with sesame oil), beetroot hummous and a green salad.

Ja Ja Tofu turned out to be amazing (although was not very photogenic so no image), all you have to do is slice some tofu and fry it until golden in sesame oil, then take out the tofu and quickly fry fresh ginger and spring onions (I used about a teaspoon of ginger and 4 spring onions to half a pack of tofu), then add the tofu back into the pan and about a tablespoon of soy sauce and cook for about a minute.  (the recipe from Mayumi Nishimura)

I wanted to make something a bit traditional for Easter day, but it seems that would mean eating eggs and lamb or maybe rabbit... which was never going to happen, so tofu and salad it was.

Easter comes from the word Ostara (the goddess of spring) and she often appears as a beautiful maiden with flowers in her hair, with her male consort taking the form of a rabbit (either a man sized rabbit or a little rabbit she holds in her arms).  So, of course, it's a festival of fertility what with it being springtime with all the new life around.  I was reading something that Judika Illes wrote this morning, and she says that until not that long ago, it was traditional in French, German and Italian villages for special phallic-shaped cakes to be carried in procession to the local church at Easter.

In Sweden and Finland the night before Easter day is the night that witches fly (a bit like Halloween) and  often carry coffee pots with them!

The most famous egg decorating happens in the Ukraine where they make pysanky. Pysanky is seen as a feminine sacred art and every time a woman makes a pysanka the devil is pushed further away...
Here's a picture which I got from here

I have to watch Kate and Willam the Movie now.... ha!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

yep,i can make pizza!

and it was delicious!
I followed nonna's recipe, but she seemed a bit off on the yeasty side of things, so I checked with Jamie and added more sugar and yeast.
otherwise, a lot easier than I thought.
I made a nice tomato sauce for the base too - just minced garlic, fresh tomatoes, olive oil and basil.
and added red onion and roasted pepper and courgette and fresh basil.
with a bit of salad on the side....
also, while I was waiting for the dough to prove, I made harisa spiked hummous - like regular hummous but with harissa paste, tomato paste and olive oil all mixed together and drizzled on the top.


so... it's hot out and i'm sitting inside drinking coffee and watching cooking on tv. am also thinking about making pizza... including the dough.

I had a look at Jamie Oliver's recipe on line, but he scared me a little with the whole putting flour on your table and creating a well... and the words '00 flour'. Luckily Nonna is helping me out and she uses a bowl.
I love this book - it has a charmingly rubbish cover and no pictures inside, but loads and loads of recipes. It also has nice little quotes and back stories... Nonna writes about pizza:

'There is a North American myth that one hears or reads now that purports that pizza is actually an invention of Italian-Americans and that you can't get a good pizza in Italy.  Perhaps you can't get an American-style pizza in Italy, with an indifferent greasy crust, 20 toppings, half a pound of meat, and enough cheese to feed a family for a week, but that's because Italians don't like it that way!.'

oh, i should also say that it is a vegan italian cookbook.

anyway..if the pizza making goes ahead, rest assured I shall document it.x

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday

I want to link up with the flea market finds on her library adventures... because I love it so! I know that it's not all a flea market finds post.. but those plates were thrifted and the dress I bought is upcycled so I thought it might be ok?

bert bought me this yesterday. It looks so good and am really looking forward to it (once I've finished learning about the Tudors for work related purposes).

I have a long weekend off work for Easter, and it's been really hot, so I bought a new dress...
here's a little detail of the material...

and I bought some adorable plates from a charity shop

I have been working on a baby quilt. I've finished the top part, and need to buy some material for the back.
(thought I should add that the fabric used is a mixture of vintage and new, the white floral near my feet I've been using in everything, even though when I bought it I wasn't here for a better look of the fabric!)

I think this yellow floral from Clothkits would look so cute on the back, or maybe the blue?
I can't decide

I would really like this bias binding for the quilt too...
it's a Liberty print for Clothkits, they have loads of gorgeous bias bindings and I really really want some.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

rev jen

do you know rev jen? she is an artstar, she makes art about trolls, unicorns, budweiser and elves and many other things. she is super funny and awesome and is a really good writer too - you may want to read about her sexploits or her guide to her neighbourhood, or what happened when she became the fifth teletubby, if you click on her website you can 'click on the shroom and groove on in', which is really good advice. Rev Jen has a new book out in the autumn called 'Elf Girl' - i am excited already.

she also has a chiuaua called rev jen junior.

another chiuaua i like is pedro in the joey pigza books.

if i had a chiuaua i would pretty much hope it looked like one of these two (and poss play piano too):

yea-ah... i don't have so much to say today. bert has bought the rocky box set. that is what has been happening.x

Sunday, 17 April 2011

tasting words and seeing music

I love the bits in Kristen Hersh's book where she talks about seeing colors in the notes that she plays.

'Each major chord is a primary colour, its associated minor altered with a tinge of another color that makes it sadder; sevenths are altered by a secondary color that makes them twangy, and minor sevenths combine the original primary color with the sad shade and the twangy one, etc.  Chord structure follows a logical pattern, in other words, until I start making them up.  When I invent a chord, I invent a color.  I mean, I don't really invent a color, but it sure sounds like something I've never seen before, if that makes any sense.'
Kandinsky was also meant to be synasthesic... I've just read an article from the Telegraph which explains that synasthesia is the 'involuntary ability to hear colour, see music or even taste words results from an accidental cross-wiring in the brain'  (when I was little I can remember tasting words a little bit, but that doesn't happen so much anymore... I particularly remember tasting coloured pencils...).  Anyway, there's no proof that Kandinsky did have synasthesia but he did talk about hearing a hissing noise when he mixed colours in his paintbox as a child, and when he started playing the cello, said it that it was 'the deepest blue' of all instruments. This is how he describes the colour blue (oh my):

"The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite, awakening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the supernatural… The brighter it becomes, the more it loses its sound, until it turns into silent stillness and becomes white."

anyway... it's fascinating... and reading things like this makes me think of when I saw a flash of violet light in my brain after yoga and meditating.  I realise that that can sound a bit crazy to some people, but I'm a fool for yoga, chakras, new age....
(this image was from here )

Reading update

Oh my, isn't it good when books are good?
I've just read Monkey Grip by Helen Garner and Paradoxical Undressing by Kristen Hersh (am actually just in the middle of this one). They were/are both so good!  I hadn't heard of Helen Garner, but 'Monkey Grip' is now published by penguin classics, so that totally means it's good.  It's about a young woman living in Australia with her young daughter Gracie and her relationship with Javo - a charming junkie.  It feels so real, and I found out afterwards that it is based on her diaries... also, paradoxical undressing is kinda based on Hersh's diary from 1985. Anyway, what I am trying to say, is that they have a similar feel and voice to them and you should all read them!

vegan cannelloni

yes. bert made cannelloni.. it was the most delicious dish ever... here are some step by step photos....
the pasta was stuffed with vegan mince which was cooked with onion, garlic, red pepper, scheese, chilli, wine, nooch,(nutritional yeast flakes) parmesan (veganstyle natch) and fresh coriander
then he layered the cannelloni with tomato sauce

...and covered the whole thing with a white sauce (vegan butter, flour and soy milk with bert's secret ingredient (cinnamon))

Then he grated vegan cheese on top...

and popped in the oven...

twenty minutes later in a pre-heated oven,  this happened

it could probably serve about 10... but we had it with salad

and it was delicious.

I realise that if you wanted to make this it would be quite difficult from my (second hand) instructions... so please comment if you need more info... we've also (quite charmingly) had quite a lot of wine this afternoon, which is probably not helping the cooking instructions.x


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