Friday, 26 April 2013

Friday 26th April 2013

                              It's been a while my friends..spring is such a busy time of year..


..I've been planting seeds, potting-on my seedlings, sorting the greenhouse , making up my hanging baskets (though of course it's too early to put them outside yet..they're keeping snug in the greenhouse for the time being)..and even in a moment of spring fever and a day of unexpected temporary warmth I got my shorts on and sanded down then painted my garden trellis ; blue paint of course!!  (Garden Shades "Barleywood")
It's in the evenings that I can most often find time to do a spot of card-making..last Friday I got out my alcohol inks in three shades of blue, watched Masterchef,  and the fun started. In case you're wondering, that is a bowl of ground rice pudding with a dollop of wild strawberry jam..the ultimate comfort food..hardly Masterchef standard stuff but filling, cheap and evoking childhood memories.

It was a couple of days later before I got round to finishing the cards.I mounted the ink images, some on turquoise mulberry paper, some on soft blue/grey mulberry paper and some straight onto plain white cards..not sure which I prefer. Sadly the photos don't show the rich vibrancy of the alcohol inks but you get the general effect...



I've also been printing on my home-made gelatine plate. I took one look at those Gelli plates and thought there's no way I can justify the high cost and set out to make my own. It was easy-peasy and a matter of minutes to make for about a tenth of the cost! I won't show you my first efforts yet as I haven't had time to play about as much as I'd like but I will tell you all about it soon. 

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The first warm weekend of the year and the sea was calling us. The first glimpse of the sea at my beloved Rhosneigr when you climb through the sand dunes is so thrilling...



    Shiny sparkly sunny sea makes me so happy..all cares and stresses simply melting away...



 After the "wild food foraging" afternoon my first thoughts were "is it edible" but perhaps not, though certainly good for feeding the garden.



                                                      Daughter reverting to childhood !



                   Hometime, back through the sand dunes, we slept well that night. 



**Bargain of the week** I found these lilies at the supermarket, a bouquet of buds which looked like they might not open but for £1.50 I was willing to take a chance..look what difference a few days have made.Not only that..I made an art lesson out of them and drew them for my clients at work to paint. Aren't they lovely. Bye for now, xx.  




Tuesday, 2 April 2013



 Tuesday 2nd April 2013



Hooray, finished it at last..six months ago I didn't know how to crochet properly or follow a pattern but had always had a hankering to make a grannie square blanket.I learned from watching Youtube videos and made an enthusiastic start. I deviated of course when the novelty wore off and the tedium of making the squares was slowing me down and instead made crochet flowers, snowflakes and recently a wreath.BUT I made the final push last week. The tricky part was lying all the squares on the floor and organising the order so that matching patterns weren't too close together...


..then of course I had to find a way of joining the squares, and in what order to join them. I tried a few different joining methods but they were either too loose or ridged or even invisible. I settled on a simple double crochet, which although it does leave slight ridges, at least gives a nice firm structure.I joined the squares in long single strips and then joined two strips together at a time..


..then made a border round the edge of three rows of double crochet.       Well, it's done now.I won't say never again but it's not very likely! Flowers and snowflakes are SO much quicker! 

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How was Easter for you? Here on Anglesey it's been sooooo cold but mercifully dry so no snow or ice on the roads. The snowy mountains are looking pretty though. My daughter asked me to go to Pili Palas butterfly farm which is only a couple of miles from us. I didn't mind..I knew it would at least be tropical heat in there! The butterflies were beautiful although we only spotted about a dozen or so..maybe it's not the best time of year for them..







However they have many other animals and reptiles to see so it wasn't disappointing. I love alpacas and meerkats so was VERY pleased to see a few of them..




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Yesterday I took my other daughter to Melin Llynnon windmill in the north of Anglesey...



It is Wales's last working windmill which grinds the most wonderful wholemeal flour so I took the chance to stock up...


Inside the windmill you can see the huge millstone grinding the wheat and also have a go at the ancient method of hand-grinding wheat on a stone quern which has worn away  into a bowl shape from all the years of grinding with the pestle stone...



We had gone especially for a talk on wild food foraging..just the sort of thing Sophie and I love..given by Jules Cooper of The Incredible Edible Hedgerow Company. We arrived a bit early so had some lovely carrot and orange soup and warm freshly-baked scones and a bit of a warm-up which is just as well; the guided forage talk was an hour and a half wandering in the nearby field in the most bitter cold but so interesting. Despite the late spring there was plenty to see, taste and discuss.. gorse flowers (which smelled surprisingly of coconut!), wild garlic, water-mint, sorrel, hawthorn, elder, dandelions, plantain, nettles and others. Finally, just as I felt I was going to pass out from the cold, we went into one of the  reconstructed roundhouses..



..and drank freshly-made nettle and apple juice and tried various snacks including "fruit leather" made from fruit pulp which had been slowly "cooked" in a drying machine. Rather delicious actually! An interesting day out, nearly spoiled by my getting lost driving home (I have a TERRIBLE sense of direction!)..the saving point was driving along and spotting Holyhead mountain rearing up in front of us so it made me realise I needed to turn 180 degrees and go the complete opposite direction if I was ever going to see home again!        Happy Holidays everyone. xx