Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween

Three hand carved and three pottery pumpkins on my door step

It is said that the Devil manifests himself as a Pig and he hasn't failed us. The evil spirits are around us in the form of Swine Flu. Yes, dear Daughter has fallen to it's nasty virus. Luckally I have the magic Tamiflu potion - well pills actually - to help her get better . It took a visit to three chemists before I could get my hands on some and that was after receiving the magic code via the internet and carrying two passports for id! Might have been quicker to go to a witch doctor!

Happy trick or treating!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Spiced Orange Decorations

One thing I like about the Christmas Festivities is the aroma. My favourites are cinnamon and cloves and these smell even better when mixed with orange. Each year I unwrap my dried oranges and place on the mantelpiece, but as these are now approximately five years old I thought it best I made some fresher ones. I always say I will make some more as I get out the decorations each year, but as they take a good few weeks to dry I always forget to prepare them in time. Well this year I have been organised (!) and my new oranges are drying nicely in the airing cupboard. So here are the instructions on how to make yours, be quick now you really should prepare your oranges in October for them to be ready for the festivities!
Only a few days left...
You will need: Oranges, masking tape, cloves and ground cinnamon and for later pretty festive ribbons for hanging your oranges around your home.


Orange segmented into quarters by the masking tape

Using a pin, stilletto - or as I did , as I was to lazy to go upstairs to get either of mine, use a plastic propelling pencil nib! - to make holes to help the cloves pierce the orange skin. Place them as close together as possible. Be gentle with the cloves as you can crush the little buds - note the missing ones on mine!

As with all good displays keep to odd numbers. Here are three completed oranges, I went onto make five.

Liberally dust with ground cinnamon

Wrap in baking parchment to keep the cinnamon around the orange so all the spice's aromas can seep into the orange as it dries

My five oranges are now inside this string bag and have been placed in the airing cupboard not to be disturbed until the beginning of December - believe me it is difficult not to look but the wait is worth it. The oranges will have shrunk slightly and turned a golden brown. The masking tape will be lifting from the orange and if you thought that the space originally made by the tape was too wide this too will be narrower due to the shrinkage. Lightly shake off the excess cinnamon and them decorate by wrapping ribbon in the space left by the tape.

I'll show you mine once they are completed.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Ally Pally

Well it starts again tomorrow and my tickets for Saturday are on the shelf
Daughter and I will be off on our annual trip with an evening in London and a visit to Yo Sushi. Yum!

Any one else planning their annual big spender/idea gathering day out?

Main attraction for me is a visit to Maggie Grey's area and a possible book purchase!

What I like about the show are the three areas: Big shopping area, the exhibition area and the Guilds and Specialists area. Oh, it's like opening a big box of chocolates and trying to decide which one to choose!

Knowing me, I'll scoff the lot and leave feeling a bit green around the gills!
But it usually is worth it - I trust I won't be disappointed.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Helen Conway

If you don't already follow Helen's blog - From Down The Well - or you read the blog via my blog list, I thought you would like to know (if you don't already!!! Obviously you will if you read her blog- Dher!) that Helen now has a website . It looks like it has great potential and ,if her blog is anything to go by, will be witty, informative and full of ideas for the rest of us creatives. Give it a go - you know it makes sence!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Fabricate Friday

(Apologies to John Lennon)
And so this is Friday
And what have you done?
Another week over
And a new one soon begun
And so this is Friday
I hope you had fun
The coursework and creating
Ideas, new and old...
So my week has been spent making a new banner for a Mothers' Union branch
The lettering on the left has yet to be sewn down
and will need to moved down slightly to line up with the right!
I had hoped to be further on with this but I lost 1 and a half days as the School decided that as it had an open evening Wednesday all the children would leave early on Wednesday and have Thursday off to put the class rooms back to normal and allow the Teachers time off as they were working late.
No photos I'm afraid, but papers are now dry and in piles awaiting embroidery
There maybe a "fabricate at the week-end" blog if the papers and I get to see the threads and needle without interuption!