The Owl and The Pussy Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful 'red and white'(!) boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are!What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Edward Lear

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Another book workshop

I'm on a roll now with book workshops, which is particularly good as the weathers too horrible to do gardening at the moment!
I've just spent a wonderful day at Peter Tavy on Dartmoor teaching a group of weavers, spinners and dyers.
They made some beautiful little books

Concertina books with pages from a ladybird book on the cover
Single section books
Single section cover
A cover with old maps

A cover with two colours of paper and a nicely torn edge

A strip of white ribbon along the spine

 'lotus' fold books in progress

..... this was a variation on the theme!

A table full of lovely little books

Friday, 22 March 2013

Apples and wine


About a week ago I took this photo of the last of my apples. I usually reckon to have apples to cook with right through to March and sometimes April. I've still got a few of these left.

I have a bit of a passion for apples (amongst other things?!) Here in Devon they grow on trees, orchards full of them, all over the place, just dropping on roads and into grass and mostly rotting away. A lot of people seem to think that you need some special kind of apples to cook with, and that windfalls won't keep, and probably lots of other apple myths and fallacies.
Every autumn I collect as many apples as I can. Ideally I pick them off the trees, because yes, they do store better than damaged apples. But if windfalls are all I can get then that's what I collect. I collect sackfuls. Not like a few carrier bags full, but big potato/animal feed sackfuls, and I lay them out in single layers in as many shallow boxes or trays as I can find, preferably ones that will stack. Now that I have a larder I keep them in there, when I didn't I kept them in an unheated shed, covered them in frosty weather and tried hard to keep the mice and rats away from them! I check over them about once a month, pick out rotten ones and throw them to the birds. I also try to keep apples from different trees separate, so that I learn which ones keep best, and then next year I can use up the non keepers first. 

Towards the end of winter I cook and freeze some, but through the summer there no need for apples because there is always rhubarb then all the other wonderful soft fruits from the allotment.

And this summer I thought I'd try making wine (because I don't have enough hobbies?!)
My aunt has just moved house and downsized and cleared out lots of lovely old things, including two demo-johns and these amazing glass airlocks. They were pretty grubby and I spent some time cleaning them out with a wide variety of objects. They are NOT easy things to clean!
Glass airlock

Aren't they beautiful enough to make you want to make some wine? 
I can just hear the gentle blooping now!.........

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Diary Week 10

Two pictures as there's a stuck in bit that obscures a bit of each page.
The 'Eat Make Talk' insert is someone else's art. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the event, but I know who was organising it, so I'll ask her how it went next time I see her.

I bought my mum some flowers on Friday 8th, and forgot to give them to her when I saw her that evening. So I phoned her and sent her a picture of them, she thought that was very funny!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Lambing again

In amongst all those book workshops, and an evening talk which went really well, I've been working at the farm every available morning. 
And we've been getting the boat ready to go back in the water.
Phew, I'm pooped!

'Mule' ewe waiting to go out

Another mule with recently born lambs

A ewe who was bought at market as a 'cull' ewe,
destined to be fattened and sold for meat pies
produced these three cuties, so lives to see another season! 

Lamb enjoying a rare bit of sunshine

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Galvanizing and clouds

Lat week we drove up to Birmingham to collect our re-galvanised anchor and chain. I think this is the only place in the country that can galvanize things with moving parts. They have to be spun to stop the whole lot coming out in one solid lump
A galvanizing factory

baskets of galvanized things

more galvanized things
I could have taken photos there all day,
it was fascinating
I'm easily pleased?!
Our newly galvanised anchor chain
And on the drive home we saw these. Vince has been reading up about clouds, so one day we'll know what the weather is going to do simply by looking at the clouds, ahem (maybe??!!)
lenticularis clouds (they look like lentils, sort of!)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Book workshops at the Hub on the Green

I've just finished a series of three Tuesday evening workshops at The Hub on the Green in the centre of Exeter. It's a lovely venue, and the room has the most beautiful old ceiling (see below)
Joey, who runs the place is really welcoming, and is one of those people who almost bowls me over with her enthusiasm, just wonderful! I'm definitely doing some more workshops there.

Here are a few pictures taken by one of the workshop participants on the first evening.
Find her blogging here about lots of lovely crafting and baking stuff

Me demonstrating how to make concertina books

A lovely finished concertina

Workshop participants busy making

And here are the only two pictures I got round to taking during three evenings

A finished batch of multi section casebound books

Clearing up at the end of the workshop!

And here is a picture of the amazing ceiling
Taken from this blog post here..

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A book making workshop in exeter

A few weeks ago I did a book making workshop with a group of embroiderers in Exeter. Many of them brought their own beautifully embroidered fabrics to cover their books with. It's always such a joy to see all those little books emerging. 
My photos aren't brilliant as I'm mostly focused on teaching, but they give you an idea of the wonderful variety of little books produced. Several people put buttons and beads on their books. You should be able to click on the images to see larger versions.

I've also just finished a series of three evening workshops in Exeter  which went very well, photos to come, and people are wanting more, so I'd better get organised!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Diary pages backlog

I haven't posted for a while, and here's my excuse..
We've been meaning to set up skype for ages to keep in touch with distant family. Earlier this month I finally got round to it. 
I ended up having a lovely long chat on 'face time', which is like Skype, with my brother, sister in law and niece and nephew (that was less talking, more cute smiles & waves as they are only 18 months and 6 months!)
Then, to test skype itself, we phoned a very nice but mad friend who lives not far away and who got all excited and wandered about with his laptop showing us how dark it was outside, saying hello to the dogs, and showing us what Jill was watching on television. It was all very entertaining but ate a huge hole in our broadband allowance, so we've had to be really frugal for the rest of the month just looking up essential stuff, doing emails etc!
Anyway, the month is up and we're considering going onto an unlimited tariff. In the meantime, as long as we don't need to skype our friends to find out how dark it is outside, I'll be able to catch up with some blogging!!
Without further adoo here are my previous three weeks diary pages

Week 7, a bit sparse in places

Week 8, also a few gaps..
Week 9, pretty well full, hooray
I'm particularly pleased with my self portrait
(feeling coldey and wearing a wooly hat!)