Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Good news

Yesterday I had to have unexpected dental treatment, the car servicing is going to cost rather more than I thought - but I didn't care. I have found out that a pottery painting cafe has opened round the corner from where I live (its only taken me 3 months to find this out) and I am on leave this week. Yipeee! We could do with a new coffee jar.........
College work? What college work?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Papermaking update

I made a selection of papers but didn't have time to use all my pulp up. So I will shortly be venturing out to get more newspaper for pressing further papermaking efforts with. I tried various things: mixing colours by overlaying two half sheets together and then pressing (far right), pouring different pulps over my deckle/mold (2nd from right), embeding slittery bits in the wet paper before pressing(middle), using cookie cutters to add different coloured shapes (3rd from left). I also tried to emboss some paper by using a further cookie cutter but cannot be seen so clearly (2nd from left).

The class was quite a fun one even though only five of us were actually making any paper. Though it has to be said that the highlight of the class was C's birthday cake that she brought to class (hmmm, I thought birthday cake was meant to be made for the birthday girl, not complaining though - it was deeeelicious!). I think it was a perfect combination chocolate and beer! Happy Birthday C, I hope you have been thoroughly spoiled this weekend, and deservedly so.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Papermaking at the ready

Guess what I was doing at 6.50 this morning.
You guessed it:

Blending paper pulp! Tonight we are making paper in class - not sure how this is going to go as I made paper once before and its was a little bit delicate to be used for what we are intending to do with tonight's batch.

The blue and the pink pulp is from shredded napkins, the grey white is the pulped contents of our shredding bin and the lime green (no surprise there eh?) is pulped tissue paper. If I had had a bit more notice I would have conspired a visit to the V&A where they have the best lime green napkins in their cafe.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Little bit of Sewing History

My First Skirt
This is the first piece of clothing I ever made. I was in my final year of primary school. We had sewing lessons every Wednesday afternoon and whilst the other girls (the guys were doing woodwork - this was the early 80s - pre PC) were sewing their binker mats or pot-holders the girls in their last year (would now be called Year 6) got on with sewing "properly".

In this we were assisted by Mrs. A. Apparently she was a seamstress, I would dispute that, I just think she was a short tempered woman with a mean streak and slightly thick to boot. She had us tacking things together using tailor tacks along entire seams. I did not know better until my mother put me straight.

This skirt is constructed quite neatly but I notice the seam allowances are HUGE, I think this was probably at Mrs. A's instigation. The raw edges are finished by hand - by oversewing, luckily this cotton wasn't frayable because the oversewing would have been as effective as a chocolate teapot. I think my mother introduced me to machine zigzag after this, heck, I think she introduced me to an electric sewing machine because the school machine was a hand operated one. Allegedly it had belonged to the head teacher's mother so would have been at least pre-WW2. Not that my mothers sewing machine at the time was a spring chicken but at least it was electric and a Bernina to boot so was good thing to be introduced to. I think in the summer holiday after I made a little blue top to go with it and embroidered the sailing boat motif on to it - very twee.

The skirt is, of course, a little too small for me now although would, due to is wrap and ties, make an interesting half apron. My mother had originally put it to one side for patchwork - it could still be converted to an apron with a little left over for patchwork.

The fact this skirt exists is in no small part down to my patient mother. No doubt if she had known that the years to follow would be a catalogue of awful sewing (blue leopard print jumpsuit, anyone? No? How about a pink check one instead?) she may well have steered me towards a less wasteful hobby. Although at least she saw come out the other side with some more successful garments. I think her particular favourite was the green silk dupion ball dress I made myself. It was worn many times but not before it shredded loads of green bits all over her dining room and lounge floor and she had the lovely task of pinning up a hem now at least an inch shorter than intended. Happy days!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Weekend Baking

As previously discussed Pizza is one of my favourite foods and I make it most weekends when it makes a relaxing supper with a beer or two. At Christmas I treated myself (with thanks to JL vouchers from my folks and sister K) to a lovely proper food mixer. This makes lovely bread dough which enables me to make my pizza, with lots of lovely bread dough left over to make rolls or bread for the weekend. As I had a spare egg to use up I decided to glaze my poppy seed knot rolls with it and very beautiful they all look too. The only difficult bit is not gobbling down all that yummy home baked bread too fast!

I now have a long list of stitching to do's for the weekend:
button making
lacy edge sampling
more devore
crepe paper manipulation

Better crack on!

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