Tuesday, 29 September 2009

It's a good job we're not all the same.

We all have our own particular hobbies, and like to make individual choices as to how we spend our time.
Take James, for example, who likes to chase pigeons ........... (you'll have to take my word for it because he prides himself on his pigeon chasing abilities, and consequently, the pigeon is nearly out of the picture.
Happy Birthday to his trusty assistant x

Then again, some of us like to submerge ourselves in reality TV. My mate's West Highland Terrier, 'Sky' -aptly named, as it turned out - is glued to a dog training programme.
But last Friday, for the Macmillan's 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning' us three chose to sit in a bar drinking coffee, eating toast, and knitting squares to make into a blanket. Takes all sorts.Actually, that was just the morning. In the afternoon I took myself off to see if I could find some sloes to make sloe gin. I managed to find some (and I'm not telling you where or they'll all be gone when I go back next year). Not having picked them before, I hadn't realised how prickly sloe bushes could be. I suppose the fact that they're called Blackthorn should have given me a bit of a clue. Next time I go foraging for free food, I'll wear long sleeves and it won't look like I've been self-harming. Honestly, it looked like I'd been dragged through the proverbial hedge backwards.
Oh, and in case anyone (paticularly my bosses) ever doubted that I really DO get in to work at 6am - here's a photo I took of the sunrise over West Hendon. So there!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Quilting Arts Virtual Studio Tour

Interweave - publishers of Cloth Paper Scissors and Quilting Arts magazine, are running an online 'virtual studio tour' this coming weekend, to link in to the forthcoming edition of the 'Studios' special issue. I am going to link to their blog, and post pictures of my studio/posh shed - just as soon as I've tidied it up bit. Watch this space on Saturday 3rd October. Mine is quite small compared to most of those I've seen in the previous editions of 'Studios' - but I still love it. It'll be really interesting to see other workshops too - why don't you add yours?

Friday, 18 September 2009

Glass jars and garden pots

Do you remember the glass jar I bought at a Vintage Fair a couple of weeks ago? Well, a very kind lady who read it, and remembered me from a workshop we'd both been on two years ago, contacted me to say that she had one exactly like it, and was going to let me have it so I had a matching pair. She left it for me at Art Van Go, so I went over there today to pick it up. There were not one, but two really pretty glass jars that looked very like mine. Here's my original ... and although, it's not exactly it's double - it's a baby sister for my one ....
and her mate with legs ...

Thank you so much Susan, they look gorgeous together. Aren't people lovely?
Talking of AVG, check out my post on the Art Van Go Blog for details of the Open Studios Exhibition, and exciting catalogue news!

On my way home, as it was such a lovely day, I stopped off at the local garden centre and bought some pansies and cyclamen for the pots outside my studio, which I planted up this afternoon in the sunshine. Nice to get outside after being cooped up indoors with a grotty cold.
Right, that's it. Off to watch "Strictly" now.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

More cooking

I had a dodgy looking banana (actually I had two, but I ate one for my breakfast) so I thought I'd make a cake. When I say 'dodgy' - it wasn't poisonous or mouldy or anything - just a bit on the ripe side. So, I went through my 'failsafe recipes' - didn't take very long, as you can imagine - and found my recipe for Banana and Apple cake. And I made it - just like that. Have included a photo of the jam I made last Sunday, in case anyone didn't believe me. Somebody did say that with all the cake and jam making, I'd be joining the WI next. I think not. I saw Calendar Girls at the theatre last week, and you won't find me posing without my vest on, wearing only a couple of White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins. Anyway, as I found myself in the kitchen, I thought I'd have a go at dyeing some buttons. My sister had sorted out some suitable ones from her HUGE button stash, so I started with those, just simmering them very gently in half a pint of water and half a teaspoon of Fuchsia disperse dye. Which, of course, I bought from Art Van Go (other art shops are available, I suppose - but why go anywhere but the best?) This is the result from the first batch .....
So then I thought I'd sort some of my own buttons out, and try those in the same dye bath, without adding any more water or dye - and it was just as successful. The colour obviously takes differently on different types of buttons. The colour seems brightest on the cheap nylon-y clear buttons - like shirt buttons and 'baby cardigan' buttons (if you know what I mean) The rogue orange button in the top right hand corner started off as bright yellow.

Anyway, I think it was brilliant - I just wish I'd bought some more colours of dye when I popped into AVG on Friday, so I'll have to call in again next week.
Oh, and if there are any Health and Safety police reading this - no, of course I didn't use the same saucepan and utensils for this as for my jam making. As if.

Friday, 11 September 2009

A request for my readers

Popped into a Vintage Fair at the Corn Exchange on Saturday. Managed to resist buying any vintage frocks. Actually, not that difficult really, women must have been very tiny then - the only things I'd have fitted into would have been a sensible Crimplene button-through pinafore. Very attractive. My friend Jill, (who IS very tiny) bought a lovely vintage frock - and just in case her husband is reading this - what a bargain! Only 50p!!
Anyway, I saw this lovely plate. Don't know what I want it for but it's pretty and really WAS a bargain. I could use it for my tea - I'm living on jam sandwiches since I made (Yes, MADE) some blackberry and apple jam last Sunday. I think I probably cooked it for a little bit too long as it's a little on the 'firm' side - but I think I'd rather have that, than too runny so it drips off your toast. So how about that , for a bit of the old 'Domestic Goddess' then? And the same day, in a charity shop, I got this glass jar with a lid. Again - not sure what I wanted it for - I guess it would be good for sweeties, but if I had sweeties permanently on display, I'm not sure they would last very long. So I put it in the bathroom with some little heart shaped soaps in instead.
I've been working on my City and Guilds Project for the last few days. I've had all summer to do it, but typically, I've left it until the last minute - our classes start again on Wednesday. My first project is a hanging - and - can't remember if mentioned it before, but its made from recycled Financial Times newspapers, which I like to think of as "old-lady-knicker pink" The thinking being "recycling/credit crunch/time to tighten our belts" kind of idea. Here it is as a 'work in progress' I've still got to stitch on the straps and finish the padded coathanger from which to hang it. Which is where the 'request' comes in. What I'm after is a couple of old suspenders to finish it. Not new ones, but the old type with the rubber bits on, in pink. If any of my readers have elderly aunts/grandmothers who have sewing boxes, and they just happen to have a couple of suspenders knocking about - please could I have them?? I would be really grateful if you can spare them, and if so could you email me at vintagerockchick@hotmail.com
Let's just hope I don't get any 'seedy' correspondence as a result of my request!