Wednesday, 12 December 2012

fishing on a friday

fish

Last Friday I went fishing with my friend Steve. December isn't traditionally the best month for a pursuit like this, but it was a long term resolution of mine to catch a fish and I was determined to complete it before the end of the year. And now I have!

And I caught four! Two whiting and two rockling. Success!

It was very cold, but we had the sun on our faces, and some mince pies to snack on, and it turned out to be a lovely day (after it was almost abandoned due to early morning rain clouds).

Now I have to get thinking about next year. Maybe a BIG art attack? That would be a challenge.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

pattern


pattern

Over the few weeks I've been doing an evening course in pottery, where I've been able to try out some hand-building methods and make a few small pieces.

The next couple of weeks will be spent looking at glazing techniques and decorating the pieces we have already made, so in preparation I've been looking a lot at patterns this week.

Simple and repetitive is what I'd like to go for.

more patterns

Friday, 30 November 2012

no more november



butterflies


Today is the last day of November.
Ben told me about this poem, which seems like a pretty good reflection on this time of year.


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No! by Thomas Hood (Abridged)

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds -
November!

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This November has seemed a bit better than the norm though. I have actually ended up being far more productive than usual, and have started drawing on a daily basis.

I will try to keep it up.
beetles


Thursday, 29 November 2012

let's cook: chutney

chutney























We started the year so well, but our monthly cook-off challenge has slipped a bit off track.

I think the fact that it was summer and both of us wanted to spend our time outdoors, rather than in the kitchen, was the main contributing factor. I'm not sure cooking will ever become a passion of mine.

However, we have decided to pick it up again for the winter months, and our chosen challenge for November is some nice festive chutney.

My mum jumped in early and laid claim over this recipe (the one I used last year) and I'm trying out a new one:

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Spiced courgette chutney

Ingredients

2 chopped onions
500g chopped tomatoes
500g diced courgettes
300ml white wine vinegar
2 Granny Smith apples (peeled and diced)
250g muscovado sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp mustard seeds
small piece root ginger
4 crushed garlic cloves

Instructions

Add all the ingredients to a large pan (I always underestimate the size of the pan and end up needing two) and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally so the mixture does not stick.

Simmer for about two hours until the mixture has thickened and looks darker in colour.

Put into sterilised jars and leave for at least 3-4 weeks until eating.

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I think my mum has a bit of an advantage at the moment as she's using a tried and tested (definitely tasty) recipe. But all will be revealed over the Christmas Day cheeseboard. At least we'll have a panel of voters to decide the results this time.

Monday, 26 November 2012

dendrology



trees


When talking to my friend Steve on a walk the other day I realised that I have a very limited knowledge about trees and how to identify them.

This is something I aim to correct over the coming months.

Maybe I'll try a foraging course too.

juniper berries
 

Monday, 19 November 2012

a green woodpecker

green-woodpecker

I saw a woodpecker in the woods yesterday (a greater spotted one I think).
I also put the batteries back in my clock last week.
The 12 o'clock owl is scary.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

What You Sow


Recently I was asked by the very lovely Lyndsey to help design a banner for her new venture What You Sow - an online shop which sells lovely gardening things for the creative gardener. Although if you are not 100% green-fingered (like me) then there are also a whole host of nice treats to be found (and some great stocking fillers for christmas!)

It was really sweet of Lynsdey to think of me for this piece and I had a lot of fun working on it - drawing plants and vegetables is a particular favourite of mine. The site is so full of lovely objects and ideas so I'd recommend you all have a look!

You should also check out the What You Sow blog as there lots of amazing crafty tutorials and inspirational ideas (as well as selling nice things, Lyndsey also makes a whole load of amazing items). I also did a little interview about my illustration work.

Now I need to work on my balcony garden...

Monday, 12 November 2012

all the colours

birds

Tonight I did some drawing, whilst listening to John Grant.
And eating chocolate coins...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

warm days

summer in italy

Summer seems like such a long time ago now.
November is traditionally my least favourite month of the year.
Let's see how it goes...

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

basketmaking

basket

A few weeks ago I went to a one day basketmaking workshop at the Farnham Maltings.

It was good to spend a day engrossed in making something with my hands - I found the weaving quite relaxing.
  weaving

It's not perfect, but it will do. I'd use it to collect some fruit if I had an apple tree.
Or a garden.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

sculptures

the sculpture park the sculpture park the sculpture park the sculpture park the sculpture park

A couple of weeks ago I went on an outing with my mum to The Sculpture Park near Farnham.

There was an unbelievable amount to see, with about 600 statues in the woods and water gardens. Almost too much to cram into one visit...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

lago di como

lake como lake lugano, switzerland cars varenna, lake como ferrari

Some pictures from my recent trip to Italy.

We stayed in a small village close to the border with Switzerland and spent our time exploring the area and sampling the ice cream. I could even see the lake from my bed - perfect.

It was a really relaxing time. Oh, apart from the couple of days where we went to see some REALLY fast cars.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Monday, 1 October 2012

cycling on cliff tops



Yesterday I went on an impromptu cycle ride from Brighton to Eastbourne with some fellow outdoor explorers. 

It was a great adventure on unsuitable bikes! We crossed golf courses, rivers, and harbours and saw a lot of the coast on the way.

I had my doubts we were going to make it at one point when we were climbing up and down the Seven Sisters at dusk, but we made it into Eastbourne in the dark, windswept and celebratory. I think it was harder than the London to Brighton in parts.

I also think there are more than seven sisters... 

Lovely photos by Simon Brice.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

treat

treat

I arrived home yesterday to find this really sweet plant awaiting me from Lyndsey. Such a lovely surprise (thank you!)

I'm currently helping Lyndsey out with an exciting new venture of hers - which I'll share more about soon.

Right now, I need to do some packing. End of the Road tomorrow!

Monday, 27 August 2012

the sea

sea

Yesterday I could smell the sea from my desk.
A little reminder that I live in a great city.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

waistcoat

crochet waistcoat

I forgot I had made this waistcoat until I discovered it in my room last night.

The majority of it was made on my trip to Japan - there was quite a lot of time for crochet with two long flights and two 24 hour ferry rides.

I'd like to add a button or two, but as that's one of my least favourite chores I thought I'd start wearing it instead.

Oh, and my other big crochet project is coming on nicely too...

work in progress

Monday, 20 August 2012

signs of summer

signs of summer

There are colours everywhere.

I found one of the blue envelopes from give mondays today. It was a really sweet surprise - I'm going to keep it in my bag until a worthy cause presents itself.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

the park

flowers

I went to St.Ann's Well gardens after work today to do some drawing. I find it hard going home before sunset now, as I have noticed how much shorter the days are becoming and I want to make the most of the summer sunshine.

bowling lawn yellow

It was very peaceful, apart from the cheers from the cricket ground, which were a pleasant interruption as I feel a bit lost without any olympics to watch. I did a bit of bee watching before going home for tea.

bumblebee

Sunday, 12 August 2012

sketchbook

sketchbook 1 sketchbook 2

I've been remembering to carry my sketchbook around with me more often at the moment.

Monday, 30 July 2012

welling up

a wedding confetti

I went to the wedding of one of my favourite people on saturday, and it was the best day! Full of happiness which has left me feeling warm and content on the inside.

I didn't think I was the kind of person to cry at weddings but this one proved me wrong.

Three cheers to the happy couple!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

shopping

bag rocket

I'm going to try and post more frequently on my shopping list blog from now on... I've got a bit of a pile-up of lists in my room.

Friday, 13 July 2012

balloons

balloons

This week has been a week for celebrations - with 4 birthdays and an engagement to toast!

People everywhere seem to be in good spirits. Today on the bus I saw a man do a little skip as he walked along the road.