May 20, 2010

Presents and Pearly webs.

I hope you had a nice mother's day, mum's out there? I did; with pancakes and lots of visiting. Although most of the day I felt a sadness inside, because I can't ring or visit my Mums anymore and I really missed them on this day. It felt kind of lonely.
Here is a little forget-me-not mum and baby I made recently. She goes with my feeling.

These bat boys look like they are about to burst into song!
Luckily I did not get music from the 3 tenors or other music mums are supposed to like. No offense to any of you if you do like it, but why should mums be hanging out for a classical music c.d. or the collected works of Celine .
Nope , instead I got 2 new magazines; the last and final issue of World-sweet-world (Sad news that! But they keep on with their blog. ) and the latest Peppermint. I had never seen the last Australian magazine, it is not easily available in little Hastings and I must say I like it. Thanks Wellington daughter!!

What's this : ripe strawberries? In May!... But it is well and true-ly Autumn, we have had a couple of morning frosts. The fire is on at night....

Yup! And more green ones and new flowers even.
My father-in-law was staying with us for a few days after mother's day, to help us celebrate our daughter's 16th birthday. Also to be with us while the birthday of Mum passed by. It was a lovely relaxed stay. One morning it was very misty and the spider webs outside sparkled. So him, husband and I all took our camera's and had a photo shoot. I think this one of mine came out quite well. I love my macro ability on "my" camera.
Strings of pearls, so gorgeous.

Here some more jewellery I have made quite a while ago. Textile bracelets.
I used vintage embroidered doilies and handkerchiefs and damask serviettes. I added glass beads and an old glass button is used as a fastener. All those old embroideries are so pretty and beautifully done, they deserve to be on display; not stuck in a drawer and unused. This way you can wear them and show them off.
They will go up for sale in my little shop soon, but first I will be going away for a week . I am going to be felting at a course near Hamilton. The tutor is Anita Larkin, an artist from Australia, she will be teaching 3-d felt, and that is an opportunity not to be missed for me. 2 Of my felting friends are coming too. I am so looking forward to it!!
My foot is feeling much better and I can walk slowly on it now , without a moonboot. I do a lot of physiotherapy and exercizes. But at night it still swells up and feels sore and stiff. Slowly does it.

May 4, 2010

Tiny tasks.

A little family of "Bushbabies". 2 Toddlers and their big sister, or is it their mummy?
I have very nice angora mohair at the moment, with a tight little curl at the end, just right for my Bushbabies' hair.
These will be going up for sale in my wee shop .

This is my lovage herb (levisticum officinale) , also known in Europe as maggi plant. I got it as a root from my old neighbour years ago.
I planted it in a pot and put it on the half circle of bricks out on the porch. It started growing, stuff happened and I forgot to plant it in the garden. After a year it broke it's plastic pot and bored it's roots in between the bricks. That's where it lives now, every autumn it dies down and gets bigger again in the spring.
Yes, we could uproot it, but it seems happy and it isn't in our way.
I like to use it in soups. But we eat more soup in the winter, when all the lovage leaves have gone.
So I have found a way of drying it in the microwave. This goes very fast, it has no time to wilt, and it retains more flavour and colour.

I give the lovage a quick rinse and pat it dry. Then I put a good handful between 4 layers of kitchen paper and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Check to feel if it is dry enough to crumble. If not turn the package over and microwave for another 30sec. or so, until it is crunchy.

Crunchy but not burned...!

Then crumble roughly into a glass jar, seal and store in a dark place.
Roll on winter soup-and-bread nights!
My whole house smelled of lovage when I did this, and it brought my memory straight back to my Oma's (grandmother's) kitchen. She always used it in her soups and had it growing in her garden. I spend many holidays there, when I was a schoolchild.We were allowed to do just about anything there: feed the chooks, pick red currants, build a tent in the garden with old blankets and the washing rack, go for walks in the forest and play with the kids in the neighbourhood. And read all the old comic books,which were in a cupboard upstairs, and she'd take me on the back of her bicycle to do some groceries or to a church fair to buy old junk.

Here is a photo of them and me, from 20 years ago. That was the last time I saw them.
How did we manage to have such large gatherings of people in that little room for dinner.....!