Friday, 18 December 2015

A bit of printing and crafting...

A long time ago when my hair was thick and didn't fall out, when I wasn't scared of a hangover, when I could function passed 10 o'clock at night and when I could be bothered to watch films that make no sense (with sub titles)...I also played at being an art student. I wasn't very good at it but I have an always had an urge to create things...I can hear my dad's snort of laughter here, 'yes, a mess'...well yes my creative urges have never been 'tidy.' Happier with clay and papier mache than neat palettes of water colours..I like getting my hands dirty. Probably one reason why I love gardening and my allotment, it's both creative an unavoidably filthy at the same time:)

Well I've recently discovered a new love in my seeming quest to never have perfect nails (Chris has bought me a nail brush, I find painting my nails a dark colour helps:) I've found linocut printing through a short workshop run by James was great fun and even though I don't believe my efforts are worthy of a decent frame (a clip-frame maybe) I was quite proud of my 'finished' print. My sister suggested that I need more practice...she's right (we believe in keeping it real in our family) I do need to learn more, so it's given me the perfect excuse to sign myself up for some classes in January at this great place called The Art House in Sheffield. It's nice to have something to look forward to whilst the evenings are still so dark...I can't get to the allotment after work so this seems like a good time to learn a new indoor skill.
It's the one form of printing I've never tried probably because I'm not so good with sharp objects but with practise I'm hoping to avoid any trips to A & E and to rediscover that long lost art student within...I won't be watching the Seventh Seal anytime soon though;)!


Another little Christmas craft project.

Turned into simple presents...the Rosemary smelt lovely too!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Garlic loves...snow...really?

When my garlic arrived very early in the morning in the post it felt like a sign (thank you lovely The Garlic farm!) then I looked outside. Snow...really?...did it have to be snow?! My free time ...I mean children, dog, work free time is barely in existence at the precious few hours to get to the allotment and it snows...of course it does...fine...I'll just get my gloves and hat, scarf...thermals.

 Anyway I went, yes it had snowed and yes it was stupidly, nose numbingly cold but the ground wasn't frozen yet and the sun actually came out, I can't say I was exactly basking in its warmth but it helped. I wittered about the broad bean plants I'd brought to plant out and the garlic I had...should I risk it? I decided that the weather will only get worst, my free time, the closer we creep to christmas even rarer, so I raked the snowy covering off the perfectly fine soil beneath and dug. It felt great to be planting things again...I love the anticipation of what will happen...moles, slugs, snails...frost, snow...or will it actually grow? We shall see...oh please let the elephant garlic grow...the cloves were massive...I'm guessing the plant ( fingers crossed) will be too.  There is a recipe (a nice simple one)...on the website that I bought the garlic from using elephant garlic to make crisps,  interesting idea:) It should keep a few blood suckers away...wonder if you eat them in the summer if it would keep the midges away? I feel an experiment coming on, I hate midges!...that is if it grows at all for me...

I really understand the idea of now being the beginning of the season rather than the end...even though things have definitely slowed down...the bindweed has gone to ground thankfully, though I know it's still there just waiting. The garlic and the beans are the first things I've planted for awhile and I was really happy with my fennel! I also bought some lovely garlic labels so have been able to mark the 4 different varieties properly in my quest to make sure that I label everything this year:) 

The whole time I was there I was under the close watch of a robin, he/she seemed very grateful for the bare ground I turned over and also for some strange reason my shed door being open. It kept flying inside I have no idea why perhaps to find somewhere slightly warmer...I had to double check when I locked up that it wasn't still in there.

So I had snow and a robin can't get much more seasonal than that!