Saturday, 8 September 2018

Autumn garden

I visited my sister a couple of weekends ago while C was over in the States. It was a very cold morning - I was glad of a shawl packed for the coach to wrap round myself while I waited for it (and I wasn't the only one, the girl sitting beside me produced a wrap from somewhere too), but a beautiful sunny day, and her garden was looking lovely.











Saturday, 1 September 2018

August Favourites

How did it get to be September already? I had trouble finding a photo to use - last September was not very fruitful on that front - but I did find one of some little mushrooms on the front lawn.

And plenty of cards, as the Dare To Get Dirty challenge running over on SCS gave plenty of inspiration. I made a DIY gel plate from gelatine and glycerin as a couple of the challenges called for using one. While I didn't make a card for either of those challenges, I certainly had fun creating backgrounds for my own use and they feature on the panda card and the enamelled leaves.






Memories: we had a large fuchsia bush similar to this in the shrubbery in our garden, and we loved making the flowers into little ballerinas by threading a stem through the calyx to make arms. A neighbour down the road had a greenhouse and he grew many fancy frilled varieties, even more ballerina-like with their pale creams and pinks and multiple layers. But most of all they remind me of summer holidays - all along the west coast of Ireland from north to south, the hedges along smaller roads are filled with fuchsias and I have vivid memories of walking down to the beach along lanes overhung with them on our earliest childhood holidays up in Donegal.








Monday, 6 August 2018

Recipe Time

I recently tried this recipe from Yottam Ottolenghi's The Cookbook. I had my eye on two sweet potato recipes in it, and this is the one that I went with. He attributes it to Epicurious originally, though I imagine he's added his own twist.

Dice about 2lb /850 g sweet potatoes UNPEELED into 3/4" cubes. Toss in 3 tblsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper and back at 190C for approx 30 minutes till just tender, turning over gently half way through.
When you first put them in, toast 35 g pecans for about 5 minutes, then chop coarsely.

Dressing: 
4 tblsp olive oil (I used half olive, half sunflower)
2 tblsp maple syrup
1 tblsp sherry vinegar
1 tblsp lemon juice
2 tblsp orange juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk together.

When the potatoes are ready, put in a large dish.
Add the nuts, along with 
35 g golden raisins
4 spring onions coarsely chopped
4 tblsp chopped parsley
2 tsblsp chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp chilli flakes

Add the dressing, toss and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve straight away or at room temperature.

I think it should be lovely at room temperature, but so far we've managed to eat the entire lot hot, so I haven't got to try it yet. The first time I had no cilantro (coriander) and used mint instead, which was very nice. 

Friday night was a warm, balmy evening. We went for a walk in the park. They'd been cutting the long grass now that the fawns are growing up - reminded me of the time I was lucky enough to go for a walk there a few years back when they were baling it. It's only the second time ever I've heard the deer making so much noise - the other time was when I had to walk home from work in the snow. They sound like a flock of birds mewling. The workmen must be getting the Papal Cross (from Pope John Paul's visit) ready for the upcoming papal visit.












Friday, 3 August 2018

July Favourites

How did it get to be the third of August already? This month's header is a lucky snap of a bulfinch I saw one morning on the way to work last August.

And some cards, mostly reflecting summer outdoors.








I was really pleased with this one because the fairy is actually the mask left over from a card I had made previously, but which I though I could upcycle in her own right. 


Friday, 27 July 2018

Chibitronics cards

I said that I'd been having fun with my Chibitronics lights, and would save a few cards to post together.
Since I just uploaded the last one I've made the other day on SCS, I can put them all in a post here now. At this stage I have started using two layers of fun foam and just cutting little holes in it for the battery and LED stickers. Next thing is to figure out how to make an opening in the battery housing, so that I could send cards overseas and just tell the recipient to put their own battery in.  I've also seen some done with a pull tab to break/complete the circuit, and I want to try one of those soon.








Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Botanic Gardens - colour

And the last set of photos features colour...(mostly)