Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Oh Crumbs, the crumble!

Sunday didn't go quite as planned and the apples didn't make it down off the tree..... Jamie was most disappointed as crumble with custard is a favourite.
However I gathered the apples yesterday evening and I have them ready for peeling and slicing so a crumble is definitely on the cards for pudding this evening.
I think custard will accompany the dish and I am a nightmare when it comes to custard as I love it!
I remember at school having mint custard on a piece of chocolate crunch......ooooohhhhh it was lovely!
I must try and find a recipe for chocolate crunch, perhaps Joanne has one! (hint hint Joanne if your reading this!)

Well I had better get peeling, as its only an hour till Jamie arrives back on the school bus......I think I might make an apple pie for the teachers as its the school harvest festival tomorrow, I can make lovely pastry (using mother in laws recipe) but I cannot bake cakes, however much I try, they just don't work.
cheers for now

All worn out.....but still won't give up the new toy!

First I have to say a big thank you to Joanne in her little patch of heaven for introducing me to the land of blog...... I am a changed person and I am happier and sorting out life's struggles with a little more vim and vigour.
It strange but I find myself noticing things that I would normally ignore wondering if I should take a picture to add it to my blog, and I have been making more of an effort to do something different every day, and I have only been doing it for nearly a week.

Today was just another trip to the supermarket, and I decided to lock my groceries in one of those cupboards and Daniel and I had lunch in the cafe..... so what.. some might say but I can't remember the last time I visited a proper cafe, it was fab, Danny man and I shared a cottage pie with veg (he would never have eaten a whole meal) and he played with a lorry I had bought him.

We then visited the charity shop next door and I bought Jamie lou some jeans (Lilac), a skirt (pink) and 2 tshirts (£16) She is only 10 but she has size 7 feet and wears adult size clothes, its a struggle sometimes to find things that aren't too grown up and she still wants to be a girly girl so I think she will be pleased with these items. My oldest brother is 6ft 7 so I think she will eventually be taller than me, and I am 5ft 10.

Daniel found a plastic electric drill with a screwdriver on it (£1) its fab, you pull the trigger and the screwdriver goes around and he must have mended everything he could get to on the way back to the car. By the time we got home he was asleep but nothing could make him let go of his precious drill! he's in bed now and the drill is waiting next to his bed for when he wakes up, boys and their toys!

Where shall I go tomorrow........ its so exciting to wonder what tomorrow brings
Cheers for now

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Kitchen Inspiration

I have visited serendipity loves new york and I am inspired, I think I am going to match the colour of a poole pottery tea set my mum has given to me that belonged to my Nanny.....Nanny worked at Brypton D'Evercy boys school as the cook housekeeper and they gave her the tea set as a Christmas present. It has to be at least 34 years old as Clares boy school closed in 1974 when the owner reclaimed it as his home. Brympton D'Evercy house is considered the most beautiful house in England, and was the house at which they filmed parts of Restoration.
It has a small church where I was christnened, and is owned by a London Judge.
It's not open to the public as such but it is licensed for civil marriages, so perhaps I should start saving up and get married there.

Foggy September Sunday....!

It's started off foggy and there is definitely a chilly autumn morning feel out there......

as I looked out the kitchen window while washing up I could see the apples on the tree at the end of our garden and I felt an apple crumble moment coming on........

its no good I am going to have to make one today and use up some of those apples before they go to waste. I will post a photo before we devour it after our tea, should I go with cream or custard?

xx Alex

Friday, 26 September 2008

Thank crunchie its Friday.....

Well that's another school week nearly over, Jamie has successfully caught the bus to school and Daniel is munching down on toast while watching big cook on the telly.

Daniel and I will be attending the worlds biggest coffee morning this morning at our village hall, Dawn Woodward will be holding a fund-raising Jewellery sale. I am not sure how many locals will attend as it was the Village Cafe yesterday.

Every Thursday from 10 till 12 they hold a cafe in one end of the hall and in the other end is a small country market, Kathryn grows fruit and vegetables and sells them, Dawn has a jewellery stall, Liz has started coming with pottery she makes, Valerie brings cards and gift wrap, the church have a second hand book stall, Evie and Arthur's mum makes baby blankets and mobiles and Joanne from her little patch of heaven has started selling her wonderful cakes, cookies and muffins.

I really should pull my finger out and sell some of my creations but I hate selling the stuff, I don't mean that I am attached to it and can't let it go but I can't believe people would want to buy it and I feel embarassed asking for money for it. I think thats why I give so much away and it drives Mr Wishful mad. I love being creative and the challenge of making something different be it jewellery or a painting or a newsletter is exhilerating, but as soon as it gets to charging someone for it, I feel like a fraud and start to fumble like a bumbling idiot.

Oh well I had better go

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The perils of being a do-er!

Last May I joined the school PTA and now I am the secretary and Mr Wishful is the Chairman, I seem to have this uncanny knack of talking myself into more and more. I think my problem is if I see something that needs doing I get on and do it in the hope that others will think " oh lets get on and give Alex a hand" I don't think its going to happen though.
Since Jamie has returned to school I have taken all of the second hand uniform out of the cupboard and after sorting out the wheat from the chaff I washed it, ironed it and hung it on rails to sell at school for 50p an item, every Friday.
I think they think I am mad as cheese!, they could be write you know!
I realise that parents are hard pushed and struggling at the moment (I know we are) which is why I would think buying a school jumper for 50p would help, but it almost seems that PTA is a dirty word.
Oh well onwards and upwards the garden areas around the school are my next project,
  1. I am organising a work party for the half term holidays to dig out the lost pond (so far I have 3 volunteers)
  2. replant the garden that was in the memory of Lily a little girl that died 4 or 5 years ago, its a little overgrown and unloved so it needs sorting out
  3. invent a quiet reading area under a big tree and plant it up with shade loving plants that won't need too much attention
  4. I have found plans on the internet to make wildlife habitat boxes in kit form so that the children can put them together at school
Last week I started helping with an after school mural painting club, they have some walls in the play ground that lacked colour, my artistic skills are at last being put to good use helping the year 2 students draw their designs so that they can paint them in. Mind you only 2 children attended so it might take a while to cover the whole wall.
It would appear that school spirit and pride are non existent, which for a small village school its a shame. I live 2 villages away but I think because I grew up in a nearby town I have really tried to embrace what I believed village life to be and the community spirit just doesn't exist any more like I had hoped it would. I will keep banging my head against the brick wall though, as I am a very stubborn person. I will enjoy being a useful person and keeping busy by helping anyone who asks me to, because that is who I am.

bye for now

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

5c's Carnival Club

5c's started out as Chinnock & Chisleborough Childrens Carnival Club, once all the children had grown up they could no longer enter as a childrens float and became 5c's.
I remember my mum getting me involved with the Carnival around the age of 15 or 16 when I just left school as they needed someone to do the art work, back then it was a simple one deck float and all I remember painting were the side panels.
As time progressed the float grew and the art work became more elaborate. Luckily my skills grew too and it was a fantastic way to be creative on a large scale. Even though at times it could be a little daunting.
On the float shown below I designed and made the head dresses, collars, belts and shin pieces. It was a different direction to the usual use of my skills but the challenge was enlightening and I found that I enjoyed the stresses of learning new skills with a deadline looming and that the buzz you get from proving to people that you can deliver on time and exactly as described was addictive. I painted the revolving planets and drew whatever was requested of me.
5c's folded about 4 years ago, Mum moved to another local float which I became involved in last year when they were struggling to do art work for their Egyptian themed float.
I drew and painted the generator art work, I had a fantastic time painting the 2 giant King Tut masks, I drew out all the side panels and a small band of painters helped me fill in the colours. This years float will not be going out though as we are seriously lacking builders and electricians, so unfortunately we will have to work through the winter and next summer and have it ready for September 2009.

Sleeping Dragon

The last time I went to Glastonbury Festival (2004) I found myself getting a craving to be artistic, after a hectic day helping the children in the green field make amazing arts and crafts projects with the Resource Service and Scrapstore I felt inspired by my surroundings. I found a dry spot and sat and sketched my sleeping dragon on a scrap piece of card from the art tent.
As an art student in Yeovil I never felt the urge to go to Glastonbury but when I was working at the Scrapstore the opportunity arose to go and I eventually agreed, I am glad that I was talked into it as it was an experience not to be missed.
The music, the atmosphere and the people are fantastic and one day I hope to go again as a helper in the children's green field.