Blanket -the geranium had a logwood blanket made using kitchen towel .
Conclusion – Good orange yellow from tagetee. The fern leaf had Inktense crayon rubbed over the damp leaf picking up the veins, this worked quite well. The kitchen towel blanket left a texture on the eco print. Daphne paper seems to have darker prints and the paper is wrinkled a bit. Notice the colour of the tagetee print is olive green on this paper but it was orange on the other papers.
I was gifted a couple of squash and I received one in my weekly veg box so squash has been on the menu all week.
Monday – Butternut and borlotti bean soup.
This isn’t the best looking soup ever but it hit the spot in terms of comfort food. The weather has been terrible so a good heart warming soup was called for. I made it in my Ninja 9 in 1. I buy dried beans, soak then pressure cook them, these are frozen so I always have beans on hand. I love the texture of borlotti beans. The butternut squash was cut up into large pieces, skin on, then roasted in a little oil with onion, garlic (4 cloves left whole), and rosemary. I roasted them for about 25 minutes. Once they had cooled a bit the squash was peeled and chopped, onions chopped, garlic squeezed out of their skins and the sprig of rosemary discarded. Then they were added back into the pot with the beans, stock cubes, water, pepper and pressure cooked for 5 minutes. I liquidised about a third of the soup and put it back in the pot to give a lovely velvety texture. I served it with a slice of toast and melted Lancashire cheese.
Tuesday – Squash and chickpea curry.
As I was going out shopping then to the gym I needed something that would sit all day cooking in the slow cooker. Curries are always good comfort food to come home to. This one has onion, garlic, ginger, pumpkin, tinned tomatoes and chickpeas. I used spices from The Spicery but I could have used a combination of Indian spices or even a curry paste. I stirred a bit of yoghurt in it just before serving.
Wednesday – Butternut, brussel sprout and bacon tray bake with a fried egg.
If I’m honest this didn’t really do it for me as the sprouts were very strong, I do like sprouts but if I make this again I would par boil the sprouts with the squash before roasting.
Thursday –Butternut and bacon pasta.
This pasta dish was heavenly, it was like a healthier version of macaroni cheese, we all loved it. The squash was roasted with some garlic cloves, cooled and peeled, then blended with some low fat cream cheese, pasta water, seasoning, paprika, and chilli powder to make a silky smooth sauce. We had crispy bacon on top for a bit of salty crunch. I feel squash needs something salty like bacon or cheese, or both.
Friday – Butternut, leek and sage risotto.
I followed the instructions in the Ninja 9 in 1 cookbook for mushroom risotto only substituting the mushrooms for roasted diced butternut and chopped leeks. I made it really cheesey. I was dubious if risotto done in the Ninja would be a success ( pressure cooked) but it had just the right texture. I will make arancini balls with the leftovers and air fry them in my Ninja.
Saturday- Tonight it’s the leftover squash curry with flatbreads.
Sunday- will be the 7th day of squash, I will make roasted root vegetables, with squash to go with our roast beef dinner. There may be a little squash left over but that will go into a soup for lunch one day next week. It’s been a cost effective week, and no wasted squash.
I will keep this post short as I’m still having problems with my hands but they are getting better gradually. I haven’t been making anything as I’m resting them but I have finished some pieces and got them in my shop. Because I’m having a break from making my stock is quite low this year so when it’s gone it’s gone.
I did have lots of raku leaves but most of them have gone already. Also there are just a few ecoprinted silk scarves left.
I’ve just taken the large snowdrop plaque out of the kiln, it’s larger than the plant tiles and has a frame on the back so it looks like it’s floating off the wall. It’s a reminder that before we know it spring will be here.
There are some coloured bottle spoon rests with a bit of sparkle to brighten the days.
Only one ecoprinted paper craft pack left. Next year I plan to add more craft packs including ecoprinted and cyanotype fabrics for crafters.
Only one ikebana bowl left, I think I may retire these next year so it could be the last one I make.
I will be retiring soap dishes too. I think it’s time for me to do less clay work.
I will be making a few changes next year, as well as more craft bundles there will be mixed media work involving collage and stitch, also I will be getting back into watercolours which I love but never seem to have the time for.
I am looking forward to the change in direction, I’ve never been one to do just one craft, I’m sure my hands will thank me for it too.
Last month my friend and I had acouple of days willow weaving. On the first day my friend showed me how to make a zarzo basket. I love the shape of this basket and depending on how much you pull the willow in you can achieve a different shape.
On the second day we went on a willow sculpture course, it was such a great day. The tutor was great and gave us step by step instruction. The venue was lovely, we had a delicious packed lunch out in the garden sitting in the sunshine. I’m enjoying having my hare by the side of the fire, but in spring it will have pride of place in my garden.
I’ve kept this post short as I’m a little under the weather, it’s just a head cold but it’s making me feel a bit dizzy, I’ve done a test and it’s not the dreaded lurgy, thankfully.
Every year we visit Derbyshire to meet up with friends and have a few days out. The weather was great this year so we did a lot of walking. One of our favourite places to visit is Chatsworth House. As we have been in the house a few times we decided to explore the grounds. They are hosting the Burning Man Festival which happens in other parts of the world but this year it has come to Chatsworth. In October one structure will be burnt however they were still building it when we visited.
The sculptures were amazing, some, like the bear and cub were very tactile, some were asking you to get involved and try them out. My favourite was the mermaid which was constructed from recycled metal and glass.
I haven’t had much time to eco print just now but I have a few samples to show you, these are on Tex craft paper, which can be sewn. A lighter coloured paper would have been better. Also one side of the paper seemed to print better than the other side.
The next example shows blackberry leaves, just look at the vein detail in this print.
The final print was made with rose leaves and procion dye blanket, I love the colours in this print and the textures in the background. Rose leaves always give great prints.
You can learn more about eco printing in my past posts, type “Ecoprinting throughout the year” into the search box.
Following on from my cyanotype printing post I also tried cyanotype printing over eco prints. The results were interesting, I found the ecoprint changed colour, becoming more of a sepia tint, the yellows and greens were lost. I tried leaving areas without the cyanoprint chemicals on the paper, these remained golden coloured but there is a harsh line on the edge of the cyanoprint ‘border’ that I don’t like, you will see an example of this in my photos. I will have to work on this further as I might be able to soften the edge. I do like the sepia print with the blue cyanoprint, they are less fussy and more photographic looking. Also I like the leaf ‘window’ effect.
Here’s some examples of my cyanotype / eco prints on paper.