Author Archives: eganj1

About eganj1

Lover of slow living, nature, making ceramics, arts, crafts, and all things creative

The Wildflower Border.

It’s the third summer for the wildflower border that I sowed after the grass was dug up for a pipeline. Each year it gives me great pleasure as I never know what’s going to come up.

This year the oxeye daisies are putting on a show, and there’s birdsfoot trefoil, both of which we haven’t had before.

The green alkanet and buttercups come up every year.

The cow parsley is always a delightful start to the summer.

We also have corncockle, but not as many as other years, and a profusion of centaurea which is just coming into flower, and a few foxgloves.

There are flowers like the poppies and vipers bugloss that only came up on the first year, I think they like newly turned over ground.

I have sown a great deal of seed that hasn’t materialised, maybe the will in future years. I am hoping for cowslips next spring.

I am watching the teasels, they seem to be growing very fast, goldfinches love them as do I.

The Plant Impressions Ceramics Are Back In Stock

Finally the weather has tempted me out into the studio to make some plant ceramics.

These will probably be the last ones that I will make as I am retiring from ceramics. I will also be making some raku fish and leaves in the next few weeks all being well.

I have added lots of plant tiles to my Etsy shop, here are a few. I have a few customers who were desperate for these.

Also there’s some ring dishes, I do love the combination of glazes and stain on the plant imprint.

There are a few round ones too.

And a selection of ceramic hearts too, which are always popular as gifts.

I love this time of year when all the plants are going wild. I’m still going to be working with botanicals in my painted and stitched work which is a lot easier on my hands.

Celebration Cream Tea Scone Recipe

Every celebration deserves a cream tea as far as I’m concerned. I would happily eat a scone with jam and clotted cream every day if my waistline permitted

My go to recipe was my Grans, everyone tells me they love theses scones, one friend said they were better than the Ritz so that is praise indeed.

I believe this recipe, like Gran’s Ginger Cake is a wartime recipe, there are no eggs in these scones and could easily be made vegan if you use margarine.

225g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

50g of butter

25g sugar

50g sultanas

milk to bind, with a couple of squirts of vinegar.

Rub the butter into the flour and baking powder, then add the sugar and salt. I do this in the food processor.

I tip the mixture into a bowl and add the sultanas. I might store this mixture until needed in the fridge or freezer.

Mix a couple of squirts of vinegar into some milk, stir into the scone mixture with a knife, adding a little at a time. You want the mix to come together but don’t overwork it.

Tip out onto a floured surface and roll out to about 2 cm thick. Cut out your scones and put on a baking tray. This recipe makes 6 scones.

Heat the oven to 200 C and bake the scones for about 10 minutes. If your oven is hot enough they shouldn’t take any longer. They should be the same colour on the bottom as on the top. You want them crisp on the outside but still moist inside.

Leave to cool and serve with your favourite combo of butter, jam, and clotted cream.

They are the best thing ever imho.

Finally finished the last 2 textile paintings.

I dug out my Gran’s old 1970’s Singer sewing machine and got the last of my textile art pieces finished. The feed dogs don’t drop so I taped some card over them and in order to get the machine to stitch easily I lengthened the stitch length from 0 to 10. This made the fabric move more easily.

I had a frame lying around for years just waiting for the right piece and I think this is it.

On my walk today I noticed the wildflowers along the hedgerows are coming into flower and there’s a lot of plants in my wild flower border starting to grow and come into flower so soon I will have lots of ideas for more textile work but this week I’ve been making plant tiles as it’s finally warm enough to work in the studio. I will show you those when they have dried.

I’ve also started knitting the wool I got at New Lannark, it’s a joy to knit, I love pure wool yarn, more later.

I’ve done some stitching !

I got some stitching done on my painted canvases this week, and the mounts arrived today. I’m really pleased with the results. I think I have captured the landscape I see on my daily walk, all the plant material I used came from these walks, I’m always collecting stuff when I’m out which often gets used in my ceramic pieces.

I love seeing my art with a mount, it really adds the finishing touch but also allows me to asses the work.

I think the piece above, and the one below need more stitching but my sewing machine is acting up.

Now I need to decide on frames and which one is going in my newly decorated bedroom.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Ready For The Stitching

Yesterday I told you I have started some textile art. I have taken a brilliant online course with Ellie Hipkin which got my creative juices flowing again.

When I had everything out for the course I thought I may as well do a few pieces inspired by my landscape and daily walks along the lane. I’m always looking at the hedgerows and picking seed heads.

These pieces are now ready for free motion machine stitching and perhaps some hand embellishments too.

I will let you see them once they are finished.

Happy Easter

Hello, it’s been a while since I posted, life has been getting in the way and I’ve not felt motivated to make anything so nothing to share.

You have to wonder at the British weather, last week I was in the Scottish Borders it was bitter cold, we even had a bit of snow when we were out walking. This week I’ve been out in a lightweight fleece and sun glasses. Let’s hope the sunshine continues over the Easter weekend.

Wallace Hill

We visited New Lannark which is a UNESCO world heritage site, a mill and workers village built by philanthropist Robert Owen in the 19th century. He also built a school and an educational institute for the workers, he looked after them rather well for the time.

The mill now spins wool instead of cotton, I couldn’t resist buying some, it’s gorgeous, they do have an online shop so I know where to go for quality wool at a reasonable price.

There’s also a lovely walk along the Clyde in a wooded gorge. The Falls of Clyde, a series of waterfalls looked impressive following all the rain. It was a great place to visit for the day.

On my return home the sun came out, it’s felt like spring is finally here and the gardens are starting to get some colour. I even sat out and had a cuppa watching the birds bathing in our tiny pond.

I’m starting to feel motivated again, thankfully, I thought my mojo would never return.

What are your plans for the weekend? Mine will be a quiet one at home with some walking and some painting and stitching, more about that later.

Happy Easter

It’s that time of year again.

The snowdrops are out and I’m beginning to feel like the hedgehog at the bottom of my garden, it’s time to emerge from the the cosy place that has kept me warm during the winter and start thinking about doing some work.

The snowdrops are out, and as they have done over the past 20 years, they inspired me to get busy and make something.

Out came the clay and I set to work, it felt good to be making something again. My hands coped quite well but I scaled down on the quantity of tiles made, in the past it would have been a lot more.

I gathered a few seedheads on my walk too.

Some have been fired already and will be in my shop now, some are waiting until I have a kiln load ready.

These plant tiles always make me happy when I’m making them, it’s like sharing a little piece of my neighbourhood.

There are some hearts as well as the wall tiles.

I have some snowdrop trinket dishes waiting to be glazed, hopefully they will be ready to show you before too long.

A Slow Start To The Year, And Trusting My Artistic Voice.

I have been taking the first month of the year slowly, I could easily hibernate when it’s dark and cold. A few years ago I started taking a hygge approach to the dark winter months, and gave myself the luxury of spending more time reading in bed as well as twinkly lights, bowls of soup, homemade bread, long walks, weather permitting, I love winter when it’s sunny and I can get outside.

I’ve been writing in my new journal daily and as I am trying to reinvent myself creatively I’ve asked myself some questions, to find/ reassess my creative voice. Some things don’t change even when the medium does, I still love tone and texture.

I’m still not in the mood to make anything really but I did buy a lovely pattern for a crochet scarf from Etsy. My hands have been feeling a little better so I thought a couple of rows in the evening might kick-start my creative juices.

The scarf is meant to be done using vibrant yarns but when I got my yarn bag out and tipped it on the floor there were blues, greens, neutrals and a bright pink which was the only bright colour I had. I don’t know where it came from, it’s not a colour I like.

So I made the scarf with blues, greens, turquoise and neutrals, a few rows in and I found myself enjoying the process and loving how the colours worked together. I realised these were my colours.

Looking back in my journal I had written that I love the colours of the British landscape, from the turquoise water of the Hebrides, green pastures, blue skies and the colours of seed heads in winter. Here it was all along in my yarn bag. Then when I was dusting I saw all my favourite colours around my home. It was there all around me the whole time and I had stopped noticing. Its not surprising really, as being outdoors in the countryside or on a deserted beach are my favourite things to do. Reconnecting with my favourite colours made me smile and reminded me to trust myself, I don’t have to reinvent myself I just need to go with the flow.

A New Year, And A Time For Change

Happy New Year.

None of us know what 2023 will bring, lets hope it’s good, but I do know it’s time for me to make some changes in my creative endeavours. I think I have reached a time in my life to take things more slowly and I’ve made the decision that because of the problems I’ve been having with my hands I will make less ceramic pieces and go back to my first loves which were painting and textiles. I have had a yearning to spend time doing some fibre arts for a while but so far it hasn’t happened due to other commitments.

I’m looking forward to finding the time to explore new pastures, I have been out of my creative groove for a while now . It’s not unusual for me to change media, but most of my makes since becoming a self employed crafter has been “kiln fired”. I think I have become stuck in a rut so hopefully a change will rekindle my enthusiasm for making.

If all goes to plan things will have changed over completely in the next 12 to 18 months, but I’m not putting pressure on myself, I’m just going to take it a day at a time and see what happens. My Etsy shop will remain open next year.

I was gifted this beautiful year planner for Christmas, I will document my journey in it. There are so many new things to try, old techniques to revisit, books to read, techniques to learn and courses to do. I’ll keep you up to date with how it goes.

I hope 2023 is kind to you all and it brings you much love and peace.