Monday, August 23, 2010

beetrootle tootle

We are going on holiday next week, hooray. But we also had a glut of beetroot come ready at the same time, which we didn't want to go woody or get eaten by slugs. So I spent what I intended to be a day and ended up being the whole weekend in the kitchen. And as well as beetrooty things (pickled beetroot, beetroot relish,beetroot lip balm and roast beetroot hummus), I made mint syrup, piccalilli, and bottled apple and rhubarb.

Here are the results:

The inspirations came from a bunch of sources. The Mint syrup recipe was from make grow gather

The other recipes came from the Soil Association preserving book, which is amazing and I highly recommend it. And the beetroot hummus inspiration is from the River Cottage Everyday cook book.

The three books below seem to be where I'm drawing a fair bit of inspiration lately:

One was a wedding present from lovely friends in northern Ireland, the other a Christmas present, and one was a no-particular-reason present from Malcolm. I love the ease of the internet for recipes, but nothing beats leafing though a beautifully put together recipe book.

I love the colour of the beetroot hummus, wow, it's surreal. Looked great on the plate next to my parsley and sunflower pesto, with roast veg.

Here's the beetroot lip tint - World sweet world posted a project about this, but rather than follow their recipe I just pinched the idea and added a boiled down concentrated beetroot juice to some of my moisturiser - made a few months back, except with double the beeswax in it than the original recipe, so it's solid at room temperature and melts to touch. scrumptious colour, it just stains your lips, and it tastes sweet and beety.

Finally - look at this gorgeous fat spider living in our tomatoes. He spins lovely webs, but when I saw him this particular evening, he was feasting on some unfortunate ladybird.

I know I promised to put some felting on next, I have some sweet little projects recently completed - however, today I handed them over to Jo at Darn it and Stitch to photograph to advertise our upcoming felting workshops. This lovely and enterprising lady has focused her love of crafting and has opened a much needed haberdashery shop in Oxford. She has great taste and stocks a small but lovely selections of trimmings, fastenings and other crafty goodies. Whoop whoop - will blog about felting after our holidays. Till then....

T shirt shoes

My ever stylish friend Emma had some amazing shoes on the other day, made from stretch T-shirt knit, I though they were proper groovy. I also though they wouldn't be too hard to make. Which I shelved away in the back of my mind. Then, about three days later on one of the blogs I follow was a step by step, very nicely put together set of instructions.

Game on! here's the results - I'm not entirely happy with the result, I should have looked on this to that first and seen what glue to use. Instead, being impatient, I barged on ahead with a couple of charity shop t-shirts and flip flops and now have slightly messy glueish looking shoes. Also, the orange pair are from VERY stretchy fabric, which means when you walk in them they slop around a bit. Keep in mind for next time. Still pretty though, check them out...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer dresses and a broach

I'm not a seamstress at the best of times, but I do like dresses. They always look too complex, and the one or two half-hearted attempts I've made to make a dress from a pattern has never been a raging success.

but... here's some outworkings of dresses inspired by the warmer weather, and some fun 'up-cycling'.

The first one is a too-big mans shirt from a charity shop, and a £1 t-shirt from a charity shop, merged together. Add a nice green belt and voila. No pattern required.

The second one is composed of a tunic that wasn't quite long enough and a sleeveless top that wasn't quite long enough. Add the bottom 3/4 of the tunic to the top, and voila, another dress. I particularly like this one, with a belt, it's got a good high 50's waist (and it looks better on)

The last one is made from ribbing fabric and just sewed it pretty much straight up and down, and cut it without hemming, because ribbing doesn't fray easily. It's my fun take on a 1920's flapper dress. The best bit of all is the flowers, which are just different sized circles held together with a button, which then inspired me to make a broach.

The Broach, again is just circles of different fabric, but zig-zagged to stop the fray from going past the stitching. Great way to use up sripbbits and scrabbits of fabric too pretty to throw away. In the meantime, I've got my felting mojo back again will be blogging soon about that... watch this space.

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