Saturday, 31 July 2010

Veggie Delight

The cauliflower, beans and broccoli are from the plot I'm helping my flatmate maintain. The spring onions and carrots are from my balcony pots. The purple carrot is orange in the middle and looks amazing in cross section which I'll take a picture of when they're up to a regular size.

Veggie Delight by michl_007
Veggie Delight Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 31st July, 2010

My carrot tops have been all lush and green for a while and so every few days I've been yanking one up only to be left with dissapointment because there was virtually nothing growing underneath. I got so concerned I asked my allotment guru about it but and was told that if there was green, the carrots would come. I was expecting the same today but instead I got these thinnings and while small are perfectly useable and tasted great with the other veg.

The beans are amazing in terms of harvest. We can't seem to pick them fast enough and both myself and my flatmate have given them to friends/colleagues.

Both the cauliflower and broccoli we were growing started out suffering from caterpillars which is pretty gross at first but I'm sort of getting used to that aspect of home grown veg. The ones in this picture didn't have any crawlies, bonus.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

My First Courgettes

I planted a Gold Rush courgette about 5 weeks ago and these are the first fruit that it's produced. I have to add that it wasn't grown from seed but bought from a garden centre as a small plant. Hopefully I'll be able to do more from seed on my own plot as it'll be ready when seed sowing time rolls around next year.

I had the smaller one sliced and steamed. It tasted great and I was fascinated by the fact that it was yellow. Never knew they came in anything other than green till I saw the label in the garden centre.

My First Courgettes by michl_007
My First Courgettes Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 14th July, 2010

My google reader is screaming under the weight of unread posts from the various blogs I'm subscribed to. I set it here in stone that tomorrow I will catch up. Hopefully after a long day of cultivating my plot which should be somewhat easier after the long awaited rain we had yesterday.

Monday, 5 July 2010

My New Plot

See that nice little red shed? Not mine. Hopefully I'll get one soon, though they cost a lot for what they are. The trees/bushes in the back part of this photo are being worked on by some people and it's not part of my plot.

Wasteland by michl_007
Wasteland Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 5th July, 2010

These need to be cut back which is something my flatmate has made a big start on. Hopefully we'll get to enjoy some of the berries before the birds get to them.

Brambles by michl_007
Brambles Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 5th July, 2010

This is HARD WORK. There hasn't been any rain for a long time so the ground is really very hard in places. A shout out for the people in B&Q who replaced my fork when I managed to bend back one of the tines to a hideous angle.

Rage Against The Weeds by michl_007
Rage Against The Weeds Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 5th July, 2010

Still waiting for my official letter to say the plot is mine but this is a formality and so I've made a start. My flatmate did the hacking of the spikey and the long and I made a start on digging out the weeds and such.

I would have done a lot more I think but everyone that walks by and sees you at work stops to say hello. So far I've found that people working on allotments like to talk, like to offer advice and ask questions and are very friendly.

We measured the pH of the soil yesterday and it seems to be neutral which I think is good but what do I know?!? I mentioned this to the older gentleman in the plot next door and I got the impression that he was politely unimpressed.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Allotment Kills Tatting

I haven't tatted in some time but not because I've stopped enjoying it. I've recently started to maintain half an allotment with my flatmate and have discovered that I like growing things. Who would've thought it?!? It's hard work at times but I'm getting a kick out of it and now the balcony is also covered with plant pots containing three types of carrot, two types of tomato, two types of spring onion and about half a dozen different herbs. The windows have propagators in them with lots of lovely seedlings which for the most part seem to be growing well.

I got such a kick out of seeing my first seeds break the surface that I put my name down on the list for a plot in one of my local allotments with the expectation that I'd be waiting months if not years for a plot of my own however I have a meeting tomorrow to view. The word excited doesn't even come close.

I will tatt again soon as I don't want to fail in my 25 motif challenge. More importantly I find it very relaxing.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Quilled Lemon Balm

I got myself a quilling kit for a sampler and this is the first of twelve herbs from the aptly named Herb Sampler. I actually didn't use the kit paper as this is a trial run. Also, the pattern calls for more of those white coils to be placed on top of the ones already there but I didn't want it to stand too high from the page.

Lemon Balm by michl_007
Lemon Balm Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 30th April, 2010

As you can see I also got myself a quilling board which was pretty costly when you consider it's just a square of cork with a thin piece of plastic attached.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Quilling (No Tatting)

I was browsing through an online craft shop when I came across paper being sold for something called "iris folding" which I'd never heard of. You can see a flickr example here. While searching out suppliers in England I also came across another paper craft called quilling aka paper filigree which also looked like something I might enjoy so I searched for a supplier in England. I ordered some gubbins for both crafts (to be delivered) but yesterday I discovered that I can buy quilling supplies from a shop not more than ten minutes walk from my flat.

This little yellow flower is my first effort. I'm quite pleased with it all things considered but I'm going to have to practise to get my shapes more even.

First Quilled Flower by michl_007
First Quilled Flower Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 27th April, 2010

This white flower is my second try. Things I've learnt:.
a) dropping your quilled items on the floor is not good because they pick up every miniscule bit of fluff.
b) I need to get a board to pin this stuff out on while it dries.
c) it's not as easy as it looks but it's very enjoyable and relaxing

White Flower With Leaf by michl_007
White Flower With Leaf Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 27th April, 2010

Another thing which is cool... some of the quilled shapes remind me of tatting.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Not So Much

[photo to be tagged properly when I'm less tired].
This is not a keeper. The colours just don't feel right but since I've been away this weekend I haven't had a chance to give it another go.

Not So Much by michl_007
Not So Much Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 19th April, 2010

I'd seen this pattern before but I have to be honest and say that I didn't like it much. After seeing Isdihara's version my mind was changed. I like how the hearts work up so I'm going to try it again in different colours.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Tatted Fashion - Teiko Fujito

It arrived! The book was ordered for me a couple of weeks ago. I ordered the shuttles a couple of days ago. Both parcels arrived today. I was getting a little anxious about the book to be honest.

Tatted Fashion - Teiko Fujito by michl_007
Tatted Fashion - Teiko Fujito Originally uploaded by michl_007 on 13th April, 2010

I've had a quick flick through the book and from what I can tell there are a few patterns here that are included in her other book Tatted Artistry. I like the look of this and can't wait to try something out, though I'm going to attempt to finish the item I'm already making first.

Is there such a thing as owning too many shuttles? I suspect not.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Actually...'s more of a purple/pink/maroon affair.