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Friday, 28 September 2012

NEON PINK BLANKET

I've been doing a lot of crocheting recently, both making this neon pink blanket and another project I've been working on which I'll probably post about once it's finished. In fact, I've been crocheting so much recently my hands are sore. Of course, I've been up to other things as well, like cooking this amazing soup, listening lots to this wonderful album, and watching a lot of episodes of Nigella on the Food Network. I've also been drawing lots, but I'll probably post about that later too.

I'm a pretty slow crocheter though - still in at the learning stage really, which to be honest, is the main reason why this ended up being a blanket for Bo. After having made two trips to the shop for more yarn, I decided that this final ball of yarn would dictate how big the blanket would be. And In stead of aiming for another blanket for the couch, I'd aim for a new blanket for Bo's bed.

And then again, I very rarely make things for Bo. And after spending all week in a cone, I thought she might appreciate a new blanket. She is a snuggle bunny after all, and one of her favourite past times in the world is to nap, be comfortable and to snuggle. Some dogs might enjoy being outside rolling in the mud, but Bo prefers being rolled up on the couch watching TV. She definitely shows signs of city dog syndrome, as she refuses to go outside when it rains and has been known to jump at the smallest of things, like that time a bird's feathered that was lying on the ground was caught by the wind and unexpectedly tickled her belly while she was out on a walk and she squealed like she'd been stood on. Yep, Bo definitely enjoys a good snuggle in a cosy blanket.


Monday, 24 September 2012

DARK CHOCOLATE LIME COOKIES


I’d had a bit of a traumatizing morning involving a doctor’s appointment and having to give a blood sample, when I walked past Roots & Fruits on my way home and decided that the only way I would feel better was if I went in and bought myself some cookies.  I mean, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do if you’re feeling a bit shaky after giving a blood sample?  Especially when you can tell the nurse is a bit nervous because you mentioned that last time you had an injection you passed out and she obviously doesn't want that to happen again, but she still ends up injecting you not once, but twice, because the first one “didn’t break” (or did she “say take”? I’m no nurse-lingo expert and I was probably a bit delirious at the time, but in my mind she said “break” which traumatized me even more).  She made me lie down and reassured me it was all in my head.  I miraculously survived and was conscious throughout the whole ordeal, but even just thinking about it now makes me nauseous.  But I’m sure that’s what I’ve been told, that when you’re feeling like this the best way to get over it is to load up on sugar.  Either way, it’s what I told myself as I approached the Roots & Fruits cookie section.  I had quite a few options, but eventually settled on a box of Chocolate Limes.  I like chocolate, I like lime, and the box promised “luscious, lime infused biscuits dunked in a dark chocolate”.  The cookies were just the pick-me-up I needed, and two thirds of the box was gone before Graeme even made it back from college.


Today seemed like the perfect day to try to recreate these cookies. The recipe itself is very, very loosely based on a recipe for oat & ginger crunchies from Sara Lewis' cakes and bakes, a  birthday presents I got at my old work. I made a few changes though. I took out the ginger and replaced it with lime and dunked them in dark chocolate. I also attempted to ease my conscience a little by using honey in stead of golden syrup. Oats + honey = healthy food, right?


Dark Chocolate Lime cookies recipe:
100 g butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
100 g sugar
juice and zest of 1 lime
100 g flour
175 g oats
100 g dark chocolate

Directions: Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Put sugar, honey and butter all in a small saucepan and gently heat until it's all dissolved and melted into a lovely goo. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool a few minutes. Add baking soda, lime zest and lime juice and stir well. Once you put in the baking soda, the whole mix will bubble and foam lots. Throw in the flour and mix until you have a batter before you add the oats. Spoon the mix onto greased baking sheets and bake for about 8-10 minutes until they're nicely golden brown. Once they're done, let them sit on a wire rack for a while until they've cooled. Melt the chocolate, either in a bain marie or in the microwave. Dip each cookie in the chocolate and return them to the baking sheets to let the chocolate harden.




Nom nom!

Friday, 21 September 2012

DIANA F+ PHOTOS


So yesterday I finally got some films developed, including four rolls of 120 film that I took a while ago with my Diana F+. I've been faithful to my Diana mini for years now, and never really wanted an F+ cause I figured 120 film would probably be a bit of a pain in the ass to both to buy and get developed. But then the flash of my mini broke and I decided that instead of buying a new just a new flash I'd get a Diana F+ with a flash. It made perfect economic sense at the time. In retrospect, I do wonder if maybe this might be getting a bit out of hand.

I am of course now completely in love with this camera. The pictures come out dreamy and unpredictable like the mini, though I feel the success rate is a bit better with the F+. The whole thing feels a lot sturdier, but you still get the cool light leaks. I also love how you can get loads of different lenses for it and different backs so that you can use regular 35 m film or even instant film. My wishlist this Christmas is gonna be huge.












These were taken at Irvine beach in Ayrshire and Victoria Park in Glasgow. Now off to buy more film for another photo adventure!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

PAPERGIRL GLASGOW


Last year I helped out with this pretty awesome project called the Papergirl Project. In short, artists all over send in some of their stuff, there's an exhibition and then all the pieces are rolled up in scrolls and all given out to random people by bike on the streets. It started out in Berlin but has since moved on to other places, like Glasgow. Unfortunately I was too late for the submission date last year, but I  took part of the delivery side of things. On Graeme's BMX. With no breaks. In traffic. And without having ridden a bike for ten years. No big deal.

As a thanks for helping out I was a given a scroll myself, which contained a drawing by a girl from Scotland, two photographs (one from a Scottish and one from a Russian photographer) and a huge canvas by a street artist from Poland. These now all hang on the walls of my flat.


I really enjoyed taking part last year, so when I found out they were doing it again this year I figured I'd hand in a few pieces of my own. So I had a look through my sketchbook and decided I'd submit three caricature like drawings of Bo, titled "the hunter", "the observer", and "the athlete". I'm not sure when they'll be handed out, but if you're about Glasgow that day you might end up with one of these! Free art, who'd say no?

Oh, and if you want to take a look at the submissions from 2011 you can find them here.

Monday, 17 September 2012

GEOMETRIC PAINTED RUG


This project should have been finished forever ago. I don't even remember where I first saw the idea of painting rugs, but I'm pretty sure I went straight to Amazon to buy the needed supplies. I already had a cheap flatwoven rug that was perfect for the job, and it only took a few days before I had everything I needed. And then it all sat there for a very long time while I decided on whether I wanted a chevron print or triangles. After going back and forth on this, I eventually decided triangles were the way forward and got the rug out. Of course, Bo was convinced I had rolled the rug out for her so she could stretch and play on it, and went and got her new favourite toy.



The process got even further delayed as I managed to underestimate how much I'd need of my supplies. First I messed up on my pattern and realized I had to redo all my taping, and subsequently ran out of tape. Emergency trip to B&Q! Then it turned out that 118  ml of fabric medium was not enough for a 1.44 square metre rug, and I had to make another emergency trip to buy more. Then there was that day in between, where Graeme and I decided to take the dog to Loch Long for a bit of fishing. Not much rug painting was done that day either. What? It's not like I was on a deadline.



You don't need a whole lot of supplies for this project. The rug I used was a plain flatwoven rug from IKEA in a neutral colour. The rug can be whatever colour you like, though it won't really work unless it's a low pile or flatwoven rug. You will also need a scalpel and frog tape to make your pattern, and a ruler would probably be helpful too to make sure it's as straight as it can be. Finally, you'll need fabric medium to mix in with the acrylic paint to make it suitable for painting on fabric.

The process is simple enough, though in retrospect I probably should have paid more attention to calculating out the pattern so that I wouldn't have had to do it all twice and run out of frog tape. Alternatively, I obviously also could have picked a simpler pattern. Stripes for example, or a more abstract pattern. These are things I cursed under my breath while holding my scalpel. Once the pattern is ready, all that's left is painting in the stencil. Let it dry for several hours before you remove the tape. Enjoy!