All posts by thisismyfot

just following my path, seeing where it leads me...

The Covid-19 Chronicles: Day 75

Creativity has continued, but slowed since those first weeks. Parenting, exercising and working have taken a front seat more often than not. Still, we’ve been busy, individually and collectively.

Baking has definitely continued to be a major part of life, both pragmatically and for culinary delight. Bread a couple of times a week means some form of cinnamon roll, or pesto roll or pizza alongside the bread. Various cakes for birthdays and just because…

No knitting or crochet, though the yarn keeps peeking at me, especially when we rearranged all the furniture the other day which involved unpacking and reorganising all the fabric and yarn stash…

Lots of ‘art’ with chalks and stamps and paints. We’ve even lured the Tall one into our creativity…sometimes protesting gently that he’ll just sit and watch, but almost always unable to resist the temptation to get involved. Just today we’ve tried out making some white clay to imprint flowers.

Sewing though, little bits here and there and a pair of cobbled together dungarees – no printer = no pattern. They work though, and I know what I’ll change for next time. There’ll be a next time!

All links to any recipes or instructions or patterns at the end of the post.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something along the way, but if I have the spirit of it is here in this collection. I’m loving that Small one talks about ‘doing craft’ and that she wants to do her own sewing and knitting. Our favoured quiet time activity is watching the Sewing Bee or Bake-Off. She just doesn’t understand why someone always has to go home…

Things are changing up again, within the next two weeks we will, perhaps, know how soon we will both be back to work and pre-Covid life…mixed feelings about this as I for one have finally settled into a happy groove of working, family adventuring and creating. Just being…

Wild Things to Make – Kirsty Hartley

Sew Adorable – Vanessa Mooncie

Flatbread recipe

Baker’s clay recipe

Bubble mixes

Little Brian Paint Sticks

Rabbit Biscuits

Mary Berry Fork Biscuits

Chocolate and beetroot blitz cake

Sopapillas

Vegan lemon and lime loaf (used for strawberry cupcakes and adapted for chocolate cupcakes)

The Covid-19 Chronicles: Day 28

These are indeed strange times we are all living through just now. I’m sure there are more eloquent voices than mine chronicling our collective and individual journeys through this, however, it felt like the ideal time to revive my blog, as isolation has brought with it time to create. Creativity as necessity – food and grocery shopping being a challenging experience, but also as stress relief for me and active engagement for an vivacious pre-schooler.

To start this is just a collection point for all the things we’ve done so far, in no particular order. Going forward I have an idea to try to post every few days, we’ll see.

Baking has been our primary occupation I think. Comforting body to comfort mind. Also, Jamie Oliver has put out there so many straight forward and inspirational ideas, it seems rude to ignore him! Around Christmas time I was asked to bake a Camembert Christmas tree (yes, Jamie’s influence on my cheese obsessed husband!) so tried to get to grips with making yeasted bread, something I’ve not baked in over a decade…it did not go well, but laid the foundations of a desire to get it right. Queue plenty of time at home, a pre-schooler to occupy and Jamie on the telly box showing just how easy it could be. Bread abounds in our house – with the new favourite being a cinnamon roll created from my own imagination. Just too yummy. Too yummy when you’re still hitting up the slimming world group via Zoom every Friday 😜 Bread has also been baked in the form of flatbreads to go with soup at lunchtimes and turned into lunchtime pizza.

Original cinnamon rolls – white flour. Simply the BEST!
Using up the wholemeal flour so half and half, not quite as tasty…
Deep pan ‘pizza’
Lunchtime thin and crispy

I’ve made several other new to me recipes in the past four weeks, curry veg fill pie (thanks BBC Good Food for the inspiration), what turned out to be epic quantities of Jamie’s (yes, him again, sorry) baked beans from the Veg book, a deep pan ‘pizza’ from his ‘Keep Cooking and Carry On’ series (soooooo good, especially with added mushrooms) and tonight getting thrown in the oven will be spicy roasted chickpeas as a snack. This new situation having driven me to finally get to grips with how to cook beams successfully from scratch. Note to self – slightly less time than the BBC Good Food site says for chick peas next time.

Filo curry potato and rice pie

Then there’s the cake and flapjack baking. To be fair, flapjacks happen whatever the situation but they still deserve a mention. we had to bake a cake in honour of Grandad as we couldn’t see him personally for his birthday, doesn’t stop us having cake for him! Small girl required both strawberry and rhubarb jam to be added to the middle of the Swiss roll. I mean, why not? It certainly tasted good… finally yesterday a rather good all-in-one chocolate beetroot cake recipe. Definitely counts as one of your five-a-day, even in cake, yes? It’s also completely delicious. Thank you once more BBC Good Food.

Birthday rhubarb and strawberry Swiss roll
Flapjack (Nigella Lawson recipe) with added fat raisins from our local packaging free shop
Chocolate beetroot cake with cinnamon chocolate drizzle

There’s also been non-food related crafting. The trend for creating rainbows to show our thanks for keyworkers we’ve embraced. Creative coloured paper and sticking, we have no paint at home; followed by a crochet rainbow from me. That one’s just waiting for some wire to help it be a little more rigid for hanging.

Tearing and sticking.
Brightening a window
Crochet creating from an idea to a rainbow

The crochet rainbow came about after making a bunch of Easter eggs for our own little garden hunt. A lovely little pattern which was so simple and only involved around 14 rows. I’d also made some small felt ones (not shown here) out of bright green felt and bright blue thread. Some were delivered to neighbours but most were used for the hunt. This year that really came alive for our small peep, she really got into it. She also enjoyed delivering the egg gifts to the neighbours in her ostrich chick suit.

Crochet eggs. Using up leftover yarn at last
Little chick ready to make deliveries

Knitting has had a look in too – I made a pair of mittens late last year to keep little hands warm, one was lost on Christmas Day. It’s taken isolation for me to find the motivation to finally make a replacement.

Almost there – pattern from Purl Soho NY

One morning of inspiration while the small peep ate breakfast – and 20 minutes later a pair of ‘binoculars’, she’s been almost inseparable from them since. They come on every dog walk and most scooting exercise outings. She regularly pauses, lifts them up and takes a look to see what she can see.

An abortive attempt to make egg bunting for Easter – not pictured here but eggs of varying sizes on various patterned paper. They didn’t quite look right in the hanging so will get put away for recreation next year. There’s been gardening too, and doing our faces as Harry Potter for a virtual birthday party and singing and dancing and Cosmic Kids Yoga. Making silly faces on video calling with family and friends. All these things I count as creative. We’re creating the most healthy environment we can, both for us as adults and for our small peep who is missing her friends so much.

On Twitter, Instagram and Facebook I’ve been using #covidbaking #covidcraft #covidcreative by all means jump on in.

Month 12

As always, December has been full to the max with projects being wrapped up (mostly for Christmas). There’s been baking, knitting and sewing. 

The month began with finishing a project from the month before (a very familiar scenario this year) knitted wrist warmers which had been requested as a birthday gift. 

   

Then some Christmas gifts. Prettified notice boards, lined zipper pouches and pencil cases. 

   

  

 For the first time I felt I  might need my own actual Christmas stocking. After seeing many in shops, I decided to make one…

   It was happily filled with delightful gifts from Father Christmas!
Our pre-Christmas Christmas weekend with friends (a tradition of almost a decade now!) meant baking biscuits for creative decoration, and the adults taking way more time than the children colouring in!

 This wasn’t the only biscuit making, there were three other batches of Christmas biscuits.  

  There were also chocolate muffins and chocolate fudge made with my help by excellent mini bakers, we were so busy I missed the photos though!

A last minute visit to the sewing shop for some necessities (!!) meant the purchase of a little fabric suitable for making a Christmas gift for a three year old…but I lacked inspiration as to what, until I found this pattern for a bunny from Purl Soho in NY. It seemed very well received!

   
  He’s been nicknamed ‘Wonky’ by me!

Finally finished today, another wood project using the last of the wood gathered on our Scottish adventure. Inspired by something seen on Pinterest. Hanging up at last, until tomorrow when all the decorations shall be taken down until next year…

   
   

A small photographic moment ahead of a cycle ride.  

  And now I’m busy knitting a neck warmer, even this evening whilst enjoying a small NYE snifter 😊.  

 In 2016, I’m thinking of making a dress every month…I’ll let you know how I get on 😉. 

  

Month 11

I’m so proud that I’ve continued on my creative journey throughout this year. I think I can genuinely say that creativity has become a habit. One which needs nurturing, but a good habit to keep. The month started with a long journey home from the Lake District. There’s been ribbon tree making with sticks gathered from Scottish woods. The plum and bramble vodkas have been decanted into bottles. More sticks have been turned into a hanging Christmas tree ready to decorate. Christmas tree hanging decorations sewn and embroidered for gifts. Finally I’ve molded and now decorated some air dry clay bowls inspired by this post. Mine, though, are somewhat neon. 

   
       

   
   

   
       

I think the pink and gold are my favourites, closely followed by the yellow! Something about neon really makes me smile. 

December will bring more sewing projects, bound to be making some fudge and baking some Christmas biscuits. There’s a birthday cake to be baked for one birthday and finally completing these for a sixth birthday next weekend!

  

Month 9

Seems to have become first day of the next month, rather than last day of the actual month…

A month of appreciating family and friends. Of foraging for fruit and making it into jelly or steeping it for warming alcoholic imbibing in the middle of the darkest winter months. A month where, as always, I give grateful thanks for the beauty of the place I live. Here’s my month…

   
   

   
                   

Month 8

Got a little distracted yesterday so playing catch up tonight!

It’s been another month of all sorts…

August began as July ended, holidaying with parents and taking plenty of photos 

   
     

 

  
On returning home there was plum jam to be made…plum and cinnamon – inspiring me for Christmas preparations!

   
   

Then I had a moment to fix the pencil case from last month, sewing the lining the right way around this time!

  
Some time walking by the sea

  
Than another moment of sewing, a gift for an almost new baby…

   
   

Followed this up with some sewing for myself, a new key ring. 

     

A visit to London and more photography:

   
 

Chartwell, home of Winston Churchill, beautiful gardens 

   

  

 

Another pasty baking practice, eaten on the beach

   

 Walking then riding (cycle) in the grounds of a favoured National Trust property 

   

  

  

 Exploring Somerset 

   

  

  

  

 More jam made from windfalls collected and gifted to me

  A moody sky day 

 more time in Somerset exploring new corners

   

  

 Finally some new corners of Wales 

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

Month 7

A typical July I think, squeezing moments here and there. A visit from Mum brought an opportunity to repeat the apricot jam experiment…

   
 

We had a lovely hour or two making, the splitting of the jars was a little painful, this jam is seriously tasty! 😊

Planning to go away I decided to take my colouring, so, with not enough time left before leaving I decided to swiftly make myself a new pencil case…

  
One of my favourite fabrics ever, with enough left for a pencil case! A very quick 25 minute job, sped up through helping 10 students make the same pencil case just a few days previously!

The rest of the month has involved photographic creativity…At home and then at Somersault Festival before bicycle adventuring with Dad in East Yorkshire. 

    
                                                                      

   
             

Month 6

This has been a month of photography in the main. A little sewing at the beginning of the month to finish the top from last month, a little baking just because. Mostly though, photographs. 

The baking involved cookies mainly, Yr11 final revision before their final exam the inspiration!

   
 

There have been many hours spent in the wide outdoors this month, some close to home, many in Northern France visiting the battlefields on our annual trip.  First of all, some local meandering. 

   
         

A delightful day with a DofE team, up hill and down dale…

   
   

Northern France. 

   
                       

The Ring of Rememberance, a new memorial listing the names of all those who lost their lives in this area. 580,000 names in alphabetical order. It’s an awe inspiring sight and a personally moving one as I found the names of two relatives of my own. 

There has been some further local mooching…

   
    

The ropes particularly caught my eye for colour and texture. 

  

 

The month has ended with hanging out with friends, doodling and colouring…

  
Oh, and before I forget, some letter writing too, which resulted happily in receiving this in return. 

  
Drawn by me, coloured in by niece no. 3…

Month 5

This has been an unexpectedly busy month of creativity. The month began finishing off the grey pinstripe dress from the end of April. It is proving an absolute pleasure to wear! A pattern mash-up of the bodice from Simplicity 1652 with the skirt from Simplicity 1873. The fabrics all came from Ditto in Brighton. You can read all about them in Month 4, meanwhile here’s the finished product!

   
           

There’s been adventuring in the woods, and so photo taking. 

   
   

Then there has been a wonderful weekend away for a friend’s very important birthday in Boscombe, and so baking and more photographs. A coffee cake and birthday biscuits!

      
  
All month I have been wearing the items made last month, they’re bringing smiles to my face! This past week there has been bag making for a friend’s Mum, daytime pyjamas (at least, that’s the plan!) and making some alterations to a top I made last summer – another project which will run into another month. 

   

 The bag is coated cotton, with webbing straps and Laura Ashley pink spotty cotton for lining. 

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 These are another fabric from Ditto (did I mention I love that shop!) feeling proud of myself that I’m actually using them! I remembered I had an old favourite pair of pjs perfect for taking apart and using as a pattern. I plan to wear then as daywear, but not sure yet what I’ll wear with them….there’s a little left over, enough for a top – not convinced by the idea of matching, never mind what the current fashions might be! 

  
I made apricot and ginger jam this week. The ginger is very subtle, but enough. I also took inspiration from a blog which mentioned using far less sugar. This is only around 500gr of sugar to a kilo of fruit. There’s a glorious soft set to it like a french preserve. It brightened up my morning toast this weekend. 

   

 Finally a little pattern cutting. I took a cotton top and used it as a template. Wimped out of trying to organise the darts, partly due to the amount of fabric available. I’m altering a top I made last summer, it was too big and too square and too see through. It’s still going to be a little square, but lined so hopefully appropriate for work and I’m still loving the neon! 

That’s all for May, until June x