Category Archives: preserves

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 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 

Day 365 +1

Time to reflect on the journey – WordPress kindly furnished me with a summary of my year – showing me the infographics and so on which illustrate my year. I am so proud that I managed to stick with it – even on the days where I could barely breathe for tiredness – a little doodle, a small moment made a difference to me. I didn’t talk much with people about the project, it had enough meaning, weight and challenge just held close to myself. Mentioned now and again – I’m not sure people necessarily understood the commitment, the intent or the effort involved in keeping going. Talking about it today, the question posed – would I continue. The answer, well, of course. Creativity had been an integral part of life even before the challenge – though certainly not as formally or determinedly as this challenge made it. Perhaps it may not involve something literally every day – but the creativity will continue, it cannot help but continue. Into this next year though, I think there will be new challenges. More of those in a moment.

I’ve created with food, paper, yarn, fabric, iPad, iPhone, paper, pencils, pens. Made clothes for me, clothes for small peeps. Home decorations, decorations for others. Baked cakes, made sweets, preserved fruit – sharing this manna with an appreciative few. Shared creative ideas and taught family, friends and students new skills. Watched my nieces and godchildren be influenced and want to create. Written and received letters. I’ve learnt new skills and honed old. I’ve made and remade when making didn’t quite work. Most important I think is that I’ve committed to the completion of a project for myself, and seen it through from one end to the other. Not for my work, my career; not for family or friends; not for financial gain or necessity – it’s been completed for me, for my well-being.

On to this year then…there’s a few things on my mind:

  1. January plank challenge – plank every day for as long as possible
  2. 12 dresses in 12 months (or items of clothing, for me, for others…)
  3. House jobs – redecorating, sorting, all *that* stuff
  4. Picking up a violin again…

Meanwhile to maintain the everyday creativity as far as possible (nothing so far today, but if I try deliberately not to do anything I may get itchy fingers and just have to do something!), including writing letters regularly not just to nieces but to other friends and family. Using up my yarn stash (and really not buying any more until everything I already have it used up!) and my fabric stash – including actually making things from all the pieces of fabric I have purchased due to falling in love with the patterns – I have to get past the fear that it might not end well!

Either way – I’m fairly certain this will be the last post on this blog (unless I end up blogging whatever challenges I aim to rise to this year – in which case there’s a chance there might a post here directing peeps to the new one!). In the meanwhile – thank you to everyone who has visited, liked, commented; it has meant a great deal to me as the year has progressed to know others have been sharing a little of my journey and from an awesome diversity of countries too!

The countries from which people have visited.
The countries from which people have visited.

Day 334

Finally got around to making the onion marmalade today, inspiration from a couple recipes, but in the end, my own creation, just hope it’s as good as last time! My boss was asking me the other day about the making things, I’ve always seen my Mum do it, so it seems normal I guess. I enjoy the process, and hopefully it brings a smile to others.

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It was a veritable mountain of onions to chop! None of the process looks great, it must be said – tastes good though!

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Considering how many onions go in to it, the minimal no. of jars is a little disheartening!

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