Friday, 29 July 2011

Green Walnut Liquor & Winter Sunshine

At the beginning of this year I decided to make some green walnut liquor. I had been inspired by an Italian interior designer I met whilst I was working in London who told me the process involved in making it. It involved picking the green fruit on a certain day of the year (St Johns Day June 24, the equivalent to our December 24), the fermentation process which required moving the fruit steeped in liquor so that it sat on a window sill that got the morning light, and then moved to another window sill to absorb the afternoon light. This was to be done for 40 nights and 40 days - before adding a sugar syrup and setting it to rest for 6 months.

I could just envisage a jar of the green walnut liquor sitting on a window sill in Tuscany and was romanced by the idea. Plus the liquor is so fragrant and exotic, I simply had to try making some. Mum just happens to have a walnut tree in her back yard which provides the most beautiful dappled shade in summer.

Picking the green walnuts using one of my recycled plastic bag crochet baskets to gather the fruit.

The green walnuts soaking in vodka with cinnamon and lemon.

After 40 days and 40 nights the walnuts turn black.

The finished liquor.

Making the most of the sunshine in my kitchen (and a partially restored cabinet - rescued from the side of the road).

My kitchen gets the most glorious sunshine on winter days, so I decided to make the most of its warmth yesterday by finishing the green walnut liquor which had been languishing, neglected on the top of my fridge for a number of months. It tastes pretty good already, Im looking forward to sharing it with friends and family.

Well, thats one project Ive finished which I can cross of my list. You'll be pleased to know that Ive almost finished the thrice knitted jumper - it just needs to be sewn together.

If you would like the recipe for green walnut liquor click here for an article which was published earlier this year in the Canberra Times Food and Wine section. It also has a recipe for Cherry Plum jam which is also incredibly delicious.

Enjoy! x

Friday, 22 July 2011

Scarves and unfinished projects

I have been inspired to complete some of my unfinished projects by a friend who posted an entry on her blog about the same thing 'Finish it up Friday' . She wrote a list of all her unfinished projects, and every friday has to post an update of the projects she has finished.

Well, recently I unearthed some beautiful handspun and dyed wool from Wool Dancer I bought about this time last year. Her wools are aptly described as art yarn - and they are truly beautiful and unique.

Inspired, I decided to finish them and this is what they look like.....

I made up the pattern as I went, one was knitted using 1cm knitting needles... 15 stitches wide and about 49cm long.

I just love the soft colours in this - the wool is also incredibly soft too - like being wrapped in cloud....

The other one was crochet using a 1cm hook - I ran out of yarn halfway so I joined in some grey that I had in my wool stash.

This one is also about 15cm wide and 50cm long and made using single chain stitch.

I love the grey spun baubles which are tightly twisted into the pumpkins and purples of this yarn...

My sister modelling her new scarf...

You may be wondering what my other projects are that are on my to finish list? Well, a number of them are knitting projects.
  • Jumper knitted using blue/green variegated wool (knitted and unraveled twice so far)
  • Jumper knitted using raspberry / chocolate variegated wool (knitted and unraveled twice as well!) - I fall in love with wool and buy it without a project in mind and then find it incredibly difficult to find a pattern which suits the wool.
  • Lace scarf using 2 ply grey mohair
  • lace scarf using special NZ wool
Some of them are cooking projects:
  • Finish making Noccino (green walnut liquor)
  • Make some Lemoncello (lemon liquor)

Some are sewing projects:
  • Make a quilt - put together patchwork blocks from a Patchwork Bee I participated in (also organised by Jules from RelishAustralia)
  • Sew curtains from my handprinted fabrics for my house.
I promise Ill post updates on how I get on finishing my projects - but it may not be as regular as every Friday! x

Friday, 15 July 2011

Home is where the heart is

I have been fossicking around some old houses lately and wanted to share some of the amazing things Ive seen...

An old slab hut - such a HUGE chimney - probably needed it to keep warm during the freezing winter months we are currently enduring

I just love the way this door has been painted

A wall covered with old cutouts from magazines...

Inside the old slab hut... amazing to think its been like this (abandoned) for 25 years.
This little place didn't even have running water or electricity connected.
A renovators delight :)
O to own such a piece of history. I hope it doesn't get bought by a developer.

* The spell checker didn't recognise fossicking.... turns out its a word generally used in Australia and originated in Cornwall.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Teaching Screen printing at Megalo

Every Thursday night for the past 6 weeks I have been teaching a Screenprinting class at Megalo.

Class participants are taught the basics of screenprinting: using paper cut stencils, photo emulsion stencils, registration for two or more colours, and how to create basic repeat patterns.
Sherree printing using a photo-emulsed screen (above)

Big smiles from Steph as she displays her Gaudi Towers - created using one screen and repeating the image. (above)

More smiles from Bonnie as she displays her bows - created using one screen and repeating the image.
Sam printing her paper stencil lion (above)

Sam's lion using a combination of paper cut stencil and photo-emulsion techniques (above)

Carly's amazing 7 colour print which was then sewn into a dress - her first ever screenprinting project! (above)

Sophia's Marilyn repeat experimenting with shade and colour (above)

By the end of the 6 weeks we were printing repeat lengths of fabric. Above is Suzy's repeat inspired by lichen. (above)

The group had such fun that on the last evening everyone chose to print onto a tea towel as a momento of the class. (above)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Yum! The delicious colours of Permaset

Last weekend at the 'Meet the Makers' at Gaffa Gallery in Sydney I met some interesting people and heard some fascinating stuff.

Along with meeting the other lovely designers in the show I met David from Permaset, who told me all about his inks.

Permaset's screenprinting inks are 100% solvent free (they contain no toxic chemicals, lead or other heavy metals). The inks are environmentally friendly, being water based which makes cleaning up easy too. Better yet, Permaset is an Australian company and the inks are made in Sydney.

I think this is fabulous! Locally made inks which do not pollute our environment...... and they come in a delicious range of vibrant colours which have been tested and proved to be 'light fast' (ie they will not fade in our harsh Australian sun).

Best yet, I was given a set of coloured inks to play with. I look forward to printing lots of different designs with these new delicious colours. A big thank you to David and Permaset for their generosity and support x


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