Friday, August 29, 2014

sky a natural blue canvass

The weekly chore of hanging washing on the line becomes creative playtime when you take the camera with you visually capturing the process and surrounds. It's early morning, often the moon is still high in the sky even though the sun has popped over the eastern horizon. 

A collection of images captured over several early mornings throughout this Winter. 

I do enjoy borrowing the sky as canvass - seeing how objects natural or artificial dance against it. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

cut, paste, sketch & stitch

re-purposed magazines, silk ribbon & embroidery thread on paper
pen, watercolor, oil pastels & re-purposed enveloped on paper
re-purposed magazines & photographs on paper

Enjoying creative playtime,
exploring the interaction of stitch and found imagery 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

inspired by colorful beds

 Calendula officinalis
 also know as Pot Marigold
 uses include medicinal, cosmetic & culinary
easy to grow, propagate from seed sown in autumn or spring
 once know as "poor mans saffron" as the petals dried or fresh add color to rice dishes and salads
The courtyard where we have the Aquaponics setup is protected so while the nights have been cool our winter days have still been warm. The grow beds are currently filled with marigolds, watercress, sweet basil, sweet peas, cos lettuce & Asian greens. I couldn't resist capturing a few shots of the colorful marigolds.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

a little bit of jam & cordial - Rosella Jam & Cordial

 Recently we harvested the flowers (fruits) off the Rosella bushes we had growing
 there followed a day of making jam and cordial with the picked flowers
 Start by washing the picked flowers (fruits), once washed pop into a stainless steel pot.
 Cover the washed Rosella fruit (seeds and all) with water, just enough to cover the fruit. Bring to the boil.
Simmer gently until soft. The red color should have faded from the calyx (flower petals). Remove from heat and strain contents through a sieve, discard the pulp and measure the liquid. Once you have measured the liquid go ahead and make jam and / or cordial:

Rosella Cordial: Add the measured liquid back into the saucepan and add a cup of sugar to every cup of liquid. Heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved, stirring often. Once the sugar is dissolved bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat and add the juice of 4-5 limes and stir in citric acid (1tablespoon per 1.5 litres of cordial). Return saucepan to heat and briefly bring back to the boil. Bottle the cordial into dry, sterile bottles and seal while hot.

Rosella Jam: Add the measured liquid back into a saucepan and add a cup of sugar to every cup of liquid. Heat gently until all the sugar is dissolved, stirring often. Once the sugar is dissolved bring to a gentle boil and continue cooking until desired consistency when jam tested is reached. The green seed of the Rosella fruit contains the pectin. So, thus far I haven't needed to add any additional pectin. Bottle the jam into sterile jars and seal while hot.

Playing with flavor: To the cordial I added a piece of fresh finely grated ginger. For the second batch of jam I combined 500grams Strawberries, about 250grams of pealed and diced pear, 3 cups of Rosella Liquid, the juice of 3 limes and 750grams of sugar.
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