Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday Marmalade Frenzy


I am running a day late because I crashed out on the couch last night after making Seville orange marmalade. Not our own oranges unfortunately, they are probably still a couple of years away - although our little tree does have flowers on it at the moment.

I had a bit of a panic initially because it came out very dark, but Scott assures me it tastes just like the Maggie Beer one he likes. Plus I did a bit of research and it looks like the darkness is a product of melting the sugar before I added it to the fruit - kind of creates a toffee like effect. I couldn't find any other recipes that recommended you do that (other than the Maggie Beer one I used) but a lot of people seemed to be having trouble getting their marmalade really dark - so if you ever come across this the secret is to cook the fruit until the rind is tender then melt the sugar over a low heat before you add it (be careful though, it really goes whoosh when you tip the molten sugar in).

I also made tags for the Sunekosuri I plan to sell at the Kallista Markets in a couple of weeks. It is the sort of thing that I usually procrastinate for ever, I waste more energy fussing around the process of selling things than I do making them. Thus I never really get around to selling them and save myself the separation anxiety of letting them go. Thanks to Scott for goading me about it, if not for him I would still be fussing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Garden Frenzy

It is Sunday and we have been to a big wholesale nursery, we get an invite every 6 months via my work to go for one day and get plants at wholesale prices. Last time we got a lime, a Seville orange, a fig, and an olive tree; and since we have actually managed to keep them all alive for 6 months we thought we would try our luck with a few more.

When we moved in there were well established grapefruit and lemon trees on one of the steep banks, and seeing as they did well we thought it would be safe to add more and put in the Seville orange and lime. The new trees have taken off, so this time we added a mandarin and a blood orange - we are working on our own little citrus grove.

Citrus Grove

Our new blood orange.


We have also added a dwarf apple (you can see the olive tree in the background).

Apple Tree

We bought a male and female kiwi fruit which have to stay in their pots for another month or so (according to the tag) hopefully they will grow over that somewhat ramshackle trellis.

Kiwi Fruit

Scott bought this amazing pink flowering plant (not even sure what it is) he had a a vision of planting it near an old ceramic buddha head we had lying around. It looks gorgeous, if he continues with these flashes of inspiration our garden is going to be incredible (one day).

Buddha 2

I have also started a little purple patch on the overgrown bank closest to the house, lots of nice smelling things like lavender.

Purple Patch 3

Plus I finally got a pot for the beautiful succulent that Greg bought us as a house warming present over a year and a half ago. It kept getting blown over in the wind, but I think it will be fine now. I also got a pot for the companion succulent that Mum bought us on her recent visit (so the other one wouldn't be lonely). We also got a big rosemary bush and a pot for it too, the first thing we planted when we moved in was rosemary but it has been growing very slowly and we thought we might do better on the front veranda with more sun.


Of course none of this would have been possible without furry assistance and oversight, special thanks to Nami, Gir, and of course Corto who tried to eat he flower pots so we wouldn't have to carry them down to the recycle bin.

Corto Helping

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Here's Another One

Sunekosuri - Kittypus 3

Here is the next Sunekosuri, not quite an octopus - it only has 7 legs (I like prime numbers). This is the first creature that has felt combined into its structure, for the underside of the tentacles. I did it largely because I was working with an ankle sock which really limited the available fabric. I had been trying to limit each monster to just one sock and use a much of that sock as possible, it creates interesting design restrictions and gives the process a real problem solving focus. I still try and stick to the one sock rule but since then I have been using felt a lot more and the Sunekosuri have been getting odder.

It has been a busy week this week, my Mum is visiting and I have had a couple of days off work to hang out which has been great (no work on the monsters though). I have also started knitting an entrelac cardigan for her, I have had the pattern and the wool for a while but it was going to be too small for me and the pattern was a bit too tricky to adjust. So now I get the challenge of the knit and I have a recipient for the finished product - for some reason it seems to be easier to finish big projects when I am knitting them for someone close to me. I will make sure I post a picture when it is done.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Sunekosuri Are Taking Over

I am finally going to do a market stall, my friend Karen (you may recall her from the Hillside Creeper post) is running a stall at the Kallista Market on the first Sunday of each month and I am going to join her for the first time in November.

My main product will be Sunekosuri - little monsters made from socks and felt and buttons. The name Suneskosuri means shin rubber in Japanese and they are a type of Yokai. Yokai are Japanese folk creatures similar to goblins or fairies. Given they are made primarily from socks I thought shin rubber was a good name (thank you Scott for the suggestion).

The first batch are based on the same pattern and are fairly normal by later standards but they are good base stock.

Sunekosuri - Star Belly-0

They all seem to come out looking different even though the basic pattern is the same.

Sunekosuri - Star Belly-5

Sunekosuri - Star Belly-3

Sunekosuri - Star Belly-10

There are more weird and wonderful creations to come once I get the photos taken. So keep checking back here (it won't be two weeks between posts this time I promise).