Monday, February 25, 2013

Tabi or not tabi

Steady on, forward....

The studio is really coming on now, last week saw us lining the ceiling with ply board, insulation and its big silver blanket to keep us warm.

This week was the serious task of putting the iron up on the roof, so much for my humor Bill got out his Tabi shoes that we got in Japan. In Japan this is their normal workwear for building sites, or so we were told, I'm a bit dubious, maybe a hundred years ago, but maybe not.

They are perfect for the roofing as they are flexible on the ladders and roof and the big toe has a large advantage of clinging on like a monkey. So instead of using them as a fashion statement as Bill usually does he has put them into action in their right place.

Anyway so far they have been a big success and Bill is thrilled to be using them for what they were designed for. Building sites in Japan used bamboo poles as scaffolding, these shoes made men's feet sprightly spring around from one pole to the next.  Nothing like looking cool on a building site.

You must remember to buy the socks when you purchase a pair.

Also I have a recipe for you this week, try and use organic ingredients as much as possible and remember to put at least two organic products in your shopping trolley each week. My health since almost eating all organic has vastly improved, I really notice it when I don't, it really is the way to go.

Just think of those poor bees dealing with and dying from the use of  pesticides whom are such a vital link in our food chain.

A really very informative and sexy food website is Sarah Britton  not only does she create beautiful enticing recipes but she gives the science knowledge behind the ingredients and what role they play in keeping you bouncing along.

 I highly recommend her Life-Changing loaf of bread, I've cooked it twice now, no wheat and one feels incredibly virtuously healthy when eating it.

On with the recipe

JAM THIMBLES ( lovely with a cup of good strong tea)
Oven 190
Bake 10 - 15 minutes

half a cup of unsalted butter ( room temp)
Teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 egg seperated
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 and a quarter cups of all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
three quarters cup of raw almonds chopped
A really nice home made jam.

* chop almonds, seperate egg
* Cream butter / sugar until pale
* Add egg yolk, vanilla and cream till light and fluffly
* Add rosemary
* Sprinkle water if dough is dry
* Scoop dough into 20 little portions
* Whisk egg white lightly, roll biscuits in egg white then in almonds
* Place on baking paper, flatten with a spoon or fork, a small indent
* Add a quarter of a teaspoon of jam in each indentation, you only need a little tiny bit.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

inky spinky spatty day

The old old pear tree floating by in the green pea boat
Today I was feeling worse for wear, I think I've torn the little lining over my left rib cage again, but this time it wasn't gardening it was my virtuous Saturday yoga session yesterday.

It feels like a sore rib.

 I know I went in determined again, I was feeling anxious even before I started the session, jogging to my class at the progress hall, to chill down any adrenal glands. (the wedding stationery samples are not going fast enough for me, slow cook printmaking) By the time the session got to the last part, the part we all love, I was halfway through my mind leaving to calmer places and a lone mosquito started buzzing around my head, I can't begin to tell you how annoying this was. Fuck.

I was jolted or jilted out of the last and grand phase.

I also had a quiet moment of feeling  insecure about my washing line, I have always pegged everything up in a random fashion, when my friend Swinkie photographed it, it was rather hilarious, appeared like an unkept teenagers bedroom.

So I made a big effort to hang all the socks colour coded together, shirts together, you get the idea. I really still wasn't getting it or inspired by this process until I walked back up to the house and when I turned to have a final look, I felt like a weight lift off my mind...organisation, it was a beautiful sight and will endeavour to keep it going.

So today I painted all the watercolour blobs on our order for the Orange Regional Art Gallery. Cleaned up our studio for the National Art School students, second and third years visiting us this week, invited myself over for orange and lemon cake at one of the artists in residence, cake baking is big in Hill End.

Favourite rose Mutabilis its like little girls blousy dresses all with variegated colours from soft apricot yellow to crimson pink
Little poms poms of the Japanese Rose
All the grapes are coming on now, there's plenty for the parrots and us.
Changed the loungeroom curtain over to the summer one that I made.

Made an attempt on my artwork for the Dubbo exhibition in August, which was a relief just to start, decorated a large envelope that is being sent off to my Mum for her birthday, met some really gorgeous people today that wandered into our studio and photographed my flowers getting ready for the wedding stationery, a warm up so to speak.

Bill had a successful day putting all the horizontal beams in place for the walls of our new studio, tomorrow we are up on the roof putting the beams across.

Then tonight I really really wanted to watch Kevin McClouds' new program on ABC but the aerial played up on the roof, so another jilting, will watch it tomorrow on the internet with breakfast.

The upside is that the Nashi pear tree in our courtyard is going gangbusters and is laden with little gold gems of fruit, nice with blue vein cheese and we have rain tonight and I am getting closer to that next home to photograph.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Studio raising

Nothing like raising the roof and seeing your vision.

Well our temple to art and printmaking is up, (or the cult we thought we may start) well the framework anyway, after a week of Bill welding the pieces of steel and Hui coming in and helping with the final parts, then it went up. Bill, Hui, Vike and Mark with us girls watching and photographing.
It went up a lot quicker than we thought and a few beers with a plate of pickled onions, goats cheese and biscuits spurred it on.

We are both absolutely exhausted today, after yesterday of getting at a very reasonable price, 15 bales of insulation, a new fridge given to us by Bill's son, ours is ok, if you can live with collapsing shelves and a freezer that hasn't heard about climate change, it looks like Antartica. So that was exciting.
 I want to spray it a hip colour now. Olive Green maybe.

Plus onboard we had 30 sheets of ply on the roof of the car and in between hiking up to Wyong, an hour and a bit drive from Sydney we collected all the items we needed for the next building stage.

I bought Tango a dog harness on the way, this was my confidence level of getting every hardware item back to Hill End in our 350 thousand on the clock kms car and trailor.

The worse part is the semi trailors hurtling down the express way and we could only do 60 - 70 kms with every rear view mirror being spoilt for lookouts of flying insulation.

Thank goodness for grey ducktape.

So we had to drive up there and then come back down into Sydney afternoon traffic and head out again across the ranges.

But we made it I am happy to say, starting off at 9.00am in the morning from Haberfield and getting home by 10.oo pm to Hill End, such a long day with anxiety levels  creeping in and crappy take away food, I'm so organic now with my eating I reel back at anything else, well not exactly but it concerns me.

Bill is up the back at the building site preparing work benches for when we climb the roof to put all the hardware on, I've put flowers in the Hill End pub this morning and this afternoon I was going to get into my art, but emails, pinteresting have taken over.

The best thing is that we are so thrilled with the pitch of the roof, we were a bit hesitant at first with this as it was quite a bit of extra work for Bill to get this as the other option would be to buy a shed kit  and it wouldn't have had what this has which is very special with the wow factor.

So its always that thing of determination and trusting your gut instinct, which was Bill. I was concerned with the time and cost, but actually going this way has been cheaper and we are on target with our budget, so you can't complain about that. 

So tomorrow, back to printing at Holtermanns and yoga in the morning, because very soon I will be scaling that roof.