Sunday, 26 August 2012

Another rambling post.

I have to share a picture of my finished studio as I'm so happy with how it looks. This is my favourite corner and for some reason the one that stays the tidiest :D The unit I bought from my favourite junk shop, but when I got it home it didn't smell so good, even after 3 thorough washes. Originally it was pale pine, so I decided to paint every inch of it and drown the smell with paint! It worked and I love the brightness it brings to the room now :D Faintly, you can just make out the Windling Trees on the wall behind. They come and go with the changing light and I'm in love with the effect, it's so magical!

Talking of magical, Tohki looks almost demonic, haha!

This is one of my super cheap suppers, using up a whole load of vegetables and food from the fridge and larder! I always keep a well stocked spice cupboard, so I started with a base of onions, garlic, ground coriander and cumin and then began adding whatever I could find. There's some tomatoe puree, a half jar of curry sauce and a whole heap of veggies. A handful of raisins and the discovery of some choritzo in the fridge finished it off nicely :D

Served with garlic and coriander naan bread, yummy!

Sadly, I took the decision to let Otter go to a good home, but it wasn't without tears or regrets. The lady desperately wanted him and I was confident that she'd give him a very loving home, but all the same it was a tough call :(

Another tough call is what to do about Merlin's yearling. He's growing into a fabulous little boy and I would dearly love to have him, but unless a miracle happens I simply cannot afford another pony. The cost of keeping a horse or pony is far more than people realise until they've had one for a while. The last few years have seen hay prices rocket and then there's vet fees, farrier fees, insurance..... it's a long list!

I'll keep you posted as to my decision!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Thrifty living.

Or, having fun in the holidays on the cheap!!!

Last week, Moomin and I did some work at the Weald and Dowland museum and so got in to visit their houses for nothing! This beautiful Tudor house was filled with wonderful music from a group of people playing a variety of recorders. I had to marvel at the windows though! No glass and only shutters to keep the cold out. Well, they weren't very good at that, but must have kept the worst of the rain and wind out. We spent a good deal of time at the Tudor kitchen and Moomin learnt some very good recipes to try at home.

The first was griddle cakes. A blend of wholmeal flour (milled at the Weald and Downlands own mill) butter, cinnamon and raisins and mixed to a stiff dough with a drop of cider or ale! We had them for breakfast and they were heavenly and very cheap to make. This flour is mighty filling, so two cakes each was enough!

Another good day out was to Harting Hill, where the dog thoroughly wore himself out climbing to the very high top of the hill twice. His approach to the cows grazing there was either to creep quietly by, or simply bolt as fast as he could! He's not always a very brave dog!

But he does love chicken and we had such a peaceful picnic sitting on the hillside where I managed a very boring landscape painting!!!

Following the thread of thrifyness though, I have a very large store cupboard that needs to be cleared out, so I'm going to be trying to cook cheap and simple meals for the next few weeks and see what recipes I can come up with. Stay posted :D

Thursday, 2 August 2012


The Dining room/Studio has begun it's makeover!
As you can see from this first coat of paint, the blue walls didn't want to go away in a hurry!

After 4 coats of cream paint I added the Windling Trees. The sunlight is responsible for the inconsistant colour here.

This is a clearer view of the cream colour with an antique white for the trees!

Originally, I was just going to paint these two trees in one corner, but got carried away and put trees on all of the walls,

linking the branches over the doorways. This isn't a great picture as not all of the tiny twigs are showing, but you get the idea!

Manchee found it all just too exhausting and had to lie down on an old James Dean bedsheet (junk shop find!!!).

My beautiful Larry Mc.Dougall print looks amazing against the new background :D

And a quick picture of Finn, looking so grown up and handsome :D