Thursday, 31 October 2013

Its Offical, Summer has finished!!!!

Well the Guernsey Tapestry is now closed for the Winter Season,
which means we will just be open on Thursdays from 10-4 till mid march,
Its been a great season, so thank you everyone.

And I thought I would share some details of these amazing embroiderers with you all

The shop is still there for lots of Christmas present ideas, thought obviously only on Thursdays!
(this was the old work house, but its now the Police Station)

 (sand on Havelet Bay)

And I am sure some of you remember when Condor was a hydro foil!

Right I am having a lye in tomorrow, and may just stay in my pyjamas!

Monday, 28 October 2013

biggest bracket ever!

Its definitely Autumn!
Look at these amazing bracket fungus, that were growing in the grounds of. Priaux Library.  They usually grow on dead decaying wood, but from there growth pattern I think we can safely say there was a tree stump there once upon a time

They are massive, that's my phone!

and so beautiful, I love the stripes

and the fluted edges

The strangest thing though is its texture, its not like a mushroom at all more like cardboard!
Very weird......

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Bean Jar!

Welcome to Bean Jar!
It would definitely be agreed that this is our national dish,
 its not complicated or expensive but so tasty.

All you need is a pound of dry beans (a mix of haricot and butter), an chopped onion
 and a cheap piece of meat.  Traditionally it would have been a pigs trotter, but I prefer shin of beef,
you could also use a ham hock, but you do want to have the meat on the bone.  
You do have to be bit organised as the beans need to be soaked over night

You can use a traditional bean jar, I got mine from Moulin Huet Pottery,
but any lidded casserole dish would work.

Put every thing in the pot along with two pints of water, that's all.
Then it goes in the oven at 140 degrees for between 6 to 8 hours, check it a couple of times to make sure theres enough water, if no,t top it up.
Then when the meat is tender, remove it from the beans, let it cool, and separate from the bone and fat, so its just the beef back in with the beans.
Check the seasoning, then enjoy, I know its not a glamorous or pretty, pretty dish, but when you have a major storm heading towards the island, it very, very comforting especially with a cider!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

I must finish my blue dress first!

A lovely parcel of fabric was waiting for me when I got home.
Two meters of gorgeous Millefiore cotton by Kaffe Fasset

 Isn't it gorgeous, I think I am going to make a long sleeve shirt out of it.
 Its so my colours and reminds me of that glorious glass you get in Venice,
but then you look at the name and its not really a surprise is it?
 But first I need to finish my 1940's style blue dress,
 its very fitted and the pattern and dress has needed a lot of fiddling with.
 So its been on hold all summer, think this arrival has given me the shake I needed
If it sounds like its the only project I have on the go at the moment then it would be a lie!

Theres also a shawl I am knitted,
this years Christmas card to be stitched,
 experiments with sea glass,
archiving historical school uniform,
finishing and embroidery for a friend
and two possible commissions in the pipeline!
 But I do get itchy fingers if there is nothing in my basket.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

a talking point

Well I have never had a handbag/basket that has invoked such a reaction in random strangers!

In shops behind the tills, ladies are always saying 'oh I remember having one of those in the 60's' or 'my Mum had one of those, haven't seen one for ages!'

Well mine came from one of the antique shops up Mill Street, and I have found out that they are from the 50/60's and are called Gondolier Baskets, and not are not for going crabbing Vicky!!!!

And would you believe it but last week I actually got stopped in the street
 by a lady who loved my basket,
 am thinking of starting its own facebook fan page!
After all I think its a design classic, don't you?

Monday, 21 October 2013

and now for the winter baskets!

Earlier in October St Peter Port put away her summer wardrobe and brought out her boots and coats!
Good bye to all the summer flowers that had gone up May (see earlier in blog)
, that was nearly 1,000 hanging baskets, boxes and planters.

And they were now looking leggy and past there best, so out they came, and don't worry they will all be composted, though I am sure I could have given some of the geraniums a home.

And the new ones were waiting to step into their shoes so to speak.

A little more understated and refined than the summer wardrobe but I think mine is too :-)
The bright pinks and turquoises are slowly being replaced by plums and dark blues.
But so much smarter, and in a strange Caro way, happier!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Nerine Sarniensis

In Guernsey we are very honoured to have a beautiful South African flower named after us.
 The Nerine Sarniensis, or the Guernsey Lily (Sarnia is our Roman name).
It is rather odd, as its obviously not native, not even close,
 but it was referred to as the Garnsay Lilly as far back as 1665,
and was the first nerine to be cultivated in Europe, with reports from Paris in 1630. 
There are a few stories as to how it came to have this name, my favourite that it was washed ashore from the ship wreck of a Dutch bulb trader, and liked the climate.  But the truth is nobody knows.
But how ever it happened, we are proud of them and every year (and its happening this week) there is a Nerine exhibition at the Victorian Green house at Candie Gardens.

It is an amazing display of Nerine, on rainy grey October day, a real blast of colour.

Ta Dah! 
The Nerine Sarniensis, its a tomato red with a smattering of gold,
 a lot of locals think they have the Guernsey lily in the gardens,
but if it is bright pink, then I am sorry its not, that's the nerine bowdenni. 
It is though a lot easier to grow, as our lily doesn't like being moved
and isn't hardy (not really a problem here)

I have to admit I think this was my favourite,
but it could have been this one

But not this one, too skinny!
All down the centre of the tables were terracotta pots full of Sarniensis, beautiful

'A House of Nerines'
A gorgeous watercolour by a local Victorian Artist called W.J.Caparne, which is in the collection at Candie Museum.
And it features in the guernsey tapestry, and I have the pleasure of being able to look at it every day.

If you enjoy gardening or just appreciate flowers, do go and have a look,
its on till the end of next week.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

so angelic!

Welcome to my Angelic Donkey!
Already to add a small dash of heavenly happiness to your life

He's very happy hanging against something, but need to get the balance worked out if he is going to possibly, dare I say it, go on a tree!  At the moment he nods forward.
Just needs to have a think on that, but will take this chap down to Hannah at Lovely Pops tomorrow.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Victorian Walled Garden a safe haven for pumpkins!

On Tuesday I got round to visiting The Victorian Walled Garden walled garden at
Saumarez Park which I have been meaning to do for ages. 
Sadly I was too late for the sunflower maze, but there was still a lot going on,
mainly in the pumpkin department

including these very odd trombone squash, not sure if they are edible, or just decorative? Does any one know?

and the more traditional
Then inside the beautiful Victorian lean too greenhouse they had stored all the ripe ones

arnt they gorgeous and they were for sale, so its pumpkin soup for super then!
And you remember I mentioned the sunflower maze?  Well here are all the seed heads drying from the grape and tomato vines, very ingenious, and almost like a modern art installation

Then back outside their rainbow chard had taken on a totally different scale to ours!  It is a biennial, and theirs was flowering, so it must be in its second year, so is this what we have to look forward too!
And some elegant cavelo nero

 what a clever idea for a bird scarer, this little chap is suspended by a cord from an arched pole, so he swings and bounces in the breeze, so he flies!

loads of cosmos enjoying the shelter provided by the old granite walls
then though the door at the far end looking back, definitely reminded me of 'The Secret Garden' by Francs Hodgson Burnett, a classic children's book
go on, any idea of how much his beast weighs?
And by the way I think he's sitting in a traditional Guernsey barrow,
 narrower to fit in through the doors of greenhouses, with no back for ease of loads,
always of wood, but really it should be blue or red.

Well the pumpkin I brought home really put the one on my patio to shame, come on grow!!!!!