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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Random sky pictures

 Taken early morning just before 8 a.m. on my way to work.  Looking east.  

Sunday, 27 October 2013

More of Beanie's Sketchbook (scroll down for new pages)

 this is one of a series of books I've made with Khadi paper pulp as the sheets.  (the others are on my etsy shop).  This is what I've done so far....

 that little piece of plastic that the pen is sitting on ...... soap wrapper from a mini soap at the Lille hotel I stayed in last March, bound into the book!!!

The little sheet has Bellagio tissue paper gift wrap from a trip to Las Vegas in 2007

 The other side of the small sheet has rubber stamps....
 You can sew fabric into pulp paper as well, holds up really well.

 Paris playing card and washi tape..... one of my lino prints on green paper and some gold wrapping from a box of patisserie wonders from Meert in Lille, France.
The French "spread"!!

 Then some Klimt-ish gilt work for the Royal Academy ticket pages with a quote in between....

With another little quote and some gold paper from Meert pattiserie in Lille France on the rest of the Royal Academy ticket!!

 The Lowry exhibition ticket from the Tate in London.....

That's the Royal Pavillion, Brighton, ticket.....

Followed by The Royal Announcement!!
(which I did first....!)

 I was sent a decorated tag from Mary G in America.... so this page reflects the design on the tag with blue paint and gold highlights dabbed on with a damp sponge.  Skeleton leaves were added, and also part of a glassine sheet from a box of Laduree patisserie macarons!!

 That's the tag taken out of the glassine "pocket".

 and the next page had the blue/purple paint with gold highlights also plus tissue paper and some quotes.

 I like being weird.  I've been practising for years......

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Pumpkin Carving Contest

 We decided to take part in Jerry and Ben's Pumpkin Carving Contest again this year!!!  Andrea got us a huge ENORMOUS one!!

 First we had to cut the top off.....

 Coo... there's a lot of seeds in these things....!!

 Tango scooped out even more seeds!!!

 WOW!!!  That's LOADS!

 Then we started scooping out the insides as well.....

 Finished!!  YAY!!!

 Then we had to made the face... this is hard work you know....

 TA-DAAA!!!!!  Let's put a candle in it!!!

 FINISHED!!  That's our entry in the contest!!!!!


Beanie's Birthday Cakes!!!

 Yesterday, I got to do something very fun and VERY messy!!!  First of all, Andrea went shopping and brought home some caster sugar, icing sugar, plain flour, baking powder, unsalted butter, vanilla essence and a Muffin Tin.  She said the Muffin Tin was a Birthday Present for me!!!!  We also got some milk and eggs out of the fridge.

 Then we got a big bowl, and put in a teaspoon of baking powder, 100g caster sugar and 100g of the butter.

 Then we put in 200g of sifted flour.  Andrea almost forgot that, but I read the recipe book and reminded her!!!!  We mixed that all together by paws and fingers until it was all mixed together.

 Then we put three eggs, 5 fluid oz of milk and a teaspoon of vanilla essence into a jar and mixed that all together.

 Then we poured the wet bits into the dry bits a little at a time and mixed it all up......

 Until it looked like this!!

 Then we got My Muffin Tin Tray and put some paper whatsits in, and then spooned out the gooey mixture into the paper whatsits.  That was REALLY messy!!!  I got some on my ears!!!!!

 Then we put the tray into a warmed up oven and left them in there for 25 minutes!!

 And that's how they came out!!  Oh, this is exciting!!!

 THEN - we're not finished yet!! - we got 100g of the unsalted butter and 100g (or was it 200g??) of the icing sugar and another teaspoon of vanilla essence and mixed that all together.....

 Until it looked like that!  Oh wow!!  What do we do with this, then??

 Oh!  We put a bit on top of the cakes!!!!  Hang on, they look like Beanie sized birthday cakes now!!!

 OH YEAH!!!  It's my birthday tomorrow!!!  Except Andrea's going to work tomorrow so we started early!!!  Oh how fun!!!  I made twelve birthday cakes!  Does that mean I'm twelve years old this year?

Andrea said I could eat one straight away just to make sure it was OK.  It was a little gummy gooey in the middle, like it hadn't quite cooked long enough, but the icing was YUMTASTIC!!  (Andrea even let me lick the icing spoons and jar clean too!!!)
If we do this again, I think we need to put the Muffin Tin Tray on the bottom oven shelf and leave it in for 30 minutes instead of 25 minutes.  
But these are yummy!  I like my Muffin Tin Tray present!!!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Movie review - "Lust for Life"

Movie review number18

This movie stars Kirk Douglas as the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh and also stars Anthony Quinn as French artist Paul Gauguin.  The movie starts with Vincent wanting to enter the clergy but they don't want him.  But they change their mind after a passioned plea from Vincent and send him to a tiny mining village in Belgium, full of mud, potatoes and poverty.  This is where Vincent starts painting and drawing very dark and almost depressing pictures.  Vincent then gets kicked out of the job and moves back in with his parents in Holland and falls in love with a cousin whose husband recenlty died.  That causes more problems..... and he then moves to France to learn to paint.  He then meets the Impressionists in Paris and that's when he starts using bright colours in his paintings!!!  
Vincent then moves to the south of France and tries to set up an Artists colony, and shares a house with Gauguin but they get on each other nerves and start arguing.  Later, they have a HUGE row, Gauguin stomps off and Vincent cuts his ear off!!!!  Gauguin moves on, and Vincent goes into an Assylum.
He keeps painting though, and eventually is released from the Assylum and moves to Auvers sur Oise just north of Paris ...... he stays in the Auberge de Ravoux and continues painting...... until he dies - in the movie that's portrayed as an epileptic seizure.  You're obviously not paying attention....!!!  We checked, and in the movie Vincent dies by gunshot in the cornfields!!!  (oops!)
Ed's note - I've been to Auvers sur Oise, trains leave from Gare du Nord in Paris.  The scene in the movie where Vincent walks down some old steps (away from the church) - the graveyard is opposite that church which is where Vincent and his brother Theo are buried with a cypress tree at the foot of the graves, and on the other side of the wall are the cornfields that he painted.

This is a lovely movie!!!
Beanie says 9 squeaks out of 10!!

Corn on the cob with lots of butter!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

More random photos

A few random shots of the back garden over the last few weeks, starting with an Upstart Seagull.  He still has speckled feathers so you can tell he's a kiddie.

Another weekend we had torrential rain and that's all we could see through the window!!!!!

More recently, we've had new neighbours move into the garden!!!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Old cooker New cooker

 At the beginning of August we had a gas appliance safety check at where we live.  This is a legal requirement on rented appartments in England that have a gas supply.  The photo above and below is the gas cooker that was in the flat when we moved in back in 1999...... when the gas man saw it he said that in the 38 years he'd been doing his job, he'd never seen anything quite like it.

 I think it might've been the fossilised gunk and rust down the side that wouldn't come off even with industrial grade Cilit Bang and pneumatic drill.

 However, after consulting the Managing Agents who consulted with the Landlord, I got a bright shiney spanking new cooker installed a couple of weeks later!!!!  It has a four hob top with a clear cover that shuts off the gas supply when you shut it.....

And then the top bit is a grill and the bottom bit is the oven.
And I didn't have to pay a penny because the Landlord had to pay out!!!
I love my cooker!!!!!