My little sister is in hospital to deliver her baby… we are waiting, very excitedly, for news! Candles lit to guide this baby home to his/her mamas arms…
What a dark, damp Saturday we have had. Many times we stood at the kitchen window open-mouthed, as the rain hammered on the roof, rendering it almost impossible to hear anyone speak, as rivers of water flowed past the house. These dark days really start to make it feel like winter, and we have been preparing for the inevitable weather for the past few weeks (heavy curtains hung, unused open fires temporarily blocked up, fuel in the shed: stacked and stored ready)
I have been eyeing up half a large kilner jar of last years mincemeat, but I am insisting I hold out making the first batch of mince pies until November (besides, I’m currently obsessed with making (and eating) apple-tarts)
So in the dark of today, I thought we would make our own sunshine:
with egg yolks!
I read Cenninis book years ago, and was always amused by his instruction that to paint (in egg tempera) young peoples skin tone one needed a town hens-egg, and for ruddier country peoples complexion, one needed a deeper yolk from a country hen.
I had 5 yolks from two days ago when I cooked (disastrous) meringues (-I forgot to turn down the heat…) so we mixed these with some watercolour paint to make the egg tempera.
I always loved the sheen and quality of egg tempera, and thankfully this wasn’t lost on little (and not so little) ones (our eldest son usually doesn’t partake in these art and craft activities anymore as he is a practicing moody teenager)
What we did: we poured the egg yolks into a bowl (there is a filmy sack around it which you remove, and sometimes if they have been sitting uncovered, there can be a hard coating too)
Into small pots (kept from our Floradix multi-vitamin bottles: ever so useful for so many things) we put some watercolour paint
(my watercolour tubes were in the studio, across the yard, and I really couldn’t bring myself to dash out in the torrential downpour)
so we used watercolour dyes, which weren’t as strong as I had hoped. Nevertheless, no-one seemed to notice or mind. We mixed approximately half and half-paint and yolk, mixed thoroughly then began to paint. It dries quite quickly, so really beautiful effects can be achieved by layering colours, and the paint feels beautifully soft to use.
Just as I began to use some of the paint, our smallest person decided that he needed to nurse. Right now. So tomorrow I am hoping to mix up some more and to use it on the art-angel-dolls I have been making. And to finish these little collage pieces I have been putting together in order to make into printed cards:
In the midst of everything else, it feels so good to be creating in tiny moments that pop up during the day
I’m here typing with our little man in my arms- he is laughing in his sleep- something he does a lot: I am frequently woken at night with him gurgling and shaking with laughter curled up beside me
(if only he would remember his gaeity when he is screaming in the car. Clearly, we have discovered, he does not like the car )
Yesterday was promised fine, but ended up a very damp squib- a bit like our entire summer and autumn this year…
But inbetween torrential showers, we had moments of extraordinary light: colouring everything golden. I took a trip out to the newly weeded hen run, where Flash II, the Cockeral (offspring of the very handsome Flash I) presided over his ladies (apart from Mother Hen, who is a bit of a feminist and takes none of his guff- just does her own thing, with her chicks in tow)
I have been delighted with our Virginia Creeper that took off over Pebbles’ dog-run this year- it is so beautiful this time of year:
This is the time of year for apple tarts too; my friend Fiona brought out apples from her mothers garden (her mother, Mary, of “Marys Cake” fame), and when it came out of the oven, Michael noticed the cross in the centre had turned into…
Hallowe’en is fast approaching
(I have to admit, I don’t like the Hallowe’en festivities at all, but love the pumpkin carving and baking)
The boys grew their own pumpkins this year (might try to make Erins pumpkin pie- yum) but they practiced on marrows this morning with pumpkin-faces the lady in the charity shop gave them yesterday (they were telling her about their pumpkin-growing and she was so impressed she gave them a bag of free Hallowe’en stuff)
At least we have found a use for all the overgrown marrows in the polytunnel
Well… better late than never…: I’m joining Ginny again on Yarn Along this week.
I’ve been so incredibly busy, and not just newborn-baby-busy, but my head is overflowing with all sorts of creative ideas: paintings, art dolls, cards, crochet. My shawl hasn’t made huge progress in the past 2 weeks, not least because I lost (yes, lost) it for a few days (you have got to see my house to understand…)
I’ve just finished “Testimony” by Anita Shreve (bit gritty at the start for those who may be faint of heart) but an excellent yarn nonetheless! Needless to say, I couldn’t find the book when I went to take the photo…
I’ll post more photos of the Art Dolls asap: there is just no point in me saying when, I’m at the mercy of a six week old little man and a house that needs to be boil-washed…