Monday 20 July 2015

Jam, pomegranate painting and patchwork

In the very week that the official recommendations are that everyone in the UK should reduce their sugar intake by a half my sous chef and I are making jam like demons.

What can you do? When the raspberries are in full swing jamming is the obvious course! If I can salvage most of these before she eats them all we'll have enough to last all year and, in my defence, I do give quite a lot away. People seem to love a jar of homemade jam!

With such a generous crop we can afford to be extravagant. I soften the fruit and then sieve it before adding the sugar and boiling it up for a few minutes. That means we get a jewel-like jelly with none of the irritating seeds to stick in your teeth! Intense flavour and quite delicious.

Raspberries aren't the only fruit under consideration this week. Laura spotted an enormous pomegranate when she was grocery shopping and she thought it might be an interesting subject for me to paint.

I've just treated myself to a secondhand easel I discovered at the flea market. It holds my extra large drawing board much better than my old easel so I decided it was time to work on a bigger scale than of late.

I'm working with Liquitex acrylic paints and inks again but what you see is simply a beginning - after the initial blocking in of opaque colour there will be numerous layers of transparent inks to try to capture the richness and depth of colour I see in the fruit.

It's actually a miracle that I've managed to do any painting at all as I've spent a ridiculous amount of time filling the drawers of my new/old watchmaker's cabinet. You wouldn't believe how long it takes to sort all the buttons and beads into the same colours and sizes! Serves me right for mixing them up in the first place I suppose. I'm hoping that being able to see what I've got will mean I make better use of the treasures - we'll see if that happens.

And then, just when you decide life is too short to stuff a mushroom, I have a whim to start a hand pieced quilt for our super king sized bed. Laura thinks I must have been out in the sun too long over the weekend! DMTV members will get to see this very soon but don't hold your breath - it's a bit of a project!

Hope you're finding the time and inclination to be creative right now - remember, no matter how busy you are, making stuff is good for the soul.

Linda x


  1. Your sous chef is doing better than me. I would have raspberry stains on my face and shirt. I can almost smell the pot of jelly across the pond - divine! I am enjoying your process of filling your chest drawers. I recently brought home a cupboard from my Dad's carpenter shop. He knew I wanted it and put my name on masking tape so there would be no arguments. He used his for carpentry supplies like nails, brads, screws. I am using it for buttons, shells, inks, etc. I know if he was still here, he'd approve. I can't wait for the patchwork DMTV. I have been eyeing a triangle scrap quilt for a while, but all those bias seams! As always, I adore the painting. Have fun this week in the garden and studio!

  2. You have amazing energy and if you find yourself in possession of too many jars of jam......

  3. Thanks Jeannie - you sound like a kindred spirit!

  4. Hi Beth - I'd send a jar right away if I could! We have our Canadian branch of the family visiting today and we've all just sampled yesterday's jam on homemade raisin scones. Very English afternoon tea which seemed to find favour!

  5. I'm even more envious of the drawers now I can see them full of beads. I might have to look out for something similar.

  6. This entire post is delicious! And when did the sous-chef grow from baby to girl? Whoa!

  7. It all sounds full on and exhausting! Lovely painting. I really need to try some still life!