Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Helping the Environment

What's this?

It is a shopping bag knitted out of used supermarket plastic carrier bags! Now before you think that I have entirely 'lost the plot' knitting with plastic from old bags, this idea was actually in one of our National newspapers a little while ago. I decided I must try this to see if it works. It does and they are very strong. I plan to do another one, larger this time and with different coloured bags. It is a big issue in England at the moment to use reusable bags.
This was knitted on UK (Imperial size) 00 needles. or 9 mm (Metric) or US 13
One cuts the top and bottom off the old bags then cuts strips about 1 inch wide round and round (like peeling an apple) until the bag is now just one long strip. 30 stitches seems to be about right (but one can do any size of course) and knitted whatever length is desired. I used 5 stitches for the handles. Bag is sewn up with the same strips of plastic and it is important to sew up tightly, really fastening in the ends well in order for it to be strong.
When this was first in the newspaper people were asked to see if they could come up with anything better and I was amazed the following week to see the creations that had been sent to the paper. All different and very artistic. One person had also knitted a hat in plastic to go with the bag! Think I will just stick with the bag!!

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

More Beauty

We have just had 3 days of almost non-stop torrential rain (sorry to my blogging friends in the Southern States as I know you long for this) accompanied by high winds from the Arctic Circle. Not nice at this time of year, especially as we were basking in warm sunshine a month ago. I did have some damage in my garden, but nothing too drastic, just broken plants and a little flooding. So most of the roses are still in tight bud, but managed to photo a few this afternoon, plus some other bits.

To think that this plant has saved the lives of many heart patients


Escallonia Apple Blossom

Variegated Photinia


Mock Orange

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Painting on Silk

Today being The World Day of Prayer I thought I would have a change from 'garden' and show you a painting that I did on silk some years ago. I did it for my church. I suddenly had a strong desire to do it. It felt like a prophetic painting as the Lord gave me a scripture and I began from there. Once I got started I stayed up late into the night to work on it.

For the uninitiated, painting on silk is difficult. There are special silk paints, but the paints run all over the place, except where something is outlined with Gutta. Some one does on dry silk and some on wet silk and of course the silk is stretched out on a frame and there is nothing to lean on. So as it was my first attempt I just got on with it. It is certainly not professional but I think it served it's purpose at the time. It is quite large and was used as a wall hanging when we used to get together with a lot of other churches in the area to pray for our area and city.

It says "Shout, for the Lord has given you the City"
Joshua 6:16
If you double click on the photo you will get a full screen picture.The buildings are representative of different parts of London. In the bottom right hand corner you will see a little cat sitting on a brick wall. This was my personal touch. Can't have a city without a cat!

Friday, 25 May 2007

Roses are beginning to flower

More of the front roses are coming into flower

Isolated ones at the back

A few weeks into June and the display at the back will be stunning

I continue to show my Rock Rose as it flowers more and more each day. It is about 6 foot high and 6 foot across and just covered in these dainty flowers. They all fall off by late evening and are covered again by the next morning. The flowers are like tissue paper. I grew this from a cutting of a plant that I took out some years ago, which in turn was a a cutting I took from a friend's shrub.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Ulting Church with a Walk along the River

A beautiful warm and sunny day yesterday so dropped the gardening and the spring cleaning to get out into the countryside. Drove about 50 minutes to this lovely old church at Ulting in Essex. Their brochure says "A Place of Peace and Pilgrimage". It was certainly that. There has been a church on the site since 1150AD. The church sits next to the River Chelmer and it is the most peaceful of settings. In the 1870's the fabric of the church was in a bad state and a major restoration took place.

The brickwork of the original walls can still be seen protruding from the grass in places

This is the view from the church yard

After visiting the church we drove to the nearby village of Woodham Waters and had lunch in the Bell Inn. The building is 500 years old. The food is excellent and had we not been out to walk I could have had a feast.

View from our table

We leave the Inn and begin to make our way back to the river

Passing this quaint Post Office and General Store on the way

We are back at the river and I would now like to take you on one of my walks. This river was made into a Navigation Canal in 1797. There are 12 Lock Gates and 6 Bridges. Coal, bricks and timber were carried along the river on barges. In places where the water looks dirty, it is not. The surface was covered in the fleece from the seed pods on the trees that lined the length on both sides.

This is the path we are taking as we leave Ulting Lock and we are going to walk for 3 miles to the next main Lock gates. Paper Mill Lock.

It gets prettier with the Cow Parsley

We pass a Narrow Boat. These days the river is used for pleasure

Then round a bend and we see the church from a different angle

I love the isolation and the empty spaces as we continue to walk

Bridge ahead

A seat in memory of a loved one was welcome - rest awhile if you wish

Back on the path watered and refreshed

Don't miss the wild Buttercups in the meadow as we pass

And another Lock Gate
Here we see a Swan fluffing out his feathers as he comes across a family of Geese who were obviously on his territory. The baby geese that were basking at the waters edge were quickly moved by their parents. Look at the reflection.

Civilisation at Paper Mill Lock

Well almost! These are the Tearooms

Somebody thought about the ducks
I hope you enjoyed your hour of leisure here eating ice-cream and butter flapjacks with Mango Juice. I did until I counted up the calories - over 700!!
We are now about to turn around and walk back. The 3 miles will take us about an hour as we stop to take in the beautiful fauna and wildlife around us. Our sightings today were geese, ducks, swans, moorhens, pheasants, rabbits and squirrels.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

In His Image

One of my art projects, done in Calligraphy. If you look carefully you will see that this is done by just writing the word peace continually for 5 lines so that it ends up with peace on all 4 sides.

By Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Each individual will make a matchless discovery: he will be able to cease from constantly scrutinising the other person, judging him, condemning him, putting him in his particular place where he can gain ascendancy over his brother and thus doing violence to him as a person. Now he can allow the brother to exist as a completely free person, as God made him to be. His view expands and, to his amazement, for the first time he sees, shining within his brother, the richness of God's created glory.

God did not make this person as I would have made him. He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find within him the creator. Now the other person, in the freedom in which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction.

God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather than in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image. I can never know beforehand how God's image should appear in others. That image always manifests a new and unique form that comes solely from God's free and sovereign creation. To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every man in the likeness of His Son, the Crucified. After all, even that image certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it.

Strong and weak, wise and foolish, gifted and ungifted, pious or unpious, the diverse individuals in the community are no longer incentives for talking and judging or condemning, and thus excuses for self-justification. They are rather cause for rejoicing in one another and serving one another.

The Rough Guide to Blogging

I have had quite a number of comments from my dear blogging friends to say that the Comment facility was not on my last post. I have now fixed this. I had saved it as a draft and it looks like when I was changing the date, the comments option must have been changed by mistake. All working now, I hope. I will take this opportunity to say how much I enjoy that you all visit me and the appreciative comments that come my way.
I bought this "Blogging" book recently at my local super market. It is quite interesting and I would think quite helpful for new bloggers. The Rough Guide to Blogging by Jonathan Yang. ISBN Number 1-84353-682-X

Monday, 21 May 2007

Tuna, Brocoli and Pasta Bake

This is another very simple but tasty recipe. Certainly if I am cooking more complicated meals then I do not want to stop and be taking photos. But when the dish is so easy I think it worth posting.

Tuna, Brocoli & Pasta Bake (4)

8 oz pasta twists 14oz can tuna, drained 6 – 8oz broccoli florets
Cheese Sauce: 2oz butter 2oz Pl.flour 1 pint milk 4oz cheese

1. Cook pasta in boiling water for 5 min then add bite size broccoli and return to boil. Cook 4 – 5 min until pasta just tender. Drain well.
2. Flake tuna on bottom of rectangular ovenproof dish.
3. Make cheese sauce with half the cheese.
4. Arrange pasta & broccoli over the tuna and cover with sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. BAKE Mk6/200C /400F for 25 min.

Do be aware that a British pint is 20 fl. oz.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

What's new in colour today?

I have been working hard in the garden this weekend but could not finish without a few more shots of emerging colours.
I love this Diabolo. I only planted it last year so it has lots more growing and spreading to do. It's only just beginning to flower but I could not resist.
A peep at the bottom of the garden - not much colour yet

The Clematis that is already in flower is not doing too well this year. I think it is a combination of such a long dry spell in the Spring (Clematis like a lot of water) and also the Shield Bug that is growing fat on it. I think the Clematis that has not yet flowered looks much healthier. Will post in due course.

Chives in the Herb Garden

And Sage

One last look at the Rock Roses