Thursday, 16 July 2009

Lino cutting, raspberry jam, farewell ducklings and a bit of a teasle....

I have carried on with the next stage of Dijanne Cevaal's lino cutting online course and am pleased with these two reverse image leaf prints - they look rather African to me. I must say I am completely hooked and have ordered more lino and a couple of different Jacquard colours ... this will lead to dyeing more fabric - oh no!

I think I'm quite keen to print some sort of stylised teasel from the garden next. That will be fiddly to cut - should I book a place at Accident and Emergency in advance?

The ducks have been gently captured and taken to a local wildlife lake where they swam off happily on to a more appropriate expanse of water than our little back garden pond where their mother had set up home.

We miss them but seem to have acquired two guinea pigs in their place!!

I've made a big batch of scones and raspberry jam from our fruit. It knocks spots off shop bought jam and is so simple:

Making a few small jars of jam doesn't have to take all day or use special equipment. This recipe can be prepared in the time the scones are cooking.
Preparation time :
15 minutes
Cooking time :
20 minutes
Total time :
35 minutes
Makes: 3 x 200ml jars
450g raspberries450g granulated sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. To sterilise the jars, place 3 thoroughly clean 200ml jars on their sides in the oven for 10 minutes. Then turn off the oven, leaving the jars inside until the jam is ready to pot. Place 2-3 saucers in the freezer to chill.
2. Rinse the raspberries. Place in a pan and cook over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes until the juices are just beginning to run.
3. Add the sugar and stir over a gentle heat for 1-2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Then increase the heat and bring to a vigorous boil for 5-10 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and test the jam by dabbing a little on one of the cold saucers. Cool for a few seconds, then push the jam with your fingertip. If it wrinkles, it has reached setting point. If not, boil for a further 2 minutes then test again. When the setting point is reached, spoon the jam into the jars. Cover the surface with a disc of waxed paper and seal with a lid. Label and store in a cool dark place for up to 3 weeks.

Isn't this hover fly amazing. He was on a Verbascum in the garden this morning. I love the lacy wings and the colourings.


  1. Lovely lino prints, they look great.

    I too have 2 guinea pigs - they are very cute, though rather cheeky.

  2. the lino cuttings are great - just like a bought one! (do you have that expression there - it is a joke - it means I think they are good :) ) Ive never seen a teasel before - what does it become - is it a flower or thistle? it looks cool anyway. the jam sounds yummy, but with the price of raspberries here each pot of jam would cost about $300 each.

  3. ps. the crochet pattern of your life must include duck removal services and guinea pig poo shovelling. lucky you.

  4. The prints are wonderful, I'm sure the ducks are happier with more room to swim, I agree that raspberry jam is easy to make in small batches, and yes you should make an appointment before you mess with that teasle! Whew...that was a lot to cover.

  5. You are going great guns with the lino. I like the colours too.

  6. Your lino prints are great. The teasel will be a challenge, but what a super shape. Those ducklings are so sweet. Raspberry jam is my all time favourite. The hover fly is stunning but a bit too waspy for my liking.

  7. noooooo! Don't do it, step away from the teasle!

  8. I love your lino prints. I'll tell you where I get my velvet(I dye it myself)...Whaleys Bradford, if you tell where you get your lino!
    (I had to answer here as you are a 'no reply' blogger. add your e mail to your profile if you want to change that)

  9. Oh, those duckling babes...very sweet.

    Gorgeous print! Was my favourite studio at Art School. And that hover fly is a stunner!

  10. I think that the Hover fly would make a fab lino print. Love the leaves, v impressive.

  11. Also : Note to Paula Hewitt ..... The sentence "the crochet pattern of your life" is wonderful! Might I 'borrow' it?

  12. Someone sent me the link to your blog, which I read with interest. We have a garden pond, and ducks had never appeared until a couple of weeks ago, a Mr and Mrs Mallard dropped in. But we had the netting over the pond at the time, so they flew off again, at which I was slightly disappointed I have to say. Interesting to note that you are in Tettenhall, which I know from a couple of visits back in the late seventies. I did have a very good friend there, but we lost touch... her surname used to be Huntbatch, first name Sue, don't know if you know of her? She remarried but I can't recall her name. Coincidentally, it was her birthday when I read the blog....


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