If you've noticed I always like to try to link last weeks artist to this weeks. Raymond Higgs is this weeks featured artist. He is a Cumbrian born Wood block printer. His talent is Reduction printing. This is where he uses the same block for printing with, the first print is the base, when this is printed he then shaves off what needs to be taken out and so on till his final print. The pictures opposite depict the stages he goes through to achieve the final print. Want to know more about his work? Click here. Who's work does he remind you of? I know who's work they remind me of and that's who will I featured next week.
COVERED IN WEEDS
So by now you should know that I'm an enthusiastic gardener who seems to kill more plant life than make it grow (hence why I'm not allowed a pet). So it may surprise you when I say .. I grew some veg!!
The Potatoes we dug out of the ground awhile ago were lovely and creamy. Not from seed either, from a plastic bag in the cupboard I'd forgotten was there, five sprouting potatoes. Waste not, want not! In the ground they went.
I found a packet of Carrot seeds and planted them in an egg box and placed in the propagator. But then, some Wise Owl told me after they started to grow I shouldn't really move them once the foliage appears cause the White Fly smells Carrots and like a Rabbit eats it all up. At this point I thought I'd killed them as id not watered them, so I threw them in a sieved patch of soil. And left them – watered them and then didn't play with the leaves. They grew and grew (very small by competition standards) and tasted great. Some how I'd managed to grow a Tomato plant in amongst the carrots. That grew to at least 4ft tall. Alas too cold to bare fruit though.
The thing that amazed us the most was the Cauliflower we purchased as a sapling from Larch Cottage Nurseries. For months it hardly grew mainly cause the slugs loved them so much. Beer traps were laid. Then within one month it grew so fast that it seemed over night a cauliflower had appeared as if by magic. Sorry no photo, we ate it too quick. We purchased a Cherry tree from them this year to help pollinate our Pear Tree that flowers but doesn't ever give fruit. Fingers crossed. We will definitely go back and purchase some vegetable saplings. For me it's the easiest way to get things started and keep growing. Its the delicate stage I seem to fail at. So thanks L.C.N it may be cheating, but, can I call myself a gardener now?
The guys at Larch Cottage Nurseries are great, they always answer any questions and are ready to help out. Such a nice place to wander and be inspired. Mind the crocodile by the pond. If you are in this area of Cumbria go and visit, there's also a Gallery/Gift shop and a café.
So this beer I am about to present to you was thrust upon my hand and I was told I'd like this. I'm always sceptical when people say things like that (even if it is the boss), I almost want to live up to my middle name and be contrary.
The Wild Beer co, Fresh.
Nice and pleasant smelling, reminds me of one of the hops we put in our beer, but I'm not saying which in case I am a mile off (remember I'm still learning). Smells citrusy and tangy but has a slight fruit wiff to it. Pretty much tastes like that too. Hoppy but not over powering. It also has a bitter after taste and it seems a little drying too? Apparently this is what they call (the experts / the one's who know what they are talking about) refreshing and cleansing. Why don't they just say it makes you want to drink more! They change the hops in this Fresh beer every six months from Northern to Southern hemisphere, which makes for an interesting beer, if you don't like it now in six months you might. Bottoms up! Want to know more? Here's their website.
All the celebrations are over and hope you are recovering well from the Inlaws and Outlaws visits. Some of you were on the ball 1st January and have already taken down the Christmas tree. All trace of there ever being a festive season has vanished, even a forensic team wouldn't find a slice of glitter.
Some of you will have made the usual New Year resolution and others won't have bothered. I can take it or leave it. Each day is a new day so why wait till the New Year to lose weight, start a fitness campaign, stop smoking and so on. If it's to benefit your health start it as soon as possible don't wait. It's always good to start it with a friend, but can you rely on your friend to get your bum off the sofa to go for a run, or, to the gym? For you to succeed it needs to come from within, you need to be strong willed and set yourself achievable goals.
I'm lucky in the sense I don't smoke and I hardly drink. My vice – sugar. I have cut back over the past six months and occasionally I will slip for a day (when I find the biscuits I bought and hid - in case of guests you understand). But in six months time I know that I won't be having sugar in my tea at all. If I say I'm going to do something I will, just maybe not there and then. It's a year since I started a painting but I didn't have a deadline. Today it has a deadline my website is up and running and I have a wall in a gallery.
So my New Years resolution is to put less food on my plate (still eat like I'm training every day) so when the nice weather comes along I can eat Ice Cream every week from the Farm near us. However my Man he would like it if... I shut the living room door behind myself, not jump around everywhere and stop wafting. This may prove a very hard challenge. Tell me what your goal is this year, and your achievement last year.
Hope your 2015 is amazing and full of achievements no matter how small. And by request here's a Sheffield lad to sign off with Joe Cocker and some other famous dude.
Calvin and Hobbes are not your average Child and Tiger. Follow their Adventures on Facebook or Twitter. Or buy the comic book.