Tuesday, 26 August 2014

From Soup to Soap.

Ok.  If you are vegetarian, vegan, fat free, don't like soup, allergic to citrus, disgusted by cold fat, think bones are only used by a medicine man........look away now.


I made the most A-MAZ-ING soup a few weeks ago.  It was just boring old beef soup but the recipe had a couple of ingredients like thyme and orange rind that I thought might be nice.  What I did decide to do though was make my own stock using bone broth.  Bone broth?

Oh for goodness sakes...I told you to look away.

A while back I got the butcher to cut up some marrow bones into smaller pieces with his 'bone cutting saw' (ha ha I'm loving this) so that I could get them into my stock pot.  Get the picture so far?

The bones are simmered all day along with a few other ingredients like bay leaves, onions and general stock 'stuff'. After cooling in the fridge overnight the beef fat is taken from the top, set aside and then you can carry on your merry little way and continue to make the soup......voila!

It's the 'setting aside' bit that I'm interested in.  After collecting the beef fat, it needs to be washed by boiling for a little while with filtered water and then refrigerated for another night.  The clean beef fat is lifted from the top again, after which it is then called beef tallow and is ready for use.

Whew...about time.

I used this beef tallow topped up with some oils and butters to make my last batch of soap.  It looks a little bit mottled on the top but is becoming smoother and creamier looking as it's curing.  So beautiful and creamy to use too.

From soup to soap!

Pretty cool huh?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Refining my knicker sewing ability.

Ok...off we go.  

Years ago stretch sewing was all the rage.  Before I was married I even did a stretch sewing course and became a certified Knit Wit.  It had nothing to do with my marriage...honestly.

The last time I made knickers would have been about 20 years ago when my daughters were small.  I think that's about how old this pattern is too, with those miniscule little sides and high cut leg openings that go almost up to the armpit. So I've attempted to draft a pattern using a cross between a (cut apart) cheap shop bought pair of knickers and my 20-something-year-old pattern.  I refused to cut up a pair of my good, soft on the skin, kind to the environment, 100% organic cotton boylegs!

It took me ages to get my brain around how to attach both the front and back to the crotch with the seams encased inside and no raw edges showing.  What a spin out.  Anyone for roll-ups?


The choice of white fabric is to enable me to see what I'm doing while I make the first few pairs, and the safety pin is to help me identify the right and wrong sides of the fabric...not to pin my knickers to my navel.

By the time I got the elastic worked out to the correct 'stretchability' for my butt, the sun had gone down.  Using the camera flash inside just made my exquisitely hand crafted knickers look like a big bright flashy blast from the past, (a bit like one of Kamahl's caftans).  I decided therefore to take this photo out on the back step in what remained of the daylight.  Nature knickers.  Sounds like a brand name.

They look enormous but they actually fit!
And no....I'm not going to model them.  (Why did I anticipate that question?)

PS.  Ok it's a few days later.  
I wore my new knickers allll day today.  I love them.  Beautiful, snuggly, comfy, gluten free, yoga friendly, sweat-shop and child labour free, luscious cotton knickers...with no butt creep.  I'm in heaven.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

A sketchbook with an opinion...what next.

Everyone has an opinion don't they?  Even a sketchbook.

He thinks he's an 'artisan product'...good grief.

Continence pads?  What is he thinking?
(How does he even know about them anyway?)

He obviously took advantage of me during my fleeting moment of 'book binding self doubt'.
Stupid sketchbook.