Hurray! It’s finished!!!!

Part of me wants to say ‘well, its not all that’ or point out some problem with it and generally put it down. But you know what? I’m actually quite pleased with it so I’m going to do my very best for once to just be happy.

Two Tree Island, Leigh on Sea

This copper bangle is the first thing I’ve made as part of my Silversmithing class. Obviously you are supposed to start with something relatively easy, but I wanted to do something that reflected the view of Two Tree Island that I love, with the marshes, mud flats and sea-water all joining together and constantly changing. This has meant that I have spent bloomin’ ages cutting pieces out of the copper but if nothing else my sawing skills have improved immeasurably and I am getting a lot quicker at replacing broken saw blades!

Next to do is some heart shaped earrings, and this time I’ll be cracking out the silver I bought at Cooksons last week. Will update when they’re done…

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Eight years ago the Husband (who was then The Boyfriend) and I moved into our flat. We’d been hunting for ages, been gazumped, been fed up and finally, in my lunch break one day I’d nipped in to the estate agent’s over the road and found The One. Bigger than any other place locally. Nice Road. Not horrifically priced. The Boyfriend went to view it, an offer was made and low and behold it was ours. There was one small issue though, it was a bit of a state.

The previous owner had been an old lady and when The Then Boyfriend was shown around the property, the estate agent had refused to enter due to the stench of urine. We ripped out wet carpets, took the dead bird out of the dining room and after a couple of years even managed to get the bathroom done up and remove the old lady handles to hold onto while you do a wee. (Of course, there was the mild issue of the fire the next day which kind of messed up new bathroom, but thats another story for another day.)

The package awaits...

Anyway, throughout all of this wee soaked, messy flat, can’t ruddy afford to fix it fun, my father in law used to regularly tell us not to worry, the place had ‘lots of potential’. And, sorry Mo if you’re reading this, but IT USED TO DRIVE ME BLOODY INSANE!!!! ARGH!!!!!!! Because potential is all very well and good but without the cash to back it up it’s no ruddy good what so ever. And so as such the term having potential is always used round ours as a term of abuse rather than endearment, however, all this changed yesterday.

Because yesterday I arrived home (late, stressed, with small child that needed cleaning) to discover a package on my doorstop and despite the fact that I had small child to look after, housework to do and dinner to cook, this small parcel was there in the back of my mind, waiting for me. It was a small parcel of potential.

The loot...

The contents are an order from Cookson’s I’d put in the day before (and for those not in the know, ie me a month ago, Cooksons are the shop EVERYONE uses to buy metal from) so this morning over breakfast I finally got to unwrap my goodies. Some squares that will one day become earrings, a long strip that may be a ring, a rectangle that I have no idea quite what I’m going to do with but is’t that half the fun? My thumb still hurts a bit from Monday nights class, but I’m already looking forward to the next few weeks and what these tiny bits of silver might metamorphosize into. It has some potential, lets hope I have enough to do it justice.

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And so we start with a confession. I was laughed at at work last week because I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a Sunday Roast. I thought they were something only people’s grandparents made, and apparently this, ahem, isn’t the case.

In my defence I was a vegetarian for eight years. Mumma Crafts on Sea  is a veggie. My brother is a veggie. Roast dinners were never going to be a big part of my childhood. Even when I started eating meat again The Husband had to teach me how to cook bacon. Roast dinners always look like such a pain to cook, and yet there is that desire that occasionally builds up to eat a ‘proper meal’. The kind of meals mums are supposed to make and not just the total carb-junkie pastathon that I live on.

Thankfully my mild case of paternal guilt was thwarted this week by my friend Aimee Fox-Godden who asked me to blog a couple of slow cooker recipes. Being a parent to Vaguely Fussy Child, I obviously could not be faffed to cook him something separate to what I’m eating. Predictably, this being the latest in a long line of Teething Hell weeks (sponsored by calpol and cbeebies) the Small Thing would not eat a ruddy mouthful of this (I appreciate that I should probably lie and say that he loved it or I’ll never get my advance on How To Feed Your Fuss-Pot Child) However he has wolfed it down before, I promise! Either way, I had it on at lunchtime which meant once he was in bed I could concentrate on more important things, like drinking.

For two adults with proper appetites, and one toddler who may or may not eat it.

Ingredients:

1 pack skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces

A few potatoes, peeled and chopped

Half a low salt stock cube

Whatever vegetables you have knocking around that want eating. In my case this was peas, sweetcorn, green beans and a leek. Sweet potato is also nice but that would have involved going to the shops.

Pop everything in your slow cooker with about 1 cup of water. With slow cookers the thing to remember is that the water needs to be there to cook everything, but it will not disappear, so unless you want a soup don’t add loads, you can always put more in later.

Turn slow cooker on. Feel smug. (A re-occuring theme in this blog, you may wish to note)

Feed child. Cross fingers if appropriate.

Because the husband is also not generally  a fan of sensible foods, we tend to chuck loads of dried chili flakes on ours when we serve it so that voila! Not too sensible, but still tasty, healthy and no effort at all.

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