Given that it is Easter and I am confined to barracks - I spent yesterday afternoon, doing up some very yummy sesame seed snaps. It is a different option for Easter or for that matter, just having fun in the kitchen with the children.
Pottering about in the garden is one of those things, most people have come to enjoy and appreciate, with the hope of getting back to nature. However, being confined to barracks or living in an apartment does not mean you can’t get into the garden. You just have to get creative.
So this week, in my downtime of not working on Term 2 planning for school, I have potted up a few vegetables that will do well living inside the home.
A sunny position on a windowsill, in a bedroom or on the veranda – closed in or not, can be a great way to keep the veggies coming and keeping it fresh. The crop might be a little smaller than you’d see in a regular garden, but it is also a great way to get productive, to keep the kids entertained and educated, and will add a touch of green around the house.
Potted plants are a great air-cleaner, and a ripe tomato from the windowsill is a good nibble that doesn’t need to clutter up your refrigerator. Basil, spinach and lettuce are my favourites, as well as cucumbers.
A couple of weeks ago, I also raised seedling tomatoes. Today, I potted them out, ready for the windowsill. They look pretty awesome, don’t they? You should give it a try. Now, I just have to wait a month or so, for them to crop. Maybe, I should get some indoor bees – what do you think? Just joking – I was having a ‘Trump’ moment. 😊
When the introduction of hand sanitiser became available to the world; it was said it would solve all our unseen germ problems and the world would definitely be a safer place.
Over the years, the selection of products have grown, each purporting the ability to knock those little nasties on the head, and then the family could sleep easier.
But gradually over time, we have come to know they are not all they were cracked up to be - some with nothing more than water and no alcohol content what-so-ever. And no, they can’t resolve all our problems. Now with the new CoVID19 lurking around every corner, good old soap and water appears to be winning hands down (excuse the pun)on this war against this lecherous virus, or at least preventing it from staying around too long.
Although this might be the case, it is our duty to make sure we are on the right track in selecting the right cleaning products and hand sanitisers. Keeping the home and family safe has never been more important and the practise of thorough hygiene, imperative. So, how does one get rid of buggy blighters and how can you be sure they work?
For me, I have a few favourites that have stood the test of time. They suit my needs and so far so good. All are well known reliable brands, have all the stated ingredients to stop bugs in their tracks and at the end of the day, will be there when you need them most. I don’t get sponsored by any of these companies, but I am cool with sharing what works for me.
Dettol is a biggie for me. It has been around forever and has kept its bargain producing top of the range medical products and hand sanitisers for global use. I use it as a pocket/handbag go to after all sensitive interactions, if I can’t wash my hands. I have used it for years, while in Korea during other similar epidemics and I hope it keeps me equally as safe.
Palmolive has moved from bar soap to liquid over the years, but the product and its effectiveness is much the same – great! I also pick up glycerine soap from the Body Shop – one’s face can be particularly delicate.
When it comes to bathrooms, toilets, floors etc, I have two. Glen 20 and one I always come back to and that is good, old-fashioned bleach – in hospital grade strength. For the latter, it doesn’t matter what label, just so long as it is bleach.
Well, they’re some of my tricks of the trade for home and family maintenance. What about you guys – do you have any favourites that work wonders for you?
Stay safe and keep smiling! :)
So many of you have asked over the last wee while as to what my studio now looks like; what sort of things I use and how I organise my bits and pieces. I can't say that it is set up exactly the way I would like - sort of a work in progress, I'm always finding new ways of placing things. None-the-less, I have put together a quick whizz through and hope it helps out your curiosity.
I might - at a later date, put together a series of these videos to show you my usual habits and workings. I think it is always nice to see how other artists organise things and what their days might look. I still have to share my days with teaching and business paper work, which at times seems never ending. Eventually, that will lessen and I will be able to put my heart and soul into my watercolour and writing. Well, that's the plan, anyhow.
So many afternoons, I can't wait to pick up my paint brush and just paint. However, given the busy-ness of the world and that teaching often consumes my hours - especially around this time of the year - this is not always possible. Sometimes, I just have to be satisfied with 20 minutes or so on the weekends. No, it is not enough, but if that is all there is - I'll take it.
It is unfortunate, but if one does not get regular access to practice - like the old saying goes - 'if you don't use it, you lose it.' I think this saying is very valid, when it comes to water colour. Continual practice is necessary, as is remembering which paper or brush worked the best under the conditions. Remembering which treatment you used, whether it was wet on wet, wet on dry, dry on dry, to ink before or after you paint or for that matter did you ink while the paint was wet. I think if one has regular practice, you don't have to think about all that because like driving a car it becomes second nature - part of your usual working.
I am forever sacrificing my painting time, while I am trying to earn a living. However, because I so enjoy doing what I do, I just keep plodding on, despite the fact I often take two steps back and one step forward.
This Christmas, I have challenged myself not to tackle doing any animals at all and have returned my hand to more traditional, botanical art-forms. Actually, it was in response to someone asking me, if I ever did botanical works.
Long ago, when I first started out painting - like many artists, one is destined to tackle plant forms only because one often finds the painting - less strenuous when one is trying to master a new medium.
For me, it is an opportunity to revisit 'control of the medium' - in this case, watercolour. If you have read my last post, you will realise I also wanted to tackle new techniques that I have not had an opportunity to do so. Christmas time not only provides time to relax, but allows one time to extend one's abilities. So in this piece, I have tested salting my baubles, to get a shimmery effect. It's not quite as I had experimented, but you will have to agree, the natural flow of pigment pooling to one area on the bauble, works well in this watercolour piece.