August has ended.

Today I collected a load of windfall pears from the garden as well as damsons and some veg. A lot of the pears where quite small but or a bit bruised but fine for chopping up and making jam.

DSC_0162

I collected some blackberries from the garden as well and then Jack and I set off out to collect some more. There is a really good place that is easy walking distance from our house. Do miss all the elderberries from our old garden, there don’t seem to be that many elder trees here. In Grimsby they were everywhere, same for rowan. Though there is a huge amount of what look like tiny red and orangy plums nearby, some tye of damson maybe? and a few apple trees too.

collage

collage2

I have used about half of the blackberries and the pears today making blackberry and pear and blackberry and banana jams and a gluten free pear and polenta cake.

DSC_0172

Yesterday we took a trip to the market in Guildford as part of our history/geography project. I found a couple of videos on the BBC learning zone about local food and one was about the farmers market in Guildford. That is not here until next month but we have the weekly market on Friday and Saturday which has some good stalls. I gave Jack £5 and let him chose what to buy and buy it. Grapes was a definite on his list (as always!) and he also bought raspberries, apples and bananas.

Advertisements

Weekend Project

Over the weekend we have made garden art tiles. jack and I collected some of the material from our local woods on the way to B&Q for cement and sand on Friday and the rest were things we had at home or from our garden. I collected the box of shells before we moved in 2011 with the intention of making a wind chime with them. Finally got around to it a few weeks ago and could not find my dremel tool to drill them.

Emily made a tile for the front garden with the house number on and mine is to go in the veg garden. Jack had fun filling his with as much as he could possibly fit! Waiting for them to dry out now and harden and then will post more photos.

1

I have also been working on my vegan wheat free cookbook and finished the third module and assignment of my SEN diploma course. Busy but good weekend 😀

August… A time for changes.

August seems to be a time of change for us. Last August certainly was and the August before we moved over 200 miles across the country, making real something I had wanted to do for several years.

Now this August has been the same. Lots of things are changing work wise for me, I am focusing more on my writing and have been writing a lot of jewellery making tutorials over the last couple of months; as well as hitting 100 hubs on HubPages last week. I have a good layout for my cook book (wheat free vegan) worked out and have chosen which of my recipes I am going to use, pretty much I am just need to lay it out and make and photograph each of the 26 recipes and it is done. Still looking into formats for eBooks though and what will be the best way to go. I can do PDF as well, which I have noticed quite a few downloadable books use but I don’t know how well they work as a file format on other devices. They download ok on my android phone but too small to read really.

I will be closing the shop on Elderberry Arts at least temporally before the end of the month as my supplier is closing down. I had been thinking about it for a while anyway as it takes up a lot of time and to be honest, I don’t have what it takes to do all the networking and marketing side of things. It’s just not me really. I will probably continue to sell on Mystic Bid once I figure out what and find a new supplier. I have some ideas but we’ll see. I still have my jewellery, but after over ten years I am not making so much any more and am prefering to do more complex and custom pieces when I do. I am working on a new chain maille design at the moment. This blog is going to be more general rather than focusing on the site too.

I have almost finished my Special Needs Teaching Assistant course and in October start my second to last Open University module. Next Augusts big change could be that I have finished depending on the start dates of my final module. At the beginning of the month I started trialling home educating my youngest. He has been having problems at school because of his special needs and in the near future would be transferring to a specialist school. On top of the fact that the school is quite far from me, I don’t believe another school is the answer however trained they may be as it is ‘school’ that is creating the problems. He does not do well be surrounded by lots of people and noise, he struggles and panics when he feels pressured and finds it hard to write at all. He can also be quite loud and lash out at times which has caused problems. His report stated he was behind in almost every subject, resistant to working, argumentative… I do a lot of what could be called home educating with him anyway and I never find he is like that so something is not right somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, his school have done a lot for him an have tolerated a lot, including him biting his teacher and kicking the headteacher which I am grateful for but there has to be a better alternative to the way this school year has been.
Home education is something I have often thought about but I guess it comes down to the fact that I simply wasn’t brave enough to give it a go. I explained to Jack about home education and at first he was afraid he would get into trouble for not going to school, which was solved the first time we went to a home ed group and he saw all the other children and now after a month he loves it and I have a much happier boy back. Meltdowns are lessening and he is happily completing tasks and even asking for things to do. This morning I got up and he was on Reading Eggs already and this afternoon has achieved a gold award on there. He wants to stay home and has said that school makes his head mad and as I suspected writing hurts his hands. Have to admit that I had set my heart on home ed so am glad he is enjoying it too! 😀

2 Cups of Flour, 1 Cup of Salt and a Whole lot of Fun

It has been a long time since we made any salt dough so at the weekend when jack was asking for some learning to do I made some up. The original plan was to expand on a conversation we had earlier creating his own Pokemon character based on a glove he found but that didn’t last long. Jack experimented with cutters, a knife and with what happened to the dough if it was left and then wetting it again so he could still use it without in crumbling. Every wondered how far a few cups of flour can be spread… ?

 

 

Finished creations, including a volcano, hearts, candle holders and my caterpillar.

 

 

Yesterday evening we painted some of the models. Emily is planning to make a ceiling hanging/wind chime using the little flowers.