Monday, March 9, 2009

From Russia with love and a lot of mayonnaise

On Saturday, my fellow traveller in the Yellow Wood and I had a Russian themed dinner for just us two. Although the fotos I took of it made it look quite disturbingly disgusting (hence the lack of them above!), it was in fact quite excellent. We had Beef Stroganoff (prepared by my delightful and culinary husband), potato salad and egg with caviar (both prepared by me). The caviar came from Sweden so it left rather a dire ecological footprint, I fear, but we had to have some genuine Europeaness to such a Eurocentric meal! I love all things Russian (well, almost all. Perhaps leave out Stalin and the Gulags); I collect Babushka dolls and would love to learn the language but I stuggle enough learning German which at least uses the Roman alphabet. Cyrillic and I therefore seem unlikely to meld successfully.

Lost is the word

Did anyone (other than me) watch Lost in Austen last night? Lost was indeed the word. It lost its way and it lost me. The premise behind it is terrific - I am always one for time travel/escapism type stories - but with its crass and unengaging lead character it became more like a period drama crossed with Big Brother. And then, of course, it dragged out the classic chesnut: weren't people in the 'olden days' stupid, repressed and unenlightened; aren't we wonderful now in this emancipated age etc., etc. Certainly some valuable points were made, such as how our 'heroine' reacts to Jane Bennett essentially being offered up to the vile Mr Collins for the good of the family, but on the whole I was left with the sentiment of 'Well, if this is modern womanhood...'

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Quilt

I have been bitten by the quilting bug. Having been an avid reader of a number of lovely crafting blogs for the last couple of years, I have been aware of the deliciousness of quilts for some time. I have bought books on quilting. I even bought a sewing machine with a view to making my own quilts. And this was quite a step for someone with a long-standing fear of sewing, following sewing classes at school led by a teacher who tore in half ill-stitched garments. But nothing happened. Sure, quilts were lovely but I was struggling to get my sewing machine to work and my old fears returned – I couldn’t sew! And I certainly couldn’t sew to the beautiful, beautiful standards of the lovely Jane at Yarnstorm

But then, yesterday, I found a second hand quilt at an opportunity shop (charity shop, thrift store). Intact, clean and so pretty. I held it up to inspect it. Someone made this. Pieced together all of the asian fan shapes which made up the design. Made something soft, comforting and instantly welcoming with their own hands. I was hooked. The photo I took of it (and which I cannot currently upload for some reason) doesn’t do it justice. It was taken with my mobile phone because my digital camera is dead but it captures perhaps just a little of its charm, which is perhaps also just as much as I have of it right now too. I have much to learn, but at last I feel truly ready to give quilting a try. And so now, the sew-o-phobe begins her mission…