Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dandelion Wine

This one is really simple and half of the ingredients are free! Once it's ready, it has the fizz of champagne and it sweet and tasty

You'll need:
About a litre of dandelion flowers, picked fresh
2 litres of water
750g sugar
an orange, quartered or 8thed
a lemon, quartered or 8thed
1 tablespoon of yeast
some bottles

Pick the dandelions fresh and wash them quickly in hot water to kill any bugs that might be in them.

There is much debate whether leaving the green bits of buds on the flowers will result in a more bitter wine, but we're not really sure. But we cut the green bits of the flowers anyway.

Throw the flowers into the water with the sugar, the orange and the lemon, and bring it to the boil.

Simmer for an hour.

Let the mixture cool and then add the yeast. Leave for 24 hours in the pot.

Strain out all the lumpy goop, and pour into sterilized bottles (we save other alcohol bottles for this purpose). the most important thing is DONT SCREW THE LIDS ON YET!!! 

You need to wait until fermentation finishes, which is usually about a month. The wine will be ready after about 3 months. We like to leave ours for a year. It's a long process, but worth it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You need to use your imagination for this one

I want to share an event with you, but since I wasn’t there, I don’t have any pictures of it. But it’s magical and wonderful and you should close your eyes and picture this…

A friend of mine works as a stage hand (stagie) for one of the tv gameshows that use flitter, which is the big glittery stuff that drops from the roof when a contestant wins a substantial prize. There is another stagie there nicknamed Cookie, (all the stagies and camera guys of their generation have nicknames, sometimes two or three, which makes it confusing for anyone not in the know working there) and Cookie had brought his umbrella to work months before and kept forgetting to take it home. So my friend, Jumper (see? what did I say about the nicknames?) decided to play a prank on Cookie. Jumper half opened the aforementioned umbrella, filled it chock full of flitter, closed it tightly and replaced it. Then he played the waiting game.
About a month later it had been raining all day and had just eased as they were packing up to go home, so Jumper reminded Cookie about his umbrella. Cookie was very grateful, collected it and walked up to the tram stop. It started to rain again so Cookie, a short, stocky, sort of balding dude, did what anyone holding a closed umbrella would do in this situation. He raised it above his head and opened it.

Golden flitter rained down under the umbrella all over Cookie, drifting to the ground and gently sticking to several people surrounding him in the tram queue.

Apparently there was a little girl standing right next to Cookie who stared open mouthed as it happened, clutching at her mother’s hand with delight. Imagine standing at that tram stop that day, watching that magical moment pour out of Cookie’s umbrella.

That, my friends, is a transformative moment, changing the tram stop from ordinary to incredible, just for a minute, and that is the sort of thing Terrible Comfort wholeheartedly support.

(originally posted on the Terrible Comfort blog, but I love this story so much I wanted to share it with you guys too)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Have yourself a merry handmade christmas...

Finally all my christmas presents have been received, so I can share them with the world! Buying handmade is a wonderful idea, but making handmade for those you love is so warmingly satisfying as well.

I made up a number of hampers that included homemade chutney and treats, and a few of the hampers had some crafty presents as well. After learning the magic of the crochet star chain, I made a number of them including this rainbow one for a special family.

Continuing the crochet theme, I wanted to make some wine bottle cozies for several people as well.


And last but not least, some dolls. Firstly, a Alice bunny girl for a special little girl.

and due to a relatively new in-joke about russian Babushka dolls between a sister and I, here is her Babushka  on the left and her partners' matching-but-talored-to-his-favourite-film Babushka on the right. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I'm attempting an argyle for the first time. Oh my god, it's a brain breaker! Just when you think you've got it going ok and you've figured it all out, you notice that you did one wrong stitch half a row back and you have to decide whether to rip it back out or not.

Very typically of me, I don't have a pattern, I found some arglyes on the internet and drew the pattern on a piece of paper, I've been working off that. It's very hard to start, but as the knitting grows the arglye is easier to see and thus easier to continue.

But getting cocky is dangerous, and it's really quite labour intensive, so it's a slow process.

Instead, let me show you some photos of the latest finger puppets I've made. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Dame Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey to the stage...

This is Dame Judi Dench, from the black and white film The Cherry Orchard

This is photo she is based on

found here:

And Kevin Spacey:

Here is Kevin on set for The Iceman Cometh:

These two puppets have been created for Terrible Comfort's Expression's on Modern Drama which can be found on Youtube here

Go and check it out!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Daisy Yarn Petals, that was her game...

I was hanging out at a friend's home who needed a bunch of flowers (although she didn't know it yet) waiting for her to come back so I grabbed my crochet hook, some white and yellow yarn and went to work.

These are based on the Royal Sisters' Grandma Star, which I haven't been able to put down since I learned it.

I wanted to make stems for each of them but I ran out of time and materials. I thought either crocheted or you know those old fashioned coloured plastic knitting needles? You could use one of those too.

I hadn't gotten to weaving in all the ends when she got home, which is why they're in this mostly-finished state, but they had the desired I Got You Flowers effect anyway, which was nice.