Thursday, June 26, 2014

Seasonal crafting

Do you find your preference for different crafts changes with the seasons? I've noticed a distinct pattern with my making over the past couple of years and it seems to be a seasonal thing. When autumn arrives and we move into the short, dark days of winter I begin to hibernate and seem to choose cosy, woolly knitting and spinning as my favoured crafts.

As the days lengthen through spring I gradually slow down on the knitting and seem to find myself with a hook in my hand, crocheting as if my life depends on it. It's a more immediate craft as it seems to grow so quickly and gives the instant gratification that I don't seem to need in the winter. As the summer comes on I lean away from anything yarny and seem to prefer crafts involving fabric.

So it is that in the past couple of weeks I finished off the last few bits of crochet that I just HAD to do - you know, HAD to do it or the sky would fall in... 

It seems my thing for rainbows shows no signs of diminishing. Several people have admired these little bowls that are now nestling on my kitchen island unit and all have asked what I use them for. I didn't realise I had to use them for anything :)

Whilst on my crochet binge the seedling of an idea had germinated and once it took hold there was to be no stopping until it was done. So with this:

 and rather a lot of this:

and the addition of a bit of cardboard and some moving parts, I made me a crocheted clock for the kitchen, complete with flowers placed not even approximately where the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock points should be. Still, I like it being approximately something o'clock-ish.

Having exhausted my crochet fixation I dug out some paper-pieced patchwork that I started ages ago. I hadn't got very far initially but it's been growing steadily over the past week or so and I have over 100 more hexagons ready to add to it. I love just picking it up whenever the fancy takes me and doing a few hexies.

I've also machine pieced a couple of lap quilts and both are ready for hand-quilting. This one is still waiting whilst the other is under way but unphotographed:

It's been a bit warm of late to sit stitching under a quilt but with a cooler weekend on the cards I'm planning on plenty of quilting fun.

In other news, I'm currently conducting a culinary experiment on my family. 

During a chat with my work friend she told me she'd seen a very disturbing film about the terrible impact of meat production on climate change - I think it was this one Meat the Truth. She then told me she and her family had taken the decision to stop eating meat as a result of seeing the film.

My first instinct was to say we couldn't possibly do that as Mr Moog loves meat and would miss it too much and the children would too. Then, after one particularly meaty filled weekend with the in-laws down to stay
(father-in-law is a total carnivore, has sausage and bacon every morning for breakfast, and has at least one more meat centred meal a day on top of that) during which we'd had a barbeque and a huge roast lamb dinner, I felt it was time for a change.

I know I'm not the only one who gets thoroughly bored cooking every night, trying to come up with different meals that everyone will enjoy but usually sticking to tried and tested favourites and lacking variety. 

So, after that meat-fest of a weekend I pulled out my recipe books, poured over foodie websites and set the family a challenge to each find a meat-free recipe they liked the look of, which I would cook for them. I wrote out a menu plan for two weeks of evening meals and have surprised myself by sticking to it!

We've had some delicious meals, which everyone has enjoyed, and I'm thoroughly enjoying, planning, shopping for, and cooking our meals. Favourites so far have been Spinnachio Pie from the Abel & Cole cookbook; tomato, thyme and goats cheese flan, and feta & pesto stuffed peppers from River Cottage Veg; and homemade savoury rice from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook

Tonight we've had a Middle-Eastern feast of pitta breads, with homemade falafels, homemade tsatsiki and the best homemade hummus I've ever made:
Everyone tucked in and it was a resounding success which will definitely be repeated. I found these recipes somewhere online and wrote them into my recipe book, so have no idea where they came from! Let me know if you want the recipes and I'll do a recipe post.

I'm amazed at how well the family Moog have taken to this change in diet, and we're now down to one or maybe two meals a week which contain meat or fish and the meat is no longer the star of the show but a small addition to add a different flavour. I've got Aubergine Lasagne planned for Saturday - I'll keep you posted!

Moogs xxx


SmallP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SmallP said...

Wow, your clock is gorgeous. What a fabulous idea. Did you break up another clock to make it or did you buy the parts for this project?

I love the less meat idea. I know that I am trying to do it with mixed success so I would love to see your recipes in another post. One of my faves is to chuck a load of veg in the oven to roast with some oil and herbs (pepper, onion, courgette etc). When it is ready I take it out and crumble boursin over the top of the veg and serve it with yummy new potatoes.

Ear scratches to Merlin and Willow.

Smallp xx

SmallP said...

Removed the first comment due to typos....must engage brain before pressing the return button!

Bekah said...

Crochet is so fun and a great choice for this time of year :)
And I absolutely love those hexies - such great colours!

Carol Q said...

love the quilting (especially as I've just taken it up) having a long term hexi hand quilt on the go is a great idea for using up scraps. good luck with the veggie - sounds like your family aren't fussy eaters!

Breathing Life said...

I love your blog. The pictures of your crocheted rainbow pieces are so vibrant. I love the ideas of a few less meat meals. I need some meat to stay healthy, but I don't like eating it every day.

Plum Cox said...

Fantastic idea for the clock - makes me smile.
Love your meat-free recipe list too - I'm veggie but the rest of the family aren't, so we end up with some meat free meals and some not, which seems like a reasonable balance right until I plan a meatless meal and my DH offers my DD's a 'pick' of ham or salmon to go with it!!
Glad that you are having better luck!

Gina said...

Your clock is just brilliant! Enjoy your meat free eating - my lot don't even notice they are going without meat any more!

Locket Pocket said...

Ooh I'd like the recipes please! Especially for the falafel. I love River Cottage Veg - best book ever. And your crochet and sewing are fabulous! I wish I could rainbow as well as you do! I'm swallowed up by spinning world now though! ;)