Sharing is caring: Tudor Monastery Farm

If you have seen the other sharing is caring posts you know I have a great love for all things farming and I simply adore the BBC series on farms of the different eras. This time I'll recommend to you the Tudor Monastery Farm. There are 5 episodes that I know of, but I was only able to find the first 4 here, so please enjoy the show and then go find the 5th on youtube. 

Sharing is Caring: On The Anatomy Of Thrift

On The Anatomy Of Thrift is a brilliant series of videos on butchering pigs and using everything but the oink. THey have a gripping way of telling stories to illustrate how things have changed over time and why.  And a beautiful way to show you how to cook things. Being raised on head cheese, patés, blood sausages and more, these videos are close to my heart. Take your time to watch each of them - hopefully you will be curious enough to try some of these odd bits. They really are delicious.

Please notice that the quality of the first video is nowhere near as good as the later ones. You know practise makes perfect  better. When you come to the last video you will know why I am sharing this, because word of mouth - or blogging - is really the best way!

Securing embroidery in a hoop

This is not a how-to per se, although I guess it could be used as one if you would like. I am however sure that real, good how-tos exist out there on the interwebs. This is simply a recording of how I finished the last of this year's christmas presents in due time.

After finishing the actual embroidery I took the inner hoop and laid it on a fabric to trace the backing. You could get beautiful fabric that matched your embroidery in some way, but doing this on the cheap I just found a scrap I had at hand. 

I traced the inside of the loop cut out a circle about 1-1,5cm (1/2 inch) bigger.

Next, I placed the embroidery inside the hoop and made sure it was tight.

Then I cut around the hoop, again about 1-1,5cm from the edge.

Now it was time to press the edge inside the hoop.

Then I turned the backing in at the line, by cutting slits and pressing them down.

When they had all been well pressed, I pinned the backing to the pressed over embroidery fabric.

Then I turned the work to make sure the embroidery was still sitting nicely in the frame. 

After finding the best match of thread available, I started to sew them together with small whip sts.

This took a while, but if something is worth doing it is worth doing it well. And while the result is far from perfect, it is pretty good for a first try in my eyes.

And here you have it, the final christmas present of the year, done and ready to be wrapped up.

An early christmas present

This year my man gave me my christmas present early and I have been playing with it almost every day since I got it. Want to know what it is? Here is a picture:

Why yes, it is indeed an (or is it a? sounds wrong with an, but it does begin with a vowel...) ukulele and I am so thrilled to be learning chords on it every day. I have been lusting after an ukulele for a while and so has my man, but we just haven't gotten around to buying one, because it was difficult to justify the purchase, so when I didn't know what to ask for from him and he heckled me, I said an ukulele and he loved the idea.
I started out wanting to play songs from the beginning, but then I found Uncle Rod's Bootcamp and read there, that:
 "When you are new to the ‘ukulele, trying to play 
songs right from the start may NOT be the best way to 
learn to play the ukulele because you do not yet know 
what the chords are, how to form them, or how to 
change from chord to chord smoothly."

I decided he was propably right so I started working on the 5 practise sheets, and have mastered about half of the first. I can't play for too long per day because my fingers are not used to playing yet. I'm taking it as slow as I need to. Actually, I'm finding it almost meditative to just strum down and shift back and forth between two chords. At the beginning it is so difficult and my fingers have no idea where to go or how to place themselves, but after a while the change happens more smoothly and I can even do a few of them now without looking.

I've wanted to learn how to play the guitar for a decade and have own one since 2005, but it just hasn't happened and one reason is that I have to digg it out and put it away again every time I use it. This little instrument however, is small enough to stay out and I'm making an effort to play on it for just 10 minutes every day. Once I sit down with it, I'll play for more than 10 minutes, because it is so much fun.

I enjoy doing the practise sheets, which is odd because it fells like doing scala work and I have always hated scala work. Maybe I have matured enough to value the knowledge you gain from it, allowing me to find more pleasure in the repition, than ever before. Who knows one day I may even be playing songs and singing along with friends and family.