Tag Archives: elderflower cordial

Elderflower Evening

18 Jun

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Husb and I have been out this picking elderflowers to make cordial. It’s an annual ritual and makes the house smell lovely. It’s been a fine evening and a lovely way to spend a few hours. I did this sketch a couple of days ago in the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna. It already seems like an age has passed since we were there.

More Kitteh Scribbles And Food Porn

30 Jun

30 kitteh

Got almost to the end of the day without doing ANY art. So I grabbed the piece of kitty scribbling I started the other night and carried on with it. Sparta was mooching around on MY chair so I did a few scribbles of her and then just played with my old-fashioned dip pen and Indian ink, enjoying the scratchiness of the flexible nib across the heavily textured Bockingford paper. It’s so unpredicatable, unlike the Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens I normally use which are smooth and consistent.

30 shortbread

And here’s the food porn – freshly baked elderflower shortbread made with our home-made elderflower cordial. I used 4 ounces of plain flour, 2 ounces of white Spelt flour, 4 ounces of softened butter, 2 ounces of castor sugar and three teaspoons of elderflower cordial, all squished together and rolled into 16 little balls and squidged onto a baking tray and baked at Gas mark 3 for about 12 minutes.

Elderflower Scribbles

17 Jun

We stayed with friends just outside Brighton and got up early on Sunday morning to walk up to the cliff top and explore the green lanes for elderflowers. We make elderflower cordial every year but a couple of years ago had a problem getting one of the ingredients. In Boots the Chemist, Husb asked an assistant (who looked like she had just left school) for some citric acid,

Assistant “What are you going to do with it?”
Husb “Make elderflower cordial.”
Assistant “What’s that?”
Husb “Cordial made with elderflowers. Why are you asking?”
Assistant “Because drug dealers use it.”
Husb “Well, I want to make elderflower cordial so can I have some citric acid please?”
Assistant “Sorry, we don’t sell it anymore.”

Luckily, our local Asian grocer sold it in large bags on the spice rack.

I had to scribble very quickly, focussing only on the most important lines to capture the movement in my pink recycled sari sketchbook (size A5) using a Faber Castell Pitt pen, size F.

Seagull Poo And Nettle Brew

17 Jun

Today was one of the rare sunny days this summer, so Husb was up and out early getting a run along the promenade. Then a seagull spotted him. Literally. All over his head. I couldn’t stop laughing :D. Luckily he doesn’t have the thick verdant growth of his youth and he was able to scrape most of the gull droppings off his pate and carried on with his run.

After he cleaned up, we took advantage of the respite from the storms and headed off to the allotment – weeds thrive on persistent rain. I embarked on a war of attrition on the buttercups, hogweed, dock, speedwell, rosebay willowherb and scarlet pimpernel and before anyone complains that they’re just flowers in the wrong place – WRONG! They’re EVIL! And they’re trying to kill our allotment. I showed ’em no mercy!

We had a break to sup some of our recently made elderflower cordial [we’re lucky to have a sambucus nigra overhanging the plot] and we crushed some fresh mint leaves into it – delicious. I took a few minutes out to scribble this view from where we were sitting in front of our shed, looking through the lush growth of the Kiwi fruit plant ‘Jenny’, a self-fertile variety which is producing flower buds for the first time this year. Just under it is a large bin full of nettle compost; steep as many nettles as you can cram into a bin in water for a couple of weeks and the resulting evil-smelling brew is a highly nutritious liquid compost that can be applied with a watering can. Makes me smell awful though. But never mind, not as bad as seagull poo on the head, eh?

It’s hard to draw nature so I’ve been looking at how Van Gogh did it. He developed his own shorthand of marks to interpret what he saw and seems to have drawn very quickly. I’ve a long way to go, but that’s how I’m approaching the great outdoors. Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S, into an A6 leather-bound, recycled sketchpad, used double.

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