Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Dyeing an armchair cover

This dear old chair was adopted after a family friend moved to France.

It is a very nice shape, I think anyway, but looked a pretty shabby. Getting it reupholstered would cost hundreds, so we got a cover made out of tough off-white calico.

I can't really stand white things, and they can't stand me either, so the plan was always to dye it a different colour. I settled on green.

I played about with different Dylon greens. Tropical Green was a bit too headachey bright but I didn't want something as dark as a full-on Dark Green or as dingey as Olive Green. 

Below are the swatches where I used different ratios of Olive and Tropical Green.

50:50; 75%Tropical:25%Olive; 83%Tropical:17%Olive, 100% Tropical Green.

I plumped for 75:25 and bought the hand dyes. The cover weighed over a kilo so I bought 4 packets.

I realised too late one of my rubber gloves had a hole in it...I had a green hand for days, literally. Wear gloves! 


The colour it was in the dyeing bucket was kind of the colour I wanted, and it washed out and dried a fair bit lighter. After a couple of weeks walking past it I decided to go in again and this time, use the machine dyes, as I was annoyed that even after following the instructions and breaking my back turning and squishing and mixing it for a full 15 minutes, I still got a big blodge of blue dye on one arm. I reckoned using the machine dye would give a more even finish.

This time I tracked down a packet of Dylon's Amazon Green, which seems to have been discontinued. I used that and a packet of Tropical Green again. Each pack can do 600g worth of fabric for the full shade of colour, so I thought this would give it a good dose, especially as it the cover was green already.

 Boy was I right!

That's more like it!

Next I plan to bleach print it. I just need to design and make the stamp/stencil.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Yellow Courgette Spaghetti and Is Raw Food That Good for Everyone?

Take one courgette....

Make it into spaghetti with a julienne peeler....

Grate some Gran Padano on top (god I love this cheese)...

Et voila, a nearly raw dish!

When I was reading about different people's recipes involving courgette spaghetti, I was surprised that no one cooked it. I mean obviously the raw foodies weren't going to, but...no one? And they were all saying how it was JUST LIKE NOODLES, just as good if not better! YAY!

Well, I didn't personally agree. It felt healthy, and crunchy crispy vegetabley, but not that satisfying. And most importantly, it wasn't bendy enough to twizzle around a fork in a satisfying way!

So I remade this recipe, or one similar, but a cooked version:

I fried up an onion.
I added some runner beans and cooked them for a couple of minutes.
I added some fresh tomatoes from the greenhouse. Big ugly ones.
I let this accept the fact it was going to soon be a pasta sauce (only about 5-7 minutes).
I made another courgette into spaghetti with my julienne peeler.
I added the spaghetti on top of the sauce, put a lid on and let it steam for a few minutes.
I then mixed it up a bit, topped it with some medallions of mozzarella and grilled it.

It was divine. Although not as photogenic. I felt full, and like I'd gained some energy.

I'm coming to a place of reevaluation. Recently I've been getting into raw and unprocessed foods, and getting very excited about them, and reading up on the wonderful natural benefits foods contain. I've been having Earthsprout's Greenylicious Smoothie for breakfast, tasty salads for lunch and eating Sarah B's Life Changing Loaf of Bread in my lunches. I've been cutting out white flour and sugar as much as I can and trying to eat nuts and pulses instead of meat.

And I've lost weight. Which I know a lot of people would be happy with but I'm pretty skinny and I didn't want to and it doesn't look good. The thing about eating like this is that it reduces my appetite, but also doesn't make me feel particularly satisfied (but the thoughts of all the vitamins, minerals, omega 3s etc are very satisfying!). And it's made me remember what I knew before I got so into it - that different diets are right for different bodies.

Some people look voluptuous and healthy on a vegan diet. Some people look gaunt and awful on a vegan diet and their bodies could use some animal protein. Some people feel much better on raw food. I think I need a decent amount of cooked food and I need good amounts of CAARBS! With a decent helping of some sort of protein and fat to keep my blood sugar on an even keel. The way I feel after a big load of (gluten free) spaghetti with lentil Bolognese is amazing! I have so much energy and my brain works faster. They have the opposite effect on lots of people - a friend of mine says lots of them make him feel sleepy and lethargic.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up on raw food and soaking nuts and making smoothies - I've just accepted that it can't be the only stuff I eat.

...Although I suppose if in decades to come I need to shed some pounds, I'll know what to do!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Lentil and Mushroom Burgers with Halloumi

Ohhh yes. Thank you Sarah from My New Roots, a source of constant inspiration.
I altered this recipe - I used Portobello mushrooms instead of wild mushrooms, and I didn't have any olives so just omitted them and hoped. Plus I added grilled halloumi and some caramelised onion chutney, as I had a mushroom burger with those at a gastropub recently and it was really good.

Seriously seriously good food.