Monday, December 22, 2014

Em's Feijoa Jam

We have been very busy making feijoa jam for everyone for Christmas! During the year we harvested kilos of feijoas from the in-laws tree and froze the pulp after scooping it into containers. A few weekends ago we thawed them to make the jam. We had a little trouble with getting it to set. Now, after much research we know feijoas don't have much pectin, which is needed to get it to set nicely. Some of our batches worked out ok but the big batch we did needed some jam setter (which is pectin) added. Next time we want to try adding apple, a fruit high in pectin. I also experimented with using gelatine, which worked but it needs to be kept in the fridge.

Things we learnt:
-Use the right amount of sugar (usually same ration as fruit)
-Add lemon juice (jam needs acidic acid to help set)
-Use jam setter to help set fruit jams low in pectin or add other high-pectin fruits like apple
-Do not over cook jam (it will caramelise and become very sweet tasting, taking the freah fruit taste away)

1kg Feijoa, peeled
1/3 cup water
800g -1kg sugar
1tsp ginger powder
3Tbs lemon juice

Bring water and feijoa to the boil in a pan, and cook until the fruit is tender. Add sugar, lemon juice and ginger and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Boil until the jam will set. Test by spreading a spoonful of jam on a cold plate (start testing after about 10 minutes of cooking time). Bottle in hot sterilised jars while the mixture is hot.

To sterilise jars
Preheat oven to 120C. Clean jars well with hot soapy water and rinse well. Let drain then place upright on oven tray. Place in oven and heat for 20mins. Fill while hot with hot jam. Boil lids in saucepan for 10mins then let drain.

Em's Redback Spider

I made this red-back spider to go in the shed toilet. I painted some rocks black with red stripes and then twisted copper wire into shape around the rock. Twisting the thick copper wasn't easy. I had to use pliers, which were at times too big to get into the small areas but I persisted and am very happy, albeit a little scared of the outcome. When it was sitting on the bench before it was hung I often gave it a double look. It freaked out our poor nephew who screamed, ran away and cried (oops!). What's an outdoor toilet without a red-back spider!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

DIY Stamps

Make your own stamps! Awesome! I love stamps and prints.. Use them to decorate cards or wrapping paper! Make your own using erasers, corks, pencil erasers, bottle-caps, foam.. the list goes on..
Gennine's Art Blog has some awesome tips and tutorials on making stamps.
Plasticine stamps!Imprint anything (magnet letters, coins, cookie cutter shapes, draw) into plasticine and stamp..
Print your own wrapping paper with stamps! How good does the white on brown paper look!
How cut are these flower stamps?!
Geometric stamps
Pencil eraser stamps!
Triangle bunting pencil eraser stamp
Heart from pencil eraser- works really well!
Stamped with pencil erasers
Roller stamps
Watermelon wrapping from potato stamps- or use cookie cutters to create different shapes from potatoes
Cut sponges into any shape..
Tag stamp
Or just use what you have available to make different prints.. bubble wrap, buttons, veges,
Bubblewrap- always a favourite..
Buttons- this is so effective..
Lego stamps
Heart toilet paper stamping
Toilet paper roll stamps

Yarn stamps

More yarn stamping
Printing with nuts and bolts
Food stamping-lemons, onions, apples, potatoes

Apple stamp
Vege stamps- celery makes a great rose too..

Stamped wrapping

Use a bleach soaked felt pad to stamp shapes onto clothes!
Cork stamps
Shell as stamp
DIY stamp ideas

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Eugenia Loli Collages

Eugenia Loli is a collage artist and film maker who creates interesting and sometimes controversial or at least conversational pieces. Some are a bit gross or scary.

"...for the vast majority of my work there's a meaning behind them. I usually do this via presenting a "narrative" scene in my collages, like there's something bigger going on than what's merely depicted. Sometimes the scene is witty or sarcastic, some times it's horrific with a sense of danger or urgency, some times it's chill. I leave it to the viewer's imagination to fill-in the blanks of the story plot. "
For example, read this detailed explanation of her Three Minutes to Nivana artwork. I love the way the new meaning or social comment can be made by combining images. Loli does this cleverly, blending images creatively to create new meaning. She achieves the "look twice" trick, which I love. I like the geometric cuts in some of the work making it look simple but still so effective in creating something new with a different meaning. It is also interesting how the titles of the works can change your perception of the concept, usually deepening the message. I think I also am attracted to her use of vintage looking images! You can buy her prints on her Etsy shop or her artwork on varies items here. I like so many of her works, so check out her page for more. Some are just so clever, but I didn't post.

Very clever and eye-catching works in her Farscapes series. I love how these works can have you staring at them working out all the different parts and the new landscape they create. I love the mix of scale too!
Elysian Fields
The Wreck
Objective-Obscurity series:
Mind-atleration Series:
Modern Citizen (Pothead)
Cature I and II (diptych)
Oh-L-amour series: I obviously love the negative space and depth tricks the galaxy/star pics play on the images as these were my favourites (always love a play with negative space!):
"Erinyes" triptych from New-Mythology series
Worshiped-Women series. So many more clever images in this series! Great meanings and comments on women in society!

Speech on past days
Rising Mountain
All-Fun-Games seriers: Again so many clever comments, only a few here:
Bloomed Joyride Too
Girl with Balloons- so simple but effective use of contrasting bright with B&W
Fabulous-Gentlemen series:

Faboosh, Part II 
I AM is Pondering the Self

Disappearing-Acts series:
CutOuts (decaptych)
The Droplet that Returned to the Ocean

Dry cleaning
Jungle City