Thursday, May 30, 2013

Roses and knitting swaps

I did a count yesterday. I have 14 David Austin roses (13 varieties), 5 hybrid teas, 1 florabunda, and 2 Knockouts, as well as 2 Drift roses. And yes, I am planning on more! But next year: I want to put in a small rose hedge along one side of the fence, enough that I'll be able to make rose petal jam and have candied rose petals on a regular basis.

Things are off by about a week, even though we had such warm weather in mid-May, but it's all looking very pretty. The kale and the nasturtiums are doing well (salads!) and my husband tilled up another small section of the yard, so I have to plan that out soon.

For knitting, I'm working on two pairs of socks, and plotting for a Smaug themed swap on Ravelry. I'm having quite a lot of fun choosing and making things and planning. I do wonder what Tolkien would have made of this?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Birthday Cake

The theme for birthday cakes is still roses, it seems.

Here's this year's cake, a chocolate zucchini cake with rose buttercream frosting. The garnish is crystallized rose petals and pearl dragees, with edible glitter dust (I picked that up at Selfridges on our trip to England in April).

Friday, May 03, 2013

Neil Gaiman's Advice to Artists--Pay Attention

I've got other things to write--about England, about my garden this year, spring...and other things. But this, this speech to graduates in 2012, is some of the best I've ever heard. I wish I'd heard it many years ago, and even now I can benefit from many of the things he says.

I hope you can benefit from it too. If it also makes you curious about his books and other work, good. You should be--curious enough to seek it out, if you haven't already done so.

Sorry it's not embedded, I'm having trouble with getting that to work. This will take you to the site of the university where the address was heard, and there is a transcript below the video.