Saturday, 29 May 2010

Figgy Pudding

I rather liked this old fig tree at the Walled Garden.
But what really attracts me are the figs.

I photographed them and did some on the spot sketches

This led me to play about with their shapes and draw them in pen

I thought they would look good as a lino print

(Whoops - that last one looks quite good up-side-down)

I don't know what the weather has been like with you, but here it has been rather chilly and wet, so it was a good opportunity for me to practise my free embroidery skills.

I am finding free embroidery a bit of a thrill - take off your foot, drop your feed dogs, and put your (other?) foot down - hard!!  The trick is to run the machine fast and move the cloth slowly. It is a bit like learning to drive. At first I just watched the line I'd drawn and tried to keep to it, but that is a bit like driving with your eye on the kerb - I am beginning to look ahead and follow the line a bit more instinctively, but I broke the cotton umpteen times (thank goodness my machine as a built in needle threader!). The damp weather also gave me the opportunity to have a play with Photoshop Elements and a technique featured in this months Digital Photo magazine.

"Oh excellent! I love a long life better than figs"
William Shakespeare - Antony & Cleopatra

This was the best 'fig' quote I could find - most of the others were long and Biblical, but perhaps it indicates how highly prized figs were, in fact even now fresh figs are something to be relished when they come into season. (I don't care for the dried varieties too much but Mr T hankers for fig crumble like he had at school. Does anyone have a recipe? I can only find 'posh' ones)
Mr T is cooking dinner this evening,  but no figs or pudding!
ERRATUM - it's date crumble he wants not fig! I've still no recipe.

Let us hope the promised fine weather returns tomorrow for the holiday weekend. Luton Carnival is on Monday and so much effort is put into it, it is a shame when the weather is wet. (A couple of years ago it rained so much they had to cancel it). Last year I took lots of photographs, but not sure whether I shall go this year, but it is a wonderful colourful family day out for anyone in the area.
Hope you are having a great weekend, Jill


Jee said...

My mother used to make a fig crumble bar - there's a recipe here that sounds similar. Mr T might find it an acceptable alternative.

marigold jam said...

How clever - wish I could draw like that and even more do I wish I could machine embroider like that - I have tried but seem to lose control altogether. Maybe more practice is needed. I love fresh figs now - what a shame I hated them when we had a fig tree in the garden and they were a regular item in the fruit bowl! I will see if I have a recipe for Mr T in any of my books and let you know.

Hopefully the weather should improve tomorrow and we did need some rain just prefer not to have had it this weekend!


marigold jam said...

Only recipe I have come across that sounds like the sort of pudding one might have had at school is a steamed suet pudding with figs. Let me know if you want the recipe and I'll e-mail it to you - might be something that Mr T might like even if not a crumble.


WrightStuff said...

I keep finding reminders of my holiday on my travels through Blogland tonight! Yesterday I was looking at figs growing in Greece!!

harmony and rosie said...

Clever work, I love the way your sketch has made several journeys, each one most impressive. I wish we had a fig tree in our garden, mind you my parents do and they find they miss out time and again to the greedy birds who are just too quick off the mark. I've had a brief hunt for a suitable pudding recipe for Mr T but no luck so far, however I do own a huge number of cook books so there may be something lurking somewhere for him. Will let you know ...

PS - love the doodling in your previous post too.


Menopausal musing said...

Love your drawings of the figs. I have never been fond of the taste, but love the shape of them. It's been a long time since I did free form embroidery on my machine, but I can certainly remember the way it seemed to run away with me........ :O)))))

Sandra Hall said...

What a delicious post! And I don't just mean talk of figs and dates and crumble and all! Your photographs, sketchings and sewings are fab Jill, I really do admire your talent. x x

Chrissie said...

What a great way to spend a wet day! We had sun-warmed figs straight from the tree in SW France a couple of years ago - divine! I think I remember date crumble at school, more like a kind of fruity flapjack than apple crumble.

JP said...

love the lino cuts

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

There's something 'voluptuous' about figs - that I love - which you have captured in your artwork Jill. Fingers crossed that the weather will stay dry for you on Bank Holiday Monday. Rain is forecast in our neck of the woods. Lesley

thekathrynwheel said...

OOOh, clever. It's good to see the whole process from the photos to the drawings to the lino prints. Fabulous :-)

Printed Material said...

Great to see the process from drawing through to traditional and then digital printing. As ever, everything you do is skilled. We have a huge fig which I tend to ignore as neither of us like them. We leave them to the wildlife much to the chagrin of our friends who can't believe we let them rot on the tree. As I am no domestic goddess I can't help you on the crumble front but you've helped me by mentioning the magazine. I have Elements but don't use it so will search this magazine out to have a look at the tutorial.Lesley

Selina Wallace said...

Goodness Jill you are multi-talented!

Heather said...

I adore fresh figs and just love your drawings!! (I cannot draw to save my life!)
The very best, most delicious date pudding recipe in the world is this one for
Sticky Toffee Pudding.
You don't even need the's that good. I usually make it in two greased pie plates, rather than the single pan they recommend. Yes, I know it's a lot of butter. Believe me, it's worth it!! XXO-Heather