Learning new skills and hobbies inspires me to no end, both in a creative and general sense. This past week, I am delighted to say that I learned two new things: silk painting and how to make Polish pierogi. All in all, a brilliant week!
The silk painting workshop in my flat also included food, wine, and plenty of laughs. I may have been knitting for a good portion of the evening. A handful of us were learning this new skill, and a few of those folks were proper artists. Therefore, I was a bit intimidated to try it out with an audience such as this. The process starts off with a sketch on regular paper (and I am really not an artist in this sense). The lines should be dark, because this will have to be seen through the silk in order to transfer the image. The piece of fabric is put onto a frame of sorts, and then the drawing is placed on the underside of the silk. A glue pen is used to draw the outline and dried with a hairdryer.
Finally, the painting begins. With watercolours, you paint where you will. The glue-ish outline keeps the paint from running away of its own accord. The painting is then blow-dried to set the colour. Hey presto, you’ve printed custom fabric and the result is quite stunning.
I quite like my cheeky wee teacup…
Next in the learning new skills set is Polish pierogi. For those not in the know, pierogi is Polish dumplings. Since one of my flatmates is a veggie, we made Quorn pierogi, as well as feta and spinach-filled ones. Using the dinner table as the workspace, a huge flour volcano of eggs and water is mixed and kneaded into proper dough. My pierogi was rolled with a Captain Morgan rum bottle as I do not own a rolling pin (GASP!!).
Using a pint glass (keeping within the alcohol theme), wee circles are cut out, filled with the filling, halved and smooshed together. After boiling them in water with some olive oil, they were added to the giant pot of beetroot soup. Delish.
On a side note, this past Monday was Beltane; the ancient fire festival that celebrates the coming of summer atop Edinburgh’s Calton Hill. It features fire, drums and people running around in costumes and various states of undress. The night was clear and I had been looking forward to my first Beltane celebration for well over a year, on account of missing last year’s. Money well spent. Approved!
[Editor – is this photo the right way up?]