Angelica here! May I be the first to wish you a Happy New Year.
Here at HRT we are very excited by the donation of a camera phone. Jackie Biscuit, our cookery editor is still in Dubai, but her teenage son, Gerard, who has moved into the office, as his heating is not working, has brought his laptop with him. For the first time in a long time we can have a proper Editor picture at the top of the column and here it is!
Gerard has suggested he should go on the payroll as official photographer, as he can work the old camera phone, which is a bit temperamental, stay reading for news of this!
On with the New Year issue, in which we tackle tidying up and spring cleaning, and the backlog of articles needing illustrations.
Throwing your own mugs with Duncan.
I’m going to show you how to throw the clay, which, I’m assuming is commercial clay, if not pre-grog.
The lad with the camera phone has stood watching and making comments all afternoon. He’s had three cups of tea and five wrapped chocolate biscuits, which, I might remind you, are not cheap. As I don’t get paid enough to throw, fire, glaze, fire, china paint, fire and write, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Picture one should show the hand position for the throw down.
Subsequently pay attention to the shape you are making with your fingers, like this:
I think that about covers it. Next issue, commercial glazes are compared with make-your-own for a fraction of the cost to produce results like this:
Angelica here again. I’m very happy to say that Jackie, under the weather, under vaccinated and under hotel arrest, has sent Gerard a picture of her latest recipe, we think for biscuits.
I have had a word with Gerard about this picture and asked if he could get his mother to move her phone over a bit to take a picture of the words, which unfortunately has caused a slight rift in the family. As I trusted Gerard, who is as reliable as fifteen-year-old boys usually are, he has sent the magazine to the printers without showing me the proofs, except for the picture from his mother. There was a lot of shouting. I think he has taken the donated camera phone with him, so we are back to me popping along to the printers with the stuff off the word processor and the usual snide comments about living in the Sixties.
Fortunately Beverly has turned up trumps with a nice long article, assisted by Gerard, which I won’t have time to proof read. It’s hand written but Mary can speed type!
People often ask me how I get my macramé so colourful, so many people expect it to look like string. I find the key to it is organisation of your threads and cords. To do this I have several large plastic boxes as you can see in this photograph. (Insert photo Ang.)
As you can see there are several ways you can sort them. At first, as a beginner, I used to have difficulty changing thread widths and filed the cords according to their thickness. Here is an old photograph of my previous box of threads –it was black and white, but the photographer says he can change it on his laptop. (Insert photo, Ang.)
Now, after so many years of practice I can incorporate almost any thickness of material and so I sort them according to colour. Here is the blue box (Ang.).
Here is the green box (Ang.) The red box (Ang.) The yellow box (A.) and the grey box (A.)
I still use actual string and save pieces from occasions to go into my macramé memory books. Here, for example, is the string I used to tie my sling back shoes back on my feet at my niece’s wedding, which turned out to be a a mud fest. As you can see the string is in the centre of the marriage quilt, photographed by Irena’s Ex, when he was still the groom.
Finally a picture of the latest virtuoso make – yes it is a macramé magazine file box, for you to keep all your treasured back issues in good condition. We have had to turn it upside down to make it sit on the magazines properly. Mine is done with baby wool but before next issue I will have a go with nylon boat cord. Gerard says he will be happy to go to the ship’s chandlers with me to see if the rope will photograph OK, if I can give him a lift to the railway station first.
Cleaning silverware with bicarbonate of soda.
If you are fortunate enough to have six cardboard shelf packs of out-of-date bicarbonate of soda, you can clean many things with it. Three boxes were added to the washing in the washing machine, and got the dog stains out of the duvet a treat. Made to a paste it will clean your stainless steel sink, with added water it gets the smell off the dishcloth. It even worked on the office dishcloth, so well we don’t need the tongs anymore. It cleans tongs. Put in the fridge it would have got rid of any odours attaching to the chocolate biscuits that used to be kept in there. It cleans silverware, just rub it on with a cloth. Ringing from Dubai, Jackie says yes, it can go in biscuits and also cakes, though it might not taste very good if it’s out of date and can someone check on their way home to see if Gerard shut the front door, last thing you need if you get sent home is to find the house has been burgled because that little photographer has left the front bothersome door open again.
Gerard, if you read this, we will pay you something if you turn up at the office in office hours and bring the camera phone with you, or you can hand it in at the charity shop on Wold Street, who gave it to us. And please contact your mother, even a text will do.
That’s it! Next issue, getting ready for spring by throwing mugs, make your own macramé bird feeders and sweet teats with out-of-date peanuts. Don’t miss it, book yours by sending a cheque or postal order for a six-issue saver and get a free macramé pocket handkerchief in a lucky-dip colour!
HRT thanks Ranjam’s Super Save store on Wold Street for the donation of bicarbonate of soda. Ranjam’s for all your household needs. Open 24/7 and bank holidays.