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Monthly Archives: March 2011

We are proud to announce that two runners will run for Art in the Park in the 2011 London Marathon! We’re also lucky to have with us two male runners by the name of Simon! I usually don’t believe in superstitions and coincidences but this has got to be a good omen. We have now registered ourselves on Virgin Money Giving and hope that you can support us by sponsoring Simon (I won’t say which one, it is up to you!).

Simon Gough

I am a 39 year old who lives in Somerset with my wife and two children. I run a small, marketing business, Redfront, and specialise in working with creative and cultural organisations.

I’ve been running, off and on, for about ten years although the last race I ran was only 10k. Having said that, a marathon is only about four times the length so it can’t be that hard…can it?

I’m recording the experience of preparing for my first ever marathon at http://mistermarathon.wordpress.com/ and am delighted to be suffering for the benefit of Art in the Park.

Sponsor me on Virgin Money Giving

Simon Maddrell

I am a 33 year old living in Islington. I work as a Head of Research for a London based Market Research company.  I have always enjoyed running and use it to relax or just distress. However saying that I never really thought about running a marathon. The training was going to be too demanding. But over the past couple of years I have been competing in Olympic distance triathlons so signed up for Art in the Park and the London marathon full of confidence.

Unfortunately my fears were right, training is tough! It’s the pain and recovery time that got me first. But after a couple of months of training it all seems to be coming into place, fingers crossed. Now it is getting a bit easier I have to say it is becoming fun and totally looking forward to the event.
Sponsor me on Virgin Money Giving

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A daffodil closeup showing the various parts o...

Daffodil

Friday 11th March

After preparing the beds with fertilizer manure and blood, fish and bone (NPK – Nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium) last week, we were ready for seed sowing this week. We prepared a fine tilth (soil with good structure and nutrients) and sowed our seed into drills – radish, spring onion, dill and parsley. In another raised bed (previously the sand pit – perfect for carrots) we sowed two rows.

As we have had lots of windy weather all our lovely spring bulbs in the front of the studio – the crocus and daffodils provided excellent nectar source for all the flying bees!

Last month, in a rare booking, we were asked by Groundwork to provide lunch for a visit from people from the Big Lottery fund. The Big Lottery fund visited a number of lottery funded projects in and around Burgess Park (our Heart Garden program being one of them) and also discussed and surveyed the park and its future renovation plans.

With emphasis on natural and homegrown food, Art in the Park delved into our creative minds and garden to come up with a simple and satisfying menu for the lunch. As well as fresh, grown winter greens (miners lettuce, watercress, etc), salad, sandwiches, variety of cheeses and spreads and sliced fruits, we also made lavender cupcakes!  These light and fragant cupcakes went down a treat.

At Art in the Park, we use our own homegrown lavender as we know it is pesticide free. These cakes remind us of summer in the depths of mid-winter. Recipe is courtesy of Nigella Lawson.

Lavender Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 125 grams of butter, softened
  • 125 grams of  sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 grams  of self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 T of the lavender milk
  1. Half an hour before baking: put about 4 tablespoons of  milk in a small saucepan with 6-8 sprigs of fresh lavender, or 1-2 teaspoons of the dried buds. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain into a cup and let sit for another 10 min.
  2. To make the cakes: combine all ingredients except for the milk in a food processor. Pulse while adding the milk to make a very soft batter. Spoon the batter into 12 cupcake cases in a muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 min or until golden on top. Remove to cool on a wire rack.
  3. When the cupcakes are cool, make the icing: mix icing sugar with a little of the lavender milk and ice the cakes. Finish with a lavender sprig .

The lunch was a big success with Peter Wanless, CEO of Big Lottery tweeting:

“@artintheparktwt – thank you for a delicious lunch and warm welcome. Keep up the great work!”

Fire-Etching WorkshopsWe recently ran two ‘Fire-Etching’ workshops as part of our Service Level Agreement (S.L.A) with Southwark Council. Southwark needed us to brand some signposts for Southwark Park but with the collaborative efforts of the local community.

Initially marketed as ‘Branding‘ workshops, we found despite a healthy turnout on our first session that many people were confused with the word ‘Branding’, associating it with the kind of branding you refer to in the marketing world. Our workshop was definitely much more exciting and hands on than this!

So, the workshop was rebirthed (over soup, bread and other grown tidbits from our garden) into ‘Fire-etching.’ I don’t like to brag (maybe just a little) but I came up with it thinking along the lines of scorching wood with fire.

The first session was held on Thursday 24th February and we were blessed with a rare day of sunshine (some warmth) and a bucket-loads of children to the playground. Easing participants to our outdoor fire-etching setup was then a question of safety as we could only have a maximum number of people etching at a time.

Our second session on the Saturday 5th March (you can’t have the same luck twice) was a gloomy and chilly day with not as much people turning up as the previous session but still a pretty healthy turnout. However, a more manageable number meant you could spend more time on one signpost, giving way to much progress that day. All in all, the two sessions bore very healthy results and participants found themselves intrigued and hooked onto ‘fire-etching.’

“What the heck is fire-etching?”

Here is a brief lowdown on ‘fire-etching’:

  1. Trace your design onto the wood using carbon paper,
  2. The carbon paper should be put under your design while you trace on it. Once done, it should leave a clear impression,
  3. Many iron rods with different types of heads are then left in the path of a live blow torch,
  4. Once heated enough and wearing very heavy-duty gloves, carefully and with a firm grip hold onto one end of the rod,
  5. One glove should be more heavily padded than the other, this hand should be the one holding the middle part of the rod (never hold the end which is heated up, it will be extremely hot and even with padded gloves, you will end up getting burnt!),
  6. Angling the heated end of the rod into a comfortable position, you can then ‘etch’ the design by carefully placing it onto the wood, essentially scorching the wood.

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More Fire-Etching pictures and narrative

St. Albans exhibition flyerIn 1977/78 I was 18/19 yrs old and at Herts College of Art and Design in St. Albans doing a foundation course in art. During this time, it was at the height of the Punk scene. I was a punkette and was already experimenting with deconstruction and recycling of clothes. The” Sex Pistols” had just played at the Art college and a local record company started up:” Waldo’s Record”s, calling all  teens to go out and form a band! So began a strong vibrant local  scene. Punks, skinheads, hippies, teddy-boys and the old Jamaican community all mingled together at “The Horn Of Plenty” pub to watch bands play every week.

A few of my drawings circa 1978 are being shown at the” Satellite” exhibition at the museum of St. Albans. They are fragments from a cartoon diary I made for the amusement of myself and my friends. They were never originally intended for public consumption, and not all of the material was suitable for the museum’s family clientele. However, to my delight, some pieces are included.

Details of the exhibition are found below.
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St Albans Punk & New Wave ’76 – 81′ is an exhibition focusing on the explosion of creativity that followed the appearance of the Sex Pistols at St Albans College of Art and Design.

The exhibition will be linked to a number of complementary events during St Albans musicCity.

Exhibition Details
The Museum of St Albans
Hatfield Road, St Albans AL1 3RR

www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk

Exhibition Dates
March 8 – April 2 2011
Monday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm, Sunday 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Admission Free

Acoustic New Wave Special hosted by Bill Johnson with Nick Stephenson, Gary Sear, Mark Lee and special guests

A collection will be made for Grove House
Satellite Exhibition
St. Albans ‘Music City’ Festival

Watering can and plant pots

Image by dachalan via Flickr

Friday 25th February

We built a ladder allotment for our vertical gardening project. If you only have small balcony or outside space to rouse seedings or pot plants – a good light source is essential. Linda and Brian built a 4 tier ladder allotment for 4 seed trays out of recycled timber. This can be placed on a sheltered outside wall and covered over at night with fleece or bubble wrap.

The days are getting longer and some crops like our Cavolo Nero, kale and leeks are beginning to flower and set seed, so it was our last chance to harvest.

We also had a good crop of purple spouting broccoli and began sowing Brassicas again this month – these crops take a year to grow from seed to harvest.

It’s also the last chance to prune ornamental grasses, semi-woody shrubs like herbs and fruit-bushels like grape-vines as everything is now bursting into bud so we cleaned up the boxes in the rear yard ready for spring.

Cynthia sowed some hollyhocks into modules in the greenhouse. These are biennials, for we will have to wait until next year for them to flower!