Norfolk joins the Space Race?

There is an old saying that suggests a prophet isn’t revered in their own land. Now whilst I wont try and claim to be a prophet I can understand the sentiments and its a message that’s been brought home sharply with this latest project.

I think I have made the perfect Garden Seat. Following months of research, coupled with years of experience, I have ended up with what I think is the perfect combination to suit my body shape and requirements.  The seat is at the perfect height, sculpted to suit, the back gently reclines, with an armrest perfect for my cuppa. All contained in a discrete shelter with an elegant roof. Perfect I hear you cry.

My dearly beloved who hadn’t seen it since the early stages of construction, rounded the corner at the bottom of the garden and exclaimed ” Its a Bus Stop” . Its not like any bus stop I have ever seen. My neighbours watching me transporting the carcass from my workshop, thought it was hilarious to ask if I was building a rocket. Oh how we laughed.

I get the last laugh, they have all tried it, now their experts, and have all come up with potential improvements, cup holders, foot rests, headrests, Solar powered lighting,  it hasn’t occurred to them I cant do it, but then it never occurs to me either. Enjoy the video

image

Advertisements
Posted in craft, design, Diy, family, furniture, Garden, heritage craft, heritagecraft, home, leisure, old bloke, old blokes kitchen, shopping, Uncategorized, video, wood, work, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trendy At Last

In need of a present for a young lady with a strong sense of style I decided to make her a handbag – that’s not so unusual in my world I have made a number of handbags but its fair to say none like this.

The young lady whom this is intended for is a very creative person, a musician with its fair to say a dark sense of humour, and despite trying to hide it under a goth exterior she has a country and western soul. Never happier than when singing songs of gloom horror & heartache.

A perfect excuse for me to try leather carving on the front of a black bag, which I am led to believe by my Fashion Consultants is on trend and now described as Prairie Chic. Who knew – I’m trendy don’t worry it wont last.

Click the link above to have a look at the video and see how I got on. I’m rather proud of it, unfortunately my next handbag customer has seen it and is a fan of Art Nouveau, so I may regret ever starting down this road.

Posted in craft, design, Diy, fashion, handbag, heritage craft, heritagecraft, home, humour, Leather work, leisure, makeup, shopping, style, tom green, tradition, Uncategorized, western, work, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Romance for Middle Aged Men

Last year I did a series of Videos entitled “The Grand Romantic Gesture” in which I put forward that well known fact that the most Romantic People in the world are  Middle Aged men. Unfortunately this well known fact is occasionally misunderstood by Middle Aged Women, particularly those who have been in a relationship with said maidle aged men for many years, and shall we say the romance is simmering on a low heat.

I then go one to suggest what is needed is a Grand Romantic Gesture, something magnificent, something which the recipient of our affections can proudly hold up in front of friends and family as demonstrable proof that there is still fire in their relationship. Impressing them and making the jealous at the same time as their husbands haven’t made such a gesture in years.

The videos go on to show that by crafting something by your own hands, you can create a very personal gift, which will delight your beloved, and meets all the requirements of the Grand Romantic Gesture. However I then go on to show that with a little bit more work you can get 4-5 presents out of this one, and so you have just solved a years presents dilemma. Every mans dream.

Away from work I frequently find myself waiting in a small group of usually middle aged women, waiting for someone to do their thing, so we can then come along and do our thing. Its a long story. If you ever want to get a spirited discussion going to pass the time, my well known fact about Middle Aged Men and romance is a sure fire hit. Add to that the occasional emails I receive mostly from women who have seen the videos, and it would appear us men still have a way to go.

The urban myth of a man buying his wife an Ironing Board for Christmas, apparently isn’t a myth, it does happen, along with Washing Machines, Ovens, and Irons. I have been told my young man who gave his new girl friend a voucher for Pole Dancing Lessons. Putting aside any possible views on pole dancing, he didn’t have enough sense to have a public present, and a private present. He only had the one present and it was given in front of her full extended family at Christmas. You can imagine the response.

I was told that tale by the boys mother who had done her best to talk him out of it, but you wont be surprised to know he didn’t stay the boyfriend for too much longer. The following Christmas with a new girl friend he had learnt from his mistake, and instead gave his new girl friend Auto Club Membership, so she didn’t have to keep phoning him up when she broke down. There are two ways you can look at that, he certainly was solving a problem for both of them, but if you were the beneficiary would you be impressed? Is it going to make your heart beat faster?

So now I’m trying again, to bring romance back into your lives, with a new series of videos, an even easier way to make a your dearly beloved a very personal present reflecting their hobbies and enthusiasm’s, a present that is unique, made just for them, no one else will can have one, and if that doesn’t shout ROMANCE I don’t know what does . What can it be I hear you cry, for now it must remain a guarded secret , although I can say it starts off with me pressing flowers on camera, something I didn’t think I would ever find myself doing. The video is coming soon so press subscribe and be the first to find out the sure fire way to bring romance back into your life.

Posted in advice, craft, design, Diy, family, food, heritage craft, heritagecraft, hobby, home, humour, leisure, old bloke, relationship, romance, self help, Uncategorized, video, wood, work, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking the shed for a walk!!

image

Another lovely day and time for another project, this time a sheltered Garden Seat.

Without any thought to our own personal safety, risking being infected by the pernicious “Gardening Bug” my dearly beloved and I have for several months been visiting Garden centres across the South East of England, ostensibly to look at plants but really to undertake secret and extensive research on Garden Benches.

Finally after many hours of painstaking, and in some cases painful study, we have arrived at the dimensions and design for the perfect Garden Bench. Not only the seat height and depth, but also the shape, the springiness, the height of the back, and most importantly the height of the arm to support in order to rest an elbow with a cup of tea. But finally and much amusement from passers watching our deliberations we have arrived at a finished design. and so the Garden Shelter was born.

I took the opportunity to use up some surplus left over wood , and so the whole project comes in under £40, and that was just for the paint.

Our picture at the top shows the shelter carcass being transported from the workshop to the garden, before the roof shingles were fitted, and paint applied. When you look at the picture you could quite see it appearing on some comedy quiz programme with contestants being asked to come up with a witty title.

So why don’t we get in first. I have had my go see if you can come up with something better. Any suggestions ?

The final picture shows the painted shelter and Cedar wood roof shingles but without the perfect bench installed, for that you will need to wait for the video. Remember to subscribe and you will be one of the first to find out, alternatively you can go to You tube and look for Heritagecraft.

image

 

 

Posted in art, craft, design, Diy, family, furniture, Garden, heritage craft, heritagecraft, home, horse, leisure, recycling, tom green, tradition, Uncategorized, wood, work, youtube | Leave a comment

What makes the Perfect Handbag?

image

As someone who stitches leather I have made more than my fair share of handbags, and the picture shows my latest, Not my usual style but I fancied trying something new, which my daughter assures me would be described as Prairie Chic by Harpers Bazar. I take her word for it, what do I know.

What I do know is whenever I am making handbags they always cause arguments. No matter what I create, it will be wrong. Now I don’t have a parade of visitors to my workshop, just a few women have access, but if they cant agree on whatever makes the perfect handbag, how can I be expected to make it.

Apparently whatever size I create is wrong, some women want a bag so captious only Mary Poppins carpet bag would suffice, others want just enough room to carry a credit card.

Handle length causes real arguments, and don’t start on shoulder straps. If your holding a bag how low should it hang? Knee height – up or down? Then we have strap width. I am told narrow straps are elegant but cut into your hands ( how much weight is in this bag?) Wide straps spread the weight but are ugly.

Then we come to add on extras. I have been told every bag needs space for an easy accessible water bottle, a phone pocket, a secure card pocket, a pen holder, whilst retaining the bags inherent elegance, with severe restrictions on weight. Apparently the contents weigh more than enough so the bag has to be Gossamer light.

So help a poor man out. I don’t use handbags, I just make them, and for once it would be nice to make one that more than 2 women agree is OK, I will settle for OK, we can aim for good. If you were writing the specifications what would be the perfect Handbag?

 

Posted in accesories, advice, beauty, craft, design, fashion, handbag, heritagecraft, hobby, home, Leather work, tom green, tradition, Uncategorized, work | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Repairing Wooden Wheels

I frequently get asked to repair wooden carriage wheels, and they are always a voyage of adventure as you never know what your going to find, which also makes it the hardest to price, which is another problem as everyone wants to know before you start what its going to cost.

blue_spokes.jpg

A typical example would be the wheel in the picture which came in to have a broken spoke replaced. In order to replace the spoke you have to first remove the rubber tyre, steel rim, and a section of felloe to get to it. Usually at this point I discover all manner of issues, and that the old time craftsmen where just as capable of a “bodge Job” as modern ones.

So the blue wheel pictured illustrates this perfectly. It came in with a broken spoke which turned out to be rotten and riddled with wood worm to a point where the wood crumbled away when touched. The Carriage had obviously not moved for a while and water had got into the joint between felloes and spokes, causing the felloes to swell and also rot along with the end of several spokes. Our tale of woe continues as the wheel I suspect originally from America  with steam bent felloes covering 7 spokes each, rather than the European Sawn felloes which conventionally bridge 2 spokes, had previously been worked on, and one half of the wheel steamed felloes had been replaced with sawn, some of which were solid and some rotten, all of which had been hidden under many layers of paint.

To cut a long story short I ended up replacing several spokes, most of the felloes, but retained the hub, rubber tyre and steel rim which were refitted. Once its had  a new coat of paint its good to go, back on the carriage.

blue wheel2

Posted in bake, blacksmith, craft, Diy, heritage craft, heritagecraft, history, horse, Uncategorized, wheelright, wheelwright, wood, work | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If you don’t get the right result, is it still a success?

image I am currently working on my latest book which is going to be on the subject of food smokers, how to build them, closely followed by what you can make in one.

Now over the years I have built several different types of smoker, but like everyone else I have a few firm favourite recipes which I keep coming back too. The obvious smoked salmon, smoked cheese, smoked butter for when your being adventurous, and the family favourite Hot Smoked Turkey for Christmas. I did suggest one year cooking the turkey another way, which was met with a stunned silence followed by an explosion. Apparently this is a Family  Christmas Tradition that cannot be broken

I digress. Last summer I made a combined Smoker / Dehydrator, which as the name suggests dehydrates something whilst at the same time imparting a Smokey flavour. The first thing I tried was smoking tomatoes, and that was a revelation as we ended up with smoked tomato powder. You wouldn’t want to eat a spoonful but sprinkle over pasta and its a delight. Most recently I tried a combination of tomato, onion, and mushroom, all smoked and dehydrated, then powdered, and the result was vegan Gravy Powder, someone suggested add beetroot to extend the depth of flavour – now there’s an idea.

All of which bring me to today. Now it so happens I have been booked to appear at the Forty Hall Food festival in August, and I have been thinking about what to demonstrate. Hopefully the new book will be ready, so its an ideal opportunity to feature something about smoking, but you only get a maximum of an hour, and ideally at the end you have something people can try. After several sleepless nights I ended up with the idea to make Smokey Bacon Crisps. They have potatoes and a fryer, I just need to provide the Smokey Bacon Flavour.

So several days ago I started out by curing a piece of pork to make bacon, which was then smoked overnight. Several slices then had to undergo a rigorous quality control procedure at lunch time, and a few more were sacrificed in order to get a second opinion, but as both opinions came from the same person I am not sure that counts. Having been deemed suitable I then trimmed the fat off a few slices and into the dehydrator they went along with tomatoes, which didn’t have anything to do with the experiment, just using the space and brie cheese although that only stayed for the smoking portion of the procedure, and very nice it was too.

Eighteen hours later, we ended up with smoked dehydrated bacon which was then transformed into powder and the result is shown below. Its too fibrous to be used as a powder for sprinkling over potato crisps, so from that point of view as an experiment its a failure. However it does taste very good, with a strong bacon flavour, sprinkled over anything it would be good, and I reckon over hot chips would be magnificent. One way to find out. Its a tough job but I am prepared to sacrifice my waist line so others don’t have too .

This still leaves me with a problem what do I do as an demo at the food fair? Are the good folk of North London ready for hot Smokey Bacon Chips?

image

 

Posted in bake, baking, barbecue, bbq, books, Cheese, Cooking, craft, Diy, festival,, food, heritage craft, heritagecraft, kitchen, London, old bloke, old blokes kitchen, smoker, tom green, tradition, Uncategorized, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment