Monday, 22 July 2013

The Nectar Norwich

The Nectar
16 Onley Street

I found the Nectar cafe on the Internet as I was visiting Norwich and wanted to find a vegan place to eat. It would be hard to find this gem of a place otherwise as it is on a residential street on the edge of Norwich.

The cafe is teeny tiny,two tables inside and a bar but is lovely and light and airy due to the large windows but its also cosy with warm wooden tables and the girl serving us was friendly chatty and smiley,the sun was shining through the window and we immediately felt relaxed as we sat at the sunny window on cushions in front of healthy tomato plants growing in the windowsill.The menu is written on chalk boards in colourful writing, behind the counter is stacked high with containers full of seeds and spices, the counter boasts intriguing raw cakes such as carrot cake and there were lots of interesting local info and a shelf full of raw and veggie books. Outside if you are feeling energetic there was a bike powered smoothie maker!!

We ordered drinks first and I had a thick shake called a green dream which was full of good things including banana, spinach, and almond milk. My partner had a mocha maca which was made with organic cow’s milk, maca and cocoa powder.
I ordered a raw sprouted buckwheat pizza with cashew cheese, raw sun dried tomato sauce and seasonal vegetables. The wait was about 10 minutes but was a enjoyable one spent chatting to the other customers and enjoying our milkshakes.

Wow it was worth the wait! My food came and it looked amazing, a riot of colour and textures, the pizza was a wedge of rich tasty crunchiness topped with lots of vegetables and a creamy dressing which I found to be cashew cheese, oh my it was delicious! Now I have made cashew cheese before but never to the creamy mindblowingly gorgeousness that this was! I was literally in food heaven! the salad next to the pizza was piled precariously high with all manner of leaves and grated beetroot ,carrot, sprouted nutty seeds and a huge piece of creamy avocado fanned out on top. Absolutely delicious food, undoubtedly the best food I have ever tasted! the mix of colours, textures and tastes was inspired. I was really sad when I had finished my food and wished I could have eaten it all over again, where's a time machine when you really need one?!

 After eating I knew I had to have some cashew cheese again and to my delight found that Nectar sell it through the Rainbow wholefoods shop in Norwich. I left with some delicious homemade dehydrated crackers and one of each flavour go-go ball ,small balls of raw cakey goodness made with cashew nuts, dates and cocoa and either plain, goji berry or mint flavoured and we set off to find the Rainbow!!!
I would definitely go there again as I wanted to try everything on the menu, so refreshing to have so much choice for a such reasonable price (just under £6 for meal) and such good quality fresh food. 11 out of 10!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Needle felted budgie picture

I was musing about making a needle felted budge,a little like this fellow, this yellow bird was one I made from a tutorial on Craftster If you haven't been on craftsters amazing forum pages,where have you been!!!!! Tutorials galore,inspiration posts about everyone latest crafty adventures and a great sense of community,Yay Craftster!!!!!!

Needle felted bird

I doodled a rough picture of a budgie but what I really wanted to do was play with my new Janome Embellisher. Ah lightbulb moment! Why not make a budgie picture! As I have played a little already,I know that felting onto premade felt is not a good idea. It gets a bit distorted by the Embellisher which is quite vigorous,especially if you stay in one place too long. I thought something more hard wearing like canvas would do the trick

I traced the picture onto canvas by sticking it on a window (my take on a light box)

This worked quite well as it was so sunny!!!

I then built up the colours,primarily with hand needle felting...

And then using the Embellisher to smooth and mix the colours. There is quite a bit of shrinkage involved so I had to keep re adding to the edges of the budgies body. At one point it got rather noisy and I realised that one of my needles had broken and was trashing the canvas underneath. I do not know if it was because the canvas material was a little too stiff or whether is was from my own over enthusiasm  !!! As I'm new to this it's hard to get the balance right between a base fabric that is hard wearing enough to take the repeated onslaught of the Embellisher (a quietly fierce machine!) and one that puts too much strain on the needles.

I continued adding to my picture using my hand needles and this is how far I have got at the moment

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Granny blanket

Hi this is my latest granny blanket,it was supposed to be a granny stripe but I gave up that idea after trying 4 times with increasingly bigger needles for the chain. I am crocheting with a 4mm hook and even with a size 8mm hook for the initial chain it was still too tight and caused the edge to curve and warp. 

Any one got any ideas how to avoid this? This blanket is for my sofa to compliment the patchwork throw I have on there which is a little pale. It's kinda loosely based on lavender,am loving the colours so far.

My last blanket has gone to a dear friend and I miss it! It was much brighter!