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How to grow an avocado plant.

To grow an avocado plant you must first eat and avocado, and save the pit. Clean all the green gunk off by giving it a lovely French kiss.PhotobucketThen you need to stick four little supporting sticks into it. Toothpicks are best but you could also use straightened paperclips. (I only had four little bits of wire to hand). Stand the pit upright, with it's tapered end at the top, and stick the sticks in around it's fat tummy. Don't stick them in too far, just a few millimetres but make sure they are firmly in.PhotobucketThen use the four little sticks to suspend the pit at the top of a glass.PhotobucketFill the glass to the top with water so it's bum is dangling in water. You then have to keep it topped up like this for a long time, maybe months. That pit's got to have a soggy bum for just yonks, until you've almost lost patience. It might start to look manky even, you might think it's never going to work and consider throwing it away . . .
Photobucket . . . Then one morning you'll come down and notice it's started to split and, before you know it, it'll start thrusting out tentative roots.PhotobucketAnd then a single slender shoot with little tiny leaves will reach up - and it will gradually get bigger and bigger until you're almost overcome with satisfaction and smugness.PhotobucketAt this point you have grown your own Avocado plant! When it looks all grown up - with five or six leaves that are spread out - you can plant it in soil in a pot. Leave the pit on the surface of the soil and look after it how you would any houseplant - water it weekly or so and remove any leaves that die. If it looks droopy give it a little water and if that doesn't work try giving it a bigger pot.
Gosh, how easy.
Good luck.


Our house.

I've been living with Schweiker for a little while now and it's too nice, she is the perfect flatmate and our little pad is a calm and happy place.Photobucket(I like this photo because we have big legs) PhotobucketWe have a lot of plants PhotobucketIncluding lots of babies and seedlings all over the windowsills in the living room. And there are little watery rainbows about (see the one on this fig sapling) from chandelier drops hung at the windows.PhotobucketIn this photo is my favourite bedspread, which I bought from a fellow trader at the market . . . a couple of weeks later he got sectioned, so that's odd eh? Maybe he rued selling me the spread so much that it sent him over.PhotobucketIn the reflection are some paintings that Rosalie got - they are by The Anchor Group in Peckham.PhotobucketI got a bin-liner full of these little feather birds from the boot and now they are dotted about the house - they will go soon but for now I enjoy them. PhotobucketPhotobucketOne of the perks of a small flat is that the radio lives in the hall and you can hear it wherever you are. It lives on a stool I got from Lydia when she moved away.PhotobucketOur sink is a favourite place because it is in a little nook where everything is always changing and shifting, it always looks nice. Also, we have the best cutlery and utensil holders.PhotobucketAll our recycling goes in the cupboard . . . but then it usually gets fished out again and re-used to put cut flowers in or grow plants in or for mixing paint or spreading glue. That makes me feel quite worthy. (also in this photo, a small collection of very old marbles)PhotobucketAnd of course we drink from special Jo-made mugs. I enjoy how truly rubbish some of them are - really thick and heavy to drink from.PhotobucketRosalie's room always has things up on the wall.PhotobucketAnd a splendid collection of avocados growing.PhotobucketI never put anything on the wall really, not pictures at least - I'm much more a fan of plonking things about in an ever-changing display.PhotobucketMy favourite is still the gaggle of pipe-flares above my bedroom door. I go off most things I own but I think these might have made it into the permanent collection.PhotobucketNow you know what I'm surrounded by when I write to you.
Hope you are all well,
Jo.


Toot-toot.

I had a nice time at the boot-fairs this weekend, despite nearly killing myself with tiredness. And here are the fruits of my labour.PhotobucketTum-tee-tum. I bought a snooker triangle, because I like it - it has 9 different joins and lives over my light switch now.PhotobucketA very fine Welsh blanket.PhotobucketA pair of figurines that have floppily hinged legs so they walk down slopes. I like the relationship between them - the dog hates the man with a simmering resentment that is building. The man is totally oblivious.PhotobucketA lot of beautiful handknitted stuff this week, all from one lady.PhotobucketShe obviously just loved sitting and knitting, she also had another hobby: you've got until the end of this post to guess what it is.PhotobucketA bag of old marbles - you can tell the really old ones because they're not actually very round, which I like.PhotobucketI like this bracelet - I like the simplicity of the closing mechanism and that the beads are slightly wonky glass. If only they were strung on a grey piece of leather it would be perfect.PhotobucketThis necklace is perfect.PhotobucketThis fine pencil drawing has a beautiful quality to it. I put it on the table next to the weekends paper, then did a double-take.PhotobucketAnother tiny cup and saucer, I'll add it to the (tiny) pile.PhotobucketA dirty great pottery pot that looks like it's wearing a nice Scandinavian jumper.PhotobucketAnd whilst we're all spherical like . . . PhotobucketA dandelion in resin.PhotobucketAnd a bubble ball.PhotobucketThen two little Swedish horses.PhotobucketAnd a tiny ship in a bottle.PhotobucketAnd I treated my own personal Pilea to this handsome pewter pot. So everyone was happy. Of to market tomorrow in spite of a bit of a sniffle, gravel in the throat, is anyone else out there suffering? Let's all put the heating on and watch rubbish telly in bed, hooray!

(And, you guessed correctly, the old lady's other hobby was of course: smoking! Why must all the best knitters also smoke? It really drives me nuts.)

My very own Odradek.

On the old Instagram the other day I snapped this little beauty, which now sits on the sill in my studio. Then, last night I was doing a little reading and I read about Odradek - a small character that appears in Kafka's The Cares of a Family Man. Odradek is a star shaped spool of cotton, not unlike mine, who speaks a bit, but not properly - just communicates and moves around, a bit like mine.
PhotobucketA nice read for Toot lovers to ponder maybe.
Other peoples Odradeks: (Odradek Odradek Odradek). I think mine might be the real one though.


Out of my control.

There are no toot photos this week because I'll be pricing stuff up on my stall in the morning - Why? Because my car nearly died whilst I was visiting my folks and I rushed it to the garage, then it took two days to fix and I got stranded. Sigh. But some things did happen . . .
PhotobucketMum and I planned some more Saturday Drawing . . . at the top of a hill.PhotobucketIt was onion time again.PhotobucketAnd I went on an outing to Luton with my Pop. I like Luton actually. And I bought this peg basket from a shop that was incredible - I took some photos with the old Instagram, which I'm getting used to now. The chaps manning the shop both had swallow tattoos, which I believe is what you get when you've been in prison, or what you get if you want to look like you've been in prison - and I don't know which is worse.PhotobucketI also bought this mug. There's a lucky Paul who is going to be getting a present tomorrow, a present with the price written permanently right where he can see it every time he takes a sip. And it was a good price eh?
I think I might love Luton actually.

Making some new cards.


I've been back at my folks house, working away on that hulking beast of a machine - The Arab. This is it's official name, written large on it's cast iron frame, not just an odd racial slur I came up with myself. I went simple on the design (again). I thought about patterns and designs but decided to just print the domain name and play around with the font colour instead.
PhotobucketPlaying around with the font colour involves smudging different colours onto a large inking plate - which then gets slowly transferred onto the rollers and onto your print - it's a very special way of doing it, you have to be brave because you don't know exactly how it will come out.PhotobucketAnd because it's a massive, manual, Victorian printer it can handle my favourite material - grey board. Not like whimsy little 21st century printers that cough and whine and spit out your A4 half done. Best of all - I got a handsome amount of cards for an outlay of only £5! Smart.


From the boot: John Kay

A small set of etchings by John Kay. He was a Scottish caricaturist based in Edinburgh and lived from 1742 to 1826. That's quite a long time ago eh?P9121829I love this way of showing speech.P9121827And the gaminess of this man's arm.P9121825This chap has a pineapple - dead posh.P9121824(Note the dog poking it's head in the side of this picture)P9121822More foolish folk . . . P9121821And a whole group of men with no arms - all squished in like corn on the cob. This last one is my favourite.