Coffee - Lifestyle

Montagues

09 04 17

Hello 2017!

Yes it really is that long since I blogged that actually this is my first one of the year (but I have been Insta – blogging I promise!).

Its been a mixed year for Squirrel so far with lots of community engagement and work within a Behavioral and SEN School up in Poulton-le-Fylde. This has pretty much taken up all of my time and was a full on expereince that left me with little or no time for my own creating. But fear not! I am now back to being freelance giving me time to focus on what really matters to me. Helping those in need through creative arts engagement and getting out into the community.

At the weekend I was fortunate enough to visit Montagues, a trendy restaurant and cafe bar located on the the ever growing Highfield Road, South Shore, Blackpool. Think Manchester Northern Quarter but in a local neighborhood and you are somewhere near what is one of (if not the only) the best places in the town to eat.

The decor is made up of what I believe was once Danielle’s own private collection of eclectic vintage and retro paraphernalia with a hint of the new. The flooring resembling what was once a school gymnasium, string lighting and stunning wicker light shades that give off that ‘hygge’ atmosphere we are all trying to recreate in our own homes.

The menu ranges from the traditional Sunday roasts to burgers, salads, fish and spaghetti meaning there is something for everyone (even the kids). If you are a foodie then I suggest you sign up for their quarterly Supper Club via the newsletter. The most recent being Moroccan themed serving Apricot, date and lamb tagine, citrus and herb couscous, fresh beetroot and avocado salad and to finish a buttermilk and almond basbousa with orange & cardamom syrup.

Whats best is all of the food is locally sourced or homegrown in the Montague garden. Visiting for even just a coffee (served with small delicious piece of homemade biscuit) not only means you are supporting local business but you are supporting a range of them through the food you order. What more could you want? Now go go go!

Lifestyle - News - Travel

2016-2017

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As the seasons change and the end of the year approaches, many of us are looking to what we have achieved and what is still left to do before 2017.

For me I have been looking at the various projects completed and new products made and have a great sense of achievement for what 2016 has thrown at me. I am especially fond of the Soldiers project where I was able to make a piece of visual art that was as delicate and sensitive as I had hoped for.

On my recent travels I came across these two shop entrances and was completely in awe of them. I have always dreamt of having my own shop but understand that the challenges of this are great and the expense even greater. I already have in my mid what I would sell and how I would run the shop but the place I live is not ideal.. online I hear you say? Well maybe.. so 2017 how are you looking? Quite exciting really!

Commissions - Exhibition - Printmaking - Screen Print

Fleetwoods Fallen Soldiers Project

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Over the last few weeks I have been putting the final parts together for the Fleetwood Memorial Park project and I am happy to say its now up and (almost) ready to be viewed!

The project was commissioned by Heritage Lottery and was part of the regeneration of Memorial Park in Fleetwood, including the parks landscaping and the Pavilion where this work now sits. All of the servicemen have been researched by volunteers and I used this information to create small pieces of artwork that then all sit together as one piece.

The launch for the work will be Friday 9th September 12-2pm and all is welcome!

Coffee - Commissions - Creative - Growing - Nature - Printmaking - Screen Print - Studio

Printmaking with natural dye

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Turmeric Dye Bath Tea and Coffee Dye Bath

Its all been a bit quiet on the blogging front due to the grey area of crossing over between two projects. This usually means there are lots of days where you feel nothing is getting done until the end of the week and you start to see the fruits of your hard work.

Here is the start of a new research and development grant funded project (via LeftCoast) to experiment and explore how nature can provide the pigments and dyes to use in printmaking. This serves two purposes. One is to teach the young people I work with at the Mereside Boys and Girls Club how to grow food and what small changes healthy eating can achieve. Once the food has been grown I will also use a small percentage of the produce to then experiment with creating inks to print making my own work 100% organic.

Allotment - Growing - Nature - Skill Learning

How does your garden grow?

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Blackpool Boys and Girls Club

If you have been keeping up to date with my Twitter feed then you know I have been a busy Squirrel trying to renovate this small patch of green space at the Boys and Girls Club on Mereside.

So far we have some small pots with onions and garden peas growing but we are ready to take this to the next stage and get a vegetable patch built. This is all so we can educate the young people in healthy eating as well as looking at alternative ways to use the vegetables – such as ink pigments and natural fabric dyes.

Network Rail have (almost) promised us some Railway sleepers to get this happening and the lovely Max McMurdo from various Channel 4 up cycling shows has helped with suggestions but now I am asking YOU if you can help us? Please share this with your friends and family – healthy eating and education should not be this hard for the lovely children at the Boys and Girls Club!

Allotment - Growing - Nature

Protecting your plants

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Allotment, Squirrel and Tiffin

The weather has been quite a mixture this week in Lancashire and so when Wednesday came and the sun was shining it was time to head to the allotment for their weekly session.

Most sessions have involved planting out the small seedlings that have been growing in the polytunnel with some success but the most interesting is when you find the plants lying on top of the soil. This seems to be (we think) birds or even rats that roam the allotment during the night. To avoid this we have again replanted but used mesh and twigs to protect them.

Fending off small bugs and insects is apart of the allotment life and there have been some great suggestions bounced around while I’ve been planting and digging. The most common is slug repellant and someone has even suggested vaseline around the rim of the plant pots. Do you have any helpful hints or tips? I would love hear them!