Saturday, 30 July 2011

Garden bits and pieces

Summer seems to have returned at last thankfully and I'm enjoying pottering in the garden and soaking up the colours and scents, and continuing to pick the courgettes, peas and beans that are doing well this year.  The family are getting a bit fed up with courgettes every day! ( Memo to self; don't plant out ALL the spare plants next year, just in case they don't grow. They always do.)  Even when picked tiny, they are so productive and just keep going for months.  I missed these two sneaky ones hiding under some leaves.

The hollyhocks have been lovely, but are looking a bit shabby with rust now, but I can live with that.  Here's a couple of views of the veg plot.  The scarecrow is wearing a shirt "donated" by hubby, and seemed to do the trick of keeping the pigeons off the peas after they had shredded the first lot.

This honeysuckle covers one of the arches and smells absolutely gorgeous.  

A corner near the back door.  The table is covered with pots of scented pelargoniums and rubbing the leaves of these is just like aromatherapy, wonderful.

The large lavender bush near the back door is alive with busy bees.

Off to pick some more French beans.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Crochet blocks decided.

I finally decided on a plan for my new blanket.  After playing around with loads of blocks I figured that simple is best!  If I have to follow a pattern I start to lose interest, so I adapted a plain granny square with a circular centre and came up with this.

It's so simple I can churn them out while watching tv or chatting, but I think the round centre adds a nice softness.  Sticking to one colour  means only one end to weave in and I should be able to do that when joining them, Yippee!!  I've joined a few together to see how they'll look and I absolutely love the result. I think the dinky blocks of colour with lots of cream ( Sublime "Alabaster") is really pretty, like a paint box :)

I've used most of the colours from my last blanket, but I've been on the hunt for some more.  Sticking to superwash wool or merino means I can mix them all in the same blanket.  Hopefully the ones on order will be what I'm after.  They can sometimes be wildly different from how they look  on the website.  I'll let you know when they arrive.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Planning a new crochet blanket

I've got the crochet bug again, but can't decide what to do.  I had all my books out over the weekend and have been searching around internet land for inspiration and now I'm even more confused. I loved the last blanket I made, but think I want something with a lot less changes of colour and ends to weave in this time!

A striped or ripple blanket would be good, but I don't want to get bored and end up with half a blanket! so blocks it is.  I've tried ( and unraveled) loads but none of them seem quite right. Plain granny or simple treble squares are dead easy and quick, but could be a bit dull.

Maybe something like this

Or this is my favourite so far. It's a bit more fiddly, but quite pretty. I've added a cream  border  and think i'll join all the blocks with a cream double crochet seam on the front which I think looks lovely.

Taken from this book


Pretty pelargoniums.

Thursday, 21 July 2011


Ok, so for the Versatile Blogger award I'm supposed to list 7 things about me and pass it on to 7 (or is it 15?) other bloggers.  Well I struggled a bit with this and spent ages in blogland trying to find people who hadn't already done it. There are so many wonderful blogs out there I've chickened out and have decided not to pass it on for now, sorry.  I've had a think though and here's a few facts about me.

1. I hated History at school and gave it up as soon as I could.  Now I'm fascinated with it and love learning how people used to live, what their homes were like etc.
2. I've traced my family tree and got totally hooked on it for a while. Be warned if you start, it's very addictive!
3. I had a glider lesson once, but only realised as we took off that I don't like heights! 
4. I'm not a big chocolate fan and don't like cake much.
5. I buy too many magazines of the house/garden/craft variety, but I've never bought a fashion/beauty one.
6. I've seen Take That on their last 3 tours. Brilliant :)
7. I would have loved to be a florist but get hay fever, so probably wouldn't have been a good idea.

For the Liebster award I'm supposed to pass it on to 3 smaller blogs that I love. Again it was hard choosing, but I've picked some that I've recently discovered and love for their wonderful photography and enviable way of life.

Don't worry if you don't want to collect the award, I won't be offended :)

What on earth has happened to the summer? It was so cold yesterday I was tempted to put the fire on, and I've got my basket of wool out ready to start some new crochet. Just trying to figure out what to do.

I'll leave you with some flowers from the garden. You can never have too many flowers right?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The best place to be

Firstly I apologize if this post looks a bit different. I was tweeking the design slightly and have somehow lost the colour selector for the post titles and it now it will only post in the same colour as the text.  I've tried fixing it but not being a whizz on the computer It'll probably take a while!

Lottie's spent the last few days hiding in her favourite spot under her blanket!

She doesn't "do" rain and doesn't see why she should go out occasionally!

I've been planning a bit of a garden border makeover. The area near to the house has been neglected in recent years and now has hardly anything in it apart from self seeded trees and stuff that the rabbits don't eat (mainly ground elder and bindweed!)  Thanks to new neighbours who are finally tackling the pest problem on their land, I feel like a good tidy and re-planting is worth doing, so watch this space.  The bit where the bench is will be gravelled so that I can put lots of pots there.

Finally, many thanks to Karen at 4 Lil' Girls (checkout her lovely blog) who has passed on 2 awards.

It's brilliant to receive such nice comments, when I've only just started blogging. Thank you. It's difficult to know who to pass them on to as there are so many gorgeous blogs out there, but I'll have a think and pass them on soon.

Oops!, having posted, the title colour is now back as it was and not as it showed in the preview. Don't know what's going on there!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Lovely day in the garden

It was such a beautiful day yesterday I decided to make the most of it and took myself off to the garden for a few hours.  Feeling in a productive mood I rounded up the dozens of dirty pots and seed trays that always accumulate in the spring and set about washing them.  It's something I enjoy on a warm day when I can sit in the shade of our old apple tree playing with some nice cool water, and the green house now looks a whole lot tidier.

Here's some of the things that I'm loving at the moment!

These poppies are amazing. The petals open up like crumpled silk. They seed themselves around everywhere and cross with each other creating new shades each year.

Some fennel and echinops

And a couple from the shade of the tree.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Crochet Blankets

Well,  I wasn't going to post today, but after Lucy's kind comments I dug out some of my finished crochet to show you.

I first picked up a crochet hook a couple of years ago after my youngest daughter went off to uni and I was looking for something to occupy myself.  I came across Lucy's blog and was "hooked". It was over 30 years since I'd made a lacy doily thing as a teenager, but after a trip to the local wool shop I picked it up again easily.  I went for Rowan Pure Wool DK as it's washable and comes in loads of bright colours. 

 My first one; a simple Granny square effort, joined in blocks of 4.  I've since found out how to do the clusters on the borders where the squares join, but as it's not a very big blanket I'm going to leave it as it is.

The next two are similar.  I think I used too many colours in these, just experimenting with all the different ones I could find.

This one isn't finished yet.  It needs a border, maybe white or cream?

Finally my favourite.  This one was done while stuck at home with a broken ankle and I really love it.  I treated myself to some new wool in prettier colours.  Sublime extra fine merino;  Artesano superwash merino and Debbie Bliss rialto mainly. Also "geranium" in the Rowan. "Dolly mixture" colours maybe!  These are more "me" and I'm going to stick with similar ones for my future projects. A couple of shades I've yet to track down are a pretty pale orange/peach and a nice pale leafy green.  

My basket of woolly loveliness :) 

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The vegetable patch

We are lucky enough to have a pretty large garden.  Unfortunately it's hard to keep the local rabbit population out and they devour anything and everything.  We decided to fence off a section some years ago for veg and it has worked well with just the occasional baby one squeezing under the gate. Here's a view taken a few years ago.  The hens are no more, sadly, having been got by a fox one night.

  I love planning what to grow each year and spend hours pouring over the seed catalogues.  I've tried most things but some things I find not worth the bother. We have very poor chalky, stony soil, so root crops like carrots and potatoes don't do well.  I tend to concentrate on the summer crops like courgettes, peas, french beans and sweetcorn as these are the things we like best, especially different coloured varieties like purple beans and yellow courgettes that you can't get in the shops. A first for me this year was the yellow mangetout pea  "Golden sweet" which I love. They are very pretty and rather more delicate than the green ones. They do make very big plants though, so next year I will make the supports a bit more sturdy!

There are also some raspberries, asparagus and rhubarb in one corner, but I'm gradually making more room for flowers.  In the spring there were loads of tulips and I've got three beds of dahlias this year which are just starting to flower.  In the past  I had loads of gorgeous gladioli but I think  the harsh winters must have killed them off as they didn't appear last year.

Here's today's harvest. 

Now I must get on with some weeding before it gets out of hand!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Three works in progress

Here are three quilt tops that I've completed but are still waiting to be made into quilts.  I don't know about you but I find the process of choosing the fabric; cutting and sewing it all together really enjoyable, but then somehow don't get round to finishing them off.   Having a big work table to spread out on would help, but I'm determined to get these done soon.  In the meantime they live on an old wooden clothes airer that I picked up on ebay which   does a good job as a quilt ladder.   I had to take them out the garden today as is so gloomy indoors.

The top one is made of  '30s repro fabric that I'd had in my stash for ages.  I love that it's become more popular recently and am often on the lookout for more.  The colours are so pretty.

The next one is all 1/2 square triangles using lots of my favourite fabrics. This took a while to to do but I really love the result.

The last one was an attempt to use up lots of strips I'd cut up for other projects including some Liberty prints.  
It didn't actually make much of a dent in the pile so it looks like I've got more strippy quilts to do! 
 While I was sewing the squares for this one in January I had a disaster when getting up from the sewing machine  my foot got caught in the cable and I fell, breaking my ankle.  It was all pretty traumatic and I spent weeks in plaster and a strap on boot after having loads of pins put in to hold the bones together.  Thankfully it didn't take long to be able to use my foot pedal again, but I've made sure the cable is safely stuck to the side of table now!

Hopefully I'll be able to show them again when they're made up and quilted.

Bye for now.

Monday, 11 July 2011


So I've finally taken the plunge after a couple of years of lurking and reading lots of lovely blogs and decided to start my own so that I can join in the blogging community properly.  I hope to share pictures of my quilty projects, crochet blankets, dolls house and things I've collected over the years that you might be interested in.  I also love photographing flowers so there'll probably be a lot of that.

I'll start with a couple of pic's of  Lottie, who spends most of the time asleep on the sofa!

Some of my garden

And a peek of the summerhouse.

I'm not the most technical person around! so it might take me a while to get used to this, but hopefully it will get easier.