Saturday, 28 January 2012

Pheasants in the garden

Hello, I hope you're having a good weekend and welcome to my recent followers. I seem to have acquired a few new ones recently, which is lovely.

I've been trying to get some photos of the pheasants that have been hanging out in our garden recently but these two seem a bit shyer than normal and refuse to come any closer to the house, probably because of Lottie, despite the bread I keep throwing out the window!  This is the best I could get with my zoom lens.

We usually get them around this time of year.  Escapees from the local shoot, they are attracted to the neighbours' gardens who have hens for the food, and they often stick around for months.  I've dug out some pic's from previous years as they are so beautiful. It's like having pets without any of the responsibility! 

This was a really tame one that would almost feed out of our hands.

This gorgeous green one was my favourite.  He would use the guinea pig hutch outside our window as his perch to call for the ladies!  There were a few females around and I found one with loads of chicks nesting under the rhubarb one spring. They ended up disappearing  into next door's garden but they were so sweet!

Have a good weekend

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Woolly bits and bobs

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post.  I've spent a few days trying out different ideas for joining the squares and decided to stick with the double crochet (U.S. seam on the front but in a colour rather than cream. Of course this meant getting out ALL my balls of wool and dithering about which one to use. I'd almost decided on the Artesano merino in baby pink but then found a ball of Rico essentials merino in a similar shade that seems to work better for joining, being a bit finer, so the seams are a bit flatter.  Not a very clear photo but the Rico is on the left.

While I had all my wool out I decided to have a good sort out!  All the little odds and ends were chopped up and put in a bird feeder for them take for their nests. How pretty does that look!  They'll have the cosiest nests in the neighbourhood :)

Some of the colours I'm not keen on got bagged up for the charity shop and the rest got sorted into colours and put into some new drawers.  It feels great not to have it all stuffed in different bags. All the shade charts got put in a new folder to make it easier find what I'm looking for.  I do love getting organised :)

Bye for now.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Squares finally finished!

So, I finally finished all the squares for my spring flower blanket.  I have to say, I was getting a bit bored towards the end, but I spent a couple of days doing nothing much more than crocheting while catching up with Downton Abbey that I never got round to watching before!  The weather's been so dismal that it's been good to have something to do indoors, but hopefully I'll be able to get on with the garden soon.  Anyway, I hope these pic's add a bit of colour to your January days

So now I need to decide on how to join them. I hadn't really thought that far.  Can't decide between simply slip stitching through the back or something similar to my last one with a double crochet seam on the front.  Ideas welcome!

Edited to add

I have had an increasing number of requests for copies of the flower square pattern.  While I hate saying no and disappointing anyone I feel I have to point out that it's not my pattern.  It comes from the book "200 crochet blocks" by Jan Eaton and is copyright protected.  I've checked on Amazon and it's still available at a reasonable price. It's well worth buying if you're just starting out crocheting and want lots of ideas. Sorry!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Farnham Maltings

I popped along to the fabric sale at Farnham Maltings this morning, despite the fact that I'd promised myself not to buy any more 'till I've used up a lot of my stash. In the end most of it was more of the darker wintery type that I've got too much of anyway, and I restricted myself to 3 pretty fat quarters at only £1.50 each.  

Also got a bargain with a pile of Australian Homespun magazines for £8. That'll keep me occupied for a while!

There was a display of quilts by some local quilting groups. A couple that appealed to me were these two by the same lady, Brenda Ford.

While I was there I bought a ticket for Unravel at the end of February. I read about it last year, but couldn't go because of my broken ankle.  Looks like it will be worth a trip if you're into all things "yarny"! 

Off to do some more gardening.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Frosty Morning

As you can see, I decided it was time to update my header picture.  Hope the hollyhocks brighten your day a bit.  The crochet blanket has now gone to live in London with Eldest girl and the shirt quilt went to Youngest girl.  I decided just before Christmas to give them away as presents, but still had to finish weaving in the ends which took two days. Not the most exciting of jobs, I'm not going to leave them all to the end in future!  I always get quite possessive of things I make, but I'm sure  they'll look after them and enjoy them.  

The garden looked pretty this morning as the sun started to make everything sparkle, so I grabbed my macro lens and went out to see what I could find. Here's some of my favourites.

Have a good weekend

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Garden dreaming

The sun looked like it would make and appearance today so I planned to carry on tidying the veg plot, but it felt so cold and miserable outside the plans changed.  We've done about a three quarters of it but the worst beds are still to be done. It looks so grim this time of year, but it won't be long before spring's here and everything will look fresh again!

The only things flowering at the moment are some snowdrops and periwinkle

My day was much improved though by the arrival of the latest Sarah Raven catalogues in the post.  Always a feast for the eyes, full of lovely photo's. I've already ordered some lilies and gladioli from other places, but I'm tempted by the purple poppies and lots of the veg. She even makes runner beans sound good.  I never used to like them, I think because we had them so much when I was young, but might give them a try this year.

I found these obelisks while browsing through Pinterest and decided they are just what I need for the sweet peas. There's a good article with all the instructions Here and hubby has volunteered to make me some!  Think it's probably an excuse to buy some more tools!, but I'm sure they'll work a lot cheaper than the ones sold in the fancy garden centres.   

Just need to decide on a colour.  I'll probably use Cuprinol Garden Shades, maybe lavender or beaumont blue?  Hmmm... decisions..

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Giveaway Winner

I just realised that I put the 9th rather than the 8th as the date for the draw, oops sorry!  but since nobody seemed to notice and I did say Sunday,  I got Hubby to pick a slip at random today and the winner is...........

Lorna, a very talented lady who writes an inspiring blog Here

Congratulations   I hope you enjoy making something crafty with the fabric and buttons.

Thank you for all your comments. It's always good to explore new blogs. There are such a lot of talented people out there.

I'm slowly getting back into the normal routine now everyone's gone back work and Uni'.  The garden is starting to get it's spring tidy on the odd nice day. There is such a lot to do but it makes it more manageable  to do one bed at a time.

When the weather's not so good I've been catching up with some of the TV I recorded over Christmas and doing some more crochet.  When I laid out the squares made so far it didn't look big enough, so I've decided to make some more so it will be 9x9 blocks (about 4' square)  Then it might get a border, we'll see how it goes.  Only problem is running out of some of the colours now and some are discontinued but it doesn't matter too much,  I'll just add in some others!  The colours remind me of spring so it's now offically my "Spring Flower Blanket"

Bye for now

Monday, 2 January 2012

New Year Giveaway

Well, as promised I'm back with a little giveaway to celebrate the New Year and my increasing number of followers.  I've got one of my rolls of lovely recycled fabrics cut mostly from old shirts in pretty Summery colours.  The strips are all 4" wide and various lengths, so you could use them to make a quilt or cushions, bags, whatever you fancy.  I'll also add some buttons and a sweet smelling lavender bag.
Just leave a comment on this post if you want to enter and I will draw a winner next Sunday (9th) lunchtime.  Open to all and I will post anywhere in the world.
Good luck!

I hope you all had a good break and are feeling ready to tackle 2012.  I'm glad last year is over to be honest. There were too many ups and downs, dramas and hospital visits in my family for my liking.  I've got a feeling this year is going to be better.

Some years we use the week after Christmas to make a start on tidying the veg plot but due to the dismal weather I haven't ventured much further than a triangle between bed, sofa and kitchen!  I've been exploring Pinterest Here a lot and thinking it might be useful for keeping a note of the veg I grow each year. I always forget to note the varieties and think I'll remember but this seems like a neat way to do it.  

I dug out all the catalogues and a blank plan for 2012 and got busy with the post-it notes. It's always more fun planning than actually planting and weeding it all!

Also got this sweet little bird house for Christmas which needs fixing up somewhere before the birds start nesting in the spring. 

Hopefully I'll be back to more regular blogging once I'm over this lazy lull
Best wishes for 2012