Thursday, 10 June 2021

 Loving - cut flowers from the garden.

Feeling - a bit young to be turning collars but my denim jacket is my favourite and oldest piece of clothing which I want to live on a little longer so I unpicked the collar and sewed it back on the other way around. It has lasted 25 years, here's to some more.

Eating - winter food?? but now we can move onto sunnier dining.

Wondering - when I started writing these posts. It was March 2017. I went back and wrote down all the verbs I used to use so I can reintroduce them.

Buying - loop turning tubes for waist ties, straps and rouleau loops. It is a game changer, far less swearing at turning thin straps.

Accepting - this beautiful gift from my uncle. We were in a charity shop and I said I liked the correspondence box in the window so he bought it for me.

Selling - Lots of left over building materials: roof tiles, quarry tiles, ridge tiles etc. It was looking like a reclamation yard in the field.

Sorting - out my wardrobe. I always pack away my winter clothes and get out my summer dresses. It feels like I have lots of new things. Some are a little on the snug side I must say! Out with the wool, velvet and long sleeved tees and out with the bright cotton prints.

Wearing - Summer dresses. All handmade except for one. YAY!

Avoiding - sewing in the day and trying to sew in the evenings and early mornings to enjoy the long awaited sunshine.

Making - An Indigo tunic by Tilly and Buttons with this beautiful delicate fabric.

Whizzing - up a batch of wild garlic pesto. Delicious!

Loving - that Meg has got her cactus to flower. She was so excited but they only lasted a day or two.

Deciding - to open the bi-fold doors for the first time. I thought it would make the house too hot but on the contrary, it was super breezy and cool. Looking out and looking in gave me great joy. I almost forgot the pain it took for us to get them shipped in time for the builders to fit them.

Crocheting - the last of the squares for a blanket with Heidi. It was so much quicker with two of us doing them.

Introducing - Monty, a seventeen year old in the village who has bought shearing equipment and is learning to shear. It turns out when he said he was new to shearing, he had only done 25 of his own suffolks in total. The first of our hebrideans took him 40 mins but he got faster. We invited an old shearer friend to come and share some tips and Monty got down to nine minutes. He had not done ones with horns before so he did pretty well and was proud of himself.

Teaching - my girl to wrap fleeces. The photo she took of me bending over, red faced and covered in lanolin was far too unflattering to show you!

Practising - a dress for Heidi for a wedding we are attending in July. I cut a size 6 but it still needed scaling down a bit so I tried it out in curtain lining first. Ready for the beautiful fabric she chose now.

Finally, I will leave you with the view because it doesn't matter how long I live here, it will always make me feel fabulous inside.

Jo xxx

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Hurrah for Sunshine

It is time for my three word gardening post which I am continuing every month. 

The ranunculus are putting on an amazing show. They have been fantastic. I have been sure to pick them to keep the buds coming. 

The look great in a vase teamed with geum totally tangerine. This plant has doubled in size and has been flowering since mid May. The best view of it is from the office window where you are sitting down therefore you are at eye level with it or looking through it. This vase is for you flowers.

The geum and ranunculus are part of a raised front border which I am keeping pretty weed free at the moment but some plants need some water to establish. I try not to hose water the lot, I'd rather water the plants that need it so that others don't become reliant on mass watering.

These are aquilegia Nora Barlow. A flower I had in my old garden but when we came to move, I couldn't see one to bring with me. Luckily, I had previously shared seeds with my mum who had propagated some successfully so she gifted me one back!

The front border has had a good spruce up and I have tied up the daffodils to keep them from sprawling.

I save my jersey fabric off cuts to use in the garden because they are softer on stems than harsh string. I used them all up. I need to start a new pile today.

This is a piece of ground that has recently been finished. It was covered in huge stones we couldn't move, bits of building rubbish, old bonfire piles and general detritus. The ground has been smoothed against the slope. I have some plans for this in the future so stay tuned.

There was a very happy day spent in the greenhouse pricking out seedlings sat on a chair with a coffee whilst listening to gardeners question time on my phone. It was blissful. These are young cosmos in preparation for some late summer flowering.

The veg patch is moving on a pace but there is too much soil showing yet for me to photograph you something productive. I will leave you with a shot of the cast iron cauldron I found in the field which I planted up with herbs. I wasn't massively popular when I asked for that beast to be moved!

Happy Gardening! Jo xxx

Friday, 28 May 2021

Getting hooked all over again

 I haven't crocheted for a while, I have been knitting a lot but as summer comes, it is nice to have a portable project for the evenings that I can take and sit outside with, well if only it would warm up a bit!

Christina sent my daughter some yarn she was not using, a selection of groovy granny squares and a lovely card to inspire her. I copied Christina's design. My crochet is on the loose side so to get squares that matched I had to use a size 3mm hook. Heidi copied me doing one stitch for stitch and then she was off.

She loves making them and by having a head start with some ready made ones from Christina she is really motivated. Meg has a cross stitch on the go in the evenings, Heidi is crocheting and I am battling on with a knitting modification that, if I am honest, is close to the compost bins stage but I am too tenacious to give up.

I bought a pale grey to hold them altogether which is working out well. It was an exciting purchase because I actually went to a wool shop and made a purchase after perusing - such a novelty. I needed to buy a wool yarn which did not detract from the bright colours.

I know as soon as the blanket starts to hang down onto the floor, Beano will start lying on it. He does this when I am hand quilting!

If the weather was warmer we would be outside in the light evenings but it is just so cold that we have reverted to winter pastimes for a while. Hopefully some sunshine to come over the next week while the children are their half term break.

Thanks for dropping in. Jo xxxx

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Wasn't sure...

 There is something very methodical about bag making, I am not sure if I like it but I needed a new rucksack style handbag. My Eden Coat is made out of this waterproof fabric so my current handbag keeps sliding off my shoulder which in turn is making my shoulder ache as I assume a 'hunchback-of-Notre-Dame' position to hold it on. 

The fabric was expensive so I was keen to use up the leftovers, no surprises there. The pattern is called the Riley Rucksack which was a free pattern with a sewing magazine that someone passed on to me. I plundered all of the notions from my stash apart from the two zips which I bought. 

When it was finished I was a bit, meh! thinking I had spent a lot of time making a floppy rucksack. Once it had my usual items in it however, it was much more weighed down.

It is a fab size for all my gubbins including space for a bottle of water.

There are internal pockets for my phone and my notebook. The inside seams are not the neatest because I was losing confidence towards the end that I wouldn't like it so I overlocked the inside with white thread because I couldn't be bothered to change it to green - wish I had now!

The instructions for the straps were confusing, I think I missed putting it all together in the right order somewhere along the line because I made it with a big break between starting it and finishing it. I fell back therefore on my bra making knowledge and made the straps like bra straps! Worked a treat. I don't know where the buckles came from but I hacked the pins off them with a pair of pliers to re-purpose as two sliders.

Ta dah! wasn't sure about it half way through but I sure as hell was not going to have a half made bag in my fabric cupboard. 
Glad I finished it because now I love it. 

Got anything that needs finishing off?
Jo xxxx

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Excitement Early Doors

I am going to try and kick start my blog writing with a three word gardening post once a month to celebrate having a new garden. I can't simply keep showing you me and my families' clothes all the time! Gardening is never finished with a kind of rolling excitement that comes and goes in waves so each month there should be some eye candy for us all. I am feeling that green text will really get us in the horticultural mood.

The front raised bed is dedicated to hot colours. It is fun to choose plants for a specific brief. These tulips are called Cairo and are from Framer Gracy. They are on tall stems but are very sturdy.

After all of the general daffodils had faded at the end of April, I was surprised to see these delicate beauties bud up. I forgot I had put them in and have no idea what they are but I am quite partial to a Lidl bargain bulb bag so I can only imagine they were purchased instead of a bottle of wine.

These ones have come at the same time too, slightly more cup shaped but so small and delicate, I think these are called Thalia.

I have been trying to choose my foliage carefully for this bed. This Euphorbia was a bit pricey but such a special specimen that I caved in and bought it because the leaves were variegated and the centres have a deep maroon colour picking up the dark heuchara in the background.

I have a golden heuchara that sits well with the orange tulips at the moment and it will also shine with a few more plants to come later.

These Orange Princess tulips just keep on giving. They were from Farmer Gracy too and I am so glad I bought them. They have really kick started my motivation to keep the borer flowering for the whole season.

The introduction of some white flowers will soften the whole look. My MIL gave me a big Lily which she says is white (I hope so) if it turns out to be pink, I shall be hoofing it straight out!

If it is pink, I will move it to the back garden where the sweeping border is dedicated to blue, pink and purple. This border gets more of a battering than the front raised bed because we are on a high ridge and whatever weather you are having, we are having it with wind. This one is taking a bit more time to get going but there are some substantial shrubs here because we look at this border from our bifold doors constantly so it needs to be full for as much of the year as possible.

Again the beautiful tulips are from Farmer Gracy. Andy installed the old water pump which his dad gave us from their garden. It was in their garden as a working water source when they moved in around the late sixties. It flows into a stone trough we found in the field.

And just because I can't resist sharing a bit of sewing, here is my crossback gardening apron I made from an old tablecloth. This photo makes me look huge but the apron is nice and loose making it perfect for moving about and wiping my hands on. If you are interested, it was easy to make from a free pattern by Tessuti. I might make some for Christmas presents actually.

Tell me the favourite thing that is growing in your garden right now. Happy gardening. Jo xxxx