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

Monday, 10 May 2021

It is my favourite month of the year where everything bursts into blossom with the added bonus of the most vivid GREEN! Here is a little round up of May so far, it is jam packed...

Spotting - blossom of all kinds: pale pink, white, deep red, bright cerise. Just beautiful.

Picking - the last of my daffodils before deadheading the rest to make way for the tulips. I also rustled up a new set of table napkins.

Introducing - my children to tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce. They loved it which we drank with a scampi salad one evening when bloke was on night shifts. This is our idea of a 'girly' sharing dinner.

Walking - to the top of the Caradoc which is the hill we see from our kitchen window on the left. We tried to see our home from the top but we located the hamlet, but not quite our house!

Meeting - up with our favourite friends outdoors. It was wonderful to see the girls just slot back into conversation with their pals while Mary and I did the same chatting about yarn and family and sewing.

Cussing - myself for not doing a toile of my new pietra pants pattern. I spent a lot of money on this fabric and I was so cross with myself for not measuring the crotch seam pattern pieces and realising I should have taken out at least 2 inches. What is worse is, I already know this body modification from another trouser pattern. Bum! Anyway, they have been gifted to my friend who was delighted. Back to the cutting table with this one.

Teaching - a session on how to apply a neckband to stretch garments for Minerva. Heidi had a 'Billie top' to showcase a sweatshirt and cuffing combo that comes in 68 different colours!

Growing - a salad trough. Heidi has started her Duke of Edinburgh bronze award and for the skills section she is trying to grow salad vegetables in succession. Meg has the other trough. There may be some competition involved.

Finally making - preserved lemons. I love eating them but they are so expensive in the shops. It was a surprise to find the recipe was simply salt and lemons packed tightly in a jar for 30 days. I found out all too quickly how many little cuts I had on my fingers.

Admiring - the door wreath Heidi made by re-kindling her love of crochet. She made the whole thing on her own. 

Watching - as the new bulbs we put in before Christmas put on their show. They are from Farmer Gracy but I always lower my expectations by about 50% when I buy plants from a catalogue/online because the pictures are often a bit enhanced whereas these tulips have exceeded all expectations. This one is stunning called Orange princess and has been changing for over a week now. I have ordered more things too and have been impressed with everything.

Enjoying - the general bloom of May in nature.

Baking - a lemon cake with cream and strawberries.

Waiting - patiently for my second haircut in 14 months. I decided I liked it long but not the dead on the ends. Feels sooooo much nicer now.

Booking - the dog in for a well needed chop too.

Getting - three hens. Megan is all over them running to the coop every day after school. We had chickens at our old house for a while and then had to give them up when we were snowed under with building our house. I always promised we would have them again.

Collecting - the best eggs ever.

Staring - at the evening views. This one is from Heidi's room. Seriously, no filter.

Raining - like cats and dogs on Bank holiday Monday, then we were all rushing and shouting each other to see the rainbow. 

Thanks for dropping in. Jo xxx

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

All done#33 Art Gallery Jersey

Art Gallery fabric is a purse buster however it is exceptional quality to wear, sew and wash. I find that if you buy good fabric you treat it well with thought and precision. Today I am sharing an all done post showing how I have used some fabric to the very end. This is the 33rd time I have posted an all done post which feels amazing. It is an activity I derive a great deal of satisfaction from. No joy flows to me from filling my fabric cupboard full of scraps.

I had two metres, prewashed the fabric then used the first cut to make a T-shirt for myself with a shirring detail. It has four way stretch which makes it very comfy to wear.

Megan had her eye on this fabric too so I used a small piece to team up with some left over sweatshirt fabric to make this top for her. She absolutely loves it - I do too.

To use the final small pieces, I had a knicker making morning followed by a try of the Watson bra. A new pattern to me which I toiled first to get the fit right before using the last of the lovely fabric. It was sods law because the fit was just fine on my first go but you never know with bra making. Always worth a try first.

All done dancing cats: 1 adult T-shirt, 1 feature wall on a kids top, three pairs of knickers and bra. Pretty good for 2 metres of fabric.

Do you have stash to use up? Jo xxx