Friday, 20 May 2022

Something a bit Special

Have you ever had the generation gap feeling? I remember a few choice moments. In a local China Museum I asked why my then six year old had not flushed the toilet and she said there wasn't a flush - I walked into the cubicle and pulled the chain. He jaw dropped and I realised she had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I also remember her asking me when she was seven what the black thing was in the dining room. It was my grandparents old bakelite telephone and I had to show her how to use it. Why such ramblings?...

Because we have been invited to a black tie 21st Birthday party. Not as the crowd that will be dancing on the tables, camping in the field and throwing up in the porta loos but the parent generation of the birthday boy. I know I am the last in my friendship group to have children but jeez when did that happen?

Anyway, I got my sew on and made myself a special dress. I have never sewn with guipure lace before and I can safely say it requires a lot of tacking/basting. The background fabric and the lace need to be tacked together so that each panel works as a single piece of fabric. I used the lace on its own on the sleeve to take advantage of the border edge.

I chose a crepe as the skirt and decided I would think about whether to put my 1950's petticoat underneath at the end. I did, and it gives it a nice shape.

What present do you get for a young man who you don't really know very well? You sew something of course. I made Ben a cummerbund, bow tie and hankie for his future black tie events and parties. I am really pleased with the duchess satin and the vibrant colour. His mum, my great friend from my Young Farmer Club days, said he would love it. 

I found an areosol spray in the shed, sprayed a box from The Works then added his name. It has turned out to be a kind of men's jewellery box for ties, cuff links and suchlike as well as the perfect wrapping.

Tonight's the night. Party on!

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Let's Get Started

I am kicking off again with my 2022 three word gardening posts. There has been a bit of a break over the winter when the veg plot has been wrapped up but slowly, the vegetable garden is being revealed. The newly made borders a year ago have been great through Autumn and even in deep winter. It is lovely to see my chosen plants popping up again.

The front border has a warm, orange and yellow palette. I love it and am so glad I selected a colour hue for it. The Broome, Heuchera, Tulips, early Daffodils and that amazing tangerine Geum are the best parts about it. 

At the back of the house the softer blue, pink and purple tones blend with the blossom of the fruit trees, pink tinged shrubs, purple Pulmonaria, pink Tulips and blue Brunnera. Granny bonnets and Iris will be next.

In the house I am cutting flowers, some of which are from Pheasant Field Flowers, these anemones are from my friend who grows cut flowers for weddings in my field.

This crab apple tree is simply stunning and huge. It fills the frame of the kitchen window when you look from inside to outside. Everyone comments on it and it was my dad's favourite tree.

There are obviously flowers in the wild too. Bluebells are putting on a fabulous show on the edges of our fields which we pick for a table vase. They don't last long in a jar but the fragrance is beautiful for a day or so.

We are now going to get started on growing our vegetables. I have tried in the past to beat mother nature by starting things off in the greenhouse quite early on in the year but have learnt over the years that it never really works. Seeds grow when they are supposed to grow: when the light is right and the soil is warm. Not just because it was a sunny day in March!

Sown this weekend were courgettes, runner beans, french beans and lettuce. I have been given lots of beetroot seedlings from a neighbour so they will be ready when there are absolutely no risks of frosts. I have six tomato plants I have grown from seed too which are in deep buckets - I didn't get along with grow bags last year, they wouldn't hold enough water.

I also had a complete overhaul of our house plants. I didn't realise I had quite so many then the house looked quite empty after I put them outside. Some I split, some I potted on and some I took cuttings from.

This weekend Bloke and I built a fruit cage because we had 4 strawberries last year thanks to the blackbirds! They look so promising this year it feels like a worthwhile investment. We have already picked 4lb of rhubarb which has either been frozen for winter crumbles or used to make Sticky Rhubarb Cake.

Leaving you with my favourite variety of daffodil. The later flowering 'Pheasants eye'.

Right, let's get started. Growing season here we come.

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xx

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Knit and Natter

 Hi there folks. Just popping in for a knit and natter. Today we had a glorious day at Wonderwool at the Welsh showground. There was sunshine, lambs of course and lots and lots of lovely wool.

I bought some wool - I knew I would. I had run down all the stash from the basket and was ready for a splurge.

I spotted a Debbie Bliss pattern book in a bargain box for £3. My mum and I both liked quite a few patterns in it so we are going to share it. We both loved the sweater on the cover.

I bought some yarn to make a tank top.

The choice of sock yarn was phenomenal. My choice was this flecked green in a range of beautiful greens. I am going to have a go at some sock patterns from 'Socktacular' which I found on the Welsh Air Ambulance charity stand. It is an interesting book - a sort of pick and mix of sock components where you choose a knit pattern, heel style and toe technique. Looks good.

My next purchase may be in my stash for some time. It was a soft and squishy little bundle of mini skeins which I will use for colourwork when the right pattern and matching yarn comes along. In the meantime it is welcome to sit in my basket and look at me every time I lift the lid.

Finally, I bought a huge skein of yarn for £5. I have ABOLSUTELY no idea what it is but it will be be fun winding it, making a gauge square and possibly making this graceful cardigan.

I have this sweater in my Ravelry library ready for when I have left overs from all of the projects above. It is a beauty.😊


Here are a few more snaps of my finished blanket which I managed to complete by doing a few rows every night.

As ever I used up some of the scraps to make a hat. It used up the ball ends of some colours but I still seam to have some left - probably enough for a baby blanket.

Leaving you with a photo of our little cade lamb. He has had a play out in the field today and loved chasing our dog more than the other lambs!

Thanks for popping in. Jo xxx

Sunday, 17 April 2022

 It's been all daffodils and lambs here. Welcome to our family and our Apriling adventures.

Picking - the daffodils that blow over on the windy days and buying some favourites too.

Admiring - the wild primroses on the bank at the bottom of our field.

Caring - for our first lamb that came two weeks early. These two are back out in the field now.

Feeding - another one. He needed feeding every 2 hours at first and now every 4 hours. This one got left by mother while she took a long time to labour her second one. He was in the field all wet and unlicked as some wintery showers with cold winds blew in and it was getting dark.

Sniffing - his new playmate. Beano the dog is beyond himself with excitement.

Taking - the lamb out for some sunshine so that we can clean out the office, it stinks in there! His horns are already starting to poke through. Both Hebridean ewes and tups have horns which they get very soon.

Sewing - a shirt dress from Newlook6449. There is a denim version of this dress in the header bar but the buttons were so stiff that eventually they split the button holes. This new one fills its shoes perfectly.

Setting - up the incubator with six eggs to hatch. We did this 21 days ago and are waiting for new chicks. I fear the office will continue to smell in the next few weeks but of a different kind of poo.

Smelling - a a nicer smell. I love the daffodils that have a strong scent. These were particularly beautiful.

Looking - under the hedgerows for wild signs of Spring. Violets, cowslips, wood anemones and celandines.

Continuing - with my strip quilt. I wrote 'one hour strip quilting' on my sewing list this holiday and managed another whole row.

Crocheting - my chunky blanket. It was a one row a night wonder which is finished except for trimming the tassles.

Hunting - out the egg decorations for my twig in the window.

Walking - down to the ford for a shady woodland splash about with the dog.

Planning - some new sewing tutorials with these fabrics; striped jersey, swiss dot, linen and the last of my cotton voile.

Feeling - Very, very lucky with our lot.

Updating - you as I write, two chicks hatched so they are basking under the heat lamp while walking though their food and water!

Bring on Spring. Jo xxxx