Sunday, 31 July 2016

July spending and savings

It's that time of month, 
whilst my spend this month was low, I was still over budget
It's hard when the sales are on
I'm not the impulse buyer I used to be
I am still on target to save £200 off last years spend. 

I have had these shoes for 2 years, they still look good
BUT the insole has holes wearing in them 
whilst my toes cover the holes they are uncomfortable to wear
so a couple of blister plaster later and these shoes now have a new lease of life
 I got this wooden pot from a local charity shop
Just £2.50 and perfect for my nasties.
Another lease of life. 
 This young Robin is always at the back of our garden
he is not afraid of me, nice to have his company. 
My 52 in 2016 is coming along, I still have 9 lines to fill, and a few which I have not started as yet, but I am pleased, it's making me think on how to do different things, rather than doing the same things over and over.
We are having a quiet weekend at home, with almost nothing to do, I love days at home without any plans, a few years ago we would fill every moment of our days, mainly into our local town center shopping.
I have been working on my 2015 book, I did 212 post last year, normally I do about 150 post, so this will be the biggest book so far. In the week I was reading my 2009/2010 book, it's fun to look back, 2010 was the year we moved to this house.
So this afternoon it will be reading or stitching, the choice will depend on how hot it gets,  I don't stitch too much if it is hot...... or in fact baking
Scones, fruit and plain and yummy cheese straws. 
Now I'm off to stitch, I have August to complete.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Home made bag

Last week I purchased some spotty material
I wanted to make another larger bag
 I used this design from here
 In a previous post I said I was going to use blue on the lining
the fabric was a bit lighter weight, 
but I had this purple left over from a dress made ages ago
 As well as being large I wanted big inside pockets
 Plus a pocket at the front
 Excuse the pun but it has bags of room
Just now need a picnic to go inside.

All the fabrics other than the spotty material I had in my stash. The handles were made from some upholstery fabric, so very heavy duty. The fake suede I have no idea where it came from, it is not something I would purchase myself. I am pleased with my afternoon's work, I did swap the colours around before deciding on the above. The pattern is very easy to make, you make 2 bags an outer and an inner and then sew them together, so no scrappy ends and loads of strength.
I have another project in mind, I want to re-purpose a long dress into a summer dress, I got my tailors dummy set up all ready for the make.

Friday, 29 July 2016

At home with the Jones

I am so very pleased to see new growth on this lemon plant
The little one is an orange plant. 
I just need my lime pips to start growing. 
 We came home on Wednesday to find these in bloom.
 Every time I see this pot it improves. 
We had a relaxing day yesterday at home, not doing anything much, just pottering about. Most of my garden is now easier work, dead heading flowers and a few things to harvest, it's time for us to enjoy our outside space.
Plus I have my sewing machine out, I'm making another bag,
 more of that next time. 
We watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall's war on waste last night, loved him taking on Amazon, but more importantly him taking on the coffee chains. We do not buy coffee very often when out, but I do I prefer to drink it out of china cups, I will confess to loving Starbucks coffee and will always choose them.
The numbers of cups thrown away is staggering, I hate to use any plastic/ paper cups, we have them in work, but I keep my own cup and glass to refill, the girls in my department chuckle at my ways, but the more of us who make decisions to be mindful of the waste our modern world creates the sooner things will change.
We are trying a few make do and mend tricks, if they work I will let you know, just little things to prolong the life of objects, do you have a good make do and mend tip to share?

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Away days

We are back home after a few days in Somerset, it's great to have time to spend with family, and to catch up with grandsons Logan and Finn. 
I spent one day with my sister Leanna, we popped to a garden center to purchase some plants for the pots below and some for their garden. She is working together with her partner to create a beautiful garden, neither of them are active gardener's to the level I love. They have now reworked their plot into a space which pleases them and has enough plant life to call it a garden, but not too much for them to be able to upkeep. We spent the afternoon planting the pots below, other than plants every thing else was around her plot, Buddy her little dog inspected the big pot, just checking we did it correct. 
 Meet the nasties, this is for my next pot. 
I just love their spikes. 
 I finished another good book
 I also got this lovely spotted fabric, 
I will make another bag this week, the blue fabric I already had
I also got a couple packs of good pins, I love the bridal long thin pins. 
 Back home in my greenhouse and this little fella came to watch
 Totally the wrong angle to snap him, looking into the sunlight
my snappy camera at full zoom, but he sang to me for ages. 
Youngest daughter fed our cats whilst we were away and kept the greenhouse watered. We will return the favour later this month. Our garden is looking good, the flowers in the side bed is filling the whole of the bed, every where is blooming.
I got some seed potatoes for my Christmas crop, Monkton Elm garden center had them loose, so I got just a few, I was interested to see they were selling bare root cabbage/sprout plants, I have not seen bare root plants since I was a child. I did look to see if they were from outside the UK, I know there are issues forming with plants in soil coming into the UK. I also got loads of half price seeds, mostly flowers for next year.
We had a nice couple of hours with Logan and Finn, both happy little boys, Logan is coming to stay for a week in August, Finn is still a bit young for us to have him for a long period, we are planning fun trips with Logan, helping him build memories.
We are popping to our youngest daughters house tonight to help celebrate, she had her 12 week scan today and is now telling everyone she is expecting her first child, which will be our 6th grand child, we are blessed to have beautiful grand sons, it's nice to have some happy family news.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Summer garden

Walking down to the back door
 At the gates
I've changed the contents of these pots
 Side bed
 Under the tree
 Rose arch
 Finally a courgette flower
 Almost there
 Blackberry getting taller
 1st year for this blueberry bush
Don't you just love a summer garden, we are away now for a few days
Plus in the spirit of honesty, my cucumber plant has given up the ghost, it just turned yellow and died. Plus after feeding my lemon and lime plants lawn feed as suggested on the internet, I have a sad Lemon tree and a dead lime tree. So loads of care for the lemon and new pips hoping to grow for the lime. I am cross because both have been growing for almost 2 years

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Come for a walk

Tonight instead of heading towards the castle
We drove for 15 minutes in the other direction
 Looking towards Portsmouth, Spinnaker Tower
 I love this row of boats
 Shame the tide is out
 One last photo looking out over the local sailing club
 The common ground is huge
Our local football club is here
just out of shot are the junior team practice session
 Along the tree line, huge sways of wild flowers
 Plus loads of blackberry bushes
It was worth getting into the car to visit this area, hubby walked here earlier in the week, with his mate, neither of us knew it was so big, it's not a local place you drive past. I would love to come back when the tide is in, tonight would be about 10pm, so too late for us.
How are you getting on with our heat wave, our offices at work have the air conditioning system set well, it's cool but not cold, plus we can open our windows to allow a warm breeze in, so it's very comfortable to work in. It has been too hot to walk at lunchtime, but we have been sitting outside for 30 mins. Our sitting room at home stays in the shade all day, so with the big doors open, it's perfect to feel as if you are outside and keeping cool. I started and finished the book below this week, reading is perfect for summer evenings. It's a book I would recommend, I enjoyed every last page.  
At night we have a humidifier working all night so the bedroom is cool, it does help to get a good nights sleep.
Tomorrow is my last day at work for a week, we had plans to have Josh and Sam, but they have changed so we are now planning time for the both of us, including a few days home in Somerset.

Friday, 15 July 2016



Today would be my mother's birthday





Thursday, 14 July 2016

Pretty and clever

 Garden is looking good
it's that time of year where I don't have loads to do

 We had a tree surgeon in yesterday
so this beautiful Magnolia is neat and small again
I have been struggling to keep our cats out of the greenhouse
hubby is unable to build me a door with a mesh center
but locally he got this wall clothes dryer
 Added a couple of hooks
perfect, just a bit smaller then the door
Plus is was on sale for just £5.00
and is weather proof
I have done nothing for the past week, not even read a book, the most I have done in the garden is a bit of dead heading and picking cucumbers.
Work is very intense, we are clearing all the problems which have been stored up, and with a new system we have had to work out ways to finish up all the difficult claims. We are almost there, I was given a list of 1200+ claims to look at today, I have broken them down into smaller modules, and when checking most are in pipelines, so tomorrow I hope to move loads along.
It's nice to come home to a warm sunny evening, I really hope it last to  and into the weekend.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Blowing the budget

Wilko have started reducing their early garden items
We popped to town this morning first time in weeks, just a couple things needed, I have got a couple of plastic cloche, these were half price and good for early starting of seeds next year, I can place them on my raised garden  in the greenhouse and get ahead, at £5 each they won't break the bank and they store small. The big plastic trays, without drainage holes were reduced from £4 to £1.50 so I got the last two, these will fit inside the cloches allowing space for loads of seed trays. .
We had a great time at the BBQ last night, the host had his whole family there, plus other people who help out with the mini bus driving, hubby does 2 or 3 shifts a week. I wore my body warmer for most of the time, later they lit a fire in a huge oil drum, which kept us warm, we had loads of sparklers and loads of twinkly lights around the fences. I love the way we can sit outside in the cool air and still enjoy each others company.
I was really pleased with the rain this morning, the gardens were drying out so the water was much needed, saves me having to water later. So nothing to do outside, just enjoy the view. I do have a bit of ironing to do later, but not until after the Gentleman's Tennis Final from Wimbledon, and of course we want Andy Murray to win. We won't watch the football final tonight, hubby only watched because Wales did so well.
For lunch I'm having cheese and cucumber sandwiches, home grown of course, I am picking fresh cucumbers 3 times a week and enjoying them, just need the tomato's to catch up.
Later we are going to make a green Thai curry for our main meal, tomorrow we have fishcakes, we got them on a yellow sticker this morning.
One question, if I want new potatoes for Christmas dinner, grown in our raised bed in the greenhouse, when should I plant them, I've never tried to grow out of season before.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Flower Saturday

Start of another weekend, we are home today, hubby still has his arm in a sling and so is unable to do as much as normal. His stitches have been removed and is healing well, but can't drive which for him is frustrating. I have housework this morning, later the ladies final at Wimbledon is on.
This evening we are out to a BBQ.

I want to get my sewing machine out, I have an itch to stitch, but I will have to get my material stash out of the attic. No idea at this point what to make, I am hoping I get inspiration from my fabrics.

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