Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Thursday 30 November 2017

Making savings.

Another good month, under spent by £35
and I am £100 below last years spend
We had a smart meter fitted this morning
 Going to help us keep track of our bills
Batteries included

12 days of Christmas
1 Large family photo frame
1 small silver photo frame
1 Cross stitch book
1 Book full of cards (flowers)
2 Christmas hardback reading books 
1 Christmas Robin mug
2 Soft teddies
3 Lace table runners
1 Framed poppy plate
2 Nanna plaques
3 Red beaded cushions
1 Cupcake stand

I try and do this each year, 12 different things to the local charity shop. I also took a couple of hardback novels, most of the above was good enough to sell as presents, as many of them were given to me a gifts. I also gifted to the little girl across the road my two level light box, I purchased a three level light box, I can now use longer words in my quotes. 
Hubby has been in our small attic to get my decorations down, he has been sorting and we now have two holdalls for the charity shop.
We spent this morning sorting paperwork, I have thrown away loads of out of date things, we now have an empty drawer. Hubby burnt all the papers in our chimera as none of our neighbours had washing on the line. 
Also this morning we had smart meters for both gas and electricity installed, it took less than an hour to fit, all our meters and pipes were checked as well. As you can see from the photo's we can now keep tracks of our bills, we are already good at turning things off, have energy saving bulbs, and good insulation, but it will be useful to keep an eye on our winter bills.
I have been busy cleaning ready for the decorations to go up, I want them all sorted before Will comes back from Grandma's house, I will start this afternoon and hope to get them finished by tomorrow, we have a busy weekend coming up and I have Will on Monday. To help distract him from our tree, we spent £3 and got a couple of noisy toys, both will stay at our's, his house is like a toy shop.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Card making

I love the finish on this card 
I am sending it to everyone, wishing you 
A Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year. 
 My desk, 
Inner's and  cards in my production line
  A few of the finished cards
 More finished cards
I have been busy making our Christmas Cards, each year I build a design and make all the cards the same, I enjoy creating a production line and building the finished cards.
This year I was looking at my stash, I have a couple of small drawers full of bits and bobs. I had not purchased anything for this years cards, my thoughts were to use what I had. I always keep bits from cards sent to us, I love to be able to look in my stash and see a choice of things I can use. I love the embossed cards, and I have a good choice of designs.
I pulled out 40 cards, using one small pack of brown card and loads of odd cards in my stash. I also use A4 card which I cut and fold for cards.
I then embossed some with different designs. I put a glitter gold band around some plain white cards, thus having a base to work from. I also die cut loads of Merry Christmas (as seen on the brown card), these are messy to stick to the cards but always look good.
I love an inner page, and this year I chose a pale green paper from my stash, I use my computer to print the words and cut a nice wavy cut. I still have to add these inner's to the card.
I try to ensure I have some cards not to thick, we need to post these, but the hand delivered ones can be more fun. Making loads of different cards does take much more time, but I have enjoyed building the designs.
I have also sorted my stash, and chucked some things away, and have room in my drawer for any bits I keep from this years cards. The card used were all purchased for previous years, I have just used the left overs, so I have not spent any extra money. I did buy a pack of 50 cards last January in the sales, but the pack is unopened, therefore ready for use next year.
The special cards for family I purchased from our local nice independent card shop.

Sunday 26 November 2017

Christmas cards

Still loads of colour
I spent time in the garden, firstly I had loads of leaves to collect, hubby helped and we cut back a couple of bigger plants, our garden is just too small to let anything get too huge. We are having issues with cats digging in pots around the place, so I have been using wooded sticks for the BBQ and sticking them into the pots, this stops all the issues. Both our cats have an area which they use, we are keeping an eye to ensure there are no issues there. 
We have another problem from our lovely mad cat woman next door, mice are coming through at the bottom of our garden, Purdy sits for ages just watching, so far any mice she brings inside are dead, she does love to give us treats. On the plus side in this photo we still have fuchsia's in full flower and a couple of buds to come, they love the raise chimney for a bed. 
Shopping on Friday we went to Dunelm, the fat quarters above were just £7, so this pack came home with me, I have added the cost to my stash list. We also popped into Home Bargains, just to stock up, ensuring we don't need to pop there again before Christmas. Again I passed on all the Christmas decorations.
We have had our first Christmas card, for me it's always a sad moment, for most of my married life, my older brother's wife Carol always sent her card early enough to be the first to arrive, sadly she passed away back in 2011. First Christmas card will always have me remembering her, we have just received our second card, it must be almost December. I have to work out the design for our Christmas cards, they should only take an afternoon to make, we do not send as many these days. I have purchased the family ones, we have a super card shop local, not Card Factory, who's cards I feel are cheap, I do like to send nice cards as often it can be the only contact each year. 
Saturday we drove Will, mummy and daddy to Gatwick airport, they are visiting Grandma and Grandpa in their winter/ summer home, so a quiet week here. 

Friday 24 November 2017

Will's here

Will watching Purdy in the garden
This is Will's favourite spot 
Last years book sent to printers
I have been reading loads
Will has been with us two days, having a sleep over on Wednesday night, mummy and daddy were both exhausted, so we happily stepped in. He brings so much joy to our lives, and is happy to spend time here, no problems going to bed at ours, and we all love a morning cuddle before we get up.
I have again been feeling a bit down, it's just the grey days, no sun, it wears at me, so having Will was the perfect thing to do. My poor glass doors are always full of hand marks, he is now licking the glass, oh the joys of little boys.
We went out on Thursday to a local garden center, which each year has a huge Christmas displays, they were not at all busy, which made a nice change, and full of shiny sparkling items, which Will loved. Plus outside some donkeys and the ducks. I did not require any Christmas decorations, but did get a nice jug. I still prefer our Christmas tree is be a mixed pallett, rather than following any colour scheme.
Today the publishing company sent through their black friday discounts, so I have ordered last years blog book, 50% off means I can use good quality finishes and still have a good price.
I have done very little, I am on O is for Outlaw, these books are easy to read off my iPad. Soon hubby and I are off out, a couple of things to get, hopefully the shops won't be too busy and we get home quickly. Nothing much to do in the garden, mainly picking up leaves.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Getting ready

 Finding gifts
Christmas cake
With Christmas coming up so fast, we are trying to stay ahead, this morning I emptied our lovely coin jar, after much counting we had £141.68 inside, so a good years saving. We can only bank full bags, so £123.00 is ready to go to the bank, £6.68 was put back in the jar, the difference £13 were all pound coins so they were passed to hubby, he uses coins most days. The savings will be used for the purchase of our meats and other food items for Christmas. I have already a collections of nibbles, biscuits and sweets stashed for the holiday period. We have £46+ on our Co-op loyalty card, which will be used for fresh veg, cream and last minute purchases. Plus we have points for Tesco and Sainsbugs, but neither are a huge amount. 
We have a second piggy bank, in which we save £2 coins, on checking there is £72.00, which has been returned and left to grow, I think it will take over 100 coins to fill it.
I am also looking out 12 items, all new and unused, to be passed to our local charity shop, I call it my 12 days of Christmas, I have done this for the past 4 years, it's a useful way of passing on good unused items. We are also getting 2 gifts for elderly people in our local hospital, we did this last year, it's nice to ensure no-one is forgotten at Christmas.
I have put the marzipan on our Christmas cake, and had some left over, so I intend to cover these balls with a rich dark chocolate and some sprinkles, a simple home made treat.

Monday 20 November 2017

Our weekend

 This came in the post, later coffee and read.
I subscribed in the summer when they offered 2 years at a highly discounted rate, for their 50th anniversary. I am saving each copy as I won't buy another subscription. 
We popped to Monkton Elm yesterday, it was mobbed, so I walked around their craft section. I love these colours, the cost has been added to my stash list. 
Thinking ahead to Christmas, from Asda. 
We have been home again to Somerset, staying with my brother in Cannington, we all went for a family meal Saturday night, at a local pub, The Malt Shovel, Blackmore lane, just outside the village. Another great meal, my only criticism, was why do places serve such huge portions, when almost everyone was not able to eat everything served for their meal, almost every plate served whilst we were there was piled too high. The cost of the food was good, and it was all cooked and served well, we all saved money as no-one could eat a dessert. My sister was not happy to have a wooden block for her main meal, preferring a plate.
We popped to the local Asda, it's a much smaller shop than at home, and picked up PJ's for Christmas, a matching pair for everyone including baby Will. We also stocked up on loads of bit's and have enough toilet rolls for most of next year. We do like their own brand, quilted shades.
I love the garden center at Monkton Elm, it was full of Christmas stuff, all of which we walked past, I have no plans to get anything new from local places. I did linger longer in the craft section.
Sunday we saw our lovely Taunton boys, Logan and Finn, both are so much taller,  but still full of fun and laughter, an afternoon inside playing together. Later an adult evening with mummy and daddy sharing a nice Pizza.
My niece has a new baby son (6 weeks old), so we had cuddles, he is tiny compared with Will, how quick all our grandsons grow.
We stayed an extra night and traveled back this morning on much quieter roads, we enjoyed the extra time with family and a much better drive, not so many cars whizzing past us on the A303.

Wednesday 15 November 2017


Train station and bullring
Cathedral from the back
Love this tree
City indoor market

We love these fruits. 
I love this city, it is busy, clean and so welcoming, we traveled by train to the city center, and had a perfect day just wondering around. The buildings are all very old, but well looked after.
We have many times visited the food market and always love the smells, colours of the stalls, the variety of things for sell on each stall was huge,  and all looks so fresh. Lunch had to be Paella, afternoon coffee had to have cakes, plus sitting in the sun people watching with a beer (hubby) and red wine for me. With the amount of walking we did averaging over 12,000 steps per day, we did not watch our diet at all.
We did not do much shopping, it was tempting as the prices in Spain are cheaper than here, we did bring back Spanish sweets and chocolate. They are not in Christmas mode as we are in UK, we were told they start closer to December, we only saw a few shops decorated, and we saw very few Christmas decorations for sale. I did buy some  sewing items, mainly because they are different from anything here in UK.
I read three books on my iPad, Sue Grafton books, I is for Innocent, J is for Judgement, K is for Killer.
We are now getting used to the cold again, every where feels so grey, I have lit my candles most evenings. I am happy to be getting up each morning at 8am, missing the worst of the early mornings.
Monday I went shopping with Su and Will, just a few stocking fillers, and a nice lunch.
The wonderful hello we got from Will was brilliant, he was so pleased to see us.
Yesterday I went for a walk around our local park, and later I had Will over, so mummy could do some jobs. We had a fun day inside, watching the birds in our garden and playing.
Today I had a friend here, we walked to Portchester castle, the tide was in so the water was flat calm, later we had home made carrot and coriander soup. A perfect day, but still I am totally tired,

Monday 13 November 2017

Cheste, Spain

Views from our flat
The countryside, full of oranges
I love to see these views from the summer house
Huge street Paella 
Street food
Some of the bikes, there were hundreds. 
A visit to the co-op fruit plant.
Sizing the oranges
Down to packing
We have been visiting Cheste for 25 years, it's a small town near to Valencia, which sits on the med coast down from Barcelona.
Life here is very rural Spain, which has changed over the years from growing grapes to oranges, the main crops for the area are Oranges, Grapes, Olives and Almonds.  We love staying with our Spanish friends and living their Spanish lifestyle.
The weather was great, warm and sunny every day, I loved being in my sandals again, sadly they are now packed away until next year.
We were lucky enough to be offered a visit to the local orange sorting and packing plant, simple operation to ensure the oranges are all to the standard required.
The town is a quiet place except in November, when the local GP motor track has it's main race, the whole town is transformed into a biker paradise, through Friday, Saturday and Sunday the population doubles in size. The street markets are huge, we loved all the street food. It 's the first time we have visited when the event is running, and in true Spanish style, it was busy noisy and loads of fun. Most of the town stayed awake until 5-6 each morning, so sleep was not easy, as our flat is in the center of all the fun. We often find they have a very relaxed way of doing things, there were bikes everywhere and loads of showing off, alot of which would not be allowed in UK. Hubby was in bike heaven.
We had a lovely meal out on my birthday, the whole family, we elected for Chinese which we enjoyed, plus I had a great birthday cake.
We are now back home and it is cold, we woke up to a frost this morning, so my tender flowers in the garden will not last much longer. I hope to get outside later this week, but other than picking up leaves there is not much to do.

Tuesday 7 November 2017

A very new start

I have finally started some cross stitching, nothing called to me so I have started this little bird. it's on 20dpi, which is large scale for me, but it has to be stitched with 2 threads, and has colour blending on the body. 
Another great bargain, £5 from the charity shop, and hubby paid, sorry the photo is not the best. Here is by my chair, I keep a few books , my hexagon box and a plastic container with my sewing. This basket is much nicer sewing storage box. I will line the basket at some point. 
 I had an early birthday celebration at the weekend, daughter got me this lovely soft scarf, red and navy, it will go with my red jacket. Hubby remembered I said Monty had a new book. 
We are on a birthday break, just hubby and I, involving a big silver bird, and loads of sunshine, with friends house sitting and giving our cats loads of cuddles, we have left the gloom of UK behind. I have wrote this post before I left, I do not get on with blogger on my Ipad.  But I am able to read everyone's post. I have loads of books on my iPad, so plenty of reading.
We are near Valencia, Spain for a week, not a beach holiday, but plenty of rest in the sunshine. Today is my birthday, not sure what hubby has planned for me, I can tell you once we are back in England.

Thursday 2 November 2017

My week

How cute is Will
 Simple costume from Asda.
He is still not walking, but very confident on his feet. 
I spent £5.30 at our local market on Wednesday
The 4 small ever greens I have planted into one pot, which is in the greenhouse, I would love these to bush out, I have a pot next to our back door, which next spring I want to use, once these are fuller, I will cut to make topiary, I want them in a button shape, not to high from the top of the pot. 
I have knitted myself a chunky little scarf
Perfect for under my winter jacket, I have an allergy to lanolin, and can't wear any wool, so winter scarfs are always a problem. This is knitted with chunky woven Tshirt cotton. 
Another good book, I loved this story, it was a great read to the end, this is the second book I have read by Debbie Howells, I will look for a few more titles. 
Carrot and coriander soup
We had to make more soup, a friend stayed for lunch one day, so our leftover soups are all gone. Last week we got cheap bags of carrots and tomatoes, so we got a pack of fresh coriander, added an onion and a couple peppers going soft, it taste brilliant, and we have enough to last for this week's lunches. We are still eating leftovers, last night we had cold beef with wedge potatoes, and a mixture of roasted tomatoes, sweet peppers and mushrooms, it was a lovely meal. Tonight we are having turkey pie with cranberry sauce, stuffing and parma ham, all mixed together and baked in the oven. 
It's a sunny and cold morning here, lovely blue skies, I have a line of washing blowing in the breeze, nothing to do in the garden, everywhere is tidy, I do pick up the fallen leaves and pop them on my raspberry plot, the huge magnolia leaves are not falling yet.
I have no plans to go out, Will is coming for a couple of hours this afternoon, so play time, it might be nice to take him for a walk around our park, he loves to see the children and dogs running around. 


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