Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Monday 31 December 2018


On this last day of December 2018, I am wishing you all a good 2019

2018 was not our best year, we had some wonderful times with our grandsons, lovely trips out in the campervan (now sold), and a settled time at home.

Hubby is well, and still gaining strength, over Christmas he was not as active as normally, but after major surgery in late October, he is doing well.

As always we are looking forward, not back, you can never change your past, so why look back.

We are also looking forward to having our new neighbour move in, the builders are working on her house, an empty house is always sad.

We have plans for 2019, many are ongoing, with waste, the food we eat, cutting consumer spending, we like the lifestyle we have.

Sunday 30 December 2018

Ripple time

 Another round of colours done

 Pulled down to the overhang length I require

I can see the finish line here, I am so pleased I stared a new blanket, this is exactly how I wanted it to look, covering the whole bed with a lovely amount hanging down.
I have returned the patchwork cover from this bed back to my sister, she made it many years ago, and was happy for me to use it for as long as I wished.
I hope to have this finished before Jan 12th, we have a friend staying and it would look good to have the ripple blanket on the bed.

Saturday 29 December 2018

In between

New cast on
 Will and mummy made us a tree decoration
 Too many edible gifts
 BUT nice tins
I cast on a for a new pair of socks, got as far as the heel, this yarn splits very easily and looks messy,  I unpicked once and got to the heel again, but it's really hard work, so I unpicked and packed the yarn away. I also noticed it was the same shades as other yarns I have, so for socks I need to be more adventurous in my colour choice. Hubby wore his hand made socks on Christmas day and was very pleased with them, so I have promised to make another pair for him, plus my brother hinted, and as I am a good sister, I will make him a pair.
We have far too many biscuits and sweets, I have packed loads away, they should last us well into the summer. We do not eat many biscuits, and if I leave the tins in our food cupboard, they would be opened just because they are there. The Christmas cake has been cut, brother took a huge bit home with him.
We are doing nothing here, walking, watching TV, I am catching up with series 1 & 2 of In the line of duty,  outside is just so dull, but at least it's staying dry. I have got my ripple blanket back out, I have finished another round of colours, photos next time, so not much more to do. My brother is driving home to Somerset, so back to just the two of us.

Thursday 27 December 2018


Totally low spend for December, just some fabrics. 
My crafting has been more expensive this year, I have spent loads more on yarn, plus my gardening was much higher. I knew I was not going to be able to repeat the low spent from 2017. Being retired gives me loads more time for doing things I love. My aim this year is to reduce my gardening spend, and come in under £1000.
Other challenges....
Cutting back on spending this year has been interesting, I have not purchased any new footwear at all, I still have loads of lovely sandals, shoes and boots, I will be setting another goal for 2019. Clothes spend was £150.75 for the year. I was doing well, until the colder weather arrived and I got fed up with wearing jeans. I have not missed shopping for clothes, I have seen loads of lovely items, which I was happy to pass on. I still have wardrobes full of clothes and footwear, lot's of items in near new condition, so I am thinking of a budget for next year. I did consider £50 a month, £600 for the year, but that does seam high, I'm sure I could do a lower spend than that. I did purchase a new winter coat, which cost higher than the total amount I spent on clothes this year, my old coat was very tatty and did not keep me warm anymore. I was looking for a new jacket, but could not find one, so my red jacket has been dry cleaned, it's over 10 years old, but does not show signs of wear, so it will last another year.
I have had 3 pairs of boots re-heeled, giving them a complete new lease of life, each pair is looking almost new again.
We are still doing very well on waste, we do not waste any food, and are eating meat only 3 or 4 times a week, and almost no red meat, with fish twice a week and the other days being vegetarians. We are purchasing more frozen veg, which is a good way of ensuring nothing goes off. Making soup for lunches uses anything lurking in the bottom of the fridge.
Packaging is still an issue, at Christmas time, with everything packed for giving, but we are trying to chose items in cardboard rather than plastic, buying loose where we can.
For me it's a pleasing year, so many goals met, and changes to our lifestyle, neither of us notice these changes being any different, it's just our way of life.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Nana time.

Every boys dream, 
the driving seat in a fire engine. 
 Not a big fan of Santa. 
 Lunch with three of our lovely boys. 
 Always watching. 
I have had a couple of lovely days with some of our grandsons, took three of them out for lunch and laughter. Loads of burgers (not in any burger chains), the boys loved their lunch.
The next day daddy brought Will to our house, to visit our local village where there were two fire engines on display, he loved sitting in the drivers seat, but was really unsure about meeting Santa.
We are not driving to Somerset this year so we will not see our lovely Taunton boys until in the new year, we have already sent their Christmas gifts.
My brother has arrived, so the celebrations have started, I wish you have a the Christmas you desire  here it's family all the way, xxx.

Friday 21 December 2018

Getting closer

Hubby got me Christmas flowers
  2003, 2013 and last year, all special ornaments 
 Purchased in 70's this is the oldest item on our tree
This pot was left on my drive this week. 
I was surprised to find a pot on my drive, it had been by next doors front door. I spoke to the new owners daughter (she lives across the road), her mum asked Win's nephew to clear all the furniture from inside and all the pots from the front. So we decided Phil popped the pot on my drive, anyway it's mine to keep. Perfect for my orange tree, which I will re-pot this spring, it's a great size and very useful and pretty.
I love our family history on our Christmas tree, I have never had a colour themed tree, I prefer the traditional mix of colours, I enjoy looking at our ornament collection.
We are all sorted for Christmas day, my brother is driving down from Somerset, to stay with us, he was with us last year and we had so much fun.
We have just a few items to get on Sunday, which we will get from the Co-op, we are still using the vouchers. Our cupboards, freezers and fridge are all full, I don't know why I buy so much food, not all of it is special for Christmas, I just like seeing everywhere well stocked, can't even use the excuse of bad weather, we have never been snowed in at Christmas, in fact I can only remember twice in my life when I have been snowed in, and they were years ago.
Hubby and I have both agreed to have the lowest spending January possible, neither of us will want anything in the sales, I can't see us going shopping much.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Second half

I still have a bit of most colours left from this 3rd round, this yarn really does go a long way. I am now using these bits up and starting the 2nd ball of each colour.
The blanket is now really heavy, and very warm, I love to snuggle under it as I am working on it.
It is really quick to work up, simple stitches, which I do most evenings whilst hubby watches TV, plus the odd occasional afternoon, with all this rain we are having, and all the Christmas shoppers we are not going out much. I am not reading much this is filling my time, it's a labour of love.
The film yesterday was Fantastic Beast, the crimes of Grindlewald, we both enjoyed the film, there were only 6 people watching it. After we popped to M&S, where I purchased a chocolate log, it a tradition in this house, the use by date was good, but we always have chocolate logs Christmas day for tea. Plus fish and chips on the way home, perfection.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Before the rain returns

My pots are looking good, 
but the spring bulbs are growing far too early
 Normal flowers for this time of year
 Geraniums flowering in December
 Daisies in December 
 Fuchsia bud in December
(sorry not a great photo)
We are due storms and heavy rain for the rest of the week, so a quick walk around our garden. I have far more colour than expected, everywhere is looking tidy, I have loads of shoots from spring bulbs showing, they normally are stopped by a cold spell and then regrow at the correct time in the spring.
I still love to sit and watch our garden, now full of wildlife coming into the bottom for food, our garden is not too long so we can view everything with ease.
We have not been out and about, most days we stay local, we had Will yesterday morning, he was lovely, playing with the wooden train set.
Today we will walk to the village, collect my coat and a couple items for the fridge. Later we are going to the cinema, we have not decided what film to watch, there are 3 all starting at the same time.
It's that limbo time, we have full freezers and cupboards, almost everything is ready, we just have to wait a couple of days before we purchase the fresh items, dairy, veg and the madness begins.

Sunday 16 December 2018


Christmas cake is finished
 Very simple handmade by me,
 I decided the smaller cake did not require a second topper. 
We have had a couple of quiet days at home, Friday I was in need of a restful day, we did walk to the village, and hubby treated us to lunch at Darcy's, but we were home for the rest of the day. Later we watched Gogglebox and The Graham Norton show, both I enjoyed for different reasons.
Saturday it was raining when we got up and I don't think it stopped all day, we did not venture out at all, there were points when the noise of the heavy rain was loud enough to stop us doing things to look out the window. This is not a moan, because believe me compared to the rest of the country, we got off lightly, no ice rain, no snow and very little storm Deidre. We are lucky as we do not have issues with flooding, even the most heavy rain is able to drain away, the garden is looking OK, hubby has been out to refill the bird feeders.
I have wrapped the few gifts we have here, whilst listening to Christmas music, I love all the old songs from the 50's, and adore all the Christmas songs from the sound track of The Gremlins.
We had a Chinese, cooked at home for tea last night as it was party time in our house, just hubby and I, we always have a Strictly final party.  I loved the result, but the standard of the dancing has been brilliant this year, so many people really wanted to make each week memorable. 
I have done loads on my ripple blanket, it's the perfect thing to be doing on a cold day, as I can snuggle as I am working, it's getting huge, I will soon be finished the 4th round of colours, I can't wait for this to be in use on our spare bed.
I have a bit of house work to do, Will is coming over with mummy and daddy later, so I need to ensure there are no cat hairs about.

Friday 14 December 2018

Feeling festive

Sue asked how I cut the pretty edges of my cards, I use dies, these are just two I have, both purchased online from Wish, both from China and costing less than £3 each. I have purchased loads of dies from Wish, they are cheap, but in each case a £1 postage is added, as any orders are shipped as individual items. 
 Wednesday I went shopping with hubby, this bulb came home with me, we did not purchase many items, but enjoyed a wonder around the shops, plus a nice lunch. I did purchase a new winter coat, exactly what I was looking for and in a pre Christmas sale, but if it last as long as my previous coat I will be happy. 
 Hubby got me this as well
Thursday, youngest daughter picked me up early and we drove to Southampton for a girls shopping day, we found a car park for £5 all day (instead of just a couple hours), neither of us had anything to get, and enjoyed a lovely time together. Daughter looked in loads of clothes shops, I did get 2 pairs of trousers, they were perfect fit. I did get some special chocolates for Christmas day and a lovely tree decoration of an guardsman (hubby was a Welsh Guardsman for 12 years), it's now on our tree, hubby loved it. We had lunch at the German market and got a couple little trinkets.
I am really feeling festive, we get a few Christmas cards arriving, they are always fun to open, all my festive lights look good each evening, most are set to come on about 4ish and then go off just after 10, all the candles lit are the fake ones, so nice and safe here. I love to see all our decorations each year, they are like old friends visiting.
Daughter and I had a good look in John Lewis, but other than the guardsman for hubby, I passed on all the lovely decorations, I am so pleased with how the house looks.
Today we are both at home, no plans, will check all our list to ensure we have not forgotten anything.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Nothing much

Just a couple of my home made cards, I am loving these pretty cut edges, and using the shiny card. All the cards have been posted, I forgot to take photo's, these are just a couple I have left over. 
 Single rose from our garden
 It has opened from a small bud, 
I went to our sign class Christmas nativity yesterday, followed by a lunch made by our teacher, and some fun afterwards, plus a secret Santa. The day was very enjoyable, I don't have any photo's but we have been sent the video of our performance. It's so much fun together, we all have different abilities, but we all work together, Shelia who put us all together is a saint, she makes everything we do fun, and the signs just stick in my mind. We have finished until 8th Jan, with no homework, but I hope to be able to find some time to read my notes.
At home we have very little to do, Christmas list are all in order, most things are sorted, just final shopping for fresh items. Christmas dinner is for 6 people here, so not to huge, but big enough to make it look a feast. I do have the Christmas cake to finish, it should be done next week.
The garden is looking after it's self, the leaves have finished falling, I love to see the bare branches, and the shape of the tree, at this time of year.
Hubby is out this morning, so I am going to walk to our local market, it is tiny, but the village is always busy, won't take long. Late we are going to look for a new bedroom clock, ours has broken, and we do like to see the time when we wake up.
It is lovely to have a couple of days without rain, and I am loving the colder weather, it's now feeling correct for December, we have had crazy weather this year.

Saturday 8 December 2018

Colouring our world.

All the colours
 2nd ball of each colour
I have finished my 2nd 5th of the blanket, so I have used each colour at least twice, I have used white and black more, as I have extra balls of both. I purchased 2 balls of each colour, I worked out that would be enough, plus I had some left over from the blanket I sold to my sister, in the basket is the last of the yarn from the 1st ball, once these have been used I will start on the 2nd ball in the net bag.
This blanket is again random and different than the last rippled blanket, even thou they are made using the same colours,  I do not plan too many colours in advance, I just decide what colour looks good next to the one finished and work from there, keeping an eye on what I have done so far to ensure I don't repeat myself.
This blanket is getting heavy and with the milder days I am very warm whilst working on it. As it gets colder it won't be any problem.
Both hubby and I love how it looks on our spare bed, it is just the burst of colour I wanted for the room, I have an African theme going on, with loads we have purchased whilst on holiday in Africa, and with the yellow walls and the deep red painted on the window wall, the colours only enhance the look I am wanting.
My cat Grace is a lap cat, but I don't allow her to sit on my work, so I am getting boggy looks from her, but she does have a warm cosy basket to sleep in.
This is a pure form of enjoyment, I can do loads whilst hubby is reading or watching TV, on the downside, I am not reading too much.

Thursday 6 December 2018

Home made Christmas

This card was made in bulk, well 12 cards in all, one for everyone who attends our sign classes, I love the statement A snowflake is a winters butterfly. The message inside the card is Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, using fingerspelling. Each card was slightly different, the snowflakes are different and placed randomly. 
I have decorated the spare room for my brother, this was purchased last year. He will arrive a few days before Christmas.
 I have read a few post where bloggers are sorting their saving pot, our pot is only half full, we don't have so much change as we don't go shopping so much. We have decided to leave this pot until it is full, probably, this time next year.  
I have made more cards, I try and make most of the cards we send, I have enjoyed making each one different, using cards from last year, and my new dies purchased, plus I had the lovely thicker card purchased on Black Friday.
My Christmas cake has the marzipan layer on, I will top ice soon, I have not as yet made the rest of the top decorations, but I do know what I am making.  Daughter took her cake home, she will marzipan her's this weekend.  It is pleasing to see she is interested in using my recipe and following my instructions and has suggested she bake her own next year.
Hubby received again this year £50 of Co-op vouchers from his old company, we are never sure if this will happen every year, but it's a bonus to get them. We recently changed energy supplier and received another £50 of Co-op vouchers as part of the deal, Co-op is not the cheapest place to shop, but it's local for all the fresh items, and shopping in the village is less stressful at this time of year.
We have most of what we require, the freezer is full as is the food cupboards, we are hoping to avoid the mad frenzy of the next few weeks.  Grandsons again this year will have money for them to choose what they want, not the best, but helps us stay within budget, and they love to spend in the January sales.
I am a list maker, and it's pleasing to note most items on the list have a tick beside them, hubby has been helping this year, not sure how much he has enjoyed it, but having his input is good.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Early December

Our very confused tree, very few leaves left on the branches, 
but loads of buds.
Fabric purchase
 Will's boots which light up as he walks
Monday was fun with Will, he is such a happy little boy, we had two train sets out, he loves them as much as cars. My neighbour gave me loads of wooden track and trains, her grandson has outgrown them. Later we popped outside, Will is very good at picking up leaves, he had time on his sit on truck around the garden as hubby filled all the bird feeders.
The fabric was purchased on Sunday, the hungry caterpillar will be made into a bag for the train sets, the robins I loved but no idea what I will use it for, the cost has been added to my stash list. 
Tuesday was sign class, I am almost there with my lines for the play, just one bit I need to practice, it's fun when we have a project to do. Later we popped to Lidl for a few things, it's close by, hubby loves their fish cakes, plus we got veg for soups.  We managed to get some washing on the line, it was a sunny day after a frosty start, we wanted to make the most of the only dry day forecast.
Today I have the dentist and then a funeral, I'm not going to the wake. I also want to finish my Christmas cards, it's getting to the point where we need to post them.


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