Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Wednesday 31 January 2018

January summery.

New year new start
I have no plans to save money, this is the 4th year I am keeping this list. Each year so far I have spent less than the year before, but last year I hardly purchased any cross stitch items. 

 This might be interesting
I do  not have a budget for any of these things, but I thought I would like to see how much I do spend on myself, I am hoping to keep it low, I have loads of clothes and shoes so it's not my plan to purchase much this year. The books purchased were both note books. Household is stuff I buy because I want the item, nothing personal, just things for around our home.

I have not told hubby about the second list, it's just for me, he's not interested in my blog, so won't read this. We do not used budgets, we have a the same amount each month after the bill money is set aside, we do not overspend on our income, and we try and save a small amount each month. This works for us and allows us to purchase items when on special, avoiding paying full price and loads of items. Our spending went crazy as hubby required a new tire for his motorbike (expensive) and my car had two new tire's ready for it's upcoming MOT, the motorbike cost were unexpected, but you can't put a price on safety.

Little ticks, went well for me last month, my steps are up, we did not use our bikes as much as we wanted, but that was due to the many days of rain we had and problems with my back. In February we are again looking at portion sizes, they have crept up again, I am terrible and won't leave food on my plate, so hubby is now calling me to serve my own meals. I wanted to do more but sense tells me to rest my back.
I did spring clean the downstairs rooms, which is a great job once done. Later in February I want to do our bedroom and bathroom, I am going to try once more to clean the shower tiles. They were bad when we moved in and I have scrubbed them often, this time we are going to try and replace the grout and the silicon seals, it could save us a lot of money.

We have been doing really well on plastics, we have focused on one use plastics, to be honest we have eliminated loads. We still have plastic items in our home, I can't see the point to replace containers, we will use them for years to come,  but anything new required will not be plastic. I saw on Pam's blog she has made cotton bread bags, good idea, I have cotton in my stash. We are trying to reduce our use of plastic bags and cling film, hubby loves both.
This post whilst not exciting, is my part of my record for this year, I will post on the above topics end of each month.

Monday 29 January 2018

Shopping and planting

Summer colour, from Wilko's 
 Perfect for pots in the garden
from TKMax, at £19.99 a bargain. 
Also at TKMax, I have been looking for a garden jar for ages,  I love the bottom of this, it sits in the wooden base and will hide most of the soil level.
All of the above items have been added to my stash list, on the gardening section, expensive start to year. I loved the three tier stand, it was in the kitchen section, but just too big, hubby said it would look good in the garden, so I will plant 3 levels of French marigolds, and place it on the decking where he will be able to see it. I have clay pots for the two higher sections.
The glass pot, I have created a succulent/cacti garden, it look good all planted up.
We also purchased two white linen quilt sets, both matching white, both perfect and at £29.99 more than half price of any others we have seen.
This morning I hope to be in the greenhouse for an hour, I have sweetpea seeds to plant in deep pots, these will sit in my greenhouse on a sunny spot.  Aquilagia  and coleus seeds for the propagator, which will sit on my office windowsill. The plants I purchased above I will put into pots and once they have started to grow, I can place them in my garden, hopefully other plants will be showing and I can judge where the bare patches are. The rest of my seeds can wait until later in February, I want good quality seedlings and not leggy ones.
I have hurt my lower back, I don't know how, it's one of those things, I don't normally suffer with my back, the pain started again on Sunday, we had Will over night on Friday, but he was back with mummy and daddy by Saturday lunchtime. I ensure when picking up Will I do not twist or over stretch my back, I did have pain earlier in the week but it went away, it does make doing certain things impossible.
My steps dropped last week, due to wet days and problems with my back, I did 52,865, which is 7552 per day, I had a good start of the week, which helped me almost meet my target, but yesterday I was just not up to walking.

Saturday 27 January 2018

New start

My test strip
this gives me the information I require to know how many chains to cast on.
24 chains = 11cm
 240 chains = 110cm or 43 inches
 Just started my 5th shade
 I followed advice and tucked my ends in for neatness
 It looks tidy. 
I followed a video from Bella Coco for me this was the clearest video, I could see her hands and hook and the sound was good. Using the double crochet was good for me as it's the same stitch as I was using for my granny blanket.
I did a test strip as I had no idea how many chains I would require, I did know the width I wanted, depending on how far the wool makes up, this has two possibilities, I would like a blanket for my lap, but it could be a cot blanket to be used here when Will sleeps over.
I took care casting on 240 chains, and on the first row, but I noticed on the second row two tiny errors, both I was able to correct without unpicking, neither was in the front of the blanket.
Each row feels really long to me, but the design is simple enough to do whilst hubby has TV on.
The shade are beautiful, very pale, but the yarn is 100% Acrylic, so keeping it clean won't be a problem.
Paula made a comment regarding the wool I am using, most of the yarns are not in fact wool, I have a allergy to lanolin, so I do not use wool, in my last projects I have used, alpaca silk, 100% cotton, and Acrylic, so bear with me when I say 'wool'.

Friday 26 January 2018

Summer colour

Are you smiling, I am, 
these are my summer colour
 I've sorted them into sowing months
February  and   March sowing
These need going into soil as soon as I can 
 I think I have enough Marigolds, hubbys favorite flowers. 
Most of these were purchased in last years end of season sale, or have been free with gardening magazines, which I don't purchase that often, and only if I like the seeds. I have loads of favorites, some new to try and a few I have never grown from seed before. There are far too many for my small plot, I do intend to fill my garden with colour this summer, but any spare plants will be sent over the road to my neighbour Chris. I will grow plants for my cut flower garden, last year I sowed the seeds into the bed and had an epic fail, the few stronger plants suffocated almost everything else. I have always failed with sweet peas, which is a bloom I love, so I have a few packets to try this summer, I am not a quitter, last year I got them to grow, but no blooms.
 I have still plenty of colour inside at this moment, the second bud on my Amaryllis is starting to split, and hopefully another flower. The red in these four blooms are stunning.
 My Hyacinth are doing well, the scent from these are delightful. 
I can't wait for the growing season to start, I am starting a few seeds this weekend on my office windowsill.  For now I am working on my ripple blanket, photos next time.

Wednesday 24 January 2018


Ordered late of Friday, arrived on Tuesday
 I fancied to use some pale wool and got 3 balls of each colour 
 This is for a ripple blanket
It's like looking at spring, I chose this brand of wool, only because they had the largest selection of pale colours, Patons Baby smiles, 4ply, 100% Acrylic, it also was a decent price, I love doing crochet with 4ply, it feels better in my hands. I now have to decide the order of these colours. I have 3 x 50g balls of each colour, my hope is to have a beautiful blanket when it's finished. I have added the cost to my stash list for this month.
Monday the day improved and we had a sunny afternoon, so I managed a lovely walk. Tuesday after sign language class it was still dull and wet, but I did manage to get out for a small walk.
I did sew in all the ends on Will's blanket, once I got going it was not so bad, I used a small latch hook (just like the ones used for making rugs) much nicer than threading needles all the time.
I have been on youtube looking at ripple blanket video's, I have decided on my patteren, made a small test run, and worked out how many stitches to an inch, all I have to do is decide what size, it won't be full size as I'm not up to that challenge yet.
On Tuesday I was a bit of an idiot and deleted a couple of comments instead of saving them, I always love to read your comments and would never knowingly delete any, so if your comment is missing, I am sorry.

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Second finish of the year

Crochet finished, it's a good size for a cot.
 Daughter requested the colours, I chose the shades. 
 Both together, using different 4ply yarn
 Both are really pretty
 I still have loads of ends to stitch in
I am really pleased with Will's blanket, it is a good size for his cot. The Drops, You is 100% cotton, which is thicker, but feels right for this blanket, it works up well, the navy did separate often, but with a little bit more care, I did not have a huge problem. I just have those pesky ends to weave in, because of the colour formation, I found it easier to cut off each colour at the end of the row.
My blanket is for use here at home, it will be good for on the lawn this summer when Will is playing, I am sure it will find load more uses.
Now on to my next project. 
Under test conditions Wills blanket works.

Monday 22 January 2018

Yellow, Red and White

Lots of colour in our sitting room
 Love this vibrant red
 Still busy with my hook, 
Nothing much is happening here, it rained all day yesterday and again this morning it's grey and still raining. With all the different bad weather around the country I should not moan, but cold wet rain, it's horrible.
I'm really please with my inside bulbs they are cheering up all dullness of this time of year.
Saturday hubby wanted to go to the shops,
Dunelm, we need new quilt covers and I have to use 100% cotton, we looked and passed on everything in their sale. I will wait until I get a 25% off M&S, I have seen lovely white duvet set.
Halfords, he got the stand for his bike, and a couple of light sets.
Homebargains, just got the tissues, scourers and a pack of teabags (on offer)
B&Q, this is a dangerous shop for us both, had a wonder around, got the new floor strip which is what we went in for, nothing else. 
We went to our friends 50th anniversary do, we did not know many people and did not stay too late, we did enjoy the music played, it was 50's, 60's and 70's.
Sunday we spent time with Will, it was nice to be at his house with his toys. Mummy was on a boot camp weekend and daddy had a problem with work, he was working from his home office, so we kept Will happy. I have almost finished his blanket.
I have checked my steps for last week, I did a total of 56264, 8037 steps per day, I'm getting there, lost a couple of pounds as well, so not everything is bad here. 

Saturday 20 January 2018

At the bottom of the garden

8am yesterday morning, loads of frost
I keep the pot on my table covered through the winter and rainy days, the pot does not have drainage, my succulent tower (blue pots) drains well and have survived a couple of winters outside.  
 Early afternoon, warm enough for the window to be open,
 My nasties all inside, they don't mind the cold, but they hate the wet.
On the side back staging, they do not need the sunshine.
 I have loads on new Violet plants for my garden
all grown from cuttings, catching all the sunshine.
 I purchased 1 reduced plant for £2 from B&Q last September, I love Nemesias, I separated these, knowing they grow back each year, they will be very strong for spring planting. These are on my raised garden at the back of my greenhouse. 
 Geraniums, not their best, but I will cut them back soon
the cutting should make new plants.
These are on the front side catching any sunshine.
 I love this shelf on my potting bench, 
I can see it from my sitting room chair, the light are solar so they shine at night.
I check my greenhouse most mornings, I do not have heat inside, at this time of year it is a holding place for plants not able to winter outside. It's in a great position, really sunny spot, our Magnolia tree does cast a shadow  in the morning, but this time of year without leaves does not cause an issue and in the summer when in full leaf it helps with shade for a while each day.
My bulbs inside are now flowering, I also go some cut daffodils on a yellow sticker reduced buy 1/3 of marked price, I do love daffodils at this time of year. We also got all our fresh fruit at reduced prices, last year we stopped purchasing bananas, both hubby and I love them and ate them each day, now we buy loads of different fruit and enjoy the mixture.
Will was fun yesterday, he ate plums for the first time, we made him a mixed fruit salad for his lunch, plum, grapes, kiwi and a tiny bit of apple. We also got out the ball pit we have got for the garden, it is huge but he loved playing with the balls, I got the balls free second hand, but have too many so I will pass on half.
I am doing well with Will's crochet blanket, I love the snug feeling each evening whilst I add rows, I hope to finish it soon, I am planning to try a ripple blanket next, it will be nice to do a different design.
No plans for today, we do need a long walk, it is dull outside, but dry, so we should go soon before the promised rain arrives. Still no snow thank goodness. 

Thursday 18 January 2018


Will had his first messy play day
mummy and daddy sent us this photo
his face says how much he enjoyed it
 Flowers on my Hyacinth
 For the first time I have some height on these
 Amaryllis flower
 Perfectly formed
 Ready to burst into colour
My indoor bulbs are doing well, as are the bulbs in the garden, I walked around our tiny plot this morning just to check we had no issues, and found loads of bulbs coming up, snakes head fritillary, crocus, daffodils, my helleborus has new buds.
Our fence on our strange neighbours side is again very wobbly, I did expect it to break last night. It was replaced a few years ago, all our other neighbours have lower fences, so the wind builds up along their gardens and always hits the same spot. Hubby could go out and probably save the fence, but as our neighbours are so horrible and sent us a solicitors letter saying the fence is theirs, it shows on our deeds as ours, and we had the receipt for the previous owner for the installation. We leave it alone, last time we agreed to pay half of the cost to replace the broken bits. But everything else in the garden is good, I am itching to be outside, but it's just far to early.
Yesterday I cleaned the top of my kitchen cabinet's, I hang my head in shame, it was hard going, I also did all the top of the tiles around the kitchen, plus the top of the fridge freezer and boiler. I was shattered by the afternoon, I have put paper on top of each cabinet so next time it should be easier, but I won't leave it so long next time. I spent loads of time doing more to Will's blanket.
This morning I gave to the floors a steam clean, the rest of the day is cleaning free. Later we have Will for a couple of hours, and my friend Chris is popping in for so sign language practice.
I hope you are warm and comfortable, winter is finally here in UK.

Wednesday 17 January 2018


No snow here, but at 9.15am still just below freezing
 We have a lovely blue sky, but it's so cold
Typical winter day, we often miss all the snow, it does not take much to bring us to a stand still so we are happy to be snow free. It is really nice not to be out early in the mornings, my plan is a day at home. 
 I have two flowers forming
 This is finished, it was never going to be huge. 
 I love all the neat patterns, the colours remind me of heather's. 
 The final row is navy, I have stitched in all the navy ends for the colour change, the random I did not cut, it only had one level so I could keep it neat. 
 Will's blanket is giving me loads of ends, 
I use a hook and thread them along my work. 
I popped to my greenhouse and covered some of my tender plants last night, I do not heat in there, but it is in the most sunny spot in the garden, everything looked good when I checked this morning.
Sign language class was good yesterday, I was pleased I had already learnt the alphabet, numbers and a few greetings, we covered colours, some I already knew, we had to list a colour, add an object and two descriptive words, RED-CAR-YOURS/MINE, plus we had to add facial expressions, after class we shared lunch, there are seven ladies in the class and we take in turns proving the lunch. I am looking forward to going back next week, my friend Chris and I will get together to practice later this week.
I sat and finished my blanket last night, Grace my cat sits on my lap, so I was jiggling the blanket to keep it away from her, she does not attack my wool, so whilst a bit slower is was good, both the cat and the blanket kept me warm. 
I'm off got my kitchen cabinet tops to clean, not a great job, but once it is done I can relax and do some fun things.


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