Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Tuesday 31 July 2018

After the rain

Looking good
 I love this area
 Good read
I spent yesterday afternoon in the garden, Will helped me pick up loads of leaves, the high winds removed all the loose ones and blew them around our small plot. I don't like to see leaves on the ground. I dead headed everywhere, the side garden is still looking good, a couple of bare spots, but it's market day tomorrow, so I can find something to fill the spaces. My raised cut bed is not so good, most of the flowers have gone leggy and going over, so I am going to have to sort it this week.
The blackberries are coming thick and fast now, Will had loads straight from the bush, which thankfully is too high for him, I think if he could get to them he would eat them all, he checked the strawberries to see if there were any, sadly nothing for him. I hope to be able to string the blackberries along the side of the garage, keeping them high, so we can use the path.
Both water-butts are again fill, we had rain again in the night, but the forecaste for the rest of the week is again dry hot and sunny, it will be great to enjoy the garden without the worry of water shortages. I do hope they have had enough rain up in north west, so their proposed hosepipe ban does not come into affect.
When it rains I settle down with a good book to read, I had two, Hide and Seek followed on from Little Boy Blue, both were great, no TV, just loads of fresh coffee and time to read. Still no crafting, but that's normal for me in the summer.
Today I have a few task outside the house, pop to town, lunch out and then back for another lazy afternoon. The line is full of clean washing from the weekend, so tomorrow is ironing day.

Monday 30 July 2018

July done

Really good month
The weather helped, it was just too hot to do anything, fabrics were fat quarters and some material to make a few bags. Plus four pounds spent on off cuts of pretty fabrics. Mainly plants for the garden to fill gaps. Plus a pack of card reduced.
My sister gave me some colouful plain cottons, she wants me to make her some shopping bags, she is doing a craft table later in the year, I have some black and white checked fabric I can use, the colour cotton will be used as bright liners.
I did purchase a pair of trousers, which brings my spend this year to £63.75 for clothes, so I am changing my challenge, to spend as little as I can. I still have not purchased any shoes, so I am aiming to last the whole year without buying any.
My steps were really good at the start of the month, over 10,000 every day, but the extreme temperatures and the weekends rain ensured my steps dropped and averaged at 8,506 in July.
Our recycling is on track, we are both pleased with our progress, it's still hard and we do still get one use plastics, but we are now actively avoiding them where we can.
I have been really pleased with the water we saved through out July, as with everything else, once you start thinking about what we are doing, everything becomes clearer and we can make changes.
I have a couple of purchases in August, I need to replace some of the flowers in my cut bed, they have been great but they are going over now, I will get 3 dahlias, which should give me flowers for a few months, I am also watching Wilkinson's for their end of season garden sale, I could do with a few make stakes, and love to get them at half price.

Sunday 29 July 2018

Wet, wet, wet

Just a few library books
 Home made gifts.
Tidy Passion flower
 Glorious rain. 
Firstly, like loads others we are having rain, first since May, we had a couple of showers in the past few days, but today it has been raining since 5am, lovely steady rain everywhere is looking much better, our water butts are being replenished. I am now really happy.
I have finished Liar, Liar by M J Arlidge, I enjoyed the book so much, it's set in Southampton which is local to us, I popped to our local library and got a couple more books, the two other books by Amanda Prowse, an author suggested by Jo from Through the keyhole
This week we were gifted jam and chutney, both homemade, we tried the jam this morning, hubby will get to eat all the chutney as I don't like ginger.
Hubby put the climbing frame on the wall for my passion flower, no blooms as yet, but I purchased a very small plant last year from our local charity shop, so I don't mind waiting whilst it grows.
My sister and her partner visited for the weekend, they are driving home now, we had a quiet time together, the weather not being great to be able to go out much. She brought her large sewing machine for me to have a play with, it's a Brother, so a different make than mine, I am looking forward to having some fun, she was not able to show me how to use it as she was unable to work out for herself. I have often thought it would be nice to have a multi function machine, and I did look at different models, but in truth, I would not use many of the functions, so I am sticking with my trusted machine.
We did go out for lunch on Saturday, mummy and Will came with us, Will was super cute, waving at everyone, he loves our local Bistro and always gets cuddles with one of the owners. It is lovely when you take him out and be behaves wonderful, he does have his moments when all you want is to get him home as quick as you can.
I plan to sit and read this afternoon, tomorrow, I will have gardening to do, the lawn is covered in leaves.

Friday 27 July 2018


Our Magnolia tree is producing flowers
 They do not last very long
 They are stunning
 Hubby will put this on the wall for my passion flower
 I love these dahlias 
Thursday evening weather promised on my phone, 
needless to say we got zero rain, nothing, 
loads of black clouds, a very muggy night, but everywhere is still dry. 
Our Magnolia tree is suffering in this heatwave, earlier this year the buds were damaged twice by the snow, and we had a poor showing of flowers. So now in the middle of a heat wave it is flowering again, I am glad we keep this tree small, it's just to wonderful to lose to the weather. I pick up leaves off the lawn at least three times a day. The twisted Willow I planted last year is doing well, it's losing leaves but still looks healthy.
On the whole the garden is not too bad, it's small enough to water, most of my fruit have finished, just blackberries and late raspberries left, I am picking blackberries each day, but they are small.
It is one of the few times when I am pleased I don't have a huge garden, every garden blogger is saying the same, crops are poor, low yeald, and hard work to keep watering.
The heat in the greenhouse is giving good crops on tomatoes, cucumbers and the pepper plant is full, but I'm watering twice a day, needless to say the succulents and cacti love it.
Me I'm just wilting

Thursday 26 July 2018

Meanwhile inside

Bathroom window sill, I love the mixture of pots here. 
I saw a pot like this which inspired me to plant this one 
Mummy Spider plant
Another good book, it did send you all over the place. 
 Two more ready for me to read.
So many of my house plants are doing well in this heat, the top 3 are in the bath room, the spider plant is next to my keyboard, it's huge. The babies I took last week are growing well and should be ready for the charity shop soon.
It's been a busy week, Monday Will and I had fun together, all inside.
Tuesday I had morning coffee with the sign class ladies, again sat inside. 
Wednesday we had a afternoon BBQ in our garden for friends with young children, Will and mummy came as well, we used all the shady places in the garden and added more shade with our gazebo, it was fun but again we did have time inside. 
Today hubby and I are having coffee with an old friend. Later hubby will paint, our bedroom is almost finished, hubby has painted all the doors and just has the skirting boards left to do.  Next week he starts on the stairs which has loads of gloss paint, again it's an easier task as it's just a rub down and repainting, when we moved in hubby took all the gloss paint off before he painted everywhere. 
Friday my sister and her partner are coming for a couple of days. 
I have done no craft, I have half a sock to finish knitting, some pretty cross stitch sits waiting for me, I do go out in the garden early morning to dead head and tidy around, pick harvest. I also go our at 8pm to do some watering, I don't feel guilty watering the garden, I save loads of water from the house for my thirsty plants. I was going to get some plants, but this heat is too much for planting out anything. 

Monday 23 July 2018

Seeds and pips

Cape Gooseberries
Both library books, both very good reads
Today's harvest.
It's hot again, we should be used to it by now, but as this heatwave lingers much longer than normal, I am spending much more time inside.
I am very happy with my seeds and pips above, each plant is looking really good, they have all put on loads of new growth this summer. The citrus plants and the Pomegranate are all in the greenhouse, they love the heat. The Kiwi is now outside, where again it is doing well. My walnut twig, is not looking good, not sure if it's the heat, but I will keep watering it and hope it pulls through.
I picked the last big harvest on blueberries and picked the first of the blackberries, most of my fruit is finished. Tomatoes and cucumbers are feeding us well, I have sown some more cut and come again lettuce, the other plants bolted in all this heat. I have cut the blackcurrant bush back, taking 3 of the older branches away and the same for the gooseberries, both are in tubs so I am hoping the smaller bushes will fare well in the hot weather.
Our Magnolia tree is in bloom again, but the flowers are not lasting too long, the heat is effecting everything around our home.
Saturday night we had Will on a sleep over, mummy and daddy went for a meal and spent Sunday morning doing loads of DIY jobs inside, perfect for us to have play time.
Will will be here again this morning, I love having time with our youngest grand son each week.
I have finished both books above, enjoyed each book and would read another book by each author.

Saturday 21 July 2018

Marwell Zoo

Will looking cute
 He loved the animal signs
 So many of the animals and birds were watching us
 Huge area's for the animals, loads mixed in these spaces.
 Best photo of the tiger
It has a wheel
 Another wheel
Everyone together 
We spent a lovely day at Marwell Zoo, we have been before but it was years ago, when Josh was young, I think in 2008. The zoo is well cared for, there is plenty of space for little one's to run about, they put in windows in most of the enclosures at child height, it is a good family destination. The restaurants were well stocked, a good choice of meals, and not too expensive. I am not always keen on viewing animals in cages, even if they are much better than the zoo's of our childhood. The tropical house was very good, a smaller version of the Eden project, with a path which sends you from the top of the house through to floor level, loads of beautiful plants, and butterflies.
In the sunshine, it was perfect, Will spent loads of time running about, he was not really interested in most of the animals, unless it was a car or tractor, he did not spend too much time watching, but we enjoyed our time there.
  Recreating a photo, we did a few, these were the best to show.
Over night we had an hour's rain, first rain in two months, not nearly enough, but as they say every little helps. 

Thursday 19 July 2018

Holiday over

Loads of clouds again
 Some reading for the next week
 Tuesday in Portsmouth historic dockyard
From HMS Victory, looking towards the Spinnaker Tower
 Lunch at Gunwharf Quays
 Alba and Will making friends
Almost everyday this week, we have had loads of dark clouds, normally it would mean it's going to rain, it's rare to see so many clouds and it stays dry, by late afternoon all the clouds have gone and it's full sunshine.  Everywhere is desperate for rain, the grass in our lovely park has turned to straw, leaves are falling off tree's,  it's very muggy.  Our summer this year is very different.
On Wednesday morning I drove to Gatwick airport for Alba to catch a plane home, she was with us for 6 days, we enjoyed our time together, she is a special young lady. We took her to loads of local places, She loved the Historic boatyard at Portsmouth, and the tour of HMS Victory, we also saw HMS Warrior. Shopping at Gunwharf Quays was fun, we had lunch at Wagamam'a sat looking at all the huge boats. We had a drink in a typical English pub, only soft drinks.  She loves our garden and all the colourful plants, so we visited a garden center, she was interested in everything. Will loved her and they played together, we had Will on another sleep over on Sunday night.
The holiday went far too quick and now we are planning for next year, we are hinting to have Alba for 1 month, we could do so much more. It is good her english is perfect, we often speak over the phone, which always is a test of language skills, but her mum is a good teacher.
Shopping on Tuesday, saw me purchase a lovely pair of trousers, perfect fit, Per Una reduced in the sale, I have been wanting slim fit trousers, so much for not purchasing clothes this year, oh well I am only human, so whilst I've not done as I wanted, I am not spending too much.
Today I am out for a pedicure and lunch with youngest daughter, it's her treat to me, Friday we plan to go to Marwell Zoo it's been years since we visited. There is a weather warning for thunder storms on Friday, we will have to check on the morning, the warning covers the whole of the south east of England, and they could happen anywhere, so it's probable we will stay dry. 

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Sewing instruction - Finish

Beautiful patchwork
 All neat and tidy
 Another cushion cover and hearts
 With an envelope pocket (no zip)
 Shopping bag from tea towels
 Lovely neat lines. 
We have had a very busy week of sewing, all the above made, ready for gifts to be taken home by our house guest.
Back in the 80's we had a Spanish student Izzy, she stayed with us for a month, and was a wonderful young woman and we loved having her to stay. She visited for many years, her desire to learn everything British has helped her in her work life as an English teacher in Spain. We have been a part of her family, watching her two young daughter grow into lovely young women. We have had wonderful holidays in Spain with the family, Izzy and both daughters visited last year, another lovely holiday together. So this last week for the first time we had her eldest daughter Alba staying, she is 14.
Alba loves to sew, so most days we had my sewing machine working. We used tea towels for the bag (a gift for her mother), Union Jack cushion cover (a gift for her sister), and we choose fabrics from my stash for the patchwork cushion, which Alba made for herself.
The patchwork being the hardest sewing Alba has done, she choose all the fabrics and then placed them to make the final design, with coaching from myself, she has done most of the stitching, I only had a tiny input. I am proud and very pleased with the improvement Alba has made, she was willing to learn and tried most things I asked from her. I hope when she returns to Spain tomorrow with her gifts, her family will see the hard work and enjoy each item. The three small hearts are for her friends.


Related Posts with Thumbnails