Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Friday 30 November 2018

Terrific Thursday

Afternoon tea at a Spa day

 Hot tub outside
I was asked by hubby to keep Thursday clear, we were going out, I have no problems with that. Wednesday evening I was told I had to be at daughters by 9am  Thursday morning, on my own, so not a nice meal with hubby. I arrived at my daughters, she asked if I had my costume, nope, so I borrowed one of her's. Daughter drove us to Hilton Hotel, next to Ageas Bowl cricket ground, near Southampton. Hubby had paid for both of us to have a spa day as a thank you for our love and care of him.
So whilst most of the country struggled with horrible weather yesterday, daughter and I were in luxury, the spa is one of the best I have been to (in our price range), we both had a back, shoulder and neck massage, without any issues for me, I have a nut allergy and can't use loads of the oils they have, not an issue for them. Lunch was afternoon tea with prosecco.
Hubby had a quiet day at home, cooked a simple lovely meal for dinner, just a perfect day.
I finished reading another book in the Roy Grace series, Dead if you don't, the opening chapter was suggesting it might be a bit gory for me, I kept going and it was another great book.
Just a perfect day 

Thursday 29 November 2018

November round up

I'm happy with this total, buying the card last week  took it much higher than expected, but I don't like making flimsy cards. 
My stash spending this year is much higher than previous years, but on checking, most of the extra spend has been on yarn, which is a hobby I am doing more this year.
I purchased some trousers this month, I am fed up with wearing jeans everyday, whilst at home they are OK, but it's nice to dress smarter when out. I also got a nice pair for Christmas day, these purchases bring my total spend on clothes to £102.75, which should be the total for this year, as I have no plans or requirement to purchase anything else. Another month with any footwear purchased, I am on target to go the whole year without any new footwear.
My Christmas dec's total so far is £17.98, again I don't expect to purchase anything else, the 4 items I got were just too pretty for me to not get them.
 My book arrived, for the 1st time no cross stitch on the cover. 
8 books from my blog

Another month and I am pleased with my spending, I have no intention to save money, it's just interesting to know where mine is going. The shoe and clothes target, was necessary as I still have far to many of both, but at the same time, purchasing my new trousers this month, brought back the real enjoyment of adding something to my wardrobe, rather than just seeing something and wanting it. I will be setting myself low spends for both next year.
I do need a new winter warm coat, my long coat was purchased in 2010 and my red jacket is older than that, but I will only replace them if I can find good quality in the styles I like in January sales. 
I am really pleased with my 2017 book, I have read through it and as always I have found one tiny issue, just a silly thing I missed, it has happened in almost every one of my books.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Sunny day outside

Amaryllis time again
 Unexpected flowers on this African violet,
lives on my kitchen window sill
 Still loads of colour in the garden 
 Greenhouse cacti and succulents 
 Carnivorous plants loving the sunshine
these work well in the greenhouse.
 Almost done with the leaves
These photo's were taken on Monday, before the rains came, I spent an hour outside enjoying the sunshine. I am pleased to see so much colour in the garden, my geraniums planted in the back bed has flowered for months, the bright pink is an extra bonus to see each day.  I have a few extra pots on the decking, filled with my birthday bulbs, once these  have flowered in the spring I will add them to my side garden, I would rather grow them this way than try and plant into hard ground in November.
An hour in the greenhouse, where it's really warm, I have not added any coverings to plants as I want them to have as much sunshine as possible, and this is the sunniest spot in my garden.
The bird feeders are now the busiest part of our garden, we both love to watch the different birds who visit to feed. We have managed to keep the huge wood pigeons away, they can clear a feeder very quickly, we do throw seed onto the garage roof for them. We regularly see two squirrels at their nut feeder, they too stay away from the bird feeders, so a happy balance. Hubby has put bait boxes back down in the back corner, not sure what is coming into our garden, but our cat Purdy is down that end watching all the time, a sure sign something is coming into our garden. 
Daughter did not have time to pop in for making Santa on Tuesday, so we have agreed to make them on Friday. Sign class was good, we are doing our own version of a Christmas nativity, it is helping us put together longer sentences, each one has a twist in which is funny, plus we are going to wear costumes and be videoed.

Monday 26 November 2018


This is the first 5th of this blanket, I am truly happy with the size, it will cover this bed as I wanted. I have enough yarn to repeat these colours another four times. I have put all the balls of yarn from my bag back in the basket to use them again.
 Up close
I love this yarn, it feels good to use, it drapes well and is soo soft. 
Saturday I took both Josh and Sam out for a pub lunch, just the 3 of us, we then drove to Lee-on-Sea, but is was wet, so they used all my spare cash in the amusement arcade, younger brother Sam won loads on one machine, shared his winning with Josh and enjoyed their gaming time. Later the boys enjoyed ice-cream, whilst I had a coffee. A really wonderful afternoon. 
Sunday was a sunny day, so after my morning pop into blogland, I wrapped up warm and spent time in the garden, I picked up all the huge leaves, another big bag, then a quick tidy around, I'm now pleased everywhere looks good.
PS, leaves everywhere again this morning, I will pick them up later, the best thing is our tree is almost empty.
Later we finished our shopping list for Asda, we already have most of the chocolates and biscuits we require, I have been picking them up when I see them on offer and hiding them away. Soon we will drive to a huge out of town branch to walk around. We do not intent to visit another huge supermarket this year.

Saturday 24 November 2018


My 1st attempt of a sugar reindeer
 With daughters reindeer
 Santa to make
Thursday was fun making the above reindeer, both younger daughter and I enjoyed the session, we plan to make santa here next Tuesday. The rest of the day I sat with my crochet hook and rippled, whilst hubby watched a movie.
Friday we had another lazy morning, I did a bit of housework, again just cleaning the middle of the rooms, and laundry was done, so I have a pile of ironing, which I am ignoring.
Late morning daughter and Will came over, we walked to the local village and had lunch at Darcy's, a nice treat, Will enjoyed a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, and waved at everyone in the bistro.  After a quick walk around the precinct we started to walk home, the Turkish barber hubby uses was empty, so we popped in and Will had his 1st hair cut, only the back and sides which had got long, for his 1st time in the big chair he was really good, and hubby's barber was so good with him, no tears and Will was given his 1st every lollypop for being a good boy. The barber would not take payment, he said the 1st haircut is always free, how wonderful, Will's daddy was so pleased all went well, the previous weekend they took him to a children's barber, but it was chaos in there so they came away.  Will managed to walk the whole way home, another 1st, going to the village without a pushchair.
After daughter and Will went home, I did more to make my Christmas cards, I have 10 to make for the sign class, I wanted them to reflect sign language, so on the inside page I have printed the greeting in BSL finger spelling.
I did make another purchase for Black Friday, my good quality card stock is getting low on some colours, so I went on Create and Craft and purchased 3 packs, they were on special 3 for 2, and the postage was capped at £2.99, I was good and did not look at their other offers.
Today it is dull and wet, I am off out to lunch later, just me, hubby is staying in the warm.  No plans for later, just an evening in together, my ripple blanket is growing huge and it's very warm over my lap whilst I am making it.
Tomorrow I have the biggest pile of leaves to pick up, the tree is almost empty, and I have not been out there since Monday, but the weather is promised to be dry, which is enough for me, nothing much else to do, I don't cut back the plants in my side bed, I leave them for the birds. I can always sppend an hour in my greenhouse.

Thursday 22 November 2018

Normal things

I just had to share this image of Will, 
such a happy face on a recent day out with mummy and daddy. 
Will's first nursery photo

 More sock yarn

Tuesday I got the email for Black Friday discounts from Blurb, 50% off, so my book has been ordered, I always have a good hardback cover with pictures printed on the front, heavy duty photo quality pages and white first and last pages, all these cost extra, but with the discount, I still pay less than the basic book. Now I wait for it to arrive and I import 2018 onto my book template on my computer. 
Sign class went well, we have learnt how to sign The 12 days of Christmas, which is huge fun, a few years ago I sat and watched a group signing to Christmas songs in our local shopping center, I was really moved by the sight and from that point I knew I wanted to learn sign language. 
Wednesday my yarn order arrived, with added sock yarn, I wanted more shades I could use for simple socks, another pair for hubby if he likes his first pair, it's a brand I have not used before, but it does feel so soft. So if I have worked everything out correct, I now have enough to finish my bigger ripple blanket
This week feels so calm and normal, just a simple build to Christmas, we have purchased the few presents we give, and are building a shopping list for Asda next week. 
I have been to a class to learn how to make sugar icing toppers for our Christmas cake, I will post photo's next time, it was fun daughter and I finished a reindeer and have a santa to make. 

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Another catch-up

This is much wider than my first blanket, 
but it is growing at a nice speed
 I made this bag for holidays, but we cancelled our main holiday
so I have found another use for it
 Once I have used a colour on my blanket I pop the yarn in here, 
this way I don't use the yarn twice in the same block. 
Sunday we popped out for some potting compost and this plant came home with me, it was on my shopping list. The china pot I already had. 
£10 from Wilkinson, perfect for my raised bed in the greenhouse
Hubby paid for it as a gift to me. 

We are still spending most of our time at home, every morning I am picking up leaves from our Magnolia tree, there is about 1/3rd left on the tree, it does not feel like a chore again, I have always loved this tree.
I did alot of cooking over the weekend, we had a roast dinner Saturday, with enough for a second meal for hubby on Sunday, I took a curry out of the freezer for myself.
Saturday we sold our campervan, it was sad, but we really did not get out in it enough, every month this year we were tied up, we have wonderful memories from our trips, and loads of post on here, we sold it for almost the same price as we purchased it, we just lost out on servicing and the small internal refit. I have taken a few items out, which we can use at home, but the rest went with the van, the man drove it away very happy. We have no desire to purchase another one, we are already looking at city breaks, I really want to get to Liverpool next year. We are also planning a holiday next spring, we are checking prices but will probably purchase in January.
Sunday we have a wonder around a garden center, not one we go to often, it was gearing up for Christmas, making space for Christmas trees, there were a couple living ones, we were tempted, but walked past them. Rest of the day was spent at home, with crochet hook in hand.
Monday we popped to Fareham for just a bit of shopping and a light lunch, this year we decided to suggest to each other what we would like for presents, so hubby got me a lovely black leather bag and a garden kneeling stool (reduced at a brilliant price), I got hubby a drone with video camera, who knew he would want one!

Sunday 18 November 2018

Baking my cake.

Ingredients for Christmas cake
 Add to the dried fruit the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 3 large oranges
Leave over night, at this point everywhere smells of citrus, including the dishwasher and the bin, I love the smell. I always roll the orange/lemon on the counter top before draining the juice, this breaks the flesh inside making the juice flow easier and you get more juice. 
 I have shown this before, it is a typed Cake recipe, which must be over 20 years old, I have made this every year, I use the juice of the oranges and lemon rather than the orange juice in the recipe. The juice stays in the fruit as the cake is cooking. I do not add almonds, so I put extra dried fruit in, also note I have not added the cherries, these are cut into quarters and are tossed into the flour , keeping them from sticking together. 
Once the cake is baked, I turn the oven off and leave the cake inside until the cake is cool, I think the slowing of the cooling process helps keep the cake moist. This is another time when the house is full of the smell of spices, gently infusing with us and bringing on the Christmas mood and spirit.

I have said before I am no domestic goddess, but I do like to make a cake for Christmas each year, this year I have baked two, this week I am going to a small class to learn about make cake decorations, my youngest daughter is coming with me, so the second cake if for her. Plus if she and her hubby have their own cake, they won't eat too much of ours. I made both cakes a bit smaller than normal, so I had enough mix for 6 muffin size cakes from each batch. Daughter, SIL, hubby and I each enjoyed one with our afternoon drink.
These cakes have been baked much later than normal, but I only brush with brandy once, it won't matter. I am really feeling in the mood for Christmas.
Thank you for all your understanding comments, after a good night's sleep, I am feeling much better, my shoulder has settled back down and I feel good again. I won't pick up my knitting yet, but I am loving my ripple blanket, my 2nd yarn order should arrive on Monday, so once again I have a huge pile of yarn, which every time I look at it I have a huge smile.

Friday 16 November 2018


Using the leftover wool
 Random at it's best
Unimpressive knitting on my shawl
These last 4 rows have been unpicked 6 times along with my attempt on the lace section,  I have rewritten the pattern into a format I can understand, but somehow I have managed to complicate this beyond belief.  So far, the best I have gotten to is pattern row 7. Each time I drop a stitch or get myself so muddled. So it's packed away until I can think straight, because the pattern is right, it's just me.
 Again this morning more leaves, I picked up leaves 3 times yesterday, and there are still loads on the tree. I love this Magnolia tree and normally nothing is a chore.
I am tired, did not sleep too well last night, my ongoing issues with my left shoulder and side are full on, it's nerve damage, so very little can be done, and almost nothing I can take which does not turn me into a zombie. I have been living with it for 6 years, so I can on most days deal with it, but today is going to be a long day, plans are being shelved.
I have got to a point where everything is a chore, the tiredness has been creeping up on me, plus all the brain fodder with the last 4 weeks, I taking today as my selfish mini-meltdown time.
4 weeks ago hubby was being prepared for surgery, today he is up about and walking well, his huge wounds are healing, bruising have almost disappeared, how wonderful are our bodies, he still can't lift or pull, but he is doing loads for himself, and together we do the rest.
On the plus side my 1st wool order has arrived, so I will be doing more to my ripple blanket, I find the ripples relaxing and calming, which is just what I require today. 

Thursday 15 November 2018

Meanwhile outside

The garden is still giving, loads of flowers and berries around the plot, the birds have started eating some of the berries along the back hedge. I am picking up leaves every day, mainly the huge leaves from our Magnolia tree, Tuesday afternoon was so mild, I enjoyed time outside, not alot of work to do. I have planted my birthday bulbs, except the grape hyacinth, which I have given away, I prefer English Bluebells in the garden.
Everything in the greenhouse is OK, my raised bead gives me so much joy, my strawberry babies are looking good, should have great plants next spring.
I noticed my Hyacinth's in my pot are growing again, so fingers crossed for a Christmas show, plus my Amaryllis have shoots, but both look as if only leaves are growing, so I will pick another bulb up, next time our local market is on.
Wednesday I had lunch with a friend, just a normal thing to do, it felt so good, hubby  had a checkup with Doctor in morning, and all is well, he can now stop wearing the awful stockings, he is active enough not to need them.
I am reading more at this time, I have done a small amount on my shawl, and a couple more rows of my ripple blanket, but I am waiting for my wool orders to come, which won't be before the weekend.
Hubby and I pop out most days, only local, but it good for him to be walking, and the weather has turned so mild and sunny for a few days.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Here I go again

This is now the width I require, I used a much bigger hook for my chain, it allowed me to keep it neat and loose, so I am now very pleased with the first row, it's not tight and lays flat to the width I require. Just waiting for my yarn to arrive, on reviewing the amount of yarn required, I have placed a second order, and added the extra cost to my stash list.
I have booked myself on a needle felting course near Oxford, it's something I have wanted to do for ages, I even have items in my stash for this craft, and a nice book for reference, it's shown on my side panel, under things to try. It's not until April next year, but I am excited to be going. The last craft I want to do more, is tatting using a finger shuttle, I was shown how to make lace this way a couple of years ago, but I need to practice more, I again have everything I require.
Hubby is now going out and about more, we try and go to supermarkets when they are less busy or visit the smaller ones. At this time of year it's hard to get out and walk without getting wet, the weekend and last few days are a perfect example of the heavy showers about. He is pottering around the house and garage, which helps keep the boredom at bay. I am keeping an eye on him to ensure he does not lift anything. But it is really nice to see him back to himself, he is also making lunches, just simple things, we keep a stool in the kitchen so he can sit. Anyone who knows me, will understand I am not a domestic goddess in the kitchen, I don't enjoy cooking, I would rather clean and tidy, but it has been fun cooking meals for us both, and once hubby is fit, I hope to cook more often.
This morning I am going to sign class, it will be nice to catch up with everyone, I have a few thank you cards to give out.


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