Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Tuesday 31 December 2019

Summary of 2019

Our beautiful baby George, 
just a month old. 
2019 has been a mixed year, as the new year started, I was just so pleased hubby was on the mend after his heart operation, it had been a worrying time, but I could see his strength returning.
Spring and summer were all good, we enjoyed our family, home and garden, I always feel the sense of healing when I'm outside getting my hands dirty in the garden, it's a small garden, but I can always find things to do.
August was a poor month, hubby had another operation, 69 years of good health, and then 2 operations in less than 12 months.
Then I burnt my hands and leg, at 1st I was OK, other than the pain, but even now, my leg is just healed and still shows the marks of the burns, I was injured far worse than I imagined.
I have been diagnosed as pre diabetic after an extra eye test discovered an issue, I will have to face this in January.
In November George decided to arrive naturally 11 days early, we are all glad to meet him, at birth weight our smallest grandson. Tinged with sadness, we all knew he was different, after tests it was confirmed he is a Downs Syndrome boy, it will make no difference to any of his family, already he is a huge part of our lives. We need to ensure mummy and daddy gets all the support we can give them, we have already joined support groups, knowledge is the key in the coming months as results to the numerous test arrive.
We have had some lovely holidays this year, spent loads of time with Will, seen our other grandsons, our house is a happy home, and whatever we have to face in the coming year we will face together.

I've turned off comments for this post, Happy New Year.

Sunday 29 December 2019

December spending

I have spent no money on gardening or crafts throughout December, in truth, I have done very little crafting or gardening.

I spent nothing on clothes in December, therefore this year I spent £211.89 on clothes and foot wear, I am very pleased, I still have loads of lovely clothes, all in good condition I can still wear, it does feel good not buy things just because. It's pleasing to see my hubby has slowed down on his shopping for clothes, he does not purchase many clothes, he is prepared to wear the clothes he has, he is not so committed to this as I am, but I do believe every little helps.
My craft spending would have been just a bit less than last year, but I started a new hobby of glass fusion, my garden spend was down by £200, but I did spend alot on yarn. On the whole I am pleased with how I use my crafting monies.
Our Christmas spend has been within budget, we do not do expensive gifts, with 7 grand sons, that would be difficult, neither of us want much, so we keep it small and simple. 

We have kept up with removing one use plastics, we are not perfect, but we try our best, and it does make us feel good, it's not so easy at this time of the year, we are fully signed up to not replacing household items until they break and can't be mended. We again waste no food, ensuring we purchase and freeze the correct sizes of meat and fish ensures we only cook what we can eat, at this time of year we eat loads of frozen veg. We do make veg soup most weeks and use up anything lingering in the fridge, and hubby now makes bread loaves in a smaller size, perfect for our needs. Our fridge is still full, but we have hubbys daughter and family visiting for the weekend, so most of it will be used.

Thursday 26 December 2019

That's it

Christmas is a family time, yesterday we had a house full, daughter, her husband, Will and baby George, my brother Martin, plus Grandpa and Grandma (daughters in laws). We had a brilliant meal cooked by husband, 7 of us tucked around the dinner table, loads of sweet treats to follow.
Will brought his fire station from mummy and daddy and his police truck from santa, so we were under arrest most of the day.
I have been very pleased with the comments from my home made gifts, loads of family had warm toes wearing new socks.
We had a quiet evening, just 3 of us. Today we are eating the huge pile of leftovers, I do love cold turkey. No shopping, no sales, just rest and relax.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Christmas eve.

 This stitching comes out every year, it's well over 10 years old, but sadly I can't remember when I made it, hubby had it framed. I remember I loved stitching it, sadly I have not done much stitching in the past 2 years. 

Will is following in my footsteps and decorated this tree for his room, I forgot to show it before, I got a cheap tree shape and some green acrylic paint, I thought I was being clever and putting the second coat on thick to give it texture. Will did have problems in making the decorations stick, I have suggested we put a coat of clear varnish on top. 
My post have not been very festive this December, mainly because most of Christmas was sorted in November, before the birth of George. The past 4 weeks have been about little boy and baby cuddles, rather than rush everywhere shopping, I have enjoyed lunches with friends and family, we both have had a relaxing run up to Christmas.
We have both enjoyed opening our Advent Calanders, I love all my yarns, and hubby enjoyed his treats.
My brother Martin arrived on Sunday, we both love his company, and Christmas would not be the same without him. We have 8 for Christmas lunch including Will, so today we are doing as much prep as we can, ensuring tomorrow all we need to do is cook, eat and relax.
I hope you day tomorrow will be full of joy, family and laughter, Merry Christmas.

Sunday 22 December 2019

In my hands

I have loved my advent calender, these tiny yarns are beautiful, I have a couple of days left, it has been fun discovering what shades I have each day. 
 I can't wait to knit with these,
so beautiful, I only need a simple garter stitch. 
The big square is 4 times the size of the original ones I made, so I plan to have a mixture of these 2 sizes. Thank you for your comments on my last post, I did consider picking up stitches to save sewing, but I prefer to use one colour at a time, and once all the squares are done, then sew together, I'm not good at random, and would spend too much time deciding which yarn to use next. 
 I am enjoying this book, she does have a potty mouth and swears alot, in a funny context, but makes really good points about modern living. 
 I have been given some gardening magazines, I've not had these before, but I am enjoying them. 
I have finished knitting the socks, I just have to finish the toes off, which will only take a few minutes, I plan to do them later. If I feel crafty over the next few days, I will knit squares, the pattern is in my head, which means a quick simple knit.
Friday and Saturday I gave the house a good clean, in truth it was not that dirty, I even did the top of the kitchen cabinets, in an attempt to stay ahead, so now I'm feeling good,
Today we have a sunny morning, it's not as cold as the breeze has dropped,  we will pop out later for a few things, going to our local Co-op using the vouchers hubby received, we have not spent much cash on food shopping. My brother Martin is driving to us, he is a day later than expected, he had a night out with friends on Friday and decided not to drive on Saturday morning, it's a 3 hours drive if the traffic is kind.

Friday 20 December 2019

New start

 A couple of bloggers have started knitting these squares, 
I have wanted to knit something different
 These are much smaller than I expected,
5cm is about 2 inches.
 I do like the finished look, 
but it's going to be loads of sewing up.
 These are not a for a gift, 
but I'm glad they will be finished before Christmas day
 Not too much left to do.
I am also doing a granny square crochet blanket, which is packed away for a couple of weeks, so I can't take a photo, but I started in this post. I have noticed yarn from different suppliers, whilst all 4 ply ( I don't knit with any other type), should be the same, but some are woven tighter or the different types of yarns and therefore thinner, normally not a problem, because I don't mix yarns. With the crochet squares I find they can come out different sizes, so I make one test square to ensure it's the same size.
I intend only to use the yarn from my advent calender for my knitting, so these should be no issues, I will have to purchase more, I'm not sure what size I want. The squares are much smaller then I expected, I can make 5 squares out of my 10grm ball, I have double checked the instructions and I'm making them correct. I have 29 balls, ( I got extra in the summer), so 29 x 5 is 145, if I stiched them in rows of 12, for 12 rows, it will make a square blanket sized 60cm or 24 inches, I of course could make an oblong. I am also thinking of making a few bigger squares ( same size as 4 stitched together) to give a bit more interest to the blanket.
I was not going to start anything new until Christmas eve, but opened these wnderful yarns each morning is just pure joy, Hedgerow yarns you have captured my heart.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Victoria Park.

I love parks, and this one in the heart of Portsmouth, is a favourite of mine. The main dual carriage runs past one side, and when you look up, the city buildings are everywhere. It's near the bottom of Portsmouth so there are lovely old red brick buildings everywhere, even on a wet winters day, I love it. 

I used the park and ride again to go into Portsmouth, its so much cheaper, and it has lovely big parking spaces. I had lunch out with some more old work friends, we normally eat in a cafe in the corner of the park, but on Tuesday they had a private function, so we walked to the waters edge (The Hard)  and had lunch in a good old fashioned pub, it was wonderful food, loads of laughs and loads of gossip. A perfect way to spend a dull wet afternoon, it was too wet to go to the big shopping area at Gun Wharf Quays, I have nothing I need.
Monday we spent at daughters house looking after Will and George, mummy had a hair appointment, we enjoyed cuddles and loads of laughter.
This afternoon I am meeting eldest daughter for coffee, it will be good to catch up with her. Tomorrow I'm having my hair cut, but before I will add some highlights at home, I have had the colour for ages, once used, I don't think I will get anymore and turn grey over time.

Sunday 15 December 2019


I have finished The Sentence is Death, at one point I almost gave up reading this book, but I stuck with it until the end, I don't think I will look for another book written by Anthony Horowitz, the style of writing was not for me. 
Jojo Moyes always is a good read, and makes my reading total so far at 60 books. 
 I have packed my sewing machine away, and sadly nothing more was done on this bag, it's high on my list of things to finish in January. 
 I'm on my last ball of yarn for this blanket, when it is finished I will ask my daughter to take it, and give it to a friend who had a daughter back in November. I do love the colours, but I won't use it and I don't want it shoved in a drawer. 
 Socks, these are not a gift, but I am hoping I can finished them by 25th, they are for my daughter, I have not said anything to her, so if I don't get them done in time, it does not matter.
 I have been watching loads of video's on nails being decorated, I don't like the nails where they add beads and other stuff, those would defiantly not be my style. I went online and got some strips to edge the different colours, so now I am playing. 
The items above are ongoing projects, not things which have been stuffed into drawers, hiding and shaming my lack of finishes.
Thank you for your comments on my last post, I did enjoy making the denim cushions, it will be a lovely keepsake for my brother Martin, the whole time I was thinking about my brother Mel, I spent most of my younger life looking up to both brothers. There is so much fabric in a pair of jeans, even if the front knee area is worn, the back sections will be good fabric, it does stitch together well.
I'm up early, Will does not sleep in, it's just before 7am and we have loads s of cars and duplo out, it's going to be a long day, so I'm starting with a strong coffee.

Saturday 14 December 2019

Denim cushions

I had to make cushion inners first, I wanted these cushions to be much bigger, full and firm, my brother's new sofa is big. I had an old quilt cover, where the corners had worn, but the cotton was still good, perfect for the inner covers. Here is one by a normal sized cushion. 
 I had already cut the legs from jeans, now I cut 4inch wide strips, the denim is thick, so I did not want tiny widths, which the seams would have made the cushion bulky. I used my cutting wheel, perfect for this task.
 I already knew I would not make them matching, and had decided I would have a panel with the seams going a different way, this would add to the interest. As you can see, there were different shades of blue. 
 I had planned this design, but I did not have a piece long enough to go across the cushion, as I planned, so I stitched this together and then stitched it to the panels. 
 On my sofa, which is really small, they do look good, and are really strong, I backed the cushions with some black velvet, which is firm enough to balance the weight of the front panels. 
I finished the bottom seam by hand, I did think of using a zip, but these are huge and the zips, which would need to be strong are expensive. I can always undo and restitch should they require washing.
It took most of Friday to make these cushions, cutting and remaking, much like a simple quilting, does take time, plus I did not want to rush, I wanted the panels to be equal sizes, which meant stitching slowly and careful.
Hubby was out all day with the car, so it was perfect to finish this task, I even managed to pack away the rest of the denim pieces in my stash in the attic. I am on a tidy trip around the house, packing my yarn stash in my wardrobe upstairs, so the spare room is tidy. I have also sorted my craft area in our office, I still have projects out, but most are stashed away for the next couple of weeks.
George had his footprints done for his 1st Christmas tree decorations, daughter will pick them up next week, his foot print was tiny, he is just 3 weeks old, Will was 10 months when he did his 1st ornament.
I have now finished all the hand made gifts, and most of my presents are wrapped, but in truth we don't get too many gifts, our grandsons always have money, so they can get something they want. I do have to finish my cake, but it's just a case of rolling out icing and covering the cake, I have already made my Santa topper.
Today is sunny and bright, but so very cold, we have few plans, Will is coming after lunch for a sleep over, mummy and daddy are not going out, we just wanted Will to see all our lights in the dark and a sleep over was the best way, well that's my excuse for having him here.

Thursday 12 December 2019

Family time

We went out for a meal with Josh and Sam, both are looking very grown up, these are our two eldest grandsons. 
 Mummy sent photo of Will and George wearing their Christmas outfits, under her Christmas tree, these are our youngest grandsons. 
On Monday we saw all four grandsons, it made it a perfect day for me, so much joy and laughter. These boys are our world, both Sam and Josh now have busy lives and we don't see enough of them. Will came with us to our local bistro for an early lunch, he loves seeing the ladies who work there, mummy brought George in for a cuddle early afternoon. We had tea with Josh and Sam, and then spent a relaxing evening at home together. we do miss seeing our Taunton boys and Jake, they all live so far away, Jake will visit with mummy and daddy over the Christmas period.
Tuesday is sadly was the last meeting for our sign class, we had a party lunch together, it was as always great fun, I will really miss our Tuesdays together. I have been attending for 2 years, it's now up to me not to forget all I have learnt. We have promised to meet for coffee, but sadly we know this will probably fizzle out, I am doing a 2nd level online course, and Shelia has promised to help when I need it.
Wednesday I met daughter and the boys in town at 10, we spent time in a few shops, had morning coffee and then watched Will in soft play. Lunchtime I met with a friend, we worked together a few years ago, we caught up with news over lunch, I watched the cute video of her grandson practising his songs for his Christmas play.
Today, I am going with mummy to have George's foot print made into a tree ornament, we have one from Will's 1st Christmas, it's already very wet and dull, so for the rest of the day I will stay home, I still have sewing to finish.
We have already voted, we feel very strongly to which party wins today, with a fear if the other party wins, again we as a country are very divided, I don't think it's been the best election, and most people are saying they are voting for the party which they think will do the least damage. I do feel our wonderful country is on the brink, I hope we can sort everything out and bring us all together again.

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Dull day, dull post

Most of our Christmas spending is done, we only require food, to help we have saved on our Co-op cards £55.99 and this week hubby got another £50 of Co-op vouchers from his pension providers, it is very handy to get this extra free money each December. For us it means no last minute trips to bigger supermarkets for the short dated items.
With not having to rush around for Christmas, we find we have loads of time to read, plus often in the evenings we turn the TV off, I can't be bothered to watch the rubbish they show, and I really don't like our soaps. 
I am not doing my 12 days of Christmas challenge this year, I take loads to charity shops through out the year, we give to other charities. We have a monthly sum going to MacMillan, we have done since 2011, I am so glad we can still afford to make the donation each month, whilst it's not a huge amount, I know they love these monthly payments to help boost their support, I can never thank them enough for the support we had when we needed it most. We also send presents for the elderly in our local hospital, and give to our local Lions club.
I have watched the last of series 3 of The Crown, I do like the new actors showing the aged royal family, it is really interesting to see things I remember shown in a different way. Can't wait for the next series.
I caught the tail end of a programme on BBC4 last night, showing the history of carols, that's not the title, I will watch it on iplayer, it did look interesting.
Changing the subject, I watched a TV documentary last week, showing the predicament of people not being able to save extra for their retirement, it was very sad, people struggling to live now have no chance of saving, and they highlighted those who rented their property. It was very sobering, and I sat watching thankful we are not facing a poor future, we are not rich, we are not poor, we are not lucky, we did work hard, and did give up things whilst working to allow for our retirement.

Monday 9 December 2019

Santa is here

1st Santa

 2nd Santa

I had a lovely Sunday morning, making Santa's for the Christmas cakes, last year daughter and I did a small course making cake toppers, we both made Rudolf, it was fun. So after a search on Pintrest, I choose this Santa sitting down, the basic shapes are the same as Rudolf, but I have never done a face before. Daughter's cake is now finished, she has a pretty band to go around the side, our cake has it's marzipan cover, I will ice it next weekend.
I finishes reading A gift for dying, M J Arlidge, it was a brilliant book, I could not put it down, I have loved every book by this author.
Strickly was good, we enjoyed Saturday night, and on Sunday we felt the right person left, we can't wait for next weekend, we always have a Strickly party night together on finals night.
I am trying to cheer myself up, the only way I can lift the gloom is to do things and perk myself up, Will and George is due today with mummy, nothing planned, thank you for your comments and understanding, I don't get down often, and it's not easy to sort yourself out. I am trying each day to do one joyful thing, in hope it will lift my spirits.

Saturday 7 December 2019

Life at home

I am loving my yarn from my advent calender, I've opened 7 doors so far, there are a few more balls in my photo, which I already had, all from the Hedgerow yarns. I really love this seller, there was no plastic in either parcels, everything is recyclable, I feel a project coming on in the new year.  
I was busy on Friday and did not get anything I planned done, mummy and daddy came to visit with Will and George, and we popped out for lunch. Will was very excited to see all the Christmas decorations, he loved our Santa hat, George was given his Santa hat, it's the only one tiny enough for him to wear. 
I really enjoyed this book, it's the 1st read by Jane Casey, I will add her to my list of authors. 
Another brilliant book, I loved the storyline, again very different for me, I could not put this book down.
I have loved every book I have read from this author, but this one has started very dark, I'm not giving up on it yet. 
We have a weekend at home, no visitors expected, so I should be able to get things done, we will pop to our local community centre, they have their Christmas fayre today, we do like to support local events as much as we can. 
I'm still not feeling festive, but in truth, I feel a huge fog over me, seeing the boys yesterday helped, but I can't shake myself out of this gloom. Hubby is being lovely and trying his best, I know it's down to how I feel and it's up to me to cheer up. I have a busy week meeting with friends and grandsons Josh and Sam, so maybe that can be my turning point. 

Friday 6 December 2019

More legs

7 pairs of Jeans

 Couple of zips
I have had these jeans for ages, most are good quality, when my older brother Mel lost his battle with cancer years ago, I kept his jeans to make a keepsake for my brother Martin, I have made myself cushions before with old jeans, seen here. My brother Martin has a new sofa, so it's time for me to use the denim and make him 2 large cushions, this will be a Christmas gift from me to him. I can show this here, blogging does not interest him.
Yesterday hubby was sorting our small attic space, he does it every year after we get the Christmas decorations out, I now have a huge space in my fabric stash, not that I plan to purchase any more, I still have more fabric than I can use.
So today the sewing machine is out, I have cut the legs off and will have 28 strips of denim to use, they will be square, with a black velvet back, I hope to have them finished and under my tree by the end of the weekend. As yet I have not decided how I will stitch them together, or even if they will be matching cushions, the design desions will be made as I work with the colours of the denim.

Thursday 5 December 2019

Sleeping or awake.

Just as the last of the leaves fall from our magnolia tree, we get a slightly warmer few days, and buds appear!! look at the beautiful blue sky, looks like summer. 
 Blueberry and blackcurrants bushes are also showing buds.
 Acer tree down by my steps has buds as well
 I do have colour in the garden, mainly from pots
 Raised bed by backdoor is past it's best, but is full of spring bulbs.
Our morning frost is not too bad, it's just air frost, yesterday hubby and I cleaned the outside of the greenhouse, we get alot of muck falling from our neighbours trees, and I want them clean so the sunshine can get through and raise the inside temperature. 
Hubby and I spend some time outside on dry days, the leaves have almost finished, and are easy to hand pick up each day. I watered plants in the greenhouse, just enough to keep them healthy, not enough for the to sit in water and freeze. At this time of the year the garden is not wanting much time, which is good, I don't like being cold, and I hate being cold and wet.
Everything is doing well in the greenhouse, it does catch loads of sunshine, in the summer the Magnolia tree gives it shade, but without the leaves, the sun hits it all through the day. I do have a heater for inside, but I don't use it often, even on snowy days it's still warm enough inside.


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