Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Sunday 30 June 2019

June roundup

Another month where I have spend more than I planned, whilst above shows my spending for June and my half year spend, and below is my intended spend for the year, broke down into different crafts. 
I have blown most of the budget in just 6 months, my target was £1,000. My spend on yarn has used most of the craft budget, gardening is another section I will over spend on. 
I am able to ignore all clothes and shoe shops, I've spent nothing again this month, but yarn and garden centers still call me. I have enough yarn and fabrics to last me months, cardmaking stock is good. So gardening is my weak spot at this time of year, I'm not going to set myself a new budget, I'm lucky this is only a guide, something I do for myself. I have been looking at my stash and trying to decide if I will use everything I own. 

I saw this on the internet and thought it was good enough to share. I have been following this rule for over a year, we have saved loads of money, and if it's not in your home, you don't have to recycle it. Until your eyes are opened, it is so hard to imagine the amount of waste we have, cheap clothes being the worse.
We are doing good with waste, almost no food, any raw veg peelings are going in my wormery, our recycling bin is only ever half full, which is truly pleasing and the main bin is never full, we are starting to look at other ways to make changes.
I take almost nothing to charity shops, we have so very little to pass on, most inside our home will be used and worn, I still have more clothes than I need. I have decided any clothes and shoes will now be given direct to donating bins, not plastic bags collected at the door. Charity shops are good for passing things on, but the really poor still can't afford to buy, so clothes and shoes will be donated direct, it's just another small step.

Did you know July is plastic free month, we will be taking part, I know we will fail, as good as we are, plastic is so entrenched into our lives, so many times we pick up a box to find plastic inside, we order eco products which come in a plastic bag. It will be interesting to see how much we have learnt.

I did see on BBC news for the 1st 4 months of 2019 the UK produced more renewable energy than from other sorces, what great news, after all we are an island, we have a windy climate, just hope we can find a cheaper way to harness the power of the sea.

Friday 28 June 2019

Sunny garden

Hubby was bored, so we popped out to check out the old Wyedale which is now a Dobbies garden center, it's on the other side of Portsmouth, so a small trip. I don't think we will be going back, I don't like the changes they have made, the worse one is the prices, the plants were very expensive and not looked after well. I did get the fuchsia below at half price, all it needs is a good water and planting, it's in soak and I know where it will be planted today. 
 I have loads of different coloured snap dragons, these are in front of the water butt, with my big daises behind.
 Just a bit further down the garden are these, none of which I have planted, in between a fuchsia plant, again I have not planted at this end of the garden, I am waiting to see what colour the flowers are.  
These are beautiful, I did plant them but forgot what they were, it's next to a lily I quartered and replanted.  I don't have many blue plants, so I will look for more bulbs later this year.
Another lily, looking huge in this pot, next year it will be in the ground, I have 4 plants all doing well this year. 
 I purchased a pack of 5 for £2, only 4 has grown, again next year these will go into the garden, but at the back, hubby does not like their smell.
 This looks a muddle, but I love it, this corner was always barren, so I put the square chimney pot here and planted a begonia corn, above is a lobelia in a pot, below is english lavender. 
 I love this box outside our back door, shame neither of the coleus in the back corners are doing well, they are growing but oh so slowly.
Another good book, 2nd I have read by this author.
My garden is slowly filling with colour, I have two dates I would like it looking good, the last weekend in July, we have friends staying from Spain, they love the colours in my garden. Again the last weekend in August, after the bank holiday, we will have family and friends for the two days, and if it's sunny we will be outside for BBQ's.
Yesterday I dug up 2 lupins, they are just hanging in, both have been nibbled to within an inch of their lives, I will dig up 3 coleus today and try and save them. This damp wet periods followed by heat waves is good for the growing plants but also good for the bugs, we have not seen many hedgehogs this year, we have found signs they have visited, but not as much as last year.
I gave the garden a good soak last night, I use tap water only once a week, my water butts are used other times, the fruit are all needing water most days.
My sewing machine has been out for 2 days, but I have not done much, I'm not in a rush to get started, which is a shame, I do love to sew.
Today we have a meeting in town this afternoon, and later we are going out for a meal with friends. Will mummy and daddy will also be home later, we can't wait to see them and hear about their holiday, Devon in the sunshine, lucky things.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

What are you doing?

I have just finished this book, and what a great read, I never saw the ending coming, it was clever and brilliant, up until the last few pages it could of gone a few different routes, but at no point had I picked up on the clues to the real ending. This is one book I am sorry I have finished. 
 I am doing some knitting, but not much, books are calling me. I do love the shades on this sock, this pair is for me, it makes me think of a cottage garden, so green with so many different colours in. 

 I recently used my sewing machine for a household task, the leather on hubby's head rest was marked so I made a cover, it looks neat and has not moved. I will make one for my chair and another for a spare as it will need to be washed at some time. The shape made it difficult and it was hard to make it stay in place. 
I am home alone today, hubby is driving a day trip, and daughter is away, so no chance of anyone popping in, we had facetime with Will, mummy and daddy this morning, it's fantastic we can make video calls, perfect start to the day.
I need to walk to the shops this morning, it's market day, there is not lot I require, so I should not be out long, then I will get my sewing machine out, I have a few tasks and a project for my neighbours daughter. Neither is hard, but I don't have a pattern for either, my mum taught me years ago how to make things without a pattern, how to drape material and shape with pins, I used her method when covering the head rest of the chair.
Once I start I do enjoy working everything out. I really would love to make clothes for myself, but my wardrobe is full and until I wear some of them out, I really do not require any more clothes.
I do fancy knitting something bigger, but can't decide what, I have yarn in my stash, so what ever I do will be using that and not involve purchasing any more.
I pop outside every day in the garden, but so little needs doing, my garden is behind, but it's looking good, I will have more fruit this weekend.
Sign class was fun, our group was again small, loads on holiday, we are still learning the hungover caterpillar, next week is our last class for the summer, after that we meet for coffee each week.

Monday 24 June 2019

Small harvest

My fruits are starting to ripen, I have been picking raspberries for a couple of weeks, the blackcurrants are now ready, these are for hubby as I don't like the taste.
 The gooseberries are not quite ready, I am hoping the birds stay away, again these are for hubby. The blueberries are not quite there, but there are loads on the bushes. 
Cucumbers are doing well, tomatoes are a bit behind.  
 Whilst I was away over the weekend my Bonsai dried out, I did water it before we went away, so I have given it more rainwater and hope it comes back, my big acer has survived a drought before. It's already looking better. 
 These seeds came in the post from Gardeners world, I will use them all next year.
 I read this book over the weekend whilst away, a very different subject for me, I do like her style of writing. 
We spent almost 7 hours in the car on Friday, the traffic on every part of our journey was horrendous, the journey home on Sunday took 4 hours. Wrexham is a town in decline, the centre like so many others had loads of empty shops and almost no major brands, not that I wanted to shop, cheap shops and charity shops were everywhere. We had no desire to walk around, we did plan to go to Chester on Sunday and have another night away, but the weather forecaste was not good, so we headed for home instead. I am glad we went, husband met loads of people, he spend all of Friday evening chatting and catching up with people. We have been to enough of these meetings for me to recognise wives, we tend to sit together watching our husbands enjoy themselves. But we both agreed this would be the last meeting so far from home, he does meet up every October, when they Ride to the Wall.
It's always great to be home, no Will today he is on holiday with mummy and daddy, Later I am picking up Josh and we will meet with his brother Sam and his mum, we will have tea together.
I have been in the garden, did some dead heading and cut back a few overgrown plants. Rather a lot of my plants I put in the garden have gone, completely eaten, there are loads of bugs this year.
It's dull and muggy here, we are waiting for the promised thunder storms, so my plans are to knit, I'm on my second sock and I have another Jodi Picoult book to read.

Thursday 20 June 2019

Catching up

My yarn selection came this morning, it came from layfamilyarn, I love the colours, these small skeins will allow me to use this yarn before making an expensive purchase. 
I got this tiny pot, looks just like a child for my air plant, I have seen these pots on line and love them, such fun. The air plant I have had for ages.
 My string of pearls is growing well, this was a tiny 99p plant, I got the hanging pot last year, this was put together about 5 months ago, I love the way the beads hang against the pot, this lives in my greenhouse. 
I had a great time with my sister over the weekend, on Saturday we popped to a local garden center, it's an arty one with loads of different things for your home and garden, I got the plant below for my nasties bed, popping in this pot I got last week.
 I have been looking for a lamp for my outside table, I wanted something heavy and strong, most decorative ones are light and plastic, I was pleased to find this lamp, made with metal and glass, it reminds me of a miners lamp, hubby loves it. 
I have not read a Barbara Erskine book for ages, this one was good, huge 576 pages, a really good read. 
Saturday evening we stayed in for a curry cooked by hubby, it was fun to relax together, our local gala was also on Saturday, but my sister did not want to attend, preferring to walk around a garden center. Sunday was a day at home, with a relaxing evening, just hubby and I.
Monday Will came to play, it was just him and I most of the day, it was sunny and warm, so we spent most of the day in the garden, most of the issues in the garden only show on hot days, so our recent weather allowed us to be outside.  I did another local book swap, I have loads of books to read, I do read more when next door is on her mission against us.
Tuesday, I went to sign class, it was only 5 of us a small group, but it was fun, I do enjoy this group of ladies. I stayed in the rest of the day reading, it was non stop rain, this year we are having a true English summer.
Wednesday, we had nothing planned, it was a dull morning, after a very wet night, Will and mummy popped in for lunch, he was a cute as ever, we got him another huge toy car from our local secondhand shop. Later again I read and did a bit of knitting on my socks.
Today is a housework day, as tomorrow we are off for a few days away, going to Wrexham, we have never been there, hubby has a church service to attend Saturday morning, along with loads of ex Welsh guards, but we will have Friday afternoon and evening and Sunday morning to sightsee.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Another reused 'pot'

I found this copper coal bucket on facebook, it was not too expensive, but perfect for my hosta's, which this year is being ate by slugs and snails, the copper will stop them getting to my plants, it should look good once the leaves come back. i would have liked a bigger pot for both hostas, but I will see if this works.
Just a selection of photo's from my planted 3 chimney pots, these have all been purchased 2nd hand at different times. I love to plant them with trailing flowers, as the pot is as interesting as the flowers.  These 2 pots have been moved around the garden to find their suitable resting spot.
 This is my small chimney pot, it sits in my back garden, filling a corner where nothing wanted to grow, I love the begonia which tumbles out the top each year. 
 I like to group the different pots together, and I will use anything as a pot. 
I did this post because I was asked how I use chimney pots, I love to play with the planting, trying now to use plants which will return each year, bedding plants can be so expensive. 
Because this soil level is so high, I do not remove the plants over winter. The soil stays reasonable dry through the wettest months, and most of my plants don't damage in the cold. I have a geranium in one pot, which is 4 years old and has been outside each winter, even in the snow. 
Pot's can be harder work and the soil does dry out quicker and therefore requires watering more often, but the positive side is you can grow anything in them, your soil does not matter as you can get any type of compost to suit your planting. 
The above photo's I have used are from previous years, my pots are not in flower yet, they give height to my garden, and can change a dull spot very quickly. These 3 are true chimney pots, there are always second hand ones for sale locally, I love the look and feel of them, but I will use anything as a pot, here is the tall white pot which was used to hold an old toilet brush, now reused, next to a ice cream dish and on the lower shelf is a china sugar pot.

Saturday 15 June 2019

New starts

I love this yarn, Opal is always a good knit, plus the colours here remind me of a summer meadow. I've knitted a short top as these are all for me. 
Thursday we popped to the libary, so I picked up these books, I still have a huge pile at home, but wanted to read authors I love, I have already finished Still me, I could not put it down, a great book as good as the 1st book, and way better than the 2nd book. I'm reading Barbara Erskine next, I have not read any of her books for years. 
Hubby and I spent a great day on Friday at a local spa, just the 2 of us, I got a massage, he had to pass, they don't give masages if you have had an operation in the 12 month previous. We enjoyed a nice lunch, and plenty of rest, as well as using the various things on offer. We sat in a glass roofed section, the sun was really warming, it did us both good.
Thursday we finished the garden with the blue slate around our Magnolia tree, we then popped to town for a couple of things, nothing else came home with us, we did have lunch out.
Today we woke early, have walked to the bakery in the village, and are waiting for my sister and her partner to arrive for the weekend. We have planned a nice meal in tonight, the rest of the time is open to how we feel.

Thursday 13 June 2019


Both pairs of socks completed, both for my sister and both Christmas presents, the pink socks I used yarn left over from another pair of socks I made. I still have another three pairs to make, all for men with size 11 feet, but not this month. I have cast on another pair for me, and I have the yarn for my daughters Christmas socks. 

 I have finished the baby blanket for my hairdresser, I will get some pretty pink ribbon to tie it and some pretty pink socks, I have one more appointment before she leaves in 6 weeks. It is so soft, the Alpaca yarn is so soft, just like silk, I love using it. 

My 21st read this year, what can I say about this book, surprisingly I enjoyed it. 
22nd read of the year, this book was good, set with 5 main people, who have history. This is not the 1st book in the series, whilst I enjoyed the story line, I felt too much time was spent and their back story, it would be annoying if I had read the other books. I felt the back story made the book a much bigger read and most was unnecessary. 
I will post photo's of my new start next time, I enjoy the simplicity of knitting socks, they are quick to finish. I am looking for more crochet to make, I think it's about time I tried a design, followed a pattern, how hard can it be. I have not forgot my loom, I am still reading learning, I really don't want to make a long thin piece of material I can't use, my loom does have limitations, but it's the best I can have for the space I have, hubby won't give up the spare room for a floor loom, but I can dream.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Bang the drum

This was something I did not know, I have been happily accepting paper bags, biodegradable, but now with my cotton produce bags I can reuse them time and again. I do follow 1million women, they show relevant statements.  
Both hubby and I watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on his new program, this time on plastic, it was interesting, in this house he has a willing audience, I was very sadden to see the effects of the waste we send abroad on the local people, humiliating come to mind. If each country had to sort their own waste packing, mainly plastics, huge amounts, then maybe we would stop the plastic at the source, buy things loose using our own reusable bags. I know certain items, meat, dairy have to wrapped for safety.
It's our attitude to flimsy one use plastic, it's everywhere, over the years we have come to expect it, and why not, it keeps items together, protected, once packed it can be shipped and displayed, it's cheap, perfect medium.
The one thing, which we already knew, was why does unpacked produce cost more per pound than the packed, the Tesco lady said it was because the peppers in the case shown was bigger. But we have weighed packed items on the scales, as if the were the loose ones, and every time the price would have been higher.
Plastic is not a bad thing if we use it correctly, my kitchen has loads of containers, which I reuse and they last me years, most in the thicker soft plastic which could be recycled. Gardner's have plastic pots, again being in use for years, making them a useful tool to have.
It's nice to see Hugh banging his drum on plastic, he tackled waste food a while ago, anything to help make more people aware is a good thing. These programmes can only be the start, I do feel it's up to us, people power to get things moved along. We can't change the past, but we can start the change for our future.

Monday 10 June 2019

New beds

My new raised bed is looking good, the Coleus are a bit small, but everything else is doing well. The back left hand corner was dug out last week, but no real damage done. The bugs have been added for Will, he loves them, hubby cut down the metal frame, I think it looks better.
 My sink, which sits next to my Acer, with 3 different grasses and 2 Heuchera, Palace Purple, all new plants for me, this year I am trying different styles. I am hoping the colours will sing out next to my Acer. 
 This plant grows along the fence infront of my greenhouse, the bee's love it, every time I come down this end of the garden I hear them, it's very pleasing. 
 I buy loads of bulbs and seeds, plant them and then forget what I have, I don't know what this is growing here, but it looks interesting. I have added 4 packs of seeds this week, they are a bit late, but fingers crossed some will come up. 
  Cucumbers and tomatoes growing, I also have cut leaf salad, spring onions and radishes.
I purchased another chimney, this one is about three foot high, and I won't plant it, I do like it here infront of my Acer, it cost £20, which was a bargain, I have seen the same ones as much as £80. 
We spent Sunday in the garden, we did not have much to do, hubby sorted a couple small jobs and helped me move a couple of pots, all through the year pots get moved in my garden, ensuring I see the best display as possible. I have decided to purchase another Acer for the back area, it will live in a pot, I'm looking for a acid green one, which will add to the area.
My bonsai acer is doing well, I have added to the soil and purchased a feed for it, I had read loads and know it's all about keeping the roots tiny, which keeps the tree tiny, a balance in staying small and being healthy, I do have the bug and would like another bonsai as well as trying to start one myself from cuttings.
Today is Will's day, we had planned to take him to town on the bus, he loves bus and train journeys, but we already have had heavy (lovely) rain and the sky is dark again, so the trip might not happen.  We have nothing to do today, so it's a play day all day.
I am still crafting, I will do a post soon on all my finishes, and hopefully a new start. I am reading alot, getting through the pile of books I was given, there are a couple I have decided not to read, but I still have 10 books in my pile.


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