Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Monday 30 September 2019

September roundup

Not much added to my sewing, just one silk(floss) to finish my fabric for my new bag and a couple of tea towels, no yarn purchased. Garden will always have something I see and like, the total for these items was £92.87 a lower spend month. BUT I have purchased items for glass fusion, this inclused a local workshop, it's always expensive to start a new hobby.

I did spend £14 on a pair or leggings this month, but no new shoes, a total spend so far this year £169.89. I am wearing my slippers, which are looking tatty,  they have been through the washing machine twice already, I will need a new pair soon. Now the season is changing, my sandals are not worn so much, I am starting to wear my warmer clothes, I have lots of home knitted socks.

I have often said here, we don’t waste food, but this month we stayed in a holiday cottage in Wales, they had a little brown food waste bin, which we were asked to use, and now I have to change my views, we don’t waste food, but lots go into the bin, tea/coffee bags, banana skins, seeds from peppers, onion skins, a bit of an eye opener.

Hubby saved a purchase of a new floor lamp early in the month, I use this lamp when sewing, it's an up lighter, and has a powerful bulb. It stopped working, he took it apart, replaced some wire and now its working perfectly again, the lamp us over 20 years old.

We are also updating our camera's on our CCTV, we got it because of the issues from next door, but there has been loads of damage to cars locally, so we have order one new camera and moved one to have a full view of our car, it does look over our nice neighbours front garden, we asked her did she mind, to come in and see what we were covering, but she is happy, it helps protect her home as well.

Our boiler has been playing up again, we had the repair man out twice, 2nd time to fit a new part, we do have a service agreement, so no extra cost for these trips, it's working again now. When we moved in here 10 years ago, we were informed the boiler was a budget model, but as were had fewer radiators than a house, it was thought we would get  a few years out of it, so 10 years later we are not unhappy, just saving for a new one, probably next year.

It's getting cooler, but our house is still lovely and warm, we have not touched the heating button, not even turned it on for an hour as it cools in the evenings, and I don't feel cold. Our new windows and doors are working well, no draughts at all.

Sunday 29 September 2019

Last week in September.

I loved this book, the style of writing, 
the plot, the main character, I could not put it down. 
Another new to me author,
 my 44th book this year and again I enjoyed everything about this book. 
 I have finished the heel, these are looking good. I only have 100grms of this yarn, so I will start weighing my ball, to ensure I have enough to do the 2nd sock. I am begining to like the idea of knitting the toes in a contrast colour. 
 I purchased this chicken in the summer, I thought it would be good to use to store some of my plant sticks and labels, but it was just too big, so Will helped me on Monday to plant it up, it's in the greenhouse for the winter, but will be out in the garden next summer. 
 I potted 2 twisted willow cuttings in hope they might root and grow, I have already posted regarding the twigs I used to prop another plant which rooted, I am hoping they grow, I would like to try and keep them small, Bonsai.
 This sums up the garden this week, luckily without rain at the time of this photo, hubby started cutting the Magnolia tree back, he has done the sides, we hope to do the top soon. We can't do it all at once, the council take away all our garden waste for free, and our bags were full, we will do the top in time for the next collection. 
The weather has been very wet here, I'm not complaining, in fact I welcome the rain, we do live in a dry part of the UK, so for most of the time it's been inside, again I'm not complaining, crafting time. The wind is now stronger, the fence is blowing and looking very twisted, we will have to deal with it once it is completely broken, I would like a brick wall along here.
Monday was fun with Will, we did manage some time outside, but mainly a day inside playing with cars.
Tuesday was sign language class, just 5 people, so a lovely small class, we repeated some of our basic signs, it's always good to go back and remember signs. We went through our new sign story, which most of us knew. Later it was Bake off on TV, hubby and I both love this programme.
Wednesday is market day, we walked to the libary, I always need books to read, we looked at our market but passed on everything.
Thursday, I got the sewing machine out, I am half way through making my bag, I have hit an issue, so I'm taking thinking time, so sort it all out. I also did more sock knitting.
Friday, another wet start, hubby did loads of batch cooking, planning warmer meals, I spent the morning on my compter, and then knitted and did some weaving. Later Graham Norton was back on TV, we both enjoy his show.
Saturday, we had Will for a sleepover, we walked to the park in a dry spell and on to the shops, later I made apple cake and blackberry and apple crumble, which Will loved at tea time. We watched Strickly and had an early night.
Sunday, early start, Will never sleeps past 7am, but he's being good, mummy will collect him later, then we can have a quiet afternoon together.

Saturday 28 September 2019

My mum

Taken at Greatwood camp, my younger sister Lena (short hair) was at camp,
 I think I'm 11 so taken in 1965/66
None of these photo's are new to this blog, I post photo's each July on her birthday, she is a woman who I will never forget and always miss. One of the last posh photo's taken in 1999.
  We grew up in a small village in Somerset, I was the 6th child of 9 children, 6 boys and 3 girls, also in our home was my mum's brother John, so a household of 12. This being the last family photo, taken in 1986, my dad passed away not long after. 
My memories are through the 60's and 70's, I left home in 1973, I married at 18.

My mum was a hard worker, our home was always clean and tidy, food was always provided, some days without meat, but we never went hungry. To this day I can recall mum looking in the larder, often on a Thursday, the day before my dad got paid (payday was weekly), seeing very little and then making a meal out of it. She was a great cook as was so many of our mum's, I watched her add whatever was to hand to create tasty pies and stews. I saw her make batter to dip Spam in to make them bigger and to make a tin go further than it should.
I loved Sunday's, always a roast dinner and a proper tea at 5pm, we loved her cakes and trifles, she always made more than one cake, with so many people to feed, one would never be enough. We always looked forward to Monday left overs, she did so many things with left overs.
My dad spent his time in the garden growing the veg she required, he did nothing in the house, a typical family home in 60's. He only grew one type of flower, daisies, his thoughts were grow to eat. The front garden was mum's place, we always had beautiful flowers, I loved the peonies each spring, the plant is now in my garden. I get my love of gardening from her, she would snip cuttings and watch them grow.
I went to the village school until aged 11 and never thought about my mum's role, she made our lunch at 12 each day, after school she was home waiting for us, I walked to school with my elder brother Martin, later I walked my younger siblings to school with me.
In senior school comments made by teachers, opened my eyes to how good she was, you could see they thought we should be dirty and wild. The school was new so the teachers had no history of any of our families.
They had no spare money, we were not poor, we had a home, food warmth and love, birthdays always there was cake and a present, no parties, just a family tea. Christmas was magical, decorations put up about 10 days before the big day, the house smelt of spices and we had loads of food, mostly home made and gifts.
My mum was able to make our clothes, she knitted all our school jumpers, but she was a brilliant seamstress, I remember my starting senior school, I had a new blazer, but it belonged to my older brother who left school a couple months before. she took it apart and remade it, ensuring the buttons were on the correct side, all sewn by hand and looking the same as everyone else's. Often she would take apart clothes to remake them, everything was used.
We always looked clean and tidy, it was not worth the anger from my mum for us to go out looking scruffy, she was proud of her family. She installed pride in each of us.
She did all the decorating in the house, I can remember watching her wallpaper and paint, and of course making curtains.
I got the love of sewing from her, as a child I would watch her make loose covers for chairs and sofa's, always stitching by hand, she never used a sewing machine, she would drape the fabric, pin and cut, then stitch. I was often give the scraps to make dolls clothes, but quickly made other things for my dolls, each one had a sleeping bag. Clothes was made similar, she would use a dress too small as a template for a larger dress, skirts she would just look at me and cut out material.
I don't think I fully understood my mum until I had children of my own, I had always loved her, she did everything for us, never my best friend, but always there offering words of support or encouragement. She became a truly perfect Nan for my daughters, she had loads of time for them, they both still love and miss her, I often hear, 'I wish my child could have known her'. She passed away in 2005, Josh our oldest grandson had just been born.
Life was not perfect, but she made it as good as it could be, she was not a cuddly mum, she was always busy, but she listened, helped and supported each of us, and it felt as if she was just for you at the time.
She was so strong when my 1st marriage broke down (youngest was a tiny baby at the time) and the divorce which followed, I married young and was the 1st in the family to divorce, she did not understand it, but helped in loads of ways.
I can remember when passing my driving test (1st female in the family to do so), I took her out she was scared and excited, but soon we were making trips everywhere.
We would pick her up for a weekend visit, and she would stay 2 weeks, always over packing and never wanting to leave our happy little family. When we spoke on the phone, I loved she would have conversations with both daughters, who would wait to speak to her even when they were teenagers.
My mum was special to me, she helped create my personality, I became strong because of her, I am told my attitude is the same as hers, which pleases me. Kev my hubby, loved her, she was such fun to be around, she was very old fashioned, and yet so modern in her ways and outlooks, one of her favourite sayings was she was born to early, she would have loved to live in our times, the opportunities we have, the adventures, I never heard her say she regretted her life, she had always wanted a big family, but then she always looked forward.
I could go on forever, remembering her, she did have a temper, and when she was angry we kept out of the way, as children do, it never lasted long. She disciplined us all, even my brothers, at what ever age we were, we all always respected her word.
Can you tell me about your amazing mum. 

Friday 27 September 2019

Making a bag

I have cut out most of the bits for my new bag, I put interfacing on my stitching, this now feels firm, I have also half sewn the black cotton backing on. 
The outer front, back and bottom I have made with black fake leather, with spotty material sides, I like the idea it can be waterproof. 
 Inside is lined with black cotton, but I have used spotty material for pockets. The back pocket is big enough for my mobile phone. 
 I have a full size pocket in the middle of the bag, it will be useful to keep things tidy, with a zip closure. 
 My stitched flap is placed on the leather before stitching up, it looks good. 
I had issues with how to attach the flap to the back of the bag, I did not want to see any stitching along the edge. Plus I needed to purchase a magnet closure for the flap and a buckle for the strap, I could not get either from our local shop.
The black fake leather, black cotton and the spotty material I had in my stash, so this is not costing much to make. I will pop to hobbycraft soon to purchase items to finish this bag.
I left my small craft table up, I am going to attach my loom and finish the scarf I started, my aim is to leave it out and do a bit each day until it's finished, plus knit the pair of socks I started last week.
I have read loads on glass fusion, and on Sunday I aim to have a go with my microwave kiln, I can only make small items, which is good, I have a few designs in my head.
With all the rain, I am reading some fantastic books, and catching up on recorded TV.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Glass fusion

I love glass, stained glass, anything with the sun reflecting through, but I really like glass fusion, it has a softer to look it.  I have been wanted to work with glass for years, but the cost of a kiln has always put me off, they start at about £650.  
BUT I found a small 'kiln' which can be used in a microwave, to make small pieces, so after alot of reading, and discussing it with hubby, I have purchased this kit, it will work in our microwave. It was purchased from Amazon. It will take a four inch square piece of glass, which is coaster size. 
 To give myself a chance of making nice items, I also purchased this starter kit, I got it off ebay. I have done glass fusion on a crafting holiday, so it's not completely new to me, I have also done a small amount of stain glass work. 
On Monday evening I spent 2 hours on a small course making a fused glass coaster, these should look like poppies once fired. I have two colourless pieces of glass one on the top and bottom. This will be fully fired and will come out flat. The longer piece is similar to mine after it has been fired.
 This one is just an abstract, I am hoping a loop will be added at the top so I can hang it in my office window, the white tiny bits will melt together to fill the strange shapes. I have asked for this to be half fired, so the finished piece will not be smooth or flat on top, the colours are different thickness and I hope will add to the design. 
I think I am going to be hooked on this, it was really fun to do, I was given loads of great tips, Rachel was polite about my microwave kiln, explaining the limitations, which I was aware of, but she thought I would get some great pieces. I have to wait 2 weeks before I can collect the fired items, she needs to ensure her large kiln is full to make it cost effective. The only thing I will purchase is a much better glass cutter, I tried the basic one but found it hard to use. 
I was very lucky, I was the only person there, having a class one on one was quicker, some things we discusses quickly as I already had the knowledge. Rachel is doing some Christmas classes, so I will book another. 

Monday 23 September 2019

Before the rain

This back section is a disappointment, the raised bed was made for cut flowers, but the bed is always dry and never produced many flowers. 
We have decided to change this area, I have a few plans, which involves hubby doing loads of work. I have cleared this area, and will start using the earth from the raised garden in the bottom of pots, I need to move half of the soil. My one gooseberry plant is in smaller pot, it will stay in this area, safe from little hands, the bigger pot has a rhubarb crown in. 
My citrus plants are back inside my greenhouse until next summer, in front on the floor is my lemon grass. 
My Pomegranate and Cape Gooseberry are also in the greenhouse. 
My half price begonia has done well, I took these cutting from the main plant, popped them into water until they rooted, one for me and one for my sister.  I love free plants, the pots were purchased from Asda £5.50 for both, they are storage pots, but I love them as plant pots, once these are growing strong, I will take mine inside.  
My original olive looking brilliant, it will stay in the greenhouse over winter, I will try and sell it next spring, it's a good size. 
At the start of the summer I cut a few of the lower branches from my twisted willow, and used them to support my sweetpeas, last weekend I cut back the sweetpeas, to my delight 3 of the twigs had rooted, they were added to our local Facebook, and was collected on Sunday to be planted in a local garden. 
A Strickly cast on, these are for a size 11 shoe, just a simple pattern for easy knitting, these are the last pair for a Christmas gift, I love the shades of blue, simple knitting.
I spent loads of time in the garden on Saturday, I planted all my bulbs with the help of Will. Whilst Will had his afternoon nap, I sorted the back section, and moved things to the greenhouse. I also placed out pots with spring bulbs in, I still have loads of items to pop in my shed, but I'm leaving them out for a while longer.
I cleared the tomato and cucumber plants, and cut back overgrown plants along the fence from nextdoor. I have been pleased with my garden this summer,  fewer gaps in the flower beds, and just 2 spots in my herb garden. My main role for now is picking up leaves, we get loads of small leaves from next door and then the Magnolia leaves which are huge will fall.
Sunday was a day inside, I had planned to use my sewing machine, but hubby was home all day, his motorbike ride cancelled due to the wet weather. I finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird, I enjoyed the story line, but I am not a huge fan of American literature, but I'm glad to read a classic.
I am happy with the rain, everywhere is looking good, and I was not wanting a dry end to the growing season, the water will help the plants gather strength as they die back.
Will is due this morning, if it stays dry, I have my last 5 pots by the side of the house to replant.

Sunday 22 September 2019

It's a finish

I started stitching these french knots in July, you can find my post here, so it has taken about 2 months, which I feel is quick, I enjoyed stitching each dot, they were small enough to finish each one quickly, and I just loved the colours.
This is an important view, my mum always said the back was always as important as the front, loads of neat little dots. I drew around one of our huge dinner plates and have ensured all the raised stitching is on the inside of the circle, this was always going to be made into a top flap for closing my bag, just like a satchel. Now to choose the second fabric to go with this, something plain and simple to show off the dots, I have decided how to make it up.
I had planned to get this all made up by now, but a little visitor changed plans, mummy and Will popped in on Friday for a quick visit, but Will wanted to stay, so not much was done. Saturday we got a message from mummy, Will wants to come and play, please will you have him, we can then build all the nursery furniture for the new baby, so another day when little was done. Both visits were spent in the garden, Will loves to be outside, so my tiny plot is looking tidy and bulbs were planted, but the sewing machine was packed away.

Friday 20 September 2019


The last colour required, I had to purchase another skein, I have 6 dots left to do, and then it gets exciting as I sew it into a special bag for me to use. 
 This is a tea towel, a pack of 3, I have 2 identical hen towels, they have been added to my stash list, and I have popped them away for now. 3rd towel has been put into kitchen. 
I may have purchased items for a new hobby, as with new hobbies it's always expensive to start with, I am waiting for a couple of parcels to arrive, then I can play. It's new for me, but something I love, I am busy on youtube  as much I can be, learning new skills.
I have had my sewing machine out, sewing badges on hubby's leather waistcoat, soon it will be time for him to ride to the wall (RTTW), with thousands of other bikers to raise money for charities. I have a few other things to do, so I will keep my machine out.
It's another cool sunny morning here, will have some time in the garden, I have to plant the bulbs I have recently purchased and sort the pots by my entrance, I want the eucalyptus to be settled into the pots before the weather changes. I will do a few things in the greenhouse, making space for the tender plants to go back in for the cooler months.

Thursday 19 September 2019


I could not walk past this, I have read it's almost impossible to get the pineapple to mature, but if the plant has babies you can nurture them into producing fruits, this plant has 4 babies, so I'm up for a challenge. It will live on my desk, it's a sunny warm spot all year round. 
These bulbs were half price at Homebargains, £1.49 per pack, I will plant the white Alliums in two spots in the garden, I have wanted white Alliums in the garden, the crocus, I will pop into the pots by our main entrance.  
We visited a different garden center, looking for plants to go by our main entrance, the 2 eucalyptus at the back came home with us, after chatting to the gardeners, these are hardy and do not drop their leaves, the pots are a perfect place for them, and if each year I trim them they will stay small, the bonus at £14.99 each, not too expensive. The 2 plants in the front were half price at £2.49 each, it's worth a try to see if they come back next year. 
 I thought it would be nice to have another hanging plant, this maidenhair vine (Muehlenbecia Complexa) is for outside, but I aim to take cuttings and make more plants. Grace was also checking out my purchases. 
I purchased The Testaments, Margaret Atwood, the sequel to the handmaids tale, it was half price at £10 in Asda, our library had a huge list of people wanting to read it, so I would not get it for ages. I really enjoyed this book, very different story than the TV storyline. I am now reading To kill a mockingbird.
This week we went shopping, after our holiday our fridge was empty, so we popped to Asda, we were low on toilet rolls, and I do love the Asda range Shades. We decided to do a big shop and ensure we have loads of store cupboard items, our freezers are still full with meats. We also went to Homebargains, we now have enough to last us into the new year, so if there are any issues in early November due to Brexit (if it happens) we are sorted. I also got the dried fruit and other ingredients for my Christmas cakes.
I wanted to check out leggings for the cooler season and Asda had a full range there, I have loads of navy tops and I had been looking for navy leggings for ages, at £14 they were a great price and thick enough to keep me warm.
We spent some time at a different garden center about 40mins drive from home, it has a good reputation for decent plants, each one we purchased was UK grown, something I am hoping to stick with. It's part of a huge house and grounds, we will go again, but taking our cameras with us and spending time walking around, neither of us will be interested in the house and it's interior.
I am loving the hot sunny days, and not bothered by the cooler mornings and evenings, we have no need to have to heating on, the house is much warmer due the triple glazing we had done this year.
I am crafting in the evenings as well as reading.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Green fingers

These went on holiday with us and came back again, the lillies and roses are gone, but the rest is still looking good. I think they will last another week. 
 This Orchid has 5 blooms now and still more to come, these will last for weeks into months. It's always a bonus when blooms come back. 
 My tiny succulent baby is growing, I popped it into the pot for the bathroom, removing the mother plant who was getting too big. I can't wait for it to get bigger. 
 Mum plant is in this marble pot, I picked up cheap in a sale, I love the complete look and the plant has settled and thriving, now living in the greenhouse.
 These string of pearls are on my desk, by a sunny window, and they have grown whilst we were away. I can't wait to see loads of lovely pearls hanging down.  
 My tiny bud is now forming a flower, this sits beside my string of pearls on my desk. 
 In the greenhouse, this begonia I picked up reduced from our local market, is thriving, I won't pop it outside this year, it can stay behind glass until next spring. 
 I must find out what this succulent is called , it will need repotting soon, it's lovely.
 I repotted these before we went away, all are looking good, I will display them in the back of the greenhouse, safe from little hands. 
My new plant, Echeveria Peacock, I have been thinking of making a huge pot for succulents, and this will be the center plant, as yet I do not have a pot, I know what I would like, I can see the design in my head. 
All the laundry is clean, just a huge pile of ironing to do, but I can spread it over a few days, the house is dusty but clean, I will sort it later this week. With the weather fore caste this week being so good, I am not planning to be inside much, whilst the sun shines I am outside.
September is a special month, cool mornings, dark evenings and sunny days, I will accept any bonus sunny days we get. I don't have much to do in our garden, deadheading is the main task, most of the bare patches were fulled this summer. I have plenty of spring bulbs planted, so I am not looking to add anything, unless I see something special. We have one spot in the garden which is not doing well, I have spoken to hubby and a plan is forming, we will have a couple of days work, but it does not have to be done yet.
I will plan one day to clean my greenhouse, but it needs to be a cooler day, I have a few pots to place inside before the winter weather comes.
This morning I'm off to sign class, it's the first one since July, it will be nice to all get together again.


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