Poppy Patchwork


My little bit of this big World

Friday, 9 April 2021

My week

We had our coffee get together on Tuesday in our garden, with extra blankets, it was really cold, but we stayed warm and chatted for ages, for once it was pleasing to have so many smaller lap blankets. We did have some snow in the afternoon, it was bitterly cold in the afternoon and overnight. 
Wednesday was again really cold, so I cleaned our bedroom and bathroom, hubby had changed the bedding the day before, nothing like housework to warm you up. Hubby was out for a couple of hours playing Petanque, he is so pleased they can meet again. Rest of the day was spent stitching with Grace my cat on my lap, not easy but we manage. 
Thursday another cold start, are we going back into winter, I spent time in my greenhouse, I went to our local shop and got plants for my garden, they are small so I have potted them on, I will plant then in a few weeks when they are larger, I also started more cornflower and poppy seeds, the last lot dried on the hot days we had. I am behind with loads of things, they will catch up once the warmer weather is here.

Today it's sunny and cold, should stay dry most of the day, I am going to water some of my outside pots, and give everything a good drink in the greenhouse, normally I would water in late afternoon, but I will water this morning, so the pots do not have water sitting in them overnight. 

It's been a bit of a nothing week, having my big sewing project has helped pass so much spare time, I have enjoyed being out in the greenhouse, normally at this time of year I would be planning my planting, but it's far too cold, everything will be later this spring. My mum would never sort her bedding plants until late May, it's a rule I try and follow. 

We both have a hair cut booked for Monday morning, I have used the same lady for years, she cuts my very straight hair just how I like it, for the last couple of years she pops to our house, she left the salon after the birth of her 1st baby, and choose a few customers to offer her services, thank goodness I was one of them. Hubby is having his hair cut as well, he normally goes to the local barber, but he is fully booked. 

Hubby has his 2nd jab booked, mine should be early next month, I had the Astra Zeneca, and will be happy to have the 2nd injection. Slowly we are thinking of our freedom, but I don't think I want to be anywhere with huge crowds, I have no desire to pop to any of the non essential shops once they open, life to start with is not going to change much for us. I am looking forward to my brother visiting, it's been over a year since we saw him last, he will finally get to see his daughter and her family, who live local to us. 

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Corner to corner

Progress is still good, I have so much going on in my head, thinking and rethinking this, I'm surprised I ever get to sleep at night. Some would say I am over thinking, but I don't want to do any part of this and then regret as a better solution comes to light, unpicking anything other than a tiny spot is out of the question. 
This design is a fully stitched patchwork, I was a bit scared to pop it next to the lace, in my mind it should work and luckily on the canvas it does. These also add different shades of colour again, I have tried to use some of the shades already stitched on here, I think this middle section is now linking to the lower section. 
I have been thinking about the bottom, once I popped this on the bigger frames I realised I did not have as much room in the lower section, so I carefully measured, stitched and double checked the lower levels. This is another new to here design, it is one of my own designs from 2010, I will be using both of these designs in some form. These red squares are stitching up bigger than expected, the original was stitched on 32 cwt, this is on 28cwt. The smaller cushion design I want to use some of it in this area, if I can get it to fit. 
I had always planned another patchwork square in this corner, with more lace sections above, I'm not sure if I can add a 4th square, it's a case of stitch and see. I have added another of these flowers, which I am dotting around the design, all in bright colours. 

Everything is as I want, I do need to finish the left hand side, but I need to stich designs on the lower level to see how much of the 3rd box I will have showing. I have loads of unfinished sections, I find doing the outlines of many of the pieces helps me feel the balance of the design. 

I do have another design to fit in, but it's a small patchwork, so I am hoping to have bits dotted around, but if they don't fit, then I am happy to leave them out, I need to stitch more of the bigger sections, before deciding. 

Monday, 5 April 2021

Easter weekend

I only have 4 books from the library this month, I left a couple behind as I knew I would not read them, I did not read any of last months, out of 6, 2 I had read before, 2 were authors I don't like and the other 2 I started and did not like. I hope these will be better for me. Its the first month I have had failed choices from them. 
This Orchid was purchase at the end of January, and it still looks great, I had a few daffodils being battered by the wind, so they are now adding inside colour, perfect for Easter weekend.
Sunday we had an egg hunt for Will, which he loved, just small hollow eggs an a small packet of white buttons for George, this book is a bit old for him, he is loving the stickers. 
We had a roast turkey dinner, followed by this wonderful desert, daughter got for us, perfect sugar rush for playing outside in the sunshine. 
 I made 2 quiche, one without cheese, hubby and I are eating soup less often, and these are healthy and uses loads of odd bits from the fridge. 



 Normally, (Oh how I have come to hate that word), my brother would be here for Easter, it's another family time he is missing, he does get to see our sister, so he is not totally alone, but we do miss him.
 Saturday was an early slow start day, we had George on a sleepover, he woke just after 7am and has a cold and has been waking in the night, he woke twice in the night, we were able to help out so mum and dad could get a good night's sleep. Later it was a quiet lazy afternoon and evening. 

It was fun to be together in our bubble on Sunday, we used the small turkey we purchased just before Christmas, plenty enough for a family meal, daughter provided the desert, made locally by our afternoon tea lady. Later a lovely lazy evening, it had been a beautiful warm sunny day, so much better having both boys outside playing. We had a glass of red wine, 1st in weeks, a nice treat, I won't moan on Tuesday when I haven't lost any weight. 

Today we have nothing planned, just the 2 of us if it's nice this afternoon we will go for a walk, if not more sewing time for me, at the moment it is cloudy, dull and windy, looks cold outside.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Potty time

My bleeding heart is now outside, it's on our big table, it is looking very healthy, I love these tiny white blooms. If the weather gets really chilly again, I will pop it back in the greenhouse. 
This is the trio of Acers I purchased last year, I think only 2 have survived, but that's OK, it is thriving in this bigger pot. My big Acer, which I have had for over 10 years, is in full bud, ready to burst into beautiful red leaves. 
I have re-potted both my Lime and Orange plants, they did not do so well this winter, but their roots were pot bound, not they should thrive, along with the Lemon tree, these are still inside the greenhouse. I will start feeding them now. 
I still have pots on my metal table, waiting for blooms, can you see the tiny mice, hubby got them for me as a gift, for no reason, other than he saw them and thought of me. 
Spring pots around the garden and the raised bed outside out back door, I protect the tubs with the primroses in as the squirrels dig in them, they live in a shady spot under the fence by the greenhouse.. 
I popped some spring bulbs which has finished blooming into the brown pot at the bottom of the side garden, in hope I can get colour most of the year. I'm hoping this section will look good this year, I have planted loads here, including a few yellow begonia corns.
Sadly no buds on our Magnolia tree this spring, it did require the huge cut back last year, there are buds showing, but they are for green growth. Hopefully we will have a late bloom. 

I have so many pots around my garden, all my fruit are grown in pots, I get better results with spring bulbs in pots, they rot in our heavy clay soil. The greenhouse is full of nasties in clay pots, I have very few plastic pots.  Pots can be hard work in dry spells, but I have time to be able to water, most of the bigger pots have a permanent place, just a few are move in cooler months.  

The past few days of warmer weather has seen us outside again, we popped the canopy on our pergola, it's nice to find shade, we had friends visit on Tuesday and we sat outside chatting for ages, normal feels so good. Wednesday was cloudy, but Will, George played outside for hours, we sat with mummy watching them, it does feel good to get outside and of course wear my sandals. I did pop to Lidl on Thursday and then most of day home alone, hubby was out on his motorbike. Just looking forward to this long weekend (not that we have much difference as neither of us work).

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

March roundup


I purchased my succulent's and some late summer flowering bulbs, and another bag of grit and compost. I got a couple nice tea towels, useful for sewing, no wool or other crafting supplies this month. A more normal spend this month, but spring always brings cost. 

One household cost, with our lovely neighbour we have had gates put across our shared drive, big wooden ones, which were hand built on site, they fit perfectly and look good, we shared the cost and now the back of our homes are secure. 

Our waste is brilliant, we are now looking at everything, and when packaging either plastic or carboard, comes into the house we are now looking to see how we can use it again. No food waste at all, this is really pleasing as food waste has loads of different cost, the peeling of our veg feed the worms who give me compost, not is huge amounts, and the bonus of pleasing Will every time we look at the worms. 

I have learnt a new term this month Flexitarians, we decide not to eat meat every day, so we do come under this term, but we do not follow any diets. 

My be kind this month was another simple thing, I've sold my bike, the roads are just too busy for me to feel comfortable, I've had a couple too close for me rides, a lovely young lady purchased my bike, it was more than she intended to spend, but the bike was much better than she hoped. So to help I gave her my helmet, gloves, rain wear and puncture kit, saving her a fortune. 

We have started walking more each day, my steps are still lower than I like but that's due to it being cold and wet often, next month we hope to get closer to the levels we were walking last year. We have stopped snacking, my only treat is a bag of lemon sherbets, which have to last, we did lose a small amount of weight, so everything going in the correct direction. Being out in the garden helps as I don't sit for long, I can always see something to do, all the bending, lifting and stretching should help. 

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

My space

I was working in my greenhouse this week and noticed one of my Amaryllis bulbs has a new shoot, I am sure it's the bulb I purchased last year with the white flowers, I am watching with interest to see if another flower grows.
My side of our desk, 
Always with plants, and at this time of year, a seed tray. 

My clutter corner, here things have to be useful or beautiful, the drawers below are so handy, I do like things to look neat, but I love this space.
I adore my noticeboard, it's full of memories, everything on it has a story, one item is from 70's before I had children.


Every morning I sit at my desk after breakfast with a huge mug of fresh coffee, I catch up with my blogs, and emails, and look online if I need to, these days I am also doing a few pages of my book as well. Our desk is a kitchen worktop placed along the window wall, I use the left hand side hubby has the right, this wall has a huge window, so we are flooded with light and the radiator sits below the desk, so it's warm as well. It's a perfect place to start my day, I worked in offices most of my life, so it's a natural place for me to be. 
Having a room as an office for us is brilliant use of space, we both still have desktop computers, I used a laptop for years in work and still prefer the desktop, with wireless keyboard and mouse. So many plans have been started here, for our home, garden and craft, these days the internet makes it so easy to follow through with plans, so many places to look for everything you require. I keep most of my craft items in here, I don't have as much anymore, my yarn and fabrics are stored elsewhere, I even have a drawer marked children, which Will loves, he finds pencils, crayons and his own note book with lots of other fun stuff. I do like to have things so on creative days, I can play and create without having to purchase stuff, it does mean I often compromise, which in it's self can be creative. 

I do have another my space next to my chair in our sitting room, I don't keep too much there, my tidy gene won't let me, just a wicker shopping basket and a few of my current projects. 

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Next bit

I am now using my frame on it biggest size, the Q snaps work so well now I have stopped the sides slipping (thanks again Maggie)
I adore these hearts and I'm so pleased I stitched them here. 
Again this centre design is my favourite,
 I love each lacy design, each a work of art. 
My ORT jar (old raggy threads), I have been using this large Yankie candle jar for years, these threads make soft stuffing for small items, I joined many years ago with another blogger's monthly show and tell with our ORT jars, I'm not a part of it anymore, but the habit stayed with me.
My thought's are now with the lower section, I have another 4 designs to mash together, two I had already used together on a project, in my mind I thought I had more room at the bottom, so I am rethinking the 'design'. I call this my 6 pattern design, but I will have 8 designs on here, I think it's going to be a stitch and see, but that's how I have got so far already. 

I am having less stitching time as I start to do more, I love my stitching, but I can't hide behind my threads and work. Already we have a plan for a friend and her husband to come over for coffee and cake outside, it will be his birthday, a big one he has just retired. I will meet with my neighbour across the road in her garden, keeping our distance, it will be great to catch up together. It feels so good to be making plans again. 

Friday, 26 March 2021

Doing more

My 15th read this year, and another lovely story, I found this one really sad, but in a content way, a life story of love lost, it is the sequel to The Unlikely  Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and to enjoy the book to it's best I feel you need to read Harold Fry's story first.
We popped to our local huge Tesco for the first time in a year, we could not get a delivery slot and we needed coffee, they had a special offer on, I picked up these 2 tea towels, not normally a design I would choose, but the shade of green is beautiful, these are in my stash box.
I have been given this Peony for our garden, it was given to a friend as a birthday gift, she does not have space in her garden and doesn't like growing in pots. I have already 2 different shades, so this should go well. 

I am having a really good week, we have been out twice, to Tesco for shopping and back to B&Q for a couple of pots for my garden, hubby also required some stuff. So we have both had more to do outside in the sunshine. We have no plans to go out again, we ensured we got everything we needed in each shop. 

Tuesday I popped to daughters house to play with Will and George, she had a midwife appointment and no way could take both boys, it was fun, hubby stayed home as he had a parcel coming. 
Wednesday daughter came with Will and George, Will now has some lovely army toys here, which he loves, we did get outside but not for long, it is getting cooler again. 
Thursday was another lazy day at home, time in the garden, sewing reading, I do love this slower pace of life, having time to sit together. Today is a repeat day, nothing planed, staying at home, maybe a walk later, the house is clean, not much laundry so no 'work' as such to do. 

I am now doing more things, I have been creating my blog book, as yet I have not finished 2019, normally it would be ready for the huge discounts each November, but last year with the worry of everything and the books systems being upgraded, I could not face doing anything. Now I am getting to grips with the new system and hope to have both 2019 and 2020 ready in November. I did say I was going to stop publishing but daughter wants my books and I felt I should include the baby years for George and bump due this year. 
After the past year, I am trying now to be more upbeat, I am used to wearing my mask, keeping distance from everybody, washing hands when we get home, leaving things coming into the house a few days before using them. I need to find head space to allow myself to enjoy life away from our home, I am finding it far to easy to find reasons to stay put. I don't intend to break rules, but I do hope to see friends and family often, I've have said many times, to thrive we need interaction with other people. 

 

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Almost half way

I am still fully in love with this stitching, 
I decided to add another box on this side, I did not want the side designs to finish at the same level, the box I am stitching was full of design, but I want these to be less cluttered, so I am winging it.
The design on this side uses paler colours, but I decided to have fun, using colours for the 2nd time, again I have left off detail as I don't want it too cluttered, the hearts are finished. 
My next focus is filling this central area, I do love to stitch these lacy designs, each one is a work of art. 
 I have a Spanish sampler to stitch next, I stitched it in 2009, it should sit well as the next design, I will stitch it in the design colours in full, I think a complete design will work. 

Soon I will pop this onto my bigger stitching frame, I don't want to wind my work back around the frame, I will only have the lower half to stitch so it should work. 

Monday, 22 March 2021

With sunshine....

Comes motivation to get things done, we have been outside again most days, this little raised bed is looking good, full of bulbs from a birthday gift a few years ago. 
I loves these little folk, there are Grancha and his pet mouse, nan and grandad T with their hedgehog, these are just outside our back door, greeting us every time we come out. 
I pulled everything away from the wall a couple of weeks ago as the wall was wet, it has dried out, so I pulled everything out and gave my shed a good clean, hubby will spray the outside as soon as the warmer weather arrives. 
The greenhouse is very tidy, and full, the staging on the right is full of plants which need to be outside once again when it's warmer. My nasties on the left are all doing well. 

Plenty of colour and new shoots in pots around the decking, just where we can see them from the house, I have also popped out my solar lights. 
Seating area ready for when we can gather in the garden again, already hubby and I have sat outside for our morning or afternoon drink, we have loads of birdsong around us, this spring feels very special. 
Money saving, I have loads of these types of lights, the solar panels had failed, so I went online to purchase replacements, why are they so expensive, almost the cost of purchasing a whole new unit, whilst walking around shop, I saw these units, sold on a thin metal pole, I removed the metal pole, popped them into the top of the pot, a bit small, but it works and much cheaper. The rain can get into the jar, but there is a hole at the bottom for it to drain out.
I keep saying it, but being outside is so healing, we always have loads of birdsong when we are outside, and the feeders are always busy, my new bird bath is very popular, seen here, I ensure the water is fresh along will filling the water chain, using rainwater. I have popped all my birds along the shelf above the side garden, it's looking very colourful, I also popped a big pot in the space where the worms had been, I have some trailing begonias to plant, should make the end of the garden look much better, I only had to purchase the corns, everything else I had.
We have put the wind chimes and gong back out, I love to hear them, on a sunny day it adds to the whole sounds of outside living. Roll on summer, we are ready for you. 

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Outside again.

Firstly inside, I got a new pot for this plant, it does look like a brain, so a perfect match, got it from the kitchen section. 

This is a white bleeding heart, Dicentra Spectabilis,  I love the tiny heart shaped flowers, I've had the plant years, it did not thrive in the garden, so I potted it up, growing now in greenhouse until the warmer weather. My Amaryllis are here to reuse the bulbs later this year. 
I got this bronze 'pot' last year, I love the colour, its really heavy and I love the handle, I planted daisies in it, again its over wintered in the greenhouse, won't be long before buds start to appear. 
After a boring few weeks at home, we have been out more this week, I went shopping at Lidl's on Monday, just a normal food shopping trip. Wednesday we decided to go to a garden center, hubby wanted a new plant for his front garden, I did not buy any plants at all (I know shock horror am I loosing it), the selection was not so good, looked as if they had a successful weekend. I did get a new hedgehog ornament for the garden and my new pot shown above.
Friday we had to pop out to Pets at home for cat food, our girls are very fussy on what they eat, we only purchase their food in cans, as they recycle better,  and just certain brands of fishy flavours, we had a delivery of cat food last week, which was taken next door by carrier, so we are unlikely to see it, hubby has already requested and received a full refund. 

Having so much dry weather has meant we have more time outside, I planted my sweet pea plants in the raised bed, I was able to dig a hole big enough for the pot size, so I could plant without damaging the roots, these were seeds from last autumn, I just hope they grow. My rhubarb in the big pot did not survive, so I have abandoned any hope of growing it and filled the tub with bulbs, which should pop up throughout the year, I have a dahlia to go in the middle.
I have a few plants in the greenhouse which are getting a good start for this growing season, and 4 trays of seeds, I'm not growing too many bedding plants, I think I will just but the few plants I need. I find it really difficult at this time of year, the garden is so promising, but it's just a few weeks too early to do much.

Friday I spent a couple of hours outside, we removed the covers off our wooden furniture, I cleaned the shed and greenhouse, gave both a good sweep out, now we are summer ready, just hoping it's closer, the bird song was wonderful, it's so healing to be outside.  

It has been good to get out, I have become lazy, I don't want to do much, I am happy sat stitching, but I need exercise, so with the drier weather, we are making more of an effort. 

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Stitching update.

 My stitching is growing at a fast pace, due mainly to having very little else to do, and my huge enjoyment from this growing design. I have now stitched a quarter of this, I am working on the middle section, lace designs tumbling down, I am not placing these as in the design, I am dotting them where I like, in hope I don't muck it all up.

I added the Rovaris heart designs, 1st stitched in 2014, I am only adding the 4 smaller hearts, in the red to help balance the colours, these are just so pretty, I have made other Rovaris designs.

I am using this motif around my design, Sewing it in many different colours, just a bit of extra fun and hope it ties the whole project together. 

Most of the time my world is full of craft, I love making items, and because I stitch so quickly, I make bigger designs, I have given loads of the finished items away, my joy is the stitching, I don't have a need to see my work once finished. For a few years I stitched for a designer, her new designs, the patterns were sent for free, I chose all my own materials and colours and once finished I sent her photo's for her web site, 3 of her designs can be seen here. I stopped as her designs were all similar and it was no longer fun to stitch. 

I love sewing, knitting and crochet, they are all very creative crafts, I often change colours on designs, and have been know to mix patterns to get the look I like. I do keep a small stash of yarn, fabric and cross stitch silks, so I can start when the desire takes me, I did a post here about my different crafts, I also have a page just showing my finished items, it's good to have a reminder of what I have made. 

I am enjoying building the design of this project, it's a case of placing the designs together to ensure I get the best out of every design. I have done this once before, in 2011 we had our 25th wedding anniversary, and I wanted to have something to mark the date, so I decided to make my own design, I am not clever enough to create everything myself, so I decided to use designs which represented us, our family and our lives. Family sampler was another big project, you can find more details here, it was framed and is still on our sitting room wall, I love looking at all the induvial items which make up our history. My only worry is once it's all done it looks a mess rather than the patchwork I see in my head. 


Monday, 15 March 2021

Weekend.

 Mothering Sunday this year was different, still fun, we had George on a sleepover on Saturday night, so loads of giggles, George sat and watched some 6 nations rugby with Grancha, we don't normally have TV on, so he was really interested. 


Cards are always welcome, this year an extra one, Will made cards for nana(me) and grandma, a birthday card for grandpa, he insisted on making Grancha a card as well. I love George's handprint on the front of my card and the happy family photo on the Somerset boys card. 


Hubby made me my favourite marmalade cake, a treat to last most of this week. 


George slept until 7am on Sunday morning, which was good, we had a morning together playing, he loves both cats, but especially Purdy, who allows him to touch her. The house looked like a toy shop for the morning, mummy collected George at lunch time, so a restful afternoon. 

It has been a really cold, wet and windy few days, I am tired, I have not slept well for 5 nights, hubby sleeps through everything. The garden is not damaged, most of what can be blown about is still in my shed, where they spend the winter months. Our fence near the house is really wobbly but still standing, it will be a problem at some point, the mother next door passed away last year, so we only have the mad daughter to deal with, but we have time until the fence completely breaks to think of a solution. I slept better last night, woke up to a calm sunny morning, so feeling a bit more upbeat.

We did pop to B&Q, hubby needed some wood, I did get a few bulbs, my rhubarb plant in a huge pot is not growing, so I will turn it into another huge mixed flower pot. It was strange going out in the car, the daffodils along the road side and on roundabout's are beautiful this spring. I do need to pop to Lidl's today, to get fresh food, I am only going once every 2 weeks, we are saving so much on our food bill and still eating very well. 



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