Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

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


 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. 

Friday 12 March 2021

Turning buttons

I was asked to collect together a pint glass of plastic buttons, I wanted to use some from my stash, all these buttons have been used and cut off clothes before they are thrown away. Loads have memories, some of them are from my daughters clothes when they were much younger, I did add some beads as well, bits which I had left over from projects. I tried to ensure there was lots of colourful ones. 
So these were collected by a local man. 
 They came back as this...

My friend does not use resin, so I could not ask him to make the dish, the wood turner who made this lives in our village, his work is often on facebook, I fell in love with the design, some of my birthday money spent, a perfect for me gift, plus the 2 stained glass Robins, which can be out all through the year. Neither was cheap, but all are special, my button bowl is in our office, I can see it everyday, I'm just so pleased to have it. 

Thursday 11 March 2021


A present from hubby, it's the new updated version of this book, he got it for me for Mothering Sunday this weekend, but having purchased it on Amazon, our Alexa gave out the full notification it would arrive that day, giving the surprise away. 
A gift to myself, these dropped into my shopping basket last week, from Lidl, so not expensive, they will last for weeks, my triple Orchid is looking brilliant, most of the buds are open and the plant is full of blooms. 
The very best place for flowers is always in the garden, these daffodils are filling this bed with colour, in the sunshine they are stunning and in between loads of buds of things coming back to life, so much hope in a small place. 
Hubby has been busy again, he purchased this bench last year, it was falling apart, he has enjoyed rebuilding it, it is for the garden at daughter and SIL's house, Will loves his bench at our house.
Will and George came on Wednesday with mummy, daddy had an important work call, so they came and made their noise at our house. Will is army mad, we purchased 2nd hand a tank, tank carrier and loads of soldiers, he happily played with them for hours. 
I'm not sure if I am angry with hubby, I did say no gift's this year, I would not have purchased this book myself, so it does make it a perfect gift. I have pulled out a couple of older gardening books to pass on, I have limited space for books in this house, so they do have to earn their space. I have 1 book shelf in my office with all my craft, gardening and other special books. 

It's another nothing week, it was nice to have the sunny cold days over the weekend, we both got a few simple task done outside, nothing happening does not make interesting blog post, I have decided to have a cross stitch update once each week, it is growing fast as I stitch for hours each day.  Seeing the boys and daughter brighten our day, we are now having to watch George, he is fast as crawling, he loves our cats baskets, nothing is out of his reach. 

Our garden survived the winds last night, the wobbly fence by the house is still intact, nothing else was damaged, I did take to pots of flowers off the metal table, the wind hits that area very strongly. At the moment we have bright sunshine and blue skies at the front of the house, looking out the patio doors, all I can see is dark clouds, another day inside. 

Monday 8 March 2021

Stitchy catch up

I finished this design back in 2014, it's under the heading of 12 square sampler, I did enjoy stitching it and I still love these designs, I am only planning to have 3 boxes here. I don't have the original, I gave it away to another blogger. I have left out a few tiny bits in these 2 boxes, I wanted the design to be crisp and not busy. 
Another design stitched in 2014 (a busy year for me), this is under the header of European cushion, again the colour drew me to this design, I still have the finished work and intend to make a cushion to go along with this on our bed. When I pulled the threads, I always choose colours by eye, I found the pale brown is the exact shade I am using on the design above. 
This centre section, is my all time favourite design,  I stitched it in 2012, it under the header of cross stitch patchwork sampler. I gave this finished work to a dear Spanish friends daughter, I intend to have to across the whole of this design, overlapping the other designs. I always knew I would re-stitch this beautiful design. 
This is my work so far, I am pleased with how it's growing, the side panels are the easiest, as I am following the design, the centre panel is the most enjoyable part of this design. The top line is level, my photo skills are not as good as my stitching. 
I am really enjoying this project, it's huge, but these uneventful days are long, so I fill my time stitching and watching the birds in our garden. Everything I am using is from my stash, I am keeping to the colours from the original designs, but choose them by eye from my drawers, in hope to use some of the huge amount of silks (floss). The only area I am being free on choice is with the middle sampler, these colours have to match the design and not clash with the design next it them. The designs were never made to be stitched in this way, parts of it are being decided as I stitch, I am enjoying the freedom of the central band. I need to add more red in this top section as there is loads of pinks and reds in a design I am using lower down. 

I am really enjoying using my Q snap frame again, it's lovely to see the whole of my work, my big wooden hoop is great for smaller projects, but it does crush the fabric and I would not ever want to have any stitched area in the holding section of the hoop. 

Nothing much is happening here, we are walking locally most days, we do get to see daughter, Will and George once a week, which for us is such a boost to our well being, we are also beginning to see more of our neighbours as we all get out a bit more, thankfully our weather has up to now helped. 

I'm not planning any jobs inside or outside, mainly because we have done all we want to, talking to our lovely neighbour who shares our drive, hubby is looking at huge wooden gates to be put across the drive just past our side door (main entrance), just to help make things private and ensure Pauline feels safe as she lives on her own. 

Friday 5 March 2021

It's the growing season.

These are new to my succulent collection, I purchased them online from a company I have not used before, so I pressed pay and kept everything crossed, with a double feature, not too expensive and the plant not too small. I have not seen any of these plants for sale locally, they arrived quickly, well packed and in good condition. 
This little beauty I have been after for ages, Haworthia Cooperi, when the light shines it looks translucent, they are on my office desk, I will leave them here for a while, then I will repot them before moving them into the greenhouse, but this one may just stay on my desk.  
These 2 pots were on my desk, but now they are in the kitchen, where they can be used, I did add a few more seeds to keep a crop of each growing. The bags can stay on for just a bit longer, the growth is doing very well.
My head pots are both doing well, I am now letting the string of pearls grow around Bette's face, the other plant is doing well, this was transplanted just a short while ago, once established it will probably go back into the greenhouse.
My pineapple plant is really pleasing, the growth is good and the leaves are staying healthy, the plant in the greenhouse is now looking a bit sad, it was too cold out there for it, I am hoping it will come back. 
I also purchased this book, I read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and loved it, so this sequel was needed as soon as I was aware of it. 
I got my 6 library books for March, I only read one library book last month, I am not reading much as I spend most of the day stitching, getting my huge project going. 5 out of these 6 books I hope to read, just 1 author Ann Cleeves, I don't enjoy. 

It's another sunny cold morning here, lovely blue skies, but we have no plans to go out, hubby will go for a short drive, our car would not start on Saturday, we had the RAC visit and the battery was flat, the guy did not think we needed to rush out and get a new battery, he gave ours a good charge, and hubby has been out twice to help keep it charged. I don't go with hubby as that would become a pleasure trip which is not allowed, which is good but infuriating as we are seeing so many others now breaking the rules.

Daughter and George popped over for a while on Wednesday, she has a plumber working on her bathroom and the front door was open to allow him to get stuff from his van, so they came for our warmth and company, George is now sitting up for long periods and will clap or wave his arms about without falling over, he is improving every time we see him, he loved having the whole space to himself. Will was at pre school, on World book day he went as an Army man, he loves army, police, fire fighters, he loves their uniforms.

Thank you for your comment regarding my frogging (unpicking) of my cross stitch, it's a terrible thing to have to do, but I can't leave a mistake in my work, the designs all have symmetry and any wrongly placed stitches show, but more than that, if I know it's wrong I have to put it right, it's just the way I am.  


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