Poppy Patchwork


My little bit of this big World

Thursday, 30 September 2021

September roundup


Again it's garden purchases, my black bin came, I hope to save money in years to come, just making my own mulch. I purchased more large pebbles and compost and a few plants, I am pleased it's a much lower spend. I do have thoughts for a small improvement, but at £60 it's not cheap, it's not a case of can't afford it, more do I want to spend that much.

A few balls of yarn and some small bits for sewing, no clothes, it's been a really good month for me. I even managed to wear a couple of dresses, rather than jeans and tops, I am hoping to wear most of what I own now rather than leaving them hanging  in my wardrobe.

One £36.99 spend was for a new battery for my hand held Dyson, the old battery was losing power far to quickly, hubby checked and we think the holder was causing the issue, but the battery was damaged. So instead of purchasing a new machine, we saved loads of money, ditched the holder and plug the lead into the unit and I have a perfect good cleaner again. 

No waste again, we also got a couple too good to go bags, we are loving all the M&S treats, they are fantastic value. Having purchased so little, hardly any packaging to throw away, but sadly most of our home grown fruit and veg are gone. We have spent a bit more on store cupboard foods, it was always our plan to have spare things to see us through winter months, just in case the virus levels grew, but it seams handy to have things with all the doom and gloom about shortages, not huge amounts just enough to keep us from needing to shop for a couple of months. 

We have not purchased any fuel for the car, we still have over half a tank, daughter filled up yesterday, she was almost on empty, took less than an hour, so she is counting that as a win. It's still manic around here, no one is listening and all panicking, oh well we can sit it out, we normally only fill up once every 4 to 6 weeks. 

No weight loss or gain, so I'm taking that as a win, I've struggled this month so my eating has not been the best, But I'm not eating chocolate everyday, just a small step. 

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

A finish and a start

 Hubby started baking again, a marmalade and orange cake, we will cut it tomorrow, it did smell good whilst baking. It's time to be thinking about baking Christmas cakes, I make 2 each year. 
A new start, this is going to be a gift, but the person is not online much, so it's safe to post here, another french knot project. Not too many colours and easy shapes. I was concerned with the fabric as it is so flat, but this is working well. 
I will infill the whole S and then sew into a square cushion, it's a Christmas gift for a friend, she knits but does not sew. It will look good in her craft room chair. 
My sewing machine is out, I'm using mine, not my sisters, I've cut out red oblong and reindeer fabrics for lining, simple sewing, I decided not to look for short fur and have a patterned top. I hope to finish all 3 stockings this week. It's important to have them ready for early December. 
Molly's dress is finished and I love it, the neck openings work and look good, I need to get a pair of white tights to go with it, photo next time, it's drying after a quick rinse and blocked. I'm now working on the jacket for George. I do have a pair of socks started which I would like to finish. 

The weather has turned this week, cold and wet,  September has been a good month, loads of dry sunny days, bonus days outside, all my tender plants are tucked away safe, soon the wooden furniture covered and ornaments will be stored in my shed for winter. I won't be able to get into my shed, but it's OK, I don't need anything until next spring. It rained heavy overnight, which is good, the garden under the surface is really dry, the sun is trying to appear, hopefully I can still wear my sandals today again, I try and delay wearing socks and shoes for as long as I can. 

So it's crafting and reading time, I am also working on my blog book, I'm doing well with 2019, hope to get it finished soon, I will then immediately get started on 2020. I was going to stop at 2018, but with the crazy things happening, I wanted to publish just a couple more books. 2021 will be the last book I publish, I only make 1 copy for myself, I do love to look back on them. 

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Lets walk

 I have moved pots into the greenhouse, all my tender plants are safely stored away for winter, so it's time to move things around and bring out my spring pots, this position is sheltered from most of the wind and gets some good midday sunshine through the winter months. The frost will kill off the begonias, which are under planted with spring bulbs, the plants in the black pot will soon grow and  bloom for colour in this area. 

I have put a few winter colour pots on this table, they will stay here all through the cooler months, a couple cyclamen and 1 pot of viola's. These lamps will stay as well, giving some light on the dark evenings coming, the original solar lights failed, I have popped some cheap ones in, which are working really well. My wooden table and chairs are always covered for the winter, so this is our focal point. 
More violas, this pot has filled out and looks beautiful, I can see this area from my sitting room chair, the begonias behind our log burner are still in full bloom. Kurt's hair, the grass is looking a nice length and will stay green all winter, its very striking again the black of the pot. 
I still have garden ornaments and wind chimes out, soon they will all be put in my shed, the raspberries behind the magnolia tree are still giving us fresh berries most days, it's been the best harvest for years. My acer which we planted in the ground is doing well, there has been some new growth, it's another sunny spot in the garden.  
This pot is filled with spring bulbs, all layered for a colourful show next spring, for now these cyclamen are adding colour. Behind the strawberry plants in this tower are all growing, from the original 4 plants we now have 10 plants, should increase yield next year. 
I have had to net my raised bed and this lower bed, foxes were digging up all my newly planted bulbs, the begonia in the chimney and in the front corner of the raised bed are both full of blooms. I am so very pleased with this revamped part of the garden, it's just how I wanted it. 
I did say I would not clutter this path to my composter infront of the greenhouse, but these coleus are here to draw the heat from the glass along with the dahlia to prolong their flowers.  The violets will soon be placed around the garden, I love these tiny flowers and find joy of seeing them in amongst the other plants. These pots won't be here for long, but the colours are lovely to see whilst they last. 
Lastly by our backdoor, this smaller raised bed is still trying hard, the fuchsia has been really colourful, but the yellow dahlia has struggled. I will need to rethink the planting next spring. 
Blooms at this time of year are always a bonus, many of my summer blooms I expect only to last for a couple more weeks, once the frost starts most will die back, the stars at the moment are my begonia's, most are grown in chimneys or higher pots, allowing the flowers to tumble down the sides. There are gaps showing in the garden beds, but they are too small to grow both summer and winter colour, I accept that winter is less in the garden. 

I am really disappointed with my Chinese witch hazel  , I purchased it October last year, and it's not doing very well, I replanted it earlier this year, it's not dying but very little new growth, it was meant to give loads of lovely winter colour, it's in the big terracotta in my 1st photo. Reviews on the plant show slow growth, and not as easy to grow as shown on nursery site, so having kept it alive for a year, I can take some comfort, hopefully soon it will start to grow bigger. 

I love to record how the garden is looking at this time of year, it's good when planning next spring to look back and remember what area's need attention. I do love to see the garden in the background, everywhere is looking good. 

We are not going anywhere or doing much, walking to village and local garden centres, not been to town and have no plants to go to either Portsmouth or Southampton. Our local garages have been very busy as stupid people ensuring they have full fuel tanks and panic buying, we have half a tank and it will last weeks, and if we can't get fuel, we will use the bus if we have too. The media is the cause of most of these problems, they spend more time on conjecture rather than news, always giving the worse case scenario, good news does not sell, we have always followed BBC news and enjoyed Laura Kuenssberg reports, these days she is only out to score points on worse outcomes. 

Friday, 24 September 2021

My way.

 Christmas is coming, a few years ago I made Will a stocking, I made a 2nd identical one, now he has 2 siblings and George loves to eat fur. So I promised my daughter I would make 3 identical ones this year, how to tell them apart. Will loves red, George has green another festive colour, and Molly has gold. These beautiful names will have pride of place. 

I have an Instagram page, which I love and have a few small businesses which I love, Cheryl is a lovely lady who makes fantastic items at very reasonable prices, her site is here, pop over and have a look, she is busy with Halloween, but Christmas is creeping in as well. She also made the beautiful bunting for Molly's room. 
I have finished knitting Molly dress, I'm very happy with the finish, the sleeves gave me big problems, I managed to confuse myself and muck up the design, after 4 attempts, I wrote each line of the pattern in my note book showing which line required decreasing, I then did both sleeves in 1 go. 
Once I had finished the front and back, I realised the hole was not big enough for Molly head to fit through, on reading the pattern, it stated to make a couple of loops, really?. I was not happy with that, so I unpicked the right hand side and added rows of garter stitch, with a couple of button holes, and decided to unpick the left side to match. The garter stitch will match the back of the neck. 
So now I'm back to this warm jacket for George, I've made it a size smaller than his age and have added length, so it will fit him. This design is really good as the button bands are kitting as you go, I made the lower fronts and back in one piece. 
I was thinking of leaving the 2 small flaps off but daughter said she loved them, the pattern states to add them after, but I wanted them secured as George might pull them. So instead of casting on 11 stitches and decrease until 3 stitches left, cast off. I cast on 3 stitches increased until 11 stitches, I added a couple more rows and left work on knitting needles. At the correct row, I placed flap, and then knitted together 1 stitch from flap with 1 stitch from front, 11 times, it looks brilliant, and is lovely and flat. 

I hope to sew the dress together today, and work more on Georges jacket, I'm enjoying knitting again. I have also to make the 3 Christmas stockings using my sewing machine. I am truly pleased with the changes I made whilst knitting these designs, in each case it's for comfort for the wearer, years of knitting has taught me different ways of doing things, so I often adapt to suit, I am the same with all my sewing, if you are going to make anything, make it well, because you will forever see faults or the bit you didn't like. 

It's been a busy week, Wednesday I went out with daughter, she was looking for english lavender, for her new raised bed, we went with Molly and George to our favourite garden centre, we had a lovely coffee break, choosing a rich cake rather than savoury lunch. She got her plants, we are popping over on Saturday to plant up the garden. I stayed all afternoon, so sat with Molly and George whilst mummy went to school to pick up Will, he's such a happy boy and loving school. I'm really lucky to be able to spend so much time with him, he had brought home his first school library book, Peter Pan, I read some to him, time to chat and play.

Thursday was a day at home, housework for me, hubby tidied the front garden, after lunch was crafting time. We got another M&S too good to go bag, just £4, another good selection, we always view these bags as a treat, we don't normally shop at M&S, too expensive. 

Nothing much for me to do outside, I have more plants in the greenhouse, but too small to be planted out yet, my tender plants are all now placed inside. It's a case of enjoying the late blooms, mainly begonia's and the autumnal colours of the cyclamen and tiny violets.  

Today we have no plans, we are trying to have a quiet time, I had an allergy attack on Tuesday evening, and I've needed time to rest, get to feel better. I had bad skin rashes, I've had them before but not recently, they have faded, but I feel they are still there ready to flair up at any time. So a gentle, peaceful couple of days to come, I do have some recorded TV to watch and always a book to read. 

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Crafting.

I needed something to do, make plans and keep my mind busy, so I've started to think about Christmas, I know it's only September, but it does have a habit of creeping up on us. I have 3 stockings to make and this red fabric will be a great base, I would like some soft furry white fabric for the top. Whilst I was looking at my fabric, I pulled out fabrics with yellow on, it's not a colour I use much, but I had an idea forming for a gift. 
Not finding the fabric I wanted, we popped to a local charity craft shop, it's in a nearby village, the star fabric I got, just because. The brightly coloured piece, whilst not yellow is perfect for my project, the letter S, will also help with project, every thing here came to £2.50, 
I was doing some pages on my 2019 blog book, when I purchased these yarns for a jumper for Will, I never used them, so I have pulled them out, these are double knitting, I normally use 4ply. Daughter loves this pattern and has asked me to make it for George, so I am thinking, should I do stripes or each panel in a different colour, 4 shades of 1 x 50grm ball and 2 balls of red, or just purchase more. 
I have been playing with my sisters sewing machine, it's a simple set up, I did some straight sewing for hubby, stitches neat and perfect tension, so leaving in the black cotton I played, was happy doing designs and finally Wills name, sadly I can't get it anywhere big enough, so I will have to go to plan B. It was fun playing, but it has confirmed I don't want an embroidery machine of this style.  

I have been knitting Molly dress, I've done the top front and back, both were easy using a normal straight set of needles, I did some unpicking on the bodice pattern, something looked wrong, but when I got back to the spot everything was knitted correctly, it was only a few short rows, but annoying. Only the short sleeves to do, I can now see the finish line here, it's not a special gift, just ready for the cooler weather, I will get a pair of white tights to go with it. The middle eyelets will have some lovely pink elastic, don't think daughter would want ribbons. 
I would have liked to do more craft, but these sunny warm days sees me outside, making the most of every decent day. Most of my tender plants are back in the greenhouse, my begonias are placed so we can see the blooms from the house, I only put the 2 smaller pots in here, the corns in chimneys stay in the soil all through the winter. I have not started packing away all my shelf decorations and the glazed bigger ornaments, they all spend the winter months in my shed. 

Tuesday our sign ladies met at a garden center for lunch, it's one attached to a local country house, it's a very expensive place, I had nothing to get, which normally does not stop me seeing something, hubby got more heather's, they had different colours all natural, he came home really happy.

Today I am meeting daughter, not sure what we are doing, I think she is looking for lavender plants for her new raised bed. I'm tired after a poor nights sleep, so hopefully a calm child cuddly day. 

Monday, 20 September 2021

In the greenhouse

 I adore my new stand for my 'bonsai' plants, hubby cut and put it together from some spare wood. My oak at the back has done well, I'm hopeful I can grow this and keep it small. The front sapling is new this year, so 🀞 I can take this forward. 

This small shelf unit looks lovely with my small plants on, one pot still has loads of flowers, I can see this display from inside the house. 
This corner is looking good, most of these plants say inside all year round, there is plenty of space in front for my tender plants, which soon will be coming in here. 
Just a couple of my many Succulents, I popped 2 of the lithops from smaller pots in the onion pot, my gravy pot is looking healthy, I always worry when a new plant flowers. 
I've had a trio of plants in this planter for years, I did replace the Venus flytrap this summer, they earn their place keeping flies down in greenhouse. I need to pull out my plastic trays from the staging and give them a wash, before they are full again. 
These pansies and violas are spare plants and will soon fill gaps in garden, this tray will be then fill of tender plants. I still have some cuttings on the go, a honeysuckle at the back, more hotlips and a chocolate cosmos, which have all rooted, I love new plants for free. 
I have not opened this box, there is plenty of moisture inside, the plants are looking good, I am hoping for loads of new small plants. If this works it will be my new method for cuttings, I have 9 pots in here, so it uses much less space. 

My maidenhead fern has been in loads of different rooms in the house, it was not a happy plant, so I cut all of the top growth off and popped it in a shady spot, lovely new growth, I really hope I can bring this plant back to its former glory. 
The greenhouse gives me so much pleasure all through the year, I often say things have to earn their place in my small garden, and my greenhouse ticks all boxes, it's productive, it looks good and through the winter months it protects all of my tender plants. On cooler or wet days, I love being inside, I can always find something to do for an hour. 

Yesterday was another quiet day at home, I worked again on my 2019 blog book and did some knitting. Chelsea flower show is on this week, it's going to be very different this year, all the autumnal flowers and their colours, plus the balcony section, I watch the build up show on TV last night, followed by Gardeners World recorded from Friday.  

This morning was cool, which is a sign for me to start moving things into my greenhouse, it's a clear sky, so hopefully no rain, enough time for me to move around pots. Not everything goes into the greenhouse this early, if I move 2 begonia pots in there now they will flower much longer, giving colour at the very bottom of the garden.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Gala day.

On Saturday it was our village gala held at Portchester castle, it was a beautiful hot sunny day, normally our gala is held in June, our last gala was June 2019, so everyone was pleased to go to the event, the parade through the village did not go ahead this year. 
 Inside the castle grounds are all the vintage cars, loads of stalls run by local groups, youth organisations, and local charities. There is a huge show ring in the centre and loads of things happening through out the day. Outside the walls are loads of things to try, archery, huge blow-up spheres which you get in and roll around, bumper cars and a fun fair. 
Out side the castle walls on the coast side, the tide is in, so perfection, we could have been anywhere along the Mediterranean sea, we are very lucky to live here, almost everything we need is at hand. So many times we have enjoyed this view and the castle grounds. 
Looking back towards the castle, we walked home along the shoreline, passing loads of people walking towards the castle, it was a perfect time. 

We have only missed the gala once, one year when my sister visited, its a good family fun day, normally we take Will, but on Saturday he was with grandpa and grandma, we did not stay too long, just a lovely walk around. 
Earlier we both had our flu jabs, our doctors surgery is on the ball with getting everyone done early, giving time later for getting our covid booster jabs, which they are hoping to start in October. 

On a separate note last week the castle was closed to public, the car park taken over by huge vans, antiques road was filming, so look out for Portchester Castle location, coming on BBC1 soon. 

Both Friday and Saturday evenings I got a M&S too good to go bag, both had a great mixture of things, we love these bags, for their value as contents are worth £12, and the treats we have, we are able to walk to the shop within our local garage. 

Thank you for your comments in my last post, I am feeling better, so many of us are worriers, and these days we have so much more to deal with. I always find the end of summer hard, I love the autumnal colours everywhere, but I do love being outside in our garden, sat inside watching is never the same. 

Today is a lazy day at home, not seen daughter for a while, she is settling into their new routine of school everyday, Will is busy, he went to a starters marshal arts class and wants to join, Friday night he camped out in garden with daddy and loved it, he is growing up so fast. Everything changes once they start school. We have had a short sharp storm this morning, the garden would like a couple more. 

Friday, 17 September 2021

Books

I had seen a few reviews on this book, youngest daughter passed it to me, not my favourite style of narrative, but I stuck with it, not sure how to review it, the, a storyline around mental illness, love and families. It would be hard to say I enjoyed it, but it was a really good read. Book 40 read this year.  
 
I was passed this book, I had read Virginia Andrews way back, everyone loved Flowers in the Attic, Family Storms was a exceptional read, well written, a brilliant story, told by a 14 year old girl, book 41 read this year. 

I love Peter James crime novels, always set in and around of Brighton, this is a totally different storyline, I enjoyed it from his first word to the last, great read. Book 42 read this year. 
It can be difficult when you are part of a book swap, loads of my friends know I am a huge bookworm, so I am often given books to read, luckily for me most are to my taste. It's a fantastic way to find new authors, and ones you have not read for years. I rarely give up on a book, a few I have read I have been pleased to get to the end of the story.

I have lost myself in books this week, just a bit of gardening as everywhere is looking good, with no projects, I have nothing to think about, and I am a thinker, so thoughts turn to what's happening all around us, the upcoming winter months, family, Will has now his date for his operation. I have been feeling gloomy, hubby keeps asking what I would like for my birthday in November, it's a huge one, I officially retire and get my pension. I have never worried about my age, we are who we want to be at any age, but these days being older with this virus around us is worrying, Oh did I say I worry as well as overthink things. With the changing season showing and summer coming to an end, its just another level which has all got together to bring me down, I do have a loving family, hubby, daughter and siblings, so it's a case of working through it, I'm not complaining as I know people who really suffer with mental health issues, mine will pass it always does.

We have been out, a lovely afternoon on Monday with youngest daughter, it was her birthday, so I took cake and flowers, she had already had her gift, dentist and shopping on Tuesday, Wednesday we had a walk around our park and through our small market, Thursday lunch with friends at a garden centre. I've seen Will, George and Molly loads, sadly Will started full time school this week so days playing together have been replaced with desk, teachers and different fun for him. 

Monday, 13 September 2021

Changing seasons

These are the rest of my bulbs for next spring, Saturday I spent the day outside, sorting untidy pots and planting the new seasons colours. Hubby was out in afternoon, so an enjoyable time on my own. It was sunny and warm, a perfect day for being outside. 
The bigger pot had a dahlia plant, which I have popped into a plastic pot to over winter in my greenhouse, it is now full of a mixture of bulbs, my metal pot, had a daisy in, which again is in a plastic pot in greenhouse, I love the mixture of colours in the violas, such tiny beautiful flowers. The Cyclamen I purchased in the village the day before.  My pots of Begonias are in full of blooms, they will last until the frost arrive. 
The long pots infront of the raspberries now have pansies in, limited colours, loads of white flowers, which I love, these will soon grow and fill these tubs. I have replanted some of the plants from these tubs into my raised bed, I probably have a 50/50 chance they will come back next year. 
Now for something completely different, I was reading a blog where the lady was using Sphagnum moss, and getting good results for her cuttings, she was experimenting with moss and Perlite. I already knew Perlite was great for some cuttings, but not everything, only time will tell if this works. I've made my 1st garden prop box, I have done 2 cuttings from the same plant, one each in the 2 growing mediums, time will show which is best. 
My 39th book read this year, a very light predictable story line, I almost did not read it, another new to me author I won't look for another of her books. 
I am aware Sphagnam Moss is grown under licence, mine was grown and sold here in northern England, I did alot of reading before making the purchase, it has loads of uses, so far I have used it with my air-plant, carnivorous plants, succulents and orchids. I don't intend to purchase more of it, one bag should be enough, it can be added to potting compost, but I would rather not do that, I want to cherish it for it's water retaining properties, the rest of the bag is laid on top of compost in a huge plant pot saucer, in hope it stays alive. My air-plant is not looking too good, I have cared for it since May 2018, I am hoping I can keep it alive. 

Saturday was a really late night to bed, we decided to watch the US open tennis tournament, Emma Raducanu has stormed the tennis world, coming through the qualification rounds, making her the 1st ever person to qualify and then go on to win the tournament, and she is only 18. It was a great match, Leylah Fernandez was not going to give her an easy ride, truly stunning to watch, they both have so many great years of tennis ahead of them, and we have loads to look forward to watching. 

Sunday was another sunny blue sky day, these days are always a bonus in September, the temperatures are never normally as hot as August, but everyone loves the sunshine as summer is closing.  After all the housework, more time outside, I am starting to put things inside the greenhouse, then more reading, blissful weekend. Loads of laundry dried on the line, we washed all the bathroom floor mats, these are thick and takes load of time to dry. 

Today is youngest daughters birthday, Will is at school, George is not well, so no nursery, we will spend the morning with them, and then, well I don't know, if I'm feeling creative I hope to get my sisters sewing machine out and have a play.





Friday, 10 September 2021

Little bites

I'm working on the back of this jacket for George, I separated the 3 parts at the armhole shaping, like the body, I need to add extra rows, he is a tall boy, it's all stocking stitch now. I love the button bands are made as I knit and not added later. I've not done so much on this, but it simple knitting from now on. 

I am also working on Molly's dress, this yarn is so soft, I am now at the point to shape the armholes and will work separate front and back pieces, I am past the part I got stuck on last time. I have enjoyed knitting this in the round, the yarn colour mixtures makes this beautiful. The design had the lace work on the back as well as the bodice, but I knitted in stocking stitch, in hope it's flatter and won't be uncomfortable. 

Will's 1st day at school this week, he has visited a few times and a couple of his best friends are in the same class, so a happy little boy, with his book bag. He has got up and dressed every morning happy to go. 
My lovely friend has made me another wooden pot, this time he has left some bark on the side, there are a couple of natural cracks in the wood as well. It's stunning, I love the colours and it's so tactile to touch. 
For once I popped in place without showing hubby, he's not so keen on all my wooden pots, I have shown him since.
Another book finished, a new to me author, she has loads of titles but I won't want to read any more, it was not my best read, book 38 read this year. 

Wednesday I went with mummy to pick up Will from school, the school grounds look fantastic, so many places for the children to have fun. He only attended the morning so we picked him up at 12, he was happy hungry and a bit angry, once fed he was himself and told us everything he did. I got cuddles with George and Molly, and time to chat with mummy.  Later another quiet time at home with hubby.

Thursday I was at daughters before the school run, George was sick in the night, mummy had no sleep, so Will was taken to school, George went for a nap, Molly slept after here feed, mummy was sent to bed for the morning, I had a lazy few hours. I stayed much later daughter had her own medical appointment, George did not attend his, Will came home happy another good day, he had a sticker on his shirt, stating he had ate all his lunch, it was so much fun to have a play afternoon with them.

Today, Friday, we have again nothing on, it's raining which I am pleased about, I am tired so happy not to do much, I hope to walk to the village for a couple of things, I have a greenhouse project to try, then I think loads of reading time, luckily for me hubby is a book worm as well. 

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