Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Sunday 31 October 2021

October roundup


Really low spending this month, everything shown in red is crafting items towards Christmas gifts, and some bargain yarn, nothing much in the garden. I got a poinsettia sprig with 3 flowers on for Christmas, to make a new plant look bigger.  

Not clothes or shoes, I have everything I require for the winter months ahead. We are now purchasing items for Christmas, we have decided again on a price limit for gifts to each other, there is very little we want, and we don't see the need to buy stuff just because it's Christmas. 

Nothing in the house, we are very comfortable here, after 11 years, everything is just as we want it. Heating has been turned on, but not until after mid month. 

One expense this month was to renew our passports, not cheap, but necessary, we now have the navy blue covers for the British Isles, rather than the burgundy EU covers. 

I have lost a couple of pounds this month, we are now having homemade veggie soups for lunch, porridge for breakfast with fruit, all very filling, which means a much smaller evening meal, and more importantly not so much chocolate. 

Saturday 30 October 2021


 I've had these 2 pumpkin pots for years, they come out every October, I always place them with this display in my kitchen, not many people get to see this, but it does make me smile, they can have tealights in them, but I don't bother. 

Also in the kitchen my white african violet is in flower again, and in the bathroom I have buds on the cactus. I've had these plants for years, I water them and do nothing else.

I still have fake flowers in the sitting room, I've had this orchid bloom stem for years, I pop it into a real plant, The poinsettia I purchased in January in half price sale online, it was smaller than I expected, but I have added another 3 blooms, they don't match completely, but they look good.  
I am excited about this new growth, I purchased this plant in April and blogged about it here, I am fascinated by leaf form, and loved these curls, I looked up the care as I wanted to have this plant on my desk with my other loved plants. So you can imagine how I felt when it started to die off, more reading to discover it's a bulb and they do die back, so after a rest and then new compost, new shoots. 

This spot on my desk is full, the big spiky plant is a pineapple, I have grown on a baby from a plant I purchased back in September 2019. You can see I still have my lemon sherbet habit, but I don't eat so may, these were purchased last week, and should last another week. 
My latest purchase a tiny orchid, how fantastic is this, again white flowers, its sat on my wooden sewing box next to my chair. It should last for ages as it has loads of closed buds, hubby was kind and said nothing. 

I love to see colour inside, the garden us still looking good, but gaps are forming. The greenhouse is full, but I'm OK with that, as so many plants survive our winters. 

I am busy crafting, still doing loads of french knots, I'm on the last quarter, then a simple case of sewing up. I have cut out Luna Lupin, I hope to make her this weekend, I have loads of fat quarters to use for clothes, for now she only needs one outfit. I'm home alone this weekend, so I don't need to pack things away, and I can get a couple full days of sewing. If I want a change I have my crochet blanket, and a new book to read, I have not picked up a book in ages. I am also trying to decide on my Christmas card design for this year. 

Christmas is on its way, but again this year I feel ahead, we did a shop at the huge Tesco, got most of what we needed, our aim is to stay away from the crowds again this year. 

Thank you for your kind comments on my last post, Will has amazed us all, he is healing well and is back to his normal self, eating mummy out of house and home, he has always had a great appetite. I've missed him and his siblings the past couple of days, it's very quiet here. Our local motorway is closed again this weekend, so no plans to go out, the traffic will be busy through the village. 

Friday 29 October 2021

Doing good.

 We all know here in UK how wonderful our NHS is, our local hospital has never let anyone in our family down, from my cancer treatment to hubby's heart attack, babies being born and sadly friends at their end days of their lives. 

Now we add the fantastic Great Ormond Street children's hospital in London, it was decided locally to send Will there for his operation, daughter and SIL were impressed with the care given to grandson Will and to them at every stage. Whilst a routine operation for them, they acknowledged how major it felt to parents and how scary to a 4 year old boy. The care given whilst hoped for, is not always given in every hospital, here he's just an hour after waking up, our brave little man. 

He's had his bubble (birthmark) all his life, its going to be strange not to see it. He often would suck it inside his mouth, another reason to have it removed, if he had an accident and bit into it, he would have had heavy bleeding. Look at his beautiful brown eyes, unusual for a blonde haired boy. 
Daughter, Grandma and myself, Nana are putting our heads together to do a fundraiser for Great Ormond Street, like all hospitals most of their huge scanners and other equipment is paid for by fundraising, we won't raise huge amounts, but wider family will donate, and as they say, 'every little helps'. 

I've had brilliant medical news, after my blood test, my pre diabetic levels have gone back down to 42, which was my level 2 years ago, I am so pleased with myself, its not been easy losing weight, keeping it off and getting more active, all the hard work has been so worth it. Sadly my cholesterol is higher, its not unexpected, I've know my cholesterol is too high since I was 19, for years I controlled it by diet, but these days I take statins, I will have to have stronger pills. High cholesterol and diabetes go hand in hand, so I'm pretty pleased with myself. 

Thursday 28 October 2021

Growing nicely

 I love these french knots, I find it so relaxing, the colours are easy on the eye and the pattern is a great size. I stitch on this most afternoons, just for a couple of hours. 

My mum installed into me the back of my work is as important as the front, tidy stitching always sits flatter. I am able to workout exactly how much I have done, I think I'm two thirds through. 

This crochet blanket is growing, I work on it most evenings. I still have loads of cotton yarn left. I'm very happy to only have the tiny amount of caramel yarn left over. 
I did 2 rows of caramel which should sit lovely in the pale blue. I plan to add a row the lilac in the blue, just trying to mix the shades. 
It's already a nice size. 

I've had a few lovely days, Tuesday and Wednesday, staying at my daughters house, caring for George (23 months) and Molly (16 weeks) both sleep through the night, and both are fun and give loads of cuddles. George still has an early afternoon nap, so I was not on the go all the time. I cheated and took minestrone soup and a fish pie, so I did not have to cook the 1st day. Hubby drove over with our main meal on Wednesday, they were much later leaving the hospital so I stayed another night. 

Sadly everyone has a cough and cold including Molly, I don't know how Will managed to not pick up the germs. It was a very long morning waiting for news after Wills operation, the pre op preparations were not great, but he is only 4 and was very scared and brave. Everything looks to have gone well, he loving loads of ice cream and soft food for a few days, whilst at Great Ormond Street he was given 2 toys for being so brave, I am so proud of him and of course mummy and daddy, its been a hard time for everyone. 

I have nothing planned for the rest of the day, once I get home I can rest and relax. 

Monday 25 October 2021

Brilliant weekend

 On Friday evening I went with daughter to a Halloween party hosted by our local Portsmouth Downs Syndrome charity at a local hotel, with a good disco, daddy was away working so I was happy to take his place. It was one of the best nights ever, families all dressed up, lots of happy youngsters from the youngest baby to adult. It was wonderful to see so many happy faces, everyone chatted to each other, plenty of support, each couple understanding the differences we face, as a grand parent I was so welcomed. For me it was wonderful to see so many older lads and girls, as a worrier I do often think of George growing up, with the right education and support just like any other child they blossom, I have never had so many cuddles before. I am not sure what baby Molly thought of the whole evening, she was wide eyes most of the time, Will is not in photo, he made new friends and was playing most of the evening. 

I have purchased some fat quarters, mainly for the small pink designs, these will be clothes for Luna Lapin rabbit. I have most of what I need to start, I am going to sit down later and trace all the pattern bits to make the rabbit. The bottom photo, I am hoping to make something for George, maybe a small bag, I love the 2 fabrics, the cats I got just because. I did get the silk for my friends Christmas cushion as well, in truth it was the only thing I required, our local shop is a dangerous place to be in. 

I blame Jo for this photo, from her Instagram feed she showed her 1st mince pie of the season, I saw these and got some, we popped into Iceland for a few bits, and got the rest of our Christmas treats, now all packed away. If you are reading this from outside the UK, they are rich spicy dried fruit pies, and they taste wonderful. 
Saturday was a busy day in our kitchen, hubby made a huge pot of minestrone soup in our slow cooker, it was brilliant, with 5 more portions for later in the week. Just a perfect lunch on a cold day

I got busy with Christmas cakes, I mixed and baked my 1st cake. I also weighed all the ingredients for a 2nd cake, I soaked the dried fruit in the juice from oranges and a lemon, also the zest. In the flour you can see the halved cherries, my mum always did it this way to stop the cherries sinking, it does work. 

Sunday daughter, Will, George and Molly came for the day, hubby cooked roast beef for lunch, Will helped pick the last raspberries from our garden, George played with toys we had here and we had loads of cuddles from Molly. The 2nd Christmas cake was baked, with a few small cakes, so we could have a early taste. Mummy took Will for his Covid test, he was really good, mummy had been worried, so a pizza treat for tea. 

Both evenings we lazy and quiet, which I needed, having 3 here under 5 can be hard work, lots of laughter and fun, but tiring. I have done more french knots on the cushion front, I find it very relaxing, I just wish I did not feel so tired all the time, I had a blood test on Friday morning, hopefully the results might give a clue as to why I feel like this, I have an idea what might be coming next. Hopefully my cold is shifting, its not easy to be out and about sniffing and coughing.

Today is a lazy morning, later I'm at daughters, so tomorrow they can take Will to London for his op, I will be caring for George and Molly for a couple of days. 

Friday 22 October 2021

Craft and books

My latest blog year book,

 2019 is here, in print, I got a really good offer, half price printing, so I went for it, I love these books, I have checked and as normal I have found a couple of small errors, nothing to bother me. This being my 10th book covering the 11 years of my blog, my first 2 years are in one book. I have now got my head around the new systems on the editing site, and it's much easier than before. I am working on 2020, it's strange to read my words as our whole world fell apart because of Covid19. 
Whilst away last weekend I had my crochet to do, it's a simple craft, and easy to pick up and put down, so this is growing. 
I have finished most of the caramel colour, I have enough left for 2 more rounds, I am now going to use the pale blue as a huge block, in which I will add the 2 rows of caramel and a few rows of the lilac. I will then finish off with a block of  the lilac colour. 
I purchased these lovely scissors last weekend, my snips I use at home have very sharp points and I worry carrying them with my work, they will pierce and damage my projects. These are great, easy to open and close and sharp when using them, also handy to have when around the grand children.  
I purchased this book a while ago, I thought I would make her with clothes for a gift, but now I have a grand daughter, Molly, I want to make it for her, I have loads of Peter Rabbit material with tiny print, which would be perfect for clothes. I have everything I require, just a case of getting started. 
It's been a busy week, Tuesday I hosted our sign group here, and did lunch, it was a good morning, we stay and chat for an hour after class, so very social. Wednesday after a later start, it was a wet and windy day,  I had most of day at home, later I popped to daughters to sit with her 3 children whist she has an appointment, I slept over and on Thursday I sat George and Molly, mummy took Will on the early train to London for his pre op appointment at Great Ormond Street, after the huge downpour in the night, it was a sunny day, but I chose to stay inside. 

Today I have my Christmas cake fruit soaking, I will make and bake a cake tomorrow. I will soak a second lot of fruit for a cake to be baked on Sunday, the house is going to smell wonderfully of spices. The garden is calling, a tidy leaf pick up is needed and some time in greenhouse ensuing every plant is good inside.  Later I've been invited to a Halloween party with George and Will, Molly and mummy are going as well, it's another case of the local Portsmouth Downs Syndrome supporting family get togethers. 

This weekend we have no plans, nothing to do, which is good as next week I am at daughters home looking after George and Molly for a couple of days, whilst mummy and daddy are in London with Will, his operation is booked for Wednesday. 

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Somerset families

Having fun with grandsons, it was so lovely to meet up with our Taunton boys, and how much have they grown, Logan in the middle is almost as tall as me, but had bent knees to pose for this photo. 
As we were having loads of family time in Somerset, daughter was sending lovely photos of her 3 children, so we could share, we are so lucky to have so many beautiful grandchildren. 

I had some retail, getting a few things for Christmas, and these bulbs, different from my already planted bulbs I passed on a new pots, I have spares here, spring is going to be colourful. I also chose my birthday present from hubby, but they are packed away for a couple of weeks. 
I am very pleased with this bobble tape, it should look good on the finished cushion, it's very much to my friends taste. I just need to stitch the second half. I also got a couple knitting items, no wool. 

We had a night in on Saturday, sister, her partner and my brother Martin, shared a good curry. Sunday my brother cooked a great roast dinner. We did see my younger brother Ivan, but only for a short visit outside, he spent a day with a friend in the week, who now is positive with Covid, he has had a negative result, but we took care, just to be safe.

I visited a great craft center at Martock with sister, Yandles always have a huge selection of artisan items as well as a huge craft area, it's about an hours drive but worth the visit, we also popped to The Range, I've not been in a store for over a year. Hubby and I went to a lovely garden centre near Taunton, Monkton Elm, they always have loads of healthy plants and fully stocked for Christmas.

My garden is still full of colour, after the warm sunny weather of last week, its now cold and wet, thank you for your lovely comments from my last post, I do love begonias, always trailing over the side of 'pots'  they will last until the frost sets in. October is marching on, back home we have turned out heating on, the season is changing. 

This morning we both had taken another test, both negative, I have a bit of a sore throat, which is normal this time of year, so many bugs going around, hubby has booked his 3rd jab, mine is not due yet. 

Sunday 17 October 2021

Outside in the sunshine.

There is still plenty of colour in the garden, as this collage shows
Pots are also adding to the show at this time of year. 
This chimney with summer begonia and autumn cyclamen.  
The other chimney in this back section, 
my raised bed is full of tiny flowers.
Under the magnolia tree, more colour. 
By the decking,
 everywhere you look there is colour and lovely views of the garden. 
Even here, where there are loads of pots filled with spring bulbs, there is still colour. 

We are having a beautiful dry sunny week, it's not too cold either, so I have been outside in the garden, not too much to do here, the leaves are still firmly on our magnolia tree, and the cutting back flower beds won't happen until the spring, so it's a case of tidy and water a few pots and top up the bird bath. All my begonias will last until the frost hits, so hopefully a couple more weeks. 

I am missing all the lovely colours in the garden, but loving catching up with family. 

Thursday 14 October 2021

Quiet time

 My main focus has been this project, I find it easier to do in natural daylight, so I try and do some most afternoons. I'm about half way, which I find pleasing, it's crazy, but I love making these french knots. 
In the evenings I am crocheting this blanket, it's a good size, I love the shades they work well together and the cotton thread feeling right on this design. I should be knitting, but I am enjoying simple crafts. 

The yarn balls were getting a bit messy, so I decided to pull the center out and wind into a ball, nice and tidy and much easier to use. I am going to use all this pale caramel then the pale blue finishing with the lilac, the balls are not huge, the thread is thin there is a lot more work to do. 
I've cleaned the house from top to bottom in the past 2 days, soon we are driving to Somerset for a weekend with my brother and sister, staying with my brother. Its been almost 2 years since we last visited. No much planned a day out tomorrow with my sister, her choice of where we are going. Saturday I will visit younger brother, he has another knee injury, so I will love to catch up with him and see how well he is doing. Sunday we are out with our lovely Taunton grandsons mummy and daddy. 

We have fuel and a negative covid test result, friends will come in our home every day to feed our cats. 

We travel down on a Thursday and return on Monday as the roads should have less traffic. 

Monday 11 October 2021

I've started.

 A few years ago I purchased this cotton yarn from Spain, it was to use on my loom, sadly weaving caused back pain and I gave up and sold my loom. I have 4 balls each 200grms and different colours. On top of everything else I am busy with, I decided I would like to use this yarn, I downloaded a shawl, but after a few rows the yarn was not right. I had a good think and could not see any use for this thin cotton. 
 I got out my 2mm crochet hook and started this granny square, I'm only using 3 colours, I have a pale cream I am keeping, don't know why. I'm just pleased to be working with these shades. It's really small but drapes lovely, I have no idea how big I can get it, I am going to work until I run out of yarn, this will not be a quick finish, I can see it taking of the winter and even beyond.
I gave my woodturning friend a challenge, I saw these wooden button coasters online, from a big online store, so I asked him 'can you makes these', and he can. I was asked did I want them to look perfect or should he use cracked wood, always cracked wood for me, as it looks far more natural. 
He did make 5 for me, one is packed away, below are 2 for me and 2 for my sister as part of her Christmas gift, it's OK to show here, she does not read my blog. Hubby varnished them, I am so pleased and I know my sister will love them. 
I have 2 of the mugs below, for my daughter and her hubby, again she does not read my blog, made by a local lady, they will become part of a bigger gift. This is the 3rd mug in their set, each Christmas after a baby is born into the family I have had these mugs made, this will be the final ones. 
My parcel has arrived, so I can do more french knots, I would like to get it finished and made into a cushion, the yarn is just for my stash, it was just too good a price not to get, it's Peter Pan 4ply and feels good quality and so much of it for just under £15. 
After having a couple days sleepover with Will, mummy, George and Molly, on Saturday Will came back to ours for a sleepover, hubby made a rich chocolate cake, the photo here has been set up to send to mummy. The cake is lush. 
Our petrol is sorting itself out, our local village BP sells out as soon as the tanker comes in, but not too far away is a huge Tesco, hubby filled up on Saturday without any problems. We are planning a trip to Somerset, my brother says there are no problems down there, so we can fill up just before heading for home. I am noticing more gaps on shop shelves, nothing too bad, most things I can find an alternative product, we won't do any more home delivies for a while, they often replace with items we are not happy with. 

Saturday was so warm, we took Will to our local park, it has a nice play area, so lovely to be out in warm sunshine, we are making use of any warm sunny day. He loved homemade pizza for tea, he helps make them and always chose his own toppings. Sunday was an early start, and another trip to the park. Later hubby and I had a restful evening. 

Today I have nothing planned, I will do some housework and then spend an hour in the garden. Later I have loads of different crafts to do. 

Friday 8 October 2021

More crafting

I am loving the colour of these socks, the tones are just so pretty, just another top down knitted pair in stocking stitch, no need for anything else as the yarn is doing all the work here. 
 Slight issue here, the 2nd sock has a bigger navy band, by a couple of rows, I'm not going to unpick as once worn it should not notice, these are for me, so I'm happy, the colours match which is more important. 

I have done more french knots, this is just so relaxing, but for a while I have to stop, I had run out of 3 colours, to get them locally is almost an hours drive, so I went online and purchased them, just waiting for them to arrive. I'm making good progress on this project. 
As I stitch this any worries I have regarding the fabric is being washed away, it's looking good, I hope my friend will love it, she knits and crochet, but does not sew. 
We discussed popping out earlier this week, but with the fuel problems still very real here, we decided to save our half a tank, until everything settles down. We have a huge Hobbycraft just under an hours drive away, it's next to a brilliant garden centre, which will have it's huge Christmas selection out, sadly I will have to wait a few weeks. BUT I did need my threads, so online was the answer, my favourite WoolWarehouse had the best prices, plus they had lovely pale 4ply baby yarn, 100grm balls for 99p each, so the above order was placed, they have normally have a quick delivery.  

Wednesday I had an hour in the garden, loads of plastic pots to wash, all left over from my pansies and violas, they are now clean and packed in greenhouse. I have planted the last few plants in the side bed, hopeful I get some colour over the next few months. The garden is now mostly sorted, I'm not cutting back too much this year, it can have a tidy in March. We are still picking late raspberries, it's been our best ever harvest, we are eating fresh berries every morning with our breakfast. 

Thursday I had an early haircut and then out to lunch with friends, it's been months since we have seen each other, they came to our lovely village bistro, a super long chat together. Afterwards I drove to daughters, she had her nail appointment in evening, but hubby is working away this week, so I babysat and stayed the night, loads of laughter with this happy family. 


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