Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Wednesday 31 August 2022

August round up


I have been sewing, so supplies have been purchased, no other craft items, mainly fabric for clothes for little people. In the garden a lovely garden decoration and a new tower for strawberries, no plants, it's not wise to have anything new in a drought. 

I did purchase a pair of trousers to replace a ripped pair and a reduced pair of sandals, this should be my last clothes purchase this year. I have also sorted out some clothes lurking in the back of my wardrobe for years, all have gone to Sally Army bins. 

We have both purchased 'new' mobile phones, expensive but necessary, over time we will gain huge savings, using our sim only monthly bills. Whilst the phones are new the models are a couple of years out of date, much cheaper, plus they only need charging every 2 days instead of every day.

We are back to being very good with our food waste, our portion sizes have been shrinking, and the only waste we have is peelings, which all go into the composter. We are still picking fruit, raspberries and blackberries now. 

I am feeling a bit better about my weight, I've lost some weight, I was moving more and eating less, hopefully I will feel better soon and move more again. Yoga is on hold, my shoulder is playing up, I have tried to do some simple moves at home. 

Monday 29 August 2022


I done a good amount of sewing, I am changing colors and mixing the designs, generally having fun. This section is loads of repeat designs  so i dont have to keep checking where i am on the design. The hardest part is not clashing colours, I am lucky as I seem to have a good eye for colours.
Will is getting very good at climbing this frame, almost to the top, we walked to the park on Sunday afternoon, he loves it here and only 5 minutes walk from our house. Don't belive the sky, so full of dark clouds, I'm not sure where they dropped their rain, definitely not on our garden.

Hubby got this trike out for George, but everyone wanted a go, Molly could not reach the peddles, that did not stop her from having a go. George climbed in the back on his own.
Will enjoyed giving lifts to George as well, George did manage to peddle himself, but enjoyed just having a lift. 
We are having quiet days, I had my blood test on Friday, I have a scan on Tuesday, I'm just so tired all the time, I do a simple little task and it wears me out, I'm overheating all the time, which stops me from going out. I am sleeping well, I'm exhausted every night. We have not left the village, we have everything we need here.

I am enjoying my cross stich, its fun at the start  of any project, and with this one, which I don't know what the finished work is going to look like, it's better than normal. I have not read much, I just can't settle with a book at this time.

Sunday daughter came for lunch with Will, George and Molly, daddy is working in Belgium on the F1 race IT systems, we had a glorious roast beef dinner, first one in ages, lots of clean plates. Most of the day was outside, the children love the garden, and the new trike was a success, its so lovely to see all three playing so well together, lots of laughter. Will stayed for a sleepover, he was in bed and asleep by 8pm, all that fresh air is good for him.

Today was an early start, Will never sleeps in, which is OK, I can rest later, he has said he wants to help in the garden, so I plan to move a couple of plants together. Hopefully mum got a later start, the younger two don't wake up as early as Will. Apparently its Bank Holiday Monday today, again we won't be doing anything, living so close to the coast and lovely beaches, the roads will be packed, everyone hoping for a last day at the beach.

Saturday 27 August 2022

Low spend-no spend September

I have seen this on social media, Oxfam are suggesting we all purchase second hand through September, trying to get the message out new things cost the planet resources, which when you think of how much is discarded, it does make sense. We do use charity shops, we have 3 in our village, but we don't get too much mainly books from them. 
I showed this image in my post back in July, the green section is the renewables resources we take each year, the red section is what we take which can never be replaced, as you see each year it gets worse. To carry on living as we do (that's we as in the whole planet) we are using 1.75 earths, we are killing our planet. 
Very wise words.

I get the message, it's headlines on another group I follow 1million women, they are based in Australia, but they have wonderful values. I have said before our governments don't want to stop the consumer, they gain taxes from every stage of the production to the final sell, they can't afford for all of us to stop shopping. 

We are bombarded every day with media adverts, you look up and item on line, and then bam you have loads of adverts all over your social media. Emails full of deals and fantastic stuff, which most of us don't need. These days you see huge storage facilities, where you can rent as much space as you want, to store stuff you don't need, these places were not required when I was a child. How many empty garages to you see locally, some are full of stuff. 

Success is measure by loads of people, by what they have.  

We are taking a step further, we have decided to do again, 'Low spend, no spend September', so rather than follow the advice in top picture to get second hand, we have decided to not spend instead, the only purchases will be food, and we will record each spend. We could other than dairy and fresh food manage the whole month without shopping, but that will run our cupboards and freezer really low, and with the way things are heading I would rather ensure we have food in the house. We have done it once before back in 2014  I have made Septembers calendar with room on each day for our spending, sadly last time I did not record the final results. The biggest shock last time was how much money we spent in local shops, you pop in for 1 item and can easily spend £10, we are now much better, treats are now again occasional rather than every day. 

I know most of you reading this have the same values as us, this won't be a hard thing to do, we don't regularly shop for non food items, we use what we have, and keep using it. It will be good to see if we are learning from our past mistakes.

Friday 26 August 2022

Nothing doing here.

I enjoyed this book  it had a good story, young women are kidnapped and left in the wild in a heatwave, lots of clues and strategy. It had a good pace about it which kept me interested in the characters, following the clues along the way. Book 75 read this year.

I have done very little sewing, I started the next pattern and then thought I had gone wrong, so I packed it away, next day I checked and there are no mistakes. 
We have had more wet days then dry in the last week, not heavy rain, often in the morning with sunny afternoons, two of my water butts are full, the third bigger one is getting higher. 
I love this view, it was an original bed just a couple of shrubs and full of coloured stones, there is a photo in this post it's now a colourful spot, everything here is ours, it's taken a few years to work with the heavy clay, just one last job here to put a slim channel of grey slate at the front, to match our other beds around the lawn.

I did manage to do a full house clean, top to bottom as my mum used to say, I was shattered afterwards. I am reading loads, and doing a tiny bit of stitching, I've not done anything with the fabric for Molly and Georges clothes. I should have been outside in the garden, but that can wait, the ground is now wet. 

I still feel yuck and very tired, not unwell just yuck, I keep overheating, worse than my normal hot flushes, I am taking a course of anti biotics from the doctor, I have a blood test later today and a scan next week. 

Tuesday 23 August 2022

New start

In truth the whole year has gone sweeping by, it's so strange we have long lazy days, but the weeks and months fly by. 
I loved this book, it's the 4th book set in Promise Falls, normally I do get fed up when an author keeps going back to a location, there is only so much can happen in a small town. This is a standalone book, with a few references to a previous year (The Twenty-three), he is very ingenious with his story lines, again he builds and send you in all directions, he is clever with his words. Book 74 read this year.
I have a very small start in a new cross stitch project, it has the same start as this project, I love this DMC shade 452, I am only doing the smaller section in this corner and not adding any of the centre designs. This is using my last DMC Monaco, evenweave Lugana 28 dpi. Using the same mix-up of designs as last time but differently, I'm happy with a big project on the go and sad as this will probably be the last project of this size using such a fine dpi (dots/holes per inch). 
More flowers on my Chinese witch hazel, it was purchased in October 2020, and this is the best it's looked since it arrived here, loads more flowers. 

We are now back to a typical british summer, cloudy and rainy days, all good for the garden, but I've not been able to get outside much, there is plenty to do, nothing which can't wait until a warm dry day. Hubby cut back the tree's again, mainly off the top of the Magnolia, it was getting tall, the twisted willow was in full growth  mode, they do grow huge, we are having conversations regarding removing it, it grows so fast. We are still in drought, no using the hose pipe.

I am still picking raspberries, but they are small, I am also picking blackberries, not so many this year, as I trimmed the bramble right back last year. I hope to sort the strawberry tower this week, It will go back to the spot by the garage, it's very sunny and through the winter months I can tuck it around the side out of the wind. 

Nothing much is happening here, I managed to catch another tummy bug from the children, mummy and daddy got it Friday and Saturday, I was ill Saturday and Sunday, hubby suggested I should limit the contact as the little ones often give me bugs, well! that's not going to happen. I have also a kidney infection, did the online consultation, got a call from the doctor and an appointment all on the same day, I have a scan and blood test booked as well, just to be sure. Our surgery has sorted their issues and working well, things will never go back to what they were.

Today the sign ladies are hoping to meet here and pop to Portchester Castle for a walk and tea/coffee in the church tea rooms, I am not going, I just don't feel up to it. Hubby and I did pop into town (Fareham) on Friday, we purchased nothing, it was nice to pop in, but most of the shops are now out of town, we went by bus, so other than a coffee and cake, nothing was spent. 

Friday 19 August 2022

How much

Another good book, I have read loads from this author, he always delivers a good story, this one twisted, I guessed a few things but not the end. Book 72 read this year.

A very different book for me  passed to me by a friend,  I think you might like this, set in Norway, I'm not a fan of skandi  crime thrillers  623 pages, I struggled for over 100 pages, but got there in the end. I don't think I would want to read another in this series. Book 73 read this year.
I purchased more strawberry tower pots, hubby got me some offline, they were small and thin, I used them in hope they would be enough, but a couple of days ago the tower fell over, and I'm not happy to keep my strawberries in it. The new tubs are bigger and much stronger, and double the price. I will pass the old set on, lesson learnt.
I said in a previous post some plants were loving the heat, my Chinese Witch hazel is again flowering, it has doubled in size this summer, I'm unsure if it's just the pot, or the location or the heat, but I am so glad to see it thrive. It sits by my herb pots and Olive tree. 

We both have purchased new phones, our old phones were over 2 years old and the screen was not so responsive. We prefer to purchase phone and pay a really low sim only charge each month, it is expensive to start, but by the end of 2 years we make huge savings. I am pleased to say I managed to sort and swap everything from one phone to the other myself, having said that the new phone did all the work. 

We finally got the rain we do desperately wanted my water storage is looking much better, still not full but not too far away.

Tuesday we had 3 rain storms in the morning,  none lasting too long. Our sign group met at a local garden centre, had a lovely chat with coffee and cake, we sat watching the rain and loving it, I spent the afternoon sorting my new phone. 

Wednesday we had just 2 light showers, neither lasted long, but as they say, every little helps, it was a lazy day with an afternoon reading. I am beginning to form the start of my cross stitch, I won't know the design until I'm stitching, it's going to be organic, ie I'm making it up as I go along.

Thursday we had George and Molly,  mummy had their fireplace ripped out, just too loud and messy for the children at home, so we played here, stayed inside all day, loads of music and fun. Today we are taking the bus into town, just a couple of things required, it will be nice to get out.

Wednesday 17 August 2022


Hexagons are now a lovely piece of fabric, long enough to wrap around my sewing machine, I love the pale lilac trim, chosen to add impact. I was happy to finish this, it did get rather big, I left the paper inserts in until I was ready to make up the cover.
The robin fabric is the lining, I thought it would be a bit of fun, rather than just a plain fabric. I have used a mid range interfacing, iron onto the back of the hexagons, I did not want to over stitch them. The interfacing has given the fabric strength, any quilters out there reading this, please forgive me. 
 I stitched the trim to both layers at the bottom, which helped keep the cover in shape, I then shaped the top curves on the covers to the hard case. This caused issues and took away some of the clean lines, I knew this would happen but did not realise how much smaller the top of the case was to the bottom. I trimmed the top and stitched the lilac band.
Not perfect but the cover is finished, it could look better, I'm happy, it's as I imagined, I'm pleased to have finally use some of my stash. The important part is the top flap, which just tucks inside the case, this will protect the machine. I often have something sat on top of my machine. For years I have draped a cotton tea towel over my machine.
I used polycotton as well as 100% cotton, this caused issues in the finished piece, they are different in the fabric weight, which was a mistake, it was not noticeable until I remove the paper inserts, so the interfacing was the solution. I have sort all the polycotton hexagons and I'm going to pass them on, cotton is far superior. There is alot of stitching in that bag.

I started this, sewing the hexagons together in June 2016, you can see how many I made here, my hexagon journey started in February 2016, at the time I was doing simple patchwork. I have a label 'hexagons' in my side bar if you want to read more, but understand I am not an expert, this was just my journey. It was done when I felt like hand sewing, and in between my gardening and other crafts. I still have loads of stitched hexagons, I will have a think and decide on another project, not as big as the cover, stitching them together in smaller amounts was very restful.

I will ask at the local junior school if they can use my unwanted ones , I remember youngest daughter making me a cushion cover using bigger hexagons, when she was at school, she still has the cushion. 

I  want to start putting together my last big cross stich project, I loved the last mashed up design, I am going to use the whole of the canvas and make a bigger design, it can still be made into a cushion, and replace the one in my bedroom. My sister would love the cushion, she commented all through my stitching how she loved it. 

Monday 15 August 2022

What to save

My poor gardens are not looking good, I have stopped fighting this heatwave and drought, now I am doing damage limitation, the bedding plants won't last much longer, my 3 beds are really looking sad. I have cut back plants in hope to save them.

I still have raspberries here, 
but they are struggling, these I do still water.
The tomato and cucumber plants are not producing, and it would take too much water to produce what limited harvest they give, I will compost these plants.
My herbs, which we use and the Olive tree, are close to the back door, they get water saved from kitchen sink, we are both washing our hands in this sink after using the loo which is next to the kitchen. 
Some flowers are loving this heat the begonias are doing really well. This display on my metal table is looking OK, the pink flower at the back is in a pot, the flowers at the top of the stem is pretty, but the plants is looking fairly weak. 
Everywhere is just so dry, as I said in my last post, rain has not fallen for weeks, the heatwave over the last few days is over, but the temperature is staying in the mid twenties, and loads of dry days. We often get a sunny warm days in early September, so I am working along the lines, we won't get any heavy rainfall for another month. My rain catching water buts are almost empty, I am now only using the rainwater on plants that need it, my blueberries ect.  

Anyone reading this not in UK, our weather patterns have really changed in the last few years, our summers are normally as many wet days as dry, so we are not good in drought situations, low twenties was our highest temperatures, and not for many days. We have over the last couple of years, changed how we save and use water here, but we do need to do more. We live in south Hampshire in a dry area, the north of England and Scotland have fewer issues with water. 

Loads of leaves are falling from the trees and plants as each tries to save itself, our lawn is fake, so I don't have to do anything with it, we are keeping the birdbath and the bird drinking places full of fresh water, our garden is busy with birds, I think other people have stopped feeding the birds, as the numbers visiting are more now. 

I am surprised how much water we are saving from keeping a bowl in the kitchen sink, it's not a proper bowl, but a big plastic bowl I use for cooking, I do hate to see it there, but is does a great job. 

I have everything crossed we get the thunderstorms promised in the next couple of days, we often miss such storms, the rain won't be enough, but it will help in the weeks to come, if the garden can get a good soak. 

Saturday 13 August 2022

Another heatwave

Book 70 read this year, set in March 2020, at the beginning of covid, a police department investigating historical child abuse in a now closed Sheffield boys home, subject could have been graphic, but the story unfolded without any detail, they were going after the well connected men who abused the boys,  who are now grown up. I really enjoyed this story, it followed a path where police officers were blocked and mislead, there are loads of titles from this author, I would happily read more.

Another book by Lisa Gardner, these all follow one big storyline which is being chipped away bit by bit, each book also has another crime to solve, There are loads more to read, again I enjoyed this story. Book 71 read this year.

We have had Molly for 2 days and nights, daughter had booked a family trip to Lego land on Thursday and Friday, we suggested they leave her with us, she is too young to do much, they were able to do more with Will and George. They had fun, it was not too busy and there was loads of shade. We stayed inside both days, Molly plays happily and slept well each night, we had loads of fun, it simply too hot to do much. Saving water having her bath in our sink, sat on a towel for comfort, brought back loads of memories. 

I have been given this lovely display of yellow roses,  the lady made it herself,  I was happy to give away our paella pan,  I've only used it once,  and would not use it again, it did not sit on my cooker top, and I really did not want any money for it. Such a lovely surprise, sadly in this heat they won't last long. 

I have been saving all the grey water from our kitchen sink to water my pots, most are looking weak, I am watering my Olive tree, I can't bear to lose it. My raspberries are not forming, which is a shame there were loads of flowers and tiny fruits. My cucumber is dead, my tomatoes are looking sick, both in the greenhouse, it's just too hot. My poor garden is closing down, most of my bedding plants are going to seed, normally most last until early September, I have no plans to replace them until we have decent downpours. The last time we saw any decent rain was in June, the last rain we had here was 22nd July, and not huge amounts. 

I packed the sewing machine away, too hot to do anything, my hexagon's only need a few more stitched to one corner,  the other tasks will get done once it cools down, mostly we are both reading with the fan going to keep us cool.  Molly went home at lunchtime, mummy was really happy to see her, we have no plans, it's too hot to cook or BBQ, so pizza for tea, tomorrow we will visit so Will can tell us all about his trip, he like most little boys loves Lego.

Wednesday 10 August 2022

A stitch here and there

I have enjoyed this week so far, my sewing machine is out, first job I wanted to do was sort the waist bands of 2 pairs of summer trousers, they we uncomfortable, so I cut out the back belt bands and replaced them with elastic. It has worked well, far easier to wear, I have not changed the size, just changed a hard band with a stretchy one.

Daughter choose all these fabrics for dresses for Molly, I've cut the out in the same dress design, I aim to add to them, pockets and binding, all to help lift colours, Molly looks really good in yellow. It is fun to have fabric designs, I would not normally choose myself.

I have also been hand stitching my hexagons, I've now done the size and shape I require, I have really enjoyed the hand stitching, I still have loads left, at some point I will have to decide on another project. All I now need to do is attach the front to the lining on my sewing machine cover, use binding for neat edgings, and it will be finished.

This book was a bit of a disappointment, I did finish it, but the story was not that interesting, I find some of this authors books are good others are sadly not very entertaining. Book 69 read this year.

Daughter came on Monday, with Will and Molly who is full of cold, we went out to lunch, both children were well behaved, and enjoyed their lunch. Will was treated to a toy and Molly got loads of fabric for new dresses. George was in nursery. Daughter found her new bathroom flooring in our local shop, who also does fittings in her area. Rest of the day was sewing and later watering the garden.

Tuesday we met for sign class, we spent the time chatting, I have been given loads of books, which I will read and pass on. Later I popped to daughters house and sat with children for an hour, loads of cuddles and laughter, I am enjoying seeing more of Will, whilst school is on it's summer break. I read all evening, very peaceful after a busy day. 

Today is a day at home, later this morning a lady is coming to collect a paella pan, she asked on our local Facebook page and I was able to pass ours on, I have used it once, but it did not work well on our cooker top. I plan to do more sewing, firstly to make my sewing machine cover, it should not take too long. Then I would like to make Molly's dresses, they are very simple, not many pieces. I also hope to finish resizing the paper pattern for Georges dungarees, so a busy day. Hopefully it will be cooler inside.

I've got brave, my nails are bright red, normally it's a colour I only use on my toes. 

Monday 8 August 2022


  I rarely have nice nails in the summer, gardening and lovely nails are not normally compatible, this year all the big jobs are finished, I spend time in the garden dead-heading and picking up magnolia petals, these days I always wear gloves. I have a good selection of coloured polishes, most are years old, I keep them in a cool dark place so they are all usable, I do love this pewter shade.

This book goes to the top spot of best book read this year, from the first chapter I was hooked,  the main character is telling the story, it's interesting, funny and keeps you wanting to read more, a fantastic twist at the end, I could not put this book down. This is authors first novel, and I can't wait until her next one, book 68 read this year.

Saturday we spent loads of time in the garden, I dead-headed around the plot, hubby cleaned the birdbath, it's still water and under all the overgrown stuff along the boundary fence, the birds use it all the time. All the water used went into the ground by our Magnolia tree. I have some new bells in the garden, these don't tinkle in the wind, which I don't mind, I do love them in this spot. 

My begonias are mostly looking good, I have 2 which are very slow, just showing leaves, I do love these showy flowers, they grow from corns, and can be so very different in bloom sizes, most of them stay outside the whole year, they are tucked in pots and my raised beds.

Sunday we had our BBQ, daughter and her family came and stayed all day, sadly no paddling pool, with the drought lingering, I really could not use so much water. We ate at lunch time, all 3 children ate well and enjoyed fresh fruit afterwards, Will helped me pick raspberries and blueberries, I even found a few blackberries. They stayed later than normal, leaving about 5ish, in time to bathe them and have supper before bedtime, playing outside most of the time, our garden has different shady spots throughout the day. In the evening I started preparing my sewing for the coming week, I had 2 pairs of trousers I needed to adjust the back waist band, so I unpicked them, they are both ready to be stitched back together again. 

Today I hope to cut out Georges dungarees and the dress for Molly, I do need to adjust patterns, I have not finished the hexagons, but there is not too much hand stitching to do. Daughter is bringing Will over, and we are going to our local Bistro for lunch, George and Molly will be a nursery, so it will be fun for Will, it was his choice of what to do. Hubby is away until Thursday, I have nothing much to do at home, so I can have fun sewing. 

Saturday 6 August 2022


I think this might just divide you, my loyal readers, we popped to the huge Tesco superstore, it's about 15 minutes down the road, we don't go often as it's huge and I just can't stand so many people about, I spend all my time dodging trollies and kids. I checked the dates on the items bellow and now have most of what I need for our Christmas cakes. Heck, I've said the word, I normally get everything in September and bake in early October, but who knows what's coming. 
Still no rain, our days look like this, cloudy often muggy and windy, all the promise of rain, but no it's staying dry. Other areas in south east are now bringing up hosepipe bans, my garden is not doing to badly, but soon all my rainwater will be gone. I'm trying to be careful with water, even before any ban comes into force in our area.
I am having harvest, this will be the last big cucumbers, the leaves have turned yellow, I do have another plant which is almost ready for harvest, I get a few tomatoes each day, it's not been a good year, one plant died and the other is struggling. The blueberries are almost all gone, the blackberries and raspberries are now ripening, so we can have fruit for a few more weeks. 
Again another good book, good storyline, I did guess who done it, but it did not take away anything from the story, this author has loads of books, so I'm going to keep an eye out in our library. Book 66 read this year.
I did not dislike this book, it was a good story, but in truth I didn't enjoy it either, almost everyone in the book was a success in their lives, the setting was stunning, all a bit much for me, I like my stories to have a more used, real feel, I won't read another book by this author. Book 67 read this year. 
I got another dress pattern, this should last Molly for years, I have dressmaking tracing paper, so I won't cut out the pattern, I can trace it and make a new pattern. I have purchased some denim, to make the dungarees for George, I am planning loads of sewing next week.  

All my houseplants are now looking much better for the re-potting, none are drooping anymore, I like where they are now placed, hubby has not said anything regarding the 2 now in the kitchen window, the spider plant has perked up really well there. I am still dead heading in the garden, I have cut back my hotlips Salvia, and should get a second show of flowers, they had got very tall. There is very little soil not covered with flowers in the garden, which helps the water retention, I only water the beds once a week, the bulk of the pots just twice a week, and a few more often. 

I have lost myself in books again, I find it so easy to read anywhere, hubby is a book worm as well, the TV is never on, I have even stopped watching the news, I now check the site on my phone. I need just one push to get the hexagons all sown together, I have everything I require to get the sewing machine cover finished. I have plans for next week, plenty of sewing time, I am also about to cut out Launa Lupin's friends, again I have everything I need to make them.

We are planning a small family BBQ tomorrow, daughter, SIL, Will, George and Molly will be here, they have just come back from their holidays in Somerset. We have almost everything we need, just have to get burger buns today. Today is just a quiet day at home together, I will be outside in the garden, I have a few small things to do. 


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