Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Monday 31 October 2022

October round up

 I have spent more in the garden, I got a lovely wooden raised bed, with shelves underneath, to be used as a cold frame and paid for a storage box, which I am chasing a refund as its not been delivered. Almost no craft items, I have loads here to do, as the weather starts to close the garden down, I now have more crafting time. I did get my Christmas snow globe, I've added cost to my list, don't think I want anything else.

Our cupboards and freezers are full, and with spaces on supermarket shelves, we don't aim to let our stock fall, we are carefully shopping when we need to. What we are eating is changing, the slow cooker is out more. Our air fryer broke, its over 4 years old, hubby called Morphy Richards, they did not do repairs, but offered him a 30% discount on the latest model, so we now have a new one. We also replaced the quilt on our spare bed  it was looking scruffy, it's years old and been washed many times. It was also expensive on petrol, I filled up twice, normally we don't use our car much, but staying at daughters, I was doing school run twice a day, the school is too far away to walk.

We received our 1st £66 for our heating allowance, which will help with winter bills. Our heating has been turned on, set at 19°, but as yet the radiators have not heated up, the house is retaining any heat, the mild weather is helping. 

Still no food waste, we only purchase what we need, we don't often impulse buy, it's a very easy habit to get into. Hubby has started a weekly menu plan, helps us to know what fresh foods we need.

My weight is down, my clothes feel loose, which is very pleasing, I've not been this low in weight for a couple of year, but still not close to where I want to be, but it's another positive marker along my weight loss journey. I am struggling to keep my steps high, but I will do as many as I can.

Sunday 30 October 2022

All together

Soon the bathroom window sill will be full if colour, this plant always blooms a bit earlier than others I have, it's not a warm room, but it does get all afternoon sun.
Our cats have the right idea, lazy late mornings, all snug in these beds, they both love to snuggle, Grace loves to tuck herself right to the back when grandchildren are here, they can't see her and they don't try and play with her. 
More stitching, another design almost finished, I have added a first colour to the top red design, I think it looks better. I have also started working on finishing the right hand design, I have made my colour choices, all I have to do is stitch. I'm a good quarter way through stitching this project, it's steadily growing.
I've finished knitting my socks, I will sew all the ends in today on both recently made pairs. I am about to choose some colourful yarns for the next pair.

I have finally sorted the last 3 big pots in the garden, all the gladiola bulbs have been removed from 2 pots, they are in the garage drying out for use next year. My cider pot under the Magnolia tree has a couple of cyclamen and loads of spring bulbs in, I transplanted the tall fuchsia from this pot, next summer I will pop in a few bedding plants.

I've had my blood test, the nurse was successful on the third attempt, this time she listened to my suggestion to use the veins on my hand. At no point was I telling her how to do her job, just suggesting what has worked before, she did agree I did test her skills, the doctor added my annual cholesterol and pre diabetes test, so I hopefully won't need another blood test for a while. I do have lovely bruises on my hand, again that's normal for me.

We are at the end of another month, 2022 is rushing by, we have a busy November, loads of birthdays, a trip 'up north' and preparing for Christmas. We will be at daughter and SIL's house on the day, with our 3 youngest grandchildren, home the rest of the time, my brother Martin will be here, he will be with his daughter, SIL and grandson on the main day, as they are having their 1st Christmas at home.

Fireworks have already started here, very loud, Grace spent call last night on my lap,  she did not relax at all. We sat up late until all the fireworks had stopped. 

Did you remember to put back the clocks last night.

Friday 28 October 2022

Garden delights

What is going on outside, so much colour everywhere, this raised bed outside my backdoor has fuchsias in, summer plants, the blooms are stunning. 
In the side bed, the salvia hotlips have gone mad, I did cut them back, but this mild wet weather is perfect growing conditions, there are bedding plants along the front still in bloom. My nerines are not so good, I think adding mulch to the soil has left them a bit too deep to grow well, a few have come through. 
Outside the greenhouse, this begonia has been stunning for weeks, the small tub, I though was going over, but again loads of new growth. 
By the steps to the greenhouse along the garage wall, my grasses are doing well in the sink, the geranium I moved from my small raised bed to a huge pot is loving this position, the trio of acers, I have trimmed back as I don't want them to grow too huge. 
In the corner of my big raised bed, in front of the greenhouse, again another fuchsia doing well tumbling over the front, the plant at the back, another fuchsia, I have just moved from a pot to here, in hope it fills this corner, this plant grows up higher than the front plant, should be colourful next year. 
Even in my rose bed, summer plants have new flowers, the bed is full of leaves dropping from the jungle next door. 
The star of the garden is my acer, it is doing so well in this spot, the leaves are such a beautiful mix of colours, and not dropping yet.
On my metal table outside the patio doors just 2 pots, but plenty of colour. The solar lights are still lighting each night.
This is a tender plant, it's Cape gooseberry, it had completely died back and suddenly loads of new growth. Its a truly weird season, in a good way.

We are loving all the colour outside, hubby is picking up leaves every other day, our Magnolia tree is not dropping leaves yet, hubby did cut loads off the top, the tree looks much better, all the bits have been shredded and in one of my mulch bins, which is almost full. My compost bin is full again, I will need to dig out the bottom, I don't have much commercial compost left, I hope to not have to purchase any next year. We have had loads of rain, the ground is wet but not water logged, even on our heavy clay the water soaks down, our area does not flood often, so everywhere dries quickly. 

The house was full of toys on Wednesday, Molly emptied the two toy buckets and the book box, Will played cars and soldiers , George was at nursery. Once they all went home and the toys picked up there was very little mess, we were both extremely tired and had an early night. I popped to daughters house to see George on Thursday, just an hour of play and cuddles, and loads of kisses.

Today I have yet another blood test, the doctor is unwilling to say all is well with me, I'm not feeling ill, but I don't feel right, I just wish we could work out the issue. Later if it's dry I intend to sort a few big pots outside, nothing feels better than working outside.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Books and thoughts

 I have had this book since 19th October 2017, it's been a fun, clever thing to do, it has space for you to record answers to the same daily question for 5 years. It was purchased as a bit of fun, but I tried to ensure it was done probably weekly rather than daily.
Most days I answered the questions, occasionally some more defined was written, some things can not be just forgotten. Now its finished I will leave it on my bookcase, maybe for others to find in years to come. I have another book called Dear Mum, which I am starting to focus on now.
Baking on wet days over the past weekend left me with plenty of stitching time, I filled the space on the left of the purple roses using more patterns from the same designer. I then did a simple red design to complete the top line, I'm not sure about the design, but it will stay. The top line is completely straight, it looks wonky, but it's just the way the fabric sits in my frame. I have started a last minute addition, I loved this small design. The green motif is placed in a central position for a special addition, I am adding loads more to this project. 

I have been thinking about my blog books, I am behind, working on 2020, I am struggling, reading my words as Covid was devastating our world, normally I work on the previous year to have it printed in November, when the printers have their best deals. I do want to print a few more years, so Molly our youngest grandchild and only grand daughter is featured, I do often look through a book, I love to see the photo's and it's a great way to look back on our changing garden and home. I am making a promise to myself to continue working on 2020 and get it finished by the end of the year.

I have been working on the book for hubby, I have been sorting photos from my blog in date order, I have added them to the book and will add photos from hubby's Facebook. I have an idea on how it should look, very few words, maybe just events and trips taken with dates. We have already got a few gifts, seeing things at a good price and purchasing them, and spreading the cost. 

Had fun in sign group on Tuesday, we are learning multi channel signs, using one sign for a saying, ie, grin and bear it, I'm not bothered, it's fun and will help in conversations. I do like 'not bothered', I might start using it loads. I have almost finished knitting my second sock, just the toe shaping to do, then I plan to sew in all the ends for both pairs, after I will cast on a pair for SIL for Christmas,  that's the last pair needed this year, not necessarily the last pair I will make.

Daughter is due this afternoon with all 3 grandchildren, if the house survives, and us both, we will need an early night, going to spend an hour outside this morning. 

Monday 24 October 2022

and BAKE

 October is Christma cake baking time, I soak my dried fruit in the juice of 2 lemons and 2 large oranges, I have also added the zest, overnight the fruit will take in all the juice, be nice and plump for baking the next morning.
I have before made 2 cakes, one for us and a second for daughter and SIL, this year I'm making a third smaller cake for my brother. I mixed all the fruit, the packets of mixed fruit from the shops have too much peel, so I only use one small bag and add other fruits, I have weighed out the fruit for the other cakes and these oranges and lemon will be used.

I save this piece of paper, it's part of my history, I found this recipe in a Magazine and tried it, we loved the cake, so I typed it out and use it every year for over 20 years. I do have a scanned copy on my computer, so when this page is too tatty the recipe won't be lost. Like most cooks I have made notes on it, the main one is oven temperature and cooking time, our ovens work so much better, so less heat and time these days.
Three cakes all baked, the third cake I made the same quantity, the leftover mixture I baked as small cakes, a nice treat for hubby and I.
I have 3 cake ribbons, I will marzipan and ice the whole of the two big cakes but my brother is not keen on the marzipan and icing, so I will only do the top on his smaller cake, I am starting to think on decorations for the top of the cakes, I'm going to keep it simple.

The ingredients are not cheap, but I had been collecting an extra pack on each shop, so I had everything I need weeks early, including the marzipan and icing. I'm glad I got things early as the supermarket shelves were low on stock last week.

There was no booze in the pre-cook soak, so I have time to add brandy a few times, I won't add so much to daughters cake as Will loves to eat it.

Hubby does all the cooking and baking so this is my joy to make every year. The house has been full of spices for days, it's a great way to spend wet days.

Christmas is coming, so I'm pleased I have done this task, are you making a cake or anything special this year.

Sunday 23 October 2022

Faking it

I love this selection of autumnal silk flowers, the acorns with the blackberries sing this time of year, both when purchased were expensive, now years later, they have earned their price tag. These sit on my kitchen window sill, and will stay here until spring next year. I have a couple real plants on the other end, these make me smile every time I see them, I love the old jug as well, it's not water tight, so perfect for my silk stems.
This Poinsettia is again a few years old, it's out early this year, I wanted colour in the sitting room. None of my Orchids are in bloom, so I have silk blooms in two, they look good, the real leaves hide the fact the blooms are silk, both blooms are white. I do love my two little pots here, they are fun. I gave up years ago trying to keep a real plant alive, our cool sitting room does not give them the conditions they need to thrive.
My sewing to growing, the rainy days give me afternoons inside, when the light is great for stitching. I have a clearer plan for the right hand side of the purple flowers, still undecided for the left side. I do enjoy the tiny stitches, I can loose myself in these patterns. All the threads I have in my stash, I have drawers beside my chair, I can sit and choose what to use next. 
I have been baking, tell you more in next post, the house is full of citrus and spices, I have one more bake to do, so the oven is also warming the house, it's not really cold here as the rain falls, I've timed it right for being inside. We were watching the thunder storms at 6.20am this morning.

Nothing much is happening here, my back has improved, it's still tender, so I will rest and sew. Both our cats sleep all day, neither are young anymore, Grace still loves my lap in the evenings, she is my living hot water bottle. Hubby has very little to do, we are not getting out much, a walk to the village is a highlight, we can get most of what we need locally. I am looking online for a few Christmas gifts, I'm doing food hampers again as they were loved last year and a couple of hand knitted socks.

We are planning a trip to Newcastle in November, hubby's older brother and sister lives close by, both partners are unwell, so we thought a visit would be nice, it's years since we visited up north. Normally family visits center around locations in Wales, but his older siblings don't travel so much, I am looking forward to catching up with them. We are planning an overnight stop on the way, I don't think it's wise to try the whole drive in one day.

Friday 21 October 2022

Normal life

Wednesday Molly came to play on her own for the first time in ages, she is walking all the time, she is now at the perfect height to touch things, she was good, just found my collection of hearts which made a lovely noise as she moved them. I don't have many girly things here, she plays with her brothers toys, and loves books. She is so much like my youngest daughter (her mum), she got very tired but was not going to sleep at all.
I'm again pleased with my design choices, it took longer to decide on these two designs, I think they fit. I do love the pale blue lace, it's really pretty. Both designs are from the same designer, I did 4 stitch alongs with her back in the early 2010's, these are taken from those designs.
I am still deciding on what to use to fill the space to the left of my purple flowers. On the right I will use a mixture from Jan Houtman design, which I used on my last mixup creation, I love his designs.
I have not done the toes or any stitching up on my first sock, but the second sock is growing. They won't take long to finish.
My daughter has early priority to O2 arena, and on Wednesday she was able to purchase tickets to see Michael Buble before they go on general sale, we had been chatting and I said I regretted not being able to afford to see stars live when I was younger, we looked at Elton Johns concerts, his final tour, but the resale tickets were over £300 each and the sites selling them did not have good reviews. So next year we have time together, I'm looking forward to it, she even ensured we were seated.

Daughter is really pleased, she finally has a blue badge for George, so she can park in disabled spots when she has him in the car, it's taken 3 years to get it, but life will be easier, as there are never enough parent and child parking spaces and sorting a pushchair with a disabled lad and a younger sister is never easy.

Daughter is really kind to sort my ticket, she will drive us to O2 in London, the show is at 6pm on a Sunday, so we won't need to stay, and can drive home the same day. She would not see Michael Buble if not for me, it would have been the same with Elton John, she says we have to do 1 concert per year.

We have not done much again this week, a quick pop to Lidl, they sent a £5 off a £40 spend, just as we needed a top up shop. I have been good and rested, just doing the odd simple job, the house and garden is tidy, so hubby is not doing much he is now picking up leaves every couple of days, next doors overgrown jungle is shedding into our garden. The sunny warm days have been wonderful, now we are set for a few wet days, so time inside crafting.

Wednesday 19 October 2022

October blooms

 There is so much colour in my greenhouse, my tender plants are still blooming, the bright colours can be seen from every part of the garden. These are on the top shelf and will stay there all winter.
This coleus is full of flower, there are 3 plants in this tub, it will get very straggly over winter, I hope it survives enough to take cuttings in the spring. I have managed to keep them alive before, it's another plant hubby loves.

These cuttings are mixed results, a few have died but loads are thriving, roses are doing well as is a white lavender. I think sphagnum moss is a great medium for growth, it's in a huge deep plant pot saucer,  I only use rainwater and I have a plastic cover over it to keep it moist, it sits raised off the floor in a shady spot, I think next spring I will get another pack and double my capacity.
Another huge success is this Albuca Spiralis Frizzle Sizzie, its a bulb and after thinking I was loosing the plant, I read up about its care, they do die off, but with good conditions they regrow. Hopefully I can bring it into my office so and enjoy it every day, it does love the sunny warm spot on my desk.

I ordered a storage box for behind the garage, it will help keep the space clean, I got it from Wowcher, but was cross at the delivery charge, you purchase the voucher and then redeem with the seller, there was no delivery charge in original selling details, OK that's not an issue, extra few pounds still makes it cheap, but I had to pay £14.99 for delivery, which I think is way too much. Note to self delete Wowcher, not such good value. The storage box will be my junk area, I can store bigger pots and other stuff I don't want all around the garden, everyone needs a space for useful junk. 
I did plant my pansies in the garden and a couple of violas and cyclamen in pots, I won't add anymore, my garden is too small to have space for too much winter colour, I do leave the plants not cut back, hoping there is food there for the birds and bugs, I do like to see the spines and branches bare in the cold months, I think it give the garden interest. I have not sorted the greenhouse yet, maybe next week, I'm still aware of my back and don't want to do anything stupid. 
Busy crafting and reading, my second sock is almost finished, I have plans for another pair for SIL, he loves previous pairs I have made him. My cross stitch is growing, I'm thinking of the next design,  photo's next post.
I went to sign group yesterday, which was fun, I've not missed much as they are revisiting previous class topics. Today we have Molly on her own, Will is at school and George at nursery,  should be fun, loads of books and games, Molly loves books. We are trying to choose nursery photos, we both love different photos.

Monday 17 October 2022

Resting hobbies

Book 77 read this year, I've not read a book for weeks, this is a brilliant plot, 3 women, 3 time lines, what happened that night? I enjoyed every word, the time lines were done well, each giving another lead or clue, nice ending. In the authors notes she said this was her lockdown novel, I don't always enjoy this authors work, but I loved this book.
I am happy to be stitching again, the break whilst at daughters house, left me eager to do more. The red hearts are finished, I have stitched the pink design around them, I'm not totally happy with the pink, but I'm not unhappy enough to unpick it. I've started another design, in hope it will bring both sides together. My head is full of designs, trying to think ahead, balancing colour and patterns.
Last week when in TK Max  I got another smaller snow globe, it is musical, but I'm not to bothered about the music, I think it's very pretty, what do you think.

On thursday we went to B&Q and I got some half-price plants and then into Home Bargains, we did not need much from either store. I did get a few Christmas gifts, mainly sweets, Home Bargains shelves were full of Christmas items. 
Friday we went into Fareham it's turning into a ghost town, so many empty shops, M&S leaving has harmed our town centre. We took the bus using our bus passes, so free travel, hubby sold his old mobile phone, he was pleased with their offer, we had a cake and coffee out, it was too early for lunch. 
Saturday morning I was home alone and managed a bit of housework, later we got our covid jab from our doctors surgery. Hubby made a batch of minestrone  soup, with fresh baked rolls, lovely lunch and plenty for in the week. He made a toad in the hole for tea, using pigs in their blankets, took the meal to another level. Toad in the hole is sausages baked in batter, pigs in their blankets are sausages wrapped in bacon. I changed my summer silk flowers for autumn ones, which I have had for years, I always love changing my silk flowers. My silk poinsettia is out, a bit early, I do love the bright red leaves, again this plant is a few years old.
Sunday I was sat all day, my back was aching, I had done too much in the previous days, I spent the day sewing, it's lovely to have an enjoyable day crafting.

My back is not healing as quickly as I hoped, probably because I keep doing things, I have promised hubby I will rest for 3 days, in hope I can rid myself of the pain and discomfort. No side effects from the covid jab, just a sore arm, which should heal quickly. Thank you for your comments, too many of us suffer from back issues, it's definitely no fun.

Friday 14 October 2022

New designs

My 1st sock in this design is knitted, it's very different to my normal pattern choices, but I like it, these have a longer top, I don't normally knit the legs so high. I have to finish the toes and stitch in ends. I have already cast on and knitted a few rib rows on my second sock.
I am really happy to have my cross stitch project out, I have done some more to the inner squares, they are not finished yet. I wanted to stitch the hearts here, they don't sit right next to the squares, so I am slightly moving each heart to make it look good and not have huge gaps. In my mind it works. The hearts are a Rovaris design purchased back in 2014, I have a few different heart designs from Rovaris.
We did some shopping on Thursday,  in Homebargains I saw these needle felt kits, really cheap, with everything you need, so I got the 2 pumpkin designs, there were other designs. 

 It's been a slow few days, resting my back, so crafting time. I spent time on my computer, the hearts design arched the other way, so I scanned the pattern, flipped it and reprinted, I was then able to mark the square design and ensure everything fitted. I want to create a book for hubby, with his motorbikes in, a lovely reminder of the fun he had, I hope to work on it next week, on days when he is out. I already have loads of photos, I am going through his Facebook page to get more photos.

We have turned our heating on, its set at 19, our house is warmer, so the radiators stay off, I have boosted it a couple of times for showering, I do like a warm bathroom. I had the patio door open yesterday, it was a lovely afternoon, we do like the fresh air inside, luckily we are not getting any smells from next door. We have put a thicker duvet on our bed, we do not heat our bedroom and always have the window open, so the extra warmth was needed.

Thank you for your comments regarding my back pain, I feel so stupid, but it's now a week spot and I have to ensure I move in ways which won't twist it again. I have been through weeks of aches and pain, I suppose it comes with my age, I don't feel old, but sometimes my body says, hang on, stop and then punishes me with aches and pain. I just need to slow down, and think how to do things differently. 

Wednesday 12 October 2022

There is

 no place like home, 

my garden is full of colour, the warmer weather is fooling my plants to stay blooming, I love the view from our sitting room and last night sat and watched it grow dark and all my solar lights come on. It was bliss.

This pot on our decking has mock orange plants in, I popped some violets to grow under the main plants, they look stunning, I love these tiny blooms, I have them all around the garden.

Hubby has been busy through out the house while I was away, he has cleaned our cooker (which is 16 years old), it is regularly cleaned, but we do like is sparkling before the festive season. We did look at replacing it, but found nothing we liked, so it stays. He also popped a unit under the downstairs sink, we have had a few issues with this sink, and hope the unit will sort everything out. 

Sadly on the last day at my daughters I twisted my back, so I am again in pain, I did it picking a small toy up off the floor, just silly, so I am being very careful at the moment, so a few days crafting.  I have also another patch of ringworm back, in a slightly different place, I now have more cream and a body wash, I have to rub on area, leave for 5 minutes before showering

It's sunny and bright this morning, I did get up very late, so there is not much of the morning left. I did miss the children's bedtime routine last night, hubby made me rest, I watched Bake off and then went to bed.

I have loads of plans in my head, nothing big, just a few things in the garden, the greenhouse tidy can wait a week or two. I have my cross stitch, my knitting and a book to read. I will leave my sewing machine to the weekend, again I want my back to heal. 

Monday 10 October 2022

Just socks and

 My latest socks are knitting up well, I love the choices so far, I will probably keep the foot in shades of brown with blue toes. This simple design again is easy to knit, counting the rows when using different colours is simple. I will have some of the mixed colour yarn left over, but not enough to use for socks, so I will pop it in my mini 10grm bag.

Family lunch out, right next to the beach, it was a warm afternoon, so everyone played on the beach. Perfect Sunday roast dinner,  I had pork my favourite meat, even found space for a dessert. 

We had a lazy weekend, we ordered in pizza for Saturday night and watched Strickly, it is nice to have nothing to do, going out has involved sorting a double pushchair in and out of my car, it's very tricky, my car boot is small, even folded the pushchair only just fits. The little ones had fun playing with their toys and Will had a restful day. Sunday I picked up hubby and he had the day with us, we all went out for Sunday lunch, so a second day of no cooking. The little two were in bed by 6.30pm and Will by just after 7.30pm, so I drove hubby home and then had another lazy evening with daughter, we finished off the bottle of wine from lunch.

Today I'm home as all 3 children are in nursery and school, we have nothing planned, just time together. It will be my last night at daughters house, her hubby comes home tomorrow, so the family will be all together again. It has been very tiring, but it's so lovely to see the children at home, happy smiles each morning, lots of laughter, and snuggles just before bed, after a splashy and wet bath time. Mummy is healing well, daddy is on lifting duties, he is home for the rest of the week.

Friday 7 October 2022

Finish and a start

 My socks are finished, I still don't like them, they fit well, so I will keep and wear them, in hope that under trousers they won't look so mixed up. It was very easy to match the patterns, which made the socks very quick to make.

I pulled these colours together a week ago, at the time I was not sure if I would finish the pair above, I'm using some of my stash, these colours were purchased to mix and match, the mixed colour ball is leftover from another pair. 

The warmer weather has fooled my garden into thinking it should be growing again, I have unexpected colour, which is lovely. Hubby is looking at our Magonlia tree, it does need a trim both mulch dustbins are empty, so everythingis in place for the trim, which hubby will shred before storing.

I popped home Monday and Wednesday, when all three children are in nursery or school, I always walk around my garden, noting changes and normally making notes of things which need sorting. Hubby has been busy, jobs done, house clean.

I am really tired, this week has been long, both little ones had appointments, so we have done more, I am sleeping well, but my nana duties are catching up with me. Daughter us now driving, but only locally, she us still not lifting the little ones, only a few more days and I will be home again. All three children are in bed by just after 7pm, so evenings have been restful. It has been so much fun, the children have each been lovely, Molly has just started walking, George is busy doing new things, almost every day they show how clever they can be. Picking Will up from school is fun, he retains so much information, he does amaze me with what he knows.

I am making plans for the next few weeks, I have 3 Christmas cakes to bake, the greenhouse needs an afternoon to tidy and swap a few things around, I can't stand mess and I have a few extra things from the shed in there. I hope my sewing machine will be out a few days  I have Christmas advent bags to finish and Georges dungarees to make. I did pull out my Christmas fabric stash, which is getting smaller, I am thinking of taking apart all the tiny christmas cushions I have made in previous years and stitching them into one larger cushion.

I have been using my phone whilst away and blogger is not letting me make comments on anyone's post, I'm signed in, so it should work, typical blogger. 


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