Poppy Patchwork


My little bit of this big World

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

January round up

I did say I would not spend on crafts and I stuck to it this month, I have been using things from my stash, I sold my microwave kiln, so a credit was added to my stash list. I have made some purchases for the garden. I did give away loads of fabrics from my stash, it felt good to pass on good fabrics I won't use. I purchased Christmas cards and gift bags all reduced for later this year. I also got another buch of fake tulips to add to the 2 bunches I have. It's the cheapest January ever, even without the credit it still cheapest for years, I am happy with the savings, but happier with using my stash. 

We have been eating out of the freezer and store cupboard for a month, we have not been for a big supermarket shop since before Christmas, using the stuff we already have in the house. We did need to shop for cat food and other stuff, cleaning items ect,  we always get cat food in bulk, when on special, we have 3 months supply for both cats. It wasn't about saving money but using some of the things we have had for ages and not walking to the village and spending in local shops on things we did not need. 

My steps are still lower than I would like, but again the weather is not great, we can often get out for one walk a day, my weight is as I expected, I would like to be lighter, but it's always a struggle, I'm lighter than last year. 

Normally January is a dull gloomy month, but this year I have felt brighter, I did not feel gloomy after taking down the Christmas decorations, even through the early days so full of storms and rain, I felt good, and these wonderful sunshine cold days are making me feel productive with my crafts. 

A brilliant start to this year

Sunday, 29 January 2023

I love where we live, we have a gentle good life, in a lovely area....

 I did my 'Hope' post last week, I was in a reflective mood, for the second time in just a few weeks someone had ended their life by jumping off the local motorway bridge, such a sad way to end your life. I was also upset by the cruel comments being made on our local Facebook page, about the selfish action of the person, the moderators took down the post.

Last night our motorway was closed again, this time the person has survived, can't imagine the injuries they have, local Facebook page was very respectful. I can not imagine being at a point where I no longer want to live and be brave enough to climb on a bridge. The life of a police officer or a medic to arrive at such a scene, or even worse to have to go and speak to family. Life is never easy, people can hide their feelings and their problems, these times we are living in are harder for some, we moan, but we shouldn't.

If you know anyone suffering, even if they have not spoken to you, help them, even if it's just to listen to them, sorry if my post upsets you, our world can be so sad. 

Be kind to everyone, you never know how the other person is feeling.

 

Friday, 27 January 2023

This week

This was a slow and gentle start, but a good plot, I remember Richard Coles from the pop group Communards back in 80's with lead singer Jimmy Summerville, I've seen him on TV loads, so I was surprised when I found he had written a book. I enjoyed this gentle story around murder but would not seek another of his books. Book 5 read this year. 
Back in Feb 2020, I got 2 bunches of 'plastic' tulips, which I put out each year, they look and feel like real blooms, 1 bunch of red and 1 of white, so I was really happy to get these, they will look good with my existing tulips, I had always thought I needed a few more in the vase each year. I will pack away my poinsettia until December. Not cheap to buy, but over the years they become cost effective. 
I am still working mainly on this project, the top box has a very different top third, I decided to add my name and date, I normally don't do this, but thought it would be nice as I think this should be my last fine stitching of any huge size. I did jiggle the designs in the lower box, putting 3 sections together in this one box. The original design had 12 boxes, I will do a partial design next to the bottom box, but once I have finished the trunk of the tree, I will leave this section. 
I spent time sorting my memory box in our bedroom, we purchased it back in 2009, it was a woven box, which these days looks dusty and sagging, so after a long search I have a new unit. I have sorted all the things made for me and cards into plastic folders, much easier to store in the 2 boxes. Again so many cards thrown in the recycling bin, not the photo cards or the ones with big hand writing, I did use some of the many photo cards in this huge frame which still sits outside our bedroom door.  There were shelves in the middle section for shoe storage, I am looking for another basket to pop in there, another tidy area. 
We went to town on Monday, just a quick wander around a few shops, TK Max is always a favourite of mine, not the clothes, they always feel like a jumble sale, I do like the home section. I did not get any bread from the artisan market stall, hubby made a fresh loaf on Sunday and will make another focaccia on Wednesday, we have olives and sundried tomatoes to add flavour.

No sign group on Tuesday, Shelia called it off, a friend of hers died, so a morning at home, nothing much to do, I did spend time sorting my memory box in our bedroom. It felt a bit warmer, no frost for the first morning in ages, but no blue skies either.  

Wednesday after a morning at home we took the bus to town to watch The Way of Water, 2nd Avatar, it was in 3D, started at 3.30pm and was over 3 hours long. It was a brilliant film and was over so quickly, what made my trip was speaking to Matt, he checked our tickets and told us about the cinema and which screen and where to find it, a normal task, Matt has Downs Syndrome and was happy in his job, it made my day to see a disabled person working in mainstream. I told our daughter, Georges mum, she was so happy, our world is changing for the better. 

Thursday was a slow morning, I had my hair cut, I had a mad after noon and evening, hubby looked after George, I drove to school to pick up Will, we went to the park and then picked up Molly, I took both home until mummy and daddy came back, daddy had been to hospital for a removal of a mole. I went home to get ready for Pilates. 

Today we have George and Molly, mummy has a hospital appointment, so we get to play with them both, nothing else planned. I still have this awful cough, I wake up in the night coughing, so both hubby and I are suffering, I know it takes weeks for it to go. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Hope

We, I do mean me, I looked at the gardening sections whilst recently out, the bulbs are for the old herb bed, now a flower garden, these should fill in the gaps. The solar lights are for the back fence, my other set were electric and plugged into the shed, which has now gone. I am thinking of starting these bulbs in small pots and when they have grown, plant them in gaps, as I can't remember what I planted in the new bed. 

 I have blooms on my Amaryllis, I planted my 3rd bulb, so there should be flowers for a few weeks, the final bulb should give us loads of colour. Every year at this time I look forward to these huge bulbs and their flowers, my house plants don't normally flower, and whilst my silk flowers always look as good as real flowers, it is lovely to watch these grow and open. My 1st bulb has a second flower stalk it's growing nicely, there is a 2nd bud on this flowering bulb, hopefully another bloom, both bulbs are giving 2 flower stalks, are you still with me. 
 I have been working on my 2020 book, on the long dull mornings, I find I can get a few pages done most days, the process is very manual, each photo I publish on my blog has to be saved to my computer before I can import them, the words I can copy and paste, but the page layout for the book is very different to my blog, I have to resize most photo's and work on the text to fit everything on 1 page, I often leave out a second photo on a topic if space is tight.

 The book cost is done by the quality of the materials used in publishing and the number of pages, in 2020 I had 195 post/ pages, most years I have about 20 extra pages, photo below shows the working page of the book and part of the same blog post. 


It's cold and frosty, no snow here, just heavy frost most mornings, so to go anywhere outside is a quick dash, when I am not crafting or reading, I am watching the garden, this time of year is always full of hope and plans. I purchase bulbs for summer flowers, I watch spring bulbs planted last year start to grow. I often read, to plant a seed is to believe in tomorrow, to plant a tree it's often said it's planted for the next generation, so a life of hope is good. We watch grandchildren grow from babies, to toddlers, to school children and become young adults, watching our own children become parents, wanting to suggest things, but knowing it's done differently than our ways, so much hope for future lives. So even if you are just planning for tomorrow, or for years ahead, have hope, plan but don't forget to enjoy today as well.

One of my favourite things to do this time of year is to look back on my blog, so my printed books are brilliant, I also look back at my summer garden and plants, in hope the warmer weather will get here and I can start being outside, where I feel the benefits of sunshine and the peace from our garden. 

Hope should be in our world, watching and waiting is a good thing, we don't need everything sorted in an instance, all our lives we have saved for things, we still do, anticipation is a good thing, I enjoy the time planning as much as doing and makes the finished thing so much better. I read so many blogs, where the author is planning and sorting, saving for that one thing they want most, they wait and enjoy the time lived whilst hoping for their final goal. 

Sunday, 22 January 2023

It's done

I've worked on this project over the past few days and nothing else, I needed to sort this left side, after finishing the box outlines, I could then see how much space I had, I wanted to have a nice neat line and decided to do half of the design, it fitted in well, I stitched the navy, pale blue and yellow design down to fill any gaps. Then because I love the design I stitched the boat in the top box, I have the sea to stitch below and there should be a sampler ABC above, but I have an idea.
Hubby was bored on Friday, so he made garlic and rosemary focaccia, he forgot to allow a second rise, so it is a bit flat, but it did not take away from the taste, next time we go shopping we will get sundried tomatoes and olives, he is going to make this again. We both loved it, but he will split the mixture to allow me to add cheese to one, which he does not eat.
The photo of the garden was taken a 3pm on Friday, still lovely blue skies, looks nice but bitterly cold, we popped some washing one the line, did not dry, but smelt much better for being out in the fresh air. I'm thinking more and more about the garden, it's still too early, hopefully the spring bulbs will make a show and keep me happy for longer. I'm always the same at this time of year, but I have learnt to wait. 
Grace spends most of the day sleeping in her basket and most of the evenings sleeping on my lap, she is 18 years old in a few months, still very well, just looking older, Purdy is in her basket, she was outside in the garden for ages, checking every space to ensure all is well, Purdy is a female cat, without any internal female organs, but she shows behaviour of a male cat, and our garden is her patch. Purdy is very protective of Grace outside, inside they do occasionally hiss at each other, getting too close in their personal space, they mix which basket they will sleep in without a problem.  

We were home most of Friday, just a quick pop out to The Range for more cat food, the brand we wanted was cheaper there, I have always loved a wander around the store, but this time it was a messy and hard to understand layout, they now have an Iceland section. We looked at the reduced Christmas items, just in case they had something special, but I got frustrated as some items were not in the sale and others had 50% or 75% off, badly signed and difficult to work out. In the craft section none of the Christmas stuff was reduced, it felt expensive in there, we got the cat food and left. We have been going to Home Bargains more and the prices there are much cheaper, it's a shame with The Range, because the store always have departments to suit my hobbies. 

Saturday, was a cleaning day, we need to stay in because the fruit and veg man  delivered an order, they contacted us to see if we wanted anything, so hubby placed an order, their son has a stall for fruit and veg on a Friday in a village local to daughters house, so next week we will pop there and use him until mum and dad are back in Fareham on a Monday. 

Today another day at home, I can always find plenty to do, hubby does get bored, he does read loads, more than me. This evening TV is always fun, we both enjoy watching Pottery throw-down, and Happy Valley. We watch Call the Midwife on catch up on a Monday evening. At least it's dry and we can go for a walk. 

Friday, 20 January 2023

Oh no

I finished knitting this jumper in February 2021, it's a really warm jumper, so only worn 2 maybe 3 months each year, so how disappointed am I, I noticed this hole when wearing it this week, I did not catch the jumper on anything and it's not where I join the different colours, it was OK when I put it on, the hole is in the front, so I would have noticed it. The yarn was a good quality, I am thinking about unpicking it and reusing the yarn. 
Chatting to a lady I know, she gave me a few tips on how to keep a circular crochet base flat, it took me a couple goes, but I was pleased this was attempt, BUT I've unpicked it as it could still be better. I will try again this evening, I going to find an online instruction to help me. I would like to crochet things other than blankets, even in this cold weather, there are only so many blankets you require. I'm happy to work at this and improve, who knows I make make something useful. 
Youngest daughter gave me 2 books to read, I enjoyed the plot, it's a modern twist, looking back over a period of time when you think you know someone, but is he a monster, the courts say yes, but is he? Now years later he wants you to visit him in prison, because he is dying, is he? will I go. Book 4 read this year.
Not the best photo, but I have started sketching my January section of the wheel, I have put the flight of Cosmic girl, even though it was not a success, it did take to the skies. My hexagon flowers and cross stitch had to have a place, I will record my average steps each month, and a book with how many I read that month as well. An Amaryllis bulb should feature as they are present in our home this month. There is still space for the rest of the month, I will add some weather icons. Once I have the completed section, I will use my light box to transfer onto the canvas to sew. 

Wednesday I popped to youngest daughters house, we had planned to visit Gunwharf Quays, on the waterfront in Portsmouth, but both agreed it was probably better to leave the visit to warmer times. Will was at school, George at Nursery, so just Molly at home, at lunch time we drove to a local village centre with a artisan cafĂ© for lunch,  Molly ate more of my lunch than hers, which is OK with me, it was lovely to spend quality time together, after lunch Molly went for her nap, daughter was tired, so I left her to rest and came home a bit earlier. The rest of the day was crafting at home, and reading in the evening.

Thursday, was another cold day, still no snow just loads of frost, it was a busier day, we had a man come to measure our windows again, and check all the details for the renewal of both front huge windows, they are now ordered and we are waiting for an installation date. Later I popped again to daughters, I did the bedtime routine for George and Molly, daughter took Will back to school for a reading experience. 

Hubby found our local arts centre does a monthly induction class for pottery, and has booked us both for a session, it's not to March, but something to look forward to, we are hoping to have an activity day once a month together, hoping to use local people. Trying to get out more and do new things, I suggested pottery as we both love the pottery throwdown on TV, I am hoping hubby suggest a few things, but I have a couple more which should work for the both of us. 

Somerset has been in the news twice this week, the bus overturned, just outside of my childhood village, none of my family were involved, my younger brother works at Hinkley Point at station 2, the workers on the bus were going to an early shift at station 3, the village was cut off most of the day. The Somerset flats around Glastonbury are again under water, it was flooded for weeks 9 years ago, my niece still lives on the edge, they are again moving everything up to their bedrooms, last time they were lucky and the water missed their home, this time the water is rising faster, we watch and hope all the homes stay safe. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Planning

 I've had a few days off from this cross stitch project, I was struggling to choose which design to use on the left hand side, I realised my issue was I was unsure how much space I have there. I had always planned the two or 3 designs for the bottom left corner, and I also knew I wanted 2 complete oblong designs along the left boarder, so I have popped the bigger side bars on, and I am doing the lower designs, this way once finished I can know what designs to fill the middle section. 

I am loving stitching these hexagons together, I can stitch 4 flowers most evenings, it's a restful thing to be doing, and of course Grace gets to sit on my lap. My work box is emptying, each flower uses 7 hexagons, I still have some to sew around the paper template, I'm not sure I will use them, the workbox sits by my chair, tucked out of sight, so easy to pull out and work from. I still have no idea what to make with the stitched flowers, I have far more than expected.

Another small project is for me to unpick these 5 small cushions, which I have made over the years, I intend to stitch them into one big cushion cover, which will be easier to have out at Christmas. Over the years these have been sat on, tucked out of the way, last year I did not get them out. I am thinking a patchwork design around them. I intend to make just a cushion cover, so in December I can pop it over a cushion I already have.
My first attempt at patchwork freestyle, this is using some of my many scraps of cotton, I am sewing them onto another piece of backing fabric, I did cut the backing fabric in one big size, but decided to cut it again into 4 and make four similar designs just over 7" square. Once all four are done I can sew them together, with or without extra fabric boarders, which would make a cushion cover or a front for another bag, I don't need either, but I don't want to not use it and still have it in my stash. There are alot of greys in this design, but the blue cutting board has distorted the colours, I really enjoyed doing this, took me about an hour, mainly because it took ages choosing what to stitch next. 

Saturday was wet as we got up, but it dried slightly and we managed to get out for a short walk, so another day at home with nothing much to do, it was dull the whole day. Thank goodness hubby and I get on so well, we are spending too much time home alone. 

Sunday we woke up to blue skies, hubby got all the towels on the line, it was windy enough to get rid of most of the damp. We popped out, we need cat food, which we purchase it in tins, and Grace is fussy eater, so we went to find her food, most places only sell pouches, and like everything else the price is now so much more. We still get our cat food in tins as they recycle easier, less shops sell tins. I know you can recycle pouches, but the local store is in an area we only go to every 5-6 weeks and I don't want to have to store used pouches. We also got cleaning items and a few tins of food. 

Monday we took the bus to town for our fruit and veg, again the stall was not there, we are going to check other markets to see if they go, we do love their fresh produce. Hubby got a new battery put into his watch, I got some more bread, and we popped into Wilkinson's for a few items. We did not stay out long, the wind is now bitter cold, I'm a soft southerner. 

Today is sign group, I have had a cough for over a week, it's annoying in the day time and can keep me awake at night, so I decided to miss the group today, quite a few of the ladies are older and I don't want to pass on germs. I spoke to my doctor on a follow up call, he thinks my issues are all a result of my kidney infection last year, and whilst I still have a few abnormal results, they are within an acceptable level, he want's just one more test, if that's OK, then I will have another blood test in 3 months to see if I am back to where I should be. I am happy with his diagnosis and how he has checked everything relevant. 

Saturday, 14 January 2023

In the garden.

On a rare sunny day, I went outside to take some photo's to record how our garden is looking in January, I never get tired of seeing this view, even with the bench covered, it still looks good.
This side garden I leave every winter, the Salvia hotlips have still green leaves, it does look untidy, but hopefully the wildlife get some benefits from the plants being left not cut back. 
I have only had Hellebores for a few years, but I do love their early blooms, daughter gave me the dark red plant a few years ago for my birthday, the pink plant is the newest and still quite small.  
My pots full of bulbs are springing into life, each big pot has a mixture of bulbs, I am concerned with the brown pot, bottom left, there are snowdrops planted, and as yet no growth, last year the pot was full of flowers.  Bulbs are growing everywhere in the garden, I should get a lovely show of daffs this spring. 
 Last view, this is not pleasing, the fence panels have been destroyed by the wind and rain, all 3 will need replacing, and it will be up to us to pay. For now it can stay like this, neither of us want to interact with our neighbour, no matter how we word a letter (we never speak to her), it will start an argument, which we do not want to participate, we can't just get someone in, as she has in the past upset workmen in our garden. 
Hubby took a bit more off the top of our Magnolia tree, there were lots of knobbly bits at the top of the branches, in Adam Frost book he suggested you cut them off to tidy the tree and allow room for more to grow, the thicker bits I put in my bug section, it's just a small area by the greenhouse, I hope the bugs will move in, and it saves us having to get rid off bits we can't compost, all the other bits were shredded and put in one of my mulch bins. 

Friday was cold, but oh so sunny, the breeze made it feel colder, but an hour outside is always good for the soul, I had very little to do, it's a case of making note what spring bulbs are growing. My shrubs are all looking OK, only time will tell if the cold spell in December has damaged my Fuchsias, but they are all planted in raised beds, so I am hopeful for their survival. Our Olive is looking good, as yet I have not wrapped it, it survived last winter uncovered. We even popped some laundry on the line, the day was that good. Later we walked to our local Co-op for milk and veg, still using hubby's Christmas gift card. 

Today it is again dull, raining and blowing a gale, thank goodness we don't live in an area which floods, it's going to be another day for lights on and crafting. 

Friday, 13 January 2023

Still sorting

After the big tidy up last Sunday, I wanted my fat quarters somewhere easy for me to see and pick fabrics, I have seen you can purchased clear trays for them, there is nothing local so I got 2 fridge tidy containers, all my quarters fitted into just one container. 
 You can always find a use for the second one, how about a lid, perfectly neat and tidy, and only £5 for the two of them. I have sorted them into colours, and at the front all my Peter Rabbit set. These will sit on my shelf in my wardrobe, in front of the fabrics already stored there. I have also sorted my scrap box, ready for a project to use some up. 
My craft trolley is looking much better, before it was piled high with stuff, now I have plenty of space, and the top level has my bigger projects safely stored between use. I have been sketching items to stitch on my embroidery calendar wheel, for now I am using my note book, but I intend to make a paper template for each segment and use a light box to trace them onto the canvas. 
I have put the 2nd Amaryllis bulb in the sitting room, both have white flowers, the bulb at the back is a 2nd growth, the bulb at the front is looking a bit brown at the tip, I have to hope the flower will open, these are in separate pots, there is a second bud forming on the taller bulb. I still have not planted the 3rd bulb, I will wait for another week. Purdy our cat is very noisy and I discarded many photo's where she snuck in, I was sat on the floor so at her level. 
I am truly reading again, the afternoons are too dull to do cross stitch, so I am enjoying books again, another new author for me, I was given this book with the words, you are going to love this. The book is split in 2, set around and just after the 1st world war and the 90's, I'm not a fan of wartime books, but I love this tale, I guessed the outcome of the sisters from the war timeline, and to be honest the modern timeline finished a bit too tidy, but I still enjoyed this book.  Book 3 read this year.

I watched the Virgin plane take off in Cornwall with the rocket attached on Monday night, I did not stay up to see the rocket release, how sad it failed, rocket science is a difficult medium to get right, so much to factor including our weather, so it's really sad when it's a system failure, I'm sure they are already planning their next flight. 

Again not much happening here, Wednesday was dry and sunny to start with, so I went into the greenhouse, I watered a few plants, shock my head at a few more, I have everything crossed for a couple very sad looking pots, I dismantled my Christmas display box, and the white box is in the garage ready to be used again. I have cut back my hellebore old leaves for the blooms to show through in the garden, there are 3 plants all different colours and all with buds, I planted the Lilly of the valley under the raspberries, nothing else I can do outside, the other items purchased are in garage for now, too early to start them,  I watered all the house plants with rainwater.  The fabrics was collected by a very happy young lady, I also found out a book on how to alter dress making paper patterns, I had used it loads, but felt it would help her with her sewing. I also sold my microwave kiln, so another credit on my stash spend. 

Thursday morning I walked around the garden we had a storm through the night with very high winds, nothing was damaged other than another fence panel, there are 2 destroyed and 1 broken, it was a housework day, I must get my head around making and keeping to a schedule for cleaning, things have slipped again, the house is clean, just don't look to close at the corners. It rained all day, the wind did not drop until much later, I did walk to Pilates class, which I enjoyed again. 

This morning is dry and bright, a lull for us as tomorrow another stormy day is predicted. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Midweek

We daily walk through our local park and can you imagine the joy of seeing tree's being planted, they had 5 different trees for this section, having already planted a Magnolia tree in another part of the park. These are much bigger tree's a couple of the ones planted  before had been snapped, hopefully these will survive. I know we are very lucky still to have a council run parks department, they do get loads of sponsorship from local businesses, most roundabouts have company names on them. 
The pink squares are finished, I have also done the gaps in the Spanish flower section and added 2 more boarders from the design, this section is done for now. I will stitch on the left side and bring the level lower so I can put the longer side frames on. I am having a bit of a ponder on what to do next, I had a design in mind, but I don't think it fits, so I need a rethink. 
These hexagons are growing, I'm am resting for a few days, my sore finger needs to heal before I make any more, I have a leather thimble, which I can't get on with and my metal one slips off unless I cut my finger nail right back, I'm not prepared to do that, they take so long to grow. Changing the inner hexagon colour does make the flowers look different, I will be making loads of repeat flowers. 
I've started reading again, I have not read this author before, I started the book in December and put it down, so I started it again, I enjoyed the story, very easy to read, I would read another book from this lady. Book 2 read this year
I got these bulbs/corns in Wilkinson's, cost me £11, they were on my list  for the garden this year, the Lilly of the valley is for under the raspberry canes, the begonia's for various spots which need more colour, the Astrantia I have never grown before, but I've wanted one for ages. Have I broke my no spend in January rule, I did say no spend on craft, so garden things are OK?
We took the bus to town on Monday, and passed more trees being planted along the route, can't wait to see what is growing, we are just so lucky. We only went for fresh fruit and veg, sadly the stall was not there we did not go into many shops, there is nothing we require, so once back home we drove to Lidl and get a fresh veg and fruit plus a few other bits, hubby wanted some fish and a pie. 

Last week our food spend was £23.43, which for us is very good, this week will be more. We normally pop to a shop to get a couple of things and come away with a few bargains, which are always used, I am hoping we can get out of the habit of walking to the shops most days, with a good supply of fruit and veg and milk, hubby makes bread twice a week, and eating from the freezer, it should be another low spend week. 

Tuesday morning sign group met again for the 1st time this year, only a few of us there, so many bugs going around, we split into pairs to ask each other 5 questions using sign and answering each question, Linda and I both got 3 questions each right and struggled on the other 2, I really enjoyed it, practice is what we need.  



Monday, 9 January 2023

Inside

This cactus in the kitchen is a very slow flowering plant, we have had at least one bloom on it for weeks, and loads of buds, it's nice to have a later flowering plant. Beautiful colour in the gloomy January days. I love the pineapple pot it's in, all golden and shiny. 
In the bathroom, plants are growing well, we have a second flower stalk on the spider plant, which is pleasing, it's always green in here, other than November when the cactus flowers.
On my electric log burner in the sitting room, these plants do well, the Poinsettia is fake, I can't keep a real one, it will stay out for now adding colour here. My space man get weirder as the plant grows. 
I got this Amaryllis bulb half price in early December, I planted it and it did not show any growth for ages, in the last week it has shot up, another pure white bulb. My original bulb had a second tip growing, it is another bud, so more blooms. I have another bulb, but I will wait a while before planting it, I see no point in having more than one flowers at the same time. 
I have finished reading Adam Frost newest book, 'How I garden', and I loved it, he is now my preferred TV gardener, I loved Monty Don, for years, but I am now finding Gardeners World to be repetitive on so many subjects. Adam's book is just like he is chatting to you, very down to earth and not preaching in any form, so much good information regarding organic and little digging gardening. He has such a good start as a gardener, firstly with Devon parks department, and then working with Geoff Hamilton, who was way ahead with organic gardening. Book 1 read this year.

As always my office is full of plants, I showed a photo of my desk in a recent post, I have so much joy is seeing things growing. I have been out into my greenhouse, but I am not doing much, the very cold spell has damaged some of my tender plants, I don't do anything in the greenhouse to protect from cold, our winters are normally very mild, I do have a heater, which I have never used, I am leaving everything, once warmer weather starts, in the correct time of year, I will see what can be salvaged. Our temperatures are much higher as our climate changes, it was the same last year, our winters are much wetter, we have more storms at this time of year, luckily we do not live in a flood area. 

We had Will, George and Molly here on Saturday, for a couple of hours, they played well, we ate our picnic lunch sat on the floor, and then watched some TV, for rest time, once they went home hubby and I relaxed for a few hours, how peaceful the house was. Most of the time they were reading books, all 3 love books. It rained most of the day, so no walks, but with 3 children our steps were high anyway.

Sunday was dull, dark and cold, and rained most of the day, so another inside day. I started sorting my stash of fabrics stored in 2 boxes in the attic, most of what I had was over 10 years old, I am passing loads on to a young lady doing a college course in needlework and textiles, hoping she can use most of it, if not pass it on to others on the course. One thing lead to another and all my fabrics have been sorted and what I'm keeping has been folded and stored, I just need to get a box for my fat quarters. 

Regarding Harry's book Spare, we are not interested, most families have issues, but there is no need to air everything in public, it's so sad. Social media is full of him, rightly or wrongly, I don't read any of it, he is an entitled young man from an entitled family.

Saturday, 7 January 2023

Crafting on gloomy days

I've decided there are now enough squares in this design, it's taken from a cushion I stitched back in 2010, it was a project I made whilst having breast cancer treatment, I was so pleased to have something to do, which would not take too much energy. The smaller cushion design is also on this project. I do love the blue flower, I chose the colour so it would stand out against all the pinks and reds. 
I am almost at the half way stage, in to bottom left corner is an orange marker which is the mid point, soon I will have to put the bigger side bars on, but first I would like to stitch a bit lower on the left side, once the bigger side bars are being used, working in the top half makes it not so easy to hold. I am very happy with the design so far, I have a few new designs for the bottom, and I want to add more lacy ones to balance top and bottom. 
I am doing some hexagon stitching most days, it's relaxing and I don't need much at hand, they stich quickly and never get too big to hold, a perfect craft for me. The top six are leftover from my sewing machine cover, these are random mixes, so I'm not sure if I will use them. The bottom right are two flowers using the same fabric, but with different centres, I love how the choice of fabrics together can change how the pattern looks. 
In the spirt of using what I have, I have been watching video's of people using their scraps of fabric, and like any other sewer, I have loads, I don't like to throw away my bigger scraps. With the theme of patching things, my cross stitch above and my hexagons, I am wanting to try Foundation Paper Pieces, it's a method of patchwork using a paper template, I'm no where near making a quilt, but maybe a bag with a nice front and back or a cushion, I do love this mariners compass design, it made with 2 templates sewn four times each and then sewn together. I might start with a freehand sewing piece, just to see how it works. 
I'm not reading much at the moment, I'm not worried as I am a book worm and reading always comes back to me. I still have loads of books here, and as I have not seen the sign ladies for weeks, I can almost guarantee there will be books to read from them, I have a pile to swap. I read 84 books last year, an average of 7 books a month, this year I will try for 8 books a month. I do have a sore finger from the hand sewing, so I think I will need a couple days away from the hexagon project, to allow my finger to heal. 

I have had a couple more test done with the doctor's, just waiting for the results, I have signed for a Clinical Pilates class, it local to where I live and the lady running it is a NHS clinical physiotherapy support therapist, which should help my back issues, 1st class went well. I am walking more, it's difficult with all the rain we are having, it's hard to quickly pop out, when you need so many outside layers, but that's me making excuses. 

Nothing much is happening here, sadly our local bakery has not re-opened after the Christmas break, the owner is ill and can't keep going, they have been trying to sell the business for a few years, it will be the only empty shop in the village. 

Our family are all well, grandsons have all gone back to school and college, Molly and George have their days at nursery. Things are returning to normal life, we are getting a couple of quotes to replace our front huge windows, they were not done when the rest was done, one window has blown, it was always our plan to have these last 2 done, hopefully the cost won't be too high. 

Friday, 6 January 2023

I've started......

 WIP, love them or hate them, we all have some.....


Last stitched in 2014, this is a stunning project, the colours are beautiful, but it is stitched in the American style of 1 over 2, which I struggled with, so it got packed away, I keep promising I will finish it one day, I have everything I need, it was a very expensive design and kit, it is storing well. 

Again I've had this over 10 years, a birthday gift from hubby, I did make this harder by stitching all the white sections, it's on a bigger count, so hopefully I will get it done eventually. I'm not ready to give up on this yet. 


I started knitting this last May, it's an old pattern from the 80's, I have done more than shown in this photo, I enjoy knitting, but this one got put down, it's alot of knitting after knitting shawls and socks, which are quick easy finishes, I hope to have this done for this summer. I still love the yarns. 
I have loads of knitted and crochet squares, these are made from left over yarn and small skeins, I make them when I'm in the mood, or I have nothing else to do, it's a long term project. The thinner yarn being used for crochet, and the thicker yarn for knitting, both are 4ply, but not all 4ply are the same thickness. 
I have plenty of fabrics to make a few of these, I made two for Molly for Christmas 2021, and wanted to make more, but whilst I have cut these out in a quality felt, I would like to make some with a stronger fabric, it's a case of getting myself going. 
I have a good stash of fabrics, and would like to make with my sewing machine, but my back problems stopped me using my sewing machine last year, I have decided not to get my machine out this month, rest my back, and hopefully in February, I can get creative again. 

I have loads of stash for my cross stitch, I don't purchase many kits, I prefer to have my own array of silk colours, stored in my work box, show here, there are fabrics in the huge bottom drawer, they are bigger DPI than I use at this moment, most of them gifted to me, but with eyes not a great as they were, at some point I will use them. 

I have less yarn in my stash, most of it 4ply, which I prefer to use, I have a big stock of sock yarn, I do love to knit socks, I have 2 couple of thicker yarns for cardigans for me, it's a case of finding a pattern and starting. 

I do love to be able to look at my various stash's when I am in a creative mood and have what I need to make things, nothing worse than finding you don't have what you need, (it does happen on occasions). I have other crafts and a couple new crafts I would like to try, I have everything to start needle felting, I've just been too busy to make any real start. I have learnt from glass fusion, sometimes it's better to do a couple of courses and come away with something beautiful, rather than purchase everything for use at home and not get to the standard I wanted. 

I have thrown away or passed on started projects which for many reasons, I know I will never finish, I don't believe a craft should be difficult, if I am not enjoying it, then why keep going, I always try and be honest with myself and admit defeat when it's staring me in the face. I do like to have only one project in any craft at a time, I'm not a fan of switching designs, my cross stitch project can only be stitched in daylight, so it's an afternoon project, so I have time for different things in the evening. 

Last year I finished, 5 pairs of socks, 1 knitted shawl, 1 small crochet blanket, 1 medium cross stich design, 1 set of Christmas Advent bags, 1 hexagon sewing machine cover and a cot set and cushions for Molly. 

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