Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Sunday 30 April 2023

April round up.

I did return 2 balls of Aran yarn, which were not needed, and swapped them for some delightful fabrics. Expensive month in the garden, but loads of plants being grown on for the summer, purchasing just 4 plants for my Alpine dish was expensive at £32.50, but I wanted something different.

I spent £43, I got new slippers (very necessary) and a new pair of sandals (naughty), I recycled 2 pairs of sandals, both were not as comfortable as they could be. I also got cut flowers for Easter and a book to read.

We did a big shop, this time at a local huge Tesco superstore, just getting store items which we can't get at Lidl's, and a few bits for Easter, we spent over £200, just shocked at how much food is costing. Again no food waste this month, I spent nothing on clothes, I have had another sort out in my wardrobe, getting rid of stuff I don't wear. We had a bigger household spend with new carpet and rug, and a few smaller items, all needed and should last for years. 

My weigh is a bit lower, with Easter in this month and me loving chocolate, I was never going to lose much weight, and going to Newcastle with family, loads of lovely meals, my steps again have improved.

Friday 28 April 2023

Inside and out

This project is too big to show in one photo, so these two images show the bottom of the work. I am working back on the left side, I have stitched the one side of the third oblong box, just the internal design to fill, the flowers are from a design I used in the top half, I'm hoping it will again tie in top and bottom. I am enjoying stitching this mash up of designs.
My favourite view, it's a dull day, almost everything is growing, my metal table is bare, I have begonia's budding in pots in the greenhouse, they will come out in a few weeks. At the moment it's a waiting games, I am itching to get things in the ground. 
My tiny bedding plants are now huge, these cost me just £7 purchasing them in small strips and growing them on, I much prefer this way than planting seeds, my alpines are doing well, and loads of new growth in pots on the shelves. 
This is one of the best things in the garden, it is now permanently planted and should have blooms all through the year, it's in a sheltered spot so things are later than the main garden. I have a fuchsia at each end, different flowers, a peony in the middle, loads of spring bulbs and hyacinth bulbs along the front. There is an aquilegia in there as well, it's too small to have any winter displays. 
I stopped regularly purchasing magazines years ago, but I have kept all these and love to flip through at the beginning of each month, normally I might have 3 copies, I have 5 for May always an interesting month.
Wednesday was a stay at home day, we managed two local walks, which we both enjoy, hubby's back is improving and hopefully will be back to normal soon, he is walking much better. I was at daughters house for the bedtime routine, all three children had stories and went to bed and sleep well, Will and I had a lovely chat, he has been up our Spinnaker Tower and wanted to ask me about my abseil I did years ago, he wants a photo to take to school, I do enjoy our bedtime chats. 

Thursday we went into town on the bus, we wandered a bit, I am looking for plastic cubes like these, for our wardrobe, the back wall can get a bit of a dumping ground, Lekman cubes are perfect, but expensive and I can't find any second hand ones. We also collected our pottery we made in March, I will post next time with photo's. Later I went to my Pilates class which I am still enjoying. 

Today we have friends popping over for coffee, later I hope to stitch some more, BUT I have decided, this weekend coming I will finish my second cardi. 

Wednesday 26 April 2023

As April leaves

I have spent most of my time on this huge project, I have ignored other crafts and reading, the pink lace section looks complicated, but breaking it down to three sections made it easy to stitch, I have used this design on the very top of my design, there I stitched in pale blue. I have looked through my 'finished' page on my blog and found 2 more designs which will fit in here along the rest of the bottom section, so plenty to do.  
This is unexpected and very pleasing, the bud has grown tall very quickly, I just hope it have enough strength in the bulb to flower. It's back inside, I have supported the stem to help it stay straight. 
The weather has turned cooler again, so I have my home made cloche on my marigold seeds, I can't see anything growing, but I'm being safe. I have not covered my raised bed, as the plants are protected by the sides. I have wrapped a few plants in the greenhouse. 
This is by the side of my greenhouse, here I store the plastic sides and door from my old lean too greenhouses, the softer plastic sheet was attached to the back, as seen here, I never get rid of anything useful, these bits are used often for various task around the garden. 
I got the days wrong for our carpet, it was fitted on Tuesday, Monday I sorted my wardrobe and got rid of more clothes, loads were good quality, but work style, and I have not worn them since I retired over 4 years ago, I also sorted my active wear, and summer trousers, so they are hanging instead of folded. My side of the wardrobe is still full, I last sorted in 2021, I also found another pair of shoes, so 3 pairs went to the recycling bin. I should not need anything this year, I am hoping to use what I have. 

Tuesday was sign class, I have missed a couple of mornings this month, so it was great catching up, again we were not a Shelia's house, it's nice to give her a break from us all in her house, she is a very tidy lady and spends time before and after group, ensuring her home is lovely. I spent the evening putting everything back into the spare bedroom, I am pleased how it looks, we used the same paint colour on the walls, using what we already had, so at first glance other than curtains and a bigger radiator nothing much is different. 

Today we have nothing planned, I would like to pop to a garden centre, but I don't have room in the greenhouse, so I might wait a week and hope the weather is warmer at night. Thank you for your comments on my last post, I love the colour of my trio of Acers, when the sun shines on them them are stunning. We all love a tidy storage space, having it now in the back of the sitting room keeps the little ones out of other rooms, as toys and books were in different rooms. 

Monday 24 April 2023

On a sunny day

My trio of Acers are stunning, the colours, they blend and clash in equal measures, and fill this area and are a joy to see. I do trim these back to keep them smaller and neat, I use the steps to my greenhouse daily. The red acer is the faster growing plant, but I do try and keep it smaller, so the better colours of the other two shine. 
This Acer tree planted a couple years ago is also looking good, this is next to our decked seating area, it's a nice size and shape, it was the perfect decision where to place it, we thought for a long time to ensure it had space to grow. We now see more small brown birds in this area, the tree gives them cover, so they are braver and come closer. 
I have 3 peony's this year, mums is as old as me and has lots of buds, the bowl of beauty has it's first bud, it's been in the ground four years, and the pale pink one I moved has leaves growing. This is pleasing, as these will stay where they are and give blooms each early summer. 
Kirt's hair is dead, I think the pot got water logged and the cold snap finished it off, two of the grasses in my sink are also gone, the black one in the front and the blood grass in the back are both still OK. The grasses always struggle in the sink over winter, but normally they come back. I am not a grass lover, but I do like these smaller ones.
My Camelia has another flower, and loads of buds, it's happy in this tub in a sunny sheltered spot, it is in shade later in the afternoon and evening. We can see this tub from the sitting room, so the blooms make a scruffy section look beautiful. 
My mind is full of gardening, I have bedding plants in the greenhouse, I have marigold seeds under a cloche in the garden, if they don't grow I will get bedding plants, hubby loves them. My alpine plants have perked up and will be ready to go out soon. Nothing much else to do in the garden, except sit and enjoy it, once plants from the greenhouse are outside I will give the greenhouse a good clean and sort all my nasties. But for now we sit and watch the rain showers and enjoy the sunshine in between. 

We had Molly and George on Friday morning for a few hours, they are so full of fun and laughter, they both fell asleep in the car on the way home, I sat and did some more cross stitching most of the afternoon and evening.

Saturday I had a delivery from Ikea, daughter gave me a storage unit with 2 big containers, I ordered 2 medium and 2 small containers, most of the books, games and toys are now packed away, the 2 existing big units and popped them under the stairs, all very neat and tidy. The storage unit will be handy once we stop keeping toys, it's all very sturdy.

Sunday I removed everything from the spare bedroom, we are having a new carpet fitted today, it's the last part of redecorating the room, I have loads to put back into the room, the bed has two huge storage drawers, one we keep spare bedding in, the other games, which we do not play and lap blankets. Hubby wants me to pass on the games, but I'm not sure, will we play them when we are less active, there is room for them. I also want to put less back in the wardrobe and drawers, it's a dumping place for things which we use, but has no real home. Plenty to do today. 

Friday 21 April 2023

Books and surprises

Back in 2018 I made my sister loads of bags, she was starting her own craft business, I made this bag in 3 colours,  she stopped after a short while and had loads of items left, recently she sent this bag back to me, it makes a great knitting bag as the interior is big, there are no pockets, but I won't need any.
Just so pretty and very sturdy.
I have finished the neck of my cardi, here you can see both shoulder seams looking very neat and without any unwanted bulk. I have started to knit my second sleeve, it will be easy to match as I noted all the details of increase and decrease rows. I am hoping to have this finished soon. 
I have started the bottom corner on my huge cross stitch project, it was always planned to have this design here, the area is not the easiest to stitch, so a simple design works well. I am not sure how big this design will be, I do want to fill in the rest of the side and bottom, which will help me to decide, I do like stitching this simple design. 
Finally I have reading time, we were away for 4 nights, so I had plenty of time to read each evening in the hotel room, I have had this to hand for ages, another good plot, she uses her medical knowledge for the story line, I still have a couple more books by her. Book 6 read this year.
We popped out to Sainsbugs to get a few room treats and I saw this book at half price, I have been waiting for the paperback, but decided now was the time to get it. I loved every word, she is at her best, I read it so quickly, I was disappointed it finished, she does understand the female friendships so well.
 Book 7 read this year.
I put my Amaryllis bulb in the greenhouse to die back, and was pleased and surprised to see a third bud appear, its back in our sitting room. The bud is tiny, so I'm not sure if a bloom will form. 
After a brilliant night's sleep, nothing beats sleeping in your own bed, waking up at 7am with beautiful blue skies, we did loads of laundry, spending the day at home. I still ached from all the walking in previous days, it's so good to have a lazy day. 

I am itching to get out in the garden, but even on sunny days it's still too early, the nights are still cold, my bedding plants in the raised garden are looking healthy, but the plants in the greenhouse will stay for a couple of weeks. I keep checking my clematis little lemon, it is a hardy plant, I popped it into another pot, the roots look good, so I am hopeful. 

My alpine plants arrived and just needed a good drink, I have left them sitting in the sunshine, and will plant them in a few days. I did some sewing last night, and I want to get my second cardi finished, crafting is now more an evening activity along hopefully with reading, we still are not watching much TV, maybe just 1 programme each evening. 

Wednesday 19 April 2023


We arrived home after almost 7 hours drive from Newcastle to Hampshire, we were visiting family again, hubbies sister and brother live up there, and another sister and brother visited at the same time, to celebrate his younger sister's 70th birthday. 
We spent time on the coast at Whitley bay, a couple of beaches above and below the resort, it's a much nicer place to visit in April, than last November. 

Into Newcastle on the Metro, we stopped at Flore, in Central Arcade, a beautiful patisserie, which we found on our last visit, find more here
Found the castle
Walked along this iconic riverside. 
A treat we have brought home with us, we both love Stottie bread, with a couple for the freezer. 
5 days away gave us so much more time to get around, plus the weather was so much kinder, every day dry and warm, we did loads of visiting and catching up with family, had a lovely group meal out, and spent an evening with his younger sister. 

We stayed at the same hotel as before, and remembered where everything was, the locals were happy and chatty, and very helpful. Back home the cats were being looked after by our friend and neighbour, both having loads of cuddles from their children, the cats had tin tuna for tea and licked their bowls clean, so I think we are forgiven for leaving them. 

I have walked around my garden and everything is good, it's the same in the greenhouse, I ordered my alpine plants, and they were sent early (typical), but should be redelivered tomorrow. So early shower and bed time tonight, and then back to normal. I have been reading all your posts but I can't comment using my phone, I'm off to catch up with everyone. 

Friday 14 April 2023


2020 is all imported into my blog book, I have to change the format of every post, here you see how I use blogger to write and show photo's. When I started making these books the site I use imported blogger, but as the number of different platform rose for blogging they stopped the import feature, so these days it is all done by me.
Here is the final layout for my Blurb book, I have used this company for all my books,  I try and have only one page per post, I made 195 post that year. On occasion I do leave off photo's, it's all about balance and making the books interesting to look back on. It's not always necessary to have loads of photo's of the same thing.

This is the main page of my book account, 2019 was published years ago, 2020 is in editing stage, I am reading through each page, 2021 is coming along well, I have done up to June, it will take months to get everything in place, tidy and edited. Flowers will never be published, I use it as an editing tool for my photo collage's, 

This is not a sponsored post at all, just my views on creating books from my blog, I have made various post regarding how I create my books, the link here, will show you loads of posts. There are many cheaper printers and loads of special offers, but these are my passion and I love they all match, I can make them cheaper, but I love the feel of good paper, I use photo quality as well, so my photo's look their best. I have not checked the cost of printing yet, last time it cost me over £60 for 2019, I always get my printed in November when the company gives the best discounts. I will watch my e-mails and see if they send any good deals through this year, if not I hope to get 2020 and 2021 done in November.

The biggest investment is my time, I always put the post into each page and then spend loads of time making words and photo's fit on the page, then check grammar and spelling, then I will read through each page twice in hope to catch all mistakes. In almost every book after printing I find a couple small errors, that's Ok, I'm human and not perfect, a couple things won't matter, any more and I would be cross with myself. 

I often flip through a book, to check a detail, or the date something was purchased, on a boring day, I will pull a year out and read through it, my deepest joy is when Will aske to see my books, he loves to see photo's of him when he was younger. Hopefully one grandchild might like the set, just a few years of the life of their Nana, I hope maybe Molly, it would be nice, but I do get so much joy myself from them.


I have done just one small new design, which I love, it's simple and pretty, I have hit a bit of a moment on this lower section, twice I have chosen designs which have been too big, so for now I am dotting flowers around, I will add just a couple more. I am doing the gold design centre bottom, it matches the band above, there is a third band further up, all in line, I hope it looks as if it is running through my work.
I have just one sleeve to knit and then it's the bands and neck, I have decided not to have a collar on this one, I have plenty of yarn, a whole 400grm ball will not been used. The buttons match and stand out a bit, which is OK. I am going to stitch the body together and then knit the neck, whilst the weight is not too much, I will then do the button bands and then finally the last sleeve.  
I did get my sewing machine out and did just one thing, it's a lightweight project bag, it can be turned inside out and used either way, one fabric is knitting the other is sewing. This was for a birthday gift for a friend who crafts, like me she is very tidy, so I think she will use this loads, but my machine stitching was not great so I will keep it for myself. I do like to make two bags and join them together, it looks much neater and two layers gives it strength, each bag has a big pocket, so either way there is a pocket on the inside and another on the outside. 
I saw this and wanted to share it.

Our weather is all over the place, storm Noah blew and dumped rain and hail on us, no damage anywhere here, my cover blew off the raised bed, so I popped it away, but the plants look good, so I won't use the cover again. Wednesday was a day inside, I have plenty to do, but sadly not reading, I do have a book, I am catching up on the last series of Shetland and also loving Race across the world, in Canada. 

Thursday was very breezy and sunny, we got washing on the line, all with extra pegs, walked to the village and then afternoon at home, no Pilates as my shoulder is playing up and I need to rest it. After lunch again heavy rain and hail, this morning again rain, they are promising dry weather next week, a bit warmer, I do hope so. 

I have decided which design to work on next on my cross stitch, it will fit into the bottom right had corner, I am going to fill the side and bottom lines, so I can see what space I have left. I am also finishing the sketches for my calendar wheel, soon I can stitch more on it.

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Easter weekend

 I purchased 2 bunches of cut daffodils, they do look nice, they opened quickly, so I don't expect them to last too long, they brighten our room. We were home alone this long weekend, daughter, SIL and children were visiting family in Somerset for a few days, my brother stayed home decorating.

I wore sandals for the first time whilst in the garden on Friday, these are my new pair, hubby had his shorts on, but that's a step too far for me, just a few jobs outside, I did tidy my side inside our garage, I've moved all my summer things outside. We sat in the sunshine with coffee and hot cross buns, had a cider shandy with our lunch, so the garden is officially open. 

Monday we had the grand children back, so an Easter egg hunt was the main task, all done inside as the rain did not stop, Will was up stairs in our bedroom, Molly and George found items in the sitting room, I put 2 things together for them, as they always share. 

We had to choose carefully for Molly and George, both as dairy free in their diet, and Molly is also soya free, not so easy for young children, but we did get some treats. Will had dinosaur eggs as well as chocolate, they had toys inside. In my excitement of getting things for George and Molly I got them both a pack of small caramel eggs, which sadly they can't have as they might swallow them whole. 

My husband is a genius, he suggested a much better spot for the bird bath, I had not considered it here as in my mind I have a pot to put here, it will soon be an alpine garden, I have been online and ordered some smaller different plants. Once the trio of Acers are in full leaf and the grasses in my sink are back looking better, this whole section will look good.

Hubby used the last of the fence paint to give our new panels a third coat. Having sunny warm days is making me feel so much better, I was still outside for a few hours each day, there aren't any big jobs to do, I sorted the big pots for the tomatoes and cucumber plants, our local shop delivered a big grow bag, which I will put in both pots along with some chicken poo pellets. The bedding plants in our raised bed are growing well, I cover them each evening, and water them each morning, the ones in the greenhouse have doubled in size..

We decided not to have a huge roast lunch as it was just the two of us, hubby was due to be out most of Sunday, I planned to have a sewing day at home, he was home at lunch time and so no sewing was done, we did sit in the sunshine munching chocolate cake. It was nice to sit in the sun together and relax, we never drive anywhere on a Bank Holiday, our roads are always busy. 

Monday we had family for a easy lunch, burgers and hot dogs, we also had chocolate cup cakes, and some vegan ones and hot cross buns as well as, the kids loved it all.

Sunday 9 April 2023


 My 1st Aran cardi is finished, I used sewing clips to hold the sides together whilst sewing up, the clips made it much easier as nothing moved, I will use them always when sewing together. I used Aztec from James Brett and was happy not to have any knots in the balls, this is 90% Acrylic and 10% Alpaca, machine washable, so I should not have any issues with itching. The yarn is purple as seen in the smaller photo.

I decided to reuse the silver buttons, I cut them from my scruffy cardi, which is now in the bin. George loves these buttons, and rubs them each time I'm wearing them. I did check to see if there were any other buttons in my local shop, but they had nothing I liked. These are metal and will outlast this garment. I am very pleased with this cardi, it feels warm, it's a bit snug, but will relax as I wear and laundry it, I enjoyed the design, and I am very pleased with the collar, it will perfectly replace my scruffy one. I will wear this one when out from our home, which is a bonus as my scruffy one was only worn inside.

I am now back working on my brown fleck one, I am not sure if I will make a collar on this one, I don't have to decide until the very end, so I have time to think. I did have a struggle matching the shoulder designs together on the purple cardi, so I unpicked the last few rows on the back of this one and reknitted without casting off and doing the same on the front as well. I knitted a stitch from the back and front together until the whole section was done, then I caste off, it looks much better and has a flexibility which will be good to wear.

The cost was only £27.00 for the purple yarn, 8 x 100 grm balls, and £3.50 for a set of knitting needles, my local shop gives me a 10% discount on certain purchases as a loyal customer, we don't have a card, the till is very modern and works it all out, very clever. Before when I purchase yarn on line I always get an extra ball and I never return it if unused, it's good to be shopping local and return full balls, she will keep a couple of balls aside if I don't want to purchase them. It did take a week to sew on the buttons and finish this, I have history of not sewing on buttons, I don't know why, it's just so fiddly. 

Whilst emptying the spare room and moving all my yarn stash, I went through all my yarns, I had so many odd full and part balls, mainly 4ply and a bit of double knitting, I popped them on our local Facebook page and they were collected the same day, I do see people trying to sell their left overs, but I was happy to pass them on for free. 

I am working on my cross stitch, the design I had sorted, was too big, so I am putting in skeletons of bits of designs to work around. I have been sketching on my calendar wheel, I want to embroider some more on it,  April is catch up month.

PS. I hate that photo, what face am I pulling.

Thursday 6 April 2023

My happy place

This is probably the last image of this Amaryllis looking good, I'm not complaining, it has preformed very well, I did cut the first stem back, to keep it looking good. I will miss these huge blooms in our sitting room.
My other six amaryllis bulbs, I have taken out their pots and removed most of the soil, I will let them dry for a while and then brush all the rest of the soil from the roots. I have no idea if this is correct, they are in a wooden box on shredded paper to keep them dry. One bulb I purchased as a bare root and it flowered well, so I am hoping this might work and I get flowers again, they are all mixed up, so the blooms if they grow, I won't know the colours, I do have more white than colours. 
I am taking a risk here, I have planted 8 Nemesia plants, they are a bit small, but this area is sunny and raised off the ground, they only cost me £2.50, so if they work it's a bargain. The wire trays are to stop the cats digging in  the soil, all the tiny bulbs are also dug in here. I do have my old greenhouse plastic door, which sits ontop of this bed and makes it into a cold frame overnight.
This back section is working hard, I will need to dig out my compost soon, I am hopeful I get some lovely rich compost, it has been digesting all the kitchen and garden vegetation waste. Both dustbins are breaking down well, I don't add anything to the bins through the summer months, I am making leaf mulch to spread in the cooler months later this year. The green trays in the front have all my spare plastic pots in, smaller on the bottom level, keeps them tidy and out of my greenhouse. 
I spent an afternoon in the greenhouse, just working on one side, moving things around, placing all my tiny bedding plants, now potted up into induvial pots, placed in the huge black potting tray, I don't keep compost in this tray, it works better in keeping my bedding plants in one place and easy to water. The metal corner shelves have some plants which I purchased from Wilko's, they have started well in here. 
The garden is looking good, it does look much the same as last year, but for three days this week I have trimmed, and sorted plants, moved a few pots as the early spring blooms die back. As yet I have not moved the bird bath as yet, I need hubby to lift the heavy parts, he is still decorating, so I won't bother him.  
I have ached every evening this week, but it's a good ache, my hands are sore, I now always wear gloves when gardening, which causes the ache, being out in the sunshine has been wonderful, I feel so good, there is nothing big to do here, just loads of normal late spring jobs, to ensure our garden looks good this summer. Yesterday was dull and wet later on, today is the same, so we are off to a huge supermarket for a big shop, not done one for just over a month, getting ready for the Easter weekend. This afternoon is crafting time. 


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