Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Sunday 30 July 2023

July round-up

A small spend on normal crafts, just bits to finish my cushion, a bigger spent on needle felting fibre, I should have loads to use for months to come, and small spend in the garden, a couple of plant supports, small plants and some bulbs, another good month. 

I did purchase another cotton top and leggings this month, nothing else required, I'm replacing worn clothes this year, I do look at sale rails in shops I like when I am out, which is not that often.

July was a good spend month in our household, no big pay-outs, most of our bills are paid monthly, we did do a shop for all our cleaning stuff, we visited Home bargains and stocked up, in hope we can avoid the shop until the school return in September. We are saving for the new garden layout.

No waste in the house, the composter has all the veg bits from the kitchen as well as garden stuff, we are now in a place where we know what we need and don't impulsive purchase. My harvest, whilst only small is being used, except tomatoes, which I am chopping up and freezing, they make great bases for our home made soups.

My steps really dropped, but I needed the rest, my weight is lower, by only a couple of pounds, but I have noticed my waist is smaller, a couple of trousers now fit much better, so I'm pleased. Having said that I want to focus on this part of my life, I need to move more, eat less and take control. My back is hurting again, so I am being careful.

Friday 28 July 2023

Making new friends

My rabbit is now complete, all her limbs are attached and she has a pretty face, I have made her pants, last time I tried to knit them I abandoned the pattern, half way through, this time it took 2 starts. I wont make any more clothes, she is finished. As yet Molly has not seen her, I am hoping she will love her, I know George will also enjoy playing with her, they share all their toys, no gender limitations here. 
My second lady, is coming along, I do a bit each day, not rushing, ensuring I do it right and not forget any part. Her body does look long, it is the same length as Reenie, I suppose very few have a perfect body, she is not padded out yet, or has her skin tone added in this photo.
I was not shown how to do features, so if it looks very basic, it's because I don't know what I am doing, I do love her grey hair, I will add more later, her eyes are a bit large and her lipstick too bright, I'm pleased with my first ever nose, I've shaped her head and she does have a neck. As for her boobs, they are the same size, doesn't look like it in this photo, and they are in the right place. I still need to work on her arms and legs, all of them are a big fatter than I hoped. I think she looks like a Betty to me.
I have been given a flower press, I had one years ago and loved using it, it had been give as an unwanted gift and the lady thought of me, and passed it on. I took a wonder around the garden on Wednesday morning, it was dry and sunny, the flowers and leaves were dry and open.
The clematis around our main entrance is blooming, we have popped wires for them to grow along, we are thinking of trying to root a cutting and having it grow both sides of the door arch, we dont have enough space to put another plant in, the roots won't fit, hopefully the blooms would then be lower and not just along the top. The white lavender has been a success in the two pots. 

It's been a nothing week here, I did go to sign group on Tuesday, we had a games session, which was fun, and a special lunch as it was Viv's birthday. The weather at the start of the week was kind to us, not so much rain and mostly falling later in the day, so mornings have been bright and sunny, laundry is all up to date. Having said that it started raining on Wednesday evening, all night and still going on Thursday morning, very dull and grey. I was very careful at Pilates Thursday evening,  I hurt my shoulder last week and did not want a repeat.

Garden is doing good, full of colour, I planted 10 nerine bulbs, I got them locally for just £5, which is a bargain. Other than dead heading I have not done much, I did have a good sort out behind our garage, it's my working area, with a water butt and composters, but it's also a dumping ground. 

Crafting has been the main time filling exercise, I am enjoying what I am making, but there is no buzz of excitement, still nothing is grabbing my attention. I need to find a book to read, again I have plenty here, but nothing calls to me. I have been out walking, just trying to shake off the gloom, doing more to release my mind back to where it should be. 

Wednesday 26 July 2023


Regular readers will know I love our garden, its my place of peace and joy, recently we have changed where we sit to be further away from our horrible neighbour and the problems we get, mainly flies and smells, our pergola has been sold and we have this beautiful parasol, we have moved our bench to make a nice seating area, surrounded by sweet smelling herbs in pots and our Olive tree. The bunting and all the bits on the shelf add to the feel of this area, very vacation holiday vibes, we also get a better view of the garden from here, photos taken on a rare sunny day.
This view will change, hubby wants the hard landscaping to be done in September, I had planned for it to be done next spring and will probably keep to that schedule, I think it will be better time for moving plants. The path by the garage will stay, as will most of the grass, extra raised beds will be made, one for flowers and two for veg. Whilst I gain beds for growing, we will lose the decking  which is just a big empty space, which we no longer use.
So we are enjoying our tidy view for now, we chat together, making suggestions, ensuring when changes are made, we get the most from the garden. The decking will go, and a new fake lawn laid from our Magnolia tree down. The back area of the lawn I am taking, will be replaced by the extra space from the decking. The space infront of the garage will stay a working area for hubby, he also BBQ's there. This means our garden will be closer to the house and will give us a lovely view from inside. This is a very basic plan I made online, it gives you an idea of what is in my head.

It's really exciting to chat and throw different ideas at each other, so far there is just 2 small changes, to help the flow closer to the house. The flower bed infront of the green house will have fruits in, moving the flower and shrubs to the new bed at the end of the new lawn. Making two raised veg beds will give me the extra growing buzz I need, if they ever get too much I can plant with shrubs. We will leave the fake grass at the back and cut out under the raised beds, digging out stones and filling with top soil. The 'grass' will make clean paths, which dry quickly after any rain.

So I sit in the shade with a lovely breeze and plan, I've never done anything as big as this, having everywhere the same level will be brilliant, we need to decide on what paving we have, hubby wants to have old fashioned square ones, I'm wanting something a bit different, nothing too modern, it won't look right, so many conversations to be had.

Thank you for all your wonderful comments about our garden, it is our haven, it is small, so much easier for us to manage, I am outside every day the weather will allow, I do enjoy picking up leaves and deadheading flowers. In the last few years we have changed bits to allow less work and more enjoyment, my mum had a huge garden, which she worked in all day long, but rarely sat and rested there, it's about the balance. 

Monday 24 July 2023


Daughter came with the children on Sunday, they quickly found the toys, they all play so well together. Later we played football in the garden, our fake lawn dries so quickly, so we could all roll around, a game they love playing. Daughter plays a 'tidy up song', to which they all pick up the toys, before going home. Hubby and I relaxed later in afternoon,  followed by a walk through the park in the sunshine. Saturday it rained most of the day, we were tired and had a lazy day inside. 
The postman delivered a parcel and I have my roving's, these are used as the inner, so I can now do some needle felting, firstly I want to make another lady, sticking with what I know. I have not decided if she is going to be as curvy as Reenie.
As with most of my crafts, I like to have a good stash, I used the company the tutor suggested, it's the same brand as she uses. Typically for me, I got loads of colours, these mixed packs, looked good, they are bigger than I expected and a very good price, already have reds and pinks, and a couple natural shades. So plenty of shades to use. 
I also have these few items, the coloured balls I got from Hobby Craft years ago, they were on special, I now know they are better used for the inners (roving's), the bigger shank I got from a lady who creates these lovely shades. I have always wanted to make a fox and other animals.  
I have finished the dress for the knitted rabbit, I started again using a soft baby yarn in 4ply, it looks much nicer, I unpicked the first pink one, I am now going to make knickers and a cardigan, she will be a well dressed rabbit. The clothes will be sew on and not able to be removed, I aim to sew another Luna Lupin rabbit and make loads of clothes, so Molly has another different type of play. 

I have plenty of crafting to do, which is good as this week is going to be again wet, I do want to finish knitting for the rabbit, I don't want to pack it away as it won't be finished. I do feel a bit lost, it's always the same when I finish a big project, I can't get into my embroidery wheel for 2023, at some point I will get inspired and get sewing on it, but for now I'm stalled. I think sometimes having too much to start is confusing, nothing has a deadline, so I float through the days, my mind is full of gardening plans. 

I still feel off, the weather is not helping, I'm not great being inside so much, I do have my greenhouse to play in when it rains, but that's not calling me either. I have no desire to pop to town, shopping is not my thing, we will do an Asda delivery at some point, that's about as exciting as it gets here at the moment. 

Saturday 22 July 2023


 We took the bus into Portsmouth, first time for us, we got off at canoe lake, a popular place near the beach, not too busy today, it will be full in the coming weeks.
The main pier, with a funfair at the end, our beaches are all shingle, there are loads of work happening to ensure the beach stays looking this good. Further along the seafront is closed for improvement works.

The very end of the pier was open, normally a spot for fishermen, it was empty and very scary walking over the grids, looking down at the sea, I walked around the edge, gripping the rails, probably will never do it again.
We walked from Southsea into old Portsmouth, stopping for a lovely fish and chip lunch. I adore this area, everything here is just so interesting, this is the narrow stretch of the water, often you see loads of people here when the big vessels come and go from the naval base. Gosport is across the water.
The working part of the shore, I have memories of walking here at 1am on a Midnight charity walk for a local hospice, many years ago, it's much nicer in the daylight and interesting.
Spinnaker tower from a different angle, we are across the water in Old Portsmouth. 
View from the lawns, Southsea has fantastic open spaces, we watched the gardens being weeded, people painting and other maintenance works, getting ready for the busy period. 
Always loads of vessels on the water, we saw Isle of Wright ferry, fast-cat and hovercraft, the huge continental ferry going in to dock, Gosport ferry making the short journey across the water.
We have not seen this before, decided not to got a on this time, maybe somewhere to bring Will.

We had a fantastic day, using our bus passes for the free journey, it was always our plan for a long walk, loads of chatting,  seeing how things has changed. We had lunch and later coffee and cake for our treats, at no point was it hard work, there are many steps in Old Portsmouth, but everywhere was enjoyed at a leisurely pace. 

The shopping centre, Gunwharf Quays is next to the bus station, we stopped for our coffee, popped into M&S outlet, purchased nothing, watched the Royal Marine band play and march around the shoppers. After 12,000 steps we were ready to catch the express bus home, no rain, the sky darkened a couple of times, but the weather gods were kind to us.

This is something we promise our selves we would do more of, with express busses to Portsmouth and Southampton, and the bus lanes through the cities, it's a nicer way to travel, and our bus passes make the journeys free. I hope to take hubby to the older parts of Southampton, along the walls there. 


Friday 21 July 2023

Sunny day

I have planted my daisies in the back corner of the red rose bed, this is the 4th plant I have purchased over recent years, the other 3 died, my dad grew these for years, only flower he had in his veg garden, I love them. I have everything crossed these thrive in this location, being close to our Magnolia tree and next doors jungle, the ground should not be too wet for them. 
Two blooms were snapped, so I have made a small display for the kitchen.
We have started working on the back corner, in front of the raised bed, the willow tree is now just a small stump, we are hoping not to have to dig out the roots, hubby drilled deep holes into the bit of stump left and poured in a root killer, if it does what they say, the roots should die. Doing this now gives us time to see if it works, if not we will dig the roots out later in the year. If any part of the root survives it will regrow into a tree, so we need to do this right.
In front of the blueberry tub is my hellebore, when we moved the tub we noticed flowers, a lovely surprise and totally out of season. This plant will stay here, I have another at the other end of the raspberry bed.
With the tree and the blueberries gone, this corner has opened up, I will plant a few more raspberries next spring. I have also moved my cucumber from the path into the greenhouse,  and moved the 2nd tomato tub along. I am pleased to see flowers on my sweet peas, this is the only spot I can get them to grow, I will separate the agapanthus once the blooms go over, it has got huge.

Any time outside is good for me, getting a few big things done is brilliant, the blueberries in the huge tub is by the garage, I have move the strawberry tower, it's now in the shade along the side of the garage. Most of the plants are finished.

I picked loads of tomatoes both red and yellow ones from the plant in the greenhouse, we are eating them like sweets, there is another small cucumber almost ready, the plant should do better in the greenhouse. I have also loads of blueberries, they are much easier to pick now they are not in the crowded corner.

We spent the whole day outside yesterday, the promised rain did not arrive, very nice to sit and drink coffee in the sunshine, hubby repainted the outside house walls in the garden area, not a big job and they now look clean and bright. I was doing little task around the plot, dead heading is now daily, the french marigolds needed doing, I hate the smell of them, but hubby loves the flowers.

Thursday 20 July 2023


I have made my work into a cushion, it is finished to how I wanted it, it's big, and I'm very unsure about the look. I have popped it into our bedroom, so I can view it for a while and see how I feel. I do wish I had sewn it so it was longer than taller, I can use it this way, just my boxes with words in in bottom corner would be the wrong way. 
I have more of this green fabric, I love the colour, I could unpick the cover and make a boarder around my sewing,  but that would make the cushion even bigger. I'm going to have to think about this.
With my sewing completed and tennis over, what to do next, I've had some fun with pumpkins, I made another needle felted pumpkin, it's a bit tighter felted than the orange one.
I also got my knitting needles out, I had found a very simple knitted pattern for a pumpkin, I made the small one, wanted a bigger one, so played around with the pattern, and then made a 3rd bigger one, the biggest pumpkin I use 2 strands of 4ply and bigger needles, quick to stuff and sew up, the stalks are made with pipe cleaners, just to fiddly to knit.
Whilst pulling out my cotton yarns, I found a knitted rabbit, finished in 2020, I felt it was time for her to be sewn together, I had completely forgot I had knitted her. I had already made the shoes, I will place the arms and legs once I have made the clothes, so I get them in the correct position. 
I decided on a different dress to make, all the clothes in the book fit most of the knitted animals, this is pretty, BUT, I forgot how difficult it is to follow these patterns, I started this garment 3 times before I read the pattern correctly, this is knitted in 4ply cotton, I am thinking of starting again and using wool rather than cotton.

I did go to sign group on Tuesday, which was fun, we are learning signs to an ABBA song, it is a good way to practice signs together, we have a new lady joined the group, she is very willing to learn and has already mastered fingerspelling. I popped to a couple of shops after wards, got a daisy for the garden, by the time I got home hubby had finished painting the hall, it does look good. 

Wednesday hubby had a break from decorating,  so I was able to clean the whole house and do the ironing, it's a great feeling once it's all done. Thursday morning was spent in the garden, the bedding drying on the line, hubby did a small painting job in kitchen.

Tomorrow are having a day together, popping out if the weather allows, we are promised rain again, taking the bus into Portsmouth.

I am still feeling cranky and irritable, I don't know why, I could blame the weather, but that's not true, I expect it will pass, as it always has before. One positive is when I am in this mood, I can't stand clutter and I like to tidy, we both are tidy people, but the house is having a once over, anyone visiting, don't stand still for too long. 

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Back outside

This little bed is coming back to life, I had to dig it out last month to stop the rats stealing my plants, I am pleased to see a fuchsia bud, due to the shady location by our back door this bed blooms later than the rest of the garden. 
The side bed is looking good, the crocosmia  are doing well, I have for years pulled these corns out as they grow, this year I have left them, the lily is also another survivor and has bloomed. 
I pulled this plant from the raised bed, I did not recognise it and it was getting bigger, on looking back to last March, on a shopping trip to Wilkinson's I got something different, it's Mirabilis Jalapa, there were two roots in the packet, both have yellow buds, so they work well in the side bed, I will have to keep an eye on them, they can get big. Note to myself, read the packet before planting.
My begonias are all doing well, the two pots by my metal table and chairs are in full bloom, else where in the garden I have buds, I have them in another 3 locations as well as the photos here, I love these plants, the blooms are all very different and will last into September. 
My big patch of agapanthus is in full bloom, this corner has turned blue, 20 blooms on this plant is the best ever, also my Hosta has survived in it's new location and a flower stem has formed, the back end of the garden is doing really well. 
The windy weather and heavy rain has not as yet damaged our garden, the Magnolia tree has lost some of it's blooms, it the second lot of flowers this year, it's sad to see them on the lawn, there are loads more blown onto the flower beds. 
The garden is looking good again, my water buts are full, so can we please have summer back, I am missing being outside for our morning coffee's and lunches. 

Tennis, Wimbledon finals weekend, so sad to see Ons Jabeur lose the ladies final, I really wanted her to win, I love to watch her play, my heart broke for her, listening to her after match speech. We watched later in the evening, after my needle felting class, we both managed to not hear the results. The men's final was a brilliant match, I found Novic Djokovic to be very arrogant, the extra time he took at each of his serves was annoying, at times he was not true to the spirt of the game, Carlos Alcaraz played amazing once he got past the first set, which he lost. A perfect way to finish two weeks of good quality play.

Hubby is still decorating,  he has started on the hall, he did the doors when doing the other rooms, so just ceiling,  walls and skirting boards, it's a small area, so won't take long. The green paint is a new colour, darker than what we already have, it's a bit darker than expected,  but we both like it, it will be used in hall and into dining and sitting room. So I'm being lazy, I'm not allowed to paint, can't do housework, scared any dust might be kicked up on the paintwork, so I'm crafting.

Sunday 16 July 2023

Luscious Ladies

Another class taken, again at our local arts centre, which is just a short bus ride from home, today was needle felting, which I have wanted to do for ages, the class was Luscious Ladies, meet Reenie, she is of course luscious and my first real attempt at needle felting. Our tutor said she looks like a lady with 'ee' in her name, so as it was my mum's birthday, and her name was Irene, I thought Reenie was right, my mum was tiny and thin, I wonder if she ever wanted curves like this. 
Out tutor showed us how to make the basic frame using pipe cleaners and add the body shape with a fibre called slivers, it was a calm fun class, she explained every process and ensured we understood and was always ready to move on. Here very simply is the stages of building the frame, adding flesh and then skin tones, ensuring each set of limbs matched perfectly, each explanation ensuing a great base, just the legs to cover in photo 4.
The next stage was great fun, making tiny boobies, scary to make two the same, and fun doing them without pricking our fingers, once added to our person, she became a lady, here you could add curves and create her character.
The last stage was dressing our ladies, I wanted mine to very full of curves, and added the bikini and hat, We were not shown how to make faces, they are not necessary. Here are the three ladies made today, don't they live up to their titles, each made the same, but each very different, I did not want mine in a bucket, I will find somewhere for her to sit in my office, I will need to see her daily as she does bring a huge grin to my face. 
The class was small, the tutor Ali was so very good, she explained things simply and watched us and helped where needed, she gave us space to create the style of ladies we wanted, made helpful suggestions, and gave us loads of tips and helpful hints. She ignored us if we did something in a different way to her, especially if it was still working out. Ali sells her Luscious Ladies locally, the ones she brought with her are just brilliant, I can understand why she sells so many, sadly I forgot to take a photo of hers and sadly as yet she does not have a website. The final part of the class was a recap on everything we done, noting things we might forget and then a couple of websites for supplies. It was a day class of pure joy and has fired my want to do more needle felting and to have a go at making animals. 

If you are at all in the south of Hampshire, message Ali and find out where she is doing other classes, I am going to book her quirky cats class, again very beautiful designs. 
This post is not sponsored, I did ask Ali if I could use her name on my blog, (it would be rude not too), it's great to do a successful class, it's something else to have an inspired class. I loved wet felting, but this is something completely different.

I have already been on the websites suggested by Ali and ordered items required to do more, once the postman has been, watch this space.

Saturday 15 July 2023


Happy birthday mum xxx
would have been 100 years old today.

 I am sat on the chair in the white dress.

Friday 14 July 2023

Different crafts

I did the centre of the flowers on my wet felting picture, using French knots, the daisy type flower I used three different shades and just one shade of blue for the taller flower. I would like a butterfly or dragon fly on the right, I need to up my needle felting skills. 
I had another go at making a felt base at home, the roving I already had, it was from Burrow and Soar, I purchased it a few years ago, all the difference shades come from the same batch. The photo is not great, I'm pleased with it.
I've had a few small needle felting kits for ages, but not really looked at them, I am doing a needle felting day course soon, so I thought it might be nice to have a go, for a 1st attempt I am happy, it's far from perfect, but it does look like a pumpkin. I have another similar kit I will make after class, to see the difference. 
I have started looking at my 2023 embroidery  wheel, I hope this month I can catch up, I look at each segment and feel they are empty, I need to think of other things to add, for now I will draw February onto my canvas and get it sewn.
I am not doing much this week, having to drive to the other side of town to pick Will up from school, cuts the day down, I'm not complaining, daughter is healing, but she is bored, hopefully she will try another short drive at the weekend and will be back on next weeks school runs, it's the last week of term, so I think she wants to see everyone before the break. 

Tennis is brilliant this year, both ladies and gentlemen are all on top form, the players in both section I would love to win are still in the tournament, it's building nicely to the finals on Saturday and Sunday. Tennis is the only sport I like to watch. 

Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post, I have been hiding in my sewing again, I can sit and sew all day, it is pure enjoyment for me, your comments did cheer me up. I have been feeling down for a few weeks, hubby thinks it's because I am tired, doing so much for the grandchildren, he could be right. I have no patience at the moment and get very irritated at the smallest thing, I don't want to be around people, I have no reason to feel like this, we have no problems here. 
My family are telling me to slow down say no to daughter, which I won't do, a daughter should rely on her mum in times of need, I will always be there for any of our children and grandchildren. Hopefully this dark cloud will pass and once again I will see the bright side, and no, pills are not for me. 

Tuesday 11 July 2023

A huge finish

This was my first attempt of mixing more than two designs together, I really enjoyed stitching it, making the whole design up as I worked, I gifted this cushion to my sister last year, she had been feeling down, so I hoped it would help cheer her up. 

 Looking back, I started this big design last August, post here, and this week I popped the final stitch in, so it took just over ten months to stitch, I have done other crafts along the way, knitting two long cardigans, a couple pair of socks and some sewing using my machine, and lots of garden and reading time. 

I decided to repeat one of my favourite designs as the final bit, I do love the stars. 

Top left hand side
Top right hand side
Bottom left hand side
Bottom right hand side
In the whole piece there are twenty different patterns used, a few have been repeated, mainly in different colours, each pattern I have stitched in its whole before, this way enabled me to do a bit of each, and was really good fun to make. The gold band in the middle is the only design I ran through my work, I thought it would look good, there is a tiny amount at the top, which shows again in the middle and bottom, I did ensure they were all stitched in line. 
The back of my work, it is always hard to keep the back tidy and knot free, which is important if you are framing your work, this will be made into a cushion for our bedroom, I will use a cotton backing when I sew together to keep this firm, it would twist and move without backing. 

The overall size is 44cms x 39cms, or 17ins x 15ins, stitched on 28 cwt linen, using just one strand of DMC silks (floss). I have reused the same colours over, it's a way of holding the designs together, I always keep any colours used in a separate bag, and choose from there first. Having designs which crash into each other takes time, I am never sure how they will fit together, I try and work out the balance and find a spot to start the next design, I do like the creativity this give me, so much freedom to play. I have packed my design folder away, it holds all the different designs in one place, I have no plans to stitch another mix-up.

Cross stitch is my favourite craft, it is very relaxing to do, I can sit with hubby, whilst he reads and we both listen to music. I do prefer to make huge projects, making smaller ones are too quick for me, and then what do I do with them. I am not sure what I will make next, I want to work on the embroidery on my 2023 wheel, I have done hardly anything, I have made the sketches. I also have two big WIP, Winter watergarden, which is stitched 1 over 2, which I just can't get on with and Sleeping cats, neither inspire me. 

I will get my sewing machine out to make this into a cushion, so hopefully I can get things made, I still have my orange test blouse to make, some patchwork, and loads of fabrics in my stash to play with. 


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