Saturday 26 March 2022

Turned out nice again

My daughter, Joanne, bought me this chart Christmas 2020, I thought it was perfect for Spring stitching.

The Rain Fell by Little House Needleworks

 I'm stitching it on a 36 count fabric over two with one thread, I like the way it's stitching up and enjoying working on it an hour or two each day.

The weather has been wonderfully sunny and warm again and I've been enjoying sitting up in my summer house most days, stitching and listening to the birds and my audio book.

This week I've planted some more seeds and tidied up the garden a bit, still not cut the grass, after this week the ground should have dried out enough for me to do that, our green bin collection won't start until a week on Monday so I was trying to hold out until then.

I've never had much luck with Lobelia so we'll have to wait and see if that grows, my sister said she had great success with the Wildlife Mixture so I bought those to try, I've sowed these in a big container that I had, I really hope these take and I thought I would plant up the kitchen window boxes with Nasturtiums for a change.  We should have a nice colourful garden, if everything comes up.

We still have loads of daffs in the garden, although the smaller ones have now mostly died off.
I didn't plant any of these, they were in when we came.

There are a few Tulips out too.  These I planted a few years ago, I didn't plant many this year and I'm regretting it now

The Pieris is just coming into flower, we cut this drastically last year and I was worried it wouldn't flower this year, so glad it has.

It's Mothers Day here in the UK tomorrow.  I requested that mums stone be done and in place for then so we could take some flowers to the crematorium, we bought a nice planter arrangement which should last a while yet, we will leave some flowers too.

Hope you are making the most of these sunny day's and that you will have a lovely Mother's Day tomorrow.


Monday 21 March 2022

The Creative Craft Show

 It was the Spring Creative Craft / Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC this week, I bought tickets for Sunday, I thought it would be quieter then, and it was.  I've been going to this show for years and it used to be very good but has gone downhill in recent years, this time it was a very poor show, in our opinion, probably the reason it was so quiet. 

Lets face it, I didn't really 'need' anything but at these sort of places you are tempted into impulsive purchasing.  I was good 😇

Some yarn, I have plans for all of it and hopefully it will be put to use this year.

Two pieces of 28 count fabric for stitching.

The Prairie Schooler chart, No.152, which I will stitch on the iced coffee fabric above

Here's a closer look at the chart, I loved the bunnies, sheep and of course the house, I love stitching houses.

The other fabric I will use to stitch Wild Flowers by The Blue Flower.  I bought this chart last year and Jenny bought me the rest of the threads I needed as one of my Christmas presents.  

I absolutely fell in love with this one when I saw it on someones podcast last year, Isn't it pretty?
I have no excuse not to start this beauty now do I?  Perhaps I can make it an April start.

So there you have it, my very conservative purchases, didn't I do well, lol.

The weather has been glorious over the weekend, not so much today, but no rain though so that's a bonus.
I took a few photos in the garden while we had some blue sky so I'll leave you with those for now.

Hope you all have a lovely week


Friday 18 March 2022

Plant collection

House plants seem to be having a come back lately so I thought I would share the ones I have at the moment.  When I was first married I went mad on plants and filled the house, then there was a time when I had none at all but more recently I've discovered a liking for them again.

I popped into Lidl a few weeks ago and they had some Aloe Vera plants on offer, they were a really good size and only £4.99, so one came home with me.  I've read that the ideal place for them is a window ledge so it's in the front room at the moment, although I think I may put it outside in the summer, it has loads of new growth and does need re-potting

My bargain Ivy from Wilkinsons is doing really well, it's doubled in size since I bought it

My Prayer Plant lives in the bathroom and seems to like it there, this too has lots of new leaves unfurling

There was not information on this plant, I think it's Birds Nest Fern?  I'm sure someone will tell me if I'm wrong.  It's fairly slow growing, I've had it for a few months and it's on got one new leaf, although there are plenty curled in the middle ready

My Christmas Cactus was bought from Aldi and I've had for a few years, it was covered in flowers in December, last year at this time there were a few buds too, but none as yet this year.  It needs re-potting, I've bought some cactus and succulent compost but will wait until it warms up a bit more before I tackle it.

My Oxalis is doing well again.  My brother in law bought me this after I had admired one my sister had.  It varies on how well it does, it has been huge, with loads of flowers in the past, then it seems to loose the will to live, only to come back again, I've read that they are pretty much indestructible, and I think it's true.  At the moment it's living in the conservatory and seems to like it there, I'll have to move it once the weather warms up though.

The next two are new additions this week, I treated myself when I went to Dobbies on Tuesday.
I was in two minds about getting a spider plant, I've had one in the past but It got way too big and straggly.  We will have to wait and see if this one fares any better.
I did re-pot this when I got it home as it was already pot bound.  I need to find a new ceramic pot for it too.

I've wanted a boston Fern for ages, I did want a larger to put on a stand in the bathroom but they only had these medium sized ones, they are slow growers so I may have to wait a while.

 I'm enjoying all my house plants at the moment and they do seem to make a room more inviting.


Sunday 13 March 2022

A bit more knitting

I finished another little In Threes cardigan for Bonnie.  These are so quick and easy to knit up and are great for using up those odd bits in your stash.  I have a fair amount of acrylic yarn, I have no problem knitting with acrylic, it's perfect for babies and children as it's easily washed in the washing machine.
I'm sure Joanne has enough to do without hand washing things made from hand dyed yarn.

I played around with the number of stitches this time as the last one I made for her in DK yarn was only just big enough, even though I knitted the largest size.  The pattern is written for aran or worsted yarn but it is also simple enough to alter the numbers and make it bigger using DK. 
If I can do it, it must be easy!

Bonnie chose the buttons herself, she does love her pink :-)

The weather was lovely yesterday, a bit windy, but not cold.  I sowed some seeds, marigolds, poppies and black eyed susan and hoed the middle bed and one of the side borders, it looks a bit tidier now and the daffodils and crocus here and there are a giving a lovely pop of colour.

 The grass is still too wet to cut, but it's not needed at the moment anyway, good job really as it looks like we had quite a lot of rain during the night, judging by the puddles.

Never mind, according to the weather forecast we are in for a heatwave  😎


Tuesday 8 March 2022

Three months to go

 On June 9th my youngest daughter, Stevie-Leigh and her fiance, Darren, will be getting married on the beautiful island of Cyprus.

Because they have a wedding package there has been little preparation to do this end, the wedding itself is taken care of by the wedding planner in Cyprus, Stevie and Darren just had to tell them what they wanted, we were only really left with the reception venue to book, and they had found a lovely courtyard setting last year but unfortunately the reviews for that place went downhill following covid, although it's probably not a fair representation considering how travel was and with restrictions still in place, even so, it's not worth the risk, and we hadn't had yet paid any money for it, so another reception venue was booked.

I have to say that compared to booking and arranging a wedding in the UK this has been fairly straightforward, hassle-free and much cheaper too, plus, we can more or less guarantee that the sun will shine ;-)

Stevie made her own invitations

Didn't she do a great job? 

She sells on Etsy and IG, any invites, not just wedding.  
Should anyone be interested or would like to know more you can email me and I will pass on her details

Stevie's dress will be here in the next couple of weeks and then there will be fittings for any alterations that need doing.  The childrens clothes have to be bought, but as children grow like weeds that will be done closer to the time.  

I haven't even thought about what I will wear, definitely not going for a Mother of the Bride suit though, and no hat or fascinator for me either 😅


Thursday 3 March 2022

Highly recommended these two

 A few years ago I belonged to a Book Club at one of the local libraries, I used to really enjoy it but sadly the number dwindled and it finally folded.  The same library also ran monthly groups on Wednesdays and Thursdays, they were very popular and there were waiting lists to join both.  As a result of lockdowns over the last two years many people chose not to go back once things were open again, which meant that I finally got to join the Thursday group.  The group is still quite small, about six at the moment, but that's ok.  Last Thursday was our date to meet and discuss January's book.  

Catherine Isaac is a new author to me and someone I will look out for again.

1990. Harriet is a journalist. Her job takes her to dangerous places, where she asks questions and tries to make a difference. But when she is sent to Romania, to the state orphanages the world is only just learning about, she is forced to rethink her most important rule.

2018. Ellie is a gardener. Her garden is her sanctuary, her pride and joy. But, though she spends long days outdoors, she hasn’t set foot beyond her gate for far too long. Now someone enters her life who could finally be the reason she needs to overcome her fears.

From post-revolution Romania to the idyllic English countryside, The World at My Feet is the story of two women, two worlds, and a journey of self-discovery that spans a lifetime.

My audio book for February was one I came across via a new podcast I've been watching, Penelope's Chinwag.  Pene's podcast was recommended on another one I subscribe to, so I thought I'd pop over and take a look, and I'm so glad I did, she has a lovely way about her and she shows her amazing patchwork, knitting and sewing as well as some chats with her 96 year old mum.  I love listening to those chats, it makes me wish I'd done something similar with my mum.  Her podcast is well worth checking out if you haven't already.
In one episode she mentioned that her aunty in Ireland had written a book, when she said that it was on audible I went in search and downloaded it.
Open Hearted by Anne Ingle is a very candid memoir, narrated by Ann herself.  I found it absolutely fascinating listening to her and can highly recommend.   I've checked on Amazon where it's also available in hardback and on Kindle too.

At 20 Londoner Ann Ingle fell madly in love with an Irish fellow she met on holiday in Cornwall. At the church to arrange their shotgun wedding she discovered that he hadn't even told her his real name.

Sixty-odd years later Ann looks back on that first glorious fall and in a series of essays considers what she has learned from the life that followed - bringing eight children into the world, their father's years of mental illness and tragic death at 40, being a cash-strapped single mother in 1980s Dublin, coming into her own in her middle years - going to college, working and writing, and continuing to evolve and learn into her ninth decade, even as she accepts the realities of being 'old'.

These two books bring my reading total to 10 so far this year, you can find the link to my Goodreads page in the right hand side bar if you're interested in what else I've been reading.