To Kill a Mockingbird …

18/03/2015 § 4 Comments

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at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton until 21 March 2015

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There’s an informative review of this theatre company’s production here, when they performed the play recently in Scotland. This afternoon, I nipped down to Southampton on the train to take my seat in the circle at The Mayflower Theatre where I sat, spellbound, throughout the performance of this poignant and thought-provoking story.  Ava Potter, the little girl who played Scout was enchanting, as were the other child actors playing her brother Jem and friend Dill.  Daniel Betts, playing Atticus Finch, was the epitome of the book character – gentle and worn, wise and intelligent, caring and just.

Do you go to the cinema or theatre on your own?  I could ask a friend to come with me, and often do, but sometimes I enjoy the independence of watching solo.  I’m no theatre critic and rarely read reviews before I watch a production – I like to have the experience all to myself, with fresh uncultivated eyes and without preconceptions.

I’ve read Harper Lee’s only novel, many times over the years and this afternoon’s performance brought the characters to life, just as I imagined them.  I loved the patchwork quilts (3 in total)!  Even the quilts looked authentically Southern, worn and loved.  Now I want a picket fence, an antique day bed just like they had on stage – and Atticus’ rocking chair!

Today’s outing was my second this week – on Tuesday to escape the anti-cyclonic gloom that had descended bringing cold air and drizzle, I walked to our local Winchester cinema for the matinee showing of Suite Francaise.

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I strolled home in a different place – I’d been transported into a story by amazing actors – another life, another time, another world.

I’ll be taking a break for a couple of weeks – things to do, people to see.

take care

Adaliza

Rocking seats and verandahs …

13/03/2015 § 5 Comments

Apart from plants, the two things I love most in the garden are places to sit and pretty seats to sit on!

This week – just last Monday – I treated myself to a new rocking seat together with a swing seat which hangs from one of the apple trees.

a very comfy spot with lovely view up the garden

a very comfy spot with lovely view up the garden

hanging seat in the apple tree

hanging seat in the apple tree – can’t wait for the grass to grow here, following the landscaping earlier in the year

rocking bench

rocking bench

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I love these seats – I bought them from this ebay shop.  I wondered how long they’d take to be delivered all the way from Germany, but they arrived within 3 days of purchase and I thought that was seriously speedy!  They went together very easily with just 6 bolts (spanner supplied) on the rocking bench and 4 bolts and a couple of shackles for the chains on the hanging seat.  I can’t wait for the apple blossom to appear – and the grass to grow!

The sheds have been cleared of hoarded rubbish, thanks to sterling work on by my boys J1 & J2 and the little summerhouse that overlooks Flora’s pond is now a comfy place to hide away with couple of pretty chairs and a coffee table – the perfect place for a quiet cuppa.  I’ve rediscovered the verandahs on the little summerhouse and the garden workshop too – even more places to sit!

workshop verandah with my old rocking chair

workshop verandah with my old rocking chair

my secret hideaway overlooking the ponds

my secret hideaway overlooking the ponds

I think a lick of paint is called for in the little summerhouse – nothing too fancy, but some white wooden walls would brighten it up no end.

The greenhouse is taking shape and I can’t seem to go out without being accosted by little plants that need to come home with me!

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potting bench

 

greenhouse staging

greenhouse staging – potatoes starting to sprout!

not quite finished, but I couldn't wait to get planting

raised veggie beds not quite finished, but I couldn’t wait to get planting

lovely vintage plant stand - I have plans for trailing geraniums and petunias

lovely vintage plant stand – I have plans for trailing geraniums and petunias

rockery roses in an old zinc container in the middle of my baker's tray coffee table

rockery roses in an old zinc container in the middle of my baker’s tray coffee table

Oh, such fun!

Are you making plans for your garden this summer?  Let me know if you have any secret tips on what to grow – I’m thinking cosmos, night-scented stock, cornflowers – I could go on!!!!!

Enjoy the weekend

Adaliza

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Making Progress …

09/03/2015 § 2 Comments

from this …

overgrown garden

overgrown winter garden

a work in progress

a work in progress – minus a couple of huge shrubs

overgrown shrubs removed, but look at all that ivy over the greenhouse

but look at all that ivy over the greenhouse – and it was stacked full of rubbish too

ivy gone, panes replaced and a new base laid

ivy gone, panes replaced and a new base laid

I’ve triumphed over a flat-packed potting bench and staging – it took more effort than you’d ever imagine!  It was easier to lay a base in the greenhouse than build that stuff!

See the little blue shed?  Listing badly to starboard, broken door, rotten leaking roof, rotten floor and no window – it had to go to make way for something that has yet to happen!

enter my youngest J2 - surveying the structure having removed the rubbish and a host of enormous spiders

enter my youngest J2 – surveying the structure having removed the rubbish and a host of enormous spiders

half an hour later

10 minutes later

I have plans for the bottom of the garden where the little blue shed used to stand.  I’m not sure I’m going to be able to make them happen but something’s certainly going to fill the spot and hopefully it’s going to be a great addition to the garden.  Fingers crossed!!!

My new little veg plot is laid out in front of the long white wall – 2 small raised beds for salad crops and a long bed ready for runner beans.  The little white wall marks the yard in front of the greenhouse.  I used to love sitting here with a cuppa in early summer mornings, listening to the birds greeting the day – many years ago when I had time to do gardening!

So we’re making progress and I really couldn’t do it without the help of the boys, especially J2 who’s staying at home for a bit to make my plans become a reality.  I’ve made him apple crumble for pudding tonight as a Thank You (and to build him up for some more hard work tomorrow)!!!

What’s happening in your patch at the moment?  Are you making plans or carrying them out?  Whatever you’re up to – good luck.

Adaliza

I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment – it’s one of my favourite bits about blogging

 

Plastic Flower Pot revamp …

01/03/2015 § 9 Comments

I know – you hate them too – large plastic planters in orange or green tones.  I needed some very large pots and took a jaunt off to a wonderful nursery near Stockbridge the other day.  There they have an amazing array of planters but the ones I wanted were stone and cost way, way over my budget.  Later that day I took a trip to our local household recycling centre and was amazed to find a whole stack of 5 pots which were just the right size but unfortunately all plastic!  After a swift negotiation though, they came home with me – all for well under a tenner!

BEFORE …

there were 2 of these

there were 2 of these

and two of these

and two of these

and one of these enormous ones

and one of these enormous ones

I had an audience whilst I prepared my paints – yes, I decided to paint them and see what I could achieve …

Fluff - my very tame garden robin.  There are 2 of them and Fluff has fluffy wings!

Fluff – my very tame garden robin. There are 2 of them and Fluff has fluffy wings!

"What are you up to?"

“What are you up to?”

Not just any paint - chalk paints - a cheaper option than the famous one, from Homebase

Not just any paint – chalk paints, a cheaper option than the famous one – from Homebase

After …

it took under an hour to coat them all in 'Cocoa'

it took under an hour to coat them all in ‘Cocoa’ and on the bottom left is a finished one – stone effect

next to an original zinc tub, it looks good with the old lead horse that came with me years ago from Wales

next to an original zinc tub, it looks good with the old lead horse that came with me years ago from Wales

what do you think?

what do you think?

Belle thought she'd get in on the act

Belle thought she’d get in on the act

and Flora wasn't very interested

and Flora wasn’t very interested

Latest news … Fluff has been chased off the window feeder by Mrs Blackbird who is stocking up for night-time.  She just loves mealworms!  The tiny tomtits are really noisy and land on the feeder with such a wallop – as though they have their wellies on!  I have an amazing number of birds visiting the kitchen feeders – long tailed tits the other day.  It was such a treat to see their beautiful blush colours.

What have you been up to this weekend?

Adaliza x

please leave a comment …

 

A new quilt and pink candlesticks …

24/02/2015 § 6 Comments

A new quilt commission always fills me with excitement and this quilt was a long time in the planning. The brief was for ” … a patchwork quilt and 2 large matching cushions … with a French/Parisian theme to cover an antique French day bed … pastel shades – pinks, blues and greens … fabrics containing images of handbags, shoes, Eiffel Tower or anything associated with France/Paris”.

I gathered together fabrics …

focus patches were all girly and French

Then I went about my happy cutting out, creating and planning, piecing and stitched, layering up and quilting followed by a couple of evenings hand-stitching all around the binding edge of the quilt – oh how I love that bit!

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I’m so pleased with how it turned out – it’s a complete froth of pastel shades working together around the strong Paris print in double-size patches. There was a lot of diagonal quilting to dissect the 4″ squares but it was worth it.  The quilt is backed with pure white fleece and is lightly wadded so it will wash and dry easily.  My client has had quilts from me before including one for her little girl which she assured me is still ‘going strong’ after 2 years of being snuggled beneath and played with every day.  I’m also delighted to say that she was thrilled with her new quilt.  Phew – it’s always a relief when someone sees their quilt for the first time and loves it.  There are lots of stories about quilt commissions if you follow the link on the left of your screen – so many quilts!!!

Now – pink candlesticks …

As ever, I’m very bad at taking ‘before’ photos because I’m always in such a rush to get stuck into a project. A pair of brass candlesticks from I-know-not-where have been huddled in the corner of the patio for at least 2 years.  They were behind a very large flower pot!  I gave them a wash down and then treated myself to a spray can of Candy Pink paint! Here they are on the newly laid out Spring mantlepiece in the lounge …

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oh, they’re SOooooo pretty and perfectly match the £1 pillar candle from Poundland!

 

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and I couldn’t resist the pastel shade of these carnations – they’re just delicious

in Aunt Bertha's favourite vase

happily brightening up a corner of the room, in Aunt Bertha’s favourite vase

Enjoy your week.

Adaliza x

 

 

 

 

A wander around my garden …

19/02/2015 § 12 Comments

Mother Duck has been snatching sunny moments in the garden.  She’s been having a lovely time finding worms for me – such a tasty treat – and I’ve been helping by getting under her feet and pushing my beak in where her trowel is digging and planting.  I can’t wait till she gets going in the main garden instead of faffing around with pots of bulbs and those big white sinks.

I thought you might like to see some rare winter colours and pretty corners of my garden …

Alpine garden in a sink

Alpine garden in a sink – see the tiny blue iris?

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Mistletoe growing in the apple tree – Storm’s horseshoe must have brought good luck!

 

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Latest alpine garden – see the little squirrel who lives in the upturned pot?

 

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wonderful colours – Mother Duck feels a quilt coming on in these colours

 

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Secretive snowdrops by the waterfall

 

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a pot of snowdrops next to the bay tree

 

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one of my favourite spots in the garden – the waterfall that trickles into the big pond

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I had a peek into the kitchen and I can tell you – those hyacinths have the most amazing scent

Then, I had a waddle down to see what was happening under the rose arch, then back to my daytime perch on the verandah – it’s a bit chilly and damp today.  Good weather for ducks!!!

a waddle down the garden to check on the snowdrops

a waddle down the garden to check on the snowdrops

Mother Duck’s been doing a lot of quilting so I’m sure she’ll have lots to show you next time!

Flora Puddleduck x

Flora Puddleduck x

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Win, win !!!

18/02/2015 § 2 Comments

Wow – I’ve won an award …

Houzz Award

Houzz Client Satisfaction Award

That was a surprise – I only heard about it today!
A huge Thank You to those who left a review on Houzz and many testimonials, for me to publish on my website.

Have you discovered Houzz?  If you’re looking for home ideas, it’s awesome.  Some really amazing design ideas from all over the world.  It’s not like Pinterest – it has links to professionals and design consultants so you can get in touch with real people … like me!!!

I’ve just finished my first quilt of the year, too – a commission.  It will have it’s very own ta-dah moment very soon, but here’s a sneak preview …

Parisian Quilt and cushion

Parisian Quilt and cushion

Have just booked to see La Traviata in London next week – SOOOOoooooo excited!

Adaliza x

 

 

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