21/04/2017 § 2 Comments
Amaryllis, bluebells, tulips, apple blossom, cherry blossom – it’s all happening!
I ventured to Bath to snatch a couple of hours of ‘me time’ and to break up my recent journey to Wales. The weather was wonderful and the clip clop of hooves as the horse-drawn taxi trotted by, made my visit even more special – I so love Bath.
The amaryllis – a surprise from my daughter, to welcome me back home – arrived in a massive box and the fat buds opened into the most magnificent blooms.
Apple blossom & bluebells – well, need I say more – sheer perfection.
And cushions – I’m on a cushion-making mission at the moment with some fairly large fairs looming this month and next. I even treated myself to a new (but very old) sewing machine yesterday – one that loves doing freehand embroidery – so there’ll be some more cushion posts shortly.
The weather has been awesome. A long dry spell for about a month has meant that the water butts I installed last year are in use most days for watering the seedlings in the greenhouse. Ah Spring – such magic!
Enjoy everything, wherever you are.
10/03/2017 § 4 Comments
There are some really strong retro fabrics in this quilt but they seem to work and balance out with the solid red at the top of the flags combined with the prettiest pastel candy stripe. I’ve added a solid red binding to frame it all and that’s this evening’s task – to hand stitch the binding all around the back of the quilt.
The 2nd quilt I’ve finished this week is Mini Road Trip – using up the left over patches from last week’s Road Trip Quilt, cut down and combined with more solid blues. It’s a smidge off finished as there’s an edge and a half of binding to hand-stitch!
I’m hoping to have them both ready for tomorrow’s first market of the season in Alton, Hampshire.
Today is damp, dull and cloudy – I need a sprinkle of sunshine so here’s a photo from yesterday afternoon …
What a difference a day makes!
Enjoy your weekend.
09/03/2017 § 1 Comment
03/03/2017 § 1 Comment
Thank you for your kind words and messages about Flora. I miss her so much. She was a remarkable creature who brought us joy and made us laugh. The garden is very quiet but there are signs that Spring is about to leap into action …
I’ve been teaching in my new Garden Room Studio and it’s a very calm, creative space that is much enjoyed by my students …
I do so love this space and yesterday morning, in bright sunshine, I wandered across the patio and into the studio to cut out a quilt – there’s nothing like a short commute to work!!!
This afternoon, after walking the collies I attached the binding to this new quilt that I’ve named Road Trip! It’s a lovely single quilt in soft blues and greens with bumper-to-bumper cars and a vivid orange binding (to be hand-stitched this evening).
By the way, thank you all for your suggestion for quilt names, last week. As each one came in I thought ‘That’s the one’ but then as I hanged them up in the new studio I decided on 2 different names – Fly Away is the floating squares 3-d quilt and Elements is the diamond one.
Do you approve???
Have a lovely weekend and see what signs of Spring are appearing in your neck of the woods.
01/11/2016 § 1 Comment
Today is the first of November and feels SO different from yesterday. October left us in a blaze of golden sunshine, with carpets of crisp leaves underfoot and the warmth of the sun on our faces. Both yesterday and today I gently strolled around Farley Mount – the local country park – with the collies, but how different the atmosphere between those two days. Today was dank, gloomy and quite chilly in contrast to the glorious gold of yesterday.
Gentle strolls are all I can manage as I’ve had/still got a horrible ‘bug’ that is laying me quite low. I have no energy and a killer sore throat that just won’t go away. In truth, I think the past few weeks with the boys going off in opposite directions around the world and the exhausting trip to Wales has taken its toll and I probably need to rest and recuperate. I haven’t even done any sewing – for a whole week – oh dear!
So homemade chicken broth with homemade bread and stewed apples from the garden with comforting custard are on the menu with a constantly topped up mug of my mother’s special drink.
Whenever anyone felt under the weather when I was growing up, Mum would make one of her ‘special drinks’. They consisted of melted jam and honey in hot water, fresh lemon juice, cloves, matchsticks of fresh ginger and a teaspoon of cider vinegar all swirled around by a cinnamon stick. I made them for the boys (who both had this bug when they were home recently) and now I’m making them for myself. It has been known that for a dash of whisky to be added at bedtime!!
I’ve been having a bit of a jelly-fest over recent weeks, trying to use up all the apples from the garden and so I’ve been delving into jars of Rosehip Jelly, Hedgerow Jelly, Bramble Jelly and Rosemary Jelly for my drinks. Rosehip jelly is the gentlest pink colour – quite beautiful.
I’ll line up and label all my jars of preserves very soon, as hopefully it won’t long until I’m feeling more energetic again.
30/08/2016 § Leave a comment
or maybe that should be bobbin-along …
This one is for keeps – and I used SOoooo many bobbins of thread, what with all those seams. Worth it though – I love this quilt. Yesterday I sat on my favourite rocking garden seat in the sunshine and hand-stitched the binding. Of course, I have to sit on a quilt – an old one that I made maybe 20 years or so ago …
Today is bright, warm and sunny and from my office nook where I can type away whilst looking out over the fields, I can also see through the internal window right down to the front door. Misty is on guard, waiting for the postman. If he’s quiet, she may not notice!
Enjoying the every day …
10/07/2016 § Leave a comment
Well, it’s raining and yesterday in Alton, it was blustery (but very warm and dry, thankfully). So good to meet up with such lovely folk from Alton and the surrounding villages, at the monthly market when us ‘Makers’ team up with those ‘Farmers’ and set up our stalls on and around the High Street, whatever the weather!
Everything in my garden is growing like crazy – I thought you may like a few photos …
The Dublin Bay rose is in full and glorious bloom, as is the red rose over the archway down to the pond.
One of my favourite places to sit and enjoy the afternoon sun (so I haven’t been sitting there very much recently)!
The veg plot is very green – runner beans, peas, broad beans, sunflowers, lettuce, radishes and tomatoes in the greenhouse – I can’t wait for the runner beans to be ready. My friend introduced me to a stunningly simple but delicious meal – freshly boiled runners topped with crispy bacon rashers, to be enjoyed on their own or with a hunk of bread and butter. Do try it – it’s amazing!
But possibly my garden favourites this week are the sedums in my miniature gardens, planted up in galvanised trays, and made into outdoor coffee tables with an upturned baker’s rack and a couple of concrete pots. I love this little feature on the lower patio. Here it was in May before those sedums started to bloom …
and now …
Mrs Quacky, aka Flora Puddleduck, is very vocal at the moment. She’s guarding her nest and hides her eggs so effectively, I sometimes don’t catch up with her latest secret nesting spot for a few days!
Flora says ‘Hello’, in a rare moment of sunshine last week!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend – I have LOTS of sewing to do …
PS – I’ve just been notified that my Carnival Blanket has been featured on Houzz, in an article about the benefits for those of us who knit and crochet (and I suspect sew, too).
01/07/2016 § 2 Comments
I’m looking after my neighbour’s garden, whilst they’re off on their travels for a few weeks. There are a couple of perks – firstly, and you’ll be surprised at this – the weather! As it’s raining almost every day, I don’t have to spend a huge amount of time watering their wonderful garden, with colourful flowers in huge pots and their brimming-with-goodness veg plot. Only the greenhouses need a drink every day or so, as it’s not even that warm during the daytime here.
The other perk is ‘Help yourself to whatever ripens’! Well now, that’s very kind and obviously I’ll leave everything I can for them to enjoy on their return but yesterday I had to harvest their crop of redcurrants. They won’t keep on the bushes so I filled freezer bags and popped them into my neighbour’s freezer and kept some for myself …
Oh – the glorious absolute red of these berries. The way they glisten and positively sparkle – they’re quite magical!
I set about to preserve some of that summer lusciousness and to enjoy some as well …
Firstly, I made a Redcurrant Yoghurt Cake – yummy or what? The Cake Monster (aka son J2) flew back to the UK yesterday morning and so I’m lucky to find some cake still in the tin to enjoy with a mid-morning cuppa! Such a simple recipe and those red berries in the middle of the cake give a wonderful sprite flavour. I also mashed some up to make cordial that I enjoyed there and then – refreshing and thirst-quenching.
And then, with long winter evenings in mind, I thought I’d pop some into a bottle of gin, with some sugar, so we can enjoy some festive, rosy G&T’s later in the year.
The kitchen is an absolute joy to work in. It’s decorated now and I’m delighted with it. I work hard not to clutter up the cupboards and keep those beautiful work surfaces free from ‘stuff’. The antique pine dresser (which is in fact a wall-mounted plate rack and separate sideboard) adds a honey-coloured glow against the calm blue feature wall and I love moving my treasures around. (Wall Paint – Oval Room Blue FB, a tone or two darker than the John Lewis of Hungerford Townhouse Blue base units).
There’s more to life than kitchens though. Today would have been my beloved man’s birthday and I’d happily trade everything I own to have him here again beside me. I’m lucky to have such amazing children and my dear friends who keep me going whatever the weather. Be positive is a good motto for this year.
Enjoy your weekend
27/05/2016 § 3 Comments
the stage is set for the fair …
The kitchen garden is amazing – not a weed in sight!
Lyme Regis is also magical this evening …
and here’s a sneaky peak at some of the new quilts & cushions that will be on my stall over the weekend …
So, I hope you all have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend – I’ll be here …
Fingers crossed for some sunshine!
22/05/2016 § 1 Comment
Since taking the photos at the beginning of the week, everything has grown about 12″ it appears – especially the grass! I’ve had to invest in a new lawnmower as I found the petrol mower impossible to start with it’s pull-handle. The runner beans sprouting in the greenhouse and I hope to plant them out before the weekend. It’s wonderful to see my grandfather’s lily and all the cottage garden self-seeding favourites springing into life.
Yesterday must have been the ultimate boost for every plant in the garden – warm rain all day. However, it proved to be a good day for quilt-making and I finished the commission quilt that I can’t show you yet. Others are flying out of my studio along with cushions and pincushions ready for this weekend’s River Cottage Spring Fair. I can’t believe it’s a whole year since my first RC Fair – time certainly flies. This year the dogs will be staying at home, with AB who is on dog & duck duty whilst I’m away. I’ll be staying in Lyme Regis which has become one of my favourite places to visit and I’m really looking forward to it all.
Expect photos of the seaside in my next post …