Time for tea …

01/02/2015 § 1 Comment

Patchwork Teacosy

patchwork tea cosy – lovely Tilda prints with extra roses

Keeping up with the theme of pretty pinks and reds in the kitchen, Mother Duck made herself a teacosy to fit in with her colour scheme … “Very pretty MD!”. She showed it to me this morning and said that she’s looking forward to warmer days and cups of tea out in the garden, with me and the collies.  “Won’t be long Mother Duck – Spring is on its way, the snowdrops are in full bloom around my pond and green shoots are appearing, despite the chill”.

She was also super excited about something that was delivered yesterday …

square business cards

square business cards

Square business cards from Moo – to advertise MD’s Adaliza Patchwork Quilts.  They look amazing – even to a duck like me!  They feature lots of her favourite quilts and blankets and are almost like little artworks of their own.

It’s absolutely freezing here today and I’ve taken up my chilly-day spot sheltered from the wind, on the verandah of the summerhouse – beak tucked under one wing and feathers fluffed out!

Keep warm and snug in your duck-houses.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Flora Puddleduck x

Flora Puddleduck  x

PS – February already … it’ll soon be time for me to start laying eggs again.

In the pink …

29/01/2015 § 3 Comments

Pretty things have been happening in the kitchen …

Sometimes patchwork has to be ordered, co-ordinated and requires lots of thought.  Sometimes it just gets thrown together and ends up looking really pretty – like the little cushion pad for the pink chair that was a project from a while ago.   There’s Misty gazing out towards the back door where Flora has been tapping at the window …

Misty's kitchen bed, under the table - in addition to her basket in the lounge and the sofa!

Misty’s kitchen bed, under the table – in addition to her basket in the lounge and the sofa!

Pink accessories have been appearing in the kitchen – life has to be pink!

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couldn't resist the little birdies on these storage jars - too pretty to be kept in the cupboard

couldn’t resist the little birdies on these storage jars – too pretty to be kept in the cupboard

playing with white clay and hoping for snow

playing with white clay and hoping for snow

and in the garden …

an alpine garden has been planted up in an old Belfast sink

an alpine garden has been planted up in an old Belfast sink

an alpine garden has been planted up in an old belfast sink

some broken pots, a basket handle and a shell give it some interest – it needs to rain to wash the edges clean though

and Flora, relieved of blogging duties for the day, is taking shelter from the biting wind and frequent showers on the verandah of the toolshed …

well-fed puddleduck!

well-fed puddleduck!

Keep warm and toasty in the winter’s chill.

Adaliza x

Everything in the garden’s muddy and lovely …

23/01/2015 § 5 Comments

Firstly, congratulations to Sooz ‘cos she’s the one I chose to receive the Calendar of Quilts.  I had to choose from a row of grapes and wasn’t really sure what was going on because I ate them all, but it was important which one I chose first apparently – strange creatures, humans!

There’s been a lot of barking up at the house today, and over the past few days.  Usually just after lunch, Belle tells me that a chap in shorts and a brightly coloured top, with a big red bag, marches up to the front door.  He does it just to wake Misty up from her slumbers because no sooner has he walked down the path than he walks back up again. Then Mother Duck the rushes to the front door to collect packages and envelopes.  Sometimes she sighs and mutters but over the past few days she often squeaks with excitement as she opens a package.  Today, Belle tells me that a present from *C* arrived – a beautiful fountain pen.  Lucky Mother Duck!

Everything in my garden’s been in a right old state for 2 days.  This is how it looked yesterday morning …

the back garden, yesterday morning

the back garden, yesterday morning – overgrown with ivy and weeds

then a chap in this arrived

then a chap arrived with this big yellow thing and a load of equipment and tools

and now it's all tidy - see me, on the right?

and now it’s all tidy – see me, on the right having a little sit down?

I had to stay up on the top patio, out of the way of Andy and his team of fellas who worked so hard for 2 days and have transformed the back garden.  It’s nothing to what’s happened out at the front though …

front of house

front of house

look at how full that skip is!

look at how full that skip is!

they used over 2 bags of pea shingle

they used over 2 bags of pea shingle

and now it looks like this!

and now it looks like this!

WOW

~~~ *** ~~~ WOW ~~~ *** ~~~

It’s all been very exciting and lots of Mother Duck’s friends have been around to say hello to me – and probably to see the garden too! J1 (my big brother duck) turned up with his enormous boots and I think there are lots more plans in Mother Duck’s head about what he can help with in the garden. I expect I’ll have to move ‘sharpish’ if he’s coming in my direction!

MD fairly squeaked with excitement yesterday afternoon, after the fellas had left.  She was down by the old apple tree where one of Storm’s horseshoe’s always hangs and you’ll never guess – there’s MISTLETOE growing in the apple tree!!!!!

“Mistletoe was once strongly associated with luck – and many of the older traditions and legends can be interpreted as suggesting it has some sort of protective role. The popular kissing custom has, today, rather eclipsed many of these older traditions – but 100 years ago more customs may have still thrived. The location of the fighting in northern France and Belgium may have helped as French-speaking areas, even today, still hold on to the custom of mistletoe for luck – a ‘Porte Bonheur’.” Jonathon’s Mistletoe Diary

We’re all hoping that 2015 will be a good year – for the garden, for our family of ducks and for collie dogs!

Have a lovely weekend.

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Flora Puddleduck   x

 

Heading for the light …

07/01/2015 § 3 Comments

Mother Duck has been on a mission to update some of the lamps and lights.  There’s been lots of activity in the kitchen around the ceiling light but I don’t think it’s quite finished yet.  Belle tells me that all the lamps have been moved around indoors and new lampshades seem to have appeared but knowing Mother Duck as I do, I suspect she’s been busy reworking them.  Here’s a sneaky peek …

glam up the kitchen

glam up the kitchen

I heard Mother Duck telling her friend about this lamp – it was brass and cost £2!  Then she spray painted the lamp base and found a bargain silk shade in town.  She’s added dangly, sparkly crystals and some cherry red velvet ric-rac braid to bring it all together.  Looks pretty good alongside her very own Adaliza Patchwork Quilts calendar and a spray painted brass horse.  Nice touch, MD!

Recovered shade - linen with horses

Recovered shade – linen with horses

Now that’s a classy lampshade if ever I saw one (and I can just see it if I stand on tippy webbed feet and stretch my neck up to peek into the lounge).  The old shade was a dull, cream colour and now it looks a million dollars – well done MD.

And finally …

Kaffe Fassett fabric

Kaffe Fassett fabric

Well, that is stunning.  What amazing fabric.  I’d quite like a little lamp like that in my duck-house.  I wonder whether, if I quack nicely, she’ll make me one?

Mother Duck says she might pop in to say hello over here, tomorrow.  Maybe that new kitchen light fitting that she’s been working so hard on creating will be ready for photographs.

In the meantime – have a quiet, quacky Thursday.

Flora Puddleduck x

I’m not sure

03/01/2015 § Leave a comment

what’s happening indoors today, but Mother Duck appears to be on a bit of a mission.  She was all about early this morning, in her wellies in the rain and flurried through giving my little duck-house it’s morning clean.  I’ll have a word with Belle later to see what she’s been up to and whether we
can get some photos of her latest projects!

SONY DSCFlora Puddleduck x

 

 

Happy Quacky 2015

01/01/2015 § 2 Comments

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I was rather jolted from my slumbers in the duck-house very late last night – it must have been just after midnight.  Fireworks and rockets exploded high above my little duck-house and I could hear Belle and Misty having their say up at the back door.  I rather expect they’d been awoken from their doggy dreaming in front of the fire, with Mother Duck (aka Adaliza) and Little Missus (*C*), who’d spent the evening enjoying good food and a bottle of bubbly, from what I can gather!

It’s mild and rather damp in the garden this morning, but I’ve been for my morning dip in the pond, to check on big fish who seems a bit dozy – must be the cold.  Mother Duck has been out replenishing the bird feeders and making my duck-house all clean and cosy, ready for this evening.

She says she’s got a busy couple of days ahead – making curtains and doing a bit of decorating.  I’m sure she’ll show me some photos that I’ll share with you, when she’s finished.

She’s asked me to wish everyone a Happy New Year – so have a good quack and flap your wings at the start of each day – that’s what I do!  Happy Quacky New Year.

Flora Puddleduck x

 

Onwards and upwards …

30/12/2014 § 2 Comments

I’ll be pleased to see the end of the year.  2014 will be forever etched into my life, filled with warm and happy memories as well as the deepest abyss of grief. It’s sometimes like being trapped in an icy crevice deep below the earth, being able to see daylight and people going about their lives, whilst my will to survive makes me breathe and reach, dark clouds gather to block out the sunshine and warmth.

et deinceps sursum …

(onwards and upwards) is a good motto for my 2015

I’m going to be handing over my blog to a guest for a while.  She’ll let you know what’s happening in my sewing room, because I’ll be telling her all about it and she’ll be giving me her opinion whenever I venture into the garden to photograph quilts in the sunshine.  She’s shared our lives here in Winchester since 2011, when we first met in Cornwall.  I’ll be sending her postcards to share with you, when I’m out and about and we’re both looking forward to getting the garden here into some sort of shape.  She’s chief of slug-defences!

Here she is …

Flora Puddleduck - guest blogger for Adaliza 2015

Flora Puddleduck – guest blogger for Adaliza 2015

We had a chat about it all this morning and she’s very excited.  I hope you enjoy her stories and updates.

Happy New Year to you all and if, like me, your life has changed
then raise a glass and reach ‘onwards and upwards’

Adaliza x

When the going gets hot …

17/06/2014 § Leave a comment

Flora takes a dip in the garden pond!

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ooohhh – that’s lovely and cool

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making ripples

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splashy ducky

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like water off a duck’s back

That's better!

That’s better!

Latest lace-weight shawl is finished and blocked and ready-to-wear on summer evenings …

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Yet another make-it-up-as-I-go-along crescent-shaped shawl completed – yay!  Knitted from end to end and finished off with a pineapple crocheted lacey border.  I’m totally besotted with this yarn and am now making up another one in the Luckwells burnt orange.

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Luckwells Orange from Natural Dye Studio

And on a recent jaunt to a local market town, Himself treated me to the prettiest Molly Brett print that I’d fallen in love with!  It’s called ‘Going Shopping’ and all the little creatures are busily filling their shopping baskets.

buttercups & bindweed and magic in the woodland

buttercups & bindweed in the garden – magic in the woodland

Just look at Mrs Squirrel and Mrs Rabbit having a good ol' gossip and Mrs Tiggywinkle's little red purse is adorable

Just look at Mrs Squirrel and Mrs Rabbit having a good ol’ gossip and Mrs Tiggywinkle’s little red purse is adorable – they all have such character

So, I hope the sun is shining on you this week.  I can’t believe it’s the longest day on Saturday – where has this year gone?

Take care

Adaliza x

PS :: If you haven’t seen Flora Puddleduck before, here’s how I rescued her as a tiny, tiny chick in 2011 with some updates here and here.

 

Quilts – January 2014

05/02/2014 § Leave a comment

January's quilts

January’s quilts

January was dismal, weatherwise.  I did a lot of quilting whilst listening to weather reports, flood warnings and hearing stories about the dreadful flooding just a county or so to the west of us.  February has started in a similar vein with gales and storms crashing through every couple of days or so.  One day in every 4 or 5 seems to be calmer with sunny spells – yesterday was just such a day.  I nipped outside with my camera, accompanied by my garden companion – Flora Puddleduck!

Flora Puddleduck

Flora Puddleduck

Flora was very impressed by the stack of quilts and I fancy, she would rather like to have one of her own, in her little house.  “No such luck Flora – your nest is lovely and warm with meadow hay and a deep bed of shavings!”

Back to the quilts …

Patchwork Quilts

Here are a few, in no particular order …

Chickadee Quilt …

Chickadee Quilt

with fat hens, baby chicks and lots of daisies

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Lullaby Quilt …

Lullaby Quilt

with glorious butterflies, luscious flowers and bright pastels (you know what I mean)

Lullaby Quilt

Lullaby quilt

Barndance Quilt …

Barndance Quilt

with cowboys, waggons and bright primary colours

Barndance Quilt

Barndance Quilt

That’s all for the moment.  The others are over here if you’d like to see all of them, but there are some pressing matters to deal with atm – another storm is howling outside and there have been a few crashes whilst I’ve been tapping away.  Time to go and investigate …

Good luck in the midst of all these storms.

Adaliza

Latest furniture restoration and apple blossom time …

21/05/2013 § 14 Comments

I’ve been busy revamping tables.  Firstly, a nest of fairly nondescript but very useful tables that we use every day …

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before – boring, but useful

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after – duck egg blue and still very useful

then, my wool cupboard in the studio …

before - cheap & cheerful pine

before – cheap & cheerful pine

after - old white with romantic vintage panels

after – old white with romantic vintage panels

The cupboard is now back in the studio and brimming over with wools.  At the weekend I bought a very tired little oak drop-leaf table.  I uummmm’ed and arghhhhhh’ed over what to do with it.  The lines are clearly 1930’s and it’s extremely well made.  I had a hunch that beneath all that dark staining and old polish was lurking some beautiful oak …

before - tired oak drop-leaf table

before – tired oak drop-leaf table

some investigation was needed on one leaf

some investigation was needed on one leaf

This wood was much too good to cover up with any paint treatment.  I painstakingly worked to remove all the layers of gunk and my arm was really aching by the time I’d finished the treatment last night …

1930's drop-leaf oak table

1930’s drop-leaf oak table

just look at the grain in that wood

just look at the grain in that wood

I’m SOOoooooo pleased with this piece.  That’s my grandmother’s Chinese biscuit barrel on top – full of her buttons – and from the same era!  That’s the one my grandfather used to empty out to teach me how to count.  It makes me feel quite  – well, something indescrible – whenever I touch it.  I haven’t known quite where to keep it, but now it has a proper home on this special little table.

“I’ll be with you in apple blossom time …” 

That song fills my head whenever our apple trees are in full and glorious blossom.  I hope you can imagine the delicate scent and the magical feeling of confetti petals falling whenever there’s a breath of a breeze as you sit on the bench with a morning cuppa …

apple blossom

apple blossom

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busy bee gathering pollen

busy bee gathering pollen

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my constant garden companion

my constant garden companion

Flora Puddleduck

Flora Puddleduck

What have you been up to?  It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK this weekend so we’re hoping for some more lovely warm sunshine, just like the holiday a few weeks ago.  Fingers crossed?

Adaliza x

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