Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Month in Numbers April

Welcome to my Month in Numbers for April.  I am joining in with Julie at Notes on Paper for the 3rd time.

Now that the weather has improved I have my gardening mojo back!  As you can see from my recent posts I am planting a new border – so I bought 8 plants this month.  They have all been planted, I’ll do another blog post about them soon.

I have sown 7 different types of plant in the greenhouse: basil, beetroot, climbing bean, cosmos, spinach, sunflower and sweetcorn.

I am still sewing up a storm and have made 3 items of clothing this month, including the 2 baby outfits I showed you earlier.  I decided that I needed to build my fabric stash so bought 29.2 metres of fabric! This is a picture of the fabric I bought yesterday in Brighton.  I visited 3 shops, Fabricland, C&H Fabrics and Ditto Fabrics and bought 9 different fabrics.  I also ordered 2 fabrics from eBay (not shown here), 1 of which is horrible, but was only £1 per metre!

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I have crotcheted another 12 squares this month.  Here’s a photo of 43 of them taken 10 days ago.  I have since crotcheted another 5 squares to total 48.

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Due to it being Easter I needed to make space amongst the craft clutter in my dining room to eat!  I sorted out some unwanted stash to sell and posted 5 parcels.  The cost of posting parcels is now astronomical!  This parcel cost £8 to post!

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Can’t leave without showing you the 4 Easter rabbits that have been sitting on the sideboard!  1 of them has been very naughty and had to be turned around to face the other way.  I can tell you that he has now been well and truly EATEN!  Now there are only 3!

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And finally, I have my photography mojo back too!  This month I took 217 photos!!

Do pop over to Julie’s blog to see all the other Month In Numbers.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

See It, Pin It, Do It- April

I’m joining in with Fiona at Staring at the Sea for SIPIDI this month.  Foolowing on from my garden theme, I pinned this picture from The Galloping Gardener Blog.  This gorgeous scene is at Great Dixter, somewhere I have yet to visit.

Walking round the garden this morning I found this:

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Love the blue and yellow combination!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Garden Inspiration

I have a new border to plant!  Here’s what it looked like last October:


These shrubs and trees had gone wild since we had the big cedar tree chopped down.  I think they saw the light and grew and grew!

They were getting way too big, and that is a south facing border, ie prime real estate in my garden!  I have longed to have a ‘hot’ summer border, so we set to it and chopped them all down:

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After a few Sunday mornings hard work and several trips to the dump, it now looks like this:

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I had a few plants to go in there, such as this red rose called Ruby Celebration.  But I needed more inspiration!  So Mum and I went to Arundel Castle gardens.  I’ve blogged about the wonderful Earl Collector’s Garden several times, here for example.  Suffice to say it was a riot of tulips this week!

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We decided to take notes as we went around and made of wishlist of plants we’d like (not tulips!)  WE hotfooted straight to the garden centre to buy them!

I haven’t managed to take photos of them yet, and it is pouring with rain right now so I’ll report back later!  I’m ‘auditioning’ them at the moment.  They are placed in their pots on the border to see if I like the placement. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sewing for Little People

I don’t have any grandkids yet, but do have 2 great nieces and 2 great nephewsSmile.  One family came for dinner at Easter so I decided to make them something to wear.

I used patterns in the book ‘Cute Clothes for Kids’ by Rob Merrett.  The fabric is actually quilting fabric which I bought at my lovely local shop The Eclectic Maker.  Did I tell you this shop is fabulous and is only 5 minutes walk from my house!

Here’s the dress for the (nearly) 2 year old, plus bag made with scraps.  The bag is from the book ‘20 to make, Jelly Roll Scraps’ by Carolyn Foster.  My great niece really loved the bag!

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Here’s the back with the super cute pockets and tabs in pink gingham

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The dungarees are size 9 months so will fit great nephew in the summer/autumn.  Isn’t the fabric gorgeous!! I found the light blue in my scrap bag which was just right for the pockets and tab at the back.

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No new techniques for me really, but I did take the opportunity to practise my top stitching.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

More sewing with knit fabrics

Here’s a couple of dresses that I have made recently:

First off, the Tiramisu Dress from Cake Patterns.  Very easy to make!  I had already made this out of some cheap Ponte Roma, so I was confident in the fit, and decided to use this rather more expensive printed jersey.  It’s got a lovely vintage feel, and is super comfortable to wear.  I was really lucky to get the mustard yellow cardigan to go with it!   And the shoes?  I have had them for years!  It just needs a little attention to the hem, see it’s a bit droopy at the back!

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Here’s Tilly’s Coco top made into a dress.  Again it’s printed jersey, an animal print this time.  I have worn this dress several times already – it looks good with boots, and different colour cardigans.  I always thought I didn’t like boat necks, but this one I love!  I must make some tops with this pattern, and I am sure this won’t be the last Coco dress I make.  I love  the string of beads that Burnice made for me and I like to wear them with this dress.

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Nicholas took these photos, and he loves to do ‘arty-farty’ – here’s a couple of examples

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Monday, 14 April 2014


I am having a massive sort out of my craft room.  I did reorganise it a while ago, but I am not very good at putting things back in the right place!!  And with Easter coming up, I have to make room in the dining room to actually eat!!

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My button drawer was in a terrible mess!  I have an old tin full of ‘vintage’ buttons.  Not sure where they came from, I think someone gave them to my Mum, who gave them to me.  So while tidying up I decided to go through them a bit more closely.  Here are some of my favourites:

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And in colour order:

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I love these old moulded buttons.  I must find out more about them.  Wonder how old they are?  1930s perhasp?

And then there are old cards of buttons:

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I love vintage sewing notions!  When I get a proper sewing room, I am going to have a little display of them.

This photo is for the challenge  ‘Something old’ my second week for 52 photos on 3Djean’s blog.  

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Top 5 photos in March

More fog!  We don’t get fog very much here, so I am always ready with my camera when it descends.  Love this atmospheric foggy alleyway or ‘twitten’, and the misty silhouettes of the trees.  I used to walk Merlin along this alleyway and still miss him when I look at this photo.


A scrapbook page of Lucy at 4.  I loved the purple party dress she wore then.  This page was for a weekly challenge on UKScrappers.  Notice the crotcheted blanket on the sofa behind her?  I crotcheted that about 30 years ago!

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A photo out of the car as we were driving along the tree-lined lanes around Goodwood, Sussex on a lovely sunny day.  The trees are still bare, no sign of spring in this photo.

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Every year I try to get the definitive photo of my daffodils.  Here’s the best I took this year.  I usually show you my photos as they come straight out of the camera with very little adjustment.  This one has been cropped, and contrast and brightness tweaked.  Photoshopping and all that doesn’t really interest me, it’s the taking of the photos that I love!

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Monday, 7 April 2014

52 weeks of photos–week 2

I started this project back in January but fell at the first hurdle!  I only took the first photo (a self portrait, here)

Now the weather and light have got better, I am more determined to have a go at this project, so here’s my week 2 – Something Green

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This is the stunning view from my back door!  Every time I step out there (or come down the stairs, as the landing window looks over this view too) I am grateful for my neighbours!  See the fence?  That’s my garden boundary and most of these stunning trees are not in my garden, but boy do they give a great backdrop.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Month in Numbers–2 Birthdays

There were 2 special birthdays this month.  Mine (always special) on the 25th and my Mum’s friend Barbara was 80 on 27th.

I celebrated my birthday on the day with Lucy.  She took me to a lovely spa day at the Marriott Hotel at Lingfield race course (no races that day!)  We had 2 treatments each; I chose a ‘taster’ facial and nail file and paint, Lucy chose the facial and a back massage.  We had lunch in the bar (in our robes) and then spent the afternoon in and out of the sauna, hot tub, steam room and swimming pool.  We felt all nice and clean aftewards.  There were 6 people to my birthday dinner, a chinese takeaway.  All in all a really lovely day!

I was invited to accompany Mum to her friend’s birthday celebration.  Mum and Barbara have been friends for over 50 years!  We were intrigued with the invitation as it said that we were invited to celebrate Barbara’s birthday from 2-6pm and then afterwards for supper at her daughter’s house.  It was a surprise for everyone, including Barbara! 

We arrived to find a a large coach waiting for us all to board.  I’m guessing there would be about 50 of us all together.  We drove to pick up the ‘birthday girl’, then north for about 8 miles to Wiston House for afternoon tea.  It was lovely!

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Here’s Barbara with her 2 children, and a picture of me with my Mum.

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Wiston House has a really interesting history.  It is part of the Wilton Park conference organisation and has held important conferences.  Have a look at this history if you are interested.

Not so many numbers this month, but I am linking up with Julie Kirk for Month in Numbers.