Monthly Archives: November 2015

Terrarium

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Terrarium

imageMy annual attempt at gardening happened this week! I don’t have a garden just tubs, plant pots and countryside. I do have a lovely glass globe that I recently rescued from a life full of sea shells and converted it into a terrarium.

I assembled the succulent plants, potting compost and a few remaining shells. Planted up the glass globe and voila a terrarium!

Time will tell how successful it will be so watch this space. In the meantime…..

 

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New Project

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New Project

imageI’m just starting a new project. I’m really good at starting new projects, just really bad at finishing projects. This one is different. I’m going to make a blanket for the Campervan next season. Well, maybe the season after!

I purchased a kit from Attic24 when I was at Yarndale in September. The blanket is called “Coast Ripple Blanket”and is in shades of blueish. I was immediately struck by the colours and squashiness of the yarn. Don’t you just have to squeeze wool whilst feasting your eyes with the colours?

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I have never followed a crochet pattern before so this may be something of a challenge. Anyhow I have sorted out the wool, planned the project and typically haven’t got the correct size crochet hook. I seem to have DOZENS of hooks, needles and pins but have never got the one that I need. Well maybe I have if I had the patience to sort out my so called stash chest. But that is another project for another time.

I have started by being very organised (it won’t last!) and sorted out the various colours into a chart. So I’m ready to crochet. Just need to buy the hook.

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Vintage Plant!

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Many years ago I bought my first house. It was exciting times! A friend gave me a plant cutting. I remember her well because she told me to fill my home with plants that people gave me. This would fill my home with friends not plants! I have to confess that this was about 45 years ago. That particular plant has flourished and bloomed twice a year ever since. Here it is! My beautiful Christmas and Easter cactus blooming its heart out to cheer up the dull, dark days of Winter. This is really a Vintage Plant.image

A Very Special Christmas

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Each year I go away, twice a year, for a long weekend with four girl friends. We have been doing this for nearly twenty years so have the formula right. This November we decided to have our very own, very early Christmas. We arrived at a beautiful cottage in Gloucestershire yesterday (Friday) which we proclaimed as Christmas Eve. We had a Christmas Eve buffet with generous glasses of Prosecco.

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Today, Saturday, we had Christmas Day. Father Christmas had left stockings filled with gifts. We had a log fire and lunch in a garden centre in Hay on Wye. ( which amazingly was open on our Christmas Day). The wearing of Christmas sweater was compulsory, which did cause some funny looks in the garden centre.

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The Turkey is in the oven and we will open our other presents around the table tonight whilst wearing Father Christmas hats.

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Accompanied by more Prosecco we watched the truly Vintage film White Chritmas staring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye filmed in 1954.

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A lovely Christmas Day. Roll on New Years Eve tomorrow (Sunday).

Village Bonfire

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Apologies for being late but here are a few pictures from Bonfire night last week.

imageDaughter and I are suffering from a touch of fire glow here. Our village has an annual bonfire which is organised by The Young Farmers. They do an amazing job with a fantastic firework display.

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Family pictures are great aren’t they? Here are my two Gorgeous Grandsons, handsome eldest son and super son in law (ish). This is an annual event in our household calendar. We finish the evening with a traditional hot pot. Hot pot is one of my signature dishes! It is basically a beef stew with potatoes and root veg. The sort of rib sticking food that I cook in a slow cooker all day ready to dish up for hungry folk.

The original dish is a Lancashire Hot Pot with various adaptations such as a pastry topping or crusty bread. Oh and it is compulsory to serve with beetroot and or red cabbage. Lovely!!

imageBonfire and firework display in Cilcain, Flintshire 2015

Mother love and Note Books

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My friend K knitted this shawl. It’s warm and cuddly with shaped shoulders. You can also fasten the front ties if you wish. My Mum was delighted when I gave it to her. She’s not in the best of health so couldn’t do a “twirl” to take the photo from another angle. The really lovely thing was her smile when she cuddled into the shawl.

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I have also been dabbling in making note books. My first attempt, the prototype has a green suede cover which is great.

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My second attempt has a woollen cloth cover which was a free sample.I have used recycled papers for the inserts and the tie ribbon was cut from inside a sweater ( those that always annoy and show at the shoulders.) The button fasten was free on a craft magazine! So no cost.  I hope that by the third attempt I will be a note book know it all!

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Children’s Vintage Crafts and Gifts

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image image image image imageThese embroidery samples were each made by my children when they were in Junior school. They were usually made as Mothers Day gifts. The two boys produced excellent results which is amazing as neither would dream of picking up a needle and thread these days. Well maybe the Company Sergent Major would! They have used Aida cloth.

Aida cloth is manufactured with various size spaces or holes between the warp and weft to accommodate different thicknesses of yarn. These are described by the count. For example, a 10-count aida cloth would have 10 squares per linear inch. Typical sizes are 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 22 count, ranked from the coarsest to the finest count. Traditional colours are white, ecru, or shades of tan and brown, although brighter colors are also available. Aida cloth is sold in precut sheets or in bolts of 40″ – 60″ width.

Aida cloth has a tendency to fray and often needs hemming before use. It should never be laundered prior to craft work and tends to contract when the finished item is washed in soap and water. Hand washing improves the appearance of finished cross-stitching because Aida cloth naturally contracts in specific areas where it is embroidered.

I suspect that the teacher would have helped quite a lot,as they were each made when they were aged about eight or nine.The patterns are all quite precise and carefully balanced. I adore these “Folk Art” samplers and will keep them with my other treasures. My three children all have children now so I am watching with interest to see if the Grandchildren bring home similar gifts.

Wordsmith Wednesday – Petersham Ribbon

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Petersham Ribbon

Petersham ribbon, also called Petersham facing or simply Petersham, is a thick, stiff, flexible corded ribbon usually made out of either cotton, rayon, viscose, or a cotton/ rayon or viscose blend of fibers and used as facing by milliners and tailors. Petersham is frequently watered on both sides and comes with a scalloped edge. It is woven so that once steamed, it will take on and support a particular curve of fabric. This makes it useful for obtaining a smooth edge on the brim of a hat, for example, without forming puckers or wrinkles which would result from the use of traditional flat ribbon or other flat fabric. It is also useful as an alternative to bias tape for making fabric conform closely to the shape of the body wearing it— in a corset, for example, or along the waistline of a pair of trousers or a skirt. Petersham is very similar to grosgrain ribbon in appearance: both have closely spaced horizontal ridges, but Petersham has a flexible picot edge allowing it to be shaped with an iron, whereas grosgrain cannot be shaped this way.

Petersham is named after the eighteenth century English lord Viscount Petersham who invented an overcoat and breeches made of a special heavy woolen cloth with a round nap surface. For this reason, “Petersham” is often (but not always) capitalized.

Misty Moments in Cumbria

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imageToday Hubs and Benji dog planned to walk up Skiddaw. One of the well known Lake District challenging walks or hikes in Cumbria UK.

That is until they saw the mist. Or rather couldn’t see the mountain. The sensible plan was to walk low(er) level and leave me to indulge one of my favourite hobbies -shopping. This action plan was carried out and I shopped, went into cafes and scoured charity shops. Bliss! I was amazed to find that I’d walked more than five miles. It just shows how far serious shopping can take you!

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Magical Misty Moments in Cumbria Lake District UK