Monday, 30 December 2013

Review 2013

At this time of the year it is a pleasant thing to review the years photos from Freshwinds Garden and think about the many highlights.
It has been  great year when viewed in its entirety.

For instance, back in January, how were we to know that ahead of us lay nearly 3 months of winter weather, which delayed the usual gardening calendar. The weather remained cold throughout March .

By the end of February we were desperate to get going with any number of jobs outdoors but our visits to the garden were usually to get leeks and other veg. for making warm, nourishing soups.

In March the cows escaped from the barn and trampled over the wet, soggy grass, leaving tell-tale footprints around the little orchard. One of my first jobs there was to fill the holes in before the campers walked through in the dark.

The cold spring left a lot of orphaned lambs. It was a real joy to see them on every following visit. Some of the expectant sheep were brought under cover to lamb. Problems can arise when lambs are born in the open, on very cold nights. 

We aquired a lot more old carpeting so decided to replace the paths, making them narrower at the same time. Throughout the year, thanks to Andy and Alex, we have had plenty of chipped bark delivered. Paula was kept busy weaving in the 
ends of the willow arch.

June saw us making an all-out effort to complete the cobbing. It still took us the rest of the year to do, even with family help.

If I had to give 2013 any name, it would be the Year of the Frog.....sounds a bit Chinese.
One family member counted 17 at one time. It was very easy to pass the time just sitting and watching them. 
My best memory......a young camper resting on one of the logs by the pond, on his  gameboy(?) When I pointed out that there were frogs in the pond, he began to really look. Later I watched him poised over the edge with his camera trying to get a good shot. 
That`s the magic of Freshwinds at work.

We reached the top of the cob shed in a glorious August. There were many picnics at the beach and some of our visits to the garden were later in the day to avoid the heat.

Our apple harvest was good but we had to pick the pears early due to birds and wasps. 
I tried pickling them.
Thank goodness we tried them out before giving them away for Christmas presents, because they were quite revolting!!

In October we were still harvesting plenty of produce. We were working hard to get the roof on the cob shed, using the wood from an old shed.

Two photos for November showing the insect hotel, not yet complete, and the wooden roof on the cob shed. Since this photo was taken the wall facing, has been blasted by wind and rain, exposing the straw. It may need some repairs.

This month saw me up to my knees in compost. 
In fact it was much easier than I expected.  

All in all a great year with many special memories, not least of which is that Tim, in his 60th year, raised an incredible £5,383 for FARM AFRICA with his three challenges.
And Anne climbed the three highest peaks in the UK in just over 24 hours.
What a pair they are!
Great times and great company.

Looking forward to all the projects for 2014.
More in the first blog of the new year.

A very happy new year to everyone who reads my blog.



There is something very special about the beach at this time of the year.....not many people around, the angle of the sun, the unmistakeable cliff outline.
Opposite the Pett Pools, the petrified forest is clearly visible. The mud is kind of peaty 
and feels like sponge to walk on.

Some of the ancient wood has broken away and it`s liberally peppered with holes from razor shell creatures.

After recent storms, the shoreline makes for interesting exploration: you just never know what you might find.

Many shells are strewn along the tideline. These have obviously been ripped from their anchorage, along with the creatures inside them.

Fossils of ancient shells have broken away from the cliffs.

The tops of breakwaters provide ready-made artwork.

And seaworn pilings provide the natural sculpture.

Whole trees can be found. This may have been in the sea quite a while.

Rockpools are left by the low tide, ready to investigate.

I couldn`t have arranged these starfish any better if I had done it myself (which I didn`t)

Who needs to pay for their entertainment when this is on the doorstep......tremendous views, colour, art, scientific exploration, geology, history, geography, fresh air and exercise.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

High Winds and FallenTrees

On Christmas Eve we had very strong winds and our electricity was cut off for about an hour.
Some people have had no power all over Christmas. They have also suffered flooding once again.
We went for a walk in our local woods and found quite a lot of damage.

The tree surgeons will be busy for quite a few weeks I think.

I loved the colours of the lichens.

This area of the woods is very close to our home.

A great sign of the spring to come.....catkins round the edges of the fields.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Snow White Finger Puppets

A few weeks ago I downloaded a fantastic pattern for finger puppets from
monica rodriguez fuertes
Very reasonably priced and simple to knit.
I blogged a picture some time ago at the beginning of December.
Here is the rest of the story. I couldn`t blog any earlier as it was a surprise for little Macie, my great-niece.

Our family is rather large and we usually spread our celebrations over a few days. On Sunday we had our first family get-together and Macie received her present. She was very excited pulling out all the contents with her dad and grandpa helping. It seems she was the perfect age for it ....two and a half.

Here are the contents....


A sack of diamonds and a broom.

A toy dwarf and a dwarf hat and beard.

  A headband and a glass coffin.

 Three books, a poem, a mirror and some pictures.

The finger puppets themselves.....
all inside the storysack made of cotton with a drawstring top.

I took a great deal of pleasure from putting it together and trust that it will fire her imagination.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Pompom Toy

I was recently watching Kirsty Allsop`s crafty program on television and saw her demonstrate a new gadget to make pompoms. I was fascinated. I usually make my pompoms with two circles of cardboard.
We sent off for some and I think we may have been lucky to get them because there was a run on orders after the program.
Here they are....

Last night I made 12 pompoms very quickly indeed and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I left long wool ends on each one.

A few weeks ago I bought some fat quarters in a lovely range of colours.

From these I cut and basted 12 fabric pentagons with paper patterns inside, 
pressed them and sewed round the edges 
with blanket stitch on my machine.

Next I sewed the pentagons into a sphere, by hand.
I made the sphere in two halves then sewed the pompoms on each pentagon by using the long wool ends and securing well with several knots.
I then pinned the two halves together, leaving two sections open. I turned it right side out and stuffed it firmly, ensuring each corner was well shaped.
I ladder-stitched the opening to form the complete ball.

It is quite satisfying to throw and catch.
Next question.....
Who is it for? 
Not sure yet.