Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Bunnies and Lambkins

What a mixed bag of weather!
We were away for the Easter weekend, staying with my nephew in Leicester.
The plan was to build two huge raised beds for vegetable growing.
Luckily Good Friday was beautiful and we got it all done on one day, with many hands to help.

I wondered why I was quite so tired....on Easter Saturday, I came down with the fluey thing which is going around. I felt rather aware that I was contagious and hope no-one else comes down with it.
The house was full of family.

Our journey was quick on the way home and we crossed the Dartford Bridge as the sun set.

On Easter Monday, the end of hurricane Katy reached us.
We needed broccoli for our dinner.
I didn`t really feel well enough to go out, but we made a quick visit well wrapped up and were very glad to catch up with Anne.
We discussed the new fruit trees, whether to have the craft trolley this year and other plans.
We eventually found our plastic tea table, over in the horses` field in 5 pieces!!!
And a couple of scarecrows were lop-sided, otherwise no damage.

The bunnies are back and enjoying the sunshine but not the wind.

The polytunnel is beginning to shape up.

The new gates have arrived.

The new lake remains full.

And the first lambs have been born, a little unsteady on their legs, 
having only been born that morning.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Crafty Musings Part 2

In my last post I talked about the way I have crafted in the past.
Today is all about the present time.
It is a completely different story.
If anyone had told me the way things would be in the future, I would never have believed them.

Number 1. I have a laptop computer and printer
Number 2. I have a photocopier
Number 3. I use Pinterest
Number 4. I can blog my craft and share around the world
Number 5. I can craft for as long and as much as I like.
Number 6. I have more than enough crafting materials!!!!

Last year I started logging all the things I make.
In all it amounted to 592 items.
So far this year it stands at 215.

I use Pinterest for inspiration.
Pinterest allows you to "pin" anything on "boards" of your own.
You can call them what you want and there is no limit.
It is also possible to pin your own craft on your own boards.
When Pinterest know that you have a particular interest they will give you more of the same.

Recently I pinned a lot of items about sea glass. There is world-wide interest in this subject and since then I have found out that there are whole beaches with pebbles of sea glass.
Pinterest feeds my passion.

Unfortunately my latest project is secret, otherwise you would see it.
But I can still relate the process. 
I see some clipart that I like. I download the pictures. They are free.
Using my photocopier I change them to the size I want.
I photocopy twice in order to make up my own paper patterns.
(This is a project for the new Cruttenden baby)

Other sewing patterns can be downloaded free.You just print them off and the sizing can be changed on the photocopier. 
Knitting and crochet patterns can also be downloaded.....lots for free.... but occasionally
  I buy on-line using Paypal.
I am continually amazed at the generosity of the crafters who give away their patterns.
Thank you very much.

Here are my latest makes.

This pattern was a free download.

So was this.

This elephant was a mouse crochet pattern but I adapted it to become an elephant.

Both these patterns were free downloads. 

 And finally this little knitted baby in a basket for Frazer whose new brother is due very soon.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Crafty Musings

It is too cold to be out in the garden for very long. Yesterday we cut our visit to Freshwinds short, as we just wanted to get home and light the fire.
Today I just about managed to sow more sweetpeas but only because it was in the greenhouse.

I have been marveling lately about my crafting hobby and how far it has come in nearly 40 years.
And I`m not talking about how I have improved!!

As a little girl, I learnt to sew at 2 years old. 
Here I am on my Granny`s front doorstep, sewing.

As I grew older, I raided the ragbag to make dolls clothes etc but was usually frustrated by lack of skills and lack of the right fabrics.
This may be the reason I have sooooo much fabric now.

The first patterns I remember were the ones that came free in magazines such as Womans Weekly. Jean Greenhowe regularly appeared, with tiny toys which delighted the children in the family.....tiny mice, hamsters, little cows, puppies in slippers etc.
Armed with tracing paper, ruler, pencils, scissors I carefully traced and cut out the patterns storing them in old recycled envelopes.
For bigger patterns I enlisted the help of Steve who was very good at enlarging patterns using a grid, usually hand drawn. It was a very long winded process.

Here are some of my books.

And here is a sample of the grid system.

With this system I managed very well and made many many toys and presents, 
usually from recycled fabrics.
Here is a selection from 1979 for a toy sale.
(Note my two Singer machines.)

Whoever would have thought that I would have a photocopier at home, let alone a computer and printer, with the world at my fingertips, a camera to take photos that I can store myself, an electric sewing machine and as much fabric as I care to buy.
How times have changed!

More about how I do things now, in my next blog entry.

Monday, 7 March 2016

A Five Layer Day

A productive afternoon at Freshwinds.

It was cold when the sun went behind the clouds.....what I call a 5 layer day.
I dug over an area for my sweetpea row.
Steve put in the posts and I put in the wires and canes with the help of Paula and Frazer.
Can`t believe the row is ready, as the seeds have only just been sown but it is a turning point of the year, that`s for sure.

Steve was busy breaking up the pallet wood from the old compost heaps.
The views were stunning due to the quality of the light.

I also weeded one of the flower beds.....a bit wet but I was glad to get rid of all the buttercups.

We were glad for a break inside the polytunnel for tea and buns with Jamie, Julia, Frazer and Paula.

We were very excited to see that one of the new cherry trees had been planted by Anne.

Quite astonishing to see a cerinthe in flower already.

At the side of last years onion patch, where I scattered plenty of seeds, it is good to see that they seeded themselves......candytuft and godetia.

Amazing skies as we began to tidy things away.

The skies were just as amazing at Pett Level yesterday.
A couple of miles away from the farm.

After a walk right out to the sea....low tide.....the clouds rolled over and we had rain, sleet and snow.
It was a race back to the cars.
And home to a roaring fire.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Jury`s Yellow

What a day....5 hours of gardening and "Gardeners World" starting up again tonight.
Lovely spring weather, bumble bees out, warm sunshine.....perfect.
And better still, the compost heaps are dismantled, so all is ready for the new changes.

The compost that was dug out, was spread round the fruit net after I had weeded it.
We replanted two redcurrant bushes within the net.
I also replanted the feverfew plants which were so lovely last year.

We protected the artichoke plants which have been chewed to stumps by rabbits.

They should look a bit like this.

These are cardoons.

There was maintenance work going on at the little house and a brand new yurt base being made.
Things are really starting to get going.

At home we spent the afternoon in our own garden, doing quite a few jobs that never got done in the autumn. It was still sunny and warm, unlike other parts of the country where there is snow.

Plenty of owls on the go at home.
Using home-spun wool for pom poms  and scraps of felt.......

....and using the knitted squares shown in my last entry....

.......I folded them in half and made what I am calling....
.....my primitive owls.
Maybe you can see why.

And with Easter in mind an Alan Dart free pattern....

Finally I bought a present for Freshwinds Garden.
Whilst researching fruit trees for extending our little orchard, I spotted this camellia 
which I could not resist.
( I hope you can see the name)