Monday, 29 August 2016

Creative home life

Well, it's the end of my two weeks holiday from work and the time has just flown. I feel ok about going back even though it's unlikely I'll be getting any proper time off until Christmas. No, I'm not at all depressed about that!!

Still, I've had a lovely relaxing time off. There are days out to tell you about but I thought I'd show you some of the more domestic and creative things I've been up to first. So, the last two weeks, I've been:

Embroidering: working on my bird embroidery (pattern from Stitch magazine). This is a slow burner to pick up as and when.

Planning: do you remember the slow stitch book in my last Year in Books post? It gave me an idea for circles of colour to remind me of our time in Northumberland. I got out my Anchor colour chart and started playing around with skeins of thread. Not sure if the idea will go anywhere but it whiled away a pleasant hour or so.

Quilting: I've finally started quilting my latest quilt after leaving it lying around for probably a year. Much dithering has taken place in the interim trying to decide on a pattern. In the end, Jackie from my quilt group suggested circles and showed me how she'd used them: I was sold. I'm using iron-on wadding which is supposed to mean you don't have to tack before machining. Well, I gave it a go but have gone back to the tried and tested tacking method. And done a lot less unpicking as a result.

Crocheting: Another slow burner but less so since Chickpea asked me to make her a blanket. She's picked out a pattern, we've chosen the yarn and she'd like to put it on her bed in winter. Ha ha! Luckily she didn't specify which winter! Now I'm under pressure to get this one finished and have fallen back in love with crochet. It's just so easy to pick up in the evening.

Jam-making: the ingredients had been lying at the bottom of the freezer since last autumn and I'd just used up my last jar so it was time to make more. This is blackberry, elderberry and crab apple. I've never had such a struggle making jam. Three times I had to boil it. Three times!!! It usually works first time without fail so goodness knows what went wrong. All's well that ends well though as it's delicious.

Baking: banana and walnut pie - recipe from Tamsin Day-Lewis. This was another attempt to use up freezer ingredients ie all those bananas which had started to go brown but I couldn't bear to throw away. Needed more of them to be honest. The filling is a bit like a cheesecake and is a really unattractive beige colour - probably the reason for putting a nice golden sugary crust on top!

Jigsawing: I do love a jigsaw and always have one on the go. A friend of my Mum's loaned me this and it was a lovely one.

Gardening: lots and lots of gardening. I decided to clear this border which was overrun with bamboo and crocosmia plus a conifer and other ragged shrubs. Much of it had to be done on hands and knees because of the tangle of tree roots. There's something so soothing about getting your hands in the dirt.

A nice, newly cleared space needs some pretty plants to fill it. These are courtesy of a garden centre voucher my lovely friend gave me for my birthday.

I also bought some candy-stripe tulip bulbs to put in the spaces.

Mowing: I've enjoyed the no-mow area on the lawn which I created for 30 Days Wild. Sadly the wildflower seeds never germinated but it still looked pretty with the tall grasses and our handmade teepees. Gone now though. I decided to mow it away today to give the lawn some time to recover before the winter. I'll have another go at a wildflower patch next year though.

Harvesting: this is the sum total of our blueberry harvest! The plant clearly doesn't like it much here so it will be relocated to Dad's. The rampant gooseberry and rosemary bushes probably overshadowed it.

Hope you all had a lovely long weekend. Only 4 days to the next! Back soon. xx


  1. Oh my goodness, you are amazing! SO much hardwork and brilliance here!!!! My favourite has to be the cross-stitch!!!

  2. Oh, I recognize the Red Admiral butterfly! We have the same one here it is a transplant just like my Richard!
    LOVE your posts, you always have so much to see and think about! That crochet blanket, the colors, they remind me of the colors of Monet's water lilies!
    Now here is something about blueberries. You might want to think about keeping it where it is, my Dad says that a blueberry bush never does very well the first couple of years. This is his advice in Georgia anyway! :-)

  3. what a lovely post, making jam, love the new plants and trying to have a bit of wildflower area in your lawn, love that idea!! and yes, crochet is the best to just sit and do once you get going! I am making tiny snowflakes to decorate a Christmas quilt that way.

  4. Your a woman of many talents that blanket looks amazing I love the colors.

  5. The circles on your quilt is a good idea and I'm sure it'll look great. I love the colours in your crochet blanket, so yummy.