Garden joy

Over the last few weeks, I have been spending lots more time in my garden.  We saved up a couple of years ago and last year had the garden re-landscaped to a design of mine.  It had been devastating over the last few years as the amount of rain increased and the time taken for the water to drain increased with it.  At some points I think we were flooded for several months at a time.  We even had a regular heron visitor, but the icing on the cake was when we had a pair of mallard ducks swimming around where the lawn had once been!

We took the decision to do something which had to include some drainage solution and I put together a few sketches of ideas we could work with.  It was certainly a big plan and one we couldn’t have done ourselves, but our landscaper was fantastic and he was able to do all the drainage works and (with a few modifications) put my sketches into place.

The garden has now been put into zones.  We have a patio (using stones from the original garden), a border, a wildlife area and a grassy arbour with seat (daughter’s zone).  And I love it.  It’s such a great space to be and somewhere I’m thrilled I have in the current times.

We reused as much as we possibly could from the garden -well what had managed to survive the constant waterlogging anyway and it’s been great since to see what is popping up around the place.  Some of the offcuts from the sleepers used to raise the zones were used to make a seat and a little raised bed which we planted with strawberries and they are doing fantastically this year – we planted the runners from the original plants and they are obviously happy.

Equally happy are the cats.  This is Lily enjoying the sleepers, we often find her hiding under the plants or rolling about on the lawn, which is also doing well now we have better drainage.

My wildlife pond looks good too.  I’m amazed how much life there is in it considering it’s only been there for a year.  We have found several frogs and newts too, as well as lots of little bug life – pond skaters, water boatmen and whirly-gig beetles are a regular sight.

I have taken the time to plant some seeds this year too.  We have a patio up by the house and the rest of the garden is down a few steps and as we face south it is a fabulous sun trap.  So I have decided to see what comes up from several old packets of seeds from the garage.  I love poppies and I was pleased to see this little beauty pop up in a trough of seeds for the bees – although not much else seems to be joining it at the moment.

Before we ended up in lockdown, I bought some seeds from Aldi which had several different vegetables and herbs in.  I only planted these broad beans about a week ago and they are already showing their faces.

I am so pleased with the way everything is growing so well this Spring.  And I hope I will see some more flowers soon as well as the blossom on the trees.  Fingers crossed we also get some rain to add to all the sunshine as I could do with a few days indoors catching up with all my indoor projects too!

Stay safe and happy crafting

x

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New style cards

I’ve been looking around for some inspiration and ideas to make a new range of cards for this year. While watching one of the shows on Create and Craft tv, I saw one of the crafters make what they called a dangler card! I’m not sure of the name, but I really liked the way her card was put together, so I decided to have go myself. With My Mum’s birthday, Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary and Valentine’s day all coming up, I thought they would make a different card. It’s also been a chance to use some of the enormous stash of coloured card in my craft room!

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P1240823I’ve never been particularly confident using embossing folders.  Don’t get me wrong, I know how to use them, but I’ve never really found a use for them in my cardmaking.  So it was great to finally use one of the background embossing folders for the birthday cards.  I love how it gives some extra interest to the backing.  I used some linen card on these and adding the embossing just gives it a bit more oomph!

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P1240821I thought I would take it a step further and use one of the heart dies I have.  This intricate one is from Spellbinders and I’ve only ever used it as an embellishment, so to use it cut out of the main card elements was something totally new for me.  I really enjoyed making these cards, the blue one is for my Mum and Dad’s 45th wedding anniversary (sapphire, hence the blue).  The red one is for my husband for Valentine’s Day.

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Finally I changed the shape of card and went for a square card with circular aperture.  This time I used the delicate heart die to make the ‘dangler’ and added a tattered lace die cut butterfly.

All of the dangler pieces are attached using acetate, so they almost look like they are floating.  I’m not sure whether a ‘floater’ card is better or worse than ‘dangler’, but name aside, I like this new look and think I will be using this style as my focus for cards this year.  It’s a great way of using up the plain coloured cardstock I have and can’t wait to get going on Christmas cards, I can see floating snowflakes everywhere this year!!

Time to think about Mother’s Day though first.

Happy crafting
x

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Finished Cushion

This is a project I’ve been sitting on (literally) for ages. I was using up some pure wool I have had for ages and covering a cushion that my dearly loved cats pulled to pieces.

So here’s the cushion I’ve been sitting on for months

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It didn’t need much to finish it off, sewing something into the flower centres and then sewing up the edge. I plumped for adding coloured buttons to the flowers and raided my button stash for different styles and colours to co-ordinate with the living room.

So here it is finally finished. I think it looks lovely on the settee.

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The only problem now is that I need to make some more to cover the other cushions!!!!

Happy crafting
x

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Summer Holidays

Well the school holidays are well under way now and of course, following the trend of the year so far, we have all been ill! I’ve had to have a week off doing anything with a bout of conjunctivitis, which having never had it before, I never want again. It has meant being unable to craft, read or use the computer as I couldn’t see very well. I spent an entire week wearing my sunglasses, which is not great when you’re inside the house.

Anyway, inspite of the set backs, I have managed to get my daughter crafting to a certain degree. I have been collecting up boxes, tubes and pots as usual, which will all be donated to the local nursery school when they start back in September. I love this as it’s so imaginative and is the ultimate recycling of re-useable rubbish. It certainly trims our bin and gives the school loads of things to use too. I really don’t know why more people don’t do it as it’s such an easy way to recycle and for the children to be creative. In the meantime, they make great model building materials at home.

My 6 year old is really enjoying making at the moment so we’re making the most of this. Here’s one of her larger makes, a city for some of her animals and figures.

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This was later populated with lego people and adorned with lego flowers, trees and bridges.

We’re also taking part in the annual Summer reading challenge at the local library. This year the theme is record breakers. As she managed over 30 books last summer, I think it will be a tough ask to beat that record this year, but she’s game for a try. The aim is to read 6 books before the end of the holidays and there are stickers to collect. We can’t wait to see what the first ones are. The fun books being chosen this year seem to be ‘Rainbow Magic’ fairies and ‘My little pony’. (A bit of a change from all the pirates and dinosaurs from the last couple of years).

As I am now on the mend from minor illness and my surgery we are hoping to get out-and-about a bit and maybe do some different types of crafts. We did get a lovely surprise in the post last week, as I must have entered a giveaway in LGC Knitting and Crochet magazine. I received a set of mini flower looms, so I can see these being found all over the place. Here are our first attempts, so I just need to find (or make) something to put them on.

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I can see them being added to some of my current under-construction projects, but we shall have to wait and see. They may be added to one of my previous makes that are currently residing in my daughter’s bedroom!

Well I see it must be time to get back to make some lunch before having a look at what we can do this afternoon – I can see paper, card and pens coming out of the making box!!

Happy crafting
x

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Winter Garlands

Over the last few weeks I’ve been making garlands to hang around the house over Christmas.  It’s been a great way to practice my crochet and I’ve been spoiled for choice with all the gorgeous patterns out there at the moment.

My first one is made using some King Cole dk yarns and was from a pattern on Craftseller magazine.  I started this whilst I was in the hospital recovering from my second foot operation.  The fairy lights appealed to me as there’s no need to change bulbs or batteries and the garland can even be put in the washing machine! It measures well over a meter in length and drapes beautifully from the fireplace.

Crochet fairy lights

Having really caught the bug for crochet I found another pattern in an issue of Knitting and Crochet magazine. This time for a shorter garland, which looks lovely over a door. With my daughter being mad on Frozen still, I thought the stars looked quite like snowflakes.

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I’ve made a few of these as they look so pretty over the doors.

I’ve just recently finished another couple of garlands, as I discovered a stash of cotton in my yarn bag. The cotton is lovely to crochet with and it really holds the shape of the stitches well. I’ve made a little flower garland in cream and a dark turquoise.

Flower garland

Finally I’ve made a 3 metre long garland, ideal for the hallway, using red, green, cream, white and beige cotton for the stars.

All of the garland pictured are available for sale, so be quick if you want them as these are all one-offs!

Happy Christmas crafting
x

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Crochet Baby Comforters

At Bury Show the other week I had some very positive comments to the crochet comforter that I entered into the craft competition, so I decided I should maybe look at making some more. I posted the picture on my facebook page and had even more comments which has sealed the deal and I have been working on a couple more of them, one for an order and one to look at some different colour combinations.

My original blankie was yellow with alternate blue and pink shapes in the granny squares and edging.

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My first order for one, is for a baby girl, so it’s in yellow again, but this time with two shades of pink for the shapes and edging.

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I’m currently working on a pink blanket and rabbit, with darker pink shapes on the granny squares. I love the flower motifs best and I think I will try one with just flowers on.

I would really love some feedback on these, just leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Happy crafting
x

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