Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Back to the making . . .

So it seems I'm not alone in my lack of gardening aptitude.
Thanks for all your lovely encouraging and supportive comments on my last post,  and I think I shall just continue to attempt to keep the weeds at bay and resign myself to the fact that whilst our garden will never be perfect, it will always be perfect for us. 

Right, now let's get back to the making shall we ?

I've always wanted to be able to make trousers, but somehow had convinced myself that my sewing abilities weren't quite up to that standard.   So the only "bottoms" I'd managed to make were the easy-peasy PJs  (and so much fun were they, that I made 3 pairs one after the other).

Then along came the Great British Sewing Bee, and the task in week one was to make a pair of simple cotton cropped Capri pants - a style I love and wear a lot in the warmer seasons.

After the show, came the GBSB book, complete with the full-size pattern.

 Then very shortly thereafter that,  my talented-sewing-friend-and-fellow-blogger Jo from Three Stories High posted all about her foray into sewing these trousers

So these three things collaborated to encourage, and before I knew it, I'd traced off the pattern, raided my fabric stash, threaded my machine and started sewing.

And I have to say, I'm pretty chuffed. 
They're light & comfy & fit just perfectly.

Thus it came to be that my self-perceived lack of ability dissipated . . . just like that.  There'll be no stopping me now.

So, I'll leave you with this:   
Don't ever doubt your ability, just give it a go.  Chances are you can.

Ooh, and I also made a top . . . 

. . . but more about that next time.

'til then,
be happy & be brave

Friday, 17 April 2015

I am not a gardener . . .

There, I've said it.
Many of you may already have known it.
Over the years, family and friends have encouraged and cajoled, but still my fingers remain decidedly un-green.


But I love beautiful gardens, I ooh & aah over them and dream of borders and beds and perfectly manicured lawns.  But then my two bouncy most-adorable-pups-in-the-world run straight through my dream, chasing each other at high speed and digging mahoosive muddy holes as they go.
Sigh . . .

And I also love myriads of pretty flowers, and believe it or not we have a little "cut flower patch" in our back garden.  It's a result of one of my erstwhile brilliant ideas of what to do with the space when we were having the garden landscaped a few years ago.  In the interluding years it's been filled intermittently with beautiful Spring tulips, lovely daffs, pretty petunias. . . and annoying wild-growing weeds.

So, when a friend signed us both up for the "Cut Flowers Masterclass" at lovely Hidcote Manor Garden in the Cotswolds, I thought "yeh, that'll be fab".  And of course it was.  (Thank you, HH)

We spent the day with the Assistant Head Gardener, learning all about what there is to know when it comes to planting a cut flower garden, and did some bulb planting and seed sowing before we got to play with all the beautiful flowers grown at Hidcote and make up two pretty posies each to take home. 

Of course there was a yummy lunch followed by a wander around the gardens, in the mix too.
It was such a lovely day out, and just for those few hours I almost felt like a gardener.

Happy weekend all, 
ooh and a big welcome to my lovely new followers - do say hello if you have a moment too.

'til next time

ps. in case you're wondering, or indeed concerned for the welfare of the bulbs and seeds I sowed:  fear not, they are safely ensconced in my friend's greenhouse for nurturing and safe-keeping until they can be safely planted in the ground  ; - )

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Great Spring Bloggy Meet-up . . .

After a week of lovely warm sunny days, last Saturday dawned, rainy and just a tad chilly but the clouds soon cleared and the sun put it's hat on.  Yay . . .

And from near & far, a confusion of bloggers gathered in beautiful Stratford upon Avon. 

around & about in Shakespeare's town

a spot of shopping at Sew Me Something

lunch & laughter at The Four Teas

We chatted (a lot) and we laughed (a lot), 
we shared stories, 
we ate, 
we drank, 
we shopped, 
we wandered,
 we nattered some more, and we laughed some more.

Oh what a fabulous day we had . . .

Thank you   Mel Makes,   Mellie Moo (on Instagram),  The Patchwork RobinPlain JaneThree Stories HighLazy Daisy Jones,  Perfect Sarah (on Instagram),  Love Made My Home,  and Sunshine Reflections
- it was such a blessing to spend the day in your delightful company.
Let's do it again.

: - )

 'til next time,

ps.  do pop over and read all the other accounts of our lovely day too, they're guaranteed to make you smile.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Five on Friday . . .

Hello there . . . it's been a little while . . .  I've had things to be done, people to be seen, places to be, and all sorts of other stuff that seems to have encroached on my bloggy mojo of late.  But I'm happy to be back today, with my very first ever Five on Friday post.

Today seemed like a good day to join in for the first time, because tomorrow I get to meet the lovely Amy herself . . . in real life . . . because finally the time has come for our Great Spring Bloggy Meet-up.  Yay  : - )
Wish you could all come too, but I do promise to take lots of pics and tell you all about it.

So, back to today . . .

1.  the House
The weather has been so wonderfully gorgeous this week and this morning my friend Heather & I took ourselves off for a wander around beautiful Hanbury Hall.  It's only 20 minutes away, and one of our favourite local National Trust places to visit. Usually I'd have the two most-adorable-pups-in-the-world  in tow when we go, but the Jerry-dog is poorly so this time the Ben-dog stayed home to keep her company.  At least it meant we could eat our cream scones in peace : - )

2. the perfectly presented parterre garden

3. bountiful rhubarb in the kitchen garden

4. pretty blossoms and a promise of things to come, in the cutting garden

and 5.  a field full of beautiful daffies

Of course, we did have to stop in for a little treat at the tea room, which is in the former Servants Hall and this old sign always gives us a giggle :  I don't think I'd have made a good servant - that's way too many rules to be observed ; - )

Do pop over to Love Made My Home for a little peek at all the other lovely Five on Friday posts, and if you'd like to know more and maybe even join us next week too, then pop over here and read all about it.

Happy weekend, lovelies

'til next time,

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Crafternoon tales . . .

Hello lovely peeps, I hope you're having a happy Sunday ?  The clocks sprung forward this morning and we're officially into British Summer Time . . . well really?  Someone ought to inform the weather.  It's windy & rainy & besides being fairly mild, not at all summery.
But I'm not really complaining, because it's the perfect excuse to stay in and catch up . . .

So regular readers will know just how much I  L.O.V.E  crafternoons.  A good natter,  some yummy snacks or a delicious lunch (or both), and time spent with lovely friends . . . whiling away an afternoon and enjoying some creative time together.  We all seem to have such busy lives, but when my friend Sarah invited us to her lovely home for just such a day, it went straight into the diary and I set about making her a little gift to say  "thank you for a fabulous day"  (because I just knew it was going to be.  It always is.)


This is one of my favourite Dr Seuss stories, and as Sarah & her lovely hubby are about to acquire a delightful little vintage caravan, and set off on some summer adventuring, it seemed somehow appropriate.

And I think she likes it  :-)

True to form, we chatted, we knitted, we crocheted, we ate, we drank, we chatted some more and basically we just set the world to rights, as only girlfriends can.

it wasn't all just talk, look how much we got done too . . .

Even the two sweet pooches wanted in on the action - snuggling up on the sofa behind their mama.

And as if one lovely crafternoon wasn't enough... I had another.

This time I went a-quiltin' with Jayne.  She has been making the most fabulous quilt for her youngest daughter who is off to University this September.  Said daughter loves to travel and collects t-shirts wherever she goes.  So her clever Mama squirreled them all away and produced this beautiful work of art.

How fab-u-lous is that ?  It's truly made with love.

Right, the sun has just come out so perhaps I'll gather at least one of my adorable pups and head out for a little walk before it disappears again.  Or maybe I'll just curl up on the sofa with my knitting . . . hmmmm . . .  what d'ya think?

'til next time,



Friday, 20 March 2015

A little crochet Ta-Dah . . .

As promised . . . here it is - all sewn up, bordered & edged . . .

 my pretty Pick 'n Mix cushion .

(Cautionoverload of pretty cushion and cute pup pics to follow)

ta - dah 


The pattern is from Simply Crochet Issue 18 and I used a mix of various DK yarns from my favourite online yarn shop Tangled Yarn.

It's a fun way to use up yarn from your stash too, don't you think ?  

Right, now that's ticked off the List,  I really need to knuckle down and catch up with my Orza KAL - I'm way behind everyone else so time to get those needles clicking.

On a slightly different note - my lovely friend Sue, a fellow sewing & crafty enthusiast has just started writing her own blog "Reasons to smile . . ."   And we all know what it's like when you're just starting out on your new bloggy adventure - so if you have a moment, please pop over to say hello and welcome her to the wonderful world of blog.
 Especially seeing as it's her birthday today too . . . ; - )

Happy weekend lovelies,
hope that wherever you are, it's bright & sunny & filled with all things good.

'til next time,
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