Moving my cutting garden!

Moving my cutting garden!

 10 days ago, with all our belongings speeding down the M5 in a removal lorry, I stood with my 10 yr old daughter and said a teary goodbye to our bare naked home. We said goodbye to each room and made wishes for the next lucky people who would make it their home. And it was nearly time to drive away…

…but there were some secateurs burning a hole in my pocket! I could not leave my new cutting garden! 

The idea of a cutting garden is that it provides cut flowers for your house as well as looking lovely in your garden. My cutting garden started off back in April as a meadowy (ahem, weedy) patch of ground from which I spent some (bloody loads of) time removing nettle and couch grass roots.

*insert grumbly gardener sounds*

Then, in late May we sowed seeds for a glorious selection of cut flowers, and almost immediately…. found out we were moving! Still, maybe they would flower early? So we waited. Nothing happened, so we assumed failure! Then we saw tiny shoots and got excited! Then nothing grew taller that 2 inches, so we totally lost faith. Then finally, just as we were about to move….ta daaa!

I could not leave them! So I picked big bunches for the neighbours and then filled the washing up bowl with everything else I could cut!

And then I subjected this washing up bowl of loveliness to 5 sweary hours on the M5 (stupid road, particularly on a Friday) And finally, about 10 hrs after they had been picked, I finally found them some vases at our new home – and they have been utterly, utterly, amazing, despite my abuse!

IN AN IDEAL WORLD I WOULD NOW SHOW YOU PICTURES OF THE ARRANGEMENTS I MADE ON DAY ONE IN OUR NEW HOUSE. BUT IN REALITY I WAS DELERIOUS WITH TIREDNESS AND DID NOT THINK TO PHOTOGRAPH ANYTHING!!

But perhaps these pics say even more? These are my vases 10 days on. I have thinned out the wilting Verbena bonariensis and Agastache but they still look stunning, and are bringing me so much joy.

In particular, I am loving Ammi major, Larkspur and Monarda bergamo and I am double loving the White Scabious and the Cosmas Purity, which were picked in bud and have come in to flower in the vase –  total STARS!


I will NEVER EVER NOT have a cutting garden again! But I will try NOT to move between May and September EVER again! And I would totally recommend that you do the same:-)

xx

Spring Rambles

Spring Rambles

We’ve not been able to get out much lately, which has been driving me mad as the hedgerows are bursting into life. But Bluebells and Stitchwort and Buttercups are an irresistible combination, and we decided we could manage a mini ramble to appreciate them!


Have you heard the rhyme,

“Oak before Ash, we’re in for a splash. Ash before Oak, we’re in for a soak.”

Well you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s definitely an Oak before Ash year, with lots of olive coloured oak leaves bursting to life. That’s an optimistic sunshiny thought isn’t it!

There’s lots more pretty stuff happening out there. Jack by the hedge, forget me nots, alkanet, dead nettles, Herb Robert…. Not to mention, signs of my favourite Cow Parsley waiting in the wings! I will try to get out later in the week to appreciate it all and take some more pics xx

Wonky Patchwork Wigwam!

Wonky Patchwork Wigwam!

This project was a bit crazy!

We’ve had a wigwam for a few years now. It is essentially just 6 bits of 8 foot hazel, bungeed together and usually draped in various blankets and sheets, and fastened with pegs. It is a brilliant den, a lovely shady sitting place, and a great place to work in on a hot day. But last weekend 8yo and I got talking about how cool it would be to have a patchwork wigwam, where each fabric square was a window to another magical world…

And she was so full of imagination that I had to do it!IMG_5747

Its a bit haphazard and bonkers I know! But that is because this project had three very strict rules:

1) No unpicking allowed

2) Embrace the wonk  (inspired by @wienerdogtricks & @makeandmendyear. Embrace the Wonk people…  http://ow.ly/lnq4J )

3) Sew fast

Of course, the magic windows look best from inside.

IMG_5758We have windows made of so many memories. Her old dresses, my old clothes, fabric from curtains and cushions and beanbags…

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And best of all, I used up a tonne of fabric doing this! Which is great because I need to free up space for a new project that I have set my heart on…. but I’ll save that for another time!

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Hope you are enjoying the beautiful summer sunshine as much as we are xx

My Heart Sing List

My Heart Sing List

How this list came about…

After my daughter was born I went into survival mode. It turned out to be impossible to balance my own healthcare needs with the demands of motherhood. So for a kind of bonkers 3-4 years I pushed through each day fuelled only by maternal instinct (and Cabernet Sauvignon), and in the struggle, I totally forgot some really important stuff!

So, in the belief that there is no problem that can’t be solved by a really good list, I started one, to remind me of all the things that really make my heart sing. All the silly, little, huge, wonderful, random things that make it all worthwhile for me. Things that hold great personal meaning or connect me to the ‘stuff of life’ that I value the most.

Two rules:

1) Stuff related to motherhood/relationships does not count – not in this list anyway!

2) Everything on the list has to honestly make your heart sing – however odd it is!

Some of the things on the list were a complete surprise to me – but they passed the ‘heart sing test’ so there they are. And on the other hand, some surprising things have not made it onto the list – where is the Lindt Swiss Double Milk Chocolate???

So, are you ready to discover what makes me tick?! Here it is…

My Heart Sing List

  • Enid Blyton
  • Orchards with goats & chickens
  • Hedgerows
  • Cow Parsley
  • Kittens
  • Red wine
  • Long, long, long walks
  • Cosy cottages
  • Hawthorn blossom
  • The Doone Valley
  • Exmoor
  • Walking boots
  • Log fires
  • OS maps
  • The Archers
  • Willow trees
  • Woven willow
  • Live music
  • Country lanes
  • Rocky tumbling rivers
  • Dartmoor
  • Wood burning stove
  • Picnic hampers
  • Foxes Cove
  • Lavender hedges
  • Smiles from strangers
  • Herb gardens
  • Boxes of kittens
  • Cicely Mary Barker
  • Bluebells & wood anemone
  • Shallow chalk streams with vibrant green weed
  • Perfect shoes
  • My Car
  • Something Stupid (Frank and Nancy version)
  • Second hand book treasures
  • Julia Donaldson

These are the things make my heart sing! Simple things really. I’ve been adding to this list for 3 years now. It was slow going at first, but has become so much easier now. And it’s been so helpful in helping me to shift my focus and get back on track. I’ll keep adding to my list. Let me know if you decide to try it too. xxx

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

The first night we moved here it snowed. Lots! It was just before Christmas and we were sooo happy to be here. The snow made everything magical. There were long icicles hanging from the eaves and more white stuff than I had seen since I was a child. The perfect new beginning.

sunrise on snow

This is our third winter here now and we’ve had snow every year. This year we managed to get a few days off school to enjoy it. This would normally be our schoolrun route, but quickly became a toboggan run for DD and the neighbours!

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I love how still the air is after snow. The lanes are soft and quiet and crunchy and peaceful.

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It was very fluffy snow at first. You could just about make a snowball. This one really enjoyed her snowball fights this year!

k snowball

And finally it got sticky enough for a snowman – well, a ‘snowdog’ anyway:)

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Barbie has a New Wardrobe!

Barbie has a New Wardrobe!

Now, I am about to reveal my judgemental side… Hope you can forgive me! But I suspect I’m not the only Mum who thinks that Barbie has a slightly questionable wardrobe? Look at this selection – she’s such a dodgy role model!!

So our Barbies have had a prim and proper makeover with a new ‘Modern Vintage’ look! Inspired by my scrap bag and THIS really brilliant tutorial. What do you think? Oh my goodness! Have I gone too far in the other direction?! These three look quite la di da!

barbie x3Making Barbie clothes turns out to be the answer to all my sewing problems! I learnt so much doing this; basting, topstitching, binding, overlocking… And when you make a mistake (which is often if you are like me), it only takes a moment to quick-unpick it and try again!

I also discovered that Barbie is everso forgiving about having pins stuck in her and being sworn at. And as each item is completed in 20-30 minutes, you can enjoy instant sewing gratification!

I think even the teen tear-away Barbies look a little more respectable!

barbie montage

(Please excuse Sam’s hair, it has a mind of its own!)

barbie teen tear-aways

Did you spot the Charlie and Lola fabric that was once a pair of pyjamas?!

Now… how long do you think they will stay in these clothes before the trashy ones come back out?!! Oh well, I have tried;)

barbie group

xxx