Friday, 15 July 2011

A little tour

Today I thought I'd take you on a little tour of my garden. I must admit, some of these photos were taken earlier in the year, but they are all in my garden :)

Up the steps we go....

This is our little garden shed, we're going to lay a patio outside it so we can sit of a summer's evening with a cold glass of wine and enjoy the honeysuckle climbing up the trees.

This is one of my neighbours' houses, isn't that rose amazing?

I don't know what these flowers are called (you may have noticed that for all my practical gardening knowledge, my understanding of names and botany leaves much to be desired). They're a lovely colour though.

These are my herb pots, at this point I had mint, bergamot, basil, and sage. Since then the bergamot has given up and the basil withered but I think is making a comeback.

This is my little vegetable patch, so far it's been a success, we have had lots of delicious vegetables, and I find it really relaxing pottering around.

This is our little apple tree. The apples on it are ripening nicely, and I'm looking forward to them. I don't know which variety they are, is there any way to find out?

This amazing rose is another thing that Daphne (the lady who lived here before us) left us in the garden. It started flowering in May and is still going strong. It doesn't smell that strong though, so I would like to plant a headier, old-fashioned scented rose next to it. Does anyone have any recommendations?

James took lots of pictures of me hanging out the washing, and I think they capture those first bright days of summer beautifully.

This pretty butterfly obligingly stayed still enough for me to take pictures of it. I love how paper thin the wings look.

Is it a collection?

Can you call two of one thing a collection? If so I am now the proud collector of Laura Ashley dresses (circa 1980, floral cotton only). Last year I stumbled across a lovely red floral belted Laura Ashley dress in Oxfam. It was mid-calf length (the most unflattering length of dress ever made?) but fitted me like a glove. And was £3.99. So I bought it, whipped out the sewing machine and took it up.

Then last week I was wandering around the same Oxfam, and saw this blue beauty, perfect condition, same horrific mid-calf length, lovely slightly pouffy vintagey sleeves, for £3.99. I thought, this must be a sign that I should collect these dresses. The lady at the till looked at me as though I was a bit mad, not sure she understood why I was so excited. I rushed the hem a bit and didn't pin it enough, but I reckon I'll get away with it.
So, from now on, I am on the lookout for these dresses, they are lovely soft cotton and beautifully made. Anyone else have a collection of two?


Wedding Gift

In October, my boyfriend's gorgeous sister is getting married. I wanted to make her and her husband something really special that they could keep and enjoy forever. She is also a craft lover and so will appreciate the time and effort that goes into a gift like this (sometimes its a bit disheartening when you give someone something you've slaved over every evening for weeks (or even months) and they're a bit, you know, underawed). She doesn't read my blog (or hopefully not) so I'm going to show a few bits and pieces of it. I settled on a cross-stitched sampler, personalised with their names and the date of the wedding.

I love the pastel colours, and I'll probably get it professionally framed. I'm thinking of plain off-white, but not sure?

I google imaged some wedding samplers and took inspiration from various sources to create the design. If anybody out there has a Mac, there is a great free program you can download called 'Stitches' (just search the apple downloads site). You can design your own cross stitch, and all the colours on the program are matched to DMC thread. Clever eh?

I need to work some more on this, it's slow going. When I have finally finished there will definitely be a lot of showing off about it, blog-style. But I also need to find times to do it when I'm not distracted by other things. See the 'R' of cherish above? It's wrong. What can I say, I was watching mad men.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

No more judgment

I've been busy tidying up the border in front of our house. Over the last couple of months, its all gone a bit crazy and hundreds of weeds have sprouted. The honeysuckle has grown so much that we can't get out of the back gate without being honeysuckled (that sounds quite rude!) in the face. The hydrangea that I rescued when we moved in last November is about the only thing that is doing well. So I pulled on my gloves, picked up my fork and off I went.
This is what it looked like before.....

And after.....

We live in a National Trust village, and so hundreds of thousands of visitors walk past this border every year. Several times a week I used to hear people saying how bad it looked! But now people just admire the flowers :) Although we have no formal obligation, I feel as though I owe it to them to make it look nice! There is a man in the village who sells plants, and I got the dahlia and whatever that blue daisy-like flower is, and another pink daisy that's in the back garden for £5. Hopefully they will spread to cover a bit more of the soil. The wallflower, honeysuckle, and hydrangea were all inherited from the lady who lived here before us. She was obviously a lover of flowers because in spring the whole garden was carpeted with daffodils, bluebells, snowdrops, and tulips.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Car Boot Wonders

Sunday morning, 7am, up and ready to go! My mum and I headed to our local boot sale this morning, full of excitement at what we might find and our purses full of pennies. Sometimes this car boot is full of the 'baby clear out' type stalls and there isn't anything much that we like. But today, today was not a disappointment.
First up, I saw these pretty yellow jugs out of the corner of my eye. There were three of them, and they were only 50p each. In the bag they went.

Then I saw a stall with sewing bits and pieces, and picked up these threads (50p) and packs of buttons (50p).

At the next stall, there were two beautiful old mirrors. I've been looking for a 30's style mirror with a chain to hang it for a while, and then two come along at once! I bought the slightly smaller (and lighter) of the two, at £6.

Continuing the bargain day, I found a yellow teapot which cost 10p. I mean really, who could pass that by? My entire teapot collection was picked up at car boot sales and charity shops, and has probably only set me back about £4 in total.

We walked down a few rows filled with baby clothes and toys, then mum saw someone she knew and started chatting. Out of the corner of my eye I spied a piece of lacy fabric. I went over and it was, to my delight, a tablecloth. This is another thing I've been on the hunt for, ever since I saw the set of Delicious Miss Dahl (which I blogged about here). I want to dye it pale blue and use it in the garden. £4 for the cloth.

I also bought a set of six silver fish knives and forks with a cream-coloured handle (not sure what this is?) for £2. Now all of that is worth less than £20 of anyone's money, surely?
How did everyone else get on at boot sales this weekend? I know some areas of the country have them mid-week as well (jealous) but for now I have my Sunday fix sorted!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Winter Wishing

Around this time of year, when the weather has been close and hot for a few weeks, I have a yearning for those crisp winter days. Berries covered in frost, seeing your breath on the freezing air, and a long walk ending with hot cocoa. Don't get me wrong, I would only wish for one day like this, one where your head is clear and your body swaddled in warm clothes. Middle of July would do me fine.

These pictures were taken last winter, on a walk in Castle Combe. This is one of our favourite walks, the village itself is beautiful as well, and makes for a good day out. Who knew that blackberries were still around in December?!

Wouldn't it be nice to have a season swap for one day in summer and one in winter? There are some times in January that I would kill for more than 8 hours of daylight!
At the moment, there's nothing but rain, I wish it would make its mind up one way or another. Now, where did I put my jumper, blanket, and favourite cocoa mug...?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Anyone out there?

Well, it has certainly been a long time since I last posted, and I hadn't really got into any kind of swing with the blogging thing before I got super busy with work and never found time to sit and do it. Anyway, I've resolved to try and make time from now on, especially as I've been quietly perusing other lovely blogs in the past year.
I was sitting having lunch yesterday and I thought it was a good idea to just bite the bullet and take some photos so I could post. Here goes...

I had carrot and coriander soup, berries and Whittard peach melba instant tea (full of sugar but so delicious it's worth it). It was quite a wintery day here yesterday and I felt a bit coldy so soup was a good choice.
I've also bought this book recently, and it's great! Loads of lovely pictures of blogs and I found some that I hadn't visited before. There are also really good tips for blogging, I'm a bit of a luddite when it comes to computers, so they're always welcome.

I'm certainly going to posting a lot more from now on, and more about things I've been buying and things I'm doing in the garden (all the fruit and vegetables are secretly waiting). Hopefully there'll be some things worth reading, but for now I hope everyone is well and happy.