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Saturday, 16 June 2018

Rain stopped play

But started some long overdue work.

We woke to a grey misty morning and it was an instant joint decision to get stuck into the kitchen and the sewing room.

Things are being moved around a bit. Deep cleaning in dim, distant corners and some heavy duty dusting is occurring.
 No dust bunnies will be harmed, they are being relocated.

I have found a quilting ruler that I was convinced had been evaporated, or eaten by Herbie. 
My sock yarn oddments are now all in one place.

My fabric scraps have been breeding, either that or some nuclear fission has taken place.

If anyone would like to start a scrappy project I will be happy to send off a starter kit of decent sized bits, either random or if possible colour coordinated. 
Just drop a comment, and I will contact you.

At one point, with my head in a tight corner and my rear in the air, I almost expected to meet David Bellamy "rummaging through the undergrowth".

It is invigorating to see more floor space and gaps on shelves, it won't last though. 
I put an order in to the Fabric Guild on Thursday, I have run out of backing fabrics and have some quilt tops to get made up.

I think that this year will be my last for big quilts, there are so many other things that I want to try and only so much time.
I had vowed to try some cross stitch, I even bought a little kit. I found it this morning, still in it,s slightly flattened box.

While I think of it I have finally finished with the rag rug making from ages ago. The rug has gone to pastures new and I will not be making another.
If anyone would like to have a bash I have a book, latch hook, cutting guide and some hessian. Once again drop a comment and I will contact you.

Oops, the time is flying and I still have quite a bit to do.  Better get a wriggle on.

                          TTFN                           Pam



Friday, 15 June 2018

Busy doing nothing...

Well, I have been busy but you can not see where. Mainly because I have been flitting from one little  job to another.

The front garden took a fair bit of time, some shrubs that did not survive the second onslaught of snow and ice have been removed. They were under planted with bluebells, hence the wait, I wanted to leave the bulbs in till the flower stems had died back. The bulbs have now been moved to another spot.

The compost bins will be emptied and the contents forked into the bed to replace nutrients that were washed away during last years non stop rain.
I have some small shrubs in containers that will be going into the ground over the weekend. Then I will be putting down a generous mulch. I will be trying very hard to leave space for my wheelbarrow.

I am off out today to pickup the mulch and hopefully some plants. I would like to fill the wheelbarrow with some colour.
I had to cut my Snow on the Mountain back quite hard again.It was rampaging over the border and drowning my roses. I did the same last year and it grew back bigger, next year it may take over the street.

We have a chance of rain tomorrow so the more we get done today the better. I will water everything in but rain does a much better job.

Herbie seems to be more energetic as the days go by, I took him out for a long walk yesterday and the minute his lead was off he picked a toy up ready for a game. Ben just lets it all slip past him, if Herbie tries to bully him into play he lets him know, in no uncertain terms, to back off. Or face the consequences.

He backs off every time.
He still tries it on now and then  though.

The sun is shining and I have washing ready to peg out.
I may put the kettle on first.
I forgot to make my overnight oats so it will be toast for breakfast.
Possibly with a poached egg.

                          TTFN                                      Pam

PS. The "casual" log cabin quilt will be ready for photo,s soon.
I love it. (most of the time)

PPS. I seem to have refilled the scrap bin with the remains of all the odd bits from the quilt.


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Sunshine all the way.

The Amman Valley is basking in wall to wall sunshine, it is glorious. It does mean that I have to work in the front garden in the morning and the back garden in the late afternoon. By lunchtime both garden are in full sun and I become a sticky, glowing mess.

That is fine, it means that I can either prepare food, read or do some crafting. 
Who mentioned chores?
Yes I do a bit of that as well, just enough to be decent.
Laundry is a doddle.
Wash, peg out, get in, iron and put away. All in a couple of hours or so.

I was just pounced on by this creature,


He has one of his new toys, a small water bottle (empty) inside a sock. It makes all the crunching, crackling noises that a little dog could wish for and can be shaken and thrown about without harming anything or anybody.


Butter wouldn't melt in my mouth, look at my big eyes.


Ben has retreated to one of the beds and is keeping his head down. The wisdom of age.

We have been for our walk and breakfast has been served and eaten.

Back to the post.

The fruit trees are looking good, we have had strawberries a couple of times and will soon be using gooseberries.

There is a decent crop of apples and the Jostaberry is laden.



Howgate Wonder.


Jostaberry.


Bramley.
Safe behind a Herbie proof fence.



The step over apple tree, an unknown variety.



A forest of mint.
I use some almost every day.


Rhubarb with some Strawberry escapees.





A bit of colour.


My potted Holly, it will be going into the ground at some point.

The wheelbarrow is coming along and will be ready to plant up in a couple of days. I have decided against bulbs and will be having a look in the garden centre for ideas, maybe today.


Before. After photos to follow.


Now it is time for a cuppa before I get the washing pegged out, there may be rain later depending on which weather forecast you watch.

                                TTFN                                      Pam


Monday, 11 June 2018

A whole Month...Really.

I heard a report on BBC Breakfast that says Tea Towels are responsible for many incidents of food poisoning. The presenter went on to say that several towels had been tested for bacteria after being in constant use for a month. 
I would have thought that they were walking by then.
I only use mine once, after a baking session I can get through 4 in the clean up.

My mind was well and truly boggled.

Oh, wasn't it hot last night, I went off to bed but it was like an oven upstairs. I came down and both the dogs were huffing and puffing, we stayed down with the back door open for some cool air.
I may have dozed a bit but managed to read a whole book on the tablet.

The garden is looking much better, we have a couple of car loads to take to the recycling site today. The SO dug out the old holey wheelbarrow, it has had a hole mended and will get a coat or two of metal paint on its bottom today. later it will be planted up with some late bedding. Later on in the year I will put spring flowering bulbs in and then follow with Fuchsias and Geraniums. 

The courgettes are looking good, as are the sugar snap peas. The heat sent the spinach into bolting mode but I have some more coming on.

The Strawberries are full  of fruit, the gooseberries and blackcurrants are full of promise and my Jostaberry is laden with fruit.

Time to get Ben and Herbie walked and fed, I am getting those looks.

                                 TTFN                            Pam

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Breaking out of the box.

The self imposed quilting box that is.

I read a post from Jo of Three Stories High, and the pairing post from Christina of A Colourful Life.

They have each made a log cabin quilt, a classic design that I have made once or three times. Both took a different approach, Christina went down the control path. That is the one that I tread,careful cutting, each strip the same width and squaring up after every addition. Each block finishing within a hairs breadth of the next.

Jo's path was more relaxed, so much as to be almost horizontal. 

BUT.

It piqued my interest and I read the post through a second time.
I have a box of small strips and squares, along with some odd shaped scraps.

I have another of strips, mostly WoF, random fat quarters and larger scraps. When I tipped this out I found some 1/2 metre cuts that I bought a few years ago. I must have had a "put it away, anywhere" moment.

Some of this collection was won in giveaways, some I bought and much was given to me.

There are quilters out there whose idea of sheer hell is a scrap bin! So strange.

Any way, I pressed, selected and rejected, cut and pressed again and started to sew.
I used small squares and some smaller strips for the middle of the blocks.


I used the same dark red flower print in each of the blocks. I had 20 squares so made 20 blocks. 
The red Flurry strip is one of my go to patterns and I think that over the years I have bought it in every colourway. The green print is a left over from the Quilt that I made for Jess last year.



A few time I started to run out of strip so added a bit on.


Almost there, 2 or 3 strips to go, the lilac print is a scrap from a dress that I made. I never throw fabric out, it all finds a home in the fullness of time. Some of the fabric that I have used is at least 15 years old.


The most recent socks, I knit them toe up, two at a time and put the Fleegle heel in. There are 4 too many stitches in the cuff soit looks a bit "frilly" here. There is another pair on the go and after the heel I decreased 4 extra stitches, they look much better so far. I did use a stretchy bind off, I may not bother on this current pair.

Yesterday was a full on garden day, it is much hotter today so we will not venture out till after 2:00.

Now I am off to my log cabin blocks, they have a strong siren call. None of the blocks are the same, I just piled the strips up and grabbed them randomly. I owe a debt of gratitude to Jo, this is so fast, the only trimming that I have done is on the edge that I am attaching the next strip to. 
Having said that Christina's "ordered and maths related style" is dear to my heart as well. I will spend some time in the box for various projects.

I am aiming at a finished size around 84" by 100", it is for a double bed and I like them to hang over the edge a fair bit.

I hope that you are all enjoying the weekend, the weather is lovely just a bit on the hot side for me.

                         TTFN                                            Pam













Friday, 8 June 2018

Rambling along.

I noticed that Tesco have a new label on their "everyday" oats. They are now called "Growers Harvest" with the declaration that they are farm grown. 

I wonder where the others were grown. In the town centres perhaps?

Maybe they will use the soon to be empty House of Fraser sites and go back to the old label.

I am so happy that I am not a Recycling Collector.

It is "bin day" in the Amman Valley and as I walk the dogs I look around me.

I see the black Glass recycling bins, many are full of half empty jars frequently with visible mould growth.

I do not buy jars of sauces, but if I did I would want to get every last drop out. Scraping with my very narrow spatula or a little rinse with some hot water.
Even at the low price end of 80p or so a jar that is a big loss.

One bin had a very carefully drained pickled onion jar, again almost half full. It was quite a large jar as well.

Food waste bins are provided and many properties have 2 or 3 full to the brim with the lids gaping open. Bread and pizza seem to be the main waste.

Cardboard waste containers filled with ready meal sleeves, lots of pizza boxes and  reams of Amazon packaging.

At least the plastic waste bags are well used.

I am not sure where this was going but it all strikes me as topical.
I saw a recent program on the telly about labelling things to give the consumer the wrong idea. Hinting that the ready meal is super healthy and so on.

Plastic waste is the thought of the day for what seems like every nation on earth.
I am glad that Wales is working hard to keep as much as possible from landfill.

Drive along almost any road and there is litter of all sorts strewn about our countryside. Many town streets have a similar array of discarded containers and wrappers. Not to mention the grey slabs of chewing gum and flattened cigarette buts that adorn every pavement.

We seem to have become a nation of litter louts.

Then there are the "fly tippers". The mentality is that "someone will take it away".  Of course they will, either the landowner will, or much more likely the local council, and the tax payer picks up the bill. Ask not why the council tax rises every year.

There is a marvellous recycling and waste site near to us. There is also a proliferation of fly tipping. Stupid laziness or lazy stupidity?

The 500 word children,s essay competition has just finished and one of the words this year was plastic. Chris Evans deserves a pat on the back for getting that off the ground, and for staying involved.

Now I think I will get off my soap box and finish my cuppa, the ironing awaits. Most of my clothes are Me Made, nearly all are 100% cotton and every last item needs ironing. I do not particularly like the job but like the finished result.

As the saying goes... There's no gain without pain.

                           TTFN                                Pam.

It doesn't hurt really, just makes my toes curl up a little.


















Thursday, 7 June 2018

Olive Oil. Sugar and Lemon Juice.

Yes, you guessed, it is gardening time and that is my go to hand cleaner. The sugar gets right into the creases and lifts the dirt, the oil softens the skin and the lemon juice gets rid of the stains.
We are enjoying, or enduring, a sort of heatwave and every moment possible I am outside. The trees are just the right size for some shade and both Herbie and Ben are happy to laze around while I potter.

The SO has finished his mammoth kitchen job and will, hopefully, be at home for a few days. There is another big job coming his way soon though. I really should say our way as this includes the garden and I will be helping there.

I have not touched the lap top for a few days, the garden hours have to come from somewhere. I have been keeping up with the house, and almost with the ironing, but food has been mainly Iffits. I have cooked for tonight, Boston Baked Beans (my version) stuffed with veggies. There is a lemony, gingery cheesecake type thingy for pudding, I had some ginger nuts that were too soft for the SO, a few bits of stem ginger in syrup, a lemon yogurt, some soft cheese and some double cream. I opened a tin of condensed milk and fished a lemon out of the fridge and simply played.
Ginger nut in the base, drizzle with the ginger syrup and add a few slithers of the ginger.
Whisk a lemon yogurt with some soft cheese, a little cream and a tsp or so of lemon juice and dollop on top.
A little sliced ginger on that.
I whisked 150 grms of double cream to soft peak and then whisked in the same weight of condensed milk, the rest of the lemon juice and a little ginger syrup.
More dolloping, more shards of ginger and into the fridge.
It will be perfect after the spicy, smoky beans.

A little grovel here.
Still no photos.
Not enough hours in the day right now.
We have rain forecast for tonight.
I am hopeful.
I may be disappointed.

I hope that you are all making the most of every day. I am doing my utmost.


                             TTFN                                    Pam