Friday, July 31, 2015

Five on Friday - Christina's Notes

Hello my friends,

I am linking to Amy's Five on Friday, on her blog "Love Made my Home".   This is the last Five on Friday post until 5 September.

Do visit Amy's blog to see what the other participants have to say (after reading mine, of course?).

For the first time I am also linking to Super Mom - No Cape's Stitchery Party.


It is a sunny morning here as I am typing, and it looks as if we are going to have a lovely warm day. 

Apologies to anyone who was expecting to see further pictures of my doll Izzy, however, this is still a craft related post, and I will show you pictures of Izzy soon.

Here are Five Facts about :  CHRISTINA'S NOTES

These are photographs of a pouch, made for my mum for Mother's Day, they are from my iPod and despite my having turned them horizontally on our computer file, Blogger decided they should be portrait style! 


I made this for my Mum as she likes to take her knitting with her when she is out and about, however she kept losing certain items, therefore I decided to make this pouch to hold her pen, notes, measure and wool needle. By chance Mum has since found her scissors and four sock needles fit in very well too! The embroidery was in perlè cottons with scheesha mirrors, french knots, chain stitches and stem stitch. The binding is from a never ending bag of scraps I bought when I first started patchwork. Main fabric is Osnaburgh - my favourite for embroidery!


As with all those "quick" projects one invents, this took longer to make than I had imagined, and changed quite considerably along the way.
Mum's Knitting Notes Pouch
Mum's knitting notes pouch

My deliberations!
Copious notes!


Notepad within - main reason for making the pouch!

Inside picket, showing lining and notepad.
Main pocket, showing lining and note pad. 


I typed the word "pencil" on my computer, found a nice font, enlarged it, printed it and traced the word onto my fabric, along with two pictures from one of Mandy Shaw's embroidery books, ready for stitching.   For the ruler I just drew two lines, marked out the actual measurements for stitching. The stitching is in 2 strands of DMC and stem stitch.

Pockets on back.
3 Pockets on back. 

Final view of knitting pouch
Finished Pouch!

Lastly, to finish off I couldn't resist showing you this bee "getting stuck in"!

There's a Bumblebee getting smothered in pollen in one of
these Hollyhock flowers!

Thank you for visiting, and don't forget to visit Amy's Five on Friday (link at top of page)
Super Mom - No Cape's  Stitchery Party (link also at top of page).

Hope you have a great summer.



P.S. I will be posting before 5 September!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Wildlife Garden

Hello Dear Readers,

Although I am close to the limit, I am linking to Amy's Five on Friday at Love Made My Home and these are five creatures I have been looking for in our garden this week .......

ONE:  I was wondering how many species of butterfly I could find, as the "The Big Butterfly Count" is in progress at the moment, until 9th August.  Why not join in, maybe it's something you could interest the little ones in?  Visit, download and print a butterfly identification sheet and recording chart and off you go!

The idea is to take 15 minutes out, and count how many varieties you see, you could count them in a park, garden or on a country walk, preferably on a hot sunny day. See the website for full details.

Oops, I sound like an advert. I'm sure you'd enjoy it, and it is to help nature!

Not far from our back door!
Here is one I found not far from our back door.

This butterfly obviously likes these straw flowers, and it's great to know as we weren't going to grow them again next year as they grew very straggly this spring, however the flowers have developed really well so I would imagine we will grow them again, especially as the bees and butterflies really enjoy them.

TWO:  Carrying on around the garden I decided to look into our old compost heap to see how it was progressing.

In England we have a garden compost collection (i.e. hedge cuttings, grass mowings and any weeds we gather) every two weeks for which we are issued a small supply of large plastic sacks (which we pay for out of our council taxes). This garden greenery is taken away and composted by the council and is hence a sensible way of recycling. Our sacks are kept laid flat in a small "wild area" of the garden, on top of an old compost heap, with a couple of large stones weighing them down, to prevent them from blowing away.

I'm sorry but I have to sneak an extra photograph in here or my tale won't follow on very well!

This is where our compost heaps are situated - and why I happened to be in this corner of the garden - I was heading for the Buddleia hoping to find more butterflies! The Buddleia is actually in our neighbour's garden and not only forms a super screen between us, but is wonderful for the bees and butterflies which is why it is also known as the butterfly bush.

In this spot about a week ago a beautiful large orange butterfly landed on my cardigan, which was embroidered with flowers.  The butterfly must have been attracted by the different colours. I've only seen it one other time and I'd love to take a photograph of it. Maybe today......

Our compost area

Occasionally we have found some interesting wildlife here, and lo and behold under a layer of plastic sacks there was the slow worm again!

Slow Worm
A very healthy looking slow worm!

Don't worry, if you don't know slow worms, they are perfectly harmless. They are not snakes but lizards and spend most of their time hiding under objects, which is why we rarely empty or turn our compost heaps. They feed on slugs and worms and are really one of the gardeners' friends. I understand they can live up to 30 years in the wild.

My husband often sees them around the garden as he is out there much more than me! Unfortunately we do see some that have been attacked by cats or possibly birds.  I have just found out that they can shed their tails as a defence mechanism, by breaking one of their tail vertebrae in half, this leaves the tail wriggling vigourously to distract the predator whilst hopefuly the slow worm gently moves away to live another day.  It is a very strange thing to see.

Slow worms are a protected species in the United Kingdom.

THREE:  Also hidden amongst the sacks I found this spider, carrying her precious cluster of eggs.

Not the usual type of spider we find in the garden!

Both the slow worm and the spider froze as they thought I was a predator, so I just carefully covered them up again and left them in peace.

FOUR:  I couldn't resist a picture of this lovely bumble bee.

I don't know the name of this bush but it has been flowering better year
 on year!

FIVE:  DH was clearing some of the weed out of our pond this week and he came across 5 skins (or exuvias) left behind after the nymphs reach maturity and climb up out of the water via a suitable plant where they break out of the back of their skins, emerging as the most amazing dragonflies with the empty husk or outer skin left hanging on the plant.

I searched out some photographs of the wonderful dragonflies we have seen over the years in our garden but I will have to show you another time, as this is Five on Friday! 

Do you have any unusual wildlife hiding in your garden?


I hope I am not too late for anyone to visit me.
It would be lovely to know if you have spent some time here, please don't hesitate to say hello!

Why not take a look at Amy's Five on Friday you can use the link in my sidebar.
You may have found me via Amy at Love Made my Home, 
but if you didn't there are lots of other interesting blogs to see there. 


If you have been here before you may have noticed a routine forming, 
as next time I will have more pictures of the doll I am working on!


Thank you for dropping in.  
Have a super weekend everyone and do come back soon.

Barbara xx

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

White work pouch?

Hello Dear Readers,

Browsing on Pinterest I was greatly inspired by La boite de Biscotte which is a lovely French blog where I found a beautiful Wholecloth needlecase/bobbin holder, with a pattern too! The blog is in French but I think it's possible to make the needlecase following the photographs alone. There is a lot of stitching, but that is the fun of it!  It is small, therefore I can stitch this when travelling. You will find the needlecase/bobbin holder here.

A similar shaped patchwork needlecase/holder and tutorial with measurements can be found on Annie's blog, Flowergarden.

Now, I am in a quandary, which one to make!!


The little pouch photographed below is something I made a few years ago. It is hand quilted. I don't know if it would be called Whitework, although it is worked in white!  Can any of the quilters out there confirm whether this is Whitework or Wholecloth quilting?

The pouch is not intended to be an heirloom as it has been well used. It was useful when I used to play Lawn Green Bowls, to carry my chalk and measures (the rules dictated that the bag had to be white) and I needed to be able to get to my chalk or measure fast, in order not to slow the game down.

My pouch was made and stitched in polyester cotton. I designed it as a mini backpack as I needed my hands free to play bowls.

If you click on the photos you will be able to see the stitching detail which the dull weather has actually helped to show quite nicely!

You can see the tabs for the straps, top and bottom.

The back.

I made tabs with eyelets for the straps.

Inside with bias binding seams
This is inside out, showing my bias bound seams.

I hope you enjoy visiting La boite de Biscotte and Annie's Flowergarden.

I hope to see you again soon.

Barbara xx

Friday, July 10, 2015

Five on Friday

Hello Dear Readers,

I have wanted to join in with the lovely Amy's Five on Friday for a while now, but I'm never ready in time!  Here I am at last! For more details please link to Amy via the button on the right of the screen.

How was your week?  We've had a funny couple of weeks as we have had a team of bathroom renovators, including a decorator, plasterer, tiler and carpenter working here over the last fortnight, removing our old bath, sink, toilet and the wall which had separated them and constructing a wonderful new shower room. It's all going extremely well but it's impossible to do anything else when part of the house is out of bounds!

We are so pleased we had the forethought to purchase and install a chemical camping loo in our garden shed, as it would have been exceedingly difficult without it. It has been so convenient for our use during the day, as we both enjoy drinking lots of tea.  The builders are good enough to ensure we have an indoor working loo every evening, albeit we have to use a bucket and a standpipe to flush it.

However, enough of that, here are a few pictures I have been wanting to show you but haven't been able to spend time uploading them onto our computer as it was sitting at the computer which bought on my last bout of back trouble.

1.  Not one of mine, dh took this at 4.30am when our cat decided someone else should be awake in addition to her! Bless, she means well.


2.  We like to think we have a wild life garden (although some people would say it looks unkempt and overgrown) and here are a few of our simple country style flowers which dh took for me when I was unable to walk into the garden recently.

Geraniums with bees
If you look carefully you will find there are a couple of bees gathering
nectar from the flowers in this photo. 

More geraniums


Wild flowers - don't know the name

Marigolds and Erysimums

Erysimum or wallflowers
Erysimum, these are related to wallflowers


The Birthday rose
The birthday rose my mum bought me a couple of years ago.
 This is the best bloom it has had to date!

3.  I've not been able to upload my photos as often as I'd like lately but finally here are some of the wild orchids on our front lawn.

Wild orchids

Wild orchids

Wild Orchids

4. And its been a good year for the roses, which are looking so pretty.




The Birthday Rose
The birthday rose again.

5. I just had to show you our wild strawberries, they are growing very well again this year and despite being tiny they are so very tasty!

Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberries

Wild strawberries

Well, that's my first Five on Friday! Thank you for visiting and I look forward to seeing you again.

I trust you have had a lovely week and wish you an enjoyable weekend. Bye for now, and next time there will definitely be crafting here, I promise!

Barbara xx