Friday, June 29, 2012

A Four Year Wait

For the four years since I moved here, I've been wondering what this plant was that I inherited.

It's planted next to my pond, in dry shade, and the leaves have appeared each year.   Every year I've hoped that a flower might appear - and today I spotted one!

It's some kind of arum I'm sure, but beyond that I don't know.  Maybe one of you will know, but even if I never know its exact name I'll still like it!

Also looking stunning today was Clematis Romantika growing through the rose Adelaide d'Orleans.

 Let's hope we all get to enjoy some more sunshine this weekend.

Hope you all have good weekends - I'll be back soon to show you what I won in a blog draw a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Holey Cuff.

A few weeks ago I was intrigued by a cuff that Iz showed on her blog that she'd made on water soluble fabric so I decided to buy the book she'd mentioned (Dissolvable Delights by Maggie Grey) and have a go myself. 

I used a thread pack from Stef Francis and randomly machine stitched velour ribbon onto the surface, wrapped pipe cleaners with a rayon ribbon and stitched them on before adding beads, lots of beads (far more than I'd intended!)

Ready to have the background fabric dissolved.

It was a nervous experience dissolving the fabric as I wasn't sure it would all hold together, I was half expecting a pile of bits in the bottom of the bowl, but all was ok.

After dissolving the background fabric.

I think it probably should have had more pipe cleaners on it going across the short way as it hasn't held its shape brilliantly, but I'm quite pleased with it as a first attempt stitching on dissolvable fabric

As well as being unique it reflects my fascination with holes and the shapes they create (I'm not sure what that says about me though!).

Who'd have thought that pipe cleaners could end up so pretty!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Foxy Ladies

There are certain flowers that a garden has to have in my opinion and foxgloves are one of them.  When I moved here I brought some seeds with me that I'd saved the previous year in my old garden.  Today the sun came out and those foxy ladies were zinging in the warmth.

Some are quite dark, with very dark stems

Some are pink with a paler pink speckled throat

Some are pink with a yellow speckled throat

And some are a total pure white, no speckles at all.

They're all self sown from those seeds I scattered 4 years ago - a lovely assortment of colours.

Essential plants in my cottage garden - I wonder what plants you have to have in your gardens?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Birthdays, Messes and Little Plays

Did you celebrate this weekend?  It was my birthday and I'd like to thank the nation for providing me with a weekend of bunting, pageants, concerts and flypasts - I'm sure the Queen doesn't mind sharing her jubilee with my birthday!  Three of the aircraft from the flypast flew right over my house this afternoon, they must have been on their way to line up. 

I don't really do big celebrations for birthdays, but I had a lovely meal on Sunday with some friends (whose husband also has the same birthday as me) and they bought me this little Victorian stool - isn't it just gorgeous? 

It's for sitting on down by the pond, so I don't have to sit on the mossy rock anymore (not the most comfortable of seats and often slightly damp!).

I had coffee on it on my birthday morning whilst watching the tadpoles - they have tiny back legs now.

But I'm afraid that for much of the rest of the weekend I've been ensconced in my study, as it had become rather untidy (that could possibly be a rather large understatement) and I couldn't actually work or sew in the space that was left!  This was it before I started to tidy up on Sunday afternoon (I do wish I was naturally tidy and that mess didn't accumulate around me!):

This was it by Monday afternoon (that awful "I wish I'd never started this" stage):

And this is it now - finished, and very organised!:

By throwing out loads of old paperwork I managed to clear enough space to put all my fabric on the shelves and not in piles on the floor.  It also gave me the chance to go through all the fabric I was fortunate enough to acquire via a friend of a friend on twitter the other week (but more of that another time).

Part of the reason for the tidy up was that I bought these Amy Butler fabrics from John Lewis on Saturday.

and now I actually have the space to make them into a dress and a skirt.

But I'd hate you to think that I've just been tidying - I've also been playing.  With this little lady, and her brother and sister.

Don't panic she's not mine, my neighbour breeds Abyssinian cats, and they need to get used to being handled and played with before they can be sold - it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!