Sunday, 19 December 2010

O the weather outside is frightful,

but the fire inside's delightful
and we've really no place to go
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . .

Friday, 17 December 2010

Advent Slippers

I just fell in love with these slippers when I saw them a couple of years back - not a great photo of them I know.  The first year I filled them with little toys and sweets and then last year we didn't get them out - too much going on I think.  But this year I thought we must have them on display and started to think what to put in them.  I didn't really want to fill them with toys and sweets when the little ones will be having so much of that anyway.  So I decided to put a piece from our nativity scene in a slipper each day.  Flopsy Bunny just loves our little nativity scene and has really enjoyed adding a bit everyday, and I just love how she has arranged everything - entirely without prompting - very neatly!!

So a week to go to the big day and I've been doing a bit of totting up of what needs to be done.  Two presents need finishing off and one started (and finished!).  Oh and I was going to print some wrapping paper too - Hmmm I wonder how that is all going to get done with two little ones skipping around the place!  Hope your Christmas preparations are going well :)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A flutter of butterflies

Some more butterflies waiting to be made into bunting - for an order!!  I know I've already shown you the completed version but this fabric is just so gorgeous that it is worth a second look - don't you think?  Anyway the fabric is by Tanya Whelan and it's from her French Hatbox collected - I just LOVE it and I have pretty much used up every scrap I have of it.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Dinosaur Cake . . .

. . . every little boy should have one on their birthday!  Wow hasn't time flown.  I can't quite believe I have a two year old now.  Poor little boy we had to cancel his birthday last week as we were all so ill.  But he got his party and he got his cake - which is all he really wanted!  OK so the cake wasn't the masterpiece I had envisioned - but then I only make a cake once a year so what do I expect really?!

Then I thought - hold on a minute if Little Roo is two then this blog is two too!  So I've completely missed my blog anniversary which should have been in October as it turns out!  So just wanted to say thank YOU for reading!  Have a bit of cake on me.

PS I used this template for the cake - so very easy and if your icing abilities are better than mine then very effective too!  The cake was baked by my brother and is yummy- thanks Bro!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Cosy up your eggs!

I'm not sure how it got to be the 11th of December without a post but here we are, excuses at the ready!  It has been a sickly old time in our house recently with everyone succumbing to various bugs and viruses.  So not much craftiness has been done.  Although I have had a few little orders from my Christmas Fair which I'm very excited about.  Then I found an egg cosy that I didn't manage to sell and here it is!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Stars, Stars . . . Ooo and some Hearts

So here are the last of the things that I made for the shopping night.  Little decorations for the tree or bedroom.  The surprise of the night were the little felt and gingham egg cosies I made, pink, blue and red!  Sold like hot cakes, but because I made them last minute and sold them all there were none left to photograph!!  Lots of people around these parts keep chickens so I guess that has a lot to answer for!

So now I am starting to feel a little Christmassy and only a tiny bit anxious at the tasks I have set myself to make for presents this year - Ooo and very excited to be trying out some home created wrapping paper.  Watch this space!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

More goodies . . .

I have been meaning to make this door stop for, oh ages, well since the last one I made was swiped by a visiting two year old who took a liking to it and thought it was a handbag and popped it into her parents case without their knowing . . . very crafty.  Anyway, it seemed to be going to a good home so I thought I would make another to replace it.  Cut to 3 years later - wayhey I've done it!  I did make it to sell but quite secretly pleased it didn't as I have it now!  Although I have fabric cut out to make more . . .!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Bunting, Bunting and more Bunting . . .

Phew, what a month it's been - non stop sewing to make things to sell at our little village Christmas Shopping night.  A friend of mine has just launched a business selling very cute crocheted items and I said I would share a stall with her, to give her moral support!  So that is why it's been a bit quiet around here in blogland as I've been beavering away and my poor machine is feeling very tired at the moment!

So here we have lots of bunting.  I'm especially pleased with my butterflies . . .!


Then I thought, there just isn't enough lovely boy bunting around these days and so got a bit carried away . . .

I'll let you see some more of my other goodies soon!

Friday, 19 November 2010

A craft table has been set up . . .

It has been a bit quiet recently on the blogging front, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been a whole lot of crafting going on at home!  Well with my deadline looming it's been all systems go.  Bunting has been made, little felt stars and hearts are being whipped up hourly and smoke is definitely coming out of my machine.  There is still more to do but last weekend Flopsy Bunny decided she was going to get in on the act.  She decided that she wanted to make some bunting for her bedroom so she selected some material and I helped her make some bunting - the thing about Flopsy Bunny's crafting is that there is an awful lot of directing from her and an awful lot of doing from me!!  So as you can imagine I didn't get much of my things done but she did 'make' some cute bunting which she is very pleased with and then decided she needed a craft area all of her own.  So she found a chair, a table, a box for all her material and a pair of scissors - 'I've put my table here mummy so we can both share the bin'!.  'I've got lots of ideas', she said, 'in my head'!  Love it!  I guess it was always going to turn out like this with me as her mum!!!

Anyway, must dash - more crafting to do - I'll get round to taking some photo's soon before next Thursday comes round . . . eek!!!!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

To a lovely sister . . . who rescues things . . .

I'm a hoarder - always have been and I fear always will be.  Even as a child I kept tickets from places we had been, badges, shells, in fact anything that delighted my magpie eyes.  But then I have moments, usually when I start to run out of places to store all my treasures, or if I lose something (or more likely forgotten where I had put something) and then I will have a big clear out.  I am ruthless in those moments.  I blame it on being born on the cusp and the winter solstice - I was never going to be a straight forward kind of girl! So imagine my delight and surprise when visiting my sister at the weekend when she bought out these Russian dolls for my little ones to play with.  'I rescued these' she said 'when you threw them out'.  Oh yes, I remember throwing them out and also how recently I had started thinking that I wish I hadn't!  'I've been regretting throwing them out' I tell her and then she gave them back to me!  Little Roo just loves playing with them in fact that is all he has played with since Saturday and I just love my sister for rescuing things that really I should keep even when I'm in the throws of a great big clear out!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Spooky Craftiness

 It's been all go here this Halloween.  Pumpkin carved...
... Banners made - although I managed to put the holes too low down and all my pumpkins ended up upside down!  I got the pumpkin banner template from the talented Cupcakes for Clara last year - you can find it here.  She's got lots of other lovely spooky crafty ideas too!
Then Flopsy Bunny really got into the swing of it and made Pumpkin faces and a ghostly puppet to frighten passers by!  Hoping you all had a fun filled time this Halloween.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

A day for being outdoors

We woke to sun streaming into our bedroom this morning and it just felt that it was going to be a day for being outdoors.  So after a hearty porridge breakfast we set out, destination: our favourite pub for pub lunches on a sunny day and a walk to DH's favourite sloe bush - he is quite particular about which bushes he likes to pick his sloe's from!  I wish I had bought my camera with me as Flopsy Bunny looked a picture - her chosen outfit for this walk was a pink fru-fru tutu type lacy skirt, pink stripey tights, bright pink coat with fur round the hood and pink glitter wellies!  She looked gorgeous - although may be not entirely appropriately dressed for a walk - and she made all the walkers and cyclists we past smile!  So having gathered our sloes we headed back to the pub for ham rolls all round washed down with lemonade.

Then it was home to tackle the veggie patch.  A friend had told me about green manure about a month ago and then I read Alys Fowler's article in the Guardian magazine about it and decided Green Manure was the way forward.  Hopefully it is going to improve our soil quality and keep the weeds at bay.  So I weeded, raked and sowed the seed - I'm going for an overwintering variety and then it's just a case of waiting.  Hopefully something will grow - I'm keeping the deer deterrent up as I thought they might get a bit partial to some rye grass over the winter months!

DH was busy inside while all this was going on and he cracked on and made the Sloe Gin!  Now the fun bit watching it turn an amazing deep red colour as the Sloe's leach out their colour and flavour.  The Sloe Gin will be warming our cockles on cold evenings this winter!

Monday, 18 October 2010

A deadline . . .

I've always worked best to a deadline so a throw away comment to a friend recently that I'd share a table at a local Christmas shopping night has got me a little bit nervous to say the least - mainly as I have made NOTHING to sell at all at this point in time . . .!  So a quick rush around and I've pulled these lovelies together - any guesses for what they are for??  Now on with the sewing.  I've got lots of other ideas - just hope I've got enough time to make it all in - still got a month to go!!

Other news: there is a very relieved Flopsy Bunny in the house at the moment.  She was most dismayed every time she came home last week to find the strong smell of chutney in the air - 'you're not making chutney AGAIN are you?' she would cry and the answer was yes!  A friend gave my loads of green tomatoes and so I ended up making two batches of chutney.  It did use up all my cooking apples but having to chop 4lb of onions was not my most favourite experience!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Squirreling: part two!

The squirreling continues . . . this time grapes.  When we moved into our little cottage 8 years ago this was a very small vine which didn't really produce any fruit and as the years have gone by, the vine has got bigger and more grapes have been produced.  Last year we had quite a few but I didn't really know what to do with them.  Anyway, this year help came in the form of a newspaper magazine which told you how to make Mosto Cotto, which is really cooked grape must.  I was so excited, finally I had something I could make with the grapes.  So last Friday I picked all that I could reach then squashed the grapes - alas not using the method suggested - squelching them with bare feet! - I used a potato masher instead - I know the other method would have been much better (and more fun) but time was not on my side and I had two small people running around, so it was the potato masher!  Anyway, the squashed grapes and juice were put into a jelly bag and hung overnight.  The next day I just simmered the juice down so that it had reduced by about 2/3rds and bottled (OK a small bottle) the juice.  It has the most amazing intense taste.  I'm not sure what I can use it for, salad dressings were suggested, but I'm going to enjoy finding out!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Squirreling away

There's been a lot of squirreling away recently.  Jams and Chutney's made and stored away, apples peeled, cored, cut and frozen for later use in pies and crumbles, logs stacked by the back door and this bounteous pile of nuts.  DH and I spent a lovely Sunday evening  de-husking these nuts, chatting with a glass of wine.

All this makes me think how lucky I am to live in the countryside.  I'm not sure I would be so productive living in a city but with all these goodies on the doorstep it's hard not to want to harvest and store.  I feel so connected to the seasons these days, I have my little rituals, - ah it's October, time for making chutney from the many windfalls we've been given! -  and I love the way that they are becoming part of family life.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Sew, sew, sew

I think there must be steam coming off my sewing machine at the moment as I whizz up and down these stems, appliquéing (is there such a word?!) away.  I so want to finish this project, every spare moment I am hopping onto my machine and sewing away.  I'm also pretty pleased with how it's all coming along and can't  wait to show the finished article . . . soon I hope . . . soon!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

3 Beautiful Things

  • I was child free and foot loose today so I popped into my favourite little antiques/bric a brac shop in the village.  It's not the sort of shop you want to go into when you have inquisitive little hands and a buggy!!  So it was a real treat to have a browse around and then I spotted this sweet little tea set for two and just loved it.  I'm thinking lots of afternoon tea opportunities with scones and a friend to join in! 

  • Waitrose was having a special offer on plums yesterday and I couldn't resist - that and the fact that a visit to my friend had me weighed down with lots of cooking apples meant that spiced plum chutney was calling out to be made.  I'm hoping it will be beautifully yummy but will have to wait for 6 weeks to find out - labels in the process of being produced!!
  • Having taken the first two photos I became a bit trigger happy and set off trying to find new things to shoot.  These beauties are really brightening up our garden at the moment and I've got them positioned right outside the kitchen window so I can look at them while washing up and thinking what else I can make with my surplus cooking apples!  (The thing I like about this photo is that you can see one of our -many- log stacks in the background!).

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Flutterby Butterfly

Oo, oo, oo I'm so thrilled with my table tent project (OK, couldn't keep it a secret any longer). I'm getting quite carried away with it. Not the best photo to show you but I've just been sewing some butterflies onto one of the panels. The birdie is on another panel and I just have one more panel to finish but that does involve ALOT of appliqué so it could take some time! Then it's a case of just putting it all together - ha ha! Don't you think the fabric is just divine? I have been sitting on this little pile of gorgeousness for quite some time and I'm really glad it's starting to be used and of course there is lots left over for all sorts of projects. The mind is racing away but those ideas will have to wait . . .

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Step Art

It's all been a bit hectic here recently, with the start of school, after school activities, homework . . .! So not much time for crafting. But we have been creating our very own nature step - it's like a nature table but on your doorstep!!! I have a feeling it is going to be something that is just going to keep on growing!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Reasons to be cheerful

My camera is back - horray!!! Hopefully there'll be better photos to come . . .

Here is the lovely Virginia creeper that scrambles all over our house It's an exciting time at the moment watching as the leaves turn from green to a bright red, heralding a change in the season.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

A sneak preview . . .

. . . of what I have been working on all summer. Inspiration from the talented Don't Look Now. Must dash . . . more appliqué to do before pick up! . . .

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Little surprises

I've been getting a few little surprises recently in my kitchen drawers. I opened a drawer today to get a bag out for the bin and ...

. . . Oooo 2 tomatoes ripening in my drawer (please excuse the state of my drawer - must tidy it up a bit!!). Then a couple of days ago I had another surprise but this time in the tea towel drawer. I love to think that DH is changing the location to keep me on my toes! The thing is I never see him do it. He obviously just pops out to the greenhouse and then comes back and pops the tomatoes in a drawer. Anyway, we had these tomatoes for lunch today and they have the most divine flavour. So sweet they almost tasted of strawberry's. In a salad with home-grown basil - delicious.

Saffy also brings us little surprises but unfortunately they are of the rodent variety so not quite as lovely to receive!

On the crafting front my lace ball has been released from it's balloon AND has held it's shape - horray! So I'll let you know what I used to keep it's shape. Instead of the diluted glue which I didn't want to go out and buy I came across a receipe using cornstarch - then after some further searching I realised that cornstarch is actually cornflour which I had in my kitchen cupboard!! So I mixed up a tablespoon of cornflour and 1/2 cup of water and simmered it gently on the hob until it went transparent. Then wet the knitting under the tap, gently squeezing and then dunking it in the cornflour mixture. I gave it a good old soaking, blotted it carefully and inserted the balloon and blew it up - what fun! When my camera is back in action I'll let you see the finished item.

As a little aside I am sooooo excited, this little bundle of gorgeousness landed on my doormat this week which I brought from Dream Weaver Yarns. OK so there is a bit of a theme developing here, yes it's red and oh my it is sparkly and have I mentioned yet how gorgeous it is? Anyway, think of me clicking away tonight as I start my new project . . .

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Sparkly red gorgeousness

I've been drawn to knitting recently, maybe it's the shift in the season, I'm not sure but I have quite fancied getting my needles whirring again. Unfortunately, my other knitting project has ground to a bit of a halt. Running out of wool has made me umm and ahh about whether to finish it. Then there's my sister's present from last year - still waiting to be made - before you wonder I have given her something else in the meantime!! So having decided to use another wool for that present means I've got all this sparkly red gorgeousness to use. And yes it is a bit C********y (can't quite bare to type the word so early in the year!) but this pattern sang out to me as a perfect project for it. So predictably I found the pattern for Lace Balls on Ravelry - such a wonderful site and resource - and it made up very quickly and easily. So far I'm really pleased with the finished results but it's still drying and I'm not sure if my stiffening method is going to work as I didn't follow Judy's instruction to use diluted glue - anyway I will let you know how it goes when I pop the balloon!!!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

3 Beautiful Things

Inspired by Attic 24's 3 Things and Three Beautiful Things' blog, here's my, rather blurry as it's taken with my phone, 3 Beautiful Things.
  1. A tea cup from a tea set that belonged to my Grandmother, a gift from her on our wedding day.
  2. An embroidered tablecloth that came with the tea set.
  3. Three roses picked from our garden with the most heavenly scent.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

First's and hundredth's

I am restless today . . . I don't feel settled . . . It seems like I can not get on with anything . . . although jobs have been done, the washing hung out, the dishwasher loaded and started, lunch made and eaten, Little Roo played with and then put down for his nap, some gentle weeding done but I am somewhere else . . . Flopsy Bunny is at school for her first day today and it seems like all my energy and attention is with her, although I don't know what she is doing or how she is feeling. Less than an hour to go before I pick her up - what treats lie in store for her - it feels like I will be welcoming her home after a long time away . . .

Blogger informs me that this is my 100th post - whoopee!! Seems somehow appropriate that it should coincide with today.

Monday, 30 August 2010

The Season is changing

There was a definite nip in the air today, despite it being quite bright and sunny. DH said, 'you've decided summer is over' as I washed down the paddling pool and packed it away. He may have a point, although he was the one splitting logs for kindling!! So it looks like we are set to hunker down for the autumn. We brambled on Saturday and just in time too as the last jar of last year's jam got finished today. Luckily I had made a whole new batch on Saturday, with a new Blackberry and Apple Jam recipe that I had found, which should keep us going for another year - can't wait to try it out on some hot buttered toast. DH went foraging for mushrooms today and came back with a basket full, although I am not sure whether we will be brave enough to eat them. He did spend hours pouring over his mushroom book on his return and we are pretty certain they are OK . . . ! So with two days left of the summer holidays before Flopsy Bunny starts school I'm trying to remember how we filled our 6 weeks. It seemed such a long time to fill at the beginning, but as with most of life, it whizzed past really quickly. I must say that I am looking forward to having some structure in our lives again, although a little worried about the 8.50am deadline for Thursday morning!! Must set my alarm clock . . .

Waking up to mists this morning had DH reciting this poem and I thought you might like it to:

Ode to Autumn by John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A Wet Wednesday

It's been raining ALL day. We haven't had a day like this for months. After scurrying home at lunch time, and despite the weather, we had a really lovely afternoon. Little Roo slept, Flopsy Bunny was crafty (sorry about the photo but I took it with my phone - am still really bereft about my camera :( ) and I sewed. Two hours of sewing - what bliss! Especially as I had worked out how to sort out my mitered corners on the project I'm working on - which is coming together nicely and hopefully will be finished by the time I get my camera back. Then Little Roo woke up and we made Chocolate Raisin Jumbles. Then suddenly the rain didn't matter, with a hot cup of tea and a chocolate raisin jumble what could be better? Then DH phoned and asked if I had lit the fire yet - a roaring log fire - now that would make a perfect end to a perfectly miserable day!!!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sewing in Love

I'm doing some very special sewing at the moment. I can't quite believe that this baby girl will be going to school for the first time in a week and a half's time!!! Where did all that time go? How did she get sooo grown up? I know I haven't missed anything, I've been there with her all the time but somehow living life day to day I can't pin point exactly when all these subtle changes, which happen gradually over time, have happened. And now I have a big girl, going to big school and it seems so strange because I know that she is ready for this next step, but I'm now just wondering if I am!

So each night I am sitting with her new school uniform in my lap sewing in her name tapes and thinking about all the things she will learn, the challenges she will face, the fun she will have and the upset too and I'm just wishing her strength, courage and confidence for this big step. She is so excited and I am too and I can't wait to hear all her tales of school although I have a sneaky suspicion that all I'll get is 'oh we didn't do anything today'!!

Good luck my gorgeous, lovely Flopsy Bunny girl x

Thursday, 19 August 2010

A month of cat photos . . .!

I must apologise, in advance, for what is going to be A LOT of photos of our cat over the coming weeks and maybe some other animals thrown in for good measure . . . ! But my wonderful camera has been sent away to remove it's dark splodge or 'fleck of dust on the sensor' as it was diagnosed in the shop. Anyway I'm without the wherewithall to take photos - so old ones will just have to do.

This doesn't mean that there isn't any crafting going on, which there is!
I'll keep you updated on what I've been up to and hopefully I will have lots of things to show you when my camera is back in action. In the meantime here is my cat Saffy looking a bit peeved at the extreme closeup and for being disturbed from her sleep!!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Digging for treasure

I never realised that growing vegetables could be sooo much fun but I'm definitely hooked on potatoes. DH's dad gave us some seed potatoes earlier this year. We dutifully chited them, planted them and watered them. DH built a rather impressive deer guard around our veggie patch in the hope of keeping the deer away, stopping these bean thiefs and flower munchers from having their wicked way! Then we just waited and watched. The plants grew, flowered and died back and then we waited again - not sure why but didn't want to go in too early and we still weren't convinced we would find any potatoes - but we did!!! We spent an exciting hour yesterday morning spotting potatoes as I carefully turned the soil over - it was so exciting!! Just like digging for buried treasure. I think I've got them all and we will be munching on our new potatoes for supper this week.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Lavender blue

We have three large lavender bushes outside our front door and every year I promise myself that I will pick some to dry. In fact I did do that one year but my mother-in-law pointed out that I had picked the lavender too late which threw me as I didn't know that there was a right time! So I have scouted around on the internet and found this fab site which tells you all you need to know about drying lavender - well I hope so! So it being a dry day today, which is essential as it cuts down on the drying time, I have just popped out to pick those stems that still have flowers on them. Again picking in the early evening means that you are picking the flowers at their driest and I will be bundling them up and putting them in paper bags and tucking them up in my airing cupboard later tonight! Check back in a month and hopefully I will have some lavender bags to show you!!

PS I'm sorry about the dark splodge on this photo my camera seems to have developed a rash! Hopefully it will be curable.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The beginnings of a new project

I can't quite believe that it was almost a year ago that I posted about this pile of fabric that I had just bought; and there it has patiently sat - except for the top two red ones which I made into Nellie! - until now! The time is right, or rather I suddenly felt that time was slipping away and that if I didn't get started on this project, which is something for Flopsy Bunny, she would be too old for it and wouldn't be interested in what I had made!!

So I have made a start and I have learnt something about myself. That if I don't start something it can sit on a To Do list for a very long time but as soon as I make a start it suddenly becomes more present and more difficult to put to one side and generally I just get on with what I've been planning to make, however slowly it takes. Having said that I've just remembered a top that just needs it's zip putting in!!! So it was funny to read Simple Mom's post Perfection: the thief of "good enough" and think 'that's me!' as part of why I've put this particular project off is that I want to make a good job of it, but it is something that I'm designing myself so I'm worried that it won't turn out as well as the vision I have in my head! Anyway, I have thrown caution to the wind and started to think who is this really for, me or Flopsy Bunny? As she won't care that my design isn't quite perfect enough!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Hapazome Flowers

So way back in, oh probably, April this year I caught an episode of Alys Fowler's 'The Edible Gardener'. I'm not sure why I only saw one of them as it was brilliant and hopefully a second series will come out and I will be able to watch them all. Anyway, the programme was about her garden, gardening, cooking things from her garden and then she demonstrated how to do Hapazome. It was so simple and effective I just knew I had to have a go - so here's my attempt!

First you need to pick some flowers and then lay them on some muslin, pressing them down slightly. I put the muslin on some card with a thick chopping board underneath. Then you cover the flowers with the other half of the muslin folded over. Then the fun bit begins - you hammer the flowers!! Yes I know it sounds wierd but it does seem to work. The pressure from the hammer forces the dye from the flowers onto the fabric, and you get something like this:

Each side of the fabric has a slightly different effect as the pressure from the hammer is different but it is quite lovely. I tried a few other different types of flowers and fabric. So above we have geraniums and petunia's on Muslin. I also did crocosmia on white cotton and sweat peas too!
So once the fabric is dry you need to iron the surface to lock the colour in and then all you need to do is make something with it!! I'm not sure how colour fast the dye will be so probably best to make something that won't get wet! Little lavender bags maybe?

Saturday, 31 July 2010

{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama's Friday moment, here's mine.

Happy Weekend's to everyone

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A minor triumph

My first home grown posy of sweetpeas - I can't tell you how thrilled I am! Gorgeous!

Here are a few sweetpea tips I've picked up along the way:
  • They are thirsty plants - they need lots of water if they are to grow lots of flowers
  • One strong shoot per plant - any side shoots should be nipped off so that all the energy goes into producing lots of flowers
  • Remove tendrills - again this is so that the energy goes into the flowers not the tendrills, although I found that the tendrills did their job in keeping the plants unright and holding onto their support so I didn't remove them!
  • Pick the flowers regularly for gorgeous posies of divine smelling blooms - or deadhead them otherwise the plant will start to produce seed pods and will stop flowering. I'm in a bit of a quandary about this one - to pick and have some lovely flowers in the house or to leave on the plant and have lovely colour in the garden. Always a tough call.