Friday, 12 August 2011

While I should be packing . . .

. . . I've been making long shorts for Little Roo (gorgeous fabric don't you think - its from Lizzy House - Red Letter Day - sadly I think it has been discontinued) . . .  (I have to admit that I was totally inspired my Oxford Kitchen Yarns, I thought her trousers were so gorgeous I had to make some for Little Roo too!)

. . . I've also been making some I-Spy bags.  They were featured in Handmade Living.  Really easy to make and really effective, I hope they will bring some distraction on our travels.  Do you recognise the fabric - again, another lot of gorgeousness?!  Of course for Flopsy Bunny you can't go wrong with a bit of Cath Kidson!

Just a little way of saying, we are going away!  For some sun, I hope and to recharge our batteries.  Check back in a couple of weeks . . .

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Brambling on Sunday . . .

. . . Jam on Monday!  We've gone early this year.  But it seems the blackberries have too!  So in between showers on Sunday, we hot footed it up the hill to our favourite bramble patch and within 30 minutes had collected about 5lb of blackberries.  A fortuitous visit from my parents brought with them cooking apples, so my favourite jam was made.  We've got enough for the year this time - 14 jars, last year was a disaster and we ran out in May!!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A week of firsts

Our first tomato . . .
Our first carrot . . . 
Our first (proper-sized) courgette and first crop of French Beans.  My thoughts about one day becoming self sufficient may be a long way off!!  We are doing well with the beans though, which is just as well as our courgettes have been a real disappointment - and I had all those receipes ready too!!

A quick look on google - whatever did we do before google?! - showed that the prescribed wisdom is that courgettes don't need to be in a greenhouse - whoops!  I've managed to get as many out as I can but those in grow bags will have to remain.  Then thoughts differ, as to why my courgettes start off well and then go mouldy and brown at the end - a lack of pollination, or too damp, or too humid or some unknown reason.  My mum's courgettes are having a similar problem so maybe it's genetic?!!

Luckily my sweatpeas have been been flowering like troopers.  Not many I grant you, but enough for a small posy on my windowsill all summer and there are no signs of them letting up yet!  

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye

I'm having a bit of a summer wardrobe crisis.  (OK, you would be forgiven in thinking that this might have been a serious post!!)  Three of my much loved summer staples, the stalwarts of my wardrobe are in their last throws, i.e. they need to be thrown out!  I've worn them and worn them and worn them and now they are worn out.  This skirt is going at the waistband, although I think I can salvage that as it is inside and won't be seen.  Then there are a pair of light weight green trousers which I love.  Such a good buy, £15 about 15 years ago - not bad I'd say, but I fear that they are really beyond repair now.  Yet despite this I'm keeping them because I might just get round to making a pattern from them and trying to replicate them (Hmmmm . . .  the likelihood of that happening ?!).  Then there is a lovely white skirt with an elasticated waistband, which was such a good fit, unfortunately I discovered that I could still wear it when I was pregnant, under the bump and two pregnancies later and lots of wear pre and post pregnancy has finally meant the elastic has stretched too far that even my hips can't stop this skirts gradual descent!

It wouldn't be so bad if I had something to replace these clothes, but it is almost impossible to go shopping when you are trying to look for something similar to those much loved items.  I've come to the conclusion that I need to make my own clothes, not a new thought by any means but it seems now is the time to get back into it.  I used to make everything I wore when I was a teenager - even making my own coats.  The problem I have and one of the reasons I stopped making things was that I just can't seem to find any good fabric shops, which sell material for making clothes.  It seems everyone is so geared up to quilting these days.  So I'm sending out a call for help, if anyone knows of any good online dress fabric sites please let me know in the comments section.  Please help - my wardrobe needs YOU!