Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Garden Ramblings ~ Sophie

This year seems to be rushing by and what with illness and weather I had just not got myself together with the plans I had for the garden.  I didn't start any tomatoes, shock horror!  I am a bit fed up about this as I have been experimenting for a couple of years with the best way to grow them in our little, quite shady, garden.  Last year, I sowed the seeds very early, transferred them to raised beds under tunnels and positioned them slightly higher.  This seemed to do the trick - or it could have just been a good year for tomatoes, who knows?!  I may buy some plants this week, but because I've always grown them from seed, it feels like cheating!

After a couple of weeks of better weather, I now have planted,

runner beans
a raspberry plant (just given to me, will see what happens!)
swiss chard
onions - 3 have grown lol!

I'm also going to put some french beans in pots in my mum's garden this week.  I've decided I need twice as many of both french and runners as I had last year.

My herbs which I started from seed last year are looking quite good.  These were...

lemon balm

In the picture below, the darker mint is a chocolate mint plant which was a present and smells wonderful!  I need to sort the other mint plant out as it didn't do much last year and I use it quite a bit.
 I've also got basil and oregano starting up in the 'attic greenhouse' (Gaby's room!).  I will probably keep my basil plants on the kitchen windowsill as I find this works better for me here, more sunshine :)

In other exciting garden news (for me anyway !), I have a flower coming on this Agapanthus plant which I rescued from our boys a few years ago.  After it had been unearthed on several occasions, I popped it in a pot and it's not done much since - until now whoop whoop!!

The weather has been so nice that even Willow has been outdoors, which is quite rare....

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Yarn Along

I often go over and look at Ginny's 'Yarn Along' at Small Things on a Wednesday.  It's nice to see what others are knitting and reading (although I don't really need to be tempted into buying more books right now)!  I have been thinking about joining in for a while so here goes................

I was lucky enough to receive Loani Prior's 'Really Wild Tea Cosies' for Christmas.  I love nearly all of the patterns in this book, they are such fun.  I have started with the 'Coral Punk' and it's going to be for my mum because she gave me the book! 
 (Apologies for the really poor quality photographs today, I can't work out why they are like this, I've tried in several different lights?!)

I have to make about 50 of these coral tentacles. I'm over halfway now.  Although the pattern is straightforward, it's taking me some time as I find them fiddly and get achy fingers!
As for reading, I always have far too many books on the go at once. I also often have an audio book to listen to whilst knitting or doing crochet.  I've been listening to 'The Hunger Games' trilogy, but ended up buying the books for Gaby so I've been reading the paper version of 'Mockingjay', the 3rd book.  I've loved them all. 

The other book in the picture, 'Fire Dreamer' by Beth Webb, is the second in the Star Dancer series.  I am really enjoying this series although I originally bought the first book, 'Star Dancer' for Gaby.  She was rather absorbed in all things Twilight at the time so I gave it a go myself and got hooked!  I will definitely be finishing the series.  More information about the series and Beth Webb can be found on her website -

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Decorative Name Board ~ Gaby

 As part of my New Years Resolution, I said to myself that I would decorate my room again for more of an 'older girl' look. My first idea was to use the letters in my name (G, A, B and Y) and make a decorative pattern on them. Lucky for me at a craft centre I found some 3D letters which Mum later bought for me.

To make the board I used,

  • Wooden board
  • Paint
  • Gel medium (Cool craft glue)
  • Card letters
  • Tissue paper

  First I painted the board a nude, salmon colour and let it dry. Then I stuck the tissue paper to the letters with the gel medium. After everything is dried stick the letters onto the card et voila!

iPad Stand ~ Sophie

Finally we have a working laptop again!  Hopefully our posting will be a bit more regular again now.

Over this weekend, I decided to make an iPad stand.

I saw some like this on Pinterest a while ago, and with a little Internet searching, I found a pattern for one at

Now when I say I found a pattern, that doesn't mean I followed it very well.  I am a bit of a nightmare when it comes to making these kind of things using my sewing machine.  I tend to do it all by eye, no pins, little measuring and just go for it!  This doesn't always work out for me, but this time it did :)
I'm really pleased with the results and I'm finding it very useful. I spend a lot of time bent over the iPad either when following recipes online or watching TV shows on iPlayer whilst getting on with other stuff in the kitchen.  It was only a matter of time before an accident occurred with me propping it up on tea towels etc. and this has made things a lot easier.