Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Stained glass

Briony, you asked what the thing hanging down in the last photo is.  It's a piece of stained glass that I made a very long time ago. Tony and I took stained glass classes for a couple of years at night school back in the days when Adult Education classes actually included some that were great fun. Cutbacks got rid of all those lovely fun things but we now have all the kit and caboodle to enjoy playing with gorgeous coloured glass when the mood takes us. We have a smashing (no pun intended) glass cutting machine and all the hand tools required. It's a lovely hobby and one that we both enjoyed immensely.

This video link below is similar to one we watched several times before we bought the saw....  

All the glass below was cut before we ever bought the saw. We learned on hand tools and are quite the dab hand at glass cutting

Stained glass balloons

Stained glass heart

Glass bird

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Entertaining this evening

Tonight we are having some friends over for a social evening so we are heading out early to get some nice nibbles in.  When I say early I mean as soon as is sufficiently decent an hour to get himself out of bed.  He thinks nothing of waking me at six every morning but I wouldn't dream of waking him up if we weren't having company.  He suggested 8.30...  No flipping chance.  I am not standing in a supermarket queue fighting hordes of weekend shoppers. It will be 7.30 this morning.  He can sleep all day tomorrow if he wants to.
I spent ages down the secret garden yesterday, I planted all manner of packets of new and old seed to see if any of it will sprout.  The soil down there is amazing and the rain overnight was very welcome. In truth I am not too bothered about growing veggies down there as I think I will fight a losing battle with the pigeons. I plan to use it more for cuttings of my garden shrubs.  I might see if I can grow enough to make it worth having a sale of plants next year at a local car boot sale. I've hundreds of plant pots in my greenhouse and this time next year everything will have rooted nicely. The variegated privet that I trimmed earlier this year is looking fantastic and I stuck all the trimmings into the soil around the garden. They all rooted beautifully and I gave some of them to my friend Jayne for her 'new build house garden'. I intend to move them down to the secret garden to grow on for next year.. Watch this space.

Look how much the variegated privet has grown so far this year

Good job we covered the table. Look at the pool of water on it

It's looking very lush and green at the moment. Lovely rain thank you. 

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Really simple transparent Face Shield

This morning I went upstairs to sort out the big cupboard in my craft room.  I pulled all sorts of junk out of the cupboard when I spotted my laminator and had a eureka moment. I wondered if I could make a face shield using nothing more than a laminating pouch and a piece of thick wadding.. So I did... It worked.
Run the laminating pouch through your laminator and then let it cool
Now this isn't crystal clear and I don't know whether better quality pouches would give a better result but this is fine if you had to go somewhere in an emergency and wanted to shield your face.  The piece of wadding is necessary to hold the plastic away from your face. A rolled up face cloth or piece of old towel would work just as well. I used ribbon for my ties but elastic would be better.. If you give it a try don't forget to round off the bottom corners so they don't dig in your shoulders.

A thought provoking video

This is interesting and very thought provoking

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Visit from the Cherry fairy

Before I start this post can I ask whether anyone has heard from Sheila. I am getting quite concerned about her and hope everything is ok


I've had a busy old day so far.  I went for  my second walk of the day and picked a load of cherries. When I got back I gave them a quick rinse before sharing them out into boxes and leaving on the doorsteps of some of my neighbours. I had a quick cuppa with my neighbour Joan when I took her some cherries.  She handed me a pile of sachets of some fancy coffee that Bryan liked to drink. It's hard to believe that he is gone, he was such a lovely man.
It's a crying shame that I can't use more of the cherries as the trees as dripping with them right now.  Locally there are a couple of walnut trees and there is a cracking crop on them at the moment.  Such a pity that the squirrels take them before they are ripe as I could use them in all manner of things. Brambles look like being a good crop this year so I will make a batch of jam at the end of summer.  I love to see cupboards filled with home made preserves and really must get back into doing that.

Cherries for the neighbours
I've cooked a spicy sausage and red pepper casserole for tea and then made a beef, caulifower and pepper curry for tomorrows tea.  Can you tell that I have peppers to use up  😊

Growing stuff

The summer is chugging along nicely thought it has turned quite chilly. I am back into my winter coat when I go for my early walk. At the moment my tomato plants are doing really well. I gave up trying to grow them in the pond as they turned out to be large plants rather than the little bush ones that I had assumed they were. I will certainly try again next year though as I think it's a good way to utilise the space. My current obsession is watching self sufficiency videos on you tube... Oh my word I would love a patch of land. Sadly that isn't Tony's dream so it is never going to happen for me.  I will just have to make do with what I have. At least I have the space to grown and create a garden. I would hate to live in an apartment in a city with little more than a balcony. Give me blue skies and green fields any day. Just heading out for a walk and then I plan to make a start on another quilt. I will tell you all about it in another post.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Brightlingsea Open Gardens

Tony and I are bitterly disappointed that we aren't able to visit the Brightlingsea open gardens this year. It had been our intention to have a few days visiting Brightlingsea and some trips out with our friends Anona and Kim. We've had some smashing holidays down there but my poorly leg put paid to last years planned visit. This year it's the darn Virus.  If you are interested in a virtual wander around the beautiful gardens I've put a link on the end of this post. Who knows, you might fancy visiting Brightlingsea next year and enjoying the gardens in person... I know that we will be there. It's a lovely place to treat as a base to visit Essex and there is so much to see within a short distance.  If any of you have an open gardens event planned for next year please let me know.  Tony and I are planning a few days here and there and it's a lovely way to get the feel for an area. 


Sunday, 28 June 2020

Camping holiday

On Friday night Tony and I were so hot that we considered sleeping in the conservatory with the doors wide open.  It's not a bad idea actually and if it gets anywhere near that hot again we will bring a blow up mattress down into the conservatory and sleep in there. Who needs to go abroad when we have everything we need for the perfect camping holiday here in the garden. In fact now that I have given it some thought we might set ourselves up a 'glamping pod'. I will have a nice cold bottle of Prosecco, access to a lovely shower, some special treats to eat and my favourite music playing softly in the background. I could borrow the gazebo from my son and put it up to cover the French windows leading into the garden. A bit of pretty bunting and a few solar powered fairy lights and who would know it wasn't my garden  :-)

Last night we had a lovely socially distanced evening with our friends.  It was great to have some different chitchat and we were well fed and watered by the time we left for home. Today we had Alexander and Beckah over for lunch. I was touched when they handed us a big box of chocolates. Beckah had received loads of chocolates for her birthday so brought a box for us to share. The wedding will be here before we know it and we are so pleased that he has found  'The One'.  They make such a good couple and it's so nice to see Alexander settled and happy.

My garden at the front of the house is starting to show some promising colour. The bottlebrush shrub looks gorgeous and the bedding plants in the baskets and containers are looking really pretty. I need to find a few fragrant things for the front garden this coming year as although it's pretty there isn't really a lot of fragrant planting. I love the way gardens evolve and are never ever finished. There is always a bit of tweaking or planting to do.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Too darn hot

The rain didn't materialise last night and for the first time ever Tony brought the fan down into the sitting room.  It seemed to simply blow the hot air around the room so after watching gardeners world we headed out to the garden and did a bit of dead heading. A cheeky little Babycham left over from Christmas hit the spot very nicely when we sat in the conservatory with the French windows wide open.  It wasn't cool but it was certainly cooler than the rest of the house. I've tossed and turned in the heat all night and eventually got up just before five. It's pleasantly warm in the conservatory as I type and with a bit of luck I might just get my head down and have a couple hours sleep before Tony gets up. No real plans for today but might visit a couple of garden centres. I would like a Kaffir Lime tree for my birthday in August so we plan to make it a mission to find somewhere that sells them.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Getting stoned this afternoon

Wait! What?  You didn't think I meant????????   OOOh you are very very naughty. 😈😈😈😈 I have been out cherry picking the neighbourhood trees today,  We have a week or two of picking fabulous fresh cherries all over the neighbourhood at this time of year. My friend and I go out and gather kilos of them.  Todays bounty will be eaten this weekend but next week I plan to make some cherry infused brandy to put away for Christmas.  Does anyone know whether Cherries make a nice flavoured gin?

730g of free cherries