Bloom 2018 – Studded with Purple

I was full of woe in my last Bloom post wasn’t I! Oh dear it must have just been one of those days.

I squeezed a few more flowers from the garden though made up of whites and greens and arranged into a hand tied bunch with some Oregano flowers for a touch of pink.

I loved doing a different sort of arranging. It makes your arm ache holding them out like that but it was good fun. And make me feel more like a real flower arranger! I was taught how to make these in a couple of classes I took here. Love her passion for all things floral.

And I liked the background of the flowers against our next door neighbours shed!

The bunch looked a bit flat to me though so before I put them in a vase I added another colour. Managed to gather just enough dark cornflowers to thread through the arrangement.

And although not quite like all the trendy florist’s offerings I rather like how it turned out in the vase.

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Photo a Day – Week Twenty Five

Here we go again…..

Making stuff.

Went to the park with these two.

What can I say?

Home grown tomatoes.

The iphone does not capture sun scenes well but I couldn’t resist sharing this early morning image. The reflections going on highlighted part of the post box at the end of our street. You can see it bottom right. Love it.

September brings a change of mugs. My most favourite pumpkin one is in the rotation.

When we were in Liverpool we wandered to the old docks. I knew there was a special post box around there somewhere I we spotted it. Now that is pretty special!

And there we go.

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The Click Tick List – See the Terracotta Warriors Exhibition in Liverpool

I stumbled on the information for this exhibition quite by accident earlier in the summer. Somewhere in the depths of my memory I knew I’d heard of this archeological find but didn’t know much about it.

We headed off last weekend to see what it was all about.

This was the first time in over ten years that the Warriors (they have been called the Terracotta Army too) have come to the UK and the curators at the World Museum in Liverpool have put together a stunning exhibition.

Both breathtaking and terrifying we walked alongside the stories of how the sculptures were made and buried with the Emperor to protect him in the afterlife.

The detail was remarkable, each figure lifesize and unique. They estimate that there are 8,000 soldiers plus horses and chariots. They are still excavating this tomb that was discovered by chance in 1974.

I would love to see them in situ (just search instagram or the internet for an idea of the scale of this tomb) but I know I’ll never go so this will have to do.

Well worth the visit.

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Layout Share – 18 Years in the Planning

This story is the axis. The reason for our trip stateside in 2017. And as you can see it was a while in the making!

18 Years in the Planning

Here’s the story –

This trip was in the plan ever since Gav and I went to see a partial eclipse in 1999 in Cornwall. I spent so much time looking at NASA map of the path of totality trying to decide the best spot to watch it. I also worried about the weather a lot too. But it all worked out. We had no idea where in Tennessee we would stop and the traffic the day before had me all worried again. But off we set and ended up in an abandoned supermarket parking lot with lots of other folk. Not too many. We met the guy with the telescope and it was perfect. And when it started it was AMAZING. So good. It was worth the wait. Truly. It was a clear (almost) sky and lovely for B, D and H to be with us too. Eerie, very emotional and will never be forgotten. And only 7 years to wait till the next one! 

This layout was a long time in the making so that matches this story perfectly. You know when you want to get it just right? SO much so that you don’t do it all…… Eventually I decided just to commit and make the page. I got the years wrong on the page, I said 9 years when it was 7 from when we saw it, only 6 now! But never mind the story is told and I like the way it turned out. Love those two photos. The one of a cross armed girl is a story all of its own but does not really need spelling out much more that she was bored!

So the big one in the book at last now on to the next.

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Bloom 2018 – Pretty Pinks and Sunny Yellows

It is the beginning of a beautiful day here in Leeds, just a hazy cloud covering. After all that hot sunshine this summer it’s still good to have more although there is a definite Autumn chill in the air. Hopefully we can have just a bit more sun to ripen our tomatoes and keep other veg going a bit longer.

Unfortunately, no amount of sun will keep the cutting patch and sweet peas going any longer. They are both all but spent. And dare I say it but I think I am happy to let the flowers go now. For this year anyway. The bees can have the blooms. Watching them gives me just as much pleasure as arranging flowers.

With this growing your own malarkey you have to accept success and failures and this summer has tested me more perhaps than our usual cooler ones. The Dahlias for example, struggle on but most plants have yet to produce a flower. Plants that would have flowered again haven’t and the borders are looking dried up and sorry for themselves.

But enough rambling……

This pretty tea glass is filled with Scabious, Antirrhinum and Helianthus and lasted over a week. Those zingy sunflowers last so well, I wish I could remember what variety they were!

I’m sure I’ll still cut a few blooms into September and I’m already looking forward to planning next year. I’ve been studying the Tulip catalogues for weeks and I’ll be sending my order for those beauties in soon. So not all doom and gloom.

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Photo a Day – Week Twenty Three and Twenty Four

Here we go with some more. Lots of summer light and garden goodness.

But first food……

Lunch.

It rained!

View on the walk to work.

Can’t wait to pick these….. but they are not ready yet.

A teeny Aubergine.

Tried the macro lens on the Bee filled Echinops. Even if they are not in focus I love the colours in this shot.

Late night building work, plus that moon in the tree tops.

The weather has returned to normal here in the UK which is chilly, but I kept my sandals on even though it was chilly.

Homegrown pak choi that looked like Matryoshka dolls.

Light.

More light. Capturing summer before it’s too late! And just look at that Dahlia. So amazing.

More bees on the Echinops.

Overseeing the weeding.

Things we shouldn’t be eating sat in pretty light.

And there we go.

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Layout Share – Remember

Still working on finishing the 2017 album. We were there this time last year!

Anyway another Washington D.C layout.

Remember

Here’s the story –

I want to remember this place. I want to remember the heat, that Gav and I headed straight into the shade on the steps. I want to remember that pool didn’t have water in it last time we were here.I want to remember the crowds and the buzzing of it all. I want to remember the reason for this amazing memorial, how Americans celebrate their history. I’ll always remember. 

Such a good place to visit. And I was trying to convey that in my words. The simple act of going and soaking up the atmosphere taking a breath and remembering all of it. And I really wanted to include that photo my niece snapped of Gav and I in amongst the crowds! Now I look again at the layout I think I’ll find a larger piece of vellum and cover the whole photo with just me and he in the cutout circle.

Another tale in the books.

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Bloom 2018 – Gold and Blue

When I call in at charity shops in search for more Jack I always look at the selection of vases they have too. Last year I bought this sweet glazed brown vase for around 99p.

The round body and narrow neck make it good for little arrangements like this one.

We may have seen the last of any long stems this year so I am filling smaller vases instead and getting just as much pleasure from them.

Here we have Ammi visnaga, Saliva, Helianthus and Centaurea in both the blue and purple varieties. This shelf is in our hallway and I thought the bright yellow sunflowers picked out the stained glass of the window perfectly.

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Click Tick List – Sew an Item of Clothing

At some point in my teenage years I made a top and trousers for a school class. As far as I can remember that was the first and last time I made clothes.

I’ve been following Elise’s sewing exploits with interest for a while now and decided that I could add another hobby to my ever growing list!

Adding this onto my list was one way to make sure I did it.

I signed up for a free trail over at the Creative Bug a few months ago and one of the classes was to make Shirt No 1 by 100 Acts of Sewing. This was the top that I’d seen Elise make so I downloaded the pattern and slowly, step by step began.

I have to say that this is a great pattern for a beginner. Only two pieces to cut and the neck, hem and sleeves to finish. I complicated it by following one of the variations show in the class as I really wanted to use that orange material with the linen.

I was perhaps half way through making the shirt above when I saw this grey spotty fabric and had to buy it for another shirt.

Unfortunately, however beautiful that grey spot is the material was way too thick. It doesn’t drape as you really need a shape like this to do. But I still love it and I’m sure it will after some washing it will soften up.

I think that I have always steered clear of sewing clothes because I know it isn’t easy. I know that often it is trial and error because a pattern you buy will not fit you exactly and it can be very frustrating not to understand where you went wrong, or rather where you need to adjust the paper pattern in order to get a better fit. Google is always a good friend in these circumstances although another class that I watched at Creative Bug was a pattern drafting class and this gave a wealth of information and was full of tips and tricks for getting a better fit.

In the spirit of practice and trying to weave making clothes into my normal life I have made a list of what I think I’ve learned from these two sewing projects –

  • I need to develop more patience and accept that I’ll have to rip out seams to get something right.
  • Read the instructions about types of fabric best suited to the pattern.
  • I need to actually make more stuff! It’s no good just watching videos. To improve and get better I need to make clothes.
  • When I make this top again add a couple of inches to the length.
  • Watch the neckline on the top too. They are both fine but I think I’d prefer it less wide at the tops of my shoulders.
  • Remember the tip about turning up a hem to avoid ‘bubbles’.

Here’s to slow fashion, practice and general creativeness.

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Photo a Day – Week Twenty One and Twenty Two

Another couple of weeks to share.

Enjoying his naps.

Blueberries!

And more produce from the garden.

A wonderful sunset sky as I took Buddy round the block.

Someone is happy with his borrowed cement mixer.

Just happened to have the big camera with me when I spotted a little Robin resting on the fence. I think he was warm hence his beak open, or hungry!

Perfect Sunday morning.

A cluster of winged things on the Echinops.

Shadows.

The apple tree is looking great.

Pretty light on this Scabious.

Turned blackberries into dessert.

Lovely hover flies on the Asters.

Contrails.

On a weekend morning when the skies are blue and the weather is kind enough to let us sit outside Gav and I play this silly game where we try and guess where a plane is going. A few weekends ago I got two right! Ha. Just luck but it is fun and makes us laugh.

And there we go.

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