Month: August 2018

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Layout Share – Guac or Cheese?

I’ve been busy this past week finalising plans to complete the 2017 USA album. The class I took from Ali Edwards, that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, really focussed my mind and got me enthusiastic to finish this album. I have a blog post in the works about this but for now here is another fun story from those travels.

Guac or Cheese

 

The continuing love affair with Chipotle! This time in Washington. If you have not experienced this food place then you won’t know that there is always a choice of guacamole or cheese on your burrito and I always ask for a little of both or if we are getting two burritos we have guac on one and cheese on the other. I like this fun title.

I’m finding that I embellish less and less these days. Generally in my scrapbook life I am a minimalist and this page certainly proves that! Still loving white card stock and American Craft Thickers for titles though. Gotta have the Thickers.

Bloom – Be Bold

Have I mentioned that we are having an unusually hot and dry summer? Oh I have…..

You would think that all the flowers would be relishing, if not the drought, certainly the heat. But they are not. As I have said before I am watering, probably not as much as they need because I’m trying to be a responsible citizen. I’ve read on flower folks instagrams that big blooms like Dahlia’s are sulking from the weather conditions in the UK and I can concur. I have picked three Labyrinth stems so far.

But I shouldn’t complain even if the flower cropping period will be shorter this year, all the annuals are running to seed like crazy, I have picked and arranged and still enjoyed this whole flower growing process.

The vase here from about a month ago is filled with Certinthie, canon went, the last (really the last) sweet williams and Euphorbia.

Click Tick List – Update – Watch 50 New to Me Films

I had a lot of fun updating my list a couple of months ago and I have already managed to cross one of the new items off. I’ll write about it next week when I’ve snapped some pictures.

I wanted to pop in here today and share my experience so far with one of the simpler items from the list. Watch 50 new to me films between June 2018 and December 2019. I say simpler but that was only in theory because I regretted adding this t the list about five minutes after I hit publish. I am very boring when it comes to new films. I like what I like. Gav always struggles to get me to watch eight films with him when his film a day challenge rolls round in November.

But you know what? Life is funny and a couple of weeks ago, when I had a Monday off work, I sat and watched one of my favourite films on Netflix. Notting Hill.

This didn’t count of course because they have to be new to me films but it was the catalyst for a new routine of film watching. Most of what I’ve watched so far has been well within my comfort zone, romantic comedies, but I have ventured into action and drama too.

After watching about three films I decided I needed to document this experience. I ‘borrowed’ Letterfolk’s concept for their passport collection. I have followed them on instagram for a while and love their humour, ethics and products. This is what they say about these little books –

     At the heart of the Passport Collection is the challenge to experience more. Each                   blank page represents a new memory, a new adventure, a new invitation to go do.

So far it’s going well and as of today I’ve watched 11 films! What strikes me as odd is why I haven’t been regularly watching films all these years. I used to watch lots as a teenager when video was the new thing. Actually I used to watch lots in my twenties and thirties too. Maybe my love of the laptop replaced movies…… eek.

I’m finding that by watching new ones regularly I can compare them. I love that they are making me think, even the ‘sappy’ rom coms and I feel like my movie appreciation is going to grow. Of course I won’t be telling Gav that he’s had it right all these years…..

That said I am finding it hard to rate the films (I added a score out of ten to the list). But I’m doing it anyway. I think it will be interesting to look back and see what I thought was worth an 8 and if I still agree with that in five years time.

Anyway I’ll stop rambling now and go switch on the Netflix!

Photo a Day – Week Nineteen and Twenty

Another couple of weeks.

This was mid June and we hadn’t had rain for a few weeks. You can see the lawn going brown. But apart from the lack of rain I have been trying to embrace the heat. Early mornings are best.

And that sunshine has been giving us great crops of most things.

Walk before work.

Not a great photo compositionally but that blue against the burnt orange sunflower was too good to miss.

More tomatoes.

This amazing moth came to grab a snack while I was sat daydreaming. Managed to capture some video and photos. I’ve tried to identify but the images are not clear enough and there are a lot of brown moths!

Beautiful and delicious cake at friends.

Pretty little sunflower.

Evidence that H and I sat outside for breakfast after her sleepover.

Walking to work. Love the cobbles.

Reflections. Probably shouldn’t have my phone out while filling the car!

Then it was our annual trip to London with H. This is Seven Dials roundabout. I love this area and this meeting of seven streets.

Been waiting years for her to be old enough to hire the bikes!

Handed the big camera over to her on Sunday morning. She did okay.

And there we go.