Tuesday 26 January 2016

Winter in the garden

 This was the sky at sunrise this morning and today has proved to be rather windy, with rubbish bins blowing over outside.  'Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning' indeed.
In the garden, the snowdrops are in flower and these started flowering in December.
 I think this variety came from my mum's garden.
 The winter flowering jasmine still has a few flowers in it, and you can see the leaves starting to grow.  It began flowering in December too.
The winter flowering honeysuckle is also still in bloom, and yes, this also started flowering in December, which is really early for this plant.  Normally, it doesn't start flowering until late January.
It really needs a bit of sun in order to release the beautiful lily of the valley fragrance.  Lots of bulbs are starting to show their leaves too and there are more snowdrops to look forward too.  I haven't spent that much time in the garden recently, but I have been making plans.  Lots of plants need to be re-potted...

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Mystery bulbs and how sometimes I am not such a good gardener

 On one of my meanders down the garden, I noticed some bulbs which had obviously fallen out of a pot, lying on the top on a larger pot.  There was no name with them, so I am not sure whether they are snowdrops, grape hyacinths, crocuses, scillas, pushkinias, snake's head fritillaries or something else.  I felt really sorry for them as they were doing their best to grow with no soil.
 Then I saw these bulbs, half in a pot, again, doing their best to grow.  I really am not a very good gardener when I let this happen!  Still, giving myself a talking to, I replanted them on a very cold morning last weekend.
 Here are the little bulbs safely in a pot now...
...and the bigger ones, decently covered up.  I now have to wait and see what they are.  Note to self: keep an eye on pots of bulbs and try to remember to label them!

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Bother, Bother, Bother that cat!

For anyone who knows the Mog stories by Judith Kerr, the title of this post will be familiar.  Mog gets into all kinds of scrapes which her family are increasingly exasperated by until she starts licking Debbie's hair during the night and making her think she's being eaten by a tiger.  However, in the end, she saves the day and is a hero.  While Scruffy hasn't been giving us bad dreams (I am pleased to say) he has been in yet another scrape recently.
(He doesn't like having his photo taken and usually closes his eyes - I was lucky in this photo because he wasn't looking straight at me. )
 See - closes his eyes...
And again in this photo...
Scruffy has always been a bit of a worry.  He has an itchy skin condition which means a trip to the vet for a steroid injection every few months.   He is also a bit of a bruiser when he is patrolling his territory and has had a few injuries from some of the many cats that live around the area.  He was a bit subdued last Thursday night and Friday morning and on Friday evening, when we got home, we noticed blood on his neck.  Luckily the vet could fit us in and off we went.  He had been fighting and had received a bite on his neck which had become infected.  The vet sorted him out and said he had been really lucky because the bite was nasty and had been very near an artery!
So, he is taking his antibiotics and we are relieved that he doesn't seem to be staying outside for quite so long.  He is the most bothersome cat we have ever had, but we do love him!

Wednesday 6 January 2016

12 Days of Christmas Swap - the results!

 The Twelve Days of Christmas have some to an end and so has the swap, organised by Jo at Through the Keyhole.  I was partnered up with Sally at Crafty Northerner.  We did the usual checking each other's blogs and emailing to find out particular likes and dislikes and then got making, buying, wrapping and posting.  I really enjoyed this swap and received some wonderful gifts.
 A week planner and pencil; snowman socks; Star Baker notebook (perfect for special recipes), hundreds and thousands and a cake fridge magnet; heart ribbon and Christmas baubles ribbon.
 Then there was: a bag of glass beads; some gorgeous red and white Scandi inspired material; The Miniaturist novel; a red bead bracelet.
 The final four gifts were: a bag of assorted pretty buttons and a crocheted star brooch; a felt Christmas tree decoration; magnetic pegs; some luxurious glitter paper.  Didn't I do well?  Sally managed this despite having a house for sale and getting sorted, so a HUGE thank you goes to her!
It's interesting how similar some of the things we sent were. Sally told me she liked flamingos, blue, making cards and baking, so off I went...  I sent her a little pack of papers and card making bits and pieces; some ribbon; some magnets and magnet pegs; a notebook with a flamingo painted on it; a set of Christmas cake cases with some chocs, a blue bracelet; a pair of earrings; a blue keyring; some pens; a felt star decoration; flamingo bunting and a cuddly flamingo (yes, there was a little bit of a theme!)
I was especially pleased to have been able to find the different flamingo material and Chris liked the finished bunting, suggesting that we should have some for us as well!
Many thanks go to Jo for doing all the organising (I really hope she'll run the swap again next year because it was lovely to put together all the gifts and made Christmas last just that little bit longer) and also to Sally for being such a great swap partner.

Friday 1 January 2016

Happy New Year 2016

 Happy New Year!  
(Photos from Daily Mail online)
As has become a bit of a tradition with my blog, today is the day I review my aims for 2015 and decide on aims for 2016.

  • Make more felt - total failure here as I haven't made any new felt pieces in the last year.  I have used my felt to make lots of things, but I need to make sure I keep going with my felt making. Jewellery making and sewing seem to have taken over during the last year, but I'm sure I can find a bit more time for all of them!
  • Read interesting books - success again with this aim as I have read some fascinating books this year: The Lost Pre-Raphaelite, The history of Colour, The Criminal Conversations of Mrs Norton (about the first woman to bring to public notice the way the law did not recognise women), a biography of Louisa M Alcott, Jonathan Srange and Mr Norrell,  the Merry Hall Trilogy by Beverley Nichols...in total, 63.
  • Be Creative - I continued with various creative activities including starting kumihimo, using a heat gun to emboss stamped images, using foil flakes to embellish stamped images, more sewing, gardening. This will be a continued aim for this year too.
  • Get rid of/donate things I do not want or need - this is ongoing but has become more pressing now as we have both decided we have too much stuff, and it is beginning to depress us.  The time has come to really get to grips with it and decide what we do need/want and get rid of things we don't.  It sounds easy, doesn't it, but it isn't!  However, this is a major aim for both of us for 2016.
So, no new aims there - but enough to keep me busy and creative in 2016.
 Happy New Year to you all and I hope it is a healthy and prosperous one.