Saturday 29 April 2017

This week...singing, tulips and bracelets

This week, I have been taking part in a vocal workshop at a local village hall, which was great fun and from which I learnt a lot about the technical side of singing and performing. The workshop was run by Tsavocal and involved singing three songs from Les Miserables - 'Do you hear the people sing?', 'I dreamed a dream' and 'Bring him home' (none of which are that easy to sing).  It helped that I knew the songs, but it was all done by ear and was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.  I used to sing a lot; I was in a church choir for fourteen years and also joined a Gilbert and Sullivan Society for a few years, but hadn't done any 'proper' singing for ages, so it was lovely to be able to sing again (without worrying that I was annoying the neighbours!)
In other news, this week I have still been enjoying my tulips as the new Ballerina tulips I planted last autumn are flowering now.
 They are so pretty...
 ...even after the rain and hail we've had this week.
 This rogue fringed tulip which I didn't plant, which came up for a few years, then disappeared and then came up again has flowered this year too and is a welcome addition to the spring garden.
Tulip Ronaldo and Princess Irene are still flowering away and I am wondering whether next year I should plant each variety separately as well as some there's a thought.
I have also found a bracelet pattern which  I am going to try to make - a wrapped bracelet using Tila beads which are flat squares.
Photo from Jewellery Maker
These wrapped bracelets were made by Jo Barclay-Loggie and were featured on Jewellery Maker this week, which is what fired my interest.  Watch this space.

Thursday 20 April 2017


 I hope those who celebrate had a lovely Easter weekend.  Above is my seasonal tree bedecked in Easter decorations.  (I have always embraced the 'more is more' style of decoration).
 My tulips are still bringing lots of colour to the garden. Above are Purissima and Angelique which really open up in a bit of sunshine.
 Here are Ronaldo and Princess Irene showing how lovely purple and orange look when they are together.  It's one of my favourite combinations.
 Princess Irene again...
 ...and again, showing the fiery red patterns.
Finally, here is Angelique in a pot in the back garden.  I  bought these on a bit of an impulse, but now, I am pleased I did.  Every year I say that I need more tulips for the next year, and this year is no exception...I definitely need more!  They bring so much colour and pleasure every year.

Saturday 15 April 2017

Creative Projects

 I have been busy with a couple of creative projects over the last few days.  One was this MDF landscape paper storage rack which I wanted to decorate.  I painted it in a duck egg blue emulsion and then found some papers I liked to glue on.

Here it is with the top decorated.  In my head, I was after a turquoise chinoiserie pattern, but ended up with various floral designs.

 This is the pattern I chose for the top...
 ...the side...
 ...the back

...and the other side.  I do like the quirky, not matching effect.  I just need to varnish it now and then find a space on a shelf so that I can fill it up with paper.
 My other project I bought last March and it had been languishing about, waiting for me to get on with it.  It is a tote bag kit, which came with the pattern and all the material.  I ordered it from Create and Craft, but looking at the shop, it seems they only offer the pattern now, not the whole kit.   The outer is a cotton oilcloth fabric and I was interested to see how it would sew.  It was all going fine until it came to the top stitching around the top edge, then my trusty machine just couldn't get a grip on the slippery fabric.  I don't have a walking foot for my machine, so used a tip from the pattern, of placing tissue over the top, sewing through it and then removing it once finished, which worked well.
The lining fabric was a classic olive green spotty cotton.  This bag is going to get a lot of use as it will be my work bag.
I am pleased with the way these projects turned out.  I just need to get on with all the other projects waiting for me!

Thursday 6 April 2017

Early April in the Garden

 I do like this time of year - in fact I would go so far as saying that April to June is my favourite time of the year.  Everything is fresh and beautiful.
Above are tulip 'Negrita' from last year, which I forgot to remove from their pot and they have flowered again this year, so that was a lovely surprise.  This was last week.  The large expanse of gravel is in next door's garden, as since the wall came down, there is no boundary. However, we have decided to have a wall again, not a fence, so Chris has been very busy removing the remains of the wall and digging down to the foundations, ready for the new foundation and wall. It will look lovely, I'm sure. We are hoping to have it done by the summer.
 Lathyrus vernus has beautiful purples and pinks and brightens up a shady corner.
 Erythronium Pagoda looks so exotic and I am always pleased to see it back.  I took this photo last week too.
I planted a small tub of tulips in the Autumn which is brightening up the front door.  Purissima is the cream/white/green one and Angelique is the pinky/white double.
Angelique has a delicate blush of pink spreading over the petals.
 In the back garden, I have a couple of pots of lily of the valley.  I tried growing them in the border in the past but they weren't happy.  So far, they seem to like the pots.
 A Peony bud on 'Athens', I think.
Tulip Negrita this morning, opening out in the sunshine.
 My favourite, Ballerina, in the sunny border, enjoying a sunbathe.
 More Purissima and Angelique, with a Ronaldo at the back.
 Ballerina in the border.  The ones in the border have flowered much earlier than the new ones I planted last autumn.  I love the way the sun lights up the petals.
 Erythronium Pagoda this morning - lots more flowers now.
 A little group of Spring flowers - Hellebore, Pulmonaria, Lathyrus vernus, Anemone blanda, and lots of leaves,
 Magnolia Susan and the lilac tree against a Spring sky.
 I think this is Ronaldo, just getting ready to flower.
 Leaves of Camellia Yoimachi, an autumn/winter flowering camellia which I bought earlier in the year.  I am looking forward to seeing it flower later in the year.
Nemesia Confetti flowers - this plant has lasted outside over winter with no problems and has a delicate honey scent.
So, that's what I saw this morning...