Slow Sunday Haiku

Leaves falling

Showing front and back

Autumn’s here

 

It is a long time since a haiku popped into my head.

This one was inspired by this post by Mrs Gumboots.

Joining Cee’s Challenge FOTD – Autumn Leaves

Scrap Happy: Wooden Ladder

I saw an old wooden ladder lying at the back of my daughter’s woodshed.

They said I could have it as we, in the UK, are no longer able to use wooden ladders for their intended purpose – health and safety.

So …..

It is now above my woodburner as a drying rack for clothes in the Winter and a place to dry herbs and flowers and hang crochet mandalas in the Summer.

This is it in its raw state, before I treated it for woodworm and waxed and oiled it. The brackets are not the ones I wanted – I had to grab Dave, the local handiman, between jobs when he could put it up for me, so these were the only brackets I could get locally on that day.

He told me that you can treat woodworm with White Spirit, so I took the ladder down again and painted on lashings of the stuff – the ladder soaked up the White Spirit like a sponge and I gave it 3 generous treatments. Later on I found a small can of woodworm treament at the back of a cupboard and treated it with that as well.

I knew the wood would need feeding but when I tried wax and oil on the bit of ladder that had been cut off, the wood went very dark. So I Lime Waxed it first.

You brush the wood, going with the grain, with a wire brush, then rub in the Lime Wax with wire wool. After Liming it I gave the whole ladder and the rusty bits two coats of the Finishing Oil.

(Those are Marmoleum floor samples under the oil – as far as I can tell Marmoleum is one of the most environmentally friendly flooring material one can get here in UK – let me know if you know otherwise. I am going to go for the Turquoise one on top for most of the ground floor in my house – I am so fed up with carpets!)

Ta Dah!

I am thrilled with it – it actually makes the room feel taller and larger.

The wonderful rusty spring on the left is a present from a friend who knows my love of rusty old items. Her son now farms the farm where my Dad grew up, and she found it there and knew I would love it even more because of the connection. What a kind thought – Lucky me!! It is GORGEOUS – so big and heavy.

The woodburner is all ready to go: to heat water, cook delicious stews and dry clothes. Making that space as multi-functional as possible in true Permaculture style!

I haven’t lit a fire yet as it has been so mild here, but I am sure it won’t be too long.

I am joining Kate for her monthly Scrap Happy gathering – pop on over and see how others have been using up their scraps.

Crochet Mandalas, another batch.

The pattern: Arwen by Zoya Matyushenko 

made with Juna Luna 2ply gradient yarn and a 3mm hook

This one is fixed to a 60cm hoop which I got from Dannell’s (UK)

I have a batch of mandalas waiting to be attached to hoops

The crocheting is the most enjoyable part, but then the ends need sewing in and I wash the doilies so that as much grease from my hands has been removed as possible. They are then first attached to the hoop with stitch markers and then sewn onto the hoop.

I have noticed that although I make the mandalas as taught as possible, over time they stretch and become floppy. From now on I will sew them on with a contrasting thread so that I can remove it if necessary at a later date. I will then be able to attach them to a sightly bigger hoop.

My collection is building. I have made 24 in all, and have given a few of them as presents. I have kept 17 and have five more to fix to hoops.

This obsession is still going strong!

Ethical Socks?

I needed some new black socks and so I Googled ‘ethical socks UK’.

Lots of sites came up.

I hate pairing socks so I only want to buy plain black ones from now on. For ethical reasons I don’t buy from Amazon. This narrowed my choice and I decided on The Sock Shop.

On the same day my Smol laundry detergent arrived by post – another attempt at being green and ethical in my purchases.

SOCKS – The good:

made with bamboo, not cotton

they came in paper packaging

they did not have those hideous plastic paddle tags to hold them together, but were sewn to the card label

The bad:

They came with plastic hooks

They were made in China (I should have checked this out before I bought them)

They looked black on the website, but they are grey – not terrible, but they feel like school socks!

So

I wrote to the company and got this reply

Hi Sandra, Thanks for your feedback. We try to make our socks as environmentally friendly as possible and we appreciate your feedback regarding this. I shall pass on this feedback to the relevant department.

Kind regards, Rebecca, SOCKSHOP

~~~~~~~

You might be tempted to suggest I knit or crochet my own, but making socks has never appealed. I do admire those I see, but I really don’t think I will ever make any.

For those of you who love handknitted socks you might be interested in this site KDD&Co

If you know of any ethical, environmentally friendly, plain black socks that are not made in China please let me know. 🙂

EDIT: A friend has told me about the compnay ‘Cambridge Baby’ and I contacted them. Their socks are made in Germany using organic cotton and wool, I ordered 2 pairs and I am very pleased with them.(no plastic used in the packaging)

Doodles and what to do with them.

This is a page out of a sketch pad that sits in my back pack in the car. I tore it out and folded it in half to make a quick little card to go with a gift.

Drawing these crossing leaves/fronds is a beautifully mindless relaxing doodle to create. It might be obvious how this develops, but in case it isn’t – here it is, step-by-step.

I start with a line – not much thought goes into it

adding more lines whilst thinking of branches

and then joining them together – as you can see I don’t feel the need to be exact – little mistakes don’t matter

The bit I like most is drawing these wiggly fronds to go under ones already drawn.

I can drift off into a reverie whilst drawing these, so absorbing.

And then the colouring in …

and adding a few spirals and dotty flowers to the background, ready to tear out and

make another little card.

Not great art, but very enjoyable to do in odd moments.

In a Vase on Monday

Fennel, white salvia, golden privet, pale lilac aster and calendula.

This is not a very inspiring vase, but the orange calendula lifts it up. I have to admit gardening has been a struggle for me this year, partly because of the weather and the depressing relentless onslaught of marestail but mainly because of having Sciatica from May onwards – Yikes! What agony!!!

Mercifully it is much easier to live with now. Have you ever had Sciatica? My sympathies if you have – it is grim!

To cheer myself up I ordered some irises from

https://www.chailey-iris.co.uk

There was a Sale ….I got a bit carried away.

I bought 3 of  ‘Little Surprise’,  I just love the mix of soft pink, pale lavender, cream and palest green in the flower;

one Bright Flash, a smaller iris with deep rich purple flowers;  and some that were cheaper as they do not have a label. It will be fun to see what they are.

I ordered some irises last year and they were a magnet for slugs in the flower bed so I am going to try some in the waist high growing troughs I have just outside my front door. Hopefully I will be able to keep an eye on them here until they are grown-up enough to face life in the jungle.

I have filled in an old leaky pond and have planted some Siberica Irises and Lythrum Salicaria ‘Blush’ from http://www.dorsetperennials.co.uk

The Siberica Irises I chose are 3 of White Swirl  and some mystery mixed colours. I will have to make sure these are well watered until we get some more rain.

I am joining in with Cathy at ‘Rambling in the Garden’ for her ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme.

A favourite place

In April

and on the last day of the Summer Holidays (this week) with the boys

a wonderful place to cool off

and build on happy memories in a favourite place.

A Comfort Book

This is such an inspiring post about another sort of Stitchbook, that I just had to repost it so that I can share it with you, but also so that I can find it again easily myself. Thank you so much Margaret for this wonderful idea.

thecraftycreek

Ever had an idea and just run with it…

A friend who is going through difficult times at the moment recently posted on facebook that she had heard about comfort boxes, the idea being that friends and family wrote something nice about you and when you’re feeling low you can read the comments for a pick-me-up. Lots of people wrote comments.

I suddenly had the idea that if you made a little fabric book with pockets in, you could put messages in there and carry it with you, a little book of comfort.

I felt it needed some words running through it and chose a poem from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. I selected some variegated thread and stitched the lines of the poem with simple back-stitch.

The pages sort of came together as I went along, finding fabrics that worked as I stitched. My friend has very different…

View original post 339 more words

Inspired by Japanese Boro

I am a member of The Stitchbook Collective

After our Stitchbooks were finished we had an opportunity to sign up for Year 2, in which we have been given supplies and video tutorials for more projects.

For one reason and another, my life has reduced the amount of crafty projects and blogging I have been doing over the last year or so. I have not been stitching as much as would have liked to.

However when this latest project arrived from Helen, all other things had to be put aside! A group project to use scraps of denim fabric and Boro-like stitching to create squares of simlar sizes, for Helen to stitch together into a wearable Kimon0 that will be raffled in aid of MIND, the mental health charity.

I love all things Japanese, and was lucky enough to go on a textile tour to Japan in 2015 We went to a museum with wonderful Boro displays and ever since I have wanted to create something looking like this, and now here was a fantastic opportunity.

I absolutely loved doing this stitching so free and relaxing.

Helen sent us the scraps of denim and some threads, but we could also include some of our own. On my trip to Japan I had been given this skein of reject weaving thread at a weaving house we visited. The thread had been dyed by the same process as in this post

I really enjoyed using some thread from Japan in this project, even though it is hard to detect, I know it is there.

I will certainly be buying a Raffle ticket when they go on sale in November.

We are all hoping that the Knitting and Stitching Show will go ahead this year and our Stichbooks and the Kimono will be on display.

Joining in with Kate and her Happy Scrappers for Scrap Happy Day.

Marquee Mandalas

 

Do you remember I had a wish to see my crocheted mandalas as decorations at a wedding? Many of you know that my daughter is a farmer and when she was married 15 years ago, the reception was held in a marquee on the farm. Such a joyous magical day.

This summer another couple who live and work on the farm were married and they chose to put their marquee in the same spot.

The bride kindly permitted me to hang some of my mandalas from the ceiling for the occasion. I wondered how to get them up so high, but this ‘cherry picker’ ladder 

and some willing helpers, were the answer. There were 16 to go up, ranging from 20cm to 70cm diameter.

And we were pleased to see how well they went with the coloured lanterns and bunting, made from sari waste ribbons by the bride and her mother.

It was fun to see them twirling from the roof of the marquee

I think the coloured ones look best against the white of the marquee. The white ones would look good in a church and I have offered them to a local church for their next flower festival.

I estimate it would take about 50 or 60  mandalas to make a good display in a marquee, unless they were hung in just one area – perhaps over where the wedding cake was displayed or over the top table.

I am making more.

The Groom’s vintage tractor, it had belonged to his Grandfather, took pride of place at the entrance of the marquee to welcome the guests.

The weather was glorious, the setting suitably romantic

and some guests camped overnight in the bell tents provided.

They all had a wonderful time.

Congratulations H and T and thank you so much for having the mandalas as part of your fabulous day.

Edit: I forgot to mention that this lovely field is a new Pop-up Camp Site, run by my daughter and her family. You can see more photos on Instagram @_mistymeadowscamp_

on the Pitch-up website and on their own Misty Meadows website which has been created by Miss E, who is now 14!

A truly magical place to stay.

In a Vase on Monday: Alliums

I have just brought these magnificent Allium seed heads in from the garden as they were all falling over.

The painted canvas is one metre square, it nearly covers the woodburner.

I must get another larger canvas, if I can, so that I can hide the fireplace completely in the summer.

The huge opaque white glass vase is a charity shop buy and this is the first time I have had anything the right size to go in it.

I am joining Cathy for In a Vase on Monday

 

WOWbook7

It is very exciting to see one’s name in print and even more exciting to know that this blog has provided a spark of inspiration for a fellow blogger.

Amanda of ‘View From Our Hill’ contacted me about the balls I had covered with teabags. See my post here.

They had given her some ideas about how to revive some of her Temari Balls, follow the link to see her blog post about them. She told me about the article she was planning to write and asked if it was ok to mention my blog – of course I was delighted to say ‘YES’!

Amanda writes for WOWbooks and her spread appears in this latest edition. 

look a little closer

Eeek! Thank you Amanda – so thrilling! What a joy to receive this book in the post.

The book is beautifully produced. I wrote to the publishers to ask permission to post these photos and got such warm and generous replies. The book is satin-like to the touch and full of gorgeous photos, useful information and packed with ideas.

You can find previous editions on their website, and they can also be bought as PDFs.

I am really going to enjoy reading the articles and fancy having a go at the ‘Wax and Dammar’ – Dammar is a new word for me – a resin apparently. I have never done any encaustic work before and I am intrigued.

Let me know if you have worked with wax and dammar – I would love to hear any tips you might be able to pass on.

A Day with the Boys

Good morning

Good afternoon

A walk round the pond.

We wanted to identify this little bird – it was so tiny and hard to spot in the fir trees. Such a loud alarm call for a tiny bird.

Even harder to find with my phone, look at the top of the video and it will come into view

We searched the free App ‘Chirp’, I have on my phone, once we were away from the bird. (we should not play recorded birdsong near birds as it confuses them) The nearest we found was the Willow Warbler and the Chiff Chaff, but ‘Chirp’ did not have their alarm calls

So I looked on You Tube and we found this clip

We think it is a Chiff Chaff, what do you think?

After a glorious gentle summer’s day in the sunshine, a last wander before bed

Good night. 🙂

Walled Garden

This is a delightful find and not too far from where I live.

An old Walled Garden in the process of being restored by volunteers

and raising money for the village church roof fund and charities

The River Bride runs through it

and it nestles quietly in the valley in the village of Little Bredy

There is even a basket of sticks left by a bridge for playing Pooh Sticks.

This little man-made waterfall is in grounds of Bridehead, a short walk from the Walled garden.

A wonderful wander followed by a traditional English Cream Tea, which consists of a pot of tea (in this case some not-so-traditional Lemon and Ginger tea) and a scone on which to spread jam and clotted cream.

Flexacube pattern published

I just had to share this genius pattern from Rainbow Junkie!

Rainbow Junkie

You may remember that when I made this for my daughter.

original cube made

I didn’t think that the pattern I had bought worked as well for crochet as perhaps it did for knitting. It might have been better if I had some foam cubes but the cube edge size was twice as big as I wanted, which I didn’t like either, so I had done a lot of adapting.

https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2020/08/24/you-win-some-you-lose-some/

Later I made her this based on my own ideas

new version of cube

and knew that eventually I would create my own pattern.

https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2020/09/14/my-cubey-twisty-thing/

Well I have been working hard to put together a pattern for the style of cube I made but that also gave the possibility for people to choose their own colours.

I had a few small wooden cubes and here you can see the two demo cubes I made

wooden cubes

that were stuck together with sticky tape and embellished with bits of…

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In a Bunch on Monday

At last my garden has perked up and has some colour. I hurriedly put this bunch together to take to a friend

The white flowers are perennial stocks, they smell divine! Also cerinthe, quaking grass, purple loosestrife, persicaria and nigella.

This delightful fairy-like plant was in my friend’s garden

Do you know what it is?

Apparently it self seeds well and I will definitely be getting some seed later on

But neither of us know it’s name.

Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday

Crocheted Mandalas

If you have been following me for a while you know I love to turn a crocheted doily into a decorative hanging by putting it onto a metal hoop. I get the hoops from Glitterwitch and Dannells.

I discovered Zoya Matyushenko’s designs in 2017

So textured, intricate and utterly absorbing to make. This one is called Sol

Made with Scheepjes Sweet Treat, 2ply cotton thread, Colour Bridal White and a 1.25mm hook.

I love the way each round is an adventure. I could have stopped at almost any time for a beautiful piece. But this one would not lie flat. Luckily it worked well stretched on a 30m (12inch) diameter hoop. It might have worked better with a larger hook size.

Recently the idea popped into my head that I would like to see a whole bunch of white mandalas hanging up together.

So for the past few months I have been making more

Sol is the central one on the left hand side.

The largest is 70cm diameter and the two small ones are 20cm diameter.

From top left the patterns are: Mako by Zoya Matyushenko, 2.5mm hook, Scheepjes Maxi Sweet Treat, 2ply cotton, Bridal White. 35cm (14″) hoop

Calla by Zoya Matyushenko, 2.5mm hook, Scheepjes Maxi Sweet Treat, Snow White, 2ply cotton thread. 50cm

‘A Pleasure’ by Patricia Kristoffersen (free), made with Sirdar 4ply cotton and a 3.25mm hook, 70cm hoop

‘One Mini Mandala’ by Elizabeth Laitila (free) 3mm hook, 20 cm hoop,

then Sol, and below Sol is

another Zoya Matyushenko (ZM) design, Agnes, 2.5mm hook, Scheepjes Maxi Sweet Treat in Snow White,  on a 50cm (20″) hoop.

Then the 20cm diameter ‘Frozen Lotus’, by Johanna Lindahl, made with 2mm hook

above the 30cm (12″) Frozen Lotus, made with a 2.5mm hook.

Then ‘Bella’ by Olga Mattheis with 3mm hook. This was not the eassiest pattern to follow, but I got there in the end.

I am in awe of the designers of these patterns. It is intrguing to see the design come together.

My fantasy is that these would look good hanging from the ceiling of a wedding venue or a Summer Garden Party marquee. But for now I am enjoying how they twirl in the lightest of breezes and cast beautiful shadows when the light shines through them.

Sunday Saunter

Click on any photo to see it larger

We heard the cuckoo!

 

Bonfire on the Beach at Sunset

The Coastal Crochet Cal (crochet along), Picnic on the Beach, has finished and it was a joy to take part. The pace was just right and although it is not a race it is nice to keep up and be part of seeing all the amazing blankets that are being created at the same time, all over the world. I do love the sense of community that builds through the Facebook page, and by Eleonora sharing picture collages on her Instagram pages and on Facebook.

Eleonora’s video tutorials are excellent. I am excited to see what she comes up with next.

My colours were inspired by the colours I used in Attic24’s Dahlia Blanket and the sunsets I see from my west-facing sitting room window.

One was from last week

A painting in the sky.

I used Stylecraft Special DK  and a 4.5mm hook.

Colours: Lipstick, Spice, Matador, Claret, Burgundy, Clementine, Sunshine, Pomegranate, Blush, Duck Egg, Dandelion, Tomato, Storm Blue, Petrol.

In my last post about this blanket I showed you the horror of all the ends to sew in. Eleonora did provide a tutorial on how to weave them in as the Tunisian Entrlac was being worked, but there were still a LOT of ends to sew in for this blanket. Worth it though, and amazingly they are all sewn in. Sometimes it takes me months to do that job.

The blanket has been designed as a picnic blanket and so is not too big to carry around, and works very nicely as a blanket to snuggle up in on cool evenings.

Image

Silent Sunday