Friday, 30 March 2012

Charity Shop Finds

I picked up this pretty little hand knitted and embroidered tea cosy a few days ago in the charity shop for £1.
 This is the back ....
 and this is the front with roses growing around the door and cottage garden plants everywhere. How sweet. 
 I also picked up this pretty trio set. I just love the pink roses and polka dot design.
 Also a few retro pieces. 
 This set has hand painted orange & green detail and reminds me of the china I think my husband's nan used to have.
 I love the design and colour of these pieces.
 This is a pretty framed print I found. Very idyllic....a country cottage in Springtime with white blossom, chickens and a lovely stream. I think I will just stare at this one and dream!

 This is a framed watercolour & ink print which captured my eye. It has been printed on a textured surface so is hard to tell that it is a print.
 The lady in the charity shop said that the 'BM' on the boat is the mark for Brixham so this maybe a picture of Brixham Harbour, a fishing port in Torbay, Devon.

I have quite a few pictures that need hanging so I think during the Easter break I shall try to get some of them up!
Hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Time for Tea

This is a little embroidery hoop I stitched for my eldest daughter's birthday last week.

 Inspired by some cups and saucers I had photographed .......
The image was drawn onto the fabric freehand using a transfer pencil (the type that disappears when you rub it gently with a damp cloth). I used iron on interfacing on the fabric for the bunting to stop it fraying.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Thrifty Finds

An attractively shaped heavy glass vase - about 10" tall. Probably 1930's I would say by the angular shapes.
 A little china cat holding a ball of wool.  
 A pretty blue glass jam pot
 A little blue picnic basket containing....
 a miniature teaset
 Teapot, milk jug, sugar bowl, cups, saucers & spoons.
A cotton top for 40p which I bought for the pretty fabric.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

This week on the Allotment

 I arrived at the allotment in fog again early Friday morning but was cheered by this beautiful display of daffodils on one of the plots.
Aren't they beautiful?
Looking across another very productive plot. I was very lucky to receive lots of lovely fresh strawberries & veg from this plot holder last summer as I was digging and clearing my own plot. Everyone is so helpful, friendly & generous. 
Signs of Spring starting to appear with yellow Polyanthus flowering and plots being cleared for planting. 
 I'm very pleased to say that all of the four fruit trees I planted last month are showing signs of new growth. The old plum tree is already beginning to blossom. I missed this last year as I didn't take my plot on until May. 
 I planted a row of Maris Peer (second early) potatoes. I still have more to go in as well as my Main Crop potatoes but need to do some more digging & weeding first.

I eventually finished planting up my raised bed with strawberry plants. Hopefully I'll be rewarded with a bountiful crop (well at least a few)!
  The Rhubarb has almost doubled in size since last week. It probably appreciated the good downpour we had as well as the lovely warmth & sunshine. My neighbour has now given me her recipe for Rhubarb & Mint Jam so I'm hoping to make some of my own soon.
The forsythia is flowering in the garden. I brought a few branches indoors and put them in a jug as they are so pretty.  Has anyone else noticed the magnificent magnolias flowering this week? They look so lovely. 
Hope you have a great week.

No More Plants....

Well maybe just room for a few more!

I popped into Wilko's in the week to browse the gardening section when I spotted some reduced plants desperately in need of some tlc. 
Well I couldn't just leave them could I?

Two Buddleia 'Pink Delight' bushes reduced from £3.48 to 50p each - pretty pink flowers with orange eyes - a bee and butterfly magnet. I've given them a good soak, repotted them and lightly pruned them. One for the garden and one for the allotment.

A pretty Hydrangea shrub 'Masja' - large, showy red flowers with dark green foliage reduced from £3.48 to £1.

A very pretty white and green Hellebore 'Niger' reduced from £3.98 to 50p still with lots of flower buds.
These are all hardy perennials so will hopefully give me colour in the garden  and at the allotment for years to come.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Vintage Greetings Cards

I was sorting through some boxes a few days ago and came across a small collection of old greeting cards. A few I collected years ago and some were given to me by my grandmother.
A Birthday Greetings Card which I remember using for inspiration to paint my own cards when I was in my early teens.

One of my favourite cards - the colours are so pretty.
A musical pin cushion maybe?

A Christmas card dated 1926. I love the scenery and muted colours in this print.

A Birthday postcard dated 1934

Happy Birthday Emma


Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you 
Happy 19th Birthday Dear Emma
Happy Birthday to you!

My daughter Emma is 19 today. She's at university so it will be her first Birthday away from home.
 Sad mum ;( 
Look forward to seeing you next week Emma!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

This week on the Allotment

I had a productive day at the allotment on Thursday.
I arrived shrouded in fog but this soon lifted and the sun broke through and warmed me up. 

I planted a couple of rows of 'First Early' potatoes Pentland Javelin & Swift (6" deep, 12" apart) and earthed them up 4-6".
The gap in the row is where I have a large comfrey plant whose roots are so deep I've decided to leave it.
 I began planting my strawberry plants in the raised bed  I had prepared with a mulch sheet last week. It was a bit fiddly cutting the sheet and planting the strawberries but hopefully it'll save time in the long run not having to weed. 

I also planted my redcurrant & blackcurrant fruit bushes.
I was given some leek seedlings which had self seeded on a fellow plot holders site. I soaked them in water before planting.
I placed the leeks in holes 6" deep, 12" apart and then filled each hole with water. Once the water had drained I replaced the soil to help blanch the stems. 
I temporarily uncovered my Broad beans which appear to be growing well.
The leaves of my Rhubarb are starting to unfurl. 
I can't wait to start picking it! 

 At home I've placed my dahlia tubers in trays of damp compost in the porch to start them into growth & hopefully get some cuttings. These are the open flowered dahlias preferred by the bees.
Pompom dahlias, mixed colours 
 Cactus dahlia 'Pink Princess'
 Lay the tubers on a tray of damp compost
 Cover the tubers with compost leaving the main stems exposed and place in a light, frost free place like a porch or shed.
The garlic bulbs I planted only last week are already starting to grow. Once these have put on a little more growth I shall plant them at the allotment.
The birds have been busy in the garden collecting nesting material. This is last years nest that I removed from the nesting box in the New Year when I cleaned it out (now in the compost heap). I'm always amazed by the beautiful layers of material they use. We have a pair of Great Tits making a nest in our box at the moment and I think we may have a Robin nesting in the bush.
Hope everyone has a lovely sunny week ahead.