Sunday, 24 June 2012

More photos of the garden

Mini in the fern bed

Beds, bottle wall and lawn

Strawberry patch, veg patch (lettuce, garlic, onions, pumpkin, courgette, potatoes, peas, beans, asparagus, jerusalem artichokes, rhubarb, radish, beetroot, toms, cauliflower and edible oxalis) and greenhouse (chilli, pepper, cucumber, toms, basil, aubergine, oranges and lemons)

Fruit walkway - raspberry, gooseberry, red and white currants, apple, fig and peach

Quince, wallflowers, grasses and a whole host of other plants and flowers that I can't remember the names of!
My apricoty-peachy colour themed bed - made up in an old Belfast sink. I love the osteospernum and diascia in this. I searched for this particular diascia (called Apricot, I think) everywhere for a whole year after I fell in love with them at a garden I visited down in Dorset and finally found them a few weeks ago at a nursery round the corner from home!

And finally...
Merky in my allium barrel - look at the cheeky monkey with his tongue out!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

No place like home

Mini and Merky back out in the garden sniffing around and familiarising themselves - I missed them so much!
Back from a glorious 2 weeks in Italy for our honeymoon - more on that later once I've sorted through the 600-odd photos...Even though I had an amazing time, it's lovely to be back home - and to have the cats back after what feels like a lifetime away from them!
The garden has suddenly gone crazy while we've been away so today has been mostly spent pruning, tying back and generally tidying up the place. I can't believe how much everything has grown! Just look at my alliums too, they're monsters.

And this aquilegia is lovely - I'm not a huge fan of them in general but this one is so pretty!
I also managed to cut a few roses and lupins to brighten up the lounge
We had a mini harvest too - firstly some of our garlic...
Garlic hanging out to dry
...and also some tiny oranges from a tree that was a wedding present

The mini oranges were on the bitter side so I thought, why not try making marmalade with them? I've never done this before so I was a little bit nervous about how it would turn out. I looked up some recipes and decided on Delia Smith, I mean surely Delia knows preserves, right? It was really easy to follow, except that I did take my eye off it for a while and realised when I went back that all the water had evaporated, oops! Luckily it hadn't burned so I saved it with some more water. I then realised I didn't have enough granulated sugar so ended up using a mixture of granulated, dark brown and icing. Yep, not classic...
Jarred up
Anyway, my timing was a bit off with the boiling but it turned out ok - a really nice, orangey flavour; a bit sweeter than I would have liked (I think that must have been the icing sugar) and also a bit on the slightly-too-hard-side. I have a feeling that it might go rock hard once it cools and sets...!

Still, a good day all round. Home sweet home, eh?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Another project of the purse variety!

Cosmetic bag based on a pattern from Sew Spoiled.
I made it as a birthday present for my mother-in-law. I'm not sure what the fabrics are - the outer I got from a craft show last year at the NEC in Birmingham and I think I got the lining material from eBay.
I still can't quite get the hang of zips though - they're so fiddly to insert and I just can't seem to get them to line up properly. I've just ordered a job lot from eBay so I can practice, practice, practice...

I'm also entering this cosmetic bag in the Purse Palooza!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Borsa per Italia

I've finished my first proper big bag! I wanted to make something to take on honeymoon to Italy that would hold more than just my wallet and phone. I saw the Wasp bag pattern from machen/machen and have wanted to make it for ages and thought it would be perfect for my trip. I've had the fabric for a while too - both from a stall at the Birmingham Rag Market, 100% cotton. (In fact, I initially made an elasticated skirt from the lining material but didn't like the way it turned out)

Then I saw that Sara over at Sew Sweetness was holding a Purse Palooza so I had to hang on even longer to be eligible to enter it in the competition! Anyway, I love the way it's turned out. The pattern was fairly easy to follow but I did modify it a bit as I wanted the handles incorporated into the bag rather than being on either side as I thought it would be more sturdy.

I also made a matching coin/card purse based on the zippy wallet tutorial by noodlehead.

I really enjoyed making the bag and am really looking forward to taking it out and about in Italy - I hope I look as stylish as the locals...!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Jubilee Cake!

My contribution to our work Jubilee Party tomorrow - carrot cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. Not the best icing in the world by any account but it definitely tastes nice...I think more may have wound up in my tummy than on the cake!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

What to do when it's pouring with rain....

...on the Queen's Jubilee weekend?

Why, sew of course!

So far, I've made a waterproof pouch to hold shampoo, showergel, toothpaste etc for when we go on holiday. The hubby found an old tent that is no longer usable in the depths of the garage/shed (I would call it more of a pigsty/dump...) and it was perfect for the job.

Sorry, it's a bit creased!
I've also started cutting fabric in readiness for the Summer Sewing Contest at Ellison Lane and the Purse Palooza. I'll need to get a move on with these as I only have a little bit of time before I go on holiday to finish the bags/purses, photograph them, write a blog post AND enter into the competitions. And that's as well as work, being on call, baking a cake for our work Jubilee Party and packing... it's going to be a busy week.

Happy Jubilee!