Friday, 24 May 2013

Nearly missed May!

Wow! Its been an exciting month for us here in Lincolnshire.I have been very busy in the garden this month & my back has been terrible. Anyway the Dr started me on some tablets I had taken before when I was working . I didn't get on with them because they made me so sleepy , but I decided to give them another try. They work! My back is easier to cope with but the downside is I sleep for England!! Oh well , I am not working at the moment so that's fine. The back pain was getting me down & bursting into tears because of it is no way to be.
Pauline chats to a lady visiting Gosberton Church during the flower festival.
 The new found mobility has enabled me to do some spinning as well. My wheel was in action over the flower festival period & my Guild group of South Holland put on a spinning display in Gosberton Church for 10 days. We all took it in turn to help out & it was a good few days. We had lots of people visiting the church & coachloads of people came form all over the country. Lots of people from Derby & Yorkshire. I was amazed at how popular it all was. The floral displays were lovely & it was a great opportunity to get my camera out & practice.

Fabulous floral displays in Gosberton Church.
 The photography course has been going great guns. I am quite pleased with the shots I have been getting. Our homework has been done every week & apart from this week we have been pleased with the shots we have been getting.
We have ducks in our dyke!! Ha ha! That sounds so funny . We really do!! Our ditch that is in front of our house has two families of little ducks in it. I saw them the other night when I came back from walking the dogs . They were swimming with their Mama duck up the stream. The water must be pretty clean here for the ducks to have decided to make it their home for the breeding season. I must try to get some pictures of them , but if you are seen by mama duck , she gets spooked & flies off , leaving her babies on their own. We have a big fox & a few cats around here so they are quite vulnerable when she is not there.

Its certainly weather for ducks this week! Poor Mr T has got quite wet with his new job , gardening. He has learnt a lot though & happily helps me in the garden now. He does all the heavy stuff I cannot do & the garden is transforming before our eyes! No longer just grass. It has trees planted & fruit bushes & veg patches & flower beds. The bulbs eventually came up & have given such a lovely display. We still have daffs in the garden & its nearly June. The tulips have been fab! Their petals slowly opening to reveal a different view inside them. I am going to plant more for next year & have some along the front hedge to give a display from the lane.

The modern court jester at Spalding Tulip parade.
 Sadly it was the last ever Spalding Tulip flower festival. It went out with a bang! We went along armed with our Canons & got some great shots. We had a lovely time & part from at the very start when it rained heavily , had a great time.

Floral floats depicting many different themes in the final Splading Tulip Parade.
The floats were fabulous & after it had passed us where we were sitting outside St Pauls Church , we walked on to the town centre & went into Ayscoughee Hall . There was an art exhibition on with a craft fare. There was some nice stuff on sale but nothing to tempt me. On we went into town & ended up at the fish & chip shop that is our favourite! You cant beat Turners in Spalding. A family run chippy restaurant that do a lovely meal.  A lot of people turned out for this historic event. So sad it was to be the last , but that is the sign of the times & without support form local business sponsors, it cannot go on.

Lots of happy people at the end of the Spalding Tulip Parade 2013, outside the Lincolnshire Poacher Pub.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Spring fever!

Finally I feel I can say that springtime has reached us here in our corner of Lincolnshire. I am excited really, but the week would have been miles better if I had not caught a cold. This is a mighty one. I think the bugs have been saving themselves up for me! All through Christmas when the family were home & they all had colds , I was fine. When we went to Austria & came back to the outlaws in full swing of colds , I was fine then. In fact , this is the first cold I have had in nearly 2 years. As a cold on its own , its not been too bad. I can cope with sniffles. The sore throat however & not being able to speak or even squeak at times has been the worse thing! Mr T however has been in heaven!!! Cheeky monkey even said that it was bliss with me being so quiet!!Moi?!!!
Anyway, apart from me dying with germs the sun has shone. I should be out there in the garden, getting seeds sown & plants dug in ,but no, I have slept the days away.Today though , I feel a bit better & I have been outside already to let the chickens out . Poor Archie Rooster has been itching to go out since 6 am. I just don't dare let him out much earlier than 7.30 am as his crow is getting so loud. Although I ply our neighbours with the odd half a dozen fresh free range blue eggs, a lay in on a Sunday morning , cannot be paid off with any amount of eggs!!I think he is so happy as spring has got to him too. Everything has started to burst into leaf , blossom & flower.Our house is almost surrounded by fields of daffodils, as far as the eye can see.They were so late to bloom & now Easter has gone, no one wants to buy them in the shops. Normally we wouldn't see them in full colour in the field but this year they are left standing & the colour is amazing!

I took these pictures this morning on a stroll to the end of our lane. If you look at the picture above you can see our house . The one on the right is ours. As you can see the daffs are amazing & this is just the field at the back of our house. If you are out driving , the scene is amazing , with lots of farm workers & pickers out in the fields.
I hope you have enjoyed these pictures. I have been using my new camera to take these. We enrolled on a camera course this week , so hopefully you should see an improvement by the end of it.
Enjoy your Sunday. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My favourite things, Mollie Makes, & the Great British Sewing Bee ,& lets Knit Socks.

Its been a glorious day here in Lincolnshire. Its been so warm that the shetland cardi I put on first thing this morning had to come off at about 11am. In terms of weather, that is amazing!
The day started off well with a lay in bed until the postman knocked. Poor guy was totally laiden. Mr T had ordered some new tools for his new job he started today. It seemed they were all delivered today via Royal Mail & I had my newest edition of Mollie Makes delivered to me & a new book I had ordered form Amazon. Its called Knit Socks by Betsy Lee McCarthy. The book is lovely & has some superb patterns for hand knitted socks which I adore making. The socks depicted on the cover are the ones I really want to make.

I really need to go through my yarn stash to see what I can use or need to order for them. The book contains 17 sock patterns. There are some great instructions on how to cast on for stretchy sock tops & how to use circular needles to knit in the round. There are also other great tips for knitters to use. I certainly would recommend this book if you are interested in making socks.
Mollie Makes is a regular through our door. There is always something I am interested in or want to make. This month is no exception! 
Look at the puppies on the front cover. They are finger puppets! Inside this month is an array of articles I cannot wait to read.
One thing I will be making is a similar fascinator to this one.
I think the placement of the rosettes will be different .We have another wedding to attend later in the year & with a posh frock , I think it will be perfect!
The rest of the day was spent outside in the sunshine, doing a bit of gardening. When Mr T had finished his job , we even sat outside & had our lunch of homemade soup with rounds of crusty bread , tomato ,ham & melted cheese. Mmmmm!!!
I have managed to get a great deal planted today. The garden is starting to come along nicely & in a few weeks we should be getting salads from it & have a few flowers growing as well. 
The chickens got moved today as well to their permanent run. They have been very helpful , turning over grassed areas for me so I have not had to work quite so hard at getting rid of turf when we have created planting beds.
Nothing is flowering yet & still the daffodils have yet to emerge. The cold weather has put everything so behind & with a very late planting of my bulbs this spring , they are even further behind everyone else. Having said that , I will have blooms in the garden after everyone else s have faded!
I am off now to watch on catch up this weeks episode of the Great British Sewing Bee.   I am so hooked !!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Spring greetings

Its been a while since I last blogged!
No this is not going to be a confessional, but it has been a while! I have got quite a bit done in that time & have also been with Mr T over to see our son & his girlfriend in Vienna. It was a lovely visit for 8 whole days. We had sunshine & snow as I think the UK also had,e but it felt so much warmer over there. Silly me didn't take the right sort of clothing with me & my shoes were the slippy slidy sort! Not much good for going out walking the city in Vienna. We stayed inside for 3 days whilst it snowed  & just popped down to the local shops when we needed food or wanted a break form 4 walls & each other. I got another couple of rabbits made as I had some requests from our adopted Austrian family. This certainly kept me busy whilst we were there.

 The kids were working most of the time so it was nice to have something to do while we waited for them to come home.During the evenings we mainly went out , eating our way through lovely cuisine in the city. Succulent roasted pork in the Prater washed down with beer chocolate,was the highlight of our visit, yummy!
Eating roast pork joints below with our Austrian family.

No 1 son & the finished meal, yummy!!

One of the evenings we went to the shopping street area. Here I came across this yarn bombing outside a shop called  Sewa.  Its a weird shop really as it does little in the way of sewing items & mainly kitschy household bits & some yarn.Sadly they were closed when we went back after our meal in the sushi bar nearby.

As usual I was so sad to say goodbye to the kids. Funny how I will always call them that no matter how old they get.
After a long drive through Germany , Holland , Belgium & France , I was glad to get home.
Waiting for us at home were the dogs along with No2 son & the outlaws. Its a long story but No2 son was supposed to come with us & at the last minute was without his passport. I had a few lovely days with him before he had to return to Sussex & the last leg of his degree course.How quiet the house now seems without him.
My days will now be filled with getting back to creating. Art group resumed yesterday & I have started playing with soft pastels.
My knitting is now at the finish stage for the very last rabbit & I am planning what to knit next. I have a new book from Lucinda Guy called Northern Knits Gifts . I treated myself to it from Amazon the other day & there are a few projects I am looking forward to doing.This will probably be the first one to do.
Go take a look & enjoy!!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Watercolour blooms & Spring knitting

I have been getting on with my Monday art classes. Did I mention it before? Well its the first time I think ever that I have looked forward to having Monday start the week. The lovely Harold takes the class & I so admire this lovely gentleman. At 93 years young he could give most of us a kick up the rear ( figuratively speaking) & put many to shame. He still drives & is very active. He was telling me that he took his lady to Birmingham last weekend to visit a craft event. He said it wasn't really his thing & the house was already full of stuff! Sound familiar?!! Any way , he went on to say he was looking for a chair to sit down on & the only one he could find was in the demo area. He ended up learning how to Cross Stitch with the ladies ! He said he quite enjoyed himself as nearly all the ladies were younger than himself!! He cracks me up!!
 I have been working this week on my Orchid pictures in watercolour. Not easy & I have so much to learn. What do you think? I need to darken the lower part quite a bit more & there are some more fine details to add.

Last week I made this bunny. I used a pattern that allows me to sell the finished item. I have put her up on Facebook to start with with offers invited. If she doesn't go within a few days , she is going on Etsy with a few other items.

Meet Flo Bunnikins. She is so cute!! I am sure someone will want to love her out there.

I was making hearts from lovely Rico Cotton. I like this pattern very much. Its one that my friend Caroline uses at the Woolbar on her beginners knitting courses. Its her own pattern.
Our knitting group had a table at a table top sale last weekend over at Pinchbeck. I was the only person to sell an item! It was pretty poor. Plenty of people but a poor ales rate. Shame as it was for raising funds for the dogs for the disabled & PAT dogs. 

I found a lovely blue glass dressing table set for a song. I love it so much & it fits perfectly on our new bedroom. I actually put up some pictures in the house this week. I finally feel settled & that it is our home. Maybe hammering those nails in the wall was the therapy . Now we just could do with earning some money & getting a job.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snow & excitement in Lincolnshire!

The past week has been quite an exciting one & that is nothing to do with the snow! I do have to admit to getting a tad excited when the snow did arrive , but I am so over that now! I want a non slippery walk with my dogs & No1 man on an afternoon  & to not have things I love doing cancelled because of the snow & cold weather.
You want to know what else I have been excited about? After far too many years dithering, I returned to an art group. There is a wonderful gallery nearby called Lincolnshire  Gallery & on a Monday morning , they hold an art class. I went along with a friend & we had such a lovely time.I came away feeling as though I will eventually be able to produce something worthy of calling art. Everyone was so friendly & welcoming . I feel full of inspiration ! I am going again tomorrow even though it is snowing heavily outside at the moment.
Below is a sketch I did at the class in 10 minutes. It surprised me what I could achieve if I really pushed myself.

Our new DSLR cameras arrived this week as well. Mr T & I are now learning to use them & I am certainly  looking forward to producing some better images for this blog at least. I have been wanting one of these for some years now so this is a real treat. They came just at the right moment too with all this beautiful icy weather. I got some pretty shots & they were only taken in my garden! 
 This is the tip of a Ceanothus shrub caught in the ice.
  Bejewelled spiders web .

Mr Robin on his daily business collecting seed from under the bird feeders.

 Maisie caught on the windowsill!She is so naughty!!
 Across the fields looking towards Holbeach. The trees are entrapped in ice , making them look spectacular in the sun.
I hope you have had a great week as well.
I will be back with some more creations I have to show you very soon.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Getting organised

Over the holiday period I hardly did any crafting. I am always knitting , so I feel that somehow doesn't count.
Mr T has started to volunteer for Age UK. It has a secondhand furniture outlet nearby at Fleet & he helps with the collections & deliveries of furniture. I went down to meet the team that work there & of course I came home with some furniture I needed! I was so pleased with my find of some very sturdy shelves for £35 & an oak nest of tables for £25.
Craft room before major tidy
All this buying was necessary as I was in a real muddle with all my stuff in my craft room. I have so much stuff (as we all do) that I had no where to put it. The shelves have been so useful & along with a set of drawers that my MIL gave me for Christmas last year, things are just a bit tidier & organised in my room.Above is the before picture.

Craft room after tidy.

I still have things to find homes for as you can see!

My new shelves, home for a small portion of all my art supplies, sewing threads , buttons , ribbons & yarns.
Here is the after shot. I still have things to put on the walls, shelves, wall hanging tidy, clock & hanging rails for my pots. You can see how much better it is now & I have my computer here now as well which will be so much more practical.

I have been knitting a new bag for myself. I splashed out on some Noro Kureyon to make this bag. I am so pleased with it. It did take a while to sort out all the colours which I split into sections so each round of shells would be of a similar colour range.There would have been a lot of ends to sew in but I wove them in at the back as I knitted. This has been a very satisfying project. I just have to knit a border around the top of the bag , felt it & I think I may add some leather handles after I have lined it in some pretty fabric.

I used five 50g balls of Noro yarn & had just a small amount left after. It is great for using up small oddments of wool.
I will keep you posted on the finished article. Lets hope I can find some lovely handles to finish it nicely.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Clutter & clucking!

Today has been a lovely spring like day. Early this morning I saw my first hare. It was a long way off in the field opposite the house. It was racing around in the sunshine ,zigzagging its way over the ploughed field. The sun was catching & glinting off its fur as it darted around & was quite stunning to see. It has inspired me to get on & have a go at some more felting & create a doorstop as a hare looking up at the moon. I really must get to do it before I lose the image in my head.
The house seems quite empty now with all the Christmas decorations put back up in the loft for another year & all the presents tidied away. The family have all returned to what they do & I am going to get on with transforming the house. I have one more room to tackle which is the lounge. It only needs a lick of paint to freshen it up & to hang the new curtains I bought last year. Maybe I will find my mojo & get it done in a few weeks time. I must admit I do struggle now with my back & it seems to take me so long now. I used to be able to paint a room in a day before I hurt my back.
I spent some time in the garden this afternoon. The sun was so lovely & to be out in the crisp air was very invigorating. I let the chooks have their first roam around while I was there & they so enjoyed it. Maisie & Grouse were not so happy about being shut in the house while the chickens strutted about  but that's just tough!
Archie Rooster was in his element , especially when he found some worms in the flower bed I had turned over for them . What a gent he is , clucking away to his girls ,signalling to them there is food & letting them get their fill first. So sweet to see.
I actually got some Box bushes planted today & if it doesn't rain tomorrow , I may be able to get some Lavenders in. I thought the soil would be too wet , but its not so bad. I shall be sowing my chilli seeds this week & get them started inside. I am so looking forward to spending time in the garden this year. Lets just  hope for some good weather.
I have not been able to take any photos this week. My camera ran out of battery & my smart phone has gone off to be mended again. Lets hope Virgin can sort out the issues I am having as I really like the camera on my phone & use it a lot.
For now here is a Hare picture I quite like.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Hello 2013!!

Hello my lovely readers.
Thank goodness 2013 is finally here. I have to say the last month of 2012 was a really busy one & I had no time to stop & post on here.
 I am so looking forward to this year. I hope lots of happy things happen & I can finally get my head around what I am supposed to be doing & get creative again.
In December , Mr T & I realised some wishes we had for a while. Our children unexpectedly were all together for Christmas & we got our chickens!! These were our Christmas presents. The best ones we could ever have. No 2 son came home a week before the big day & No 1 & his lovely girlfriend , flew in from Vienna just a few days before. We didn't know this would happen until just the week before they arrived. It was lovely & I fed them all with so much home cooked food, I think we must all be at least half a stone heavier.
We had a great week all together. Lots of shopping , exploring local towns & villages that none of us have seen & getting to know the locals in the village pub! The whole family went to collect our new chickens. We have bought an existing flock of Araucana's . Archie Rooster & his four hens, Annie Aggie, Blue & Bella. We were so lucky. A friend of mine was looking for a new home for hers as she hadn't been able to give as much time to them as she wanted. We fitted the bill. We all went to collect them the day after Boxing Day & their neighbour loaned her trailer for the move of the house & run. The house is an Omlet Cube. Very posh & so easy to transport as well.
In no time , with the help of dear friends husband , we had them all installed in our garden & clucking away happily. We have since been rewarded with the laying of two lovely green/blue eggs. They are still in my egg basket as I am hoping for a third one & we can all have one to eat before No 2 son goes back to Sussex for college tomorrow.
I couldn't be happier with our flock of Chickens. Even though we have a cock , he has a quiet crow & hopefully the neighbours wont whinge about him. We do live in the country after all!!
I haven't taken so many photos as I usually do as my phone has been on the blink & sent back, I find the camera on it much better than my usual Samsung digital.We are going to treat ourselves to new cameras , but as they will be digital SLR,s , we are taking our time over choosing them.

These are three Gingerbread houses our friends made when they came to stay for the weekend. We had a lot of fun!
 Archie Rooster with his girls.
 Mr T & the boys

 Trying to play the Master edition !!
 Our first egg 31/12/2012
 Second egg laid 2 days later is on the right.
Compared with a standard bought free range large egg.