Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Flower pin cushions and Teeny Tiny patchwork

Recently I have been enjoying the flower pin cushion pattern by the wonderful Anna Maria Horner.

I've now discovered via her blog that its available FREE ! at Better Homes and Gardens.

How Great !
Now everyone can make one.

I made the purple polkadot version for my lovely sister in law and kept the red dotty one for myself to match the needlebook I made.

The tiny patchwork is all paper pieced and sewn by hand. The inspiration came from this book .

Which is available here.

Believe me its really adictive and grows more quickly than you would imagine. I used a free online Graphpaper Generator to create my small paper peicing and found it really handy.

Because I enjoyed the tiny piecing so much I set up a Flickr group Teeny Tiny Patchwork to see the minature patchwork that other crafters had been doing.

Please take a look there are some beautiful pieces and feel free to join and add your own I'd love to see it.

Jane has made a beautiful version of the flower pin cushion and just look at the delicate tiny patchwork from Prairie Mouse and Red Thimble.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Family get together

Last weekend we spent a relaxing time with family in the Peak District. As you can see by the photo the weather was unpredictable. However this didn't hinder the more hardy hill walkers of the group.

We stayed in the most beautiful Youth Hostel Hartington Hall. I would highly recommend it. The setting and the accommodation were beautiful.

The food was excellent. The children especially loved the breakfast ! The added touch of fresh wild flowers in handmade pottery made the experience delightful.
Most importantly the company of the wonderful Anamama and Gentlytiptoe was the highlight. We got to meet our new niece and spend time with each other. One branch of the family tree came all the way from Saudi to be with us.

The staff at Hartington were very pleasant and helpful even when we took over the foyer on the last night for a birthday party with impromptu entertainment. We had music, singing in Spanish, Welsh and English, juggling, game playing and reminiscing. We even had a few non family members join us !
Our last day was the icing on the cake with Morris Dancers in the village and a craft fair.

And of course the opportunity to Thrift. I found these old gypsy pegs and the tea and sugar tin.

I was sure that I had seen a tin like this before but wasn't sure where. When she saw it Mum said that my Grandpa had one exactly the same to bring his tea to work. I love these everyday items as it gives me a link to how life was before mass production and cellophane wrapping.

The pegs are so much nicer to hold and are stronger and prettier than the plastic pegs we have today. I enjoy imagining the person who made them and how they were sold and who used them before me. The tea tin is so practical and also pretty to look at. Much nicer than a sachet of instant coffee or a tea bag carried in a plastic lunch box don't you think ?

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Berries and Sugar

M & O , Grannie Annie and myself went strawberry picking. The kids were really excited. My camera batteries ran out while we were there so no pics . This year the the strawberries were on raised frames and under poly tunnels so the rain didn't matter.

After the disappointment of the poor yeild from our own strawberry plants this year ( 6 strawberries !) I must read more about fruit growing and see if we can improve on the crop for next year.

We decide to go to the professionals at Oatlands Farm for some serious berry volumes.

This was the result :-

This basket gave us 6 jars of delicious jam.

I used 1lb of fruit to 1lb of jam sugar with added pectin. The jam set very well , I will definately use this recipe again. This is the first year we have paid for our jam fruit previously we have embraced freeganism for our jam making. Last year we gleened green plums from my aunts garden .

The year before we foraged for blackberries by the coast.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Daisy dishcloth

Over the weekend its has Rained alot ! Ive been in around the house a bit and have decided that it really is about time I used up some of my cotton yarn stash. I had ordered this Daisy pattern from Maggie's Crochet a while ago.

I'd been putting off giving it ago as I'm not the most experienced at crochet. I'm really glad I did now and I'm pleased with how it turned out. So pleased, that I crocheted 6 of them!
Although technically a dishcloth M is using one as a washcloth because they are so pretty. I think I might try the Sunflower one next.

The rain has also helped the garden alot and as a result my lettuce now look like this -

Lettuce with everything for the next few weeks I reckon.