Saturday, 31 December 2011

My 2011 Mosaic

My 2011 Mosaic, originally uploaded by 77belle.
A selection of 2011 including Betsy, the garden, some textile work and a family holiday in Lanzarote!

Happy New Year - Here comes 2012

Christmas has come and gone in a flash, as things worked out it was for the best that Dave's Dad stayed at home, on Boxing day I didn't feel all that great and the day after I had an upset stomach which lasted a few days. Thankfully I'm fully recovered just in time, today is my Birthday! Yesterday it was Rachel's Birthday and she celebrated in style in Sydney, she's had an eventful time since she arrived to stay with Mark, involving a lost wallet and a car break down, but thankfully everything turned out well due to the kindness of a farmer who towed them and a lovely family that loaned them a car until they could hire a car. We've spoken a couple of times since she's been in Australia and yesterday she called so we could wish her Happy Birthday. It was Becky's Birthday too, we were due to go out for dinner with her and James but because I was ill we had to cancel! So that's our Birthday Month Over!

Again this year I'm not going to make any resolutions as they only get broken. Things have changed this year we have our new addition BETSY, she has only been with us for 3 months and our lives have been turned upside down, I'm not complaining I wouldn't have it any other way. In May I had to give up going to the Gym after my back problems, but I think Betsy is now giving me all the exercise I need, lots of walking!

2012 is promising to be an exciting year with the Material  Girls-Bridging Waters exhibition taking place. I have also been offered a place in an exhibition which will be at a venue in London in 2013, I will have to start work on my pieces during this year, I'm very excited and a bit scared about this project. BUT I'm always up for a challenge and this will stretch me, it is just what I need. I will post more about it during the coming months.

I'd like to wish everyone who ventures here a Happy Healthy and Creative New Year!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Dinners over

Hope everyone is having a great day! Dinners over and I'm sitting with Betsy on my lap reading a book on my new toy. Yep! Santa left me a Kindle!!!! It's our first Christmas day on our own since we married in 1978(yes I was a child bride, cough). The reason we're on our own is Dave's Dad decided not to come to us this year as our chairs are too low and he was worried about sleeping in a strange bed. The problem started a week ago he had a fall when he was staying with his other son, he was put on the train and sent home, ever since he's been suffering with his back. So we're doing meals on wheels, the problem being he doesn't live around the corner it's almost a 40 mile round trip, I hope wasn't expecting hot gravy....... I'm sure everything will work out fine it just means that Dave is trekking back and forth, and we may have to have a few Chinese take aways in the new year as our stock of plastic dishes are disappearing fast.I don't blame him for staying at home there is no place like home when your not 100%. Tomorrow James and Becky are here with us for the day, so that will be good,Rachel is having an interesting time in Australia but more on that in the next post.Best get back to my reading and probably time for a g&t.....

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas

We were delivering Christmas presents today so we decided that Betsy should meet Louis my brothers English Springer Spaniel. Betsy was straight in, made friends with Louis and took over his toy box! Typical woman she had him wrapped around her paw in a few minutes.

Hello, What this?

I know your bigger than me but.......

I'm a woman and I know how to get my own way!

 I want to say a big thank you to everyone that reads and comments on my blog.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The rush of last weekend is over, as planned Rachel came to us on Sunday and Becky and James joined us for a lunch which included home made Soda bread, if I say so myself was a great success I'd never made it before but I'll be making it again over the holidays, it was perfect with homemade Leek and Potato soup. It was easy to make, I used a Creuset casserole (the only wedding present that I use on a regular basis after almost 34 years!), look at Purple Podded Peas blog for the recipe. That wasn't all we had for lunch as Rachel does eat fish on the odd occasion we had Salmon en croute and a Heston Blumenthal Black Forest Buche (don't be too impressed the only thing I made was the bread and the soup, but I do take credit for the menu and the defrosting and popping in the oven at the right times) And no smoke alarms went off!

Ready to pop into very hot Creuset

Done and Ready for the Butter!!!!!
After lunch we gave Rachel her Christmas and Birthday presents, we'd already given her a Kindle so she had time to load on her books for her holiday! For my birthday Rachel had looked through a suitcase of photographs I took from my Mum's house when we were sorting out. While we were  in France during the summer Rachel stayed here a few nights and sorted and scanned  photo's of my Mum and Dad from when they were young up until their 25th Wedding Anniversary, my Dad died a few years after that, Rachel never met him. She included photo's of my Nan and my Grandparents, and photo's of my brother and me when we were young. I don’t think I have to tell you there were a few tears! She'd taken such trouble to sort the photos and have them printed into a book, it's volume one, there are so many photos left, I've not opened the case since I brought it home, I don’t think I can at the moment. When the time is right I'll make volume two and three, maybe something for the new year!

Monday we were up at 5.00 am, even before Betsy! It took me 2 hours to drive around the M25 to Heathrow airport, we'd allowed lots of time.  When Rachel had checked her bags we grabbed breakfast before she went through security, we said goodbye and she disappeared through the doors and I started my journey home. The return journey only took 1 1/2 hours, I phoned Rachel when I got home and she'd just taken her seat on the plane. At 0.38 the following morning she text to say she was at Singapore Airport and was waiting to reboard for the next leg of the journey, at 11am yesterday she text to say she was with Mark and in his apartment ( I've seen a photo it looks beautiful overlooking the water at Kirribilli, Sydney) and going out for dinner. Dave heard from her this morning she's spent the day on the beach and they were going food shopping. Mark has arranged for them to go camping over Christmas. Looking out of the window here this morning, it's wet it's dull and I wish I could spend the day on the beach.

Friday James is 30, Becky has some lovely things arranged for him during the day, in the evening we are going to theirs for a family celebration. Then it's all systems go for Christmas... I do feel a bit at a loss this year, everything is done shopping etc, just need to wrap the rest of the presents. Still not 100% sure what Dave's Dad is doing, I think it's a matter of watch this space. I've had an idea Karen Ruane is leaving the frozen North to spend Christmas with her daughter, just a few roads away from Dave's Dad so maybe..............

Saturday, 17 December 2011

See I can make a cake from Scratch......but I wouldn't eat it......

Last Saturday Dave celebrated his 60th birthday Rachel, James and Becky came out with us for a meal at The Cricketers, Clavering, Essex, the meal was lovely, I'd ordered a  birthday cake which was brought out with candles and the waiters and waitresses singing "Happy Birthday", much to Dave's embarrassment, he doesn't like a fuss, I think secretly he enjoyed it.  I'd booked us  rooms for the night so the wine flowed, the following morning breakfast was served by Jamie Oliver's Dad!!! Rachel had a potato cake with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, one of Jamie's recipes while the rest of us tucked into a full English Breakfast. I know it wasn't my birthday but I had to treat myself to a cookery book, a few weeks ago I sorted out my cookery books and got rid of the ones I never use, time to start collecting again!

Betsy got to spend the night back with her Mum and Grandma, she came home exhausted. While she was there she had a trim, she looked smart...... well for 5 minutes anyway.

This week has been no end of lunches the Material Girls on Tuesday and then ERTF had a meeting with yet another lunch! Thursday evening the trainer  Joan that Betsy and I go to every week came to visit us at home. When out for a walk Betsy pulls on her lead and barks at people other dogs and isn't that brilliant with cars buses etc. Joan came in the evening so Dave could come along too.  We spent a bit of time at home talking about Betsy's behaviour indoors which is quite good. Then we went for a walk, lots of stopping and starting again and Joan showed us how to correct her when she's pulling.  I have to say that we have been out walking since and she's so much better. Joan gave me a recipe for a 'Liver Cake' Betsy loves it, I made it today and she's really enjoyed it.  It's just liver, eggs and flour with a dash of garlic powder, put into a dish baked in the oven on a low heat. It can be frozen, Joan uses it as a treat. I think this time I over did the garlic but at least it will keep away the vampires when we're out walking in the dark. Looks yummy doesn't it?

Not a Cake I'd Eat!

Tonight we are putting up the Christmas decorations, no tree this year, there will only be the two of us and maybe Dave's Dad, he's still not sure what he's doing...... Tomorrow James, Becky and Rachel are coming for lunch, we'll be giving Rachel her Christmas and Birthday presents then it will be up very early on Monday. I'll be driving Rachel to Heathrow and she'll be off to Sydney. Apparently the weather isn't so good there at the moment lots of rain? At least it wont be as cold there, as it is here we had a bit of snow today but it's not settled.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

December Celebrations

This month is certainly whipping through, just enough time for a quick catch up, I really should be writing Christmas cards and doing the ironing so this is a delaying tactic!

We have some big birthday celebrations this month (our family all have December birthdays) Dave turns 60 on Saturday, we have a family meal arranged, in fact it's been all family meals recently!  On the 23rd James will be 30, he doesn't want to celebrate,  I think something will be arranged not sure what yet. Next Sunday will be another get together, we will be giving Rachel her presents,  she won't be here for Christmas or her birthday or New Year, lucky girl will be on a beach somewhere near Sydney, Australia!! I'm not envious AT ALL!! It does mean that I wont be cooking vegetarian options on Christmas day,  I'll be roasting potatoes in goose fat and putting pancetta on the brussel sprouts.

I have been getting some textile work done, still can't show it yet not until the first exhibition is up and running. Ok, just to prove I've been doing something, I've been using romeo, for those that may not know what that is, it's a soluble film that can be stitched through. There's always that moment when it goes in the water that I think will it all just come apart and hours of work be wasted, Thankfully that didn't happen.... not this time anyway. Am I the only one that thinks that?

Betsy watching the swans coming out of the water
Betsy will be six months old on the 27th, she's a real character, she loves her walks at the weekend when we take her into the woods or by the ponds. Last Saturday all the ducks and geese were on the path as we passed by and on the return the two swans and the cygnet started to get very interested in us and came out of the water, we decided not to hang around and made a quick exit.

Have I mentioned the obedience training?  We attend a class for an hour every Monday, this week she was a little star and didn't put a paw out of place, sitting and laying down on command (not too much barking at the other dogs). I did have to laugh, this week there were a few new pups and owners, one lady said to me ' OMG this is such hard work',  I was so relieved when she said that, for the first couple of weeks I  left there  feeling absolutely exhausted. It felt as though I was never going to get it right, but it seems to be coming together. Having said that Betsy still pulls when we walk her and wants to play with everyone, (people and dogs) that we come across when out for a walk, so the trainer is going to come here one evening next week for a one to one session, Dave can join in too (that should be a laugh). We are getting there.

Must dash things to do and someone needs to be taken out for a walk........

Friday, 18 November 2011

It was Lovely

Thought I'd just let you know that the casserole was very tasty, I'm not really a fan of the slow cooker, as I'm not a domestic goddess when I've used it before it's not been very successful. Some might say I need more practice! I thought I should use it as last weekend I had a go at cooking Heston Blumenthal's three times cooked chips, they were lovely. In passing I said " Maybe we should get an electric fryer" I'd used the wok, a comment was made " Good idea, it can stand on the side next to the slow cooker, bread maker and the ice-cream maker that never get used". So yes you've guessed it in the coming week I'm planning on cooking another casserole with bread and for dessert.......

There is a give away on Silver Pebbles blog take a look! She's giving one lucky person the chance to win Kirstie Allsopp's book and also a Silver clay starter pack.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Domestic Goddess (NOT)

Things with Betsy seem to be settling down. Betsy and I  have started going to obedience classes once a week, Dave says he's noticed a difference in ME not the dog!!!!!! She is still waking at six in the morning but I'm used to it now and don't mind it at all anymore!  I probably shouldn't speak to soon but the toilet training seems to be getting there too, 2 wee's yesterday on the floor (thank goodness for laminate flooring) and only one today! Look at that face, I can forgive her anything..........

No textile work to show, I have been getting on with work for the Material Girls next exhibition, 2012 is going to be a really busy year for us.

Last weekend we went to George's Naming Ceremony, it's the first of these I've been to. I was really thrilled to be asked to be a witness, I wasn't sure what to expect as I've only been to Christenings before, but it was a lovely day and a great way of welcoming a baby into the world. 
Christmas is approaching fast, I'm buying most of the presents on the internet this year, I'm not in love with shopping. Last year proved a bit of a disaster, a couple of parcels didn't arrive at all, but I decided to give it another go. I've started earlier this year and the first parcel has arrived today, so that's a good start.

I've even made the Christmas cake, I'm giving the Delia 'cake in a box' a try, all I needed to add was the butter, eggs and the peel from a lemon and an orange. So easy and I feel like a domestic goddess without all the mess! There is a casserole in the slow cooker, just waiting for Dave to get home, he's been away for a few days, boy he'll be impressed when he get's home.

Friday, 4 November 2011

This afternoon I went to 'A Celebration of the Life of Freda'. I met Freda 26 years ago I was an assistant in the local adult education cake decorating class, I know it was 26 years because I was pregnant with Rachel.  Freda was one of 12 woman in the class and she was a warm and funny lady, we lived near each other and I would often give her a lift to the class. She then asked me to join her and her sister in law at a fabric painting class, we lost touch for a few years. I'd progressed with my cake decorating and was teaching a class of my own when we met again. We were both invited to take part in a 'Focus on Crafts' in our village, I was painting on sugar and Freda and her daughter were doing 'Quilting', it was lovely to meet her again and I said I'd always fancied having a 'go' at quilting and patchwork. Freda always keen on people trying something new was quick to invite me along to the class she attended and so my journey into the textile world started and my life changed! It's amazing how one person can change and influence your life. Today the church was full to bursting with family and friends of Freda, a testimony to a lovely kind lady 'gone but never forgotten'.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

1st November Already-only 54 days until Christmas!

I don't know whats been happening here, that's not strictly true BETSY is what's been happening! I can't keep using her as an excuse. I must get myself organised and get on with things, so many deadlines have been missed. I knew I was getting a puppy so decided not to submit work for selection for the ERTF exhibition in September, it would have been impossible to leave a pup and go off and do the necessary requirements if I had been selected. Since then I've missed the deadline for ALQS6, I was really hoping to take part in that, maybe I'll have a chance another time. Then I said I'd knit cup cakes for Gina's Pink Friday Party, I even went out and bought the wool from Craft Arena, Denise loaned me cupcake knitting patterns, but the parties been and gone and the wool is still in the bag. I've returned the patterns. So sorry to all those I've let down.  From now on I must either do the things I say I'll do or keep my 'BIG' mouth shut and don't say I'll do them in the first place! I have really let things slip, I don't think I've commented on other peoples blogs either, not always my fault, sometimes it's blogger, I type out the comment and then cant get it posted. I have been reading blogs, that's easy I can sit with Betsy and check on my i phone. A big thank you for everyone that comments on my blog I really do appreciate it. I do manage to get bits onto my facebook via my phone on a regular basis but getting posts onto blogger isn't a success for me via my phone even using the app! Well enough of my problems and failings. Hope you've not dozed off or cried your eyes out yet.

Now for what I have managed to do! Lots of walking Betsy, she gets me out at least twice a day, evening walks are a bit difficult since last week the odd firework is 'let off', why so far in advance of 5th November? She really doesn't like them and so I'm taking her out earlier, how do other dog owners manage any tips gratefully accepted! The weekend walks are the best Dave and I take her to various woods all within a few miles of where we live. Despite being able to get into London in next to no time we have lots of green spaces Thames Chase. The nearest place for us to walk Betsy are Berwick Ponds and Woods its about a 5 minute walk from our house, that's where we walked on Sunday and Betsy had her first meeting with ducks and geese, she didn't turn a hair!

Despite missing some deadlines there's one I just have to make, so there has been some work going on, not as quickly as it should have been, but it needs to be completed by next Tuesday for the Material Girls monthly meeting!

Tonight I'm putting the backing on and it's done then I need to make a start on my 3D work or at least have something in my sketch book to show. I know what I'm doing just need to get it out of my head and into the page! Are you convinced? Good.

Looking forward to next year, we've booked a cottage for a week's holiday. We are going to Norfolk in May, when James was a baby we had a couple of lovely holidays in Norfolk. The cottage is on the coast and I'm dreaming of long walks on those lovely Norfolk beaches with Betsy (hope the obedience classes have worked by the time May comes).  We've also booked a holiday for later next year (without Betsy)  after reading Purple Podded Peas accounts of her road trip from LA to San Francisco, a trip we did with the children. I seriously thought about doing it again for the third time or going back to New England and visiting Rhode Island a place we have never managed to visit. On Saturday I left Dave with two brochures one for America and the other Worldwide and off I went to have my hair cut when I got home he'd picked where he fancied going. SO we're off to Mauritius for 11 nights!!!!! I must admit I was looking forward to visiting all those wonderful textile shops in the US, I'm not that disappointed though, I've been told that Mauritius has lovely textiles (keeping that to myself) and it's good to widen your horizons.

Oh well better get on Internet, Christmas shopping to be done, only 54 days until.........
But before I leave a photo of Betsy, it's not easy getting a good one, she doesn't sit still for long! 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Catch up!!!

The Material Girls exhibition at Craft Arena has been and gone, the work got some good comments and  the 'Liberation of the Heart' hanging looked as though it was meant to be there, despite not being made for that exhibition it fitted in very well and I was relieved to get it back. There are lots of exciting things in the pipeline for The Material Girls, we'll  be exhibiting the 'Articulated Materials-Bridging Waters' work at three venues, more about that in future posts. I've still a way to go to get my work completed, as I have a helper with me ALL of the time, but things are getting a lot easier with Betsy.

I went to the Knit and Stitch with my sister in law, it was her birthday treat from me,  we had brunch which was very nice and saved stopping for lunch! Michelle enjoyed it and bought herself a new pattern book and some wool to knit a scarf. This year I spent very little and came away with money still in my purse? First time ever, I usually spend my cash and then hit the credit cards!

Last Friday I met up with some of the Essex ERTF members at another members home, we were having a meeting to follow up on a sketching day we had on a very hot and sunny day in August at Southend on Sea.

After  a lot of chatting and some delicious cake that our lovely hostess provided, our sketch books were produced and we discussed how we were developing our ideas, I'd only managed to progress with the designs, others had developed onto stitching, felting and printing. It was a day I really enjoyed I hope that we continue with this project, it's definitely the sort of thing I need to move my work on, I also like to see the way others work ( that's because I'm nosy). Rachel took the day off work and puppy sat, Betsy has been left for a few hours but I think Rachel wanted an excuse to look after her without us around and as she was coming home for the weekend anyway.......

The garden situation, well it's no longer looking so great, nothing to do with the weather! Betsy has dug up, chewed or trampled her way through most of the flowers ( No Photo's sorry) The vegetables are almost over I have some parsnips, swede and celeriac still growing. I did have a glut of tomatoes so made lots of sauce which is in the freezer and three large kilner jars of chutney, last time I made chutney I used it in curries and it added a depth to them, so I'm looking forward to that. I also have a supply of onions which should last until well into the new year. I would call that a successful year, well for me anyway, not sure if it will be so good next year. We need to find a way of  keeping  Betsy off the veggie patch!

Last week Betsy was a bit of a nightmare she suddenly decided that she would wake up at 5 am, not good for me! But things have improved this week, she seems to have settled down again and we are into a routine that seems to suit us all. Last week I started taking her to training classes and she now behaves better when we are out walking. Not that she was badly behaved before it's just that she barked at every one we met and every dog, she just wants to play and be friends with everyone and sadly not everyone wants to be friends with her! She has also stopped barking every time she is in the garden and my neighbour is out there, so life is calmer, well for the moment anyway. We have also been taking her to puppy socialisation classes at the vets, she meets other pups of about the same age but not the same size in the group there are two Rottweiler's, Betsy is not afraid to play with them and she stands her ground which is a bit scary for us. There is so much conflicting advice out there, the dog trainer says we shouldn't do both, the vets say we should, Rachel has a friend who is a dog trainer and she says its good to do both. I've decided to ignore everyone and do what I think is best for us, Betsy enjoys playing with the other pups and  there is only one more session to go, we will carry on! Betsy is developing  a lovely character she loves to have the last word, something that I think is a mini schnauzer thing. She does something  I can only describe as grumble. If she barks and I tell her to stop, she'll stop barking but carry on with this low grumbling, she does it at the training class and everyone thinks it's really funny. Now I only have to stop her weeing on the floor and we've cracked it!! Thankfully we have no carpets only a couple of small rugs easily replaced when this stops, it does stop doesn't it???

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Growing Fast

Betsy is growing up so fast!

The First Time I Saw Betsy (2 Weeks)

A Few Weeks Later

First Day With Us (11weeks)

This Morning (14 Weeks)
This Afternoon ( She's been clipped)

Playing in Veggie Bed

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Well it was definatly a challenge, trying to keep Betsy away from the bits of plaster! Luckily the plasterer liked dogs. At least it's all finished and the living room is usable, I cant say the same of my work room, all my 'stuff' as Dave calls it is in boxes and stacked in another room, ideal oppertunity to sort out! But really I should be working, I've a few projects that need to be completed by October! Next it's painting, that should be fun keeping Betsy out of the paint pots!

Thinking about it!

Chewing it over
It's been a hard weekend!
News about the hanging 'Liberation of the Heart' see image in sidebar, last week I found out that it was in fact still with the gallery. I phoned and spoke to the lady at the gallery, she said like me she'd been contacting the person (who shall remain nameless) without any response trying to find out my address, I spoke to the gallery on Monday and by Friday it was delivered, hooray!!!! From now on I'll be careful whose group I exhibit with. Now it will be hung in the exhibition of Material Girls Work at Craft Arena.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Last week we were in France for a weeks holiday, the weather could have been a lot better, I've been told it wasn't that great at home either.  It wasn't quite as we had planned, no long lunches sitting outside or lingering over coffee watching the world go bye. No, that's not strictly true we did have a few of those but not as many as we'd imagined.  We still had a great time in Normandy, the cottage was beautiful, in a great location and we could walk to the restaurants in the evening in about 10 minutes, always with an umbrella. We did all the usual things that you do that part of France, the Beaches, Pegasus Bridge and The Bayeux Tapestry, which all of us textile people know is NOT a tapestry but an embroidery, I'm glad I got to see it, it's something I've wanted to do for a long time, that day it was torrential rain so the place was heaving, we didn't spend lots of time standing and admiring this impressive piece of work, and we didn't walk around Bayeux and see the rest of the town because of the weather, shame but we may get to go back sometime!


We got on very well with or  poor french, the people were kind as we struggled through menus, Dave did french at school( I don't think he'd like it if I said how many years ago) I only did one term.  As we've been to France a few times recently we must try to learn the language, that's something we talked about on holiday. Another thing to add to the ever growing list of 'must do's'

On Sunday we collected Betsy, she's now 11 weeks old and what a bundle of trouble she is! She's keeping us very busy, I'm now up at 6 every morning as Dave doesn't have time to sort her out and catch the train on time, and this was one of the conditions when I said I'd like a dog.

There is not much time during the day to do much other than take care of her, does this last? Please don't say yes. No it's not that bad, in fact so far she's very good, she cries for a while when she's put in her crate but goes through the night dry, she is absolutely bursting to get out in the morning when I go down to her. The first day she would only sleep on someones lap but now she's sleeping during the day on the mat and Monday she went into her crate and slept while I did the ironing. Yesterday she came  to Slimming World, I lost 1/2 pound not bad considering the French food and wine consumed, then we went off to Material Girls, she was very well behaved and is now an honorary member, hopefully that means that very soon she'll let me get on with some stitching.

Everything happens at once doesn't it? This weekend the plasterer is coming to plaster the ceiling in my workroom remember, the leak? Foolishly we asked him to re plaster the ceiling in the living room and the hall stairs and landing, they have a very 1970's swirly design that was here when we moved in and have always said we'd get changed, we were mucked about by one plaster that time slipped away, we hoped to get all this done before we got Betsy, so this should be fun!

Monday I'm going with Chris and Diane to Craft Arena to set the Material Girls Exhibition, that will be the first time Betsy will be left on her own for a couple of hours. I have been putting her in her crate while I go upstairs, I'm upstairs now sitting on the bed typing this, she quiet in her crate, so maybe tomorrow I'll do the same and try and get some work done on a project that I must finish by the next Material Girls meeting!!!!!

I've a feeling life will never be the same.
ps, I have good news about the missing hanging, no time to post about it now someone needs attention.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

My Garden Today

 The garden is  looking good despite the summer weather doing it's best to sabotage my efforts, in this part of the country there's either a complete lack of rain or a deluge and very little sun.
 The dahlias are doing well I think it's the 3rd year I grew them from seed and still have 3 plants in the garden, I don't do anything to them except dead head them on a regular basis!
 Can't remember what these are called but I grew them from seed too and they come up every year. Are they Sweet Williams?
 The wild life  seems to be doing well too, this Red Admiral fluttered into the garden landed on the flower then took a liking to my jeans, I tried to get a photo but by the time I'd got it in focus it had flown off again!
 I'm into brighter colours in the garden this year and tried to introduce oranges and yellow's instead of the pinks, blues and lilac's that I've had for years.
 After fluttering around the flowers and not landing long enough for a good photo the butterfly posed for ages on the marrow plant, the antennae are fascinating (click on the image to enlarge). I swear it sat there for so long, I got fed up and I fluttered off!

 These  Sunflowers are not exactly where I would have positioned them in the garden but I didn't plant them, they appeared with a few others around the garden, it seemed a shame to pull them up so I've left them. I suppose they were planted by the birds, at least they fit in with the colour theme!
 The vegetable garden is doing well too!


Swiss Chard


 The tomatoes are doing well they are hanging like grapes, I've removed most of the leaves hoping that if the sun does shine they get as much light as possible to ripen them. I get two or three red ones every day, but I think I may have to dig out a recipe for 'Green Chutney', a few years ago when we were in Virginia we had fried green tomatoes, maybe I'll find a recipe for that as well, it was delicious and as 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe' is one of my favourite films I had to give them a try.
And the plastic bags, well I been dyeing  fabric and  I might use the bags! Well that's a tour around my garden on the 1st September I wonder what it'll look like on the 30th?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


It's not long now and Betsy will be coming to live with us. Today I went to visit and boy she's a lively little bundle of trouble. This time I remembered to take some photos, but..... she was so quick most are just a blur or I missed her completely. So I can only show you her tail end and the photo below is Betsy shes the pup attacking the spray and you can see her sister who is really, really tiny, but very cute with it. Oh! if only I could have them both but........ sense takes over and I think I'll have my hands full with one.


Betsy and her Tiny sister
Eventually Betsy fell asleep on my lap and looked so comfy I couldn't take a photo and disturb her. I have a feeling that life is never going to be the same once she moves in.

I also got to unite the second quilt with her new owner an absolutely beautiful baby girl named Ella.

I could have quite happily brought Ella home with me but I know her Mum and Dad would have objected. Still I did get to give her a cuddle, I hope to get lots more cuddles when I can.