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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Another excellent day in the allotment. A kind friend made me these beautiful boxes and I’ve had fun filling them with worm speckled home made compost. I must have missed out on the mud pie stage of my development but I’m making up for it now.  I do wear my Marigolds thought, just to prove I’m an adult.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Water, water everywhere

What is this weather like?! July, and you need head to toe waterproofs to put a foot over the door. But no flooding in my area and for that I am grateful.

The allotment is fairing remarkably well.  I lost my big daddy courgette to crown rot. No other casualties worth mentioning. I have a day of the triphids green pea crop and a very acceptable sweet pea crop. I have beans coming out of every orifice and a rather shy purple sprouting broccoli.  Who knew you could grown coriander outside in Scotland? Amazing!  As is my thyme collection.  Nothing like having thyme on your hands…

In the polytunnel my tomatoes collapsed for lack of support.  I hadn’t realised that innocent little tomato seeding would become a tree.  Fortunately I have two others on which  boughs of miniature yellow tomatoes are beginning to form. My lemon grass and ginger sprout merrily next to some rather bedraggled chilli plants.  Seemingly they like to go to bed dry whilst their bed mates, the tomatoes, like to go to bed wet.  I’m with the chillies, every time.

I’m not really up to speed with what to plant next. After lifting my rusty garlic, which survived surprisingly well, I dug in lots of mature horse manure and popped in some Florence fennel.  This is supposed to be a voraciously greedy and aggressive feeder. Looks so innocent when you see it rotting on the supermarket shelves.

On the subject of horse manure, I have a wonderful source in a riding stable nearby.  Beautifully rotted over many moons and starred with many wiggly worms.  All I have to do is go shovel shit. A bit like being at work really…

Monday, November 21, 2011

Keep right on to the end of the road…

Walking is my all absorbing passion these days.  I would say old lady style walking but the 80 year old ladies I have walked with can run rings round me.  Beginner walking perhaps?  Meaning if a slope is any steeper than the disable ramp into the library I will be descending it on my bottom.  (The bottom shuffle was a technique I perfected as a child.)

Like most pastimes it is advisable to dress appropriately.  Definition of appropriate dress depends on with whom you are walking.  To sensible people it means comfortable, wind and weather proof.  to the Jones it means the correct labels.  Fortunately I am never able to keep up with the Jones so they can’t read my labels from a distance.

My good buddy The Limping Cyclist posts a view from her bike on her Twitter feed.  I am a reluctant photographer but I intend to give anyone who is interested a view from my walk……starting soon.  Not soon enough unfortunately because yesterday’s walk took me through magical, dripping green fairy dells on the Island of Bute.  Next time I’ll have my Hasselblad with me.

Ooops, pardon me for label dropping.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Turning my fingers green

I've been Rambling up many a hill since I spoke to you last and even made myself a water bottle holder.  That's been my only sewing project although the workroom had been tidied with a bit of a dress making spree in mind.

What has been taking up most of my time is my new allotment.  All raised beds so no digging.  People plant very picturesquely in anything that will hold some soil.  All manner of bags and totes.  I planted in my knitted plastic bag last night.  Plenty of holes for drainage.

I took over an existing bed of tomatoes, courgettes, beetroot and onion and have added some leeks and lettuce and planted out my tatties (Scottish potatoes) for Christmas in patio bags.  I was bemoaning the fact that wooden fish boxes no longer exist and a kind friend made me one.  I planted some herbs in it although it as very shallow, this being the nature of a fish box.

I am a complete novice to this lark but the joy of allotment gardening is the community and the shared knowledge.  I’m down there every night at the moment, hoovering up as much knowledge as I can.  My dear, sweet partner keeps pointing out to me that it’s not brain surgery, nobody dies if you get it wrong.

Tell that to the courgettes!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

You are old, Father William,”

You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head –
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

I’ve been tidying my workroom in preparation for making this jacket. I can almost see my work table now.  It will happen soon.

The design doesn't make you gasp at it's fabulousness but it's the construction I'm interested in.  You can wear it upside down.  I've just made a cardigan like that out my head.  Thought if I had these pattern pieces I could raid my scrap box and maybe combine with knitting and make all manner of weird gear.  Going to make the straightforward version first with some fabric I 'acquired'.  Very lovely light wool.  Must have cost a fortune!  Found it in the scrap box at a quilting group I went to briefly.

It has exposed, bound seams which is something I’ve never attempted before.  Lots of Utube help available of course.  I also have a fabulous old sewing manual, Singer Illustrated Dressmaking Guide.  It has line drawings of elegant ladies in day dresses and says things like ‘….ragged edges are inexcusable.’ 

But mon Dieu!  Today ragged edges are de rigueur!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not half the woman

P1010845 I was rummaging about in my collage box and I found these photocopies of the back of a stitched piece I made and sold years ago.  An arrangement where they are not perfectly matched spoke to me about the situation I now find myself in, a member of the chronic pain gang.

Not complaining, just saying is all.

The photocopies are pretty tattered.  I’m going to see if I can re-copy them to clean them up.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Every brick in the walk

My little mono chrome children are sitting high on a brick wall.  Arguably it might have been a smart idea to prepare the background first but don’t you just hate smart ideas?

P1010832I tried to Bondaweb everything except their legs.  That didn’t work.  So I Bondawebbed the leg free bit and laid down some ripped fabrics.  Then I Bondawebbed the fabric I was applying rather than the background and am engaged in cutting it free hand a fitting it around the legs.  Seems to be working after a fashion.  P1010833

Next step is to place a sheer fabric over the wall, stitch it down and burn it back.  Plenty of scope for disaster yet!