Grow your own – on a budget

Last weekend we visited my lovely sister in law who has the most amazing veggie garden which she tends every year. Runner beans, tomatoes, leeks, garlic and now this year potatoes and some ginger too and she has inspired me to make a small veggie garden of my own.

I’m going to begin with grow bags or large containers of compost mainly because our garden is rather neglected and has no large dug beds to speak of and I don’t think I want to be digging hard, compacted, dry soil this time of year.

I’ve identified some veggies that can be sown as late as July or even August. Now I just need to find a way to protect the bags from the hens and garden birds who visit us. i thought i would challenge myself to do this for as cheap as i could thus making the veggies grown a real bargain.

I had thought about some netting draped over the bag resting on tall sticks above the plants so making a tent kind of thing and then bricks around the bottom to hold it down. I wondered if I could scrounge some old net curtains from friends and family. We also have a huge roll of wire mesh bought from a friend after they gave up their chooks last year.

I’ve decided I’m going to grow peas, French beans and spinach as they are all really quick and can be picked in 6 weeks or so which is my kind of gardening. I don’t have the patience to wait months for a carrot to grow only to find its no bigger than my thumb when I finally dig it up.

I’ve been reading up online about plants and tidying the patio to make way my purchases.

Let the growing begin.

New goodies, new projects, new skills

I’ve been shopping, at Hobbycraft

I had so much fun with my treasure chest that I just had have another go, so,

I bought this

Yes I know it looks creepy. My son saw it and said why have you got a severed hand on your desk?

I am actually planning to use it to hold my necklaces to stop them from getting twisted up.

I also bought these

The only problem is – I can’t crochet!

So, I’m hoping some of you wonderful people who visit me will give me oodles of advice and encouragement to make this

There is an interactive video that goes with it and I can look at various You Tube vids but if I get stuck I hope some one knows what. Ch9, dc9 in front loops means???

Do be honest and let me know if this is an advanced pattern or else my lack of patience will cause it to be hurled out the window.

Well that’s me, I’m off to glue, crochet and scream a lot.


I have tried, honest i have to learn to crochet but its defeated me so i am knitting it instead. Just 2 plain pieces of knitting and maybe using a button for closure. I expect it will either be way too small for my ipad to fit or way too large, but we’ll see.

Can you identify this family? Part two

You may recall a post I did a few months back about a photo album I bought at a boot fair which I am hoping to reunite with its owners or descendants.

see HERE for link to post.

There is a photo of Reg Varney the actor in the album and following a suggestion from someone on Facebook I managed to contact someone in his family tree but they did not know of the people in the album so it looks as though he may not have had any connection with them personally.

So it’s back to the drawing board and i thought I would post a few different photos each week with lots of labels in the hope that someone will see them.

I have also contacted my local paper and asked them if they will run a small article for me and give it a much wider audience. As yet I have had no reply.

So here the first bunch of photos

If you recognise anyone in these photos or have any information please email me using the huge ’email me’ button in the sidebar please.

Friday’s Smiles – Week 25

My smile this week came from the little surprise package of a new little guinea pig baby i found on Saturday morning.
It was born to the other would be mum, Cookie, who i assumed was not actually pregnant as she had gone well past her giving birth time. Turns out if they are only carrying one pup they can go well past.
It seems as if we have another little girl which is amazing considering all Teddie’s babies were girls too.  She was much larger than the others for having the extra ‘cooking’ time inside Cookie (no pun intended – hee hee.)
Two of the other three babies are leaving for their new home today which is sad for me but i know their new owners will be full of smiles.
If you want to share things that have made you smile this week and lets face it, its great to do so. Then clicky HERE to go to Annie’s lovely blog.
See you next week
Gill x

Whats On Your Workdesk? Wednesday

Just a brief peek at my workdesk today as im finally doing something crafty again.
I’ve begun decopatching my treasure chest (all say aaarrgh, like a pirate)
Its looking good and its such fun to do. Not sure how the rest will go but that will be revealed next time.
And, yes i know my blogs look has changed – again! but what can i say? im a fickle woman.

Have a top week and if you fancy joining in for a desk nosey go to the wonderful Julia’s blog and all will become clear.
Gill x

ATC treasure chest – Part One

Being a crafty but easily bored sort i fancied a change so hubby kindly took me to our local branch of Hobbycraft and i came back with these goodies

I’ve decided to do a spot of decoupage and bought a papier mache treasure chest to spice up. Then i intend to keep my ATC’s inside and other precious items.

I’ve given you a sneaky peek of the papers ive chosen. I also got some gesso, glue and a brush.  I’m thinking fun could be had here today.

Check back later for Part Two

Summer in February – Lamorna Cove painters

Girl Reading by Harold Knight, husband of Dame Laura Knight
 The Morning Ride – a portrait of Florence Carter Wood by A.J. Munnings

I’ ve been reading a great book called ‘Summer in February’ by Jonathan Smith. Its been made into a film which is due out soon starring Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame. Its a true story about an Edwardian artistic community of painters, a love triangle and a fascinating biography of such talented men and women. Its set in my favourite time of history too, the so called Golden Age before the First World War.
Of all the characters in the book, Harold Knight comes over as the least interesting for me but his art is stunning and he is far and away my favourite artist. He was the husband of Dame Laura Knight and i feel got a bit overshadowed by her success in later years.
Girl Reading (see pic above) is so amazing it looks like a photograph especially the light on the cushion behind her head.
A.J. Munnings painted September afternoon on the Stour, Dedham. I am not a huge fan of his work but its incredible when you consider that he was blind in one eye following a childhood accident. I love the colours in this painting, you can feel the late summer sunshine.
Its a great book which i thoroughly recommend.

Friday’s Smiles Week 23

I’ve had a very smily week since i saw you all last here on this great feel good fest hosted by Annie from A Stitch in Time
My hubby came back from his sailing trip on Monday ( i missed him so that was heaps of smiles) and brought me back a small gift
Its the 19th century version of the iPad, called a slate board. He bought it in a gift shop on one of his stops. Only thing is it makes my teeth go on edge as it squeaks when you write on it. *shudders*
On Tuesday my son went to London with some friends for the day on his day off from work and brought me back a gift.
A pen carved out of wood with a lovely bright cockerel on. He bought it in Covent Garden and i love it.
Also on Tuesday whilst at Rock Choir i found out we have a performance coming up in July, so i actually get to perform in public for the first time, I am so excited *squeals*
Oh and i conquered a fear about the dentist and took myself off there for the first time in ages.
Finally, i know you all like my piggie pups so a little pic of them to end my smily week.
3 weeks today and doing well.
Here’s hoping your week is full of smiles.
Gill x

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