Sunday 21 September 2014

Long time no see :)

It's been a very long time since I visited this part of my world !
I have posted a few pictures on Facebook, but I have trouble loading them onto here, so I tend to put it off!  I shouldn't as I do like to look back and see what I've been up to!
This was the metre square garden that I was using throughout summer. I harvested a good lot of veggies from it, and I still have leeks to plant out from it, and dill and coriander seeds to harvest.
My gorgeous Jake having a little sniff in the summer breeze...

He loves the sun..

He also loves to curl up cutely on my lap for a cuddle :)

This was a quilt i made for someone for their 60th Birthday. I also appliqued the name of their business under the Penny Farthing in Black.  I was really happy with this quilt.
I grew melon marrows, butternut squashes and yellow cougettes int he tyres this year. this photo is at the beginning of summer....
alas i wont have this garden to use next summer. But as yet I dont know where we'll be living either, so i suppose its for the best that I wont have it....
Unfortunately our beautiful kitty was run over aand killed a couple of weeks ago.
Poor Jake is missing him terribly and has really gone off his food.
he really was a beatiful cat, and a very sad time in the Retro household when it happened.
RIP Titch. bless you. xx

Homegrown melon marrow, tomatoes and lemon cucumber. they were all delicious,
This is one of the first fabric crocheted baskets Ive put in my Etsy shop for sale. Like my blogging, listing items in my etsy store has taken rather a long time to get around to doing....
Life always seems to get in the way somehow...

But i must up the anti on listing and selling my items at fairs as well as Etsy and Ebay if I can.
I'm going to be doing this as part of my Frugal Forums Challenge as well. learning to sell my items and try and make a business form scratch.

This last picture is of homegrown tomatoes, chillies and garlic all weighed out and ready to make 'Welsh Poppys' Chilli Jam. I forgot to photograph the finished product, but I will for my next blog post. It is absolutely delicious.  if youd like the recipe, and other recipes for frugal living and making your money stretch, just click on the link above to take you to all the information and help you'll need to get you started on a more homemade life ;)

Sorry this is a picture heavy post and the pictures arent really in any order, but I'm still getting to grips with loading my pictures on my ipad, then writing the text on my laptop.

But hopefully once I start blogging a bit more regularly I'll get used to it :)
Anyway, hope you like my first blog post in ages -especially Joanie -
Take care folks. Big hugs, Donna xx

Tuesday 20 May 2014

How's my garden growing?

Well, goodness me, my blog posts are slightly sporadic! I must keep up with them.

I've actually managed to upload some photos to picasa so that I can post them on here!
So here goes :)

The photos aren't in any particular order as I haven't learnt how to do that yet!
Here goes ...
Above is the apple core die cuts that I made for the apple core quilt.

This is Titch! He is our latest addition to the house and belongs to Miss 18. He is such a sweetie pie. A really beautiful, cheeky boy.

The lettuce cutting bit in the greenhouse, along with self seeded Brussels (I think..) 

This is my metre square garden bed. 16 types of veg (oh, there are sunflowers in one section..) 

The broad beans are romping away. This is my third sowing of broad beans. I have quite big pods on my other two sowings..

These are some of my chilli plants and celeriac plus a couple of fennel seedlings..

Aaaaw, Jake and Titch finally sleeping together..

This is the beginning of another quilt. I was testing out background fabrics. I think I've made up my mind now, and will show you the results in the next couple of weeks..

Sunday 16 March 2014

Sowing Time

Spring is here at last! (I hope :) )
I've had a good winter walking Jake and making plans for this year.
The sun has been out this past week, so I've been making the most of it and sowing seeds like mad!
I'm hoping that it's not too early! 

These beautiful crocus were out at the college last week when I went to pick Miss 18 up.
Jake loves going there because all the students always make a fuss of him.....especially the girls!

These are my second lot of seed that I've sown so far this year. They're sheltering in the greenhouse at the moment, but its still missing a few panes of glass after this years storms. Luckily only one broken pane though :( 

The spring onions are left overs from being planted last summer. They're a bit tough, but still perfectly edible!

And these are the broad beans that were sown last October. To be honest, they're not that far ahead of the ones I sowed a few weeks ago, so I'm not really sure if it was worth sowing them early, but we'll see.
I've started a RHS Horticulture college course! Yes I know, back to college! But I'm hoping it will lead onto further and better things!
Anyways, gotta scoot now as its Miss 14's 15th Birthday tomorrow, so I have things to do.
Have a great week folk.
Take care. x

Monday 28 October 2013

Storm time

Well, we had quite a bit of a storm in the night.
A tree from my neighbours garden over the road came down unfortunately. It landed right across the road, and blocked my drive.

I can say though that I am honestly pleased it came my way! Had it gone the other way, it would have landed on their bungalow :( 

I have no electric this morning, neither has my next door neighbour, but we've had offers of tea, car lifts (as my drive is blocked) and showers (hinting? Lol) which has made me realise what lovely neighbours I actually have :)

Hopefully the electric will be back on sometime today....I'm a bit worried about what I may lose in the when the electric does come on, I may have to do quite a bit of cooking so that it's not wasted.

I have quite a bit of fabric crocheting to do as I've put in an application for a stall at a Christmas fair on 30th November, and as yet have no stock.....
I've also tried to get a space in a local vintage warehouse, but alas, they told me that they have a waiting list of over 200 folks waiting for spaces to come free.... Even though they keep advertising their space....

Well, hopefully my next post will show some headway in my crafting, and the little vintage pieces I got at the vintage fair the other week.

Have a great week folks. 

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Crafting mojo

Well, it's been another dry space between blog posts! 
But the good news is that since my last post, I have got my crafting mojo back!  Since I split with my partner at the begining of the year, I have been seriously lacking any crafty thoughts. Well, I mean I've had a bit of crochet on the go (which I must have attempted a handful of times), but other than that, I haven't done any sewing or papercrafts at all :(

Yesterday my crafty soul had a huge boost too!    I went here :~

To the vintage fair at Blandford Forum. Oh I had a fantastic time! My best most cheerful day in long time I can tell you :)

The hall was packed out -not only with other crafty, vintage loving souls, but it was jam packed with sellers too. Quite a few of them were brand new sellers to me whom I'd never seen before, so it was a very fresh, enjoyable experience for me!
In fact it was so packed in the morning that I had to leave the hall as I was just too hot. 

But when I went back in the late afternoon, it was really nice to look round with a degree of peace!

This lady :~

Has totally inspired me to take up my needle and thread again! 
She is Teresa from Willapark Designs. A really talented lady.  

But it was a lovely day, and I spent my full budget that I had yo spend too! 

I'll show you what I bought next time.

Have a great day :)

Saturday 21 September 2013

New spaces :)

Well good afternoon folks :)

I've had quite a busy and not altogether good week.
First of all, after a big fight, my Miss 18 started college! Yay. The bad news on that front is she had a seizure on the first day, a seizure on the second day, then her third day on Friday she was too poorly to go in!  But hey, onwards and upwards. Hopefully she'll have a better week next week! Fingers crossed x.

Then I've had a very sick Jack Russell to nurse - bless him. He's had a really dreadful stomach upset. Lots of sick and shakes. I think now though he's recovering nicely. He's kept down two scrambled egg and the juice, and I blew the budget on some 'basics' salmon to bake for him which he's kept down too. I was really worried about him dehydrating I can tell you. Fingers crossed he really is on the mend though. X!

Yesterday was quite a sad day as I had the funeral to go to of a 15yr old lad. He had been poorly since he was four, and lived an amazing fulfilling life even though he wasn't given as many years as he had .. Bless him. My heart goes to to his family who'll have to now come to terms with the space he's left in their lives. :(

I've been very busy gardening in between other busyness. I'm in the process of making a special veggie patch in the front of my garden where I grew the wild strawberries.

See the space there? Over the back ? The above picture has some of the junk that I've so far cut away! Still a long way to go!

Jake is balancing on the back wall. It's not a very big space but I'm hoping to utilise it with veggies starting next spring.
Maybe I'll do the same as sue over at the blog 'Our new life in the country'. She grew three different veggies in one small space, all intertwined with each other. And she also grew a large variety of veg in a tin bath over the summer.

Unfortunately the garden that I have been using all summer has come to an end, so now I have to utilise as much space in my own (rented) garden as I can. Even if that includes using pots. I have to say I really dislike container gardening!
I've recently (this summer) realised that this is down to vine weevil larvae !! 
In the early 90s I had lots and lots of containers with gorgeous veggies growing. But I was new to gardening then, and didn't recognise the vine weevil beetle for what it was. My plants were devastated but the larvae eating all the roots of my plants :( 

Since then I have been very reluctant to grow any amount of produce in pots - just the usual flower pots outside the door. But now I'm on the lookout and will just have to do the best I can.

See this beautiful tin? This is my treasure tin, and inside is this :

Packets of seeds for container growing! I do have boxes of other seeds too, but these were all on offer a my local garden centre for 50p a packet. And the use by dates weren't till the end of 2014/15 !
So at least I have seeds that are supposed to be good in containers!

Anyway, tomorrow I'll be finishing off that front bed and then protecting it from cats until I decide what to put in there, or till spring.

Have a great weekend folks.

Friday 13 September 2013

Blogging dry period!

Well, goodness me, I didn't realise it had been so long since my last post! In my defence though, I have been very busy, and also had a couple of emergencies to deal with too.

One of them was a visit to the local A & E dept with my son.. (Don't ask!).
The other was the local college refusing to let my daughter attend this September as she as epilepsy!
Yep, discrimination of the worst kind. This fight has been going on since June. Then, this week they insisted that it was their right to tell all the other students in her group that she had epilepsy in case she had a seizure! !  But fight over now, she's in and keeps her privacy too... Bless her.

I've been busy preserving and gardening. I've made more chutney -rhubarb. I've made tomato and basil sauce for pasta. I've pickled cucumber slices. I've made pickled eggs and I've dried some small orange tomtoes and preserved them in olive oil. At this precise moment I have plum tomatoes drying in the oven for more preserving in oil. 

Today I'm going to be making cucumber pickle as well.

I've also been participating in a couple of frugal challenges for September. This has been pretty hard this month as I've had to pay out on unexpected 'emergencies'!

I joined the frugal September. It's a great forum for getting inspiration and support to help on your way! I don't think I would have done what I've done without their support, and reading others stories.

I also joined stretch it out September. Which is making three weeks worth of money do the job of 4! 

I'm hoping to get into some good habit this month that last!

Have a great weekend.