August….or Autumn??

The British weather always keeps us on our toes…or under our brollies! We are still waiting for a spell of hot weather, while the rest of Europe is at the other extreme of it being way too hot. I am finding our weather is at its best thru September, even early October. This is great for us as we tend to go on holiday then (having no kids, we prefer to avoid the school hols!).

This year we are off to Northumberland, first time and v much looking forward to it. It has a long coast of golden beaches (the dog will be in heaven!) as well as some fab castles, there is even one in the village we will be staying in. Will be taking lots of pics 🙂

Had some great news yesterday – I sold a shawl to a friend in NZ (think I mentioned it), was supposed to take 5-7 days. After 10 I started to worry, after 20 was deciding to refund my pal his money and try to forget the hours spent making it, then after 30 days it arrived!! Hurray 🙂 His wife loves her bday gift, that makes me very happy!

Not too happy with Royal Mail though! I spoke to them via twitter and though polite etc they were pretty much saying ‘its not our problem’ when I was trying to locate where the package was – even though I paid them more to track it!! I went on live chat and was quite annoyed with the unhelpfulness of whoever I dealt with, asked why am I paying for a tracked post service when you dont know where it is?? She pretty much ended the chat by shrugging her shoulders and saying ‘so what? Nothing to do with me’!! NZ Post, on the other hand were brilliant, giving me more info and keeping me up to date even before it had arrived in their country. Royal Mail need to take a leaf out of their book!

Sorry, rant over 😉

I am now having to think further ahead to (sorry for mentioning this) Christmas. Craft fairs book up quick and I have an opportunity to have a space at the Xmas fair at Castle Drogo (National Trust). Fairs are so hit and miss, a lot of work for sometimes little reward. I was at Bude Castle (bit of a theme here!) last year and did very well. If they are on different weekends, I could do both 🙂 though if thats the case I really need to get making!!

Have a great weekend, hope the sun shines!! 🙂

 

Butterfly Counting

If you are in the UK, have a go at counting the butterflies in your garden, local park or anywhere you fancy. Details in the link here

You only need 15 minutes to sit and count. Butterflies are very sensitive to any change in the environment, a decline in their numbers can be an early indicator of other wildlife losses, so it’s an important study.

Heres a pic of one I took a couple of years back

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This is a female Common Blue, I had to look it up on the handy chart that comes with this survey! You can also get some great ident pics from UK Butterflies

Get counting!

 

Sold!

Remember that green shawl I made? Well, it is now on its way to the othe other side of the world! Admittedly, an old friend has bought it for his wife, but a sale is a sale and I’m so pleased 🙂 It really does boost confidence in my work so I think I shall make another, maybe one a bit less complicated and time consuming! Better get some more items made for my Etsy shop

I have just set up a facebook page for my gardening business, heres a link to Dartmoor Gardeners give it a like, I’ll keep putting up some lovely plant pics. Got any gardening queries? Will try to help 🙂

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Etsy Shopping

Finally gotten around to adding some of my work to my etsy shop. Hurrah!

Only a few pieces but have got some other work on the go, after a bit of a break from crochet (which turned out to be quite a long holiday). Here’s a link to Naturally Looped

Haven’t had much free time recently, the gardening work is filling up most of my time, a good thing, obviously! Gotta pay that mortgage! We have got ourselves a new name and just had some business cards printed (designed the hilly Dartmoor pic myself). Pleased with the result….

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…and may as well use this blog to advertise!! Though I would say we are busy for quite a while, got a large planting job coming up which is going to take up any spare days.

Well, Im still in my jimjams so better get dressed and out into the garden, have a fab Sunday x

 

 

Not A Happy Bunny

Thats a saying I first heard while working at the Chelsea Flower Show, which is actually on this week, so quite appropriate.

It was 1993 and I was a student at a horticultural college. Whilst there, I was given an opportunity to help out at one of the show gardens and I jumped at the chance. To be honest, I was really in it for the money rather than the experience! Though I am glad I did it, I can’t say I enjoyed it too much, very long hours and being talked down to by the ego fuelled gardening elite. Anyway, I was travelling in a students car (bit of an old banger) and he was a bit of a live wire, tad rough around the edges, much use of, shall we say ‘colourful language’? We were trying to get into a carpark and were told we couldn’t for reasons unknown, by a rather gruff attendent. We felt we were being unfairly treated. I was expecting a few choice words by the student but he just said ‘right we’ll find somewhere else but I am NOT a happy bunny!’ It has always stuck with me as it was so unlike this chap, made me giggle! I worked there for 3 days, the last being for 20hrs, the last few of those I accidentally got a bit tiddly on some whiskey…

So, why am I an unhappy bunny? I have had a rather difficult encounter with a neighbour regarding a tree she planted which will, in time obscure our beautiful view of the moor. There have been issues with their land before, the abandoned area causing problems for a few neighbours as well as myself.

Well, I have never been spoken to so rudely! She was horrible. Telling me I had no right to a view and the tree will not be moved. Now, I am not one for being shouted at, having a rather loud voice of my own, but I was so taken aback, I let her carry on, then apologised for any misunderstandings and quickly left! To be honest, I was almost in tears though managed to stay calm. Obviously I am still very upset about it. Nothing can be done, I just hope she moves! Life is too short for this sort of nonsense and I will get over it, just need a few more days.

On top of that, I recently sowed salad crops in the garden and nearly all of them have been eaten by slugs and snails. Now thats soul destroying 😦

I dont use those nasty slug pellets and I find the safe for wildlife ones are ineffective, well, I guess these gastropods are wildlife too! I have this thing where I am unable to kill anything, maybe this ‘thing’ has a name? Doesn’t matter what it is –  a worm, a woodlouse, a snail, can’t do it. If I accidentally tread on something I get upset about it!!! It really is hard work as a gardener.

So, looks like its shop bough salad for us then!!

….and deep breaths….sorry, rant over, good therapy though, and free!! Thanks for reading! I will be back in crafting mood soon. I am teaching myself how to use a sewing machine, trying to expand my craft world. Loving it too! Look, I made a bag….

sewn bag

Well, it’s time for my dinner, speak soon xxx

Write It Down!

That is a note to self! I am making a small granny square blanket and have used patterns from two different sources to make up each square. I wrote down the main pattern but hadn’t written the edging one. After edging 3 or 4 squares, I realised I was using the wrong stitch! Crochet is easy to undo, fortunately!

I have a habit of forgetting things and keep saying to myself, write it down….but I forget to! There is no hope. My husband is a great one for writing lists but I am not, even if I do, I forget where I put it. If its really important, I will put pen to hand, guaranteed to see that 🙂

One thing I haven’t forgotten is that my latest purchase is on its way, a selection of linen thread from Lithuania. Haven’t treated myself for a while and am very much looking forward to the postie delivering my parcel. Took me a while to source it. I did find a lovely shop called A Yarn Story , well worth a look, they sell some beauitful yarns though at the time they had run out of the colours I wanted. I eventually found some on good old Etsy. I’m going to make some brooches with this fine thread, like the one I showed you last month.

Until that arrives, I will continue with the blanket, hopefully getting it finished next week then it will be for sale in my Etsy shop.

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Have a lovey weekend 🙂

Early Start

It’s 6.30am and I’m sat on the sofa with the dog, listening to the birds competing with eachother. Cheeky sparrow is winning so far. Thought I might as well do some tippity tap tap on here, while its quiet. Will be manning the shop later, though not really wanting to today as it is Easter and our tiny town will be severely lacking in customers!

I haven’t been into doing any crochet of late, as I think I have mentioned before. After a number of years of making all kinds of stuff, I still don’t know where I’m going with it! I need to pick one thing and just go with it, but what is that thing??! I made this pretty brooch from linen thread (which I posted on instagram and got a like from The Devon Guild of Crafters!!)

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I have now started on a necklace using the same materials. Maybe I should make a few pieces, pop them on Etsy and see what happens? Unfortunately, real work takes priority at the mo, got a mortgage to pay!! As a gardener, this is our busiest time. The new dog seems to take up the spare hours, he is a handful!

Well, one of the cats has entered the room, demanding I get up and feed her immediately, time for breakfast. Hope you all have a smashing Easter 😉 x