Thursday, 1 December 2016

A spot of light pruning

Last week whilst LP was removing the willow fedge I embarked on a spot of autumn pruning . . .



The photo doesn't really show the extent of the wholesale slaughter which took place on inherited Lonicera involucrata which we allowed to grow between the laurel hedge and the actual fence.  I've had enough of it - horrible untidy habit, and blocks too much light from the laurel.  Getting the roots out should be fun . . . not  😩

This morning I was in the mood to do a bit more 😀.
Rather drastic, but I meant to cut the Cottage Garden bed down twelve months ago and failed, it all needs a thorough overhaul and replanting, so at least I have finally made a start!  Fortunately*, LP is due here tomorrow and his first job of the day will be a great deal of shredding.












* not fortunate at all - deliberately planned this way 😍

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Two days in the garden

It's that time of year when days with LP get planned, and then cancelled as the weather decides otherwise.  Fortunately, this week was not one of those times and in two very cold but bright and sunny days we finally managed to "tick a few more things off the list".

Sadly, the willow fedge has outgrown its usefulness.  On the upside, it was fun, easy to plant and something I have always wanted to try. On the downside, it grew a least four metres every summer and was becoming a nightmare to control.  Took LP all of Wednesday to dig it out, but the fedge is no more:







On Thursday LP made one final pass down the lane and cleared up more leaves for us, and then set to on a section of footpath behind our garden which had become impassable.  Aged water mains are constantly leaking and the utility company come out about once a year to fix another section.  Unfortunately, until they repair/replace all of it, we have one area of the green which is a perpetual bog.  Yes, I know it is not our responsibility to clear the path, but no-one else is going to do the job and I want to walk along it,  only took an hour anyway :)



Once the sun had moved around to the patio LP was able to work on our penultimate raised planter without freezing to death.  He finished his task, I haven't yet managed to take a picture of it completed . . .





The final task was to shred some of the massive pile of pruning I'd generated.



I started out intending to give the Deutzia* bushes a good thinning out, but got rather carried away and decided to deal with the Lonicera involucrata which we inherited and I have come to thoroughly dislike.











* I think it is a Deutzia scabra but each summer I forget to confirm this when it is in flower.








Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Mid way progress

Can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, darkest before dawn, going to get worse before it gets better . . . but the plans are slowly coming to fruition with the feeling that this time (for now at least!) we have the right furniture in the right rooms.

We always offer unwanted furniture to a local housing charity, normally there is a 2 or 3 week wait until they collect items.  I phoned on Monday and they arrived Tuesday morning . . .





The space which everyone else would use as a dining room, that we have referred to as the 'day room' (because we didn't know what else to call it) is now where I will sew.



The extension at the end of the house which has been my study and previously housed the longarm machine, is also going to be a sewing room - this is where all the mess will happen!



A change of pace tomorrow - after a couple of cancellations because of bad weather, LP will be here.




Monday, 21 November 2016

More change

The upheaval continued for most of the weekend.  Management's study is sort-of-finished in as much as the furniture is now where it should be and all his books are in the right rooms, just not on the correct shelves, but he wants to finish the sorting in his own time and at his own pace.





There are now 20 portions of Red Cabbage with Apple in the freezer, closely followed by a similar quantity of Ratatouille.  Yes it takes a while to cut everything up and prepare it, but probably doesn't use much more fuel to cook a huge batch than just three or four portions - and now I have lots more yummy goodness in the freezer.





And then it was back to furniture moving, this time in the sitting room.  We spent far too long umming-and-erring about where the heck to position the big sofa until Himself asked a surprising question:  why are we keeping it?   Err?  Because . . . . .?  And so a swift decision was made:  it's going!   The sofa is nnnn years old and was bought so that Ollie and I could lay on it together.  It is no longer comfortable (hasn't been for years) and at 8 feet long, far too big.  Daisy occasionally jumps on it but never for long, I cannot sit on it for more than a few minutes before my shoulder starts hurting and Management never uses it.  So with that decision out of the way we found ourselves with a remarkable amount of extra space, it will take some getting use to.





Daisy doesn't seem too bothered by all the changes :)





Still much to do but my (current) study is in danger of imploding because it is having to be a bit of a dumping ground, and I really want to finish the caravan sheets and make Daisy a new fleece coat before we start changing things around in the (current) sewing room.  Can you tell that my heart really wasn't in it?

It was bitterly cold outside all weekend but not too chilly to prevent popping out with the camera to enjoy the view.







Also a fair amount of playing rugby with a Small Person who doesn't seem to feel the cold when it suits her.










Sunday, 20 November 2016

You've come a long way, baby

Four years today, a scared and skinny little thing came to live at Bag End.



If you're new here and don't know Daisy's story with us, it starts in November 2012


I love seeing how she has filled out; first picture November 2012, second one last week:




I hope they have been the best four years of her life, and here's to four more (although that would make her an estimated 15 or 16 years old, so I might not get that 😔  )


July 2016:




She remains the most remarkable little dog either Management or I have ever known.  She is never naughty or disobedient, if she doesn't do something we want it is because of our failure to communicate with her.  Daisy is loyal, devoted to us (particularly to me) and apart from a game with her supper asks for very little.  I think it is fair to say we both absolutely adore her 😍😍 .




Friday, 18 November 2016

Snowing and sewing

Today has been cold, with an all-pervasive dampness that gets into bones and makes being outside less than pleasant.  Daisy is not impressed with these conditions so I feel no guilt about not taking her for a long walk - after the usual ‘short trip around the block’ we played rugby in the garden until Madam was so puffed out that she refused to bring the ball back - a sure sign she’s had enough.

Although there is a lot of snow visible on the fells we only got nasty cold hail.  It is easy to forget though, if we can see this much white stuff then the Central and Eastern fells have probably had a real dumping 😎



Some of these pictures have received quite a bit of Haze Correction in PhotoShop, I'm not sure I really like the effect but it did produce an image that was closer to what my eye saw than the camera recorded.







Mostly it looked like this - cold, wet, sleety.







A day for making more progress on the Fat Quarter quilt binding, but only a little at a time.



And a day for making a start on fitted sheets for the caravan.  I shouldn't really be surprised that my 'test fit' turned out to be just about perfect because I'd measured really carefully . . . but I was, and then a bit delighted as well 😀







What is a surprise, however, is to be overrun with salad leaves at this time of year, the greenhouse is producing almost more than we can eat which is a lovely 'problem' to have.








Wednesday, 16 November 2016

An excuse/reason to sit in front of the TV and wood burner for a few hours

Back in February I had a manic (but enjoyable) time quilting up many tops prior to the going away party we held for Danny.

What none of the guests who admired my quilt-covered sofas realised was that this relaxed little top (which was originally pieced from left-over FQ's as a backing) had been quilted and trimmed but never bound.  I just hid all the edges behind cushions and smiled at the compliments 😚





Today was one of those wild, wet and generally dismal mid-November afternoons, and the wind made things rather unpleasant.  Daisy and I got thoroughly hailed-stoned on our walk this morning and she was not remotely unhappy when I cut the walk short and headed back for home.  It seemed like a good time to 'extract the digit', stop fussing about trying to find the perfect binding fabric and just get on with it.  I don't remember when I bought this material, but it's fairly appropriate for our location.



Sewing the binding on went really well.  I don't often use the walking foot but it did a good job of giving me a wider seam allowance than usual.



And then, after a quick walk at 4.30pm with Madam before it got completely dark, it was time to settle down in front of the woodburner and hand-finish the binding.  This is no show quilt, it's not perfectly square and is pieced in a particularly haphazard fashion; it will be a picnic rug, a dog blanket, thrown in the car or caravan but it still gets completed by hand.  On a couple of occasions I've relented and finished a binding by machine and then hated what I've done to it.  Lesson learnt 😄





I rarely get close enough when her eyes are closed to take a picture, but this afternoon she was spark-out and not moving for anything.



Only managed about a third before giving up for the night, yes I could have finished it all but sitting in one place for so long isn't good for me, so I'll pick it up again for an hour here and there over the next couple of days.