Thursday, 31 March 2011

Seeing Red

Of fallen camellias, red lampshades, lopsided crocheted cushions and charity shop bargains!

As I selected the photos for this post, it occured to me that it has a bit of a red and pink theme going on.

As the first camellia flowers fall, I am reluctant to just leave them lying there on the lawn (although for some reason Logan loves playing with them flipping them and picking them up!).

So yesterday evening I floated them on water where they looked a little shabby but still beautiful. Tried to find the floating candles but without success - that would have been perfect.

By the way, the true colours of the floating flowers are more like that in the first picture - the colour didnt come out well by night.

Continuing with the red theme, my daughter made a cheesecake in the red and white polka dot dish I got from TK Maxx for £5.

She made it without a recipe - I love the fact that she felt the freedom and confidence to just go for it - I think it tasted great but she wasn't so sure.

She just combined cream cheese, cream, icing sugar, honey and vanilla essence, then put it on a biscuit base made the usual way, and decorated it with sliced kiwi fruit.


Am having a thing about red lampshades at the moment - they seem to bring such a lovely brightness and zing into a room setting.

It started with the hall, and then a few weeks ago I came across a pair of red silk lampshades in a sale and so thought they might come in handy somewhere.

So yesterday, whilst trying to inject a bit of character and colour into the family room I remembered the red lampshades and thought they might do the trick.

 The lampshade sits on one of a pair of mahogany lampbases that I got for a few pounds at a boot fair last summer, and stands on an old oak barleytwist table bought for a couple of pounds at a charity shop, currently waiting to be stripped and then either waxed or painted.

The other lampshade I put on the other lampbase

I added my bright patchwork cushions to the large sofa after having thrown over a creamy white bedspread picked up for £1 at the local weekly antique and flea market ( that reminds me, I haven't been for months - is on tomorrow so I might pop along )

I put up a few pictures, added the lamps and moved the furniture around a bit.

Then I remembered an unfinished crochet cushion cover in shades of pink and red, so I found it, sewed in the tail ends and then cheated by stitching it onto the front of an old pale pink cushion.

But my "ta da!" moment was spoiled when I remembered that it had never looked quite right.


It's wonky!!!


Why I don't know - I made it last year, can't remember which pattern. It starts as a circle then changes to a square, and somewhere I must have either gone wrong or changed my tension - any suggestions from you many talented and experienced crocheters out there???

But what the heck!

It's colourful, adds a shot of colour, is handmade and Has Character!!

Still sticking with pink, whilst going thru photos for this post I spotted this pink blouse which I got for £3 at the charity shop the other day

And this gorgeous embroidered panelled just- above- the- knee flippy skirt - just like a Boden one but not! And not the price either!

I also spotted these photos in my Picasa files - this lovely bright pink crocheted mohair scarf that I bought from Green Rabbit Designs Etsy shop - I meant to post about this when it arrived a week or so ago - its gorgeous!!

It came beautifully wrapped and presented - thank you Vivienne!!!

Ok, I must get on - these posts take me forever when I get sidetracked with other photos I see!
I now have a footstool cover to make and a patchwork piano stool cover I want to try out - it's too wet for gardening.

Have a great day!!!!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Seeds, Flowers and a book

Good Morning!!
Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

Feels like a Monday to me as hubby was home yesterday
and we carried on doing weekendy gardening jobs all day
until well after 7pm - sort of glad he's gone back today so I can have  a rest ;)

Actually most of my time was spent very happily in here busy with seed sowing

I have waited a long time to have a greenhouse - after years and years of growing seeds on windowsills, watching them go leggy, I was so excited to have a greenhouse at last, already in situ when we moved - it has a few cracked panes and the door is awkward to open, but I love it!!!

Also planted out into the greenhouse borders the little brave hardy lettuces that grew from seed
and survived in the greenhouse though two lots of snow - hopefully we will have eaten these by the time I need the space for tomato and pepper plants - assuming the seed germinates - have just moved the trays for those seeds indoors onto a warm windowsill (feeling of deja vu here - back to the windowsill!) as I'm not sure they will germinate in an unheated greenhouse.

The keen gardeners amongst you may be interested to know that I have sown 4 types of tomatoes (Golden Sunrise, Moneymaker, Oxheart and Red Cherry) and 2 types of sweet peppers (Romano Mixed and Colour Spectrum)

I have also sown Cornflowers, Clarkia (elegans mixed), 3 varieties of nasturtiums (Oranges, tall mixed; Dark red Jewel Cherry Mixed; and a peachy Peach Melba), Ipomoea (Blue Morning Glory), Tagetes (Lemon Gem), Nicotiana (Evening Fragrance mixed), Delphiniums, Hollyhocks, Penstemons, Sweet Peas, Brachycome and Rudbeckia.

I always sow far too much on the premise that surely something must germinate and survive, and if I have too many of anything there are always plenty of friends and family to give to.

But I nearly always regret this bountiful approach when successful seedlings need pricking out ;(

(Why on earth did I sow so many I moan)

I have also sown Broccoli, Sweetcorn (Sweet Bounty), Courgettes (Green Bush), Dwarf beans (Fandango), Broad beans (Lingo), Leeks (Musselburgh) and Peas.

The other winter survivors are waiting to be planted out now - spinach and a few more cabbages that I kept inside as insurance against the birds and slugs when I planted the others out last autumn

But first I need to clear and rake over part of the vegetable garden - there are lots of flower plants to be moved before this final bed is ready, and strawberry plants to move too.

This little heartsease stands alone in the vegetable bed

Elsewhere in the garden, the flowers on the ribes are now fully open

This lovely little yellow flowering plant will flower now on and off
until autumn but I need to find out what it is - does anyone know?

The lesser periwinkle has settled in well in its new home

The camellia is in full bloom - some of the frost damaged blooms are already fading and a couple had fallen on the lawn this morning

Colourful primulas still flowering in borders, baskets and pots

The hellebore is just starting to look a little ragged but still beautiful

You can just see Bessie in the background here

We have the previous owners to thank for all this spring prettiness we have inheirited

Just a quick peek at a bargain book that arrived this morning - for the grand sum of 1p off Amazon (plus postage) !!!!

Looking forward to looking at this tonight - bags and skirts!!!

And a section on tarting up what you've already got - should be good for some ideas and inspiration!

Have a lovely day and thanks for all your comments on the last post - will try and reply soon!