Friday, 31 December 2010

Third time lucky?

In the Summer we got six chicks from my daughter's friend's brother.  Five of them turned out to be cockerels, but fortunately he let us take four of them back (and did comment on the fact that we'd fattened them up nicely so I suspect they were destined for the pot!).  
The cockerel we kept had to have a name change from Lottie to Lotto. 
Time went on and three of the new hens turned out to be cockerels too, so a couple of days ago we changed them as well and hopefully these are all going to be girls.

Meet Lotto, Bree (four of the original ones were named after Desperate Housewives), Penny, Rosetta, Violet and Octavia :

They're getting on really well together, and a couple of days before they arrived Bree (or maybe Penny) started laying!  Yay!

I wish you all the best for 2011, Happy New Year!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Is that the time?

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

My daughter asked me to knit her a watch for Christmas and I thought it looked so good, I did her another one, although I don't think the second one is as good.  The first one is knitted in some black and gold wool left over from a tie I knitted for a boyfriend when I was in my twenties and the second is some blue boucle that my mother knitted a skirt and jumper in for herself when I was a child.

Before Christmas the lovely Alex had a fantastic 'Twelve Days of Christmas' themed giveaway and I was lucky enough the win the second day (Two Turtle Doves) which was dove and squirrel notecards and dove grey nail varnish.  As they were wrapped up so nicely I saved them to open on Christmas day.  She also included a matching Christmas card.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Bit of a mixed bag

I've not had much to show over the last few days as I've been busy getting ready for Christmas.  Here are some orange and clove pomanders I made.  The card on the right is one I've had for over 30 years and I put it up every year because I love it.  The picture is made of foil and it changes as the light reflects on it.

I was taking a photo of the stove last night when a log exploded and this is what it looks like :

Thankfully we haven't had any snow this time round; the last lot will do me for the winter, but it is really cold and we've had some lovely frosts.  This chicken wire looks really good :

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Cross body bag

When I wrote that title it seemed really strange and I started imagining an angry zip up bag for a dead body - but it isn't about that.

I always carry bags on my right shoulder and I thought after all these years it could do with a bit of a rest so I've made myself a cross body bag so that my left shoulder gets a turn.
I've used fabric from curtains I used to have, and lined it with the same fabric I used for my car seat covers, with an interlining of an old blanket and the base is strengthened by two strips of 3" curtain header from the curtains I got off freecycle.  It's got a zipped pocket across the middle of the interior creating two separate sections either side.   I've not done a zipped pocket before but it was really easy.  Note my design feature of a light coloured zip so that it can be easily located in the dark interior (and nothing to do with the fact that it was the only zip I had of the right size!)  I've also used a magnetic clasp for the first time and that was the only thing I bought specially so it was a very cheap bag.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Wreath step by step

I wanted a natural wreath to go on a family grave so I went foraging and came back with these

I used Dogwood to make the ring but you can use anything flexible and fairly straight such as Hazel or Willow.  Take one piece and form it into a circle the size you want, wrapping it round as you go.  Add more pieces until you have something like this -

 It's best if it's not too tight so that you have places to push your other bits in.

I then added Eucalyptus, working my way round and weaving it into the base, keeping it in one direction.

Next I added some sort of conifer along the outside edge but I don't know what kind

and finished off with some other kind of conifer which had fir cones on it and some Ivy berries

You can of course use what ever  evergreen foliage you've got - Holly would be nice, but a little hard on the fingers

Monday, 6 December 2010

I just can't help it

Sorry but it's more snow photos today.
I like to go for a walk every morning over the fields and along public footpaths but it was hard work in the deep snow so I've been sticking to the roads.    The snow's gone down quite a bit now though and with a keen frost last night I've had a lovely crunchy walk today.  

Look how thick the frost is on these branches

We haven't had any milk delivered for nearly a week, and here's what we got this morning

(I've only just found out that if you click on the photos they come out bigger.)

Friday, 3 December 2010

A walk home from the shop

This morning I took a walk to the village Post Office which is about a mile and a half away and called at the shop. 
It was really surreal being able to walk down the middle of a road which is usually pretty busy with cars and lorries, and when any vehicles did come along they were strangely quiet in the snow.  At the same time there was an unusual amount of people about, clearing their drives or walking - it all felt very strange indeed.
To add to this, the weather was incredible.  There was bright sunshine and a blue sky and yet fog at the same time!  I took a long detour back to see if I could capture some of it on camera and here is a selection -

 Frost covered grass and plant -

Here's one to show how blue the sky was

In too deep

I spent hours yesterday shovelling snow to clear the driveway  and make paths round the house.  Where it isn't cleared, the snow is now way too deep for wellies so this is my solution -

my waterproof walking boots and a couple of large toilet roll bags that have the drawstring handles in them.   I split the bottoms open and slipped them over my trousers, wrapped them round for a snug fit then tied the tops with the handles and the bottoms with some string.  Not the prettiest attire but they kept me dry!

When it was snowing heavily the other night my teenage son decided to go out and build a snowman.  It's a lot more traditional than mine as you can see -

Here's my daughter struggling to walk up the field.  She said she had to keep sitting down on the snow because it was so tiring -

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Simple, free burglar deterrent

As I was leaving the house this morning a great idea came to me.
There had been a fresh fall of snow after the rest of the family had gone out and there were no footprints to be seen; so do you know what I did?

I walked to the car backwards so that it looked as though I had come home rather than gone out! 
Am I genius or what?  (probably or what, but it amused me)

Sorry no photo and that's all for today.

Monday, 29 November 2010

More fun in the snow

This is not actually about the snow.  I thought the real reason for this post may be a little boring but bear with me; there will be some snow pictures at the end.

So without further ado here are the seat covers I made for my husband's pickup -

Now aren't they something?
He wanted something he could whip on and off easily depending upon what clothes he was wearing (dirty work clothes or clean).  The fabric is some I bought for a large floor to ceiling bay window we used to have but after I'd got it we decided to put a pole straight across the front instead of going all round the window.  This meant I had a load left which I've made various things out of over the years including seat pad covers for dining chairs, cushions and a pump bag.
I couldn't get a very good photo, but they're fitted over the headrests.

Yesterday I also made another SatNav bag which I've put in my Folksy shop to test the water. 
This is a more deluxe version than the one I made for myself, slightly bigger,with a paisley patterned car which is pretty unisex and an inside pocket -

And as promised a couple of snow photos.
The first one is part of a small woodland we planted

And sheep with said woodland in the background

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Who can resist making a snowman?

Snow fell here last night and I couldn't wait to get out this morning and make a snowman before it melts.  I've sat him on a bench in the hope that it'll fool people into thinking it's a real person from a distance (and in very bad light!)

While I had the camera I went looking for footprints to see what visitors we've had. 
A few of the many rabbit trails -

Fox with rabbit but presumably they weren't there at the same time!

Spaghetti the cat  plus car track from my husband going to work -

We've some sheep staying with us at the moment and these are their tracks -

Luckily the grass is still quite long so there's still some above the snow for them to eat.

Don't these leaves look lovely on the snow?