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 -