Archive for ‘outdoors’

August 17, 2013

Indoors and outdoors

Is it just me or can you smell autumn in the air too?

There were no strawberries to pick locally for my mum’s birthday last weekend but we picked a few big juicy blackberries yesterday and they’ve been simmered and strained to make jelly today. There have been mornings and evenings where the wearing of wool has been required, the long grasses in the garden have spread their seed then died back and the nights are drawing in.

My morning reading habit has become an all day habit which is hindering domestic achievements and sewing.

So far in last fortnight I have read two Rebus novels, a Kathy Reichs, a Val McDiarmid, two Carole Shields (Larry’s Party and The Stone Diaries). Now I’ve started on The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I have always had this thing about reading that I start and can’t stop. When I was around ten years old I started reading longer books and used to read til midnight which was later than my mum and dad went to bed. If I went for a sleep over at my cousin’s house we’d stay up all night reading and not really talking to each other!

We have been out and about some days to balance the indoorness of the reading habit. We went to Southampton in the week and found that there is a rhinoceros trail. As we walked through the parks we saw one, then another one then spotted another one across the road, then in shop windows and baby ones in the library.

Mr G saw something similar when he went to Liverpool a few years ago but those were creatures called lambananas.

Here are a few of the rhinos we saw


(That’s me with the wind in my hair and a look on my face like Nan used to have at times of deep thought or something! Carrying a modified Tiny Happy Bag and wearing a me-made wool cardi from One Day Autumn Sewing and brown linen New Look 6190)




Miss Froo is in her favourite mummy made tunic from  a Japanese sewing book Miss Amoo is in a tunic upcycled from a dress.



July 13, 2013

Getting Away

As the weather looked to stay hot all week, the girls and I went camping for a couple of nights at our favourite camping place, Burnbake, near Corfe Castle.

It was so good to get away from the domestic grind, work and suburbia. There is very little to do when you don’t have to tidy up floors or process laundry, wash up dishes or answer the phone or send emails or listen to drilling, banging and radios blaring. Three of our near neighbours are doing building work and it was starting to drive me a little bit mad.

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So, the tranquillity of a campsite far from a road was a welcome change. I did nothing and the girls played. Then I read a book and they played. Then we went on a mega walk to Studland Bay which was well worth the journey but ended up being our longest walk ever at just over 7 miles in all!

Here we are on the outward leg of the journey. Miss Froo wouldn’t wear a hat so she was using the ‘parasol’. This is the view from the top of a hill overlooking Poole harbour

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This is an amazing rock that was in our path. It’s called Agglestone Rock and it’s a local oddity as no-one really knows how it got there

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The beach was a very welcome sight but there was plenty of digging needing to be done. Whenever we go to a beach with J he always starts digging a hole and last year in Lyme Regis he dug one so deep that when he stood in it we couldn’t see him! The girls still have a way to go to beat that.

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I totally forgot to take my swimmers so ended up swimming in my me-made undies and a crepe Novita top that I was wearing. Both dried out well on the walk back! My me-made wardrobe served me well: I only took two tops, a vest, a skirt and a dress and they were just what the weather called for. Has it ever been so hot in July????


Now we are home again, the building work continues but I am refreshed. Another bonus of camping is that it re-sets my nocturnal clock back to a diurnal one and I’ve been getting up at 8.30 since we got back. It’s quite nice to sit in the garden reading at that time and the day is very long when I don’t start it at 11am! I’m reading Simon Jenkins’ A Short History of England which I’ve borrowed from J. It isn’t a light read, unlike the latest Rebus which I borrowed from El Famosisimo and finished in a day. It’s great to have boys who buy books that I want to read 🙂

November 2, 2011


We were away and then we came back. The fruit is the at home bit and there has been sewing too… look out for the soon to be published post entitled “When a metre just isn’t enough”

October 13, 2011

Back from the Big Smoke

Wow! That is just for starters. Birmingham’s World Famous Rag Market is really something else.I have never seen so many fabric notions in my life. Ribbons, trim, pom-pom edging, beaded zips, twinkling, jingling, jangling things in all colours and designs and so many mind boggling things to dazzle the senses. Who knew that I could find all this a mere hour and a bit away from home?

I am getting too used to living in a small town! Birmingham was busy, busy, busy with people everywhere I looked and some of the buildings were amazing. Queuing to get up an escalator was a novelty as we don’t even have any buildings with escalators here in our town!

Anyhow enough with the awe-struck city cum country girl thing and onto the business of the day. Scruffy Badger and Minnado had organised the Birmingham rendezvous for like minded bloggers to get together to buy fabric and that is what we did – as well as eat a bit and drink a bit and chat a bit. I didn’t take my camera so if you want to see what we saw you can pop over to Scruffy’s to have a look.

What I brought home was this little lot:

This is a metre of lovely soft brushed cotton which was one of the most expensive fabrics I bought at a whopping £5 per metre. It will probably become a smock or pinafore for Miss Froo

This is only half a meter but it was too lovely not to have a little bit of it. I will probably make it into purses our use it to accent something else. The green-ish fabric underneath is a herringbone sort of wool-feel which is satin backed. I got a metre for a skirt and some of the others also bought some as for only £1 per metre it looked very useful as it won’t need lining.

Next are two knits, both for me. The blue one will be a long sleeved top and cost something horrendous like £3 per metre and the white patterned one might be a vest or scarf and cost just £1

This purple and black striped knit has a lovely handle and is said to be Marks & Spencer quality. It certainly feels like it and it has washed beautifully. This will be a top for Miss Amoo once she settles on a pattern she likes.

Only four more things to see – hang on in there!

Some grey stretch suiting which I hope to make trousers from – probably New Look 6190

Stretch lace with a scalloped edge? Who knew such a thing existed? Half a metre will make some glamorous undies to sit alongside my upcycled jersey t-shirt undies in the drawer.

Then to the notions and some swaps. Thank you to Mimi for the pattern and Sarah for the letter A brooch. Miss Amoo loved it as much as she loved the purple paisley ribbon! The wild velvet ribbon is to re-hem my orange wool skirt for a new winter, the beige-ish velvet ribbon is to hide the fraying bits of the neckline of a jumper (thanks to Mimi again for this idea) The bundle of cream elastic is for edging undies with and I also bought some jumbo ric-rac in golden yellow and turquoise but these have been hidden away by Miss Amoo and bits already used to make badges with – see below!

So that’s all the fabric purchases. I also bought a little envelope of Bay leaves for 40p and some beaded bangles and mango lollies which brought the grand spend total to a very decent £37.20. I was so pleased to have been able to get such a variety of fabrics despite not being able to get any fleece backed sweatshirt material for some trousers for Miss Amoo which was on my list.

All in all it was a fantastic afternoon out with some lovely ladies and I am looking forward to sewing all this fabric up over the next few months and then perhaps meeting you all again one day. Next time I won’t order soup so that I can eat with a bit more decorum like the rest of you!