Tuesday, 29 April 2008

planting out..... finally!

everything feels very late this year. i have only just planted out the vegetables in my small, but very perfectly formed new raised bed. this year we will hopefully be having potatoes, carrots, leeks, courgettes, purple sprouting broccoli, beetroot and climbing beans. i have made bean catcher dream catchers for them to grow up but so far am having a few bean disasters so we will see. the first lot didn't germinate, the second lot i planted out too early and they died in the snow, and now i have a tray just beginning to sprout on my window sill so third time lucky lets hope!

in the summer i plan to mosaic the walls of the raised bed and make it beautiful, but i am waiting for the longer, warmer evenings to kick in before i begin. the pear tree blossom has been and gone, but the apple trees are looking very pretty in pink.

my numerous salad bowls have finally sprouted and will be good to eat very soon.

and my new herb garden is beginning to establish itself. i love the way the oregano is flourishing in the cracks of the wall.

all in all i am really happy with the garden so far. i have six tomato plants sitting in the porch all looking happy and smelling only the way fresh tomatoes can. and i have a host of chilli plants on the go, i cant believe how slowly they grow but i guess the best things do come to those who wait.


Tuesday, 22 April 2008

coming home

this is the face of a very excited little boy! we're usually hanging around in the wheel house which also happens to be our kitchen, either making dinner or tidying up when j gets back from work. as soon as stan hears the click of the lock, he expectantly looks to the door and starts smiling hugely and waving his arms and legs around frantically as his daddy arrives home. it's such a lovely thing to see and makes my heart smile watching the joy on both their faces, as they see each other after having been apart for the whole day. at those moments it's as though it has always been the three of us. our little family. and all the struggles of everyday living fade away leaving the air full of love and laughter.

those moments really make my day.

we were really thrilled to receive this beautiful jumper for stan the other day. knitted by a dear family friend. he seems to like it and it's just his colour.

along with these cute shoes that ambika sent us a while ago, thanks little sis they're really lovely, both gifts are a little big at the moment but i think stan will grow into them very nicely.


Thursday, 10 April 2008


spending it, wasting it, producing it, absorbing it. the positive and the negative stuff, the inspired bursts, the volcanic eruptions, and the lightening realisations. we've had it all this week!

i've been a member of a local environmental action group for a while now. initially we jumped onto the "plastic bag free" band wagon, and then we introduced a bag tax within our small town. all but 4 of the 30 retailers now charge 5p for every plastic bag given out, all funds going to the CWT it has been a good success. we held an energy awareness evening last week to promote our latest project.reducing domestic energy waste. basically turning off lights, getting properly insulated, that kind of thing. it was most illuminating.

other news this week, congratulations to my dear friend natalie who gave birth to a beautiful girl. i made her this cheeky monkey.

in fact i have been very productive and have made a further 2 monkeys and these 3 sweet little owls which are nestled under the bluebells in the garden. they are lavender filled so will help you sleep and then watch over you.

the garden is looking great and colour and life is jumping out from every corner. we didn't have snow like my sister, just a cold patch. unfortunately enough to kill off the beans, but it's my own fault for putting them out a little too early. i have also bought my first online fabric from buttonberry i didn't know what to expect and was so excited to receive the package sweetly wrapped in pink tissue paper and ribbon. it was very personal and i just love the prints.

what to make now is the only question. watch this space...


Monday, 7 April 2008

a week of treats...

to cheer us up.

since being back from visiting j's parents in the lake district, we've all been a bit poorly, especially baby stan. it's not too good being ill on the boat as we only have a sea toilet (that's only supposed to be used when you're out at sea). but it doesn't work anyway. so running to the shower block every 5 minutes, gets rid of the baby fat, but isn't too much fun! we almost took up residence at the launderette too, due to stan's sick bug, and not knowing when and where he might strike next. poor darling. he's on the mend now thankfully.
still, one of the nice things about going away is coming home again. getting back to the routine of your life, and going on a trip to see what mail we've received whilst away is always an adventure! we collect our post from the marina office, and it's always nice when there's a small pile to sort through as long as it's interesting! i love checking the parcel sheet and seeing our names down there. such a treat. being easter we had lots of lovely surprise packages. chocolates from grandma, that we greedily ate with our cappuccinos before i even thought about taking a nice photo. and stan got a cute teddy from great granny and more chocolate eggs for us.
excitingly it also snowed at the weekend, in april would you believe. this time last year we were in shorts. that's english weather for you, crazy. we had great fun showing the snow to stan, but not sure what he thought about it. then while he was napping, like the big kids we are, we built snowmen on the pontoon! mine was supposed to be a rabbit, but i think it looks a bit like that totoro creature. or a cross between the two! there's more pictures of the snow and j's snowman here.

a friend also lent me some great craft books a while ago including a couple of japanese ones about working with felt, and i finally got a chance to look through them whilst convalescing. i love this bird mobile. it's so simple and sweet. there's more of my favourite pages here.
i also managed to embroider some baby vests for our new niece. i made hearts out of vintage and new fabric, and attached them to the vests in brightly coloured threads. i like the way they turned out. i packed them up with some of stan's first baby grows. i like the thought of his cousin wearing the same clothes that he did when he was really little.

lucia is her name and we can't wait to meet her.


Tuesday, 1 April 2008

2 whole years already!!

well, my boy was 2 years old last week so we had a party to celebrate. it went on late into the night with much drunkenness and poker playing. after everyone, that was still standing, had had enough we passed out in front of an open fire while our friend john played beautifully on the guitar. this was all after the kids had gone to bed. for the actual party we laid on a fine spread, and stick baked and decorated an amazing cake in the shape of snoopy, there was just one burning question left un answered where had woodstock gone?

franc's gang of friends consist of oli, fin, and cai. it is great watching them play and interact together. i really hope that they remain good buddies. it is easy to imagine them in a few years just like the boys from the film stand by me
fin's mum chloe made franc some brilliant cat and mouse skittles from old fabric remnants, he loves them so much.

and finally, our brother had a baby girl on the 28th of march. i made this small quilt to send out to ireland as her welcome to the world present. it is the first quilt i have ever made and i am rather pleased with it. i have learnt quite a bit from the project and am already looking forward to my next one. I have also made my friend natalie a small gift for her new baby which is due any day now. i wont put any pictures on as she may see, but watch this space. for more pictures of both the party and the quilt check out our flickr account.