Saturday, 29 June 2013

Summer of ♥

What glorious weather we are having today!!! Dare I ask if it is here to stay? At least for a long weekend, surely?
It really is a summer of love, regardless of what the weather is doing. Kit & Ziggy, whilst not actually loving each other (tolerate may be more apt), seem to be doing OK together. The little scene in the above photo made me laugh. They look like Egyptian cat guardians, keepers of the steps.

To my delight I discovered a secret strawberry plant which seems to have self seeded itself in a flower bed! I am in half a mind to dig it up and start a new pot of strawberries as my other pot are doing so well this year- we are still getting a few strawberries a day. Today there were four! Ripe and juicy and warm from the sun.

Flowers are blooming all over the place.  I am loving these magnificent orange lilies which have blossomed seemingly overnight and now add a dash of fiery colour to the flowerbed.

Delicate little sweetpeas have wrapped themselves around the budlia plant. And my SoE show rose has its first flower!!! Can you be proud of a plant? It smells gorgeous too.

I think it is the combination of flowers and the colours which is the most exciting thing about a garden. Some gardeners plan their flower beds to have a certain colour theme and pay attention to the heights of the plants in relation to their position in the bed- all sorts of technical things. Dad, the keeper of the garden, doesn't go for all that. Plants just go wherever there is a space usually, and he chooses colours he likes. The mish mash works well for all- and I LoVe it!!

Flaming June

Hi Everyone! How are we all? I am excited to show you this stitchy project because I think it is my favourite so far!! I gave you a teaser glimpse on Tuesday, but here is the final Ta- Dah!! Ready?


I think what I like most about this piece is the different scales and densities in the flowers. Some of them are huge with half shaded areas, some are middling but very dense and others are just little stitches grouped together. Actually I like the text too....and the little vine-like leafy fronds....oh OK, I LOVE it all!!

So that is three of these stitched hoops now:-

My Summer of Love hoop...

My Forget Me Not hoop...

And my Flaming June hoop!!

I have actually already started another one- there are just so many ideas to get out!! Plus The Mother found a great magazine cutting with details on how to do the most beautiful stitched flowers which I might have to borrow a few ideas from.

Harry Potter Studios

On Wednesday I went to the Harry Potter Studios where they filmed a lot of the movies. It was absolutely fantastic!! I loved the books and thought I knew quite a lot about the story and how they made it come alive on the screen, but it isn't until you get to the studios that you realise how much detail is in every little prop, and also how varying the scales of things are. It was quite incredible and if you are a fan of the Harry Potter stories then I really suggest you go! Fab day out. See if you can recognise any of the setups or props and what film they came from...

The Potions room was really exciting to me, rows upon rows of different shapes and sizes of glass jars!!! The photo below only shows a fraction of it!!

I tried Butterbeer (well you have to don't you?) which to my mind tastes like a cross between cream soda and Pimms- with a sort of half melted ice cream on top....sounds disgusting but I liked it.

Walking into rooms filled with prosthetic heads and hands and other forms of limbs was quite creepy, especially when you get to the props that move every so often!!

Oh and I LoVeD Diagon Alley!!! The window displays were absolutely fantastic!

I think one of my favourite bits was near the end. The model of Hogwarts really takes your breath away, especially when it is 'night time' and the little lights come on in the towers. You see bits of the castle that you never knew where there!!

Do go and see it if you get a chance. It is worth every penny and the shop is pretty cool too!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Adventures of Fenton & Hamish

Ah, I love it when people make things- especially things that I have shown them or taught them how to make! In April I introduced you to Fenton and Hamish, two hamsters made by my friend Anna after my hamster themed craft sessions last year (here and here). They seem to travel most places with her and are stars in their own right (do you think there is a hamster walk of fame? Maybe we could make a felt one...)

These are the latest photos of the friend's travels and exploits. I really love Hamish's travel rucksack!! So cute. I wonder what sorts of things he has in there?

This Morning

Morning Everyone! My complaints about the weather in my last post seem to have worked as today is (so far) bathed in sunshine! So much better than the dreary dullness of the past few days. Coffee on the back step was calling to me.

I feel I should show you the back step from a different angle as I am always showing you my viewpoints of the garden. The steps are framed with pots brimming with allysum, roses and some other plants I don't know the names of.

In the basket is my current project, just started in its baby stages. This one is going to be a completely different colour scheme to the previous two, with many more hOt colours to draw the eye.

Now Kit isn't much of a sun lover, probably to do with the colour of his coat making him overheat quicker, but even he was persuaded to sit in the sunshine for a bit this morning- which he duly did whilst performing the most amazing acrobatic movements. Watching cats clean themselves (especially elderly, podgy, slightly arthritic ones) is fascinating!


The first lily has burst open (Dad will be pleased) and is already a regular bee attraction. It fits in rather well with the colour scheme for my stitch sampler actually.


And recently I did my own share of gardening, re-potting the rose I bought at the South of England Show a few weeks back. It was starting to look pitifully cramped and unhappy in the original pot, so it was moved to a bigger home, and will probably be found a place in the flowerbed when it has outgrown that.