Monday, 28 July 2014

Joys of Summer - no 2

                                           Home-made Strawberry Ice-Cream.

Friday, 25 July 2014


Best Beloved and Nicky worked hard at establishing the vegetable garden this spring. While they were digging over the bed intended for the squashes, Nick dug up a Bumble-bee nest. ( Most Bumble-bees nest underground, often in an old mouse nest. That is how they become prey so easily, to predators like Badgers.) Luckily, she did not damage it, although the bees were not overjoyed.  Best Beloved then rushed around to find something to put the nest into.
 He came across a bird nesting box, awaiting repair in the woodshed. Perfect! Having donned his beekeeping suit ( how lucky that we still have it!), BB carefully lifted the nest into the box. A slate was weighted down on the roof, and all parties retired, to await developments.
It was not long before it transpired that the bees had not missed a beat. They were flying within an hour, and bringing pollen into the nest soon after.
                                          And there is always a guard on the door.

(Please excuse the low quality of photos.....lying full stretch on one's front is not an ideal position to work from).

Thursday, 24 July 2014

More hoard

Some more of the treasures, discovered whilst unpacking the hoard.
  My brother was planning on getting married, during the period that Best Beloved and I were house hunting. My mother, Nicky and I had decided to make my brother a patchwork quilt, using remnants from our many sewing projects. The remnants came from skirts, bridesmaid dresses, baby clothes, and the like. We also took pieces from worn-out favourite shirts and nighties. Even a pillowcase. Many hours were spent measuring, cutting, and painstakingly hand sewing the hearts onto plain squares. There were roughly two hundred, in twenty different fabric designs.
 We sold our house quickly, and once we decided to buy this house, things moved swiftly. The remainder of the household had to be packed up in short order, and ended up being stored indefinitely.
 The box of fabrics and squares were in extremely good condition, when I unearthed them. I had forgotten just how pretty the fabrics were. Still are.
After such a long hiatus, Nicky and I decided, that instead of making a large quilt for someone who has now been married almost seventeen years, we would divide the pieces between us, and make a quilt each.
Although the project is likely to proceed at a reasonable pace, I wouldn't suggest anyone hold their breath until we finish!

The fabrics are all 100% cotton. The hearts are a light dress-weight. ( Some of them are Liberty Tana Lawn, and the others are matched to that.) The colours are predominantly Rose pink, and a mid Willow green. Tones of these two, and a little mid-blue to add depth.
The squares are sheet weight plain ivory. The backing will be the same.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Whose laundry?.......

Working my way through the ironing, a couple of days ago, I came across a miniscule pair of cotton trousers. Ladies red cotton trousers, but tiny, too small even for a Cindy doll!

I do not have children, and do not often have children visiting. Certainly there have not been any this year. I cannot think where the item may have come from. They must have been through my laundry, as they have the same smell as the rest of it.
This is not the first time it has happened, though. About eighteen months ago, a smart white shirt of similar dimensions appeared in the same way. I ironed it, and put it to air in the same way as the trousers. (above) When I went to put the aired clothing away, no shirt! And, yes, the trousers appear to have gone the same way they arrived.
Maybe one of our Woodland Fairies needed her holiday clothes cleaning. I daresay they are experts at laundering cobwebs and rose petals, but possibly not confident of cotton.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sweet birthday

It was Best Beloved's birthday recently.
It has become traditional for us to celebrate by sharing a Curry with Nicky and her husband, R. This year, Nick's twin, Mel, was visiting from Australia, so she joined us, along with her partner, K. While they were out shopping, they saw this cake and could not resist buying it for the Kitchen Gardener!  So, they brought it along to the Curry supper. Much hilarity ensued.
It was too much to eat there and then, but went down very well with a cup of tea the following day.

Joys of Summer - no. 1

                                      Line-dried bed linen..... it smells so wonderful.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Dragon hoard

It is quite extraordinary, the things that one forgets about, when they are out of sight.
 This is a pair of book-covers. The front on the right, the back on the left. They are made of two metals, and the Dragons had been gilded.
I found them, when out on a walk close to a nearby village. I had skirted around the edge of a field which had been used as a junk yard, in time gone by. The glint of metal in the sun had caught my eye, so I crouched down to look , and saw a piece of metal with a Dragon on it. Gently pulling it from the earth, two pieces came away together. I assumed, at first, that they were picture frames. What an exiting find! Once home, I cleaned them up, and propped them up on my dressing table. I was about thirteen or fourteen.
A friend of my parents was a seller of antique and vintage books. When the Dragon find was mentioned, he looked at them, and was very interested, explaining what they really are. He even offered to sell them for me. I was more interested in the frames than the money.
When I got married ( 1979), I packed them up carefully, and took them off to my new home. They have remained packed, as I kept my treasures safe through building work and house moves, and more building work.
                                                       ( Detail of lower front)

It was a lovely surprise to come across this treasure, during the course of my major clear out. Amusing too, to know that my Dragon obsession is rooted in my childhood.

( I knew the owner of the land mentioned above. I also showed him the Dragons. He had no interest in them, and told me to keep them if they pleased me).