..And what I had a go at today

I am no seamstress. I need a manual to know how to thread my sewing machine. In my defence it’s an old one I bought a few months ago in a charity shop and this is the first time I’ve used it. You don’t need to know any more about my sewing skills than that 🙂

However, I had a clear Sunday, good sunlight, Venus Dodge by my side and lots of potentially wonderful fabrics..

20170813_125806 ..and second hand baby clothes that I’ve been hoarding for years for the day when I would be overcome by the urge to sew something for Sasha.

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Today was that day.

I chose a baby dress, all white embossed cotton with ready made pin-tucks at the bib. I only had a day, not a week 🙂

I struggled with lining the bodice. Knowing which bits to sew together and which bits to leave open….you don’t need to know that when you’re knitting, so it doesn’t come easy. After a few flicks of the ‘quick unpick’ or seam ripper, I more or less got it right and managed to put together a very simple, sleeveless dress. Then I couldn’t find my button-holer, which I know I have somewhere (!) so I went with press-studs.

And then when they were on and it looked like a real dress I got a bit pleased with myself and probably went a bit too far and added a bit of vintage cotton lace around the neck.

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I don’t know why I did it, it’s not a style I’ve ever seen or wanted to wear, but I just had some lace,  a needle and some white cotton and I was on a roll. I might well take the collar off, but here is the finished dress, well maybe I’ll also add a petticoat because Pintucks looks to be having a Princess Diana wardrobe malfunction silhouetted against the light. Now remember I’m a novice 🙂 ……

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Unrealistically mad with power now   🙂   Next week dungarees !

 

What we did today..

 

Sasha wanted to stay in and finish her ironing  (she doesn’t get this from me) ..

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Rufus wasn’t too happy about that..

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but Joe and Pintucks were desperate to get out and play and in the sunshine. Even though they know play = work in harvest season 🙂 Today was all about picking what we grow. Some things are easy to pick..

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..and some need a bit more effort

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and team work.

 

 

The plums are delicate so Joe wheel-barrowed them to the basket for careful packing.

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The blackberries are ready too. These are the thornless ones we grow on the allotment.

20170812_140224We have plenty of apples and blackberries to make lots of pies and crumbles and jams.

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The sweetcorn isn’t quite ready

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..and the strawberries are having a final fling but they’re not ripe yet.

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..but lots of things are ready to pick and bring home to freeze and make jams and chutneys with. I hope Sasha’s finished her ironing. Look’s like she’ll have another job when we get home 🙂

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click here for their jigsaw

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Recent little knits

Some of the little knits I’ve made recently. If you are waiting for a little knit, please don’t despair, I’m slow but I haven’t forgotten anyone. Here are three slightly different Princess Charlotte cardigans. Everyone’s will be slightly different 🙂

The Princess Charlotte cardigans are knitted in alpaca silk and are soft and cottony-silky.

These two are knitted in 100% baby alpaca wool and are soft and a bit fluffy.

When life gives you strawberries…..

It all seems very quiet in here…

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Ah, I thought it wouldn’t last long. Today is strawberry jam day. Not chasing a ball around the park day, apparently.

It smells lovely, but it takes so long…

 

…and now she needs a cuppa and a biscuit !

I won’t be too much longer……you can’t rush these things. Be a good boy and wait nicely.

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click here for a jigsaw

 

Will it ever be time for my walkie ??

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A gardener’s work is never done…

There are always a few jobs that need doing on the allotment but even more jobs occur to you when you start to look around. We often go to the veg plot to do a few quick jobs but end up staying there all day because the weather’s nice and, well, it’s a shame not to when the tools are out and you’ve got your wellies on.

 

There’s nothing quite so appealing as a freshly dug-over bed…just waiting to be filled with whatever has a chance of growing at this time of the year. It’s so irresistible that we found ourselves just having to fill up the empty space left by the potatoes with a few young leek plants that will be fine over the winter and be ready around April/May.

 

They’re very hardy and very easy to plant. Even Joe can do it. It doesn’t seem like 2 minutes since the last time he planted leeks here, with Angela

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2016

2017

This time he was the expert and showed novice Becky how to make a hole, Becky used my trowel handle,

20170729_171224 then drop in the leek and ‘puddle’ them in with water. The deeper the hole, the longer the white stem will be.

They’ve filled half of the long bed ( and left tiny little footprints all over) but we still have more space that is too tempting to leave.

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Between now and next week we’ll have a good think about what to do with it.

We’ve now filled up the space where the broad beans were too. The kids helped me plant cabbages last week and today they planted some baby broccoli/calabrese plants. They need to be netted up because there are still lots of Cabbage White butterflies about. The farmers use chemicals and powders to stop diseases and pests but we just cover them with nets and hope for the best.

20170729_165744Becky tricked Joe into going under the netting to look for butterflies and then promptly trapped him under there

20170729_165524and wouldn’t let him out until he promised to show her around the plot. Joe wasn’t too worried….. he thought he’d pretend to be a ‘cabbage zombie’

 

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Joe the Cabbage Zombie

..and Caleb would laugh at the pictures when he got home 🙂

 

Becky had a quick tour and saw the kale,

the tomatoes,

the sweetcorn the new little pumpkin, the aubergines, melons and beans and even found herself introduced to the caterpillars on the ragwort.

The tomatoes are beginning to ripen and one aubergine is big enough to pick now. That’s our first ever aubergine and we’re very proud.

The kids hung up their watering cans…

20170729_180821then helped me pick a lettuce, an aubergine, some beans and a few chillies.

We haven’t decided yet how to store the chillies. Pickle or freeze ?  We can’t eat them all but they need picking so the plant will produce more. We were very chuffed this week to see how much bigger and better our chillies are than Monty’s. Can’t say that often !

We still have lots of room to fill up so if you have any ideas as to what we can plant now, we’d love to hear your suggestions. There’s a limit to how many cabbages and leeks we can eat/freeze. Maybe swede ?