Fall Flowers

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There is still a lot of colour in the flower border.

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Acheilla, I love the deep pinks.

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Lilies and Day lilies.

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A very hardy Verbena.

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Sunflowers and Tansy.

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Coneflower.

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Lavender.

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The poppy seed heads just look so amazing I had to have another photo.

Soap

A new batch of soap.

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Olive oil, nettles. tea-tree and rosemary.

I used 3 cups of fresh chopped nettles for this soap, picked with gloves on!

Being an olive oil soap it took ages to trace ( combine all the oils and lye) and was worried it would not set  but it did so I am a happy camper as the large amounts of tea-tree and rosemary essential oils in it make it a very expensive soap but a luxury worth investing in as the soap is great for all types of skin, lathers well and keeps its wonderful smell after its been dry for months.

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Marigold and Chamomile.

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Fresh Chamomile and marigold flowers from the garden and coconut oil soap.

I coloured this soap with a little of the spice turmeric, another favorite soap of mine, it lathers very well and is lovely and mild.

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Lastly I used the left over oils from the above two soaps to make this rose soap.

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When I added the rose petals to the lye they all turned a light brown, rather than waste the petals I carried on with the soap. I scented the soap with a rose fragrance oil as this soap is for keeping at the kitchen and utility sinks.

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I am pleased with the colour it turned out to be in the end and cut it into big chunky bars easy to get a hold of with dirty hands.

Hopefully this batch should keep us going for a long time.

July Border

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Its been very changeable weather, very hot then pretty cold but mostly wet!

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After all the poppies last month came the beautiful seed heads.

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Still standing even after all the rain!

Zinnia, marigold, tom thumbs and another poppy.

Perennial sweet pea and annual sweet pea.

Border flowers.

Sun flowers.

Susan’s Mosaic

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This is my sister Susan in front of her wonderful mosaic, she did for her local school in Twickenham  England. I think it is so beautiful, I hope that when I next visit her she will take me to see it and I will get more photos to show you.

Gitte’s mod quilts

My friend Gitte makes the most wonderful quilts, I persuaded her to give me some photos to show you.

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This one is her Garden quilt with a pond in the middle, its a big queen size she designed herself.

Gitte does all he quilting herself on a domestic sewing machine.

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Wow, wonderful quilting, I totally love the little fish.

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Our little quilt group, The Perfect Quilters, challenged ourselves to make a modern quilt.

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Gitte  quickly made this awesome quilt full of the most amazing quilting.

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I love the way it changes from one design effortlessly to another.

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Strawberry Jam

A quick post for Mum, Strawberry Jam!

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I also made Strawberry and Rhubarb jam, Strawberry and gooseberry Jam Strawberry and Blackcurrant jam and a a big batch of Blackcurrant jam as there was no more room in the deep freeze for them!

Poppies

I grew a few annual poppies last year which were lovely and one poppy that must have blown in on the wind. This year 100’s of seedling grew so I decided to leave them to it and it was well worth it as they have been flowering  beautifully even although it has been raining buckets for the past two weeks.

Here are the pink poppies.

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At the other end of the border the red poppies.

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A yellow and a simple red.

They are all still flowering, amazing considering the rain.

Elder-flower Juice

My friend Maria gave me a frozen bag of Elder-flower juice she had made herself, it was delicious and so refreshing especially after an afternoon digging a new nursery bed for the garden! I just had to have a go at making some of my own.

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I picked 30 sprigs of elder-flowers and picked out any bug that may have come in with them.

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Popped them in a nice bug ceramic bowl.

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Added the juice of 3 lemons and sliced up another 2 plus a sliced orange.

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I boiled 3 and a half pints of water( about 2 ltrs) and added it to 2 lbs (900g) of sugar and once the sugar was dissolved completely left it to cool then added it to the elder-flowers and gave it a good stir.

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I covered the bowl with clingfilm and left it  to brew for 24 hours.

Then strained it through a jelly bag.

I bagged up a half pint into freezer bags and froze them.

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Each bag  is then diluted when needed using approx 2 pints (1.5 litres) of cold water, soooo good! I made another batch using only lemons, it was good too, I now have enough juice to last right through the summer and into the winter.

On the subject of kitchens

I felt I had not been in touch lately with my brother Bean (Iain) who lives in Portsmouth USA, its not that I don’t think about him and his lovely family I do, often, I have their children’s artwork dotted about the house and great photos of them. They built a beautiful new home and his kitchen is modern and minimalist quite the opposite of mine, his kitchen is the kitchens of dreams so I took inspiration from his kitchen to make him modern quilt.

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OK, I know, but the wind appears out of nowhere when I try to take a nice flat photo of any quilt!

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Its a double sided quilt, this side being a little more traditional.

I used a mixture of different fabrics, cotton satin is a favorite of mine and used it reversed for part of the quilt to lower the sheen. I quilted it with a simple all over modern design.

Front?

Back?

The fish print is the only non solid fabric in it.

I will send this to Bean later this year for his birthday, yes the one I always forget!

Kitchen makeover

I really needed to brighten up the kitchen, we are renovating this cottage next year, we have the plans but I have to finish the studio first so while I wait for my revamped cottage I decided give the kitchen a lick of paint. I painted everything white then decided that the windows and beams should be teal blue.

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Dining area, I made a fun pillow to go with the flag one Peter gave me and moved the dresser to the other side of the room. A summer neighbor, Helen brought me the flowers from  her garden.

Still the same old cooker but it works, sometimes! The same old floor, its easy to clean.

Same old sink but looks much brighter and feels much calmer.I am happy with it. On to the sitting/dining-room next!!!!!!!