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Friday, 29 April 2011

another long weekend

Two wonderful, long weekends in a row and wonderful weather with it! One could get used to this....
Although this weekend is not as warm as the Easter one, and we even had a frost the night before last. We had to get some of the pot plants under cover a bit sharpish.
Despite the weather man promising some rain for today, it held of in most parts of the country, which was a very good news for a certain young couple in London. It was an ideal day for a wedding and I am sure all of you, who are interested, watched it on TV.
That all done, I would like some rain now, please! My garden is desperate for it and everywhere is like a dust bowl. Two of our water buts are empty already and we are still in April! But as they say, be careful what you wish for!

When it was very warm last week, I was looking for something to stitch, nothing too warm or delicate.
I found this in one of my draws, I bought it years ago on holidays. I can't even call it UFO, as not a stitch was done on it before it disappeared in a draw.


A piece of fabric with a printed design. I plan to make it into a curtain for a small side  window in our dining room, which looks out onto a side of the garage, a view which needs to be permanently blanked out. It is a very easy project, simply stitched in a stem stitch.


parcel

 A parcel arrived yesterday from Ohio, my prize from  Cyndi's giveaway,  mini charms of "Lovely" by Moda. It really is a "lovely", bright, summery design. Thank you, Cyndi!!
I love it, I plan to get some extra fat qtrs in the same fabric.


But that is not all, Cyndi put some extra goodies in the parcel!



Thank you again, Cyndi, for your generosity!!!


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

spring meadow


We had a beautiful Easter, with wonderful warm weather, which allowed us to spend lots of time outside. We enjoyed the company of our family for Sunday lunch and relaxing afternoon in the garden.

On Monday morning we were taken on a "wild flower safari" by a local farmer.
Wild flowers have been on a decline for many years, mainly due to modern farming methods. The farmers were encouraged to plough right up to the edges of the fields and get rid of the hedges which surrounded them. The addition of fertilizers help to destroy the natural habitat for wild flowers.
Luckily, we all have realized in time, that we are destroying something very precious, and once gone, it will not come back. The government is now giving financial incentives to our farmers to replace the original hedgerows, to leave a belt of unploughed land around the fields, and where possible, let the field return to a meadow. Of course, this takes several years to achieve, but the farmer now has several meadows, with an abundance of wild flowers and he was very proud to show us around.
The walks around his meadows are open to public, so anyone can come and enjoy the flowers.


The selection of wild flowers depends on the time of year, constantly changing.
At the moment this field is covered in

cowslips


wild orchids



                                                  and spring pea


The highlight of our wild flower walk was this 2 acre bluebell woodland. I know I showed you pictures of bluebells before, but this is something on quite a different scale. I haven't seen so many flowers in one place before.







and among bluebells - yellow archangel (nettle family)


Spring is my favourite time of year and living in the country we can enjoy it so much more. We have been very lucky this year, having such an early spring, specially after a hard winter.
But, it has also been very, very dry and that is not so good. We are now watering even our plum trees, or we can't hope for any fruit this year. The weather is cooling now, down to normal temperatures, but still no sign of rain.


Friday, 22 April 2011

                                                    
HAPPY EASTER !




I finished my spring table runner just in time!


More colours of spring:

 









































                                                      Spring table runner.



Fabric: from my stash
Stitcheries: embroidered using Aurifil Mako12, shade 4140
Hand quilting: using Aurifil Mako 28, shade 1135

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

good start to the holiday week


After not such a great week last week, I had a lovely surprise on Monday. I received an email from Cyndi, letting me know that I am one of the winners  in a giveaway on her blog! Cyndi is sending me a charm pack of Moda fabric.
Thank you very much, Cyndi, for your time to run this giveaway and for your kindness and your generosity. I look forward to receiving my parcel from Ohio!



Well, I don't know what happened to our spring, because we are having SUMMER in this part of the world! The temperatures are in 20C + and it has been pleasant enough to sit and stitch outside until around 7pm. We do get beautiful springs some years, but I can't remember having such warm April evenings as well. The weather people have promised us more of the same well into the Easter weekend, I hope they are right!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

sunday morning






I love this spring, damp meadow flower, called Cuckoo Flower. So gentle, in soft shades of pale pink, lilac and white. My grandmother used to call it the "Tears of the Virgin Mary", because it starts flowering around Easter time.








I had a very busy week, end of PAYE tax year and submission the tax office, so little time or a thought for anything else, I was just too tired to blog or even stitch. All "done and dusted" by Friday and I was able to enjoy the beautiful weekend we have been having. It was great to get out into the woods before breakfast, with the early dampness still in the air and on the ground.


We walked to the place of an ancient settlement, the Parkhill Camp. I wrote about this place before here.


We took with us our four legged visitor. She is staying with us while her family is visiting the other grandparents.


The first signs of bluebells, in a week or so this woodland floor will be a blue carpet.






                                  I still hope to finish my table runner by Easter.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

wild and cultivated

Another glorious morning and an early morning walk in the woods. I love the freshness and the smell of the woods that time of the day. We came here to pick some wild garlic leaves to cook with a roast chicken  later on. But early walk is a good start to the day anyway and we are making the most of beautiful weather.
                         

It was a bonus to find blue bells, a few weeks earlier then normal, brought on by the warmth and sunshine we have been having this week.


          Also wood sorrel and wild violets.




     Later, while enjoying sunny Saturday, with temperatures of 20+, I took some pictures in the garden.

                                                   crab apple blossom




                                                    plum blossom



                                                bleeding heart



                                                         viburnum



                                                     trailing phlox






                                                quince blossom

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