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April 2010
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June 2010

Greenhouse effect


This is our humble little greenhouse, purchased because the old glass greenhouse it's standing in has no walls left making it a chilly, breezy place for young seedlings just starting out. The start of our crop is ready to plant out, with more to come, but we're busy rabbit proofing before this can happen. I swear those weeds swallowing it up weren't there just a couple weeks ago.

Mini greenhouses like these, usually with the plastic lost can be seen languishing at the back of gardens all over the UK. Probably because the plastic covers are pretty flimsy or the gardeners take them off for winter and forget where they stored them when spring rolls around.

We bought ours at a local shop and while Gracie and I slotted it together we realised it was a very handy size and we knew another way we could put the greenhouse to good use.

Gracie's bedroom is too small for a decent size wardrobe and 17th century cottages don't have them built in. We've looked around for the perfect storage for her since we moved in 8 months ago with no success, until we got our greenhouse. 


So we purchased another greenhouse, put it together and removed a couple of bars and shelves. Then we bought some heavy cotton calico for a steal on eBay and whipped up a cover by copying the plastic one. I added pockets to the sides and some loops to hang scarves and belts and Gracie is so happy with the outcome.

We'd planned on appliqueing a "G" at the top but Gracie was too excited to finally have space for her hanging clothes that she put it up before I could even press out the seams. I love the fact that when she no longer needs this storage it will fit easily into other rooms and can be quickly disassembled for moving. 

So if you have a lonely greenhouse at the back of your garden, bring it indoors for a new life. It's very sturdy and the total cost for the whole thing was only £23.50 - bargain!

I'll be back soon with a blog birthday giveaway and a fun download.

Flowers sunshine and smiles

Ink bottle bouquet

April showers certainly brought May flowers. Suddenly colour is bursting everywhere, especially in a little wooded area that happily escapes the lawn mower. Ink bottles are perfect vases for tiny posies of buttercups, daisies and forget-me-nots.

The flowers remind me of this sweet little poem Sonia sent me.

by Cicely Mary Barker

So small, so blue, in grassy places,
My flowers raise
Their tiny faces.

By streams my bigger sisters grow,
And smile in gardens,
In a row.

I've never seen a garden plot;
But though I'm small,
Forget me not !

Not a lot to say about what we're getting up to around here. We're in the middle of a busy end of the school term so instead, some images.

Sun brewed tea

Some very warm weather allowed for a sunshine brew.

Nature's portrait

Photo taken by Gracie during her week away on a school trip.

Puppy love

Lots of time spent training our new puppy, Pippi. She's happily forcing even more time for us outdoors - we're really pleased she's arrived in spring and not in winter.

School Rock Concert

Amazing show, not just because my favourite guitarist played and sang two of the songs. I don't know how he musters up that confidence, but I'd like him to bottle it and give me a little.

Enjoy the weekend!



Away on a school trip. Already?!

There's hardly a room or a surface in our house left undecorated (some might say littered) by Gracie. She leaves her mark everywhere she goes and I'm sure she'll do the same while she's away on a school trip this week. 

Five days without my baby's smiling face, surely eight is far too young to go away so long. She assures me that it's not. "I'm excited, not anxious like some of my friends." Apparently her only worry is that "...the week is going to go by too quickly." I'm choosing to take these comments as an indication of healthy self confidence and not a chaotic home life ;)

We spent yesterday packing, sewing name labels, and working together on an upcoming article for the GP. A busy and productive day for both of us. And as it was Mother's Day in the States yesterday I couldn't help thinking about my own mother and the many times she's helped me pack my bags and bravely wave me goodbye.

You're such a star mom, I love you!


I've been very slowly continuing my quest to crochet. I picked up this book by, Jan Eaton at the library it's looking like a great next step to get beyond the basics.


The book includes comprehensive tips on just about everything crochet related: decorative stitches, reading diagrams as well as patterns, stitch conversion charts, hints for dying yarn, and more and more. My favourite tip so far is how to felt two yarn ends together to join colours. Old trick? I don't know, but new and brilliant to me!


I'm nearly finished with the hexagon scarf I've been making with Lucy's hexagon pattern. I'm sure her site, Attic 24 has inspired zillions of beginner crocheters. (Is that a word?) 

Here's my friend Charlie showing off a stack of crocheted hexies.

I don't always get around to posting images shared by people who email me things made from NM tutorials and patterns but I LOVE seeing each and everyone of them. Here are a couple of recent images:

Bunny1Dianne kindly sent in this sweet bunny made wih soft gingham flannel and a yo-yo adorning one ear. See more of bunny on Dianne's blog Country Life in the City

In no time after posting Mr Owl, Monique in the Netherlands sent me images of her egg carton owl. He's sporting newsprint feathers and egg carton wings, very smart looking.

Thanks for the show and tell.

Minque-owl-250 Must run now and pick up my boy then spend some one-on-one time. I think a little Ben & Jerry's is in order to help us not miss sis too much, don't you?