Posts filed under ‘being creative’

March memories

You may have come across a photographic scavenger hunt called 26 Things?
Kate in Brunei blogged her colourful results of the November challenge and I was intrigued by the concept of bloggers around the world snapping the same 26 words with such individual results.  November was too cold and grey in England to feel inspired but Kate’s 16 things challenge coincided with the first signs of Spring and a new resolve to go for a walk on my lunch breaks.  Perfect timing, thanks Kate.


”cat mum home with stuff for cat cake, now having a little cat party” wrote G.
 ‘you know how bonkers that makes us sound, don’t you?’  cat mum wrote back.
Making a cake to celebrate the cats birthday amounted to turning a tin of Sheba upside down on a plate and decorating it with treats to look like a cat face.   Weird 6 legged spider was more the effect we ended up with!  Nevertheless the cats loved it and we barely made it to the end of ‘Happy Birthday dear ‘  before they’d finished it.

STRIPEYGorgeous Smiley Stripes yarn bought using a voucher 2 years after I was given it! Casting on is a little overdue but in the next decade I hope to make one of these
EMPTY Can’t get enough of those crispy greens!  As well as Kale, Spring greens work well – less crispy, more chewy.

The ‘scrambled snake game’ as Tom and Kim call it.  We all love the story of the Gruffallo and played this board game during their visit to England last summer. They hadn’t come across snakes and ladders before and thought we were cheating when we told them snakes always meant slide down and not climb!
NEWA dedicated flower bed inspired by our visit to Durham’s Botanical Gardens last year.  Poppies, Cornflowers, Love-in-the-Mist and some scented flowers sown. Weeds and flowers emerging but I can’t yet tell what’s what at the moment!

I use Gloucestershire Car Share scheme to get to work.  My lift share partner had two weeks off in March and I got the bus instead.  The journey home begins here.
I planted some cuttings from Henri’s redcurrant bush in November.  They resembled dead twigs until March when the tiny buds that had formed started to open up.
HOME-MADEA naughty treat from my dear friend Mel who bought them from her church bake-a-thon.  The lady who made them is a lovely, sweet, scrummy character apparently, just like her cupcakes. They raised £1000 – that’s a lot of cupcakes!
My new favourite mug (another fab Mel gift). We don’t do small mugs in our house but this one’s jumbo even by our standards. 500mls in one very huggy mug
I’d happily cycle to work if there was a more pleasant, less hazardous route. Sadly this cycle route sign indicates the shared pathway that circles the business park.
It stops and starts at the bus stop on the main road. Boo.
Billy is our loyal evening companion and always sleeps like this to watch films with us (my outstretched legs are buried underneath him)
Last Summer I bought 100 flowers to knit and crochet. Unhappily for me all the small delicate flowers are crocheted not knitted and I can’t work out the patterns.  I browsed Ravelry instead for a knitted pattern and Julie’s strawberry flowers have been sitting at the top of my favourites list ever since!  By happy coincidence I was already following Julie’s Little Cotton Rabbit’s blog so it felt like bumping into a friend unexpectedly (Julie’s Hedgehog pattern never made it on to my needles either – shocking I know!)
Mikey loves sitting on the back wall:  the wheelie bin is his launchpad!
Yesterday, the last day of the challenge, coincided with a visit from Al and Rafferty. After lunch we raided the book box and settled down for some very cute story time.
My heart smiles every time I recall Raff’s ‘pink I think‘ answer to ‘What colour is Mikey?’ (our black cat).
A very generous hand-made gift from dear Bilbo for G’s music room.  I’m ashamed to admit we still haven’t hung it yet – bad little Hobbits!

Huge loud potential but actually G’s music room is a gently creative space where instruments are strummed, bashed and plonked with a delicate touch.

April 29, 2011 at 9:15 am 9 comments

artists at work

Licking spoons is a very important part of cake making.  Wearing cake mixture in your hair is optional.  Unless you’re 6 years old with flowing locks.

We loved having our nephew and niece over from Germany at the end of the summer. The days were filled with stories and laughter, Gruffallo games, drawing and sticking, woodland treasure hunts, tennis and tinkling the ivories.
And cake making.

George and I had as much fun painting our cakes as Tom and Kim did. You can see that G hasn’t lost his artists’ eye and that I still haven’t found mine!

In the afternoon we took Tom and Kim to Gloucester Cathedral to check out some real artwork at what is being described as ‘the sculpture exhibition of the decade’.  
Crucible features over 70 sculptures by many renowned British and International artists.  Some of the sculptures have never been seen in public before or were made especially for this exhibition.  Seeking them out in the various locations around the cathedral, cloisters and grounds is a little like a grown up cultural treasure hunt. Except when you’re with kids as soon as you find one they’re on to the next.  I like the immediacy and randomness of looking at artwork with children though; going where their curiosity takes you and their natural instinct, and mine, to reach out and touch to make sense of it all (fingers are allowed on all but a handful of fragile pieces).  I’d like to visit the Cathedral again before the exhibition closes on the 30th October to take a more considered look at the pieces I particularly liked, those I was puzzled by and the ones I missed altogether.

‘Come and find me at Gloucester Cathedral’ says Rodrigues Giant Tortoise

Rodrigues Giant Tortoise by Nick Bibby

September 17, 2010 at 7:25 am 12 comments

bootees for May flowers

Two very special friends have become mum’s this month so I’ve been busily knitting up more baby bootees.  I knew in advance that Jasmin and Matt were naming their daughter Daisy Belle and needed no further excuse for making a flower inspired pressie.   Ever the gardener I picked a grass coloured yarn as I’m not a fan of conventional pastel pinks and blues for new babies.  I couldn’t find a pattern for tiny knitted flowers so opted for the simplicity of felt flowers again (rather tricky this tiny but made possible using manicure scissors!).  With the daisy flowering on the front I used poppers instead of buttons for the straps.  Daisy was born a few weeks early bless her so it’ll be a little while before her bootees fit her.  Nevertheless it was really satisfying for me to post off her  parcel knowing they’d be delivered the same day as she was.

Mel and Keiron’s baby kept everyone waiting and wondering for an extra 2 weeks but arrived safe and well last week.  At 9lb 11oz I don’t think Rosa Willow will have much trouble filling her bootees!

May 19, 2010 at 7:33 pm 13 comments

making felt flowers

A girl can never have too many bags so it took some discipline to part with this green goddess of a bag for Jenny’s birthday last month.  If you lack the motivation and talent to reach for the sewing machine (guilty on both counts) hand stitching is very gratifying.  Who wouldn’t love felt for it’s no-edging-required virtues and lush bold colours?
Felt flowers inspired by Laura’s flower brooch tutorial. In need of supplies?  Felt squares, and more, available from Laura’s Etsy shop Lupin Handmade.

Laura’s felt squares

April 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm 17 comments

making bootees for tiny toes

Baby bootees are a good place to start if you’re new to knitting.  These bootees, my first (yay), were made for my friend Deb’s baby and took an evening to knit (+ a little time the next day to sew them up and add the buttons).   Milo was a Christmas baby so using 2 strands of DK yarn for the bottom of the bootee was as much about creating a more interesting colour as it was creating a little extra warmth and cushioning for his tiny toes.  I’m taking Milo’s smiley face to mean ‘good job‘.

©  Saartjes bootees pattern used – see Saartje’s blog for other inspiring knits

March 29, 2010 at 11:00 am 8 comments

giraffe of the day

I received an email yesterday that made me smile from ear to ear.  ‘I loved your giraffe so much I blogged about it’ wrote Ola of One Million Giraffes, having named my sunflower giraffe as her 234th Giraffe of the Day.  Back in September when I uploaded my photo it joined 267,350 other giraffes and today the figure stands at 547,792.  If you’d like to help Ola reach 1,000,000 there’s just one simple rule:  you have to create your giraffe with your own hands (without using a computer).  If your creation features more than one giraffe it counts for as many giraffes as featured.  Like the addition of a baby giraffe making two.

I love the way this project has sparked people’s imaginations all across the world.  Will you be creating a giraffe that’s one in a million? 

Lili Tupili’s knitted giraffesFernanda’s cork giraffe faceGrobuonis’s toothpaste giraffe, Funky Lunch Man’s giraffe sandwich, , Sunni’s champagne top giraffe, Gunnar’s 13 foot snow giraffe, Ingvill’s honey giraffe, Bjorn’s matchstick giraffe

January 31, 2010 at 5:43 pm 8 comments

making a strawberry hat come egg cosy

Big Knit - hatsI nearly forgot all about the teeny tiny strawberry hat I said I’d make for The Big Knit.  I was right not to build up expectations with rash promises to make more than one hat.  Before you congratulate me for doubling my efforts this lovely little blue hat, with fetching red pom pom, was made by Catherine (she of the muffin making fame).  Not bad for someone who hasn’t done any knitting since being taught by her mum a couple of decades ago.  Did you notice how neat her stitches are?  Very impressive.  Big Knit - strawberry hat egg cosyI was quite pleased with my strawberry hat which I found was a perfect fit as an egg cosy.  Our hats are on the their way to Fruit Towers now and Innocent have decided to extend the deadline to the end of the month to allow for delays with postal strikes.  So still 2 weeks to get knitting if you’d forgotten too…

note to self:  persevere with finding out how to take better photos indoors – wheelie bins do not make glamorous stands and rain is not good for cameras!

October 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm 7 comments

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Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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Spotted by @musicalgeorgemoorey on his way to today's #spacesgloucester recording session.  Aethelflaed was voted #1 in @gloucestershirelive s 50 greatest women in Gloucestershire post a few weeks ago.  Its 900 years since her death and there will be all sorts of celebration events happening in Gloucester in June, including the release of George's Aethelflaed inspired recording from the second Spaces session.  It's going to be an exciting summer! 
#gloucesterlife #aethelflaed Impromptu concert on the way up to bed!  Need any more musicians for tomorrow's session @musicalgeorgemoorey ? 😘
#gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog #brothers I always knew spring was on its way when we got the bikes out to cycle to the allotment.  Blue skies and a lovely view of @gloucestercathedral - what more could you want.  Time I got a bike again I think @musicalgeorgemoorey 
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #allotmentgardening #pedalpower #newblogpost living with intention - 10 questions that help, inspired by a fab article I read on @nosidebar .  Link in bio x
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #livingwithintention #newyearresolutions2017 And finally a fab spirally path made with mosaic stepping stones using recycled materials like bottle tops, buttons and straws (from a show garden @bbcgwlive on 2005) #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #gardenersworldlive #mosaicsteppingstones #mosaicart Beautiful show garden from @bbcgwlive 2005.  Wouldn't this make a fab addition to your allotment! Link in bio for more pictures 
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #allotmentgardening #paintedtyregardenplanters #paintedtyres #gardenersworldlive These fab painted tyre planters were part of a show garden at @bbcgwlive in 2005.  They're teaching me a thing or too about blog traffic as I try to get my head around SEO and why some posts have lots of hits and some have none.  2826 people have searched for painted tyres since I shared it in 2011 as a #wordlesswednesday post.  I've now added in some copy about the day and some of the other photos.  Just shows that adding useful titles to your images can be as helpful as writing relevant copy! 
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #allotmentgardening #paintedtyres #paintedtyregardenplanters #gardenersworldlive #recyclingtyres Snow play at the kitchen sink now that this morning's swim lesson has been cancelled
#gloucesterlife #indoorsnowplay #childhoodunplugged A funny little momento from our walk on Crosby beach - holding hands and gazing out to sea :0). #anotherplaceanthonygormley #nipitinthebudblog #visitingliverpool

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