‘People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy’ Anton Chekhov

That’s certainly true of me when I’m busy hand making things. I find it equally lovely to sit all cosy with the fire on, listening to the sound of the rain on the windows, or outside in the fresh air with the sun shining. What sunny days we’ve had this summer and autumn too, although I do detect it is changing…time now to reflect on the weather and contemplate my first official blog for the launch of my new website now I’ve finally taken the plunge. Exciting times for me!

Also scary, as I have absolutely no idea how to blog! Who have thought it a verb even! Anyway, who knows, blogging may become an official hobby for me; some would report that I have plenty to chat on about for sure! If you have read my ‘About’ page you will know that I used to dream of writing a story all those years ago; maybe a blog will do for the time being?

Image: Amy Butler fabric pale blue with purple and pink paisley designMy first reflection is what July brought; certainly a month of cheer. A couple of stags heads left Auricula’s Garden for pastures new, I made some bunting, some lavender bags, pyjama bottoms from some groovy Amy Butler fabric (see picture) and a box pleat skirt from a pattern taken from the Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own Wardrobe book.

As if that wasn’t enough, our new shed arrived. I can’t tell you how exciting that was! Guttering fixed on, water butt coupled up, fancy Garden hooks put up(thank you Dad for treating me and sorry Mum he didn’t get you any) and tools in: a rescued storage bench seat to hide the wellies found it’s way in there, the bunting was strung and a lovely Green Man affixed to the front. The Green Man is quite a happy, cheeky looking chap and he represents the cycle of growth. Quite fitting as next came the repositioning of my two, huge, white pot sinks. Filled with strawberries, peppers, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, chives, basil and nasturtiums and surrounded by tubs of mint, pansies, spring onions, lettuce and three blueberry bushes (best present ever from my friend, Sarah) I was all ready for 10 days off from work to sit back and admire. I couldn’t rest at first though and decided to give my garden a good de-clutter with the help of Dad and my brother’s mate, Martin. Blimey can he dig and lift a heavy pot with ease! He’s got a little gardening business. Email if you’d like the details.

An Acer, roses and giant lobelias were planted and there was nothing else to do other than sit back and read, look and contemplate for a few days. Perfect!

August held a slightly different tale; it brought some well needed rain. The Amazon man also brought a Heston Blumenthal juicer and a Jamie Oliver pasta maker (hurrah for Amazon vouchers!). The strawberries and blueberries were put to good use and I will never again be annoyed that I’ve left a banana to go speckled. I want to juice the spinach but don’t quite feel brave enough yet. Drinking something bright green and thick doesn’t thrill me. Having finally tracked down the right flour in M&S the pasta maker will be exiting its box this week.

I had time for some treats too:

A one to one workshop with one of my sewing bees, Kerry. She had a project close to her heart, restoring to grace her Nan’s crocheted blanket. Nan had recently passed away and I thought what a beautiful thing to do. So, together, over coffee, cake and a good few hours chat I figured out the pattern and Kerry left with her instructions and plans to restore the blanket to its former glory, albeit a little brighter in places! It is with kind permission that I share this pattern with you here. Happy stitching!
A little trip away with my good friend, Liz in her camper van (I think it has a posher name than that but I can never remember it!)to the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park. Afternoon tea at Chatsworth en route for Liz’ birthday and it was a lovely little jaunt. The gardens and plants were inspirational and lots of my favourite colour, purple. I came away with lavenders and plans for giant purple alliums. Take a look at these beauties!

A glass of wine with my old friend Samantha over from Singapore (she is a glamorous friend in every respect) and a good catch up.

A VintageImage: picture of Vintage Vinnie ragdoll sat in a deckchair tea party as a charity fund raiser for the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team brought August to a close. Little known to me but drawn to my attention by my son. His friend, Emily, lost her brother and sent out an SOS for help to raise funds for this charity that help save lives of those who want to give up. Have a look on their website:www.bhct.org.uk/wp/ The statistics are unbelievable.I had some kindly donated raffle prizes and made a few bits. This lovely, exquisitely worked mini ragdoll was one of the prizes. She’s Vintage Vinnie a 1950s sunbathing belle complete with deckchair from the Everbelles collection made by Hand Made Ragdolls. Homemade cake and cups of tea and a wonderful £170 was raised.

September passed by in a blur of going back to school and my son starting a little part time job (which seems to involve me as taxi!).

October has been a friendly month indeed. A night out with girlfriends and get togethers with family to celebrate my birthday, another trip in the camper van with Liz and this time with another friend Jolene and their two pooches, Millie and Beau. I was relegated to the large double bed over the cabin on the grounds that possibly I snore and that the dogs would prefer to sleep with their mistresses…shame as I ended up with a lovely big bed. It was very good job for everyone else that my lab didn’t come along. Not only would he have had to reverse out as there isn’t room for such a big lad to turn round he would have never got himself up that ladder to bed!

Finally the workshop where some stunning fabric pumpkins left Auricula’s Garden. New skills learned for three new bees!

November has whizzed by…I have heard the countdown start to Christmas and dinner menus are already being planned for the festive period. I’ve been working on my gift list, resisting the urge to keep everything for myself and getting quite exited (it will be a homemade one this year – hope my son will not be too disappointed with a knitted Xbox One!).

All in all a lot to reflect and look forward and all things that are so bright and cheerful I certainly won’t notice whether it’s winter or summer…back where we started I think!


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