Tag Archive | Flower

Flower Power

Unable to be outside enjoying my garden today I thought that I would bring my flowers inside. I bought a magazine called “Sew” during the week which had a free gift of a small piece of patchwork material. I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first but then I found some inspiration in the latest docrafts Creativity magazine for March/April 2013 and the idea for  my new shoes was born.

Step 1) I cut 10 circles of material to make the flower petals using my die-cutting machine. You can cut them out freehand.

Circles cut from free gift material

Circles cut from free gift material

Step 2) Fold the circles into quarters for pointed petals. If you prefer your petals more rounded, fold the circles in half.

Fold circles into quarters for pointed petals

Fold circles into quarters for pointed petals

Step 3) Gather each petal along the curved edge of the folded circle using running stitch and secure so that the gathering doesn’t come undone.  Do this for all 5 petals and join them together to make a flower.

Gather each petal using running stitch and sew them together to make a flower.

Gather each petal using running stitch and sew them together to make a flower.

Step 4) I finished the flower by sewing a button to make the centre.

Use a button to finish off the centre

Use a button to finish off the centre

Step 5) I then attached the flowers to the front of my shoes and hey presto! I’m right on trend 🙂

Trendy shoes- minimal outlay

Trendy shoes- minimal outlay

And all done from my bed with little energy/effort required. Just what the Doctor ordered!


Catmint, cannabis for cats

We have two cats. Tessa, a lively and feisty three-year old black-and-white female and Tom, a typical relaxed and chilled ginger Tom cat . Tom came with two speeds, slow and stop and never breaks into so much as a trot until “foodie” time. Tom now weighs nearly 7kgs so is a “big” cat and our vet did warn us that ginger toms are prone to relaxing a little too much and gaining weight so we try to kick him out of the house (not literally) as much as possible so that he gets some exercise.

Having been ousted from his pad however, Tom will usually stroll out of the kitchen door and straight into the garage where he has his comfy seat on some of the outdoor furniture stored in the dry whilst this incessant rain continues. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” comes to mind.

Tom doesn’t roam far preferring surroundings that he knows and loves. Our garden is full of little trees and plants under which he can hide undetected and, with his selective hearing, ignore calls for him to come inside.

One thing Tom does adore, is catmint. I have grown some plants from seed and they are now big enough to plant out but I have a problem. Tom doesn’t just paw the leaves and roll in the bushes he eats them. I understand that sniffing the leaves gives cats a “high”, and may also be hallucinogenic (like LSD) whilst eating the leaves induces sleep. I may have found the reason he spends half his life asleep but I suspect that our neighbours have no catmint left!

My dilemma now is, where do I put the plants so that they can grow into big bushes?

Hanging baskets!

Sound idea, but I need to be a bit more imaginative with the placement………..

Changes afoot……

Sometimes you find yourself in a rut. Doing the same things at the same time and limiting your horizons by long-standing expectations. Sometimes however it does you good to break out of this reverie and challenge your “norm”.  Only then will you realise that things don’t have to be the same year in year out and changes can be made if  you free your mind of its rusting shackles and have the courage to do something different.

My “norm” is looking forward to a spring and summer in a garden full of surfinia hanging baskets, traditional bright annual bedding plants and the ever reliable perennials annuals dotted around the borders. I love my garden and get great pleasure from nurturing these young plants from seedlings to full-blown blousy glory in the summer months.

But, this weekend it will be welly time and I will be moving my beloved perennials and shrubs from my back garden into my front garden and preparing my back garden to become an eclectic mix of herbs, vegetables, and old fashioned annuals which complement the self-sufficiency. (Hubby doesn’t know yet but I’ve just ordered some railway sleepers to form the retaining walls needed to complete the job)

Hubby too has a patch of garden on which he grows vegetables every year. He does a great job with cultivating bags and bags of potatos, tomatoes, cucumbers etc but he grows everything in rows…..how boring.

My new garden will be far more higgledy-piggledy with a heady mix of bright courgettes-en-fleur, pumpkins, sweetpeas entwined amongst the runner bean wigwams, marigolds to ward off the wee beasties and swathes of lavender, lemon balm and  monarda to encourage the bees and butterflies to swarm and flutter around the teasles and nasturtiums. I am also relying on the numerous frogs and our hedgehog family to complete this idyll by eating all the slugs.

That’s the plan. So let work begin……

Look around and you will see..


Four days off work. Four sunny, warm days relaxing with my family and I start to slow down, chill out and notice things around me rather than scurry on by trying to get everything done in record time.

It sounds so easy. Slow down. Look around.

But this is exactly what time off has enabled me to do, and in the most mundane of situations beauty shows itself in its full glory.

Walking into the village  I pass a cottage which I normally would not have noticed. But it would have been such a shame to walk on by on a tunnel-visioned mission without stopping to admire the wisteria in full bloom. That is exactly what I would have done however if I hadn’t been away from my normal hurried routine. This is what I would have missed.


My poor garden

My poor garden has been brutalised by the severe sub-zero temperatures and snow this winter and as I love my garden, it breaks my heart to see the plants that I have carefully chosen and nurtured looking so woeful. I have been looking out of the window for weeks now not daring to survey the damage but this afternoon I braved the wind and spent 30 minutes in my oasis. For some of my plants it is clearly the end of the road and I will need to replace them in the Spring. I will miss the fragrant jasmine which has been stripped of its foliage and any trace of blossom and it saddens me to see it hang so forlornly over its support frame. I can’t bear to dig it out just yet…….there’s always a slim chance that it will sprout again from the roots.

“Let the flower you hold in your hand be your world for that moment”

Likewise the clematis look pathetic but again I will leave them in situ and see what happens. The good news however is that it looks like my wonderful orange poppies, after which this blog is named, have survived and feathery green shoots are already poking through. I want to tell them to go back under the soil until March but I guess they wouldn’t listen. Let’s see what happens and being positive it will at least give me an opportunity to rejuvenate my garden and perhaps add some more interesting specimens.

“Sit quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself” (Zen saying)

“Flowers feed the soul” (Mohammed)

“Tranquillity is the garden in which your soul can grow”