Monday, 30 April 2012

Instagram - Narcissi in Triptych

A horticultural experiment of mine, I grew this narcissi from a bulb in a jar of water. 

It didn't grow as tall as the bulbs I planted in soil but it's lasting much longer. 

Sunday, 29 April 2012


Here are a few pics of the Champagne truffles we made yesterday to celebrate Dorothea's last night of freedom.

We spent a wonderful afternoon at Sara Jane Chocolates in Surrey where we filled chocolate shells with ganache, sealed the shells, dipped them in runny melted chocolate and had great fun decorating them.

Fantastic to meet Doro's friends in advance, and looking forward to seeing them in a couple of weeks' time to celebrate some more.


Friday, 27 April 2012

A Birthday Cowl


Known in this part of the world as a snood. A birthday present for Nicci. Inspiration from The Purl Bee.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Edible Balcony

The allotment has been a bit neglected this year so far. I've been quite poorly so haven't been able to tend it as I'd like and am starting to think a lot about growing more vegetables at home.

So far I've got some wooden crates filled with flowers on the windowsills but should really turn my attention to growing some crops. I'm reading The Edible Balcony for some pointers on how to do it.

I've been looking online for some inspiration of how to fit some containers into our tiny flat and here are some lovely ideas.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Instagram - Flowers and Beer

clockwise from top left; at the Oakford Social Club; Bill's Restaurant; the Oakford garden; some of the beautiful floral displays in Reading town centre.

you can follow me here if you want to

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Olga and Carla of PolkaDot Lighthouse have recently started a fantastic feature they've named Double Exposure. Each month they select a colour, share a selection of pictures from their different corners of Europe and encourage us to do the same.

This month they have chosen orange.

Here is my contribution, an orange garnish to a delicious martini.

Do you have any orange photos to share?

Friday, 20 April 2012


A stroll along Saltdean seafront. Calm and grey and defined by strong lines.

Grids and stripes and zigzags in every direction.











Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Friday, 13 April 2012

Saturday, 7 April 2012


The poor crocuses haven't handled the weather too well. Just had one tiny bloom this year, a creme egg combination of creamy white petals guarding a deep orange stamen, which is now starting to wilt.
Did it get too warm too quickly?

I've seen tulips all around town this week so gather that the crocus season is well and truly over. Will try again next year.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Summery summary

Recently, I've been using lots of beautiful, light summery yarns for my crochet projects, making baby booties and things for the house and getting ready for the warmer weather.

My trug has been taken over by cotton and linen type wools, I might as well make the most of it before it's time to fill it with vegetables!

As a few of you have been asking, here is a little summary of some of the yarns suitable for this time of year.

Sirdar Baby bamboo - a soft and silky yarn, 80% bamboo and 20% wool. Great for making baby clothes and booties. Nice to stroke and snuggle against and comes in lots of bold colours, I've been obsessed with this for about a year now. This is really similar to Sirdar's Flirt DK (I can't tell the difference), which also comes in a range of beautiful brights. Sirdar also produce a Smiley Stripes range for kids' clothes which is adorable, but quite pricey, on average it seems to cost a pound more than baby bamboo per 50g.

Sirdar Baby Bamboo

Rico Creative Cotton - This range comes in an amazing array of bright and sunny colours, I'm using the banana colour to make booties, it's 100% cotton and soft, light and breathable so perfect for summer clothes. Another nice cotton, this one organic and in a range of autumnal colours using non toxic dyes, is the Freedom Sincere from Twilleys.

A lovely soft yarn which I've never used but will try at some point is the Debbie Bliss eco baby - this one is fairtrade! 100% organic cotton and comes in a really wide selection of colours. Good old Debbie Bliss, I always end up lost in one of her books when I nip into the yarn store.

Rico Creative Cotton

Patons Linen Touch DK - a sturdy linen (26%) and cotton (74%) mix. I've been using this for the outside edges of the Purl Soho placemats but the yarn would be ideal for the whole placemat too. This is the best linen combo yarn I've found. Rowan does a Creative Linen too but I didn't find the colours very inspiring.

Patons linen touch

Sirdar Simply Recycled DK - I was drawn to this as it's 51% recycled cotton and it's great to be able to support recycled products. It's softer than the linen style yarns, really enjoyable to use and comes in a range of neutral and pastel colours. I used their aran version to make my placemats, it's heavier than the DK.

Sirdar Simply Recycled Aran and Patons Linen Touch

I hope this gives you some guidance when you're planning your crochet projects for the warmer seasons.

Does anyone have any recommendations of other nice yarns for this time of year?

Monday, 2 April 2012

churros y chocolate

The best present ever from Alba, I dug out the churros maker at the weekend.

I used up my last sachet of chocolate and felt quite peeved that you can't buy Valor Cao in Brighton.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

tiny hats

The marigolds that I sprinkled in the window boxes are starting to sprout and I'm really excited that some of them are still wearing their seed cases, proudly displaying them like fashionable little hats.