Monday, June 01, 2020

Weekending

We've become a bit of a bumblebee hospital around here. We have so many and every-so-often we find one who is a little dehydrated and needs a helping hand with a maple syrup shot. We even have one bee that we found who has a deformed wing and therefore cannot fly at all. He gets his daily shot of maple syrup and then placed gently on a rose flower or perhaps an iris to go about his bee business. He crawls about and is quite quick in getting to wherever he wants to go. He has given up trying to fly and is just getting on with living his best bee life - all his food needs being met by those doting humans who live in the house nestled in his garden.


I've been baking quite a bit the last few days, another of those wonderful home blessing activities that I have neglected over the past year. We've had a weekend of indulging on traditional English cream teas in the garden which is definitely not good for the waistline but has been so wonderfully lovely. 

Sitting in the garden in the shade of the gazebo, washing drying in the sunshine and the sprinkler watering the grass while we sip our tea and enjoy our scones piled high with cream and jam is one of the joys of summer as far as I'm concerned.


This morning I had reason to bake a lovely lemon drizzle cake for I had a friend over for tea and cake in the garden. Lockdown restrictions lifted a little more today which means we are now allowed to have friends or family over to visit as long as it is in the garden and no more than 6 people. It was so lovely to catch up with her. This is what is important, isn't it? Fellowship with friends and family.


Although we have been loving all this sunny weather and garden time I have to say that I was pleased to see that we can expect a bit of rain later on in the week. The garden is really dry and I am watering my pots of herbs and sweetpeas at least once, sometimes twice a day.


As you can see the sweetpeas are really responding to all this warmth and watering and are growing fairly quickly now. I can't wait for the plants to ramble all over the balustrading and be awash in sweet-smelling sweetpeas. It's so funny for me to think that at one point in my life I really struggled with growing sweetpeas. I just had NO luck with them. Then one year, 2016 if I remember correctly, I did something (who knows what) and they flourished. That summer I had sweetpea bouquets indoors every single day. 

Plans for this week:

Homekeeping:

My file crate is in desperate need of a revamp so I will be spending a morning getting that in order. I have not properly utilized this great system for a little while now and I have to say that things were far more organized when it was in place and being used actively as part of my planning system. Now that we have moved out of the homeschooling season it will require a bit of tweaking to work for the new season we find ourselves in. I'll be sure to post on this once it is done.


Garden:

The weeds seem to be flourishing just as much as the plants so we will need to put a stop to that. I don't use any pesticides in my gardens as we have hedgehogs and lots of birds so it's all manual weed pulling for me. I also have a selection of seeds that I want to plant this week. Most of these will only flower next year but if I get the plants established this year we will be able to enjoy a garden bursting with colour next summer.  

What are your plans for this week? Do you have any tasks that you have been putting off that you could tick off the 'To-Do' list? Any home blessings planned? Now that we are in June (already!) could it be time to start planning what Christmas gifts you want to make this year and get a head start? Do let me know.

Blessings to you all today... 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A Few of my Favourite Things

As you know...its the simple and small things in life that bring me much joy. I thought that I would share a few of my favourite things that have brought me joy this week.

I've always been a bit of a soap-n-water kind of girl with regards to skincare. It seems to have worked for me for the most part but lately I've seen that my skin could do with a little extra pampering. It seems a little dryer than it used to be which shows up those fine lines rather well, much to my horror.

In my quest to find beauty products that work for me without wasting money on buying products that may or may not work for me, I have signed up for the Glossybox. Have you heard of it before? Its a monthly beauty box subscription. Each month you get a pretty box of 5 beauty products to try out delivered to your door. I've taken out a 12-month subscription which puts the cost at £8.50/month plus postage.

The box contains makeup, skincare and hair products from leading brands. Some are testers and some are full-size. It's a great way to try things out at a reasonable price rather than buying something you think sounds good at full price and finding out its a disaster. 


I must say that apart from getting to try out some great products I love receiving the pretty box each month, it's a real treat for the price of 2 or 3 coffees. If you want to give it a try hop on over and check it out HERE.


Around the home this week I've hung up the summer bunting as summer is literally just around the corner. Perhaps I should have hung it up earlier because we have been having such fantastic spring weather this year.

The little garden shed has its bunting and two strings have been hung on the gazebo. There is just something about bunting don't you think? It is so festive and joyful and makes everything just that little bit extra special. 

I had a little string of crochet bunting I made a good few years back but that seems to have disappeared or been misplaced. I will have one final look for it this week but may have to get going on another string. You can never have too much bunting!



I have been working on Lucy's (from Attic 24) Dune Blanket. It took me a few go's to get the pattern right but once you get the hang of it it's easy enough to do. I love the soft muted colour pallet which is very reminiscent of our time spent living near the ocean.

Do you have any favourite magazines that you subscribe to?


I subscribe to 'Landscape' magazine and look forward to its arrival each month. this week July's edition arrived and it's full of tasty-looking summer recipes, crafts and of course articles on the beautiful English countryside. 

If you are keen to get a feel for what it's all about then pop on over to their website and have look. If you love all things British and seasonal then this is definitely the magazine for you. I keep all my copies and have a lovely basket full of them, about 4 years' worth. 

When I plan my seasonal decor or activities I always bring out this magazine for ideas...and Pinterest of course.



Finally, I just had to share a picture of my gazebo at the bottom of the garden. It brings me such joy for many reasons. During the day it's lovely to go down there and sit away from the house looking back over the garden. It's peaceful and I can hear the wind rustling in the branches of the tree overhead, listen to the birdsong that never seems to stop, watch the bumblebees go about their business oblivious to my presence and the squirrels who like to dance along the fence tops as they ponder whether to brave raiding the bird feeder with me sitting in such close proximity!



When the sun slips away at the end of the day we put on the lights and it is transformed into a magical fairyland, a perfect spot to enjoy with friends in late summer. I think that it will be just as lovely in the autumn as long as we add a burner and cozy blankets for warmth.

Now...I'm off to get lost on Pinterest as I have some summer 'home blessings' to plan which incidentally is another of my favourite things!

Blessings to you all...

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Under An English Sky Podcast Returns

Hello Lovelies!

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to resurrect my podcast. I had planned to film the first episode that week but I have to admit that I kept putting it off finding any excuse why I was not ready to do so because it is kind of daunting to get going with your first one. I remembered feeling the same when I started my podcast in 2015.

Yesterday I decided to 'just do it'! So I did!

It's not perfect. I would have liked to put an intro on but honestly, I didn't want to find another excuse not to post the first podcast. I've uploaded the video and it is now live on Youtube. I'm spending this afternoon putting together seasonal intros that I can use for future recordings.

Anyhoo, here we go...Episode 1 of my podcast.


Monday, May 25, 2020

Hearts at Home Edit


:: GROW ::

Another Monday in lockdown. Thankfully our good weather run continues and can you believe that we are one week out from the start of summer (meteorologically speaking)? 



In my garden, the foxgloves are in flower and they are a sure sign that early summer has arrived!



My Clematis have really come into their own and are very obviously happy in their new garden home. Both are flowering and climbing ever higher.


:: NOURISH ::

Home blessings last week...baking and lots of it. I do love baking but don't often do it these days as it then requires eating and eating delicious baked fare is bound to put on the pounds. It sucks to have to be careful the older we get don't you think?


:: CREATE ::



I've made a start on my Woodland Walk socks. They have not been without misadventure, however, I was almost at the point of turning the heel and I realized that I had made a mistake in the pattern and had to frog right back to the ribbed cuff. I had repeated the design all the way around the sock and of course you can do that with this pattern as the pattern repeat works out perfectly across 64 stitches. But turning back to the picture on the pattern I really preferred the simple look of the leaf pattern running down the side of the leg. It seemed less 'cluttered to me. I am using Under An English Sky Yarn in the "Mrs Tiggywinkle" colourway for these socks and I'm hoping to finish them in a week as I have a list of patterns and yarns that I wish I could knit all at once!


I have picked up my embroidery needle again. I think the last time I stitched was around this time last year. I worked on a little robin whilst waiting for my youngest as she was writing her American SAT exam. Gosh, that is a while and I still have not finished that robin! I really do need to get a better work/life balance when I go back to work. I really cannot go back to the way things have been for the past year!

Anyhoo, this pattern is by Country Cottage Needleworks and the pattern is called 'Forest Snowfall'. I bought my copy from The Patchwork Rabbit here in the UK. Although I have a substantial collection of DMC threads I decided to invest in the recommended Classic Colorworks threads for this pattern as I really wanted the exact look. My stitching hangs on my walls and will become, I hope, heirlooms so it's worth the investment in my view.

:: WATCHING ::

I'm not a huge TV fan. I mean I'll watch a few things that I really like with my family and I'm a sucker for Midsommer Murders, Poirot and Miss Marple but even then I usually only keep those for Sunday afternoon viewing on wet, rainy or icy days. I record them on SKY and so they are always available when I get the urge.



Last week I say a promotional ad on Instagram advertising a 30 free trial for Acorn TV, a streaming service. Now I would have scrolled right on by but it appears the algorithms have me sussed! They were advertising a lighthearted mystery series along the lines of 'Agatha Raisen' and 'Miss Read'. How could I resist?

Well I thoroughly enjoyed 'Queens of Mystery' and then went on to watch Agatha Christie's 'Partners in Crime' which I just adored and then 'Glorious 39' which was slightly disturbing. Perhaps this explains why I continued knitting my Woodland Walk sock in the incorrect pattern right up to the heel turn!

:: READING ::



With all this delightful time on my hands, I have enjoyed delving into some old favorites. Karen Andreola's 'Lessons from Blackberry Inn' and Richard Du Cann's 'The Art of the Advocate'.

'Lessons from Blackberry Inn' is a real feel-good light read which is just too lovely. It's all about family, homeschooling, and the art of homemaking. I've read this book at least 4 times and I'm sure that I will continue to read it and 'Pocketful of Pinecones' in the years to come.

'The Art of the Advocate' is one of three law-related books on my summer reading list. So far it's a fascinating read.

That wraps up my little hearts and home edit for last week. Tell me what you've been up to over the past week?

Friday, May 15, 2020

Created and Upcycled

Hello again my lovely bloggy friends! It's been quite a bit cooler here this week - back to seasonally correct temperatures and it's been taking a little getting used to I'm not going to lie. We literally dropped 11 degrees C overnight and that is coupled with chilly antarctic winds. Perfect knitting weather!



I have finally finished my Nutkin socks. It took me much longer than I had anticipated. As I mentioned I managed to injure my wrist and that slight movement required in knitting played havoc with the injury. I'm still struggling to knit for any length of time but I am enjoying the little bit I do get done.



I love how they turned out. I used a 2.5mm circular needle and the cable pattern has produced quite a snug sock which is great in the long-run as they tend to keep their shape better. I find the plain vanilla sock stretches over time and then they just become a bit annoying.

The yarn is my own, Under An English Sky, which I dyed up about a year ago. I think I may have mentioned here or on my IG that this was actually a blue experiment which I hated so overdyed with yellow. The end result is rather nice I think.

And a bit of upcycling news...oh yes, we are knocking all sorts of long-awaited projects out through this forced time at home...

My darling husband refurbished our wrought iron garden set and did a stellar job!


So a bit of background story with this one...when we first moved to the UK, a wonderful Christian homeschooling family offered us their home to stay in as long as we wished (totally provided by God - amazing provision story). They had moved up to Scotland and their home was available. We lived in that lovely Victorian home for the first year. Well, in the back yard was this set that had fallen apart. The wrought iron was beginning to rust and the wood had all rotted away. 

We spoke to our (now) friends and asked them what they wanted to do with it. They recommended the recycling center. We asked if we could rather have it as DH is pretty handy and DIY and recycling things. We got their blessing.

DH spent a couple of weekends refurbishing the set and we have enjoyed using it over the past 9 years. It's weathered all sorts of typically English weather, rain, sun, and snow. However, the wood was all but rotted away and once again rust was beginning to show.

I just could not bear to part with it. Not only have we traipsed it around the country but it's a solid set which again, with a bit of TLC could keep going for another 9 years - hopefully.

So that's the rather sentimental story. Basically, I couldn't bear to part with it so hubby had to fix it and I'm thrilled with the result.

Right my lovelies, that wraps up another post for the week. This weekend is to be filled with more DIY/home decor projects so I'm sure that I'll have lots to share with you next week. 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend whatever you are planning to do.

If you fancy receiving future posts by email then please do pop your email in below...

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner