Sewing, stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, shopping and general homemaking.

Sunday, 27 December 2020

What a Year


In all my 74 years I've never known a year like it.  The only time I've had a walk out is when I went for my flu jab in September, apart from that the furthest I've walked since 16th March 2020 is to the end of my garden.

We had four short break holidays booked, all were cancelled.  I thought I'd get bored just staying at home but I wasn't.  Even though I didn't get much crafting done, like I expected to, I kept as busy with just pottering around the house and cooking.  In fact food seemed to take on much more importance than usual.  My husband did all the shopping, he just went locally to the Co-op mostly, it is only a few minutes walk away and nearly everyone in our neighbourhood respected the masks and social distancing rules, just the odd one or two thoughtless people showed themselves up for what they are.

Talking of food, the only item we had any difficulty getting was flour, lots of people suddenly took to baking.  We did have enough for a while and when we ran out of plain flour a friend very kindly delivered some to our doorstep from a shop near his house.  When meals started to get a bit repetitious I decided to try Japanese/Korean type food.  It was fun trying out new recipes that I found on the internet.  We already have noodles and soy sauce in the house and only needed to buy some extra sauces.  The vegetables and meat we normally have could be cooked as per the new recipes.  I found this type of cooking quick and easy, just needed to use a bit of ingenuity with ingredients that I couldn't get.

For entertainment, I had the internet, of course, and had already recently subscribed to Netflix.  Netflix made a big difference warding off boredom.  Also, my Kindle was a big help, I don't know how many boxed sets of books I've read, I chose the 99p sets so that they were affordable.  The main crafting I did was making masks for family and friends.  Unfortunately I made them so many that they said not to make more for them!  The patterns for those came from the internet, the most popular was the 3d one from here .

I did feel sorry for Boris Johnson, no matter what he did certain types of person disagreed with his decisions.  He didn't run away from the situation like Cameron did from the referendum result, he stuck with it.  I wonder if Mrs May would have coped like Boris has.

Oh well, just got to wait now for the vaccination that I might be getting sometime after the end of January, if I'm lucky, it'll probably be several months later than that but I think I'll cope!

Hope you and yours have all coped and let us all hope for a better 2021.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

April 2020

Apart from going into my garden, I haven't left the house for seven weeks.  It doesn't particularly bother me, I don't go out a lot these days anyway.  We were supposed to be going away next week but, of course, that has been cancelled.  Probably our June holiday will be cancelled as well.  But, I'd rather entertain myself at home than be dead taking chances of catching the virus by going out!  The days zoom by, there's always something I can be doing.  Here's a miniature kit I finished assembling...
I bought seven of these kits, this is the third one I've finished so I have plenty more to get on with.

Also, a few weeks before this current situation I subscribed to Netflix.  Plenty on there for me to enjoy whenever I feel like it.

Then, of course, there is the internet, always something to research/read/browse.

Kindle is great too, I'm excited today that the latest Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper book downloaded, I'd pre-ordered it ages ago and it arrived today unexpectedly, as I thought it wasn't due out until later in the year.

And that's all apart from the usual things like cooking and gardening, both activities I enjoy.  Not that I do much gardening these days due to my physical unfitness.  One thing I've tried, that I saw on the internet, was slices of tomato planted in a pot of compost.  I was quite surprised when a few of the seeds started to sprout.

Life is good.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Miniature Garden

I came across some DIY Dollhouse Miniature Kits on Amazon, here's the first one I made.
I thoroughly enjoyed assembling everything.  All the items are included in the kit, all you have to do is follow the instructions to assemble them.  I think they are 1:24 scale or thereabouts so they don't take up a lot of room on a shelf.  I've bought several more of these kits.

Friday, 19 January 2018

How Retirement Affects a Spouse

It's been ten years since my DH retired and, looking at myself today, I've realised what an unexpected affect this has had on me.

Gradually I've become inactive in a lot of areas that I used to be interested in.  I hardly do any crafting, in fact lately I've done none at all.  I don't go out except for Wednesdays when I go out with DH to meet one of his friends and wife for lunch.  I struggle to take an interest in my house.  Previously I would keep the house to a high standard of cleanliness and tidiness.  The house is still acceptably clean and fairly tidy but not to how I like it.  My main jobs each day are doing the laundry and cooking dinner.  Each year we go away for three coach trips of five days each.  I don't have day trips out from home anymore, mainly because his driving is erratic and I get nervous, hence the coach holidays.

So, what can have happened?  What can I do about it?  I can't seem to put my finger on the problem.

One idea I have is to go out on my own occasionally, even if it is up to the local shops and stop for a coffee by myself.  I know he won't be happy with this, he will want to come with me.  He does not like being at home on his own.

This situation needs resolving.  I'm wasting my life sitting about at home.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Vintage Look Dresses

I'm so glad that the 1950s look has been in fashion lately.  As a youngster I couldn't wait to wear the fashions of the 50s.  Then, of course fashions changed to mini skirts and shift dresses during the 1960s.  This year I decided to make two summer dresses that have a bit of that retro look.  A friend was interested in what I was doing and brought along a pattern she'd used in 1960.  It was her favourite ever dress and included a little bolero.  This got me very enthusiastic.  My friend lent me the bolero pattern and I made two to match the dresses I'd made.  Here's the original 1960 pattern...

I didn't do the buttons and buttonholes,  even though the pattern says size 14 it was tiny, I'm a size 12 and I doubt I could have managed to fasten it up.

Here are the two outfits I made...
This blue one is from Kwik Sew K4098

This pink one is a New Look 6723

The bolero goes really nicely with these styles of dress, I prefer a sleeve so the bolero gives me that bit of cover on the tops of the arms I prefer.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Autumn Clear Up

Starting to clear out my Vegtrug, tubs, pots and baskets.  Everything has done well, some better than I expected.  The Cherry Cascade tomatoes did brilliantly...

One tub of green ones for chutney and the final few red ones.  These are definitely a favourite and I will grow them again next year, they are so prolific.  There must have been hundreds from the three plants I grew, beautiful and sweet, not as small as I expected from the seed packet, mostly a proper cherry tomato size.

The carrots I grew were Paris Market 5 - Atlas.  They turned out a bit strange....
Some were really knobbly, some were small and the stems grew out of the carrot in a bit of a hollow, making them awkward to prepare.  I wanted a small carrot to grow in my Vegtrug but probably won't grow these again.  Also, the ones I grew in a small trough placed on the ground soon got carrot fly, did quite a bit of damage.

My cucumber did well, actually got two cucumber off it, they were about 6 or 7 inches long and tasted lovely.  They were grown outdoors in my Vegtrug and did surprisingly well for an indoor type.  Have also had success with baby sweetcorn, Minipop , been having some very nice baby sweetcorn this last few of weeks.  Courgettes, runner beans, peas, leeks have all done well in tubs and hanging bags.  Purple sprouting broccoli is coming along nicely, did have a few sprouts off it but expecting to have some ready for next spring harvesting.

I've bought a small paraffin heater for my greenhouse, hoping to get things off to an earlier start next year.  My big fault is starting seeds off rather late.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


My tomatoes are always very late ripening, though I have had the odd few for a couple of weeks now.  At last they are all starting to ripen.  Here are the ones I picked today, plenty for the two of us with our gammon...

There are a mixture of three types here.  The bigger ones at the top of the plate are from a plant a friend gave me, could be Moneymaker or Gardeners Delight, can't remember.  

Four or five of the slightly smaller ones are Sweet Aperitif , a trial variety .  I'm growing the Sweet Aperitif in hanging baskets and they are doing well.  The high winds a couple of weeks ago did break a couple of stems on one basket of them but there are lots to come on all of the three baskets.

Lastly, the very small ones are Cherry Cascade .  Two plants are in those hanging plastic type growing bags suspended on a hook on the fence, and one is in a hanging basket.  These I will definitely grow again, loads of tiny tomatoes, not as tiny as it says on the seed packet though one or two are currant sized.  Very tasty too.  And they survived the high winds.