Dhylis

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This is not the blog post I had planned after such a long absence.  I’m very sad to say Dhlyis sadly passed away yesterday.  She was one of my first ever girls, bought all the way back in March 2006.

Back in those days I had a different blog, which was mainly about the girls and how many wonderful eggs they laid for us.

We got the girls (Marjorie, Dhylis, Sylvie and Penny seen below) from a really run down farm in Norfolk, an hour away from where we lived in Soham at the time.   The other girls are long gone, some not even leaving our old house with us, but Dhylis was always here.

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Dhylis in fact laid our first ever egg….. a very round mostly yolk, which I can remember getting so excited by, I called my husband who was on a conference call…. and I was screaming down the phone at him.

Other chickens have come and gone, She’s lived with ex- battery hens, and other big girls until they started to bully her, and then moved into her own eglu with Sherbert, Dolly, and Alan.  These too, have long since left us.

So here’s to Dhylis.  The chicken who taught us all we know about chickens.  Who came when she was called, and used to run up and down the garden after me.  Who made happy noises when she got treats, who loved grapes and sweetcorn, and who will be very much missed.

Rest in Peace Dhylis

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The actual Yarn Bombing

Finally you get to see my, and other great woolly creators efforts in the Yarn Bombing of the local church!

This is a tad later than planned due to a mishap with watermarking photos then not being able to find them on the computer when they’ve gone to the iCloud as wordpress didn’t know what the icloud was.  It knew what the dropbox was, the icloud seemed to be a little bit too far away for it!  Oh, and the app on my phone was a disaster too as it didn’t know what the shared photo folder was either….. I really couldn’t make these technical issues up!!!

So, this is the yarn bomb (Art installation!).

Where I know specific people have made things – I’ll link them!  So Off The Hook (me!), woolly Chic and Festiwool and have been busy bees with our hooks and needles.

I decided my fairies needed houses!  Being left outside for a few weeks it’d be nice for them to find somewhere to sleep!

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The final view of my little fairies in the church yard.  They are here until the 23rd of July so if you are local – pop along to see them!

These from Festiwool – you can’t beat a good pom pom, and this is so red and bright it’s a real  eye catcher.  Festiwool is on the 12th November in Hertfordshire – one for the calendars too!

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And this bike is fantastic!

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Now Woolly Chic’s turn

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Then were are a few others bits dotted around made by other lovely people.  It’s well worth a little look around if you are in the area!

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Oh and  pop up wool shop is happening on the 23rd July next door to the churchyard, where I’ll be selling my Yarnart Begonia that I used to make the fairy skirts and those little Russian Cloche hats!

My yarn bombing journey – Part 2

I’m lucky to be involved in the local yarn bombing event in a local churchyard.  I’d seen it last year and detailed it in this post.  This year I decided to see if I could join in, and you can read who I got involved and drool over cream teas here.

So what was I going to make????  The brief was so open, ideally it’d be clothes of some sort.

I chatted to Helen about what she was doing – a dress for a tree, and she’d mentioned a hoola hoop.

Thinking cap on I decided to investigate making something with bangles. You know the ones, the sets you always find in shops.

Anyway I went to the local kids type jewellery shop and they had the bracelets I wanted, but at £10 for 6 these were going to be expensive!  So I nipped into the charity shop a few doors down, and came away with 30 bracelets for £3!

Now what to make with them……… The pink one loves anything magical.  Her favourites are unicorns, but they are not clothes!  So a little rethink and the idea of fairies was set.  But how?

Yarnart Begonia, and some reflective thread a 2.75mm hook, and time to crochet.

Here a few of the skirts I made.

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Then I decided to try them with the peg bodies.

So this is where I admit, I am no artist!

The skirts looked lovely, but the faces and the hair…. ummmmm……. they left a lot to be desired!

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Chatting at Ballet, while the pink one danced we went on good old Pinterest and found some really cool little photos.  Pom Poms were bought and then plan B.

At this point I realised my limitations and asked the lovely friend (found at this great shop – she’s even been in Mollie Makes it turns out!) to make me some “pretty” fairies……and thankfully she did!

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Then to assemble them…….  Wings made from felt, pompoms attached and arms from pipe cleaners!

They originally hung in my garden for the open day on fishing line, so it looked like they were floating.  For the Yarn bomb it was decided they needed to be a bit sturdier, so I chained a length of normal DK yarn the same colour of the skirts!

So what do you think?

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My yarn bombing journey – part 1

As I’m typing this I’m very proud to say “I’m part of an art installation (Yarn Bomb!) in a local church yard.”

I’d found out about it when I met up with the lovely Helen from Woolly Chic a good couple of months ago now!  (The garden opening and the making for the yarn bomb have taken all my spare time – I can’t believe I didn’t get around to writing this up at the time!!).

We both have a love of crochet, and live about 10 minutes away from each other, both knew of each other, but had never actually met!  I tweeted her and asked if the church was being yarn bombed this year.

“Yes, fancy meeting to discuss?” she replied.

“Why of course!” so in a very British fashion, we met and had a cream tea!

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Yarn was discussed at great length, tea drunk, scones demolished!  (Not sure if this is the Devon or Cornish way to eat a scone – but it was delicious!)

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Crochet?  Surely you talked about Crochet?  Well of course we did……

The yarn bombing was being called “Vestry”, and we talked about different ideas I could possibly do.  Helen explained all her plans, with a dress for a tree, and then some beautiful mandalas.

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The we talked about puff stitch, and her lovely Sheep teacosy……. and my inability to master it!  She then kindly demo’d it for me!

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A quick walk to the church, still thinking about ideas to look at the trees.

Then I walked back to my car actually paying attention to where I was, and I noticed for the first time a lovely little stream, and the great tudor architecture of some of the buildings!

Part 2 – the designing and making coming very soon!

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Open garden…… and now relax!

Two years ago, for the first time ever I opened my garden for the Red Cross and some other local charities as part of the city I live in.  We get listed in the little white book thats delivered to lots of garden centres and local tourist information centres, then the real fun begins of constants gardening in the build up to the event.

Well – as gluttons for punishment we decided we’d do it again this year! The big day was 19th June, Fathers day would you believe!


So cue a good month of gardening constantly.  Lists written daily of what needs to be done.

Husband on strict instructions not treat the lawn this year until after the garden opening, and the embarrassment of the black spots 2 years ago.

More lists written. Grass cut, anything growing tied up or cut off with secateurs!

Kids told not to kick balls into the flowers, every last bit of rubbish picked up.

Emergency call to the hedge cutting man when you realise you’re running out of time – he comes Friday morning!

Frantic painting of the climbing frame at 8pm on Saturday night when you open your eyes and see it’s pealing paint everywhere – how did we not notice beforehand?

Sleep………. up at 6am making cakes.

Last tidy of the garden.

Ready for “Blue one” in charge of ticket sales.  Good maths and money practice – He loved it!


11am doors opened!  First visitor 11.05am…….. followed by over 400 hundred people mooching around my garden!

Our garden took just under £300, but with 24 other gardens opening we’ve hopefully raised lots of money for charity!  Last count tickets sales alone had raised over £4000!

So, want to see my garden???  Alright then!  Loads of photos now…… and I’m proud to say apart from watering… I’ve not gardened in over a week!!!!

(Spot the little fairies in the trees?  Blog post coming soon on those!)

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New chicks – and their names

I’m very excited to share with you our new arrivals…….. Three gorgeous little chicks!

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They were at the local day nursery, hatching eggs to chicks, then they were heading back to the farm.  But I asked if we could have them, and grow them up.

We had some very sad news, My big girls seen in these links, were killed by a fox when we were on holiday.  My wonderful neighbours cleaned everything up, and we’ve been working on fox proofing the run.  To this day we don’t exactly know where the fox got in.

We think it was a combination of the dogs being away so not chasing him away, and that he has some cubs he wanted to feed.  It still doesn’t make it any nicer, and we are not fans of Mr Fox.   We’ve been here 9 years with chickens, and have never had a problem, but that day was horrible.

So, we needed some new girls.  The constant chatter at the bottom of the garden when I went down to the veggie patch is very sadly missed.  So queue the arrival of these cute little fluffy things! (Who are currently living in the utility room chatting away as they are too little for the garden yet!)

They are Rhode Island Red Cross hybrids, cleverly colour coded genetically so as soon as they are born they are identifiable as girls or boys…. rather than waiting until about 18 weeks old to find out that when you expected an egg layer you got a cock-a doodle do!

The new camera lens has been well and truly used – good old digital photos!!

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So what are they called I hear you ask, before I bombard you with photos?

Blue one has called his chick “Gai” which means chicken in Thai.

Pink one, after a lot of deliberation over Rosie (but her unicorn is called Rosie), decided on Nugget. Me, well I thought I’d combine them both, so chick number 3 is called Satay!

Introducing…… Nugget, Satay and Gai (let the cuteness begin!)

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My new camera lens

Hello,  thought I’d share with you my lovely husband has bought me a new lens for my camera!   It’s a macro lens, which doesn’t zoom, and has 3 settings for 0.3-0.5m, 0.5-1.0m and full.  So providing I put it on the right setting…. I get some great pictures!

I’m going to share a few here.  My garden is getting ready for an open day………I’m crazy to do this, but it’s all in a good cause – The British Red Cross along with a few local charities.  Myself and 24 other gardens where I live are opening this year.  I’m frantically weeding, and planting, and mowing…. with the odd craft day thrown in too……I’ll share more on that later!

But in the meantime – here are just few, ahem, (the joys of a digital camera!!!) photos that I’ve taken in the past couple of weeks!  Check out the bee in one of the pictures – and the close up of single crochet on my purse!

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Tulips

This is one of those posts that I’ve wanted to do since getting home… and has been put on the back burner….. due to that thing that seems to disappear without trace – TIME

When we were in Thailand – flying back via Singapore airport they had a wonderful display of tulips.  On further inspection this was to introduce a new route from Singapore to Amsterdam.

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They’d shipped in loads and loads of tulips, then stored them in a dark fridge already planted to start them germinating for 16 weeks.  This seemed an amazing effort to go through – here in the UK we just plant them in the ground and let nature do the work!  There was a lovely display of mocked up Dutch houses too.

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So from Singapore tulips….. back home to the tulips in my garden…… Now this is what it’s all about!  I’ll leave you with these wonderful pictures!

 

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Flowers in bowls

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I’ve been trying to sit down and write this post for a good 10 days now.  Trying to share some wonderful flowers in bowls from our recent travels to Thailand, Koh Samui to be exact.

BUT…. the technology has had me baffled!  You name it – it’s happened!

The camera wouldn’t talk to the computer.  Finally it connected (even using a wire!), and then would you believe it, my blog won’t upload the photos for some reason!!!! More posts will follow soon when I can fathom exactly what the problem is!

So, I share (not what I’d planned) but  the wonderful daily displays of flowers in bowls that our second hotel put on daily – The Anantarra on the North of the island.  This is to prove I am still alive (as I’ve been AWOL so long!)!!!

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I’ve now got more photos showing, but I can’t delete….. so some of these aren’t in bowls, but are still beautiful!!!!  Fingers crossed technology is kind to me next time I try and post!IMG_4353 IMG_6188 IMG_6187 IMG_6185 IMG_6184

A Serial Project Starter

Yep – that’s me.  I seem to keep starting things… and then not finishing them!  Sound familiar?

So I started a red cloche hat for the pink one to take on holiday.

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It was so important I finish it I even took it to the pink ones ballet lesson for crochet club (that’s what the mums do while the little girls dance!),

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It even came to the garage when I was waiting for a tyre to be changed too!

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So have I finished it?  Of course I haven’t… I got distracted with other projects!

Like the bag I just had to make….. but then haven’t used yet!

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Then I did a bit of pattern testing for Red Haired Amazona….. I just adore her colour choices!

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Then I went to work on a blanket.  One of the ladies at ballet is making a wonderful circle and square blanket like this one.  She’s using exactly the same colours and it’s looking lovely.

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So I thought I might make one too………. (I know, I’m starting far too many things here and not finishing so why on earth would I then start a blanket?)

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I managed to grab myself a bargain of some yarn – Sirdar cotton.  It should of been £5 a ball, but somehow it as on offer at £10 for 10 balls…… the only slight problem being they are all beiges and browns.  I do like beiges and browns….. but also some colour.  Queue a grovel in my ever growing stash to find…….. (Yep the photo gives it away a bit…….) PURPLE!

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So my circles are bigger than the original blanket, so I’ve adjusted the sides of the squares too!

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Look at all those ends….. I will never learn to sew them in as I go!

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Phew!

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So I now have 9 squares completed.  Not exactly the whole blanket I had planned.  Probably it’ll be a cushion cover, but in the meantime…. what can we do with them?

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Crochet noughts and crosses of course!!!!