Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

My Cutting Patch

 Hello Folks!

You may remember that I am developing a small piece of land along our driveway into a flower cutting patch.  I've been itching to get at it and now Mr Clicky is home for good, it's all systems go.

The space is roughly 14m by 2m and had been planted with shrubs which had got unruly and overgrown and a clematis montana which was growing over the top.

At the far end there is a cherry tree and a hawthorn which are staying put.

At the near end were some very overgrown cornus (dogwood.)

This end also has a drop of 1/2 metre from the driveway to a path.

I started clearing in February in sub-zero temperatures, I was joined by this robin who sat on the stump of the clematis, so I stopped and had a chat with him.

I chopped everything up as small as I could to fit more into our council green bins.

Even with the bins being collected every fortnight I had to book a trip to the tip to take the larger roots and branches; one of the shrubs needed a chainsaw to cut the stump.

With most of the vegetation gone, I tackled the drop to the path.

I wanted this area to be one level so I can use it more productively, so I needed to raise it up.
I made a u shaped raised bed with pine sleepers, screwed to uprights which I cemented into the ground.

I lined the back with heavy duty plastic to prolong the life of the sleepers.

With the bed made I needed to top up the level of the 'soil'.  In the background of this picture you can see a pile of stone and soil from my neighbour's extension.  I scrabbled through it and got rid of the stones and barrowed it across the road.  This took me 2 days.

The postie steps next to the bed needed a bit of attention so I sorted that too.

Back to the cutting patch now.  I decided to go 'no dig' rather than try to remove a tangled mass of shrub roots.  No dig is attributed Charles Dowding.  In essence you cover your ground with a layer of cardboard to smother any weeds and layer with well rotted manure, garden compost, compost or top soil.  You then plant straight into the mixture you have made, rather than disturbing the microbes, worms and beneficial insects within your soil.

A few weeks ago we covered half of the patch with cardboard.

I found some well rotted manure from a local stables and we spread it all over.

Mr Clicky helped me attach two wooden frames to our wall, these are for sweet peas.  

We drilled holes through the frame at 10cm intervals and I threaded them with twine for the sweet peas to climb up.

Next job was to use old scaffold boards and bits of wood from our pile to make pathways so I can get to my flowers to pick them.  I then topped up the manure with and good layer of peat free compost.

I've even planted some plants!

I have another load of manure coming next week so I need to repeat the process with the other half of the plot.  

I am also growing loads of seeds to fill it.  More on that another day.

That's me for now......Clicky Needles

Friday, 9 April 2021

Making, mending and hunting.

 I've been a bit awol of late.

I've been busy in the garden and indoors too.  The weeks seem to meld into one, don't they?

The first thing I have to show you is a rather tired chest of drawers that have had a makeover.  We bought this when Miss Clicky was born 25 years ago as a changing table, it's solid, albeit rather orange.  The front was covered in stickers, which she had added over the years and I spent some time scraping them off.

I painted it in Good Homes furniture paint in a matt grey called Sedona.  I found the ceramic knobs on ebay.

Miss Clicky and Baby Needles came up on Easter Sunday and we had an egg hunt in the garden.   The weather was lovely and we got even got sunburnt.

Eggs were found and some were consumed too.

The cherry tree was alive with the buzzing of bees.

Fast forward to the following day when the promised snow arrived and froze to the roof.

I made a blanket for the dolly that Baby Needles plays with when she visits, he also belonged to Miss Clicky.  It is a miniature of Baby Needles' car blanket.

I've also had to work on Baby Needles' Mousey.  Poor Mousey lost his arm.
But it was sewed back on in a jiffy.

Mousey looking happier again.

Right, that's me for now, have a good weekend.

Clicky Needles.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Some Finished Things

 Hello Folks.

Firstly, I'd like to say thanks for all your supportive comments on my last post about our dog.  I found them really comforting.  I still expect his nose to appear round the fridge door but I know as a family we took the right decision.

Mr Clicky arrived back from the USA safely, and I spent 10 days in the spare room keeping away from him.  He had a phone call to check he was where he said he would be (not sure a phone call is a good enough check but heyho) and his two covid tests were negative so all's good there.  We are fitting in back together again as a family, after 3 years of being apart it going to take a while.

Miss Clicky and Baby Needles have been visiting, Mr S-I-L is currently working in the North Sea so she is allowed to bubble with us.  Mr S-I-L is part of ground investigation for an offshore wind farm, they are test drilling to find out what the sea bed is (mostly sand, as it turns out.)  He's away for 6 weeks; the nearest neighbour is an oil rig.

I have been busy growing seeds and trying to prepare the plot I am to be growing in and, of course, making things.

Here's Mr Clicky's Rallar-Genser Jumper that I started last March when I was out visiting him.  I had hoped to complete it whilst I was there, but I ran out of yarn, so I bought it back with me.

It's made in Jamieson and Smith 2ply Jumper Weight and Mr Clicky chose the colours.  It was finished last summer but the yolk was a bit distorted, the floats were fine and not too tight, and I realised that I had done a large body and extra large yolk because I hadn't marked the pattern.  Unable to stomach taking the yolk off, I threw it in the naughty pile and left it.

I spoke to my knitting pal Romain and the girls on the weekly knitting Zoom and they all told me to block it and see.  Of course, this worked.  Mr Clicky really likes it and doesn't seem to have taken it off since he has been home.

I have also made a Fabric Memory Game for Baby Needles.  I needed a zigzag stitch for this so I got Jessie out for the job; a Jones machine dating to the 1970s, which was pulled out of a skip by my very good friend.  She is a bit of a monster and I couldn't zigzag too fast as the table started to bounce!

I used a tutorial from Apple Green Cottage which was quick and easy.  

The game is a bit too old for Baby Needles at the moment but she likes turning them over and looking at the patterns.

I finished off my Christmas embroidery hoop.  I found this on Etsy and just bought the printed fabric and used up some threads I already have.

It was split stitch, leaf stitch and a few French Knots.

I also finished a garter stitch blanket for Baby Needles to keep her warm in her car seat.

Super easy knitting, random stripes in Marriner Special double knit.

In other exciting news, me and Mr Clicky had our Covid vaccinations yesterday.  A super efficient system, we were in and out, within minutes happily sporting our stickers.


Today we are feeling a bit tired, so we're taking it easy.

That's me for now, have a good weekend....

Clicky Needles.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

My Boy

 I have sad news to tell you.

Our lovely, mad dog, Tipper was put to sleep last week.  He had a cancerous toe which was removed before Christmas successfully and he was just fine.  Unfortunately about a month ago he started licking his paw and it transpired that the cancer was back.  It was really aggressive and we had several trips to the vet to have his paw bandaged as it kept bleeding.  The option was to amputate his leg, or put him to sleep.  We decided as a family he wouldn't cope with a missing leg, so sadly, we took the other course of action. 

He was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Labrador cross and was 12 years old.  There was nothing he liked more than being tucked up in a bed under the covers,

or finding a patch of sunshine to lie in.

He did something everyday that made us laugh.

Thankfully Mr Clicky arrived back from America and had some time with him before he died.

Sleep tight, my boy.  We miss you.

Bye for now....Clicky Needles.