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Sunday, 23 March 2014

preparations....

after several days of really yucky weather with torrential rain, storms and frost at night today is a quiet sunday. earlier the sun peeped out for a bit, but we have more rain in the forecast for tomorrow and the clouds are already gathering... never mind, the weather after tomorrow is supposed to be "picking up"! hope dies last:) of course a few days of nice weather and the daffs think it must be spring. they are blooming everywhere and all nearly at the same time - and I think there'll be none left to flower around easter as it is so late this year (they are called "easter bells" translated from german - but over here they're usually gone by then!).
I love all the spring flowers, but in contrast to tulips, which only flower really strongly in the first year (unless you dig them out and replant them) daffodils increase without me doing anything about it - perfect for lazy gardeners:) pity that the muscari aren't flowering yet, the "swedish" look with yellow and blue gives the flower beds a real boost! the only downside to the long-stemmed daffs is that they break easily in our strong winds. I just spent a nice 15 minute break in the garden, collecting all the broken ones to put into a big bunch inside! they are so cheerful - even a hole in the flower from a greedy slug can't change that!  
I am also doing other flowers, the "grandmother's flower garden" kind! I checked through my stash to dig out fabric for a larger project - and couldn't resist making two smaller mug rugs first. of course eedjit me sent the finished ones off before taking a photo. I made them "egg-shaped" with a bias-taped edge in green....  I bought thermolam as wadding for potholders last year, but it worked nicely for mug rugs, too. it's heat resistant, denser than normal wadding and not too thick - I did all the sewing by hand and it was very easy to work with.
 
 this is the first step for the bigger project! I am going to need about 1100 of those for my idea! couldn't get the 0.75 "easily as pre-cut, so I took thicker paper and copied 25 pages of them... a lot of cutting involved, but luckily I don't need all of them before I can start! we have our craft meeting next saturday and I plan to have enough hexies prepared to do some sewing. I don't want to make a very orderly flower garden, I'll include some partial flowers and a lot of different greens in between (have to order more fabric for that of course....:) to make a square table cloth out of it. the first 300 are cut!
 
I also finished the baby booties - as usual knitting the base was done in an evening - fiddling about with the dogs took ages... to make them stand up nicely - I filled them with kiwi fruit:)
the green is much more yellow in reality though.... 
 ... this comes closer, esp. the upper skein. I am just spinning the last bit of the fibres, two skeins are ready to go for the baby cardie. I think I won't double the yarn up as I did for the booties though - or the sweet pea pods will look like broad beans:)
 
I didn't finish the baby alpaca cardie yet, so the sweet peas have to wait a little while longer until it's finished. no pix yet, don't want to spoil the surprise for the future owner:)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 on one of the rainy days last week I finally used up my own lemon "harvest" - I made jelly out of my 7 lemons. I gave one each of the irish bio lemons to mother and mil (as proof that there are home grown lemons available in ireland:) - and used the rest with a little bit of "help" (aka lemon juice) from 3 shop bought ones. I cut the peel into very fine strips and simmered it with a bit of water for a while. it turned a very deep yellow! then I used the peels, all the juice and slices of the smallest fruit with jam sugar to make the jelly. it's very tasty - not really very sweet, but full of aroma! perfect on a fresh buttered roll - yum!
 
and now I better get started - I have to iron a gazillion of little fabric pieces to start the patchwork! and finally get out the order for more fabric, esp. in greens....

7 comments:

Nina said...

You have been very busy! I've got a meyer lemon which is a bit disappointing. It's got no flavour in the zest and is too sweet for me to really use it for a true lemon flavour. We're still battling deep freezing temperatures and a fair bit of snow cover. I'm quite jealous of you lovely daffodils.

Wiebke T said...

große hochachtung zu dem Patchworkprojekt!
und lustig die hündchen..

ich habe nun auch ein zitronenbäumchen,aber noch keine eigene ernte.
und ich mag auch zu gerne zitronenmarmelade.dein ist bestimmt lecker zum sonntagsfrühstück!! gruß wiebke

Woolly Bits said...

Nina - I am really surprised that the mini lemon tree brought so many fruit - but after the first set I started to thin out some, because I figured that a small plant like that cannot sustain 30 or more of them! wouldn't you be able to get a different variety maybe?
and the daffodils, yes, they are very cheery to me. on the downside - if they all go into bloom together they are over quite quickly:( no more nodding yellow bells to greet me:)

Wiebke - heute kam eine neue stoffladung zum "zerlegen und neu zusammensetzen":) aber so gross ist die decke garnicht - schau mal hier bei Grit nach:
http://gritslife1.blogspot.ie/2014/03/beatas-la-passion.html
der irrsinn - ueber 17.000 hexies! das wuerde ich nie schaffen...
mein zitronenbaeumchen hat letztes jahr auch noch nicht viel getragen, es dauert sicher eine weile - aber auch, wenn sie erstmal nur ein wenig bluehen, schon die blueten sind sehenswert - und vor allem duften sie wahnsinnig!

Leigh said...

Oh my goodness, my great-grandmother made a garden of flowers quilt. By hand with teeny stitches and perfect fittings of the pieces. Your amazingly perfect samples bring back lovely memories of that.

The booties are too cute! And I love the idea of lemon jelly. Maybe my Meyers will give me a good harvest this year.

Elke Schwarzer said...

Ach, da hast du es gut - bei mir wollen die Narzissen auch nicht so recht. Die Tulpen mickern auch meistens - wie kann ein Garten eigentlich beides nicht mögen??
VG
Elke

Woolly Bits said...

Leigh - I'd never be able to do the hexies with the machine, but being accurate is no problem really with paper templates! I prefer the handstitching - saves me from putting up the machine every time!

Elke - narzissen gedeihen hier praechtig, nur bluehen dieses jahr alle gleichzeitig, wie es scheint. tulpen dagegen... wenn ich glueck habe, krieg ich im 2. jahr aus 10 pflanzen eine bluete, im dritten jahr wars das dann auch.... aber ich bin einfach zu faul, sie nach der bluete auszugraben. ich glaube, es liegt nicht am garten, dass sie nicht wiederkommen, sondern an der pflanze. ich hab schon oft gelesen, dass man die tulpen absterben lassen soll und dann ausgraben. aber ich komm eh schon nicht mit der gartenarbeit hinterher... narzissen sind da fein, einmal gepflanzt, vermehren sie sich so nach und nach fleissig selber - genau die richtige einstellung fuer mich:)

Elke Schwarzer said...

Hallo Bettina,
ja, Narzissen sind schon fröhliche Blumen - gerade um diese Jahreszeit mag man das Gelb besonders, während viele Gärtner es im Sommer nicht mehr so mögen.
VG
Elke