Monday, 4 August 2014

back to normal

after all the excitement of our trip - we're back home and back to normal as well. hm, nearly back to normal... our luggage went missing on our trip out and we're still waiting for the airline to do something about it (i.e. refunding our emergency shopping...). but other than that we're in summer holiday mode = taking it easy, where we can:) the weather isn't too bad either. after a few very muggy, uncomfortable days at the end of july we're back to our more "normal" summer weather: sunshine, showers, temps less than 20 deg. C and only light winds. I've become used to that kind of summer weather and the hot and windless weather in germany made me feel slightly suffocated and breathless (and sweaty:)....
luckily our luggage was brought to us later - luckily, because the flower hexies quilt was in it! never mind my clothes, I'd have gone crazy if all my work had gone lost! irreplaceable really, because nobody would pay a decent wage for craft projects like that if they did go missing! anyway, we got it back and the recipient seemed happy enough about her gift:) I will start another one soon, but not yet - I have to finish at least a few of the projects I started, but didn't finish because of all that hexiemania! first on the list are a few single socks that need partners in life! I finished a pair of socks on the trip or rather the second one of the pair after we came home:
they're nothing special, my normal socks really. I did start with double the amount of stitches as cast-on, because I wanted a wavy edge. I worked 1 k, 1 p and 1 k row, before I cast off half the stitches, ie. I k 4 sts, cast off 4 etc. the rest was plain stockinette, apart from one 3/1 cable, just to keep awake while knitting:) barely visible in the photo. the sock yarn was dyed by me last year during the dyeing demo in our textile group. I used gooddall's food dyes, which is astonishingly stable during the wash! no change whatsoever at 40 deg. C wash with normal washing powder! 
the edge is wavy enough - but I should have turned the whole thing inside out, because the edge turns down slightly.
there are several other "singles" in the stash - one of them is the purple/yellow then "starry night", the mottled green "jungle leaves", the deluge etc... if I manage to keep at it, I should have several more pairs of finished socks in the box in 2 weeks time:)
during our trip we did a workshop about wet felting here. I knew the theory of wet felting, have done one flat "picture" and a few small felt balls. but I hadn't done a hat or bowl before. so that is what we did during our 3 hours, first a "star" felt bowl and then a small treasure stone. obviously everything purple in the photos is mine:) the plan is to adorn the bowl with a few tiny silver bells, a bit of celtic embroidery and maybe a few silver lined glass beads... material is at the ready - I just have to start:)
of course the garden turned into even more of a jungle during our absence. luckily we had some rain here during that time - (most) men aren't really to be trusted to water flower pots very well:)
this is the dahlia "bishop of llandaff" - with lovely red flowers and very dark reddish leaves. I love the simple blooms, which stand up much better to our wind and rain than the gigantic cactus dahlias, which need staking for every single bloom:(  
the fuchsia with the very small red-pink flowers is doing very well in the container, together with lovely lobelias (I couldn't find pure blue ones, there were only mixed palets on offer:().  
I forgot the name of this pelargonium, but I like the oddly shaped single flowers - and the bright pink/rose colour that really sparkles in the sunlight:) 
my alltime favourite for containers and windowboxes is this though: sanvitalia procumbens. it's sold as an annual, but they survive the winter easily, as long as they are sheltered from hard frosts! one dose of fertilizer in spring and off they go. they seem to flower for months on end, never drop spent blooms and look so sunny and friendly, that I have to smile every time I look at them! like tiny little sunflowers.... did I write that before?:)  
we also put up window boxes along the wall between coal shed and studio. I planted tagetes, sanvitalia, fuchsias and put in seeds of nasturtium, all of which are growing away nicely. but I also put in some wildflower seeds here and there - and very pretty they are! I love poppies, but there are never any wild ones around in the fields here. they go so well with cornflowers and corn-cockles...  
and I also have some felt flowers for inside now:) the workshop during our last CTC meeting was about making a wreath with summer felt flowers. we wound chunky yarn around a polystyrene base and added flowers, made from felt and beads. thanks to our tutor Susan Basler we were able to use some lovely leftovers of her handmade felts, which gave the flowers a much nicer look than shopbought felt could have done. I only finished half of the flowers and had to do the rest at home.... I didn't sew or glue the flowers to the base, but used pins only. which means that I can re-decorate my wreath with autumn leaves, holly and berries for christmas etc...
btw - did you notice? only a bit more than 4 months to go - and it's christmas again! hard to believe with the sunshine and exuberant flowers outside... time to get the mind geared towards gift-making:)


Delighted Hands said...

I loved hearing about your adventures in travel-I fly out tomorrow and do NOT want another lost bag, please! I would love to take a garden walk with you right now-just beautiful! Those socks are too pretty! What a fun dye on them!

Nina said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I'm so glad the hexi quilt was just delayed and did arrive safely in the end. Your garden is looking lovely as well. I love the use of window boxes and containers to add spots of colour all over the place.

Elke Schwarzer said...

Hallo Bettina,
oh nein, das Gepäck zu verlieren auf einer Reise ist ja ein Albtraum. Schön, dass am Ende alles gut ausgegangen ist.

kathy b said...

I love your flowers

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - I am not so sure about that garden walk - I left out all the messy spots in the pix:) everything is very green just now - unfortunately the weeds as well:) and I have to admit that right now my window boxes look better than the rest of the garden:)

Nina - I know, you wouldn't believe the relief I felt, when they rang and told us that the suitcases will be delivered soon - phew....

Elke - ich sag dir, wir haben 2 tage lang angst geschwitzt, dass sie sonstwo gelandet sind - oder gar ganz verschuett (hauptsaechlich wegen des quilts!!). wobei es bestimmt schlimmer ist, wenn man am ende der welt irgendwo seine sachen nicht bekommt. immerhin ist D ja zivilisiert und gut ausgestattet mit geschaeften fuer ersatzkaeufe:) und sprachprobleme bei der beschwerde gabs zum glueck auch keine....

Kathy B - thanks, I just wish the "unwanted flowers" around them weren't multiplying so fast:)