17 Apr 2011

Gardening in the sunshine

Last year was my first year owning a garden. Last summer we grew tomatoes, courgettes, peas, sweetcorn,  lettuce, peppers, chillies, runner beans, strawberries and raspberries.

The tomatoes suffered from tomato blight and blossom end rot; the courgette plant had powdery mildew; the sweetcorn was eaten by birds as were half the lettuce plants; and the runner beans were infested by aphids! Despite all that, it was fun, I learned lots and we did get a reasonable amount to eat.

This weekend we've had lovely weather and so yesterday I mowed the lawn. I'm really enjoying the way  the garden looks at the moment. The apple trees are in blossom and the ground is covered in forget-me-nots.

I started sowing some seeds today. I've planted garlic chives, marjoram, rocket and lambs lettuce so far. I also harvested my first salad leaves for the year - they grew in a pot I used to grow salad in last year and then left outside over the winter. I guess that the warmer weather meant that some leftover seeds germinated which meant some bonus no-effort salad for me.

Afterwards, I used the instructions from house on the hill road to make some gardeners' hand scrub. It simply involved mixing together some sugar and liquid soap. I used some moisturising soap so it left my hands clean and soft.

10 Apr 2011

Postcard swap part 3

Here are all the flower postcards that I made for the postcard swap:

Flower Postcard 1

Flower Postcard 2

Flower Postcard 3

Flower Postcard 4

As this last one was going within the UK, I sent it naked - no envelope. I hope Royal Mail treat it well.

I used camellia petals, forget-me-nots and cherry blossoms from my garden. The results were very variable - some of the petals turned brownish, some bits didn't stick properly and the cherry blossom went very transparent. Despite their imperfections and the wonkiness of the stitched lines, I think the postcards have an antique looking charm about them. Flowers are in bloom for such a short time that it's nice to capture them in postcards.

Postcard Swap part 2

Here are all the collaged envelope postcards that I made for the postcard swap:

Envelope Postcard 1

Envelope Postcard 2

Envelope Postcard 3

Envelope Postcard 4

Envelope Postcard 5

Envelope Postcard 6

I wanted to experiment with shake-able pockets and was wondering what to use when it suddenly struck me that I could use the windows from the envelopes. Pretty obvious really! In the end, these didn't shake quite as freely as I hoped. I suspect that the paper shapes are not heavy enough.

I tried out different designs but I think favourite is the simplest one - just stripes (the fourth one down).

Postcard Swap part 1

I used to collect postcards and have recently rediscovered them as something to make. They're great as they are quite small and so not too large a project, yet big enough to really fully try out new ideas and techniques.

For iHanna's DIY postcard swap, I made 10 postcards and tried out two new techniques. The first was collage using envelopes. I experimented with the idea of windows, some of which are shake-able.(Here they are in full)

Envelope postcards

For the other set, I used real flowers. ( Here you can see them all.)

Flower postcards

I used the rainbow embridery sampler postcards I made to choose the stitch patterns for the embroidery. For the envelope postcards, I chose graphic designs to match the patterns on the envelopes. Of course, for the flower postcards, I chose a flowery stitch.

I'm really pleased with how they all turned out. It was fun making them. Don't tell MrMango but I did make qute a mess!

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