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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

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I’m still decluttering my studio, which is taking forever: I have so much stuff in there.  Yesterday I rediscovered a pack of replica vintage garden ephemera that I bought at the Chelsea Flower Show many years ago.  I’ve used a few bits from it, but the rest had been chucked in a drawer and forgotten about.  I’ve chosen a few cards with which to decorate my studio, and today I turned the remaining bits and bobs into a notebook.

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how useful a curved needle can be, especially when one is binding envelopes into a book.

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I ended up using the biggest garden leaflet to make the cover (which is lined with card from some posh shirt packaging that came into my possession), the leftover garden bits and some repurposed paper (brown paper that had been used as packaging in something I received in the post, and some squared paper from an old maths exercise book) became the pages.  I found some old envelopes lurking in another drawer so those got thrown in too.  It’s turned out beautifully!

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Not the most thrilling title, and not really the most enthralling subject for a blog post either!  Still, I’ve had a chance to do a little more reorganising in my garden and thought I might as well pop it up here.  The last bit of pallet recycling involved turning some wooden pallets into a bench for my studio (click here to view that post – you’ll need to scroll down quite a way to see it).  However we did have some bits of pallet left, which was annoying as (of course) that means having to dispose of them.  Hmm.

So, since November I’ve been pondering on and off how best to use up the rest of the leftovers.  I stumbled across a great idea at A Beautiful Mess for creating a vertical garden using old pallets (click here to view); which I loved, but it didn’t really fit right with my own garden, as I have a lot of pot holders which need to hang off horizontal supports.  Still, it provided enough inspiration for me to go back to basics and just use the pallet as is.

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Just adding a wider board (another leftover from another project!) to the top to make a shelf, on which I will sit troughs full of vegetables come the summer, and voila!  One handy pot hanging space, which might not look much now but if you pop back in the summer it’ll be blooming.  I may even paint it, you never know.

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I don’t think I did a review of 2012, but I’m feeling the urge to do one of 2013.  It’s been a funny old year: frustrating in some ways and yet hugely rewarding in others.

January was a quiet month.  I made some beautiful books, and then went to the seaside for a few days…

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With February came snow, but also sunshine and the opportunity to catch up with friends (of the two-legged and four-legged variety).  Bookbinding also went on, and there was some dabbling in machine sewing too.

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March was busy busy busy!  Commissions, an awful lot of sketching, more snow, knitting, and even some redecorating

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April was remarkably warm, filled with seed sowing, gardening, my birthday, and the joyful discovery that sketching dogs is fun!

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May was another hot month, and once more full of gardening and dogs, with the added bonus of the Canal Cavalcade and the Chelsea Flower Show…

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June kicked off with a visit to Kew Gardens, and the fine weather continued throughout the month.  There was a lot of gardening, enjoying the fruits of my labours, and also some new glasses (which I like very much, so you’ll have to excuse the very rare selfie)…

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July was an absolute scorcher, and there were many days spent painting and drawing, harvesting veg and cutting flowers galore, and just generally relaxing in the garden.

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August saw me house and dog sitting for three weeks, which was absolute bliss.  I also got to meet some actors, draw some more dogs, and have a bit of fun with minion illustrations… oh yes, and we found out that we were expecting a puppy!

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The summer finally seemed to come to an end in September, with the weather finally starting to cool off.  Our puppy was born on 9th September, and his birth precipitated a lot of frantic knitting and crocheting!  I also tried dyeing things with elderberries, making things with felt, and visiting our new puppy.

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October saw the start of a warm autumn, and it was a month of quiet crafting (I finally finished my Beekeeper’s Quilt!), and a lot of puppy visiting.  I also learned two new skills: how to make a sari blouse, and how to taxidermy mice

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November was the most exciting month of 2013 for me, because it was when our puppy finally came to live with us!  I also got to masquerade as Santa Claus, and had a stonkingly good time at the Christmas Kensal Flea … but a lot of my time was spent with Loki (whose favourite place to sleep is still on my lap)…

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Finally we made it to December, which was full of bookbinding and other crafts, playtime with the pup (and as you can see, my lap is still his favourite spot for a nap, no matter where we are), and generally just enjoying life.

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Overall 2013 has been a pretty good year.  I’ve made a lot of beautiful things, sold a lot of beautiful things (yay!), and got a beautiful puppy who has brought so much joy into my already happy life.  I just hope that 2014 is as good!

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So, if you’re a regular visitor to my blog you’ll know that I split my time between gardening and arts/craft fairly equally.  I haven’t yet decided which hat I’m donning today, but either way I’m covered…

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Gosh it’s been a busy week here at The Gift Shed.  I’ve been juggling projects of all sorts, but haven’t had time to blog about any of them in detail, so for now here’s a quick peek at the various things I’ve been doing…

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…I’ve been finishing off a couple of books I’d started over a month ago…

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…made my first foray into dyeing wool (well, technically it’s fibre as it’s not been spun yet!)…

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…making some improvements to the garden, despite the inclement weather…

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…and frantically knitting tiny hats for The Big Knit (frantic because I suddenly realised the deadline is 1st October).

We’re only halfway through this week and I’m already shattered, but there’s so much to do!  I’d best get cracking, and hopefully I’ll find enough time to blog about the dyeing very soon 🙂

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Wednesday WIP

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Well, I had all sorts of grand plans for the month of August. As I was house sitting, and the house in question has a huge dining table…

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I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to catch up with some sewing. I’ve got a patchwork quilt that needs to be sewn together, and also bought some beautiful broderie anglais which is also destined to be sewn into bedding… But I didn’t sew anything as I didn’t have time! Bit of a wasted opportunity, and no doubt I will be kicking myself when I eventually attempt the sewing in my tiny studio, but hey ho!

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I’d also planned to get my beekeeper’s quilt finished…but didn’t knit so much as a single stitch. Major fail on that score (although since moving back home on Sunday I have made five hexipuffs, so I’m back on track).

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I did get a lot of gardening done, and played with the dog a lot, and caught up with some reading too, so I wasn’t completely idle. Oh, and of course there was the dog blog (see Sunday Sketchblog #80).

This week I’m catching up with my post, e-mails, admin, and other chores (like sorting out my own garden, which turned into a little jungle while I was gone). I can’t wait to get back into my studio properly, but suspect it’ll be the weekend before I really have time to be creative again.

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