Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Glory Of The Garden

After a five hour crochet marathon yesterday I finally finished my cot blanket just in time for my colleague's baby shower today ....are you thinking what I'm thinking?   It's by no means perfect but so far it is my first finished item, so I'm quite proud of it.  

Ta dah!

Look at that lovely shell edging, I only learned how to do that on Friday....but fortunately it was simplicity itself.  I'm keen to crack on with the other crochet WIP's now, in order to finish them so I can concentrate on sewing.  I still haven't bought the fabric for my skirt but I'm off to Sewing World in Tunbridge Wells on Monday so watch this space.

With the crochet finished I had time to whip up a quick card for LIM's current sketch challenge

 and CASology's garden theme

apologies for poor photo but very overcast today so had to grab a window of opportunity when the sun made a brief appearance.

I used :
ancient watering can stamp - Inca Stamp
Labels one nestabilities
Memory box dies - Fancy Blossoms
sentiment - Penny Black

Whilst making this card I was reminded of  The Glory of The Garden by Rudyard Kipling.  I read this poem at my mother's funeral at her request, she was an avid gardener and I'm ever grateful for all the gardening knowledge that she passed on to me.  Even though I have sad memories of this poem  I nevertheless think it paints a rather lovely, if romanticized view of an Edwardian garden.  

OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You'll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise ;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-" Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.
There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!

And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away !

If you ever get the chance to visit Batemans, one of Kipling's Sussex homes I recommend it.

It's been too wet here for much gardening lately but my seeds are coming along nicely.

Enjoy what's left of your weekend.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

On Days Like These

It's been noticed that I haven't posted for a while.  The fact is, that nothing of note has happened, just ordinary days that I thought were so unremarkable that you wouldn't want to hear about them. I still don't have anything startling to impart but thought I'd better get back here as I'm sure there's someone out there who's waiting with baited breath to see my latest secondhand finds...?
I thought this little French canard would fit into my plans for the conservatory.
£4- newly found chazza Forest Row

Topshop knit 30p - Scouts jumble sale

Monsoon linen skirt £4 - same chazza as above
(Love the colour and hoping to pimp it up a bit)

Wool tapestry bag -£2 chazza

I was working last Tuesday evening so I've only just caught up with the final of The Great British Sewing Bee.  I was gripped by this series and even though I am not a sewist it has inspired me to have a crack at making a garment.  Lazy Daisy Jones is hosting a sew-a-long for beginners and although I won't be sewing along with her,(as I've yet to buy fabric etc) I've bought the pattern!  I plan to make the skirt along with a couple of ladies from my Stitch & Bitch (knitting/crochet) group.
One of them is an extremely accomplished seamstress and she will be guiding us through the complexities of the pattern, cutting out, seams, zips and other seemingly tricky stuff.  She doesn't mince her words either so no doubt she'll tell us exactly what she thinks of our efforts!  Due to shift work and holidays we can't schedule a sewing day until June, so until then the only thing I'll be making is.. cards.  Here's one I made for the OLC at Less Is More where the theme is shadow stamping.

 I made an oval mask and shaded inside the aperture with ink dusters.  
Stamps used :
 sentiment - Stampendous
bird - Inkylicious
flock of birds - Crafty Individuals
Inks - Memento Pistachio and Olive Grove 

It's not very special as I didn't have much time today but my card stash is getting low so thought I'd have a bash at the challenge.  Also linking to :

Addicted to CAS - Far and Away
CAS-ual Friday - Good Egg

Hope you're having a blinding weekend.