Wednesday 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas !

                                     Wishing you all a very happy Christmas !

Christmas Mass ,   St Michael's Church in Mullion  , is this Wednesday evening , 24th December  Christmas Eve  at 9pm  .

Monday 22 December 2014

Christmas is Coming !

So I was going to tell you how I "do" Christmas .....about Advent and how going to our little church of St Michael's here in Mullion was  the main thing of it for me ..... but I have been too poorly to go . Yesterday the church was decorated , which is another thing I love to help with  usually .... husband being tall comes in very useful to decorate the difficult to reach bits .
   I managed to bake the royal birthday cake , but I dont think I,ll decorate it this year .

I was greedy and bought the biggest hyacinth bulb in the box at Groves Nursery Bridport. It was not only large but  had four fat baby bulblets attached to it it wouldn't fit in the glass hyacinth vase .So I planted it in a pot instead ...and these are a few bits which dropped off a lovely bright purpley pink Tradescantia which I couldn't resist buying at the farmers market in Helston . .. actually these take very easily by sticking them in a pot of compost..Judy tells me this one likes the light to improve the colour .
 In the porch the schlumbergeras are flowering , also bright pink and purple .
  I watch my new neighbours doing their garden , I wish I could get out there , but I have got to keep in the warm for the time being  ...I have some Arum lilies and the red stemmed Cornus alba Siberica  to split up and give them .... I wonder if they,ve seen the pair of Jays and the sweet little Goldcrest birds which have been visiting .
Husband brings in some holly branches and I make a simple Holly wreath . Usually I make three or four to give away to friends .
 Michael up the lane gave me a huge cyclamen corm ..cant wait to see which colour the flowers will be .Thankyou Michael : ) He has a beautiful garden packed with lovely things . and parcels have been arriving ...and presents which I really shouldn't have opened !   (thankyou Stasher sweet !  x )
         Thats all for now  ,  very tired  ,  forgive the spelling mistakes !

Friday 12 December 2014

Thanks Mum !

A parcel ! A parcel for me ! : ) Oh ! lovely surprise ! As I tore off the tape and tipped out a rainbow of DMC embroidery threads !

My wonderful mum , is a very talented lady , at many handicrafts , knitting , crochet, lace-making , embroidery, cooking , cake decorating , flower arranging to name a few ,
 She has been having a sort out and wondered if I could use them .
Well I certainly can ! : ) Ooh ! They are gorgeous and as I,m sorting through I see some gorgeous silver and gold threads in amongst them !

I have been collecting old embroidery books for many years now ..these Japanese Ondori books have been waiting in the wings for quite a while . Actually they are not all that old ... 1970's or thereabouts ....vintage then . me . With lots off little patterns in ....that maybe I could squeeze in before the year is out .  I am now on the look out for a special basket to keep my mum's silks in .... aah ...what a lovely , lovely surprise !
 I,m getting over a virus and have a really bad chest at the moment , been given a Ventolin inhaler to help and am trying to rest , not go out and keep warm . Difficult with so much to be done in the run up to Christmas .  I have also had to stop going to dance class for a while ....but I will be back ! : ) ( North African and Arabic ...and Bollywood )
I managed to get a lovely proper Christmas Cake made the other day pleased with myself .  I just need to decorate it .
Mum if you're looking at this ...thankyou SO much ! I love you ! You're the best !

Thursday 4 December 2014

The Cattistock Angel Embroidery - Church of St Peter and St Paul Cattistock , Dorset

This is a needle painting that I embroidered with DMC cotton thread and some real silk  that my mum gave to me . 
The Angel's robe is the real silk ....very tricky to stitch with . Oh and the incense thurible is stitched with a gold metalic thread .


 The idea came from a stained glass window designed by William Morris in 1882 . The window is in the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Cattistock in Dorset .
I enjoyed every minute of stitching this Angel.....and encrusting the background with blue stars and tiny seed beads .

                                                          I love embroidering Angels !

Monday 9 June 2014

Toadstools in Crewel Wool

A little project that I took on holiday with me , because I always have to be stitching something .
 I'm making  a little nature sampler book , of embroidered cloth pages .

      I'm stitching with Appleton's crewel wool .

                 I stitched another , which I intend to make into a small purse .

                         I love toadstools and cant wait to stitch some more .


Sunday 25 May 2014

Lake District Memories

 O.K. So just a few more memories to share with you of our short stay in the Lake District .

 I scrabbled down a steep rocky bank to get this snap of the rare Meconopsis cambrica or Yellow Welsh Poppy . There was a lovely water fall close by too ..just love exploring !

                                  A gorgeous green mossy dry stone wall .

      ......and there were lots and lots of characterful sheep and springy Spring lambs ! : )

Saint Patrick's Church Patterdale Lovely Lake District

 Hallo again my dear friends !  Me and my toothache have been away on a little holiday .
Spring comes early to us down in Cornwall and so lovely , we decided to go up country and see it all over again up in the lovely Lake District .We stayed in Ullswater for a couple of days .....and it is just so so beautiful the misty mountains , the lake, the wild flowers the sheep and the little lambs ....we have stayed here before and love it .
  I was determined this time to visit  Patterdale  which is just a short drive away ,at the other end of the lake . I was SO looking forward to stepping inside Saint Patrick's Church .

I wasn,t to be disappointed , We were given such a warm welcome by the ladies there , setting up ready for the 11o'clock Sunday service . They were happy for me to take photographs and show me around . ...and for this I thank them from my heart ...

Some few months ago , I was lucky to find and buy this lovely old needlework book . Well , It's actually a folder of embroidery patterns.I cant wait to stitch something from this treasure !
              A Portfolio of Designs for Embroidery   by  Joan Drew  1929

I have been trying to find , well , anything really about her .
 So I was delighted to see this wall hanging that she had made  .

Then I discovered that here in the church are  also  three important works of art  ,in crewel wool embroidery , by Ann Macbeth . Both of these gifted ladies have a history of studying and working at Glasgow School of Art . Ann Macbeth 1875-1948 became Head of the Embroidery Department . Both ladies very important names in the Arts and Crafts Movement . I really want to know more , so please tell if you know more , especially about Joan Drew, please let me know !

                                     The Good Shepherd by Ann Macbeth

                                     The Patterdale Nativity  by Ann Macbeth
           This is sadly only a copy, the original ,I am told , is in a museum in Glasgow .
                  It should be here in Patterdale ! The lovely ladies told me that they have been to see it and it is beautiful ! ...but this is a very good copy of it !
I love the intimate scene .... sweet Virgin Mary looking on as the Angel tickles the little Lord Jesus on Hos nose with a dandelion clock !
I love the wild flowers in both these pictures ..and we saw most of them as we walked through the countryside .

I loved this banner too, though not sure who made it. It says " PEACE WHEN THOU COMEST AND WHEN THOU GOEST THY FOOTSTEPS ECHO PEACE "

This church is alive and faith filled ! You always know when you see the children's corner and things they,ve made. Here's the colourful " Our Dale....Patterdale Quilt "

 I love the fox and that fat old owl and the mother badger nuzzling her little cub below a cresent moon up in the deep violet night sky .
The kneelers , as usual so many little personal works of art  and the Altar Cloths ....

...and lectern covers ..simple but beautifully executed gold-work and silk embroidery .

                Saint Patrick's  is a uniting Anglican and Methodist Church .

                                          Sunday Service is at 11 am

                                                Everyone welcome

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Schlumbergera Opuntioides update

So , whilst you have all been enjoying the return of the sun , I have been in bed with a flu like thing again . Better now and even went back to dance class last Wednesday .
 The last thing I did was pot up the cutting , which is doing fine on the North facing bathroom windowsill ..... and I had put a few of the seeds onto a damp paper towel in the airing cupboard . The thing is , it was too warm in there and I had to keep re-damping the paper towel and I was coming down with the flu and just couldn't keep giving them the attention they required . So I quickly set up the plastic pot inside a plastic bag method . First nuking the compost in plastic pot wrapped in a paper towel. Then dampening the compost by immersing in bowl of boiling water and then leaving to drain away and cool down , before sprinkling those teeny weeny seeds onto the surface.  I also very carefully flicked the paper towel previously dampened seeds in there too .
 Then slipped the pot into a plastic bag and tied the top with a rubberband and this one has been on a warm ,n,sunny South facing windowsill .
So that was two weeks ago .......and today .....ta daa ! Can you see ? We have one newly hatched baby Schlumbergera Opuntioides !  Overjoyed me !
  O.K so you might need to get your magnifying glass out to see it .... (nerdy I know..but some of us love this kind of thing ! )

Sunday 2 March 2014

Schumbergera opuntioides

Today I just want to say thankyou to my kind friends from the British Cactus + Succulent Society Cactus World - Online  , who have generously sent me a huge cutting and some seeds from their own plants of Schlumbergera opuntioides .
 I came across this peculiar plant whilst looking up the Epiphyllums which I love and Schlumbergera especially as I have one now in flower.
  This is unusual in that to look at , you would think it is an Opuntia ...with its typical prickly pear pads ...and yet  it has the flowers typical of a Schlumbergera .
 Schumbergeras are from a group of plants which are epiphytic ..they live up in the nooks and cradles of mossy branches of trees ,hanging down ,n,scrabbling about , getting their nutrients and moisture from the air. ....and yet...this like to be epilithic on rocks, scrabbling about . Opuntias generally like as much sun as they can get ...this prefers abit more shade , like the Schlumbergeras do .
 It comes from within quite a small area in Brazil and is on the endangered species list .
  I have used Levingtons cactus compost with some Perlite mixed in for drainage . I have laid the cutting slighly on its side with very little of the bottom of it actually buried in the soil .....this way gives it the chance to put out roots from the first joint , a well as the bottom of the cutting is supported with a few crushed brick pieces .I will make some more of this when I can since it looks so attractive and displays  or sets off the plant so well.
 Finally to add to the landscape....a nice chunk of Jurassic ammonite remind me that it is epilithic ...and a label .

                                A little pest control friend has already moved in !

The seeds !  Thankyou for such a generous lot of seeds . I will give these a good try !
I need to get a few more bits and bobs from Trevena Cross nursery Breage , such as Cheshunt Compound.....which I have never used before and sounds scary ( and probably expensive )  I will do these in a single pot with plastic bag method later on . For now I have taken three of these teeny seeds and am trying here the germinating them on the damp paper towel method ..not sure this will work ...I will let you know how I get on ! : )

Friday 28 February 2014

Mistletoe update !

                                            Something is happening !

I,ve been trying to grow Mistletoe for years with no success . Back in December 2012 , I tried again . Making a slit just under the bark and squishing the seed out from the white gooey berry...and using that goo to hold the seed in place on the branch . It sets very quickly and the seed is sheltered from the elements ( yes ....spell checker  ! elements ...not elephants ! ) under its little roof of bark .
 I tied green string around the branches on which I performed this operation , so I wouldn't forget where they were .
 Yes .... so now... look !    I can see a small green bump emerging !
 I think it might be germinating !

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Meanwhile in the greenhouse .....

                                  Schlumbergera x bucklyi Charles Lemaire

                                          The star of the show today !

  It is a miracle that my little 8ft x 10ft unheated greenhouse , with the dirty windows , hasn,t been smashed in the recent storms ...... There is some water coming in somewhere from along the roof , but it's not too bad . We haven't had a real freeze yet , but I throw sheets of newspaper over everything if the weather forecast is more seriously cold .
 I have hung silver insulation stuff that comes on a roll from B and  Q , across the rafters for a little insulation . It has got us through the last two very cold winters. Today the sun shone for most of the day and I had to open the the top windows. Ventilation is so important to keep the bugs at bay ...also it can get too hot in there and then the temperature drops  dramatically if the sun goes behind a cloud, at this time of the year it is a job keeping an eye on it really  ....I  have quite a collection of cacti, and epiphyllums, but during this time of the year , everything gets crammed in there to over winter. Right now I am starting off leeks and onions...and various flower seeds. Cuttings of fucshias and pelargoniums and herbs. Two Soap nut tree saplings . Agaves , Gasterias ( I have a real thing for Gasterias ! lol ! ) All these things like different temperatures and varying amounts of light levels too , hence I have put up shade net over the Epiphyllums, those Gasterias like to be right under the bench. .the dirty windows modify the brightest sun so nothing gets scorched . ( my excuse anyway ! ) The sun loving cacti go nearest the South facing side .
 Tomatoes....are a blooming nuisance because they like a much higher level of humidity ....maybe I wont grow tomatoes this year. I need another greenhouse ..or three would be good : )

Here's a jumbly photo of around my greenhouse , you can zoom in on and look around.
It is blowing a gale outside again as I write ...and I think we have another three days of stormy weather coming in ... again .
So what happens if the greenhouse begins to collapse ?  Answer.. The plants , cacti , tree saplings epiphyllums ,Agaves, hollyhocks , leeks and onion seedlings will all have to come indoors ...somehow .... next thought .....spiders  !    eek !
  My heart goes out to all those of you who are really suffering in these storms with the misery of flooding ... you are in my prayers . x

Jake's Bones

Here we are on the beach again, beach combing and looking at our brilliant new book !
 Me and my little grandson reading the best educational children's book I,ve seen for a very long time " Jake's Bones " written by Jake McGowan -Lowe .Published by Ticktock.
  Jake who is 12 years old has been interested in wildlife and collecting bones he finds whilst out on nature walks , woods and beaches . He shows how he puts the bones together as complete skeletons of the different animals  . It is such a fascinating hobby and a great introduction to biology in general .
 We love that dinosaur on the front cover !

Monday 10 February 2014


                                      O Wind , where have you been
                                       That you blow so sweet ?
                                           Among the violets
                                         Which blossom at your feet .

                                           The honeysuckle waits
                                          For summer and for heat ,
                                          But Violets in the chilly spring
                                            Make the turf so sweet !
                                                                                    Christina Rossetti 1873

 So with the cafe closed at Charmouth , off we drove to Groves Nursery in Bridport .
....Where we enjoyed a huge...and I mean huge, full English breakfast !
I stocked up on shallots and onion sets , peas , beans , seed potatoes , greyhound cabbage and kale seeds and potato sacks......hormone rooting powder ....
    ............. and then fell in love ....... with Mr Groves collection of Violets .
 Violets ,  an almost forgotten about treasure of our English wild-flowers  .
Oh ! My goodness me ! This was the first time I have ever breathed in that sweet scent from a real Violet flower , heavenly !
 With delightful names such as Grandads Violet , Annalesia , Becky Groves ,Perle Rose , Lydia's Legacy , Lavenders Lady , Dawnie and Dick o The Hills .
 I took home with me to Cornwall , The Baroness de Rothschild early Valentine 's  Day gift from my husband xxx
Our Cornish violets , which are so beautiful , along our Predannack Cliffs , Mullion , sadly have no fragrance ,  unlike the ones that grow in Devon and Dorset ...I must go and see them ..they must be loving this rainy weather !

Charmouth Dinosaur Hunting

So we finally got away to Charmouth between the storms . In fact we had four dry and quite mild days .....and when the tide went out , we did some dinosaur hunting .
 We,ve been coming to Charmouth for many years , looking for fossils along the shore line.    We never bring geological hammers , there is no need !

Think small , you can find sweet tiny things lying in the shingle on the beach .
The sea has washed off all that grey sticky shale for you and you stay safe , well away from the mud flows and slipping crumbling cliffs .

                                         Heres a beautiful tiny piece of coral .

                                                         Ammonite .

 Very worn, sea rolled piece of rock with ammonites in , beautiful ....into my pocket it goes !

Beach combing is so therapeutic and back at base , I turn out my pockets !
      Now look at this !  This might be something special ....any ideas  ?
                  I am pretty sure it is bone ( fossilised ) .

Over the years , I have been lucky to find both Ichthyosaur and Pliesiosaur vertebrae  at Charmouth . Yes ! You will find them from time to time and they are easy to spot lying in amongst the shingle and cobbles on the beach . I decided that I would begin to train my eyes and brain to find other bones apart from vertebrae . So I,ve been doing alot of study and research .
 I think this might be an ankle bone , calcaneus ...and if it is then it will be from a land dinosaur .Scelidosaurus is the one that has been found in Charmouth .....and they have one in the  Charmouth museum and heritage centre ,which sadly , was closed while we were there ! : (        ( so were the loos ! )

 Anyway , here is another pic of my best find , have a look and please if you are an expert on fossil bones , then let me know what you think it might be ?
 I also want to stress , that this too , I found lying in the shingle , not far along the beach really  . I didn,t feel like walking all the way up to the Golden Cap this time !

The Charmouth Heritage Centre and Fossil Museum is brilliant ! Especially for children !
Here there is also a Fossil shop full of wonderful things , fossils, rocks , crystals ,Massive Ichthyosaur skeleton .There is a cafe too , but also , not open while we were there : (