Saturday, 18 May 2019

Allotment update

Thought I would catch up with what has been going on at the plot.

The past few weeks we have been busy weeding and digging.

We decided to keep the black plastic on the top left of the plot as there are some thick deep rooted weeds under there so in an effort to break this into smaller tasks to help manage my Rheumatoid Arthritis we have decided to leave this until later in the year/winter to think about dealing with it.  I plan on planting some courgettes/squash in the tyres and through the plastic so the space won't go to waste.

The top part was very stony and heavy so we planted potatoes to help break up the soil.  Yes, it is old school with the long trenches (remember I was taught to garden in the 70's so I am old school I suppose) and they do resemble buried bodies-but it is main crop spuds!  Honest!

We planted some onion sets in the front of the plot and put down some weed control fabric pinned down with some metal wire and piled with bark chippings that the council kindly donate to the site.  This will help me with my stability on the site and make it easier for me to walk on a slightly firmer ground.  Later in the year I am thinking of edging it with some wood to help keep the chippings in place.

I also bought 4 pallet collars.  A bit dearer than I hoped BUT I think this will make life a lot easier for me, easier to reach the middle without stretching and as they fill up I won't have to bend down as much, and if my mobility gets worse then I am thinking I can add another pallet collar on top easily to increase the height even more.

So far so good, I am also toying with the idea of growing some plants for dying fabric too, but that will probably be next year as I need to do a bit of research and see how much space I have when I have my fruit and veggies all growing.


Wednesday, 15 May 2019


Hump day again and I finally found a bit of time to do some crafting.  This photo was taken the other day as I knew that I would be too hectic with work to take a photo etc during the week.  I have been playing with my inks, cling wrap and salt.  I have played a couple of times over the past week and on both occasions I forget and my hands end up totally stained!  I have NO excuse as I have some thin gloves I could wear but I always forget!

I am playing with making smaller master-boards for the 10th Anniversary ATC's but I still have NO idea what to do with them, I am sure inspiration will strike at some point!

It is amazing that this has been going on for 10 years, all down to the amazing Julia at  Sadly I doubt I can make the crop, which is a great shame as it is always lovely meeting people in the real world, and over the past few years I have made some great friends via the weekly virtual meet up and the crops.  I look forward to seeing the photos from those that attend.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Mob Boss Burns Crooked Suspect'!

I am always amazed at the newspaper headlines you can make from these cards.  In case you haven't seen them before they are a card game, but I bought them from a charity shop for £1 in Cardiff many years ago and they keep me entertained!

So, are you joining us to bare your desk this week?

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Allotment sucess

So, a few month's ago I put my name down for an allotment and then earlier this year I found out my name had gotten to the top!  Hurrah!

So I am now the proud renter of this plot (not quite a full plot, thank goodness that would be too much for us).  It is about 15 foot x 37 foot (approx) and doesn't have a shed or beds but it does have a compost bin and some tyres!

Not too many weeds, though quite a stony plot so will plant potatoes to try and break up some of the soil this year

The end of the plot has loads of old strawberry plants!  I know these only tend to have a lifespan of 3-5 years before they stop being really productive so I plan on seeing how these fruit this year and then potting up some of the runners if they are strong this autumn ready for next year.

the plots to side of me have sheds but I am lucky that we live close by so I plan on taking the tools that I need on each visit as there seems to be quite a few thefts etc in the area so I am thinking no shed may reduce the risk of plants etc getting trashed by people.

Even though I used to have 2 allotments throughout my 20's I haven't had one since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis so hubby has kindly agreed to help out with this one and it will be interesting to see how I get on.  I know that some days I struggle to do basic tasks so I am thinking low maintenance so it can be left for a few days when I am not very well.  I was thinking of chipped bark paths and some raised beds as that will help with my mobility and allow me to work from each side of the beds without having to stretch too far.  
I have already started clearing and planting so will update with some photos really soon.


Wednesday, 8 May 2019


Hump day again so that means baring our desks for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday

No idea what was happening last week but for some reason my account wouldn't let me comment on all the blogs, I did visit and comment on each one that went to the trouble of commenting on mine but when I checked it looks like some didn't seem to work!  No idea why, but if your blog didn't get a return visit from me, I did but once again the foibles of IT seemed to be against me!

On my desk is my finish journal from last week and its all a bit of a mess!  I need to do a ton of paperwork and sort all this out too!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Lawyer Defends Suspect Teen Tourist'!

Happy cafting

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Sewn produce bags

In an attempt to reduce my plastic footprint I have been 'trying' to reuse the plastic tubs before recycling and where possible buy fruit and veg loose, not easy, but I am trying.

I noticed that several shops still use plastic bags for their produce rather than the brown paper ones we used to use many years ago, so I decided to have a go and make my own reusable produce bags.

I bought a reduced voile net for £2 (tried several charity shops but they don't appear to get many in) and reused some spare laces we had hanging around. I already had the spring loaded clasps in my sewing stash so I was ready to go!

Now, I am not great at sewing, but I do enjoy it and I have to focus ALL my attention on it so it is a great way to clear the mind of other things on a day off!

I used Crafty Pattie on YouTube video 
as the basis then adapted it as the voile curtain already had some pieces with the seam already (since it was a ready made curtain).

I made 3 just to see how they last, wash etc.  I have plenty of fabric left over to make a few more if they last ok.

I was really pleased with how they turned out, I am not a natural sewer so pleased I made something that was functional and actually worked!!

If you have any tips on making these please let me know


Wednesday, 1 May 2019


Finally I have had a chance to get back into some crafting which means I can show something for this weeks What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday-hurrah!  

On my desk this week is my 365 Challenge journal, albeit a little late as I haven't quite finished my May page but the pages are gesso'd so it won't take me long.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Heiress Bites Teen Model'-well that just sends so many visions through my head with lots of slapping on a catwalk!!

I am hoping to catch up with blogging (last thing I wanted to do over the past couple of months is sit in front of a screen after 10 hrs a day on one in the pay the bills job!) with some of the stuff I have been making in the past few weeks, so apologies if you have already seen it on my Instagram account but I am a bit behind on the blog.

So, what is on your desk this Wednesday?


Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Seedlings are taking over

When I was a kid I used to help my parents grow their own fruit and veg.  I was SO lucky as our council house had a big garden so we used to grow most of our own and from a very young age my mum and dad taught me how to plant, tend and cook them (I have fond memories of picking the spuds, placing them in an old biscuit tin and burying it in the bonfire, when the embers died down we had hot baked potatoes-and my mum's face as we walked in the house stinking once again of bonfires (sorry mum, I am no better these days)!

Then in my 20's I moved in with my now hubby and rented flats, missing the garden I spent my 20's renting allotments and growing my own fruit and veg, an experience I loved.

Then we finally were lucky enough to buy a house and I have been tending the garden since.  The past 8 years have been hard as being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis has meant I have had to learn how to pace myself and remember that I can only do short bursts and accept on bad days I am not able to!  Seriously, I have a REAL issue with trying to accept I am NO superwoman!!  Anyway following a year or so of struggling with my pay the bills job (too much work, not enough time...yadda, yadda....many of us know this but SO grateful I have a job and am still able to work with my disease) I decided I would expand my growing and convert a bit more of our small garden/patio to more veggies, I also put my name back down on the allotment waiting list, knowing it can take a long time to get near the top, but it costs nothing to put your name on the list so why not?

So a couple month ago my window ledges look like this, nice clean and organised. 
 A mixture of propagators and upcycled plastic containers from the kitchen and even the labels were cut from my yogurt pots.

However, in what seemed like quite a short time my window ledges looked like a mini jungle and the plants started to take over!

 I have a sneaking suspicion I may have sown the seeds a few weeks too early so they are still too tender to plant outside as the night temperatures are still a bit too low

They have gotten a bit leggy now and I have started hardening them off, not sure if they will be any good (so I have sown a couple more as a back up for a bit later and if push comes to shove I can always look to buy a couple plants, we often see them being sold from people's front gardens etc).

What have I learnt from this?  Well two things really, I need to remember to wait a couple weeks before I sow them next year (I have made notes this time of the date I planted them etc, whereas previously I just guessed!) and secondly my hubby has the patience of a saint!

I will be pleased when these can be planted out and fingers crossed they take, if not, well I can try again next year!


Saturday, 13 April 2019

Page Park Tag

 I decided to explore a different area of Bristol recently, Staple Hill is an area I drive through but don't often stop so decided to hop on the bus and explore.  
Lots of local independent shops and charity shops and a great library too.

There is also a great park with a cafe in the middle, which to my surprise did a good selection of vegan food, as it was lunch time I thought it was a perfect time to stop and sample their wares, and very nice too.

Whilst I was sat there I decided to sketch a tag.  I often have a couple tags and pens in my pocket so it seemed like a perfect opportunity.

I only had a white posca and a grey pen so thought I would doodle some leaves and the word "Respect"

I left it on the table for someone else to find it.

Happy crafting


Wednesday, 10 April 2019


Sorry but the pay the bills job has been so crazy for so many months there has been very little crafting and even less blogging (last thing I want to do is go online when I get home!)

However, a day off last week meant I could do my April 365 Challenge Journal, BUT, as I was not totally switched off work it meant that I started cutting out the 30 pieces which I journal on and quickly realised I could only fit 20 on the page!!!  Doh! So, in an effort to claw it back I decided to cut some small random pieces and add them to the mix  and just about managed to fit 30 on the page, but no room for any decoration!

 That was Friday, it still looks like this now!  Not had time to clear it up so just added my "Man Bites Dog" cards on top!

This week the headline is "Feds wanted 1st Lady"!!!!! oooh!

So, if you are joining us via the lovely Queen of Desks Julia via here and bare your desk, be it clean, messy or mid make, welcome to the mayhem!


Sunday, 7 April 2019

Abandoned Tag

For a couple of years now I have been taking part in Art Abandonment and Free Art Friday. 

 The idea is you make some art and abandon it somewhere, leaving your details on the back so they can contact to register a find (if they wish), usually via the Art Abandonment or Free Art Friday facebook groups

Some people leave sculptures, painting, pebbles, canvass, jewelry all different things. 
I like to travel light so have a few tags and a couple pens in my bag or coat pocket so tend to sketch on the fly.  This is my tag I left in my favourite cafe in Cardiff the other week, Atma, a Buddhist Cafe that makes lovely food and a great atmosphere.

No idea if anyone has found it, hopefully if they did they will contact the group on FB as it is always nice to hear from someone who found them.

I like the idea of this as it forces me to take 10 mins out of the daily grind to sketch, which tends to be totally self absorbing whilst you are doing it and if it brings a smile to someone else then even better.

Happy crafting