Garden & outdoor living

A tropical theme for summer 2017

Flamingo party 1

Flamingo party 2


Flamingo party 4

Flamingo party 5

Flamingo party 6

Flamingo party 7

Flamingo party 8

Flamingo party 9

Oh I do love a summer BBQ and I do love to decorate for a summer BBQ. And this year there are SO many great Flamingo themed accessories to really make your party fun!

In March we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and decided to have a BBQ, we're South African so there is no BBQ season in our house! Thankfully we were blessed with a sunny and warm weekend just like our wedding day 10 years ago.

eBay is bursting with Festival Party Supplies and Pinterest is full of great décor ideas.

The best bit about this party theme is the mix of colour, textures and styles. I used a lot of coloured glass, vases, tealight holders and some tall coloured glass shot glasses for displaying straws and cocktail stirrers. I mixed linen napkins with paper napkins because I try hard to reduce my waste but I couldn't resist these flamingo ones!!

There are a few bits that you can't reuse, like the paper napkins or straws, but I do wash and reuse cocktail stirrers and I save photo booth props from landing up on the floor or in the bin. But I'm certainly not precious about little bits that go home in someone's handbag. After all if they want a memento of the day, it's been a SUCCESSFUL day!

Top Tip:
If you are lucky enough to have a glue gun then use it to adhere the sticks of your photo booth props. They last much longer that way!

I'm so looking forward to many more Tropical themed parties in 2017 and I'll be sharing some fun BBQ food ideas as we move through spring!

C xx

Colourful living

Usually the weather prediction is nicer than the reality, but this weekend it was the other way around. On Friday the weekend prediction was cloudy and a little cooler, so I was prepared to spend most of it indoors sorting and clearing and cleaning, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was in fact sunny and bright and actually quite warm.

We had a stuff to do in the morning, but by 1 o'clock we were home and settled on the bench to enjoy an al fresco Mediteranian/eastern European inspired lunch.

Garden lunch

This polish sausage is just delicious, we buy it often to either pop under the grill or on the gas BBQ. The yellow blob is a polish mustard which is perfect for this sausage and just the right taste of spicy.

After lunch I thought I would take advantage of the weather and sit out.

Garden blanket

I left my blanket and magazines on the kitchen counter as I popped to the loo and came outside to see my darling best husband and laid it all out for me and poured me a drink! He really is something special <3

Of course the cat joined me and did his best to be as cute as possible...

Garden Josh sleeping

But then decided that he didn't want me to be distraced by the magazine as I wasn't giving him enough attention...

Garden Josh magazine

He bored of me before too long and posed by the peonies where it was a little cooler.

Garden peonies

I do love to sit under a blue sky and soak up the warmth of the sun.

Garden sky

I discovered the Brown Stitch blog today. There are some lovely patterns so i'm bookmarking this one for a future project!

Speaking of projects, I am 90 squares into the 100 that are required for my latest WIP. Photos and update later this week, promise! My plan is to finish by the end of the bank holiday weekend so I can move on to my next finishing school project.

There is much to do this week in preparation for my lovely step mum and sisters arrival on Friday. It will be very strange for us all to be in the same house after 10 years. My poor darling best husband is not going to know what hit him!

4 sleeps!

Ciao xx

In the garden

While we're having a mild spell, Stu and I have been in the garden cleaning up the flower beds and trimming trees ready for spring. I love to clear away the dead flower stalks and leaves to unearth tiny bright green shoots of new growth peeping out of the soil.

Part of the garden spring clean is evicting the spiders from my little shed. I had hoped my shed would be more of a summer house but I share it with a variety of garden tools and chicken supplies so it can get a little cramped.


I do however have space for a lovely chair and Josh and I love to sit here in the sunshine with a cup of tea and a magazine. It's a humble space but it's mine :)

With much excitment a little blue tit family are making a nest in the bird house that is overlooked from the kitchen window. We have had a mama and papa in it every year since it was installed in 2007 and I spend hours leaning on the kitchen counter just watching their comings and goings as they work tirelessly to feed a hungry brood.

Bird house

The best part of the warmer weather arriving is being able to fire up the braai. Cooking outdoors is deep rooted in this South African couple living in the heart of Hertfordshire. So far from the country of our birth.

Spring my dear friend, I have missed you...

Ciao xx

The time has come!

It started in April 2009! With the humble beginnings of a home made custom built garden shed.


That has turned into a Chicken Chateau!


Complete with 4 very happy, sweet chooks. Henrietta, Matilda, Rose and Winnie!

PC130026 (2) 

They are terribly cute and awful time wasters! I find myself stuck by the run for the longest time, when I know I have chores to do!

PC130026 (4) 

Sadly the veggie patch is a dust bowl, being used by Josh to roll about in!

PC130026 (6) 

My coccyx is still very painful and bruised so i'm unable to dig the soil over. I'm not sure if i'll be able to catch up, but I do know that even if I am, i'll be buying all my plants this year and not sewing any seeds. It's far too late to start now! I wonder why I got so behind?

Today I started a crochet tea cosy. It's fab and i'll share photos of my progress and the pattern book during the week x

I'm very late

This year I am very late starting the veggie patch. Following my fall on Friday, I'm not much use with the tools!

However I am very lucky to have a hard working dear husband and dear step son who both worked tirelessly in the garden on Saturday to clear the patch of weeds and grass and mowed all the lawn ready for the growing season.
There is no way I would have any hope of catching up without their help.

My photo today shows the cleared patch with an almost complete chicken run behind. More about that later!

Last night I finished a quick and simple crochet project started on Sunday. I didn't manage to get a decent photo last night so I will share photos as soon as I have good photographing light.

I love those quick in between projects that can be done while doing a bigger one.

I also finished callums beanie on Saturday. The pattern is so fab and I'm chuffed to bits that I mastered rib. I didn't like it as I thought it terribly slow but after the practice it's not bad at all!

Royal wedding party has exploded with far more people showing an interest than originally thought. Numbers are up to 170 so we have had to stop selling tickets. It's fab that so many families will be joining in!

I bought the new country homes and interiors, period ideas and making magazines this morning and they are all full of vintage tea party/royal wedding ideas. Just in time x

I'm very late

BBQ season is open

BBQ season opened yesterday with the warmest, sunniest day I think we had gad so far in 2011.

I went out in the morning to stock up the freezer and buy some braai meat as it promised to be a warm day. By the time I got home I was feeling very hot in my jeans and long sleeve top. After a quick round of my neighbours to sell royal wedding tickets, I changed into crop jeans and a short sleeve top.

Standing in the sun painting the wooden fence it felt like I was getting burnt however the sun was not strong enough for that :)

It felt so amazing to be out in the garden and productive. Some years winter can certainly feel very long.

The only downside to all this garden productivity is the lack of time for knitty and hooky business! I didn't do one stitch :( Not good.

My photo of the day was taken on Friday night from the kitchen door. The sun was shining brightly in a clear blue sky.

It's just a shame the sun didn't want to come out again today x

BBQ season is open

A busy weekend

Well it's been a busy weekend! It's good to be busy again, winter can be a bit boring as we do like to be in doors mostly.

Saturday was glorious and I got stuck into the flower beds and did a brown wheelie bin a tidying up and weeding. I also started to prepare the shed for summer. I can see me spending alot of time in there :)

I made a concerted effort to get sunburst poncho done and it worked because..... It's done!! I love it :) May even wear it to work tomorrow!

Today we were in the village hall making bunting. It was a community project and great to get so many Woman Of Wymondley in one place together, creating :)
I bought some fabric home as homework.

A bit tired tonight x

A busy weekend

It's almost Summer!!

And the weekend is promising to be a hot one :) We've had a pretty hectic month with two visits from my lovely cousin Danni, before she left yesterday for the sunnier climate of Africa. Danni, good luck in your new adventure, I wish you all the happiness you deserve.

But you know what I didn't do?? I didn't get ONE photo of Danni and I together. Isn't that SHOCKING. So sad :(

Over bank holiday we bundled into the car and drove up north to Scotland, for 2 nights in Edinburgh. And the highlight of the trip was seeing a three day old Highland 'Coo'. He was gorgeous!


We've done tons of work in the veggie patch and it's almost all planted up! Stu has been a HUGE help to me out there. I doubt I would have managed on my own. And look at our first harvest...


And my favourite part of any day is standing at the kitchen window watching a very busy mama bird who is so busy looking after her brood that she doesn't stop, bless her. I took the following series of photos in poor light, through the kitchen window, so please excuse the poor quality






Yesterday afternoon I noticed that daddy has also joined the feeding brigade and the two of them swooped in and out for well over an hour. I wonder if I will be lucky enough to see the babies come out the nest.....

And now I need to get off the internet and go sort dinner. Thanks for stopping by!

A new month....already!

Wow, September already! How on earth do we slow time down a little?

I only have two more August layouts to share today, because I haven't gotten around to scanning the rest yet.

08 wk2 august 08 

08 wk2 july 09 

These are my IACW Project 2009 layouts.

I feel like loads crafty and otherwise has happened lately that i've not blogged about, but now that I come to blog I can't think of much.

So lets cover all bases :)

Work is pants. Still. Our new system is still (YES it's been 6 months), not working properly. I'm not sure we will ever find out who's bright idea it was to implement this system, for fear that we will lynch him! But today we had a very positive visit, and we had the opportunity to voice some our concerns.

The garden is still looking okay although I have had to do some major clearing and dead heading. I can see the end of summer gaps so I know what/where to fill next year. I'm not buying any more plants this year. The shed is almost finished. We need to put a door on the chicken coop and do the fencing. The shed part is all done and I have decorated it with shelves, hanging pots and there is a place for everything and everything is in it's place. I love having my garden tools in there and most importantly out of Stuart's garage.

I am a haPPy hOOker! I am so loving crochet right now, that I have plans to make all sorts of things. Right now I am working on a granny square scarf.

This yarn just fell into my basket last Saturday and I am 65 squares in.


My inspiration came from Country Living...


You can read more and click links here.

I've not started my green kidsilk haze yet because when I went to the yarn shop I was faced with about 5 patterns that I could do, but couldn't make my mind up, so i'll need to think more!

And this bank holiday, for the first time on AGES (I don't really like bank holiday crowds), we went on a day trip to the seaside. We had a good day weather wise, and it was good for the soul to breath in some sea air.

Herne bay bank holiday 

I bought a lovely rose printed scarf and a lavender sachet at the Whitstable harbour market. Could have spent a fortune there!

Herne bay bank holiday (1) 

We spent all our 2ps in the Herne Bay amusements. And had an icecream on the pier.

Oh and I dipped my toes in the sea. It was surprisingly warm! Nothing like the icy waters of Cape Town.

Oh and goodness, did I mention we went to the Hatfield House Country Show. I took my camera and didn't use it much, but I did get this photo of Stu after our helicopter (!!!) ride.

Country show hatfield 

He had (as you can see) a grin from ear to ear :)

Right I must go start supper!


Shed building :)

It's a hard job, I tell you!

13 04 09 

13 04 09 (1) 

13 04 09 (2) 

This is where we left it on Easter Monday. The base and frame were the real tough bits. I had little to do with the building to this point. I was weeding.

25 04 09 (2) 

25 04 09 (3) 

25 04 09 (5) 

And this is how is stands now. It needs doors, the inside divided into shed/chicken house, the roosting boxes and a coat of darker stain. At the moment it's very golden and stands out against the back drop. With a darker colour it'll blend in. Oh and of course the interior must be decorated :) I had the painting job!

I had a day off yesterday :) Of course my morning was spent at knit & chat where I completed a square of my new crochet project and started another which I finished off last night. It's an easy pattern but as i'm just getting used to it, it's slow going. I know it'll get quicker, i'm just not sure how i'm going to cope with one colour. I think that's why the shawl, which is finished by the way, took so long. It's a bit boring.

In the afternoon, I did a bit of weeding and planting out my seedlings. They are all still on the window sills in the kitchen and dining room, because my greenhouse is jam packed with pots and of course it's all torn, so no use as a greenhouse anyway.

But no it's time to get myself off to work for another day at the grind stone. Maybe i'll win the Euro millions on Friday. have you bought your ticket? You have to be in it to win it!!