Monday, 29 July 2013

Celebrate Stitch

This is what I have been doing this afternoon.  Some of us are going to be at the Guild Hall in Worcester on Saturday as part of the EG Celebration of Stitch event.  We are having a long piece of fabric with a line along it and will encourage the public to try their hand at some simple stitching up and down from the line.  The kite flyer is stood at the end of the line.  Afraid I never got round to pressing the fabric after I took it out of the hoop which is why it is a bit wrinkled.
This was my scribbled design, somehow I have managed to turn the little girl round to face the other direction.

Sunday, 28 July 2013


We had visitors over the weekend and we went to Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb on Saturday.  The men never got much further than the paddock, but us ladies climbed up to the top of the steep hill and found a very nice viewpoint to watch the timed runs.  There were a couple of Ginettas - a G4 and a G16, but unfortunately the G4 never got off the start line.

Having people to stay also meant I got to go out for a nice 2 hour walk on Sunday morning.  DH dropped us off in West Malvern and we walked up to the Worcester Beacon before returning home via the Quarry, then down Cowleigh Bank.  The weather was just right, not too hot.  I was rather worried that we had taken the wrong path down, but we managed to come out at the right place in the end.

We had an excellent Sunday lunch at Colwall Park before our friends departed for Yorkshire.  Since then we have had some much needed rain.

More Bees

Some time ago I created this pile of rubbish with a view to attracting some small sized wildlife.  I did not think it would be very successful, however, to my surprise a leaf cutter bee has laid some eggs in there.
They are solitary bees and cut circular holes in the leaves of trees and shrubs and use them curled up to make cells for their eggs.  If you look closely at the ends of the canes you will see that some of them are sealed with pieces of green leaf.  They also made all the mess at the bottom of the pile of canes.  I assume it is the material they cleared out of the canes.
This is where the circles of leaf came from - a cornus I had rooted and which was located in a pot close to my bug home.  The bees lay several eggs in each tube, sealing them all individually.  I think they resemble a rolled cigar inside.  They will now stay there until next year when they will hatch out as more leaf cutter bees and fly away.

Thursday, 25 July 2013


The sun is still shining, although it is a little bit cooler as we had rain overnight.  Thought I would put something cheery on my blog today. These are Inulas and I love their fluffy flower buds before they emerge into these bright and sunny daisies.  It is the first year they have flowered in this garden.  I also have some mad white chrysanthamum type daisies in flower too.  They look a bit like a Barbara Cartland hat and their curved petals are out of control.  They could be having a bad hair day?

My efforts to trap a rat have resulted in my catching a hedgehog instead!  I released it and gave it a nice big plateful of catfood which it seemed to enjoy before scampering off into the undergrowth behind the garage.  Think I may have to employ the services of a professional ratcatcher as they are too clever for me.

More visitors this weekend so better get on with the housework .....

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Wild Life

No pictures I am afraid.  Sox caught himself a squirrel this morning, however, as he did not manage to kill it, after a lot of screeching it escaped.  He then proceeded to chase it around the Dell and somehow it fell out of a tree into the stream. It managed to get itself out, looking like a drowned rat, and ran up the oak tree.  Sox followed up the tree and I found him trying to get himself back down travelling backwards using his claws as hooks!

There is never a dull moment here!  We now have a problem with rats and I have been trying to trap them for the past few days.  They are taking food from under the bird feeders.  I have seen them a couple of times and they look to be young ones.  They must be coming along the stream I think.

Pigeons are still a big problem, but now down to two racing pigeons.  No longer feeding them and hope they will decide to return to their true homes.  Not much chance I do not think.

Had a green woodpecker feeding on the lawn again this week.  Think it is a juvenile.  Also had the predicted thunderstorms but not much rain, luckily the stream did not rise too high and the brown trout are still there.

No stitching done as we had visitors last weekend and have some more this coming weekend.  Seem to have spent my entire week washing, ironing, shopping and cooking ....

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Delinquent Bees

Afraid I never got to don the bee suit last night as the large swarm of bees decided to fly off in search of a new home before Mr C was able to transfer them to the hive!!  Very sad as I was looking forward to it and, of course, Mr C has lost a large number of his bees.  There may be some more swarming next week with the new queens that are hatching and he will then split them off into another hive.

More bad news ... Mr Pigeon has now increased his harem and has found another lost racing pigeon.  There are now three of them.  This morning they looked like one of those russian children's toys of hens pecking on a round bat as they surrounded the bowl of food eating.  Trying to think of a way to get rid of them as they are a nuisance and make an awful mess.  They have started to come into the house if I leave the door open!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

More Bees

It has been a funny old day today. On the upside DH woke to find green woodpeckers on our lawn at the back. Think it was the parents and one juvenile, anyway they were very large and very entertaining.  On the downside he forgot his wallet (yet again) and I almost had to drive to Leominster.  He had run out of diesel and had no means to pay for it with.  Luckily his sister came to the rescue and saved me a long journey.

Sick of looking at the piles of builders rubbish in the front garden so have made 4 visits to the local tip today. On the return from my third trip I was greeted by millions of buzzing bees.  The second hive had swarmed so I had to go and drag Mr C out from next door to see what could be done about them.  They were very high up in one of our overgrown and leggy Hazelnut trees in the front garden.

He is never deterred and after much balancing on an upturned pallet - that something had been delivered on - he managed to lop some of the branches off and got the queen bee into his cardboard box.  All the bees are now happily crowded in their waiting to be rehomed.  I may be going to help later on (in a bee suit) to put them into a spare hive that Mr C has constructed this afternoon.

I have done a bit of arty stuff this week. This is a section of the A3-sized piece of work I have been trying to complete which I started with Stephanie Redfearn some weeks ago.  It is based on allotments.  I keep looking at the work and the allotment photographs I have taken over the years but am finding it very difficult to get to grips with it.  I even have a rough layout sketch that I did, but I think I actually need to get myself sat in front of the sewing machine and it will probably just come to me.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


Managed to do a bit more work to my little caravan quiltlet last week.  I have added a few flowers plus some berries on the tree.  Embroidered leaves have been stitched along the piece of frayed fabric. Just need to do something about the caravan window, perhaps a little blind is the answer.  (Must find out if Mr C has a name for his caravan.  His lawnmower has a name, so it is quite possible this has too.)

Buzzing ....

At long last Mr C's bees have decided to swarm.  It looked like there were a lot of bees flying around, but they soon settled down into the rowan tree at the front of our house.  He had a terrible job getting them out of the tree as it has several branches and a large clump of mistletoe in it.

After last year I have now got used to them and they are very interesting little creatures.  Do not think I will ever want to become a beekeeper as it is lots of work.

Loved the smell of the smoke from his puffer, which he had to resort to to get them out of the tree and into his cardboard box.  Once collected up they were returned to the hive where they will  hopefully settle down again.

There is still another hive which might swarm so shall have to keep a watchful eye when Mr C is not in.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Garden Visit

Bobbie James
This week I have been on an outing to Highgrove with Malvern Horticultural Society.  I took DH with me.  I have been fortunate enough to have been before some years ago, much earlier in the season when the tulips were out.  The garden did not disappoint - it was fantastic and the sun shone all day. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photographs so the roses above are in our garden.  They scramble up and then down an apple tree in the corner of our garden.  They smell lovely and are a wonderful sight.  All the roses have been very late flowering this year.  Mr C's bees have still not swarmed yet, but are about to I believe.  They are also making lots of honey at the moment with all this lovely warm weather.

Doing bits of stitching in the sunshine at the rear of the house. I had to buy a parasol for the now finished patio.  It was joined a few days later by a garden table as I had nowhere to put my bits and pieces.  I have been altering some roman blinds as they no longer fit the windows they were made for, which were made narrower during the building work.  Also done a bit more work on the caravan picture which is getting closer to being a very small quiltlet which can be hung.

Completed the Yorkshire Travelling Journal and got it sent off and almost finished the Worcestershire TJ too.  However, the next Yorkshire TJ has arrived in the mail so shall have to get inspired and think of something to fill my two pages.  I cannot post pictures from either of the Travelling Journals as it would spoil the element of surprise for all those participating!

Homeless Pigeon?

It is hard coming into the house to Blog when it is lovely weather outside .... at least that is my excuse.

Some of you may know that I have been having trouble with a homing pigeon.  Guess he is a bloke.  He had been hanging around the front garden eating the bird food for a while so we decided we (me) had better catch him and get him sent back to his owner.  After a lot of hassle - both with the catching and the returning - off he went and I stupidly thought that was the end of him.

He has returned virtually every day since and follows me around looking for food and (DH says) someone to talk to.  I have given up all hope of him returning to his rightful owner.

On Thursday of this week he turned up with a lady friend and then showed her how he had worked out how to get food out of the bird feeder that was sat on the rear door step.  (It was there because I was having trouble with a pair of squirrels raiding and emptying the feeders hung in a tree in the front garden).

She has got different coloured rings on her legs to him, so guessing she has come from a another pigeon fancier.  I am not impressed (and neither is Sox - as you can see) as we do not want the patter of baby homing pigeons messing up our lovely garden.  They are dirty creatures - pooing everywhere!!  Sox has kept eyeing them up, but has decided he cannot manage to catch one or both of them.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


Mr C's Caravan
This is far from finished having no wadding or backing yet.  It will also get some hand stitching applied in due course, but I thought I would show that I have not exactly been doing nothing!!  Also done some work on both Travelling Journals (Yorkshire & Running Stitchers).

Got a workshop with Stef Redfearn this week and it is Worcester branch meeting too.  Hope to get to Ledbury and Hellens with friends later in the week to see the exhibition in  The Weavers Gallery and the Textile Bazaar, with a bit of retail therapy with Art Van Go thrown in too.