Wednesday 28 March 2012

Spring Is In The Air, Everywhere I Look Around...

The lovely weather continues. N and I went for a walk at the loch this morning.

Hazy but warm.

Ooooh, catkins. Willow I think.

Blackthorn blossom. We don't have many blackthron bushes around here, mostly it's hawthorn. In the Spring it's easy to tell them apart - blackthorn has flowers before leaves, hawthorn has leaves before flowers.

Looking up and leaves are just starting to unfurl above.

A distant umbellifer skeleton.


N and I.

We took the scooter. Very little scooting but much pushing was done.

Now back home...
...Mr Sparrow here has chosen to build a nest under the barge board right above the back door. Little bits of nesting material and sparrow poo are now falling onto the doorstep. None of us has been "christened" yet, but give it time.

I'm still enjoying the snake's head fritillaries, this time photographed from underneath, slightly blurry as there was a bit of a breeze.

A tulip. In March!

Yesterday we went to a little Easter event at N's old toddler group.

En route we passed this tree, I like how the new leaves on the lower branches are glowing green in the morning sun.

Teensy window.

At the do N got his face painted. He always picks Spiderman and this time he got a bonus spiderman hand too.

I believe the fine weather is to last till the weekend when "normality" (colder, cloudier, wetter!) is set to resume. Our Easter school holidays start this weekend...

Monday 26 March 2012

March Mish Mash

The second half of March is speeding by. At the moment we are having glorious weather - the last two days have been the hottest March days in Scotland on record with temperatures of just over 22C (72F) being recorded, the typical March average is around 8C (46F).

Unfortunately I've not managed to get out on my bike recently. On Saturday I was helping out at a nursery car boot sale instead. To compensate for the lack of cycling time I did buy a few goodies.

My favourite acquisition is this needlework owl in its suitably kitsch yellow plastic frame. It was on a stall of a fellow blogger - Habbietot, and was made by her. It was a snip at 50p (though I do think she undersold it, too kind!). I'm sure she'd love if you popped over to say hello as she's just starting out on this blogging malarky. Watch out for the yummy looking chocolates she makes, mmmmm.

A's favourite buy is this cuddly cat, now called Poppy, who accompanied A on her first sleepover at a friend's house that very night. N's favourite purchase (no photo) is a giant inflatable squeaky hammer which which he likes to wallop everybody he can reach, he likes it so much it even ended up in bed with him last night.

The boot sale was just a small one but it's given me the bargain hunting bug again (not that I ever lose that) and I want to go to another one now! However, I did manage a couple of other bargains earlier in the week while charity shopping...

The baking book is from the first Bake Off series (£1.25). I don't really need any more baking books, but this is a nice one with lovely recipes and it's very well produced, as most baking/cooking books seem to be these days. I also got a little dish (£1) which I imagine could be used to serve bon bons in (or perhaps some of Habbietot's chocolates...). Underneath the baking book is a little crocheted something I have started. Talking of crochet...

...I am usually required to photograph various buiding projects before they are demolished, in the background of this one can be seen the (unfinished) daisy blanket and it's looking rather at home on the back of the sofa. It wasn't where I'd planned to put it, but plans can be changed.

I wish I could change my Nutella eating habits though. I bought this jar to make Simone's yummy looking biscuits. It didn't happen. I tried once more and bought a second jar (well, they were on special offer in Asda), and I have just finished scoffing the Nutella straight out the the jar again. So, no more Nutella for this house I'm afraid.

An Easter bunny picture by A, she draws far better than I do now, I'm so out of practice.

Yesterday evening we went for a little walk after tea. Up to the field to see the ponies (there was one pony there but he wasn't for coming over to say hello), then a little further on to see some diggers and trucks parked in another field (for N) and the sunset (for me).

Isn't it wonderful to get the washing dried outside again after the winter. I love hanging out washing, especially under such blue skies and amid the Spring birdsong.

More ladybirds are appearing.

The best photo of MollieTheCat I've managed to take for a while. Last week she brought a balckbird into the house (dead), she wasn't popular that day.

Snake's head fritillaries. I only planted these last year and had forgotten I'd done so, so it was a lovely surprise to see them. I think I'll get more.

The bronze sometimes flowering ornamental cherry type tree has decided to blossom this year. The pale pink flowers look so pretty against the blue skies.

Unfortunately the blossoms are quite high up so it's not possible to take close-up pictures, it doesn't stop me taking loads of photos though, I'm sure the neighbours must wonder what's up there that's so fascinating.

After school today A decides to decorate some of the little pebble stones in the driveway area of the garden. N has a go too.

One is for her to keep, and one is for me.

This is mine, amn't I lucky. I'll need to keep it somewhere safe.

Sunday 18 March 2012

The 2009 collection of photo mosaics/samplers.

Right! While not in the mood for much else (too little energy & too much snot!) I plonked myself down in front of the computer and started to play around with my photos from 2009. I started blogging properly in June 2009 and it shocked me to see just how few photos I had taken during the preceeding months of the year. So much so I was unable to get a decent mosaic for each of these months and barely managed to make one for the five months combined. I'd rather be in the position of having too many rather than too few photos to choose from - thanks to blogging that is now the case...

----------January, February, March, April & May.








January -> May
Hubby's birthday, an Easter holiday to Angus, the first camelia flower in our garden ever, blackboard art.

My first Saturday bike ride. First entries to the local show. Birthday cake. A special birthday outing to Culzean. A wonderful year for the paeonies.

Ireland holiday. First ever knitted thing completed (he's called Choonin). Blooming garden. A weekly bike ride round the local countryside becomes a regular event.

Woo hoo - my first ever crocheted thing - a blanket for a dolls' house doll. Tea cosy hat (charity shop bargain). Lots of wet bike rides, it was a particularly wet August. Owls start appearing.

First ever granny square. It looks a little wonky to me now but I was sooo chuffed at the time. First crab apple harvest.

I manage to get a few mirrors made for a craft fair. The granny's start piling up. We start to get our milk delivered.

The focus has very much shifted to indoors & cosying up for winter. I make some tin candle holders and start my first crocheted circle (it became a bird).

I make the Nigella chocolate fruit cake for the first time. I enjoy photographing Christmas at home.

So, lots of firsts I notice. I need to try harder now perhaps, things are becoming a little routine but I guess that's only becuase I enjoy them. 2009 seems to have been a year of discovery.

I'm now fed up doing these mosaics and have a sore back from slouching at the computer. Something different to follow...

Friday 16 March 2012

The 2010 collection of photo mosaics/samplers.

After doing this here for 2011 I did intend to go back and cover 2010. This week was the week I did it and here are the results. It is a most enjoyable (if time-consuming) way of reviewing a year's worth of photos.













January:- Cold and snowy. I finish joining together my first ever crocheted squares with the intention of making a cushion cover - as of 2012 it is still incomplete and as it is full of mistakes it will probably now be frogged when I find it...

February:- Sunny and bright! I begin my round crocheted cushion fever - #1 is complete, the yarn is selected for #2.

March:- Some late snow and a snowman. Round cushion #2 well underway. A strange abandoned doll collection is spotted while on a bike ride.

April:- Round cushion #3 now begun. I make some leaded candle holders for a give-away, my favourite is the robin. Great to get washing dried outdoors, still quite a cold month I recall.

May:- My favourite month of the year, 2010 was a good one. We caught great weather at the end of the month for our holiday in Kilcudbright. Round cushion #2 is complete. I discover African flowers and before I know it I have started my first crocheted blanket.

June:- Show month & birthday month. Round cushion #3 complete. The blanket is growing...

July:- A decent pea harvest, yummy. Still the blanket grows, like the garden full of flowers.

August:- I cycle to Loch Lomond (and back). We go for some trips before the holidays finish. A started school & N started nursery.

September:- September 2010 was lovely. My other favourite month of the year. Lots of great cycling weather. A bumper crab apple & bramble harvest.

October:- It looks like I finally started tackling sewing in the ends of the African flower blanket. Cooking & Baking becomes more hearty as the days shorten.

November:- Quince brandy - I don't like it! My first crocheted scarf. First snow of the winter. I begin crafting some felt ornaments for the Christmas Fairs to come.

December:- Lots of snow, beautiful. More mincemeat than I know what to do with. Christmas is coming...


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