Sunday, 26 July 2015

British summertime

Well it looks like summer is over in July, not that I'm bothered because it gives me the opportunity to get in with my blanket production line. As you know I've been working on two blankets at the same time, not a good idea but it stops me getting bored. I like the granny stripe one because its so easy to do in front of the tv. The squares take a little more concentration and time to sew in all those ends but they are addictive.

blanket production line

Not that many rows to go for Megans university blanket and then it's the border and sewing in all those ends. I'm really pleased with the way this blanket has turned out and the colour palette. I would like to make one just with blue colours and also try the Attic24 cosy blanket. You may notice I've started to add the Pin it button to some of my posts to help with my Pinterest account. I do regularly pin, sometimes too much, I can lose an evening without even trying. 

I've recently joined Instagram and it's great fun, another way to share your work and photos and I love looking at other people's work, you can find me by searching #amandahurrell

Tonight it's paella night in our house and I sort of followed Jamie's recipe to prepare all the lovely ingredients. I've only made it a few times so I'm still a novice and added too much chicken stock but it was still yummy. I like it because it's a one pan meal you can share. Just add some bread, bowls, wine and hungry family!

Paella time

It was raining too hard today to do anything in the garden. I have more purple tipee dwarf beans to go in, you can never have enough beans. And Moss isn't so bored now that I have an exercise plan and he has started hydrotherapy, more of that in my next post.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Quietly crocheting

It's quiet here on a Sunday, well it is now that my noisy neighbour has moved out, but that's another story! The burbs, one of my favourite Tom Hanks films sums up suburbia! Anyway back to my quiet Sunday and Saturday afternoons. I've been dog sitting Moss after his surgery and yesterday sat in the garden from 4-6pm making granny squares, total bliss. Last night I started to crochet the last row of ten granny squares joining as I go along. It's such a neat way to do it, I found a tutorial on Pinterest a while back and once you get going it's easy.

joining granny squares

It's been a long journey after teaching myself to crochet a few years back and getting tips off other people via Facebook and Pinterest has helped me a lot. So now my granny blanket is almost finished, just the last six squares are being joined this afternoon. 

colourful granny squares

I love sitting in the sunshine making granny squares, to be able to enjoy my blanket on cooler days. It's a brilliant project to carry around too. I've made granny squares all over Kent. At work, blue water, my parents, the garden, the park, in a traffic jam!!

a jar of ends

It's a lot of work too, all those ends to sew in. After I'd completed about 50 squares I read an article talking about sewing in as you go, now that was a breakthrough for me. It's so tempting to skip this and start another one, but patience is what you need and it's so much quicker in the end when you've done this. I've kept a jam jar with the ends I've sewn in so far, it's full. Hopefully by tonight I will be working on the border. 

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Saturday sunshine

A little crochet in the garden, granny squares are so portable. And a lovely summer project, you can join them together later when the weather is cooler.

sunny granny squares

A little plaque that my friends Bianca and Maurice bought for me

Moss with his leg shaved, poor baby. He's doing really well and mooching about and hasn't murmered once. Two pain killers a day and waiting for his referral for hydrotherapy, which luckily is only a few miles from our house. Back to the vet in 2 weeks for his check up. He's getting even more fuss than normal. I took him to Pets at Home after the vet check up on Sat. He chose his new toy! The only problem now is stopping him from licking where he was shaved, must be very uncomfortable for him.

Moss the Lion

Ladies Mantle and Lidl carnation combo this weekend and the sun pouring into the dining room early evening, I love the sun in this room.

sunshine and flowers

Ladies Mantle cut from the front garden. It's giving me lots of flowers stems to use in the house. And they were free plants from babies from my larger plant in the back garden. And that's much of my weekend. Pottering, trips to the vet and a spot of crochet.

my favourite plant

Friday, 10 July 2015

Oh I do like to be beside the sea side

Yesterday morning Moss had an appointment with the new vet for his surgery. I was nervous, worried and everything else in between. It was going to be a strange day if I'd let it so I decided I wanted to be in one of my favourite places for the morning, to chill out, relax and take my mind off the operation. I headed to Whitstable, just a ten minute or so drive from Faversham. I've spent many happy afternoons and evenings there with Jack when he was little with a picnic on the beach and with Ian for fish and chips or an Indian meal and beer from the Whitstable Brewery.We've even cycled there and back!

Whitstable Beach

Brian Haw memorial bench

I sat in the Brian Haw memorial bench and looked out to sea, its a beautiful piece of work and a fitting tribute.

I love the smell of the sea when you walk off the main high street in search of the long pebble beach. It's full of history and famous for it's oysters and oyster festival, not that I've ever tried them, I'm not a lover of them only tried them once in London and didn't like the texture. It's also famous for its brewery and wheat beer and the Old Neptune Pub on the beach.

Old Neptune pub

Wheelers Oyster Bar is the place to eat oysters or along by the sea at the Whitstable Oyster Company. A short walk along the beach takes you to the famous Neptune pub. It can get very busy in the summer evenings and I've seen circus jugglers there before too.

Whitstable Brewery and Whitstable Oyster Company

fisherman huts and painted houses, you can even rent one

The shopping in Whitstable is a mixture of old and new. Over the years a lot of London influence has come in in the shape of deli, coffee shops and boutiques. normal high street shops and banks remain and my favourite charity shops. I love a good rummage in search of treasure. I haven't visited for a while and found a lovely shop for Pilgrims Hospice. Inside I found a dresser with two of the three drawers open. The middle one took my attention because the latest copy of Simply Knitting was hiding in there. I reached forward to pick it up and the lady in the shop (sorry I didn't get your name if you are reading this) opened the first drawer. Well that was it I was chuffed to find lots of knitting needles and small cards with hand sewn on buttons. I'm a button hoarder too and bought about half the contents of this drawer. It made my day. I will visit again this summer, it was a lovely morning.

I like the bag in the door

pretty shops

the vintage shop, lots of thread

knitting magazines

buttons and vintage knitting needles

Here are some of my buys

button love

Keeping with the beach theme I drove to Canterbury to meet my parents to have lunch in Herne Bay, it's another good place to visit and the cafe for lunch was great. The best chocolate milkshake I've had for years, proper milk and ice cream.We took a walk to beach comb looking for stones with holes in, I like to string them up next to the pond so you have the seaside with you all year. Here's one Ian made for me quite some time ago.

beach finds

my dad looking for stones with holes, he found 5

mmm ice cream

my mum + dad

And that's my visit to the seaside, Kent has some beautiful places right on my doorstep, but normally life is just too busy for me to enjoy it.

my garden

And today I have spent the afternoon in my garden knitting and looking after Moss, its been very relaxing.

knitted wash cloth finished and another one started

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Cucumber sandwich anyone

I got home last night, watered the salad bar and thought it was a good idea to cut this cue to let the others grow. It's a whopper! This one is from the Homebase grafted plant. I've already harvested on from my sisters home grown plant. I'm really enjoying this way of growing veggies in the Grow Bag Frames and I'm going to order two more frames this week.


Monday, 6 July 2015

My Sunday

I started the day with my Sunday 8 am swim, first one in the pool, I love that. The water looked so inviting despite the heavy rain outside. I got soaked walking back to the car.

cut flowers

My mornings workout was followed by cleaning, another workout and a nice tidy house but not for long. I moved the dining room table around, cut some ladies mantle from the front garden. All that rain and its flopped a bit. Looks great with my Lidl sweet Williams! Then onto cleaning daisy, covered in Saraha dust by the looks of it!

summer knitting

A spot of knitting, a new wash cloth in my favourite cotton yarn.

Ladies Mantle to soften the driveway

And now off to the flicks to see Arnie with a walk around Medway Marina in the evening sunshine

St. Mary's Island Chatham
Boat filled with flowers

Boats in the dry dock

salad growing in the Ikea metal trug

cues almost ready

a little bird cage

new shorts, my only pair!


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hot hot hot

It's hot in Kent today, I don't know how I managed to work in this heat. And it's still hot as I type this blog post (from my new iPhone) and the outside temperature is 30 degrees at 9pm!

This is my office temperature today with two fans going flat out.

Moss was feeling the heat tonight and Ian suggested using a cold wet wash cloth so I used one of my old ones, he enjoyed it and I didn't want to hose him down because he'd just smell of wet dog!

Doesn't he look cute?!

My plants are doing ok and we've been watering morning and night. The cucumbers are loving the heat and we ate our first one last night, really lovely.

As you can see they are growing really well. The plants my sister gave me are over taking the homebase grafted one!

Almost ready to eat.

The salad bar, cues, toms, purple teepee beans and salad bowl. And Moss hasn't touched any of it.

Enjoy the rest of your week and garden. It's too hot for crochet but here's a photo I took on Sunday. 90 granny squares