How does my garden grow?

Out of control.

On my way to take Emilie to a playdate yesterday, I came across a landscape guy working on my neighbour’s garden.  The sun was shining and as I thought guiltily about the jungle that was currently brewing in my backyard, I succumbed to the urge to solicit him for a quote.

I pointed out my embarrassingly overgrown hedges, weed choked flower beds, and swamp-height grass.  He promised he’d give me a great deal on sorting out both the front and the back gardens. And he could start in the morning.  It sounded too good to be true.

It was.

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He turned up an hour late and brought his little brother and wife (neither looked a day over fifteen) to help out.  After approximately 45 mins of the fastest grass cutting and hedge trimmer wielding I had ever witnessed, I was left mind-boggled by the mess they had made!

As I began to protest the horrendous workmanship an older man turned up.  I presumed this was the father of the operation. He had one eye and was covered in tattoos.

I parted with the cash post-haste.  Let’s think of it as a charitable donation.

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In the aftermath, I’ve been ringing reputable companies for quotations to sort out the disaster.  I’ve certainly learned my lesson.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  And in the words of my mother, “cheapness is never good.”

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Perhaps I need to take up a spot of DIY gardening?

Yarn-bombed fabric holder

The Easter holidays were manic to say the least. Carting the kiddies around to visit swimming pools, parks, soft play, and a museum with a T-Rex so lifelike that I had to physically carry a petrified Emilie away from it.

I barely got a moment to myself.  Until yesterday.

The sun came out! After weeks of endless rain, hail and snow flurries, the first signs of spring were here! I flung open the door to the garden and let the kids make mud pies while I caught up on some crafting.

I had in my possession a rather dull “basket” that I found in the clearance section of T.K Maxx (T.J Maxx in the US) for £3. It was actually some sort of giant outdoor candle holder but I decided it would make a great holder for my growing fabric stash.

But it was ugly.

So I yarn-bombed it…

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I love the idea of yarn-bombing. In my town I’ve come across yarn-bombed trees, park benches, and most recently a yarn-bombed roundabout.  Lovely, fuzzy “graffiti”.  It makes me smile.

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I crocheted around the spokes using the technique in this video.  It was a bit fiddly trying to crochet in such a tight space, but I like the way it turned out.  Still a bit ugly but alot less dull!

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And my fabric fits snuggly inside! 🙂

Sew Sweet

Thanks to Ikea (and a small miracle) I am the proud owner of a new sewing machine.  I have to be honest – I am rubbish at sewing.

In junior high as part of our home economics class we were taught to sew. I actually produced a rather fetching red and yellow summer dress. I have since forgotten just about every basic sewing step. At the very least, I can thread the machine.

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I’ve found that online tutorials do little to help me – I just don’t get the concepts or terminology even with instructions loaded with photos.

So I simply wing it instead.

Today I wanted to make a little drawstring bag for Zoie. She’s 2 and storing treasures is what she’s all about.

I freehand cut letters out of felt and zigzagged stitched them to a Laura Ashley remnant I had in my craft stash.

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It was crooked as can be, but the letters stayed on and that’s all that mattered!

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So my stitches on the felt were manic, but the stitching along the top came out quite nice, methinks.

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I threaded some sheer ribbon through the top and voila, a lovely treasure bag, rather handy for toting around favourite bedtime stories.

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For me, this basic little bag was a trial in patience and a steady hand. If you actually would like to make one of your own, try this tutorial from the original craft guru, Martha.

With a little more practice I might soon get the hang of this! 🙂