Friday, 22 May 2009

Des Res

It may say something about me, but one of the most exciting moments of my rather mundane life, was having bluetits take up residence in our garden this year. I won't win any awards as wildlife photographer of the year, but I managed to snap this picture this morning. There are six chicks in there, and they all look pretty healthy.

Their mum and dad are the hardest working parents imaginable - they're providing a constant supply of live insects for their babies as they fly back and forth throughout daylight hours. Occasionally they stop for a snack themselves, and I always try to keep a good supply of bird seed, peanuts, suet balls etc. I don't know how soon these little ones will leave the nest, but I would love to see them when they make their first flight.

We get plenty of birds in the garden, sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, collared doves, pigeons, robins, and even have occasional sightings of wrens and thrushes. We also see swallows and swifts overhead.

We've also seen a couple of hedgehogs over the past few weeks, and I have put food out for them occasionally, though I don't think there is any shortage of slugs and snails for them in my garden!

As part of my effort to reduce my impact on the environment was to replace my ancient Flymo with a human powered lawnmower. It's pretty good, quite lightweight and easy to use and it even has a grass box, which means I can either add the grass clippings to the compost bin, or allow it to dry and use it for the rabbits' litter trays.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Potholders and Teatowel Swap

I recently joined in the latest swap organised by Rhonda, Sharon and Rose at Down_to_Earth, but have been so busy I haven't had time to put up photos of my efforts - and the lovely items I received from my swap partner Jo, so here goes:

These are the lovely patchwork potholders and teatowels Jo made. She said she learned how to make her own bias binding for this project. Thanks Jo - they are beautiful. We also exchanged recipes - Jo gave me her recipes for Stuffed Courgette Ring Crumble and Sweet Potato Burritos. I'm planning to try those burritos some time this week.

These are my finished items (sorry, not a very good photo).
The materials I used were a new piece of fabric I bought from a charity shop - about 2 metres long which means I have enough to make something else in the future, and the teapot and coffee pot were cut out from some calico offcuts I already had, and appliqued on by machine then chain stiched in contrasting brown thread. I got the template for the tea and coffee pots from Tipnut, where you can find loads of free resources for all sorts of crafts. I increased the size of the picture on a photocopier.

I think some of the great things about these blogs swaps is how we look for inspiration from other bloggers, learn new skills, brush up on old ones, find ways of using existing items from our stashes or find thrifting materials from various sources. And of course, get to meet new people too!