Friday, 2 October 2009

New book from Cath Kidston - "Sew" book review

I have just had the best start this morning in ages. I have been awaiting for weeks and finally at 7.35am this morning, there was a knock on the door. Special delivery of the new, soon to be best selling book by Cath Kidston.

At the time of writing, it has just gone 9am. I have already had my first read cover to cover, and the book is fabulous. As the name of the book suggests, there are loas of items to make and sew. The long list includes, cushions, napkins, egg cosies, aprons, quilts, bags and even a specs case - all really useful items, for the novice and expert needlecrafter alike. This book have been publish just in time for the Christmas market - (yikes did I say Christmas in October? Sorry). You will therefore have plenty of time to study the book, collect materials and make all those lovely handmade gifts for the forthcoming holiday season.

The illustrations as ever are clear and colourful, the easy to follow instructions excellent and in general, this is a must purchase for the Cath Kidston euthuist.

There are a number of useful tips, with suggestions on equipment and sewing machines. But the really great thing about this book is the additional pack of materials, which includes everything you need to make a bag, plus a reuseable paper pattern sheet for all the sewing projects in the book.

I am so excited about this book, and all the things I am going to make from it. I will try to post my attempts over the coming weeks and months. Needless to say I am already looking forward to the next book. Just not being woken up at 7.35am.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Lawns - and how to get rid of them LOL

Well the debate continues, should we have vast areas of grassland in our gardens, parks and open spaces, or should we use the land more effectively? To add to the debate there is a new blog which I found very interesting - please check it out and add your views and ideas...

That's all for now - currently still recovering so it will take me a couple of days to catch up - sorry.

Best wishes

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Just discovered a fab new gardening post...

Check it out - it has a wealth of gardening information.

Hope to post my results for the grass vs plants experiment soon - watch this space....


Thursday, 3 September 2009

Grass vs Plants

Spent half the day trying to add up all the money and time I have spent in the garden.  I wish I had thought of this idea before and made a diary. 

I have only made rough calculations so far, but it seems that I have spent less money on the lawn, but more time maintaining it.  The initial financial outlay for the rest of the garden is considerably higher, but once the ground work has been done, I just stood back and watched them grow!

I don't want to form any conclusions yet, but if I am spending more time on the lawn, just to have something to look at, than on the food producing areas, then it maintaining the lawn does seem to be a wasted effort. 

This experiment has also thrown up some unexpected surprises - I have saved around £20 a week in food and petrol, because I have not had to drive to the supermarket as much, simply because if I want fruit and veg, I just go out in the garden and collect. 

I have also discovered that I hate looking after the lawn.  I have tried to do the right thing with the mower, by purchasing a manual one and stop using the electric one.  I have saved on my power bill, but the lawn is in a bit of a state.  To keep it watered and green takes so much effort that could be used elsewhere. I would not mind, but compared to my neighbours, it does not look as good as it could. 

I am now seriously thinking of reducing the lawn somehow, it just is not worth it - but I will, before I get ahead of myself, finish my calculations - - tomorrow!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Grass vs Plants

I just had one of my brilliant ideas ... which in the past have not always turned out to be so brilliant, but this is a brillant plan.

I have been following a debate which has made me think. We spend an awful amount on maintaining our lawns, but to what end? Yes a nice piece of weed free grass looks nice, but a perfectly manicured lawn takes lots of effort, time, money and in many cases chemicals. Chemicals which often have an adverse effect on the surrounding environment and wildlife.

Do we spend the same amount of time, effort and money on our flowering shrubs, fruit trees and vegetables?

Well I am going to find out.  I have a small lawn, a large vegetable patch, a tiny orchard (if a couple of apple trees constitutes an orchard - it sounds posh anyway!!!) and 3 flowering boarders, which have been interplanted with various fruit bushes.  Plus too many pots to count, containing various herbs, roses, shrubs etc etc.

I am going to calculate the amount of money and estimate the time and effort used to maintain different areas of the garden and see if maintaining a lawn is viable.  Will keep you posted  -  the results will be interesting in any event.