Green Thumb

Green Thumb Orchid

Green Thumb OrchidI think I need some gardening help! I bought this beautiful orchid & it’s lost all it’s flowers. I’m concerned that I’ve not watered it enough & then watered it too much. If anyone has any tips or pointers about how to rescue it, I would greatly welcome them.

I love orchids. They grow such a graceful looking flower that always makes me feel calm. For me, though, their delicacy & grace is always their downfall as I’m not graceful or delicate enough to get the balance of water right!

Although it could be that it didn’t get enough light in the study & that caused it to lose the flowers.

I hope I haven’t killed it 🙁

It’s not like I kill all plants. I can keep some alive & I can even grow some from seed. I received a ‘Grow your own chives’ kit from my OH’s mum for Christmas. Brilliant, I thought. I can start to practice my gardening skills before I’m let loose in the garden.

I followed all the instructions in getting the plant ready & was very impressed when I saw little shoots sprouting through the compost. I even managed to remember to move it off the windowsill, away from the single paned window when it was really cold during the night, just in case the cold managed to give the chives the kiss of death.

Chives But now I’m worried. Have I watered them too much? Have I not spoken to them enough? Has the cold somehow got through & hurt my little baby chives? Who knows! They seemed to have stopped growing for the moment. Should I eat them? Would that encourage them to grow? If anyone has any chive experience, I would very much appreciate the help! I don’t want this two examples to be an omen – I don’t think my poor garden would cope with that.

Crafty Cirencester

Lexi Loves in Cirencester

My lovely OH is very patient with me & my crafty ways. He sent me an email Friday lunchtime telling me that he was taking me on a little trip on Saturday but wouldn’t tell me where! So Saturday morning comes & we head of in the car. A little while later we arrive in Cirencester. I’ve never been before, but knowing my OH like I do, I knew there’d be a lot for me to enjoy (& spend some cash on!)

Lexi Loves in CirencesterThe first place we visit is a fab shop called Lexi Loves… & what a shop it is! With its pink decor, material, buttons & craft galour, it is truly worth a visit. The buttons in the picture were great value at £3 a scoop & I couldn’t resist the material, though I have nothing planned for it yet! There were so many lovely materials there that I will definitely be going back with projects in mind. My final purchase there was the lovely lavender bag. The lavender is lush & my whole study smells of it now. This is wicked, as a lot of lavender bags only smell when up close & personal. Am very impressed!

After a little more mooching, we have a coffee & cake (Saturday ritual) in an amazing little place called Keith’s Coffee Place. We weren’t sure if we’d get a seat, but managed to squeeze ourselves in. I had an Americano & a Bakewell tart. Both were LUSH! The coffee wasn’t too strong or bitter, as black coffee can be in places. The tart was really nice, very moist and plenty of jam. My OH had a cappuccino & a cheesy scone. I could tell he was pleased as he wolfed both down in minutes! Not that mine hung around for any length of time either!

Further down the road that Keith’s is on, we came across Pulp,which is a new stationary shop in Cirencester. I love stationary and cannot leave a stationary shop without buying something! There was so much choice here & I took a long time deciding what to get. I spent a long  time drooling over some Orla Keily stationary, but finally settled on these super cute sticky notes (another obsession of mine!) I cannot wait to have an excuse to use them. There was also an excellent range of Filofax inserts & designs, which also impressed me. I can see me ‘needing a new note book’ next time I’m there! 

Our final stop before our parking ran out was at Coln ArtIt wasn’t so much the art supplies that drew me in, but the massive collection of Coln Art Wooden BowlEmma Bridgewater pottery that they had on display. However, that’s not what finally caught my eye! This beautiful bright green wooden bowl, which is fairly traded would look great in my study, I thought. And it most definitely does! It is really bright & spring-like and I really love wooden objects so this was a really good find.

Everywhere we went in Cirencester, everyone we spoke to were really lovely, friendly & polite. I’ll be going back, & quite soon too, as there were some baking shops that I need to have a good ol’ mooch about in. Better start saving my pennies!

 

 

The Joy of Being Crafty

The Joy of Being Crafty

The joy of a new crafty project. I cannot describe the feeling I get when I buy some bits & pieces to make something new. The potential success. The new skills. The end result. The oooing & ahing that will (hopefully) occur. This is what I plan will happen with these little bits that I picked up from Hobbycraft on Friday evening.

The Joy of Being CraftyThe Easter embroidery kit is for an Easter card that I plan to sew for my Granny. She’ll love it & keep it for ever! The other bits are for some jewellery that I plan to make. I’m not quite sure what yet, but I bought some bits to make earrings & I know how to make fasteners from the wire for bracelets & necklaces so sky’s the limit with these. The blue button isn’t for anything specific, but I just couldn’t resist it! I have a button addiction. (More on that in future posts!)

So you will have to check back in a few weeks to see how I’m getting on. Pics will definitely follow!

Friday Cake Day

It was my turn to bring cakes in for our weekly cake day. Instead of buying of them, I thought I’d use my new Dualit handmixer & take advantage of the opportunity to try out some new recipes.

I had made cupcakes before, but I wanted to practice my icing techniques too. I received a lovely vintage icing kit from my OH’s mum for Christmas so I wanted to see how that worked too. 

Friday Cake Day CupcakeThe result was amazing. Someone even said that they looked professional and asked whether I had bought them from a shop! A lovely compliment. Cupcakes aren’t difficult to make & with a good icing bag or kit, some sprinkles & colourful cases, anyone can make professional looking cakes.

I also tried making a Victoria Sponge for the first time. The first attempt was a disaster, despite following the recipe to the letter. The reason: The oven was WAY too hot. It resulted in a lovely golden outside and a raw inside! Not what I was looking for. So for the second attempt, I used my trusty oven thermometer. The result was perfection. Some nice jam & freshly whipped cream later did in fact result in (Mary Berry’s) Perfect Victoria Sponge.

Definitely a perfect way to end the working week!