Three Things Thursday: 22 June 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, bees. Although there is deep concern in the UK about pollinator populations, our garden has been buzzing with bees and hoverflies recently. They seem to have been particularly enjoying the raspberry flowers and the comfrey. Here are two that I spotted recently:

If you want the first, you’ll need to plant some flowers to attract them (the one in the picture is resting on some borage flowers after I removed it from the limery), but if you want one like the second, Helen has a fabulous free pattern over on her Beastie blog.

Second, a hair-do. Just in time for the heatwave (now over – it’s drizzly today), Max went to the groomers. He always looks lovely when he comes home…. you’d hardly know it was the same dog!

Third, money from the tax man. Now, I don’t generally discuss doing my accounts and how much I dislike the process. Fortunately, however, we have a good accountant and we just hand over our paperwork and he fills in the forms… and this morning the outcome was a small cheque for me from HM Revenue and Customs… now that really is worth a smile.

So, those are three things making me smile this week. What is making you happy?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 15 June 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with the happy*

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes. Anyway, here are my three things this week…

First, a big cone of wool. Cambrian Mountains, 2.5kg.

I don’t think this does justice to its size!

Second, some little balls of wool. Various colours, all British. 50g each.

lovely colours… I chose them specially

Third, a new project. It’s called Sophie’s Universe and it’s  going to be beautiful, and it’s going to be mine!

All that I need to get started

So, those are three things making me smile this week. What is making you happy?

Three Things Thursday: 8 June 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with the happy*

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes. Anyway, here are my three things this week…

First, letter-writing. I mentioned in my  recent post Small Calm Things, that I had made a start on some letter-writing and over the past few days I’ve written quite a few. Sitting in the limery as the rain hammers down in our British summer, it’s rather nice to put pen to paper and know that I will be raising some smiles as a result of my efforts.

Second, new inks. I have a project in mind that involves alcohol inks in muted colours. Until now I only had bright colours, but this morning’s post brought me the earth tones I need, so I’m now all set for getting arty.

a new art project is on the horizon

Third, pitchers. The pitcher plants and the monkey cup in the limery are growing like mad and it does make me very happy to see them doing their job and looking so fabulous.

And if you want to see lovely pictures of some of these plants in their native habitat, check out this post from Nerd in the Brain, who recently went to visit the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden.

So, those are three things making me smile and that I am grateful for this week. What is making you happy?

Three Things Thursday: 1 June 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with the happy*

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes. Anyway, here are my three things this week…

First, although I’ve written lots about going to Manchester already (here, here and here), I have to include it as one of the things that made me happy this week.

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me at the decorated community garden

Second, a souvenir. The plan with the kindness tree was that people would both put something on it and take something away. I chose a little button heart to bring home, and imagine my delight when Danielle said “oh, I made that”.

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a button heart made by Danielle

 

Third, this book, which arrived in the post today:

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Maya

In fact, this is a double smile – the book itself and knowing that it’s also going to bring a smile to the face of Laurie.

 

So, those are three things making me smile and that I am grateful for this week. What is making you happy?

Three Things Thursday: 25 May 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with the happy*

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes. Anyway, here are my three things this week…

First, gifts from my dad. It’s now more than three years since my dad died, but he continues to help us out. The latest example being when a piece of coving fell down in our living room. No problem, said my mum, I have some that your dad bought – come and pick it up. So, we had a lovely day on Sunday, visiting my mum, collecting some of dad’s coving and also being given his ‘cove mitre’ (a template for creating the corners). The coving is now up and awaiting a lick of paint… it even inspired Mr Snail to write a blog post. I think abut my dad every day, so he will never truly be gone, but it’s really lovely when there are tangible parts of his life that come along to give us a helping hand.

Thank you, dad

Second, having the vote. Historically, only a very small proportion of the population were allowed to vote, but first common men and then women won the right to vote and now in the UK almost every adult can vote (although there are a few exceptions including the queen). For some years I’ve had a postal vote, and mine arrived the other day (we’re having a general election in case you didn’t know). This means that I have already voted. Every time I put my cross on the ballot paper, I am glad that, despite all the issues we have in the UK, and despite the fact that I’m not keen on many of our politicians, at least we do have the opportunity to have a say in who runs our country.

A postal vote

Third, giving and receiving plants. One of my 17 for 2017 targets is to give away 10 plants to good homes. On Saturday we went to drop off some home-grown lemongrass plants to a friend who runs a fabulous B&B (check it out here if you are planning a trip to west Wales). In return she gave me two sweet potato slips (rooted cuttings). I’m really looking forward to trying to grow these and it’s lovely to know that some of my spare plants are in a new home.

Sweet potato slips, ready for planting

So, those are three things making me smile and that I am grateful for this week. What is making you happy?

Three Things Thursday: 18 May 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with the happy*

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes. Anyway, here are my three things this week…

First, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook. It has been a great honour to make a contribution to this wonderful project, but today I am bidding farewell to the sketchbook and sending it on its way to The Crafty Creek. If you want to read more about it, check out its very own web site here.

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Second, four eggs in one day. We have four hens – Anna, Tiffany, Mags and Alice. The latter three are regular layers, but Anna (short for Annagramma – the awkward one for those of you in the know) has not laid for eighteen months. Recently, however, there was evidence that she was going to start again. Over the past few weeks, there have been two or three eggs that might have been from her, but we have never been certain… until yesterday, when four eggs were laid. Hens only lay once each day, so four eggs means one from each hen and that means that Anna is doing her thing again. Hurrah!

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Third, fool-proof recipes. Some friends came for lunch on Monday and I decided to try a new recipe – peaches and cream cupcakes. What a disaster – never test out new recipes when you are cooking for guests. Fortunately there was still time before they arrived to make something else, so I fell back on an old favourite, based on the recipe below (much covered in ingredients), which comes from a little book called Country Inns in the White Mountains: Favorite Recipes:IMGP2886

I generally make this with raspberries and white chocolate chips rather than strawberries, but you can use any fruit you fancy. The other good thing about this recipe is that you can use an off-the-shelf gluten-free flour if you need to and it still works well. When I have whey from cheese making, I use that rather than milk and the recipe still works… honestly it’s one of the most reliable recipes that I have and the muffins are always delicious. To give you an idea of how good it is, my guests all wanted this recipe to take away and use at home (and one of them runs her own B&B).

So, those are three things making me smile and that I am grateful for this week. What is making you happy?

Three Things Thursday: 11 May 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with the happy*

Inspired by Emily of Nerd in the Brain here are my Three Things Thursday.

First, tomato futures. The limery provides such great growing conditions that my first tomatoes are appearing already. I see lots of passata in my future!

Heritage tomato: Veepro Paste

Second, potting-up. Every day now I am spending a bit of time potting up plants: lemongrass, peppers, melons and summer purple sprouting broccoli in the past few days. There are also seeds to be planted and surplus plants to be given away.

Third, working from home. Almost all my work these days is done from home. It means there’s no commute and no dress code, but best of all, it means I can intersperse my day with coffee, homemade biscuits and crochet in the limery.

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So, those are three things making me smile and that I am grateful for this week. What is making you happy?

Three Things Thursday: 4 May 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with the happy*

Inspired by Emily of Nerd in the Brain here are my Three Things Thursday.

First, apple blossom. We returned from our holiday to find our tiny apple tree laden with blossom. The cold north winds in our absence had not damaged it and there is the promise of a good crop again this year.

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in the pink

Second, making vaarks. The Sixty Million Trebles group is currently raising funds for the charity Hand in Hand for Syria. Lots of the ladies have admired the little sock creatures designed by Danielle (pattern available here) and so I have made a few that have been snapped up very quickly in exchange for a donation to the charity. Not only is this raising money, it’s also helping me deplete my stash of old socks! I’m going to have a break from making them for now, as I don’t want it to be a chore, but these were fun to do.

Third, (more) stash-busting. I had a big bag of cotton yarn that I bought a couple of years ago for making Knitted Knockers (at the time the knitters bought all the yarn; now they have the funds to purchase yarn to supply their knitters). For logistical reasons I’ve stopped knitting for this particular charity, but still had lots of yarn. I sent KK some whole balls of yarn a little while ago, but I still had many part-balls and a couple of full balls left in my stash. So, I decided to use this for a charity blanket. I’ve made a dent, but there’s probably going to be enough for a second blanket!

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stripy charity blanket

So, those are three things making me smile and for which I am grateful. What has made you happy this week?

Three Things Thursday: 27 April 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with the happy*

Inspired by Emily of Nerd in the Brain here are my Three Things Thursday.

This week I could list three hundred things that have made me happy, but here are just three.

First, lizards. We were delighted to spot some lizards in the rainforest biome at The Eden Project. They are there as pest controllers. Here is my best photograph:

An anole lizard

Second, asking the experts. We visited the Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno the other day, deliberately timing our visit to coincide with the day that the former workers come in to volunteer each week. This allowed Mr Snail the opportunity to ask lots and lots of technical questions…

Third, industrial history. Ever since I spent two and a half years surveying the old metal mines of mid-Wales I have been fascinated by the history of extractive industries. I had a great time, therefore, visiting Wheal Martyn, a museum dedicated to the china clay industry in Cornwall. They have lots of great exhibits but my favourite was the working water wheel:

So, those are three things making me smile and for which I am grateful. What has made you happy this week?

Three Things Thursday: 20 April 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with the happy*

Inspired by Emily of Nerd in the Brain here are my Three Things Thursday.

First, fantastic flowers. The carnivores are growing great guns in the limery – some are busy producing new leaves or pitchers, but the Sarracenia leucophylla is concentrating on flowering, The deep red blooms are each atop a very long stem, towering above all the other carnivores.

Second, back to blankets. I need a bit of mindless crochet for a while to take my mind off politics, so I have got out the squares and yarn that Wild Daffodil sent me and have started creating a new charity blanket.

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The colourful ones were donated and the brown ones are mine

Third, getting arty. After being inspired by some of Pauline’s doodling, I bought myself some yupo paper and alcohol inks to play with. I haven’t had much time yet, but I had fun splashing some ink about to see what it did. Since I made these, I’ve bought a few new colours and some thinner, which should allow me to get some more interesting effects…. and I haven’t even started doodling over them yet, which is the plan

So, those are three things making me smile and for which I am grateful this week. What has made you happy this week?

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