SAL Panda Sugar Skull #4

It’s time for our 3-weekly post to show what progress has been made on our SAL projects.

I’m still having fun stitching Panda Sugar Skull, a design by Lindashee.  Here’s where I was up to last time.

SAL Panda 26 01 20 b

And here’s progress for this time.

SAL Panda 16 02 20b

Colours will “pop” much more, once I start adding backstitch, but for the moment I’m concentrating on doing all the cross stitch first.

SAL Panda 16 02 20a

Here is the list of links of everyone in the SAL group:

AvisGun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny

If you’d like to join in, Avis (first name in the list) is the person to contact. 

And we’ll be back on 8th March.

scraphappy # February

It’s time to link up with Gun and Kate for the once a month ScrapHappy day! 

My scrappy project this month is very colourful.  And practical.

I had a good rummage in my bags of fabric scraps, pulling out only bright strips, to make myself a folding tote bag.

scraphappy feb 03 (2)

scraphappy feb 03

To make sure it doesn’t fall to pieces and will be strong enough to carry a certain amount of weight, I sewed all my strips together, overlocked each seam and then top-stitched.

scraphappy feb 01

scraphappy feb 02

I’m all ready to go shopping now lol.

But before I do, let’s hop over to other links and see what other ScrapHappy members have been up to.

Kate, Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, Sue L
and Sunny

what the husband made

I recently showed you a photo of the hens on their plot of land in veggie patch with their new coop.

hens jan 01

Not sure if I explained but that’s actually our THIRD coop!  almost as many coops as hens lol.  We move our hens about on different plots of land throughout the year, and the moving about, plus being outside in all weathers (including occasionally being blown over by gale force winds) means that coops constantly need maintenance or more serious repair. 

When we first started our hen-keeping adventure  we splashed out and bought quite a posh affair with a removeable shelter.  This is what it looked like when brand new in March 2015


We very quickly decided that the little shelter part wasn’t terribly practical as it was.  Too small to make a decent run for the hens, and too low for me to crawl about trying to put the food dispenser in & out.  So . . . a few years later, both parts were separated, and we moved the shelter part out to the orchard, to join the second coop.


Its purpose there – to protect the food dispenser from the elements and to offer extra shade if the hens need it.  Sadly, all the moving about of coop parts, plus strong winds, meant that this shelter was almost falling to pieces and not fit to serve another year.  So we brought it into the veranda and the husband did some serious maintenance work, reinforcing here, water-proofing there . . . and then making something to make life easier for me.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves before I explain.






So . . . husband made a sliding system, whereby we can hang the food dispenser under the roof of shelter and then simply push the hook (therefore the food dispenser) back to the centre of the shelter where it will be protected from the elements.  Thus saving my back, and meaning I no longer have to fold myself in two to crawl inside  while holding a (very heavy when full) food dispenser. 

the birthday gal

I was the birthday gal yesterday . . . which meant I got to lounge around and not do much, except for opening some lovely presents – yay.

Without further ado . . . here’s the haul.


A bunch of roses from the husband, which are actually RED but seem to want to be shocking pink in all the photos I took.


A feather bookmark cross stitch kit with a lovely hand-stitched card from Yvonne.  Kit contains threads, plastic canvas & chart to stitch the stripey feather on the right.


from SIL, a metal storage tin, plus a loofah and two bottles of shower gel.


From Avis, a lovely selection of Stylecraft Special DK to add to my stash.  There’s: Copper, Saffron, Lavender, Parchment, Emperor, Petrol & Cypress.

And . . . since I always treat myself on my birthday too lol . . .


“Lucie””, a Sylvia Natterer doll, made by Petitcollin, bought second-hand on ebay.  She arrived in lovely condition but sadly, isn’t wearing her original hat.  And, because I got Lucie for such a good price, I couldn’t resist . . .


“Pierre”, also by Sylvia Natterer,  & made by Petitcollin.  Both are the “Finouche” size, meaning they measure 48cm, the same as my other Sylvia Natterer doll . . . so lots of clothes making sessions in store.

way behind

I caught up on some crochet last week, working on a few more squares for the  CAL “Nature’s Walk” which officially started and ended last year.  I was lagging behind from the start, and never had any hopes of keeping to schedule . . . but then weeks turned to months, and I realised I needed to get back to work, or it would become an UFO. 

I’m doing things my way, having chosen 7 different colours, plus my neutral, with my plan being to crochet 6 squares in each of my 7 colours.  And since I’d already made the decision to make that change, I’ve made another.  I’ve decided to repeat only a couple of the patterns.  With the result that my most recent squares are a repeat of the pattern “Gates” and crocheted in Stylecraft Special DK “Clematis”.

CAL clematis

CAL clematis 02

Squares are all (more or less) the same size, even though they don’t look it in the above photo.

Here are my colours so far.  From top to bottom:  Clematis, Wysteria, Magenta, Meadow and Spring Green. 

CAL clematis 03

Remaining squares will be in two different shades of blue, with cream as my neutral. 

happy unbirthday – January

I’m going to try and send a few more unbirthday gifts this year . . . an idea I began a few years ago but which fell by the wayside in 2019.

For January, I sent a surprise package to a French friend, Valérie.  One of the folding bags I made recently.

bags galore03

This is the one I sent, and just in case Valérie was unsure how to go about folding, I did a little photo-montage which I printed out and sent along too.

bag folding

best layer of the month # January

hens jan 01

We’ve been and bought a brand new hen coop because the one we bought in 2015 needs a complete overhaul and maintenance . . . and in this weather, hens need somewhere to keep them warm & dry at night.  We’ve just moved them to a new patch of grass

hens jan 02

which they’ll probably soon peck & scratch to mud, but for the moment, they’ve got plenty of fresh greenery to keep them amused.  January has seen all hens laying (even Miss Moneypenny) although total egg count was actually down on previous months.  For January we collected a total of 74 eggs.  10 from Miss Moneypenny; 15 from Mauricette;  22 from Florence, and it’s Ruby (our red hen) who is this months best layer with 27 eggs.

hens jan 04

hens jan 03