best layer of the month #June

egg photo

Temperatures in our corner of France have been very very hot this month and, despite, having their enclosure in the orchard, in the shade of apple trees, our hens have been suffering.

Eggs count is way down as a result.  Not that I can blame them, because I wouldn’t feel like laying eggs when it’s been as hot as 35°C in the shade either!

Total egg count was 22 for June.  With Miss Marple laying 12, Miranda 9 and Miss Moneypenny only 1 egg.

I am pleased so say though, that temperatures have dropped over the last few days. We’ve had storms, buckets of rain, and today I don’t think it’s above 20°C.  Miss Moneypenny has left the nest, and is pecking & scratching with the two other gals in the cool grass.


happy unbirthdays in June

fabric trays x3

Here is what was made and sent out as unbirthday gifts in June.  Three little fabric trays, each made with a central patchwork scrappy block.  One in beiges & browns, one in dusky pink and one in bright pinks.

fabric tray dusky pink 01

Fabric trays that can be used for whatever.  I have one, and find it’s very practical for my sewing bits, to stop cats from knocking things onto the floor.

Speaking of cats . . .

Abby funny

Anyway, ladies to celebrate their unbirthdays in June were La Pie Kikou, Sandrine and Yvonne.  Time to get sewing and make something for July.

when it’s hot

Our corner of France has had nothing but sun, sun, and more sun.  Gibbs is a happy dog because he can go for a dip in our little stream to cool down – something he does at every opportunity.  Water is somewhat murky though and I honestly don’t feel like following suit.  Yet, I’ve been suffering from the heat, with swollen hands & feet (due to bad circulation) and my back, which still isn’t 100% has been causing more leg pain.

My lovely husband took pity on me, and was trying to think of a solution, bearing in mind that summer temperatures are likely to continue well into September.  The solution he came up with is


Our own little private spa!  It’s basically a glorified inflatable paddling pool, but a bit more high-tech.  A Bestway “Lay-Z- Spa”, the “Paris” model.   The advertising photo shows


It has a pump with an incorporated heating system so water can be heated (or you can just leave the cover on for part of the day and let the sun heat it up) . . . and then bubbles.  Lots of lots of bubbles that massage. 

I never imagined having something like this in the back garden, but now it’s there, I have to say – yippee!!!  It’s brilliant!  Ever so refreshing to take a dip, and let the bubbles massage my back.  It’s a bit noisey when the bubbles are doing their thing, but oh!  how relaxing!

We don’t go away on holiday, so with this spa, I’ll be able to take frequent dips throughout the day, and keep fresh.  A shame it’s not practical to do needlecrafts at the same time.


harvesting vitamins

As you know, my husband loves gardening, and now he’s retired he has more time to spend in his veggie patch.  I’m not particularly interested in gardening, and much prefer to keep my hands busily clean doing needlecrafts.  But I’m more than happy to down needle and applaud, as husband brings fresh veggies into the kitchen each day, and sets about preparing dinner.


Husband only planted 2 courgette plants this year but we’re already being inundated with fresh courgettes, literally every day.  Here’s a basket of courgettes, a handful of pois gourmands (or mange-tout), a couple of beetroot and our very first cucumber.

Cucumber which rather tempted Gibbs


Who put his paws up on the table and had a chomp before I had time to tell him off.  That dog  will eat anything!

more veggie

And then only 2 days later . . . even more courgettes and some home-grown potatoes.  They made a lovely change . . . rissoled gently, until they were golden & crispy, served with green salad and Italian smoked ham.  Yum yum.

Cats are also bringing a few things home . . . and the garden path is littered, daily, with the corpses of dead mice (I apologise to the faint-hearted, but cats will be cats).  However, occasionally, one does get away. 

another one

This little one was brought, alive, into the veranda, and from there, managed to scurry into the house.  It then spent 24 hours in hiding before I was able to locate it, trap it, and set it free.  Although saying that, if it hangs around in our garden, I don’t give it long before it gets caught again. 

SAL update – Cirque des Triangles #7

More triangles have adorned my fabric for this update.

Last time it looked like this.

CdesT stage 6

Now it looks like this

CdesT stage 7

CdesT stage 7 zoom

This is “Cirque des Triangles”, a design by Tracey Horner for Ink Circles.  I’m stitching with Threadworx “Wild Poppies” on forest green 27 count Lugana evenweave, and loving every stitch.  It’s so relaxing to work a monochrome design.  No hassles with numerous symbols or threads.  Just need to thread my needle up with 2 strands of Threadworx and the colours change all by themselves.

Don’t forget to stop by and admire progress of other SAL members.  Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other members are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, WendyLinda, Catherine, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

And come back for the next update on 16th July.

amigurumi bunny

I’ve been hooking rather than knitting these past few days as we’re having something of a heat wave.  Tackling another pattern from the first in the “Zoomigurumi” series.

Zoomi 01

Working on this pattern.

Wasabi WIP

Pattern called “Wasabi the bunny” by Little Muggles.   Is made up of 9 parts.  I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn in Duck Egg and Sage.  And a 3mm hook for this project because I felt tension could have been tighter on my tiger.

ami lapin 02

This is the final result – bunny measures 15cm high, in this sitting position to the tips of his ears.

ami lapin01

His nose didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped  and ended up looking more like a koala nose than a bunny nose . . . not to worry.  He’s still presentable.

And, just for fun, because I wanted to see the progress I have made since beginning this amigurumi crochet lark in February . . . a group photo of some of the critters I’ve made.   These are the ones which haven’t been given away (yet).amigurumi group

I will now be flicking through the pages of my book . . . wondering which critter to make next.  It could be the monkey (of the cover photo) next.