best layer of the month # March (Houdini Hens)

Our hens have been a right handful this month!  They’ve taken to escaping from their enclosure on a daily basis and causing havoc in the veggie garden, where the husband is trying to prepare plots for plantations.  We appreciate that they’re currently living on bare soil, with a covering of straw, and that the grass must look so much greener on the other side.  They did have grass on this plot in February, but soon pecked & scratched it clean, and it’s a bit early in the season for us to move them to their summer residence in the orchard.

Try as we might, we were unable to see exactly how they were getting out, but get out they did.  Every single day, this month, I’d pop out to take them their treats, only to find they’d been having fun: digging in the strawberry patches, and burying the poor plants;  having sand baths in the beautifully banked mounds where the husband is trying to grow asparagus;  having a good old rummage in the compost heaps;  and generally running riot!  We checked there were no gaps at ground level, where they could be sneaking out under the net fencing.  Hung extra netting higher up along 2 sides of the enclosure . . . and I did some more feather clipping on left wings.  In a final attempt to keep them inside their park . . . I ended up re-purposing  some of old net curtains because we’d run out of proper fowl netting, and I didn’t want to have to go and buy some more.


The result looks rather strange, to say the least.  But we’re hoping it’ll do the job of stopping hens from doing more of their Houdini act.


Anyway . . . not only have they been escaping on a daily basis, they’ve also all been laying on an almost daily basis.  This month saw us with a total egg count of 86.  28 from both Miss Plumpton and Miss Moneypenny, while Mauricette laid a massive 30 eggs.

a bit of this & that

I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog this month.  This doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing some blog-hopping to see what everyone else is up to.  Nor does it mean I haven’t been crafting – au contraire – I have!  However, several of the projects I’m working on are either secret crafting projects, or not far enough in the making to be worth blogging about.

Still, I do have 2 projects to talk about . . . first up, is the latch hook “Puppy” rug kit by Versaco.


The hooking is finally complete – yay!  Once I set my mind to it, it came along very quickly.  Helped by the fact that I’ve been playing catch up, watching The Great British Sewing Bee on my tablet.  Since the husband isn’t too keen on sewing programmes,  I watch GBSB while sitting out in the kitchen, and kitchen table was the most comfortable place for latch hooking.  I’ve already trimmed the excess canvas, and begun the job of finishing edges neatly.  I will share a fully finished photo with you in due course.

I’ve also been doing some sewing.  Several projects in mind for Baby Viking, and big plans on moving out of my comfort zone to make a few garments with stretch fabrics.  True to myself, I thought it best to have a trial run with stretch fabrics before cutting into the yummy piece I’ve bought for BV.  And, after the clear out in my wardrobe last month, I had a couple of Tshirts (that didn’t get handed down or put in the Red Cross recyle bin) I had kept, precisely to slice up and use for some trial sewing.  So, one Tshirt repurposed into a pair of toddler sized trousers.  Scraps above are all that was left of the Tshirt.  I remembered to use a special Jersey/stretch fabrics needle in Juki and I used the overlocking stitch for everything.  I noticed that Juki tended to skip a stitch occasionally (not sure if it was my fault or because fabric was quite fine) if I tried to sew too quickly.  After adjusting speed and taking things slowly though, all seams looked good.  I even thought to cut pieces so the bottom of the Tshirt became the hemline of the legs – hence the really professional overlocked hems! 


I was planning, initially, to make something in Baby Viking size for this summer, and followed a pattern accordingly (more or less) however,  . . . after popping round to hold these up against our little neighbour (who’s 19 months old), the verdict was:  way too wide.  Waist and the “rise” are good, but legs are much too wide for what I was aiming for (which was more of a jegging than a trouser).  Not to worry!  They turned out to be quite a good fit, as 3/4 length leggings on Daisy, so she gets to keep them.  And oh surprise . . . they look rather good with the pinafore dress I made for her.  Anyone would think I made these sizing mistakes on purpose, but I don’t!  This second photo shows you the true colour – a lovely turquoise/aqua, which makes the perfect “bottoms” to match the pinafore dress. 

daisy 01

While I had camera out, and Daisy was posing . . . I couldn’t resist playing with more of my dolls.  I realise the following photos will freak some readers out.  I know, I know, most people think my dolls are creepy,  so you’ll just have to close your eyes and scroll down if you don’t want to see the following doll pictures.  First pic is of Daisy, posing as”big sister” to Lily .

daisy 02

Then with Alice (who incidentally is wearing a pinafore dress I made last year using the same pattern as Daisy’s dress).


And finally, with Noah.

daisy 04

That’s all the doll photos for now, you can open your eyes! 

And admire


Gibbs, who is overjoyed that my most recent check-up with foot surgeon went well, and daily walks to the park have resumed.  And about time too, says Gibbs!

SAL “Bag Ladies” # 8

Time seems to be speeding up this year!  It really doesn’t feel like 3 weeks ago since the last update, but the calendar doesn’t lie.  So . . . here’s where I was last time

SAL 24 02 19

And photo of where I am now.

SAL 17 03 19

That’s 3 bags completed and 4 cats , even though it’s mostly only heads or tails peeking out of bags, with a 4th bag and 5th cat well underway.  I’ve done as much backstitch as I could on this section, so I won’t have to worry about going back on myself.  Am pretty pleased with progress so far, as I estimated this design would take about 20 stages to complete.

Let’s pop over and see how fellow SAL stitchers are getting on with their projects.

AvisGun, Carole, LucyAnn, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

Next update on 7th April.

ScrapHappy # March 2019

I missed out on the ScrapHappy fun in February because of other things going on.  February saw the husband & myself redecorating the living room (all done).  Me with big plans of making sofa covers (started well, but I ran out of motivation) . . . and then catching up on housework before visitors in March.  Lindashee & Mr Lindashee flew over from England for a few days, and Eldest son & girlfriend drove up from the south of France.

House suddenly emptied on 11th, so after a day of stripping beds, and catching up with more housework, my thoughts turned to ScrapHappy and my sewing machine.

I originally sat down, with leftover fabrics (from 2 pairs of shortie PJs made in November) to make something summery for Baby Viking using pattern NewLook 6970.  Baby Viking will be 1 year old in August, and since babies always seem to be wearing the next size up, I decided to cut fabric for the 18-24 month size.  As it turns out, this pattern seems to size up very large . . . and I ended up with a little pinafore dress that fits Daisy, who is a 2-3 year size.

Not to worry . . . anyway, I’m linking up with Kate and Gun for our monthly ScrapHappy post.


The idea was to make something with scraps/leftovers.  I achieved that.  And got more sewing practice along the way.


It’s a good fit on the shoulders for Daisy, and looks lovely with the little bolero cardie I knitted for her.  I haven’t given up on the idea of making this pattern again, for Baby Viking, but one size smaller and not necessarily with scraps.

Other bloggers who take part in ScrapHappy fun.

 Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, KerryJean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn and Connie

picking up a UFO (only 6 years after starting)

I pride myself on the fact that when I start a project, I usually finish it (eventually) . . . so don’t think I have too many UFOs lurking in my sewing room (although I haven’t searched very thoroughly).  There are a couple though, that have been in the back of my mind for a while, as worthy of my attention.  One of them being, a latch hook kit.

I treated myself to this way back in January 2013: “Puppy” by Versaco.


Quite an expensive kit but it was a treat to myself for my birthday that year.   First hooking began way back in February 2013, and then poor puppy was pulled out occasionally over the following 2 years.  Last seen in September 2015 looking like this

20 09 WIP c

I’m not sure why I ran out of steam.  Possibly because I can’t latch hook while sitting in my rocking chair, watching TV.

Anyway, suffice it to say, this poor puppy has been waiting too long for completion, so I’ve picked up my latch hook, and begun work again because, honestly, I’d come too far not to continue!  I’m not setting myself a “to be finished before” date, but at least the UFO is now back to being a WIP.

rug 01 03 (1)