Friday, 31 July 2009

Long time passing.

Hmm, not much sign of the sun that shone so brightly when Davey took this picture of me and Isabella almost three years ago is there?.It has been almost two weeks since my last post. The summer holidays caught up with me despite there being no real sunshine to make summer seem present at all. Cornwall has been awash and the light quality has been dark enough to bring late autumn to mind. I have managed to pop into a few blogs and the occasional sight of blue skies and warm light has brought much envy to mind! Ah well, the holiday itself has been good so far with our lovely daughter Lauren's birthday and a meal shared with children, girlfriends and grandparents. More on the pressies next time.

A cocktail party arranged by Lauren and her friend Charlotte on Saturday was fun and brought a summery feel to a grey day. It involved much mixing by Elias of Mojitos and Pina Coladas and Dave's current favourite: Pink Pussycats..need I say more?

There have been bright flowers rescued from the worst of the rain.

As an emergency measure - and just because this is the sort of thing I like to do - I have a Holiday Jar at the ready. This is basically a rather large jar filled with folded pieces of paper containing ideas for things to do. Whenever it feels right I get one of the gang to close their eyes and pick a paper. Whatever is written on it is what we have to do..together...all of us whatever age! We haven't needed to use it more than once so far, but it contains things such as make a kite, buy some more ducks (can't wait), camp in the garden (dreading that one), make a trivet for the campfire & cook a meal on it. The list is long and varied with the first one out being to 'make jam'. They chose strawberry and wrote the strangest of labels.


Appropriately enough for this weather I have had to work on Christmas designs. One of the online places I sell through ( has asked for submissions for their Christmas catalogue and this galvanised me into getting a little organised. I now have three products designed, made and photographed in a rather alternative way which may or may not hit the mark with Noths, but whatever happens there I am more than happy with the effect for my own website. It's amazing how focused this has made me feel and today I am off to see a rather large display of my work in Trebah Gardens which am most excited about.

Sorry about the picture, but I couldn't resist! Well, not much more today, just a sunshiney photo from a long while ago to brighten your day.

Have a happy Friday x

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Holidays Pending.

I haven't had much time to post just lately what with the end of term actvities piling onto us and a busy workroom to 'manage' (and yes, I do use the term loosely). Still, we are almost there: not-so-little Lucy has her final day at her lovely school on Friday, September bringing the much dreaded move to 'big' school - though only dreaded by me I hasten to add. Lucy is full of excitement, sadness and total exhaustion as she also has one of the leads in the end of term play which takes place today. Hankies at the ready then!

And then...The Holidays! Woohoo! I can't wait and have so much I want to do: campfires in the garden as the twilight settles, weather permitting of course;

endless trips to the beach for swimming and diving and snorkelling, or lazing with a book or rockpool scavenging or....

game playing around the kitchen table on duller days. Just the chance to have them home, not hurl them through the door after a stressful session of 'where's your bag/shoes/coat?'. I'm sure you know the scene.

Don't get me wrong. There will be times when the mess that goes hand-in-hand with the holidays drives me crazy and times when the stress of needing to work on the business yet not miss out on the family scene will make my neck stiff with stress

BUT mostly Davey and I absolutely love the summer holidays and the chance to just be with our children.

The chance to sort through the clothes cupboards so that fashion faux pas such as these no longer take place (think those pjs may be too small don't you?)

and I'm not even going there on big sister's borrowed slippers and hat.

Time to chat to the older ones home from Uni or popping by from work, to hear their plans and funny stories from their day or listen to them messing about with friends who stop by, another plate added to the table as they drag another chair up to make room for just one more.

To cook up yummy meals with our own herbs and vegetables...

A chance to potter in the garden and note the apples slowly turning colour, webs glistening in the rain-rinsed sunlight.

To watch summer move gently into autumn and grasp the flowers while they last

Taking it easy where possible will be the order of each day. I love that sea and salt result in this beach-hair look so typical of holidays. Bless her.

Yes, hooray for having the children back and having them all to ourselves for a while. Let the squabbles be few and the fun be plenty (fingers crossed, eh?). And who knows, if the rain stops for a bit I may even manage to take some new photos!

Have a good day x

Friday, 10 July 2009

A Happy Friday and the Colour Orange.

So, life post-Bernina is returning to normal now. Actually, I have already become so used to it (her?) that it feels as though 'she' has always been here. Thank you all so much for the lovely and very encouraging comments regarding the newest member of this tiny team - no doubt there will be many more discussions about the wonders of Swiss technology (!!!). In the meantime, this is what has been happening at Poltisko Farm: Isabella scoffing a chocolate mousse which arrived home from work yesterday with Daddy alongside a bottle of wine...hurrah!

Looking out of the window this morning - and hurrah again as it is Friday, my most favourite day of the week - I noticed that another year of bad planting has visited our garden. Ever summer I plan to move things around so that we do not have swathes of one colour throughout the garden, but of course I never remember. Spring heralded all yellows from daffodils through to primroses. Late spring brought purple aquilegia, pulmonaria, bluebells (ahh, the bluebells...) and now we have orangey reds. Nothing else really, just tones of red and orange. From nasturtium...

to the strong red of these Lucifer which are actually so much deeper than they look here, but the morning is so dull.

to the Black Prince marigolds which we somehow underplanted with yet more orange nasturtiums and which sit close to orange day lilies! Hmm.

There are the beautiful white daisies now flowering away next to yellow loosestrife and er, white lychnis, but mostly there is orange. Next year...

Well, that was written early this morning when the sky was particularly dull, but Isabella and I have just returned from the most lovely walk along the shore. The beach was ours alone and the tide was gently ebbing leaving a trail of pretty shells in its wake. No camera with me for once, but this is the some of the treasure we brought home with us.

A mixture of swirly whelks

flat winkles of all colours from softest sandy-brown to orange; the orange theme continues.

Many, many tiny crabs had been thrown against the rocks and are now resting against the ugly gravel outside the bathroom window. I am slowly interplanting this area and softening its harshness with frothy lime alchemilla, forget-me-nots which are still flowering here and bright, shiny marigolds. Scatterings of limpets, crab shells and sea-softened stone can only help.

The beach was so beautiful today, calm, quiet and restful just as in this photograph from another time, another walk

but now I have a very tired young lady wanting a sleep and looking very cute in her sleepsuit, so I must be off.

Happy Friday all x

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

So here it is!

Oh Lordy, look what I bought. I can see that for some this may have provided a slight let-down as I think the arrival of new animals to the fold may have been what was expected, but for me this has been a long, slow journey. My previous machine has been virtually ground into the er ... ground, poor soul, and I have been aware for months - about six to be exact - that I would need to replace it, using it as a back-up machine for when I draft in help (for that read older child studying textiles and daring to be on holiday!).

Now, anyone who knows me would realise this would be a problem for me: I have little or no interest in technology, though I know my way around it when necesssary. Lights, whistles and bright, shiny metal do not feed my soul or cause me to crave desperately the newest of the new. I don't like flashy cars, can't understand why anyone wants to spend much on a TV with a big screen and don't get the point of the majority of gadgets. I am however someone who expects things to work, time after time, coping with whatever is thrown at them without throwing a wobbly; I expect this of myself and therefore expect it of my sewing machine!

This little beauty has joined my workforce after research - sooo much research undertaken on the quiet because I truly expected to decide it was not going to happen - fretting over how to afford it purely through the business, fretting over whether I would continue to gain new orders or if this would signal the end of the good times. Oh, you name it I fretted over it.

Finally, I had a two hour demo with the most wonderful lady. We went through every possible good point: automatic tension adjustment. Repeat - AUTOMATIC TENSION ADJUSTMENT!!!! That alone would have made me buy it as the main problem I have been having is with the tension. It can do so many things that I could possibly bore for Britain on the subject, but won't as it is almost time for baby's bath time and as Davey has taken Lucy to see a play of The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe, I am all alone with my sweet girl with a game or two to play before turning on the taps (plus there are only so many pictures I can take of a sewing machine, albeit one that purrs with Swiss precision & reliability, that will help me take my fast-growing business forward and which will most likely outlast me!).

Isn't she lovely? Sigh... x

Sunday, 5 July 2009

A Bit of a Long One!

Lovely weekend despite the upsy-downsy weather where rain took the place of bright sunshine which took the place of get the picture. So here's what we did:
bottled more elderflower champagne (no, they aren't giant sample bottles!)

Brought back more produce from the allotment. Dear little Isabella picked all the broad beans and the last very late picking of rhubarb after being shown how to twist & pull at the same time. She honestly was fantastic at it and I just steadied the plants for her. I think children really love to be shown how to do things properly and then just give it a go; it's just a shame there isn't always the time, but Friday morning there was all the time in the world for my sweet girl.

Such beautiful, vibrant marigolds. I love these flowers so as one of my earliest memories of gardening is of me following my wonderful Grandad around the garden dead-heading the orange flowers into a metal bucket. The smell of these flowers always takes me straight back to being a little girl dotingly trailing after him as he chattered away to his 'whippet', the nickname he gave this skinny legged child who worshipped the ground he walked on. Lucky me to be reminded of him often in the long marigold months.

We scoffed French Fancies in the shade of the wisteria...

and took Tiger-Lily for a ride in the trug

We left Sam, Lucy and Elias in the kitchen making pasta fully expecting to see devastation on our return, particularly as the sound of them shrieking and generally acting like loons kept floating through the window to the garden where I was hiding. More faith, Miss Pip - we found a clean kitchen, happy children and a great line full of pasta waiting to be cooked having used the pasta machine without help and no reminding of how to do it. Pretty cool really and delicious with freshly made pesto...yum. Davey also made pasties for Monday

and blackcurrant ice-cream,

and, as dear Sam made Sunday roast for eight of us (Tom and his girlfriend arrived too),

I felt moved to make meringues with rhubarb fool to accompany the ice-cream which I served like this:

Well, you didn't really think there wouldn't be a lot of food stuff going on did you?
I also made peapod wine - a tale for another day I think - and gooseberry, redcurrant and elderflower cordial which is nice but sweet and seems popular therefore with the two littles. Cards were played (when their dreadful mother assumed they were playing on the computer only to find this...)

and I tried to photograph the beauty of poppies blowing in the restless breeze; scarlet petals on a cloth of mid-summer blue

Well, that's it for now. Tuesday will hopefully be an exciting day as something is arriving after much deliberation, fear and anxiety. More about that later!

Have a good start to the week x