Sunday, 30 June 2013

Out in the garden

I've finally made it the Summerhouse border is at last planted up, it's taken a very long time to get there and get this post written, it's been sitting in my drafts folder since the 6th June, and I've gradually been adding photo's over the month as we've got different bits planted up.  Oh the joy of pacing, being a sickly gardener is hard work, only being able to do a few minutes at a time then rests for a few days, and maybe plant a bit more another day if I've felt well enough.

This kind of dribs and drabs gardening is hard work and very frustrating, with so much to do and little if no energy. I was starting to feel very sorry for the plants, any road that's my little pity party over with.

I started off quite well with the window boxes, planting a box up every few days, with 'P's' help so the window boxes have been planted for a while now.

Here's one when it was just planted, this year I've gone for Geraniums with some trailing Lobelia at the end, I'm not sure what colours they will be yet, as I bought a mixed tray, so I may have to do some swapping around when they flower. 

The only way I can garden these day is from sitting, 'P' sets up a table for me and does all the lifting and carrying, while I sit and plant.  I'm so grateful for this help which enables me to do little bit, as gardening is something I've always loved.  Over the years my illness has limited what I am able to manage.  At one time, I now find it hard to believe I actually had a allotment patch, growing organic veggies, so I do miss gardening but maybe one day I'll be well enough again, but for now at least with some help on a good day I can manage a little bit of planting.

After a couple of really bad summers we decided not to grow any tomatoes this year, so we have planted up two pots to go in there stead at the base of the wall by the Summerhouse.  Marguerite daisy and Allyssum with some lobelia, I love these happy little daisies.

There are also Petunia, Verbena, Geranium and  Nicotina to go in the Summerhouse border and hanging basket.

Here's the hanging basket freshly planted up a couple of weeks ago, with a trailing petunia ( a lovely hot pink) trailing geranium, lobelia a couple of trailing verbena (one that survived from last year !!) and a few other trailing plants.  A Petunia and a normal geranium, another from the mixed tray so who knows what colour it will be, the basket is planted up in pinks and purples, so if it doesn't tie in I may have to swap the Geranium later.

Here's a picture of the hanging basket I took today, it's come on a lot in the last couple of weeks, yippee.

This rather unattractive tatty looking shot is of our wild flower strip, that is starting to come up, not a flower to be seen yet but I'm ever hopeful.  I think it so important to try and help the wildlife, the bee's are really struggling here in the UK at the moment so I think it really important to plant these wildlife habitats. I'm looking forward to seeing what wild flowers come up, there are already a couple in bud.

A few days ago we finally finished planting up the last of the flowers, here's the window box three weeks on from planting, the plants have grown but still not a flower to be had. I long to see some flowers, some colour.

So the Summerhouse border is finally planted up with some bedding plants with a lot of help from 'P' it's still all very green like the window boxes, with just the pink geranium and the jasmine in flower, but I'm hopeful for some colour very soon, from the sweet peas, orange blossom, rose and scabious who are all in bud. maybe next week, patient is required, that is all.

Clare xx

Friday, 28 June 2013

Three Things :: 09/52

It's 'year of happy' time here again at the Summerhouse, so here are this weeks ' three things', that have made me happy that it's summer time.

Number one :

Are these local Kentish Strawberry, they were so yummy and sweet, no need to add a little sugar to these lovelies, natures sweeties.

Number two:

New summer bedding that arrived at the Summerhouse this week, I'm loving the summery sky blue colour, the flowers and butterflies.

I have to spend a lot of time resting in my Comfy bed, so thought it deserved the  treat of some new Summery bed linen.

Number three :

I had two appointments this week that took me right next to the beach, I love the sea and live very near it, but being mostly housebound means I don't often get down to the sea.

 So  I took the opputunity this week.  I got  the taxi to drop me right next to the beach for a while before my appointment and was skippy happy to breath in the sea air, see the sea and all the wild flowers growing on the beach.

How stunning are these wild sweet peas I just love the colours, pinks and purples just me cup of tea. They were growing in patches all over the beach.  It was so lovely to sit on a bench by the sea for a while. Simple Pleasures happy happy happy.

I hope you've all had a good week? why not leave a comment sharing what has made you happy this week, I love to read all your comments.

Clare xx

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Birthday Bunny

Today I thought I'd tell you about the making of my Birthday Bunny card, this ones been ready to go in my drafts for a while and seeing as it has hopefully now arrived at it's birthday destination I thought I'd share it with you. I decided to design a bunny card for the birthday girl as she loves all thing bunny. So there was nothing else for it, a new Summerhouse by the Sea card design was needed.

The first thing I did was sort out a template for my bunny. I found a basic bunny shaped template in one of my craft magazines, then all I had to do was draw on the face and make a tail, tummy and ear patches as I knew that I wanted to use different papers on my bunny.

Here's the cute little bunny I ended up with, I then cut the main part of the bunny from cream polka dot paper.

Then I added a little bunny face free hand using a fine liner pen and blue pearlised beads for eyes. I think the face I drew on the template came out much better, but I guess that's life!

Then it was time to cut out the tummy and ear patches in pretty pink floral paper and glued them to my bunny.

I wasn't sure about the layout for my card until I found some green paper from my stash, that would be perfect for making a flower meadow for my bunny to hop around in. So I cut a asymmetrical piece with a wavy edge to look like grass and glued it to a blue card blank

I then attached a white cotton like bunny tail, to the back of the bunny with a glue dot (yippee for glue dots.)  The tail was cut with my scalloped scissor to give a  fluffy bunny tail effect and I added a cute little sequin flower with a pink gem stuck onto it to decorate my bunny a bit.

I also added some cute little flowers to the grass to form my bunny's meadow and after adding a Happy Birthday banner to the top of the card. I was ready for my bunny cards

big Ta-Dah moment.

I really hope the birthday girl likes her Summerhouse Bunny card and has a very hoppy birthday it was a lot of fun to make and a nice change from all the Birdie cards I've been making this year.

Bunny card ingredients:

  • Blue card blank
  • polka dot, floral and green paper
  • white card
  • gem flowers
  • blue pearlised beads
  • Birthday banner
  • flower sequin and gem
  • glue 
  • glue dots
  • scalloped scissor
  • scissor
  • black stablio pen

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Just before I go,  I was reading that Google Reader  will be going on the 1st July eek, so it will effect anyone who been using it to follow blogs. I've added a bloglovin button on the sidebar so anyone who's effected and wants to use it, can keep following my blog on bloglovin.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Rice Crispy Robot from the moon.

As promise in my last post 'here'  today I'm going to post about the making of the Birthday robot. I don't really do much cooking here at the Summerhouse, it's not because I don't love to cook, I really do but these days I find it really exhausting. So 'P' does most of the everyday cooking around these part but I really wanted to make something special for my nephews birthday party. 

I remember seeing a wonderful Rice Crispy free standing robots on a cooking program last year and it really stuck in my mine as a great make for a birthday boy.

As the robot was made from a quick to make fridge cake, I thought it would be a low energy and therefore doable make for me to attempt.  Perfect for the pacing plan I have to follow to manage my illness. So I had a look online and found the recipe 'here' this is in no way a healthy eating recipe, with it's half a block of butter, 4 Mars bars and three and a half bars of chocolate and golden syrup eek.

I figured that after the Tyre Tobogganing  and all the running around in the garden the mini's would have some calories to replenish and I really wanted to make a free standing robot.

So you make it like any other rice crispy cake,  melting the chocolate, Mars bars butter and golden syrup over a bain marie.

it takes a little while for the Mars bars to melt so keep stirring

Then mix in well with the Rice Crispy's

Until it looks like this, then put it into a baking tin and pressing down quite firmly before putting in the fridge to set. Then if you are me go and have a lay down for a few hours while it sets.

Four hours later back from my rest, I drew a template of my robot on a piece of paper the size of my cake tin, so that I knew it would fit when I went to cut out my robot. Then I just cut out the piece and put them on to the top of the cake and cut my robot out using a sharp knife.

Here he is all ready to be decorated.  At this point he was getting a bit melty and I needed another rest so I put him back into the fridge for a hour or so and had another rest (rest are optional in the recipe !!)

Then it was time to decorate my robot with sweets, sticking them on with melted chocolate, I used skittles smarties minstrel, tooty friuty's dolly mixture white chocolate button, mini marshmallow and little gold balls (keeping with the healthy eating theme NOT !!)  creating buttons, control panels, eyes and antenna. Working on each section at a time then returning them to the fridge to set.

I had a little trouble with the antenna as every time I tried to lay the head down in the fridge they dropped off so in the end some fridge rejigging was required so that I could put the robots head in standing upright.

and Ta-Dah my robot was complete.  

 As I already mention in my Busy Birthday Weekend post it's a shame that I wasn't well enough to assemble my robot on Sunday, so in the end I covered a wire cooling tray with foil and laid my robot onto it.  If I were well enough I would have built the robot using cocktail sticks to hold him together so he could stand, but never mind the children loved him, he's just a tired robot that needs a lie down like me.

The trouble is that when you are a chocolate robot  having a lie down on a birthday tea table surrounded my marauding mini pirates you might get eaten !!! All that was left were some spare parts.

I'd love to see a pic if anyone has a go at making one of these robots and get one to stand.

Clare xx

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Summer Solstice

A friend shared this on her facebook and I thought it was such a beautiful image that I had to share it on my blog, to celebrate the Longest day. Here are a selection of pictures taken on the solstice to celebrate Summer time

Summer Skies

Flowers gathered from the Summerhouse garden, a tradition here on the Solstice.

Wild Rose

The view from the Summerhouse

The garden in bloom, I love the way the black bird is in shot.

The view of the windmill at Dusk

Still light at 9.45pm

My attempt at getting a shot at the Super moon, the summerhouse skies have been shrouded with cloud every evening, since the solstice, this is the best shot I managed, taken on the Friday night.

I meant to post this a yesterday but it been such a busy weekend here at the Summerhouse, more on that in my next post. I hope you enjoyed sharing my images of the Summerhouse Summer Solstice.

Clare xx

Busy Birthday Weekend

It been a busy old weekend here at the Summerhouse, as it was my nephew 'L's' 10th birthday hard to believe he has hit double digits, so there was lots to do as the 2nd part of his birthday extravaganza was been held here.

On Friday we realised that we were missing a essential piece of birthday kit, for the party we'd forgot to get a banner, so I set to work with some colour paper, wiggly edged scissors and garden twine to make him a homespun one.

I added some little Denise the Menaces (his favourite) as I had a slight incident (in me sticky one the Y's on back to front, so needed to cover up some tape.) He loved the mini menaces though, although I think I prefer the banner without them, which is OK as I only stuck them on with blue tac, should we need to use the banner again.

Saturday was all about robots, Rice crispy robots to be precise, I'd seen a fab free standing robot made by Fiona Cairns on the Fabulous house of cakes last year and manage to find the recipe 'here'

So decided I would attempt to make one for the party tea, more on how I made him to come in a separate post.

I had lots of fun decorating my robot with lots of sweets on Saturday evening, and although by Sunday I wasn't feeling well enough to pin him together to see if he would stand, I think the children were please with him. There were lots of 'Wow's' when he was put on the party table.

 The first part of the birthday extravaganza was held at a local artificial ski slope, they all went tyre tobogganing, I was hoping to be well enough to go along in my wheelchair and watch, but sadly I just wasn't feeling up to it, my balance really was not very good yesterday morning  and I was feeling to dizzy. Plus I think the robot making from the day before was just too tiring for me (pesky chronic illness getting in the way again) So I stayed at home and had a rest and helped 'P' a little setting up for the party.

Luckily my sister took my camera along and took lots of picture and video clips, it looks like so much fun for little ones and big ones alike.

Whizzing down the slopes.

Then it was back to the summerhouse for a party tea, fun and games, just look at this sweetie cake.

Even the smallest guests enjoyed the party tea,  at the top of the picture you can see the remains of Chris the Robot, who will be going off to school in several party guests lunch boxes today.

Then it was time for birthday cake and home, my sister made this fab cake, with M&M's on the top as requested by the birthday boy. I think they all had lots of fun. Me I'll be having a few days in bed to restore my energy levels and try and recover a bit as I have a big adventure to look forward to in a couple of weeks, so I  need to do some major resting up.

Just before I go I thought I'd share this picture of the weekends Super Moon, sadly the summerhouse was shrouded with cloud over the weekend but I did get a little glimpse of it very late last night, but I was too exhausted to go and find the camera.  Isn't it stunningly beautiful.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, why not leave a comment sharing what you have been up to, I love to read them, where ever you were I hope you got to see the moon.

Clare xx