Thursday 26 July 2012

My Apron Dress

Thought you might like to see my final project outcome from my uni course

You can follow my blog for uni here

Summer Harvest

got to keep picking!

Saturday 7 July 2012


Although the battle against the weeds is never ending, I am starting to reap what I've sown.

Cornflower and Love-in-the-mist

Sweet Pea Matucana

Spinach and Chard, Mangetout Shiraz, Raspberries, Strawberries and Blackcurrants.

Sunday 5 February 2012

My Portrait

My talented mother has started painting portraits, this one is of me.

She is taking commissions if you are interested? You can see more of her work here

Thursday 2 February 2012

What's new?

This little blog of mine suffered from a major post shortage last year. Saying that I lost my blogging mojo would be a be a bit of an understatement! My time was taken up with working full time, and so there were few hours for making stuff, and even less time for blogging. Even though I haven't been keeping my blog up to date, I've been still been stopping by my old favourite blogs, only I have been rather quiet about it.

Anyway, life for me has changed a little. I'm no longer a teaching assistant, I've switched roles and now I'm a full-time student - In October I started a degree in Fashion & Textiles. We have to keep a journal to reflect on how each of our assignments are progressing, and our lecturer suggested that we could write a blog instead of writing in a book, so I have started a new one - Sew She Says, if your interested. It will be quite different from this one, so I won't be saying goodbye to The White Verandah just yet.

I still have my allotment, I'm even on the committee as blog administrator, and I'm getting ready for the spring. Last year was all about infrastructure. I managed to rope a few members of the family into helping me put up a little shed, then builded a lean-to extension with a clear roof for extra water collection and raising seedlings. I now have three water butts, and I'm on the look out for more! I've inherited some raspberry canes, rhubarb, a gooseberry bush and got given some strawberry plants from an allotment neighbour. I managed to get some black and red currant bushes in and I planted some asparagus in the autumn so my perennials are more or less sorted.

So let's hope I can manage three blogs this year, I must be mad!

This is the view from my plot on a rather misty winters day.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

first harvest

Last week I got a phone call out of the blue.
We arranged to met by a notice board a 7pm.
Half an hour later I found myself the excited owner of an allotment plot, for the princely sum of £4 per annum!

Luckily the allotment is run by a trust, not the council. It's tucked away, and is not very well advertised (on purpose). So I only had to wait around two months.

Although it looks a bit of a mess at the moment, it was cultivated last year, so it shouldn't be too hard to get it looking 'ship shape'. And as you can see, we've inherited some perennials, which Ella picked whilst I weeded after school today.

It is about a 5 min drive away, but it's right opposite the car park for Ella's school, so it won't be too much of hassle to pop by regularly.

I have already designed a plan, with raised beds, four for crop rotation and the rest for perennials. I will need a little shed too!

More news soon...... x

Wednesday 26 January 2011


Blogger has officially taken a back seat while my new internet addiction has taken hold.

When you sign up for Pinterest you can create your own online pin/mood boards with images that link back to the websites they were originally found on.

You can add a Pin It button to your bookmarks bar, which you can click to pin something that inspires you or that you wish you owned. When you click, it takes you to a page of thumbnails of images that are on that page. You just select the one you want, choose a board to add it to, write a short description and pin!

Not only do you have access to your own pins, but you can also view and 'repin' something else from someone else's board. either from 'Pinboards You Follow', 'Most Discussed', 'Everything' or 'Gifts'. You can also search for pins by keyword or category.

Pinterest is available by invite only at the moment. You can request an invite from the home page which will be processed and emailed to you in around a week or two; or if you are really keen to start pinning right away, leave a comment with your email address and I will send you an invite from my account ASAP.

EDIT: If you have asked me for an invite, please check your junk mail too, just in case!

Tuesday 2 November 2010

The one about the chicken and the egg

It's been awhile since I last spoke about my chickens.

Since then we have gone from 4 to 5; when Snowdrop (a Bovans Silver) decided that eating was not for her, and had to be replaced with Snowdrop mark 2 (a Coral Reef) and Rosie (a Sussex Ranger).

We are now in-undated with eggs on a daily basis, and as you can see from these photographs, my girls all have their own style. Not only do they look beautiful, but it's nice to be able to match the egg to the chicken, as I can keep tabs on their laying.

From top left anti clockwise: laid by - Snowdrop, Violet, Rosie, Primrose
(Bluebell's egg colour is somewhere in between Snowdrop's and Rosie's colour)

From top left to right: Rosie, Bluebell and Snowdrop
middle: Violet
bottom: Primrose

Even now winter is upon us, we are still getting 4-5 eggs a day. So after initially giving some away, I have started selling them to our neighbours.
It means that the chickens earn their keep, and it keeps the neighbours in yummy 'cheap' free range eggs!

Of course, this offered me a chance to indulge in my new addiction - photoshop.

fonts: marketing script & ball park from
starburst and dotty border from
vintage chicken image from

Monday 1 November 2010

Autumn Days & School Memories

Whilst uploading the photos from our weekend of glamping; I found myself humming what used to be my favourite hymn whilst at primary school, which started me off down memory lane.

From the age of 5 to 11 (1988-1994) I attended a lovely little primary school in the heart of Epping Forest called High Beech. There were only about 11 children in my year group and the school only had three classrooms in total so it was very small and friendly.

As well as a playground we had a school field which sloped downwards, and at the bottom of the field was the Old Man Oak Tree.
We had names for all main trees on the field, which was very useful for playing games.

The most memorable game for me was something we called '1,2,3, Block Home'. One person was 'It' and the had to count to 100 leaning against the oak tree while all the other children scarpered in different directions, each aiming for their chosen hiding place (very similar to hide and seek here).
After the person had finished counting he/she would have to walk away from the their post/home (the oak tree) and try and spy a person hiding.
During this time children who were hiding could decide to make a run for the oak tree, the idea was to get to the oak tree (home) before the person who was 'It' caught you out' by running back to the tree, touching it and shouting "1, 2, 3, I see Steven Edwards running towards me".
You could also be caught out if the person who was 'It' spied you, ran back to the oak tree, and shouted out "1, 2, 3, I see Natalie Morley in Holly Bush No.1" In which case if you were Natalie and hiding behind Holly Bush No.1 you where out.

Now you could see why it was so important to have names for the trees. As I've already mentioned there was the The Old Man Oak Tree, Holly Bushes No.1, 2 and 3 (very large hollies; You could actually go inside No. 2 and 3, the way the branches had grown had left hollows inside the bushes so we would hide and play house inside them, sweeping them 'clean' with little branches of leaves), the Sycamore Bushes, the Magic Tree (I think this was a Hawthorn, it had gnarled bark and at the base was lump of quartz stone embedded in the ground with moss growing on it) Then there was the Rocket Tree (a large Sycamore that had several trunks coming up from the base, so that you could climb into the middle and sit in it like a space ship).

Anyway, the song I was humming was Autumn Days and it was my favourite song to sing during school assemblies. My year group chose to sing it at our leavers assembly, it didn't seem to matter that the leavers assembly was in July!

Autumn Days

Autumn days, when the grass is jewelled
And the silk inside a chestnut shell
Jet planes meeting in the air to be refuelled
All these things I love so well


So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget.

Clouds that look like familiar faces
And a winter’s moon with frosted rings
Smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces
And the song the milkman sings.

Sing Chorus

Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered
And a swallow curving in the sky
Shoes so comfy though they’re worn out and they’re battered
And the taste of apple pie.

Sing Chorus

Scent of gardens when the rain’s been falling
And a minnow darting down a stream
Picked-up engine that’s been stuttering and stalling
And a win for my home team.

Sing Chorus


Aren't the lyrics lovely, it always makes me feel cosy when I sing it to myself and brings back fond childhood memories.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Jolly Days & Cosy Nights

Our tent

I started this post just after we got back from our lovely camping weekend at Jolly Days, but as always, other things need to be done first, and my blogging took a bit of a back seat.

We did some walking......

Some balancing......

some dam building (dam removed afterwards btw).

We built big dens......

.....and little dens.

We hunted for fungi......

gazed up at magnificent trees.....

and bathed in the last few golden rays of the year.