Gardening and wildlife conservation are good for improving mental health. Nothing that you probably didn’t know already. The tricky bit will be if the government force people to do gardening against their will – which would surely lead to more irritation, stress and grumbling. Which is the opposite of nice, wholesome therapy.
I’ve started sketching for a new embroidery piece based on Himalayan Balsam.
These non-native (for these parts) flowers grow invasively around river beds and choke all other plants in their path.
I like them though, because they look like orchids in the wild. The flowers are open, ready for pollination. Growing along by the river, a life source.
Right then, so planting borage, lavender, marjoram and open-flower dahlias seems like the way to go to attract all sorts of bees in your garden. Creating an environment and culture where the bees can come, flowers are pollinated and honey is produced.
I’ve just made this fun little backpack:
Here’s a little step by step guide of how to make one for yourself.
The How-To guide:
Materials needed – fabric. cord.
1. Find some nice fabric and cut out a rectangle. I used a duvet cover. So, the fabric was already folded in half. With the crease at the bottom, measurements I used were: 45cm x 35cm. [Here I cut out the shape with greasproof paper first.]
2. Turn the fabric inside out, so wrong side is showing. Along each of the long sides, fold in 1 cm. Iron it flat, pin it down and sew all the way along. Sew as close to the edge of the fabric as possible.
3. Along the shorter edges, again fold in 1 cm and iron. This time don’t pin, but fold 2 cm over again, then iron, pin and sew. Sew as close to the fold as you can. This is to allow a 2cm gap for the cord to thread through.
At this point, you may like to add some decoration to the right side of the bag. Eg I sewed on my Evie name tape in the middle. You can add any decoration you fancy.
4. Now make some tabs for the cord to string through at the bottom of the bag. For this, cut a 8cm width band of fabric. Put it on your ironing board. Firstly, fold it in half, iron it. Then bring in the edges towards the middle, iron down. Then fold it in half, iron together and sew along the edge where the fabric meets. Then from this 2cm narrow band, cut 2 5.5cm pieces.
5. Now we’re about to sew the bag together. Fold the bag in half, so wrong sides are facing out (right sides together). You want to place the loops down towards the bottom of the bag. Taking one tab at a time, fold it in half and place it in between the bag fabric, so it’s wedged between the ‘right’ sides of fabric. You should just see a few mm peeking out. So the loop is unseen, facing inwards. Pin it in place. Do the same with the other side.
6. Now for the sewing. Make sure you start just beneath our 2cm loop at the top. Go close to, but to the left of your existing line of stitching. Go all the way down, making sure the tab is sewn in. You may like to back up with zigzag, covering the edges you have sewn (I cheated and missed this step out!) Do this for both sides.
7. Now turn the bag the right way out.
I used cords which were each 4 times the length of the bag. I use a hair grip for this. Loop the cord between the grip and feed it through the hole at the top, all the way around both sides. Then go down and secure it at the tab at the bottom. Repeat with the other piece, this time feeding through from the other side of the bag to start with.
8. Et voila! Your Evie knapsack is ready for action!
I love the colour combinations found in nature. Earlier on I tucked into some figs. (Inspired by a friend’s comment to enjoy them roasted with some yoghurt.) The deep purple skin contrasts with the creamy yellow and light red pulp inside. Delicious and beautiful! [I might add in some photos later.]
Reminds me that when I came back from a break in St Ives a few months ago, I found myself taking photos of mussels: the shabby chic exterior of deep dark blue with much lighter shades, set against the bright orange edible bit inside, along with bits of deep green seaweed stuck to the outside of a shell.
I sometimes find myself trying to recall a colour wheel for thinking about how certain colours ‘fit’ together. I don’t think God needed one when creating though!
Talking of God- colours, check out this lovely passage from The Message version of the Bible:
You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matt 5:14-16
Some Evelyn in the Garden products are now proudly stocked at:
The Shack, at The Shambles, Newent, Gloucestershire
Go and take a look if you can at Aimee’s lovely shop!
17 Shambles Retail Village, Church Street, Newent, GLOS, GL18 1PP Tel 07887377079
One of the unexpected bonuses of having lived and worked abroad, is that I now have friends all over the world! I was delighted to be able to give my parents a present to post internally on their recent trip to Canada. My friend sometimes known as Zano Dey was the recipient of my first french-seamed bag! Next challenge will be to learn how to line ones like it – hmm!!??!
Today is 1st October. The day that, in Japan, autumn ‘begins’. High school students change from their spring/summer uniforms to autumn/ winter ones. Long -sleeved shirts/ blouses, thick jumpers, woolly blazers and for the girls, woolier skirts – still extremely short though.
When I was in Miyagi 2005-2007, it was de rigeur for the girls to wear long socks and bare flesh not covered up by tights/ pantyhose. I could never quite understand it, especially when the snow was falling thick and fast in winter. I wonder whether this high school ‘fashion’ still pervades?
Now, in Japan at least, autumn has officially begun.