Unexpected germination

Our windowsill is getting full of plants.

plants on windowsill

The middle one is a poinsettia, and it has been there for some time, despite my best effects to kill it by forgetting to water it. The one on the left is a Japanese coriander plant which I bought at Haverfordwest farmer’s market on our recent visit to Pembrokeshire. The friendly man there told me it had to overwinter inside so I planted it out and put it on our bedroom windowsill where it can have company. Living in a Victorian house we don’t have many conventional windowsills. It’s the most unfortunate thing about this house. Nearly all the windows don’t have windowsills at all. Does anyone know where you can buy tall plantstands for holding plants? Our windows are all about a yard up from the ground and I want something which will be reasonably stable from kids pushing it over…

The one on the right was a surprise…

avocado seedling

I read on a couple of people’s blogs that they had been germinating avocado seeds, about 6 months ago, and I decided to have a go. I soaked about three in water for about 6 weeks, decided nothing was happening and chucked two of them into the compost bin. The third I recklessly shoved into a defunct plantpot on the patio, whose occupant had given up the unequal struggle for survival. This was a few months ago now. On Monday, when I was skirting round there looking for somewhere to pot on the Japanese coriander, I noticed this plant pot… complete with avocado seedling!! So I brought it inside before I forget it and the nights get colder or the slugs finish it off. The unpredictability of nature.

(Incidentally, in the first picture, the extra leaves sprouting all over the place come from the wisteria growing up the front of the house).

Painting fabric!

I painted some fabric on Monday! Yay hay! The first thing textiley I have done for months…or so it seems. But I only ironed it today because on Monday night I started to go down with this horrible fluey cold and could barely drag myself out of bed Tuesday and Wednesday. Just gunky today though.

Anyway, I took a photo of it hanging on the line before the dreaded lurgy started.

But first I was distracted by Cobweb, looking chocolate-boxey lying on the roof of what used to be a shelter for the kids bikes. (Now they just clutter up the garage…).

grey and white cat lying on planks of wood

Here are the fabrics. I used acrylic paints and just some scraps of polycotton I have around. I thought if it was going to make it stiff, I might as well use up the polycotton rather than cotton. The only problem is, I won’t be able to overdye it or screen print it with procion dyes. But I can use it for the backs of postcards or as it is. I just like sploshing the paint on! Though I won’t get this cheap Dali acrylic paint from The Works again. The yellow stuff was all stiff and grainy. I had to throw it out. Ik. I will stick to Golden in future, even though I have to go to Cardiff to get it!

painted fabric on the line

It is a deeper colour than the photos suggest.

Here are a couple of detailed photos from when I was ironing them. Again, the colours are deeper than they look here. In the sparkly one, I mixed some irridescent Golden medium in with the coloured stuff.

painted fabric detail

painted fabric detail.

Knitting and Stitching

On Friday I went by train to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Birmingham. This is a new venue for it and it was very quiet there, which I appreciated because I could have a good look at the exhibits and stalls without having to jostle my way to the front.

I liked two of the exhibitors in particular – Barbara Lee Smith, an American whom I had not come across before. Her work, a series called Mapping the Mystery, is on the front of this brochure:

brochure for knitting and stitching show

The other one is Jae Maries, who had made a series of life-sized figures, very quirky and lifelike.

As usual, I made quite a few purchases!

book by Maggie Grey on Paint Shop Pro
A book by Maggie Grey on Paint Shop Pro – I have looked through this and it looks useful, so hopefully you will see some effects in the future on the images in my blog!

carnelian and green semi precious stones and a spiral
One stall was selling strings and strings of coloured precious stones. These are the ones I bought – the orange ones are carnelian, I think. I’ve forgotten the name of the green ones. And, of course, a spiral!

purple sock yarn and wooden knitting needles
I haven’t got any wooden knitting needles so I thought I’d buy a couple of sets to try them. And some cashmere sock yarn from Hipknits.

alpaca fibre in four different natural colours
There was a stall selling alpaca yarn and fibre. I got a few samples to try using it in feltmaking. I love the softness of it – I must buy some actual yarn sometime. I want a good waistcoat pattern but can’t find one, but I would love to knit one in this yarn. Anyone know any, preferably free on the Internet? Fairly long? What do you call waistcoats in the US?

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