Heavenly Houseplants | Mimosa

mimosa 1

Over the last few months I have been growing some mimosa plants from seeds. I had no growing instructions, so tried as best I could to mimic their preferred tropical habitat. 

…and boy did they grow fast?! 

They remind me of the scenery you would find on deserted islands, all frondy and green. Until night-time, when they resolutely fold up their leaves as if to say ‘excuse me, I’m done for the day.’

Now these little seedlings are now mini-trees with long water-seeking roots. They love a quick draining soil, watering every few days while allowing the soil to dry out completely in-between and a good level of humidity. 

I think I have repotted (since sowing in March) about 4 times! 

They make the most perfect conservatory plants – eek – and I have about eight! Jungle decor here we come!

mimosa 2

Crochet Bobble Headband | Free Pattern

crochet headband

The weather has taken a strange turn from sunshine and heatwaves to squally winds and downpours.

Although the garden is breathing a huge sigh of relief, early morning and late evening walks have a slight chill to them and it got me thinking about hats…

… yes I know it’s crazy to even contemplate woolly headwear when it’s still 22 degrees in the daytime…

…but you know me, I like to be prepared!

So, on the most blustery and thundery of days, I decided to crochet a headband. One that would keep my ears toasty warm when Autumn starts approaching, but wouldn’t be as sweltering as wearing a fully-headed-hat!

I don’t know if this is your thing, but I will include a rudimentary pattern, if anyone fancies a try…

(Please be kind, this is my very first attempt at writing anything like a crochet pattern… eek…)

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Crochet Bobble Headband – using UK terms…

Made with Stylecraft Special DK (Colour 1: Plum, Colour 2: Aster, Colour 3: Grape) and a 4mm hook.

I started with a foundation chain of 86 using colour 1. It took a while to get the correct size (snug but not so tight I would start seeing stars)! I joined with a slip stitch to the first ch, taking care not to twist the chain.

Round 1: ch1 (mark this with a stitch holder) dc.

Round 2: Moss stitch (dc, ch1, skip a stitch, dc, ch1, skip a stitch..etc).

Round 3-5: Continue with the moss stitch, ensuring that each dc goes into the ch space that you have made on the previous row. Fasten off at the end of round 5 and switch to colour 2.

Round 6 – 8: Continue with the moss stitch. Fasten off at the end of round 8 and switch to colour 3.

Round 9: Continue with the moss stitch. Fasten off at the end of round 9 and switch back to colour 1.

Round 10 & 11: Continue with the moss stitch. Fasten off at the end of round 1 and switch back to colour 2.

Round 12 – 16: Continue with moss stitch. At the end of round 16, I made a slip stitch into the first stitch of the previous row before fastening off.

Tidy in all of the ends before you start your bobbles!

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For the bobbles, choose one of the colours that you like best and continue to use the same hook:

Start with a magic loop.

Round 1: 8 htr into the loop, join the ring with a ss and pull the loop tight.

Round 2: ss into every other stitch (to close the bobble).

Tidy in one of the ends of each bobble, leaving the other for sewing in and fastening to your headband.

I hope I did ok with the instruction-writing! 

Enjoy!

Dip-Dye Effect | Flowerpot

two-tone1

So I have this be-au-ti-ful fern (a blue star fern) and I felt that it needed a bit of showing off…

…its regular pot wasn’t doing it justice.

I have seen lots of incredible pictures of dip-dye pots on pinterest and thought that I could have a go to rustle one up for myself.

The whole project was pretty quick to do and the only boring bit was waiting for the paint to dry sufficiently.

Look at the fern now… doesn’t he look happy?!

two-tone 2

I started with a terracotta pot and painted it all over in one colour.  It then needed a second coat as terracotta-bits were still showing through. Once it had dried very well overnight, I masked off the bottom section of the pot with light-sticking masking tape. Using a contrasting colour, I painted the lower part of the pot (this needed two coats too).

Peeling off the masking tape was exceedingly exciting and I was so happy with the results!

The pot and fern are now sitting in the bathroom, looking very pleased with themselves!

Crochet Granny Garden Flower Cushion

crochet granny flower

I had my last crochet class yesterday… and now I feel a bit sad.

It was so lovely to indulge in a morning’s crochet with a fab group of ladies. We would chat, make mistakes, laugh at each other and talk about Dachshunds (of all things)!

Most of all, I am completely in love with crochet.

In. Love. With. It.

I love the bright colours, the endless things that you can make and the look of amazement on Mr DF’s face when I present him with another cushion (I obviously ignore the eye-rolls)!!

Currently, I’m working on a ‘granny garden flower cushion’ and have used this amazing pattern from Attic24. I wanted it to fit a 46cm x 46cm cushion pad so this meant completing 4 ’rounds’ of each the granny squares, joining as I went, until I had 9 squares in total. Although I am using Stylecraft Special Chunky yarn, I was still a bit far away from my 46cm target, so I finished the sides off with a border consisting of 2 rounds of half trebles and 1 round of double crochet.

See…?

crochet granny flower cushion

…a happy, cheerful, bouncy, robust cushion front!

All I now need to do is start on the other side!

Have a great day…

Chickens in Hot Weather

Steve's happy face

I posted this picture on Instagram last week, as I always find Steve’s *cheerful* expression quite funny!

Although the hens have space to roam, food to peck, a dusty dust bath, shady places and lots of cool water, they still dislike the hot weather and it leaves them irritable!

This post, on the Omlet forum, gives useful reminders of how to ensure that your chickens fair better in the warm weather.

I especially like the thought of putting cucumber and grape pieces into their water and letting them enjoy a poultry form of ‘apple bobbing’!

The Sweet Smell of Garden Roses

photo

{a rosebud from the Finca garden…

…you can find more like this on the DF Instagram page, if you’re as obsessed with photographs as me!}

The roses are in full bloom and are seemingly doing very well this year.

I tried specifically to train them last summer to produce horizontal stems – as this method produces the most flowers the following year.  I have also been keeping the aphids at bay using the old favourite of:

1 x sprayer filled with water

2 drops of olive oil

2 drops of fairy liquid

…and so far so good.  Whether I can still have a flowering rose at Christmas time (yes, it is still my mission), remains to be seen.

Have a great week!

Add a Pop of Colour with Crochet

crochet mat collage

The Finca is decorated in a limited palette of greys and whites, and although this is the look that I love, I do find myself hankering after a pop of definite colour in every room.

I am also currently right in the middle of my obsession with crochet! Although a skill that I severely struggled with as a child and subsequently hated, I now find that with the right teacher and easy projects to start off with, it is a very addictive hobby!

So, as crochet is the perfect craft to bring colour into your home, I decided to use cup coaster patterns, make them up in a range of colours and use them as pot stands for the variety of plants and terrariums that have taken up residence.

If you fancy embellishing your cacti with bold stripes, I can highly recommend this lady, who not only taught me how to crochet in her fab crochet classroom, but also has online courses available.

Hope you have a fantastic rest of the week! I’m off to grab my hook!