Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project Inspiration

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

I adore fresh fruit but it's getting so darn expensive. 

I'm also a big fan of kids getting involved with growing and harvesting their own food.  I think it's important for children to learn where their food comes from and how to grow it, plus home grown fruit tastes so much better than anything you can get in the shops.  So maybe it'll encourage Little Miss to eat more fruits and vegetables.

So of course I've dedicated  a section of the garden to growing my own fruit.  

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

When the kids are older I may take over the lawn but for now that's theirs and I'm left with this little strip of earth next to my shed.  

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

I bought a pack of strawberries from the garden centre.  I didn't have time to grow them from seed this year and I was impatient to enjoy them.  I've put a row of stones on the edge in an attempt stop Little Pickle from crawling all over them - it hasn't been very effective!

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

I picked up a few lavender plants too.  Not really a fruit I know but it seemed like a good fit for this space.  I'm looking forward to having dried lavender in everything next spring.

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

I bought this gooseberry bush years ago, I don't think I've had a harvest off it yet!  I've been keeping it in a pot and I'm forever failing to keep on top of watering it.  Hopefully next year will see some fruit.

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

This lovely rose has appeared from no where.  Erm, I'm sure I cleared the area.  There's quite a few nice roses dotted around the garden so I think I'll transplant this one to somewhere that suits me better.

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

This is my blueberry bush.  I love, love, love blueberries.  I've had this bush for years and it's barely clinging onto life never mind producing any fruit.  Maybe being in the ground will suit it better - fingers crossed.

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

My black currant is doing fabulously.  It got damaged in a storm last summer and I had to remove the bulk of the bush.  This spring it shot up and really flourished when I put it in the ground.  It only produced a few handfuls of fruits which the birds stole.  I completely missed them as I wasn't expecting anything worth harvesting this year.

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

Hopefully my fruit patch will be more productive next year but this is a fair start, from little acorns and all that.

Fruit Patch DIY Gardening Project

Monday, 29 July 2019

Samosa Bites Recipe

Curry Powder

Dice the onions and fry until soft.

Boil the potatoes and the peas - might as well save on the washing up and do it in the same pan.

Mash them together.

Add some curry powder to the onions and fry it for a bit longer.

Form them into patties and drench them in flour.

Fry the in plenty of oil.

Turn to fry both sides.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Max & Meena Animal Ball Sewing Project

The soft toys have taken over!  They're everywhere and I am sick to the back teeth of picking them up ALL the time.  Little Miss doesn't even play with them but you'd better believe there'll be trouble if I clear them out (this will be done in the dead of night at some point).

I've had an animal ball on my "to sew" list for ages but hadn't got round to figuring out where to start.  So I was chuffed to bits when Max and Meena released their new Stuffed Animal Ball PDF Sewing Pattern, even better it's FREE for members of their Facebook group - just read the pinned post for details.

Tools and Materials:

The fabric is taken from an old pair of loft curtains that are no longer needed.  I spent a great deal of time stencilling the design on them so I as keen to re-purpose them.

Most of my sewing stash comes form the lovely people at Minerva Crafts.

Starting with the strap folded, 

Pressed and sewn along thew length and one end.

Turned right side out.

And top stitched for strength and a professional finish.

The strap is then stitched to the top of one of the ball panels.

Position the zipper.

And sew it in place.

On both sides.

Finish the rest of the seam around the zipper.

Press the fabric away from the zipper edge.

And top stitch in place.

Sew all the panels together and finish the edges.

Then sew the bottom in place.

It doesn't look like anything when it's finished.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Our Garden Fort Is Finished

Garden Fort Renovation Project

I hope my kids know how incredibly lucky they are to have a garden playhouse / fort thingy in their own garden.  Probably not because they'll never really know any different.  I don't generally spoil my children with physical things but this garden fort was most definitely an exception.  

And here's our incredible garden fort just about finished.

The slide is huge, it took 3 year old Little Miss a while to get used to it but she's totally confident now.  It is a tad too big for her but that means we should have some time before they grow out of it.

She loves the climbing wall.  It took her a few attempts to get the hang of it but once she got her confidence she is up and down like a yo-yo.

I replaced the swings.  Little Pickle is still in a baby swing and Little Miss' swing is set very low to the ground so she can get on and off it unaided.  She can't swing by herself just yet but she'll get there.

The previous owners hadn't fitted the monkey bars but Little Miss loves them so hubby included them for her.  She really struggles with them without someone to lift her up.  She can just about get onto them by herself so I've popped this picnic bench underneath the monkey bars in case she gets stuck when I'm not watching.

"Not watching" I hear you cry!!  Absolutely, I do not constantly supervise my children while they play in their own garden.  It's fully enclosed so there's little to no risk from other adults, be they kidnappers or drivers not paying attention.  There are no major risk factors like a pond or machinery.  The garden certainly contains hazards such a bricks, low walls and hard surfaces to fall on.  These are everyday risks that we all have to learn to manage everyday of our lives.  I firmly believe that my children will learn to manage those risks better if they are exposed to them and allowed to make their own mistakes while they are small.  I welcome bumps and bruises and even the chance of a broken bone as lessons well learnt and taught by life far better than I could ever hope to teach through discipline.  Yes there is a risk my children could fall badly and cause themselves serious injury but if they never learn to manage the risk by themselves then that risk will be there for the rest of their lives.  I'd happily risk death in order to live life to the fullest and I allow my children to make the same choice for themselves.

Rant over - climbs down off soap box . . . 

p.s. I do keep a vague eye on them at all times!

We use the underneath area as summer storage for large toys.

The picnic bench that was originally included was mostly rotten so hubby converted it into a bar.  I had to laugh.  It's actually a bit high for the kids to use it as a makeshift shop or drinks bar for themselves and a bit lower than an adult would like a bar but useable for both.  I pointed out the lack of places to pop a drink in our garden and his habit of entertaining outdoors.  I have to concede to his wisdom on this occasion - don't tell him . . . 

There's a ladder on the back which isn't really necessary as Little Miss is so comfortable with the climbing wall.  We may remove it temporarily now that Little Pickle is walking as I want to prevent him from getting to the upper level without supervision.  Another option is to remove the lowest step or block it off with some ply wood.  Have you noticed that a lot of public parks have the lowest step missing on larger climbing frames?  It perfectly prevents little kids from getting up there.  I think its a fantastic idea and the person who came up with it deserves a lot more credit.  I've no need to pull my baby off the ladder and have him be mad at me, he simply can't get up and gets mad at the ladder or frustrated by his own lack of size, there's no rebellion because I'm not the one enforcing the rule.  Also I know that if he gets to the foot of the ladder when I'm distracted with my other child he can't get into too much difficulty.  If by some miracle he gets up the ladder, well I reckon he deserves to be on the big kid climbing frame.

Puts soap box out of reach  . . . 

I'm not sure if these hand bars had been lost by the previous owners but Little Miss was struggling without something to pull herself up with so hubster fitter her a few sets.

This is the inside of the playhouse.  Isn't it enormous!?  In fact it's bigger than my fist kitchen - no joke.

I'm not sure if you can see but hubby got Little Miss some unicorn (she's going through THAT phase at the moment) solar lights which look epic at night - when she's in bed . . . 

Auntie bought Little Miss a telescope for her birthday so she can watch the stars . . . the ones that come out when she's in bed . . . birdwatching maybe?

Garden Fort Renovation Project