Sunday, 22 March 2015

runner beans


We bought a mini greenhouse for the garden this weekend and decided to plant a little something to put on one of the shelves now that we have it set up.

We started with a tray of runner beans - three different varieties. Just look at them! Such lovely colours.

Hopefully it isn't too cold out there for things to start growing.

I'm lucky because Lyndsey let me sign up as a late entry into her Secret Seed Swap and has set up a mini swap for me and a couple of other latecomers. I sent out my packets yesterday so will share some pictures after they have made their way to their secret recipient.

Such a nice idea. And it means maybe I'll be ready to add some more things to the greenhouse in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

pimp my fridge


I gave our fridge a little makeover this weekend.

We had this tub of coloured letter magnets which we were debating whether to add to the charity shop bag, but I spotted some gold spray paint on a trip to the local DIY shop so thought I'd give them a little uplift...


sprayed gold

stencil shapes

I gave them a couple of coats, and that seemed to do it. I really liked the shapes left behind on the cardboard after spraying.

fridge magnets


Not too shabby!

Monday, 9 March 2015

a bunny for a baby

Here's a little rabbit comforter I made last month for a little one called Saul.
rabbit comforter
It was based on this pattern from Lion Brand yarns, and is hopefully a nice thing for little hands to hold onto.

I just realised I also made a bunny themed present for his big brother a few years ago. I hope they are a family of rabbit lovers!
   bunny & bear

Sunday, 8 March 2015

make the house a home


We have been in our house for just over a week now and it's great. It's been a pretty exhausting couple of weeks what with packing/unpacking/cleaning/etc, but we're starting to get on top of it all now and the place is beginning to feel cosier and more familiar. A nice home.

mini plants

To make it feel a bit more homely while there are still lots of boxes everywhere I've been populating most of the rooms with flowers and houseplants. Just a little touch here and there.

This morning I popped round the corner to the car boot sale and picked up a couple of mini succulents to add to the collection. I planted this super mini one in an enamel espresso cup I picked up from Workshop in Brighton a couple of months ago.


tiny succulents

I also finally got around to planting my little cat Chuppon that I got from What You Sow towards the end of last year.


The little cat drinks through a straw which helps grow the little mint plant that sits in his backpack. It's so cute! I think Lyndsey said they were one of the most popular items in her shop - I'm tempted to grab myself another one next time they are back in stock.

cat chuppon

I hooked the little cat over this little vase that Ben bought for me at Art Junky just before Christmas. Such nice colours!

Oh, and talking of presents, I couldn't not share a photo of the housewarming present my brother Tim brought round for us on Sunday...


He found it in the street on the way to our house (thrown out by a granny no doubt). It's pretty dated but it matched our wall so exactly that we had no choice but to put it up.

And I do like donkeys.

Monday, 23 February 2015


Ben and I are moving on Friday - hooray!

As a result I spent most of the weekend indoors packing, which I quite enjoyed. It's nice to rediscover things you haven't seen for a while and take stock of what you've got.

Here are some things that I was pleased to see again... 

Clockwise from top left: Ben makes lovely cards // the naked bike ride 2009 // wonky pigeon // miscellaneous

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Things I like this February...

1  •  2  •  3  •  4  •  5  •  6  •  7  •  8  •  9  •  10  •  11  •  12  •  13  •  14  •  15

Some more favourite from Pinterest
Green and blue and bears and mountains.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Monday, 16 February 2015

B is for...

B for Ben

We're not hugely into Valentine's day around these parts, but it's nice to do a little something for the one you love, so this year I decided to make some personalised handkerchiefs for Ben.


I got the idea after I borrowed some his other handkerchiefs and misplaced/ruined a couple of them with leaky pens and such, and wanted to replace them with something nice.

This time I'll keep my hands off!

The monograms turned out ok I think - especially as I was free-styling a bit. I like that the hearts are quite wonky. I haven't done much hand embroidery before (can you tell?) but I'd definitely like to try out some more on projects like this.


I hope you all had a nice weekend, whether you were celebrating Valentine's day or not.

We had a pretty quiet one, and went out for a huge roast at the Basketmakers on Sunday. It was delicious!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Paintwork by Ben

As it's Valentine's day I thought I'd share this lovely photo series taken by Ben last Sunday, on a seafront stroll we took along to Hove lagoon. In his words, "Some of the beach huts could do with a lick of paint."

I think they're great! I'm in love with all the colours and textures - especially when you see them together as a set. So pleasing.

You can find Ben on instagram as @benbenbenbenbenbenbenbenben 


watercolour fish

Here's a shoal of watercolour fish I painted the other day.

I've decided I need to make a determined effort to make some more time for drawing and image-making, and as a start I have signed up to the 'Birds of Prey' wildlife drawing session in Brighton next month.

I'm pretty excited about meeting some falcons and hawks.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

potted plants


Remember the avocado seeds we started nurturing way back in the summer?

Well, we finally got round to potting them over the weekend. We probably should have done it a lot sooner, but it's pretty amazing how big these things managed to grow with just some water and the nutrients packed into the seed.


They're pretty bizarre looking really, and weirdly totally different. My one on the left grew very tall and thin - too tall to fit in the photo! - and Ben's is short and thick with little fat leaves. We were wondering if they might be two different kinds of avocado?

I hope they continue to thrive now they're in soil - fingers crossed their leaves keep growing and they start looking a bit less odd.

Here they are all planted, and ready to go back indoors...


Ben's pot was too shallow to cover the seed, so it still looks pretty bonkers. Oh well, it's that kind of gardening experiment I think.

garden wall

Thursday, 29 January 2015

a growing collection

crochet squares

One of my vague new years resolutions was to resurrect (and possibly finish off) some old craft projects. I started this crochet stitch library way back in 2011, and while it hasn't been totally abandoned, I have neglected it a little over the last couple of years.

So I've decided to make a more specific resolution to try and crochet a new square each week until I have a big enough pile to bring them all together in a blanket.

It's going well so far. I've added a few more to the collection using some of the leftover colours from Ben's winter scarf.

stitch library 2015

I especially like the basketweave stitch. In fact, I might use it to make some cushions in some chunky wool over the coming months.

I think winter brings out my productivity with wool crafts.



I have one remaining catnip sardine from the batch I made just before Christmas, so decided to have a little giveaway over on Instagram. You can find me over there as @debbie_hill and I'll announce a winner on Monday.

Oh, and if you have any sweet pictures of your cats over on your account then please do share!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

things I like this January...

1  •  2  •  3  •  4  •  5  •  6  •  7  •  8  •  9  •  10  •  11  •  12

Some favourite picks from Pinterest. See more here.

Monday, 19 January 2015

a weekend jaunt

Rye building

We took a little trip down the coast to Rye this weekend. We only went for one night but it was just enough to blow away the January blues and have a little break.

towards Rye harbour train tracks Rye castle The house with the seat

We wandered around the village, explored the bits of the countryside that we could without getting too muddy, ate great food, played pub games, and generally just pottered about.

It was grand!

Oh, and the rain held off long enough on Saturday morning for us to climb up the church tower and take in the views. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a problem with heights (for those that do it might be a bit much).

Rye view Ben view from the church

I think one night holidays might be the way forward. I like the minimal planning involved, and it makes the weekend seem much longer.

Rye nature reserve

Sunday, 18 January 2015

handmade christmas: a scarf diary for Ben

scarf roll

I decided to make Ben a scarf for Christmas (another bit of secret present making). He had mentioned before that he liked the knitted diary loop scarf I made for myself a few years ago so I decided to make one for him.

scarf diary

I picked out some colours that I thought he'd like and swapped colour for every day of knitting until the scarf was complete. It added up to about a month and a half of knitting in total, with some days missed due to the lack of opportunity for covert knitting.

scarf diary

It turned out really well. I was happy with the colour choices and Ben was really pleased when he opened it on Christmas day. Perfect for keeping cosy on winter walks.

And here he is modelling it this weekend on a trip to Rye.

loop scarf

Happy face.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

handmade christmas: catnip sardines

catnip fish

As well as making presents for friends and family this Christmas I also made some presents for the furry friends in their lives.

Christmas for cats!

making the sardines

To make them I started by cutting out some felt sardine shapes from a paper template I made. I then sewed some little fabric pouches to hold some catnip that I bought online (highest potency apparently).

After that I embroidered on some markings and sewed on some felt eyes to give them a bit of character.

fish construction

Finally I sewed around the edges, put the catnip pouches in the middle of each fish (for maximum protection from sharp claws and teeth) and added toy stuffing around the edge.

And voilĂ ! A shoal of sardines.


And just look at these little fellas enjoying themselves...

the cats

Clockwise from top left: Tiffin, Eddie, Louis, Pixel, Harry & Holly. 

Sweet ones! They were a total hit I think. So much so that a few of them are fish no more.

I'm taking this as a good sign of appreciation.