Seeds Of Change


Three little brown envelopes containing collected Erythronium seeds have been sitting on my desk for over a year. Will they still be viable? If I don’t try, I won’t find out.


Ladybird 001 Wm


I lost count of the ladybirds I rescued yesterday afternoon.

Trimming back the spent flower heads of the Digitalis (we have enough of those, thank you, no need for further seed), I spotted two or three little sleepy heads trying to climb out of the rubbish trug. A minute later they were there in droves. I don’t suppose a house move was exactly what they had in mind but, given the circumstances, a winter in the Cornus tree might beat the local tip.


Camellia cuttings 001 Wm


Camellia cuttings, sitting in the propagator. Bottom heat helps.


So when it’s my turn, like the ladybirds, to seek out a cosy place, what projects will there be?


My Study   The tardy Erythronium sowing arises, allegedly, from a fundamental issue. My desk, nay my study is, apparently, a mess. While I have been gardening and maybe blogging, a bit, things have been piling up. Literally. Tall piles of paper which have spilled from the desk and started to creep menacingly across the floor. In my defence I will say that I know where everything is. And that creativity can only flourish in a free flowing space. But last week, can you credit it, I was actually ‘tidied’ when my back was turned. Half a dozen unopened Boden catalogues were, unbelievably, thrown out. I suppose I had better do something about it.


Email   It’s not just the paper. In the interests of keeping you bang up to date, I have just checked again. 631 unread. A large proportion from Boden as it happens, who perhaps have noticed that their catalogues met with an unfortunate end.



The Chairs  Yep, just as they were when I did last year’s list. Except that they, and the worktable, have now found their way down to the dining room where there is, admittedly, more space.



The House Renovation  No shortage of jobs to be getting on with here. That fireplace still needs stripping of its polyurethane black paint. And then what to do with those oppressive ceiling beams?



A Return to Crafting   And not before time. A knitted jacket, in the back of the cupboard, that the moths got before I’d even reached the sleeves. I hope I can mend it. And not have to frog all the way back to the hole.

I’d really like to start a quilt. And the bedroom still has no curtains.


Chair Wm


Isn’t it lucky that only the birds can see in?


2018-02-08T10:26:31+00:00September 12th, 2013|Tags: , , |


  1. Denise September 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    I need to do a winter list but hey ho is that a glimmer of sunshine I see? The Beach is calling! Bing lead!

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      Sunshine? Wait for me, I’m coming with you!

  2. Crafty Gardener September 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    It seems to be the time of year for list making … what craft projects will I do is taking most of my time … if I ignore the inside the house jobs perhaps they will vanish or get done by some little house elves 🙂 I think not, I’m just procrastinating

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Oh for house elves. I wonder if I can train up the mice? They might as well earn their keep..

  3. haggiz September 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Oh no, you’ve made me feel even worse… I made a list of the things I need to make for my Christmas sales last night and lets just say I resorted to opening a bottle of wine! I hadn’t even thought about all the things that need doing around the house! (and it’s too early to start drinking!) Julie x

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm - Reply

      Now, you have an excuse… it’s a busy time of year and the house will still be there when you’ve done. A big clear up just in time for that C word thingy. And in meantime, keep opening the wine.

  4. snowbird September 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    I’m so glad you rescued the sleepy ladybirds.

    Winter is a great time for sorting projects isn’t it…dare I say that I rather like those beams as they are, so rustic!

    I love your chair and knitted jacket….hole and all! Lol xxxx

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm - Reply

      Blackening beams only started in Victorian times, previously they would have been left bare. I don’t know what state they’re in underneath and will need to do a test strip. If all else fails we’ll paint them with distemper or something with a chalky finish. I should have taken a picture in the sitting room, where there is much less light and a tighter beam structure, all the black is quite depressing!

  5. Serendipity September 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Moths! Aren’t they a pain? I moved some balls of wool and a couple flew out so I bagged up the whole lot and shoved them in the freezer for a few days. Hopefully that’s sorted them out. Your jumper looks beautiful, I hope you can fix it. xx

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm - Reply

      I’ve been using moth repellers in the wardrobes for years, having had a lot of damage in the past. Never thought about the study cupboard though!
      Good tip re the freezer. Thanks!

  6. CJ September 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Fantastic knitting, I am very impressed. Hope the hole is fixable. I try not to think about all the things that need doing here, it’s a bit overwhelming. I’m adopting a head-in-sand approach, and I can highly recommend it. Love the photo of the camellia cuttings – they are some of my favourites.

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm - Reply

      It’s a good many years since I started the jacket. Having looked at it again today I’m contemplating re-doing it in a more up to date style, overlaying the colour grid so that I can replicate it again.
      Head in sand is a very good approach!

  7. justjilluk September 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Just like my home. When I remember where it is.

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      I like a home that looks ‘lived in’. I think mine qualifies..

  8. countrysidetales September 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    You see, this is because you are An Outdoor Person. I can’t even remember the last time the floors were hoovered here. It’s less a question of “make do and mend” than “just make do” 🙂

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      It is true CT. And a Domestic Goddess Not.

  9. Sabine September 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Wonderful Blog (I found yours via Alys’ blog), lovely Cottage (curtains or not;-), it looks complete and perfect to me, is there still so much work to do?

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Sabine, thank you and welcome to rusty duck!
      It depends on how far we decide/can afford to go. It is small and really needs extending, but is also quite dated. The kitchen is done because that was truly awful, but the rest is still to do. In the meantime I tend to be selective in where I point the camera!!

  10. Simone September 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Your’re spoilt for choices for autumn/winter Jessica! Fantastic piece of knitting – I hope you can ‘fix’ it? I think you’re a great plantswoman judging by how you have sliced through the leaves on the Camelia cuttings – very professional!

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm - Reply

      I hope it works.. I’ve tried camellia cuttings before and they are tricky. Not used the propagator before either.. we shall see!

  11. Natalie September 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Beautiful jackets, but those BLOODY MOTHS!!! As well as wool moths, I’m always worrying about wax moths here. They can get into frames of wax in unused beehives and do incredible (and disgusting!) damage. I have to freeze all my honey supers (boxes) before I store them in an unheated space for winter.

    • Natalie September 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      Sorry, “jacket” not “jackets”. Beautiful knitting!

      • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm - Reply

        Thanks Natalie. It’s years since I last did any, be fun to try it again!

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      I’d never thought about moths in beehives. Cripes. They eat anything don’t they!

  12. frayed at the edge September 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    If all else fails, you coud felt your knitting (or, to be technically correct, full it) then cut it up and make something useful (a knitting bag perhaps?).
    You are very welcome to come for a visit and make a quilt!!

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      You would be the best possible teacher Anne and, of course, I’ve now seen your mended kitchen tap..

  13. Denise September 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    The best thing about evenings closing in is that one feels one can get crafty without feeling guilty that something needs doing outside. I am knitting mice in tutus at the moment. (That’s the mice in tutus, not me. Me in a tutu? Shudder…)

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      Please don’t tell our mice, they would be sure to want one. Could we attach tiny bells maybe, so at least I would know where they are?

  14. Mise September 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Half a dozen unopened Boden catalogues – what heart of stone could possibly discard them. Some of them may have been from last year, and therefore vintage at that. But I am pleased that the Boden family are fighting back with emails. Never surrender, Boden, never surrender.

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Fear not, I have found the one he missed. I am finding the current season a little dour though, by their normal standards.

  15. wherethejourneytakesme September 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Well at least you have a list – I’m not even that far yet unless you can count my shopping list.
    Your jacket looks interesting – hope you can fix it – there have been a LOT of moths this year x

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Tons of moths. They’ve been constantly fluttering around the study as I work late at night, even though I have the window closed.

  16. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA September 13, 2013 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Ooh dog tooth violets, one of my favorites. Where will you put them? I am partial to the smaller woodland plants. Household chores and projects to seem to pile up don’t they? Don’t fret over it. I try to keep up with the basics. Tackle one project at a time and try to do the fun (crafty ) stuff around 20 minutes each day.
    Hey, a girl has to have some fun.
    Good luck with your camellias. Wish I could grow them here.

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 9:32 am - Reply

      I’ve a problem with the woodland, where the dog tooths should go (if they germinate). It’s been left to its own devices for too long and become very dense. The saplings etc that are growing we can dig up and the smaller trees we can take down. It’s the biggies that are left and still need thinning to allow enough light to the woodland floor. We’ll have to get in the professionals.. expensive. We plan to try and do a few each year and then develop the woodland piecemeal as it gets light enough to support more planting.

  17. nataliescarberry September 13, 2013 at 3:44 am - Reply

    I enjoyed this entry and loved the description of your study as my studio looks so much the same I thought perhaps you’d seen it and were describing it instead. Like you I do know where most everything is. But the creative mind just doesn’t organize and process the same as others. And there were several comments throughout the whole that downright made me chuckle out loud. Thanks for including me in your post. Have a great day! Blessings, Natalie

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Thanks Natalie.
      Mike is very organised and tidy minded, which is where the friction lies! I try very hard to keep the clutter confined to my own space, with the door shut, and yet still manage to offend. Hey Ho.

  18. knitsofacto September 13, 2013 at 9:25 am - Reply

    I darn’t make a list … I’d probably cry!

    If you’re going to freeze wool to rid it of moths the best way is 10 days in the freezer which will kill any living larvae but not unhatched eggs, 10 days out of the freezer in case there’s anything still to hatch, and then another ten days in the freezer to kill those larvae.

    Gorgeous knitting 🙂

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 9:51 am - Reply

      Thanks Annie. I really do need to sort out my old stash and see what state it’s in. Wish I had a bigger freezer!

  19. Jo September 13, 2013 at 10:48 am - Reply

    What a shame about the knitting, pesky moths, I hope the hole is fixable. I’ve still barely started on my summer list so I daren’t start a winter one yet.

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 11:38 am - Reply

      The fact that there are at least two items in common with last year’s list says it all I think.

  20. Rosie September 13, 2013 at 11:01 am - Reply

    It’s really not fair of the moths to gobble up your lovely knitting, hope you can retrieve it and I also hope your Camellia cuttings survive and that the ladybirds settle into their new home:)

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 11:46 am - Reply

      I’ve done twelve cuttings. If I get a third of them I’ll be more than happy. Not holding my breath though..

  21. jabblog September 13, 2013 at 11:31 am - Reply

    It’s so refreshing to find that there are others like me out there. I have loads of projects on the go, many dating back several years, but it’s always more fun to start something new. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, my husband has the same attitude to life!

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 11:53 am - Reply

      Fortunately, definitely!

  22. Monica September 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    camelia cuttings? does it work? do you use rooting powder?

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Yes, I used rooting gel and took cuttings about four inches long with a heel. I trimmed off all the leaves except the top two, which I cut in half.
      I’ve tried before, unsuccessfully, putting them in a plastic bag. But I read somewhere that bottom heat is what they need, so this year they’ve gone in the propagator. It certainly feels very cosy in there!

  23. Pauline September 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    You’ve made me think, I’ve only seen one ladybird this summer, I wonder why, last year we had dozens of them?!
    I like making lists of things to do, I like even better crossing them off! I must try to do some carving this winter to see if I can still manage to do it after my shoulder operation a year ago, if not, I have promised myself that I will paint a picture instead!
    I love your knitted jacket, hope you solve your moth problem, they are such a nuisance.

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      I hadn’t seen many ladybirds either until this week, which is what me think I’d disturbed a winter nest. I relocated as many as I could see and hope they resettle. Intrigued by carving/painting – look forward to seeing what you do!

  24. woolythymes September 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    I would be happy to keep your knitting going if you could lend a hand with the garden. (but, if you don’t want to cry today….stay clear of my blog, there is a photo of my garden–it’s pretty frightful.)

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Ha Ha! I have an area just like it!
      I love the colours in my jacket, but no longer like the style. In the intervening years I have learnt that, being petite, short boxy jackets work best on me. My new plan is to find such a pattern and overlay the colour grid. And after all, I still have all the yarn..

  25. Marian September 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    So glad I’m not the only one with unfinished projects scatterd all over the house, big and small, and of all sorts….
    All I see in your pictures is a wonderful sweater, wide window sills you can actually put something on, how I wish we had those, and beautiful walls of what must be the most gorgeous cottage ever. And do I see a thatched roof as well???? Feels like…. vacation…..

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      Marian, I am very careful where I point the camera!! But thank you, one day I hope it will be gorgeous and that’s what keeps us going.
      The walls look good from a distance but each and every one, throughout the cottage, is covered with wood chip paper which is likely to bring the ancient lime plaster off with it. Even some ceilings too.. papered between the beams. Decorating will be a ghastly job!

  26. elaine September 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    I’ve seen hardly any ladybirds this year. Like you I have loads of catching up to do with projects etc. To be honest I am trying to keep away from the computer – it just eats up time.

    • Jessica September 13, 2013 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      It certainly does that. Have a nice break.. and hope to see you back soon!

  27. BadPenny September 14, 2013 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Ah but think of all the work you got done in the garden and the hours spent challenging the squirrels for our entertainment !

    • Jessica September 14, 2013 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      He He. I’d like to think the squirrels have given up, but I expect they’ll be back when food gets more scarce. I’m going to try for a video..

  28. Em September 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Love your chairs. I wish I had the room for some upholstery projects. I used to do a lot when I worked the the theatre. When the Royal Court had to move out of their building temporarily, in the early nineties…I think….myself and three others upholstered all the seats for the temporary home. About 270 as far as I remember. I also remember saying at the time “I’ll pay for this when I’m older”. I am….the fingers in my right hand are stiff in the mornings!

    Wonderful pictures and so interesting to know how long other people’s lists are too. I don’t know where to start.

    • Jessica September 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm - Reply

      That sounds interesting.. didn’t know you worked in the theatre.
      I had heard that upholstery is hard on the hands. Not planning on doing 270 though!

  29. welshhillsagain September 16, 2013 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    I am so glad to find another person whose list contains things from last year! that’s me too. I have had a blast of organising today and have been filing and throwing things away like no one’s business. That will probably be it for another six months or so.

    • Jessica September 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      I am good at starting things, not so very good at finishing them!

  30. rachel September 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Phew, what a relief – another person with some vintage tasks to complete! As for oppressive black beams, I’ve been delighted with the results of painting mine – a single coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (French Linen) transformed them in an afternoon. I kept the dark look (I was anxious about lightening them too much first go, for fear of regretting it and having to re-darken them!) and was delighted to find that it gave them a more contemporary feel, rather smart, I thought. And oddly, seemed to raise the low ceiling somewhat. The single black beam in the dining room was a new one, equally hideous, and was rendered instantly invisible by painting in a watery blue-grey emulsion that was left over from something else. Be brave!

    • Jessica September 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      Vintage is about right!
      That French Linen is a gorgeous colour, perfect for beams. I have a sneaking suspicion I will end up painting ours too, so I’ll be keeping that colour in mind. Thanks Rachel.

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