Building play areas!

So in order to get anything done with Mr Whirlwind around he has to have things to occupy him!!! So gradually using and repurposing things around the farm and planting and making etc I am building a play area…. or lots of bits of play area

Inadvertently with some of the digger work that has been done we have created areas he enjoys playing in already… like the one wet muddy ditch!!!

Anyway what we’ve managed so far!!

A water play wall…

Car ramps and the dry ditch!!

We’ve made space for some outdoors toys…. started planting willow to make some structures….

A teepee, a tunnel etc etc…. maybe eventually a maze given time after seeing the small maze at the Welsh Wildlife centre! They will all be made from a range of basketry willows so hopefully will all provide an additional crop for the farm for an income eventually or raw materials for me to make things with!!

And the tractor tyres we acquired are positioned… now I just need to fill them and make some mini play zones!! For example a dinosaur swamp…. a digger/construction site… the possibilities are endless for the small world play!!

I have so many more ideas and I have created a Pinterest board or two of ideas which I plan to use about the place…. some close to the vegetable and fruit gardens some near to the flower gardens and orchard and some maybe for the wetter areas!! I plan to try to have something at all points to occupy and entertain and inspire the boys to explore, play and create!!

Here’s the links to the Pinterest boards if you want to look!!

Forest school board

Kids toys board

Gardening board

All around the holding….

So….. deep breath and here goes…..

Back at the end of April…. the Polytunnel finally had its skin put on!!

We almost immediately started planting and moving some of the seed across that we had started in the house off into the tunnel….

Spring finally arrived after the seemingly relentless winter!!

The small boy found more vehicles to sit on and press all the buttons….

The fruit cage planting was finished and now it’s just a case of weeding, watering, mowing and mulching at regular intervals…

The chicks, born on the first of March, got new digs and moved in!!

With the advent of spring the endless grass and weed management begins!! We are fortunate in that we have been gifted a field and brush mower in previous years and that mower chimps through long grass, brambles, weeds etc like they are butter!! And then to get the lawn effect in certain areas I am using the little old electric mower from the old town house!! (I am going to start saving for a normal Petrol lawnmower just so I don’t have to run an extension lead out each time!

Look at the little faces!!! Grandad bought the boys a new toy!!! Look!!!! It’s a fabulous tractor!!!!

There is a plethora of blossom in our orchard!! So we are hoping for plenty of apples this year!!!

The one and only flower bed needs a darn good weeding and I need to start making more flower beds and tackling the weeds on the banks cutting them right back and digging out where I can so I can start designing and planting garden areas!! I harbour a small dream that one day our garden will become one of the yellow book gardens that open for the national gardens scheme!!

I have planted some more willow whips and have more rooting!! I am making a willow tunnel, a willow teepee and I plan to maybe try a few more willow structures around the place! I am using a combination of osier willow and basketry willow so eventually as well as winter colour the structures and other willows will become another saleable crop in both cut willow and baskets or willow creations!!

Can you spot them?! Clue- they are yellow basketry ones here!!

The Polytunnel has started to green up slowly!! We have a multitude of different vegetables starting to grow!!!

And James has been out practising using a topper attached to his tractor to cut the grass!! We have now also been out to see a topper for sale nearby and James’ offer was accepted… we have trailer to borrow and now are awaiting a collection date!!! Exciting!!!

Finally James has had opportunity to start the raised bed walls!! So we will have even more growing space for our vegetables!! (Lucky as we have loads in seed trays starting to need to be planted out!! And we have more seeds to sow for more autumnal and winter crops!!)

Phew!! Lots of work!! Lots of plans and always loads more to do!!!

Planting planting and more planting

So now the Polytunnel has been skinned we have been able to get in and plant!!

So far now we have planted mangetout, beans, beetroot, carrots, spinach, leeks, rocket, spring onions and salads….

Then James has moved our two new grapevines into the corners, one red one white…

He has also moved all the baby tomato plants, chilli plants and cucumbers in….

and plans to plant the courgette babies etc out there this afternoon!

He and William have been earthing up the potatoes like fury!!

I have plans to weed the onion and shallot bed and the fruit cage this week in between trips out with William to our usual activities!!

Some of the seeds we planted the other week have started to come up so we shall soon need to plant out small broccoli and cauliflower plants etc!! James needs to build the walls for the raised beds soon!!! Well for at least one of them!!

This year we should be able to produce the majority of our fresh food!! James has even won a competition and we have a mushroom kit arriving soon!!!!

William, our toddler, has been super useful with his new wheelbarrow and has been collecting all the rocks from around the Polytunnel!! Hurrah!!

Farm update

Soooo in lieu of a podcast which I may not have time to do or enough content for, for a few weeks…. here is the farm update for recent weeks!!!

Sooo…. back at the end of March on his due date we became a family of four when baby Mathew put in an appearance!!

All 7lb 15 of him and the birth itself went that well I should have been in and out in the one day…. but I decided tone dramatic and have a rather nasty PPH which saw me lose nigh on 3 pints of blood… so overnight obs… what a joy…. opposite the nursing station…. and at one point I’d just gotten the baby to sleep and in they came to do his obs…. ugh!!!

Anyway he is now a gorgeous chunky 11lbs!! (He didn’t have to wait for milk to come in as I still feed William) and he is four weeks old!!! Not sure how that has happened!!

Soooo we have had LOTS of visitations from family, but whilst the female portion of the family cooed over the small people and helped me to keep on top of washing and housework and William in the early days… the menfolk fought through the tiredness and….

Helped lambs in the barn…. being born…. putting them into separate quarters to bond with mums…. etc

Skinned the Polytunnel!!!

Hurrah!! On with the planting!!!

Moving and placing and cutting tractor tyres for the kiddos play area!! And planting potatoes we have had chitting for an age it seems!! Both in tubs and bags and out in a large potato bed James prepared!

Sorted the chickens who are now huge and ready for their new accommodations!! More about that another time!!

Made teeny fires to cook over!!

Then we as a group have been…..

Wrangling sheep to get them into the right field!! Te he!!!

Charging round the fields and feeding Wanda!

We’ve been to the botanical gardens for Welly Wednesday!!

We have tidied up the front garden and planted seeds both for flowers and for the Polytunnel !!

Plus we found a worm!! Fascinating!!!

And the other big news!!!

Young man turned TWO!!! I have a two year old!!!! More about how that feels in another post but look how happy he is with his digger!!

And I made my first attempt at icing a cake other than slapping a small bit of buttercream in or on!!

So busy times!!! Hopefully things are starting to settle…. and will improve further when we all kick this latest cold that has struck myself and the boys!! Ugh!!

Hope to at least write more soon and maybe I’ll squeeze in a podcast at some point!!

Mini digger hired!! Check!!

So James decided to hire a mini digger this week…. and has been out in it all day every day working hard to create better waterways, raised beds, scrape the barns, flatten play areas…. etc etc!! Busy times!!

Someone else rather liked the digger too!!! And very quickly figured out whilst sat on Daddy’s lap that two levers made it go forwards and backwards!! Therefore lurching it about whilst Daddy was digging!!

Episode 12 show notes finally!!

Episode 12Sunday 4th March

Another one a week later than planned, but due to visitations…. First from my sister and the children and then from my parents!! So limited crafting time was had in the first couple of weeks!

Knitting

Managed a few more rounds on my Weasley sweater
Swatching for some new patterns, these still need blocking out and then finishing off into full patterns…. So these you saw last time….

These 2 are knit out of my alpaca Aran or worsted weight yarn and will be a toy pattern…. I have swatched one using my Mothy and squid yarn, but I don’t think there is enough contrast to show up the pattern…

This is knit from Jennie from Owl About Yarns Tibetan Owl, a merino, silk and yak base, which I am loving it is soooo soft and the jewel tones suit this pattern design perfectly! It’s going to be a shawl…

Then some new swatches are….

This is a swatch knitted from my smooshie yarn base and will also be a shawl of some form…

These are knit from River Knits Silbermond which is a BFL silk Cashmere base and is STUNNING!!! so we have a swatch of a star pattern and a swatch for some moon phases…. These will also be a shawl soon!!

I’ve managed a few more rows on my Hazels shawl pattern which I’m currently working on for a pattern release after the baby is born….. But I’ve left the shawl in my knitting basket downstairs!! 

I have a HO, one sock for my fathers birthday present…. Plain top down vanilla sock knit out of Weavers Loft sock yarn which is 75% super wash wool and 25% nylon, so good and hard wearing for much use for my Dad!

I have also managed to knit up a nearly finished object!! A baby hat for newbie when he arrives… Knit out of rainbow heirloom solo light, which is a single ply yarn that is so soft. Mum bought this for me when she and Dad were last in Edinburgh at Ginger Twist studios.

Plans for knitting then include more design work, finishing the pair of vanilla socks, maybe a second baby hat out of the sock yarn leftovers bag… More weasley knitting and I have yarn wound to knit up James’ next pair of socks…
Crochet

A little more progress on the sheep breed blanket to show…. Most of the Masham barring the cream is now in the blanket, but I’m trying to separate the colours a little so the cream Masham has to wait for the Icelandic to be finished…. 
Spinning

So I have spun the bobbin of Icelandic singles finally…. Not as enjoyable a spin as some yarns for me, found it kept slipping through my fingers too fast and needed a much shorter draw…. So I had to spin much slower, but even then I think it might not turn into the most balanced yarn…. I just know it’s going to be squirly!!

I need to Navajo ply that, but it’s resting for now…. While I spin up Some Sara’s texture crafts exmoor BFL in the most fabulous underwater colours!! Sara has stopped dyeing yarns and fibres now though and it’s my last roving of her I have to spin now…..
Acquisitions

So Mum went to Unravel in Farnham and picked me up 2 skeins of Becci from RiverKnits’ splendiferous base yarn in Silbermond. She got there early…. And must have raced to the post office because they arrived the next day by 1pm all the way here in West Wales!!! 

I have put an order for some fabric I need in… For a commission sew and for some of my own makes…. but given the weather and the fact that no one has been up or down our lane much this week it’s probably sat happily at the post office!! But before the weather turned my ribbing fabric turned up…. I ordered three colours pink, grey and green to see which one I liked best for going with my foxy fabric for my Linden sweatshirt…. And the 5m of black fleece fabric arrived too…. Now I wait on the rest!!! 

I have also bought two new patterns…. Both are from Made by Jacks Mum, who has a website if you google that name, or an Etsy shop, through which I purchased the patterns… But it’s the same person who created the AJ Aviator hat pattern that I have made for James and now Will.

One pattern is the “Free Range Fun over trousers” which goes from 6 months to 12 years on sizings!!! And gives lots of options for light weight waterproof trousers or fleece lined waterproofs and the pattern is for dungarees style like salopettes or trousers.

The other Pattern is the Hot Coffee top and dress pattern, which is a sweatshirt pattern or dress sweatshirt, with three options on necklines round, hoodie or funnel and is for men and women…. 

So these two patterns are for the black fleece and maybe the pink elephant fleece I have in my deep stash….. 
Sewing

I have been a busy bee when I can…

And have some finished objects to show off!! 

First I have finished the first part of a commission sew which involved drafting my own pattern for a special young lady I used to teach, feeder and general bibs, waterproof back, lined with terry towelling and topped off with a pretty poly cotton

Then I have made my Agnes top…. 

Pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Fabric from Stoffstil (foxy) and Fabric Godmother for the black jersey

AND 

I have made my Linden sweatshirt which is a pattern from Grainline studios

Again in the Stoffstil foxy sweatshirt fabric and I chose the green ribbing from the choice of three for the neck, cuffs and hem bands.

Weaving has seen no love again for a while…. I need to sort a table for the loom to exclusively sit on…. Half the problem is clearing my craft table for and clamping it down each time….
Baking…

I have made more banana cakes using the BBC good food Brilliant banana loaf recipe… But this time as muffins

Some Raspberry and white chocolate muffins

Some cherry and almond cookies 

And I have had a another bash at the apple pie I made before so I might be ready to blog a few recipes now!! 
Farm

So we have had exciting busy times…. snow….. Ice…..

We have made bird boxes with the niece and nephew…. 

Built a retaining wall for the polytunnel…. 

Meshed and started planting the fruit cage…. 

Set our potatoes to chit… 

Built a bit more polytunnel…. Cardboarded our onion/shallot/garlic growing area…. Acquired some more large tubs for spud growing….

Had a delivery of firewood…. 

Tidied up the front garden….

Planned and sorted our seeds we have into months for planting etc….

Acquired a rather manky looking sheep which is in our field having escaped from a neighbours land, still awaiting the chap who owns the sheep to come confirm its his and claim it!! 

We have had chicks hatch…. 5 Bresse chicks hatched on St David’s Day!! chick cam showing the live hatching is on the Tyddyn Bryn Facebook page

But they are already quite feisty and jostling about in their hatchery!! 

Did I mention the snow and the ice….. Well that’s had me confined to barracks as James doesn’t want me to fall and go into the labour, particularly whilst the road was basically impassable!! But it’s caused a Wee bit of barn and roof damage, so yesterday found James out on the roof of the house (only 2 foot from the bedroom Velux thankfully) fixing the log burner flashings and surrounding tiles….

Soon he will look at fixing a few bits of barn that have broken too, but they aren’t major issues nor 
Any way think that’s about all….

You can find me as Tyddyn Bryn on Rav, Instagram, Twitter and there’s a FB group and a Rav group for any chattering…. 

Hope you’ve enjoyed

And I hope to see you all soon…. Like two weeks this time… Not three… But we will see as Baby is due now in 2 and a half weeks!!!! Eek!!!!! 

Busy weeks!!

So the past two weeks have been filled with visitors and LOTS of outside work….. not much time for crafting except in between visitors and knitting of an evening!!

We started with a few days with my sister and niece and nephew!!

Someone was very pleased with his visitors!! And we had wall building round the Polytunnel!!

Playdoh….. painting…… forest school trip!

Bird box building and painting….

Phew very busy!!

Then last week my parents came for a few days!

It turned colder…. but we have meshed the fruit cage….. planted and frost fleeced a few plants that had been delivered…. blueberries in pots in some good Ericaceous compost as our soil isn’t right for them but we need them as young sir would eat his body weight in blueberries!! Well fruit in general!!

Then we had lots more Polytunnel progress…. just a shame on the final day the wind picked up so we couldn’t get the plastic on….

We had a wood delivery too…. didn’t get as much in last year as this year has required!! It’s all a learning process and bear in mind this time last year we were only able to collect wood every other weekend!!!

Any way all this done plus toddler wrangling…. plus catering…. keeping the home fires burning…. and growing a baby….. phew

We have had a quieter weekend this weekend sans visitors!

Finishing some jobs in the fruit cage….

Using sawdust to make paths…. cable tying the mesh further and pegging it down….

Then today….

Chipping the brash piles we’ve had lying about from hedgerow sorting!! Finally seem to be making some progress in rejuvenating some of the hedgerows and hope we will be able to lay some of them in a couple of years to thicken them up and really sort them!

Apologies for the radio silence…..

We have been crazy busy round here…. At school we are getting an inspection… I’ve been boxing up loads of things at our house and we’ve hired a van and moved it to the farm… Little bear has started to walk…. Yay but oh help!!! 

I promise there is a podcast soon!!!!

But here are some photos in the meantime!!

So….

A poorly baby limited our plans last weekend….. *sigh* the poor little man…. So I’ve missed one o my best friends Hen dos…. And there has been no podcasting time for me…. No sewing time….. And realistically not much knitting time….. I’m only up to almost the heel on my second Heath sock….. 

However, at the farm our little man that can has been back!!! 


And we now have drainage in the pit of doom!!! So it’s going to be able to be planted up with vegetables and fruit canes and bushes etc!!!! 

Hurrah and pass the seed catalogues!!!

Rockery!

I have started to clear and plant the rockery around the septic tank!!! its filled with chunks of concrete and all sorts of spoil, but I am slowly adding slates, rearranging, planting and weeding…..

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So far I have done about a quarter….

Need more plants me thinks!