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  • Angie C
  • October 19, 2017 01:00:58 AM
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A Little About Us

Random thoughts and ideas about general annoyances and little ways in which the world could be made better

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  • Annual Regular Membership: 1 Year Term 2020-10-18 17:00:58 (192 days left)
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    Floral Glass Coasters

    A selection of glass coasters with beautiful floral designs created from original photographs

     

     

    Here you will find a selection of high quality glass drink coasters, all adorned with beautiful floral designs.  The designs are based on original photographs and are all unique.  You won’t find these on the high street!

    Yellow Rose Bloom Glass Coaster

    These lovely floral glass coasters are useful as well as decorative.  They are perfect for hot and cold drinks, and can also be used for small pans, flower vases, plant pots and anything else that fits.  They make ideal gifts!

     

    Pretty Fritillary Flowers Glass Coaster

     

    The glass drink coasters are 10.7 cm square.  They have rubber feet to protect your surfaces, and they are dishwasher safe.

    Pretty Fritillary Flowers Glass Coaster
    Back view

     

    These beautiful floral glass coasters can be purchased online from my shop at Zazzle. Worldwide shipping is available, and they come with a full money back guarantee. Just click on any image to be taken to the appropriate page with more product information, shipping details and prices.

     

    Peach Blossom Floral Glass Coaster

    Pink Peach Blossom Glass Coaster

    Pink Saxifrage Floral Glass Coaster

    Rose Geranium Floral Glass Coaster

    Pink Dahlia Petals Glass Coaster

    Pink Achillea Flowers Glass Coaster

    Pretty Pink Nerine Flowers Glass Coaster

    Clematis Flower Glass Coaster

    Pine Tree Flowers Glass Coaster

    Pink fritillary flower glass coaster

    Pink Geranium Glass Coaster

    Polyanthus Pink Champagne Floral Glass Coaster

    Polyanthus Macro Floral Glass Coaster

    Peruvian Lilies Floral Glass Coaster

    African Daisy Glass Coaster

    Sunflower and Monarch Butterfly Glass Coaster

    Yellow Verbascum Flowers Glass Coaster

    Rose Geranium Floral Glass Coaster

    White African Daisies Glass Coaster

    Blackthorn Blossom Glass Coaster

    If you don’t see a design you like here, don’t worry. These are just a few examples, and you can find many more here in my shop at Zazzle.

    And there are literally thousands more glass drink coasters to choose from by other designers (follow this link). By purchasing any of these glass coasters you will be directly supporting the individual designers and photographers, as well as buying a high quality and highly individual product.  Or you can always design your own using one of your own photographs!

    (Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which simply means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

    Anemone de Caen Flower Glass Coaster


    Floral Compact Mirrors

    A selection of feminine floral compact mirrors, perfect gifts for any occasion.

     

     

    Here you will find a selection of lovely compact mirrors, all adorned with beautiful floral designs.  The designs are based on original photographs and are all unique.  You won’t find these on the high street!

    Blackthorn Blossom Compact Mirror

    The compact mirrors are ideal to keep in a handbag, toiletry bag or even pocket for use on the go. They are perfect for a special feminine little gift, and are suitable for any occasion.

    Blackthorn Blossom Compact Mirror

    All of these pretty floral compact mirrors are available in a choice of shapes and styles.  (Please note that if you select a different style to the one shown here, you may need to reposition the image to make it fit correctly.  This is easy to do – just click on ‘Edit Design’ on Zazzle’s page, and reposition or resize the image until you are happy.)  They can also be customised by adding  your own text if wished.

     

    Red Dahlia Compact Mirror

     

    The compact mirrors can be purchased online from my shop at Zazzle.  Worldwide shipping is available, and they come with a full money back guarantee.  Just click on any image to be taken to the appropriate page with more product information, shipping details and prices.

     

    Polyanthus Macro Floral Compact Mirror

     

    Peach Blossom Floral Compact Mirror

     

    Pretty Fritillary Flowers Compact Mirror

     

    Blackthorn Flowers Compact Mirror

     

    Rose Geranium Floral Compact Mirror

     

    Pink Orchid Compact Mirror

     

    White African Daisies Compact Mirror

     

    Peruvian Lilies Floral Compact Mirror

     

    Purple Irises Compact Mirror

     

    White Lavatera Flower Compact Mirror

     

    Pink Cosmos Flowers and Blue Sky Compact Mirror

     

    Pink Achillea Flowers Compact Mirror

     

    Pink Geranium Compact Mirror

     

    Orange Peruvian Lily Compact Mirror

     

    Fritillary Flower Compact Mirror

     

    Wild Rose Compact Mirror

     

    Red Himalayan Cinquefoil Flower Compact Mirror

     

     

    If you don’t see a design you like here, don’t worry.  These are just a few examples, and you can find many more in my shop at Zazzle (just follow the link).

    And there are literally thousands more to choose from by other designers (click here).  By purchasing any of these compact mirrors you will be directly supporting the individual designers and photographers, as well as buying a high quality and highly individual product.  (Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which simply means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

    Peach Blossom Compact Mirror

     

     


    Floral Trinket Trays

    A selection of beautiful glass trinket trays with unique floral designs - ideal for a special gift

     

    Here you will find a selection of lovely glass trinket trays, all adorned with beautiful floral designs.  The designs are based on individual photographs and are all unique.  You won’t find these on the high street!

     

     

    The trinket trays are useful as well as decorative.  They can be used to hold anything from jewellery to makeup to paper clips, and are ideal for a special gift!

     

    All of these floral trinket trays are available in a choice of styles – square, circular or rectangular.  (Please note that if you select a different style to the one shown here you may need to reposition the image to make it fit correctly.  This is easy to do – just click on ‘Edit Design’ on Zazzle’s page, and reposition or resize the image until you are happy.)

     

    The trinket trays can be purchased online from my shop at Zazzle.  Worldwide shipping is available, and they come with a full money back guarantee.  Just click on any image to be taken to the appropriate page with more product information, shipping details and prices.

     

    Blue Cornflower Trinket Tray

    Blue Cornflower Trinket Tray

    If you don’t see a design you like here, don’t worry.  These are just a few examples, and you can find many more in my shop at Zazzle.

    And there are literally thousands more to choose from by other designers.  By purchasing any of these trays you will be directly supporting the individual designers and photographers, as well as buying a high quality and highly individual product.  (Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which simply means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

     


    Floral Serving Trays

    A selection of quality serving trays with original floral designs

    Here you can find a collection of high quality decorative serving trays, all adorned with beautiful floral designs.  The designs are created from original photographs, and are therefore unique.  You won’t find these on the high street!

     

    Pretty Fritillary Flowers Serving Tray

    All of these serving trays are constructed using a quality hardboard base.  They come in a choice of two sizes, and in natural wood or black finishes.  (Please note that if you select a different size to the one shown here you may need to reposition the image to make it fit correctly.  It is easy to do – just click ‘Edit Design’ on Zazzle’s page and reposition or resize the image until you are happy.)  You can even customise them with your own text if you wish!

    Blackthorn Flowers Serving Tray

    These lovely decorative serving trays can be purchased online from my shop at Zazzle.  Worldwide shipping is available, and they come with a full money back guarantee.  Just click on any image to be taken to the appropriate page with more product information, shipping details and prices.

    Peach Blossom Floral Serving Tray
    White African Daisies Serving Tray
    Pink Clematis Floral Serving Tray
    Blackthorn Blossom Serving Tray
    Pink Orchid Serving Tray
    Rose Geranium Floral Serving Tray
    Pink Cosmos Flowers and Blue Sky Serving Tray
    Sunflower and Monarch Butterfly Serving Tray
    Pink Peach Blossom Serving Tray
    Orange Peruvian Lily Serving Tray
    Clematis Flower Serving Tray
    Wild Rose Serving Tray
    Pink fritillary flower serving tray
    Purple miniature irises serving tray
    Polyanthus Pink Champagne Floral Serving Tray
    White Crocuses Floral Serving Tray
    Peruvian Lilies Floral Serving Tray
    Forget-me-not Flowers Serving Tray

    Polyanthus Macro Floral Serving Tray

     

    If you don’t see a design you like here, don’t worry.  These are just a few examples, and you can find many more in my shop at Zazzle.

    And there are literally thousands more decorative serving trays to choose from by other designers.  By purchasing any of these trays you will be directly supporting the individual designers and photographers, as well as buying a high quality and highly individual product.  (Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which simply means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

     

    Pink Saxifrage Floral Serving Tray


    Jigsaw Puzzles to Pass the Time

    While you are staying at home, jigsaw puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active and pass the time. Here are some lovely nature-themed examples.

    Staying at home or self-isolating?  Getting bored?  Doing jigsaw puzzles is enthralling and a great way to keep your mind active and occupy your time.

     

     

    If you love nature and the countryside, here are some lovely examples available to order online from Zazzle.  These jigsaws are all available in various sizes, so you can choose how many pieces you want to contend with.  All are independently designed, so you won’t see them in high street stores (when we can get out to shop again, that is!)   And your purchase will directly support the independent artist or photographer.  Or if you prefer you can very easily design your own using one of your own photographs.

    When I have ordered items from Zazzle I have been very impressed with the quality and delivery times. Orders are being taken as usual during the coronavirus pandemic, but of course there may be some unavoidable delays – please check on Zazzle’s own site for any updates.

    Clicking on any of the images below will take you to the appropriate Zazzle page, where you will find information about the puzzles, the sizes available and prices.  (Please note that these are affiliate links, which simply means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links I will receive a small commission.)

     

    Puzzle

     

    Winter Teasel Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    Red Eye Treefrog Pair, Agalychinis callidryas, Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    Peacock Butterfly Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    Oxbow Bend Sunrise Jigsaw Puzzle

     

     

    Peonies Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    Grand Teton Reflections Over the Beaver Pond Jigsaw Puzzle

     

     

    Forest in Summer Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    Lupins by an Icelandic Fjord Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    African Safari Sunset Elephant Silhouette Art Jigsaw Puzzle

     

     

    GEESE JIGSAW PUZZLE

     

    Pink Primulas Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    Whales at sunset jigsaw puzzle

     

    Golden Reeds Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    Panoramic Of The Iguazu Falls Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    Heucherella Leaves Jigsaw Puzzle

     

     

    Monarch Butterfly Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    Pink Clematis Floral Jigsaw Puzzle

     

    If you don’t see any puzzles that you like here, don’t worry.  There are literally thousands to choose from – just follow this link to Zazzle.  Whatever you are interested in, you should be able to find something you like.  You can even customise the images by adding text if you wish – perfect if you want to add someone’s name for a gift.  And for something even more unique and personal you can easily create your own using your own photograph.   Have fun!


    Food You Can Grow At Home – Even Indoors

    Some foods you can easily grow at home, even if you don't have a garden.

    (This post contains some affiliate links, which simply means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links I will receive a small commission)

    Many of us staying at home or self isolating will be wondering how we are going to fill our time for the next few weeks or (heaven forbid) months.  Why not try growing some of your own food?  You won’t feed the family, but tending plants is so calming, and eating something you have grown yourself is always immensely satisfying.

    And you don’t even need a garden!  Any well lit window can be utilised.  You just need some suitable containers and compost, water regularly, and your seeds or plants will be growing in no time.

    Coriander and tomato plants growing on a kitchen windowsill
    Coriander and tomato plants growing on my kitchen windowsill

    (Although most shops are closed at the moment, many online services are still operating.  Here in the UK Thompson & Morgan, Marshalls, Suttons, Primrose and Crocus are good choices, but wherever you are just search for online garden supplies.)

    Here are some suggestions for easy and productive plants you can grow on a windowsill, window box or any surface near a well lit window.

    Tomatoes

    I grow several varieties of tomatoes each year in my garden and greenhouse, but this year I am also trying a dwarf variety that can be grown indoors on a sunny window ledge – Red Robin.

    Red Robin tomato plant
    Red Robin tomato plant

    This variety doesn’t need support or side shoot removal, so should be really easy to care for.  According to the description the plants produce an abundance of tiny, beautifully sweet cherry tomatoes – can’t wait!

    I started my seeds early in a heated propagator, and they are now growing strongly as you can see in the photo.  But don’t worry, it isn’t too late.  You can sow these seeds any time until the end of May.  The seeds are available online from Suttons.

    Aubergines

    Aubergine ‘Ophelia’ plants are great to grow indoors or on a patio.  They are beautiful plants with velvety green leaves and lovely mauve flowers, followed by cute little glossy black aubergines.  The aubergines may be small, but they are great to use in stir fries or pasta dishes.

    Aubergine 'Ophelia' plant
    Young aubergine ‘Ophelia’ plant

    You can sew the seeds any time until late April – I bought mine from Thompson & Morgan.

    Here is a photo from a previous year showing a mature plant with flowers and aubergines.

     

    Salad Leaves

    There is more to salad leaves than lettuce – there are literally loads of different leaves you can grow at home in any convenient place.  They can even do well in less well lit windows.  Good options that are easy to grow are lamb’s lettuce, Lollo rossa (my personal favourite), mizuna, mustard, rocket and many of the ‘salad mixes’ that are readily available.  Just search for salad leaf seeds from any online seed supplier.  Seeds can be sown indoors for most of the year and grow quickly, so you should soon have some leaves ready to use.

    Here I am growing a mixture of Mizuna and Ricciolina da Taglio lettuce (seeds from Nickys Nursery).  They are only just getting started, but will soon produce an abundance of fresh young leaves to cut as required – ideal for side salads, garnishes and sandwiches.

    Mixed salad leaves in a pot
    Mizuna and Ricciolina da Taglio lettuce seedlings in a pot

    Coriander

    Coriander is very easy to grow indoors.  Make sure you get a leaf variety (also known as cilantro).  I like the variety ‘Calypso’, because it quickly regrows when you cut the leaves to use.   The leaves add a lovely fresh citrus flavour to stir fries and curries, and can also be added to salads.  I bought my seeds from Thompson & Morgan.

    Coriander 'Calypso' growing in a pot
    Coriander ‘Calypso’

    Basil

    Another easy herb to grow indoors, fresh basil is great for adding to pasta dishes, pizzas, sauces and salads.  My favourite varieties are Piccolino and Salvo.  Piccolino forms bushy little plants with tiny but dense leaves which have quite an intense flavour.  Salvo is a slightly bigger plant also with small leaves which have a great flavour for any purpose.  There are lots more varieties to choose from – just seach and choose one that appeals.

    Basil Piccolino seedlings
    Basil Piccolino seedlings

    Chillies

    I grow several varieties of chillies every year because my partner, Matt, absolutely loves them.  Many varieties can be grown inside or on a sunny patio.  Favourites of ours for small spaces include Basket of Fire and  Prairie Fire.  Indian Firecracker and Ring of Fire are larger plants, but can be kept bushy by pinching out the growing tips.  There are literally hundreds of different chilli varieties to try (Nickys Nursery have a particularly impressive selection).  Chilli seeds need to be started early, but if you are too late you can always purchase growing plants instead.

    Ring of Fire Chilli Plant
    Young Ring of Fire chilli plant

    Growing in the Garden

    Of course if you do have a garden, patio and/or greenhouse, you have far more options.

    Good choices include:

    Tomatoes – The range of varieties available for home growers is truly enormous.  It is fun to experiment with a few new varieties each year, as well as growing a reliable favourite.  My reliable favourite is Sungold – these little gold cherry tomatoes taste absolutely gorgeous and seem to grow well both in my greenhouse and outdoors.  Available from Thompson & Morgan as seeds or plants.

    Young Sungold Tomato Plants
    Young Sungold tomato plants in my greenhouse

    Beans – Again there is a massive range available – French beans, runner beans, broad beans….

    French and runner beans grow well on a trellis on a sheltered wall.  If you haven’t got a suitable plot beside a wall you can use a large trough filled with compost to grow your plants in.  Just give the plants a little support until they reach the first rung of the trellis, and then they will produce tendrils and grow at an amazing rate.  Snowstorm is an excellent productive variety of runner bean (available from Thompson & Morgan).  The beans are lovely sliced and used in pasta dishes, stir fries or as a side dish.  If you get too many they freeze well for later use.

    You can also grow bush or dwarf beans in a large pot or vegetable bag.  These, as the name suggests, grow into a bushy form rather than climbing.  They are usually less productive than climbing varieties, but still definitely worth growing.  Speedy is a good variety of dwarf French bean.  And I have had excellent results with Hestia dwarf runner bean (which is also a really attractive plant – available from Thompson & Morgan).

    Mange Tout

    I’ve found mange tout seeds to be incredibly productive.  You just need to cover the plants with some form of netting to keep sparrows off, because they can (and do) strip the plant of leaves in no time!  The seeds are cheap, grow reliably, and produce masses of pods which are great to use in everything from stir fries to soups to salads.  I bought mine from Thompson & Morgan.

     

    Potatoes – You don’t need a vegetable plot to grow potatoes – they can grow well in a bag!  Just choose your variety (there are hundreds), set them in suitable compost and make sure you keep them watered.  They should produce abundant leaves, and be ready to harvest when the leaves begin to die back.

    Desiree Potatoes Growing in a Bag
    Desiree Potatoes Growing in a Bag




    Blueberries – If you have somewhere to put a reasonably large pot in a sunny spot, you can’t beat growing blueberries.  The bushes produce pretty flowers in the spring, followed by masses of blueberries in late summer and early autumn (the exact fruiting time depends on the variety).  The fresh berries are delicious and contain loads of antioxidants to boost the immune system.  After the fruit have finished the bushes will turn beautiful orange or red colours, before losing their leaves until the following spring.

    Blueberries are fairly easy to grow.  It is important to plant them in ericaceous compost, because they need acid soil.  If you have the space it is good to have at least two bushes because this aids pollination.  You can also extend the fruiting period by have an early variety and a late variety.  The only other consideration is to protect the plants from birds when the fruit begin to ripen – see my post on Popadome protection for an easy solution!

    Strawberries – These can be grown in all manner of containers, including hanging baskets and bags.  There is a huge choice of varieties available for home growers, many of which are not available in supermarkets.  They are really delicious when picked straight from the plant, and a great source of vitamins.  And the plants have pretty flowers.

    Strawberry plant with pink flowers
    Future strawberries

    A Few Tips

    If growing from seeds, it is often best to sew them in a covered seed tray or heated propagator to encourage germination (see examples at Thompson & Morgan).  Then when the seedlings are large enough to handle gently transfer them to individual plant pots to grow on.  Herb seeds can usually be sown direct into their final pot.

    Make sure you water your young plants regularly, but be careful not to overwater them (something I have often been guilty of).  With plastic plant pots in particular it is difficult to know how moist the soil is, and all too easy for them to become waterlogged.  This can be more damaging to the plants than allowing them to dry out a little.

    If you don’t have well lit window ledges, your seedlings will grow very long and ‘leggy’ trying to reach light, and will not develop strong stems.  These seedlings rarely recover into healthy plants.  You could consider using grow lights, like this one from twowests.co.uk.

    There are so many different varieties of plants and seeds, that the best advice is to read and carefully follow the growing advice provided on the seed packet or plant label.

    Homegrown salad leaves and tomatoes
    Homegrown salad leaves and tomatoes
    Whatever you choose to grow, you can’t beat the satisfaction of watching your plants grow and mature, and then harvesting your own produce – it’s magic!



     


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