Saturday, 26 November 2011

Spring Madness

This warm, wet spring means the 'farm' is growing like crazy! Poor K is spending most weekends mowing the last week's growth, and I'm well behind on a whole lot of autum/winter tasks, let alone the Spring ones.

IMG_0881

IMG_0876


One good side effect of using pea straw as a mulch - heaps of stray pea plants are sprouting!

IMG_0878

Used some of our own compost in this garden bed, and lots of our old 'failed' seeds seem to be coming up - will wait until we can work out what they are, then move or cull them :)

IMG_0869

More pics on flickr here.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Spring gardening

We're slowly ramping up our garden capacity at the farm - one sub irrigated raised bed is in, have timber for another, and last years containers are up and running also. On the go currently are: lettuces, peas, broad beans, spinach, lots of herbs, carrots, leeks, beetroot, cabbage and various broccoli.

Yum!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

New bag design!

Finally designed my first 'custom' bag pattern from scratch!
It's a relatively basic square 'tote' bag, with one inside and one outside pocket, and a padded base for extra strength/protection.

Still a few small tweaks needed (more pockets inside for organizing stuff), but it's pretty close to being ready to sell.

Tote bag

Tote bag

Not a lot of progress on my online shop lately either - have been distracted by too many other things (baby showers, a bit of gardening, general laziness!), but it should be launching in the near future. I'm looking for a model to get some shots of my bags with too (no pay, totally unglam!) - anyone interested?

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Fix for my php probs!

After a few weeks of frustration, I've finally fixed up my thumbnail probs on my alternativecontext.com portfolio site - the fix was to do with the default timezone setting.

Thanks to Vamonos Software for the post that lead me to a solution for my prob (tho I did it slightly differently...)

Issue: Images were being generated in the timthumb cache, but not displaying on my site. Was convinced it was to do with caching/headers, I looked in my sites apache error log, and lo and behold I had been getting these errors:

[Sat Apr 30 09:52:05 2011] [error] [client 66.249.72.45] PHP Warning:  strtotime() [function.strtotime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/London' for 'BST/1.0/DST' instead in /var/www/alternativecontext.com/htdocs_3.0/wp-content/themes/ePhoto/timthumb.php on line 526, referer: http://alternativecontext.com/2010/04/30/naked-vets-minature/

The fix was pretty simple - could either set the default.timezone in php.ini, or for me (better as I'm on a server with mutiple sites), add the following to the timthumb.php script in my wordpress theme, as the first line of function show_cache_file($mime_type):

date_default_timezone_set('Europe/London');

Reset my wordpress page cache, and HURRAY, all is fixed!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Autumn is here!

The 'farm' is changing daily with the onset of autumn. All the oak trees are turning yellow or red, and dropping a LOT of leaves - I can see a lot of raking coming up! The birches have lost their leaves too, and look rather forlorn.

The Dell 4 - Autumn


We've also discovered a lot of mushrooms and toadstools - so far we're steering clear, but something is eating the brown ones, so I guess they can't be tooooo poisonous.

Toadstools

Cats are also liking the last of the sunny days...

Sunbathing cat

More on my flickr account here.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Timberrrrr!

A huge gum tree from our neighbours property decided to 'drop by' and see us during the windy weather on Wednesday.... hope they let us keep the wood, as it'll smell lovely on the fireplace :)

One of the fun joys of living on a lifestyle block! Poor fences are being squashed, and a few large branches of the silver birch will have to come off too, it's not enjoying holding up a whole gum tree's weight!

Timberrrrr!


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The bag lady

I've recently decided to take some time off from IT, and hang out at our lifestyle property, doing a few small things on my own.

To keep busy when I've got downtime, I've rediscovered sewing! And am putting that skill to use making some bags. Here's the two I've recently completed - both using pretty cheap fabrics, and free patterns from the internet.

The carry all/diaper/nappy bag - designed as a nappy bag (pattern is called 'The Detour Bag'), but great also for hauling lots of stuff about. Only took two or three tries to get the lining in correctly :) Canvas bag with cotton lining and detail. Cheated and used velcro for the main closure - was supposed to use a magnetic snap. Took about four hours all up - cutting all the fabric out took nearly half of that time.

The Carryall

And today I made a little fabric handbag in 2 hours that I'm quite liking - however the pattern didn't mention using interfacing or stiffening on the strap, which in hindsight would be better as it's a little 'flimsy' feeling on the strap. Next time!

Buttercup handbag


More pics on my flickr stream.

Patterns: