Gardens updates · Random Thoughts · Tea · the gardens · The Great Outdoors

Hedgehog Hill garden 2018 April 1st

Recently I’ve been watching “The Good Life” not the recent American series, rather the BBC sitcom from the mid 70’s. It was based on a husband and wife  who decide to try for a life of self sufficiency in suburban Britain. Of course they run a-foul (or fowl – Ha!) of everything from chickens that won’t lay to disapproving neighbours. It made for great comedy.

Years ago I watched a few episodes (before the days of the PVR so only when I was lucky enough to spot it in the TV Guide….remember that publication?) and I was desperate to have that kind of life. I wanted sheep and chickens and a big garden, real a life in the country. I think I had forgotten how much I yearned for that when it was only a pipe dream. But fast forward a couple of decades and here I am sitting on my dream and not utilizing as I once wanted.

Oh yes we garden, but not as much as we could. The sheep are a bit beyond our reach, but I’m still considering chickens….except for the cat who might consider them a perfect challenge. But I hope this year to roll up my sleeves and expand the good life here at Hedgehog Hill.

The six  main raised bed gardens are looking a bit forlorn.  we added lots of compost and mulch in the fall and I’m hoping they are in good shape for planting. I have some ideas about extending a small in-ground bed to the front of this photo to add some larger space crops like squashes. another bed is to be converted to more herbs.

Our herb drying was very successful last year and I’ve been loving adding them to cooking all winter. I’m considering branching into teas. Specifically chamomileThe front flower bed is mostly brown but there are a few signs of spring with Daffodils peaking through. they were covered in snow just a week ago.

We planted some garlic in big pots last fall. They seem to have survived the winter. I would still like to find a spot that we can put garlic permanently, but this was a temporary trial.

But most exciting of all are the little sprouting plants in the sun room. It’s been hard to know when to start things as winter has been lingering, but the temptation was too great.

Spring can’t arrive soon enough. I don’t think I’m ready for an off-grid hippy life, but I do long for those tomatoes from last year.

all things British · shopping · Tea · Uncategorized

Quaintly & Co Quintessentials box

Well HELLO Petal!

Lovely to see you again.

Where have I been?

Well hibernating for one, it was winter for a long time. Even though we did not get the mountains of snow we get some years, it still slows you down and cuts you off from the world.

So what was I doing?  Hanging out on-line and finding cool stuff to buy like …..drum roll……this!


So I stumbled across an ad for Quaintly &Co on Facebook. It immediately caught my eye as it was featuring the next installment as the “Union Jack box” and having a weakness for all things Union Jack, I had to have a peak.

They are a British company that selects and curates a group of items based on a theme and deliver them to your door. (or as close as the post gets) There are many such companies out there shipping everything from dog treats and toys, to sock yarn, to beauty products. I have been tempted before, but this time I took a leap.

They offer different sizes and price points and have options so you can try the service out without signing your life away. I felt like I could trust them as a company, and happily I was proved right.

There is something a bit like Christmas waiting for a parcel to arrive with things you know you will like, but will also be surprised by.

And you know how much I love Christmas.

I was so excited to open it but I did hold back long enough to set up an “unboxing” video. I have even started a Mrs Murfins You Tube channel where you can watch the whole thing. Just click here  —->

So lets look at what I received!

So this came in 2 pieces, the makeup pouch and the removable patch. Its a great concept because to feel the back of the patch you would not think it would stick like Velcro…but it does. I say in the video that I would sew the patch on a denim jacket, but it was much easier than that! I just placed it on the pouch and it is firmly stuck, but it can also be removed and you could switch out for a new look. Clever!

It is lovely quality I know will be using this daily.

Next we had some little mugs and a magnet from John Lewis.

These are just the sort of thing I love to buy, though I do not have any in this espresso size. Very sweet and a nice addition to my collection.

The wee felt Union Jack heart is also something I would buy. It is from a maker called Bella and Roo.

The bracelet is so tiny and fine, it is almost impossible to get a good picture, but it is a perfect addition to my growing collection of bangles I wear constantly. The teeny tiny charm is, of course, a Union Jack.

And finally a tea towel. What is more quintessentially British than a tea towel? It is actually easier to see the Union Jack in this shot than when it is up close as the words (all about tea) distract you. It says on the description card that this design was made especially for Quaintly $ Co so it is a bit special.

Over all I am very please with the contents of the box. It is a bit on the expensive side. Especially as they are “treat” items, but it is a nice idea for a birthday gift for someone who you know loves British stuff as much as I do. (hint hint Mr Murfin)

Next month is a Jane Austen Theme. I will be watching to see what other themes they come up with. I think this may not be my only purchase….


Blogmas 2016 · Christmas · Making things · sewing · Tea · Uncategorized

Blogmas day 2 – Advent Calendars

Hello my little Advent Angels

Well here we are at day 2. So lets get right to it and open up some advent calendars.

I love advent calendars, but not the usual ones with the little waxy bits of chocolate. I’d like to think we deserve better than that wouldn’t you?  Happily lots of other people – retailers, crafters and even writers are jumping on the advent calendar train. I think there are more available and more variety every year. Let’s look at a few of mine shall we?

Full confession, I may have gone a wee bit over the top. And you will be seeing the offerings from December 1st as we are one day behind here to allow for writing etc.

First up is my David’s Tea calendar. I really did not intend to buy this one. But I was in the mall, I just popped into the store, and whoops it came home with me. But I am so glad I did because I’m really impressed with the construction of this one. It opens up like a book and has an adorable woodland scene on the left hand side,

The picture below is a split picture showing the cover on the left and the open calendar on the right.

Davids advent


There are 24 numbered drawers and inside each one is a little tin of tea. The drawers come right out and after you have “opened” them you replace them backwards to slowly reveal the rest of the woodland scene.



I think this is really clever and makes the whole thing totally reusable next year.




Each tiny tin has the name of the tea on the back and a clear top. I’m not sure if I will enjoy them all, I tend to be a pretty plain tea girl, but I plan to brew up every evening. I’ll let you know as the month progresses how I feel about the flavours. It is a great way for me to test them out before purchasing a large amount. Well done Davids Teas!


I can’t even tell you how excited I was to discover the next one. The Short Story Advent Calendar. Published by Hingston and Olsen it is the brain child of Michael Hingston of Edmonton and designed by Natalie Olsen.


Beautifully boxed in a sliding cover case each story is simply bound and numbered  1 – 24. Each has a different image highlighted in orange against the neon green cover. Will this be a clue about the story? I’ll have to see. The image on the story for the first is a drumstick….with a bite out of it.


Hingston and Olsen have created a whole social media community to enhance the enjoyment of the stories. After you read the day’s story you can visit the Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts to read about the author and discuss with other readers the themes, ideas, and your reactions. I LOVE short stories as a medium. I so admire when a author can transport you away with so few words. I’ll be reporting back on this as well. Maybe enjoying a read as I sip my  Christmas tea.

But really would it be Christmas if I didn’t also have a chocolate advent calendar? I had to do it. So I opted for the Lindt one. At least the chocolate should be of a better quality.

I think advent calendars are a great way to work up to the big day on the 25th. It really is a lot of pressure and expectations  to put on a single day, a mere 24 hours. The calendars help to build that excitement through the month and give you some kind of present each day. There are so many choices: makeup and body care, yarn/wool, wine or beer. But I also think homemade is best –

so I pulled together a simple one for my Mom this year.



Using a pre cut 5″ charm square bundle of assorted Christmas prints I created pockets with a green felt back.



I didn’t do any fancy lining or turning, I just folded down the edge to make a faux cuff and sewed them with a zigzag stitch around the edge.img_1735


I found a great string of numbered mittens attached to mini clothes pins to hang them on and slipped a Christmas tea in a foil pouch in each one.

But really you could add all sorts of treats to the little pockets.

This year I have seen more ideas for advent calendars than ever before. I hope this trend continues, I know I have several new ideas for next year!

Until tomorrow…

Tea · thrifting

Teacup Tuesday

teacup 1

Isn’t that a lovely thought? A cup of tea and a stack of magazines… what could better on a sunny Winter afternoon?

This little beauty is a thrift shop find. Only cost me a couple of dollars. I was drawn to the sweet picture of people skating on the mill-pond.


I don’t think it is particularly old. It may be a reproduction of a popular older pattern. Wm Adams & Sons did a lot of transferware. I am in love with transferware.  Such a nice clean interior. The edge is a very odd green-grey. Not a colour you see a lot.


Let’s look at the couple skating up close.


Perfect for an afternoon cuppa’

desk shot