Gardenpinks' Blog

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Ladybirds and other things

It has been a glorious autumn day today with lovely warm sunshine, almost cloudless blue skies and hardly a breath of wind. If it wasn’t for the reddening leaves on the trees and shrubs we could have believed  the clocks had turned back to summer.

There was a frost last night with the usual clear starry skies; so all was white frosting this morning which soon disappeared however I went for a walk up the hill around lunchtime and there were still pockets of whitened grass in the dips where the sun hadn’t reached.

Last autumn the ladybirds (lady bugs in USA) decided our bedroom would make a superb hibernation place to wait out winter; the wall above the window had hundreds of ladybirds in clusters; every fold of the curtains held even more and the little creatures had even got between the lining of the curtains. Come the spring it was the devil’s own job trying to extricate them and we finally had to carefully take the curtains down, carry them out of doors and shake the ladybirds free. The ones on the wall were brushed into a box to carry them outside.  Yet, strangely enough, we didn’t see many in the garden throughout summer but then as September drew on we noticed more and more ladybirds were around and they were starting to sneak into our bedroom again. We immediately closed all windows upstairs and they still managed to get in somehow. One day last week the sun was shining and the weather was almost balmy and we opened the windows –big mistake!!

Carrying something upstairs to put away I walked into our bedroom and there crawling over every wall were what appeared to be thousands of ladybirds! I was horrified as we had people due very shortly to view the house! The ladybirds gradually clustered into the areas they had taken up last winter and the people who came to view were stunned by the amount of ladybirds.

ladybirds clustered above west facing window

Ladybirds clustered

  Sorry about the photo but you can just make out the four clusters above the window up near the ceiling.



Here is a close up of one of the clusters of ladybirds!

As soon as they have gone well and truly into hibernation we shall be brushing them into a box and putting them into a frost free place to see out the winter.

What are you sharing your living space with??

A few nights ago we had a large bat flitting around the bedrooms and he took some persuading to go back outdoors, he did finally go out but at some point he came back and roosted in the dressing room, now that is fine and I wouldn’t have minded that but why did he have to leave his calling cards??

Last night I made a start on my Christmas cards; I don’t send out many hand made Christmas cards as so many of our relations don’t appreciate hand made. For those people we buy mass produced, these same people also get store bought birthday cards. It seems that if they are presented with a hand made card they immediately think we are penny pinching! These folk just don’t appreciate the time and effort that has gone into creating a hand made card or the fact that the person we make cards for is in our minds whilst we are creating.

I digress; I can so easily sidetrack myself!

I thought I would make a Christmas version of the grid card; there is a video here of how to do a grid card.

Christmas grid card

The two main images were free stamps from a craft magazine (Craft Stamper) with the “Merry Christmas” stamp coming from a set called Lamp Post by Serendipity Stamps the smaller stamps were from a very cheap set, no longer available, purchased from Lakeland. 

 I stamped the images using Stazon and coloured the background with Whispers (Sugarloaf products inc) in Royal Blue, this is a permanent dye based ink, and Brilliance pigment ink called Mineral. This is a set of three inks in one pad and I used a mix of the gold and silver.

The only difference I made whilst creating this as opposed to the one I showed on Youtube is that I masked a small border off all around the card with masking tape before masking off the grids; this, when matted, will give the impression of two layers when only one is actually used!! I think a mid blue mirri card will look good behind this grid card. 
Who else has made a start on Christmas cards??
Thanks for stopping by



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10 thoughts on “Ladybirds and other things

  1. We call them ladybugs here too Lynn! My goodness…that’s a few too many! lol I used to be happy to see one or two in the house. I just could not kill a ladybug and besides I heard they were very good for houseplants because they cleaned up aphids. So I would very carefully carry the wee ladybug to the houseplants in my sunroom. Then one became 2 and 2 became MORE. One day I walked into my sunroom to find it swarming with many ladybugs EVERYWHERE! lol I don’t keep ladybugs anymore!
    Your card is SO lovely! It’s like a beautiful quilt! Can you believe I didn’t know you had a youtube channel? I’m going to watch it and subscribe right now! I’m so excited!

    • Well Nancy they can eat the aphid on the outdoor plants instead!
      It is interesting to watch their development though; the little ladybird larvae are voracious eaters of aphis then when the ladybird emerges from the cocoon it is bright yellow and slowly develops like a film. First the yellow gradually becomes red and the black spots emerge just like a resist technique in stamping 🙂

      Thank you for your lovely comment about my card, yes I suppose it does look quilt like. I hope you have a go after watching my one and only video!! Haven’t yet found anything else worthy of making a video about 🙂

      Lynn xx

  2. Shelly on said:

    The ladybugs are pretty plentiful around my area since it’s farmland. Farmers use them in the crops I’m told. My in-laws have many like you and my Mother in law got bites from them and had some allergic reaction, I didn’t know they’s bite you.
    Your card id really pretty I like the blues definately makes me think of Christmas. I haven’t started mine yet but have a few ideas floating around in my head. I am off to check out your video and get subscribed to your videos.
    Happy stamping,

    • Ladybirds are strange little creatures; now and again they do bite. Back in 1976 we had an extremely hot summer that went on for months and there were swarms of ladybirds and many people complained of being bitten which the ‘experts’ were very scathing about saying that the insects couldn’t bite but it was later confirmd by othe ‘experts’ that it was possible. It is thought by some that they are after the moisture from your skin but I think there are meanie ones just like in the human race 🙂 I’ve never been bitten but Rod has!
      Thank you for the lovely comments about my card. Hope you have a go at making one as they are quick and easy to do but effective. I’ve turned the grid card into an easel card – I’ll take some photos and put it on my blog sometime.


  3. Shelly on said:

    Guess I can’t type tonight
    Sorry for all the crazy spelling 🙂

    • Happens to me all the time Shelly 🙂 My keyboard doesn’t always work as it should and misses letters out and if I don’t read it through before hitting post I look like an idiot – but then nothing new there!!!!


  4. I love to read your posts. You write so well.

    Ladybugs…they are fascinating little things. I knew an herbalist years ago. She had a beautiful garden, reminded me of some pictures of castle gardens in your world. Circles, squares, mazes. I loved to walk her paths. She would bring out white cardboard boxes, much like shoe boxes only thinner, lay them on their sides to allow the Ladybugs to fly off. Have no idea if she had her own rich supply of them as you do or if she had to purchase them.

    Your Christmas card is BEAUTIFUL!! Some people’s kids, just don’t know a really good thing when it kicks them in the butt. Have you ever watched “Keeping Up Appearances”? I love that crazy “Bucket” woman and all her foolishness. She’d be one to turn her nose up at a handmade card. Her sister (can’t remember her name) would love the card but her husband would make some remark and Rose would take it to her current boyfriend, hahaha.

    Anyway, I love your Christmas card. So full of imagery of the season but not crowded. You’ve done a wonderful job on it.
    Love you – Leslie

  5. Used to love Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances, haven’t seen it in years and wouldn’t have thought its humour would have travelled well. Most of it is typical British humour – ironic, sarcastic, innuendo and just plain funny. The two sisters would have loved a handmade card but it would have to be romantic for Rose or extremely sexy!!

    Many thanks for your lovely comments on my card. I have now turned it into an easel card as I love that style.

    I love receiving hand made cards as I know it was made with love and feeling. Both our daughters love receiving hand made cards too and I always make them cards for all sorts of reasons. Rod’s cousins and their wives love handmade cards too and so do my lovely friends but that is about it. Oh well I’d rather make a few and know they were appreciated.

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

  6. isabel marques on said:

    hi i live in linmeyer south of johannesburg and i to have hundreds of these ladybugs stuck to the out side of my house wall, and also had them in the celling corners. whish i could send you a photo,

    • Lovely to hear from you Isabel and thank you so much for stopping by. I’d love to see a photo of all the ladybugs you have – you could send one to my email address Those lady bugs seem to be widespread across the globe. We have had a week of very hot weather ….unusual for this time of the year in the UK …..and the ladybirds are starting to look for their winter quarters again and it looks as though our bedroom is going to be the best spot again 🙂

      Lynn 🙂

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