Friday, 2 December 2016

Window 2 - Frankenadvent socks

The kids have now got Where's Wally chocolate advent calendars so it's time to get out my incomplete Frankenadvent socks.


I started my Frankenadvent sockslast December and then got overwhelmed by the whole preparation for Christmas extravaganza. Basically they are a mish mash of random yarns and crazy patterns. I have absolutely no idea where I left off last year so I have gone for a simple rib in the same grey as sock number one.


I don't believe there are any Franken advent socks police and therefore don't envisage any problems other than perhaps not being able to finish them again. Well here we go work in progress/ unfinished project/ Christmas advent tradition.

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Window 1 - All of the lights

So after my epic mum fail of not purchasing chocolate filled advent calendars before they sold out, I had to do something to make up for it in some way.


The light is beautiful in December. The sun sets into a milky yellow horizon as the first star shines brilliantly.



At the beginning of December, each year, we head off into the city centre to see the lights.



It's a bit of a tradition now, the spotting of the lights and the Jesus Sets.



We never miss this one. This year the donkey appears to be having a quick nibble of the baby's tootsies.



It's always a bonus to get some coffee and gingerbread.



Charlie reckons he can always manage chips so I imagine having got them once on our annual advent jaunt, next year it will be an expectation.


Finally the Jesus set outside Canterbury Cathedral. With its life sized characters of ethnically appropriate colouring and a basket of baby chicks under the manger, the children, who have seen this every year of their lives, briefly discuss the nativity, turn and walk the short walk home.

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Friday, 25 November 2016

Buy nothing day

For some people today is just Friday. There are others however who have been hijacked by consumerism, the shiny, sparkling promise of happiness through the purchase of crap they don't need destined for next year's landfill, trapped in the endless hunt for a bargain. And then there's another group of Friday 25th November 2016 people, those celebrating Buy Nothing Day and that's the gang I'm in.

But how about the saving money, the kick starting the Christmas shopping and the greedy over consumption of Black Friday, I hear you ask. Well don't worry friends, I'm not tragically behind in the preparations for the crazy season, I have completed a handmade homemade Christmas gift for my nephew. He's too young yet to have his own opinion about what makes a decent gift so I can quite easily pass off anything as acceptable as long as it has an aeroplane on it.

Of course I did actually spent most of yesterday and today working on the little placemat so although it is not commercially mass produced in a factory by children paid in less than peanuts, it is crammed full of love and unique one of a kindness. 

I did offer my own little darling boy one very similar but he very politely declined.


Even though it's got a tiny bird on it, I guess that it isn't the same as a branded product.

I suppose the trickiest thing with the whole gift giving shabang is balancing what you'd like to give (ethically) and what they'd like receive, because there really is nothing more pointless than buying something unwanted. 

 And then finally to finish off my Black Friday Day of buying nothing, I darned the socks that I made for my husband last Christmas. With all the craziness in a world gone mad for the latest must have can't live without it , it's comforting to know that I have atleast two people in my life who will buy into my homemade handmade Christmas. 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Autumn Skies



Sometimes it's impossible to ignore the weather. Today the heavens have opened, the sun has shone and the sky has changed from the bluest of blue to ominous grey. Rainbows have appeared and vanished after filling the skies with colour.




It's also noticeably colder. Hats, mittens, fingerless gloves and scarves are at the ready in fact I have had them on several mornings since October started. Since having Sherlock I notice the weather more. The rain is not a problem. He is not keen but once we get going a walk is a walk, rabbits are there to be chased, squirrels are there to be barked at and foxes are there to be discovered.




Autumn has arrived and with it the end of the growing season. My dahlias enjoy the colder mistier mornings and are showing no sign of giving up yet. However the summer lettuces have been replaced with those that will with stand the winter and the planting of seeds will now wait until the spring. Small seedlings of climbing beans, field beans and sweet peas are growing in the greenhouse and secretly growing within plain sight are the stars of the autumn, my chrysanthemums.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Flowers on Friday

As we head towards the end of the summer holidays, I can safely say that I have achieved very little of what I set out to achieve over what is laughingly referred to as "time off". The kids however have had a blast and seeing as I gave up all right to my own life, space or even air to breathe the second I viewed that double blue line, I must have done something right. So in celebration, here are some flowers on Friday.













Especially for Zoe and Samantha, because feeling ill is rubbish 💕






Friday, 8 July 2016

Flowers on Friday

The skies are a little grey today but the colours of my flowers continue to sing. For anyone who needs a touch of brightness 




































Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Plastic free July - Eco wrap



That's it!! I'm ready to go plastic free for July. My plastic free June was not a success, in fact most of my principals and new approaches to living a better life went out the window in June.

I am not a fan of cling film at all and it certainly fits my single use plastic ban. I do like the look of those pretty Eco-wraps with all those beautifully patterned fabric.
Oh surely I can make those myself and so with the help of Mr Google, I found some instructions here

I however did not read the instructions, I looked at the pictures and guessed the rest, so there are no equipment dedicated to the task as advised. 

 
 I drew round a plate slightly larger than the bowl I wanted to cover on some cotton fabric.



Put some grease proof paper on a baking tray, followed by the circle of fabric, topped with a sprinkling of beeswax pellets. (In fancy blogs with stunning photography you may find the fabric ironed but I've broken my toe so can't be bothered/ am supposed to be resting)



I set the oven between S and 1 which seemed to be the perfect temperature.



And set the timer for 5 mins because I'm easily distracted but I'm not sure precise timing is essential because you are just melting wax.



After 5 mins, spread the wax around with a brush (not your finger, this is hot wax people!) and if you see any areas that are wax free add a few more pellets to that area and pop it back in the oven.


I made some rectangular ones for wrapping cheese / ham / sandwiches 


And even this one to cover the macaroni cheese 



If I can do it so can you. They are reusable, pretty and can easily be made from a fat quarter of fabric. Have fun.