Thursday, 30 December 2010

Things I Love Thursday...

This Christmassy week I'm loving...

* snow * sprinkling glitter on the lawn so santa's reindeer can find us * christmas stockings * Dr Who christmas special * being a bit giddy in the pub * wearing christmas tree hats at work * red christmassy hair * a water psitol in my christmas cracker * spending time with my family * laughing at a photo I took of my brother where he looks like Susan Boyle * getting every thing I asked for (and more!) for christmas * my mummy looking after me while I was poorly *

Hope you've all had a lovely week xxx

Happy Holidays!!

Hello hello! I hope everyone has had a most lovely festive time!!  I've had a terrible cold/flu-type thing which started on Christmas Eve and continues to this very day, but I've still managed to open presents, drink fizzzy wine and pull crackers!   I've also been enjoying the beautiful snowy weather we've been having (it's been like minus 13 here! Soo cold!  I can't believe it!) some photos of which I will leave you with now....

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Things I Love Thursday (on a Saturday)

Welll, I'm a bit behind on this, which I knew would happen anyway, but having a poorly laptop hasn't helped...thankfully I can use my mums computer occasionally, so here goes...this past couple of weeks I've been loving...

* putting up Christmas trees at work, volunteering and home * my driving instructor telling me I've started to 'think like a driver'! * listening to Dear Prudence by the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Paloma Faith * reading 'Sugar Queen' by Sarah Addison Allen * having laughing fits at work * randomly bumping into my old psychology tutor * a boy taking my photo for his college graphics project ( I was wearing my panda hat, I must have looked cool!) * a loooot of snow! * singing carols in the square in town * peppa pig advent calendar * Dr Who advent calendar * tidying my room - I can move! * telling secrets on the phone with my best friend * my school friend's baby being out of hospital and feeling better * seeing red wings and a buzzard in our garden * perfecting a yummy cookie recipe * snow!

Hope you've all been having a lovely week! xxx

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Sad Laptop...

Hello!  I won't be around much for a while, my laptop's died and I'm trying to find the phone number for the free repairs I was promised when I bought it!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

What I bought this month...

bag of lovely vintage fabric scraps
4 books from library booksale
2 vintage craft books
panda hat
some second hand wool bits and bobs
2 crochet hooks
5 side plates
1 gingerbread man biscuit cutter

For Christmas my mum and her friends have a challenge to buy each other only second hand presents that cost under £5, this involves much trawling through charity shops and I have been roped in to help...which is why I've bought so much stuff this month!  My side plates were 15p each and are all flowery and lovely, the fabric scraps, biscuit cutter and craft books also came from these trips.  

I've found another bin bag full of stuff to give to the charity shop to make way for my new goodies!

Things I Love Thursday...

Waking up to this...

* snow * snow * snow * snoooow * Luke being home for the weekend * eating baked potatoes * listening to christmas songs * frost * snow * cat shoes * watching Ugly Betty * snow * mum letting me use her spotty hot water bottle * double blankets * snow * making xmas presents * seeing a blue jay * snow * blue skies * crocheting * being warm * snow * snow * snow*

What do you love this week?

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Vegan Sweetcorn Fritters...

We regularly have half a tin of sweetcorn left over, so after studying several fritter recipes (including the one that came in the ASDA magazine) I've come up with this easy, veganised version...

1/2 a tin of sweetcorn
2 heaped dessert spoons of flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder or bicarbonate of soda whichever you have
1 tsp of egg replacement powder (I use ogran egg replacer.  The name grosses me out a bit cos I always mis-read it as organ.  But it works pretty well)
enough water to make a thinnish mixture.

The method is really easy, put the dry ingredients (inc egg replacer) into a bowl, slowly add water until is becomes a thinnish mixture, add the sweetcorn, then blob a spoonful into a hot frying pan with some oil and cook till brown on each side.

You might want to experiment with the flour to water ratio, I'm not very measur-y with this recipe because it's just something I throw together, but use your logic, if it's too runny add flour, too thick add water. Lots of the recipes I've seen for fritters have all sorts of exciting ingredients, like spring onions, chives, chillies and all sorts of stuff. I suppose you could put anything in the basic batter (I've just had a brainwave and I'm going to try chocolate chips and a little bit of syrup in my next mixture!) but I like pretty bland food so sweetcorn on it's own suits me.  I usually make too many (about 8-10 from this recipe) and my mum doesn't appreciate my bland version, so I put them in the fridge and they're nice to take in my lunchbox to work the next day, warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Things I love Thursday...

* seeing a wagtail with a yellow tummy * very dark blue sky and very twinkly stars * popcorn and toast and ginger nuts and fire and DVD with Em * big saturday lie in and pajama day * visiting the stop UK coal protest camp near my house and seeing all sorts of hippiness and treehouses and beautiful countryside * a random lady called susie giving me a hug becuase she thought a looked so cute in my panda hat  * hippy wishing tree * hearing my first xmas song on the radio and seeing the coca cola (boo evil corporation!) xmas advert on TV * learning to play 'Babylon' by David Grey on the guitar by heart * drivign mums little purple car * watching horrible histories, Merlin, Giles and Sue live the Good Life, Ugly Betty and Miranda * laughing at work * sunshine through the train window and watching big flocks of brids flying about * frost * Chris Evans being back on Radio 2 * making crochet stars * getting wool through the post * tidying under my bed * mum picking me up from work * being exited for Luke's visit next weekend * pay day tomorrow * reading 'The Year of the Flood' by Margaret Atwood *

Groovy 70s crafts.

I was lucky enough to come across 2 very groovy 70s crafty books second hand last week, for the grand total of 75p each, and I thought I'd share some of the groovy craft pictures from the books with you.

The first book is called 'All About Patchwork' (I love that on the inside cover there's a note that says 'Present from Julie, 4th November 1982, Bought with money from first pay cheque' how sweet is that)

groovy 70s seventies crafts.

groovy 70s seventies crafts.

groovy 70s seventies crafts.

groovy 70s seventies crafts.
I like this gentleman's exotic dressing gown the best!

groovy 70s seventies crafts.

The second book is 'Golden Hands Handicrafts'

groovy 70s seventies crafts.

groovy 70s seventies crafts.

These amazing candles are apparently made by placing a candle on a saucer or side plate, adding some melted wax to the plate then plunging the whole thing in to a bucket of cold water.  The wax floats up in the water and makes these amazing shapes.

groovy 70s seventies crafts.

groovy 70s seventies crafts.

groovy 70s seventies crafts.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Things I Love Thursday...

Sparkler parties before hometime at work * smelling pink roses * 70's craft books * garlic bread * my new panda hat * warming up by the heater at work after walking in the cold and rain * Ugly Betty * lovely phone call with Luke * reading 'Garden Spells' * visiting Erddig Hall with mama * pink starry bedsocks * my lovely driving instructor, Roy * a lady complimenting my scarf * fat squirrel eating nuts in my garden * little robin hopping up and down the railings outside my window at work * surprise lift to work with Em * sleeping diagonally * my crochet blanket being here on craftster!

What do you love this week? xxx

Giles and Sue Live The Good Life...

Please tell me you all watched this! On Tuesday night, BBC2, 9pm, it was genius and very funny!

You can see more here.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Product Swap, Soild Moisturiser.

I keep a little tube of moisturiser for my hands on me at all times (I have pretty owchy eczema on my hands and if my skin gets dry it's very painful so I moisturise them every time I wash them) but I ran out of little tubes a while ago...I've been taking an old hotel-free-shampoo bottle full of my mum's posh moisturiser for a while, but that's run out too and I wanted a more eco epiphany came to me one day, involving an old vaseline tin, a knife and a Lush massage bar.  I cut the end off one (mine's a Therapy one and smells lovely, Lush do a solid hand moisturiser but, alas, it's not vegan) popped it in my tin and now I have solid moisturiser wherever I go!

Things I love Thursday (?)

Ok, I know it's Saturday, but lets imagine it's not...I've decided to join in with Gala Darling's Things I Love Thursday posts, to make my blog a more joyful place!

This week I've been loving...

*walking to work with Em * Feeling thinner - my work trousers are waaaay too big! * clean bed sheets * lovely gardening and bench-sitting with Joel * crunchy autumn leaves * reading 'Breaking Dawn' * meeting a vegetarian in Wilkinsons * watching Ugly Betty * 4 days off work! * the smell of red Ikea candles * blankets and sofa naps * fires, sparks in the blue sky, lots of swirly sparklers, fireworks and friends*

What have you loved this week?

Crochet...Granny Square Blanket, Flower Brooch, Painted Jewellery Box...

I recently finished this crochet blanket, I'm a bit upset about the edging, it's gone all wavy and I can't find where I finished it off to unravel it :(  My camera can't capture the colours properly, the blue is more turqouisey, the purple lighter and the dark pink isn't so reddy (in fact the pink and purple in the flower are the same wool and are a better example of the colour, although the blue is still way off!)...

I also learned to make crochet flowers with the left overs...the photo is of the same flower, the front and then the back, can't decide which side I like better...(this tutorial was helpful, my flower looks the same but I changed the actual crocheting of it to make more sense to my brain!)

And, do you remember, many moons ago I posted about a lovely wooden jewellery box I found in the charity shop for £1, well I've given it a makeover using patterns from my Cath Kidston 'Make' book, much better I think! 

What have you been making?

Monday, 1 November 2010

What I bought this month...

2 stainless steel lunchboxes
3 pairs of socks
2 stainless steel cookie cutters
big issue magazine
3 beautiful japanese napkins from the charity shop
grey fabric dye
2 crochet hooks
loads of cotton yarn off ebay

I'm really cross I had to buy the socks, I have loads - but my feet got soaked in an unexpected downpour and I needed a change of socks so I could cheerfully deal with working a late shift at work!

All the wool, crochet hooks and cookie cutters are for making things for craft fairs, which me and my friend are planning to do this xmas, we're going to make reused/recycled/upcycled/made-from-natural-materials things (the wool is for crochet things and the cookie cutters are for making salt dough christmas tree decorations, the cookie cutters are from Lakeland by the way and came in no plastic packaging! woohoo!)

I've sold lots of my old clothes on Ebay to make room for my new things.

Sunday, 31 October 2010


I was a bat (a 5 minute costume made with things in my bedroom  - a black shawl pinned to my cardigan and a pair of cardboard ears sellotaped to hair clips)

Wishing you all a scary halloween! xxx

Monday, 25 October 2010

Winter Garden...

All my summery veg, courgettes and tomatoes and spring onions, have gone to the big compost pile in the sky (well in my back garden really) but they've been replaced by some nice wintery veg...

Well, these aren't really wintery, but they've waited till winter to ripen, these are the bell peppers I planted in May and I also I still have some chillies :)  They've gone all yellow and droopy...

These grass like things are little leeks and we have some bigger leeks too...

This is the lace garden, aka the cabbage garden, we also have a cauliflower...

How do your gardens grow?? Any exciting winter crops?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Product Swap...Lunchboxes

I take a packed lunch to work 3 or 4 times a week (I only work 3 or 4 days a week! whoop!) and I've  been using a very classy old plastic vitalite tub to carry it in.  But not any more, I've bought myself some lovely stainless steel containers off ebay (I've seen lots in eco/green stores and websites too, but they go for anything up to £20, if you search for any combination of stainless steel lunchbox, container, indian lunchbox, tiffin or puri dabba then some lovely bargainous stainless steel lunch tins should come up)  Mine were about £6 for two including postage (in this photo you can see my reflection in my shiny lunchboxes - I'm wearing a green dress and am therefore a green blob!  You can also see my lunch bag, it's has trees and mushrooms and bunnies and hedgehogs and deer all over it!) No more horrible, plastic, chemical leechy lunchboxes for me (they've gone in the recyling, so tis ok)!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Rainbow Granny Square Crochet Cushion...

So I made this to use up some of the scraps of acrylic yarn I seem to have accumulated and to change things up in my room a bit (I'm going through a phase at the moment where I'm sick of my surroundings!)...the pink fabric underneath the fabric was the original cushion cover, so I just crocheted two squares and sewed them round the cushion.  The first side is my favorite, for other side but I ran out of coloured wool so had to use a lot of white.

What have you been making?

Thursday, 30 September 2010

What I bought this month...

2 ceramic rabbits
bag of clothes from the charity shop (it was a fill a carrier bag for £2 sale, me and mum got 3 pairs of trousers, 3 tshirts and a dress in our bag and shared them - I ended up with 1 tshirt, 1 pair of trousers and the dress - that's 28p per item!!)
cardigan from the charity shop

I also had a birthday this month, lots of my presents were use-up-able, like smellies from Lush (yey!)  and chocolate (yey!) but some were beautiful things to keep (a bedspread and cushion, a camper van mug and a notebook and some little drawers for on my desk), I sent 3 big bin bags of stuff to the charity shop and a carrier bag of books and discs to my national trust place so I think that nicely makes room for all the new birthdayness and other new things too!!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

My Other Garden...

I thought today I'd show you some photos of the allotment I help with at the National Trust property I volunteer at.  Yesterday I went to the property as a visitor so I could take my camera (I never take it when I'm volunteering because me + camera+ mud would = broken camera!)

We started in the spring when it was a bare patch of earth, we've done a lot of digging of manure, lots of weeding, planted lots of seeds and watered lots of baby plants and this is the result - although it looks slightly soggy and sad now because most of the potatoes, courgettes, marrows and dwarf beans have finished.  I'm more interested in growing food than growing flowers, and we don't have this much room at home so this has been a really good chance to learn more about it.

That's our allotment to the left, the other ones belong to members of the community.  We've been selling our veggies to the public when the property's open (in plastic bags if you can believe it!  I'm so cross about that and am trying to use all my powers of persuasion to convince the head gardener to order in some paper bags or something more eco friendly).  Can you see the tufty plant that grows in our allotment, we don't know what he is but he has really big roots, and I liked the look of him, so he was allowed to stay, now he's made some beautiful flowers - thanks tufty plant!