Sunday, 30 March 2014

Things I Loved this Month, March 2014.

This month I've loved...

* paprika pringles * going to see the Lego Movie and a live screening of War Horse at the cinema * broccoli pasta * my lovely little niece, she has been visiting me at work for huggles, practising walking behind the library desk and looking cheeky while blowing raspberries at anyone who catches her eye!  She came with us for Mum's birthday meal and decided chips were better than baby mush, specially when she had a chip in each hand! * watching My Mad Fat Diary, Doctor Who DVDs (we're just about to finish series 4!), Call the Midwife, Great British Sewing Bee, Storage Hunters, Jonathan Creek and Agents of SHIELD * crochet magazines * new king size duvet, it's soo soft it's like sleeping in a cloud! * sunshine * playing far too much Peggle and Plants Vs. Zombies * curry * reading Rainbow Rowell books and The Wide Sargasso Sea * crocheting * lovely day in Ironbridge with chips, lemonade, beer garden, antiques shop and a walk by the river * pretzels from the pretzel shop * amazing charity shop bargains * lush bath * sending off for my passport (see hilariously scary/pale/ill/mug-shot looking photo in collage above! eeek!) * getting my 5 year volunteering badge from the National Trust * buying Lego Movie Lego, Unikitty! Yey! * 

Hope you've had a lovely month too!?

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

Charity Shopping, Pyrex Bowl, Hornsea Bronte Jar, Wicker Hippo.

Oh I do love Charity Shops!  Here's what I found in the last week or so. 

I Love this massive retro pyrex bowl.  £1.50, charity shop.

Hornsea Bronte pattern tea caddy.  99p, charity shop.

Wicker hippo basket.  99p, charity shop.

Have you bought any lovely bargains home recently?

Linking up with Me and My Shadow's Magpie Monday, Sir Thrift A Lot and A Living Space's Nifty Thrifty.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Little Crochet Projects, Egg Cup Pin Cushion, Crochet Basket, Key Ring and Crochet Cards.

I have been busy with lots of little crochet projects in the last couple of weeks.

I made this boot egg cup pin cushion for my mums birthday.  It's just an egg shape crocheted out of cream yarn, stuffed and popped into the egg cup. Ta-dah!

I made this little blue basket-thingy for mum too, and popped a couple of sewing bits in it (new pins, pretty ribbon, buttons).  I made the pattern up, using 2 strands of dk wool and 1 strand of 4ply held together and a 6mm hook.  

I whipped up a quick key ring from black and grey wool.  I was aiming for a ball but it turned into an egg.  It will still do the same job though.  I have given my boy my spare keys so I thought it would be nice for him to have a new key ring for them.

I also made a couple more rainbow cards, a mum at my Rainbow Guides unit saw the other one I made and asked me to make them for her, and I was happy to oblige.  Although I do wish I had written down the pattern I made up for the first rainbow, I can't quite get it the same again.  I made a birthday card with a crochet flower on it too.

I'm trying to use up a lot of my wool and yarn stash this year.  I didn't buy any wool to make any of these projects and so far I have finished 2 balls of wool.  I'm tweeting my stash-busting progress with the hash-tag #stashbust14, find me on twitter and join in if you have a wool 'situation' on your hands too!

What have you been making?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Mending Pile.

I have a mending pile as high as the sky.  Things go in and rarely come out.  Or they come out to be worn, and holes ignored!

But as I am starting the year off in a tidy and organised manner I thought it might just be time to sort it out.

Jeans have been patched...

Armpit holes sewn up...

Lace sewn back on...

Straps reattached...busts taken in...

Blouses resized...(I bought this blouse second hand for £1.75, but it was a size 24, I knew I could easily take it in by just sewing down the sides, it's lovely now!)...

And pompom ears popped back into place.

I have 1 pair or jeans, 3 tops, a dress and a pair of gloves to wear.  It's almost like going shopping for a new outfit, but without spending any money!

Do you mend your clothes?  Or do you just plan to and never get round to it (like I usually do!)?

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Simple Pleasures #5.

I've finally got round to putting lots of my pictures and photos into frames and onto my walls this week.  My favourite is this sweet Doctor Who cross stitch my mum made for me ages ago.  It's so nice to see it up, it makes me smile whenever I see it.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Ironbridge, Sunny Spring Time Walk.

I only live a few miles away from Ironbridge (World Heritage Site and home of the worlds first bridge made out of Iron, it's very exciting I know!) it's very pretty and one of my favourite places.  Yesterday we had a lovely walk round, a mooch in the antiques shops and chips and fizzy pop in a beer garden.  It was lovely and sunny and there was blossom on the trees.

I do love spring.  I do, I do!  

I hope you've had some sunny, spring-y weather too?

Monday, 10 March 2014

Spring on the Balcony.

Spring has come to my little balcony garden.  It's brought daffodils and lilac crocuses and pink polyanthus and ariculas and a little tiny blue forget me not too.

It's still a little messy (is that one of last years tomatoes on the floor!?), but it's mine and it's colourful and it's had regular bee and butterfly visitors already, so I am pleased with it.

Has spring come to you yet?

Linking up with Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Now and Then.

I saw this on Louisa's blog Duck in a Dress and thought it would be fun!  Especially as I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and thought my 15 year old self would be disgusted at the fact that I owned, and was wearing, a gray cardigan!

The idea is to compare teenage you to you in 2014.  I'm going for mid to late teens, I was 14 in 1999 and 18 in 2002, so roughly around then.  I have even found some amusing/horrific photos to illustrate my teenage years!

Crushing on...
Now - David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Eccleston, Noel Fielding, Alan Davies.
Then - Leonardo DiCaprio, Brian Moloko, Billie Joe from Greenday, Pacey from Dawson's Creek, Jamie Oliver, Heath Ledger, Damon Albarn.

Now - Neighbours, Doctor Who, Call the Midwife, My Mad Fat Diary, The Big Bang Theory, Girls.
Then - Neighbours, The Tribe, As If, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Dawson's Creek, Hollyoaks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 10 Things I Hate About You (on DVD, every night!).

Listening to...
Now - Belle and Sebastian, Eddi Reader, Kate Rusby, Paloma Faith, Take That, The Smiths, Pulp, Norah Jones, The Beatles, Cat Stevens, folky, acousticy stuff, a bit of rocky, indie, guitar-y stuff and songs from musicals.
Then - Greenday, Placebo, Slipknot, Blink 182, The Beatles, Linkin Park, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Nirvana, lots of nu-metal and the free compilation CDs that came on the front of Kerrang and Melody Maker.

Now - Margaret Atwood, Vampire novels, lots of crochet books and magazines, lot's of new releases from the library.
Then - Anne Rice, Point Horror, Goosebumps, Point Romance, Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Judy Blume, The Sleepover Club and J-17 magazine.

Now - Dresses, cardigans, jeans, t-shirts, florals, retro-looking things.
Then - Wide skater style jeans, pink and purple chords, mini skirts, fishnets, purple Doc Marten boots, velvet, band hoodies and t shirts, interesting retro-things from before Charity shops got rubbish, fairy wings, black lipstick, bindis, glitter, studded collars, loads of bracelets.  I had a pretty long phase of only wearing black, purple, blue and an occasional hint of bright pink.

Now - Shoulder length, curly, natural colour with a streak of blonde I dye a bright colour occasionally (it's currently faded green), currently experimenting with loo 'poo.
Then - Shoulder length, hair gelled into a solid state to stop it going frizzy, dyed red, purple, blue, green, pink, orange and bleach blonde (not all at the same time though!), usually in pigtails fastened with loads of glittery hair doodads, bobbles and clips

Now - Watching Doctor Who DVDs with my boy, cinema, seeing live music, eating chips in pubs, going for my tea at my Mum's house, reading, watching TV, volunteering, crocheting and other crafty endeavours.
Then - Drinking neat vodka in the park, sneaking vodka into under-age discos, hanging around in the shopping centre, sleepovers 

Now - Positive, resourceful, procrastinator, realistic, I try to enjoy my life!
Then - Cheerful, funny, passionate, stubborn, teenage angst-y, sarcastic, worried, occasional bouts of teenage-girl-style-meaness.  

Now - Mostly I want to stay happy, spend more time with my niece, boyfriend, family and friends and have time to do my own thing.  If we're thinking more materialistically then I would like to earn more money and move into a house with 2 bedrooms and 2 living rooms and a garden, go on holidays and on day trips.
Then - I wanted to buy a white-van-man style van, insulate it with newspaper (I remember this being an important part of my plan!) and travel around the world in it and get dreadlocks.  I then wanted to settle down and adopt 7 children.

I like myself a lot better now then I did when I was a teenager, even though I do wear grey cardigans now!

I think this is the sort of thing you're supposed to tag people in, but I'll just say have a go if you want and let me know if you do so I can check out your embarrassing teenage years!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Vegan Pancakes, Happy Pancake Day!

This is a repost of an old recipe, but it still counts, 'cos it's pancake day today and I will be making these bad boys later!

Happy pancake day!  Hope you have eaten many battery, lemon-y, sugar-y pancakes! My vegan pancakes were particularly delicious this year, so I thought I'd share some of my tricks with you (it's my 7 year vegan-iversary this month, so I've had 7 pancake days to perfect it!).  They're dairy free and soya free too!

1. My recipe is really simple and makes 4 pancakes, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of sunflower oil and enough water to make a medium thickness batter (still runny but not thin and watery...slightly thicker than non-vegan pancake mix, it needs to be thicker to help it hold together, as it doesn't have eggs or milk to bind it)
2. Use more oil in the pan than you would for a non-vegan pancake, about a teaspoon per pancake, otherwise it WILL stick to the pan.
3. Make a thicker pancake than you would a non-vegan won't get a really thin, crepe type pancake from this recipe, cos it needs to be thicker to hold together (it's the no eggs thing again!).
4. Get the oil really hot in the pan, pour a quarter of the mix to make a thick-ish pancake into the pan then leave it alone...don't prod it or poke it or try to lift up the sides for about 3 minutes to let it form a crust so it hold's itself together (there's a theme here right!?).
5. Trying to flip the pancake is probably a bad will fall apart, turn it over gently with a flipper thingy, then leave it to go brown
6. Slide onto a plate, cover with enough lemon and sugar to make your teeth hurt, and enjoy!

Do you have a vegan pancake recipe?

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Easy Green Actions, March 2014.

Here are this month's easy green actions...

Sign the Soil Association's letter against the creation of a new, American style, huge, industrial pig farm in Derbyshire.

Take part in Climate Week.  If you can't find or create an event sign the declaration asking the government to do more to combat climate change.

Greenpeace's most recent campaign is asking Head and Shoulders shampoos to remove palm oil from their formulation.  

It's World Water Day this month, use Water Aid's online form to ask the International Development Secretary to use her influence to secure clean water for everyone.

If you have any causes or actions to add then let me know in the comments and if I like it I'll add it in.  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like - if you sign any of the petitions and use social media then please consider using the share on facebook or twitter options that pop up, it increases the reach of these actions and awareness of these issues even further.