Thursday, 9 May 2013
Monday, 6 May 2013
Some of these are library books, some are from my own shelves, these are what are inspiring me this year...
Grow Your Own Crops in Pots - Kay Maguire
This book is great for my balcony, 'cos it specifically about growing in pots. It has tips for trees as well as growing from seed, listed alphabetically with lots of useful info.
James Wong's Home Grown Revolution - James Wong
This is my main inspiration this year. Mr Wong shows how easy it is to grow unusual and exotic crops, that would be expensive to buy in food shops, in your own garden.
The Edible Garden/The Thrifty Gardener - Alys Fowler
I go back to both of these Alys Fowler books over and over again. I would love an Edible Garden like Alys', with food-plants and flower plants mingling together to create prettiness, and I would love to wear her vintage dress collection too! The Thrifty Gardener has loads of info on gardening cheaply, composting, propagation and all sorts of helpful things.
Success With House Plants - Readers Digest
I bought this in a second hand book sale for a couple of quid, and it's fantastic! It has pretty much all of the house plants ever, listed alphabetically, with instructions how to water, position and propagate each type.
How to Grow Fresh Air - Dr B. C. Wolverton
I go back to this book again and again, it's the result of a study of how well plants remove toxins from the environment, it lists the 50 top plants and explains the science too. Really interesting!
Do you have a favourite gardening book?
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
Here are some easy green things you can do this month...
I think this one is really important, the EU is proposing a law that will mean all seed varieties have to be registered and regulated in order to be saved, swapped or sold. This is being pushed by multinational seed companies and if it goes through will damage biodiversity. There's a petition to sign and you can find more info, including EU commissioners to email here.
Write to your MP to ask them to support a ban on free plastic bags in England.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) are campaigning to prevent a new planning law resulting in more building on green field land - write to your MP here.
The Fairtrade Foundation are asking for a better deal for small farmers, join their mini, virtual, march here.
Check out Be the Start campaign, promoting a sustainable future and inspired by Prince Charles! There's a daily topic for each day of May here and more info here.
If you have any ideas to be added to this months list, then let me know in the comments section and if I like it, I'll add it! And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like!
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
This month I've loved...
* My friend from Brazil and her husband visiting, sooo nice, I'm saving my pennies to go and visit them! * shed party * shed cake * fire * booking tickets to see Mr David Tennant in Richard 2nd in January * watching Jonathan Creek, Broadchurch (shameless David Tennant ogling!), New Girl, The Mindy Project and The Big Bang Theory * bank holidays * excellent charity shop finds * nice colleagues who bring me vegan biscuits * crocheting * daffodils, pansies, blossom * jammy dodgers * tidy house * home grown broccoli * walks in the sunshine * listening to Michael Ball, Phantom of the Opera soundtrack and Eddi Reader * seeing Phantom of the Opera at Birmingham Hippodrome, it was sooooooo good! * planting seeds * shortening my new jeans, rather than getting mum to do it * mending my sink all by myself - u bend off and everything! * starting to help at Rainbows, they're really cute * having a nice mummy * work trips * tadpoles *
Hope you've had a nice month!
Friday, 26 April 2013
My friend commissioned me to make these for her. The crochet bunny is for her future nephew, and the mice are for her mother in law.
The little crochet bunny is called Herbert. I was feeling whimsical, so I thought I'd make him a tank top to keep him warm. I made up the pattern myself, and I'm specially pleased with his face, I sometimes find it hard to embroider the features on nicely, but I think this one worked out well. I can see myself making another one of these for me, I found it very hard to part with him.
And here are the mice, crocheted to my own pattern and filled with lavender, to make clothes smell nice!
I'm having a break from selling on Etsy and at craft fairs for now, but I am available for commission pieces, contact me through my Facebook page if you'd like me to make you something special.
Monday, 22 April 2013
My seeds didn't take long to germinate...I planted these 6 days ago and look at them now!
Here we have sweet peas, chick peas, nasturtiums, sunflowers and mini sweetcorn...
Lobelia, livingstone daisy, marigold and verbena...
And here's a little frog doing a hippo impression...there's frog spawn in the pond at mums house and fish and snails zooming about too...
My balcony is still looking beautiful and colourful too!
Has spring sprung for you yet?
Thursday, 18 April 2013
I know a lady who makes genius jams for a living, and she asked me if I'd like some of her big, catering sized tin cans to use for something. Of course I did!
I decided to use some of my lovely vintage fabrics to recycle these tins into plant pot holders for my house plants.
Step 1 - cut out a piece of fabric long enough to wrap around the tin, and an inch or 2 wider than the tin is tall. Cut slits along the long edges of the fabric to make it easier to fold neatly round the top and bottom of the tin when you're sticking it on.
Step 2 - gather your tools, you'll need watered down PVA glue (about equal parts glue to water is fine) and a tub to put the glue in, sponge brushes, newspaper/plastic bag to protect your surfaces, something tall to stand your upside down tin on (I'm using a plastic box and a tin of sweet corn ). Paint the glue mixture on to the tin, wrap the fabric carefully round, pulling it tight as you go (you might find it easier to hold the tin to do this, I put one hand inside and used the other to wrap the fabric round.) Use undiluted PVA glue to stick the edge down. Spread diluted glue mixture all over the top of the fabric, get it nice and wet so it sticks down.
Step 3 - spread the glue mixture round the top, inside of the tin, then fold the flaps you cut earlier neatly over, making sure to pull them tight, and stick them into the glue. Do this all the way round then go over the fabric with glue to stick them down.
Step 4 - make some more. Wait for the glue to dry. Overnight is probably best. Stand them on something to stop any sticking to your surfaces. I'm using tins of sweet corn and chickpeas to hold them up.
Step 5 - when the tins are dry flip them upside down. You might need to trim some excess fabric off before you start gluing, I did. Then spread glue on to the bottom of the tin and stick the flaps down, pulling each one tight as you go and covering with watered down PVA glue mixture. If you have a gap in the middle then cover that over with a scrap of fabric if you want.
Wait for that to dry!
Step 6 - Once they're dry, put your plants in them! Make sure you put a little plastic tray or something in the bottom of the tin, before you put the plant in, if it gets too wet it'll probably get rusty.
Linking up with Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
I bought these today, they were in the charity shop last week and I didn't buy them and thought about them all week, so I went back for them today!
Two new-vintage pillow cases, £2.50.
Little rag rug, perfect for a doormat my by balcony door, 50p.
Have you bought any brilliant bargains recently?
Sunday, 14 April 2013
I thought I would do a follow up review of my bamboo toothbrush, in case any of you thought it had fallen to splinters in my mouth or something.
So this is my toothbrush after 3 months of use. The old one is the top one, with my new one below for comparison. As you can see, the bristles are a little bent, but overall it held up well. The bristles had softened quite a lot by the end of the 3 months, but the handle was still fine, if stained a little white by toothpaste. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be white with toothpaste if I washed it, but I'm also pretty sure that life's too short to wash your toothbrush.
I was looking forward to putting my old bamboo toothbrush in the compost bin, but then I realised I could use it to clean round taps and things (am I a domestic goddess or what!?), so it's into the cleaning cupboard with it for now.
My bamboo toothbrush was £2.50 and came from Ebay.
All in all a great success, I am converted.
Linking up with Frugally Sustainable.