zero waste snacks include drinks!
Garden Progress

February is shaping up nicely

February has been a month of mixed weather. We are getting ready for the planting season. We have installed a new water butt, which I will include in a new page about saving water all year round. february jobs in the garden I have even been able to convince Paddy to let me record him doing it to show everyone how easily they can be installed. We have been looking at the frozen ground. Patiently waiting. Then pouncing the moment it got above zero, and planted some apple trees. They had arrived as bare root and I potted them up temporarily in loose soil. I have my fears that the roots may have dried too much whilst waiting for the weather. We have bought a

Braeburn bare root treeplanting in February as well as a Bramley Apple bare root tree. They are both from the same pollinator group. This should mean we are able to get maximum apple hoards!

I do have plans to put some climbers around them if they are a success am also keen on having some bulbs which can naturalise in the lawn. Ideal candidates in the UK are crocus, narcissus, or snowdrops. I wouldn’t say we are any further ahead with planning the garden’s layout. However I am getting into the swing of seed buying ready for a Wildflower garden.

February storms

We remember living in a rural area with some seasonal power cuts. So earlier this week I asked a group of preppers how they would feel about an article on a Black Box for a Power Outage and it has turned out to be very popular. Personally I have found it is the one subject that people can discuss without getting political. We may have more use for it during the Brexit negotiations. However this tends to get temperatures raised quite quickly.

February = Six Nations

Obviously Paddy is a keen rugby fan. SO I have also managed last weekend to make the never ending rolled paper photo frame

but this weekend I have finished a blanket. Febraury is the month to crochet So our house has the perfect balance.

I have also put a page together for a non-traditional valentines day. Perfect for any long-term couple, trust me when I say we are not the norm. But here is the secret, you don’t have ot be either. So have a look at alternative ways to show you care this year.

My seeds have been getting on very well and my lovely niece’s have been coming round to learn maths. But then have taught me a thing or two for my youtube channel including editing!

A big thank you to Olivia and Toni for your help! I think you will agree this has a bit more of a sense of drama than my normal craft videos! Let me know your thoughts!! This is what I have been up to this week. When you write it down it does go some way to explaining why I am always so tired.

Summing up

Please check out the Valentine’s Day article

If you want to start prepping have a look at the survivors guide to power outage.

And if you want a craft that never ends have a look at the effective but frustrating paper upcycling article.

 

Now the next steps for me are to work out what to do with all of these…

So be sure to subscribe to my site to keep up to date with what next….

 

 

 

 

hearts in a row
upcycling

Are we ready for the Month of Love?

Love really hasn’t been in the air lately. When we think of January we think of a never ending wait for Pay Day. Or at least I know I have been. After we Moved House before Christmas, we were left wanting to start all of the projects at once. Obviously money is the biggest constraint and so we have been as frugal as ever.

I am very proud of how well the Railway sleeper mantelpiece has come out and I would recommend trying it. Even if you are not too confident with power tools. I have been finding out that a lot of you aren’t too happy with power tools and how to use them safely. So let me know whether you think I should pop some ‘how to’ videos together.

Our YouTube Channel is getting more views than ever, so subscribe if you fancy keeping up to date there as well.

Now we are looking to February and the Month Of Love. However I am looking at it from a zero waste perspective and how to enjoy your time with those you love. I have been thinking about all kinds of love and not just the romantic sort. So I have put together a cute little child friendly craft project. 

plump heart for love

I am also working with a very lovely ethical site to add a few more ideas for how to buy loved ones gifts that really don’t cost the Earth. More on that later this week!

Earlier in the year we received the wonderful news of a friends wedding. Then the daunting news that she would like me to help her with some rustic wedding favours. I immediately accepted and then went into panic mode. Which is pretty standard! The problem is she is like one of my all time craft hero’s! Totally fantastic at anything she picks up. So big gulp and I gave it a go, for the results have a look here.

So now I am making little round Brussel Sprout favours as well as many, many, many, more wildflower seed mixes. I would love to hear what people think of these as I think they are the cutest way to encourage non-green fingered friends to give it a go. Also practically zero waste, which cannot be a bad thing! All you need is waste paper and seeds you collect from the dead heads from the previous year.

For more links to our projects have a look here;

 

So action points for me are to now finish off my ‘Alternative Valentine’s Day’ article. Then to finish off soaking my shredded paper ready for cooling and adding the seeds. I also have a longer list for a few other things starting this week, so here is a sneak preview of how my friends have been helping me out….

This is an entire car boot full, but still not enough!!

Thanks and I hope to hear your thoughts on Seed Paper in the near future

Chairs with new life
upcycling

Upcycled Furniture

We have sold our house this weekend, and are getting ready to move soon. This got me thinking to all of the fun little projects I haven’t got round to yet and these old chairs are a long term project we wanted to tackle together. Old furniture is often good quality and well made, however it does not always fit in with our decor or ideas of how we want to live in our homes. So this is a nice and simple way to upcycle that old but reliable furniture.

You Will Need;
Old furniture you wish to upcycle, there are plenty of charity shops which will also sell ‘new’ furniture to you which is in need of a bit of TLC

Coarse Sandpaper Sheets
Extra Fine Finishing Sandpaper Sheet
Paint Brushes
Multi Surface Paint 250ml in any colour you like

STEP ONE pop the seat out of the chair and take it outside to sand down

Easy beginners guide to upcycling old, tired furniture
This bit is far easier than you think and gives a good start to any manicure later in the day!

STEP TWO Get to all of the fiddly bits with a special tool or use the edges of the sandpaper - you are taking off the old gloss to allow your new paint to grip better. So if you are going for a very 'rustic' look don't worry too much about how neat you are at this stage.
Any excuse to use a power tool, Paddy is gettign the old gloss from every little bit of each chair.

STEP THREE use a damp cloth to wipe down the dust from the furniture, you are now ready to move indoors to avoid contamination during the painting.

STEP FOUR Follow all the instructions on the tin, stir thoroughly and then start to paint the furniture. Do not try to cover it too thickly to start with, it will be better in layers.

This takes a very low skill level, but just build teh layers up, two coats should be enough.

STEP FIVE Use the fine sandpaper to now rub down in between the first coat and the second coat.
STEP SIX You are now ready to decide how 'shabby' you would like the furniture to be. I have chosen to sand down again to reveal the wood below. It is an effect which has worked differently on the lime green chairs to the dark purple chairs so it is worth experimenting for yourself to find your perfect unique fit for your home. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you are inspired to try this for yourself one weekend or evening.

For an idea for using the remaining paint as well as producing something equally as funky on your house have a look at a way to make new planters from old tin cans

recycle, reuse, repurpose
upcycling

Recycling old tin cans – an easy and cheap alternative

A very simple and easy way of recycling old tin cans into planters, saving you money and meaning you don’t have to rely on plastics so heavily. When you think about it tin cans are a real renewable resource in our houses as, although they can be recycled by most councils in our fortnightly collections, why wouldn’t we use them ourselves?

 

You Will Need;

Old tin cans, washed and left to soak the labels off,

Hammer, 16 oz and 1 Screw

Paint Brushes

Paint such as Gloss Paint 250ml Oxford Blue Wood Metal Door Children Toys Furniture Oil-Based Indoor Outdoor

Old Newspaper to pop on the table and floor depending on who is ‘helping’ with this project!

STEP ONE take your washed and label free tin can and up end it to reveal the bottom, then very gently use the screw and hammer to make tiny little holes in the bottom. These holes will allow the plants to not get water logged and are ideally not too large either.

STEP TWO open up the tin and stir the contents to ensure it is all mixed well together.

STEP THREE if you hold on to the tin can from the inside you are less likely to get paint on yourself, but be careful of sharp edges.  Then just start to paint it, you can be as uneven as you like or you can keep very little paint on the brush to create different effects. Either way it becomes as unique as you are and a perfect planter for gifts or your windowsill!

tin can upcycled project

 

 

Another use for your wood paint, and actually quite a nice way to co-ordinate your crafts