Saturday, 15 September 2018

Cotton Cleaning Cloths

how to live plastic free waste free eco cleaning products diy craft
So unless you are Donald Trump or you have been living under a rock for the past decade you are aware that plastic is a problem. Well in fact the way we use plastic is the issue, certain plastics are a necessity, for example if you are trying to dissolve that dead body, (I just started re watching Breaking Bad I am not actually a murderer, I don't have the time). The world is literally drowning in pointless plastics, from wrapping bananas to hidden in our clothes causing micro plastics every time we wash our clothes. 

Now the grumpy defeatists will say that as individuals we make little to zero impact and heavy industry needs to step up. Of course they are right but just because our impact is small it does not mean we should absolve ourselves of personal accountability. Hopefully we will educate a new generation if we can all change the mind of one person and they change the mind of one, you see where I am going with this. My word I feel so bloody woke writing this.
how to live plastic free waste free eco cleaning products diy craft
There are lots of ways plastic still enters our home but I am eliminating it wherever I can, cleaning cloths was one of  those ways. I use these the same way I use any cloth but they are 100% cotton. For scrubbing I use a loofah and a brush click on the links to buy. Because they are cotton they wash really well just pop them in the machine with your other bits, they may stain but they hold their shape.
how to live plastic free waste free eco cleaning products diy craft
All of the cloths were made using chain and treble crochet (U.K. & Aus), double crochet in the U.S.

Here's how;

Chain Stitch

Begin by making a slip knot.
Be sure to hold the tail of the slip knot between the thumb and middle finger of your yarn hand. With your hook hand, rotate the hook toward you so that the throat faces the slip knot. 

One chain is now complete, and one loop remains on your hook. Each chain stitch should be the same size as the one before it, which means you must maintain even tension on the yarn for all your stitches. If your stitches are very tight, don't pull so hard. If your stitches are too loose, shorten up the distance between your yarn hand and hook hand.

Treble Crochet

With a loop on the hook wrap the yarn around your hook first.Insert the hook into the stitch (or chain space). Wrap the yarn over the hook and pull the yarn through the stitch (or chain space).  You now have 3 loops on the hook.Wrap the yarn over the hook again and pull the yarn through the first 2 loops already on your hook. Wrap the yarn over your hook once more and pull the yarn through the 2 loop already on your hook.

Confused? You might be but these crafts were supposed to be taught in person so feel free to check out You Tube there are lots of videos on there, I have not made any, (maybe one day), but they are there.

Remember say no to plastics!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

How To Make Your Own Incense

how to make your own incense or smudge sticks craft diy
So I am not going to start making huge claims that incense sticks are slowly killing you with particulates because I do not know if they are, if you look on the internet lots of people say they are but lets face it you're reading this blog so you are already aware of the fact that you can find pretty much anything on the internet. I also have zero knowledge of the benefits of burning certain herbs to clean the energy of your home, mostly because that is all a bit woo woo for me. What I will say is these smell really nice, they were fun to make and the room they dry out smells nice the whole time they are drying which was an added bonus when you have a dog!

The glorious summer that we had gave me an abundance of herbs and I like making things so I thought I would make some smudge sticks.
Gather together a selection of herbs. I used;
  • St Johns Wort
  • Lavender 
  • Sage 
  • Rosemary
  • Bay Leaves 
  • Thyme 
  • Lemon Thyme 
These are all things I grow in my garden but you often see these in community gardens and guerrilla gardening areas.
how to make your own incense or smudge sticks craft diy
The mixes I made were random and the quantities varied in each bunch. I made sure that I wrapped larger leaves such as bay or sage on the outside of the bunches to help them stay together. Use a natural twine or string with absolutely no plastic in there as it needs to burn. 

Wrap the bunches tightly, you can make this mish mash, it looks better that way. Tie them off and hang to dry fully. I hung mine from the clothes airer in the utility. The whole entryway had the loveliest odeur for weeks.

Wait until they are fully dry, err on the side of caution there is no harm in leaving them hanging longer than needed. When you are certain they are dry all the way through store them in an airtight tin. Burn them on a heatproof dish, they will naturally burn out and you will need to re light them.

Monday, 10 September 2018

A Nature Adventure Kit - DIY

how to create a nature explorers kit craft diy
The love that Sebastian has for the great outdoors and nature knows no bounds and he has an unrelieved attention span for a 4 year old. When you have children despite all your best efforts the toy situation reaches critical mass long before they can walk and talk so when Joe and I get them gifts for birthdays and Christmas we work really hard to make them things that will engage them for a long time as opposed to nonsense that does nothing but take up space in the house.
how to create a nature explorers kit craft diy
This year I was inspired by an image I saw on Pinterest, after following back links for quite sometime I tracked it back to The Merrythought.  It gave me the idea to create something similar for Sebastian's birthday this Summer.
how to create a nature explorers kit craft diy
how to create a nature explorers kit craft diy
I found a vintage travelling bar case on eBay and decorated it with line drawings using a Posca marker. Sebastian loves Stag Beetles so that had to be pride of place on the front of the case.
how to create a nature explorers kit craft diy
how to create a nature explorers kit craft diy
how to create a nature explorers kit craft diy
Inside I added a few sections with plywood and used an old belt of mine to make a slot for the book. 
how to create a nature explorers kit craft diy
how to create a nature explorers kit craft diy
The kit was made specifically for Sebastian and his interests and passions you can easily adapt the contents for your child.

Sebastian's Kit Contained;
  1. A Song Bird Whistle 
  2. A Watercolour Tin
  3. A Portable Microscope (we are in love with this it gets the most use)
  4. Field Guides
  5. A Small Sketchbook
  6. An Outdoor Activity Book 
  7. Binoculars
  8. Bug Box
  9. Mini Flower Press
  10. Small Scissors 
  11. Magnifying Glass 

Friday, 7 September 2018

Overnight Oats

easy vegan overnight oats recipe
When I am rushing in the morning it is so easy to default to toast but doing the same thing every day is not my style so I have been preparing overnight oats. They also fill me up a lot more than toast so I am not needing to stop for snacks so my time can be focused on work and children until lunchtime. I topped this recipe with my raw granola recipe. You could add soft fruit as well if you wanted to.

you will need (for one)

3 tbsp rolled oats
1 tbsp wheatgerm
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup hemp milk
1 apple grated
1/2 cup orange juice

  1. Wait for it.......mix everything together and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. Hey it's morning time enjoy your oats.
easy vegan overnight oats recipe

Friday, 31 August 2018

Post Post Natal Depression - The Aftermath

Last year I wrote about post natal depression, until I experienced this I never really understood it, I never knew how a person could want a baby, love that baby more than life and yet feel hollow. I am fortunate to have come out the other side of this but that is not to say that there is not fall out. Talking about how you feel afterwards is just as much of a taboo as the depression itself. I suppose we feel that we should feel happy and grateful, and I am, that we should not talk about how we feel now.
So how do I feel? I feel pissed off. I am not pissed off with anyone or anything or even myself  I am just sad that I missed it.
The fact is Humphrey was never yelled at, he had hugs, I paced the halls all night when he needed, I breast fed him on demand, which was all the time. I sang songs and played peekaboo but I was not there. I was physically but not emotionally present. I have distinct memories of what my love affair with Sebastian felt like. I know what my love affair with Humphrey feels like now and I know I missed a year.
Having a physically hard pregnancy and a year of PND I cannot help but feel that Sebastian lost his mummy for far too long.

It feels like stolen time. Time is the biggest gift and most painful thing to lose as a parent, we all want to bottle it up. All parents say it goes too fast and that is the universal truth.
When my good friend Sarah reached out to me to make a video with my boys I said yes but I had no idea how much this film would mean to me until she showed it to me. I always knew the woman was an amazing photographer/artist but now I am upgrading her title to sodding genius.
Her film has captured the passage of time perfectly. I am so moved by this film I am literately crying all over my keyboard writing about it. The way that the film speeds up and slows down and sometimes moves backwards. We have all had days when we feel it is moving backwards and longed for bedtime, then we look at them asleep and want to wake them up for more stories and cuddles.
I know I can never get that lost year with Humphrey back but having this film is pretty close. Thank you Sarah. Watch here film here

Sarah Mason Photography is not matched by anyone if you want to capture emotion, stories and family time.

Disclaimer - Sarah is my friend and I did not pay for this film but all of the words are true and I often book her in a paid capacity for events also.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Dressing Room Reveal

I am no stranger to big project home renovations so when we decided to embark on our crazy home purchase from the comfort of our Paris apartment and buy a house we had not yet viewed, you can read about that decision here, I had no fear because I was a pro. Needless to say renovating a home whilst you have 2 children under the age of 5, that is a whole different ball game, it turns out I am not a pro. Whilst I could rough it and stay up all night making noise and finishing projects that just does not happen, because it cannot happen in the same way when you are renovating around small children. Needless to say things are moving slowly. I was over the moon to share my first reveal, the boys bedroom, I still feel happy every time I walk into that room. I now get to show you my dressing room, yes I am one of those dressing room people now and I make no apologies for the smug dance I did when I discovered the space and ear marked as mine straight away.
As with many of us Pinterest is the first port of call when we look to gather inspiration and narrow down ideas. Although I did create a board for this room I found it hard as I could not see much that I liked, even the images I did save to my sparse board were not quite right and I found I saved them simply to have saved something.

When it came to the dressing room I was flying blind.

Before I share any more pretty images let me remind all of you what a dump this room really was so that you can be in awe of the transformation.
Originally I wanted to add blocks of colour to the white walls, very soon I went off the idea of adding as my clothes and accessories were colour enough. I did opt for some fantastic bright yellow chests that are filled with jumpers, (I hate to feel cold and live in Northern Europe so needs must). They add a real pop of colour in a very white space.
Lighting was a major issue in here as the slope of the ceiling was severe. There a rather disgusting light positioned awkwardly on the beam that was not going to do at all. So it went. Instead I have a light on the ceiling as you walk in and 2 wall lights at the far end of the room. They run on different switches so I can play around with pools of light in the space.
I dressed up some plain old baskets from Ikea and a Moroccan market basket, (from my travels in Morocco), hung on the wall houses my scarves. My hats are hung on the walls and fortunately the placement of the skylight means that none of my clothes or the hats are in direct sunlight so no damage to worry about.
The clothes are hung on two simple pipes that I got from a plumbers merchant for less that £30. A huge bargain and they do the job perfectly.
The narrow drawers are a perfect fit. I plan to make a full length mirror cabinet to hang on the wall next to them but I will always find extra projects. 

I hope that you like the space as much as I do I would love to here your thoughts, please comment below. Follow the links below for my full shopping list.