Gift horses

My life is currently  a juggling trick extrordinaire, flaming clubs, swords, an axe. While riding a unicycle. On a bed of nails. Wearing a blindfold. And all the things i want to do are the very things that have to go at the bottom of the to do pile. But such is life and while it keeps me away from posting as much as I want to, I just need to keep trying, trying to find time for the things that make me happy, the things I want to do amidst the ever increasing things I need to do. And try to squeeze in time to fill you in with the goings-on!

The babies are thriving – their first trip to the vets was to be spayed which thankfully all went well, despite the hangdog expressions when they were first brought home…



They are a joy to come home to after a long day at work, and never fail to make me smile in the morning, which at 5.30am is no mean feat.



How could you not smile at that?

There’s been a couple of birthays…and couple of presents using my new favourite bracelet design





And Ive had  a package of my own….my dad, who  is now  retired, likes to attend the local auctions. So I’d asked him to keep an eye out for any job  lots of jewellery I could upcycle, but not to  really  spend any money..

 He phoned one night to say he”d picked up a box and it was on its way.  Less than 5  pound  but  he didn’t  know if it was what i needed.

And so i  waited impatiently for the postman….  

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Repair, recycle, rejoice

It will probably come as no surprise to learn that I’m not a fashionista. I’d never buy something just because it was a designer label, or because X-celebrity wore it to that thing. Equally, I’ve no problem if you do, it’s just not for me. I get as much pleasure from getting a bargain buy for a couple of quid at a charity shop as from spending ten times that on one item. Which doesn’t mean I’ll turn down a bargain when ones presented to me. Like a cashmere jumper for £10 just because it had two little holes in it.

before….

and after. Very much a bargain for a small repair.

Now, the recycling! 

I finally got round to reusing some of the stuff my friend at work had given me. Mother’s Day was coming up and my mum loves that I can give life to something old, and I have one vivid childhood memory of my mother, dressing for Sunday church, putting on a bracelet, that she only wore on Sundays. I wanted to give her an everyday wearing one!

From this



I deconstructed the beads into respective sizes



Used a nifty jump ring design from Dorothy Wood’s  The Beaders Bible





And ended up with this





I really love how a bead can look so different, just by altering the setting. And I love the design so much that I’ve already made a couple more. I’ll save them for another post, because….it’s rejoice time. A year after losing my sweet Toby, the house is once more filled with binkying and leaping and happiness. Meet Daisy

And Millie

it’s a wonderful thing to get home from work and have a happy reaction! It’s lovely watching their individuality develop – though they do share a love of Lakeland catalogues, just like me!



Beginners, please

I knew real life would get in the way of this blogging and creativity. I just thought it might wait til we were actually in production. Ah well.

This is a cheating post, really… made this a few weeks ago but (a) have only now had time to take photographs and write the post* and (b) if I don’t post this, this blog is going to get  cobwebs on it. And I have enough trouble with the actual spiders in my house, without having them here too.
*I wanted a sleep in til 9am – a whole three extra hours as a Saturday treat. I woke up at 7am…..so I’m snapping photos, blogging, doing my 3 mile run and weeding the garden in my spare hours. It’s that or do the work I brought home. Anyway….

Today’s witterings…….A Laundry Bag.

I have a thing about laundry baskets. As in, I hate them. In my life, I’ve only ever met 2 that I liked. The one I bought was a wooden frame with a bag type fabric hanging on it, which died ridiculously quickly. The other one was £28 (US$43.60, Canadian$44.21, AUD$42.61 – I think that covers my readership, see, I do these things just for you!). Why is it they are so unattractive? I love wicker baskets normally, there are quite a few in the house, holding logs and paper for the fire, and the basket I use to take the laundry from the washing machine outside to the garden to hang it out (which I would  do normally, in July, were it not PEEING WITH RAIN) is a wicker one, with a linen lining.

(You’re about to ask why I don’t use the same basket to put the clothes in aren’t you. Hang on, we’ll get there. (You weren’t? I’m surprised you stuck it this far…))

I’m blessed with a fairly big bathroom. (The rest of the cottage is tiny. Go figure.) It has sloping ceilings, under which are two big cupboards, with lots of shelving and I keep my clothes in baskets on the shelves (yes, my name is Jack, I have an organisational problem). I liked to get dressed in the bathroom, partly because I’m an “out the house 15 minutes after I woke up” kind of girl, and partly because that’s where the only mirror is, so it makes sense to me. And possibly only to me. So equally, it’s where I get undressed too, hence my need for a basket in the bathroom. But I couldn’t find one that fitted in. Wicker warps and stains too much in a steamy room and my shower likes to wash the floor while it’s washing me, so that’s why I don’t use the wicker one. Plus, who wants to see dirty laundry? Not this bunny. Plus I wanted something that didn’t take up too much space either, and something that looked right, which means in a little country cottage probably not metal, unless it’s cast iron and about 700 years old.

So what to do? I was randomly thinking of something totally unrelated when inspiration hit. (It’s not just me that does that, right?….) I was thinking back to school when I was 6 or 7 (it took a while, but I got there). We had a little room where we hung our coats on pegs and on gym day, we hung our gym bags there. My mum made my favourite gym bag, from blue and white checked gingham, and a length of twisted cord.

PING!!

When I had the first three bunnies, they had a (homemade) elaborate housing system, with several tiers, and I made cushions out of material I bought specially. I still had some of that material (why yes, I do hoard things, thanks for noticing) and as my bathroom is cream and blue, I decided to use it.

Cute, huh? Plus, on early mornings, whose day isn’t made a little bit more smiley by seeing bunnies?

So, I cut a long rectangle, folded it in half inside out, stitched up the two edges. Then I a folded the top edge down, about an inch and a half and stitched that. Then, I went hunting for some kind of drawstring.

That’ll do nicely. Then I did one of my favourite party tricks. Big old-fashioned nappy pin, stick it through the end of the ribbon, feed it through the channel at the top of the bag. Because the head of the pin is so big, it’s really easy to push it along the channel until it pops out the other end and I just tied the two ends together.

See? I told you this was a cheating post, because how simple was that? But it works. I made it myself and it does what I need it to do and that should kind of be the point, really. No, it isn’t sleek and shiny and doesn’t look something you could buy. But my bathroom is cottagey style and shiny doesn’t work there. Unless you’re a tap…

It now hangs on a handy hook on my bathroom door; it doesn’t take up floor space and it makes me smile. Sure, it won’t fit a massive amount, but I’ve compromised by putting the wicker basket in my “craft room” ie, the bit of space between the bathroom and my bedroom, where it’s mostly hidden out of sight by the stair bannister, so I can drop bulkier items in on my way to bed.

Se there you have it. Something really easy and great for beginners and really obvious, but you know what? It works. And anything that can help keep me organised has to be worth sharing?!