A self-sufficient(ish) life with cats, a dog, chooks, a little boy and a bloke.

Archive for the ‘Made Some Stuff’ Category

Good Morning All!

It’s another wet day but yesterday was nice and dry and we actually did some outdoor work! Amazing!

While Munchkin was sleeping very soundly in his bed for a nap (which are exceedingly rare these days), J and I set to work out the back. He’s already done quite a bit – moving the shed about, making space for Jasper to sleep in the carport rather than out on the street and getting rid of rubbish. His plan was to rainproof the shed. Mine to convert my old allotment wheelbarrow into a small bed for some veggies. I drilled a few holes for drainage and dumped a pile of barely used soil into it, then we jammed it in place just under the bare tree – making sure the chooks won’t find a way of getting in it!
I have my seeds ready to be sowed, very little this year compared to what we’ve grown in the past. All the seeds I’ve collected are in two tins, it was fun yesterday going through them and choosing what to grow. I sadly patted my purple sprouting broccoli and kale seeds. One day I’ll have somewhere to have lots of those lovely veggies growing!
This year though I’m sticking to basil, rocket, cut-&-come again salad, radish, beetroot and a couple of cucumbers in the little greenhouse.
We must have about ten fruit bushes in pots out there, so the plan is to make a nice flat area on top of the shed and put them up there, again out of the way of hens and in full sun. When they start fruiting I’ll net them to stop all the local garden birds from having them.

On the sewing front, I’ve made a fair bit but still need to make a lot more.

I have five of the small coin purses prepared and waiting to be sewn up, two more of the bucket tote bags with the owl, a few more crochet coin purses, a messenger bag with another larger owl and pile of button-y goodness and I want to make some more make-up/toiletry bags.

Now, I need your honest opinions. Do they look too amateur-ish? Which would you leave out? I don’t think I like that crocheted pouch up in the left hand corner (that was actually that blanket I said I started and didn’t know why!!). If it was a different colour it might be ok but those colours just don’t do anything for me…

So what do you think? Should I even bother?!?!

Sara xx


Please Excuse My Absences!

It has been a mad few weeks! Firstly, Munchkin is now happily in preschool twice a week for 2 hours a time. He’s enjoying it immensely, except for today when Bobby Bear came to read them a story. Munchkin and another little boy burst out crying! He’s ok now, has told me he played with trains and cars.

Secondly, I’m jogging three times a week now. I’m doing the Couch-to-5k training programme and it’s going great so far.
Still on my diet and doing well, I’ve lost 8 and a half pounds to date! Only 12 and a half to go!
The programme finishes on the 25th of March – the day before my 30th birthday(!). At that point I should be able to jog the whole 5k without needing to stop. Knowing this gives me so much motivation, especially as I’ve told myself to hang on for my birthday before deviating from the diet!

Had a lot of visitors to the house lately so I feel like I’m constantly cleaning and tidying. It’s very tiring!  We’ve had Indi’s friends and cousin over and my Dad has been up this weekend. It’s great seeing everyone but I don’t think they know how much work goes into making this house presentable! With this many animals it’s non-stop!

I have been crocheting of course. I tried to make a beret that I saw on Landgirls but my attempt went drastically wrong!

<<< What I wanted to make

What I did make!>>>





So not exactly what I wanted, I’ll try again one day. In the meantime, I’ve still got the circles blanket, ripple scarf, shawl on the hook and I started a baby blanket last night. It’s girly so don’t know why I’m making it… perhaps I’ll be able to sell it?!
On that subject, I need to find a way of earning enough dosh to at least cover Munchkin’s preschool fees. I’d like to let him go three times a week but it’s not cheap!
I need to think of something I can sew that will sell well… I’m thinking bags for little girls… Simple to make, cheap to buy so parents are happy, and maybe some bags for grown ups… Basic messenger style bags, bucket bags etc but with some applique to make them a bit more special…?
And then – where to sell them?! There’s a craft market in Abergavenny once a month but that won’t bring in enough… I shall have to have a look about. But first to make the bags!
Have I actually got girly fabric…?!

Sorry I haven’t been doing much commenting on blogs lately, I have been reading you! Will get back into it today, szee you soon! xx

Sneak Peak…

These two projects are only being worked on when Munchkin is lying fast asleep beside me in bed so progress is slow but steady! Spare time over the next couple of days is all for my car seat cover – I have high hopes about this, really hope it actually fits!

Here’s the scarf.

My sister gave me the yarn for xmas. Isn’t it gorgeous?! See how the colours are almost in ‘blocks’? Mmm, it’s so soft too. See the silvery blue? Oh I cannot wait to see how it will work up!

Next we have the circles.

Now these are made from Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK (mouthful!) My dad gave me four balls of this yarn for xmas and I’ve decided to make a circles blanket with them. I have got a very, very long way to go!

Please excuse the darkness in the photos – the skies are as grey as grey can be!

I must be off now, got so many things to make and I’m eager! Bye for now…

Crochet, Snow, & Birds

Hello there!

Feeling much better today and we’ve had so much more snow which is in abundance throughout Blogland!

This is my car – Jasper. As you can see he’s rather snowed under, this was yesterday. J cleared the snow but he’s been covered with just as much today. I haven’t driven him for about two months which is down to him needing repairs mostly, I miss driving him!

Here are my girls.  They wouldn’t leave their shed until I shovelled this path for them, it was so amusing to see their horror at all the white stuff! Front to back – Margo, Barbara and Jerry.

One of the most important things to remember in this weather is to feed the birds. Our garden is filled with sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, crows, bluetits and the odd robin or two (I actually saw two robins together today, I jumped for joy!) all through the day now which highlights the need to make sure there’s food out there for them.
Slightly off topic, when I went out to shovel another path for the girls I heard wind rushing past me. I looked up to see hundreds of birds flying above. It was so exhilarating, my heart stopped for a moment. If it wasn’t for the snow stopping traffic and causing this wonderful silence I would never had heard the birds wings flapping so loudly as they flew past. I felt so lucky!

The headband above is actually something I made with the intention of selling but after seeing so many much more beautiful creations on the web I decided against it! I’m only wearing this one now as I wanted something to keep my hair out of my eyes. Not my choice in colours and flowers don’t suit me but it did the job 🙂

I made this gorgeous ‘Granny Mandala’ in a few hours, one of my favourite makes to date! It’s all thanks to this amazing woman whose blog – Crochet with Raymond is so inspiring, I found it a few days ago and loving it!

Here’s my lovely, crazy, barmy girl, Sky, edging her way onto the mandala. See how big it is compared to her!
I wish I’d used more red in the centre but the greens/purples/blues are my favourites anyway.

Well, I’ve got another project on the go which I’ll show when it’s complete. Time to go now, got a toddler to get to bed and the zoo wants their supper!

Baking and Bottling

I had a kitchen day yesterday, I need a break from it now and think I’ll avoid garlic too – I couldn’t get the smell off my hands for ages!

First of all, a summer berry pie made from all our own strawberries, raspberries and mostly blueberries that we froze as we picked (new plants, not enough to make anything in one go) and some left over blackberries from the jam.

Before After. Oh my this was delicious! I’m so glad I waited until winter to make this, it was a piece of summer in minus temperatures!

And then I decided to finally do something with all the garlic that I grew on the allotment (sadly had to give it up, very sad) earlier in the year.
I found a recipe for pickled garlic in my River Cottage Preserves Handbook by Pam Corbin and here is the result…

So a fairly productive day. I hope to have finished a tunic that I started making and also a couple of christmas gifts need to be finished soon. More on them soon 🙂

I haven’t had a chance to put my new/old skirt in to action yet as little man and I are full up with colds and spending all our time indoors. Plus, the temperature has been -4 for the past week so not really skirt weather!
J has been very disappointed as it really hasn’t been very good weather for cycling and the back lane is all ice so he can’t use his motorbike, he’s been using my petrol-guzzling-not-working-quite-right beetle this past week. Not very economical but it’s still cheaper than the train!
It’s 4c today though so I shall have to get out the back garden and shovel chicken poop and ice!
My girls are so good, even through the horrid freezing cold they still kept on laying, most days we have one from each of them. I did notice a bit of discolouration on Margo’s comb a couple of days ago so brought her into the bathroom and put some vaseline on it. Just to be safe I did the same to Barbara and Jerry – they were very shocked, Margo spent over a month in the bathroom when she prolapsed but the other two have never been in the house. It was great though, they both stayed perfectly still so I could put the vaseline on! Whereas Margo knows the score and kept bobbing her head to avoid my fingers!
I’m looking on the website where we got these three from – a family run free range farm. After the new year I might be dragging J and Munchkin up there to collect two more! I really wanted a couple of black rocks but they’ll only have chicks available at that time and I don’t have time to look after chicks so I’ll either have to wait or choose a leghorn and a ranger. We’ll see!

Oh, I had to buy something new yesterday – a tin opener! It was needed as my penknife keeps going walkies to J’s shed and thankfully only cost £1. I’ll get a little list going at the side to which I’ll add my non food expenditures, be good for me to keep a track of everything!

Anyway, I’ve jabbered on enough, plenty to be getting on with today. See you soon!

Scrap New Years Resolution…

… We’re starting from NOW!

J went off to work on his bicycle for the first time this morning. It took him 42 minutes and he said it was tough going, especially as there is ice and snow about but I think he’s happy with it. It’ll just get better from now on!

I might be taking Munchkin out on a playdate later and I’d like to wear a skirt but haven’t got one! My clothes situation is really dire! I’ve got a couple of pairs of jeans that are tidy and a pair with very worn out holes at the knees,  but I fancy wearing skirts. So what’s a girl to do?…..

Make a skirt out of my holey jeans of course!

Sorry there was a pic but its disappeared!

And I’ve finally thawed the 2lbs of blackberries from the freezer and made jam. The blackberries were foraged back in the late summer, sugar and one cooking apple bought.