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

Posts tagged ‘handmade’

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

Tut Tut

As I sat watching ‘Larkrise’, with a blanket that was crocheted for Munchkin when he was born, wrapped around my shoulders, I noticed Minnie’s shawl, wrapped around her shoulders, and was struck with inspiration!

So now I have THREE crochet projects currently on hook!
I am a great starter of projects!, can you tell?!
But I need to start finishing them so that is one of my resolutions for 2011.

Here’s a sneak peek…

There are 8 different colours, 4 blues and 4 purples. All acrylic this time!

The sun shines through my bedroom window, making a bright room for photo taking!

Another gorgeous day but absolutely freezing! We’ve already taken Munchkin’s cousin to school, walked Sky and I have experienced the ice and frost first hand… and bottom… and back… and head.
Yep, I slipped and landed flat on my back! Yep, I did hit my head on something hard but I wasn’t knocked out nor concussed thankfully!
And I thought DM’s were perfect footwear for all weather!!

Well, I’m off to do housework-y stuff, entertain Munchkin and maybe fit some crochet in if I can… Bye for now!

 

Foxes and Cherry Blossoms

I got up early this morning, long before it was time to let the chickens out. I stood out by the back door, it was freezing though so not long!
I was looking out into the dark garden when I heard something – a fox cry! It went on for a while and though it was quite far off I could follow the sound travelling down the hill.

Needless to say I didn’t let the girls out until the sun was completely up and the fox had stopped crying!

That just confirms that there are foxes nearby, and while I adore foxes and would love to see one in real life I really do not want to see one in my garden when my girls are in it!

Today has been a sewing day. I have nearly finished the driver’s side seat cover. It’s in situ now, all I need to do is replace some of the padding in the seat, tape it up and secure the bottom panels somehow – I’m thinking gluegun…

The main fabric is upholstery corduroy that I received from a Freecycler.

I used some of the brown cord for the tree branch applique then used this pattern (minus leaves) to crochet the blossoms.

For the back and sides I used a faux suede fabric that was given to me by a friend. When I first made the top of the seat it didn’t quite fit so I cut and seamed a triangle out the back, sewed tiny buttonholes with my machine and used shoelaces for a ‘corset’ effect!
It’s still not a perfect fit but it doesn’t move and looks so much better than it did before (these seats are nearly 40 years old!)

I’m really chuffed with it!!! The crochet blossoms don’t dig in to my back as they’re tiny and fairly flat. There’s still quite a bit to be done cosmetically but just seeing that new seat cover makes me all the more eager to do the rest.

Hurrah!

Plans for 2011

I guess I’d better start with HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Here’s to a great 2011, a healthy, happy, balanced year.

Resolutions? I got a couple, they include the Buy Nothing New For (at least) A Year challenge, and to Balance my health. That word, balance, has been shouting out at me a few times over the past few days and all in the same context – balance your life, your health, your mind. It’s something I need to take control of in my life. I’ve been very lazy the past few months I feel and desperately need to get some zing back, a spring in my step, stop my bones and mind from atrophying. With a toddler it is very difficult to become truly lazy as there’s always plenty to do for and with them but it’s not enough.

Anyway, I’ve got plans too, regular day-to-day stuff but I guess it all comes into the whole balance thing. I’ll probably add to these as time goes on, and here’s the list – feel free to fast-forward through this…

  • Build up the hall wall again – we put it up three years ago, pulled it down and now realised it should have stayed!
  • Build raised veggie bed in garden – make safe from chooks!
  • Get 2-3 more chooks
  • Finish decorating bathroom
  • Get Jasper running properly
  • Finish circles blanket (more on that soon!)
  • Finish scarf (pref. before next Autumn!)
  • Learn how to knit…
  • … and then knit a sweater for Munchkin (again before next Autumn!)
  • Clear out attic for once and for all
  • Make quilt out of Munchkin’s old clothes
  • Make seat covers for Jasper
  • Get Jasper in good condition (more on this below…)

There’s so many things! And I’m sure I’ve forgotten some!

Yesterday we went for a drive in Jasper. He’s pretty much fixed now, J can’t think of any other way to make him run better without having to replace the entire engine.
We drove past a house where there were two Beetle’s and a camper park up. They were all done out beautifully, nice shiny spray jobs, shiny, shiny, shiny.
Jasper was so embarrassed about his rust and frayed and falling off bits I’m sure he went from bright orange to bright red. So now one of my goals is to get him in such good shape that he’ll feel proud when he sees other type 1’s and won’t want to hide under a scrap pile.

Ok, that’s enough for now – I’ve got a pile of different colour cords in front of me waiting to be made in to a funky car seat cover!

Want a giggle? Here’s Loki, one our RSPCA rescued cats. He’s very fat, despite being fed exactly the same as all the others but he is one of the most loveable in the house. He’s a complete flirt, will put a paw on each of your shoulders and lick your nose until you remove him! He is also very placid, as you can see below. Now I’m not one for dressing animals up but if cats wore clothes then Loki would HAVE to wear a vampire cloak ALL THE TIME!


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!

Festive Sewing

Firstly, may I indulge in a little self-pity?
I’m writing this from my sick bed, in fact, it is also J & Munchkin’s sick bed, which makes for a sticky, snoring, hot and shivery place for three people to while away the flu in.
Munchkin has been sicky for a few days now and has developed an earache which I’m hoping Nerofen for littlies will help. Of course if he’s still complaining about it in a couple of days I shall whisk him off to the doc.
I’ve had sniffles until today when it attacked! Yuck! Lots of sneezing and sore throatiness and chills and all the lovely things that come with this little virus.
Thankfully I managed to make a stocking for Bachgen last night before I got really ill!
And J? Well he felt very sick this morning before heading off to work but is feeling a bit better now. Not that Jasper, my VW Beetle, helped – running out of petrol on the way home from work, tut tut, naughty Jasper…

Anyway, enough of the ‘woe is me’s’! On with the Makes!

Made entirely from scraps I had lying around. I very much wanted to use the red polka and red gingham but that would have looked WAY too girly for my very boyish Munchkin so I had to make-do! I added a couple of buttons that my sister gave to me absolutely ages ago with the intention of them going on something especially for her favourite (only) newphew. It’s thanks to a repeat of Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas that this came about – I had no idea what to do for him stocking wise and it goes without saying that it HAD to be handmade not shop bought.

The next lot of goodies were intended for sale on Etsy but as I haven’t as yet got around to sorting out a Etsy store I thought I might as well use them myself! With the decorations up and the tree trimmed, it’s starting to look a little more festive around here. And Munchkin is at the age now (THREE in April) where he has some understanding of the word christmas, and father christmas, christmas tree etc. One day when he’s older I’ll teach him about where all these traditions REALLY came from. Back to the sewn stuff, there I go again, off on a tangent! They’re all felt creations, there’s five of the hearts in total… (all pics clickable)

In addition to the ‘Noel’ bunting (please excuse the awful pic, flash did not want to go off) I made one in pastel-y colours with the word ‘Home’ which I may just hang up in the bedroom. I’ll show you it oneday, you know, when I’m not Mrs Snot Monster!

That’s all for now, Folks. I’m going to rest my weary head!

“Fenyw Fach”

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.