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

Posts tagged ‘homemade’

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!


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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”

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.