Saturday, 10 March 2012

Saturday pursuits..............

I finished reading this book this afternoon; thoroughly recommend it for anyone interested in self-suficiency/reliance. Some great authentic historical facts, recipes, etc, plus quite a few new to me ideas for food storage/preserving which I'm looking forward to having a go at this year. A really nice book to read, inspiring and colourful pictures. I bought mine from Amazon.

Also today, got a good bit more done on my newest crochet project, a zig zag blanket:

It's being done in acrylic for easy washing etc, and to use up some bits and bobs in the stash; the main colour is a lovely shade of apple green which I love. Crocheted in the car, bit tricky around the corners when the hook slipped out..................  lol

Out was a tip trip, but again, no treasures, but plenty to see on the way home on such a beautiful spring day - celandines in their thousands, first of the primroses and last of the snowdrops hanging on under a very sheltered hedge, took five minutes to watch a buzzard enjoying himself in the thermals, lots of paragliders out on top of Bulbarrow Hill, stunning view right across the Vale from up there (youc an see my cottage!), daffodils, horses, pony and trap, dog walkers, sheep............... I'm glad spring is here at  last :)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Frugal Friday - milk bottles

So - not only recycling to be frugal, but for re-using too :)  At the moment, I get my milk in big 2 litre plastic bottles. It's the only organic milk my milkman can get, and as it's fairly local, from just over the border in Somerset, it ticks a lot of boxes. The only bugbear is the plastic, but I do try to re-use as many as I can, which then go on to be recylced when done with. The ones I can't use are taken for recycling too. I use them for the freezer - good for freezing stock and soup, or filled with water and frozen for ice blocks, or just to use  up the space to make the freezer run more efficiently.
This is what I'm doing with them at the moment; I cut the bottle into 3 pieces
The top section makes a really good funnel, with a wider opening; coudl also be used for watering pots, eg tomatoes, to get the water direct to the roots without wasting/evaporation. The bottom section makes a handy wee tray - using at the moment for growing cress indoors, but a multitude of uses for them - drip trays, holding wee bits in the greenhouse, soap moulds, paint, all sorts of uses for them. The straight middle section I cut up into plant labels - they last for ages and are re-usable for a couple of seasons at least. After extra usage, all the bits get taken for recycling too, but it's very satisfying to get extra uses out of them before this.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

This makes me smile so much

Days like these.........................

Some days, things just come together so right - words, music, special people; they get stored in your memory like a tiny shell found on the beach and put in your pocket to be touched and smoothed and treasured time and time again, to be brought out for reassurance and rekindling of hopes and dreams, making smiles and optimism for the future. Today was one of those days :) x

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Red geraniums

I grow these every year for the kitchen windowsills; I lovetheir simplicity, the easy bright colour, they're not pretending to be anything else; I have them in clay pots, old ones, on a mix/match of saucers. I bought them last night - little scraps of plantlets in wee plastic pots; at £5 for 6 plants I thought it was good value. Early for buying yes, but if I wait, I won't get the colour I want; I quite like the white ones, but the oranges and salmon pinky ones aren't traditional enough for me. They look really lovley on my tiled windowsills here, and go on flwoering for a long time. This afternoon or tomorrow I will pot them on up to the next size pot in fresh compost and they'll romp away - I'm already looking forward to the first scarlet bloom forming among the green :)

(painting by  Theresa Shelton)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Washing up - again!

At  last - a decent working replacement for those hirrible plastic scrubby things for pots and pans. Have been using one of these for just over a week now, and can't recommend them highly enough.The only downside is that they are imported from the Phillipines*, but from a small family, ethical , Fair Trade company. It goes soft and pliable in hot water and does a really good cleaning job. So - decent ethical washing up liquid**, hand knitted compostable cloths using scraps/charity shop ends etc and this for scrubbing. Think I've cracked it.

* - I have loofah seeds to try growing my own this year

** watch out for a really ranty post about Fairy Liquid coming up!!