Saturday, 25 April 2009

Knitting dishcloths is addictive!

I know,I know, I hear exclamations like "What's the point?!" and "You're knitting what?!" but I have to say... there is something very satisfying about washing up in hot bubbles with a soft absorbant cloth, somehow you want to slow down the pace of life whilst looking out at your washing blowing in the breeze...(you're not convinced are you?!) Well I'm happy in my little world where simplicity reigns...or at least "is coming to the fore!"

So here are my first attempts:

I bought this book at the Bath and West "Creative Crafts" show yesterday. I was really hoping that there might be some Peg Looms there, but looks like I shall be ordering one online as there weren't any to be seen. This book helps to further whet my appetite. I would to have a go at stick weaving too.

I found this child's loom in a charity shop recently. I still can't quite work out how to thread it correctly, but at some point I need to have a go! I have the designs in my head, I just need to get on with it (between dishcloths!!) The instructions (circa late 60's,70's) suggest that I may be able to find "small remnants out of your Mother's wool-box and make many pretty things"! So hey ho off I go to Mother's wool-box!

I have decided that I would like to organise all my Creative/Craft items in one place. So the Craft Room is born! It doesn't look much at the moment, but I couldn't resist taking some early photos! When it looks more "lived in" I will take more! It is going to be brilliant not to have to clear everything away when I have finished for the day! The pasteing table will appear for the photo album/scrapbooking at some point as well! As you can gather, I am just a little excited!

My ribbon Box

I love seeing my needles all sticking up like this! I've been wondering what use to put this tall vase to!

A crop palace Part 1!

Preparations are afoot! Our new exbatts have no idea that a few feet away from where they are being temporarily housed. a new structure is about to be erected, a palacial
residence, thanks in part to British Airways who paid us to catch a later flight whilst we were were staying in Athens recently. The name Acropalace (At-hens International) just seemed to fit somehow!

First Dick and Ramzi had to clear some branches. I was told that I "wasn't really being very helpful" because I would gasp audibly every time Ramzi ventured along a branch which creaked ominously...

Now I know why boys need men in their lives! Mothers want to protect and are always telling boys to "be careful", "don't do that you might fall" etc. Boys need to be daring and if they fall, they have to learn to pick themselves up and carry on. I do wonder what sort of boys we are raising when so many fathers are out of the equation. There is a whole lot more than can be said on that subject and I must not be drawn!

So anyway...I made myself scarce... That was a few weeks ago!

This next photo has been taken today and shows where Dick has measured and levelled the ground ready for the bricks and then, at some point in the future, they will mix up some cement and the base will be ready for Stage 2, building the Acropalace!

Monday, 13 April 2009

I went to the library and look what I came back with!

I just couldn't resist it...and then I realised that I hadn't brought a bag to carry them all back to the car in. The library have stopped giving out plastic bags for those of us who get carried away so I just had to go to Denners and buy some half price wool and ask for "the mother of all bags" to carry everything in! The lady was very obliging!

The "Country Rag Crafts" book (top right) had me diving into my recycling and retrieving an old red T shirt and some denin shorts of Chris' that he know longer needed. Out came the scissors and long strips of 1-2 cm wide strips, some cut on the bias (ooh err) which in no time were wound up into balls ready for use. "For what?" I hear you ask, well, the book is full of suggestions and I am inspired! It takes recycling to a new level..."oh no", I hear you groan.....

I won't go into what I am discovering in the other books, I will let the titles speak for themselves.......and no comments about the Vinegar one!!!!!

Easter in photos

Just a little insight into the Easter w/e at our house in pictures!

Good Friday, this simple picture helped me to focus on the meaning.

I woke up to this strange skyline on Saturday morning...quite apt for the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday...

Ramzi's sister made this amazing pottery egg decorated with Hatty's picture! It opens up along the zig zags to reveal chocolate eggs which you then pass around to whoever comes to visit! She is a very talented woman!

Easter lunch with family and friends!

The food was a concoction of different foods from different nations....Indian spiced lamb with roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips, a mashed swede and carrots mixture, kale. The desserts, English trifle (decorated with Greek yogurt)and Simmel cake. We ended with Arabic coffee!

Napkins folded by Chris in the Bishop's mitre style!

Table decoration by Samar!

The eggs were made by a lovely Romanian lady in our church. She had picked the leaves and boiled the eggs in onion skins. The result, as you can see, is dramatic and very beautiful.

An Easter gift given to me fron Eden and Kai, two of the cutest kids at our Church!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

A good enough start?

I feel as if my mind is filled with so many ideas each one bouncing on to the next and then linking in with another and yet everything seems to be just that, ideas and not really anything much to show for it, it's exhausting and just a little frustrating! Yet I know that research is important and in the case of "Simple Living" there are loads of fascinating and inspiring blogs which I have just loved reading! I also know that sometimes I am hard on myself because when I look back through the last couple of months when all this "went up a gear", I can see that actually I have made a healthy start and have already made changes that have now become part of our life.

In fact let me try and get my head around what I have changed and am planning to change in the next few months:

I try to walk instead of taking the car where possible. If I need the car, I try and do a round trip of lots of little jobs!

I use the library more.

Before I throw anything away, I ask myself if it can serve another function. This sometimes clashes with my decluttering presents the trickiest dilemma for me!

I have become a self confessed Charity shop fan!

I am trying to make presents instead of buying.

I am knitting again! This includes the face cloths/ dish cloths!

I have re varnished a footstool and a letter holder (charity shops!)

I am thinking about a Craft room in my house, which is mine all mine!!!

I now make liquid soap and washing powder.

I am beginning to clean without chemicals, it is just a start though as I gradually finish the old bottles.

I am trying to learn more about vegetables!

I now place a small rectangular bucket in the shower tray which collects enough grey water to flush the toilet a few times.

I try and take time to look around and notice things.

I am discovering beauty in creation.

I am trying to make more time for people.

This isn't a pat on the back exercise as I know I have a long way to go, but at least, I guess I can see I am on my way, even if there is a list inside my head which is churning over many possiblities! It is one step at a time and hopefully I will make lasting changes.

I feel so excited and challenged by it all and I know that some of you who read this blog would have had listen to me enthuse, please be kind and humour never know, the next bath bomb or dusting powder,shampoo or bubble bath, cabbage, basil or new potatoes and of course the Hoghen eggs might find their way into your home!

For £3.50 a bargain, my new footstool!

The year I am determined that my sweetpeas are going to be an outstanding success!!!

The liquid soap experiment that worked!

The newly varnished footstool, yes, another one...


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