Make your own // advent calendar

homesewn_advent_calendar

I’ve done it. Finally. I wrote a while ago about my desire to make my own advent calendar – something that was unique to our family, and reusable for years to come. I came up with a plan that I was satisfied – but not thrilled – with. I embroidered 25 numbers. I started assembly. And by mid-December recognised that this was not the year I was going to finish my advent calendar. Maybe next festive season though. That was four years ago.

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Make your own // Reusable cloths

reusable_knitted_wool_cloths

I wrote a while back about how we were swapping out short-lived sponges and cloths for ten durable cloths that we would wash and reuse. These cloths served us well, but a few years, and one house move (and therefore epic clean) later, and we needed a few replacements. I thought about hopping back on Ethical Superstore to buy some more, but then remembered a crochet pattern for washable cotton wool pads that I had stumbled across a few years ago. Rather than introducing new resources to our home, this would use up ones we already had to hand. I eyed up my knitting basket, and hatched a plan.

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Making from scraps // sunglasses case

homemade_sunglasses_case

I realised that I needed new sunglasses when wearing my existing pair didn’t actually enable me able to see the world any better. True, they blocked out the glare, but they were so scratched that in dappled light they rendered me virtually blind. This seemed not ideal.

Mindful about where to source a new (to me) purchase from, I took a £2.99 risk and ordered a pair from Oxfam’s online shop. I’ve had previous successes from there and I’m pleased to report the sunglasses have not ruined my track record. They fit perfectly, are in great condition, and fulfil that all important role of protecting my eyes and sight on sunny days.

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2016 Aspirations

2016_aspirations

When catching up on the Downton Abbey Christmas special, the post-festive season adverts told me it was time to start getting fit, redecorating the house and booking holidays. These themes did arise in our New Year’s Eve reflections on the year past and the days ahead, but they weren’t the only features of our discussion. We are content with the framework we have established for our lives, prioritising sustainable living, fostering community, exploring creativity and honouring God. In 2016 we hope to continue on this trajectory, which means making more incremental steps to thread these throughout the fabric of our lives.

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Years in the making

years_in_the_making1When I bought a sewing machine, having never threaded one in my life, I was particularly taken with the idea of making my own quilts. This was probably born out of some romantic notions left over from watching the film ’How to make an American quilt’ as a teenager, along with the fact that I love a good blanket as much as the next person. Despite choosing a sewing machine with quilt-making capabilities, a few years into my sewing ventures I have not yet made one. Continue reading

A foray into upcycling // fabric noticeboards

DSC_0353Last year our neighbours moved out and for reasons unknown left behind enough furniture, decorations and one particularly tragic looking teddy bear to fill the garden. As lots of perfectly good yet abandoned stuff was slowly ruined by the autumn weather, I salvaged a couple of cork noticeboards that were beginning to warp in the rain. I was tempted by a lovely set of brass fireplace tools despite currently lacking the necessary fireplace. I’m glad I resisted; I wouldn’t want them to become a symbol of thwarted ambitions if we ended up transporting them from home to home, never acquiring a fireplace. Besides, we are trying to avoid excessive consumption in the form of unused items (even if they’re second-hand). Continue reading