crafts, crEAting

crEAting…growing and repotting and a bit of crafting

On my kitchen windowsill at the moment I am trying to root these succulents; they were originally part of a Mother’s day gift from my daughter two years ago but eventually outgrew the moss filled glass bowl they came in.  Although the arrangement was very attractive I am not actually a succulent fan and have no idea what the plants are called other than I thought one of them might be a Wandering Jew (if I am allowed to say that) or a Money plant (though I haven’t noticed it growing any yet) but I am not sure and stand to be corrected.

It seemed a shame to let them die so we rescued and repotted the two main plants in fresh compost and new pots, trimming them back to encourage more growth from the base, and the straggly parts we snipped off have been plunged into a jam jar of water in the hope that they will root.  Succulents I think are fairly easy to root from any part of the stem – again correct me here someone if I am wrong.

I was hoping they might root in time to give to the plant stall at the Christmas charity coffee morning at my local church but realise now this is a bit optimistic.

So during the week so far I have managed to do a few of my intentions from the list.  I have sent out the Not so Secret Santa wish lists and had the big draw of names out of the hat so we all know who is buying for who.  I have started the advent calendars and cut round the doors ready to decorate. I am on with arranging our family get together and present swap event and have started editing the photos for mum’s book.

Well when I say ‘I’ …OH has given me a helping hand.

In the photo there is a glimpse of my back garden through the kitchen window – it is in dire need of a tidy up and this is on my list but it has either been very cold or very wet here so that is another day and another post.

I have been concentrating on the decorating and we are almost finished so very soon I will have the big ‘guest room’ reveal.  The wardrobes have been fitted but guess what – the doors are still to be delivered because there was a scratch on the mirror.  The bed is being delivered on Monday and hopefully the doors next Tuesday – mum will follow shortly after (not delivered though!).

I am pleased with the way it looks though it has been a struggle at times finding exactly what I wanted but I have managed to throw it all together using merchandise from many different sources.  We are trying to decide on a bedside table (one we can afford and at budget price) – so at the moment we are resorting to an Ikea stool.  We also bought curtains for this room – I can’t remember ever buying curtains before – I would normally make them myself but just do not have the time.

I did buy the quilted throw I had my eye on for ages in Sainsbury’s in the double up rewards scheme they run at this time of year –  I had to hide the last one at the back of a stack of cushions on the shelf until double up day began and then go in to work earlier via Sainsbury’s that morning to make sure I got it!

 

I packaged the fun sized chocolate bars, a mix of Mars, Maltesers, Milky Way etc left over from Trick or Treat night (with a few extra added) into these brown craft bags, then stuck a stamped Christmas label to the front and this will be my donation to our local church Christmas coffee morning the proceeds going to Crisis for the homeless at Christmas.

Last time I did these I made the bags myself from a roll of brown paper but being short of time I bought these from the Range a pack of 5 was £2 so not a big outlay.  I found they sold quite well as they make a nice little gift for children – they are a bit like the old selection boxes but in a bag.

I am looking forward to ticking off a few more tasks by the end of the week – how are your plans going?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cleaning, decluttering, decorating, drEAming, general chit chat, homestEAding, nEAtening, rEArranging, simplifying

weekly review – more cleaning and clearing

A normal week this week so I finished work on Wednesday night and then did a bit of a shop in Sainsbury’s taking advantage of any items on offer – so now one of those huge 1kg tubs of Lurpack butter sits in my fridge as it was the only one available on offer and I never buy butter at full price.

Last time this happened we got the butter dish out of the cupboard and kept decanting slabs of butter into it.  It is actually quite nice to have a proper butter dish on the table and the saving on buying the very large size is really good at 60p for 100 grams against 75p per 100 grams for the smaller size – I might buy this size again even though it almost fills a shelf by itself!

When I came to put the food away I was too tired to do any more than just pushing it in where it would fit with the intention of sorting it out later so my first job on Thursday morning was cleaning and sorting the two fridges.

We have a small under the counter one in the kitchen now 30 years old and showing its age but still going strong and a larger one in the laundry room where we keep our vegetables, salad and fruit.  We invested in this a few years ago because our veg goes off quickly in either the kitchen or the garage.  I still store potatoes and onions in the garage though.

Whilst sorting and cleaning I decided to wash and chop some of the veg and put it into bags so that it will be ready when we want to make a meal.

I don’t usually do this but the idea came to me because we already pre-prepare a large bowl of mixed fresh fruit for our breakfast and salad for our lunch or my packed lunches.

 

So I prepared Leeks, Celery and Spring onions as I find these most time-consuming.

I keep the prepared salad in these ‘handy’ containers  – I nickname it our ‘Salad Bar’  – the deep one with 3 sections is great to take any combination of radish, cucumber, tomatoes, grated carrot, peppers etc but I would never put the chopped spring onions or beetroot in here as they would end up making the container smell or stain.  The larger square container has a plastic rack that sits on the bottom to keep the lettuce crisp and fresh and it does seem to work.

…and voila all sorted!  If this works I might try to pre prepare a lot more of our veg now I have a bit more time at home.

 

Whilst in the kitchen I moved on to cleaning the herb and spice rack.  My collection of four little chickens had become a trifle dusty and some of the herbs past their best by a few years.  I tend to use fresh herbs that have been frozen more than the dried ones so they end up well out of date before I get to the end and eventually smell and taste of very little.

 

I will need to replenish some of them and also buy some of the spices I will need for bonfire night and Christmas (I did whisper that word!).

There is something special about the taste and smell of the spices that mark this season – warming ginger for the Parkin and Ginger cake, mixed spice and cinnamon for the Christmas cake and cloves that will be used for my pomanders.

I always buy organic when I can but find that the Whole food shops sell it in bags that are far too big a quantity for us so I get the smaller packets from Waitrose.  As luck would have it a coupon has just dropped through my door for £10 off a £50 spend!  I shall make a list and maybe go on Saturday when we are out and about.

 

In between all this cleaning and clearing I managed to get our double mattress protector washed and hung on the line for a good blow before the next rain shower.

Whilst I was out in the garden I realised how much is still in flower even though summer is well and truly over.  I took a couple of pictures to capture the last of the colour – the vibrant red of the Kaffir lilies against the deep blue of the geraniums…

 

…and I just love the mustard yellow seed heads bobbing around with the finely cut Monbretia petals which are a softer orange than most and contrast well against the mauve of the hydrangea.

For anyone reading my last post about clippings these are my binders full of ideas – I even have one called Clippings – this is just a place to put any interesting newspaper and magazine articles about the area our cottage is in.  When we had the flood we hit the local newspapers!  One day soon I will go through them and try to reduce the amount.

 

 

If you have been following my recent decorating posts you will know we have just finished one bedroom and are about to start on the middle bedroom which belonged to my elder daughter and now used by my mum when she comes to stay.  So I thought I would show you the before pictures.  As you will see it is well overdue a complete overhaul.

The pictures are cheap ones bought when we ‘styled’ my mum in laws house to sell.  Rather than just take them straight to charity I put them up in here but they won’t be going back as they are not really my taste.  I might keep the silver frames and put new pictures in.

 

I am clearing the room bit by bit as the wardrobes are being dismantled to make way for new ones that will hopefully  be more space effective and only have two doors rather than three as at the moment there is always a bit you cannot get to easily creating pockets of wasted space.  Eventually this wardrobe will give mum some hanging space when she visits and hold our out of season clothes as we will be losing six drawers.

The two sets of Ikea drawers will be going up to my daughters new house with the single bed and mum will be getting a bigger double bed and this can then be used when either daughter and partners stay over too.

The retro nursing chair was my mum-in-laws – it was meant for the cottage so I am having to store it here now until the cottage is ready.  I am still undecided about keeping it, it needs recovering and estimates have been about £200.  Once we have the new bed the chair will not fit back in here so I need to make a decision soon.

Tomorrow we will be resuming our hunt for reasonably priced sliding doors – I am really out of touch with prices for furniture but the estimates we have been given seem far too high for a spare bedroom.  The ones we are removing were less than £90 from MFI in early nineties!  They have to be sliding doors as there isn’t enough room for opening doors in this room.

Well that is my update hope your weekend goes well.