bEAching, cottage garden

bEAching…woodland clear up day 3

Day 3 in the woodland garden – the weather still holding off enough for us to get into the wood and continue clearing away the debris – I can’t believe our luck.  It did seem cooler today and we had a flurry of snow around lunch time but by the time we had eaten it had passed and the sun came out again.

We even got the grass cut on both sides whilst the very hefty but rather beautiful Charolais bull in the adjoining field was watching us with an amused look – I did point out to my DH that if the bull so wanted to charge the mere fact that there was a little fence and a stream between us would not deter anything of that size – best just to ignore him and not attract his attention, but not turn your back on him!

I have been playing tug o’ war with the ivy again – sometimes I win and it comes away easily when I pull on it and sometimes the Ivy wins and I have to resort to the secateurs – but I have cleared quite a large area now and found some interesting things beneath – a wooden pallet someone has obviously thrown over the fence, a charger for something, a fresh load of soil (hope it is not contaminated – probably the remains of some hanging baskets or tubs) and a few too many drinks cans.  The problem with people dumping pallets is that when they rot down the nails don’t and you can easily step on one –  I constantly worry in case we have any children playing in the wood that they might injure themselves.  People can be so thoughtless at times and although we have a stock fence around the wood it doesn’t seem to prevent unwanted visitors.

My long-term plan is to leave some drifts of Ivy and clear the rest to make way for some native woodland plants that I will introduce into this part of the wood – I don’t want it to look too decorative though I prefer it to look as natural as possible so I am looking at Cow Parsley, Foxglove and Anemone, we already have red Campion, Sweet Woodruff, Alkanet, Bluebell, Bramble and plenty of spotted dead Nettle.  If I don’t fill the uncovered ground up with something then the Ivy and Stinging nettles will just grow rampantly.

Over the last few years we have also acquired Bracken from the neighbouring field – it can be quite a problem as it easily gets out of hand and is not good to be breathing in the spores so as soon as it makes an appearance this year we will have to treat it – at the moment it is not easy to spot as it has died down but the runners are there lurking underground.

I have noticed a number of little abandoned nests here and there whilst the trees are bare – some of them rather precariously balanced – I like to think our little wood is a safe haven for the wildlife and birds and that they can live here happily undisturbed – well usually undisturbed – but I am really careful not to disturb any nests and there is no evidence of any birds nesting at the moment but I do need to get a move on and any clearing that isn’t done by the end of the week will have to wait until next year.

Whilst on the subject of rubbish (oh dear I hear you say another rant coming!) –  I do find it weird that as a householder at the cottage we should have 6 different recycling bins and boxes issued by the Council to put our rubbish in – as we don’t live here full-time and are not around to put out the right bin/box on the right day or generate very much rubbish we are allowed to put everything into the one grey bin – (however, this goes against my values so what we actually do is take anything recyclable back home with us and put it in the appropriate bin at home) anyway I digress – that is not actually the weird part I was going to mention – what I do find weird is that the pub at the top of the lane opposite our wood as a business generating heaps of rubbish doesn’t even have to recycle their cans or bottles and the caravan site beyond that with 28 vans doesn’t have to recycle anything either even if all the vans were fully occupied all summer – so their very large industrial bins can be full to overflowing with rubbish that is headed straight for landfill.

Amazing!

 

Back soon x

 

Advertisements
crafts, crEAting

crEAting…nothing goes to waste

I am sure everyone is left with a huge pile of Christmas cards after Christmas is over and the decorations are down.  I have plans for all mine.
For any that I particularly like or think are useful I turn them into gift tags for next year.  If they are very large cards I will cut them into suitable sizes depending on the design.

 

Then I cut across the corners like a luggage label and punch a hole.

For smaller tags I might only use part of a card in this case the upper part…

and shape the corners and punch a hole the same.

You can experiment with any part of a card – it doesn’t have to be the whole of the picture.

This particular card would not be useful again because of the date 2017 – but I had other ideas.

I will use this part as a tag on my tray of homemade chocolates that I make at Christmas…

and the numbers will be useful for the future and can be stuck onto a 2nd or 7th birthday card.

Sometimes the design and proportions of a card do not make good tags as they are a little too large but I crop them down to a suitable place…

and paste it onto an envelope and use these as money envelopes when I am giving cash or a cheque instead of a gift.  In our family when we give cards for birthdays we never stick the envelope closed so that we can then re-use it so I always have a good  stock of colours and sizes and pasting the card onto the envelope covers up the previous name on the front.

This card had a beautiful laser cut pattern on the front so I carefully detached this for future use.

Then cropped down the rest of the card to make another money envelope.
One or two cards I will keep for inspiration when I am making my own cards from lino cuts.

And then there are always one or two that I hang on to – if someone has sent me a handmade card I like to keep them (not all of them but a few).  I also like to keep one or two that I absolutely love and often they are the very small but simple cards that I pick out for my mantel piece display which I tend to colour co-ordinate to be more effective.   This way some of my favourite cards are re-used – it may sound a bit of an odd habit – but it works for me.   I mark these with a red sticker on the back so I know they are older ones and keep them stored in a box for next year should I want to reuse them. 

mantelpiece

So of the cards I received this year I have made some money cards,

  a selection of gift tags…
and I will find something to make with this for next year…

Of the remaining I will be selecting some to use for an advent calendar next year and the rest of them I will just cut the front part off and these will go to a local charity who will repurpose them as new cards for next Christmas and the insides will go to the recycle bin in Sainsbury’s. ( Or like Sue over at the Cottage at the End of the Lane she uses hers for her shopping lists).

This way none of the cards end up in my waste bin and most of the usable parts of a card are reused in some way.

 

being thrifty, trEAsury

Recycling the magazines…

and gaining twice the pleasure…

County Living 2

 

As this year is my year to REDUCE everything in my life I had to make the difficult decision not to buy any magazines AT ALL, all year, unless there are extreme circumstances why I should need to.

As I usually head straight for the magazine isle when I enter Sainsbury’s to do my weekly shopping this was, I thought, a step too far but I have even surprised myself and after seven visits so far have managed to browse, but not buy, any magazines, and although I feel a bit guilty at reducing Mr Sainsbury’s profits I hardly think my ‘no magazine spend’ will send them into administration.

Of course this decision has been made so much easier because one of the Christmas gifts from my better half was a subscription to Country Living so I am not totally without my little bit of monthly pleasure and I quite like the surprise I get when I arrive home one day to find it waiting for me on the mat.

It was during the early days of my withdrawal that I suddenly hit upon the idea of rereading last years copies of  Country Living and Country Homes, that I had saved.  So at the moment I am rereading the March issues and when my new Country Living arrives for April I will pick out the April 2012 ones to read and it is just like having bought new ones.

This time round though, after cutting out any recipes and articles I want to keep, I will be putting the older copies in the recycle bin so that I do not end up with a magazine mountain, however I will hang on to the new 2013 copies so I can reread them all over again next year.

 

Country Living