Monday, 10 October 2016

5 Frugal Things

Two of my favorite bloggers have inspired me this month. Frugal Queen is having a No Spend October and Skint Dad is having a 'reduce your supermarket spend and use up what's in the store cupboard' challenge. 
So to quote Frugal Queen I am 'rebooting my inner frugal. 

1 - I started the month by switching energy supplier and cancelling my Sky TV contract - something I should have done ages ago.



2 - I've reduced my supermarket spend by buying mainly just fresh fruit and veg and using up what's in the cupboard and freezer.


3 - I've bulk cooked soup and curry. It's been frozen to add to the month's food supply.


 

4 - Although I'm trying not to spend on extras this month there are a few things I need for maintenance jobs. New fence panel capping £1.70 each, but will prolong the life of the fence. A new threshold for the shed. £3.50 from the local wood yard and well worth the money to keep all the winter weather blowing into the shed through the gap under the door.


 5 -  I rescued some old school desks that were going to be dumped. They will be made over and used as a work bench in the shed.

Let's hope I can keep up the good work until the end of the month. 



Thursday, 6 October 2016

Upcycling funiture for Uni

It's my daughter's second year and university and she moved from halls to renting a house with some friends. Her room is big but only had a bed a desk and a wardrobe. Time to upcycle all those bits of furniture that I'd kept in case it was useful one day.


The chest of draws that was originally bought for the nursery got its 4th make over. We repainted it & stenciled some flowers & butterflies. The bedside table, not sure where it came from but couldn't throw it out, got the same treatment.


A set of old office draws that were destined for a skip during an office move got a new set of wheels.


This laundry bin was given to my Mum & Dad as a wedding present. I inherited it  when I bought my first house. It had been sitting in the garage for years and was in need of some TLC.



A new top, new feet, a coat or three of paint and a fabric cover on the new top and it's back in use for blanket & quilt storage. 


We did have to buy a couple of inexpensive shelving units from Ikea, and she also wanted a small lamp table. We couldn't find a suitable table for the space but did find a CD tower for £5 which had the right footprint.


It too got a make over. A good rub down & a few coats of paint. I made padded covers for the CD slats which can be used as mini pinboards for photos. It's a bit unusual, but it works.


It's been a busy summer working on everything, but it's been such fun, we saved money  and we've created a real home from home for her.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Upcycled Glass Display Cabinet

Now I love a cup of tea and I have quite a collection of teapots. I searched the second hand shops for something to house them and found a 1980's mirror backed glass cabinet in a local charity shop for £25.


It sat in the garage for ages as I didn't fancy sanding it down with all that glass. I tried using varnish stripper but that would still need sanding. Then, a fellow blogger introduced me to chalk paint powder. 


Mixed with emulsion paint it makes chalk paint so no need to strip the wood.


It took a few coats to cover the dark wood.


Since I've cleared out the shed, I can use the work bench, and I can keep away from the cats trying to help me.


I stenciled on a few flowers to match another up-cycled cupboard in the room.


I found the glass in the back of the cabinet a bit too much, so I put a frosted film over it.


Finished and full of teapots.


Sunday, 19 June 2016

10 minute to do jar

So many people will tell you to make a list to get organized. I love a list. I make them all the time. Sometimes it takes me longer to make a list than it does to do the jobs. Usually, whilst I'm doing one job, I'm worry that another one isn't getting done. It can be counter-productive.


So I've created a 10 minute to do jar. It's a lucky dip of jobs that I normally put off, like filing the bank statements & throwing out old magazines. 


 When I find a free 10 minutes, I pick out a task. The rules are that no job should take more than 10 minutes. I have to do that task unless it's the same as the previous 2 tasks.


The jar sits in the living room in full view, so I have no excuse not to use it. So far it's working really well & I feel much more on top of all those boring tasks that I put off doing.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Travel Bag for my Crochet

I like to carry some knitting or crochet with me when I'm out & about. Usually I just throw some wool & needles into a small carrier bag. The Argos catalogue bags are favourites.
In my Christmas Stocking last year was a fat quarter of fabric and some ribbon.
I made a simple drawstring bag.
I put pockets inside for scissors & finished granny squares.
So simple to make. I can just throw it in my handbag or work bag and always have my crochet with me.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Laura's Handmade Life Chicks

I'm not a big reader. I'd rather be crocheting or knitting if I'm sitting down to relax. I picked up this book while back mainly due to the bunting & teacups on the cover. 
I recently had to commute to work on the train rather than drive so I had some time to read it. Laura, of the title, makes bags and other things from vintage fabrics. She makes chicks for her family for Easter. There's a pattern for the chicks at the back of the book.
I just had to have a go a making them.

 
Keeping true to the book I used fabric from my stash.
 
The finished chicks. One for Mum & one for my daughter for Easter.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

I'm Back Online

I had interment problems with my phone line & internet that started at the beginning of December. By the New Year, it had just about given up completely. I swapped suppliers & have been back online for a couple of weeks. So 2016 got off to a slow start. With no internet, I had more time to sit & crochet. I spent cold, dark evenings working on my Attic 24 Coast Ripple Blanket. I hope to finish it by Easter. 

  I'm being careful with money at the moment. I haven't started any major DIY projects, but have done a few make-do-and-mend ones.

This lampshade broke a while ago. The shade part kept falling out of the fixing. I ran some stitches around it screwed it back together & it's holding together nicely.

 I fixed a broken picture frame with a piece of ribbon.

I've made a draught excluder for the front door and started making a curtain for the back door. Hopefully it'll keep a bit more heat in.

And finally, I organised my wool colours as inspired by Lucy on Attic 24.