Monthly Archives: November 2012

Unbelievable Waste!

My partner found this link to an article I found absolutely astonishing. Apparently America wastes 40% of the food it buys. Can they afford that in these days of austerity? Can the world afford for those resources to end up in landfill? Can the starving world afford to see that continue? My goodness! Seemingly, the result of these findings has caused scientists to try and make food last even longer,. Why not just BUY LESS? Maybe then folk could afford their mortgages, reduce their loans, get food prices down and recover financially, at least a bit. America, re-think your lifestyles, please!

Here’s the link to the article. See what you think for yourself.

Crochet for Charity

I’ve been doing a bit of recycling recently. As gardening has been nigh on impossible lately with such wet conditions, I’ve revived an old hobby to use up a big bag of yarn oddments for charity. The nearby city of Leicester has quite a lot of homeless people, and plenty of them are young mums or young families. We found out quite by chance that although they are donated lot of adult clothes etc they are always short of things for babies. So baby blankets and hats are occupying those late evening hours in front of the telly. Here are some of the results.

Crochet blanket

Crochet Blanket

Crochet Baby Hats



The blankets are made using a simple old American Square, and I simply played with yarn, colour and scale (by changing the crochet hook size and yarn gauge). near you. I can make a blanket in a few hours using the larger gauge hook (5mm) and a double knit yarn. The hats take an hour or two. They are both a great way of using up my leftovers and freeing up a whole cupboard! The hostel that takes them are delighted! Win win.


Mosaic Bird Bath and News

I’ve been terribly neglectful of this blog. I’m so sorry. It’s been a mixed few months, and a lot to deal with including travel to see my family. We live out of our camper and time is taken up completely when we’re there. Then there has been work to do to earn a living, chronic health issues and  the worst summer for a long time. As you can imagine, a lot of my plans for the garden are behind schedule, but despite that I have achieved some progress. I now have a greenhouse, and have eaten a crop of very late tomatoes. We’ve had a crop of runner beans, a few French beans and some salad, plus herbs fresh all summer. What a lifestyle!

Unfortunately the onions rotted in the wet. I’ve dug over the bed and added plenty of homemade compost plus some old grow bag compost to open up and raise the soil. On a different part of the bed I’ve now planted Japanese onion sets to grow through to spring, but with the current flood conditions started again this week and next week’s forecast I wonder if that was a wise move.

The wood burning stove is now coming into play and we have plenty of fuel in the form of felled weed trees and outdated telephone directories that will end up as ashes on the compost heap.


Birdbath mosaic before grouting

As winter storms towards us I felt in need of a bit of colour. As you know I support wildlife to the best of my ability. I decided to make a new bird bath. I had a jar full of hoarded little glass beads and bought a clay saucer. It’s very easy to do. I coated the saucer with slightly thinned PVA, let it dry then played, bead by bead from the centre outwards. Use PVA to fix each bead in turn. Leave overnight to dry, then mix a thin grout. Pour this between the beads, wiping any excess away with a damp cloth. You may have to repeat this process once the first coat is dry. Voila! One bird bath. Use an upturned clay pot as the base and you have an attractive, colourful object on your patio in the middle of winter for your birds and you to enjoy. As you can see from the photos, colour should sparkle even in the faintest winter sunlight. The first shot shows you what the mosaic should look like before the grouting. The second is my proud finished project with the poured, dyed blue grouting set. Water and birds next!

Birdbath mosaic completed

You could, of course, use mosaic tiles, using the same technique, or if you feel really adventurous, broken, flat ordinary wall tiles. Snip them into the size you want for your design with tile nippers.