Saturday, 31 March 2012

Wonderful evening considering the possibilities


 I have snuggled up with my laptop and a jug of water ( yup am trying to be more health aware :)) and had an inspiration surf of the net to give me ideas for this years projects based on what I am attracted to design wise. I like to take some inspiration from the fashion trends of 2012 but the main influences are my own changing tastes as I think style comes from our own imaginations. A close friend once told me I have a problem with authority lol and I think for me it extends to how society trys to dictate the styles we wear and the way we decorate our homes. I love the idea of having a bit of my charactor imprinted in my home decor and clothes. So remember don't be a cut out !!!!! Express yourself and stand out!!!!!!!After all there is only one person like you on the planet !!!!!!!!!


Fitness update ( a bit late) oopse!!!!



I was unable to really give an update as exercise wise I didn't do much last week. I was very careful to eat healthily most of the time. However my good intentions were a little blighted by my stomach bug I got. As soon as I am fully recouped I am going to get totally focused. One positive was I did go out for an evening run which was quite successful so I will be doing more of that.
If anyone has any fitness tips and hints please post them in the comments box bellow.



Easy canvases



This is a really good recycling tip as well as a way of getting some of those fabulous material scraps you bought from the bargain bin in your favourite interior design shop. The recycling bit involves you saving any polystyrene produce boxes. In my case my parents in law bought some large punnets of strawberries and I kept the boxes. Alternately you could use old tissue boxes as I did in a previous post. However when making a material canvas piece its better to use polystyrene as the finish is better. So simply measure your material and make sure that the material covers the sides of your canvas as well as the front. Then get your stapler out and folding the material over the canvas almost as though you are wrapping a present secure all the sides with staples. For a more polished finish you could find a piece of ribbon in a contrasting colour and attach it around the sides and hang. Positioning several together can create a really artistic effect and complement your existing decor. Easy, quick and thrifty and if you get bored you can unpick the staples and you have a completely clean canvas to re-invent again GREAT!!!!!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Looking at the positives !!!!!


Feeling totally under the weather AGAIN today. But on the positive It gave me time to stop and  reflect upon my busy life for a moment. What things I want to make for my home this year, my England trip and of course use this horrible bug as an excuse to stay in bed and watch my slumbering baby son. Before I was a mother it was impossible for me to know or understand how much love and emotion I would feel towards this tiny vulnerable bundle which came to me. He is so full of life and so curious about everything about him that it is fascinating to watch. Being able to take time out of all the jobs of life to simply be has allowed me a priceless moment or two with him I will remember when I am an old lady.
Today's post is about making the most of every situation that life throws at us. Generally nobody can predict every challenge which comes their way. But we can change the way we react to it all and so influence the outcome more favourably. Like for example my feeling like an extra from on off the Alien movies ( the ones with things coming out their stomachs ew!!!!) but still realising this is my body's way of telling me to slow down for a couple of days so that it can re-cooperate. I think there is always a positive way of looking at every storm and tempest in life especially as it makes us stronger mentally as well as physically.
So welcome the challenges as without them we would not evolve as human beings and learn to be more resilient and aware.
At this point I am going to collect my huge glass of water and my mobile go cocoon myself in duvet and sleep , heaven. Sweet dreams all !!!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

An Ikky tummy


I am staying home today as I have an ikky tummy and also am wanting to stay near my laptop to talk to my parents about my forthcoming trip to the UK to see my parents. We are arranging dates and I am sending some new snaps of BB Zak and the Jordanian countryside. My parents love to receive new photos of their grandson and have made quite a display as well as handing copies on to their elderly  neighbour who coos adoringly over every addition to her collection. My dad is going to use the scenic shots as proof that the 4th driest country in the world is green and flourishing at one part of the year. He was ever so excited to get a picture of snow in the middle east as his friends wouldn't believe it until they saw it with their own eyes.
As I write this blog post I am sat in my sun room with a cup of green tea (as we have run out of powdered milk) in my pyjamas. The plates from my sandwich lunch are next to my pander-slippered feet as is the baby car seat with a dreaming BB Zak in. He ate some of his baby mixture (homemade courgette and rice) but seemed to prefer my choice of food so after eating close to half he closed his big sky blue eyes and fell asleep before I could de-apron him. So there he is now with my socks on as all his are in the weekly wash with a half eaten piece of cheese sandwich under his chin. It is the most beautiful sight to me as I tidy him up and drape a warm blanket over his practically edible little feet. This is one of the mum melting times when the hard work of pregnancy and waking in the night all seems to have been worth it. AWWWWWW!!!!!

A spring bird on my porch


Technical issues lol

I have been having a few issues signing into and then posting pictures on my blog over this week which is why I have not posted much. I was dying to post some of my new photos of the countryside around my house as at this time of year. At the moment the land is covered with a blanket of small white and yellow flowers, not to mention the green. For this brief period the flat lands around my home, which are the majority of the year a parched yellowy plain turn into a lush Vally full of wonderful smells and sights. With the flat topped homes and red roved villas its not that hard to imagine I am in Italy or France and that makes me feel closer to England . At this time of year I turn in to a happy child filling my home with the rich scented flowers and opening my windows every day to let the springtime breeze run through the house. At the beginning of springtime the birdsong seems to get louder and more melodic here and I love eating breakfast in the mornings with my son in my small sun room upstairs and pausing to hear it all in stereo.
I have happily FINALLY started to feel my home is the way I would like it to be. There are still lots of things I would like to make for it but I can see the end result is getting closer to me. I always dreamt of having an evolving living space that had concrete aspects but that had constantly changing features, like the cushion covers and the furnishings. I like to keep my environment fresh and different. I love using the seasons as an inspiration, for example having knitted cushion covers and throws in winter and foliage displays and rubbing tiny drops of frankincense essential oil into my light bulbs for a burst of woody scent.

This spring I am bringing my environment inside and filling my home with the wildflowers as well as making lots of floral decor for my living room. I am planning to make some new covers for my sun room chairs and adding some new pictures as well and will be posting my photos sooooo watch this space!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 26 March 2012

A thrifty cushion cover with class!!!!

I have been really very busy over the last few days with more birthdays and continued reorganising my living space. But I caught a moment to blog my latest decor idea which by coincidence is also extremely thrifty too. These are my cushion covers which I whipped up very quickly with the help of my nifty new sewing machine. The thrifty bit is in the fabric I used. I visited a really expensive interior decor shop in the British countryside and as most of us who are on a budget I walked around the exquisitely decked rooms and gazed at the wonderful fabrics and felt my ticky ticker as I read the prices normally. But I have found a light at the end of the tunnel as most shops like this have a bin with cut offs and odd pieces of the designer material. I bought some pieces of really good quality fabric brought it back to Jordan and made a couple of easy covers with it and finished them off with  some brown lace from my haberdashery stash.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Palestiniane home remedies!!!!!


Since I came to live here in Jordan I have come to know various home remedies my family in law use when they get the coughs and colds etc of the winter months using things they already had in their kitchen cupboards. So I thought I'd share a few!!!! I especially advocate these as they are all natural.

Black tea and Marjoram for an upset stomach

I am not totally sure why this one works but the marjoram seems to have a soothing effect on the stomach.

Chamomile tea for colds

In this case my family drink the tea made from dried chamomile flower heads and also make a steam inhalation with it. And from experience the steam and chamomile is really good.

Chicken soup

This is a big one for colds and flu. Although it seems to be a globally shared remedy a bit of warm chicken soup whilst cocooned in a duvet in front of the TV is the best way, it seems to get yourself better!!!!!

Aniseed for the winter

Here in Jordan my mum in law and sister in law both make a drink from aniseed  which  they have informed me is really good for cleaning the blood and improving general health. On another personal level find this is really quite refreshing on a cold day when I have been out of the house.

A quick crafty moment


For this crafty moment I am posting 3 projects which are really easy to make and all of them are made from recycled materials.These ideas are the foundations for you use your artistic interpretation and make them yours which is the beauty of them!!!. So lets get crafting!!!!!
The project pictured above is incredibly easy to make. And it is very child friendly so you could make some as a family (just make sure any plastic bag fusing is left to the adults!!!!).

Recycled cardboard Art

Materials
Some old cardboard - from a box you no longer need or some packaging etc
Plastic bags with interesting colours
Material with interesting motifs- as you can see I took two appliques from some worn out t-shirts
The plastic net bags which contain citrus fruits in the supermarket - this is optional
Masking tape
Greaseproof paper
Iron
scissors

How to-
  1. First you cut out your basic canvas shape.
  2. Then cut an extra piece for the back. Work out where the middle of the piece is and mark it with a pen. cut a small hole  out of the card on the mark. This is going to be how you hang it on the wall.
  3.  Alternately you could get a small piece of string and staple it on to the back.
  4. Now at this point you can let your creative juices flow. You could use the greaseproof paper and iron to fuse some plastic bags together and cover your canvas that way. Or you could add an applique. I didn't do this but you could even put glitter on and add a bit of glammer!!!!!!

Buntings

Buntings are incredibly easy to make and also great for making use of scarps of material. Especially if you have some fabric in your stash which is gorgeous but you don't have enough to make anything big and impressive for your home. All you need is a triangle template you can make in 2 minutes from some scrap card and your away!!!!!!



The plarn wallet/ purse

Again this is soo simple to make, its unique and would be great as a gift for an Eco conscious  friend.

Materials

Plarn (very easy to make and in fact really quite therapeutic)
A wool needle
Some adhesive Velcro
Large knitting needles - possibly a UK size 9 or 10

How to -

  1. Knit along piece of plarn. Now how many stitches wide you have it and how long is down to your preferences. If you want a deep pocket to fit more that's great or if you want a small purse for change too. The beauty of this pattern is that its mostly up to you to decide how you want it to be. But bear in mind in the next step you will be folding your piece of knitted plarn over and sewing it together to make sure the folded length is as you would like before casting off. When casting off leave a long piece of plarn at the end as it makes the next stage easier.
  2. Thread the long tail piece of plarn and use it to sew one side of your wallet. use a spare piece of plarn to do the same with the other side and weave in the ends
  3.  The final stage is simply attach your sticky back Velcro and wala!!! you have a wallet/ purse





Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Fitness update

Well.... urm..... last week was really difficult as it was 5 people in our family's birthday including me and my son and wait for it ... my husband so steering clear of the home made ice cream cake, birthday cake creme caramel and easy cake was not easy at all. I had a few treats but didn't go overboard. I did get going with the training side and am feeling a lot better as a result. This week I am going to up my game though and will be swapping my white rice for Bulgar wheat as well as giving up sugar in my tea ( this second one is really hard as I love sweet tea). I am also committing to drinking more water.
I think that being a mum has put a new perspective on my fitness levels as I want to be stronger for my son now. So I can keep up with him when he starts walking and play football and badminton with him when he gets older. Plus If I put in the ground work now it will help me have a healthier life when I am older.

This is a bowl of homemade red pepper and tomato soup BB Zak n me shared yesterday yummy!!!!!
 I am currently 61kg, 9st.6 or about 134lbs. I am aiming to loose a couple of pounds only, my real goal is to get fit as well as stay the same weight after weening BB Zak. I am hoping to write a post on my fitness progress every week to motivate myself to keep going soo watch this space!!!!!!

Yeasterday's material sort out!!!


Today I decided to sort out the mother-load of fabrics I have been collecting but not using very fast as my hand sewing is incredibly slow. But for my birthday my lovely husband bought me a brand spanking new Singer sewing machine with all the trimmings!!!!! So I can now get on with all the things I wanted to do before but were taking ages. And believe me I will!!!!! So all the materials I hadn't planned to use were categorised into piles and the projects I wanted to do before but was daunted by the prospects of hours of back stitch. It was such a nice experience sitting amidst the heaps of different materials letting my imagination go wild creating new decor and art for my home. First things first! I am going to do some decorating in Zak's soon to be bedroom. I have turned an old cot into a small sofa by taking away one of the sides and am planning to make several covers for the mattress . My idea is to make a play area in the corner using the sofa, a play mat and the play cupboard I am making. And as BB Zak grows he will be able to evolve the area to become a reading corner later.
I have posted a large picture as the letters I have sewn on don't stand out on camera as well as I'd hoped. This was my first attempt at creating my own appliques and I have to say the prospect was more terrifying than the actual making of them. Armed with my faithful interfacing and some scraps of fabric I set to work making a curtain for my sons toy cupboard. This project was fantastic for recycling old materials, I even used a modified wire coat hanger as a curtain rod. It's not completely finished yet as I still have to finish the mural I am painting on the back. The back of the cupboard will be facing Zak's bed so I am painting a sunset . And to inspire peace in his dreams I am painting him on a tree swing watching the day turn to night.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The weather can't make its mind up lol!!!!

Some days this spring have been warm and sunny and have suggested that the cold of winter has ceased to be. But then without warning the next day it rains all the day and is so cold that the heat  of summer seems a long way  away. On these days the only thing to do it seems is don my largest most comfy jumper and make myself as busy as I can during the day to keep warm. And in the evening wrap myself up in my winter duvet and snuggle up in front of my blog.
Life here in  the springtime is wonderful as the countryside turns a beautiful green colour when the grass grows after the rains of December-February. Patches of glorious white wild flowers creep across my front garden and the line of rose bushes standing proudly along our drive burst into life  with a vibrant show of crimsons, yellows, pinks and white. There are more days of sunshine and all three houses are frequently adorned with sunbathing washing all drowsing trying to get dry. The food we cook started to become lighter and more refreshing. And the Eskimo togs of winter get packed away and out come the cooler clothes.
Unfortunately It seems we are not quite into spring yet this year but a few more days of warming stews and cosy socks can't be THAT BAD can it? lol But to bring the spirit of the impending spring I am adding a couple of spring recycling ideas to get you in the mood!

Cardigan revamp
Why not brighten up an old cardigan by sewing on a couple of pretty crochet flowers. You can find many lovely free flower patterns  online and it takes less than 15 minutes to make. Its a fantastic quick way to revamp your spring wardrobe without spending much cash.


Cute handbags
This handbag was totally made from recycled materials. The body of the bag was made from knitted t-shirt yarn, the lining was made from some lovely charity shop bought Peter rabbit curtains and the applique  was left over from another project. And who says that all things cute are reserved for all those aged under 10 lol.
Why not use these as inspiration for your own springtime creations! And please feel free to post your pictures of projects in the comments below !!!!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Our Family Birthday party!!!!!

And what a lovely party we had!!! My sister in law ( a artist in cake making) created this amazing birthday cake incorporating all five ages. It was also in the theme of an all round love of ours -  sweets!!! There were also little touches to symbolise each person the cake was for example mt brother in law is a dentist so there was a fondant tooth on the cake and for my son there was a pair of blue booties and a number 1 candle. The dinning room was decorated with multi-coloured balloons with stars on. We ate very well and laughed a lot. Afterwards everyone moved into the living room to drink tea and watch the grandchildren dance to Arabic pop tunes and chew over the family cud (sos to speak lol)
I really love the fact that everyone helped prepare the food and tidy up after. It was a family day. I took plenty of pictures and small films with my jiffy camera. The weather which was not as bright and perky as we all were didn't have any effect. It was nice to see, from the comfort of our snug warm kitchen as was the whistling wind.
 So Happy birthday to everyone who has added a year to their life number this week!!!!Welcome to a new chapter and a new opportunity for you to explore your potential NOW!!!!!
My sister in law also made ice cream cake which was totally decedent. But a little bit of something sweet is OK on special occasions !!!!!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Recycling jumpers for wool


I have continued  taking the huge pile of jumpers my dad in law has given me apart. But it's not for the faint hearted or those with a short attention span. Especially for me as the majority of jumpers I am being donated are machine made so the unravelling is all the more complex. I do think its worth it though for the end product as well as the satisfaction that all that work gave a good result as well as the fact that its a great way to recycle. As I now live in the forth driest country in the world being conscious of my water consumption in this case means unravelling rather than felting. I really loved the colour of this wool above and have already decided to make a crochet cardigan with it for the summer :)

March projects!!!!


I have been really busy this week with  my BIG family Birthday party, and my continuing the spring cleaning fun lol, not to mention I am starting to get Zak's new bedroom/playroom ready. This is a small set of shelves I am making more fun by painting. I wanted to have a peaceful image on it to hopefully inspire my son to relax ready for sleep lol. Which is the reason I chose to paint a sunset on the back. I am thinking about painting the door too so watch this space for photos. I took A-level art when I was younger and I think this project was a good excuse to get painting again.Notice  I have painted my son in the picture (he is sat on a swing). I will post the result when I finish it.
 Today was a blur of cooking and baking all the birthday party goodies. We are making creme caramel, jelly (jello), easy cake, and a huge birthday cake not to mention tabbouleh. My mum in law's kitchen has been a frenzy of activity. With bb Zak sat at my feet playing with a random plastic spoon and having a gurgle-speak conversation with his cousin. It all looks really very delicious although I think tomorrow will have to be a treat day on the new healthy regime. After all a little bit of something sweet occasionally is good for you!!!

My sister in law (the virtuoso of cake making- I lie NOT!!!!!!!!) is modelling Zak's cake on this idea!!!!


Monday, 12 March 2012

Kitchen spring clean!


I rolled up my sleeves and got to work reorganising my kitchen space today. Deciding where to put plates and cups and glasses and wiping all the shelves before replacing everything. I love the satisfying feeling as I watched everything get organised and, for once actually look like the home of someone who knew how to tidy. I really like housework fort this reason. You experience happiness because you are making your home space a nicer place to live in. I am a big advocate of clutter clearing as its psychologically good as well as being an excuse to reinvent my interior through crafting, sewing and knitting and crochet. I usually put some music with a good dance beat on when I tidy up as the work always seems to finish faster, I move faster and I have a lot of fun. not to mention my moving quicker is great exercise!!!!! 
I have been really good on my first day of my regime. I am eating more fruits and veg, cutting fats and my big weakness which is large cups of milky tea with sugar. And I did a bit of cardio this pm so fingers crossed I will continue and be successful.If you have any tips or ideas for my new post-baby lifestyle please write them in the comments box bellow.:)

My spring resolution to get fit!!!!!!


This month I am starting a new healthy regime. After having bb Zak I really want to get fitter in time for when he starts  running about so I can keep up with him. I  think posting this as an ongoing story is a good way of motivating me to keep going. Finally bb Zak and me will be  going to the UK  to visit my parents during the summer so this is another reason to get toned up.I am starting my new workout and diet today so wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Our new sharks!!!!!

We have replaced our goldfish with these small sharks and two fish my husband has told me are related to alligators. I am very happy for two reasons. Firstly the goldfish had started eating each other and its quite disgusting to watch the Hannibal style antics whilst trying to eat my dinner. And two I always dreamt of having a miniature shark. Sharks are one of my favourite animals.  They are so graceful and agile, through the water but also deadly. I think they are beautiful to  watch.

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!





Yes!!!! Today is my birthday!!!! 11th of March. And yes I had a lovely day. My extended family and I will be celebrating all 5 birthdays  this month on a huge Friday party. I can't wait !!!! it's going to be great!!! I am hopefully going to have a new sewing machine this year so I will be able to carry out all my new years resolutions I made concerning adding a few new design features to my home ( new pillow cases,buntings, table clothes and runners etc). I didn't make as much before because my time slots are few and far between and hand sewing large items takes an age to complete. Plus the fact that sewing is not the only crafting I want to do more of this year. Sooooo as today is a special day for me I am encouraging everyone who reads this to use this as an excuse to make something special for yourself. A nice cup of hot chocolate perhaps? or as in my case some toffee popcorn mmmmmm am addicted to popcorn!!!!!!!! You could have a movie night, I know it's a week day but it doesn't have to mean  a late night!!!!Or you could have a long bath with some relaxing music, a cup of tea and a good novel (careful not to drop it in the water).


I think that birthdays are a good time to evaluate our lives, look back at the last year and think about what we want for the future. I also think we consider this more and more the older we get. I certainly am! Life goals and aspirations are being lined up like toy soldiers in the field of my imagination. just waiting for the right time to fire into action and be realised in the 'real world'. And I have every faith that everything I dream of will happen with a little perseverance and time!!!!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

It almost feels like the winter is over!!!!

A ride my father in law bought for his grandchildren
Yesterday we had amazing weather for the Arabic weekend and decided to have a special seafood barbeque. We cooked about 5kg of king prawns in the oven which were gorgeous and a whole salmon on the barbeque. It was one of those memorable types of days when you are amidst good company, have a great setting and delicious food. What could be better!!!!!!Really good seafood is quite expensive here in Jordan. But as there are five birthdays this week including mine we splashed out a bit as  family. Yay!!!!!!

A large patio table was set up outside and we all sat around it to eat the feast. And what a feast!!!!! The air was filled with the most beautiful smells I couldn't wait to try it all. I looked around the table during the meal and was filled with satisfaction to see the smiles mirrored by my own. Everyone helped to clear away the huge amount of pots. And later we all sat outside over a cup of tea watching the children play in the late afternoon shadows. What a lovely end to the day chatting with those dear to me over a hubbly bubbly.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

International Woman's Day

Happy Women's Day

To all the mothers, sisters, daughters and friends in the world I wish you a Happy International Woman's Day. Today's the day to celebrate all things womanly. And I send a message to all the women of the world that I applaud your strength and stamina. Your uniqueness and variance, your multi-tasking brains and resilience. Your ability to nurture new life and forgive others as well as grow emotionally. Your capacity for joy and laughter as well as sacrifice and empathy. Give yourselves a pat on the backs for all the amazing things you are capable of as women!!!!!!
As it is  Woman's Day I  have decided to send a special  message to my own mum as well as my grandmother.
For my mum- I would like to say really I admire you as a huge pillar of strength  supporting not just me and my dad but so many people both at work and in our family. You have always been an incredible professional role  model with your outstanding careers as a teacher, adviser and now a senior manager in a global health and nutrition company. I am amazed by your ability to juggle so many things at once with such ease every day  and I am so  thankful for being your daughter.


To my grandmother- I love the way you keep me in touch with where I came from and remind me of how standing up for  your beliefs, even when you are in the minority is better for your soul than following the crowd simply to have an easy life. I revere your longevity and the great amount of wisdom you hold. I love you dearly for the memories I have treasured with you growing up.

               HAPPY WOMAN'S DAY!!!!!!

A taste of Britian

This is just one of the fabulous perks with having an incredibly sharp mother in law who can always find things. My mum in law bought some lovely imported cheddar cheese for us this week and as you can see  I got given a  hefty chunk to take home. Which ironically brings us to one of my favourite lazy day meals ever. An old friend of mine taught me this in the UK and I  have totally fallen in love with this moreish combination. And despite initially thinking ewwww a little I discovered how nice it is. OK so first you need Domeo  tomato sauce, cheese margarine and sliced bread. Spread Domeo sauce on one piece of bread and margarine on the other. Then add the cheese to the margarined side and finally top with the tomato bread. Toast under the grill till the cheese is melted. I used to like red Leicester or Cheddar. Serve with a cup of  tea. Not eww in any way you think. but wait!, when eating the toasted sandwich my friend used to dip her sandwich into her tea. Try it because it is soooo nice, after you get over the ewwwww can I ? that is lol.

This was my first English cheddar sandwich in ages so was really nice to share it with bb Zak. bless!!!!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Extremely easy art



These paintings art soo easy to make. All you need is a couple of cheap canvases from a £ shop. I bought some black and white ones from a £ shop near where I used to live in the UK. All you need then is some poster paints. The most difficult part of this project for me was deciding what colours to use. There are no real techniques used here you just paint over the canvas with the paint. Make sure you water the paint down a lot so its almost like a water colour wash. And if the canvas ink blurs a little it actually creates an artistic effect so what you would otherwise see as being a flaw in this case makes your piece of art unique. When the paint is dry you can spray varnish it to create a really professional finish. And there you have it !!!! Art on a budget!!!!!!!

Quick hand towel revamp

I just caught a moment to revamp and old hand towel  over a coffee. Its amazing what just a few minutes of spare time you can create something simple and refresh your bathroom theme. My bathroom has burgundy curtains and soft pink, grey and white tiles. So I think this is going to look good. Just goes to show you don't have to be a crafting expert or own a million supplies to successfully reinvent your space!!!!


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

This weeks knit project


Following the success of 'The Artist' at the academy awards and the subsequent fashion of all things 1920s I decided to make myself a cloche hat. I searched for a pattern but in the end decided to try to make my own based on the fact that the one I wanted to make seemed to be a little bit big for my head. So I amusing it as a guideline . I will post a finished picture if it works out well as I am totally new to improvising crochet.Wish me luck !!!!!!


And here is my finished cloche style hat !!!!!Not bad for a first try!!!!!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Recycled decor


Continnuing the recycling theme of the yesterday I am just posting a couple of ideas for creating some fresh home decor with recycled materials. Above is a picture of a sofa cushion I made from an old material rice bag I simply sewed and filled with stuffing. Its really cute as one side has the brand in English and the other is in Arabic script.  I love the way it looks on my green and blue sofa.

These luminaries were made from orange cartons which had been attached to the wall. They were easy to make and a good use of our old cartons.

 I love these pieces of kitchen art I made from recycled materials. When I lived in the UK my husband and I bought a DVD and CD tower but didn't need all the shelves. So I used the three spare pieces of wood as a base for my  kitchen art. I made some collages using Maggi cube boxes. Maggi is basically chicken stock cubes. I was aiming for something with an Andy Warhol feel to it.
So there you have it some ideas for decorating your nest using recycled materials. And watch this space will be more recycling posts as well as a few tutorials as well so keep posted. And tell me about your recycling ideas and projects. And remember click on the comments below to add your entry.

HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Long distance love

This is a post for all the people who live and work away from their birth countries. Being a British Ex pat all my family live in the UK. For me being able to keep in touch with my mum and dad is really important as I am an only child and I think staying attached to your roots is fundamental to your well-being . I know I pulled away from being too much like my parents when I was younger. but as I matured I realised how much  I could learn from them. As I get older I am more able to value and cherish  the ways of my parents and grandparents. The good manners they taught me and the honesty and integrity they showed me as I grew up.
So today give a moment to those family members who are far away from us and give them a call just because. Do it not just because its good for your emotional health to have a good chat but also because it is proven to  help your immune system if your mood is lifted. Its always a great feeling when someone gets in touch just to show they care. I will be having a good conversation via Skype with my dear mum and dad today, we will swap news and they will get to see their grandson over, yes a cup of tea! lol. I wish you all a happy afternoon of getting in touch, chatting and laughter.

                           Happy Chatting

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Bags blog

What could be better than a blog post about handbags? How about a blog post about handbags made from recycled materials? Save the environment and have a new accessories at the same time. Plus the result is totally unique. So here are a few ideas for you and remember when you make yours to let the child in you do the creative part!!! And most importantly have fun with it!!!!!


Poppy handbag

This handbag is a great example of one way to reuse the canvas shopping bags you get whilst at the supermarket. In the UK there has been a phase of reducing the amount of plastic bags used and so they provided re-usable canvas bags of various sizes at the checkout as an alternative. You can in fact buy them very cheaply online too. I found that the bags are a great base for making a handbag. Plus it takes quite a lot of the work out of it. I simply chose a fabric to cover it ( I found a lovely roll of fabric at my local charity shop - so recycling and charity at the same time ) and found an old pillow case to use as the lining. A bit of spare ribbon and a press stud and bingo!!!
This is another example of the canvas bag idea. But this time a wonderful elderly neighbour I love like a grandma gave me this fabulous vintage fabric to cover my bag with. I think the added buttons add a little bit of quirky flair.


For all knitting enthusiasts I have made this bag from a recycled yellow t-shirt and the handles from a large Salisbury's bag. I lined this bag with some Peter rabbit curtain material from a charity shop to add a cute touch and the button was from a 99p shop.

I absolutely adore plarn (knitted plastic bags). I collect loads of bags all the time. When I lived in the UK I used to collect the charity sacks and use them as they are usually made from interesting coloured plastic. Plarn is an amazing way of recycling plastic bags and reducing your waste as well as creating something quite funky looking. One little tip is that some of the plastic bags these days are biodegradable and if you make your masterpiece out of them they are likely to break down over time. The good news is most biodegradable bags have some indication on them of this fact so you can use these for things like coasters or mats (something you can remake quickly). Which will give you an excuse to reinvent your decor ever time they wear out . Great !!!!!