In the bag

fabricOur craft group recently had a very popular session making bags/purses with traditional clasp tops. Several people enjoyed it so much, they kept making them and still are. My version was a slight twist on the pattern as ususal I like to add my own twist…


In my stash I had a piece of furnishing fabric picked up from one of my crafty friends – they had a stash sort out and I couldn’t pass it by! This project suited it well, its a little bit glam and has a bold pattern; I took the motif as a basis for the shape of the bag.

Now, I just need the occasion….



Making waves

Since Christmas I’ve been working on a new weaving project. Its been my most ambitious weaving yet but really enjoyable. It combines my ambitions for crafts and recycling.

For the warp I used some lovely linen yarn; its strong and makes bold lines though the weaving. For the weft, I upcycled a load of old t-shirts from my stash and cut them into long strips.

I started without knowing what the colour theme would be but looking at the colours the blues, greens and greys stood out. They reminded me of the colours of the sea in moody light and the bright orange and whites were like highlights on the waves of white horses and the reflected sunset. So the theme was born – a seascape.

I love the mix of colours, textures and patterns. Some of the t-shirts were printed – these patterns sometimes show though as different colours, sometimes are hidden and the background colour is seen. The weft is woven with random lengths like the changes of light on the sea.

And so, for the ta-dah moment, a fabulous rug…



This week I reduced my veg shopping plastic – no more broccoli bags! Yeh. Another small step or marginal gain.

Also, I bought loose tea but that wasn’t such a success but Whittard’s puts plastic inside the cardboard box (more excess packaging)… next time, I’ll ask them not to or find an alternative.

Oh, and the UK government has been making identified the environment as an interest for young voters so they have published an environment policy paper. If nothing else, its increased the column inches about plastic and raised a bit more awareness.



Water, water everywhere

I’ve started taking stock of the plastic around me (well, its not long since I made that resolution), the more I look, the more I see. I’m noting all the excess and unnecessary use I see and actually use and am thinking about what to do about it. Yesterday, I was thinking about coffee cups – not so innocent as they seem but more about that another time – and I came across the idea of plastic swaps. That struck me as a great approach and an easy way to deal with the plastic mountain so I’m going to have a go at that. My first swap was making use of those tiny plastic boxes that come in the nest of useful kitchen boxes instead of clingfilm. All of a sudden I realised that they were for lunch box cake – why have I never done that before.

On a positive, it was so good to see that yesterday, at last the UK has banned microbeads in cosmetics. And I’m happy to say that only a day earlier I’d consigned the bottle of body scrub with indeterminant bits, that had been lurking in my bathroom for too long, to the bin. OK its landfill but better than the water courses or sea.



I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions – no resolution, no failure – but I’ve been thinking more and more about plastic and our mis-use of it, especially single use plastic. So, this year, I’m going to see what I can do about my use of plastic, how I use it and how I can reduce that use. I’m going to try and learn a bit more plastic and how its used and ask organisations about their use.

I’ve seen some of the BBC Inside the Factory programmes, they are fascinating insights into the manufacture of food but I can’t believe how much plastic is used to make the food and then package it: in tea bags; to transport ingredients around a factory; to package the product and then to hold packages together. This is all single use plastic and just seems so excessive. Do we really need windows in boxes? Do we need plastic within boxes? Always?

First I’m going to look at what single use plastic I use…


Re: Read 2017

I’m listening to early evening fireworks going off so it is definately that time of year… I’ve listened to reviews on the radio, looked at lists of reviews in the papers, so now its my turn… And you know, I can only do this because of one of my New Year’s resolutions from a couple of years ago has stuck – keeping a list of things I’ve read. No apologies for nerdyism, without it I forget. I absorb them and move on;  now I’m reminded what I’ve read and that reminder brings them back to life.

So, this is what stood out: The Outrun (Amy Liptrot) – I absorbed the cold, wind open landscapes of the Orkneys and also wanted to live in a remote cottage and listen to corncrakes; The Long Walk to Freedom (Nelson Mandela) – fascinating to read his perspective on those long hard years and life. I’ve visited classics in the form of Villette – the French took me by surprise and currently Hard Times – Dickens’ descriptions and characterisations are so good despite his mysogenist characterisations (realistic I guess). On a lighter note, the May Coffin Road and Lewis Trilogy took me to the islands again; Dawn French to NY; and Jackie Fleming’s The Trouble with Women made me laugh out loud and reminded me of those treasured cartoon books I collected in the 80’s.

And now, I feel a New Year’s snack and beverage coming on; …think I’ll  leave Hard Times for a few hours…



I’ve found a solution to yesterday’s problem. Yeh! Yes, it involved buying more wool but the yarn is in plentiful supply so I only bought three balls and will go back for more if the colours and weight work well together. The three balls are different colour ways which hopefully will be similar to the colours I’ve used so far. The next challenge is to blend them all together! Watch this space…