Make Do and Mend-able Back to Basics

i have been a big fan of Jen Gale since the end of 2012 when I caught wind of her Buy Nothing New year. Since then she has been promoting the idea of Make Do And Mend everywhere she can.

Now with her own Make Do and Mend-able website and host of #makedoandmendhour on Twitter (Thursday 8-9pm if you are interested) she has also put together her own book!

  

The book is made up of 19 chapters, each one written by different contributors. The book isn’t one that is meant to be read like a novel, but more as an instruction manual, an Essential Guide to Make do and Mend, as the tag line says. Topics range from how to sew on a button 

 

To how to replace a plug

 

 

The book is a back-to-basics guide and as such the sewing chapters were a bit basic for me. However they are ideal for people who are beginners or those who are coming back to sewing after a break. It’s not just sewing though. There is something to learn for everyone. I loved reading how to unpick old woollens and re-use the yarn as I hate the wibbly-wobbly effect you are left with. 

 

 

There are a number of projects in this book and I â looking forward to having a go at some of them.

This is a fab book to have at home on your e-reader or tablet and I would definitely recommend it as a present for someone moving into their own home for the first time – think students going to uni or young adults leaving home for the first time, as well as for people like me who just want to live their lives with a smaller impact on the world.

The book is being released on the 21st of this month and is priced at £8. However you can pre-order it now for a reduced price of £5 from here

**I was lucky enough to be sent this e-book free of charge for the purposes of the review. However all opinions are my own and I would only recommend something if I would actually pay for it myself, which in this case, I would have bought the book anyway. 

#The 100 day project

What Could You Do With 100 Days of Making
I saw this on the Make Do and Mend-able facebook page and although I was intriqued, I didn’t really know what to do for it. I sat for a while, crocheting my ripple blanket, alternating between thinking “What can I do for the 100 day project?” and “Oh man! I’m never going to finish this ripple blanket!” Is it too obvious that I finally came to the realisation that I could combine the two?
So for the next 100 days (Starting today) I plan to ripple one row of my rainbow blanket every day. I’ve estimated that by the end of the 100 days I should be very close to finishing the blanket. Yay!
If you are on instagram you can follow me and my progress @mehubbyandkids and I’ll be using both the #100daysofrippling and #100daysofmaking hashtags.

Instagram

Bath Mallows and Lip Gloss

I was very blessed a couple of weekends ago to be able to spend some mammy-daughter time with Little Lady. D went to my mums and us girls went to a BathMallow making workshop. A bit like a bath bomb but they look like marshmallows apparently!

A friend of mine runs these workshops and I have booked her to come to my youth group for the last 3 Mother’s Days. As the youth leader however, I haven’t participated in the workshops so it was nice to actually have a go for a change.

There were only about 10 of us at the workshop so it was a nice small group. Little Lady was quite the expert having participated in the ones I have organised through church, and was very keen to tell me what to do next! Lol!

 

While helping the younger kids at the youth club workshop I managed to snap 3 plastic spoons!! This time I tried to be a bit more careful while stirring the mixture!!

I opted to go for a purple colouring and a blueberry smell.  Little lady chose green for the colour and a lovely fresh lime smell.

We packed the mixture into little cases and decorated the top with flowers. Little lady decided that I should do each one of mine differently!! So I did and fair play they actually came out pretty good!  

They smell lush in the bath too!

Little lady’s bath mallows looked pretty good too.

 

Just to finish off we also got to make a lava lip gloss. I chose a strawberry flavour for this one and the lava effect is pretty cool!

Although I could have put a bit more of the colour in to get bigger blobs! Maybe next time.

It does feel pretty good using products that I have made myself. Little lady also enjoys using her own products and the wrappers are paper so can be recycled. Not too sure about the lip gloss bottles although I’m pretty sure if I run out I could refill it.

These obviously won’t last me forever but it’s a small step to reducing plastic waste in the bathroom.

Have you ever made your own bath products?

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there today. I hope you are having a lovely day so far. 

Me? I was woken at 6.35am by excited children waking their father to make me breakfast in bed! Which they promptly ate once he brought it upstairs!! *sighs* it’s the thought that counts right??

I did get two cards from each child though so I feel particularly spoilt this year :D



Sul y Mamau Hapus 

Happy Mothers Day

Jersey sewing

I told you about the Make Me A Wardrobe challenge in this post. I didn’t join in the challenge until very late in January but I did manage to get an item made. I signed up to a t shirt making day at The Midnight Atelier in Bristol. I have made t shirts before but the neck never sits right so I thought if I signed up to a course I could finally learn how to sew the neckline properly. 

I took my own fabric along on the day, some plain white jersey that I had left over from all the snowflake dresses I made last year. I hit a lot of traffic driving into Bristol and by the time I got to the Atelier I was very stressed. Although I tend to act confident especially in my job, where I can stand up and talk in front of a packed church or school assembly hall, I actually have very low confidence levels. New people and places put me out of my comfort zone. Add that to the Bristol traffic and the fact I was the last one to arrive at the course, I was very tempted to turn around and go home! 

Thankfully Laura is lovely and helped me calm down a bit. I didn’t feel rushed to start even though everyone else had pretty much chosen their pattern by the time I had arrived! I eventually chose mine and set about tracing and cutting it out. It has been a while since I have been on a sewing course and it was great talking to other people about their latest and past projects. I love hearing what other people are making. 

After cutting out and then sewing the shoulder seams together, Laura suggested making a sample of the neckline to practice on before attempting it on the real thing. She showed me how to pin and then sew the neckline and it was surprisingly easy!! I was rewarded with a cup of tea and a biscuit :D then got on with setting in the sleeves before sewing up the sides.



I should have taken more photos really but I didn’t really think. It was so nice to just be able to sew without the kids needing me or having to move things out of their way. Just pure uninterrupted selfish sewing. Bliss!!

The t shirt came together very quickly and although I was a bit gutted to start with that I only had plain white jersey while every one else had a lovely patterned Jersey fabric, it actually turned out pretty nice. I have worn it since and it feels so comfortable on. I already have fabric lined up for the next one.

So here it is – the finished article, hot off the sewing machine as Laura has a huge mirror on one wall of her studio!



Yes there she is pointing at my bottom!! Lol!! She’s not actually pointing at my bottom. If you look at the bottom of my make, I didn’t hem it. Jersey naturally curls at a raw edge and I left it unhemmed purposely to create that effect. 

There you are, two months late, my mmaw2015 January make. :/

Lent 2015

Today sees the start of lent. Lent is traditionally seen as 40 days representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. It starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. For those of you who have just done the calculation, yes that does work out as 46 days but traditionally Sundays were exempt (so 46 days minus the 6 Sundays).

Over the years I have given up a number of things for Lent. I have given up chocolate, fizzy pop, meat, and wearing jeans to name just a few. This year I have decided to do something different. Instead of giving something up I am planning on doing an act of kindness everyday for 40 days.

In the run up to today I have spent hours researching Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) and amassed over 12 pages of ideas. While doing my research I was surprised at some of the items that were listed. Things like “Smile at a stranger” “Let people merge into your lane in traffic” and “Donate to a foodbank” There were a lot of items on the list that I do anyway and was surprised that they would need to be listed.

While I was surprised at the content of some of the lists it did teach me a lesson. I had in my mind that a RAOK had to be a big thing but actually it doesn’t. It can be as simple as making another person smile.:)

In recognition of this my first act of kindness was spending the day sending silly photos of myself and the kiddies to my sister who lives away. She has text me to tell me that the photos have made her smile all day so I guess I can take that as a win :)

Have you ever done a RAOK? Or been on the receiving end of one? If so what was it?

Make Me A Wardrobe 2015

Jen over at Make Do And Mend Year set herself the challenge to make one piece of clothing a month, meaning she would expand her wardrobe by 12 handmade items in a year. Although I thought it was a great idea I didn’t actually get on board with it until the end of January. I didn’t think I would have time to commit to this along with all the other things I want to get done this year. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. If I handmade items that I would definitely wear then it would be a big boost to my wardrobe that has been bursting at the seams with “nothing to wear”

Last week I set to work decluttering my wardrobe. I bagged up all the clothes that I haven’t wore for a while, those I have no intention of wearing again and those that don’t really suit me. I filled a bag and my wardrobe looks a lot less cluttered. I can kactually see what clothes I have now.

As I work mostly from home, I live in jeans, casual tops and cardigans. I have a few handmade dresses which I wear but only one handmade skirt.

Over the course of the year I would like to add the following handmade items to my wardrobe

*casual tops
*skirts that can be worn with tights/leggings and boots
*A couple of new cardigans
*3/4 length trousers for the summer
*and possibly some jeans

As we are already half way through February I need to get cracking. Anyone else taking part in mmaw2015? Why not follow #mmaw2015 on Twitter to see what everyone else is up to?