Mucking in and making a difference

As usual time just seems to fly past me, a much neglected blog and folksy at the moment but it's for a good cause - if I say that often enough then it will be true.  In my 'real' life I currently have my fingers in many different pies so to speak.  I'm one of those people who, if I have nothing to do, get easily bored.  Most recent project I've taken on is that I'm Secretary of a new Community Group, it's all voluntary and I do enjoy mucking in and trying to make a difference, so with it in the early stages there's a lot of setting up and planning of community activities. 

Entrance to our local woods

We've already begun with beginning a tidy up of our local woods, which we are very fortunate to have on our doorstep.  It's a work in progress, and always will be, lots of great ideas for bird and bat boxes, planting wild flowers and fruit bushes, all just needs co-ordinating now.  I'm amazed at how much there is to do now I've started delving into the possibilities.  Next week we're having a Community Conga, just hope the sun is shining, and we're ending up in the community centre for hopefully a BBQ, if I can get an answer from the company involved, and demonstrations from some of the groups which use our centre. 

I've found it rather frustrating that many groups, organisations or companies can't even be bothered to answer any communications we have with them.  Does anyone else find this? That common courtesy seems to have disappeared?  I've found it's an uphill struggle trying to get people involved in community projects.  From when I was first involved in toddler groups, to the school parent council and now our community group.  Some folk I've spoken to say that they just can't be bothered and ask why do I bother?  I bother because I want my kids to have the best chances in life, to show them that it's good to help others, to get off your bottom and be someone who makes a difference. 

I'm also hoping you lovely people may have ideas for fundraising, or know of any community blogs or web sites for examples of projects / activities we can carry out.  Whether it's ECO related, or people related, anything at all that could improve the lives of all who live in the community, bringing young and old together.

As from next week I'll be back to normal, blogging away, and if my plan goes well I'll have my first giveaway

chow for now Marice x

folksy friday

Aah, another folksy friday...this week, well I think you can work it out what I've done...

Jam Crafts, Frames Fairy £45 Goods by Woods, Hand Painted O £7
Maisie and Munch, Handpainted L £12.50 Misha, Letter K Charm Necklance, £14
Joys of Glass, S, Spider Suncatcher £13.50 Lynette Jewel, grey & black Y necklace, £8

Today is also fruity friday for World Cancer Research
my kids are wearing yellow to school

Woolly Duck, Banana, £12

Tuesday's Tip - reducing air pollution

Am I the only person who didn't fully understand the importance of indoor plants?  I have done a bit of reading into this and have found out some interesting facts.  Now I do remember, albeit vaguely, learning about plants and how they increase oxygen levels some 20 'odd' years ago!.  I've discovered that the first body of people to compile a list of air cleaning plants was NASA, (yes, really) they were researching ways to clean air in space stations.

Compared to buying an air purifying machine, plant are by far cheaper, costs less to run and will probably last longer than any machine.  Recommendations are approximately one plant for each 100 square feet in your home.  Bad chemicals such as formaldehyde, tetrachloride and benzene, can be totally eliminated when soil microbes and plant roots work together.  Pretty amazing stuff if you ask me.


Ivy plants         keep an Ivy plant in your kitchen to offset
                         benzene from your gas hob.
Spider plants    absorb formaldehyde from new paper, books,
                         cardboard and computers.

Both these plants absorb fumes from carbon monoxide, oils and gasoline.

For more reading here's a link
I'd love to hear your stories about which plants you have in your home and why? 

Lucky me look what I got in Big Blog Card Swap

I've never 'done' a swap before - bit scared of the unknown I guess, aren't we all sometimes? What if my swap item(s) are good enough? What if I packed too little or indeed too much into the parcel?  Will the other person like it?  And worst still what if they didn't and blogged about it - ARGH! My worst nightmare...okay, I reckon the last one may just be my imagination running away with me but if you're a 'swap virgin' I can assure you it can seem very real.  Sarah from Wrapped up with String and Naomi from Leaves in the spring held the swap and dutifully organised it all...BIG thank you to you both x

I was SO excited when I saw my envelope arrive and even MORE excited when I saw it was from Mary, who sells her cards under the name of Quite Contrary Crafts on Folksy.  What a brilliant name for her shop.  As you can see she makes the most beautiful cards, which she hand-cuts by herself with her craft knife.  A very talented lady I think you'd agree.

I love cake, who doesn't?! so I reckon it's the most perfect card in the whole world for me.  I just don't think I'll be able to part with it so would it be weird to 'send' it to myself lol ;0). Mary - Thank you very much for the yummy card - it's very much appreciated and will be forever admired x.   

And so on to the card I made for Jenny from New Zealand.  I received a comment on my blog from her today so I know it's safe to show it now.

I'm in love with these polka dot buttons at the moment, hmm - don't know why I said at the moment, more like obsessed ALL the time.  I really didn't know where to start when making it so I picked 3 buttons and took it from there.
I can safely say, now that my 'cherry' has been popped - so to speak - that I'm definitely up for doing more swaps. Do you hear that Sarah?! Naomi?! are you listening - I want another swap please cause this was SO much fun!.

folksy friday

Short and sweet today...folksy friday's collection is beige...just to prove it's anything BUT boring!

Polyanna, Necklace £47 Christina Tay Designs, Clutch £48
Coming Around Again, Sheep £10 Bluebell and Rosie, Cushion Cover £14
Littlebirdy Designs, Lampshade £26 Flutterbies, Earrings £5.50

Catch all the other happy folksters displaying there favourite finds here.
Enjoy the rest of your friday

Tuesday's Tip

First a quick update on my previous post...promise i won't bore you ...

The Eco friendly weedkiller.  3 weeks later and although 2 weeds have appeared, I can assure you there was more like 52 when I first started.  So I'm over the moon how it's worked.  I applied another lot of salt and boiling water, this time only to the 2 weeds I removed.  So this tip has a huge thumbs up, and I'll definitely be carrying on with this.
Secondly the loo roll air freshener, I found it worked really well.  My bathroom door is always open so the smell would have been stronger had it been kept shut, however I've no complaints as it did work a treat.  The lovely Sue, from Lynwoodcrafts, kindly pointed out that care should be taken when using oil in it's pure form, or the person using the last few sheets may get a surprise.  I wouldn't want to be responsible for any burnt or itchy bottoms.  ;0)

And so to today...not so much of a tip, but it's something I've done for as long as I can remember.  When filling up the tumble dryer (aah now, tumble dryers aren't the most eco friendly things, but needs must sometimes)  anyway... I always clear away the lint (fluffy stuff)...a) because if your machine is fluff free it performs better and more importantly b) I put it in the garden for the birds to use, they use it to line their nests.
 I sometimes pop it on the hedge beside the bird feeders, other days I just chuck it in the garden (depends on the mood - of me, not the birds!) either way I've seen them use it on many an occasion.  If you have tried any of my tips, I'd love to hear if they worked for you.

Can't get enough of those funky brooches...

I was stuck in bit of a rut for a while there.  I seemed to be on auto pilot for the past few weeks, neither happy or sad, just functioning day to day.  I didn't even make a Folksy Friday treasury for the past 2 weeks - shame on me, I know - especially as I was featured for the first time ever!  I was very excited to receive a lovely message from Viv of Poppy Sparkles saying she'd picked my peg bag to include in her Folksy Friday.  Although she doesn't know it, she was the last link in my recovery - oh dear I'm beginning to make it sound like I was on deaths door or a former alcoholic LOL - neither of which is true by the way.

But all is not lost .... I've come out the other side of my black hole and I'm delighted how my bag brooches have turned out.  They really help to make my bags unique.  I'm loving the black button I used in the black and red brooch - another oldy from my Nana's collection.  I think they give a fab finishing touch and I'm positive Nana would be pleased they are being admired instead of sitting in a jar - even though I'd really like to keep them all, button obsession alert!!  All my back orders have been fulfilled and I can now finally concentrate on stocking up on Folksy.

Catching up...

I've finished the bag that was commissioned, and I was so excited to hand it over I'd forgotten the finished project photographs - gggrrrrrrr I'm very annoyed with myself.  Luckily I have some work in progress photos.
This was the last picture I'd taken, I hadn't finished the side ribbons, or tidied up all the loose threads, but I think you can get the 'jist' of what I was making.
Having always stayed away from inserting zips, I found it a good challenge for myself, and was pleased with the results.  I'm not one for following patterns, I like to figure things out for myself, and do the old trial and error.  I made a prototype first and then had a bash at the new design.
I love making the finishing touches, here I'd used felt, a button from my late Nana's collection I'd inherited and micro dot ribbon from Patch Fabric & Haberdashery.  I've made this a removable brooch, it's amazing how a simple change of accessory can transform a bag.  So I handed it off to a very happy customer - much to my relief !! and promptly announced I will not be making any more of this much as I enjoyed the challenge, and it certainly was a challenge, I found it took up too much of my time.  I know what your thinking though - with practise it's become easier - yeah that's true, I just don't have any spare time to practise at the moment.