Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Homemade Laundry Soap

Hello friends.

Hope you had a good weekend. We had a quite weekend and didn't do a lot.

Welcome to new follower Jacqui from Tipeetoes. Why not pop along and have a look at her blog?

A little while ago I made some laundry soap. I won't bother you with a recipe as you can find lots on the Internet.

When I made the soap I followed the recipe but I only add half the water because I wanted make it into a concentrated soap. BIG, BIG mistake because when I came to use it, it had set solid. That really was not a good idea.
I had to use a sharp knife  and cut the bottoms of each bottle and emptied the contents in to a my large pan and melt the soap again. luckily I had more empty bottles.
After the soap had melted I half filled the new bottles with water (my pan in not that big and I didn't have a large bucket)I then topped them up with the warm soap, put the top on and shook the bottles to mix up the contents.

I have used the soap quite a few times now and feel that it doesn't matches up to the top of the range laundry liquids but they are way too expensive. However I do think it's equal to the shops own brand. Our clothes don't get very dirty so I think for the time being I will continue with the homemade soap. Occasionally Items of clothing do get stains on them so I use washing up liquid on it. A trick I learnt when I once worked in a dry cleaners. Works a treat.

My washer is housed outside in the outhouse along with the stock of soap and fabric conditioners which means during this cold spell the soap is setting so I'm keeping the open bottle indoors.

I haven't made fabric conditioner because I really like the shops own brand I use.

Has anyone else made their own laundry soap? How did you find it?

I enjoy your company/comments and hope to see you again later in the week.



Saturday, 23 February 2013

Half Term

Hello friends

By ek it's cold! Just come in from hanging out the washing. Don't suppose it will dry much. Oh it's just started snowing, defiantly won't dry now. Guess I'll bring it back in. Why not help yourself to a brew and I'll be back shortly. Mines black no sugar. Thanks

I'm back.

Its been a busy half term this week. On Tuesday I had an appointment at Wigan hospital. It was the follow up from having the polyp removed from my tongue. The department I was referred to was for facial cancer. I had no fears that the polyp that was removed was cancerous but it was still tested. It was clear and I've now been discharged. M drove us there and L came with us and after the appointment L suggest that as it was such a nice day why don't we go for a walk in this park she had seen near to the hospital.
We had to find the main entrance as the one near the hospital was the back and not good for parking. The park was Haig Hall Country Park and Golf Course. Sorry didn't take the camera. It was a lovely walk and will be much nicer in the summer when the walled garden will be planted up with the summer flowers, the paths through the woodland might be drier and the mini train might be running. There are lots of places for picnics and there's also a cafe and toilets. We are thinking of going back in the summer after visiting Wigan Pier.

Wednesday was L's show day and we had to leave home at 3.30pm to get to Middleton Arena for 5pm. We took sandwiches and drinks with us for our tea and munchies for on the way home as L is always hungry afterwards. The dance show was brilliant and the costumes were stunning. All the dancers were presented with a trophy and then special achievement awards were given out.
I won a raffle prize of some bronzing powder and lip gloss (I don't use it so will donate it to different raffle later in the year) I donated two items for the raffle as part of my decluttering, one was a photo frame and another was a picture I'd made.
It doesn't look it but the frame was silver coloured.
I took this photo before I'd finished so that I could see the layout after I'd done the embroidery of the leaves and flowers in different stitches. I then stitched on the lace and buttons. The material was from an old skirt.
Thursday is craft and chat morning, where I take my mum, at the local library and L came along too. One of the other ladies was teaching L to work with parchment and gave her some bits so that she could finish off her picture and lent her some books. On the way home we called in at a craft shop that is closing down and bought two tools so that she can have another go. One for rubbing the parchment so that it has a raised effect in whatever pattern you choose and the another is for piercing holes. These you can get as a one spike, two or more spikes. We got the one spike thingy.
Friday L and I went shopping for new school shoes and to look at some boots suitable for a prince charming. We also got some coloured plastic bin liners for decorating the gala float. We'd had a meeting earlier in the week and a theme was decided on so now it is a matter of collecting and preparing everything before we can get started. 
Looks like it's snowing a bit heavier now. It's not sticking though. No snowmen for us.
Hope you all have a good week end and thanks for dropping by. See you soon.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Dance Sewing

Hello friends

Hope you are all well and enjoying the sunshine.

Welcome to new follower Trudie from Trudie's Cottage.

Sorry I wasn't around last week but I have been very busy sewing. L is in a dance show this Wednesday. Her dance teacher, Kelsey, hires the costumes but unfortunately cannot always get exactly what she wants and the hirer doesn't have the time to make the items so last year I made 20 pink waistcoats for the little dancers and 5 ties for the boys. This year I made these:
40 straps for the braces
I was fortunate that I only had to make 2 pairs of trousers to make them up to 20. However I had to make 20 pairs of braces and 20 pairs of buttons (Umpa Lumpa costumes)
40 buttons

I was also fortunate in that the material was provided and I only had to provide the thread (already had) time and electric.

Next I had to convert 10 kangaroo costumes in to bear costumes. this prove a little more difficult as the costumes were well made and I didn't want to cut them up and they were hired. (sorry no photo of the original costume). After much deliberation and playing around a solution was found. Kangaroos have longish pointy ears and bears have small roundish ears. So I tucked and pulled and eased them into a reasonable shape and hand stitched them to look like this:
Not too bad. Next I had to deal with the tail which was no easy task but eventually found a solution to this problem. I tucked the tail back inside the suit where the tail became inside out (Sorry forgot to take a photo - it looked rude anyway). This left a hole at the bottom so I stitched this up, again by hand and then secured the tail to the inside of the costume.
When one of the little dancers tried on the suit it looked OK. I was worried that it would look silly. Phew it didn't.

Looked so cute when they were on. I didn't do anything with the pouch as this is where the Velcro fastenings are.

Now I have to clean up the mess of threads from the floor.

During all this M bought me some lovely peach roses for valentines day. He also bought some pink ones for L so that she didn't feel left out. When she was little she thought it was unfair that we got each other a card and felt left out so ever since we have included her and usually made her a card but this year I found one that was just right. Here are the flowers, aren't they just lovely they have many layers. 

L has a hairdressers appointment at 10am today, in the bedroom.  Colour and a trim by me. She liked her hair when it was blond (when she was little) but as she has got older it has got darker so last year decided that she wanted to be blond again. We only do it during the school holidays but her hair grows so fast that the roots show very quickly. It should really be done about every 3-4 weeks but every 6 is enough for me. I used to do my hair but I found I couldn't keep it up so gave up so I'm growing grey disgracefully.

Must go salon opens in a minute and must get it set up.

Thanks for popping by and have a good day/week. See you soon.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Cleaning and Scrubbing

Hello friends

I am ashamed to say that I have not cleaned my oven for far too long and it looked like this

It's disgusting and a disgrace. I spent a good couple of hours cleaning and scrubbing. I even took the glass out of the door and scrubbed it on both sides. This is the top oven and grill on my cooker and I use it a lot. The bottom oven only get used about 4 to 5 times a year so is not as bad but I will clean it after I've done this one. No point doing half a jobis there?  Are you ready to see the end result?   

I'm so proud of the results I just wanted to show it off. I didn't use any special chemicals specifically for ovens. I used lots of elbow grease and different types of scrubbers and Flash Bleach for the grease.  Whilst cleaning the oven I had the back door open because the sun was shinning. The breeze was cold but I was working up such a sweat I didn't bother. I need a brew now would you like one too?
Have a good day and thanks for dropping by and see you soon.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Queens and Crafts

Hello friends

Did you all have a good week end?

The weather here was quite nice but chilly.

Yesterday afternoon L and I went to the local Queen of Queens.  It's new thing this year where all the local Gala/Rose Queens are invited to a gathering (indoors). L is a Lady in Waiting with the Thornton Gala Queen 2012.
The queens parade around the hall a couple of times, in front of some judges, and then have some refreshments. During the refreshments the Queens are escorted, one by one, up to the judges for a little chat. Afterwards when the judges have made their decision the queens and their retinues line up and the winner is announced. This year the Lytham Queen and her retinue won and received a trophy.

As a side attraction people were invited to set up stalls of handicrafts for a donation to the raffle. After thinking about this for a little while (all of 10 minutes) I decided why not as I will only be standing around watching the proceedings and I could test the market.

This is my stall. I've designed and knitted car seat blankets with three holes for the straps to secure it from being kicked/pulled off. They can also be used in a pram or buggy in the summer time if the weather is a bit cool.  I  
borrowed a car seat to show how the blankets work. Also on my stall I had some crib/pram blankets, baby cocoons modelled by the lovely teddy, some ties for clipping onto the straps of the seat or buggy/pram and attach it to the child's favourite toy or dummy to prevent loss or dropping on the floor. The board at the back is L's, she makes key rings/bag charms and bracelets from old jewelry she buys from car boot sales (never pays more than £1). We didn't sell anything but got a lot of positive feed back neither did we buy anything. The other stall holders didn't do much either.  
My donation for the raffle was a nice photo frame, that I received about four years ago and was still in its box, and a bottle of wine that neither M or I like. (two bits of clutter left the house).
L and I had an enjoyable afternoon. M chose to stay at home to sort out the delivery of free wood for our multi fuel stove. We can now cancel the coal deliveries for a while.

I will leave you a few more pictures of my makes. Sorry none of the queens.

baby cocoon


Enjoy the rest of the week and thank you for dropping by.


Friday, 1 February 2013

Been A Busy Bee

Hello friends

How are you?

My chesty cough is getting better. I'm very thankful that it didn't turn into a chest infection.

I bought a gardening book from a charity shop on Monday for £2.99. It's all about growing veg in pots and making the most of the small space. At the moment it's in the car as I read it when I pick L up from school. It's very interesting with the suggestions for what will grow well in in pots, about watering a feeding, also about pests. I'm hoping for better crops this year. I need to decide what will be eaten in our house and what I can grow and then sort out my pots. (future posts)

We went to a parents evening for L and met some of her teachers. She is doing very well and is meeting her end of year targets already and the teachers are pleased with her progress. Later this year she has to choose her options ready for year 9. Some of you may be thinking that it's a year early and, yes, you are right they are a year early. Her school do it this way so that the students have a greater chance of passing their exams with higher grades and it appears to work.

I've got Google chrome to work and I think I understand what I'm doing.

I made some Clementine marmalade this week. The Clementine were reduced from £3 to £1. I didn't make a lot as I don't have a big pan but it tastes good.

Next picture is of the blanket I sewed up from the Christmas tree we made at the craft club. The blankets are to go to Street Life a local homeless charity for the under 25's I will post some pictures when we hand them over.

I took some pictures in the garden today and it's showing some signs that spring is on it's way. 

Bluebells  and Snowdrops

That's my news for this week and I hope you all have a good week end.

Thanks for dropping by and see you again soon.

Carol x

Busy May

The weather has been glourious this month, almost wall to wall sunshine. Some say it will last all summer. We'll have to wait and see. ...