Sunday, 3 January 2016

A new year....

I have always been the sort of person who finds the beginning of a new year as a therapeutic, soul cleansing event. I love the feeling of a new year ahead, where anything seems possible, you can reinvent yourself, clear out old baggage (both physical and emotional) and begin on another journey. Last year was one of my favourite years, it was my 7th year being with my husband, which I know people say ‘the 7 year itch’ well for us it was more of a ‘7 year awakening’ I feel like we really learned the true value of each other and it was like the penny dropped, we are in this together, for the long-haul and we must always value and put each other first. And it’s been bliss. We cut out the excess baggage; we stopped making the 4 hour journey from Cornwall back to our roots (and a whole lot of negativity) in Southampton and instead totally focused our energies on the life we are building in our new home of Cornwall. We kept positive; we no longer allowed other peoples negative energy to zap us. I read books on Buddhism and we made some amazing friends. So yer, 2015 you rocked. But alas a new chapter must begin, and I plan to make this one every bit as fantastic as the last.
And so…… I have hit the ground running in 2016; I have been looking within to understand what make me tick, what brings happiness, peace and harmony to my family and what we could all do without. I feel for us living more simply is key. The whole reason we moved to Cornwall was to get away from the negative rat race of town life and focus more on happy, healthy, family time in a peaceful setting. So 2016 for us is going to be all about reducing our carbon footprint, relying less on money, eating healthy organic foods and becoming as self-sufficient as we can. I have tried to put a list together of the key aspects that I’m going to attempt to focus on;

  •      Make homemade everything!

No more buying cleaning products, as the existing products I have run out I will keep the containers and refill them with healthy, inexpensive homemade products. There is a wealth of knowledge on pinterest on this subject, so I won’t be short on recipes! Im abit of a cleaning addict, and breathing in all those chemicals on a daily basis is no good for me or the other people in our home, and so i will be using natural cleaning products with no nasties!

I plan to bake once a week, ready for the week ahead, which will actually be some great mother and daughter time for me and little bee as she absolutely, loves to bake!

I will no longer buy lotions and potions, if we have a health problem I will look for natural remedies, rather than rushing to the chemist and pumping us full of artificial drugs. I actually started this one yesterday, one of the twins has a terrible cold, we had no vix vapour rub left, so instead I found a recipe and made a homemade, healthy, organic, natural version, and it worked great!
  •     Grow our own!

We already have two chickens in the garden, so have an abundance of eggs, I plan to get 3 more chickens, and so fresh organic free-range eggs are definately on the menu for 2016! In addition to this my husband has been busy using his carpentry skills making me a stand for the top of the drive where amongst other things we can sell our excess eggs, which will then pay for the chickens organic food and bedding, meaning the chickens are having no financial strain on us.

I also want to create my own herb garden; it seems like madness to be spending money at the supermarket every week on cut herbs for various recipes when I could just be growing them in the garden!

I also plan to grow as many veggies as I can, we are hoping to get lucky and source a greenhouse second-hand at a low cost!
  •    Reduce money spent/buy nothing new!

This is going to be the real challenge for me.  Having moved away from a consumerism, 'keeping up with the jones' town lifestyle to the countryside has slowly made me reduce the amount I spend on items we really don’t need, (Lets be honest, im no saint, its mainly because i live down a lane in the middle of nowhere, therefore getting access to shops is about an hours drive!) for ourselves and the house. I do however love to have a nice home, but I feel now that I could have more joy from not spending on unnecessary items and instead reconnecting and loving the items we already have! So my mission is to stop spending! And to help me feel more accountable for my spending I’m going to keep a money journal. Everything I spend is going to be written down in this little journal. I hope the process of actually having to write down and be accountable for every penny I spend will help me to think more and spend less! Accountability people, accountability! 

Also the weekly food shop, I plan to reduce this by a third. We already have eggs, my dad is a butcher, and so he gets us our meat, cooked meats and cheese on his weekly allowance, so these items are all already free to us (lucky us!) so with growing our own herbs and veg we could potentially have some meals which our almost free! And then with baking as well, I’m confident I can bring down the food shop bill!

Wash clothing less! We seem to have a problem in our household with people wearing an item of clothing once, or using a towel once and then throwing it in the laundry basket, when in actual fact things only really need to be washed when they are actually dirty! So all 5 of us will be assigned a fresh towel on a Sunday, and it’s to be kept and reused until the following Saturday, I mean seriously, you use your towel when you’re at your cleanest point, surely it can last a week! And clothes are to be folded and put away, not washed unnecessarily! This will cut down on the washing machine being put on 2-3 times a day (seriously guys, I feel like I’m drowning in washing most of the time!) and then having to put the heating on when we don’t even feel cold just so I can get the washing dried!

I can’t express to you the excitement I have to start our family on a more greener, healthier and simpler life and I hope you will enjoy reading all about our journey…..

'The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open' - Dalai Lama

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Crochet Bunny

I absolutely love making crochet/amigurumi Bunny's. Why? no idea, I just love the cuteness of them!
So I have designed two different designs, I just need to work on typing up the patterns now!

This is my first design, which i have done in two different sizes, Mumma and Puppa size and baby bunny size.

So i feel like this bunny is a more rustic, simple style, my second is more of a glam little bunny, great for any little girlie. 

And this next Bunny is based on the first pattern. I first started making these stripey Bunny's last summer, and they have been hughly popular.

I plan to get these patterns typed up this week (promise!) One will go on my blog as a free pattern, and the other will go into my etsy shop!

As much as I love Bunny's, I do occasionally break from them and make Dolls instead!

This little lady is destined for life as a ballerina!

Im over the moon that she was featured in this months (issue 50) Craftseller!


This doll is not my own design, but infact a pattern from the lovely Hopscotch Lane. Her doll is not a ballerina, I just customised mine! You can find the pattern for sale on Etsy.

Love Knitting are having a sale on my favourite yarn - Drops Paris, its a great cotton yarn, which i adore using when making bears, bunny's, mice and doll's! So I took advantage and ordered myself aload!

I celebrated my 33rd birthday yesterday. It was a lovely day with my amazing husband all to myself! We had shopping and lunch in Truro and then in the evening we rode our bikes down to our local pub, The Blue Peter in Polperro. It's a very old Cornish pub, tiny, always has live music on a Saturday night and ALWAYS has a fantastic atmosphere. Hb had a word with the band, and so the band - joined by the entire pub, sang me Happy Birthday, and then dedicated their last song to me, putting my name into the song, hb pulled me up, and we danced and I felt very special! Hb always makes my birthdays extremely special and memorable for me, he is an angel.



Friday, 1 May 2015

Fabric Bunting Tutorial


I thought today I would share with you how I make my fabric bunting!

This is actually the first thing I learnt to make on a sewing machine! 

What you will need:
fabric vanishing pen or tailors chalk
Fabric - I'm using a lovely shabby-chic style burlap fabric
Bias Binding
pretty trim
pinking shears (optional)
sewing machine
Iron and ironing board
and to make the little crochet flower;
cotton yarn
crochet hook


Right then, lets get started...

The first thing to do is print out and cut around your template. now your going to lay your fabric face down, if you are using a fabric with a pattern on you need to make sure that when the pendant hangs the pattern is the right way up! now start drawing around your template

If your using a vanishing ink fabric pen like me you might find that on some fabrics it vanishes way too quick! So don't draw out too many, or they may have disappeared before you get a chance to cut them out!

Once you have drawn out a few, use your pinking shears if you have them, if not normal fabric scissors to cut out the pendants, keep repeating this stage until you have enough pendants, bear in mind you need 2 triangles to make one finished pendant as we will be sewing 2 together.

Next we are going to sew 2 together. For this bunting I want to leave the raw edges showing, as i think it adds to the rustic look of the bunting, therefore just hold 2 together (don't worry if they don't line up perfectly, we will sort that out later) both with the right side of the fabric showing (so wrong sides inside together) and sew around the edge, about half an inch in from the edge. Make sure you 'back stitch' (this means to sew forward about 3 stitches, then stop, and press the reverse button on your sewing machine to go back over those few stitches, then carry on forward).  This stops the stitches from coming undone and means no need to fuss about knotting the threads at the end) Start at the top right corner of the pendant, sew down that edge, when you get to the bottom point of the pendant leave your needle down, lift the footer, swivel the pendant, footer back down, now sew up the other edge. There is no need to sew across the top edge as this will be hidden inside the bias tape later.

Now we are going to snip off the thread ends, so that we have a nice neat finish at the end.

Now take your pinking shears or fabric scissors

Remember how I said not to worry if the 2 pendants didn't line up perfectly? We are going to sort that out by trimming around the outer edge. Be super careful not to get too close to your stitches, you don't want to cut them! You just want to create a nice, neat finish.

Now lets talk bias tape. This stuff can be picked up in any fabric store or haberdashery, or eBay.  Your going to need a couple of meters of the stuff. The one I'm using today is a floral fabric one, but more often you will find plain coloured ones like in my above photo of materials. Some times they will come as a flat strip, or sometime it will come folded in on itself at the back, if so, you just need to iron it flat. Once you have your flat strip you need to start folding it in half and pressing it.

(Do you love my floral ironing board cover?!?!)

Once you have ironed the entire length in half its a good idea to lay everything out and decide on pendant placement! 

Some people like to have the pendants touching, i like about a 1.5 inch gap in between each

You could now pin them into the bias tape if you want, I don't personally bother, because I'm too lazy!

Now we are going to stitch the pendants into the bias tape. First take the end of the bias tape, fold it in slightly to the back to create a nice neat end, now stitch back and forth over that end a few times

Now start to sticth along the long edge.  So leave your needle down, put the footer up, swivel the bias tape so that you can stitch along the long edge, and put your footer back down

Then stitch along, I leave about 6 inches, but its just down to personal preference!

Now place your first pendant snuggly inside the bias tape

If you pinned yours in place then you wont need to worry about this bit!

Now stitch over the pendant, being sure that your stitches are catching the pendant inside the bias tape. 

 Because I don't pin mine in place (lazy bum) I measure the distance between each by sewing until the top edge of my pendant reaches the end of the footer...

Then slip the next pendant into position.

Carry on until all the pendants are sewn into position, then carry on along the bias tape for another 6 inches, I like to pull my other end up so I can make sure they are the same length.


Well done you clever sausage! Now you can either leave it like that, and be sufficiently pleased with yourself, or you can get creative with the trims and let your imagination run wild!

I, myself, like to run wild once in awhile!

 So I decided a lace trim was a definite, if you choose to add a trim, simple line up the edge of the trim with the edge of the bias tape and stitch alone the entire length

I thought about adding a button on each end, but decided against that idea, it just didn't look quite right. So I made some tiny hearts and flowers to see how they would look...

Once i made a decision i used my trusty old glue gun to stick the flowers in place

And that's it. Stand back and admire your masterpiece. Then hang it somewhere for everyone else to admire and wait for the compliments to flood in!!!
(and if the compliments don't flood in refuse to cook dinner!!)

I hope you have found this tutorial useful, I'd love to hear what you think of it and see your creations! 
So please leave me a message!
If your on instgram then tag me using @cornishrosediaries.

If you have any problems or questions just message me!