27 September 2014

Recent Projects and their results!

Thought I’d give you a few updates on some of my projects I’ve been doing around the house lately.  So you know from a previous post some of my paper roses.  Well I’ve expanded them as you can only imagine (if you know me you know this is true!).  So I found some really cute paper that is iridescent and made those into roses and then I decorated two presents I had to give recently. 

The first was just some plain Winsor Newton paper which was 160gsm – it was hard cutting it as well as keeping it rolled but I can say it came out quite good. This one you have to use a hot glue gun to get it to stick.  I tend to do the paper ones with PVA glue - it isn't hot and doesn't burn my fingers.  I also like that it allows the paper to unravel a bit and they all come out different.
The second picture was of the iridescent paper – all three the green, blush and purple papers (they were about 120gsm in weight) which I glued to a present I wrapped in velum.  I’m really pleased with them both
My second project was to get away from commercial fabric softener.  I had seen many recipes on these both on-line and in magazines.  We have finally gotten rid of all of our store purchases and kept the bottles for this purpose.  So we tried it and really I have to say it was quite good.  The clothing came out quite soft and yes, there was a *hint* of vinegar smell – but nothing overt in your face and while I’m not adverse to this I mention it for those who might try this so you expect it.

Once the clothes are dry however, there is no smell – nothing at all.  The clothes I have to say were just the same as those with the commercial kind only better and softer as I did my own side-by-side test feel.  You’ll have to do the same when you try and I certainly like the much lower cost on my budget.

The recipe I used is enough to do about 3-4 loads which I found to be enough – you can double the recipe if you want more but I felt I wanted the softening ability of the bicarbonate of soda which I think peters out after a bit if left to sit too long.  We tend to do full loads so while we can have 2-3 loads in one go this is an ideal amount for us.  With this amount of a recipe you can at least try it and not commit yourself to too much hassle – if you don’t like it then you can just chalk it up to an experience.  I’m glad I gave it a try as it certainly will help on saving those pennies!

Homemade Fabric Softener

1/4 cup baking soda
1 1/2 cups vinegar (white kind not malt!)
2 cups water
Essence of choice – 5-10 drops

Add vinegar and water to bottle; shake to mix as well as possible.  Carefully add vinegar (it will bubble) and again shake to dissolve baking soda (be careful as it will bubble and shoot up the bottle!).  Add essence of choice if desired, shake and dispense into your softener drawer.  I used the max the drawer held and this seemed enough for a full load - use less if you do partial or half loads.

20 September 2014

Nothing Fishy Here....

When browsing the aisles I found some fish I’d never had before of course reduced.  As you can see each fish cost me £0.88p each – so for my main meal it was £1.76 for us both.  That didn’t include my other bits but in total the whole meal (food and fuel) cost me £4.00.  I don’t have a particular price point for my meals – this would mean I’d be limiting myself.  Sometimes I find things reduced and just have to try them – this was gurnards.  I just couldn’t pass them up. 

I hadn’t a clue about what to do with them – thank goodness for Rick Stein’s Seafood book!  It showed me what to do and while I had a few recipes I kept it simple with just some parsley, white wine and a knob of butter (OK – some Old Bay Seasoning might have gotten in there too!). 

I hope the next time you see something reduced and don’t know what to do you’ll think again and get it and give it a try.  I’m very glad that I did and yes, I found them again at an even cheaper price and yes, got them again!

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