I love it when my blog allows me to spend time with friends, learning about their passions. My evening with Ruth, trying some mandala painting, was brilliant. While stone painting itself isn’t completely new to me, it was the first time I’ve tried to paint a mandala pattern; in fact, any elaborate pattern at all, so it was always going to be challenging.
I think by now we all know that plastic pollution is a huge world problem and the effects on the environment and marine life are horrific.
It’s hard to know what you can do as an individual and it’s easy to feel powerless. The way I feel is that while my family is four people in 7.6 billion, we can’t sit by and do nothing at all. In the words of David Attenborough following Blue Planet II, “…if we start doing those small steps that are easily achievable, we can, before long, really have an effect.”
I live in Ely which is home to around 20,000 people, and the city is on a mission to reduce the number of single-use plastic bags used in our shops. It’s something everyone can get involved in and I’ve made my small contribution 🙂
As children get older it becomes harder to know what to buy them as gifts. I have a group of friends whose children are the same age as our two, and the year when our eldest children were turning seven, the idea of a book voucher, or gift card, came up.
When I was young I loved getting book vouchers (back then they were actually vouchers, like paper money!) as the whole experience of browsing a bookshop was something I loved – and still do! Nowadays, book vouchers tend to come as a gift card and while it is a great present, it may be a less exciting prospect for a child than something big to unwrap 🙂
As we head towards the end of 2017, it’s a time when many will reflect on the year gone by and look to the year ahead. It’s the busiest season of the year with so much going on every single day – we know that this time of year can be particularly daunting for people living with mental illness, in its many forms. Fortunately, there is help out there for anyone who needs support.
On Day 38 of #100DaysNoTV we left some festive-themed painted pebbles around our little city of Ely. These are no ordinary pebbles; we hope they will help to spread the word about a wonderful community project, Talking FreELY.
To get you in the Christmas mood, you’d find it hard to beat an afternoon making a wreath while sipping mulled wine, eating mince pies, all to the background singing of a live choir. On Day 37 of #100DaysNoTV, I joined a Mummas & More wreath-making workshop at Ely Cathedral! 🙂
Christmas wreaths seem to have gained in popularity over recent years and we had our first ever wreath last year. It was a bit sorry looking; I bought it on a whim from a garden centre in mid-December, and it was definitely past its best! However, it planted a seed in my (not-very-creative) mind – I wanted to make one of my own the following year. I just had to figure out how!
If there is one welcome sign that summer is getting closer to its end, it’s the abundance of ripening blackberries in the hedgerows. It has become a family tradition to go out and forage, and this year we decided to make something new with our bumper crop.
We’ve owned an ice cream maker for a few years, but it stayed unloved in its box. It was about time it had some use. On Day 34 of #100DaysNoTV we made fresh blackberry sorbet.
It’s the time of year once again when the days get a little longer, the spring flowers begin to emerge and my thoughts turn to celebrating Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure I am a hopeless romantic all year round, but I do like to make February 14th special for my loved ones.
I’ve been looking for a Valentine’s craft; something I haven’t tried before. Dainty string hearts caught my eye on Pinterest. They’re quick to make with no mess – perfect for getting the boys involved too. On Day 30 of #100DaysNoTV, we tried some Valentine’s needlecraft.
One of the most exciting aspects of my #100DaysNoTV project is the opportunity to spend time with a friend, indulging for a short while in their passion. On Day 18, I spent a morning with Tali – of the brilliantly named Tallulah does the Hula – making resin pendants.
The last time I made jewellery with Tali was in 2011 when were both seven months pregnant! With tummies up to the craft table (too much info?), we made beaded necklaces and earrings. Since then, Tali has gone on to create beautiful pieces with polymer clay beads before turning her attention to resin.
A super simple activity for Day 17 of #100DaysNoTV. I made a little memento of an autumn walk I had with the boys last year. They love being outdoors and collecting “treasure”, and we had carefully chosen some fallen leaves and – incredibly for the time of year – buttercups and daisies. I pressed them, stored them, and now (finally) they’re displayed!
Luckily, I was able to use things we already had in the house. I used a frame that had been sitting in a drawer, for goodness knows how long. We have an abundance of card and poster paint, so there was no issue with making a background for the flowers and leaves to stick on. I just had to decide how I wanted it to look.
I’ve always been envious of anyone who can create beautiful things out of paper and make it look effortless. Paper aeroplanes and fortune tellers (who else made those at school?) I could make, but it was time to try something a bit more advanced.
My friend Julie designs and makes – by hand – the most beautiful bespoke wedding stationery. For a recent wedding, she was commissioned to make paper flowers for buttonholes and corsages; I asked if she could teach me how to do it. On Day 16 of #100DaysNoTV we made a whole bunch together.