Thursday, 17 December 2015

Simple Christmas Bunting DIY

Few things say Party Time  quite like bunting does. In fact our little shopping centre up the road is busy undergoing a make-over and they hung up construction bunting as a part of their warning efforts. My first thought was not, however, Warning, Stay Clear, but rather, ‘Oh look, a construction party!’ Oh dear… for me it was a clear confirmation of the message of bunting.

So in light of our wish to celebrate Christmas aesthetically this year, it seemed natural that bunting should in some way be a part of it. Here’s how I made and displayed it…

Some while ago we had a Craft and Gin ladies night, such fun! So there I played with painting and drawing and ended up with these designs. You can of course use any paper, patterned or plain but I find that card works best.

Cut the card into strips and then triangles.

Take a moment to enjoy the wonder and fun of symmetry :)

Take another moment, there are so many possibilities!

The white card I taped to string...

The brown card I punched and threaded.

And that was that! So Simple and sweet :)

 Party time!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Some thoughts on traditions and a diy wreath

One of the things I have really enjoyed about creating our home is making our own set of traditions. Sometimes they take the shape of sweet planned things like pancakes on a Saturday morning. Other times they can be a little less whimsical, like folding washing on a Sunday night… we’re not so good at keeping that one though. Either way, these things are markers of our lives and provide a quiet comfort to daily tasks.

Another thing I really love is celebrating, and joining the hands of celebration and tradition seems to pave the path to opportunities for a whole lot of beauty and mindfulness. It seems that Christmas, however, has always been a season marked with confusing aesthetics. I know I’m not alone when I feel deep frustration as it is unashamedly used to approve of greed, and that in so doing it seems to deprive us of the opportunity to truly celebrate. For me, being surrounded by synthetic symbols does nothing to encourage honest joy.

In the past I have tried to fight this frustration by opting out of decorating but this year I have decided that I do want to adorn for Christmas. I want to beautify our home and say, ‘We’re celebrating!’ So far we have hung up a few gentle lights, displayed a hand carved nativity scene, brought out a beloved paper star, and begun to burn frankincense. And this week I got to making a wreath. I love wreaths , they are so simple and because of this seem so honest in their design.  In this season, I like to have them up as a symbol of hope for eternity, a sign that says “forever and ever”, the continuity of a promise made thousands of years ago and fulfilled in the miraculous birth of Jesus. What a reason to celebrate! What a joy to behold! What a symbol to display!

It was a lovely thing to make that involved a few attempts along the way. Here’s what I learnt…

Start with some fresh stems of flora of your choice. It helps to have an idea of how they will dry, these leaves keep their shape and colour quite well. You will also need  a piece of ribbon and some florist tape.

I began by stripping the leaves of the stem and creating my ring from the bare branch. 

Bruising the stem will help you to create an even circular shape (little helpers always welcome!)

I used to florist tape to secure the leaves and worked around the ring until I was happy with the density.

I finished  it off with a simple ribbon.

I made a few of different combinations to give as gifts as well.

They also make delightful crowns in your model is willing to wear them!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

My year of no shampoo...

Yip that's right! Except I didn't not wash it, I'm not that hardhealthcore just yet... but I didn't use shampoo. In pursuit of living a more chemical free life I stumbled across the hair care option known as, 'no poo'. Basically you use that mind blowingly versatile ingredient that is always the tops of the pops when it comes to those '34 things you didn't know you can do with...' click bait types. Know what I'm talking about? It's bicarb. Straight up plain Bicarbonate of Soda, in fact you probably have some lurking in your kitchen right this moment.

Ok enough of that, here's the story and the what to do (because you should do this).
So as is turns out using regular shampoo paves the ways for a vicious cycle of rather ironic behaviour from your hair. The chemicals used to clean your hair are so harsh that they strip your hair of all its good and nourishing oils. In an attempt to renourish itself the hair over compensates and becomes an unsightly oily mess and because you then wash it again those good oils never make their way down to tips of your hair to moisturise it and so it dries out and you are required to then use more chemicals and spend more money to do the job your own body was trying to do in the first place. Enter bicarb. The bicarb is incredibly gentle on your hair and doesn't strip it the way normal shampoos do, because it's not a detergent. It cleans the hair of dirt and unhelpful oil but just lets it be. It does not however moisturise your hair and this is where another unsung pantry hero comes out to play. Say hello to Apple Cider Vinegar. Hi. Your hair is naturally acidic and what the bicarb clean off, the vinegar puts back in and somehow is the most effective detangler I have ever used.

As I said, it's been a year now since I threw away my last bit of shampoo and I haven't looked back since. I recently had my hair cut and my hairdresser was more than happy with the health (and cleanliness!) of my hair. So below is the what to do!

For the wash, pour 1-3 Tablespoons of bicarb in your bottle. The amount will depend of the length and thickness of your hair, I use about 2 Tbs. 

Add 1 cup of water and 5 or so drops of tea tree oil, this is optional but is really good for scalp health. Shake it up but don't let it dissolve, the water is really just there to help you distribute the bicarb evenly. On a side note, I once used a bicarb that felt more like icing sugar and less like granulated sugar and I didn’t have much success with it. You need to feel the granules in your hair and massage them well into your scalp and through your hair. Use the whole bottle! When you rinse it out your hair should feel squeaky clean :)

Next is the rinse. Add 1 Tablespoon of the Apple Cider Vinegar.

And 1 cup of water. Rinse it through your hair and give it a few minutes to do its work. The smell is quite strong at this point so if you'd like you can add some nice essential oils of your choice but it washes out well and you won't smell of vinegar when you are done :) Give it a good rinse and you’re good to go!

So there you have it. Quick recap:

Wash: 1-3 Tbs bicarb
1 cup water
5 or so drops Tea Tree oil (optional)
Use it all!

Rinse: 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup water
a few drops of an essential oil if you'd like
Use it all!

Have you tried this or other options? Would love to know! 

 My year of no shampoo...and my (here unseen) son taking me out from my waist shortly after taking that photo :)