Archive for March, 2013

Beeswax & rapeseed oil hand cream recipe

Guess what I just made? ūüėÄ

It's a bit lumpy. I'm wondering what a trip through the blender would do to it...

It’s a bit lumpy. I’m wondering what a trip through the blender would do… Also, this moisturiser is so thick that you can stand things up in it. Like melamine spoons.

If you want to be a cool kid like me and make your own cosmetics, all you need is:

Some beeswax
Oil of your choice (I used rapeseed)
Essential oil (optional)
1 tbsp Glycerin (optional)

Weigh your beeswax. I had 100g, so I used 300g of oil. As long as you keep this ratio, you can make pretty much any quantity you like. Because it was next to me on the side and is good in soap, I threw in some glycerin and it hasn’t seemed to make the world explode so… I guess you could put in some essential oils too if you don’t like smelling of bee. Anyways, you throw everything together in a bain-marie and once the wax has melted, pour the lot into a tub. Mix this as it cools and you should end up with something that looks a bit like mayo.

The ingredients mean that this stuff can double as a non-toxic furniture polish and some sweet-tasting lip balm (the wax makes it taste of honey). So yeah… win.

Asda’s vegetable oil (which is pure rapeseed) costs 13.9p per 100mls, so 41.7p, plus 100g of beeswax pellets costing ¬£2.19 (99p¬†plus ¬£1.20 p&p from ebay) makes this whole lot ¬£2.61. For 400g of hand cream, that’s pretty bargainous when you consider that Asda Hand and Nail cream is ¬£1.07 per 100mls.


Repurpose #1

So when we moved house, I had one of those mad moments I get from time to time where I decided to be a grown up. I put away all but my nicest hoodie with the intention of wearing ‘real’ clothes to match my real house.

Only what actually happened was that I acquired more hoodies. And I don’t know how I do it. I don’t go out intending to buy them – no one ever heads into town with the thought, “I really fancy treating myself to a brand new top that’ll make me look like I haven’t done any washing and am still in my¬†pajamas¬†” Still, here we are, nearly two years since we moved, and my cupboard is bursting with the things. Coupled with the myriad of grotty teenage monstrosities lurking in the loft, I decided something had to be done.

So, without further ado, here is how to turn unused hoodies into baby trousers – and all you need to do is sew two seams!

Step 1. Find a hoodie.


Step 2:  Fold the hoodie in half so that the sleeves are on top of each other.


Step 3:  Draw around a pair of trousers which fit your child.


Step 4: Cut the shape out.


Step 5: Figure out where your seams are going to be.


Step 6: Sew the crotch seam.


Step 7: Measure your elastic (I pulled the elastic tight on the model trousers and cut the same length for mine).


Step 8: Sew your elastic in. (Other people can tell you how to do this in a professional way РI can not).


Step 9: Do this for as many hoodies as you have.



Step 10: Allow your toddler to adorn herself in her new finery. Inevitably, some will end up as a hat.







66791. That’s how many words I’ve written of this story and I’m not even finished part two.


Or at least it would be if I didn’t HATE MY FREAKIN’ MAIN CHARACTER.

Seriously. If I could kill the bitch now, I totally would. I don’t¬†get¬†her. I don’t even¬†want to get her. I just want to kill her off and be done with all of the whining back story that comes with her.

Damn plot-device of a woman!

I know some of you who read this are also writers – what do you do when this happens? I say¬†when this happens, presuming this happens to other people. It’s a fairly common theme when I write. I start off totally in love with a girl, thinking she’s going the be the single most awesome¬†protagonist¬†since Femshep, or Faith from Buffy or… or… hell, at this point, I’d settle for the girl from Bulletstorm (whose name I can’t even remember and who is only awesome because she’s voiced by Jennifer Hale). In the end, they all come out of the same cookie-cutter mould and I waste my time typing about a soft, mewling creature I wouldn’t pour hydrochloric acid on if she was on fire. Oh yeah, we’re long past the point of piss here. And yes, hydrochloric acid is flammable but the sheer effort involved in picking up the bottle, unscrewing the cap, tilting the bottle… Who even cares? I can’t even be bothered finishing the damn sentence.

Point is. Fuck her.

So I’m stuck. I have an amazing tale I want to tell and some wonderful people I want to talk about, but in order for any of it to happen, I need this girl to be there. I don’t want to go back to the start quite yet because when the editing begins, the story-telling stops and then I end up – like I have so many times before – with a half-finished pile of wank. Which for some reason is worse than ploughing more hours of my life into writing about someone I hate.

Urgh. Rant over.

You know what else really bugs me about her? Aside from the fact that I hate her – because feeling any emotion for a fictional character is good, right? – its that she’s so non-descript I don’t have any¬†right to hate her. She is as devoid of meaningful personality as my Tupperware boxes. You know what? Even the Tupperware has been with me long enough for me to care more about it than her. Even the lint from the dryer has more meaning to it in that it used to be my favourite clothes. Even the child’s nappy leavings are preferable since they came from my child.

And I’m still here ranting.¬† I am using my evening – time in which I could be drinking – going on and on about how much I can’t stand her because my husband is so sick of hearing about it.

I really am done now. I promise.

If y’all care, I can post a tutorial about how to make cot duvet covers out of single bed sheets by sewing only 2 lines?



Staying power

This challenge to not buy anything I don’t ‘need’ is getting increasingly tough…

In my defense, I have been slowly going through my yarn stash as I crochet dishcloths and get involved in craft swaps, but for the most part, it’s been a bit of a struggle not to replenish what I’m using as I go. My natural inclination is to finish something up and go shopping for new supplies, so revisiting stuff I started ages ago is proving a challenge.

That said, it’s actually been really nice to get around to doing some of the things I promised myself I’d have a go at. I’m nearly finished the amazing First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie (despite having started reading it last year on the rail trip I took round Europe), and I’m ¬†– very slowly – getting through my back-catalogue of stuff that was free on the PSN. I have also managed to get my current story to just past the 62000 word mark, so I’m absolutely thrilled with how that’s going and to try and keep me¬†focused¬†on it, I’ve been neglecting my beloved console a bit (also, I’m trying to forget all the Mass Effect I’ve played so that it’ll be new to me next time ūüėõ ).¬†¬†And in craft news, I’m about a quarter of the way through two Christmas presents, half way through a cardigan for Bub and have just finished some storage bags for the backs of my dining chairs (which I’ll take pictures of tomorrow if someone reminds me to). I have some tutorial shots of how to change a single bed cover into cot sheets which I’ll post if anyone is interested too, as I’ve been doing a lot of that of late. *

Speaking of the child, she is going through something of an epic growth spurt just now so I’ve organised a clothes swapping session with some local ladies in the hopes that we’ll all end up with some nice new togs for our Littles, but I’ve never done anything even remotely like this before so we’ll see how it goes. The idea is that everyone brings the clothes they don’t want, swaps them for the clothes they do, eats a pile of cake and then goes home again. For those coming without any clothes to exchange, there’ll be a pot for donations and any money can be passed on to an elected charity. Sounds awesome in theory but chances are I’ll somehow make a total boob of myself ūüėõ

At the end of the day though, I’ve been buying second hand for years and doing that isn’t so much of a problem. I know that I should purchase used instead of new – the issue is that I’m purchasing things that I don’t even need. Take liquid soap for example – I’ve been buying that in despite having loads of bars of the stuff. All it took was a quick google search to find a recipe for turning soap bars into liquid soap and twenty minutes to actually make the gloop. Yet for some reason, I’d never thought to do this before.

My spending at the supermarket is also a personal bone of contention, so I resolved to try and stick to seasonal, British goods a bit more. ¬† When I started this endeavour, ¬†I really wanted to get the Tregothan tea that’s grown in Cornwall as it is by far the most local brew available, but I just can not afford it. I get that it’s more ethically sound and there’s only a tiny plantation worth of tea for each flush but… I think it’s priced itself out of the market for most consumers. So I settled on a local purveyor of teas called Butterworth & Son, who make¬†the best hard water tea I have ever tried, so it’s not all bad.

And in amongst all this seemingly great saving? I spent ¬£90 on a second hand Tula baby carrier, despite not selling one of the two slings it was supposed to be replacing. We’ve recarpeted both bedrooms in the house (with 100% wool, British carpets, mind you), and I smashed the front door so need to pay to have that one fixed.

My point is, there are many good things about living this way, but there are also many bad things. Namely, the lack of DLC I have for my favourite games and the fact my hair remains its natural colour.


*Charity shops are full of single duvet covers. Why do they never have anything for cots?