Monday, 17 May 2021

Before...

 That's it really....a 'Before' photo with the hope that it guilts me into getting started on a decorating project or 2!

We have lived in this house since Oct 2018 and in the first year we were finding our feet and learning what plants were in the garden and which we could move to grow veg plus and endless round of visitors!

We then shut up shop for winter except for Father-in-Laws visit for Christmas and then, of course, the pandemic started!

We could have decorated then I suppose, but the weather was so lovely and for us, life was quite normal because, we live quite a slow, remote life here, but also Missy still had school as she was in that transition year from 6 to 7 that only didn't attend school for about 2 months.

Anyway, we didn't decorate, we cleaned, sorted and really kept on top of the garden.  We thought we might decorate during the winter when we have to be indoors...but that didn't really work out as we tend to get a bit down and our motivation for such things, and in poor light, deserted us!

So here we are back in May 2021 with not a paint splash of decorating done and a house that is perfectly presentable, but starting to need a little TLC.

So that plan this year is to re-vamp the kitchen...we're thinking cream cupboards and woodwork and pale pink walls...yes, hubby suggested that!  So I'm all go with that as I'd been holding back on that suggestion.

So here are the 'before' shots of the kitchen / diner....




 

A little more info on that is.... we quite fancy copper or rose gold accessories and handles, no this doesn't involve a trip to landfill, but instead a can of copper spray paint to transform handles, utensil pots, frames etc.  And we'll also be sanding down and varnishing the floor and taking a look at soft furnishing...mostly from fabric out of my stash or the charity shop....or maybe dyed. 

Next up is mine and Hubby's bedroom, we're going soft cream or pale peach, probably with cream woodwork....we may well go the whole hog with a new carpet, but it depends....if the floorboards are nice, we might go with sanding and varnishing those...we'll have to see...




So...there we have it!  I've put it out there and now there is no escaping the fact that I have said it... hoping it motivates me and in a few months I will be able to show you at least ONE room!

Hey-ho and Toodle-ooo!
Nora
xxx


Sunday, 14 February 2021

Scrappy cloths

Since we moved to the North Pennines, and since Missy watched an offering from the wonderful Sir David Attenborough which left her in tears and determined to lighten our footprint on the planet, we have been on a mission! 

We started small and are getting better at cutting down on plastic, reducing the rubbish we send to landfill, buying all that we can second hand, finding ways to use what we have until the end of it’s life and above all being inventive!

Of course, with a child, clothes are something parents seem to buy lots of!  They grow so quickly!  Missy is the 5th of 5 children, but the youngest of the older 4 is a girl, but 10 years older than her, so there aren’t too many hand-me-downs.

We don’t go mad with a full school uniform for every day, but clearly you have to have one spare set!  And it all gets a good deal of use.  So, by the time the school year ends, the sweatshirts and trousers are usually OK to pass on, but the shirts are pretty grim!  Paint, lunch, biros and grass stains take their toll.

So, what can we do with them?

Well Missy had 3 pretty polo shirts that I held on to wondering how they could be repurposed and then the lightbulb came on in 3 ways….

1 – they have pretty buttons that can be reused.

2 – from the underarm to the hem, they are square

3 – there is an amount of ‘scrap’




I cut the side seams off, cut horizontally across the chest from underarm to underarm and removed the buttons.

 


The buttons went into my button box.

The 2 squares from each body of the shirts was overlocked around the edge to make cleaning or spills cloths (instead of paper towel) and all the ‘scrap’ including that created by overlocking will be joining my ‘stuffing’.



‘Stuffing’ is all the offcuts of fabric and threads from projects that are too small to even use on patchwork and they go into an offcuts bag kept at the side of your workstation. 

Many dressmakers are now employing the ‘Make do and Mend’ ethos of their Granny and making a stuffing bag which is simply 2 squares of scrap fabric (or old sheets or curtain, hubbys shirts etc), seamed on 3 sides to make a pouch and into that putting waste.  When full it can be used as a cushion pad, or smaller clumps of the waste can be used to stuff doorstops, draught excluders, toys…..the options are endless.  I often find I have more projects than stuffing….and nothing to put into landfill!!

Mine swallows up offcuts from cutting patterns out of fabric, threads, selvedges, the ‘trim’ from using the overlocker…..and more recently laddered tights AND….yes, you know whats coming…the chopped up scraps from those school polo shirts!

I’ve recently got back into knitting and apart from keeping a small ball of the yarn (with the ball band) for repairs, all the offcuts from sewing up my projects will be heading for my stuffing bag!

So, there we are…..cleaning cloths, buttons and stuffing!  No waste!

I have to say that I have become ridiculously excited when I find a new use for things and can keep my bin free of unnecessary waste.  Things in this house get used, used and used.....if they are made of natural materials, they may find themselves added to the compost heap....or like a rather dodgy looking wooden spoon, used for lighting the fire!!

Let me know what new and inventive ways you have found to reduce your reliance on landfill and take responsibility for your waste.

See you very soon,

Toodle-ooo

Nora

xx

 

Thursday, 29 October 2020

A new book....

 ...and not one I EVER thought would prompt me to put pen to paper!

It all started when a friend gave me a bag of books to take to the charity shop for her and said that I could take a look and if there was anything I wanted, to take it.  OK.  Thanks very much!

I had a look through, there were some gardening books, a beautiful Concordance Bible and....a huge book of women's stories that I thought I would take a better look at.  And I am so thankful I did!

Inside were 5 stories, re-written in a more contemporary way about 5 strong women of the Bible, and one of them was my favourite Ruth.

Knowing the 'Love Story' of Ruth, a sort of Cinderella story, I was looking forward to the other 4 stories too.

Well, I read them all.  How wonderful they were.  Well written and thought provoking.  Each section ended with a set of questions, a bit like a Book Club might ask, you know....what did you think of this character, did what happen surprise you, how could it have ended differently.... you know what I mean!


Well, in essence, this book was a book of Bible stories and the review questions were Bible studies.

It was so good I ordered the book of 5 stories about men in the Bible!

And this is what I'm reading at the moment.

Reading that first book was a pinnacle moment.

It lead me to watch a sermon on TV which got me searching for a book to help with my anxiety called 'Be Anxious for Nothing' and this was linked to another called 'Battlefield of the Mind'.

And these in turn got me thinking about my bookshelf and some books I had that I could revisit.  When I was studying for my health sciences degree I was recommended a book by Lee Strobel, all scientific studies...all faith based.  In fact he has written at least 3 in the same format, all undertaken to disprove the person of Jesus, disprove Creation over Evolution and to question faith.  Science and Faith?  Well, I challenge anyone to read these and not think more deeply about the scientific findings within.

So began my journey to rekindle a belief that took root as a child, but had never been developed because I didn't know how.  Now I know more, I am excited. In this hurting world, it calms and thrills me that, irrespective of faith, we can read a book that gives us good advice and live a better, more considerate, more loving life that not only makes us happier but can be used to bring happiness to others too.

Until next time, 

Toodle-ooo!

Nora xxx


Sunday, 7 April 2019

It's been a while....

 .....since we visited 'down south' and also updated the blog!


We have been busy moving, settling in, Christmas, New Year, visitors, lcoal 'stuff' and settling in, more visitors.....we will go back and fill in the last few months....so this post won't make much sense when we've caught up again...BUT....

...for now, we'll jump straight in where we are and say that earlier this week we visited friends & family.....it was nice to see so many people and our only photo of our 4 days away is this one....




When we arrived at Horsham Playpark, Little Woo went straight to the sand pit, always has been her favourite, so I couldn't resist a photo.

We are now back home....what a joy to return.

Funny how you can live somewhere all your life and yet feel so alien, you move somewhere where you've holidayed a few weeks whilst house-hunting and yet feel so at ease and relaxed like you have always belonged there.

I can't promise to fill in the gaps of the last few months....or to keep up with the blog in the next few either, but I'll do my best to share some beauty, recipes and fun as and when I can.

In the meantime, take care

Toodle-ooo!
The 3 Adventurers 😊

Saturday, 23 March 2019

High Force, Low Force

 Today we decided to play the tourist with my lovely God-father and his wife.


We took a trip in to Teesdale and visited two popular attractions here in the North Pennines.  The first was High Force....




There it is in all its glory....the noise was phenomenal!





There is a super path all the way down from the road to the Force which means that it is wheelchair accessible (but be warned you'll need muscles for the last bit upwards on the return journey...and, of course, you can't get down to the 'beach'.)

From the path you get the wonderful view in the first photo, but also this.....





High Force stole my heart.

Whilst you might think, golly, it's so grey, brown and dull.  If you stop for a moment and take in the smallest details you will begin to see the most wonderful colours, like this wee plant in the rock.....




And for my memory bank, a great shot of my God-father and his wife.  We had a lovely few days with them and can't wait for them to come back.




Anyway, that wasn't the end of our day.  From here we drove to Bowlees visitor centre (we went there before for our Christmas Reindeer Hunt) and from there we walked through the woods........





To the beautiful Low Force......






I actually prefer Low Force.  It isn't as spectacular in drop, but the scale of it is still breathtaking.

And its situation in a little wooded area......




....with another set of falls which pass under the simple but impressive piece of engineering which is the Winch Bridge...... 
 



You can only pass over it one at a time, and despite auntie waiting to cross, you still have to stop and admire the raw beauty of the place!

And....there's ALWAYS time for a wet play.....




We left here to go to our 'local' in Holwick, The Strathmore Arms, for yet another delicious home-cooked meal from Anthony's kitchen.....such a lovely day.

See you soon for the next instalment...xx



Friday, 22 March 2019

Doing the tourist thing...Long Meg & her Daughter and Little Salkeld Mill

 Having got an order to collect from the mill AND wanting to see Long Meg......AND having visitors this week meant that the planets aligned and we were able to do ALL of these things...YAY!


So first up are some photos of Long Meg (she's the tall single stone) & her daughters (which are the 50 or so stones which make up the stone circle)....











And these are photos of  Little Salkeld watermill.  






The mill sells stoneground products and it also has a wonderful little tea room which offers light lunches and delicious homemade bread and cakes.  If I'm honest the website leaves much to be desired, BUT, I would urge you to put this on your bucket list for a visit, it's a great place to park and walk to Long Meg and you can treat yourself to a delicious lunch or tea and cake after your exertions!  Enough said 😉

See you again tomorrow!

The 3 Adventurers 😊

Monday, 1 October 2018

Pinch, punch first of the frost.....

 Isn't it beautiful?







The first frost of the year on the first of the month.  I was amazed how my little point and press camera caught the scene with the sun so well.

This slope was our best sledging slope when we visited back in February and at Easter.

And here is the contrast between the hill that had been in the sun with the frosty grass in the shade.....





Beautiful.

See you soon
Nora
xxx