Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Win a wedding challenge...

Hurrah! We got engaged!

Now begins my super-exciting wedding planning on a budget, and if I can DIY it I will. My absolute dream is to win as much as possible, or at least haggle everything down. This may sound like a pipe-dream, but  low and behold, I've just had an email to say we're shortlisted to win our wedding photography! Amazing!

It was all down to my ever-swelling Pinterest board where most of my wedding planning is manifesting it's crazy little self (along with a few other boards, who can have just one?!)

So far, and only 4 weeks in, we've booked the venue, The Manor Barn in Buriton (just beautiful!), set the date, booked the registrar, the band and (oops) the photographer. This is a different photographer so I feel awful, but we haven't won yet so we may still keep her!

Eeeeek, how exciting!

Many and more of my wedding DIY escapades will be making there way on here in the not-so distant future!
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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Veggie success

I've been away soooo long, but in that time look what's been growing in my garden! First ever veg plot so the novelty is kicking in... Mmm healthy

The early days of our tiny veg patch can be seen below...

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

New hobby: Comping!

I recently started comping - the hobby of regularly entering competitions - on the basis that "you don't win if you don't enter" and guess what, it's paid off!

I started in mid-late April and after 2 days had won tickets to a cinema screening [although annoyingly couldn't attend] and on my birthday in early May I received an email telling me I'd won £201.50 worth of meat! And here it is:

This is now officially my favourite hobby! Saying that, I've been so busy at work recently I haven't had the time to enter many more [it can get VERY time consuming], so I think I'll take it up again once we've got through this lot... Mmmm, meat.

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Saturday, 3 May 2014

DIY IKEA Expedit seat cushion

Today I finished one of the items on my Pinterest 'to-do' list, hurrah! I'd seen this done before and wanted to replicate it, however it turns out buying a cut of foam to the full length of IKEA Expedit is EXPENSIVE!

So... I took a shortcut and ordered a garden bench cushion from eBay. It cost around £20 and as a bonus came with a waterproof cover.

I already had an H&M scarf I wanted to use as the top of the seat cushion to give it some personality, so I unpicked the stitching around the cushion cover and re-stitched it with the scarf fabric in place over the top of the waterproof fabric [keeping the waterproof cover means I can use it outside in the summer!]

I had to do a bit of tweaking and cut down the foam as it was a bit wide for the Expedit, and the result is that my cushion is ever so slightly wonky, but we'll call that homemade charm!

The cushion was also a bit shorter than the full length of the Expedit unit, but this worked out great as I now have a surface to put the phone / lamp etc on. So overall, I'm happy with my first attempt. It was a bit rushed and could have turned out neater if I'd had the time, but hey, life's too short!

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Billy bookcase improvements

2 posts in one day! What the...?

Since moving into the new house, we seem to have accumulated a large number of Ikea Billy bookcases in various sizes. They're just so goddamn useful! We're only actually using 2 of our 5 Billy's for books. The others house our growing DVD collection or are re-purposed as shoe racks.

As much as I love the Billy, it's always annoyed me that the holes are so visible, so I decided to fill them! This is only really worth doing if you're sure you're not going to re-arrange the shelves. I figured they were staying put as we have them so got about filling them... [plus the boyfriend isn't a Billy fan - or even an Ikea fan for that matter! - so we'll probably replace them before ever needing to rearrange the shelves]

Here's what I used:

Decorators interior filler (£3ish from Homebase)
Filling knife or scraper [I just used a stiff piece of card]

Step 1 - fill holes
Step 2 - smooth over
Step 3 - sand down when dry
Step 4 - admire your handiwork



It's not perfect, but it'll do!

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Propagating succulents and cacti

This is purely an experiment. I've never done this before, only seen it on blogs and Pinterest. Some of my plants were looking a bit 'leggy' where they'd been reaching for sunlight, so I took that as a sign to trim them back. This gave me the opportunity to try propagating some more little succulents from leaves taken from the trimmed plant...


1. If pruning a plant that's grown tall, cut the top flower/rosette just below leaving a bit of stem and set aside. Remove lower leaves making sure they come away from the stem intact [if you leave the base of the leaf attached it won't root - apparently!]. Leave the stem in the pot to continue growing.

2. Put the leaves and rosette to one side for a couple of days [or longer] until the ends have dried and calloused over.

3. Place the leaves on top of some fast draining cactus soil and put the stem of the rosette in the soil. I used a little bit of hormone rooting powder too just for luck, but I don't think it's essential.

I also experimented a bit with cacti and aloe plants. I have no idea if these will work...! For the cacti I cut a stem away from the bigger plant and let it callus, then planted it in the soil. For the aloe I wasn't sure of the best approach so I've cut a few leaves and lay a few on the soil and a couple standing upright. We'll have to see which are most successful...

I forgot to take some progress shots, so here's a few pics of what I have on the go at the moment:

As you can see, where I cut the cacti stem from is already growing little roots [it's only been 2 days!], so I'm hoping that the cut bit will grow some too! I'll be back with an update in a couple of weeks to see how things are progressing... Eeek!

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

DIY Fruit [/cake] Stand

I've been meaning to get around to making this fruit stand for ages now... I hate our current fruit bowl and the boyfriend likes to keep all his fruits separate [apparently some fruits ripen other fruits when touching them] so most bowls don't do the job. This is where I thought a cake-stand could work well, with different fruits on each tier. I don't eat a lot of cake, but if I ever have a tea party I can use it for that too!

I bought 3 different sized plates from Ikea [black and white theme going on here], and I had previously bought the stand pieces from eBay for a few £s. The stand isn't the nicest I admit, so I will probably replace it at some point, but it will do for now...

I also had to invest in some special ceramic tile drill bits, which I think I bought from Amazon. They weren't expensive from what I remember, and now if I need to drill through more plates or tiles I'm sorted!
I stuck masking tape down where I was drilling for 3 reasons: it protects the surface and helps to avoid cracks whilst drilling, stops the drill slipping, and gives me a surface to mark the center point on. It's a good idea to do the drilling outside as drilling through the plates creates a lot of dust.

Once I'd drilled the holes [with a piece of spare wood placed behind to avoid drilling through my decking in the garden] I assembled the stand, which took no time at all! Voila, one fruit [/cake] stand... I can't believe I didn't break anything!!!


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