Thursday, 19 October 2017

How to make an indoor mini garden

Hello. I spotted this wooden letter rack in a charity shop last week, it was tossed in the bargain box, everything 50p. Hmmmm, no scratches or chips, maybe I could do something with it. It looks like it's been engraved, but probably mass produced in some sweatshop somewhere. I expect a lot of letter racks are lying around redundant now, hardly any letters come through my door any more. 
I have an idea. First paint it in a pale shade of apple green. Then colour in the flowers with felt tip pens. Cut some pieces of polystyrene to fit in the bottom, and top with some pieces of green mesh bags.

I have some sticky back felt, from the Scrapstore, cut some leaf shapes and enclose small pieces of wire in between two leaves.

Then make some Sussex Puff flowers and attach longer pieces of wire to the back of them. Cover the stems with strips of felt, twisting the leaves in as well.

Next some greenery is needed. Take a small piece of cotton fabric and cut strips into it. Stick a small piece of wire to it with tape, and roll tightly, hold it together with a few stitches.

I made some small flowers with red and blue felt, also sticky back. I curled the top of the wire into a circle so it wouldn't pull out.

With all the pieces ready then I made my flower arrangement. Cut the wires to the right length, and stick them into the polystyrene. I could have added some embroidery and beads to the felt pieces but I think it's alright as it is.



Where best to photograph it. Outside on the table by the back window.

Or on the mantle shelf above the gas fire in the living room.

I am mighty chuffed with this. A little bit of garden indoors, to cheer the room up. An idea to make something new out of all those redundant little containers you have lurking at the back of the cupboard. Give it a go. If you don't have stickyback felt you can use any felt, just stitch the back and front together with blanket stitch.

Raining today and I have to go to town. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Tooth fairy

Hello. Lana has posed a question which I will answer to the best of my ability.

I was wondering if you could blog or do a video about how you keep your dental bills low. I am paying a small fortune (I live in the States and do not have dental insurance), for extractions, crowns, bridges and gum treatments. I know that you grind up your nuts and seeds but are there any other tips you could give us? I am afraid I may end up eating mush for the rest of my life if this keeps up. My pocketbook hurts way more than my teeth!

Hi Lana. We have a two tier system here, NHS and Private, my dentist does both. People  have the option of paying a monthly fee for the basics, which will include some work, check the list, then anything over that will be priced separately. My sister is in this scheme. 

I am registered as an NHS patient, not on a scheme, so I pay as I go. I have the option of paying more for some treatments if I want to go private. About 13 years ago I opted for Private when I needed a new bridge, it was quicker, and they use better quality materials, so they said.  

I have regular checkups, £20 I think at the moment. I have been getting checked once a year, and for many years I have not had to have anything done, except two fillings. My regular dentist has said my oral hygiene is very good. I have a checkup next month, I think I'm going to start getting them every six months instead of annually, just to keep on top of it. 

When I read the Money Saving Expert Forum on health, I am amazed by how many people visit the hygienist when they go to the dentist. I have never seen a hygienist. The dentists on MSE say you shouldn't need to see a hygienist if you clean your teeth properly. 

I have got quite a few fillings so I think these might need some attention in the future, but I'm not going to ask, I'll wait until the dentist says I need work doing. 

How do I keep my dental bills low? I am meticulous with my cleaning. First thing in the morning before I put anything in my mouth, and last thing at night before I go to bed. And also before I go out, I hate to see food stuck in peoples teeth, yuk. I run my tongue around my mouth and if my teeth feel furry I nip to the bathroom for an extra brush. I floss between them. I tried teepee's but I only have three gaps between the teeth that I can get a small brush between. 

One thing I will mention, clean your teeth after eating anything which will stain them. Coffee, red wine, beetroot, etc. If you smoke, then STOP immediately. Try not to sip sugary drinks and eat sweets. Brush your teeth if you do. 

Regarding food. I take ages to eat a meal, carefully moving it around my mouth to break it down and mix it with saliva before I swallow. Digestion starts in the mouth. I don't want to send hard lumps down my throat and end up with indigestion. I take twice as long as anyone else to eat a meal. I try and avoid hard food that I have to bite into or chew. I even resist the temptation of biting into crisps, I suck them until they soften up. I have given up eating fresh apples unless they are pulverized with a blender. To be honest I would rather eat mush than have to run to the dentist with a broken tooth or filling. 

Using the mini chopper for seeds and nuts is a big help, and leaving the cereal to soak up the milk for ten minutes before eating it is a good idea. If I eat something that is a little bit hard, I cut it up with a knife and fork into small pieces and pop it straight into my mouth without having to bite into it. 

Has the dentist told you that you need gum treatments? Are you expecting to need extractions, crowns, and bridges? I wonder if you are worrying unnecessarily. Have you asked your dentist how you can better look after your teeth? If you are doing all the above then you shouldn't need a lot of treatment. 

Thanks for your questions, I hope I have given you some ideas. 
Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Don't trust anything to luck

Hello. I've really enjoyed myself today. Watched some more of Scots videos, did you like his artwork? I've been working on a flowery decorative ornamental thingy, I did my walk, and made this video. So there you go, two videos in one day.



Thanks for watching, and we'll meet up again tomorrow.
Toodle pip

Hooked on Scott

Hello. My head is full of arty stuff at the moment. How to make a frame for my picture has found me on yooootoooob looking at videos, and once I am on there I get sucked in. Always something new to learn.

A lot of presenters I don't warm to at all. They mumble, and don't speak clearly. Some of them try too hard to be perfect and polished. Some of them go through their routine on automatic pilot. I want to see a person with personality who shows a real passion for what they are doing.

I have discovered a great guy who is an artist, paints pictures, and makes wood frames and wall sculptures. I am hooked on Scott. He works mainly outside and has his cat for company, and he explains his thought processes as he is working on his art. I like that, knowing what is going on inside someone's head is just as important as admiring the finished article. He has mastered the art of editing his videos to perfection, unlike myself who doesn't edit my videos at all, ha ha.

This is a short video of 11 minutes, giving an overview of what he does. Some of the longer ones explain in detail the different stages of his work. Have a look at this one, and maybe go to his channel on yoootooob and find some more if you are interested.



Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up later.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Donations for Workaid, and freebies.

Hello. I hope you are well. I delivered four sewing machines to Lincoln yesterday. Three of them were mine, then I was asked if I could take one more because my friends no longer use there's. Plenty of room in the car. 
So, this is the collection point nearest to me for the charity Workaid. The garage is almost full, so they will ask head office in Chesham to send the van to empty it. As you can see there are a lot of garden tools, and there's all kinds of tools in there for woodworking. These will be sorted out, repaired where necessary, put in a container, and shipped off to Africa. All the collections and refurbishment are done by volunteers. They also fundraise to pay for the transport of the containers. Take a look at the web site and see if there is a collection point near you. Perhaps you have something useful that you no longer need, to donate.
This is a very nice freebie which I found in a skip recently. Aftershave moisturizer. Just out of curiosity I looked at the company web site. This particular product sells for £12 for a travel size. This is the bigger size, double the amount, so I reckon this was about £24. Brand new and still in a box. It smells absolutely gorgeous and it melts into my skin. I slap it on my face, ha ha.

Another freebie. Last week someone brought lots of sewing cottons and embroidery silks into Crafty Club, their friend was having a clear out. Very kind of her to offer it to us. There was a lot of it and everyone took something home. Fandabidozi eh! I love free stuff.

I had a mooch around the car boot sale this morning at the football ground. There wasn't many booters, not much to tempt me, I only spent 20p. However, as I was walking through the retail park, I park my car on the road because I don't want to pay the 50p to park, I spotted two £1 coins on the ground. Then I remembered that the old ones are no longer legal tender, someone must have deliberately thrown them away. Not to worry, I have to go to the bank sometime this week so I'll get them changed for new ones there.

I've been sanding the driftwood, now I have to watch yoootooob videos on how to make a frame. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.