Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Third wedding anniversay

A few days ago my wonderful husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary, although we have been together a lot longer than this. We made a pact when we married to hand make each others gifts according to the traditional anniversary guide and the third anniversary is leather. I had two ideas about gifts to make, the first was a handmade leather journal as I think they look gorgeous, but I had a little trouble finding the right kind of leather, so this project will be put off until later in the year.

I settled on a leather bracelet as the leather thread is easier to locate, I love the multi stranded mens bracelets but thought that might be a little more of a challenge to a first time leather user. So decided to stick to something I have been trying out lately, Macrame.

This is a close up of the bracelet, it is made using the macrame square double knot stitch. It is quite tough to pull tight enough as it is leather but I think it works very well.

As you can see I used a bead as a fastener and this finished bracelet does look amazing on his wrist.

Just like to finish by saying Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband x x x

Oh and if you like to see the lovely gift he made for me you can visit his blog here.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Natural Update

This is my 100th post and I would like to take a second and thank everyone for reading my blog, the counter at the bottom of the page stands at over 46,000 visitors. I would also like to thank the many websites around the world that have featured our crafts, and all of you who have been inspired and have inspired me in return. Thank-you again, the children and I have some exciting crafts lined up and we will be sharing here soon.

As so many of you have asked how we are getting on with the natural cleaning and cutting out the chemicals I thought I would give you a quick update.

We are still using and loving the soap nuts, (these are dried berries not nuts) it has been over a year now this is my original post, in fact we still haven't got through the 1 kilo bag we purchased, this cost around £10 delivered to our door with a bottle of free essential oil and has lasted more than a year. There are 300 grams left, and not buying washing powder and fabric softener has saved us a lot of money and decreased the amount of household waste we throw out. I also love the fact that you can add the essential oil of your choice to the washing, I have been adding lavender to the bedding wash to enhance good sleep and citronella to the wash when there are lots of biting insects about. No harsh washing chemicals have also meant no itching and sneezing.

All general purpose kitchen cleaners, window and floor cleaners have been replaced by white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice and essential oils which we make up ourselves. I really haven't noticed any difference in the cleaning ability, it just smells far more natural. We are still loving the home made toothpaste too.

The natural crystal deodorant is absolutely still being used, I bought it in July last year for about £5. I am just as happy with it as I was then, no armpit smell at all. My husband was so impressed he now uses it and there is still over half a stick left, so definitely a good money saving purchase there.

Another money saver for me has been the purchase of a menstrual cup, initially expensive but it pays for itself after a few months and it can last for years. I have been using one for quite a few years now and can honestly say I have never felt so free and comfortable during a period, so this has eliminated the need for any sanitary protection.

I have stopped using shop bought moisturisers and now use either pure coconut oil or a block of shea butter, both of which smell incredible and and make my skin feel amazing. So no more nasty chemicals absorbed through the skin. I have also stopped using hair conditioner, oils to stop frizz and all the other stuff we tend to put on ourselves after washing our hair, I now add a little coconut oil to my hands and work it on the tips of my hair.  One thing I have noticed, bizarrely, is the condition and softness of my hair has vastly improved.

As you can see we have managed to get rid of loads of the chemicals from our daily lives and I am still working on more and will let you know how it goes. Not only have we saved a lot of money... I mean...How many of you can say you have done your entire family's washing for less than £10 for more than a year or less than £5 for deodorant for two people?... but we also feel much better, no sneezing or itching and I am happy that everything we now use is a change for the better for us. I may be adding some of our natural recipes here now and again if anyone is interested.