Can You Use Ash To Clean Jewellery?

    It’s not exactly an age-old question, but it’s something I saw listed in a “uses for wood ash” blog post a while ago, and I’ve been wondering if it worked or not. Our house is heated entirely by our trusty woodburning stove, it’s gloriously efficient and very cozy, but produces a lot of ash.

    Over the last year I’ve been trying to find uses for all the waste in my house. Old clothes, food scraps, craft items etc. So far I have three uses for ash; it’s a fantastic dupe if you don’t have gritting salt, it’s wonderful for the compost heap, and if you keep a kitchen compost caddy, a little bit of ash sprinkled over it each day stops any of those annoying fruit flies infesting your kitchen.

    So today I want to find out if I can find a fourth use for the extra wood ash.

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    Making (Chocolate) Apple Crisps

    Like I mention in the video, these things are my kryptonite. Especially when they’re smothered in chocolate. Making them is simple, but time-consuming, especially if you do it by hand, and for that reason – and because I make them so regularly – I use a dehydrator and rotating peeler. I make these so often that it was worth it for me to make the whole process faster and easier.

    If you’re only looking to dabble in making these or don’t have any of the tools I’ve mentioned, I’ve written about two other ways you can make them bellow.

    Making them using the Sun:

    Given that I live in the cloudy bleakness that is England, this way of doing it isn’t very reliable. Some years we get nice hot summers, other’s it’s a complete washout. If you live in a country with better sunlight, you will need a baking tray to lay out the apple peels on, and then either a cookie wire tray to raise the apples up off the baking tray, or some parchment paper.

    You could lay the apples on the trays outside to dry in the sun just like that. But the problem is that the underside doesn’t always dry evenly if it’s directly against the tray, and you keep having to rotate each slice until it’s completely dry. This can take several hours sometimes, it makes a long job even longer! If you use a cookie/ sheet to raise it up a little, then – provided the sun gets hot enough – you can just leave them till dry.

    I can’t give you an exact time here till they’re dry, it’ll vary so much from country to country. Just check on it regularly (and be aware that any hungry birds in the area will go for them, along with every insect in the area) and wait till they seem dry and chewy to you). Ideally, you want to sit outside and watch them while you’re doing this. I have had birds make off with a large portion of my apples before. It’s a little heartbreaking when that happens, especially if you’ve spent most of the day peeling the apples by hand.

    Make them using the Oven: 

    This is the method I prefer if I have just a few apples on the verge of going off, and not enough to justify turning the whole dehydrator on. It’s a great way to preserve potentially wasted food, and I like that it heats up the house in the process (my house get’s very cold in winter!)

    Take your apple slices, lay them out on a cookie wire tray, and put that straight into the oven, set at the lowest heat and with the door cracked open. Don’t close the door or you’ll burn the apples.

    Every 15 minutes or so you want to check on the apples. Because the door is open you should be able to tell when they’re getting nice and crispy, but don’t leave it just to your nose to decide. Check on them, and when both sides seem dry but still pliable, they’re done.

    If you want to see your name featured in future videos you can support the channel here 

    How To

    Capsule Makeup Challenge: Halloween – Zombie

    Today in the series I picked the 14th out of my fifteen product limit, a white eyeliner. I still have one more product I can add to my selection for this series, and while I have an idea of what product it will be, I want to wait a while and get at least ten videos into the series before I make that selection. As much as I might be aiming far too high, I really want to see if I can stretch this out to a 100 part series. Yes, I know, maybe a little too ambitious, but I really think it can be done!

    Once Halloween is over I’ll focus on the holidays and get some Christmas and New Years looks included in the series, after that in Spring I want to include around 5 bridal looks. I might even include a tutorial for my own wedding makeup, since I pretty much used these exact same products.

    But for today, I have a Zombie makeup tutorial for you! I have to say, I’m really, really happy with this one. While it is time-consuming – it took me around 1.5 hours to film – it’s really quite simple to do. You don’t need an art degree to follow it, in fact it’s quite forgiving to any kind of mistakes, and it only uses four products in total.

    What’s The Makeup I’m Using In This Challenge:

    1. Klairs BB Cream
    2. Besame Lipstick in Dusty Rose – MUA Lipstick 
    3. Fatale Cosmetics Lipstick in Rita Rouge – MUA Lipstick 
    4. NYX Blush in Taupe
    5. Brown Eyeshadow – Essence Brown Eyeshadow
    6. Black Eyeshadow – MUA Black Eyeshadow
    7. Prism Highlighter
    8. Urban Decay Primer – e.l.f Primer 
    9. Black Lash Glue –
    10. False Lashes
    11. MUA Mascara
    12. Barry M Black Eyeliner
    13. Lilly Lolo Powder (I pressed this myself) in the shade Porcelain – e.l.f Mineral Powder
    (Please note that any Amazon links are affiliate links)

    Above I’ve linked the exact products I’m using on the right, and then dupe/budget versions on the left. Where I haven’t linked an alternative it’s because I haven’t tried a product that’s cheaper than the one I’ve used and that I think is good quality.

    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To

    Minimalist Make Up Challenge – Halloween: Terminator Makeup

    As part of the Minimalist Makeup Challenge, I really wanted to do a few videos just for Halloween featuring the looks that – I think – are classic Halloween looks; the terminator, vampire, skull and a zombie. I don’t know how much of it I’ll be able to film and upload before Halloween, but I’m going to do my best. Maybe if I’m still doing this challenge by next year I’ll have a poll on my channel for which looks people would like to see.

    What’s The Makeup I’m Using In This Challenge:

    1. Klairs BB Cream
    2. Besame Lipstick in Dusty Rose – MUA Lipstick 
    3. Fatale Cosmetics Lipstick in Rita Rouge – MUA Lipstick 
    4. NYX Blush in Taupe
    5. Brown EyeshadowEssence Brown Eyeshadow
    6. Black EyeshadowMUA Black Eyeshadow
    7. Prism Highlighter
    8. Urban Decay Primere.l.f Primer 
    9. Black Lash Glue –
    10. False Lashes
    11. MUA Mascara
    12. Barry M Black Eyeliner
    13. Lilly Lolo Powder (I pressed this myself) in the shade Porcelain – e.l.f Mineral Powder
    (Please note that any Amazon links are affiliate links)

    Above I’ve linked the exact products I’m using on the right, and then dupe/budget versions on the left. Where I haven’t linked an alternative it’s because I haven’t tried a product that’s cheaper than the one I’ve used and that I think is good quality.

    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To

    Soapnuts vs Conkers – What’s The Difference? + Update

    Last year I did a video all about how to use conkers as a washing liquid. Since then I’ve discovered a few things I can do to make the whole process much easier and efficient, it also occurred to me that in my original video I should probably have shown the difference between soap nuts and conkers, so today I will!

    You can find me on Instagram here


    What’s In My (Cloth) Nappy Bag

    When I filmed my introduction to cloth nappies video a few months ago I’d planned to do a video all about the nappy bag shortly after. As it is, I’m quite happy I didn’t because I recently made a few changes to the bag by including a small first aid kit, and it’s been a lifesaver!

    What is in the bag:

    (Please note, any Amazon links are affiliate links) 

    • Black Nappy Bag:

    Since I bought this bag (for £40 two years ago) they’ve increased the price to just under £100! As much as I love that bag, there is no way in hell I’d ever have paid £100 for it, so I’ve listed a more reasonable alternative here.

    I know this might be quite a simple video, but I love sharing these little things that I’m happy about in my life.  Putting together things that work well for me, and look lovely, make me very happy. And sharing things that bring me joy, even simple mundane little things, is something I want this channel to be about. So I hope you like this video, and if you have a little one, I’d be interested to see what you have in your nappy bag.

    Anything you think I should add?


    Trying Out A Buckwheat Mattresses – Is It Worth The Switch?

    First of all, I’d imagine you’re wondering “what on earth is a buckwheat mattress, and why would you use that over a normal one?”

    Well, for me at least I switched to it for three reasons; First, I really, really hate soft mattresses. They make my back hurt so much that getting up in the morning feels like I’ve had a goat dancing on my spine all night. I’d resorted to sleeping on the floor quite a few times in the past because I could never find a mattress firm enough.

    I’d also noticed that there was something about normal mattresses that really irritated my sinuses. I’d wake up in the morning and my face would feel swollen and stuffy, it was the same kind of reaction I would get if I walked in a very dusty room, or went up into my parent’s attic. I’ve known for years that I don’t handle dust very well, but I was noticing more and more that normal mattresses didn’t agree with me either.

    Lastly, I’ve been slowly trying to move more and more towards buying things that I would want to have rot in my garden. No plastic, no polyester, acrylic, foam, etc. My reasoning for this is that if it’s so toxic that it would kill off the organisms in the compost bin, or damage any food growing in my veggie patch, then I wanted to do my best not to buy it- let alone sleep on it! That part is still a long work in progress, but once I started to look more and more into what conventional mattresses were made of, the less I wanted to sleep on one, let along send it off to a landfill where it would attempt to decompose over the next 500 years.

    So I started looking around for something bio-degradable and, ideally, made in the UK. Eventually, I found a British seller that made buckwheat mattresses and pillows. I took about a year to slowly buy them, the last thing I wanted to do was spend a lot of money and find out they didn’t work for me. And at £200 for the mattress, I couldn’t afford to mess this up. I bought the pillows here, the quilted version of the mattress here, and the tube mattress was purchased here. Please note that Amazon links are affiliate links.

    Two years later, these are my final opinions:


    Inktober – Week 1

    Last year I attempted Inktober and it was a dismal failure. This year I’m determined to start and finish it. So far I’ve managed week one and I’m cautiously optimistic about it. It helps that I’m slowly trying to use up all my unused art supplies, other than my ink pens and black ink, the colored inks are not supplies I reach for often. In fact, a few of them have dried up completely since I bought them five years ago, so one of my challenges are to use them up during Inktober.

    My second goal is to draw a lot more men. Women tend to be my default, and as a result, I often end up drawing men very badly. I need to improve in this area, what better time than Inktober?

    Here is my vlog (of sorts) of week one. 

    How To

    Minimalist Makeup Challenge – Look no.1

    Since most of you know me through my old channel, KlairedelysArt, it’s not a surprise to anyone that I like makeup. I love the art of creating characters and looks that tell a story, but over the last few years the love has gone out of it. I’m not a fan of how much the makeup community has changed over the years. I think people tend to romanticize the “old days” of You Tube a little too much, but there was more of a caring feel at the start. Some truly incredible artist who were very quick to encourage their audience to use what they had, and not get fixated on buying products from “the best brands”. I’ll be the first to admit, there are some brands where the quality makes them worth every penny – ahem, sugarpill – my professional kit is full of many of those brands. But there are also some extremely good quality products from brands people ignore because they’re “cheap. I also think the line between what a professional makeup artist needs and uses and what you need for everyday wearable makeup has been confused a lot. I’m not going to lie, having two drawers of makeup is really nice, but it’s not necessary to create a wide range of looks.

    What I’m using: 

    1. Klairs BB Cream
    2. Besame Lipstick in Dusty Rose
    3. Fatale Cosmetics Lipstick in Rita Rouge
    4. NYX Blush in Taupe
    5. Brown Eyeshadow
    6. Black Eyeshadow
    7. Prism Highlighter
    8. Urban Decay Primer (but I can also recommend the e.l.f primer)
    9. Black Lash Glue
    10. False Lashes
    11. MUA Mascara
    12. Barry M Black Eyeliner
    13. Lilly Lolo Powder (I pressed this myself) in the shade Porcelain
    (Please note that any Amazon links are affiliate links) 

    Things like skincare, lip balms etc won’t be included in this list. I still need to pick the last two products for this challenge, but I’d like to give myself a bit of time before I do so that I can pick products that reflect the looks you want me to create.

    I want to try and show that you don’t need a full drawer of eyeshadow pallets to have variety. You can still have fun, create and express yourself with a very limited selection. To try and make this more interactive and not just the kind of looks I would personally wear on myself I’d like for you to share with me the looks you’d like to see me re-create. I’ve already had quite a few requests to do vintage makeup – which I will do – but I want to push it even further. What about a dramatic smokey eye? A Halloween mask? Seriously, anything! If there’s a look you want me to create tag me on Instagram or Patreon so I see it and let’s see how far I can push my small collection of makeup.


    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To, Lifestyle

    A Guide To Cloth Pads – How To Use, Wash and Keep Them.

    Ever since mentioned that I’ve been using cloth pads for years on my cloth nappy video I’ve had so many people asking me to do a video about these too. It’s quite funny really how much more receptive people are to the idea of reusables now. When I first started trying them out in 2014 the general attitude people had was – frankly – complete revulsion. Even I was a little grossed out by the idea at first, but one of my sisters had tried them recently and was raving about how much more comfortable they were, so I decided to give it a go.

    Well, it’s been five years, and I’m never going back! Here’s why:

    Like I mentioned in the video, I didn’t have time to include every single detail and question about reusables into the video without it being an hour long. So I’ve added everything else, along with recommended custom made pad makers, more detailed explanations and your questions down below. Also, the cheapies I mentioned in the video can be bought here. Please note that any links to Amazon are affiliate links.

    What Custom Made Brands Do You Recommend? 

    1. Lady Days: If you’re looking for meticulously well-made pads.

    2. MiniVivi: Who specializes in more heavy-duty pads aimed at incontinence sufferers.

    3. TCS Eco pads: Well made and very good quality.

    4. OneCheekyBee: I might be completely biased here because they’re made by my sister, but all the beautiful pads featured in the video above were made by her and I think they’re fantastic quality products.

    If you’re considering buying on Etsy there are a few things you need to do to make sure that you get a good product, because not all cloth pads makers are created equal.

    • If you have concerns about the hygiene standards of the products (because there are unscrupulous sellers out there) ask if they have insurance. At least in the UK, it’s a legal requirement for a business to have, and it’s a good indication of a standard of quality.
    • Like everything with the internet, check the reviews on whichever platform they’re on. That tends to be a very good indication and will at the very least warn you about anyone who is using old nappies to make “new” pads.

    Now For All The FAQ 

    • Can they withstand a lot of movement?

    I’ve found the cheap amazon ones do move around a little while I walk, and more than once I’ve had to adjust it discreetly. The custom ones don’t suffer from this problem as much, that being said, I wouldn’t go competing in a trampolining tournament with these. It really depends how much movement we’re talking about here. A brisk hike or walk, fine. But horseriding? That’s a challenge better suited to the menstrual cup.

    • Are there different ones for day and night?

    This depends entirely on your flow. If you bleed a lot I would suggest that you go for a custom pad which is designed to absorb a lot, the cheapies probably won’t cut it. If you have a light flow though you can go for the light pads, cheapies, or liner type pads (these tend to be smaller than the regular sized pads). If you’re concerned that none of those will do the trick then I’d recommend that you go for the pads which are more geared towards post-partum. Trust me, nothing is getting through those!

    • Is there such a thing as keeping them for too long?

    That depends entirely on how much care you take of them. Like I mention in the video, I’ve had mine for five years, and I can’t see myself throwing them away any time soon. If you think yours are too old and tired, then maybe it’s time to replace them, but again, that depends entirely on how well you keep them and how long you would want to keep them.

    • How do you make them?

    That’s a video I’m still trying to convince my sister to make with me. If you feel like helping me convince her maybe drop some not-so-subtle hints over on her Instagram.