At the moment two things (other than my two little terrors) are taking up the vast majority of my time; the garden and my dressing table. While it’s been a slow project, bit by bit I’ve been able to start making custom organisers which make everything a little more laid out, easy to find and most of all – pretty.
I’d been saving up the materials for this for a while too. The black fabric I had for almost four years, since I knew it would come in handy soon, and I was very pleased which how much has and will be re-used from the temporary Ottoman project.
After this I think I’m going to work on the haircare and makeup drawer since I have a clearer idea of how I want them laid out. The skincare drawer will have to wait a while since I’m still collecting the curated set of products I want to use daily, and the last thing I want to do is organise the skincare drawer and then switch it all up because I rushed it. Not to mention the budget wont allow me to change my mind all the time.
I think the winter slump is finally coming to an end. Spring is properly here and I want to share with you all the work I’ve been doing over the last few weeks but unable to share so far.
As I think I’ve mentioned before, one of my goals with my garden is to grow as much of my own food as possible, and if 2020 has taught me anything it’s that being at least partially self-sufficient is generally a pretty good thing to aim for.
So, what are my plans for this garden? Well, most of them are covered in the video, but just because I love talking about this I want to share the five big aims I’m going to do my best to achieve:
1. Quail Enclosure:
I’ve put so much research into this it’s a little insane. The idea is to have a large walk-in enclosure full of beneficial plants which help them feel safe and keep them fed with edible grains, bushes and plants. Barley, rye, wheat, tiger nuts, oats, and slender lespediza are the main varieties I’ll be growing. Their water system will be using water water nipples (a small nozzle they tap at to drink) that will be constantly supplied by a very large water butt. This means they’ll always have a constant supply of water without an open dish or pond that can get stagnant and revolting. It also means that I don’t have to remember to water them since there’s always a supply.
There will be an ash pit for them to roll in (excellent for their feather health and avoiding red mite) a ground open compost system and a black fly farm to give them a constant supply of protein and food along with regular quail feed that I’ll supplement with. The aim is to create a habitat for them which is perfect, extremely efficient, and gives them the best life they can have while being as little work for me to maintain as possible.
I’ll be growing three kinds, Shiitake, pink oyster and wine cap. There’s so much to cover here I’ll wait until they’re all set up and working before I talk about it. Otherwise I’ll be here all day writing whole essays on them.
3. Food wall:
One of the reasons why my veggie garden is so small in comparison to the rest of the garden is because I want to show just how much food you can grow in a small space. I think a lot of people can see these enormous homesteads and gardens online which are 9-10 times the size of the average uk garden and they get disheartened because that kind of land size is impossible in the uk unless you’re absolutely minted. We were so lucky, the only reason we have a garden the size we do is because it’s right next to a main road, the house needed a LOT of work on it and the sellers wanted a quick sale. So with that in mind I’ve deliberately kept my food garden to a small size.
This is where the food wall comes into play. Using a series of gutters mounted onto the fence you can grow so many foods like strawberries, leafy greens and salad mixes in an area that would otherwise be wasted. I’m still figuring out how to make it self watering (or at least very easy to water) but since that’s realistically not going to fit in the budget till winter, at least I have a lot of time to think about it.
You’ve seen the apple trees that are already planted, but there’s still space for four more – one on each side of the current trees. The plan is to grow a cherry, plum, pear and a fourth tree all in that espalier style to make them as efficient, space-saving and easy to maintain as possible.
Phew….yea, I don’t like taking on small projects, do I.
Incase I haven’t said it before, I hate winter. Now that it’s firmly into spring (and we’re out of lockdown) I feel like I have the energy to film DIY again, and I’ll be starting with a small one before I start the bigger projects – like making a mirror stand and movable compartments for the drawers.
It’s taken me over a year to find a dressing table second hand on Facebook marketplace that I liked. As much as I love second hand shopping – especially for how kind it is on the the budget – the down side is that it can take a long, long time to find something you love.
Before you ask, the Ottoman isn’t going anywhere, it’s just going to be repurposed as a seat for the desk and storage for my digital piano from now on. I’m still very pleased that I worked as hard on it as I did, even if it didn’t end up being my ‘forever’ dressing table. So many of the ideas I experimented with will end up being used in the dressing table drawers, and it was a fun project that helped give me a little area of my own while the rest of the house was a building site.
It’s been almost a year and a half now that I’ve had this demijohn sat in the pantry for me to use. The brand of cider it’s from is perfectly decent, but to be honest I manly buy it for the container. There is so much potential! I’ve used them in the past for making apple cider vinegar, but now I’m also using them for decoration around the house too. I think they look beautiful and I can’t wait till I have a proper dressing table and have one sat there with beautiful dried flowers in it. Just one of those small things that make me happy.
I’m also trying to get through all my excess art supplies this year. Nine months ago I did an enormous declutter, and the system I came up with was everything that I wanted to finish because it wasn’t used enough went in a massive tub so I could see and use it – very high tec I know. So that’s today’s project. Make something beautiful for the house and use up wasted supplies.
Last year was awful, and I want this year to be better. Since it would be a lite naïve to hope that outside factors would make it better – doubt this will be our last lockdown to be honest- I’m determined to make the things I can control more productive. I have three big aims this year: write at least five books. Relaunch my makeup channel, and become a lot more food self sufficient. For those five books, three can be short stories, and this is the first of them. I was in a bit of a slump at the beginning of the year, which is something that happens to me every winter, so I set myself a few small projects to get myself motivated before I started on my goals.
Once I got my energy back I got started on the short story, and as luck would have it, I saw a writing competition for a short story here. One of the things I love about short stories is how they force you to keep your writing very tight. There is no room to trail off in one hundred different directions, you need to take a real minimalist approach to what you are writing, but also carefully choose your words to make the story rich and detailed despite being short. I’m used to coming up with my own story ideas, but entering a competition was a great way to stretch my writing muscles and build something over an idea I hadn’t come up with. Normally my story ideas come from the end of the story. I get a scene or a phrase in my head which is the last chapter, or at least the closing end of the story. This time I got to practice without that and try and train myself to keep the story within the parameters someone else had set. It was a really fun challenge!
Let’s try and end 2020 on a slightly better note. This year has been awful, so I’d like to do a small giveaway to hopefully let it end on a better note for someone. While it is a smaller giveaway than the large giveaways that I used to do on KlairedelysMakeup, I’m planning to do a lot more of these next year and hopefully I can do larger ones too.
How to enter:
Leave a comment bellow (one comment) on which of the giveaway prizes you like the look of the most.
The winner will be chosen on the 1st of January.
If the original winner has not replied to my email within a week of being emailed I will select a new winner.
Once the winner replies with their address I’ll send their prize to them. No need to pay anything for postage regardless of where you live.
I’ve been wanting to make this little tree fairy ever since our first autumn in our home and saw all the maple leaves in the garden. When I was little my family always called them helicopter seeds because of how they twirled down to the ground when they fell. Originally the plan was to just use maple seeds for this tree ornament, but when I saw the Honestly leaves, I thought the combination of the two would be just perfect, and I have to say, I absolutely love how this turned out!
I have at least one more variation of this idea planned before Christmas. It’s actually easier than this one and is transparent without using any kind of resin or special equipment. In fact, you probably already have what you need in your home already.
This year has been awful. Pretty sure that is a universal feeling at the moment, so this year I want to go all out with the Christmas decorations. All the colours, all the wreaths and all the Christmas cheer I can get.
It’s the first time making a proper wreath and, I have to say, I’m really quite pleased with it! I recently decluttered my craft supplies and set myself a challenge of using up all the random items I had (like feathers) some of which I’ve had sitting there for eight years! Some of them are already in the front door wreath and the rest will be added into the other garlands I’ll be making around the house.
I also have to make the crib decorations (a stable and some mountains with adjustable parts so I can change it each year). It’s going to be a busy but fun few weeks!
Last year I made an absolute abomination of a Christmas wreath that was barely little more than old jewellery necklaces knotted together in a clump. It looked awful. So this year I’ve bought a proper metal frame for a wreath and started making the props I would need for it. One of the things I wanted to include so that there was a contrast with the spiky fir and holly leaves were some cotton flowers. Only problem is that it’s not exactly a native plant – far too wet and cold all the time. If I wanted it I would need to make a fake version, so that’s what I did.
It’s quite easy, quick and should be an affordable way to add another beautiful detail to your decor.
Back when I did the Camino de Santiago one of the few beauty related items I brought with me was a tiny tin of home made hair balm. It was much simpler than this, just beeswax and evening primrose oil, but it was an absolute lifesaver. That year there had been a series of forest-fires in Portugal (which my sisters ended up getting caught up in a few of them), it was very, very hot, but after two weeks of the heat I had a ton of new growth and barely any split ends.
For some silly reason, after I got back, I stopped being in the habit of applying a balm to the ends of my hair, and I definitely noticed the difference. So this year, since I want to start growing my hair waist long, I’m determined to get back into taking a little more care of my hair and I thought I’d start by making a slightly improved version of the original hair balm I made.