Saturday, 17 November 2007

Jumble sale bargains

Here are the things I bought at the jumble sale last week - total expenditure £4!

A pine beveled mirror, three books, a ball of wool - and for the rabbits, a blanket and a wicker basket to play with.

The blanket will be something to keep the bunnies warm in the winter - and I've painted the frame of the mirror and hope to hang it up later this weekend.



I love this time of year, leaves falling from trees, crisp frosty mornings, and lovely early sunsets. For some reason, I manage to find more time for crafty activities in the autumn and winter. I've just finished my apron for Rhonda Jean's apron swap and hope to post it shortly. This is another work in progress:

a knitted patchwork blanket from Woman's Weekly's Knitting & Cross Stitch Special magazine 2000. In fact it is the simplest idea - 4 inch squares knitting on the diagonal with a single bold unifying colour - the rest of the colour scheme can be pot luck (like mine) or you could plan it geometrically to create a repeating pattern. My main colour (as in the original pattern) is dark blue/navy, but I bet it would look lovely in pastel colours too. I've knitted about 30 squares so far - the pattern suggests 9 squares for a cushion cover, 24 for a cot blanket, 36 for a throw, but I'm aiming for 60 to make it single bedspread size (though I may keep going for the double!). I keep a few scraps of wool and needles with me wherever I go and can dash off a few rows if I've got a few minutes to fill.

For the first time yesterday I tried knitting using dpns but I was an utter failure and had to give up after about two hours. My daughter wants some fingerless gloves but I can't get the hang of the technique. I will try again, but I think I'll start on something simpler first.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Bargain buys

On my way home from the hairdresser this morning, I paid a visit to the Salvation Army shop - principally to drop off a bag of shoes and clothes - and found myself a couple of bargains.

First was this butter dish for £1. I've been wanting to get a butter dish for a while as I've felt guilty about buying butter or margarine in plastic tubs for a long time as we have no recycling for any plastics other than plastic bottles (shampoo, milk etc). I have returned to buying block butter which is only wrapped in paper - and this can be folded very small before throwing away. I'm trying to reduce our household waste, and part of the exercise is to reduce the volume as well as the weight, so everything that can't be recycled or composted is squashed flat, folded down or crushed. In an average week, we don't have more than two carrier bags full of rubbish, in good weeks only one. OK, you spotted the immediate problem - carrier bags. I won't buy black sacks for rubbish and never get supermarket carrier bags as I always take plenty of shopping bags with me - but occasionally we do end up with bags from other types of shopping and these do get used for rubbish. I am sure the day will come when there are no carrier bags at all in our house, and I'm not sure I like the idea of putting loose household rubbish in the dustbin as this will mean more frequent dustbin cleaning. While I have carrier bags I will continue to use them to throw away rubbish, but eventually I'll need to find a hygenic solution - wrapping in newspaper maybe? Hmm; I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

See how small a butter wrapper is when it's folded up!

My other bargains were these two plates at 15p each. I love topiary (a long time ago I trained a bay tree into a lollipop shape, and it lasted for about 6 years, but sadly it died a couple of years back due to an infestation of some kind) and I just liked these plates. I don't really need plates, but these would be nice as cake plates don't you think?

I also got a couple of other items which might be suitable as Christmas gifts (so I won't post photos here).

There's a jumble sale at the local scout hall this week end. I may take a stroll round there this afternoon and see what I can find.