Mask helpers

My mum has problems ‘fiddling’ her face mask, glasses and hearing aid around her ears so I have made some helpers to keep the mask elastic away from her ears.

Not sure how tight her mask elastic is so two versions made for her to try.

Small is two pieces of 6” by 2” fabric. Large is 7” by 2”.

Just sew both pieces right sides facing, leave a turning gap then turn right sides out. Top stitch around the edge to close gap and tidy up. Fix buttons at each end.

Bonus! I learnt how to use my sewing machine to fix buttons.

Fruit harvest creations

Fabulous donated fruit needed to be used so, using searches with different combinations of my supplies generated a few kitchen experiments …

I started with fig, date and marrow chutney then plum frangipane tarts. Then a look through ‘save room for dessert’ prompted plum and blackberry bars.

I roasted some plums with fig and rosemary to have cold, made some plumbrillo (pictured) to have with cheese and then put the rest of the plums into the favourite spicy Chinese style plum sauce. This batch turned out super spicy!!

Finally a trawl through the ever reliable bbc food site brought up slow slow cooked marrow and butter bean ideas. I switched out the suggested fennel for chili. Really brilliant discovery.

Vanilla Essence

A cupboard essential you can easily DIY

‘Why didn’t I know that before?’ Making your own vanilla essence is super easy, saves money and provides a quality ingredient that you don’t need to go to the shop for. BUT it isn’t instant so I am making this now for use in winter cooking.

Easy peasy make: cover vanilla beans with vodka for at least two months. I used 2 and a half beans in a 1/3rd of a litre bottle.

Do your research on quality of beans and proportion of bean to alcohol but it is that easy.

My advisers (bloggers and diy’ers galore) tell me you just top up the bottle with more vodka to make this a perpetual supply…

Citronella time

A quick citronella spray to keep those biting bugs at bay …

Into a little spray bottle I put a good 40 drops of citronella then a few drops each of of tea tree, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils. About half of the bottle was filled with witch hazel and then I added a slug of vodka and a couple of teaspoons of glycerine. (It isn’t recommended to put citronella essential oil directly on skin).

While the citronella was on hand I put some in the diffuser mix and dabbed some on the bedroom curtains …

Shirt conversion quickie

Blame me if the weather breaks … I have just converted his shirts (some of them) to short sleeved.

A simple chop and hem job using a ‘proper’ short sleeve shirt to get the length right. Just cut off an inch and a half below the intended hem line. Keep the chopped off bits for crafty projects.

Turn shirt inside out, press a hem along the intended length and then turn under the raw edge about a quarter of an inch. Press again, pin and stitch around the sleeve.

Tip: remove the bed from your sewing machine so you can turn the fabric as you sew. Tip 2: start stitching at the under arm seam so if there are any gathers (if the sleeve tapers) they can be hidden underneath.

Flip flop flip

My desperate purchase (no access to summer shoes or clothes this year) cheapo flip flops are so awful I can’t wear them even in the garden so I had to do a mini makeover.

I used a thin decor ribbon but could have wrapped with yarn or fabric strips as these are a bit big for me.

After 10 minutes wrapping, no glue just tucking ends inside, the job is done and once on they look ok. Until the shops open…

Hand stitched cards

A labour of love but deeply satisfying. Inspired by the excelllent Craft World blog I sketched, punched and stitched on to some strong paper.

This is a great ‘use what you have’ project especially if you have time!