Building A SustaInable Life...

Friday, January 31, 2014

New Project: Krrb blog!

My first post for Krrb's Neighborly Living blog!

After the Ceremony - Wedding Decor that Lives on in Your Home

Check out this great, dynamic site, created "for the love of garage sales, flea markets, street fairs and any place someone can rummage, dream and discover local treasures" here!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Crafting: Holiday Projects

So I found an old piece of painted trim in the basement and fell in love with the colour. Decided to turn it into an advent calendar for the kids. Just clothespins (weathered from being left outside by the previous owners! Score.) and wood glue!

We actually installed ours on the wall in a semi-permanent sort of way, but our thinking is that in the off-season we can hang teabags or herbs to dry from the pins.

The kids have been enjoying opening an envelope each night.

We also fiddled around with a Christmas chandelier of sorts, using LED Christmas lights and a hula hoop. Leveling it was... not fun. We have it kinda sorta figured out now, though.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Life-Hacking: Picture Frame Calendar

I know I saw this on Pinterest somewhere. I finally found the perfect 7-part frame and got around to making my own!

Simply pop the backings out of the frames, cut some fabric (or interesting paper) to size, insert it between the glass and the backings and pop the backings back in.

You can write directly on the glass with a dry-erase marker; with a 7-parter, you've got yourself a weekly calendar.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Making: No-Sew Roman Blinds

I've been wanting to make myself some Roman blinds for-EVER, but either never quite got the courage or moved across the country before I could get to it, or what have you. Well, I FINALLY did it - just in time to move to a new house. But, all is not lost; we ended up moving just down the road into an old elementary school and have rented out the downstairs of our old place to sis-in-law.

Oh yes, more on all that soon.

But the downstairs bath at the old place had a hideous vinyl mini-blind in it, and I wanted to make things pretty for our new tenants, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to try out some no-sew Romans. I basically used this tutorial from Little House Big Plans; the only departure was that I actually used a shower curtain for my fabric. I did this so I could buy two, leaving one intact and easily matching the actual shower curtain in the tub to the new window treatment. And in fact, I bought three and stored one, such that as the current one dies its inevitable slow death and we want to freshen the space up, we're assured of having a new one that will also match. (Cuz I am so smart.)

You do sacrifice the fact that shower curtains are already hemmed and finished and have wee holes or grommets at the top when you cut one up, but they're inexpensive and well suited for use in small bathrooms, for sure.


This photo illustrates the process somewhat. Essentially you're using the old mini-blinds as rods for the Roman shade. With fabric glue on the slats and either fabric glue or Stitch Witchery for the seams, they are completely no-sew. And it's not that I have anything against sewing, except that I don't know how to do it and am scared of it.

 Still functional with the original cord.

Yeah, it's a small bathroom. Like I said, matchy-matchy!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Preserving: Pear Jams and Chutneys

The pears are actually still going strong on our three trees, but we were able to harvest far more than we need. This is actually what's left over:

The kids enjoy nomming them as they walk about the yard, but I had other plans:

I made pear chutney using this recipe as inspiration...

Some spiced pear jam using this as a jumping off point (I added some minced candied ginger), and a standard reduced-sugar pear jam.

Of course, none of this even begins to touch the rhubarb I still have to deal with from this Spring, but what're you gonna do? pies!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

4: Pirate Party

Captain Tightpants turned four and everyone (okay, mainly mum and dad) wanted to be pirates:

The first map led the kids around the yard to the location of the  X - the second map.


Going on a treasure hunt.


The kids were shockingly good at reading a map.








Why yes, the sails on this did catch on fire when I added and lit the candles...

Pirate treats: