Archive | craft

Homemade exfoliating coffee and cinnamon soap

Homemade exfoliating coffee and cinnamon soap

If you’re a coffee lover of the fancy kind – y’know, the kind that requires ground coffee made up in a plunger or machine, also known as the most freakin’ excellent kind – you’ll be well acquainted with the pain in the ass that is the leftover ground coffee.

Not only does it have a sneaky way of making a gritty mess everywhere, unless you’re a master composter it pretty much always ends up in the bin. Which doesn’t feel great for us folk trying to live a lower impact life.

I love coffee and I also love making my own all-natural homemade soap. So I put the two together and came up with a rather rad way to recycle used coffee while creating a marvellous invigorating and exfoliating shower scrub. Continue Reading →

Homemade soap, the traditional Castile way

Spanish grandmother Francisca, 81, prepares traditional homemade soap.We spend our lifetimes living and learning, collecting little pearls of wisdom and knowledge that shape the way we think and act and perceive our world.

But sometimes, I think, we forget that the elders in our society have walked these same paths before. They’re like a great beautiful leather-bound book of knowledge just waiting to be cracked open and read. We just have to find the time to honour that wisdom, to seek them out and listen and learn from their stories.

A few months back I spent an afternoon with the grandmother of my friend Juan (y’know, the guy of homemade vegan Nutella fame.)

Grandmother Francisca is 81-years-old, and grew up in Spain during the difficult years of civil war and rule under Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, a time of using and reusing by necessity because often there simply wasn’t enough to go around. Continue Reading →

How to create a bicycle crate out of a vintage picnic basket

Rear bicycle crate from a vintage picnic basket

Remember when I got my bike way back at the start of the year? And I committed to cycling everywhere for 30 days despite being utterly terrified?

Well, I kept my commitment and guess what? Somewhere during those 30 days, I suddenly wasn’t scared anymore. Other cyclists and cars and pedestrians were no longer so terrifying. I started cycling on the road, my legs and lungs got stronger and I fell more and more in love with cycling.

One of the main reasons I bought my bike was to make grocery and market shopping that little bit easier. I don’t have a car, so my legs are my main mode of transport. As the little basket at the front of my bike doesn’t have a huge carrying capacity I needed an additional something on the back to load all my goodies.

I spent months searching for just the right rear rack. I wanted something with a lid, it had to be the right colour and it had to be stylish. Turns out, everyone else seemed to have a similar idea and I couldn’t find anything available that wasn’t in excess of $100. Pricey! Continue Reading →

How to make fabric jam jar covers

How to make fabric jam jar covers

When we were kids our parents, king and queen of thriftiness before being thrifty was in fashion, would squirrel away summer fruits by preserving, saucing, jamming and drying so in winter we could still experience the sweet taste of summer. I have fond memories of eating crunchy toast on cold winter mornings and warm bread and butter pudding in the evenings, both spread thick with my Mum’s apricot jam.

This time last year, the lovely Robyn from Bespoke magazine contacted us and asked if we’d like to feature an article in their winter edition. I decided this would be the perfect time to learn how to make my Mum’s jam and create a crafty DIY to decorate the jars using my newly acquired sewing skills. I’m so excited to now be able to share the recipe and DIY with you here. Continue Reading →

Mini succulent gardens just for Mum

Mini succulent gardens in vintage glasses

Mums – they really are something special aren’t they? My Mum taught me that the greatest virtues a person can hold are compassion, generosity, commitment and love. She did this by unconditionally giving me all these things and more from the very first day I was born.

A special Mum needs a special gift, especially on the one day of the year purely dedicated to her. And there is nothing more special than a handmade something, lovingly created by her own child. Of all the gifts we have given my Mum, I know it’s the handmade ones that she has cherished the most. Continue Reading →