The next step on my journey


Although I didn’t expect to learn much through doing my fibro awareness posts, I have. It’s the first time I’ve ever been in contact and chatted to other sufferers and it’s been a bit of an eye opener. It’s made to realise and come to terms with the fact that part of the reason I always feel so rushed, panicked and like nothing is getting done properly is because I’m trying to live a life which would be very busy without any illnesses, let alone someone with CFS and fibromyalgia. It’s not giving up to admit that and neither is tailoring my life so I’m not stuck in a cycle of depravation- always over-doing it, paying the costs and then being frustrated because I can never sustain a schedule.

Things have got to change. Part of that was actually writing down my “ideal” schedule- exactly what I would want to achieve everyday or every week- it was ridiculous so I’ve put some stuff on the backburner for now instead of trying to do everything at once. In honesty, that wasn’t enough, even after I cut out as much as possible, it was still obvious that I would still be doing too much. I had to make some tough decisions in reducing my work load in EVERY area of my life, including this blog. I have never been able to post as much as I always planned to on this blog and by rushing posts, I have sometimes compromised quality (if I’m honest)- re-reading some of my earlier posts made that obvious to me. I am, therefore, cutting back the features on this blog to what I think are the best parts and you may be seeing a few less posts on here but I promise to make them really good. I really hope my readership doesn’t go down as a result of these choices, I love each and every comment and subscription. It is a great moment in every bloggers life when someone signs up to be notified when a new post is published. It’s even greater to look back over the first year of blogging and realise how much more successful your blog is than you’d hoped and how it has grown.

Part of being a good blogger/writer is knowing what works and what doesn’t so I won’t be posting any more film reviews or sports time posts regularly, I will, however, be leaving the pages up so you can access old posts and I won’t completely close the door on the possibility of the occasional post in these areas.

And, I will be adding a new feature- inspiration of the month. Every month I will be choosing a person who inspires me and I’ll write a post on them and why they inspire me. If you know someone inspirational who deserves to be honoured then please contact me on the email address below- I am open to all submissions.

As you read in an earlier post, I launched my own small business this summer (eek!) called Pandora’s Box. In brief, Pandora’s Box grew out of the home-made posts on this blog. More and more I’ve realised my passion for vintage/retro items and remaking old things into new is something I want to share. Vintage shops and markets can be really expensive and so can handmade products so part of what I do is making sure all my products are really affordable, meaning that my products are cheap but I don’t make a huge profit but I’m ok with that for now. I love individual things but my flat is small and I can’t fit it all in so I’m happy to pass on vintage finds and home-made treats to happy customers. You can find out more about it and view items on the page here. I will post updates here on my blog for you to see and if there is anything which you love in a home-made post but for whatever reason don’t make yourself, you can request me to make it for you in the comments section on the post or on the Pandora’s Box page.

Related to this, as part of the Etsy community, I come across other great and very talented sellers- look out for posts for my favourite Etsy finds.

Most of all, I’d really like to take on guest posts, I welcome any and every proposal so whatever you feel you might want to put on screen and have published here, you can get in touch with me by email: kate.bennett@live.com

Thank you loyal readers,

Katie x

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HOMEMADE: Pretty Paper Mobile


Sorry today’s post is a little late in the day- all of my days post exams are either filled with recovering or making the most of responsibility free time! Anyway, on to today’s project. Check out this cool paper mobile from Folksy (a website similar to Etsy). The project doesn’t say to use recycled papers but I think brightly coloured packaging or old magazines would make a funky mobile, as well as being environmentally friendly. Have fun making lots of different types, I know I will. If you don’t fancy making them yourself but love the look then keep an eye on my Etsy shop, you’ll see them on there very soon- requests for colour, pattern or paper used are welcome!

Side note: thanks for bearing with me with the blog updates, I promise they’ll be coming along soon it’s just taking a while for me to get back on my feet post exams.

HOMEMADE: Folded paper flowers


This week’s home-made post comes from a blog I’ve only just found called Metal and Mud. I think these flowers look terrific as well being a great way to recycle papers. They’ll make a pretty decoration or centre piece.  Why not put them inside dressed up jars (find that project here). I can’t wait to try making them with lots of different patterned papers and in different sizes.

All you’ll need is: paper, glue, wire and some clips. Find the instructions here.

HOME-MADE: Pretty crockery turned into even prettier things


Turn me into something pretty

Today’s Home-made post is more than just one project so there’s loads of options requiring different skills and time so there should be something to suit you. Your primary material is crockery, lot of bright colours and patterns- ask your friends or family for any bits knocking around they don’t want or visit a charity shop, you’re likely to get some great vintage patterns for great prices (for more on buying craft materials from charity shops click here). I found these projects on allaboutyou.com which is the website for several different magazines all compiled together, it’s a big site with loads of great resources. Go forth and have fun! Feel free to share your own ideas or improvements on the projects.

Here’s the link

HOMEMADE: DIY Fabric Gift Tags


Creature Comforts' DIY Fabric Gift Tags

This quick little project is perfect for a rainy day this summer, or easy to sit in the sun doing. It come from one of my favourite websites- Creature Comforts. Enjoy recycling all those scraps you, your, mum or your grandma have lying around into cute vintage-style gift tags. You don’t need to limit yourself to only using fabric, get creative, pull out tissue paper, used wrapping paper, or magazines- the possibilities are endless!

You can find this project here.

 

My savvy family


My family are not pirates (had to use that lame joke). Paul’s mum was

Paul's mum got through the first round and now has her own blog!

selected through the Nectar Savvy Families competition to keep a blog for several weeks. Along with 7 other families, Rhian will write about money saving tips and how to get what you want on a budget on the blog. She’s new to blogging but you wouldn’t know that because her first posts are great and well worth a look. We can all be more frugal and get more for the money we do spend.

Do you have any savvy tips?

HOME-MADE: Mother’s day gift flower


Here is the promised mother’s day gift. All you need is:

  • Small pot or bucket, I bought mine from Hobby Craft for only 59p, any craft shop should have something similar. If you don’t have either then you could use a yogurt pot or ice cream tub and cut it to size. Wrap some gift wrap around it
  • Gravel, sand, or something which will anchor the flower in place
  • Lollypop sticks (good excuse for eating an ice lolly) and some green paint, or a straw or pipecleaner
  • Patterned paper and card, or patterned card
    • Bottle top or button
  • Pritt stick or PVA glue
  • Glue gun or super glue
  • Small piece of card to write message on and sticky tape (optional)

Begin by painting the lollypop stick green on both sides. While it is drying, draw a flower shape on some card and cut it out. Using Pritt stick, stuck the patterned paper on to both sides of the card flower. Then, heat up and load the glue gun as instructed by manufacturer and stick the bottle top/button into the centre of the flower on one side.

When both the lollypop stick and flower are dry, glue the stick onto the back of the flower. If you want to, write a message on a small piece of card and stick it onto the flowerpot/bucket. And, to finish, fill the pot with gravel and push in the flower, ensuring that it will stay up. Quick and easy, and I am sure your mum will love having the flower at her desk in work. Alternatively, you could make the flower and stick it onto a card, or go to town and make several flowers of different sizes to make a flower box or bunch.

Happy mother’s day!

Let me know if your mummy liked it.