Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Halloween

Oh, I know that it's only August but I've been in a Halloween mood since the weather here changed from warm to cool. As I'm away from home and don't have a lot of stuff to work with here, I'll be posting internet finds instead here and on my Recycle, eh blog. You can also find a more of my own Halloween projects if you enter Halloween in the search box.

The above pumpkin is one of my older ideas. I made the insect by folding 4 maple leaves in half for the wings, adding a small twig for the insect body, and attaching the 'insect' to the pumpkin with a straight pin.  Several of these in different sizes can transform a Halloween table or fireplace mantel.

Next time, I think that I will paint both the insect and pumpkin black for a more sinister look.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Catching up

Today is the little guy's last day at nursery school and we are all invited to a special concert. The kiddies were sworn to secrecy by their teachers. Not a peep from his nibs so his mom and I are in for a surprise, no doubt.

So much going on that I've had little time to blog - for some reason I'm finding so much to do this visit and I wonder if it's because I feel more at home here. Certainly the same events took place previously but I was unaware. Lots of community gardens popping up at schools and community centres - it seems kids are the driving force behind these and they certainly are great caretakers. Our garden is now completely in with rhubarb and herbs added last week.

One day last week I took a bus thinking I was going to Princes Street but it was going in the opposite direction so I jumped off to find the right bus. As I walked along I spotted an antique 4-wheeled wood toy horse by some trash bins. I hate to admit it but I took a quick look-see around and nabbed the little horse and took him home. I'll post a pic later this week.

The weather has been spectacular up to today (sunny but cold) so it was off to the beach for us. Portobello Beach is only 30 minutes by a direct bus and is a lovely, sandy beach but often with just a few folks, so we usually find a great spot and enjoy the day. Ikea has a couple of great beach chairs for sale that I hope to buy later in the week. 'Course as soon as I lug them home, the weather will inevitably change for the worse! But fingers crossed, it will stay sunny for a few more days (hoping for weeks is pushing it!).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ikea Idea

Ikea Idea

Here's a cute little sideboard that Ikea is flogging. I like it because I can see it being used in so many ways and who doesn't need extra storage. But at $249 CDN, I will have to hold off on its purchase. Still - it gives me an idea of what to look for at the charity shops here in Edinburgh and in Ottawa.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

DIY Father's Day

It's Father's Day tomorrow here in the UK so I've a couple of ideas for you that were originally printed last Father's Day in the Ottawa Citizen. I know it's kinda late in the day but you should be able to whip these up quickly before the big day.

Come fly with me
Bring out the boy in your Dad with these super easy-to-make airplane fridge magnets. 

What you will need:
3 popsicle sticks
1 clothespin
Craft glue (the super fast drying kind)

How to do it: 

  1. For the wings, glue a popsicle stick on top and on the bottom of a clothespin. 
  2. Cut another popsicle stick in half, cut off one rounded end of one of these pieces so you have a piece with two straight edges. 
  3. Glue this piece on as the tail.
  4. To finish, glue magnets on the bottom of the clothespin. Leave it plain or decorate any way you like.

Take me out to the ball game.  
If you already have tickets a game, show, or concert add a few flourishes along with the tickets. 

What you will need:
Plastic container (we used a hot dog tray from the dollar store.
Box of Cracker Jacks
Peanuts (or candy if Dad or you are allergic to nuts)

How to do it: So easy - just tuck your event tickets in the hot dog tray filled with peanuts. Don't forget to include a box of Cracker Jacks. If peanuts are a problem, use other treats instead.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dispatches from Edinburgh ...

Well, it's been over a month now and I've gotten acclimatized to life in Edinburgh. Saturday was the inaugural run of the new Edinburgh tram system (or as the locals call it, the tram to nowhere!). Ten years and £776 million later, the 13 km tram system goes in a straight line from the city centre to the airport and back. Compared to the bus system, it's a pretty slow ride (but quieter and smoother!)! I took the little guy for a ride on its maiden run and he kept asking the ticket conductor to speed it up! We arrived at the airport and the little guy insisted on visiting every nook and cranny. Normally going up to see the planes is off limits unless you have a boarding pass but a pilot we bumped into got us through security and we were able to watch planes take off and arrive. Turns out the pilot has a little guy the same age. My little guy was thrilled to bits and happily enjoyed the tram ride back to town without any comments about the speed.

The housing association that maintains the common areas of our building complex and the Edinburgh & Lothian Greenspace Trust designed and created a community garden in the back green (a common area for folks to enjoy when it isn't raining - which is almost never but, hey you can enjoy it from your window on wet days!).

Anyway, some hearty Scottish lads (I enjoyed watching them from my study window) put in a slab patio and accessible garden boxes despite the weather. Tonight we'll be putting in the plants and hopefully it will rain tomorrow so the plants get soaked in - no worries there.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Off to bonnie Scotland

On Tuesday I leave for my annual fling in Scotland. Over this weekend I've finally cleared my studio apartment for my new tenant and even though I thought I had cleaned up my act by giving away a lot to the charity store at St. John's church on Elgin, my storage unit is groaning under the weight of all the stuff I still have. I've also packed and repacked my suitcase 4 times. By the number of times that I've made this journey, I pretty well know what I will or won't wear so I'm pretty good about what I bring. Besides I can always buy what I've forgotten at H&M or Marks and Spencer's.

Emptying the fridge and kitchen cupboards has been an adventure in innovation cooking (move over Master Chef Canada). Now all I have left is a tin of tuna and a bag of mixed vegetables along with some bananas and strawberries. Fortunately, Elgin Street is full of restaurants and cafes as well as fast-food emporiums so I won't starve.

Next time I write, I will do so from Edinburgh. Ciao!

P.S. Someone please let me know who wins Master Chef Canada - I'm rooting for Eric!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easter Ideas - What? More Eggs!

Know where you're sitting at the Easter dinner table? If not, here's an idea that I spotted in a window display here in Ottawa using a broken eggshell and decided to 'borrow'. Pretty easy to do and takes no time at all. Add a few little treats inside the egg to sweeten the sitting!!

These eco-friendly eggshell candles are available to buy at LessCandles on Etsy. Lots of other great candle products including snail shell tea lights!