Monthly Archives: January 2014

Upcycling and stuff

inspired by a wise woman (you know who you are JH), who has been creating an upcycling craze on my Facebook feed with her cool lamps and cool coffee tables (Joo, you should start a blog), I decided that I wanted to join in.



So, rather than start with a full on 3d project I thought that I would have a go at a couple more light weight whippet coats for my team. I bought a rather large size tweed skirt from a charity shop and set about upcycling it.


here are the finished items. Difficult to see the lovely tweed in this light, but the equivalent on eBay is beings old for £25. Mine cost £4.80 for the two (with a bit of left over fabric).




I have started a chicken incubation today with some eggs from my mums Roe-bar x Buff Orpingtons. 12 eggs in total. Fingers crossed.

Make do and mend

In our grand clear out, we unearthed Becky’s sewing machine which was a hand-me-down from her mum. Becky’s mum is a rather good seamstress, so it is a really top notch machine which is a joy to use. Anyway, in the spirit of thrift, greenness and self sufficiently, I decided to mend a couple of pairs of jeans that have developed holes. So I bought a pair of children’s jeans from a charity shop for £2, and created a couple of patches for the denim, and a hour later, my jeans are wearable again. That’s not a very interesting tale, but whilst I had the sewing machine out, I thought….what else can I make?

We had been looking at dog coats for a while, as the two that we are using regularly are about 5 years old and are no longer water proof….and whippets really don’t like getting wet. Dog coats are surprisingly expensive, especially when you start talking about coats designed especially for whippets long and skinny shape. So I found an old water proof coat of mine and a wool blanket and started to take the old coat apart to recycle the expensive bits such as velcrose.


Then I laid out the old coat and used it as a template. I kept the furry bottom sheet, and placed a new piece of wool in between that and the new top of water proof material. using the sewing machine, I created a cross cross pattern on the material, which held it together and also looked good. I then used the old back trim to neaten up the edges. Finally I reattached the velcrose that I had rescued from the old garment.

Here is the finished version, modelled by Blue because Ori wouldn’t get up to try it on.


2014 Spring clean

William Morris said ” have nothing in your house which you do not believe to be beautiful or know to be useful “.

We decided to begin 2014 by having a huge sort out of every one our storage spaces. It has been amazingly therapeutic and fun. The difficulty with sorting out old stuff is trying to keep as much of it out of landfill as possible, and I a pleased to say that we have only taken one boot full of things to the dump, everything else has been rehoused with a new family or gone to the charity shop. Dumpable items were only really for things that we just could not pass on or repurpose due to being broken.

Every cupboard in our house is now leaner and meaner, and I really do feel that less is more in this respect. Having slightly less in each cupboard had enabled me to know what is in there and be able to access it, rather than having to crap surf over tonnes of rubbish every time I want a slightly more obscure item.

What has this got to do with Smallholding. I hear you ask? Well, when you are a smallholder you have a lot more tools, so organisation is essential, most people don’t have to find homes for spinning wheels, jam pans, mincers, butchers saws, incubators… And the list goes on. I’d love to have less possessions, and our dinky little house does keep a bit of a check on that, but there are something’s that you need to keep for sentimental reasons or to do a practical job, so organised spaces helps that.