Monthly Archives:

July 2019

Everything You Need To Know About Roofing

houses and businesses on the sea front

We can’t deny the fact that it’s always been an ambition of ours to build our dream house. Even as kids, we often draw images depicting the perfect house suitable for our liking and comfort. There are a ton of people considering the idea of buying their own home, may it be because they want their own personal space, wanting to start a family or just simply trying to get away from parents and siblings. But purchasing a residence is lavishly expensive. That’s why you should be meticulous at the fabrication of the establishment. One important structure of a house that people don’t seemingly pay more attention to is the roof.

Roofs, as plain and simple as they can be, can greatly affect the overall performance or experience of a house. What is a roof anyway? Well, if it isn’t obvious enough, roofs are the uppermost surface of a construction, ideally shields against the changing weather like heat, rainfall, snow, and extremes of temperature (read more). Its attributes solely rely on the needs of its establishment, the materials at hand, or what is available, the local or the normal way it is constructed and the design of the architect. While its visual aspects are vital, so does its lifespan, practicality, and durability.

Here Are 3 Major Roof Types:

roofing

• Gable

Gable is also known as a pitched or peaked roof. This is the type young children would basically draw, when tasked to draw a house. It is composed of two sections with slides sloping in opposite angles, and at the highest part, horizontal edges converge to create a ridge. This makes a triangular shape, called a gable. It’s a very common type, and because of its simple design it makes it easy to build, which makes it less costly, it makes the water drain or shed easily, it facilitates ventilation and can come up with greater space for the attic.

They are different kinds of gable roof which you can select from: Side gable, Crossed gable, Front gable, and Dutch gable. Check out the pros and cons of using this type of roofing material: https://www.angieslist.com/articles/pros-and-cons-gable-roofing.htm

• Flat

Flat roofs, also known as a low-sloped roof is the type of design commonly utilized by commercial and industrial buildings. But can also be installed in residential houses depending on the type of weather that certain location has. Flat roofs are the most uncomplicated structure to construct because as its name indicates it seems to be levelled with little to no pitch which makes it cheaper than higher-pitched design for it requires less manpower and materials. They do attach a small pitch to enable drainage. A rubber roofing system is a normally used system with flat roofs. Flat roofs can also be used as extra living space in arid climates, like for patio, mini gardens, terrace or veranda, sun decks and can also be enclosed for exclusive penthouse rooms. And since it is the highest part of a building or an establishment it is favourable for installation of PV solar panels, to absorb sunlight and to generate electricity in your own home. But as it is an evened layout it is more vulnerable to water flooding during heavy rainfall and can cause leakage, that is why even though the upfront cost of its construction is way cheaper than a high pitched roof, in the long run, it can be more expensive because of maintenance and repairs. You can check out this type of roof with providers like Main Street Roofing Company.

• Hip

Hip roofs are mostly used in residential housing, it’s a well-known style but it’s reviewed as to not render ventilation. It does execute greater in snowy and high wind areas. They are more difficult to construct than gable and flat roofs due to its complex design and intricate truss. It is more costly than the gable because it needs more materials and manpower but it is far sturdier. It has four sloping sides in equal length and intersects at the top to create the ridge with no vertical roof lines. They can be square or rectangular or both. While a square is formed like a pyramid, the rectangular hip roof has four faces.

While it’s important to know different types of roof, it is even more vital to use the right materials. There are distinct varieties of materials: Asphalt Shingles, Clay and Concrete Tiles, Metal Roofing, Slate, Wood Shingles and Shake, Synthetic Roofing Products, Solar Tiles, Stone-coated Steel, Rubber Slate, Green Roofs and Built-up Roofing.

This is a collaborative post

Things To Consider When Buying A Second Hand Car

One of the main reasons people to decide to buy a second hand car is the cost. Used cars are a much cheaper alternative, however, there are things to consider before going ahead with your purchase.
We’ve put together a list of things you need to think about when buying a second hand car.

Second Hand Car Dealers

Second hand cars can be bought privately, through a used car dealer or from an auction.
The safest option is to buy from a dealer, however, you need to make sure they’re reliable and trustworthy; look for an established firm that has a good reputation.

second hand car
Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

Check The MOT History

All vehicles have to have regular MOT tests.
You can easily check the MOT history of any car that has had MOT tests in England, Scotland or Wales since 2005, on the Government website.

With just the number plate details, you will be able to see whether the car passed or failed, when the MOT is next due and the mileage recorded at the time of testing.

Perform A Thorough Inspection

Before you part with your hard earned cash, make sure you check the following:

  • Engine – check for leaks, head gasket condition and oil level.
  • Gearbox and Clutch – check the biting point of the clutch and the smoothness of the gear change.
  • Tyres and Wheels – check the tyre tread depth and look for any defects such as cracking or bulging. Tyres should wear evenly so if there are any instances of excessive wear in a single area it could be down to poor alignment.
  • Bodywork – when checking the body work for dents and scratches, don’t forget to check the body work underneath the car.
  • Interior – check that the electrics are working and that there are no warning lights on.

If you don’t feel confident making these checks yourself, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or family member to help.

car engine
Image by Toby Parsons from Pixabay

Check What Details The DVLA Hold For The Car

The DVLA has a free online vehicle information checker. You can use this service to check that the details supplied by the seller are the same as the information held by the DVLA.

If there are differences, ask the seller to clarify the information. If you’re at all suspicious, don’t buy the car.

Book A Test Drive

Taking the car for a test drive is a must. A good car dealership will encourage you to take a test drive and won’t hurry you. Be sure to drive until you’ve had a chance to check everything and are happy with the car.

KAP Motors has a wide variety of used cars from different brands like Ford, Fiat etc. Visit our Showroom in Brighton to book a test drive today!

Enjoy Your New Car

When you’re completely happy with the results of all your checks, go ahead and enjoy your new car!

man driving a car with a woman passenger

This is a collaborative post

The Incredible Things You Learn During A Body Transformation

Body transformations are a byproduct of the modern age. Thanks to the industrial food system and the ever-present availability of high-fat, high-sugar foods, most people end up becoming overweight and even obese through no fault of their own. It’s not greed, it’s more just convenience and failing to recognise the problems in the modern food system.

Body transformations are the darling of social media. In almost every case, the person transforming has abandoned the western way of living and embraced something more primal – turning back the clock on the human food system and adopting the diet of our ancestors. 

PxHere

Going through a body transformation can be a gruelling and enlightening experience. Here are all the incredible things you’ll learn as part of the process. 

There’s No Magic Bullet

People selling diets want you to believe that if you “do this one thing,” you’ll be able to get the body you want. But that’s never how it works in practice. Even advice like “eat whole plant food” isn’t just one thing: it’s a lot of things. It’s adopting new habits when you go to the supermarket, buying new equipment for your kitchen, and learning new recipes. It’s several things, each of which is pretty time-consuming when you think about it. 

Body transformations involve doing lots of things. It’s a steep learning curve and not the sort of thing that you can do overnight. 

Working Out More Isn’t Necessarily Better

When you first start on a body transformation, the temptation is to do as much exercise as you possibly can. After all, you feel pumped at the prospect of finally getting the body you want. But the problem with training is that more isn’t automatically better. In fact, you can easily overdo it with exercise, especially if you’re new to it, putting your body and motivation at risk. Training experts, like Andy Griffiths, recommend that clients find a training schedule which balances the need to get fit with the ability to recover. 

Diet Is 80 Percent Of The Problem

Going to the gym is good, but most of your progress will come by changing what you eat. Snacking on candy and filling up on pizza at night will undermine your results, no matter how much effort you put in while you exercise. 

Just because you do CrossFit five times per week doesn’t mean that you can eat what you like. Stick to the food that humans have been thriving on for hundreds of years: whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, preferably with nothing added or taken away. 

You Absolutely CAN Make Healthy Versions Of The Food You Love

girl holding a plate of salad - body transformation
Max Pixel

Did you know that you can easily make a healthy mac and cheese with broccoli that tastes incredible? Mac and cheese is usually made of white, processed macaroni and, you guessed it, cheese. Artery-clogging, weight-gaining cheese. 

But you can easily switch it up and, frankly, make it taste better. Swap out the white macaroni for whole grain, and replace the cow cheese with cashew “cheez” made from whole cashews. Add a few chunks of broccoli, and all of a sudden, your nightmare comfort food is something healthy. Wow!

This is a collaborative post

Prepare For Winter Early With A Log Burner

Anyone who lives in the United Kingdom knows that the weather is very rarely kind. Your home can be warm and cosy no matter what the weather is like outside. You are probably thinking ‘if only it was that easy, we can’t afford to have our radiators on 24/7’. No, we are not suggesting heating via the use of radiators, or any other method that rinses your gas and electricity. The answer can be found within a log burner.

Logs - prepare for winter early with a log burner
https://www.pexels.com/photo/alps-barn-clouds-country-358532/

What is a log burner?

There are lots of great HDB BTO 2019 launches, and you may be feeling frustrated by the expensive heating options, which is why a log burner presents such a good option, as it is more affordable. A log burner, otherwise known as a wood burning stove, is a type of heating appliance. It generates heat via burning wood fuel. A typical log burner consists of a fire brick base, a solid metal closed fire chamber, and an adjustable air control. Moreover, the log burner will be connected to a suitable flue or chimney via the use of ventilating stove pipes. This is a product that is readily available on the internet and in stores situated all over the UK. You certainly won’t find it difficult to get your hands on one. 

What are the benefits of using a log burner?

•    Excellent method of heating up your home – A log burner can throw off a tremendous amount of heat. Most people will agree that it heats up a room better than any radiator or underfloor heating system can. In addition to this, the heat is a lot more enjoyable as it creates a cosy atmosphere. It is products like this that really turn a ‘house’ into a ‘home’.

•    Save money on your heating costs – In addition to the first point, one of the main reasons why so many people turn to log burning stoves is because they offer a much more cost effective way of generating heat in the home. In fact, when you consider the impact of the recession over the past few years, it is not hard to see why log burners have boomed in popularity as of late. People are looking for any way to save money. And, we aren’t just talking about small amounts of money. It is believed that the average household can save approximately £400 per year by switching to a log burner. Moreover, when you consider the rising costs of electricity and gas in the UK, you see how this figure is only going to get bigger and bigger.

•    Transform your living space – Most people do not primarily purchase a log burner for aesthetic purposes, yet this is a benefit you will gain. There is no denying the fact that a log burner adds a wealth of character and style to any room. There are so many different options available – from contemporary log burners, to traditional and rustic designs. No matter what option you go for, the wood burning stove you purchase is likely to become the focal point of the room. It will generate all of the attention. And thus the impact it can have on the overall style of your home is massive.

•    Environmental benefits – In addition to the points that have already been mentioned, there are also environmental benefits to be gained by going down this route. This is because wood is a renewable resource. Moreover, many people do not realise it, but when you burn wood you are actually releasing the exact amount of carbon dioxide as that absorbed by the tree during growth. 

•    Reliability – If you live in an area that is susceptible to power cuts, your ability to heat your home is going to be limited if you use central heating. However, if you opt to burn logs, you have a heating method that is generally very reliable. No power is needed for this method to work its magic.   

How to find the best log burner for you…

You now know all of the benefits associated with choosing to burn logs as your primary method of heating for your home, but how do you find the best log burner for you? There are several points you need to consider…

•    Design – The design of the log burner is important. After all, this feature is going to take prime place in your room, and as mentioned earlier it is likely to become the focal point. Thus, you want to make sure it enhances the overall image of your room. Take a look online and assess the various options available. There are so many styles to choose from. If you are going to go down the traditional route you could look for an antique style stove in black or colourful enamel. This is ideal for properties boasting a rustic British vibe. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a modern log burner, you will have many different designs to choose from. This includes everything from cylindrical designs, to three-legged models, to freestanding pedestal versions. The options are well and truly endless. 

•    Read reviews – When considering a log burner you should read reviews that have been left by previous customers. What have they had to say about the wood burning stove they purchased? How many stars did they rate it? Would they recommend the product to others? Does it give off a good amount of heat? There is no better way to determine whether a product is worth buying or not than by reading what prior owners think. 

•    Consider a clean glass system – Clean glass systems are increasing in popularity. This is a log burner that offers you an unrestricted view of the flames inside. Not only does this look fantastic, but a lot of people prefer it for peace of mind as they can see exactly what is going on. Moreover, if you didn’t opt for this system, you would have to get your cleaning gloves on frequently as the glass is likely to blacken easily. 

•    Price – Price is a crucial factor when buying any product. Of course you don’t want to break the bank when buying a log burner. After all, one of the benefits associated with going down this route is that it is cost efficient. Nevertheless, don’t search for a log burner based on price alone. If you go for the cheapest deal you can find, you are going to be the only one who suffers. Quality is imperative when purchasing this type of product. 

•    Heat output – Last but not least, the final point you need to consider is heat output, i.e. is the log burner the correct size for the room it is heating? If you are looking to heat an average-sized room, you will probably need a stove with a 4-5 KW rating. Nonetheless, there are other factors to consider. The age of the house is important, as newer houses typically require less heat. Moreover, if you have other efficiency saving methods in place this is something you will need to bear in mind as well.

This is a collaborative post.

How to Prevent Birds From Ruining Your Plants

Robin on a branch - how to prevent birds from ruining your garden

You know the feeling; you’ve worked so hard to build and plant a garden. Lovingly tended the delicate little shoots, watched them flower and blossom into tall, elegant shoots bearing precious fruit and then a feathered little mooch comes rocketing down out of the sky, eyeing your labour as a free snack.  But how do you stop the little feather-brains from snatching your crops? Well, you poor frustrated farmer, read on, friend. Read on.

Moving Objects and Noise

Either of these is a good idea, but after a while, birds can get used to one or the other, dismissing it as harmless. The key to making them work is to combine them into one big distraction. Put up pinwheels or shiny CDs as a visual deterrent and back them up with a noisy radio or wind chimes. Even better, if you’re able to occasionally swap out the visual cue with another or change its position, the irregularity of the distracting object will continue to disconcert the little pests. This will make them more reluctant to swoop down into your garden.

Plastic Predators

The only kind of bird you can likely expect in your garden are small ones like robins, finches or pigeons. These birds are prey items for larger birds like falcons and owls. You can use this to your advantage by acquiring a fake owl or other bird of prey as a decoy. You can find these at any hardware store. Some models even move and make noise, further spooking your little friends. It’s advisable to place the decoy in a place where it’s easy to reach, since moving it around from place to place simulates a live animal and increases the deterrent effect of the item.

Terror Eye Balloon

This is arguably the best method for dealing with unwanted pests. The terror eye balloon is the best of all worlds, providing a source of fear and nerves for birds that moves and shifts all on its own. Birds can see in color, so the more outlandishly colored the balloon, the better a visual aid it becomes. They’re usually large yellow balls with red and blue bulls-eyes printed on them, but it is possible to make your own version at home. They’re a little bit unnerving to look at, so making your own could definitely be up your alley if they freak you out more than the birds do. If you need help finding a balloon or something similar, check out the variety of bird scaring products on BirdBusters. They have a great selection for any discerning gardener.

Netting Framework

This is a classic method relying on irrigation tubing and specialized bird netting stretched over an arch-like framework poised over your garden. Most nets are made of strong polypropylene, which is lightweight enough that it won’t sink on its own weight. It can be anchored down with most any kind of weight like rocks or even clamping it down. Fortunately, you have some time after planting to get it set up, as most birds aren’t interested in your crops until the produce starts to appear. Netting can also inhibit you, however, so plan accordingly.

Other Animals

If you have a dog, make him earn his keep. Sure, he can’t guard the garden 24/7, but whenever you’re outside to watch him, he can act as his own deterrent for the garden, chasing away any winged intruders looking for lunch. Not just dogs, either. Cats are a classically excellent source of bird hunters, though there’s always the risk of your cat actually catching the animal.

We’re willing to bet you don’t want to hurt the little pests, so with a little research, you can learn all kinds of different ways to keep them out of your hard-earned rewards. Birds are easy enough to scare and with a little innovation, it’s possible to keep them out entirely. Experiment and figure out what methods work best for your situation and the kinds of scavengers you wind up with.

This is a collaborative post

Why Isn’t My Home Selling?

home not selling

You can feel like you’ve tried everything you possibly can, done everything by the book, and yet sometimes your house still won’t budge off the market. Selling and moving on is stressful enough, without the wait for your home to sell going on for a lot longer than expected, and you having to sit and twiddle your thumbs and wait for someone to finally put in an offer. Sometimes it can just be hard luck, but if you’re in this situation, have you actually sat and considered why your home might not be selling as quickly as you’d like? It’s very easy to sit there and blame the estate agents you’ve chosen, and the housing market of today, but these aren’t always the biggest reasons why your house may not be selling. Below are some of the most common reasons behind properties ending up stuck on the market for a long time.

The Exterior isn’t Selling it

Have you ever heard the expression, “never judge a book by its cover”? Of course you have. Well, in regards to selling your home, ignore this nugget of advice entirely. Of COURSE buyers judge a book by its cover (or a house by its exterior) when they’re coming to view it, and if the outside of your home and your front garden are looking a little tired or untidy, chances are they’ll have made their minds up before even stepping in to view the rest of your home. So don’t sell yourself short like this, do something about it.

A great place to start is by simply tidying the front garden. Give your lawn a trim and a treatment, get your hedge looking shapely, paint your fence and plant some colourful flowers. While you’re at it, if you have a garden gate, make sure it’s well painted and oiled. There is nothing less welcoming than struggling to even step foot on the property because of an old, stiff gate, so make sure this isn’t the case with yours. Adding a lick of paint to your front door and a welcoming doormat on the step can just add the cherry on top too. Remember, the people approaching your home are probably excited to be looking at what their future could be, so encourage that to continue by giving it a warm and welcoming feel!

The Pictures Aren’t Representative of the Truth

With the internet and estate agent websites being one of the biggest forms of property advertisement nowadays, chances are no matter who you’re selling your home with, there’ll be photographs of the property online. If these photographs are the issue, this could be one of two things:

  1. The photos are not good quality, and therefore don’t show your home off to its full potential and won’t catch the eyes of homebuyers.
  2. The photos are good but are completely unrepresentative of what your home actually looks like when people come to view it.

If your problem is the first one, there are several photography tips available to you online, so there’s really no excuse for not getting the best pictures that you possibly can – and if you’re really struggling, consider hiring a professional. As long as you’ve considered lighting, angles, and used a good quality camera you can’t really go wrong if you follow an online guide. Oh, and make sure your home is clean and tidy too!

Which brings us to the next crucial point. If your problem is the second one, in that the pictures themselves are fabulous quality and make your home look lovely, but when people come to view them, this is really just down to carelessness. There is nothing more frustrating for a budding property buyer than false advertising, so make sure that they aren’t expecting something you’re not delivering. It can be exceedingly difficult if you’re still living in the property, but if your home is pristine and well lit in your pictures ensure that it is when people come to view it too. Even if it’s unachievable to keep it like this all of the time, make sure that it’s returned to this state before viewings. You even have the pictures for reference!

It’s Not a Fair Asking Price

If in relation to the rest of the market your home is above the average asking price, this could be a big reason why it’s not being taken off the market. If there’s one thing that people can not stand, it’s being overcharged unfairly, when they could get a better deal elsewhere.

If you’re concerned about this, confer with your estate agent, and if they’re still adamant, consider looking elsewhere. Remember that this is your sale, and you owe them no loyalties – it’s a business transaction and nothing else. If I wanted to find out what my house was worth, I would do my research and consider getting it valued by not only estate agents, but alternative companies out there too. After all, they’re more often than not, a lot cheaper!

This is a collaborative post

I See You – Book Review #26

I bought I See You by Clare Mackintosh on Audible a couple of weeks ago when they were having a sale.
I’m getting used to listening to books now and I enjoy being able to work on my crafts while listening to a book 🙂

I’m still reading the 3rd Game Of Thrones book. I only get to read a few pages every night but I’m happy because I’m taking my time and enjoying the experience.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make…

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this book. It’s the first I’ve read by Clare Mackintosh and it won’t be the last.

I liked the main female protagonists, Zoe, the victim and Kelly, the policewoman. We hear the story from these two and also from the ‘stalker’.
There were a couple of twists, one I saw coming and one which I totally didn’t!

To enjoy this book I do think you need to take it as is and not think how it would play out in reality. It wouldn’t really make sense for someone to set up the kind of website the criminal is running for a start and the perpetrator’s reasons for adding Zoe to the website are a bit poor.

I’m really looking forward to reading I Let You Go by the same author. I’ve just downloaded it on Audible and will be starting later today 🙂

I See You by Clare Mackintosh
Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 26 books read

Read With Me

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Grow To Eat: Essential Tips For A SW Friendly Garden

Anyone on the Slimming World (SW) way of eating knows that at least a third of your plate needs to be filled up with speed foods, these being fruit and veg. Of course, you can purchase these from the supermarket, but when increasing the amount of fruit and veg you eat it’s vital that you also make sure that it’s of the best quality, and doesn’t have too many nasty fertilisers and pesticides as well. Something you can do by growing ( at least some) your own food to eat at home. A topic you can read all about in my post below. 

Potatoes 

OK, so potatoes aren’t speed vegetables, but they are free and as someone with some experience of SW knows they are essential for bulking up meals, feeling full, and getting plenty of fibre. In fact, SW chips or wedges made in the oven or the air fryer are super simple and taste just as good as the real thing. Something that makes you feel as if you are having a treat when, in reality, you’re not endangering your weight loss. 

Picture source

Of course, as they are such a great SW option, it certainly makes sense to grow your own potatoes, but a lot of people can be put off from this. The main reason being that it can seem like a lot of work. After all, you have to turn the soil, plant the potatoes, and then dig them up when they are ready,  all things that can be hard on your back. 

Happily, there is a much easier way of growing potatoes that you can use, and it’s to plant them in tubs. Yes, by using containers, you negate a great deal of the hard shovelling and digging directly into the ground. You can even cut holes in the side of the tubs toward the bottom so you can easily remove the potatoes once they are ready! No digging required! This being something that makes growing your own potatoes for delicious SW recipes much easier! 

Carrots 

Another crop that you can grow much more easily in pots rather than directly into the ground are carrots. Of course, carrots make a great side dish for any meal you are serving up on SW, and they can be chopped fine and added to ragu sauce for extra flavour and sweetness without syns as well. 

SW friendly garden - home grown carrots

Image here

Growing carrots in pots can make it much easier. 

The trick to growing carrots in tubs is making sure that the container you pick is large enough, anything over 12 inches long should be fine. Also, be sure that they get at least 8 hours of sun a day as well. If you want the best crop, that is! 

Citrus fruit 

Now, many citrus fruits are speed fruits, although you do need to be careful of them if you are going for the SP version. Of course, if you live in the UK, you may think that you can’t grow citrus at home, because we just don’t get enough sun. This isn’t necessarily the case, though. 

citrus fruit

Picture

In fact, you certainly can grow things like lemons, oranges, and mandarins in the UK, if you use the hydroponics kits that sites like nutriculture.co.uk sell. The reason being that using a nutrient solution rather than planting in the soil it will allow you much better control of all the things your citrus trees need to thrive. 

The best news here is that you can expect full-size fruits and not the micro kind, and even maximize your crop by using a hydroponic method. Something that means you will have a garden full of delicious fruits for a syn free snack, or to be used in recipes like the duck and orange salad featured on pinchofnom.com which is only 0.5 syns on Slimming World! 

Strawberries 

I know it is hard to believe, but SW is a way of eating that allows you to have all sorts of delicious items with absolutely no guilt. One of the best of these is the simple pleasure of a ripe strawberry, something that is delicious on its own, cut up over cereal, or even combined with a Muller Light and meringue as a great way to quench a sugar craving. 


Sadly, strawberries, just like any soft fruit, can be pretty expensive at the supermarket, something that can mean we don’t get as many as we’d like. Of course, if we grow our own in the garden, we can have an almost endless supply during summer at a fraction of the cost, and so creating a strawberry patch is definitely a good idea. 

In fact, as avogel.co.uk suggests, any patch of land in your garden that gets a fair bit of sunlight will do for growing strawberries, although you can get a more abundant crop by growing them in either tiered pots, or vertical containers. Just remember that while you will need to water them regularly, too much can be a bad thing. Oh, and be sure to pick the flowers on the plant when they come out as this will lead to juice fruits later on as well. 

Salad 

Another SW staple, especially in the summer is a nice salad, something that you can add other free food to like this potato and bacon one here

The good news about growing salad is that it’s another pretty easy crop to get your head around. In fact, plenty of salad leaves can be cut for use and then will continue to grow, something that will give you a constant supply! 


Tomatoes 

Lastly, tomatoes are one of the best fruits to have on a SW diet, as not only can they be used raw in salads, and sandwiches, but they can also be cooked up and made into some pretty delicious pasta sauces for an entirely syn free meal. 

Happily, tomatoes are super easy to grow at home too. In fact, as you can see from the post at growfruitandveg.co.uk, you don’t even need any garden space to produce them as they can be planted in pots on windowsills. The key thing being that you move them around to get as much sunlight as possible. 

Of course, with them being on the window sill, they are much easier to tend and harvest as well. Something that means whether you want them to ensure your plate is a third full with speed food, or you just want a syn free snack on the go, they are an excellent addition to a SW friendly garden, indoors, or out. 

This is a collaborative post.

Garden Update – Weeded the Raised Bed

Well, I didn’t manage to do an hour every day last week as I planned to do, I managed to do an hour for 3 of the 7 days.
Last Tuesday while out shopping my knee gave way and I’ve been in pain ever since. I went out Tuesday and did some more to the borders because I was able to sit down and do it but on Wednesday it involved a lot of standing and I was in a lot of pain after the hour so I decided to rest my leg for the rest of the week.
I weeded the raised bed on Wednesday before the pain got too bad, which I was happy about. It’s one of my favourite parts of the garden.
I’m hoping to get out today for an hour because whilst it’s still not 100%, it’s not as painful as it was.

Weeded the Raised Bed

raised bed before weeding
Raised bed before weeding

I love my raised bed and I wasn’t happy to see the weeds trying to take over it!
I didn’t manage to do the border at the front, that’s a job for another day. Maybe today!

weeded the raised bed - raised bed after weeding
Raised bed after weeding
weeding the raised bed - raised bed after weeding
Raised bed after weeding

I was happy to see that one of the plants is flowering. I have no idea what plant it is, but the flowers are pretty 🙂

one of the plants in the raised bed is flowering

I had a visit from a little frog while I was weeding 🙂

little frog

More Border Work

I told Ant I needed to go to B&Q to get more stones for the borders. He informed me that I didn’t actually need to go because last year he’d bought 4 bags of stones for the borders just before he hurt his leg so I didn’t have to spend more money. Not spending money makes him happy!

The borders look much better with more stones on.

Tackled The Water Cress

A few years ago we bought a bag of water cress from tesco but instead of eating it, we chucked it in the pond.

It’s safe to say the blinking stuff took over so last week I pulled it all out and we can now see the water in the pond again!
We’re planning on making the pond bigger later this year because it needs redoing as it keeps losing water and the stream we had isn’t very good now so a complete redesign is needed. Until then we’re just leaving it as it is because there are still lots of tadpoles swimming around 🙂

pond before
This used to be a stream!
pond full of water cress
Water cress that has gone to seed
There is actually a pond beneath the water cress!

Top Of The Garden = Nightmare!

In my previous post I mentioned that the top of the garden is now so overgrown we can’t get up there.

I took this video today to show you the full extent of the nightmare!

You can see the bramble that’s trying to spread down the garden, the huge butterfly bush that I thought I’d killed when we moved house, the greenhouse and the shed behind it, but what you can’t see is the other shed that’s up there!

I think we’re probably going to have to burn all the garden rubbish when we cut it all down, the bramble is going to be especially hard to get rid off if we don’t burn it.

I was plannng on starting at the patio end and working my way up the garden but after seeing the top of the garden, I think we need to tackle that first.

Wish me luck – I know I’m going to get covered in scratches trying to defeat that bramble!

For more garden posts, click here

Anemone Flower Vase Cricut Tutorial

I’m back with another Dreaming Tree project, this time we’re making anemone flowers in a vase.

My tutorials assume you’ve added all the files to Design Space and saved them as a project. If you’re not sure how to do that, I have a tutorial which will help – How To Download, Unzip & Upload SVG Files

Anemone Flower Vase

anemone vase

You Will Need

supplies needed to make anemone flowers in a vase
  • Black card for flower stamens
  • Green card for long leaves
  • Green card for smaller leaves
  • 3 different colours of your choice for the flowers
  • Patterned card for the vase
  • Plain card for the vase
  • 3 x wooden dowel – 4mm diameter, 30 cm long
  • Ink
  • Makeup sponge
  • Green florist’s tape
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • Decorative gems/pearls
  • Ribbon – Optional

Cut all the pieces needed using the files from Dreaming Tree.

As usual, there’s a great video of Leo showing you how to put all the pieces together. My tutorial is for those of you who prefer written instructions and lots of photos 🙂

Method

Load the makeup sponge with ink and wipe the excess off on a piece of scrap paper.
Apply the ink to the middle of the petals. How dark the ink is, depends on how you want your flower to look.

Anemone and vase tutorial - inking the flower petals

Ink the first 3 sets of petals for the first flower. Two of the sets have pointed petals and the third has rounded petals.

Anemone and vase tutorial - inking flower petals

Using a dowel, curl the edges by holding the paper between your thumb and the dowel and gently pull the paper down between them.

Anemone and vase tutorial - shaping petals using a dowel

Put your first set of pointed petals on to the dowel. If you’re using a 4mm piece of dowel, the petal should fit nicely. Don’t push it too far down the dowel, just enough to leave room for the other petals and the stamens to be added.

Anemone and vase tutorial - put first petal on to wooden dowel

Put a little bit of glue around the dowel on the first pointed petal.

Anemone and vase tutorial - put some glue on first petal around the wooden dowel

Stick the second pointed petal to the first. Make sure you offset the petals.

Anemone and vase tutorial - put next set of petals on, offset from first

Add the third set of petals, the one with the rounded ends and again, offset them.

Anemone and vase tutorial - repeat with last set of petals

Using the dowel, curl the first stamen like you did with the petals.

Anemone and vase tutorial - shape first piece of flower stamens and glue to flower

Do the same with the second stamen piece and glue it to the first, making sure to offset it.

Anemone and vase tutorial - repeat with second set of flower stamens and offset from first

Add the third stamen piece, shaping it as before. Don’t worry about the little bits of hot glue, you can remove them with some tweezers.

Place the black circle piece on to a folded teatowel and use a ball tool to shape it. Press on the circle with the ball tool and use a circular motion to shape it. You want it to have a slight bowl shape

Anemone and vase tutorial - using a ball tool, shape the circle to give it some depth
Anemone and vase tutorial - circle after shaping

Using a hot glue gun, put some glue on the end of the dowel. Don’t worry if you get little stringy bits of glue, you can remove them using some tweezers.

Stick the black circle to the flower stamens.

Anemone and vase tutorial - glue circle into place

Using a dowel, shape the small leaves piece that are going under the flower. The leaves need to bend down, away from the flower.
Add some hot glue to the base of the flower and slide the leaf piece down and stick it to the flower.

Anemone and vase tutorial - shape small leaf set and hot glue to bottom of flower

This is how it should look.

Anemone and vase tutorial - leaf set glued to base of flower

Cover the dowel with some green florist’s tape. You don’t need to go all the way down because you’ll be adding more when you add each new leaf.

Anemone and vase tutorial - cover dowel in florist's tape

Ink your first leaf piece.

Anemone and vase tutorial - ink rest of leaves

Shape using a dowel then curl it around the dowel to help make it easier to attach to the flower dowel.

Anemone and vase tutorial - use dowel to roll and shape the leaves

It needs attaching to the dowel so that it sits just under the leaves under the flower without touching the small leaves.

Anemone and vase tutorial - use florist's tape to attach leaves to stem

Ink and curl 3 leaves.

Anemone and vase tutorial - use dowel to shape leaves

Attach them to the dowel using florist’s tape where you think they look best.

Anemone and vase tutorial - use florist's tape to attach 3 leaves to stem

Repeat the above steps for the other 2 flowers before moving onto the vase assembly.

Vase Assembly

Get the 5 identical vase pieces and bend all the score lines.

Anemone and vase tutorial - bend all score lines on vase pieces

Glue the the bottom side tab to the next vase piece, making sure you glue right to the edge of the tab and line the pieces up as precisely as possible.

Anemone and vase tutorial - glue bottom side tab to next piece

Continue gluing the bottom tabs to the next vase piece until all 5 pieces are glued together

Anemone and vase tutorial - stick the rest of the side tabs to each piece

Next, glue the 3 small tabs on the left hand piece and stick it to the next piece.

Anemone and vase tutorial - stick 4 small tabs to next piece

Glue the top tab, making sure the glue goes right to the edge and stick it to the next piece.

Anemone and vase tutorial - stick top tab to next piece

Always be as precise as possible when lining up the tabs to glue them.

Anemone and vase tutorial - continue sticking all the tabs

Continue gluing and sticking all the side tabs to their neighbour pieces.

Anemone and vase tutorial - vase with all tabs glued

Fold the base flaps and get the piece of base card ready to stick to to the tabs.

Anemone and vase tutorial - vase base to glue onto tabs

Start by gluing one tab and stick the base piece to the tab. Again, be precise.

Anemone and vase tutorial - stick base to one tab

Glue the remaining tabs and stand the vase up. Use a piece of dowel to put inside the vase and press the tabs down until they stick.

Anemone and vase tutorial - stick the base to the rest of the tabs

Get the patterened vase pieces ready to stick o the vase.

patterened vase pieces

There’s a little scoreline at the top of each long vase piece. This is to help you position the patterned piece to the right place on the vase.

find the scoreline

Stick the first piece into place; it’s the piece with the decorative cutout.

stick the first piece into place

Continue sticking the other long pieces onto the vase then stick the smaller pieces around the bottom of the vase.

For the top of the vase, there are 5 decorative pieces that need curling into shape. I wrapped them around my Cricut score tool.

curl the top vase pieces

Curl all 5 pieces.

Anemone and vase tutorial - get the 5 top pieces to attach to the vase

On the curled pieces, you can see little cuts. These are to help you stick the curls in the right place. Line them up inside the top of the vase, with the rounded end on the long patterned piece.

Anemone and vase tutorial - notice the marks that are there to help position the piece correctly
attach all the curled pieces

Get creative and apply the gems where you like.

add gems

Ink the long leaf pieces

Anemone and vase tutorial - ink long leaves

Use the dowel to shape the leaves.

Glue the leaves inside the vase to four sides, leaving the front without a leaf.

Put some sand or shredded paper inside the vase and use it to position the three flowers you made earlier.

Finished vase

Here’s another one I made 🙂

finished vase

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you make this flower vase, I’d love to see your result; you can post in the Dreaming Facebook group, of which I’m a member 🙂

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