Friday, 21 December 2018

20:20 Print Exchange - Botanical Screen Print



For the past three years I have taken part in the 20:20 Print Exchange as part of Handprinted's Studio Group. Each artist creates an edition of 25 prints that are sent in to Hot Bed Press. Once of each print is taken for an exhibition. The rest are divided up and sent back to the artists. Each artist receives a box of 25 prints back: one of your own plus 24 random prints!

This year I intended to produce a single layer screen print - a simple design that would be easily repeatable without too much pesky registration to contend with. Is that what I did? Of course not. Whoever sticks to their intentions? Obviously I got carried away and ended up with this four layer botanical screen print.

The layers are all hand drawn individually onto screen film and exposed onto a coated screen. 

I printed the first layer in pale green. I used a small hinged press to hold the screen and acetate to register the layers.


A soft pink layer was next - the registration was not too crucial for this layer as it just adds a bit of colour to the petals. 


The third layer I printed in a dark green. In retrospect I would have lightened this green a little so the contrast wasn't as harsh. 


I thought I would be finished at this point but something was missing. A very pale drop shadow was the final layer, printed with lots of printing medium and just a tint of acrylic black. 


Are there any other print exchanges I should know about? What do you think?


Hx

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Thursday, 20 December 2018

Vegan Anniversary!

This time last year I was gearing up to attempt Veganuary 2018. 

My Mum had become vegan in the Summer of 2017 so we had already had lots of fun experimenting with recipes for vegan cheese sauce, snacks and desserts. I had been a life-long vegetarian and knew that a vegan lifestyle was possible but I had always been one of those 'but cheese and chocolate' people. My Mum really inspired me to give veganism a try (along with some lovely friends - I'm looking at you Jasmine and Matt!)

I began already been cutting down on dairy and eggs and I had always been a little uncomfortable with the egg and dairy industry but I was very proud of my vegetarianism - I still am! I think being a vegetarian is a fantastic thing to be. It's one of my favourite things about myself. But last Christmas I finished off my chocolate orange in time for New Year's Eve and said goodbye to my beloved cheddar cheese and dairy milk for one whole month.

That one whole month is about to turn into one whole year. I'm as surprised as anyone! Usually I'm a bit of a quitter (tap dancing, violin, architecture, exercise of any kind...) but the thing about veganism is this: you have to choose to eat SOMETHING three times a day. That's three small decisions to make every day. It's not about getting up early to go for a run or changing your life in any huge way. It's just about making three small choices a day until gradually they don't feel like choices any more: it's just what you eat. It's been that simple for me.

Now, full disclosure: this year was not without a couple of meltdowns. The major meltdown being when I really wanted a Wagamama Yasai Katsu Curry and realised it wasn't vegan. Cut to me in tears tweeting Wagamama in pure rage to complain. I very quickly received a reply to let me know that it was something they were working on and guess what? Yasai Katsu Curry is now vegan and I have eaten it at least 5 times this year alone. Obviously this wasn't all my doing (but you're welcome). 

This won't be my first vegan Christmas dinner - last year our whole family meal was vegan (we realised that it only wasn't vegan before because of parmesan on the parsnips and butter in the chestnut roast). It will, however be my first Christmas without Quality Street so wish me luck... 

Has this been anyone else's first year of veganism? Did you try Veganuary? Are you a vegetarian? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments! 


Hx

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Friday, 12 October 2018

Visible Mending - Boro Sashiko Jeans


I get through jeans at an alarming rate. It doesn't seem to matter how much I spend (although the most I've ever spent is £40 and they stretched out quicker than any of them). I think I'm a naturally messy person. I suppose it comes from 'doing things': I get grass stains from sitting outside, mud stains from the allotment, dye, paint and ink stains from making and holes from mucking about on the floor.

This pair of jeans has been going to holes for a while and I had resigned them to the painty jeans pile. But, the thing is, I have a huge painty jeans pile and I wasn't yet ready for these to meet the same fate. Plus, how many pairs of painty jeans does one person need?

In an effort to be kinder to the planet and live more consciously, I am not going to buy a replacement pair for these. For a long time I have been seeing examples of 'visible mending' using embroidery thread and patches. The Japanese method of 'boro' caught my eye in particular. The haphazard hand 'sashiko' stitching suits my inpatient style of sewing: I never was very good at neat, invisible needle work. 


Perhaps I should have mended these holes before they were so large I frequently put my hole foot through when putting them on. But hey, who among us is ever on top of things like that?

I cut two patches from a pair of truly trashes painty jeans from my pile. I set these aside to throw away but couldn't bear the idea of them ending up in landfill. 

I ironed a dodgy hem around the edges of the patches and used bondaweb to hold them in place on the jeans. If you don't have any bondaweb you could pin the patches on but I am blessed with a well stocked sewing box thanks to my family's generosity of my 19th birthday (the box has a cat sewn on, it's a joy). 

I picked up some mending thread from C&H in a pale grey. Embroidery floss would probably do the trick but I knew these would take a beating so wanted to use something stronger. 


Sashiko stitches are running stitches sewn through layers of fabric. I travelled down my patches with rows of running stitches to make areas of sashiko.


I'm so pleased with the result of this mend. The patches are visible but neutral - I hugely prefer them to the original jeans. The jury is our on how long these will last before they start to pull apart but I remain cautiously optimistic. 

Next up in my mending pile is a sweatshirt I stained within two weeks of buying from a charity shop.

Has anyone else fixed any clothing like this? Does anyone have any tips for fixing moth holes in jumpers? Moths are quickly becoming my arch enemies.

Hx

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Saturday, 15 September 2018

Slowing Down at Chateau Montfreville


As much as I love a European city break, camping is where it's at for me right now. Longer term readers will know that I am fairly obsessed with camping at West Dean Chilli Fiesta (Summer round-up to follow). This year we extended our UK camping weekend into a French camping week and I don't mean to sound dramatic but it FED MY SOUL. 

Camping holidays have their own pace. You're forced to follow the command of the seasons: wake up with the sun, feel the breeze on your face and the grass (or mud) between your toes. Showering is optional (but encouraged) and campfire food is earned. Fires bowls light up the evenings, the stars come out like never before and you sleep in total darkness. Are you sold yet?


Now I don't want to mislead you. We were definitely not slumming it. Our beautiful campsite was Chateau Montfreville: a freakin' castle. Not only a castle, but the ancestral home of Walt Disney no less. With a turret. I shall go on.

There were real inside showers (oooh, aaah) and proper toilets and washing up facilities in the base of the castle itself. Outhouses contained a small shop, a games room and a log store as well as a small kitchen for the food nights and a long fairy-lit hallway for dining. Whilst there we had a Moule Frites night (vegans read: 'loads of chips') and a pizza night with a real-life-outside-pizza-oven. 


The whole place was beautifully styled by the wonderful hosts. Two pigs, two horses, a donkey, two cats, a dog and some chickens pottered around being idyllic (and cats sneaking into tents). Oh, and there was a pool and hot tub. But it was STILL camping, ok?


Hx






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Friday, 14 September 2018

Mexican Tortilla Bowls


Sometimes you have to take a cold hard look in the fridge and realise that this week you shopped for no recipes. You picked up the usual weekly stuff (bread, crisps, salad, hummus) and the odd impulsive item (chocolate soya milk, raspberries, agave syrup) but during the week you go through the kitchen to realise that you bought NOTHING that makes ANYTHING.

So it's time to get inventive. This week I had such a day. Luckily, I was feeling super dreamy and wholesome: I had just done Day 2 of Yoga With Adrienne's '10 day Yoga for All' challenge and I was suitably smug about it. I lit some candles in our kitchen/dining room and turned on the chilli fairy lights that encircle our spice rack and created this little number: Mexican Tortilla Bowls with Assorted Sprinkly Accompaniments. 

To make the tortilla bowls (to serve 2) you'll need:

Tortilla wraps (we had 5 left from the week before and they were totally fine)
Tin of kidney beans (or any tinned bean but kidney beans are the cheapest)
Paprika (only use the smoky stuff if you hate food)
Garlic (1 or 2 cloves depending on your near future kissing status)
Tin of sweetcorn
Fresh coriander 
A little bit of any oil that's kicking about
A muffin tin

Some suggested accompaniments:

Hummus (sprinkled with cayenne pepper like my mama learned me)
Romaine lettuce
Avocado (if the Avo Gods have blessed you with a ripe one)
Bell pepper
Lime (do it)

Preheat your oven to 190-ish and put a small pan on a low heat on the hob. Drain and rinse the kidney beans and chuck them enthusiastically into the pan. This is why the phrase 'cookin' on gas' was invented. Put on some music. I'm big into soundtracks right now so it's got to be either the Chef or the Mamma Mia 2 soundtrack. I will not be judged. Crush a clove or two of garlic into the beans. Don't bother removing the skins before sticking them into the crusher. No time. Sprinkle in about a teaspoon of paprika and cook the beans on a low heat for a minute until they start to break up a little. We want to cook out the raw garlic and powdery paprika taste here.

Meanwhile, grab a muffin tray. Brush the whole thing with a very light coating of oil just to stop any sticking. Stack up your tortilla wraps and cut off four edges to make them into squares. Take each square and gently smoosh it into the cups of the muffin tin. When your bean mixture is ready, spoon equally between your cups. For me, one tin of beans filled the five tortilla cups I had made. Drain and tin of sweetcorn and spoon on top.

BONUS RECIPE and very thrifty indeed: lightly oil the offcuts of the tortilla wraps and sprinkle with paprika. Spread these out on the muffin tray between your tortilla cups any way they fit. These will crisp up into lovely tortilla chips. The bendiness of the muffin tray makes the perfect shape for scooping hummus. 

Place the tray in the oven for about fifteen minutes but don't go away because the edges of the wraps can catch really quickly. We just want them to crisp up and for the filling to warm through. If you need to, you can remove the off-cut crisps before the cups are done so they don't get burned. 

Assemble your accoutrement. Cut up romaine lettuce, avocado and pepper. Finely chop some coriander. Chop a lime into squeezable wedges. Dust your hummus with cayenne pepper. Arrange on a tray in little cups for bonus points. 

Remove your cups from the oven and sprinkle with coriander. This whole meal is very sprinkle based. Squeeze with lime, pile up your plate and eat messily.



Hx

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Drawing from Life


It seems amazing how easy it is to get out of practice when it comes to drawing. In my head, if you can draw you can draw. Until you pick up a pencil for the first time in a few months and what appears on the paper isn't what you had in your head.

I've got a few A3 sketchbook out on the dining table and have dusted off my watercolours. I've found that I need to set my intentions and leave the book out or else I'll forget all about it and accidentally binge watch Orange is the New Black instead. Oops.

I'm getting my hand in again by drawing and painting a few things from life at full scale. These purple beans came from my parents' allotment and made a perfect starter project. Drawing in this way is great for my mental health as it helps me to notice the changes in seasons and appreciate the small things. Plus, once you've drawn them you have dinner. Nature + art + food = my perfect world.

Hx
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Thursday, 9 August 2018

Positive Procrastination: Crocheting Plarn


I always have a project or two lined up. Next up is crocheting plarn. Plarn (plastic yarn) can be made from old plastic food bags and used to crochet things like little pot cosies and baskets. This aim has a few prerequisites: that I can make plarn and that I can crochet. I can, at present, do neither. But I'm not the kind of girl to let that kind of thing stop me.

We're currently trying to reduce the amount of landfill waste we produce but quite a lot of our food still comes in plastic bags - wholewheat pasta, brown rice, grains etc. and with no access to a bulk store currently (and a limited budget) I'm not sure how I can reduce this. My solution (for now at least) is to use some of this waste to make something useful! Friends, family: this may be the Christmas of crocheted plastic gifts (sorry).

You can see from the image above that I have Begun To Learn. This was the lovechild of not wanting to pack for my upcoming camping holiday and feeling guilty for not packing for my upcoming camping holiday. I've started to call this Positive Procrastination. This is the project I will pick up when my bedroom is a giant floordrobe, the garden needs weeding, the washing up needs doing or the shower drain needs to be unclogged. I highly recommend one of these projects. Especially when they can be done in front of Netflix. 

Hx

















































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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Grapefruit Screen Print


So far this year I've been enjoying building up a new series of prints. Four layer photographic screen prints using hand drawn screen films seems to be becoming my 'thing'. I'll stick with it for now and see if I get sick of it. Here's my grapefruit screen print building up. I LOVE the colours of this one. I'm thinking my next print should be a dragon fruit. All I need to do is find one to draw and then I can get going. 


Has anyone got any fruits that they'd like to see in print now that I'm on a foodie print run? I'd love to read your suggestions!


Hx



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Sunday, 1 July 2018

Adrienne Mishler's Yoga Mat Spray


As part of a self-care themed day off work I decided to have a go at making Adrienne Mishler's Yoga Mat Spray. If you haven't yet seen any of Adrienne's Yoga with Adrienne videos I urge you to ditch this blog right now and watch one. But please come back. I need the external gratification of your presence. 

When Adrienne posted this mat cleaning spray recipe I knew I wanted to have a go. I already had a collection of blue glass bottles that I bought with the intention of making my own skincare products (the intention still exists but the timeline is somewhat stretched out...)

The recipe is simple and uses only a few ingredients:

Distilled water
Witch-hazel
Essential Oils


Distilled water seems surprisingly difficult to get hold of in the UK. I got very confused about what it actually was and ended up buying a bottle of Smart Water which is vapour distilled in the hope that it would suffice. I don;t like buying plastic bottles of water but this one will be going a long way. I hope to find a better source in the future (any help would be great!) 

The recipe calls for the bottle to be 3/4 filled with distilled water.  This adorable funnel was found at a food store last year. 


Adrienne states alcohol free witch-hazel but this is the only one I could find and I already had it in my cupboard so here we go!

I filled the remaining 1/4 of the bottle.


Adrienne suggests a few combination of essential oils for antibacterial, calming, invigorating properties. I went with Eucalyptus essential oil and added 5 (ish) drops as well as Pink Grapefruit essential oil - another 5 (ish) drops. Anyone got any tips on controlling the amount of drops entering the bottle?


This spray can then be spritzed onto your mat and wiped down with a cloth. My mat now smells lovely and hopefully is a little less unsanitary to smoosh my face into. 


Has anyone else made this? What combination of oils did you go for? Any UK friends have any tips on getting distilled water or alcohol free witch-hazel?

Hx

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Saturday, 30 June 2018

Sketchbook Painting


My latest addition to the sketchbook revival effort. Bizarre no? I really like the colour combinations here. I don't know what it's about but it was hella fun to paint.

Hx
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Friday, 29 June 2018

Eco Swap - Who Gives a Crap Toilet Paper


This week's eco swap is a joyful little patterned affair featuring Who Gives a Crap: a team of three humans, a dog and a cat whose mission is to provide recycled toilet paper to all those willing whilst raising funds to build clean, safe toilets in developing countries. 

Each roll comes nestled in its own funky little piece of tissue paper - there's not a plastic wrap in site. After getting this trial box last month we've since bought a jumbo box of 48 rolls which should last us a very long time. It looks adorable next to the loo (and in all the bathroom cupboards AND in the loft...) and does good. Easy choice right?

Hx

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Thursday, 28 June 2018

Painting for the Sake of Painting


After years of art education it seems odd to paint just for the sake of painting. At university I was not a painter. I dabbled at painting during my schooling (there's a fairly creepy self portrait floating around in case anyone's interested in taking a peep!?) Since then, I've mostly used painting as a sketching tool or as a means to another end - planning a print, suggesting a colour for a future project etc. However, as part of my sketchbook revival I whipped up this little flat lay gouache painting. It continues along my unintentional fruit theme and was a pleasure to paint. No it doesn't look realistic or particularly illustrative but it exists in my sketchbook as part of a body of work that is for nothing but for myself to gaze upon in a dull moment.

Although, knowing myself as I do, I'll probably use it in six months time as a basis for some ambition screen print extravaganza that completely ruins the image for me. Ah, such is life.

Hx
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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Turning Sketches into Prints


So it's 2018 and I've finally got my sketchbook out. I always loved keeping a sketchbook all throughout secondary school and university. I would usually have both a personal and work project book on the go at any one time. Whilst I was completing my art degree my sketchbooks merged a little and you'd find doodles and shopping lists on the same pages as serious design plans and experiments. A part of me lived in my sketchbooks but when I left education I put down the sketchbooks out of sheer exhaustion. But I've missed it. 

I'm definitely out of practice when it comes to drawing and painting. Things used to flow out of my hands without much thought that take a lot more coaxing now. I'm determined to get it back so my sketchbook is back in my handbag and at the ready.

Above are a few doodles in my sketchbook along with their screen film counterparts. There's something satisfying about translating a loose sketch into a repeatable print. These littl'uns will be gracing the fronts of some of my stationery items.

Anyone want me to add some to my etsy?

Hx
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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

New Prints


Here's a selection of prints that I've been making so for this Spring. 

There's an obvious predominant food theme that I can tell you was not intentional. 

These are all multi-layer screen prints on paper (apart from the strawberry which is two colour but only printed in one layer).

Does anyone want to see more about how I make these? If so it could be something I put on the blog... what do you think?

Hx
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Monday, 25 June 2018

Veganuary Six Months Later


It's now six months since I embarked upon my Veganuary challenge. If you've been following me you'll know that I started Veganuary with no real expectations and a mindfulness to not put too much pressure on myself. I thought that I'd end the month with major cheese and milk chocolate cravings and introduce them back into my diet occasionally whilst maintaining a mostly plant based diet. I checked back in with you guys in February to happily announce that, after a relatively easy month, I was planning to continue my plant based diet and see how it goes.

Once again I'm very happy to report that, after six months, I'm still following a plant-based vegan diet.  My cheese cravings and casein addiction has disappeared (the smell of cheese really is off-putting now) and although my chocolate cravings still exist they're easily satisfied my the numerous choices of vegan chocolate available. See the picture above for i-Choc's white nougat crisp chocolate bought at Rice-Up Wholefoods in Southampton yesterday. This bar has now been completely demolished my myself and my omni partner. I really should ave bought two.

Whilst we're on the subject of chocolate I would like to take the opportunity to sing the praises of the ultimate chocolate fudge cake in BOSH!: the vegan cookbook that satisfied the nation with plant-only food since its release earlier this year.


In fact, everything we've made and eaten from BOSH! has been sensational and so full of flavour. My Mum and I devoured this plate of spaghetti carbonara and swiftly made it again for more of the family.


I've been sampling more than my fair share of ready-made vegan food from the frozen aisle including this selection from Cauldron. For those interested the aduki bean melts were heavenly, the burgers were a little dry and the sausages were pretty good but I still prefer Linda McCartney's. 


My carvings for cheese have morphed into a craving for savoury foods that are easily satisfied by anything made or sprinkled with nooch (specifically these Engevita yeast flakes) or Marmite. My goodness I love Marmite now. We go through a pot so much faster than ever before. Marmite on toast with almond butter? Um YES please.


And that's just it. Things that I used to like, I now LOVE. Dates, cider vinegar, pickles, dark chocolate, rocket, cashews, sunflower seeds, hummus (obvs) - I crave these things and appreciate them more than I've ever appreciated food before. Mum and I made jam from the strawberries we picked at the allotment and it's the sweetest most heavenly thing I've ever had. Plus it's only made with 1/2 sugar to fruit - a lot less than commercial sugars found in shop bought jam. (The recipe is from the little River Cottage Preserves Book). 


Another reason it's been an easy and rewarding experience is that veganism is growing and becoming much more of an accepted lifestyle choice. The vegan book display was found this morning in Chichester's Waterstones. Most restaurants have vegan choices, many even have an all vegan separate menu. It's becoming easier and easier to make these choices. 


Mostly, I feel that my actions are aligning more with my morals. My next step is to try to keep mostly to a whole-food vegan diet that consists of mainly fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. But also chocolate. 

Is there anyone out there who's still on their Veganuary challenge six months in? 
How's it going for you?

Hx






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Slowing Down at the Allotment for Fathers' Day


I love not having plans. 

There's nothing I love better than a weekend with nothing in the diary. Last weekend was Fathers' Day and I had no plans other than to spend the days with my Mum and Dad down the allotment. My parents have an allotment and it's a little piece of heaven. They work really hard to make it a lovely place to be and it's at the stage now at the end of June where you can just potter. A bit of weeding there, watering here, pick some flowers, eat a radish. It slows your mind down and allows you to put everything into perspective.

On Saturday me and Tom headed over to weed the plot. Mum had made sweetcorn chowder which we heated on the camping stove and ate with a hunk of bread from the market. 

On Sunday we cleared out the shed. Talk about catharsis.

I highly recommend making no plans and going outside.

Hx
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Friday, 22 June 2018

Getting Back into Yoga


It seems like forever since I went to a yoga class. I started yoga a couple of years ago and immediately took to it. Now please don't get me wrong - my body did not immediately take to it. I am not naturally bendy or strong. I've got pigeon toes and bad posture. I cannot do a single press up or touch my toes. Ever. But that's really not the point I promise you. There's just something about taking some time to breathe, focus on your body and slow your mind. If you're that way inclined there can be essential oils, crystals and meditating. If not, there can be crunches and planks and sit ups. It's difficult and sweaty and relaxing and frustrating and calming and rewarding. My last weekly yoga class was cancelled in April and my entire body has basically seized up since then. A few times I've tried to do a bit of yoga at home. Yoga with Adrienne on youtube is amazing. Her videos are funny and soothing but it's so easy to give up when it gets too hard and there's no one to keep me accountable. Plus my mind always begins to wander when I'm not in a class. What should we have for dinner? I should put some washing on. This carpet needs a hoover. Is Ackley Bridge back on tonight? In the words of Lorelei Gilmore 'hockey puck, rattle snake, monkey, monkey, underpants!'

I found another local yoga teacher via Instagram who is starting a new class next week. I'm excited to get back into it for for my mind and my body. It's going to take a while to get back to the level of fitness I had three months ago but I'm excited to have that time and space each week to focus on the moment. 

Can you do yoga at home without getting distracted? HOW?

Hx
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Thursday, 21 June 2018

Car Boot Finds!


There are a thousand things I love about car boot sales. They're an excellent way of stopping stuff going into landfill. A lot of the things that are taken to car boot sales would be thrown away otherwise. It's easy to find some really unique things that no one else will have. And it's CHEAP. I have so many things that I couldn't afford to buy new. Possibly too many clothes. Definitely too many clothes. But a new dress for a pound COME ON you would too. 

Our house has definitely benefitted from a car boot sale or two. Lots of our furniture, kitchenware and lighting has been from Ford car boot sale. Ford is full of house clearances, antique dealers and regular people selling their old stuff. It's the perfect mix. This little bundle above cost me the sum total of £3. The china set was £1 and has 15 pieces. I lose using old china for serving food as well as for plants. I've already served chocolate mousse in these teacups. With raspberries. It was heaven. Th glass nuggets were another £1 and I'm going to use them to stand plants in. The enamel bowl at the back cost me my final £1 and is basically perfect for every other household job ever. Need a centre piece for your table? Enamel bowl with floating candles. Melting chocolate? Bain marie over a pan of water. Repotting house plants? Compost container. Manicure? Hand soak bowl. Do you see now?

What's the best thing you've ever bought from a car boot sale?

Hx

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Eco-Swap: Make Up


Next in my eco-quest is my make-up bag. Now here is where I'm struggling.

There are FOUR important factors when it comes to choosing make up and so far I'm not doin' so great covering all four bases. Here's what's important to me:

1. Cruelty-free!
2. Low waste
3. Good for me (or at least not bad for me)
4. IT WORKS

I never really realised how hard it would be to get four ticks in those boxes. It's going to be a lonnng process but I thought I'd let you know about the baby steps I'm taking and how it's going. Here are some of my favourite things in my make up bag right now:

So-Eco Bamboo Make-up Brushes
I've had a set of these for years and love them, especially this soft finishing brush. They wash easily (when I remember to wash them) and go back to being super soft.
Cruelty free ✓ Low waste ✓ Good for me ✓ Works ✓
Any other negatives? Nope!

Earthnicity Minerals Foundation Powder
Until recently I've used Bare Minerals (which are cruelty free also - woohoo!) mineral powder which I love but last time I ran out I decided to look for alternatives. Earthnicity is a more local company (London not San Francisco) and their mineral powder was cheaper than Bare Minerals. There's not a lot of difference between the two but I got my Earthnicity Powder from MeiKind who only stock cruelty free, vegan make-up and post in recyclable eco-friendly packaging. 
Cruelty free ✓ Low waste (product ╳ supplier ✓) Good for me ✓ Works ✓
Any other negatives? The sponge in the pot is kinda useless and the powder doesn't have a closed cap so kinda gets everywhere in the pot...

Very Vegan Lipstick
I came across a little hoard of Very Vegan products by W7 in TKMaxx for a bargain! This lipstick is a lovely summery pink. It feels sort of like the lipsticks that come in princess play sets from when you were a child... maybe it's something about the smell or the texture... It seems to stay on pretty well and makes me feel cute which is basically the entire reason for lipstick's existence.
Cruelty free ✓ Low waste ╳ Good for me  ✓ (I guess?) Works  ✓ 
Any other negatives? Nope!

Very Vegan Powdered Blush
Another recent TKMaxx bargain. Shockingly pink and summery. You only need a tiiiny amount. I have a lovely Benefit blusher that I adore and will continue to use until it runs out. Benefit don't test on animals but cannot guarantee that all their products don't test on animals. Benefit's blusher is in cardboard though whereas this Very Vegan blusher is in plastic so I'm not sure it's the best swap here. What can I say though? I'm a sucker for a bargain and this was a fraction of the price.
Cruelty free ✓ Low waste ╳ Good for me (I have no idea really) Works ✓
Any other negatives? No compact brush so slightly less useful travel wise.

Very Vegan Brow Eco
Yet another TKMaxx swipe bought for a fraction of the price. This one comes in a cute tin, although it has a plastic insert to hold the product and plastic brushes. I currently have a Benefit Browzings kit that's been lasting me forever and I love it. This kit seems pretty much as good although it may be a little darker which isn't so great for my ridiculously pale complexion. 
Cruelty free ✓ Low waste ✓ (comparatively!) Good for me (who knows anything really) Works ✓
Any other negatives? Nope 'cos I'll keep something cute in the tin when it's empty and who doesn't love a little tin of nonsense items?


In conclusion, so far I'm not doing so hot with the low waste aspect but I'm actively seeking out vegan products and trying to buy from lovely like-minded suppliers like Meikind. There are a few products that I'm worried about when they run out. I use them every day and am fairly desperate to find better alternatives:

Clinique City Block - comes in a plastic tube and non cruelty free because they sell in China (who require their products to be tested on animals by law) but guys this is such a good sun block for my lily-white skin and blocks UVA and UVB. It's tinted (although a little too dark for me) and doesn't give me spots. I need help swapping this one.

L'Oreal Infallible Primer - I've tried a few primers and love this one as it goes on smoothly and doesn't clog pores. But it comes in a plastic tube and although L'Oreal have made positive steps and no longer test on animals, I'm sure there are better companies for me to support with my hard earned cash. Any tips?

Hx
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Saturday, 12 May 2018

Eco Friendly Bathroom Swaps




As part of my attempt to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle I am trying to reduce the waste I produce. At this stage, it is fairly clear that I will never be able to achieve a zero waste lifestyle (zero waste printing ink anyone?) but that doesn't stop me from trying to cut down my use of single-use plastic and disposables as much as I can. Recently, I have focussed my attention on the bathroom and am making small, easy changes to the products I use. Here's how I am getting on so far!

In the Shower

Whoosh Shower Jelly from Lush - this jelly smells amazing and is great fun to use in the shower as it slips all over the damn place. The tub can be returned to Lush to be recycled! This shower jelly lasts for ages and cuts out the need for a plastic bottle BUT as a next step I will try to find shower soaps that have either no packaging or just a paper wrap. 

Jason and the Argon Oil Shampoo Bar from Lush - a frighteningly pink shampoo bar that smells of rose and lathers up a treat in the shower, cleaning my hair without leaving any oily residue behind. I've just switched from Lush's Seanik shampoo bar which just ran out after about 8 months (!) I loved the bright blue Seanik bar and wanted to see if this one was just as good. I also have a reusable tin from Lush to keep the bar dry in between uses - also great for travelling.

Big Solid Conditioner from Lush - volumising and gentle, a little goes a long way BUT I'm going to level with you: I bought this last week and have only used it once so I can hardly write a conclusive review. So far so good though! I also have a Lush tin to keep this one dry and my wash-bag from getting slimy. 



On my Face

Charcoalogy Soap - this detoxifying soap was from TKMaxx and works wonders on my skin, removing excess oil but without leaving it dry. I wrote about this soap when I bought it and was disappointed that inside its paper box, it was wrapped in a plastic film - still, it's better than throwing away a plastic bottle and lasts MUCH longer.

Resuable Cotton Rounds - why oh why did I spend so many years throwing away cotton pads? These reusable ones just go in a jar and get thrown in the wash once a week in their little mesh bag.

A flannel - stop wasting tissue and cotton pads! Remember flannels from when you were a sticky faced child? They still exist so go grab one. 


For my Period

Mooncup - Tampons are gross, disposable and frankly quite weird. Mooncups aren't as freaky as they sound so give one a try ok?

Reusable Sanitary Towels - Popper a reusable sanitary towel round your knickers and go about your day in the knowledge that you're throwing one less thing away. Note: not great for really hot days...

Natracare Sanitary Towels and Panty Liners: for those days where a mooncup or reusables just aren't get-at-able these Natracare pads are organic and don't contain any nasties. 


For my Teeth

Bamboo Toothbrush - I love these bamboo handled toothbrushes as they don't litter the ocean with plastic waste. They're great for travelling too! I do, however use an electric toothbrush too as I've had a few issues with my teeth (who the hell invented wisdom teeth anyway?) so I have to be super careful my teeth are well cleaned. Has anyone got any suggestions for eco-friendly electric toothbrush hacks? I also currently sometimes use a standard sensitive toothpaste for the same reason as I can't seem to find any eco versions for sensitivity...

Atomic Tooth Powder from Lush -  tastes a little weird until you get used to it but leaves your mouth feeling so clean.

Dirty Toothy Tabs from Lush - perfect for travelling. Just chew up a tab and start brushing. My advice though? Make sure you crush the tab with your teeth only as if you chew it for too long it tastes pretty funky.

Activated Charcoal Toothpaste - Keeps my teeth white and shiny.



Also in my Bathroon

Safety Razor - Like so many others I was sick of throwing away plastic razor blades after paying a fortune for them. A safety razor should last forever and the blades are really cheap and recyclable. I have to be a little more careful about shaving and make sure I use lots of coconut oil on my skin first to avoid irritation. 

Soap -  It's so much prettier to have a dainty dish with a bar of hand soap on the sink. Lots of soaps come in card packaging or no packaging at all so that's one less plastic bottle to throw away.

recycling Bin - It has made a big difference separating out our bathroom waste into recycling and landfill. We've got a little pedal bin for landfill waste and a basket for recycling. It's never nice to go through a bathroom bin and sort out recycling so having two bins alleviates this and makes sure that everything that can be recycled will be, leaving very little going to landfill.

Has anyone got any good low waste bathroom ideas? I'm doing well but there's a way to go yet!

Hx 

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