Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pennies saved add up to £££s

Starting today by gathering up a few loose ends, in the hope (as they say) that pictures tell a thousand words.

The first photo shows the 'egg candle' mentioned yesterday (ignore the larger candles in the pic), you can see the red candle sitting in an egg cup with some of the red wax rind (that made the candle) saved from Edam cheese lying on the table at the side. If buying a cheap egg cup (even better a quality one on the cheap from a car boot or charity shop), adding the candle to the egg cup would make a very good gift. some Edam type cheese is coated with green wax, so this is also worth saving. Edam cheese is lower in calories than other hard cheeses, so those on a diet can save both calories and money if they use the cheese/rind to its full potential.

The picture below shows yet another use for parcel string. This time made into a doll's house mat. Learned how to make this after I had read my Beloved's book of Nautical Knots, this particular one called 'Ocean Plait'. If you look this knot up on the Internet, about three or four down on the first page will be shown a more defined (sharper) picture of a mat made this way, and also a demo giving instructions on 'how to make'. It is simpler than it first appears, but a bit fiddly. Probably easier making a full size mat than a tiny one. But if you have a grandchild with a doll's house - then this and another few home-made miniatures will make a very good present. It doesn't really matter how little a gift cost, just as long as it is right for the person. How many times we have been bought expensive gifts that we didn't really like, when (for me) a set of wooden spoons would have been much more acceptable.

It crossed my mind that mats like this could be made with the 'rope' formed when French Knitting (remember those nails stuck in the top of cotton reels?). Seems now children are starting to French Knit again, so with your help a daughter/ granddaughter might be able to make her own doll's rug from scratch. With wool, it is easiery to pin the loops together to hold them in place whilst weaving under and over.

We come now to photos of yesterday's 'free food' gathered and gleaned. Even using container plants (and not a lot of those it has to be said are in our garden) we are still able to harvest enough that - when comparing supermarket prices - prove we have saved a few pounds each week during the 'cropping season'. The first photo shows our last (growing) tray of mixed salad leaves - these are still young, but edible, and should keep growing and feeding us for a couple or so more weeks, by which time more seeds will have been sown. So an ongoing crop.

Asked Beloved yesterday to collect the apples that had fallen from the tree on to our lawn, adding "there maybe more underneath the tree in the 'shrubbery'. The picture below is what he brought back in, and there are still quite a few left growing on the tree. As they go a deep red on one side when fully ripe still have a few weeks to go, and will also grow larger. The largest fallen apple was rosy and the size of a Bramley (seen at the front of the bowl), several others quite large, and most were medium to small, a total of nearly 6lb in weight (the bowl larger and deeper than it looks), so again a lot of money saved.

We then come to yesterday's min-crops. The usual small courgettes (three) show below, with more to come, and if I had felt inclined could have stuffed the flower, plus another from one on the plant, to fry as yet another source of 'food'. The tomatoes are still producing plenty, we get a tub - seen below - at least twice if not three times a week, so as I eat them like sweets, am very pleased.