Knit knit knitting

I still haven’t finished either of my knitting projects, but it’s not for lack of trying!  For the last two months, one of my goals has been to knit four hours a week, which I have been doing.  I’m a slow knitter, and having two projects on the go means everything takes a silly amount of time to complete.

The two tops I’m making are from the same pattern, they’re just in different weights and colours.  I’m now doing the front of both tops.  Then it’s just the sleeves and the sewing to do.  Hopefully they will be finished for winter!

Knitting July 2014

My tape measure is for left-handed people, hence why it runs from right to left, instead of left to right :)

A new stationery order

Stationery order August 2014

I may have been naughty.  Tee hee.  Look at my shiny new goodies!

In the top left, there’s a green Kakuno fountain pen with a fine nib (it’s gorgeous).  It came with a free pack of blue ink, but I bought a converter for it so I can use my bottled ink.

On the right hand side, I have two new wax stamps and four sticks of sealing wax.  The stamps are a snowflake and the batman logo :)

The clips in the bottom right hand corner were a freebie from CultPens.  Aren’t they cute?

I love new stationery!

Lego Moleskine week 27 & 28

Lego Moleskine Week 27

Week 27

July goals!  This week I finished Warehouse 13 season 4 (I can’t believe it’s almost over) and got a stupid cold.  I also started re-watching the Fast and the Furious franchise.

Lego Moleskine Week 28

Week 28

Grand Budapest Hotel is a very odd film.  I don’t really like Wes Anderson films, but the trailers always look so good.  I started driving again in this week – super exciting!!  I haven’t driven for years (and don’t have a licence), but I’m insured and I’ve got my L plates on the car!

Winged beasts

I have some nature photos for you today, taken over the last few weeks.  Names of each species under the photos.

Small Tortoiseshell on lavender

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly

Hoverfly on anemone


Gatekeeper butterfly on thistle

Gatekeeper butterfly

Blue damselfly

Blue damselfly

Common darter Sympetrum striolatum

Common darter

Peacock on thistle

Peacock butterfly (I love peacock butterflies!)

Courgette flower being pollinated

A honeybee I think, but I didn’t get a good look (it’s pollinating a courgette flower).

Product review: Kokuyo Security Roller Stamp

Today I have a stationery review for you.  I haven’t done one since May!  I saw the Kokuyo security roller stamp pop on someone’s blog months ago, but at the time it wasn’t available in the UK and I didn’t want to do an overseas order, so I filed it away in the back of my mind and left it at that.  Then, a couple of months ago, in the weekly Bureau Direct email, they mentioned that they would shortly be getting some in stock, so I set up an email alert and finally I got notified that they were available to order.

Kokuyo Security Roller Stamp 1

There are two sizes available, and I ordered the 10mm option (I actually ordered two; one for me and one for my sister).

The security roller is basically a rubber stamp used to obscure important data, so that nobody can steal your details.  I don’t have a shredder, so I usually rely on the composter for secure disposal of papers, but this puts a lot of pressure on the composter to eat paper (!).  Also, paper is recyclable and technically it is a waste of manufacturing to return it to the earth.  This stamp means I can now dispose of letters with my paper recycling quite easily.

Kokuyo Security Roller Stamp 2

The roller is quite small and comes with a refill of ink.  It’s self-inking, so you don’t have to worry about mess.

Kokuyo Security Roller Stamp 3

All you have to do is roll the stamp over your secure data, and it obscures the original text with a layer of random characters.  It’s a brilliant idea, and well executed.  I really recommend these stamps!

You can buy the stamp from Bureau Direct for £11.95.  I wasn’t sponsored to write this review, I just think it’s a good idea.

Afternoon tea

While I was off work I had afternoon tea in the garden.  I did this last year with my Mum (almost to the day!) and it was good fun, so we did it again!

My photos are a bit dark – I edited them on my iPad and I must have had the contrast wrong. It was a sunny day!

Tea Party July 2014 1

Tea Party July 2014 2

We made little sandwiches with cucumber and brie (homegrown cucumber!).

Tea Party July 2014 3

Fresh scones from the bakery in town.

Cream tea, 17th July 2014

Proper clotted cream from Cornwall, and jam! The jam isn’t homemade, as we already had a jar of Bonne Maman open.

Tea Party July 2014 4

… And of course the most important part, tea! No posh tea this time round, I’m afraid. Good ol’ Yorkshire Tea!

Tea Party July 2014 5

Tea Party July 2014 7While we ate and drank, Archie snoozed in the afternoon sun.

New laptop desk and stickers

Hello, I am back from my break!  I have some photos to show you at some point, but today I want to show you my laptop.  The new sticker arrived for the wrist rests on my Mac, so now I’ve finally finished decorating it!  I decorated the front of the laptop when I bought it back in January:

Laptop skin

I’m afraid that I don’t remember now where I got the skin from.  However, Society6 and Etsy both do great designs and I would have ordered from one of these sites.

I got the keyboard stickers a couple of weeks ago from Mixed Decals on Etsy, which has hundreds of designs.  I got the wrist rest this weekend from SkinStyler, which has loads of wrist rest designs for Macs.

Keyboard stickers

So now I’ve finished decorating my laptop, and it is looking tres snazzy, non?  I’m very pleased with it!

The laptop desk I settled on in the end was the one from the mobility company.  It arrived a bit “rough and ready”, covered in bamboo dust from sawing, and one screw was loose so I had to fix it myself.  As such, I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone, except it was cheap and it works really well!

Laptop desk with laptop

A little blog holiday

Sometimes I go through phases where I don’t see the point in blogging any more. I’m unfortunately in one of those phases at the moment. I’m also doubting my existence on Twitter, which is very shocking for me (I used to love Twitter!).

I suppose really for me there isn’t much point to my blogging – I don’t make money from it (nor do I intend to). It’s literally just a place to chat. I’m never going to be one of those high profile blogs, because a) I don’t like *having* to stick to a blogging schedule, b) I don’t want to write article after article, and c) I don’t have the time or the inclination to invest in PR. Most the time I’m ok with that, but occasionally I think it would be nice to have thousands of readers and use my blog for the power of good (recommending green things, etc.). In recent years my readership has plateau’d (this is quite normal although lots of bloggers forget this!) and I guess we’ve all just got comfortable together.

Anyway, I need a little break from blogging, and luckily this break coincides with a few days I have off work. I’ll be back on the 28th July.

Have a lovely week, whatever your plans :)

A photo post

I have a collection of random photos for you today.  Every now and then I like to collect together all the photos I haven’t shared, and just dump them all in one post so I can move on with my life!  Captions beneath each photo.

Sleepy cat :)

Little Archie having a snooze with me one afternoon. She’s not a particularly affectionate cat, but she does follow me around the house and she stays nearby.  She’s moulting at the moment, as you can see from her neck in the photo.  Lots of loose hairs being abandoned everywhere!

Yellow and orange lily

I love my lilies. They’re orange and yellow varieties and they’re beautiful. I wish they flowered longer though! (P.S. I’ve just finished a book called Seven Flowers and how they changed the world, and the lily was one of the flowers featured. It was a good read.)

Eaten snail

I find this snail shell on the patio exactly as it is in the photo, and you can see that a hungry bird has eaten the snail from it. I don’t really mind as there are too many snails in the garden!

Rose reaching up to sky

My Mum grows a lot of roses. I don’t really care for them; I think they require too much effort to look pretty, but this one was reaching to the sky and looking pretty, so it deserved a photo!

I may have bought new keyboard stickers for my laptop!

I bought a set of keyboard stickers for my Mac, so it looks all snazzy! I got this set off Etsy (there are loads of designs on there!), but the return key and the shift key were wrong so I’m currently waiting for an update from the seller as they’re sticker-less and sad.  I’ve also ordered a sticker for the wrist pad section so it doesn’t get scratched, so I’ll show you that when it’s arrived.

New laptop desk

I bought a new stand for my laptop finally (I chose the mobility product one).  The Apple rainbow sticker came with my keyboard stickers but I already have a sticker on the front of my laptop.  (Also, you can see the missing return key sticker on my keyboard in that photo!)

So that’s the miscellaneous stuff from my life!

Water, water, everywhere

Water, water, everywhere
Nor any drop to drink.

Most of you will know the little Coleridge quote above, and it’s actually quite true.  Only 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh water (i.e. isn’t saline), and most of the world’s fresh water is trapped in ice.  Only 0.007% of the world’s water is actually accessible for our use.  If that figure doesn’t scare you, it should, because water security will likely be one of the main reasons for war in coming decades.  Communities in equatorial regions are going to suffer severe droughts as a result of climate change and heavy land use, and this leads to migration, poverty, famine, etc. all of which contribute to civil and international wars.

The real reason for this post is that I came across this infographic about water use in the UK, and I wanted to share it with you.  Have a read, because it’s absolutely fascinating.  Then have a think about how you can reduce your own water use.  I’m a big fan of mulching and water butts to reduce garden water use.