Crochet Ripple Blanket

It's finished!! I started this ripple blanket way back in October and I can finally say it's done. I can't believe how long it's taken, but I love it! Even more so knowing the amount of time and effort that has gone into creating it. It's so lovely to have produced something useful that will last for years. I used this pattern and as a beginner I found it very easy to follow. I got a bit carried away towards the end and ended up crocheting a few more rows than I needed to. I haven't added the edging as to be honest I was done and ready to move on to my next project, but I can always add it later if I think it needs it.

I was desperate to finish it before the end of Winter and although Spring may officially be here we've been using it in the evenings to keep us warm on the couch. I now have other crochet projects on the go but I'm also thinking about my next blanket. (Thinking is if I start now it will be ready in time for Winter!) I did actually start one with granny squares and then ran out of yarn so looks like I'll be placing an order soon!

What's on your crochet hook?

Come and follow my Crochet Pinterest board and see all the things I'm hoping to make!

A First Sign Of Spring - Vide Greniers

In France one of the first signs of Spring is the start of the vide greniers and brocantes, or car boots and antique markets. This is one of our favourite ways to spend the weekend and though some are bigger and better than others we always manage to find something to come away with.

Reuben and Jacob are getting well into vide greniers. It can hard to contain them as they run from one stall to another pointing out the antique swords, pirate ships, bikes, guitars and animal heads. Their favourite kind of stand of course involves boxes of cars, trucks and figures. Though having said that Reuben does have an eye for more pretty and unusual things. This time he came away with a cow bell and I had to dissuade him from spending 10 euros on a little box that although was very decorative was a little expensive.

What do I like to look out for at vide greniers? Plates with interesting designs that I can use for lunches or dinner parties. I'm also trying to find a nice tea pot and any bits of fabric that I can transform into my handmade wardrobe. I came away with this plate at the weekend that although is small and decorative I just knew I had to get as I think the painting is just so beautiful. It only cost me 3 euros!

Do you have any good car boot or antique fairs near you? What do you like to look out for?

Lou Messugo

Homemade Lip Balm - Eco Living

Have you ever been inspired to make your own beauty products? This year I've decided to become a little bit more eco friendly and start making little changes to the products we buy, use, and throw away. I'm going to start looking more closely at the beauty and cleaning products we use around the house and seeing whether we can buy eco friendly alternatives or simply make our own. I'll be having a massive clear out getting rid of things we don't use...that skirt I've never worn...that toy that doesn't get played with. I know this is all not going to happen overnight but little by little I'm hoping to make changes here and there over the year.

My lip balm ran out recently, and rather than buy a new one (though I did really like my last one from here) I thought I'd have a go at making my own. I was inspired by the recipe in the Bread issue of Taproot Magazine and so I ordered what I needed from G. Baldwin and Co. which is a shop full of lovely natural products based in London. I went for a combination of sweet almond oil that I infused with jasmin tea, beeswax and cocoa butter. My first batch is a little hard and I think I will add more oil next time to make it a bit softer, but at least I'll know it will hold when the weather gets warmer.

The cocoa butter makes it feel really nourishing and the jasmin tea gives it a lovely smell that's not overpowering. It's pretty amazing how simple lip balm is to make once you have a few key ingredients. I think I may have to start collecting essential oils so that I can make a more fragrant batch. I like the idea of a grapefruit balm for the summer.

Have you ever made your own lip balm? What's your favourite recipe?
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