Living the simple life

I am Goth by nature, a carer by choice and a crafter by habit. living the Old Style way, spending less and making what I can myself. I follow Money Saving Expert and NYK forum avidly and am working to be debt free.


I shop wisely as every penny counts, my stock cupboard is my solution to any problem.


My home is full of craft stuff and I love making things for my grandson Michael and grand- daughter Bethany who are the reason I get up everyday. My kids are the best in the world and I thank them for being there for me and John

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Cold November with a smattering of boredom.


These 2 are keeping me on my toes at the moment. Boo is the great adventurer now and carries the stool across the room to reach whatever she wants! She is besotted with the cat who sits patiently while she strokes his toes. Michael is on his best behaviour lately with us and finally sleeping better. No more 4 am's - phew.
I am not doing so well myself as in the last 3 months have been diagnosed with more arthritis - in my lower back, carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist and worst of all either bursitis or inflamed ligament also in my left arm. This is seriously cramping my style I cant knit, crochet or sew for more than a few minutes and its painful and boring!!!

So am making decorations for the tree and a few bits for gifts. I am hoping for a steroid injection asap which will help the arm and stop the pain a bit.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Pinching those pennies.

Tough month with little income means I need to polish my frugal skills. Luckily the pantry has 2 shelves full of various bits and bobs and the tin cupboard is still full. Muscle foods order is now getting to the end but I must say it was a worth while (and lucky) purchase. The chicken breast are amazing. 

Due to the heat we had pasta salad and rice tonight with a boiled egg and a piece of pork pie. I actually  thought I had run out of pasta - nooooo - found several packs in the pantry ...phew...

Sadly when the S*** hits the fan I always start making things to sell however there is no point to that as I cannot sell anything due to the stupid rules when benefits change - Dagnab it!

One thing we will be able to rely on this year is soft fruit as  the garden is positively groaning with strawberries, raspberries and red currants. The strawberries are either from my dear friend Annie, posted from London a couple of years ago or from 2 bedraggled 50p half dead plants from Homebase a while ago.

Raspberries are all from Annie posted with a bit of damp kitchen roll wrapped round the base of the cuttings.

Redcurrant has been in the garden for about 6 years after being bought from Aldi. I bore no fruit for 3 years, it basically just sat there then on the 4 th year its had one bunch of fruit since then its been so prolific I cannot believe it.

3 years ago my Mum bought me 4 apple tree's that were a bargain from D T Brown nursery - I picked M9's so I wouldn't over crowd the garden and its worked perfectly.

Last year I grabbed a patio pear tree from Morrisons for £7 and that is doing very well this year so we will see what they are like. If they are hard I will add them to pies or jam.

I am trying to keep busy and so far have recovered a seat cushion for hubby and turned up Dgs's school pants. Tonight I am going to make some cards as I keep wanting to send cards to friends and find I have none in stock. Also need a new baby card as a friend is due to pop this week.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Moral Of the Story

I started a tiny business in December and last week had to close it due to government ineptitude. They could not grasp that I was starting a business that only earned me £30 a week! I hoped to grow it slowly but surely and be able to support myself. Add to that Johns benefits changed as he had run out of contribution based ESA. So they left us with a little PIP and my carers allowance to live on.

They even stopped the rent payments and expected me to pay them from £30 a week - un-bloody-believable. Oh and they stopped my tax credits due to the change of ESA.

I see so many people with online business's and at craft fairs and just wonder how many of them have gone down the legitimate route?

Anyway am filling in paperwork every day and crossing my fingers.

Tomorrow we have a medical to see if Hubby is fit for work, I am guessing there are few jobs where you can take your wife to work, be able to have a shower and a nap but we will see.

Mean while these two are keeping me busy. Boo is standing up now and shouts very loudly when she wants something. Pickle is the sweetest boy but struggling with stress though he tries very hard to understand everything. He has an enquiring mind and asks things like 'Why does February have the wrong number of days?'

I now have a house full of things I have made so am packing everything away. I have turned our old office off the kitchen into a sewing room and hope to be in there soon making some nice things for the family.

The garden is full off wee plants which will hopefully give us lots of vegetables and fruit. Pickle is already inspecting the raspberry plants as he adores picking them and of course eating them right away.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Fresh Fields

Pickle and Boo now have a shop on Folksy! Its a small start but will be filling up soon.
Here are 2 of the listings to start with.



B for Boo and bears! Boo has fallen in love with just a few of my bear collection and looks for them every time she comes over. In fact today I couldn't part her from one and she dragged it into her car seat. Luckily he ended up in the car or he would have never been seen again.

Pickle is still practising his pknitting, as he calls it. He has come along in leaps and bounds of late and is baffling his teachers as if you give him a date he will tell you what day of the week it is. Yesterday he asked if we were going on holiday next week because its the same week we went last year - amazing memory.  


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

March Makes

Working on some new makes for Pickle and Boo - this is Patsy Panda. I am now making one on pure wool and alpaca just to see how she goes.
This panel will shortly adorn the front of a bag for a friend, I think she will be pleased.
This fella arrived here yesterday from the top shelf of a charity shop. He looked very sad sat up there. Its one of those shops where everything is crammed in and I always pick up something good from there. He will be having some clothes tailored for him to go with his haughty expression and then will be going on sale - you know where!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Improving with Age

Had to post this, my grand - daughter is beautiful and calm, feisty, - twice blessed!

Pickle and Boo is ticking along nicely. I will never be rich but I am happy about this area of my life. I opened an Etsy shop but they wouldn't let me have Pickle and Boo so its Gin and Pickle. I have been so busy with many, many things that the Etsy shop only has one item in it to date.

This is my friend Karim who sadly passed away last week - such a shock. I wanted to post this here so the picture will be safe.

Just before Christmas my sewing machine broke, the first of many electrical goods that we lost in the last 3 months. So I had to buy a new one with a little help from my friend Sarah, and I am so pleased with it. I seem to be improving with age as I have managed to conquer a couple of things this year - I finally learned how to knit in more than one colour neatly and can also applique really well.

At present I think I would be lost without my online friends, they are my support network who never judge or criticise. Johns health is deteriorating and he spends much more time in bed but I am content with my lot and if I do get stir crazy as I do on occasion I power walk. We were planning a bucket list trip for John to Belgium but he has decided its too much so we are planning to go somewhere in the UK he hasn't been but that's all up in the air at present.

I am still super frugal and looking forward to spring so I can get some planting done especially after last years success with cabbages and broccoli!!!! Oh and my 2 mini sweetcorn cobs, don't forget those.