Implementing Zero Waste. Month 1 summary

For a while now, I have been the recycling police in the house. And in everyone else’s house (my friends and family – I know I have been a pest).
It is because I believe that we need to leave this world a bit better, not full of waste.
In the last couple of months, I have been looking into options of low waste impact solutions. Ones that are manageable to implement in a 2adult-2children-2kitten household (we’ve expanded – we got twins!! kittens, I mean). And with both adults in full time employment and children within school schedules.
Now my husband is aware that we should be better to the world. He also likes his fizzy pop that only comes in plastic (on a regular shopping trip). And he is a fan of pretty packaging. It is still a journey.
On the other hand, I will think about the packaging and ingredients and plan our meals in advance etc. When I’m not too tired. Don’t get me wrong, I will easily fail every time I see a nutella jar. At least it’s a jar…
But I digress.. What worked in the last month?
I have made my own counter top cleaner! And instead of bath bombs, we did a toilet fizzy cleaner 😀 And sugar scrub – linking STEM activities into every day world, and having a bit of fun 🙂 Fore more details about each of them click on the links 🙂

Top Annoyance

Getting to find things to buy that fit zero waste lifestyle. I mean, how hard is for companies to use anything but plastic in their packaging??
On the highstreet where I live, there are 2 “health food” stores – you know the ones that have protein packs and nuts and dried fruit in bigger packs? Holland & Barret and Grape Tree are the ones I looked into. All in plastic. Nuts? Plastic. Dried fruit? Plastic. Oats? Plastic. I mean really, oats??? At least that could go in the paper packaging? (I wanted to get some in town so I don’t need to drive further for my usual large shop)
On that note – want to get some baking soda? Can’t find anything bigger than a 100g pack in town. And when I ordered one online – it came in a plastic bag?? (picture looked like it will be wrapped in paper – fail on that)

But things that worked:

(please note that I’ve included links to the things I’ve purchased – if you purchase anything afterwards I might earn few pennies)
1) more cloths in the kitchen means less paper towels are being used, mum happily obliged and made me a roll of unpaper towels – similar to ones found on etsy
2) my homemade citrus vinegar cleaner + cloth = less antibacterial wipes being used. I found large quantity of vinegar on amazon
3) kittens are using Pettex Pampuss Woodbase Cat Litter – with poo being able to flush down the loo and wee turning pellets into saw dust that goes on the compost pile/garden. It is a large 30 litre bag but it lasts us about a month and a bit
4) since starting to use it last year, I am continuing to get the Cheeky Panda bamboo toilet paper. Unfortunately it comes in a bag, that can be recycled with carrier bags. I’m still trying to find a suitable (both environmentally and financially) solution that comes without the cardboard roll in the middle and in paper packaging. I am currently waiting for who gives a crap to have their bigger pack back in stock so I can try that out.
5) for my hubby’s fizzy pop addiction during last shop in the local supermarket I found the glass packaging of Diet Coke such as these. I have kept the glass bottles as they are perfect one flower vases. win-win.
6) I’ve done dishwasher tablets! I was skeptical at first but they work like a charm! Very pleased with those!

As a general note:

  • I haven’t gone on a rampage to throw everything plastic out – but I do think twice before I bring anything in the house.
  • My trash (personal or family) doesn’t fit in a jar. Don’t think it ever will. But there will be less of it
  • I am far more in the mood to rant to the producers of everything – either in terms of kudos or suggestions or plain complaining. More of us should
  • It doesn’t take lots of time to do it – just few things at the time will make a difference.

What worked for you? Is there anything you would not do?

Crafts for pennies & priceless smiles

Whenever there is a ribbon, a button, bead, or pretty much anything that looks like it can be reused, in my house it ends up in a craft bucket. You might have a drawer or a shoebox or a tin your gran gave you? Anything can be on there, a little treasure trove.

We visited Nana yesterday and she contributed bits and pieces she saved, asking can they be used. Oh yes they can! In minutes we managed to upgrade accessories stash with new choker necklaces and they took them out for a stroll 🙂

Few ribbons, some beads and a bit of sewing skills. Nothing more. Absolutely priceless memory created 🙂




I got those paper bags (check previous post) and I have decided that I’m NOT spending any money for getting the stamps – was mulling a bit what to do (as only letter stamps I have are tiny) and found an idea amongst google search results – create your own by using foam sheets. Actually, this was the first USEFUL use of foam sheets imho. I had to dig around our craft supply boxes and managed to find few scraps (pheww!) – I distinctly remember gifting few unopened packs in last years’ TEECH shoebox appeal as I thought little ones’ might like it, mine are getting to be “grown up” these days 😀

[if you can, please support your local shoebox appeal – it is a great way to be involved – boxes are usually packed for young and the old and you will put a smile on someone’s face]

Anyway, back to the topic. I’ve created the letters and used a clear acrylic block (with a dab of washable glue) to stamp them. Love how it’s looking up! So far we stamped the bottom row and girls are loving the fact that they’re making the party bags!


Birthday Party Favours

Rolling onwards in the disco theme.

I’ve hunted down ideas in the Pinterest stack (you can see the influence in the invite) and decided on the party favours. I found the selection of neon leg warmers (girls) and headbands (boys) on ebay, just ordered the paper bags I found on Amazon:

And all I have to do now is wait for mr. postman.

Then step 2 is to mix it all in with a selection of sweets and add the names using these printables and we will do a bit of home craft (I’m thinking potato stamping!) to do these.

Pictures to follow in few days.

Birthday Invites. In Gimp. Da Da Daaa!

I do not do design on a daily basis. It’s more of a yearly thing. Or even less frequent. And although Gimp and me have been acquaintances for a long time, we have never moved to the friends zone. And every time I have to do it I want to bang my head on the wall for not writing it up last time. Or any time.

So here it is – a very brief, very basic, and quite specific tutorial – how to do a birthday invite in Gimp. Good luck. I know I will need it.

Step 1. Download Gimp if you haven’t already. It is neat and free and available on . It should be smart enough to tell you which version you need. Most likely you will know do you use iOs (there might be an apple on your computer), Windows (ok, you can guess what that logo is) or Unix – in which case you know your way around computers well enough.

Step 2. Open and create new file. You will be asked the size – and it means the size in pixels, but you can change that to millimeters or anything else. I want to make my life easier so I can print multiple invites on one page – I’ll stick to the cinema ticket style as it prints several per A4 page. Lets say 180mm x 70mm. gimp1

I am putting the background black so all the wordings go in neon. Easy-peasy. Pick a bucket style icon from the tool box and (choosing the colour from the picker) click on the background. And my invite is now pitch black. Stating the obvious.


To add letters, choose the letter A icon from the toolbox. You can use any of the fonts on your computer – if you want to take a look and get few more, there are loads available for free in places such as (I used the one called rollergirls).

To add a zigzag background, I used this tutorial to create it – no point in rewriting something that was done right.

But I wanted spots and stripes and skates. Well pretty much everything 🙂 Here are some more tutorials – luckily she also does polka dots 😉

Also, I’ve found a blog with bracket frames to download which ended up being my frame for the invite details and a nice light up skate picture – here it is, 2h later:


Not yet perfect, but getting there – hurting my eyes enough to satisfy the audience.

And I have to admit to a bit of a internal joke earlier. In Croatian (my native) ‘da’ means yes. Now read the title knowing that 😉

It’s that time of the year again…

… and we’re going NEON.

Welcome to the roller skate birthday party preparations. Let the games begin.

Now, initially, there were rumors that the little wonderfuls would like Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory parties, but that went down the drain on Monday. Luckily I hadn’t had time to go nuts but I’ve found sooo many ideas that my brain was already buzzing. Oh well – perhaps we do that next year, who knows. Onwards and upwards and lets get into ’80s feel as neon and skates are screaming for large hair-dos!!

OK, so plus side is – it has to be out there (we can’t fit in the house) and it has to be indoors (as outside is either wet or freezing) – I was maniacally googling and calling around on Tuesday morning and voila – there was a space in a sport centre nearby and they had the date that is perfect (and a Saturday, which makes my life soo much easier). Now, I got to choose between 12 o’clock slot and 3 o’clock slot – now that was a dilemma – earlier slot means there should be something children can have for lunch (even if reality is that they will skip straight to sweets and snacks) and the later one is the one where by the end of it we will all be ready to collapse.

Risking the early morning panic – and my manic behaviour – I’ve picked the 12 one. Only time will tell how bad did I do 😀

Now, back to work – I have some party invitations to whizz up – last years’ movie tickets went really well with the audience so I’m thinking of what to create to keep the standard going 😉 I loved little beach huts we did this summer (just tried to link them and then I realised – as usual – I forgot to write that post, so here they are)


summer party invites

And now I’m crawling through the google image results for that just perfect template/image/something magical I can reuse and tweak into the perfect invites. Not there yet.

On the other hand, I’ve found neon leg warmers that will be our party favours, printable cake toppers that I’ll turn into stickers and mini disco balls for the cake they ordered. That will require blog post on it’s own – to be continued…

Thor’s Helmet

I’ve heard a rumor that my nephew has a thing for superheroes and avengers. Now he’s almost 6 and changing his mind quite often so I’m hoping that this will keep in trend for few weeks more – at least until I get to deliver the Christmas knit!

I looked around my favourite pattern inspiration and neverending source of things to do – the Ravelry portal. I haven’t managed to spot anything exactly to what I wanted – in the weight and the size I wanted so it was time to improvise. Here is the result:


So here is a quick writeup of what I’ve done:

CO 106 with 3.75 needles

r1-2: knit
r3-4: purl
r5-7: knit
r8: bauble row on every 8th
r9-10: knit
r11-12: purl
r13: knit
r14: purl
swap to silver (double stranded)
Knit until piece measures 5.5in and then decrease
* k6, k2tog *
* k5, k2tog *
* k4, k2tog *
* k3, k2tog *
* k2, k2tog *
* k2tog *
I did the tiniest i-cord on the top for the extra helmet look.

Now I’m a lazy one and can’t be bothered to do any more stitching than absolutely needed so I’ve picked up the wings just off the golden rim.

pick up 22 stitches
rA: *k2, p2*, turn work
rB: *p2, k2*, turn work
alternate rows A and B until piece is long enough and you are ready to start decreasing the wings (roughly when your decreases start on the hat), finish with row A
then repeat this two rows until you cast off all of them:
rC:(in pattern) cast off 2, knit in k2, p2 pattern to end, turn
rD: knit in k2,p2 pattern to end, turn

Repeat the same for the other wing (make sure you cast off/tilt your wings in the opposite direction!).
If easier for you, you can always knit your wings separately and then stitch them on.

Good luck!