How did it get to be December already? Where has the time gone? We are now officially in the countdown to Christmas (or whatever winter festival you celebrate). It’s the time of year people try to be a little kinder and more charitable, and perhaps they start thinking of ways they can help others.
I watched a video yesterday that got me thinking. It wasn’t about the festive season, it was about menstruating. I know – that can be a bit of an icky subject, despite it being something that 50% of the world’s population do at some point in their lives – for a very large part of their lives, to be honest.
This is the video – please do watch it, because it’s quite interesting.
It really got me thinking, because although I donate to a local food bank on a semi-regular basis, and although it’s not always food products I donate, there is something I never thought about donating at all, and it’s something I have used every month of my life since before being a teenager. Why did it never occur to me? Well, probably for the same reason it doesn’t occur to other people too – it’s something we’re so used to, that we don’t consider it – it gets pushed to the background.
So, although we’re now half way through December, here’s a thought. How w0ould it be, if everyone who has the means to do so, made up a package to give to their local food bank this Xmas? You can backdate it and made a sort of reverse advent calendar, putting in 24 items to donate, or you can do it from today, whatever is easiest and within your means – just pop stuff in a bag or a box to hand over.
Here are some things you might like to include:
Dried goods such as pasta, rice, and lentils are good, as they keep for ages without going off. Also tinned and jarred food of any kind – beans, vegetables, fruit, canned fish and meat, are all staples to consider, along with jams, chutneys and pickles. And don’t forget condiments – salt, pepper, sauces, herbs and spices, and stock cubes – they can zing up a meal and make it much taster and less boring.
- Feminine hygiene products:
Next time you’re picking up your tampons or pads for your own use, pop an extra pack in your trolley to donate.
- Other hygiene products:
Soap, shower gel, deoderant, toothbrushes and toothpaste – take advantage of three for two offers and pop the third “free” item in your giving box. Or if you get loads of smellies at Xmas, consider donating some of those. You might also consider popping a packet of condoms in there too
- Cleaning products:
Cleaning wipes, antibacterial spray, toilet cleaner and bleach, rim blocks and cistern blocks, washing up liquid, washing powder, and fabric conditioner. All essentials that might go by the wayside when people can barely afford to put food on the table.
- Baby products:
Nappies, wipes, nappy sacks – again, take advantage of multi-buy offers and pop the extra items in the box.
None of these need to be expensive brand name items – you can donate supermarket own brands, or even the bargain range items if that’s what your budget will stretch to. Even if you can’t donate an item for every day of the month, perhaps it could be a new year’s resolution to save one item every week of the year – imagine what you could accumulate in 52 weeks, at just the cost of a few pennies extra on your weekly shopping bill? Even if you donated like this quarterly with a dozen or so items each time, that can make a huge difference to someone who needs it.
Maybe this way we can ALL have a brighter festive season. And you never know, you might get bumped higher up on Santa’s “Nice” list!
Today, I did something I’ve never done before – I shaved my head down to a #1 all over!
Why did I do this? For charity, of course! My hair is being sent off to Little Princess Trust to make wigs for kids who have lost their hair through chemo, and all the sponsorship money is going to Macmillan Cancer Support.
You can still sponsor me, if you like – every little helps! You can find my Brave the Shave page HERE.
It’s my 13th wedding anniversary tomorrow, and I’m going out for a meal and theatre trip in the evening, but in the morning, I’ll be getting my hair put into plaits, cut off, bagged up to send off to Little Princess Trust, and then my head will be shaved all over to a #1!
If you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so via my Brave the Shave page, and if you’d like to spread the word too, I’d be very grateful – the more people who know about it, the more money is raised for Macmillan Cancer Support, which is a very worthy cause.
Every little helps! Thanks in advance.
Kell’s Brave the Shave page HERE
Well, it’s been a while! Things have been busy, busy, busy here at Kincavel Korner!
The school year is now well and truly over, and Tadpole is now finished with Key Stage 1 – how did he get so big so fast? He did so well at his school sports day, coming first in not one, not two, but three races, and also gaining a second and a third place in two other events. He also got a glowing school report which told us he’s ahead of where he’s expected to be in almost every area, and he came home with both academic and sporting achievement awards at the end of the year. We are so proud we could burst!
Choochie has finally taken to potty training like a duck to water. He took some persuading, but we finally got him to agree to saying goodbye to nappies, and jumped in at the deep end, tackling both day time and night time at the same time. It’s been a week now, with only a couple of little “accidents” that were barely accidents at all – and that includes at night! Again, we’re so proud we would dance about with glee if we weren’t so tired!
I’m now deep in rehearsals for a production of Sister Act, which will be performed in October. It’s only a very small non-speaking part, but as it’s my first show in fifteen years, it’s serving as a nice reintroduction to theatre I’ll be auditioning for a part in Annie later in the year (I’m hoping to get a slightly larger role in that!), and I have applied to possibly audition for a professional Christmas show – we’ll see if I even get an audition at all, but it will be nice to try!
The best bunch of strong, independent women you have ever seen all went out to have a meal together to celebrate my Mum’s freedom (the divorce isn’t quite final yet, but it will be very soon!), and had a fantastic meal at Pronto, a local Greek/Italian restaurant. A fantastic night was had by all, and I got chatted up by a gorgeous younger man when we went out for drinks afterwards, which was a major ego boost!
I went out for afternoon tea with my Mum and step sister, at The Running Fox at Felton, and it was such a delicious feast! Honestly, I could barely manage everything, but I forced myself (oh, so reluctantly – not!) to finish every delicious morsel. Seriously, if you’re into the idea of High Tea, and you’re in Northumberland, go along to The Running Fox, and they’ll treat you like royalty!
We also went for a family day out at Woodhorn Museum during Invasion 7, when all manner of sci-fi characters came out to play. It was a total blast! We took a little ride on the narrow guage railway, had a picnic, and played spot the character. I was so pleased to see a the Firefly crew represented by Kaylee and Wash (no Captain Tight Pants though, much to my sorrow!), as well as a plethora of characters from the Star Wars franchise, and various other sci fi favourites.
And finally, this will be the last weekend I have hair! I will be doing Brave the Shave in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support on Monday 1st August. I will be sending my hair off to Little Princess Trust to make wigs for children who have lost their hair during chemotherapy, and then shaving down to a #1 all over! I’m actually rather looking forward to it. To top it off, 1st August is also my 13th wedding anniversary, and I’ll be going out for dinner and a trip to the theatre (to see Chicago) that evening too.
If you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so via my Brave the Shave page HERE. Every little helps – thanks in advance!
And now we’re into the summer holidays, and although we have no plans to go away anywhere this year, we are planning several nice day trips and also attending several local events, which will no doubt be a lot of fun. So, on that note, I’ll disappear again, although I’m sure I’ll get back to check in every now and then!
Have a fantastic summer!
A little while back, I entered a Pocket Letter competition. The remit was that everything used had to be recycled, as the idea was to prove that you don’t need to buy loads of fancy schmancy expensive stuff to do pocket letters and similar crafts.
The winners were announced today, and I got first place! I’m absolutely chuffed to ribbons!
I had such fun putting this pocket letter together, and everything used was recycled in some manner – I didn’t spend a single penny on any of it. I re-used greetings and post cards, packaging from various items, magazine pages, leftover string, thread and craft shapes, buttons, old raffle tickets, a word search puzzle, toothpicks, gems I prized off old cards, and some washi tape from samples I’d been sent. It just goes to show, even when you only use things you have to hand, you can come up with something pretty cool!
1. Backing taken from front page of an old diary. Feathers made with washi tape (received in swaps) and toothpicks. I would have used real feathers, but I didn’t find any, so i made my own!
2. Backing card from an old greetings card and covered in tissue paper I got in a package recently. Strips of bicycle washi tape (from a swap), a hand-made “Be Green” square (on more card from the greetings card), and gems reclaimed from a greetings card.
3. Floral backing taken from inside an organizer. White card rectangle (which has braille on it) from medicine box, washi tape flower (made from string and swapped washi), with reclaimed gem, and strips of card “ribbon” cut from a greetings card.
4. A word search with a park theme, and flowers cut from a decorative page in an organiser, edged with swapped washi tape.
5. Backing card from a notebook cover, topped with a section from an old diary. Globe made from spiraled blue thread and a piece of sparkly green foam cut into shapes. A few star stickers pinched from my kids’ craft box.
6. Backing card from a box of tea, some raffle tickets and some arrows cut from card to make the recycling sign.
7. Backing card and butterfly from an old greetings card, and a couple of floral buttons I’ve collected.
8. Backing card from a notebook cover, tree leaves cut from magazines, owls cut from a postcard, stamped words on paper from a magazine.
9. Backing card from a greetings card, black rectangle cut from an old diary, buttons all cut from old garments which were dumped in my button box.
A page from a colouring book, with just hints of colour throughout.
I just ordered a bunch of flyers to publicize my Brave the Shave efforts for Macmillan Cancer Support. I thought it might help if I highlighted the fact that I’m not just cutting off my hair – I’m SHAVING it all off – all gone!
This is what they’ll look like:
I should have the flyers in early July!
I’m hoping that they’ll help bring in a little more notice and sponsorship. In the meantime, if you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so online at my Brave the Shave page HERE. Every little helps, and you will have my eternal gratitude.
And if you spread the word too, I’ll be your Best Friend Forever!
It’s been a while since I last checked in with progress on my Sky Blanket, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on it. On the contrary, I’ve been keeping bang up to date with it! I’m never more than two or three days behind making my yo-yos, and when that’s the case, I write down the colours I need to make up in my little notebook. Most evenings, though, I get out my bag and crochet my two little yo-yos for the day.
Each row is made of 26 yo-yos, which covers 13 days. Last night I connected up row twelve of the blanket. I’m really pleased with how it’s coming along, and can hardly wait to see how it looks when it’s all finished!
I think Tadpole is really going to like it when he gets it at Xmas!
I’ve been pretty much AWOL for a little while, simply because I’ve been so busy!
Tadpole has been preparing for his key stage 1 SATs (he started them this week), which I hate, because he’s been stressing out and personally, I think six and seven year olds are far too young to be sitting formalised exams, but that’s beside the point – he has to do them, so doing them he is! His first two papers were yesterday, and thankfully, he seemed to find them not too taxing (in fact, he said they were “A piece of cake!”).
I’ve also just applied for Choochie to start nursery in January. He can’t start till then, because they can only start the term after their third birthday, so he’ll have to wait till after the Xmas holidays. Still, I wanted to get the application in early to make sure he gets a place – I can’t be traipsing between two different schools! Choochie also finally weaned (31 months of breastfeeding!), and has started potty training. He likes to sit on the toilet, but so far has only managed to squeeze out a tiny tinkle each time – he’ll get there eventually though!
Last month, I worked backstage on a pantomime – I did make-up for the Dame, which was great fun, and reminded me how much I missed the theatre, so I then went and auditioned for a show for the first time in 15 years! As a result, I have a very small role in a production of Sister Act, which will be performed in October. Officially, I am “Nun #11”, so as I don’t have a given name, I’ve chosen one for myself, and I shall be known henceforth as Sister Sara of the Two Mules (simply because I love Two Mules For Sister Sara). I’ve also decided to audition for a part in Annie later this year, so watch this space!
I was also part of the centenary celebrations at Blyth Battery this past weekend! Blyth Battery Goes To War is an annual event local to me, and it’s always a fantastic weekend, but this year marked 100 years since they started building it (it took two hears to complete), so it was extra special. And we got some wonderful weather for it too – the place was absolutely heaving all weekend, and the audiences were very appreciative. I got such lovely comments from people who watched my performances, my confidence was boosted a hell of a lot (I have an ego the size of Texas now!), and I was pleased to see from photographs that I look half the size I did last year when I performed! And the most adorable little girl (who I think may well be my number one fan!) came up and danced with me during my instrumental sections – she was a superstar!
Finally, I’ve done a fair bit of work on my Sky Blanket since I last did an update on it. I now have eleven rows joined, and I think it’s looking pretty neat! As Tadpole has been asking for a new “lovey blanket” since Choochie got his full-sized one at Xmas, I thought I’d give this one to him for Xmas this year. He’s been admiring it as it grows, so I think he’ll be very happy with it, and as I won’t actually have a section for every single day (or I’d have the wrong number of yo-yos for my rows), I will hopefully be able to finish it just in time, although it could mean a hell of a lot of border crocheting on Xmas Eve!
On top of all that, I’ve picked up my cross stitching in earnest again for the first time in a good few years – I stitched a little sampler for my best friend’s wedding last November, and now I find the bug has crept up and bitten me again, so I’ve taken up a few of my UFOs to see if I can finish a few of them. I’ve stitched a few bookmarks to send off to my pen pals, but I’m also working on my Rules For Life sampler, which I started before Choochie was born – hopefully it’ll be framed and up on the wall before the end of the year!
Speaking of pen pals, I’ve picked up a few new ones, and I have been involved in making pocket letters and flip books for them – I’ve been going paper-crafting crazy, and writing letters like a mad woman. Actually, I have one to write today, so I’d better get a move on!
And so, I hope normal service will now be resumed, although I seem to have even more things demanding my time and attention than ever, what with getting involved in a show again!
So, here we are, ten days after the end of the A-Z challenge. I’m so pleased I did it again this year – that’s three years running I’ve participated in and completed the challenge.
I hope you enjoyed exploring my A-Z of Zentangle. And if you did, perhaps you’d enjoy going back and looking at my previous two A-Z challenges. You can find the links to all my A-Z Challenge posts on THIS PAGE.
I hope to take part again next year, although I have no idea what my theme will be. At least I have a whole year to think about it!