Tag Archives: Challenge

The 100 day project – halfway there!

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So it’s day 51 of The 100 Day Project.  I’ve been through the “I love this and never want to stop” phase, the “why on earth did I sign up for this, I hate it” phase, and am currently in  “sometimes this is a pain but I am enjoying it”!

My project this year is #100daysofslowstitches.  I’ve learned from past years that it is best to go for something that doesn’t take too long and has a broad definition.  That way, I don’t get stressed or bored with the project.  Actually, I still did, but I would have given up if I’d chosen something more time intensive or restrictive.

I had pictured myself relaxing in the garden/armchair adding a few stitches to a sampler every day, and learning new stitches along the way.  I began a sampler with lines of different stitches, and I enjoyed the stitching but hated having to count threads and get the lines straight.  This is as far as I got before giving up –

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I really enjoyed stitching this Sashiko sampler – the lines are printed on the fabric.

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Mr D gave me Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching Transfer book for my birthday and I’ve almost completed this one

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I’ve also included English Paper Piecing, with the Ice Cream Soda quilt blossoms

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and some Liberty and chambray hexagons (possibly for a quilt border)

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And because I like to have lots of different projects on the go (!), I’ve just started to make some of The Splendid Sampler blocks.

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You can follow my progress on Instagram at dottie_doodle.  Hope to see you over there!

Dx

Links:

The 100 Day Project

Sashiko sampler available from Sew Hot

Doodle Stitching Transfer Book

Ice Cream Soda quilt

The Splendid Sampler

 

The 100 Day Project – Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich recipe

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Today is day 100 of The 100 Day Project – I did it!  I challenged myself to cook a new (to me) recipe every day for 100 days.

To celebrate the final day, I’ve created my own recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches.

Ingredients:

100g soft brown sugar
120g coconut oil in solid form
2 eggs
200g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
half teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
50g chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips)
200g full fat cream cheese
150ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 200 C

1. Beat the sugar and coconut oil together (I use a food mixer, but you could use a wooden spoon).
2. Add the beaten eggs and mix
3. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt – adding a little at a time.  You should have a smooth, pliable ball of dough.
4. Mix in the chopped chocolate.
5. Roll into balls, flatten slightly, and place on a baking tray.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  The cookies will still be soft – you want them to be quite ‘cakey’ in texture, not crisp.
7. Cool on a rack
8. Whisk the cream and cream cheese until stiff.  Use to sandwich together pairs of cold cookies.

Enjoy!

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This has been an incredible, inspiring project to take part in.  If you’d like to see more the hashtag on Instagram is #the100dayproject.

500 things challenge – done!

One of my resolutions this year was to get rid of 500 things.  I completed the first half of the challenge in February – and that was fairly easy.  The second half was hard!  The obvious stuff had gone, so I had to really search.

508 things gone in 6 months

508 things gone in 6 months

Mr D was a star.  He had a major wardrobe clear-out so that was 52 things in one go.  Most of my clothing contribution were winter things that had worn out.

I gave away 48 sewing and knitting patterns during the 6 months.  Some of them were gifts and I held a blog giveaway, so those didn’t linger in the house too long.  But I bought most of them, and the majority were unused.   I definitely had ‘want to join in and sew all the things’ madness when I first started sewing and blogging!

It’s been a lesson to me to think a bit harder about the clothes I want to make and wear.  Maybe learn to adapt the patterns I have as well – there are still plenty in the drawer…

My resolutions now are to be more thoughtful about what I buy, and keep on top of giving away things we don’t need.  I find pausing for a day or two before clicking the buy button helps.  Pinterest is great for keeping wish lists, and not-so-subtle birthday present hints.

The main benefit I’ve found is I feel lighter, less distracted, and more focussed.  It’s quite addictive!

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The second 250 –

Mr D – 52 items of clothing

Me – 35 items of clothing
1 pair of wellies (failed to mend)
1 pair shoes
1 bag
33 sewing and knitting patterns
3 Burda magazines
25 books
Two 2014 guidebooks
2 bags of ribbons
15 pieces of fabric
1 bag fabric scraps
2 bags of yarn
2 bags of buttons
1 pair bag handles
1 bag purse making things
1 wire basket
1 pot glue
4 food items
2 plant pots
5 ornaments
1 bottle perfume
3 dog toys (Hetty strikes again!)
3 pieces of jewellery
1 watch
3 badges
6 storage jars/ boxes
Set of Project Life cards
4 unused beauty products
12 miscellaneous things from the kitchen drawer
3 pet food covers
soap dish
Photographic film splicer (we have no idea where this came from)
5 CDs
1 DVD
1 notebook
6 cleaning materials
7 bedding/towels
2 cameras
8 pieces of stash fabric used

You can see the first 250 here.

The 100 Day Project – make a new recipe every day

I’m taking part in an Instagram challenge called The 100 Day Project.  It’s a celebration of making, and showing up day after day is the goal.

My challenge is to make a new (to me) recipe every day for 100 days.  Today is day 24, and here are some of my new favourites –

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Double Chocolate Cloud Cake (made in muffin cases) – A Modern Way to Eat
Roasted peppers – torn out of the Telegraph Magazine
Berry Smoothie – Deliciously Ella
Pizza – Honestly Healthy
Homemade Jaffa Cakes – Love your Lunchbox
Proper chilli – A Modern Way to Eat

I chose this challenge because I’ve been in a cooking rut for a while (years), making the same recipes in rotation.  I think partly because we ‘only’ have an Aga.  I realise that’s a nice problem to have, but it is a different way of cooking and we had a few disasters when we first moved here!  I’ve found a few recipes that work, and stuck to them.

I’m finding the challenge really inspiring.  It does take a bit of planning but it’s interesting the difference that adding a bit of thought and a few herbs or spices can make.

Mr D is always supportive of the things I do, but he’s been especially interested in this challenge.  I asked him if he was enjoying it – “it’s b*****y brilliant” he said!

If you’d like to follow my progress, (and for other photos of life around here),  I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram, or click here .

And do have a look at the other challenges at #the100dayproject.  There is some amazing work out there – I’ll do a round up of some of my favourites next week.

Decluttering tip – have a short term goal

Thank you for all your comments about my decluttering challenge – it’s nice to know I’m not alone !

I found decluttering fun at first, but it got harder, and something that helped me keep going was having a goal which would make a difference to my everyday life.

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I’ve recently started making fabric covered mirrors and badges.  I love making these, thriftily using up all my scraps of fabric.

But the downside is, more equipment, and more boxes of fabric.  Plus when we use the dining room (where I work) for entertaining, I have to haul everything upstairs.  And if those friends are staying with us and I can’t use the guest room as a store, everything has to go under our bed.

So I decided to clear a cupboard beside my work table so I could put my things away.

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I’d already decluttered these cupboards, so I went through everything again, and found a few more bits and pieces to go. Then it was about moving things around, using up space I’d already freed in the kitchen and living room cupboards.

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I now just have to take three things upstairs – my sewing machine and cutting board, and a big wooden tray where I keep my thread, scissors and fastenings.  Everything else goes in the cupboard, even my serger.

IMG_3408This has made such a difference to my working life.  I feel much calmer and can think more clearly when I’m not surrounded by things I’m not currently using, but it’s great to be able to access everything easily.

I’m also very motivated not to ‘lose’ my cupboard by buying more clutter!

Goal # 4 – Get rid of 500 things

Two more bags for the charity shop

Two more bags for the charity shop

One of my goals for this year was to wave goodbye to 500 things by the end of May.  And I’m halfway there!

We moved to this house 7 years ago, and I found that a helpful cut off point.  If we hadn’t used something since we moved, we probably won’t use it again.

However, I had a massive clear out last year so the ‘easy’ (for me) things, like culling our DVD collection, clothes, glasses and crockery, had been done.

Selecting these things was very bitty, a few here and a few there. But they add up.

The list is below, roughly in order of selection.  You can see my progress from my wardrobe, to Hetty’s dog toys, to the drinks cupboard (!), and the kitchen.  With a few random stops in between.

Things that stood out for me –

I feel dreadful about the amount of food I had to get rid of.  We always cook from scratch and these were mainly ingredients we don’t use very often so the remains of the packet had gone out of date (waaaay out of date.  Years).

Now I can see what we have and easily check supplies before we go shopping.  Also, I’ll make plans to use up those more unusual ingredients.

Christmas crackers are great fun, but nobody wants to keep the gifts.  I’ll make my own, with consumable gifts next Christmas.  Maybe chocolates, then we can eat any that are left behind!

I must stop buying sewing patterns and craft supplies without a plan to use them. They will still be in the shop later!  I counted stash fabric used in my total, because that’s always a good thing to do (fabric horder? me?).

Will I find another 250 things and meet my target?  I have no idea, but the bags are ready!

  • 2 bags of buttons
  • 2 pair of shoes
  • 38 items of clothing
  • 18 Christmas cracker gifts
  • 1 leaky water filter bottle
  • 2 unused attachments for food mixer
  • 3 dog collars (too small)
  • 3 dog toys (mortally wounded)
  • 8 pairs of socks
  • 1 miniature bottle kumquat liquer (holiday souvenir)
  • 2 bottles pink fizz
  • 1 broken laptop
  • 1 broken coffee machine
  • 3 bags of cables for long-gone electrical equipment
  • 12 sewing patterns
  • 30 books
  • 1 bag scrapbook scraps
  • 5 pieces of fabric
  • 10 miscellaneous sewing supplies
  • 6 napkin rings
  • 29 tins/ packets of food
  • 12 coat hangers
  • 2 small baskets
  • 1 golf ball
  • 1 photo album
  • 2 draught excluders (new doors, no draughts)
  • 1 vase
  • 3 jelly moulds
  • 1 rolling pin
  • 3 baking tins
  • 1 quilling set
  • 2 craft stamps
  • 2 stash fabric used
  • 2 reels of ribbon
  • 1 game
  • 2 bowls
  • 10 beauty product samples
  • 1 photo album
  • 1 box wedding cards (post here)
  • 1 travel alarm clock
  • 3 cacti
  • 1 plant pot
  • 6 towels
  • 2 christmas decorations
  • 5 pieces jewellery
  • 1 bike helmet (gave away my bike last year)
  • 1 puncture repair kit
  • 2 measuring spoons
  • 2 bags

*I gave these things away or recycled them where I could

Edith Tofino pyjamas – a happy mixture

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I’ve had some vintage pale blue brushed cotton in my stash for a while. I had pyjamas in mind, but couldn’t decide on the top.  The colour could be a bit hospital scrubs-y in a t-shirt. Then I made my green polka dot Maria Denmark Edith blouse, and a plan formed.

Pairing a fitted blouse with wide legged Tofino trousers looks rather elegant, I think. They were lovely to wear on holiday, especially when I wanted to sit on the balcony in my pjs, without scaring anyone!

I omitted the waist darts on the top to give a looser fit, and didn’t use interfacing on the collar. I also didn’t make the tie belt for the trousers. It looked lovely tied in a bow on my last pair when I made them, but soon became a twisted mess. Was that just me?! Anyway, I like them plain, and it was a quicker make.

The only problem is the fabric creases – as you can see from the pic.  But they are so comfortable and cozy, I don’t mind!

I’ve linked this to Starcross Sewing’s A Year in Indie Patterns Challenge.  Stephanie chooses a different company each month (Maria Denmark this month) and anyone can sew along and add links.  I’ve really liked the indie patterns I’ve made so far, so hoping this will spur me on to try some different ones.

Cost: nothing!  The fabric was a gift, I’ve used the patterns before, and everything else came from my stash.

PS  Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my last post – still blushing…