About Blackbutterfly Cards

I started making cards for pleasure in 2007, and quickly found my home was becoming swamped by cards everywhere. I decided to put some of them up for sale on a webpage in an effort to recoup some of the costs of my hobby. I called the webpage Blackbutterfly Handcrafted Cards, and it can be found at http://www.blackbutterfly2007.co.uk/

I try to take my cards to a couple of table sales or craft fairs a year, but make my cards mainly for friends and family. I would love the website sales to take off, as I nowhere near cover the costs involved in this all absorbing hobby, but for me the main thing is the pleasure I have in making my cards.
Recently I have decided to expand my blog to cover my other interests too. It's a sort of substitute for going to work and chatting to people, as due to ill health I was unable to work, and since the beginning of 2014 I am officially a pensioner.
Although I'll still show my cards, I'll also be covering my other interests and how I attempt to make ends meet day by day.

In fact anything that crosses my mind will be on here, so be prepared for waffle and a wasted five minutes as you read.
Make coffee and settle in, why don't you?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Moneysupermarket.com Challenge

This is a quick post to put the word out about the Challenge on moneysupermarket.com   

The idea is that you offer 30 moneysaving tips on your blog and they will enter you into a draw for £1000. This was easier than I thought to be honest. Once I started to think of ways I save money, it just seemed to flow. I didn't know I was that clever! ha ha! If you follow the link above it will be explained much better than I can do it, but in the meantime here's my list.

1     If  bed sheets start to get thin, cut down the centre and sew edges together ( sides to middle) Re-hem the edges
2    Single flannel sheets from jumble sales, can be cut and hemmed to make lovely bedding for cots or prams.  3   Do repairs in clothes etc as soon as you see them. Remember the old proverb " a stitch in time, saves nine" 
 4  Save envelopes, and use the clean sides as telephone message pads or shopping lists. 
 5   Cut large drinks bottles in half, the 'funnel end' can be buried in the soil next to newly planted tomato plants( or other plants if wanted) and during hot weather directs water straight to the roots instead of evaporating off the surface of the soil. 
The bottom halves will fit over small pots as a cloche for small plants 
Cut the bottoms off small plastic bottles and put over the tops of canes. This will protect your eyes should you not see the canes as you bend over near them. 
8       If you cut three sided flaps in the bottles and bend outwards slightly, the wind will catch them , they will spin, and the resulting rattle will scare off pidgeons etc from your seedlings. 
9      Coffee grounds placed around pants will help deter slugs. You used to be able to get used grounds from Starbucks for free, but not sure if they still do this
10 Used teabags can go into the bottom of trenches with shredded paper to provide a moist base for runner beans.
      11.   Use the middles from toilet rolls as plant pots for long rooted seedlings like parsnips, sweetcorn, or runner beans. When its time to plant them out you don't need to transplant just set the whole thing into the soil and they will rot away.
12.   When planting pea seeds into guttering to germinate them, line the guttering with newspaper first, it holds moisture and makes the transplanting even easier, just put the lot in the ground. If you have no guttering I've put three or four 'gutters' of newspaper filled with soil into a seed tray, and planted in that, transferring the lot to the soil when ready. 13.   If you need herbs from the supermarket, buy the fresh herbs in pots. they cost a little more, but I plant them out when I get home and I have herbs all summer long, for the cost of one pot. In the case of my mint and rosemary, this is its third year! 
14.   Go through you fridge at the end of each week, and make soup out of all vegetables starting to wilt and look a bit sad. It makes another meal, and is good for you. 
        15.   Any cheese going hard can be grated and used as a topping for macaroni cheese or pizza. If you don't need it straight away, or there's not enough, grate it and freeze it until you do.
      16.   If you are going out for a day, take a small plastic bottle filled with water to save buying drinks. If you fill it the night before, wrap in a thick wad of newspaper held on with rubber bands, and put in the fridge until you go, it will be insulated and stay cool for many hours.
      17.   Always buy a whole chicken, and joint it yourself. It works out much cheaper, plus you have the bones to make stock, and the bits of meat off the carcass when cooked  can make another meal.
        18.   Freeze the resulting stock until needed or use it as a base for soups.
      19.   Make your washing up liquid go further by mixing it 50/50 with white vinegar. The vinegar cuts through grease and costs much less.
  20.   Make your own clothes washing liquid. ( many recipes on internet) Its much much less expensive. 21.   White vinegar as a fabric softener works really well, and cost so little. It also healps keep your washing machine healthy!
     22.   A spray bottle filled with white vinegar and water removes soap scum from shower tiles and glass. In fact it's great on all glass surfaces around the home.
23.   Sew 2 or 3 pieces of old  towelling together to make soft absorbent bath mats24.   Cut small hand towels in half as they get older , and hem to make face flannels. 
  25  Cut and hem 'holey' tea towels to make dishcloths.
.         26 Cut and hem cotton tea shirts for dusters.
       27  Save buttons off old shirts/cardigans/coats/anything!  Thread onto cotton and knot to keep together in sets. Save in a button tin. Next time you need a button for anything you probably won't need to buy one, you will almost certainly have a set that match.
    28.   Side shoots taken off tomato plants will transplant and make new plants to save money or give away. I've even broken off a top of a plant accidentally and replanted that and it's grown!
     29   Save old denim jeans to make patches for kids jeans or make a false turn up on kids jeans to lengthen for a bit more wear.
     30.   A ladies dress from a jumble sale, in a decent fabric, holds enough material to make a jumpsuit for a toddler, and the zip is usually long enough to use for a zip opening right down the front.
31.   The plastic tops of tubes of Pringles will sit nicely on an opened can of pet food to prevent flies or smell. 

I still haven't made a card............most of my craft stuff has been packed away in the hope I might be moving soon. I just don't know whether to unpack again or not. I have bought the new LOTV stamp release tho', and the temptation to play with them is so strong I may have to unpack again anyway. In the meantime it's a wonderfully sunny day and I could do with digging out some dandelions while the sun is warm on the garden.
There you are..............another tip........young dandelion leaves taste GREAT!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Still here..........still too cold to craft.

We are still at the same address. The house exchange we hoped for seemed to be going through without a hitch, and we sent all the paperwork in to the Landlords, and began to pack. Then, after a couple of weeks, it turned out that the people we were due to swap with had such horrendous arrears of rent, the whole thing had to be abandoned. We were devastated, as my health continues to deteriorate the longer I am here. So we are still waiting and hoping that something turns up soon.
It's so cold I can't craft at the moment, and I desperately want to make some cards, I keep hoping we will get a move to a house with a decent heating system.  As soon as I can use the stamps and dies I've bought you'll be the first to see them, I promise.!