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Sunday Sevens – post op and enchanted convalescence

Post op

I went in to have foot reconstruction surgery two weeks ago; I suffered osteonecrosis when I was a teenager and had radical surgery, over twenty years of dancing and walking around left my foot in a very sorry state – and I am so grateful to the surgeon and hospital staff for their wonderful care. It is marvellous to live in a country where you get the health care you need without having to worry about the costs involved. So I find myself having to sit down and recover – which is harder than I imagined!

yellow gerberas in blue vase

E picked me up from hospital with the most beautiful bouquet of sunny yellow blooms, Gerberas and Yellow Roses to brighten the bedroom and here they are two weeks later still looking bright and beautiful. I love the contrast of the blue vase – and our home has the most delightful French doors that give such a great soft light for photography.

My lovely place

Recovery is so delightful – I finally had time to do a little painting – and what a beautiful spot to paint! I managed two canvasses: one was a still life of tulips I had photographed, once again the combination of cobalt and yellow the other was a fun butterfly using various shades of glitter. I managed to get most of the glitter on the canvass but was a little bit sparkly for a few days!

Sweet peas and summer hat

These delightful sweet peas were a get well soon gift and I am so humbled to receive so much kindness from friends and neighbours. Get well soon cards have overflowed from the mantle shelf to the dresser and visitors have been very frequent and welcome. It has surprised me just how hard it is to be on the receiving end of so much kindness, but it has certainly aided my recovery and made me feel appreciated.

food journal

This lovely bowl of fruit was a welcome thoughtful gift – the apricots were delicious. I am struggling with my diet at the moment – since discovering lactose is triggering my migraines I have been migraine free for a while. However, I forgot to mention it to a dear friend who invited us round for tea and cake – only to discover she had made a full afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones cream and jam! I was too embarrassed to ‘make a fuss’ I thought it would be ok, but the following day I suffered one of the worst bouts of migraine and sickness I had in years. So much so that it has made me frightened to eat a lot of things.  I now keep a food journal which has helped me track some of the foods – but I am still having digestive problems. I know that I was given strong antibiotics during my surgery so have been using probiotics.

chocolate parcel

Of course I could not live without chocolate – and the current trend for Veganism has made this a little easier as well as the food labelling laws. So my weeks of indulgence included a package from Montezuma’s – organic, dairy free chocolate. This is sublime and I find I don’t need to eat that much to satisfy the craving now and then. I’ve since discovered that there is a vegan chocolate factory not far from where I live! So it is on my ‘to visit list’ once I am mobile again.

Little embroidery

I am enjoying enchanting afternoons spent listening to radio plays while stitching – my winter embroidery is coming along – I have also found time to do some much needed hand sewing repairs to my clothes. It is such a calm, meditative practise that is fast becoming my preferred method. The sewing machine is not as accurate nor is it quite so relaxing.

IMG_3075

Mr Barnykins has been really enjoying his time with a wonderful local dog walker – I think she gets far more fuss when she arrives than I do, but then I am here all the time at the moment. I think he is trying to pretend it was someone else who is responsible for the inside snowstorm!

Happy Sunday.

 

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Recycled wax tea cup candles

Tea cup recycling candle

My fellow blogger Cheryl is taking up the challenge to have a make do and mend year, (you can take a peek at her lovely blog) One of the things she loves are scented candles – reading her blog reminded me about my candle recycling.

Its easy to do and makes good use of the candle wax we usually throw away saving you pounds and the planet!

 

Some of the scented candles are strong enough second or third time around!

tea cup candle recycling

You simply collect wax as you go – I usually pour out the hot wax into a bowl after I have blown out the candle. Not only does this seem to help with lighting the candle the next time I use it but I keep collecting until I have enough wax.

I use my slow cooker to melt the wax its easier than a double boiler.

Place about 1 inch of hot water into the ceramic bowl and then put the bowl of wax to melt on a medium to low heat. (Don’t put the wax directly into the slow cooker especially if you are using scented candles)

tea cup candle recycling -005

 

 

You can purchase pre waxed wicks – 50 of these cost only £2.79 from an ebay seller called Szafir who will send you them postage free.

They come boxed up nicely and they work very well.

 

 

 

I use two bamboo sticks to hold the wax tapers in place, just hook over the edge and place in the middle of your tea cup.

tea cup candle recycling -003

Chop sticks work just as well – and if you wish you can secure both ends with hair bands it traps the wick tightly so that it won’t move when you fill the cup.

When the wax is liquid you can colour it with wax crayons if you like, or leave it white.

Use bamboo sticks or chop sticks to trap the wick in the centre – you can bend them over slightly

A small hair band or elastic bands can be wrapped around each end if you want to trap the wicks and hold them in place.

Fill the cups using a ladle and leave to cool

 

Tea cup recycling candle

You will find that the wax tends to creep up the wick slightly.

Once the wax has set, trim the wick to to the length you want.

 

The wonderful thing about recycling candles is that you can use any container as long as it is heat proof.

 

 

Tea cups are ideal because they are made to handle high temperatures.

tea cup candle recycling -010This tea cup had a crack in it, it would be a pity to throw it away. As it was such thin china it gives a beautiful glow as the wick burns down.

If you have a big cup – you can always use more than one wick.

I usually keep these on my bathroom shelf, they look so pretty during the day and give a beautiful glow at night.

 

I use lavender and camomile essential oils which are so relaxing combined with a luxurious bubble bath.

ttfn x

Recycled tea cup candles

 

 

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Sew Vintage

I have a passion for vintage tea cups and when I spotted this one at a local  craft fair I could not resist. This is not just a tea cup: lift the pincushion lid and you will discover a little sewing kit.
The needle case is a needle felted jammy dodger; there is also a reel of cotton and a tiny pair of scissors! 
I leave the needles treaded: one with white cotton and one with black ready for the little emergency sewing – the time you want to go out in your favourite dress and the hem has come down, or a button pops off at the last minute, this little sewing kit is ready and waiting. 
The little needle felted jammy dodger is easy and fun to do, the tutorial will be on here soon if you fancy making your own. 

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More vintage finds

I could not resist these two little beauties in my local charity shop, it is a great place to find some gorgeous china. One is jasmine and the other is camomile, but they are lovely bone china and I adore the wide brimmed shape, they have a lovely fluted design on the sides. They are marked as Royal Suffolk, I could not wait to get them home, give them a wash and then get out the tea pot. They are delightful to use, and my friend T is coming round soon, so I guess it is time to re-fill the pot! 

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Uplifting … tea

Its that time of the year when it seems that the sunshine has long disappeared and the days are grey, it is so easy to get a little downhearted, especially when the dullness means lights need to be turned on early in the day. It is when I find it more important to search for simple pleasures and one of mine is tea. 
Firstly I love proper leaf first blush assam tea, you can get it from a wonderful tea importer in Portsmouth called All About Tea he even has a little email tea course you can follow with links on youtube all about how to make the best cup of tea. Assam has a strong earthy flavour, and a lovely golden colour often labelled English Breakfast tea. If you prefer something a little more gentle then Darjeeling is a lovely tea but don’t expect a dark colour its pale but packs a punch. 
Tea pots have a glory all of their own, generously pot bellied offering up all sorts of opportunities to keep warm with a knitted cosy. I prefer to use a metal strainer which gives the leaves freedom but makes it easy to lift out once the required strength is reached, so the second, or even the third cup of tea is just as good as the first and not stewed. 
One of my most favourite ways to have tea is from my little china cups, it feels decadent the tiny china cups are so delicate I love the little rosebuds and they are designed so that the tea is at the optimum temperature to enjoy almost straight away. 

I cannot help but grin when I serve the milk from this gorgeous cow creamer, the milk comes out of his mouth! It is a Burleigh design, I simply adore their take on blue and white china from the deep indigo of the calico range to the pale Victorian chintz.

Sitting enjoying my cup of tea, especially if it is with a friend or two, reminds me of the many years of practice I had when I was a child playing with my little tea sets. I don’t recall any child who likes to make their tea in a mug with a bag give me tea sets any day.

Now that is a very good way to cheer up a November day.