Beeswax Alternative to Clingfilm

As a family we are trying to reduce our use of plastic items, particularly single use plastic. Everyones lives are full of plastic which for years has proved to be very convenient and useful. However we now realise the harm it is doing to both animals and the environment. There is also the problem of potential toxins leaking out of the plastic we use to store and cover food.

We have stopped buying bottled water and now use refillable bottles. I have to admit these are plastic but at least not single use. I have however bought a bamboo reusable, take away coffee cup rather than using the ones supplied by the coffee companies. I have already found I can benefit from a 25p reduction in the cost of the take away coffee from some companies.Today I have been making an alternative to clingfilm out of organic cotton and beeswax. The wraps can be used to cover food for storage,  wrap sandwiches etc, just as you would use clingfilm. To clean them you can wash with warm water and soap but not really hot water. The wraps are not recommended to be used to cover meat or fish.

I bought some thin organic cotton, two non stick baking trays from Poundland and some beeswax from Livemoor .I cut the fabric into squares, the correct size for the baking trays and then scattered a desert spoon of beeswax over the surface of the fabric spreading it out as evenly as I could.I found all the instructions for making these wraps on the website My Healthy Green Family . The instructions are very clear so I have not written them out again. The only thing I found confusing was the oven temperature and ended up setting my oven to 100C and found this worked well. I put my tray in for 5 minutes and had to put it back in if the wax started to set before the fabric was completely covered. I then used a wrap to cover some left over potatoes. I also made myself a sandwich for tea and wrapped it until I was ready to eat. The wrap worked really well and I used some clean jute string to keep it in place.  Just to finish this blog on how I am trying to reduce plastic, I have bought a small cloth/pan scrub made from 100% cotton. As well as being non plastic I love the design.

Handmade Christmas

I know Christmas is nearly over for another year, tomorrow is twelfth night and then traditionally the decorations are taken down. On the subject of decorations I love to make homemade ones and have done so for many years. I also have been given ones made by family and friends and absolutely love their uniqueness. I thought I would take some photos for this blog. Decorations could be made during the year ready for next Christmas, in fact it is best that this is done way ahead of the season before all the busyness begins.The first photographs show some patchwork decorations I made about twenty years ago. They only need very small amounts of Christmas fabric which can be found in many sales at the moment. I cut the fabrics into strips and machined these together. I then cut the piece into more strips at right angles to the machining and moved the pieces around before machining again so that the finished piece looked like lots of  small squares sewn together. A quick and simple way of making patchwork. I then cut the heart and boot shapes from cereal box card and drew around them onto the back of my piece of patchwork. I used some plain red fabric for the back of each piece and sewed these together right side to right side, leaving a gap to be able to turn the piece the right way out before stuffing and sewing closed.

If you prefer to knit I made some small knitted boots a few years ago which I always fill with chocolates to help them hang well. I cannot remember where I found the pattern but have recently found this fantastic free pattern on Little cotton rabbits blog. The grandchildren love to take these decorations down and share out the goodies found inside. Last year I knitted a number of mini Christmas jumpers. On my tree I have these cute teddybear decorations made from polymer clay which have been baked in the oven. These were made by my son-in-law.A few years ago I made a fabric Advent calendar which is always filled with chocolates. The instructions for making this can be found on my daughters blog. Angel Eden Blog. Apart from a traditional Christmas Tree I also have a small white tree on a table and this is hung with many handmade decorations. There are round felt robins made by my daughter-in-law and needle felted robins made by my daughter.  I was also given a lovely collection of knitted pieces made by my three grandchildren and a small Christmas Tree sewn by them from small scraps of fabric.This year I haven’t had a lot of time for making but have experimented a little with needle felting.Things do not need to cost much or be complicated, here is a stick tree made by my youngest grandson.And lastly for this year I dried some slices of orange in the oven and when I have a moment will experiment with making them into decorations.