We’re hunkering down for the winter here in London… and it’s getting cold… so I thought I’d share this. In these times of saving energy, colossal heating bills and (still, despite what people are saying) austerity. Someone somewhere may find it useful….
Have you seen the gaps underneath our doors?

I mean… seriously…. Look at them.
Gaping, draught-beckoning, under-door, wind-tunnelling, chasms.
…. Kind of needed to sort this.
I have a small stash of fake fur that I’ve had for years. nice stuff that is destined to become, one day, the most gorgeous coat – but in the meantime, there’s just about enough of it to spare for a more pressing little project to keep out those breezes.

So off to Jewsons I go for some pipe insulation (all will become clear – I promise). Love it there – shopping with all those builders – surreal.
So what do you do with a pile of fake fur and pipe insulation?
Here’s what. This is an idea I got from lovely blog Living a Slow and Simple Life . A fab draught excluder that slides snugly underneath your door – and (this is the important bit) stays there. It moves with your door. No getting in the way. No having to put it back in place. 
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And you know what – what a difference.
So snug that when you open the door you’re practically blown off your feet. Ok…. so I exaggerate, but trust me – it works, and particularly well with wooden floors. Our living room has never been so toasty. You needn’t use expensive fake fur. Fun fur, fleece, velour, velboa, minky or even just some unused fabric would be just as good, and for a room with a floor covering like carpet, a fabric with no pile, like cotton canvas, would be the best option.
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It’s important for the environment and for our pockets that we try to conserve as much heat and waste as little energy as possible these days so this is a great idea. It’s easy to make and works out pretty cheap. With the most basic of sewing skills and couple of hours you could do some serious draught busting. 
Click HERE for instructions.

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I’ve been working on a new little cardi for my daughter. I’ve been trying to get it done for the summer despite being busy with various things including what currently seems to be the worlds most demanding 4 year old – I’m hoping it’s a phase. 

It was designed to go with her new ‘best dress’ and it’s finally finished, but…here I am again. The button dilemma. I’ve delved into my my stash, but….. nothing. Nothing that will match, tone or even remotely go with the lovely unusual ‘Bluebell’ colour I’ve used.

So…here’s what I came up with. A crochet button. Made with…wait for it…no less than….

a humble Roman Blind Ring

and yarn of your choice.
….and I thought it’d be nice to share it with you. From what I can see it’s very similar to the style that is known as the ‘Dorset Button’, although in this case it’s crocheted. 
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I’ve used DK yarn and a 2mm crochet hook to make it nice and firm. Want to see how it’s done? 

Cardi pattern soon to be published…watch this space…

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I have, in my come-in-handy store, a box of buttons – all shapes and sizes and colours. Some of them I’ve had for years – lots that I just haven’t been able to use because the colours are, let’s face it, pretty awful. I can’t just throw them away, it  feels so wasteful. Buttons can be difficult to get hold of, and you can’t buy them for a few pence any more. Then there’s finding the right colour – much harder than you always think it will be.

In my humble opinon details are important and a good button can make all the difference to the finish of a lovely handmade piece. There’s nothing worse than having spent hours of your precious time making something beautiful, only to go and spoil it with a a trim that just doesn’t do it justice

If I can’t find buttons to match or tone, I’ve found a nice simple way of getting what I need.
Unsurprisingly in my stash I also have a box of nail varnishes. From back in my ‘girl about town’ days when I had time on my hands to apply it, when I didn’t wash half as many dishes as I do now and it didn’t chip after five minutes.
There they sit in the hope that, one day, I’ll  have the time to use them before they go all thick and gloopy.
However… Ive found another way to use those lovely little bottles of colour. Yep, you guessed right – buttons. Nail Varnish is as good for colouring buttons as it is your fingernails. There are so many different shades out there these days – if you don’t have the colour you need it’s bound to be in the shops somewhere and most of them are really not expensive.
Here’s what you do:-
All you need are your buttons, a bottle of nail varnish in or matching the colour of your choice, and some double-sided sticky tape.
Peel off a legth of the double-sided tape – enough to easily fit all of your button on, and stick them down firmly with the right side facing up. These keeps them firmly in place.
Paint the buttons carefully with the nail varnish, not forgetting the sides of the buttons. Being stuck to the tape allows the to be manoevered around easily. You may need to apply two or more coats, depending on the colour and thickness of the varnish.
Allow to dry for several hours, preferably overnight, so that the nail varnish has dried to a nice hard finish.

Lift off from the tape, and there you have your new matching buttons…..ready to sew onto your garment.
Very Inportant – Make sure the buttons are completely dry before you use them. Nail varnish is hard to remove, particularly from fibres.
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It really is that simple. Yes, and so obvious. I’ve been doing it for years. It wears pretty well too as buttons really don’t get anywhere near as much action as your fingertips, so the varnish dries nice and hard and doesn’t chip.
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…And there are some some great options here. You can have pearlescent, two-tone, smooth and glitter finishes – and my current favourites fluoro seen above after having painted a couple of pretty awful plastic buttons. Aren’t they fab – they look geat as a contrast on a neutral background. These colour buttons are pretty hard to get hold of, particularly in small packs of the same size – believe me, I’ve tried. 
This is a great little upcycling project. By doing this not only will you be saving money, you’ll be using what you would have otherwise probably thrown away, and best af all you’ll be getting something unique that looks great.