Treehugging

Back in the day, I was very much into anything to do with the environment. I was into recycling, saving the animals, protecting the rainforests, you name it!

As I got older, and had more life stuff to think about, I began to lose some of my eco-focus. Not all of it: I still recycled; I avoided anything that might be particularly harmful to the planet; I used canvas bags as an alternative to plastic bags for years before the 5p bag tax was introduced. But I just lost interest and got a bit lax with my habits over time.

A new friend has inspired me to get back into being a treehugger again. She’s doing a project for a year (at least) that involves living a lifestyle that generates zero waste – with a focus on single-use plastic. When she first told me about this, it made me realise that I’d lost sight of how I used to be, and that I should probably make more effort!

She’s recording her efforts and thoughts on the project over on Instagram. My favourite photo (so far) can be found here, and it’s my favourite because of the caption she added:

{ Plastic Free July tips – for everyday… }
Whenever I leave the house, I nearly always have my [Kleen Kanteen] waterbottle and my keepcup with me – I love them so much, they fit in my bag, and it’s super easy. It means that I never really need to buy bottled water, as I can normally find somewhere to refill, and I can always have tea/coffee on the go. I also normally carry a cotton tote bag, in case I buy anything and need some way to carry it. If I’m going out for the day (or longer), I will often also carry a container (such as a jar, or old tupperware) and a spoon/fork, in case I want to buy lunch, or a snack, on the go. If I forget these things, which I do, coz I’m only human …then I will just enjoy tea, or a meal sitting down which is a nice way to slow down a bit anyway. Sometimes I will even pop a stainless steel straw into my bag…

I’m terrible for rushing around all the time so the idea of having a proper sit-down meal as the ‘green’ option really resonated with me. It would actually be more effective at making me slow down than any kind of concern for my own personal welfare!

It’s very early days for me and I’m clearly not as experienced as Hannah in these matters, but I’m going to concentrate on improving things bit by bit and see how I get on.

I’m going to try to get back into upcycling and recons too, so hopefully I will have some craft and design based posts to share soon.

What are your tips for living a greener life?

Becky

Adventures in Baking: Paralympic Swimming Cake

Earlier this year I became involved with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the sport of swimming in particular.

When another charity cake sale came around at work, this time for Sport Relief, complete with sport-themed showstopper challenge, there was really only one way to go. I decided to make a swimming cake!

It’s a simple five (?) layer vanilla sponge like my Pink Rainbow Cake and a piñata cake like the one I made for my friend’s wedding. People seem to love the surprise centre in these cakes; certainly I have witnessed some very excited adults when the sweets tumble out!

The blue of the ‘water’ was achieved with a mix of blue and small amounts of yellow gel colour. The fondant was purchased in blocks of white and red and then coloured with a ‘fleshtone’ gel colour for the swimmer’s body.

(Please accept my apologies for the dodgy phone photos – my phone at the time was utterly past it and I didn’t have any batteries for my DSLR.)

Onto the pictures!

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The basic cake waiting for the exciting bits to be added

 

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The whole cake complete with Paralympic ‘agitos’ made from royal icing

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Royal icing piped ‘waves’ (an experiment which happily went well)

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The confectionery contents specially chosen to match the IPC logo colour scheme of red, green and blue

2015 – Year in Review

Here it is, my now-traditional review of the year as it comes to an end. As usual, when I began to write this post, I didn’t think I’d done anything of note, but it turns out that I was as busy as ever!

– I volunteered as part of the Ceremonies Team at the inaugural British Rowing Indoor Championships, and even made it into one of the promotional videos!
– I also volunteered as a course marshal at another local half marathon
– I won another two rowing finals as part of a women’s 8+
– I graduated at the Barbican in London
– I finally watched the Thames Barrier being tested!
– I went on my third rowing training camp
– I did another screen-printing workshop and made some rowing-inspired prints
– Along with my friend Sarah, I did another 30 Days of Creativity
– I rediscovered books, and reading, in a non-study context. I had missed reading for the joy of it!
– I had my custom jewellery featured in a gift guide
– And my standard range found its first real life stockist
– I was a social media journalist for the Women’s Sport Network at Henley Women’s Regatta

I wonder what 2016 has in store for me?

Becky

Cut Out & Keep – Oxford

I was recently asked to write an article for crafting website Cut Out & Keep, on the subject of Oxford. They have very kindly allowed me to publish it on my own blog too! I hope that you enjoy reading it.

Oxford – the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ – is steeped in history and knowledge. It has spectacular architecture, glorious open spaces, and its own unique brand of eccentricity. It is probably best known for its university, and, with so many students living here, there’s an atmosphere of new beginnings, dreams and aspirations…

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Day Twenty-Seven – 30 Days of Creativity 2015

I’d had this rainbow fabric for a while and so today I finally got around to turning it into a circle scarf. I was short on time when I made it so neglected to make the stripes match up properly – a lesson learned for next time.

#whilefacebookwasdown I made a #rainbow #circlescarf for day 27 of #30doc

A photo posted by Becky Button (@bekibutton) on

Happily it has found a new home, away from the eyes of this picky perfectionist!

Day Twenty-Five – 30 Days of Creativity 2015

Today’s theme was ‘sun’ so although I was tempted to do something with the sun brooch that I created on a previous 30DoC, in the end I created a temporary paper-based artwork featuring both the sun and the moon:

Day Twenty-One – 30 Days of Creativity 2015

Today’s theme was ‘games’ so initially I was going down the Olympics route… but then decided to do a flashback to a board game that I designed as part of my Open University degree: