community engagement

The assignment for Blogging 101 today was to follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.

This was a daunting task for me as I am interested in so many things. But it was a great experience and I was glad to take up the assignment. You see, I found other bloggers just like me.

It was difficult to start writing initially, as I read so many how to blog articles that said that you should write about particular themes and find your niche.

Finding other blogs to follow and read that have a different eclectic mix of posts is wonderful.


counting corks

Day 6 of 365 less things was spent in the blue room counting corks.

The DIY Wine Cork Bath Mat inspired me to see what I had saved in the Veuve Clicquot ice bucket.

cork collection I lost count, but I have over 200 champagne corks, and a handful each of synthetic and cork wine corks, as well as some cork stoppers that I think must have come from port bottles.

If I use the 200 champagne corks I may be able to make a door mat sized mat to go near the back door. I’ll have to play with the idea some more, but I think if I alternated the champagne corks top to bottom, there will be a bit of an edge to stick. Now just have to think what to glue them onto, if anything. counting corks to make into door mat

The ‘ice bucket’ has gone in the recycling bin. It was made of fluted cardboard, and a bit of a novelty when you purchased the champagne many New Years ago.

The corks are now in a cloth bag in the green room. Decluttered from the blue room because they don’t belong there, and into the green room where other UFOs are kept.

Day 3: What’s on your mind?

Today’s Zero to Hero assignment is to write the post that was on my mind when I decided to start a blog.

That’s a bit too long ago.

I can’t remember any particular piece that I wanted to write, but the general feeling was that I wanted to write regularly, let my Mam know what I was up to while she was travelling, and create a space to record the various offline and online projects that I was participating in at the time.

However, I do know why I want to re-vitalise the dilettante blog and I hope that participating in Zero to Hero 30-Day Blog Challenge will assist me with that.

I am on leave from my university coursework and will not be doing any units until Semester 2 starting at the end of July. During the next six months, I want to write more regularly so I don’t get out of the habit of researching and writing.

More recently I have been reading 365 Less Things and Becoming Minimalist, and have decided that 2014 is going to be a more concerted effort to declutter. My goal is to declutter one item or spend 15 minutes a day decluttering, whichever comes first.

Dilettante will hopefully be filled with 365 posts about decluttering, as a primary focus – well, I’ll try. There so many items, topics, and things to take delight in.

who I am and why I’m here

I have been here at since 2007, but have been mostly off-line for the last couple of years. My interest in blogging was renewed by reading about the Zero to Hero 30-Day Blog Challenge as I thought that it was just what I needed to begin the habit of writing consistently.

Rather than create a “who I am and why I’m here” post, I am re-interpreting this challenge to update my Who I Am page having seen that it was first published on 12 November 2005. Which seems a bit weird because my first post begin at the beginning was published on 9 February 2007. In addition, I thought I would respond to some of the questions posed in the challenge.

Why are you blogging, rather than keeping a personal journal?

I do keep a diary, but as it is personal, I don’t share this. Items that I want to share, I would like to take the time to reflect on and perhaps photograph. Because I’m aware that I’m writing for someone else, often these posts are the better record than the scribblings in my diary. I have often used my blog as a reference as to when I read a book, saw a film, what I planted and when.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

I don’t have any particular focus, as I am interested in too many items to list. But common themes are living sustainably, gardening, reading, cycling as transport as opposed to sport, discovering new things to learn, university studies, and so on. For example, having just completed my first timed 5K run, I may mention running quite a bit in the near future as I’m still pretty excited about this. Also, I got a crochet kit for my birthday in 2011, that’s not the last birthday, but the one before. I still haven’t figured out how to crochet – it’s still on my ta-da list.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

Connecting up with other people who have similar varied interests would be terrific. I also look forward to reading topics that I am interested in on their blogs.

If you blog successfully throughout 2014, what would you hope to have accomplished?

Just as I am decluttering one item per day, I am aiming to blog more consistently throughout the year.

do teddy bears die?

I think I found the culprit that introduced the moths to the other teddy bears.

This teddy bear is made of lace and filled with potpourri. When doing my recent checking and sorting of my teddy bear collection, I noticed what appeared to be black soot where some of the bears were sitting. Apart from the nearby bears getting the black dust in their fur, the only other teddy bear that was affected was White Bear.

White Bear is a string mohair teddy bear made by Merrythought. And apart from being my only white furred bear, he is a present from H for my birthday in 1993 which is auspicious for being the only birthday that I have spent in hospital.

I vacuumed and wiped White Bear with a damp sponge and sprayed with insect spray and have not seen any other occurrence of the moth – which is a relief.

But what to do about Potpourri Bear? He has been isolated from the other bears since I discovered he was harboring the weevils. His ears are no longer filled with potpourri and his face is only filled up to the eyes. The lace is also holey in places that it shouldn’t, although still stiff to give the Potpourri Bear shape. It appears that he has a black-eye as the lace is a little holey around the eye and the potpourri shows through more than other places. I have some rose petals that I have dried. Before I put him on life-support I suppose I could try to re-fill him with the rose petals. Or should I just let him go?

Somewhat related. I read in the January Loose Produce newsletter that you can control pantry moth by putting food items such as dried fruit, flour and rice in the freezer for a couple of days. I was wondering whether this would be a better treatment for teddy bears than a periodical insect spray and vacuuming.

nearly painting the fence

I only wanted to paint a bit of fence that I could see from the laundry window.

Several days later I have since prepared the whole fence for painting. Chipping render and concrete using a scutching hammer and paint scraper. And today, completely washing and scrubbing to remove any dust or specks of render that I may of missed.

H has pushed up the fence capping, so that I don’t have to be too careful when painting.

Tomorrow, is the big day for painting. And I’m going to start on the unpainted part of the fence that I can see through the laundry window. Then, I’ll dress the areas where the paint has been chipped and rubbed off ready for a second coat of paint another day.

The only tricky bit so far, apart from working in the heat is continually removing cobwebs. I have seen five different species of spider, none of which have been a red back.