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January Round-Up

green blog

Hello?  How was your January?  Mine was pleasantly slow (with the exception of this last week, which has been manic!).  Lots of baking and cooking in the kitchen (it’s my favourite way to keep warm in winter!) with the radio cranked up high, and lots of leisurely walks in the ice and snow.  When you’re out walking with a three year old, walks are never going to be fast paced, right?  There are far too many frozen puddles, rocks, stones and sticks to look at for a start!  I’ve really enjoyed the cold and frosty start to this year.  Last year was sadly lacking in the white stuff (did you know 2014 was the hottest year recorded?  Ouch.) so we’ve been getting our fill of it this year for sure!

frozen grass

In blog news, I’ve reduced from posting blog posts about three times a week to twice a week now (although you might get three if I’ve been super organised!).  It’s much more manageable and realistic.  I also redesigned the blog at the start of this month!  I hope the new design/layout is working for you – let me know if you’ve got any comments or suggestions.

As well as redesigning the blog I also changed up how blog posts are emailed out to readers who sign up for the free email subscription service.  The emails are now sent out by Mailchimp which allows for a bit more flexibility than before.  So, if for example, you’d just like a weekly email with all of the Moral Fibres posts from that week, instead of a email every time there is a new post then let me know and I can set that up for you.  Psst: if you’d like to sign up for the email you can do so here:

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Here are some posts on the blog you might have missed:

how to make beeswax tealight candles

How to make beeswax candles

Kathryn Sillince shares her ethical style tips and inspirations, and tells us about the amazing clothes swapping parties she attends.

Jen Gale also shared her ethical style tips learned from a year of buying nothing new.  Could you go a year without buying anything new?

A roundup of the best (and worst!) fluoride free toothpastes out there.

braintree clothing review

A look into my ethical style

Putting your cheese in cardboard, and other tips you might not have heard of on how to make fresh food last longer

Perfect for marmalde making – a handy guide on how to sterilise jars

Fruit and vegetables in season in January

A little peek into our slow Christmas

I’ve been planning out our garden.

winter berries

And here are some good things I read on the internet this month:

Crafty?  Here’s a great list of where you can get your crafty supplies ethically.

A vegan jammy dodger recipe!

If my house looked as half as good as this I’d be a happy woman!

Honoured to be included in this list of 15 sustainable living blogs for the global citizen put together by the Good Trade.

Voting with your money – I concur with this wholeheartedly.

And from the Moral Fibres archives – some posts you might have missed:

A simple way to eat healthily.

Eco-friendly shampoos that are affordable too.

How to save £96 a year just at the touch of a button.

See you guys tomorrow for what’s in season in February!  I had a bit of a brainwave with this post, so stay tuned!

Arts & Crafts, Life & Style

10 Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

homemade christmas gift ideas

Looking to make some gifts this year? Be inspired by my home made Christmas gift ideas.

I know it’s really early (in my book anyway!) to be mentioning the ‘C’ word but if you can forgive me then I wanted to share some homemade Christmas gift ideas.  Homemade Christmas gifts tend to require a bit more planning and a longer lead time so I thought it was best to get them out there nice and early for you!

I’ve put together some of my favourite (and easy!) homemade Christmas gift ideas that are environmentally friendly.  Just click on the links to be taken to the full DIYs.  Hope you enjoy making them and sharing them with your loved ones!

10 Homemade Christmas Gifts to Make This Year

1.  Rose Bath Salts

DIY bath salt recipe - homemade christmas gift idea

Cat from Take Courage has put together a very nice DIY on how to make some prettily packaged rose bath salts that would make a really nice homemade gift.  The link is no longer available, but do try this similar DIY instead.

2.  DIY Cotton Wool Pads

cotton wool pad DIY

If you can crochet then these DIY cotton wool pads would make a really thoughtful eco-friendly gift idea.  Package them in a hand-sewn pouch or a glass jar for a pretty and practical Christmas gift.

 3.  DIY Beeswax Candles

DIY beeswax candles - homemade christmas gift ideas

Erin from Reading My Tea Leaves has a great beeswax candle tutorial that would make perfect gifts with a light environmental footprint.

4.  Button Necklace

DIY button necklace

This DIY statement necklace tutorial uses up old buttons and felt scraps for a gorgeous and unique gift full of thought.  It only takes about 15 minutes to make too, so ideal if you’re short on time!

5. DIY Gingerbread Body Scrub

gingerbread body scrub

This Gingerbread Body Scrub by Wallflower Girl sounds utterly divine.  I think I’m going to be making this for Christmas (though it may end up as a gift from me to me!),

6.  Recycled Snow Globe

snowglobe DIY

This recycled snow globe DIY takes all of one minute to make but is such a simple and striking gift that can be enjoyed for years to come.

7.  Candied Chocolate Orange Slices

candied orange

These candied chocolate orange slices, again by Cat of Take Courage, look and sound delicious!  Presented in a little box they’d make a tasty homemade Christmas gift.  Again, this link isn’t available anymore – but this recipe is very similar.

8.  Salted Caramels

salted caramel recipe

This salted caramel recipe from Inspired Taste looks perfect.  We can’t get enough of salted caramels in our house so this would be our ideal gift!

9.  Stylish Wall Hanging

tea towel craft

This stylish wall hanging DIY can be made using a tea towel or fabric scrap.  Minimal sewing skills are required so even if you’re not handy with a sewing machine or needle and thread then I’m sure you could put this together and amaze your friends with your skills!

10.  DIY iPad Case

diy ipad case

And for the last of my homemade Christmas gift ideas, this felt DIY iPad case would make such a thoughtful gift.  It does require knowing your way around a sewing machine a tiny bit – if you can use a sewing machine to sew in a straight line then you should be ok!

Any homemade Christmas gift ideas you want to share?  Do add in the comments below so we can all check them out! And if you are looking for other gift ideas, then do check out my ethical Christmas gift guide, my secondhand Christmas gift ideas, and my non-gift ideas for a less consumerist Christmas.

Environmentally Friendly handmade christmas gift ideas