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Friday, 15 December 2017

Skills for the future, Skills from the past

It was bound to happen sooner or later. This week I haven't done ANYTHING exciting. I haven't been anywhere or done anything interesting, I've spent most of my time at home with the kids watching TV and playing with toys. As much as I'm sure everyone would love to see some photos of me sitting with the kids in a dressing gown it's not quite as glamorous as our usual adventures!

So this week I'm picking 5 New Skills I'd like to learn, maybe 2018 will be the year I tick them off the list :)



Archery
For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated by archery. I've had the pleasure of practicing with a real bow a few times in the past on various camps that I've been to, but it is on my bucket list to hand make a functional bow and hone my skills with it. A couple of my friends back in the UK are skilled archers and I have a lot of respect for the craft, although I wouldn't hunt with mine



Chip Carving
I love all things wooden and do a bit of green wood carving myself, spoons and beads etc but I would love to learn how to do chip carving, the beauty achieved with intricate patterns using simple geometric shapes always captivates me. Thinking of all the wooden items in my house that I could spruce up with a bit of carving is probably the most appealing aspect of this skill for me!



Leather working
Maybe the only thing I like more than carved wood is tooled leather. I've recently started to pick up some of the tools for leather working and it is the skill I will most likely develop first as it would be a dream come true for me to make awesome viking inspired items from leather, Watch this space ;)

which follows on nicely to...




Mead Making
I've brewed mead before in my teens and it came out very similar to battery acid. I forgot all about it until my 21st birthday then my little brother challenged me to a drinking contest and we ended up drinking 5L of the stuff and I don't remember anything after that, except that I won the contest of course and had a very sore head the next morning! So I'd like to give it a go with more success this time, I love drinking mead and like most things I imagine when done right you end up with something vastly superior to what's available in the shops.




Flint Knapping

As you can probably tell by now I love traditional skills, particularly the primal, tribal types of ancient crafts like flint knapping. I think flint knapping is probably a skill I'll have to take a course for, it doesn't seem like something that could be easily learned from books/videos online etc so perhaps I'll treat myself to a course for my 30th birthday next year :)


What skills would you like to acquire in the future?






Thanks for stopping by for this weeks Five on Friday, we hope you have a wonderful weekend :)


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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 8 December 2017

Baby It's Cold Outside...


Hello and welcome weary travelers to today's Five on Friday!

Most people imagine Spain as the warm Sun, Sea and Sand Coatsal destination of the summer. The other side of coin of course is the mountainous inland regions like the one we live in. This week we've had temperatures of -10' Celsius so I've finally had to put away the tshirt and shorts!

Heavy frost down at the coop
The frost has been so harsh that most mornings it has looked like snow on the ground down at the chicken coop. The hen house girls don't seem to mind and have be their usual selves getting up to all the same antics they usually do. We very nearly ended up with 4 new chickens and 3 new ducks that needed rehoming, I just can't say no to animals, luckily they were rescued by someone else locally though.

I bought myself a new bag in the recent 11.11 Aliexpress sales, I specifically wanted a nice little canvas rucksack to use as our day pack when we go on our hikes. I ended up getting this chocolate brown bag, canvas and leather with metal hardwear so it should last a good long time and will be easy enough for me to repair if ever it needs it. I've customised it a bit with some of the adventure patches from Thor's Threads Embroidery Emporium to make it more unique to me and I have a few ideas of other things I'd like to do to make it really a one of a kind bit of kit

Canvas Day Pack
Of course the cold weather hasn't stopped us from spending time enjoying the outdoors, it warms up briefly around midday so we've still had chance to get out and about in nature :)

Aurora the Explorer
My daughter, Aurora the Explorer. One of the most amazing people I've ever met. At 2 years old she's absolutely fearless and tough as old boots. She will never be told that she shouldn't do something or that she can't because she is a girl, she can be exactly the person she wants to be. As a result she is fierce and brave and beautiful, she runs with wolves and dances to the beat of her own drum.

Of course since we rescued two puppies from an abusive home we have had no choice but to venture outdoors come rain or shine to make sure they get their exercise. This does have its advantages of course, although it may be cold, wet and dark sometimes it's worth it for the times that we get to enjoy the amazing mountain sunsets.

Sunset in the mountains

After a long hard walk in the cold there is nothing better than coming back into a nice warm house (Thanks to our home made wood burning stove) and putting your feet up. I think it's safe to say that the dogs agree! here they are doing their best impression of being hit by a car I think!
I promise they are both genuinely alive and well!

Thanks for joining us once again for Five on Friday, We hope you have a wonderful weekend :)


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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 1 December 2017

DECEMBER

It's December and I can't wait until Christmas!

There, I said it. You won't find any grouches or grinches here, this family LOVES Christmas and today will be 5 minutes of all things Xmas in the Fast family household.

Because whilst I agree that Xmas has become very commercial in recent years, it doesn't have to be. Sometimes when I overhear people saying that they hate Christmas and they hate the commercialism and they hate seeing Xmas decorations and products in the shops I often wonder what they are doing themselves to combat the commercialism they so despise?

We don't go overboard with presents, the children get a generous amount of gifts but not too many and this year the adults are mostly creating handmade presents for each other. Knowing that the gifts you are given have had so much time and thought put into them by the people you love makes it a much more magical experience :)

This year is also our first FULLY vegetarian Xmas so that will be exciting. Instead of having dates in bacon Xmas morning when we open our presents Carly has been experimenting with making an Aubergine bacon substitute using liquid smoke and various ingredients. I must say the results so far have been amazing, so delicious! For the main event we'll be having a home made nut roast instead of a turkey and my mouth is watering at the thought of it!

This year I have ended up signing myself up for 3 different secret santas too so I get to spread the cheer and make some new friends around the world. I do hope Amy runs her Xmas card swap again this year as me and the children loved taking part last year.

Not our tree but a man can dream. Perhaps once we've built our forever house :)
Normally we put our tree up on the 1st of December as a matter of tradition but this year Carly is in Barcelona doing a course to help take her business to the next level so we sneaked ours up a little early and put it up last week :)

I absolutely love the tradition and ceremony of Christmas, but of course we are breaking a lot of traditions with our veggie Xmas, which means we have all the fun of creating new traditions to take forwards with us in years to come.

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?



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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 24 November 2017

DIY Birdfeeder

As everyone else goes crazy for Black Friday we're a bit different here....we're feeding the birds.

I've been teaching the kids about the seasons this week and one of the things we touched on is how it becomes a struggle for wildlife to survive the winter months as the temperatures drop and less and less natural food sources are available. Ever the empath, Logan wanted to help the wildlife to get through the winter so we found a really easy and kid friendly method to make a bird feeder :)

Home made DIY Birdfeeder
It's incredibly cheap and easy to make, all you need is some cardboard loo roll inners, some peanut butter and some mixedseeds/bird feed.

First you spread the nut butter on the cardboard tube, then spread the seeds/feed out on a tray and simply roll the tube over it to coat it in seeds.

making the DIY bird feeders

Leave it to dry out and set a bit et Voila! All you have to do next is threads some string through the tube and hang up outside in your garden, local trees, down the park etc

We've put them up in a few of the local trees now and will probably make a few each week to scatter around the area to keep our feathered friends well fed :)

DIY Bird Feeder in Action
I've also heard of people using pinecones instead of loo roll tubes so there are other options to mix it up and keep the kids interested.


Thanks for joining us once again for Five on Friday, We hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 17 November 2017

Fast Family


Five on Friday!
This weekend one of my younger brothers is coming to visit! I haven't seen him for almost 10 years now, which means he's never met his niece and nephew. So on the theme of catching up with family I realised that it's been a while since I did a general catch up post so here's some of my favourite photos from this week:

Sibling Love

As usual we've been venturing outdoors a lot. It's starting to get cooler here now which means we can finally wear jackets when we go out, although it's not quite cold enough for coats yet. The kids seem to be growing up so fast! You can see in Logan's hand that he has been carrying his Kidizoom camera when we go for our hikes. He's started to really show an interest in photography and to be fair to him for a 5 year old he's really good at it. For example this next photo of me was actually taken by Logan!

Bart Simpson or Dennis the Menace?
I'm so proud of this photo. This is a glimpse at the world through his eyes, the places I take him and the skills I teach him. I could not be prouder of the person he is becoming, a well rounded warrior that is as kind and gentle as he is fierce and strong. The world needs more boys like him. My ambition in life is to be half the man that my son will become, he will never be my competition because he is my legacy. Logan also took this next photo:

Daddy and Rori cuddle time


Aurora was starting to get tired, so we stopped for a quick cuddle and rest and Logan snapped the photo. Rori does so well when she comes out with us and is an amazing hiker for a 2 year old, she loves being out in the wild, discovering wildlife and playing in nature. After a while we stopped to brew up a nice hot drink

Hornimans Choco Mint Tea

The choice of brew this time was a choco mint tea, it's usually either Choco mint or Lemon cake tea that we have on our outings, I usually take both and let the kids pick what they want while we wait for the stove to boil. They taste great on their own and mean that we don't have to carry milk or sugar etc.

Aurora and Logan
When I see my children enjoying the vast outdoor spaces on our doorstep I know we made the right choice leaving the UK. Children don't need to be chained to a desk under artificial lights for hours on end, they need to be climbing trees and grazing knees in the wild. We're not creating worker drones here, we're raising real people, future adults that already make me immensely proud. My children are my life's greatest achievement and always will be.

Thanks for joining us once again for Five on Friday, We hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 10 November 2017

Make Your Own Furniture

This week we've been playing with pallets again and I can't wait to share our latest project with you:

DIY Pallet Sofa
The furniture in the cave house was possibly the most uncomfortable thing I've ever known, I seriously think it would have been more comfortable to just sit on the tiles! So we decided that we had nothing to lose by trying our hand at making some furniture up. At the moment all spare money is going towards the design and build of our dream house, so we needed a low cost furniture solution.
Since we are able to source pallets locally and cheaply it made sense for us to see what we could come up with utilising reclaimed pallets.

Basic Pallet Sofa Design
After a little trial and error we came up with a size and angle of sofa that worked well for us and put together the first unit in the photo above. Our living room is pretty long and to get a sofa to fit the length of it would have without a doubt cost us a couple of thousand or more, whereas our pallet sofa came in at a fraction of that cost.

Furniture Grade Upholstery Foam
Luckily for us, a few weeks ago we bought a second hand industrial sewing machine and met a lovely couple that run an upholstery company. They kindly agreed to source furniture grade upholstery foam for us to use for this project so we got the right stuff for the job. Most of the budget for the sofa was spent on the foam, but since that is what gives most of the comfort we felt that it was a necessary expense. We used six inch foam for the seats and four inch foam for the backs of the sofa.

Shabby Chic Pallet Furniture
The next stage was to paint the units. We went for a basic cheap white emulsion and painted it by hand with a brush to give it the shabby chic look that we were going for then sprayed it with a coat of lacquer to finish.

Painted DIY Pallet Sofa
Once the units were all fixed together in place it was time for the cushions. Carly found some designer heavy upholstery fabric in an online clearance section at Textile Express and we are blessed that the girls are wizards on the sewing machines so were able to make the cushion covers completely from scratch.

Pallet Furniture With Cushions

Pallet Chair With Cushion Back
The result is the most comfortable sofa I've ever sat on! At 3.5m long we would have struggled to get anything "off the shelf" that would fit and it would have cost an absolute fortune to have anything custom made. For just under 300 euros and a lot of elbow grease we now have a sofa that is a pleasure to sit on, here it is in all of it's glory:

DIY Pallet Sofa Project
And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, there's more! The cushions we designed to be reversible so we have the option of switching between a Petrol Blue or Heather Pink Sofa just by flipping the cushions over! How cool is that?

Reversible Pallet Sofa

Reversible Pallet Sofa Cushions
We've already had someone ask if we can make them a couple of pallet furniture armchairs so while we are waiting to build the house we might start making a bit of pallet furniture on the side to keep us busy :)

Hope you've enjoyed this weeks Five on Friday, thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 3 November 2017

All Hallows Eve

My apologies for the technical hiccup last week, for some reason the post didn't automatically publish so Five on Friday was a little slow out of the gate last Friday!


On Saturday we had Logan's Halloween themed birthday party so everyone came along to the local in fancy dress. I say Halloween themed but both the children opted to dress in non spooky costumes.

Logan decided he wanted to be the most handsome little stormtrooper I've ever seen

Is it a fearsome stormtrooper?

...It's Logan!

Aurora didn't stay still for more than 5 minutes all day so we only managed to get 1 photo of her in her Belle costume, stuffing her face as per usual!

Beauty or the Beast?
As for me, what else was I to dress as other than a wolf?

What's the time Mr Wolf?

On Halloween itself Logan had a bit of a fever and really wasnt feeling himself so we ended up carving our pumpkin the next day when he felt better. Once it was finished we added a few drops of cinnamon essential oil and lit the candles, the whole house smelled of Cinnamon and Pumpkin!

Our Jack'O'Lantern this year
When we're done with the Jack'O'Lantern I expect we'll break it up and put it out for the chickens but I've read a lot online encouraging people to put theirs out in local parks and woods for the squirrels etc which I think is a lovely idea, it'll keep them out of trouble for a couple of days at least!

One thing we have done this year is to save the seeds from our pumpkin so hopefully we can get some of them to grow on our land to add a bit of diversity and biomass to the soil next year.

saving pumpkin seeds
Do you save seeds from your pumpkins? We'd love to hear any ideas about putting the pumpkins/seeds to good use after Halloween has been and gone!


Thanks once again for joining us for Five on Friday, We hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

*******************************************************************

Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


























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Etsy

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