Kitchen Table Business - Gardening

Posted on August 4, 2017 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

If you're serious about starting a craft kitchen table (i.e., home-based) business you have to look at legal issues. The best place is your own city hall and tax departments. You can get free information there although it may cost you to register your business. None of my postings will be looking at these issues since every place has different rules and regulations. That's one of your jobs!!

To get back to my search for crafty kitchen table business ideas, I love gardening (albeit on a small scale given the size of my balcony). With this in mind I came up with the concept of a simple garden business idea in an eggshell - and no, it's not my original idea. Gardening in an eggshell is all over the Internet. My spin is using seeds from what fruits and veggies I buy and eat. It always seemed to me that it was a waste just to toss seeds into my compost box (also very tiny as I live in a flat!!).

I saved the eggshells from my morning scrambled eggs. To transform these into little seedling ‘containers’, I used a sharp knife to make holes in the top and bottom of the eggshell by just gently tapping the eggshell with the knife until a hole appeared. I made the top hole larger so the egg would fall out into the frying pan for my breakie. The small bottom hole is to let excess water out when watering the little plants. I tried various seeds - lemon, pepper, orange, and cantaloupe. Only the cantaloupe seeds germinated, but, no worries. My 'soil' was really only tea and coffee grounds mixed with a little of my compost.

Et voila, in 2 weeks the little seedlings emerged.

This is a great idea for a stay-at-home mom who enjoys gardening but has got room for a garden, has kiddies to look after, or no extra money for tools, supplies, etc. This is a nice, inexpensive way to start your own little gardening biz. All you need are a few eggshells (don't forget to empty the eggs first) and some seeds.

Can't you just see yourself providing cafes and restaurants with tiny herb seedlings - perhaps in a vintage eggcup (check out local charity shops for these). These would also be great little fundraisers for your kids' school projects, a favourite charity, etc.

Cost for my cantaloupes, by the way, was zero.

Recycling and Candle Making

Posted on June 12, 2017 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I think I mentioned in a previous post that a friend had given me a soy wax candle making kit and that I didn't get around to it until my TV broke! Well that started me off a tanget that had me making candles galore, first giving them away to family and friends to test and then selling them in my online shop. As with a lot of stuff I do, once I used up my candle wax, I was ready for something else (not quite sure what yet - stay tuned). However, I did get requests on how to make candles - so simple that even I, butterfingers that I am, was able to make some really nice ones.

I'm not going to bother writing down step-by-step procedures as others have done so much better than I could. These I will list further down. But I will mention what problems I had and how I overcome them. What you see here are what I used to make my candles (I forgot to show the candle wicks and essential oils). 

My biggest problem was centering the candle wick - the metal holder at the bottom of the wick would slide around and not stay in the centre of the container. This was because my containers did not have flat bottoms, I think. Most had slightly raised centres. To solve the problem, I put bits of double sided tape at the bottom of the wick metal holders. The second problem was keeping the wick itself centred while I poured in the melted wax. This I solved by using a wooden clothes pin to hold the wick in the centre. That's all the problems I had.

By the way, if you’re wondering how candle making applies to recycling, when I started making the candles, I quickly realized I would need something to contain the candles (duh!!) and the old recycling bin is the first place I looked. I had quite a few glass yoghurt pots so I made lots of candles in these. Later I checked out my storage unit and found lots of nice small metal containers that I also used. 

I made some in these cute vintage fluted pastry moulds and ....

a couple in these stainless steel milk creamers.

The folks over at All Sorts of Pretty made theirs in mason jar lids (we call them canning jars!). Their lids were all of one piece but if yours are separated in two pieces (i.e., ring and insert), you'll have to glue these together with a glue that adheres metal to metal. But they are pretty. Their how-to instructions are good, too.

Our lady Martha makes hers in eggshells and call them votives! Her how-tos are here.

So, as you can see, you can easily (and cheaply) make your own candles and use whatever suitable containers you have on hand. My candles were small but still were good for over 20+ hours of burning. I have a few old maple syrup cans that I am planning to make into candles as soon as I get the energy!! Ciao! 

Street Finds - Wooden Chairs

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Another day, another find. This time a set of four wooden chairs. Maybe not the best colour in the world but these were in great shape. I would take these home myself but I have no more room. I'm just hoping someone is savvy enough to take them and revamp them. There are tons of ideas online on how to do just that.

Solar Power All the Way

Posted on June 1, 2017 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

For part of the year I live in Edinburgh, Scotland and I find that the folks there appear to be far ahead of us in Canada when it comes to household solar energy power. Most of the buildings in the area where we live have solar panels on the roofs whether it's an apartment building or a private home. All our hot water and heating needs are provided very efficiently by the solar panels on the roof of our building. However, in Ottawa, it's rare to see a home or building with any signs of solar energy panels except for a few solar powered path lights. Considering how little sunlight Edinburgh gets compared to Ottawa (it rains a lot there!!), it seems remiss of us not to consider switching over to this more environmentally efficient system. 

That said, I recently received a request from Deelat Industrial in Calgary to test out their Integrated Solar Motion Light. I had a number of friends test it out and they also were pleased, so much so, that they have not returned the units back to me!! Not to worry, right now I am located several floors up in an apartment building in downtown Ottawa and, except for the annoying pigeons who may have been seriously traumatized by this motion light when I tested it out on the balcony, this place has no need for such a light fixture so that my friends are welcome keep them.

Having solar powered motion lights as a security feature may be a small way of starting to add solar energy to your home because it does not involve any major reconstruction and hopefully, builders of new homes will see the light (ha, ha!) and start using solar energy as a viable and environmentally sound alternative to traditional heating and lighting systems. Think of the jobs this could create!!

Check out Deelat Industrial's outdoor solar lighting products here.