As I’ve mentioned several times, my latest passion is sculpting with clay. My eight week ceramics class has inspired my new found hobby so getting my hands on clay to form it into shapes is a bit of an obsession in the moment.

I wanted to create a candelabra for future holiday table settings, one that was simple yet organic in its form. I used a branch as the base and sculpted the form with air dry clay.


Grapevine branches are $40 or more so instead I purchased a pair of small bird perches and attached them together with hot glue. Using existing branches as the base saved me the stress of sculpting a branch on my own.

The branches were wrapped in clay and sculpted inch by inch to create the random organic structure.


Supplies: 2.2 lb modeling clay; rolling pin; thick curvy branch; water; ¾” copper cap

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One of the first questions any dog owner asks before buying a plant like a fiddle leaf fig is: are fiddle leaf figs toxic to dogs? While many plants are entirely harmless to pets, some plants cause harm to dogs when ingested.

Other plants may cause harm even when the animal doesn’t eat them and only comes into contact with them.

Fiddle leaf fig and DogsPin

So let’s learn more about whether the fiddle leaf fig is toxic to dogs.

Are Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants Toxic To Dogs?

Unfortunately, the fiddle leaf fig (Ficus pandurata) is toxic to dogs, cats, and people.

The trunks, stems, and leaves of fiddle leaf figs contain a white sap that irritates the skin and causes harm to the digestive system of most animals that try to eat it.

Humans should wear gloves when caring for the plant and engaging in activities like pruning, and it’s essential to keep

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I love Fall. So, so much, I love it. And though I am a huge fan of grilling, I would say that this upcoming season is most “me” when it comes to my natural cooking style. I love to roast, stew, simmer and broil. But of all the cooking techniques that seem to naturally come with this season, braising is tops for me.

Braising is the OG version of the crockpot or Instapot. And because I love the cooking technique so much, I don’t own a crockpot or Instapot. While I recognize the virtues of these appliances for many people, I struggle losing space in my kitchen to a small appliance when I can accomplish everything it can do, with better results, using a pot I already have.

Braised beef tips are a great way to use medium-sized trim pieces of beef roasts, but functionally I often will cut a

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Last August we took a look at some of the decisions that led us to build a low energy home. Now that we’ve been through our first full calendar year, it’s time to reveal our energy bill and see how things are working out. I have separated out figures for the heat pump versus everything else. But first a bit about our setup.

Economy 7

As an all-electric house, it was important to move to an Economy 7 meter which happened a few months after we moved in. This gives us separate Day and Night rates for our electricity. Unfortunately smart meters are not available in Northern Ireland yet so there are currently no options for half-hour metering, demand side response or agile tariffs.

The best thing we can do then is to make sure as much of our energy usage is pushed into the night rate, a 7 hour

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To Royal Bath Spa this week and a three bedroom flat on Great Pulteney Street and, since we are in the area, we’re going to pop our heads into another, smaller, apartment at the other end of the street. Seems a shame to waste a virtual train ticket after all.

First up is this, which is a duplex courtyard maisonette (fancy way of saying two floors with a small garden). It’s on for £750,000 and is around 1888sq ft, which for the record is bigger than the four bedroom house I have just bought which s three bedrooms and a loft bedroom at around 1,400sqft. I mention this just to give you a sense of size.

This is a fabulous Regency property which is well-located in the city and the ceilings are high and the rooms are large. But, and here’s the first point; it’s great to have big rooms

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