Here are a few more narrowboats with nicely designed interiors, or clever ideas to make the space work.
Our boat belongs to Ed’s step dad and comes with the name “Hopkins”, which is named after Ed’s idyllic childhood home. It’s a 60ft narrowboat (I’ve been told it’s semi-traditional!?), with port-holes along its length. It currently has a log burner installed, heating, a working toilet and sink, and that’s about all! So, the challenge now is to get it shipshape (can you say that about a narrowboat?) and fit for living in. And here’s a picture of me sitting atop it in the summer, when we helped Chris take it for pumping out.
Looking around for inspiration hasn’t been easy. Most of the boats we’ve seen look pretty similar, with a few exceptions. Here’s a collection of some of the images I’ve found that have floated my boat! Sorry.
A very happy new year to you all! Can’t believe another one has gone by. I hope you’re all looking forward to 2011. I’m especially excited because of the new hobby I am taking up – craft electronics!
Ooh I can’t tell you how exciting it was to sit down with a fresh box of resistors, LEDs, wire and battery packs, with virtually no idea what I was doing, but knowing that I was about to learn something new. There really is nothing better in life than learning a new skill, and when it’s one with such a real, instant effect, like making a bulb light up, it’s incredibly satisfying and exciting!
I was ok at Physics at school, but frustrated the hell out of my teacher because I simply did not apply myself, concentrate in class, or do my homework on time. I think I annoyed her because I could have been good at it, and looking back, I so wish I had applied myself more in science. It frustrates me to think that a lot of it was simply me thinking it “wasn’t my kind of thing” because I considered myself arty, not sciencey. I have since learned that science is just knowing more stuff about everything and that knowing more about science is just knowing more about life. Remind me how I can make sure my kids love science at school?!
Anyway, I digress. I do remember loving electronics at school and have fond memories of making circuits on wooden boards, with bulbs and switches out of a box. I went on to make little electronics projects at home, like alarms for my bedroom door, simply because I loved making stuff. And making something happen because I got the circuit right was a hugely satisfying feeling.
I asked for these LEDs and other stuff for Christmas this year so that I could reawaken that feeling, and my wonderful boyfriend, Edward, went out and got me a great little set up, the mostpart of which you can see here:
So, how to start? I began by watching the video from my previous post, which was really useful, and getting my head around what was needed before I did anything. I took a look through my kit and familiarised myself with everything and then had a very pleasant half an hour labelling up my different resistor tabs, as they come labeled with some crazy colour-coding system that is really hard to do quickly!
I picked out a nice small green LED to try out, and a 3V battery, then I started on my calculations to figure out what resistor I would need for my simple circuit. Nothing fancy at all – just make a bulb light up! For this I needed to find out the specs for my chosen LED, and more specifically I needed to know the forward voltage of the LED and the Peak or Maximum forward current. Luckily my LEDs were labeled, though they didn’t have specs on them, so a bit of googling gave me a spec sheet for them.
I discovered that my chosen LED had a peak forward current of 25ma (milliamps) and a forward voltage of 2.2V (volts). Now I could start to calculate my required resistance.
Remember, I am a TOTAL beginner at this stuff, so the way I talk about it may be wrong, or far too basic, but it may also be useful to another beginner. As far as I can tell, a resistor basically reduces the amount of current that reaches your LED and as I had a 3V battery and an LED that can take a maximum of 2.2V, I definitely needed one!
So, for this calculation, I needed Ohm’s law. The basic equation is I=V/R where I stands for current, V for voltage and R for resistance.
The video instructed me to start by finding the difference between my power source voltage (which in this case is 3V as I have a 3V battery) and my LED’s peak forward current. This number is the value for my current (in the equation, represented as “V”). So, my value for V is 3 minus 2.2, which is 0.8. My mental arithmetic is pretty abysmal to I try to use a calculator for everything just to be sure.
So, as I am trying to figure out the resistance, I need a value for V and a value for I (the current). This is the “peak forward current” that I discovered earlier, which was 25ma. I need to be working in amps not milliamps, so I need to divide 25 by 1000 to get 0.025a. Still with me?
So now I know the values of I and V, I can work out R pretty easily. Using the equation, if I divide V by I, the result is R. So, in this case, 0.8 divided by 0.025 = 32 and that is how much resistance I need. Actually, this would be the very minimum that I need, and only having 32R would put my LED at risk of blowing still, so I went for a resistor close to this but a little higher to be safe, and as I had a 47R resistor, I thought that would be perfect.
The rest of the circuit was simple enough. I had my battery pack, some wire, my resistor and my LED. So, how to put them together? The LED has 2 little “legs” or metal prongs coming out of the bottom. The longer one is the anode and the shorter is the cathode. You may or may not remember a lot of this from school, but for the purposes of this, just think of the anode as the positive and the cathode as the negative. My battery pack also had a positive and a negative side, with small prongs to attach wires to, which I did.
So, going from the positive of the battery pack, I attached some wire, then attached my resistor to the wire, before the LED, then some more wire, then my LED, connecting it to the anode (remember, we’ve gone from the positive side of the battery to the positive anode leg of the LED). Then I attached wire to the cathode on the LED and attached that straight back to the negative of the battery pack.
It was blissfully simple and I was so excited to test it. I popped my battery in and…nothing. No glowing LED, no blown LED. Nothing. It took me a good fifteen minutes and a suggestion from Ed to figure out that the battery may fit in perfectly to the pack the way up I had it, but it was actually meant to be in the other, wobbly way up!
And hey presto, my LED was lit. I admit I may have squealed and jumped around with excitement. Hey I know I’m not changing the world here, but it’s exciting stuff!
For Christmas, I got a bunch of LEDs, resistors and other electronics goodies! I am so excited! I have a lot of work to do though, as I have to remember all of my Physics lessons from school. I’ve started reading up on things a little, but I found this video the most helpful thing yet. It all makes sense to me so far, which is a relief!
I have lots of exciting projects I want to try, and some great craft books that I got for Christmas. This is going to be a great year for crafting!
A very festive hello to you all! I’ve been neglecting you a little, I know; but this time of year is hectic to say the least and I’ve managed to get a bit behind with it all!
Below is my Christmas menu, with links to the recipes that I will be using on Christmas day.
I’m assuming that some of the basic things are already in your cupboard, such as flour for example.
My Christmas menu is as follows (please click the links to view the recipes I will be using):
Roast turkey with pork & apricot stuffing
Goose-fat roasted potatoes
Mashed carrot & swede
Brussel sprout and bacon gratin
Cabbage with butter and garlic
Roast parmesan parsnips
Minted broad beans and peas
Pigs in blankets (bought ready made!)
Traditional christmas pudding with brandy cream sauce (shop bought)
Christmas yule log (I’m including a recipe for those who are brave enough to make their own, but I will be buying one in!)
Now, I know this blog is about making things and being handmade, but I also believe that the cook on Christmas day should also get to enjoy themselves, so the odd shop-bought, ready-made item is far from a sin.
Soooo I made this art print that you can buy online from my Etsy store. I hope you like it!
So I’ve just found out that I’m hosting Christmas dinner again this year and I’m really excited! New house, proper dining room – a world of DIY decorating opportunities awaits
I’ve started looking around the internet for a bit of inspiration and to see where my taste is this year (it changes every Christmas!). I like to start by just saving images that I like into a folder, with no thought for theme or anything, and then I go back and take a look at what I’ve collected and see what has floated to the surface. Usually a theme just sort of presents itself. I think I’m looking pretty traditional this year, but with a real focus on nature. I’m loving pine cones, ever greens, wood and berries.
Here are some of the images I’ve collected for this year:
It’s been a tough old road, but we’re finally feeling like things are coming together in the house. I’m sure I’ll find plenty more to do, but I’m getting to a point where I walk into most of the rooms in the house and think “ooh I like it in here”. And really, that’s all I want from a home
The latest things to take residence in our home include some rather delightful colour-changing LED strip lights in our kitchen, a fabulous vintage crocheted blanket and some equally lovely floating shelves in the living room. It’s been really fun doing a bit of DIY and we’re really pleased with the results.
And to remind you where we started, here’s a bit of a “before and after” shot
And Chilli has found her favourite spot, on the lovely vintage blanket I found at the vintage fair where I had a stall last week.
Last but not least, we have finally got the spare room sorted! So happily, we can now have guests to stay.
It has to be said – we haven’t made the most amount of progress! We’ve been here about a month and a half now (oh, how time does fly!) and I’ve been full-time freelancing since the move, which has made it difficult to get stuff done.
I did get myself a stall at a vintage fair and sold a few of my clothes, which is great, but there is so much more. It’s going to take some serious throwing-away to get through it all. And I’m still convinced that my as yet unborn daughter will one day curse me for it. Sigh.
So the one room that has had some attention is the kitchen. Shelves have become the thing that we do to try to fix up a room, and I have to say, it works pretty well! Edward put up these rather delightful shelves in the corner of the kitchen, which has made an otherwise dull corner into a delightful little collection of goodies. Well done you!
We’ve also put up a hangy-rail type thing and are intending to pop another shelf above that. Lovely stuff.
I’ve also discovered that little quirky touches can make all the difference to an otherwise unsalvageable space and a plant on a table in the bathroom, along with a bamboo rack thing and a cool framed poster immediately made the bathroom ten times more inviting!
A nice rug and a shiny new table in the living room have also helped brighten things up and mean we can hide our projector away inside the coffee table and amaze our guests with it!