Sunday, 25 September 2016

Terrarium In A Lightbulb

I have seen a few small Terrarium in jars and lightbulbs before and decided to have a go at making on one myself.

I couldn't find any clear bulbs but I had seen online how you can remove the opacity layer inside the bulbs with sald.

I also created a small tool to aid getting the plants into the bulb.


  • Lightbulb (clear or pearl)
  • Salt
  • Potting compost
  • Gravel
  • Moss
  • Skewer or craft paintbrush
  • Plastic drinks bottle cap


  • Dremel or Hacksaw
  • Glue (2 part quick set epoxy)
  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Scissors

The full tutorial is in the attached video

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Two little functions i love about c#

The @ symbol

This is so useful and allows you to spread a string over several lines , preserving the control characters such as \ , CR \ LF etc.

string @test ="\this

will create a four line string that will be preserved as


This takes a string array of parameters and returns a combined path . This is super useful when you dont know if a string has a slash at the end

string[] x = { @"c:\test\",@"frog\" ,"fname.txt" };

would write out :

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Liver and Bacon with onion gravy, mash and peas

Here is my recipe for Liver and Bacon in Onion  gravy, one of my favourite comfort foods.

This should be enough to feed 3 people, 4 at a push. 


  • 450g lambs’ or calves’ liver, sliced

  • 4 tsp plain flour
  • 20g butter
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, fairly thinly sliced
  • 3 rindless lean back bacon rashers cut into thin strips
  • 500ml beef stock, made with 1 stock cube
  • salt and pepper

  • Method

    • Rinse the liver in a colander under cold water and drain it well on kitchen paper. Put 2 teaspoons of the flour in a large bowl and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Add the liver to the bowl and turn it in the flour until lightly coated.
    • Melt half the butter with the oil in a large  frying pan.  Cook the Liver for 1½–2 minutes on each side until lightly browned then put them to one side.
    • Melt the remaining butter in the same pan. Add the Onion and cook for a  few minutes until it starts to soften. Next, add the bacon and cook together for another 5 minutes or until the onion is softened and pale golden brown, stirring often.
    • Sprinkle the remaining flour over the onion and bacon and cook for a few seconds, stirring. Pour the hot stock slowly into the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook until the gravy starts to thicken.
    • Put the liver back in the pan and heat it through in the onion gravy for a few minutes until hot.
    I always serve with plenty of creamy mash and garden peas.

    Monday, 25 April 2016

    Maker Faire 2016

    Here is my walkthrough video of the Maker Faire that was held in Newcastle England.

    It was a brilliant day. Found the Life Centre really easy and the parking was directly across the road from the event.

    I met a Borg and my wife had a conversation with  a Dalek. As is always with these events I came away with lots of ideas for projects and it was a good idea that I didn't go with a ton of money or it would have been spent on the myriad of products that where on sale.

    The video doesn't show everything that was there on the day but it will give you a pretty good idea as to what was on offer on the day, including a brilliant act called  'Lords of Lightning' which literally electrified Time square

    Cant wait till the next one.

    Wednesday, 23 March 2016

    Portable Potting Bench

    My wife was having trouble getting down to re-pot the plants in the garden due to her back problems. I was looking through the back of the garage and found an old portable washing stand from when we used to go camping.

    We don't really have anywhere permanent for potting bench so I decided to upcycle the wash stand.

    I had a couple of old pallets left so used this to make a box and shelf to fit over the wire frame. I all folds flat when not in use and fits inside our small shed. I also made a lid for the top of the box to cover it over from rain for the times we do leave it out for a while.

    Here are a few pictures of the finished bench,

    Saturday, 12 March 2016

    My MAC Allister 3,6V MESD36 LI Cordless Screwdriver

    Here is my review of the MAC Allister 3.6V MESD36 LI  Cordless Screwdriver

    It has a some really cool features including carousel storage of screwdriver bits inside the screwdriver that can be loaded via a pump action ala shotgun.

    It also has an LED to help when you are screwing in those dark spaces.

    Sunday, 6 March 2016

    Making a Bead Spider

    Someone I know was wandering around my pictures and came across the pictures of the bead spiders I used to make and sell on ETSY. She asked if I could show her how to make them.

    The design is very simple and can be used and modified to make pendants and ear rings or ornaments.

    I decided the best way to present this was to create an Instructable for it.