Thursday 30 July 2015

the winter garden

our new home brought with it a new garden. a lovely level block with a good few established fruit tress and plenty of shrubs and succulents (and the simply stunning Sturt Desert Peas sprouting under the Hills Hoist)
one of the first things on our 'to do' list was to get a few plants in the ground so they could get growing and producing.
we've popped 5 olives along the front fence and a grape vine to trellis along the front verandah for much needed summer shade and dappled sunshine in the cooler months.
vegie seeds are planted in a concrete sink topped with an old window.
we've fertilised, pruned and mulched the oranges, lemon, cumquot and fig.
next on the list is to build a chook shed.

what's happening in your garden?

Thursday 9 July 2015

bread and beeswax

this weekend just past I was lucky enough to attend the 3rd annual 'flour and fire day' hosted by Jane of the shady baker, at her property. I remember reading Jane's post back in 2014 and thinking how lovely the day sounded and hoping one day to be a part of it.

the day started with hot coffee made over the open fire, freshly baked sweet treats and getting to know each other. I got to meet some lovely bloggers who I have gotten to know online, Sophie and Kate. gosh I still can't get used to meeting people for the first time though we've 'known' each other for so long through our blogs.

then it was into the bread making, with Jane sharing her sourdough making skills with us.
we all enjoyed a homemade lunch of bread straight out of the woodfired oven, lamb stew and freshly made pasta and pesto.
after lunch it was candle making time. I hosted this little activity. everyone brought along a vessel or two to fill and with the beeswax melted over the wood fire we added a cotton wick and filled our teacups, jars and tins with the delicious smelling wax.
we left with full tummies, a whole lot of inspiration and baskets filled with homegrown and homemade goodies from the swap table.

I'm already looking forward to the 2016 flour and fire day.

Thursday 2 July 2015

handmade dress swap

a little while back I signed up for the handmade dress swap that was hosted by the lovely Taz of butter and buntings.
I was partnered up with Mezz. so with details exchanged we both got sewing. with our love of vintage sheets we were well paired.

this is the dress I made Mezz. I used a crisp cotton sheet in hues of blues and greens. the zipper at the back and the binding were thrifted along with the belt which paired perfectly.

and the beautiful dress Mezz made me. I'm looking forward to pairing this with a tan leather belt and cardi.

Friday 12 June 2015

a new home.

things have been a bit quiet here on the blog of late, but it's not been quiet in life's happenings.

we've just made the big (and exciting) leap and became first home owners. it's all gone pretty smoothly so far (thank goodness) without much trouble in our dealings with the bank, conveyancer and real estate agent. the whole house buying process was all new to us so there was a bit of stress with how to go about making an offer, building inspections, getting financial approval, the need for a conveyancer, taking out insurance.. the list goes on.

and today we got to pick up the keys and have a good look around.
the house is a simple 2 bedroom home with mostly original mint-coloured kitchen and bathroom and a quaint outdoor (part of the back verandah) laundry and second loo.
there's a mismatch of carpets, cream paint and a rather unsightly suspended ceiling but the bones are good and as I look around all I see is potential.
outside there's a pair of orange trees, a lemon, cumquat and fig tree... the startings of what I hope will become a very productive permaculture space. and chooks again... I can't wait.

I'm looking forward to updating as we go and have taken plenty of 'before' photos to share. x

Monday 25 May 2015

simple cleaning

for the past little while I've been slowly cutting down on the purchasing of cleaning products. underneath the kitchen sink which was once full of bottles and cans (with their warning labels and expensive price tags) now instead sits dishwashing liquid, a jar of bicarb-soda, a bottle or two of vinegar, along with a some essential oils.
these staples see me through most cleaning now.

Tile and wooden floor cleaner
to a bucket of hot water add
a squirt of dishwashing liquid
1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup bicarb soda
mop floor as usual

Foaming bath and toilet cleaner
Heat 1 cup of vinegar in a 1L microwave safe jug in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until piping hot.
Stir in 1/3 cup dishwashing liquid.
Add 2 tablespoons bicarb soda and stir quickly (be sure to be close by the bath/toilet as the mixture foams up and may overflow the jug).
Pour to coat the surface of the bath/toilet bowl. Leave for a minimum of 1 hour. A little scrub may be required then rinse with clean water.

Fabric freshener
Choose a large container/jar you wish to use to hold the fabric freshener.
To a jug add the required amount of vinegar to fill the container. to this add 1-2 tablespoons bi-carb soda. You will need to do this slowly as it will foam up.
Once the bi-carb is dissolved add a couple of drops of the essential oil of your choice (i like eucalyptus, lemon myrtle or peppermint) then decant into your chosen container or jar.
Add a good half cup to the fabric softener dispenser in your washing machine and wash as usual.

do you have any simple, green cleaning recipes, tips or tricks?

Sunday 19 April 2015

lovely autumal happenings

 I have my first sour dough starter up and going. every day I had a spoonful or two of flour and a splash of water and it seems happy enough bubbling away. I'm making a loaf of simple no-knead bread once or twice a week now and it's something I look forward to every time.

this weekend I was treated to a night away in the lovely little town on Mildura. we stocked up on plenty of fresh produce from the roadside stalls along the way and the Farmers Markets had plenty of delicious home grown goodies too. time flew by and I'm already planning for the next trip there.
 these two pillow slips were my only op-shopped find while in Mildura. the perfect little $2 souvenir of our trip away.

I received my copy of Hundreds and Thousands mag and it's filled to the brim with cute articles and photos and all things handmade. you too can purchase a copy here.

thank you to all those who signed up for the Vintage Sheet FQ Swap 2015 and have sent a parcel off. there's still a couple of people who I haven't heard from so i'll give it 'til Monday and start swapping the FQs on Tuesday and post them back. you've all sent such beautiful designs it's going to be a struggle not keeping them all for myself.

and lastly to my little autumn give away...
Naomi of Look See is the lucky winner of a copy of Pip magazine and a handmade wall hanging.
if you could email me your details I will get your give-away gifts in the mail on Tuesday.
any sour dough starter tips? what other goodies do you make other then bread?
what lovely things have been filling your autumn days?

Thursday 2 April 2015

pottery classes

In February I started pottery classes. it's something I've wanted to do for some time. i enjoyed pottery in high school art lessons and did a couple of classes outside of school too.
so when i saw that their was a local pottery group in town i signed up and i'm so glad i did.

i attend a three hour evening class once a week held at the cutest corrugated iron clad building that was once an old Scout Hall.
now these 'classes' are pretty laid back, with each person working at their own pace on whichever project they choose.
i started off with a simple slab pot. where i rolled a piece of clay to about 1cm thick and cut four rectangular sides and a base before 'gluing' the edges together with a slurry and further strengthening the joins with a clay coil.
i then moved onto making bowls using the pinch pot method.

it really is addictive and i've been busily pinning all things pottery inspiration on pinterest.
i cant wait to start back again after easter break.

have you tried pottery before? is there a pottery group in your local town?