Monday, July 26, 2010

Tech issues

I can't seem to get Blogger to play nice with Photobucket and post picture is the "Back to Basics" post at the right size. Bah

Back to Basics

(I had a great post all written up, then Blogger lost it, grrrr, so here we go again)

It's been a while (I know, I know, I think I said that before, at least I'm consistent), but I have been very busy! I Promise :)

In the Garden
Not much planting and harvesting to report.

The big news is that I've almost finished weeding out the vegie patch. Finally! It was infested with Couch and Buffalo grass. Unfortunately these nifty weeds push out runners which can re-grow from the tiny bits of runners that may snap off when you pull them up. I definitely didn't want to resort to chemicals, so I pulled and sifted through the dirt and I think I'm nearly there. I have tried the no-dig method, and although it was piled high, and it did work, I just don't have the money to buy the hay, manure ect, and besides, the dirt that is now there is rich and yummy.

There is one identified plant that I have left. I'm not sure what it is..
Any suggestions. I thought maybe Geranium, but it doesn't have that Geranium smell.

Stuntman helping to put the lattice on. Stuntman has been very intrigued by all the goings ons in the garden patch.

Planning for the Future
My husband hasn't been paid for 4 weeks now, this happens from time to time and it is just the nature of his work (building industry) and the downside of running a small business. So menu planning has had to centre around what is in the freezer/pantry. We are fortunate that both of these were well stocked.....they are looking quite bare now.
I've made up a shopping list for when we do get paid (please be this week, please be this week) and it's a massive one. On the upside, the pantry is nice and tidy and I had the opportunity to give our storage containers a clean. And the menu plan is looking good :)

Working for the Future
The hen house is done! And I'm proud to say it is almost all made from scrap/scavenged stuff. We needed to buy hinges and a latch for the gate and I went to the salvage yard ($2 each) for the nesting boxes (large plastic containers that my husband has trimmed down).
Next week Polly and Esther the Isa Browns will be joining our family!

A few weeks ago I ordered clothing labels and sizing tags....I'm getting things into place to sell some of my sewing. I don't have the time to do this on a large scale, but my first goal is to make a few items and advertise among my friends on Facebook and also on Etsy. My long term goal is to produce enough stock to have a stall at a fair next year. I have no illusions that this could bring in good money, it won't, but I'm hoping that I can produce/sell enough that my hobby pays for itself.

Building Community
Helping to organise a family games night at my church. Asked one of the ladies at church if I can come along to the bi-monthly craft evening at her place.
I've got my Girl Guides doing a "term of service". We are looking at Beyond Blue (youth mental health), Naragebup (local environment centre) and Breast Cancer Foundation. I've organised a guest speaker to talk on mental health and over the term we will look at the three organisations, do activities and raise awareness.
I went along to my local LETS group meeting.

Learn a new Skill
I managed to get hold of the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" and what a great book!
So easy and simple and the results are wonderful. Nice crusty bread with a soft crumb (inside).
It's also been a great activity to do with my daughter. Here she is, showing off her first loaf!

I've also been playing around with making my own yoghurt. Very yummy.

Big thanks to Belinda for hosting this meme. :) Belinda is a wonderful inspiration.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Creative Space

My Creative Space has been taken up with a urge to cook. Can't wait to try the method of bread making in this book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day". Looks easy.

Also in the pic is a potato ricer. I'm giving potato gnocchi a go this weekend. I've never even tasted potato gnocchi...but I soon will !

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Creative Space

In my creative space this week:
P.J's, lots of P.J's! I've started my Christmas gift sewing for my neice, nephews and my children and this year P.J's will be under the Christmas tree.

Handmade Beginnings by Anna Maria Horner. It's a delightful book and with so many pregnant people around me I've started making sweet little gifts.

Hope your all having a creative week :)

Monday, July 12, 2010


Me: Your my beautiful princess girl.
Her: No I'm not. I'm a queen.
Me: hmm, ok, if your a queen, then what does that make me?
Her: (pause) A horse

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Creative Space

This week I am cutting out 100's of little creatures with my sizzix die cut machine. In two weeks time these cut outs will travel to Bali with a team from my church, where 100 children will be decorating bags. I volunteered to do this part of the activity. :)

(the cup of tea is there to keep me going)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back to Basics

It has been a couple of have been ill, I've been ill. Bah, I hate germs.


This photo is from a few weeks ago, I mentioned making newspaper pots, well the seeds have germinated and will be ready for transplanting soon.

From the bottom, broccoli (not yet germinated), snap peas, more broccoli, stock flowers (only just germinated).

I like this method of seed raising, it is kid friendly and great for the mote delicate plants. You do have to be careful the bottom of the pot doesn't disintergrate though.

I've been back into weeding the vegie patch after not being able to do anything due to illness. The first patch is almost done. My worm farm is coming along really well. So well that I need to get at least a bucket of the castings out to make some room. I'll probably use the castings in the seed raising mix.

Not much harvesting going on, just Basil, Rosemary and Bay Leaves.

Around the House
Continuing to meal plan and try new meals. I have been baking a lot of muffins and cakes. I have a basic recipie, which I add to, things like fruit (dried and/or fresh), cheese, ham, nuts, whatever is available.

Dug out the original details of the house (we built), to find out what colour was used on the fence in the housing estate we live in. Our fence was graffitied, and I have not bothered to repaint the fence. Anyway got the colour and brand of paint, so that job is now on my list of things to do.

Building Community
I asked my husband to dig out my bike and put the baby bike seat back on so I can take my youngest child for a ride. I'm hoping while the kids are all at school we can ride around. I have set up some playdates this week, trying to get out of the house and socialise.
I've also asked if I can have my nephew for the long weekend, so I'll be driving down to pick him up this week too. And my sister asked if we would like to stay for dinner. I'm super excited about this. And it is pretty big too. I haven't seen her since mid-March, or my neice and nephew. And in my memory, my sister has never invited us around for dinner, so I'm plenty excited about that.

Learning a New Skill
It's more consolidating/ updating an existing skill, but I renewed my Senior First Aid.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Everytime I feel as if life is not fair, I think, after I've allowed exactly 4 min and 59 secs to indulge myself, I should use that last sec to start loading this, and go back to appreciating what I have.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Creative Space

No machine sewing this week. I've been doing plenty of hand sewing though. I'm continuing on with my hexes, I'm up to about 150, as I use up my scraps. I've also started sorting my scraps into 3 bags, 1 for 2" strips, 1 for 5" squares and 1 for 3" inch squares.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back to Basics

Added soil wetta to the fruit trees and weeded a little.
Made a whole heap of newspaper pots ready for various seeds.
Continued to weed neglected vegie patch.

Working for the Future
Ok confession time. My husband and I have a debt. A big one. Like $22 000. It's not important where or how, but I've been ignoring it, hoping it would take care of itself. We went through a stage of paying it off, and we were doing really well. But the repayments we agreed to were to high and we didn't make enough finacial changes to get on top of it. Now it has come to a point where if I don't do something about it, it will cause major problems.
So I've drawn up a budget. I went through and looked at anything we were not contracted to or absolutely had to have and they have been dropped or modified.
Dog wash man. Cancelled. Save $20 per month
Internet. Plan downgraded. Save $20 per month.
Daily Iced Coffee. Cut out. Save $87 per month. (I've been 2 weeks without one anyway, but I'll still count this).
Private health insurance. Suspended. Save $150 per month.

This brings my budget savings to an annual $3324.

I need to bring down my food, electricity and gas bill. So I'm looking at making changes there too.

I am expecting some rebates to come in around July/August totalling $2850. This combined with the above budget adjustments will total $6175.

I need to bring in extra money. I'm going around the house and getting together a pile of items I can sell on eBay. Mostly books, but I have some toys and clothes I think will sell. This is only a small amount in the whole scheme of things but every little thing helps. I've started sewing up clothing and gifts to sell too.

Building Community
This relates to community but it also relates to saving money too. I've rejoined LETS. LETS stands for local exchange trading system and basically is club that participants pay for goods and services using an imaginary currrency. Last time I was a member I was able to get eggs, produce, clothes, books, gifts, massages, plants and so much more for no $.
I also volunteered to serve on the fellowship team at church, and we are planning some fun family friendly events. I'm hoping this will also save some money in that we can do some family activities at little or no cost.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Simple Things

Sometimes it's the simple things that are so precious and priceless.

My son has had the last week off from school due to a nasty bout of tonsilitis and was feeling a bit sad because he missed out on making mothers day gifts at school. So I told him to just write me a story and that would be fine. Anyway this is what he came up with (an early gift!).

"My Mum XOXO
My mum loves my brother and my two sisters and me.
She cleans the house.
She gets all of the nits out of my hair.
She tucks me into bed.
She makes dinner sometimes.
She cleans the cups and bowls.
She makes my bed.
She reads stories with the rest of the family.
She has an iPhone. It is really cool.
She sometimes walks the dog to school.
She drives me to school sometimes.

I love the bit about the nits ;)
What a cool mothers day gift !

Thursday, May 6, 2010



I need to make 540. So far I'm up to 41!

In my last Back to Basics post I mentioned I'm attempting a hexagon quilt. I started off from reading Gina's post about using up scraps, this lead me to Melanies blog post about her charm quilt along .

Now as much as I am inspired by this quilting challenge, I just don't own 540 different scraps of fabric. I could do some swaps, but I really want to reduce my fabric scraps/stash.
So I'm joing the quilt along, but just the hexagonal part, not the charm part :)

So far it has been great fun. I like how each hexagon can be basted in a few minutes, and it is something that can be done with kids on my lap on the lounge. I don't know how long this will take to make though and the 'putting the whole thing together' thing will be a challenge, but so far so good :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back to Basics

My son is sick with tonsillitis, so this will be a short post this week.

I've worked at clearing away weeds in the garden bed as well as tidying up the front yard. For weeds in the pavement I have been using boiling water and salt. It works really well.

I haven't done any planting this week. Harvesting more basil, the last of my tomatoes and bay leaves.

Around the Home
The drain pipe became clogged with gunk, so my husband had to clean and flush that out. It's down the side of the house, an area that we have so far ignored. I've suggested he decks that area, it is long but narrow and in almost complete shade all day long. He thinks that is a good idea, so he'll start collecting the wood for that soon.
I'm continuing on the slow cooker fest, this is a marvelous recipe, really good for using as a base for a meal.
I've also discovered you can freeze celery, and I have been chopping and freezing that for cooking stews.
I have discovered hexagon quilting and how addictive it is. I was inspired by this post about managing your scraps. I hoard my scraps, which is all well and good, but doesn't achieve anything if they are sitting in a box. So I've started making hexagons for a future quilt. I've found that hexagon making is a perfect activity when you have a sick child curled up on your lap ;).

Hope you are all having a lovely week, and thankyou to Belinda for hosting the Back to Basics Challenge.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Creative Space

I got a copy of Ottobre in the post this week which was exciting. Exciting because this issue was sold out, but they decided to do a reprint.
I am making up some matching vest and pants sets for Cadel. The vest pattern is a free download from Leila and Ben.
The WC Eagles p.j's below to my son and need mending. The elastic has gone, which seems to be job of the week as we get our winter clothing out of storage bags. This is the third pair of pants that needed new elastic waistbands.

You can join in or read more creative spaces here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Back to Basics

This week was a bit of a quiet week.

Sowing seed or Planting -


Trying to sprout Sweet Potato so I can plant as cuttings. So far nothing is happening.

Adding hay to the garden beds to improve the soil. Moved the worm farm to its winter position.

Planning for The Future
Menu Planning, using the slow cooker a bit more now the weather is a lot cooler.
I need to focus on getting the electricity bill down, electricity prices are going up enormously.

Working for the Future
Bulk rubbish gone. Cleaned out a bag of toys from the girls room.
Made Cadel some pj pants, he now needs pj tops.

Building Community
Participated in ANZAC parade with my Girl Guides.

Learn a new Skill
None this week

Thankyou to Belinda who hosts the Back to Basics Challenge.

Lined Jacket

I've jumped in and participated in Carolyn's 12 in 12 Challenge and this month it is something lined.

This is a another Avalon jacket from the Sewing Clothes Kids Love book. This time I made the jacket so that it was fully lined (and reversible).

The Back

The Front


This jacket is just as easy to make lined as it is unlined, you just have to remember to sew on all your trims prior to constructing the whole garment. I also think when it is lined, it looks better.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Creative Space

This week I'm sewing up another Avalon jacket, this time for Zoe. In the background is a toy sewing machine. Cadel (bless his cotton socks) loves machines... Including my sewing machine. This week I have learnt more than I want to know about adjusting tension, re-threading and exactly what the numbers and knobs on my overlocker do and mean. Thanks son! (not). So to distract him, I've set him up with some play scizzors and this old toy. It seems to be working.

Join in the fun.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back to Basics

It's been a while. I sort of lost my way a little, which is a shame, because this challenge is a wonderful one and brings so many benefits. This challenge is a bit like a stone that is thrown into a lake, the ripples can keep going, wider and wider, in that it benefits me, my family, my environment, 'the' environment and my community.

So here we go!

Sowing seed or Planting -

Baby Rocket Leaves

Waltham Broccoli
Creamgold Onions
Mesclun Provencal (Lettuce mix)
Playing around with Sweet Potato Tubers. Heard on the radio you should try and sprout them in a jar first. Is this true?

My vegie patch has been seriously neglected and is now chock full of weeds. *sigh* So my goal over the next week is to spend 15min everyday weeding. From little things, big things grow. Right?

Planning for The Future
Menu Planning, I need to start stockpiling again

Working for the Future
It's 'bulk rubbish' time in my community, that is, you put all your unwanted bulky items on the front verge and the council sends along a truck to pick it all up. So we have done a bit a clear out of broken stuff (not suprisingly, mostly plastic) from out of the shed and behind the shed.
I've gone around and done a bit of a de-clutter of the inside of the house, 3 garbage bags of outgrown clothes and unwanted toys have now gone to the op shop. I've got a small pile of 'good' stuff that I will be listing on eBay, I might get a few extra dollars :)
Cadel needs some winter clothes, mostly p.j's and long pants. So I've been through my stash and this week I'm hoping to sew up some things for him. All four of the kids need a basic, but nice, suitable for winter, church outfit (doubles up for special going out clothes too). I've got plenty of fabric, I just need to make the time to sew some things up.

Building Community
Volunteered to bring in a fruit platter for welcome back morning tea at Zoe's school.
Volunteered at church to help out with making bags for a church project.
Babysitting duties for friends and neighbours (doubles up as a school holiday sanity saver).

Learn a new Skill
Tried a new sewing pattern. Looks great!

Thankyou to Belinda who hosts the Back to Basics Challenge.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Flogging a Dead Horse

You can't flog a dead horse. Well you can. And it still remains dead. But maybe it's playing possom (I don't advocate flogging any animal, dead or alive, by the way).

I wrote a letter to my sister and sent it to her along with her birthday gift. The letter was long, it was whiney, it had me crying the entire time I was writing it. I tried to say what I was feeling, but it probably came across as emotional blackmail.

You can't flog a dead horse.


She replied back, she said thankyou for her birthday gift. She apologise for something she did that hurt me. She said, when I'm ready to not be so sensitive, I can call her. *Sigh*

Yesterday my nephew called me. Well actually he called all of us (he's a talkative little 5 year old). But I got to talk to him for ages. I miss the little guy. He said "I'm gonna go to the post man, and he's gonna get my picture, I drew you a picture, yeah, well he's gonna get my picture, and then he's going to post it to you and your post man is gonna come and you'll get it in your box!"

So maybe things will change. Maybe they won't.

Myself, my son, and my poor squished nephew. An old photo, but I love this one.

Avalon Jacket

This is the jacket I was making in the "My Creative Space" post. I really need to use up some of the fabric I've been stashing away so I went for a dig and found this pink corduroy and patterned cotton.

Lil didn't like it at first...It was too pink (huh? too pink? you can have too much pink? lol), but she fell in love with it after I added the ruffles.

Pattern: Avalon from the book "Making Clothes Kids Love". This pattern is also available as a normal pattern from Farbenmix.

Fabric: From my stash (likely to be from Spotlight).




Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Creative Space

This week I'm tackling a whole bunch of projects from the wonderful "Making Clothes Kids Love".

Today it is the Avalon jacket.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blooming Lovely

I came across Miss Madeleine Bloomers over on Colette Patterns several weeks ago. I looked at them, and thought, mmm nice but not so nice on bigger girls. Then a few more weeks later I came across some fabric in my stash which I thought would be perfect for the bloomers, and made these:


Don't they look cute!

And they are really comfty on too. And they look cute on bigger girls too :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I decided to haul my depressed self out of the house and do something fun with my kids for the day. So we drove 2 hrs down to a spot called Donnybrook, which happens to a) have a Apple Festival (they produce a lot of apples and stone fruit down this way) and b) host the BEST playground in WA.

The Apple Festival was ok. Kids had a ball rolling around in giant plastic balls, stared at the weird carnies and ate bad food. I laughed, took lots of photos and bought lots of yummy apples and stone fruit at super cheap prices.

Then we went to the best playground. Ever. I'm told that when a resident of Donnybrook passed away some years back, he left a substantial amount of money 'for the children of Donnybrook', the locals got together and designed and built this playground. And oh what a playground! It has multi-levels, slides, climbing structures, see-saws and swings. Parts of it are shaded, it's fully enclosed and there are BBQ's and eating areas. I didn't take many photos because I was to busy chasing my toddler around!

All in all it was a great day and good pick me up.


I contemplated deleting the previous post. I read it and I tear up, from the outside looking in, it looks so sad and hopeless. It is so sad and hopeless. This has been going on since last October and just feel as if I'm floundering about, neither here nor there.


Thankyou Belinda.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Because I'm Worth It Update

While my lap top has been slowing me down, I didn't abandoned my challenge.

I've been eating breakfast everyday as a habit, which is great. The water consumption has been maintained. I haven't been so good with the Lite Iced coffees....However I have started a $10 000 in 2010 challenge over at the Down to Earth Forums . This is a interesting challenge of living frugally and putting what you save onto your mortgage (or savings account), with the goal of getting ahead by $10000 by the end of 2010. Instead of buying an ice coffee, I've been putting the $3 straight on my mortgage. The satisfaction I get from doing that at the end of the day has been really motivating!

Exercise wise, I've been ok. Not great, but ok. I've walked the dog and played the Wii Fit, but not everyday. My biggest barrier is family demands and at the moment I'm finding it hard to find the time. Add that to the crap Perth summer heat, and motivation goes out the window.

So my goals for this week:
*Keep a food diary.
*Exercise EVERYDAY!
*Keep putting in $3 into my mortgage in lieu of an Iced Coffee.

See you next week!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'm Back!!!

Yeah I know..... I've been MIA (again). I promise, it's not because I've started something (again) and lost interest (again)! I have a good excuse! My son, AKA as Cadel the Stuntman decided mummy needed a new laptop. So on the floor with the old one, twice. Not suprisingly, my old laptop didn't like it's close encounter with the floor, and even though it was still working, i.t w.en.t r.e.a.l.l.y s.l.o.w.

So thanks Stuntman, I'm now typing on my sparkly new laptop and it goes much faster than the last!
And should my new laptop be found on the floor.....believe me, no cute photo with a love heart in it will be put on this blog.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Because I'm Worth It

Well I'm back from Girl Guide Camp, and phew, I'm glad to be back! No place like home, especially a my nice comfortable bed.

I generally ate well on camp, but as food was catered, choices were limited. I could have eaten more fruit, but I drunk plenty of water and didn't have any iced coffees. The closest toilets were about 200m away and the showers were 1km away (I'm not joking). The dining tent was about 850m away.
I'll let you do the maths, but put it this way, I did a hell of a lot of walking!

Despite the several litres a day of water I drunk, I think I'm still dehydrated. I got sunburn on my legs and arms on Wednesday, and in general I developed a tan several shades darker than my normal skin tone (I know this, because I wear over-sized sunglasses, and I'm now sporting a very attractive over sized 'panda eyes' tan line). My skin feels dry and leathery and I seem to have an unquenchable thirst at the moment.

On the up side, I jumped on the Wii and I have lost 900g. I was kind of disappointed, I was expecting more. But it has only been a week, and realistically, 900g is good weight loss for one week.

So, my goals for next week.
*continue to drink water
*walk the dog for 30min x2
*30min of exercise on the Wii fit everyday
*try one new recipe, that is healthy, and share on this blog.

Hope you are having a lovely week. :)