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.