Thursday, April 30, 2009

Creative Space - getting ready for market

The house is full of sewing projects on the road to completion for the market this least I hope they will be completed by then!

These baby blocks are done....not sure if I'll get time to complete the others I have started.

More creative spaces over at Kirsty's (who has a great piece of vintage fabric this week)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Eye spy - a work in progress (WIP)

I felt a bit daunted when I saw the theme for this weeks eye spy, I'm surrounded by works in progress and seem to have a habit of starting more before finishing those already begun! Which WIP to chose.......... gardening projects (a bed half ready for this years garlic crop), sewing projects (all over the house at the moment in preparation for the market this weekend), the last of this seasons pears and tomatoes waiting to be eaten or bottled, the bread that is rising on the kitchen bench, the housework (always a WIP at our place!) A quick look at some of the other eye-spy players assured me I'm not alone, thanks Cindy for hosting eye-spy and Michelle for this weeks theme.

I managed to narrowed it down to a few of the ones at the top of the pile.....

  • skirts & pants awaiting elastifying (that's a word surely)

  • Finished stock for the market...this lot needs ironing & tagging

  • and the most important WIP, the one that keeps on growing, despite all the other projects going on around here and regardless of how little time I actually spend in the present contemplating the fact a fresh babe is about to arrive in our midst's! Only 10 weeks to go, no wonder I keep bumping this tummy into everything at the moment.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Autumn hats

It is a busy week ahead, not sure when I'll be back....

....meanwhile here are some 'hats' Max & I found this week, preparing the family for Autumn's chilly evenings.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Creative Space - portable

I have a friend (& her 2 boys) staying at the moment so everything is very squishy & most of my sewing projects have had to be made portable. I've pinched the kids shopping baskets to store the things I'm currently working on....I'm trying to squeeze in as much as I can as I have another market coming up.....a busy couple of weeks ahead!

In the baskets at the moment are:

  • bibs....using scraps of Echino fabric & a recycled towel as the backing
  • trying to decide which buttons for the blue poppy dress
  • finishing off the yellow flower dress for an order (I love this old curtain fabric & will make one for Adelaide as well......the yellow seems right for the beautiful Autumn light we have been getting)
  • more car pants for the market

And then there is this, a new pin cushion, nothing fancy, made with Max while Addie slept, so much better than the old one!

More creative spaces over here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eye Spy - A magic elixir

I loved this week's theme "A Magic Elixir" from Badskirt for Cindy's Eye spy game so decided to finally get half organised (it is Monday already!) to play.

In our house the banana smoothie reins supreme and iron chef mum is always pronounced the winner after making a round of these.

I always have some strawberries & bananas frozen in the freezer ready to go (I buy them when they are cheap, peel them, bag them & freeze them.....they are only really good for smoothies & cakes after freezing). Max can now get all the necessary equipment out, including bananas & berries. I'm often called to the kitchen to find everything is up on the bench and the kids chanting "let's make smoovies".......great way to fill little stomachs when you have a fussy eater!

So here it is:

  • frozen bananas & berries
  • milk
  • yoghurt
  • honey
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • a couple of teaposoons of LSA

Blend away & tip in straw cups (highly recommended!).......enjoy!

Warning note: it will be really cold & thick

Friday, April 17, 2009

Little lessons

Some of the lessons we have learnt of late;

  • A splatterguard would be useful when making quince paste (our ceiling):

  • listen to mum when she says chilli's are hot:

  • keeping scraps of fabric can be useful, stamping doesn't have to be hideous:

  • some things never seem to stop coming:

  • put pattern pieces away if you want to ever use them again:

"I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma" ~Eartha Kitt

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I'm rapidly gaining a collection of old vintage woolen garments.

I was talking to a lady in the local op shop about using old clothing to cut up & make new garments (no point using fancy words like 'upcycling' to grannies at the op shop....just a new word for something they have been doing for years anyway). She said she had a few things put aside out the back because of broken zippers & the she went & returned with a little pile to get me started on these lovely woolen skirts & pants....

The best bit is I can incorporate all those fancy pockets into new garments without ever having to sew so well myself!

See others Words & Pictures around the theme of Collecting over at Pip's

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009

Glimpses of our Easter, somewhat lacking in Easter eggs but lots of spending time together, getting things done........

Yard work (otherwise known as moving sand about)

Planting: peas, broad beans, celery, leeks, onions, cabbages

Picking more fruit from the neighbourhood

Bottling our tomatoes and trying out a new recipe - onion marmalade.

Another batch of quince paste

Walks in the park, collecting fallen leaves & fruit, finding secret cubbyholes & being tigers

All rather domestic but somehow satisfying (the kitchen bench is almost clear!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Creative Space

This was last nights creative space...the dining table once again. I got this lot out to fill in time while the bread was baking....I've just started baking sourdough bread regularly again. Tim is/has gone gluten-free and now makes his own bread, so the amount of bread we eat has dropped off a bit. Sick of breadmix loaves or sliced bread from the supermarket I'm finally back to delicious sourdough again.

What's in the picture though.....starting from the the top left & going around;
  • finishing off some scooter dress orders
  • a freshly cut little dress in this great poppy print to test the pattern size (this was from the inherited stash mentioned here)
  • some stripey autumn pants for Max (fabric from same place as above)
  • the start of some bread bags, after seeing these beautiful ones I was inspired to make some for our bread. Mine will not be as pretty but I hope they will be as functional & help put a dent in the box of old calico flour bags I have!

And then this morning I got to finish off the first prototype bread bag, it fits our loaves & looks better than the old & tattered brown paper bags I've been reusing forever.

I pinched a few of the kids wooden blocks to make these 'stamps' to add a quick label on the back. The stamps are just foam stick on letters so not mirror images, it kind of works for certain words! I plan to get some real stamps to stamp the next bag with the bread "recipe" so it is always at hand.

For more creative spaces click click click.

Kitchen bench space

Our little kitchen can drive me crazy at times (like whenever I'm in it), the benches are way too low for me, terrible lighting such that every time you use a bench you cast a shadow over where you are working, a silly low hutch over one of two bench tops making it virtually unusable (unless you are really short). It always seems that we never have enough bench space....and although I like to blame the poky kitchen there are other factors at work....

It seems as fast as I bottle, cook, freeze the excess fruits that come our way (or from our garden), more bowls and bags appear on the benchtop! I'm starting to feel like my mother.....I remember our kitchen benches were always filled with excess fruit & veggies that wouldn't quite fit anywhere else.

Tim has already done a batch of quince paste (started back in this post)

now all wrapped up and ready to be used in gifts & for winter feasts. Despite all the mixing this is one of those preserves well worth taking the time to do (we eat this a lot!)

On the weekend I did some big batches of our apples, the quinces & pears

There was tomato sauce (for pasta & the like) cooked & frozen/bottled

Looks like we have more of the same ahead of us if we want to see the bench tops anytime soon!

One of these days I'll get a picture of our downstairs storage lockers where all this stuff ends up....I can't promise it will be as organised (or neat) as Michelle's pantry!

Monday, April 6, 2009

First snow.....winter crafting starts

Today was the first covering of The Mountain with snow, I only noticed it on the way out of the house so missed getting a photo of it. I felt that first real chill of the season as soon as I woke & the heater was on for the breakfast session (porridge all around with Tim away for work). Max got to wear his 'new' coat on the walk to 'school' and was most excited about the arrival of snow. This winter's thrifted coat is super toasty, super plaid & has the all important hood (Max can't stand the wind!)

Max was sooooo excited that a bunny had been to 'school' & given him his first Easter egg...."it's Chocolate mum....from a rabbit". We had it for afternoon tea and now they know what they are, I dread taking them to the supermarket!

With the cold keeping us from venturing too far after 'school' pick up I launched into making the kids an indoor cubby. This is one of those projects that grew from throwing an old sheet over the dining table (for some sanity) to a fully fledged craft project with requests for all sorts of 'renovations'. So far we have windows & the start of a garden, on the list of requests are: doors, a door bell, a letter box, a veggie garden with peas to pick (???), a deck (what have I started), a round window, and a chimney. They have much more faith in my sewing abilities than I do!

There were of course a few head knocks but they stayed in there most of the afternoon....and the table is already cleared for dinner....what a novelty.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


It was 2 months ago that Tim volunteered to go back out to the airport to retrieve my forgotten bag (I'm pleading pregnancy brain or just general brain-fry after a flight back from Brisbane with the kids on my own). On the return trip he spied two journeymen or Zimmermen hitching in to town & stopped to give them a ride.

Having lived in Germany we knew vaguely of the journeymen tradition. As these two had no plans for where they were going to stay (and it was 11pm) they were invited back to our place for the night. As we were about to go to the circus festival for the weekend we offered for them to stay at our place & keep JP company. When we got back Tim sent around an email to see if anyone had work for carpenters...and then the phone ran hot all night.

After a few more days bunking in our lounge room & providing hours of entertainment for the kids they left to start work 'building a house in a shed'. At first I thought something had been lost in translation but today we ventured down the Channel to see what they had built & to say farewell as they leave on the next part of their journey.

The 'house in a shed' was truly that & they had done a beautiful job crafting a home from mostly recycled timber and salvaged doors & windows. The house is not yet finished but is well on it's way and has the sweet smell of freshly oiled timber.

Max was in heaven getting to hang out with the 'big kids', especially down at the tree house

and sitting on the wood pile for dinner

We left feeling glad to have been a small part in their journey (did I mention it's hard to get a 'normal' photo of these guys?)

You can check out some of their work if you ever visit the Botanical Gardens where they replaced the waterwheel in the Japanese section (no nails).


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