Saturday, 31 December 2016

A Year in Review

I didn't mean to be away from my blog for this many months.  It's been a big year.

Following redundancies for both of us (eeeek!) in two separate jobs and completely unrelated industries, I've been concentrating on truly getting back to simple living and putting some of my simple living skills to the test.  

I've dipped my toes into some.....and embraced others with gusto.


Home made slices and 'bakes' are now the norm instead of just for a Fete.

I've been growing some of our food, preserving our crops and becoming the absolute queen of fermenting.  I can't believe we used to only have red sauerkraut at Christmas time for a treat.  Now we have gallons of it.
(In the background is our unbelievably large haul of cherry tomatoes for the morning!)


Making washing powder and household cleaners....that actually work.


Knitting and wearing shawls, which I previously thought were only for decrepit old people!


Hand knitted wash cloths now in daily use.


Home made SOAP!


I have actually made my first sports bra/swim top.  It fits and is comfortable, even when I do an upside down yoga pose.  Who would have thought that was even possible.......the sports bra, not the upside down pose (but that too).   :)


I'm learning to read a crochet pattern.....so excited about this.


Up-cycling, mending, op-shopping and proud of it.

Using re-usable disposables and proud of that too.


Mostly I've learned about the beauty, tranquillity, peace and healing that keeping a gentle home and living a simple life can bring.


I wonder what 2017 will bring?

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Upcycled Canvas Bag

I'm just popping these images onto the blog so that I have a record of all of my 'makes', whether they're easy and fun or a bit more adventurous.

This one belongs to the 'fun' category.


A little up-cycling job on a Jackson's canvas bag.


It was made for Christmas for a very lovely friend, and the peace sign, heart and wings that I appliqu├ęd on were chosen to symbolise 'Peace, Love and Hope'.  


The finished bag was used as a fun wrapping for a Jewelled Slice, made from tropical dried fruits and nuts soaked in copious amounts of alcohol....yum.  I never did hear whether the slice made it home in one piece after our boisterous night out partying, laughing and gift giving.  Hopefully the bag did it's job!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Japanese Sewing Books.

I love Japanese sewing books.  The garments look so calm and serene.  I can just imagine floating through the garden wearing a simple hand made linen smock, picking our own home grown fruit and vegetables.  Or perhaps sitting at my desk in filtered sunlight wearing a light lace edged shrug, hand writing a letter home, with of course my very best calligraphy pen.  In  real life though, I trample through an overgrown garden wearing fifteen year old cut off shorts, or quickly tap out a short email to home on my laptop, always with my brain going a hundred miles an hour.

Somehow in my mind, Japanese sewing books seem synonymous with serenity.  

I even own a couple myself.  


Beautiful aren't they?





I haven't sewn anything from them yet.

I don't know what I'm waiting for.... serenity and filtered sunlight? 

All that is about to change however, as I've won a really beautiful book on ebay.  This book is just exquisite. Full of graceful, simple, gentle dresses in heritage floral fabrics.  Right up my alley.


Hmmmm......I can feel myself becoming calmer by the second, and can just about smell the roses.


Oh....wait a minute......


Whaaaat?





It really is a Japanese sewing book.

Yep.  Written in Japanese.

It would appear that I'm not the ebay queen I thought I was.




Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Rainy Sunday Fabric Stash.

Before deciding what fabrics to use for my next project, I thought it would be very wise to have a bit of a fabric stash sort out, so I actually knew what I had.  I found lengths of fabric in my wardrobe, my husband's chest of drawers,  under the bed in Spotlight bags, out in the shed in plastic tubs, stuffed into the corner of my pattern drawer, rolled up and tucked into the knitting basket, snuggled next to my Winter boots, balancing in a precarious pile behind my nighties and believe it or not, in the actual 'fabric drawer'......what, only one drawer for fabrics?  Pfffft.

I'm sure there's still more hidden away ready to surprise me with a springy pop of colour when I'm least expecting it.


Here's where I'm at so far.  All lengths sorted, labelled and perfectly bagged, ready to go out to the shed....where all things spidery and creepy dwell. 


What an organised little seamstress I am.

I have soooo many beautiful batik sarong lengths that I've bought in Bali.  They look deceivingly narrow to me now so I guess it's wishful thinking that I would get a dress from each one.  Maybe I'll just have to learn to stand up straight.....and take ladylike pixie steps. 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Hello 2016

We are already half way through the very first month of a beautiful, fresh and shiny brand new year.  It's exciting to think of all the experiences, opportunities and adventures that are waiting.  Just for me.
Woop woop!

Each year I pick a word to focus on,  a word that encourages me to think about how I would like to interact with the world on a daily basis.  A word that aligns with my values and leads me to make appropriate choices.  

This year I've chosen 'authenticity'.  I'd like to live authentically, nurture the honest and genuine friendships that we have, spend time working toward a tranquil and productive garden,  create more and purchase less......

This is the little corner where I sit, contemplate, stitch, blog, develop cellulite, (that was the first bit of authenticity) and come up with all this incredible wisdom -

   
Lovely isn't it?

......and in the words of Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Be Silly, be honest, be kind.

    

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Goodbye 2015


Last night we enjoyed our third family Christmas celebration.  I don't think I can take much more.  You'll see why in a minute.

Our first celebration was on the 19th of December with dear friends, all of whom were going away for the festive season.  The second was celebrated with my eldest daughter at a beautiful long time girlfriend's house with her and her family on Christmas Day.....

......and the third, the 'piece de resistance' was last night when my hard working husband flew in from his mine-site job.  We unwrapped more presents and he got to enjoy one of the things  he likes best of all.......a few cold beers.  
Probably a few too many.


Embracing the Christmas spirit and attempting to get the whole of the festive season stuffed into one night I think.  Wearing his new beach backpack, reading his new book, drinking his beer, wearing his Christmas hat, opening his Christmas cracker........

.......ooooohhhh goody, another hat 'outfit'.


"Hey Love.....ROAR!!!"

See what I have to put up with?  

Very scary.

Celebrating in the comfort of your own home (and whiskers) is what it's all about isn't it?

A very MERRY Christmas....for the last time this year!