Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I love Freecycle

Today, we received the best present for the New Year through freecycle. It is a three piece display/storage cupboards for our dining room. My dolls will have a new home now for display - and I have a plastic container (somewhere) which has some lovely things in that I can put on display. Thanks to our friend R who was a wonderful help to get them home.

If you haven't checked out Freecycle in your area - do so.

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,658 groups with 6,292,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Meme about me.

I don't usually do these - but this one captured my imagination...

I have bolded anything I have done - at least once....

Feel free to tell us about you on your blog too...

1. Started your own blog.

2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited The Great Barrier Reef.
5. Stood under the stars in the outback, the real outback – think Uluru.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to the Gold Coast’s theme parks – anyone, you take your pick.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sung a solo.
11. Bungee jumped, jumped out of plane, been paragliding or hang-gliding, hot air ballooning – you get the idea, you’ve been hundreds of metres about earth in a seemingly flimsy contraption.
12. Visited Melbourne.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Had a child. Raised a child. Worked with children.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Been to the Snowy Mountains.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Visited the Brett Whitely studio in Surry Hills, Sydney.
20. Slept on an overnight train or bus.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Been backpacking.
23. Taken a mental health day.
24. Been buried in sand with just your head and toes sticking out.
25. Held a possum, kangaroo or koala – or any other native Australian animal.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Been in a fun run.
28. Been on the Blue Mountain cableway.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Played, or watched, summer cricket.
32. Sailed, kayaked or canoed our beautiful waterways.
33. Seen the Daintree.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Visited an Aboriginal settlement or mission.
36. Learned a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Toured the Sydney Opera House.
39. Tried rock climbing (indoor or outdoor), abseiling or just simple bush walking.
40. Visit Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art.
41. Been to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
42. Sunbaked at Bondi.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Broome.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone fishing.
49. Seen Tasmania’s old growth forests.
50. Been to the top of Q1, on the Gold Coast.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Driven the Great Ocean Road.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Norfolk Island.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Guide biscuits.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone jet boating.
66. Visited Port Arthur.
67. Bounced a cheque.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favourite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Australian War Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Federation Square.
74. Been on the Murray River.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Travelled, or climbed, over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Three Sisters at Echo Point, Katoomba.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited St Mary’s Cathedral, in Sydney.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Been to Hermannsburg.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited Parliament House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Saved a pet.
95. Been to the site of the Eureka Stockade.
96. Swum in The Whitsundays.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a mobile phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The dream continues

My dream - you know the one of a "Chick's Studio" - is progressing. I have accumulated 5 sewing machines, a weaving loom, a spinning wheel, a bin of Hobbytex, countless balls of wool and crochet cotton, knitting needles, ohhh and goodness knows what else. The possibility of a room to set up is very real, and with a kitchen attached...

Like most things - it will develop slowly which can be a pain because I can see the whole thing in my mind...

Keep watching - probably in the New Year I may be able to give more details.

Happy Christmas / Holidays everyone.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Frugalling Fun

This morning, on my weekly date with my darling, we visited some fetes - first one useless, and then called into tss for a comfort stop, and managed to convince her to become my "voice of frugal reason". (Hahaha - she can't do that!!) After checking out two places which seemed not be open yet, we finally found a garage sale that was open, and I found what is possibly a silver tea pot.

The second garage sale was a bonus - Look - 2 sewing machines - well and truly vintage) - for NOTHING - nada - free - gratis. The owner was pleased to have them go to a place where they could be loved.

Then to the Catholic Church fete in Dickson - and found... 2 bead door hangings, some baking trays, a couple of dolls and this gorgeous teapot... TSS found the mother load - a box full of sewing goodies (watch her blog for more details.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

When life says NO ...

I needed to renew my license - as you do on your birthday divisible by 5 in the ACT. I had a pile of questions to answer - you know the usual - do you have epilepsy?, do you have diabetes?, are you taking illicit drugs? - NO NO NO. Do you have a heart condition / disease or paralysis? Ummm YES. If you have answered YES to any of these - you are required to obtain a medical statement from your own doctor stating you are a medically fit person etc...

So off I go with confidence - picking up the most lovely cards from Lester and Mum on the way - feeling really good about life.... I ask him for a statement, and he hesitates... and eventually says No Janet, I can't give you that.
Ohhhh Come on - I am not that bad, and I really don't drive when I am feeling sick.. Come on...
No Janet - you could black out and be a danger to yourself and others. You would never forgive yourself if you hurt someone else...

Geez - I lose my license BEFORE Mum does. NOT FAIR.... Just as well Bob still has his, even though he can't do too much driving. It is just stressful for him. So no more long trips up to Queensland for us.

There is a chance that when I go and see another specialist in Sydney in December, that an ablation may (or may not) fix it all up, and I will be able to drive again. In the mean time, life changes again...

  • Time to adapt to new circumstances.
  • Time to be grateful for living so close to everything we need that we can walk there.
  • Time to be grateful for a reasonably good bus system which leaves from my front door, and goes most of the places around Canberra.
  • Time to remember that no matter what life throws at me - God is still with me, and there are a lot of people worse off.
  • Time to remember that you can adapt to anything in life - and here I am complaining about not being able to drive.
  • Time not to have my sense of identity and purpose wrapped up in a little piece of plastic giving me permission to use a lethal machine regularly

Friday, November 14, 2008

Birthday Books

Thank you Lester for your book voucher. It was wonderful to indulge in some retail therapy yesterday - without guilt, and just when I needed it.

Here are my choices
Mary Webb - 400 Embroidery Stitches - beautiful collection of embroidery stitches to have fun with.

A lovely collection of embroidery samplers found in Glasgow Museums. How inspiring - and I want to make some samplers...

And the Magazine from one of my favourite shows

After getting the books, I relaxed at the Canberra Museum and Gallery to listen to TSS talk about her DollsHouse Collection on ABC radio.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When Fifty feels like hundred

Tomorrow I turn fifty. I was proud of this - thrilled, and pleased that Fifty is the new Thirty... and all of that

until I needed to renew my driver's license, and because of my heart condition (Atrial Fibrillation), I had to get a letter from my Doctor to say i was OK to drive. All is well - until I asked him, and he got 'that' look on his face. In the end, after umm and arhing, he apologised, and said he couldn't...

So I have my wings clipped - well and truly. As of tomorrow, I cannot drive, until I find a Doctor who will allow me to.

That's OK isn't it - there is always Bob - that is another story... So he can, but should he.

Yes, I am spirally down in depression - won't go too far I hope, but this significantly changes my life doesn't it. Feeling a lot of loss at the moment.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What have I done???

I have done it now ... went out on the garage sale hunt this morning... and bought a table loom - a 4 draft loom. Now I have looked up instructions on how to use a loom, and I have to admit that it is phasing me... what have I done?

never mind - I shall sit on having read the instructions for the moment, until it bugs me to give it a go...

Also - can you ever have too many knitting needles. I got another bundle this morning (probably 40 pairs) after getting nearly the same amount - including double pointed needles last week. Yes Mum - I can only use one pair at a time - that is if I have only one project on the go at a time. One day.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Well I am here - at least

tss picked on me on the weekend for being slack on my blog. She couldn't be right could she.

What have I been up to - picking "stuff" up at garage sales and the like - much more than I like to admit. However, it all has a good purpose. Oh and an unexpected, but delightful two week drive up to Queensland to see my relatives and friends. naturally, I had to visit the op shops and garage sales there didn't I, and got some bargains (see tss.

I have long thought that the Mens Shed movement was a great idea. But why should the men have all the good ideas. How about a Chick's Studio? Can't you see it - a place where we have all the big equipment available, community resourced library of patterns and recipes, a kitchen to play around in, and lots of comfortable lounge chairs to sit on and craft and chat. Well that is my dream - and keep looking here for more ideas forthcoming...

Ohhh - my camera has decided to fritz itself - have to find a way around that, and I promise you some pictures of my finds over the last month or so....

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Shop

Well I have finally done it - and put some items on my MadeIt shop.
A cross stitch badge - 5cm circle
Plarn clutch purse
Plarn hand bag

another plarn hand bag
Cotton coin purse
and matching hand bag

Guess what this is...

This is my first sale from my MadeIt shop. Yippeee

Now I am putting up some new products - go and see shortly

Monday, July 28, 2008

The best laid plans...

You know how it goes - we were all packed up to go to the markets yesterday - packed the car Saturday night to be ready - and then I wake up at midnight with my heart all racing, and out of rhythm - in Atrial Fibrillation. Se we couldn't go to the markets - :(

Anyhow - here are some things I have been making. These two bags were crocheted out of plarn. What's Plarn you say? It is yarn made out of cut up plastic bags - and then crocheted up. They are both lined with some fabric.

Also I knitted up this floor mat from a torn up sheet. It is so cuddly and warm on my feet.

So, if I haven't got enough things to make up crafts from - here I have some freebies to add to the pile....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hello World...

This Sunday I am introducing Gentle Footprint to the world at the Tuggeranong Indoor Markets. So today and tomorrow, I am working on arranging my tables for the markets. I have two collapsible tables at home I will use, and I will be setting them up in my lounge room. Should be fun.

See you there if you are in Canberra this Sunday ... and yes I will try and remember the camera!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pincushions, crochet and hankies

I have been making things this week ... first there are pin cushions...

And crochet - around mats

and hankies...

If you are lucky, you will see these in my shop by the end of the week ;)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Garage Saling - again

I've been at it again - checking out a garage sale or two - and collecting fabric. This collection of sheets from en estate sale for $20

And these two bags of material for another place for $30.

I have to admit - I have no where to put them!

(Sorry about the quality of the photos, I don't know what is happening to my digital camera, but it is a nuisance....)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Things to do in the cold weather

So... what do you do with your nearest and dearest who does your washing - love him of course. But when he takes a lambswool jumper, and washes it, and then dries it in the tumble drier - and ohhhh well I will have to lose a LOT more weight for it to fit me again...

Never mind - I cut off the sleeves, and they make very good hot water bottle covers don't they! I have been wanting to make something with felted jumpers - so here goes.

Michelle has been crocheting alone as a part of the Tour de France knitalong going on. So I told her I would join her with some crochet I am doing at the moment...

Firstly - I started making these cute little flower medallions - and I had to join them together and make something out of it didn't I. Don't know what it will finish up being...

Then I made a circle out of some cotton... and thought it would make an interesting pot holder...
so I crocheted a bit of fleece on the back

Then I have been patching some potholders / hot mats
and these are backed with an old towel - actually they make really good face cloths for in the shower - I love mine.

And some more hot mats...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

You know you've spent too long at hospital when...

You go to the Supermarket to buy some food, and two nurses stop you to ask how you are now... people I have only met once or twice - one at emergency, and the other at the Nuclear Imaging place...

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I have joined the Wardrobe Refashion" and have put up my first entry - making aprons from a repurposed circular tablecloth.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I have a cold - and I want it to be a Man Cold. I want to be miserable, and demand attention... You see, it has to be a man cold - I got it from my man. I want my share of sympathy and care that I have had to dispense for the past 5 days.

Well - I should not complain, some wonderful man just filled up my hot water bottle so I can stuff it inside my dressing gown and enjoy the comforting warmth.

Funny thing is - I am finding it hard to resist going down to the Chemist (which is right under our Unit) and stocking up on every variety of cold medicine there is. Then I remind myself, we have been getting colds for centuries, and survived quite well without all sorts of mixtures and potions.

So what natural remedies do you use for a cold. The old lemon and honey I remember. I took a few Asprin last night for the raging sore throat - and then remembered why I need to avoid them - it has irritated my stomach already. Hopefully that will settle soon if I don't continue with the Asprin.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Living a simple life

I have just found this wonderful site about living the simple life.

These people are motivated by their Christian faith to live a very simple life. There are some wonderful instructions on making home made washing soap, and how to care for a house.

Some of us are going to have to accept the choice these women make to be 'servants' of their husbands - but you gotta admire their commitment to live using a minimum of the earth's resources.

Have fun looking through the site - and then tell me if you find their simple approach to life just so attractive.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bless the Post Man

Look what just got delivered to my place....

Thank you Christy who sent it as part of aswap organised by Tracey (when I have more time, I will find the link to her blog)

Got to go...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits (NOT cookies!!!) are much beloved in Australia and New Zealand - in recognition of our brave soldiers (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps - ANZAC).
They are easy to make - and always appreciated.

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F)

1. Measure into a mixing bowl
....1 cup rolled oats (I prefer the quick oats kind)
....1 cup plain flour
....1 cup of brown sugar (actually I prefer half and half brown and raw sugar)
....1 cup coconut.
2. Melt 125g butter in microwave (or in saucepan on stove top)
3. Add to melted butter:
....1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda
....2 tablespoons (40 ml) of boiling water
....2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
4. Mix the two sets of ingredients together
5. Put some baking paper on a couple of metal cooking trays (you can spray oil on the trays, or rub with a little bit of butter if you prefer - I love using baking paper because it cuts down on the washing up later, but not necessarily the greenest option)
6. Place spoonsful of the biscuit mixture on the tray - leave a little gap between each biscuit to allow the mixture to spread when cooking. You should get about 28-32 biscuits from the mixture.
7. Cook in the heated oven for about 12 minutes. Biscuits are cooked when they just turn a lovely golden brown colour. Don't overcook - they will come out of the oven a bit soft.
8. Leave the cooked biscuits on the tray to cool down - they will become a little firmer as they cool.
9. Keep from husbands, children and visitors if you want to keep them - otherwise, they will disappear at a very fast rate if you leave them out. The delicious smell of cooked Anzac biscuits acts like a beacon to hungry stomachs, and husbands who want to relive childhood memories...

Some days are diamonds....

I just love Saturday mornings when Bob and I go checking out garage sales. Sometimes, you just come home with a car load full - look....

It includes:
7 netball skirts from a garage sale $8.00
about 10 pieces of material from the Kippax Uniting Church Garage sale - $13.00
A pile of sheets, pillowcases, doona cover and curtains - Kippax Uniting Church Garage sale $20.00
2 Big plastic containers of fabric pieces (less the containers) - Garage sale $20.00
The most gorgeous set of cups and saucers from Kippax Uniting Church garage sale $5.00

They are for sharing real cups of tea with my visitors, and if you are lucky, you may get some Anzac biscuits with it too. I am most happy for you to come and have a cuppa tea sometime - just email me and make arrangements.

OK - if you aren't happy with the jumble photo of my finds - I will sort them out soon, and take photos to show you what is in there...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Introducing.... The Green Granny

OK then - after the little grumble below... I must introduce you to the newest member of our house.

The Green Granny is my alter ego - she is full of wonderful advice on how to be more earth friendly by learning and using the "Gentle Arts" - of course leading to a more Gentle Footprint on the earth.

The Green Granny will be starting up her own blog before too long too... watch this space


Life is a little sucky around our place at the moment. I have been having episodes with my heart playing up lately. Sometimes it is in and out of Atrial fibrillation - where the heart beats in the top parts of my heart go all wonky, and try to beat many times too fast. Kinda hard to get around when this happens, and they (the Emergency Department) take it seriously to get things back to normal. But on top of that, I am also having other little wobbly episodes of dizziness, and ... well you know - just not too well. Kinda gets to you after a while. I am awaiting an appointment with the Heart Specialist to see what is going on...

So I haven't done any sewing for three days - and I am missing it. Just losing the capacity to concentrate - and every couple of hours I head to the bed for another snooze. I think that explains why I have woken up at 2.00am...

Just to add to my grumbles - boy it is been cold around Canberra of late. Inside the unit is not too bad, but go outside, and you know about it. I am struggling to enjoy the crisp air, and frosty mornings - prefering the warmth inside.

Now I have finished my little grumble (I hope).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Frugalling Finds

This has been a good weekend for me with finds. Sometimes it happens, at other times you don't find much. Better still, I actually took photos of them to show you...

The St Ninian's Book Fair turned up these treasures for $2 each. Some interesting things to do in there.

Then I picked up these books from a free-cycler. 70s crafts, and what memories they bring back. Remember macrame?

Then I picked up these patterns from Aussie Junk in Mitchell. I paid $20 for these and a bedspread (forgot to photograph that one) which will make some interesting bags I suspect.

We went to the Trash and Treasure market in Jamieson, and a lovely young lady was cleaning out her material stash - all for $2. it was a freezing morning, and they were keen just to get rid of what they had, and go home to warm up. A few stretch Tshirting material...

and a number of upholstery fabric samples - make interesting patchwork, or pot holders, or little bags... or something I am sure.
Yes I have been busy making things - I will be having a stall at the Tuggeranong markets on the 29 June if you are interested to come along. These markets will be introducing "The Green Granny" to the world. More later...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stitch & Miss

I am so disappointed. I decided I was going to my first Stitch and Bitch tonight in Civic. So I get ready, drive in from Gungahlin, and park my car in the Canberra Centre. As I get out of the car, I think my bag is a bit light - yes there is some knitting, but where is my purse? Not there!

I realised I had driven in without a cent (or a drivers license) on me, and I had taken a ticket in the car park. Fortunately I found out I had about 10 minutes to leave without paying anything for parking - which I promptly did. I wasn't feeling so sure of myself to walk into a bunch of strange women with knitting needle weapons and ask for a loan to pay my parking fee. So it was back home again, to watch Hell's Kitchen.

I am sorry not to meet a group of women I have been wanting to meet for a while... Oh well, next time I guess.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wow - is it God, or the Universe, or Serendipity

Sometimes - things just come together and you can't explain it.

On Sunday, we went to an auction, and there was a fairly new sewing machine which I bought for $45. We had to download the instruction manual - another $8.50. I hadn't got around to checking it out... Then today, old faithful decided it had enough - and just stopped... jammed stop.

So there I got the new sewing machine out - and actually made it worked!

Is it God - well I can accept that - or the Universe making sure everything goes together ... or just serendipity. Sometimes it just all comes together.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bags and hats

I have been making some bags and hats. they are all fully lined, and I love them. They are for sale. All materials has been obtained either from op shops or other frugalling expeditions, or has been re-purposed from no longer used clothing. The quality of material is outstanding.

This matching beret and hand bag is made from pure silk, and is lined with polyester material.

Here is the hat
and bag

Another bag and hat set made from cotton velveteen, and lined with acetate rayon lining.

A hat made from cotton damask - an interesting texture

and another one made from re-purposed suiting. It is a delightful jade colour.

An Etsy shop is coming soon...