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...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Recovering an ironing board

I bought this new (for me) ironing board at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago for $2.It needs a new cover. One of the things that annoys me with purchased iron board covers is that they are thin, and small, and always slip off while I am working on the board. So I make my own cover.
First of all - replace the padding that was supplied with the board
Then I add two layers of an old woolen blanket to add further padding, and the wool makes it really secure with the heat of the iron. I cut the size of the blanket so that there is about 20 cms (8 inches hanging over the edge of the board.
Then using safety pins, I secure the blanket onto the board - folding the ends in carefully
On top of this, I place a piece of recycled fabric. I used a piece of cotton damask - which was a tablecloth which had a wear hole in it. I use this because the fabric is nice and thick, and strong (at the end of the tablecloth where there is less wear) and it is cotton - the fabric that takes the highest heat setting on the iron. I prefer white ironing board covers so that the dyes from the cover don't run any risk of colouring delicate fabrics.
I place the cotton cover onto the board - right side facing down. It overhangs the pointy end of the board by about 40 cm - 16 inches
Fold back this end of the fabric under the ironging board
And pin the shape of the fabric together reflecting the shape of point of the board. Don't pin it too tight - just firm
Do this on both sides of the point
and sew where the pins are. The material will NOT fold back even on each other to make the final seam towards the bottom of the board on the side.
Trim back the extra fabric - but go right over to the edge just above where the folded over fabric ends.
Zig Zag all the edges of the fabric
Fold the pointy end through to the right side
and slip over the pointy end of the board. Carefully arrange the fabric over the board smoothly. At the bottom end of the board, fold over the edges of the cover, and safety pin into place - use hospital corners to make the corners neat.

At the pointy end, fold over the edges of the fabric, and safety pin it up under the folded over piece.
There you have a new ironing board cover - very generous and well secured so it won't move when you are using it. It is also easy to remove, with all of the safety pins, and wash when the inevitable stains show on the white cover.