Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Just in time ...

July seems to have whizzed by and I had a lot to do in it!  The last couple of days have been spent catching up with all my quilting bees.

For Sarah in the ANZAC Bee.  This was the first bee I signed up for and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  Sarah was the last person in the bee so I would like to say a huge thanks to Amy over at Seven Stitches for organising it and introducing me to virtual quilting bees (VQBs).

Nova, in the Australsian Bee, wanted some wonky star in July so I happily obliged!

The newest bee I'm part off is the Bee Seam Piecing Downunder and Bec sent out the fabric with the wish for something traditional with a twist.

A job well done and all off in the post winging their way to Australia.

I am the queen bee for August in the Bee Seam Piecing Downunder so I've also had to get organised with my fabric choices and patterns.  After discarding a couple of options I've decided on a traditional log cabin block made from fabric from vintage sheets and pillowcases.

I've been collecting vintage sheets since we returned to NZ and am very happy to seem them being put to some good use at last.  I think these blocks will be alternated with a simple square within a square block and maybe it's time for me to try some free motion quilting!  I already have a place earmarked for this quilt so hopefully it won't be too long in the making. x

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

So what's the news?

Well that break was a little longer than anticipated but here we go again!

So what was my news?  Well I've had my first order!!!!!!!!!  Now this is very exciting for me and a realisation of a long held notion.  Remember the market?  Well, the person sat next to me knew someone and that someone happened to have a shop in Palmerston North and the person who sat next to me talked to that someone who has a shop and hey presto!!!!

Obviously a little more was involved but needless to say the someone with the shop now has some little grubs clothes hanging in it!!!  Aaaaarghhhhh how excited am I?!!!!

The shop is Stork on George Street in Palmerston North - if anyone is passing have a look.  They have the egg Maternity franchise, stock truly beautiful merino items by Nature Baby and now they have little grubs!

There are more photos over on my flickr pages if you fancy popping over.

It's so great to finally be able to share such good news after all the support I have had on these pages.  Thank you so much once again! x

Sunday, 11 July 2010

A few days away ...

We went away to the beach for a couple of nights last week.  I don't have many photos because the battery on my camera ran out but I do have lovely memories!

We had tea out the first night there which is a rare occurrence and so was wonderful!

Candle lit concerts by the children by the fireside

A walk along the beach into the southerly which could almost hold me up

No TV, no mobile and no computer

Op shopping in old and new stores and finding an absolute treasure - more on that later

A husband who did all the dishes

Being read to in the evening whilst crocheting - something I would truly recommend!

I didn't really want to come home which is quite good really because we're going back again tomorrow!!  Why did we come home?  Because I had some work to do.  Work.  Proper work.  Consisting of sewing.  For someone.  All very exciting and I'll let you know soon.

Hope you all had a great weekend. x

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Australian Damper Bread

Thank you to all of you who left a comment on my last post.  It's been really interesting to read what people are doing in their daily lives.   I'm going to make the products tonight so will keep you posted.

I got this book out from the library on the weekend and it's full of delicious sounding breads - all without yeast so without all the waiting.  Yeah, yeah I know that 'proper' bread making is great (having only recently discovered how to do it I have to admit I do love it) but these are breads you don't have to think about in advance.

The Australian Damper Bread caught my eye yesterday and it was the only recipe for which everything was in the house (not that hard really because it was only flour, salt and butter!!!).

Unfortunately we didn't have any prawns on hand to throw on the barbie!  I made the cheese version and it was delicious!!!

From page to bowl to oven to table in 40 minutes - wonderful.  It tasted great on its own and then with blueberry relish but would be really great with a chunky soup. x

Monday, 5 July 2010

Taking some baby steps ...

We try to live lightly on this earth but we are a long way from perfect, the fact that we fly long haul will attest to this!  But I think we have come a long way and take for normal what other people would see as, well not abnormal but more effort than they are perhaps willing to put in - does that make sense?

Whilst visiting a variety of blogs I like seeing what other people are doing in their efforts to be greener (not that I really like that word but I think you all know what I mean by it).  Some people seem so far down the road that I think I could never catch up.  But it's not really a race is it?  In my opinion it's about doing what you can, when you can and fitting it into every day family life.  I know that something that doesn't fit into the rhythm of our day won't last for long.  We tend to have spurts of improvement and then reach a plateau doing all those 'normal' things until I read or see something and then I get motivated all over again to make some more changes.  I'm always fascinated by those things that people find easy to do without/find an alternative for and those people struggle with - they are all so different, something I find easy and normal is difficult for another family.

I have been reducing our exposure to chemicals for many years and this took a huge step forward when we had children.  I periodically go through the house trying to reduce our chemical footprint but then some do slip back in and some I have never tried to substitute before.  I have two products which I don't like having in the house and I don't let my children anywhere near due to their toxicity, and that is dishwash powder and washing powder.  I've just realised, as I've typed that, how weird it sounds: 

"I don't let my children anywhere near them"


I use one to wash our dishes, which my children eat off, 
I use one to wash our clothes in, which the children wear each day.

Doesn't quite add up eh?!

So inspiration has come from blogland once again.  I have seen various recipes for household cleaners over the years but this one from ecoMILF caught my eye last Friday and on Saturday I went and bought the ingredients.  It's nice to know someone's using it and likes using it so I thought I would give it a go.  It will also be interesting to see how much it costs as that is a factor for us.  However, even if it does cost a little more but we're reducing chemical consumption then that has to count.  Of course I've also got to make it!!!

So, on the shopping list were bicarb of soda, washing soda, borax and Dr Bronner bars of soap.  I made a substitution - the Dr Bronner soap was $8.49 each and the ecoSTORE were $3.50 each.  I guess they'll do the same thing - we'll have to wait and see.

The other item in the photo is my knitted dishcloth, which I made over a year ago and haven't used yet!!  I was so pleased with it that I didn't want to get it dirty - pretty silly really as that's why I made it.  But now that I am a knitter (in the loosest sense of the term) I have decided to use it and make some more!  And I also want to make some scouring clothese which I have seen recently over here, via Norwoods Walkabout (who by chance is making her own deodorant which I will have try later), and here.

So I have decided that for the month of July I am going to try and take some baby steps on my journey towards living lightly, or at least a little lighter


As I mentioned earlier, each person and family is unique and each do things in different ways so I would love to know what you do to make your environment less toxic, to reduce your waste, to live lighter?  It might just take a different slant on the same issue to make me see that it is something I could incorporate into my daily life.  Maybe you have already posted about some issue and could leave a link in the comments, maybe you too are incorporating some new changes to your life - I would love to know how you get on.

I'll post again once I've made the products and costed them out and then again once we're using them - I have to say I am very excited by it all!!! x

Thursday, 1 July 2010

My creative space ....

This week the focus has moved from fabric to yarn.  I have crocheted up a whole load of flowers to make into a scarf for me, I've knitted a scarf for Craig and I have knitted a dress for Cassia.

So here it is, being modelled (in the very loosest sense of the word!) by someone who really didn't want to put it on this morning and certainly did not want to put on clothes that it might actually go with!!!!!

There's a few mistakes and I didn't really follow the pattern strictly but I'm so PROUD!!!  I've always been very envious of people who can knit so I thought it was about time I taught myself.  I've been able to make long, straight rows of knitting (aka scarves) for a while but was a bit daunted by shaping, however I took it slowly and achieved this!!!  On to bigger and better things I think.  I guess the knitting bug could be pretty addictive eh?! x

For lots more lovely creative spaces head over to kootoyoo x