Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy days

 
My gosh, it has been a while since I last posted. The days have been full and interesting being Summer, there are a lot of things happening. I hope everyone had a glorious Christmas time and a lovely New Year.
 
For New Year I sat down to write out my goals for 2014. I think the list is a modest one I can achieve.
 
 
My goal for 2014 is to work towards building the foundation of a life towards Homespun, Homestead simplicity. I intend for 2014 to focus on Simple Living aspects as much as possible and move away from focusing on consumerism.
 
My goals:

 
 
-Working on weight loss or more importantly focusing on healthy eating.
-More journal writing in books. Documenting my days more on paper rather than just using my blog only
-More photography.


 
-Building up more seeds towards a seed bank for my future gardens.
-Focusing on herbs.
-Cooking from scratch where and when possible.

-Spend moments trying not to rely on electricity. Ways I hope to achieve this include:
Invest in a solar battery charger for laptop/ipad/phone. (The only moderately large ticket item I will buy this year).
-Hand sewing.
-Using solar lights for bedside night lights.

 

-Begin homestead making with project such as:
Soap making
Canning
Cooking from scratch
Quilting
Candle making
 
- Start up a container garden for many medicinal and useful herbs.
-Begin using many of the herbs I grow for projects including:
Remedies
Natural Dyeing
Cooking

I am really looking forward to the herbs and natural dyeing as it is something I've had an interest in a long time. While I am achieving my goals I will also be commenting around on my favorite blogs and new blogs too! Hmm that may defeat the purpose of not using electricity too much. Oh well I do enjoy looking at all the beautiful things everyone shares. Thank you all for being so inspiring.

Monday, 2 December 2013

honey bee

 
Waiting for the bees.
 
I finished my bee painting. The story evolved as I painted. She holds a bee skep in her hand (a small one) and waits for the bees to arrive in her garden during the day. The painting is on a long skinny canvas done in acrylic paints.

 
In the background I featured Simba, who is a dreaming fox in this painting.


And the roses are there too. Along with the baby blue plumbago bush I was admiring. Her lacy collar is inspired by a battenburg lace collar I have in my stash. Now onto thinking about other projects.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Summer flowers


 
When it is not raining I try to get out and about to go walking as much as possible. I'm not getting very far just yet but eventually my health will improve and I will walk longer. Meanwhile there's plenty of inspiring beauty to see just around the block I walk. The happiest one, and perhaps the most oddly beautiful sight was seeing a large hare bounding out of Nanna Chel's street and away. Likely heading to the crops in the CSIRO produce paddocks. 


 
There's so many beautiful roses on show at the moment. Dad is buying new ones and planting them. These lovelies were spied on my walks. They are going to feature in my bee painting.
 
 
I don't know about anyone else but I can't help picking up treasures I see along the way. I always come home with a pocketful of treasures.
 
 
And occassionally I've been teaching Mister Simba to walk with me on his lead. It's exhausting for both of us!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Quiet days

 
I love the baby blue color of the Plumbago plant that grows around the side of the house. The bush is quite tall and the flowers are covering it in a pale mauvy blue.
 
 
After the big lot of rain the garden bed where I planted beans, cucumbers, and radishes is coming along nicely. Although the other seeds I planted don't seem to be coming up just yet.


Radishes are growing and getting bigger.

 
My vintage photo collection grows and I've been scribbling in my sketch book as well.

 
And my bee painting is moving along very slowly. Maybe soon it will be finished.

Monday, 25 November 2013

blackbird fly

 
I made a lot of these clay blackbirds a while ago and finally decided to make a pair up into earings.

 
Also there has been simple sketching in my smallish sketch book. Just ideas and practice.


 
And some dreams into color in the same sketch book. I have a painting I am working on too, soon it might be finished.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Button Buttons

 On Saturday I attended the last workshop until Easter next year for the  Simple Living workshop for button jewellery. Everything was supplied with the class and once everyone sorted through the buttons they would like to use every one set about making their jewellery.

 
There were lots of assorted buttons to choose from and everyone produce different but stunning results.

 
For a couple of hours everyone worked away on their necklaces and it was a very enjoyable time.

 
The day was well spent and I came home with a few early presents ready for Christmas.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

At Home

 
There are a lot of pieces at home that belong to various people from both sides of my parents family. The shoe belongs to dad's mum and the hat pins belongs to the lady in the picture. She's my great great grandma who pass on a long time back at the age of 90. The crochet books belong to mum.

 
We always had a china cabinet in our house. Does anyone have those any more? I'm not sure if anyone would know what they are today. This set belongs to my mum's mother who also passed away. Isn't it very retro fantastic?


For breakfast, I made pancakes which isn't something I've done before. And I was really pleased how these turn out.

 
I also fried up some apple and onions together and supplied some scrambled eggs to round the meal out. Trust me the meal is very filling and you won't look for another meal till later in on the day!
 
The pancake recipe is below:
 
Ingredients:
 
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups White self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cups caster sugar
25g butter, melted
 
Method:
Whisk milk, egg and vanilla together in a jug. Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Stir in sugar and Make a well in centre. Add milk mixture. Whisk until just combined.
 
2. Heat on large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush pan with butter. Using ¼ cup mixture per pancake, cook pancakes for 2 to 4 minutes or until bubbles appear on surface. Turn and cook for 3 minutes or until cooked through.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Pretty Maids



I've been working on a small 8x8 canvas using mix media to create a shabby chic vintage piece. I used a lot of thrift store find laces I have in my stash. The images of the little girls was a printed out piece that didn't print too good but I kept it thinking I could use the images rather than waste the ink and paper. After the video finished I added some swirl bling to dress it up a bit more. The video is just me working on the piece. Not a great vid but it shows enough. This project uses stuff I already had in my stash.



 
I have plans for this finished piece so stay tuned for more about that in the future.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Brights



 
The last week we have been having a lot of rain. It is good for the garden and my experimental bed is coming up nicely. All this rain and gloomy weather has me craving bright things. Last weekend I attended the simple living morning tea which is the last for the year. We learn how to make a bright colorful orgami ball. Nana Chel has some good photographs on her blog about that.
 
The lacy jar covers we made seem to be liked very much I didn't bring any home! 

 
The swap went well during morning tea and I picked up some of Nana Chel's homemade Calendula soap. I've been using it and the soap is luxurious on the skin. I have sensitive skin and any soap generally makes my skin itchy and dry this soap lathers up beautifully and leaves the skin soft and fresh. If Nana Chel offers any snap it up! I also went home with a handful of some great seeds and beautiful sage.


 
 With the rest of the week wet and gloomy I caught up on baking and I am working on a painting.
More to come.

 
All this rain really doesn't make it feel like summer is near at all.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Simplicity



 
This is how the end of my day looked after a very warm day and a lot of laundry.
I have always wrote in diaries and sketchbooks. There is something comforting about returning to writing by hand and putting thoughts down on paper. It is very different to blogging where I tidy up my thoughts. My diaries though have all the things you'd expect to see in someone's diary. I have my teenage diaries and they have a lot of things pasted in them like movie tickets, magazine clippings of popstars and moviestars,  art gallery tickets and such. I also have letters and cards and photos too. You know, the film you took to the photo place to be processed! Photos from actual film!
 
 
I decided to start up a journal in the spirit of National novel writing month that happens in November. The aim is to write a novel in a month. I'm hoping to finish writing in a diary and start up a new one for December dailies too. Which is about recording your December activies for the 25 days of Christmas.
 
 
I wrote today about exicting things like doing the laundry. I'm not sure what any one will think of these journals when they go through them but at least someone in our family records things. Which is very important.


 
And here's my clean fresh bed linen ready to be put back on the bed. It's all about simple living and there's nothing more simple than this. I picked some fresh Rosemary to press in my new diary too. It is a good herb for remembrance.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Pie days and the keeper of bees



 
Over the weekend one of my nephews had a birthday and he wanted a proper roast dinner and pie.
So we made him apple pie and a roast dinner.
 

 
The apple pie and dinner was a simple affair that turned out really well. The day wasn't too hot and we all enjoyed a good home baked meal.

 
The nephew enjoyed the meal.


Also there has been painting too. A new painting which will change as I develop it, but the idea will maybe remain the same.

 
Her garden grows over looking the sea and she keeps the bee honey for sailors.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Yesteryears Spring Mini Album



I've been working on this Mini Album for some time. After some issues with the spine which resulted in much ripping and tearing out of pages to redo I think I managed to salavage it pretty good. The theme was a vintage-y sort of Spring easter theme. Odd for this time of year I know, but we are in late Spring so that is what inspired this mini. I call it a mini album but it isn't really it's bigger than 6 inches and chunky! I used a lot of vintage doileys and lace from my stash and I should not admit I never brought anything for this mini as I already had everything. Some of the dressforms in the album were from a swap I joined in a while ago.

Now I have a painting I want to do.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Make do

 
Today was a bit of a experimental day. From the pantry I used a box bread mix in the bread maker to see what it would turn out like. The mix was for a heavy German bread and it did turn out heavy and rather tasty. Different to white bread.

 
Out in the garden I weeded one of the raised beds that has been sitting idle. In this bed I want to try out some companion planting and after some research on the interent and looking through my seed tin of collected seeds I found a few that can be planted together. It will be interesting to see if these grow and how the companion planting works.

 
From the sewing box I am trying out hand sewing patch work. My stitches aren't exactly nice but practise makes perfect. I'm using up some old bed sheets for this as well. Not only today was about experiments but it was a very make do and use what you have kind of day too.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Farewell October

PEANUT BUTTER BISCUITS
 


Ingredients:

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup caster sugar

½ cup melted butter

½ cup peanut butter ( I used crunchy)

1 egg

11/2 cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Method

  1. Combine sugars.
  2. Add melted butter and lightly beaten egg. Mix well.
  3. Gradually add sifted flour and remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Place teaspoonfuls of mixture onto a greased tray, flattening with a fork.
  5.  Bake for about 12- 15 minutes at 160 degree C.


 
They have a very shortbread type taste and are also so morish.
 

 
I am also doing tons of little sketches and notes in my drawing book. Along with drawing I am being inspired by thrifting again, and the other day I went to the thrift stores. I haven't been in so long with wanting to simplify but I brought a few things including this sweet needlepoint.

 
The nasturtiums grow so madly in our front garden. You can eat every part of this little plant and if you save the seeds and grind them you will have something close to pepper!

Bug for Halloween!

A walk in the park

The wartime rations continue, porridge is the staple for morning breakfast. I did some researching on line and during the 1940's, w...