Tuesday, August 3, 2010


What a wonderful sight!
At last our solar panels are up - all 16 of them. Still waiting for conection to the grid though.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Earlier in the year I started a little shore at Made It to sell my hand made childrens cloth books and other handcrafted items. I love craft and I love others appreciating my handmade items too.
Today I just wanted to share some lovely finds for those that are concerned with loving our world a little more and being kinder to the enviroment. Oh, and because they are very practical, cute and unique.
Owl shopping or library bag.

Citrus dish soap for use washing the dishes and keeping the kitchen sparkly and fresh.
Enviromentally friendly chenille dishcloths made from recycled fabric.

Vegetable /fruit eco shopping bags to cut down on plastics at the supermarket.

Draft stopper snake to keep your home draft free and help reduce heating costs.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Then and Now

Sometimes it is good to look back and realise just how much progress has been made in the garden.
Front garden in 2008 above and below at beginning of this year. There is always something in flower in the front yard - roses, agapanthus, diamond frost which is the white flowers at the front (always flowering). Amongst all jthat there is a fig tree in a large pot, a mango tree, blueberry bushes and strawberry plants, thyme, and parsley is also growing in gaps.

Below is the raised vege patch in Sep 2008 when it was newly built

And how it is looking now. At the moment I have snow peas as tall as the fence, beetroot, silverbeet, turnips, chillis, eggplants, parsleys and some young tomatoes.

The long backyard when we first moved here - all lawn and no trees or shrubs.

Now the backyard is lush and green. There are now passionfruit vines, 5 citrus trees, 2 apples, lemon grass and herbs galore, peach tree, 4 olives all planted amongst fragrant flowers and bushes.

Monday, July 12, 2010


The little mandarin tree is loaded and the mandarins are very sweet and juicy. Delicious eaten just are.
But some will be made into marmalade for the pantry.
As a special desert last night I made Mandarins in Ginger Syrup.
Here is the recipe
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled ginger
4 green cardamon pods
3 whole star anise
6 mandarins
Bring water, sugar, ginger, cardamon,star anise to boil until sugar dissolves. Then simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat cover and allow to stand for 15 min. Strain syrup and discard solids. Chill until cold.
Peel, remove any pips and slice mandarins into rounds. put into a serving bowl and add syrup. Cover for an hour before serving.
Oh they were delicious and I will definately be making these again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A little break

But I am back and aiming to blog once a week. Hmm, wonder if that will happen!

While away I aquired this collection below. My aunt is cleaning out my nans house and I have inherited these amongst other things.
They are salt cellars, Salts, and were used in the 1800's and earlier and up to about 1950 to hold salt. In those days salt wasn't fine enough for a salt shaker. IT came to the table in one of these dishes with a cute little spoon. Evidently my nan liked them, so started collecting them. Luckily they are only small so I could bring them home safely wrapped in my suitcase. Next visit I will bring the rest home with me.

This is my favourite - a cute green glass swan with little spoon.

I also brought this back. It is an early baby bottle and was used by my nan as a baby. Evidently it is dated early 1900's and as it says on the bottle is the " improved baby feeder" The top is intact and is a cork with a porcelain top with a hole in it - no soft sipper or spout back then.
I also came home with loads of old clothes - hats, gloves, lace baby outfits etc. They belonged to my great grandma. My nan grew up very poor and never threw anything away! Hence her old home is full of old treasures. She was a real collector/hoarder. And I for one am very glad that she was. I will share a few more pictures of my treasures next post.
Now holidays are over I am itching to get back to the sewing machine. I have a few more childrens cloth books almost finished. My little Made it store needs more stock. I am happy to report I have sold two of my cloth childrens books - hurray.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In the Garden

My poor garden has been sadly neglected over summer. The only veges to do well have been chillis and pumpkin vines (I say pumpkin vines because the pumpkins didn't grow well) - I did make a few meals of stuffed pumpkin flowers and will share the recipe in another post becuase they were yummy.

Despite the neglect the herbs are all thriving. My mushroom plants are growing fantastically. This herb is amazing. The leaves taste just like mushrooms and are great in stirfrys, casseroles, omelettes or sandwiches. It is high in chlorophyll, calcium and protien - a little wonder herb.
Read more about them here http://www.herbsarespecial.com.au/free-herb-information/mushroom-plant.html

I have also found a use for all the olive oil tins I have been keeping. I have removed the tops, punched drainage holes in the bottom and planted them with herbs. They are just outside the door and make a nice little display.

Picking watermelons. They are all small but very juicy and sweet. They wont last long. I will be saving seeds from these to plant next year.

I have also been keeping busy on the sewing machine sewing more cloth books for my made it store.

I can't believe a whle school term has just about finished! It simply flew by.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Replacing Plastics

I have been reading a lot about plastic containers and have started replacing the plastic containers around the house. Have a look at the links below if you feel like a bit of reading.


My pantry was the first place I began. I have replaced a lot of storage containers with glass. And I must say the pantry has never looked neater and it is so much easier to see what is in the jars. Drink bottles have been replaced by these. I love how they have big openings so cleaning is very easy. http://www.naturallysustainable.com.au/
Our lunchboxes are still plastic but I just love these cuter than cuter Eco Lunch box sets. They come in a huge range of colours too.


They are on my wish list!

It will take a while to eliminate all the plastic so just doing a bit at a time at the moment but it so good to know there are some great alternatives out there.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crafty Blog

I have been busy making a new blog in an attempt to keep the crafty side and Made it shop items seperate from this blog.

So pop over and tell me what you think. It is amazing how much time it takes to set up these things!

Meanwhile the garden is looking very neglected. The only things I am picking a lot of is herbs, eggplants and chillis. Fruit flies have found my citrus, pumpkin vines have taken over my yard and aren't even growing pumpkins!

Friday, March 12, 2010


It has been a while between posts but there is a very exciting reason for that!
At the beginning on the year I wrote a post about my goals for the year and my word for the year Create.

Creating is what I have been doing lots of!
I have been sewing.

I have been glueing.

I have been scrapbooking.

I have been hand stitchitching.
And as of yesterday I have taken the plunge and set up a shop at Made It
Creative Wishes
I have always made things - sewn, knitted, papercraft, scrapbooking, card making etc. My hands need to be busy! I can't just sit and watch tv... I need to be doing something with my hands.
But most of what I have made in the past goes to friends or family as gifts.
So selling my handcrafts is a very new thing for me and something I hope others appreciate as much as I have loved making.
Creative Wishes will give me an avenue to sell some of my handmade items. I have lots of other things to list in the next week or so.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Now it is no secret that I love second hand and op shopping. But lately I haven't been getting the same buzz from entering an op shop. There are still great finds to be discovered and fantastic bargains to be had. But op shops have changed and evolved. Now they have professional window displays, clothes hanging neatly on racks sorted by colour and size. Items are neatly displayed on shelves. There are even new items for sale. One op shop I visited last week has a loyalty card - ten purchases and get the next 50% off!

I used to love the rummaging through boxes and bookshelves to find the perfect book or over looked treasure. I used to love the items not having prices and getting to the counter and getting the item for an absolute bargain. But now they are run as a business and to me have lost that special something. Maybe it is the slightly musty smell you get when entering a second hand shop or the haphazard displays, maybe they have become too neat and tidy and orderly.

Oh well! Maybe they have had to change to compete with people selling on ebay.
Still I miss the older op shops of 10 years ago.

Friday, February 5, 2010

NO, I am not lost

I know, it has been a while!
Our January was busy with sailing and camping and walking and swimming and keeping cool!
Busy time of the year with holidays and now school starting back. My baby has begun kindy and has had a great week. He is disappointed that the weekend is here and he can't go to school for a whole 2 days. Wonder how long that will last. Guitar Dude and Zippy are in high school and have settled in well (and they are glad the weekend is coming).
So now all the little munchkins have started school I am finding myself with more time for myself. I have got so many things I want to do so I definately won't be bored.
One thing I have been investigating is selling handmade craft on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/ and Made It http://www.madeit.com.au/
Made It is an Australian site for buying and selling handmade and there are some wonderfully talented crafters out there!
This week I have got my sewing machine out (first time for over a year). Part of the reason I haven't sewn for ages is because I haven't had anywhere to keep it set up. It is such a hassle to take it out and set it up on the table and then having to either eat around it or put everything away while in the middle of a sewing project. I have now found a place to set it up permantly. My laundry is large , large enough for a chest freezer and for the ironing board to be permantly set up. With a bit of rearranging I have made myself a great creative sewing place in the laundry. The freezer is going and the ironing board is folded away.
And I have been sewing!
I will share my sewing projects in another post.
After a visit to spotlight to get some material I came away amazed at the price of material and fabric. So whats a girl to do but check out the local op shops for some bargains. And there was plenty to be had too. I came home with material for $1.00 a bunch, zips for $1.00, ribbons and more.

Also picked up this cookbook for a couple of dollars. It is a 1970's book but love the recipes in it. Promotes cooking seasonal foods from scratch with real foods. It even has recipes and instructions for making marmalades, pates, sauces and killing and plucking a chook ( I can't see myself ever doing this but good to know just in case).

And some Little Golden Books illustrated by Elois Wilkin. I am in love with her illustrations of babies and little children and collect her books.
I came across this person on Made It who makes cards from the books.
I wouldn't have the heart to rip up a good book but I have come across some in opshops with ripped pages which would be great for cards etc.

How gorgeous is this drawing?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Here's to 2010

I am not one for making resoluions anymore. I have in the past and usual story I haven't kept them. I do like the idea of a WORD of the year. I know a lot of blogs have been posting their word for the year.
Eilleen at Consumption Rebellions http://consumption-rebellion.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-word-for-2010.html word is Celebrate.
Julie over at Towards Sustainabilityhttp://www.towards-sustainability.com/ word is resilience.

So I have given this a bit of thought and my word for the year is CREATE.
I want to sew more, scrapbook more. I want to continue creative a productive garden. I want to continue being a creative cook. I want to create a more patient positive me. Who else has a word of the year? I would love to hear what yours is.

At this time of the year I like to think of all I achieved over the last year (2009) and what I want to achieve in 2010.

2009 achievements:
Joined a community garden.
Simplified our eating by eliminating a lot of additives and prepackaged foods from our diets. This was a huge goal. Consistently for the last half of the year I have been cooking from scratch, buying veges, fruit, grains and meats direct and organic where ever possible.
Joined a gym with Mr Gadget.
After much planning our family went on our big overseas holiday.
Worked more on making the garden a productive enviroment.
Planted lots of fruit trees including banana, avocado, 2 apples, peach, cumquat, 3 passionfruit vines, 4 olive trees.
Increased the size of the vege patch and made a herb garden.

2010 Goals
Go to the gym at least 2-3 times each week
Finish list of repair/maintenance jobs around the house.
Paint remaining interior rooms.
Redo pool area and incorporate a water tank.
solar panels - investigate more.
Make craft and find an avenue for selling my handmade items.
Scrapbook travel photos
Maintain better communication with family and friends.
Increase social network.
Be a more positive and patient person.

Hmmm....looks like I'm going to be busy!
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