Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Making new pillows

I was feeling the need to add some new pillows to the couch, freshen things up a bit.  It's very tempting to go out and just purchase some new ones, but instead I thought I should make use of some of my hoards of fabric and give my poor sewing machine a little bit of attention - it really gets so neglected these days.

making new pillows

Wrap, cut, fold, sew, x 2, and we have two new pillow covers. It took all of about 10 minutes, the longest part was choosing the fabric. I just made simple envelope fold covers so no zips or buttons to sew and I used the salvage of the fabric as the exposed edge so they were so quick and simple. (The one on the right Liam bought me, isn't he a lovely boy).

making new pillows

making new pillows

I have an old bean bag that needs re-covering so I should get on to that next. It's not so simple though, I'll need to draught a pattern for it which is always a bit of a drag - I just love a quick fix and a 10 minute fold over zippity zip cushion cover is just so satisfying!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

His collections have become my painting inspiration

Anyone that knows Liam knows he LOVES to collect things. It has always been so, some of you may remember this post from a couple of years ago.

He has a huge shelf in his bedroom holding all his collections - I should take a photo and show you, it's quite impressive really.

Lately I've been itching to start painting again and the treasures I find hidden in his pockets and hanging out in the car and gracing surfaces here and there around the house have become my inspiration. Rather than trying to throw them out when he is not looking I am appreciating them.

painting - from his pockets #1

So this is my first paining - From his pockets #1 - a feather, bottle top, gum nut, cork, bread tag and acorn.

Painting - From his pockets #1

He always remembers where he has found each treasure, each has it's own story.

Painting - From his pockets #1

That cork there ended up having an interesting tale, it turned out it was somebody's momento from a new years day celebration, on the back is written 1/1/88.

Painting - From his pockets #1

I am now looking for the subjects of painting #2, and there is plenty to choose from.

He set up this treasure pile in the living room recently - I had to take photos before he would pack it away. It reminds me of one of those eye-spy books where you have to find certain hidden objects.

treasures

treasures

treasures

treasures

treasures

treasures

treasures

treasures

treasures

Friday, March 21, 2014

Autumn day

2013 was a busy year for me, with all that was going on with the house building and renovations, and settling into a homeschooling routine, that my poor camera got a bit neglected. In fact there is a gap of about two months in the middle of last year where I didn't take one. single. photo! Which is quite unlike me.

So I've been reacquainting myself with my camera lately, and taking some photos just because, just for fun, not to document anything in particular. When I have my camera on hand I find it helps me to stop and notice the little things around me, and appreciate them.

I took these photos on Wednesday, a beautiful Autumn day.

Autumn day

One of my favourite things about Autumn - feijoas falling from the trees outside!

Autumn day

We went to the library in the morning and all these magazines were in the swap basket - yay! Thank you to whoever bought them in, they shall be appreciated and read cover to cover. Such a great idea to share our old magazines with each other.

Autumn day

A new recipe tried, it's a keeper - Chewy Ginger Thin Cookies (Paleo)
(note: I didn't really 'cream' my coconut as my blender is not that great and they still came out delicious. I soaked my dates in a little water to soften them and then added a bit more coconut to counteract the date 'juice'.)

Autumn day

Everything is looking pretty dried out in the garden now, I spied this lady watching me as I was taking some photos.

Autumn day

Autumn day

Autumn day

Liam has been collecting leaves and flowers.

Autumn day

We collect milk from the farm on a Wednesday, and recently this roadside store has appeared, so nice to top up with some home grown veges and support a local grower.

Autumn day

Autumn day

Autumn day

Autumn day

The kids have been painting up a storm of late, we put on some classical music and it's so nice and calm and relaxing, and QUIET for a while. I even get to sit down with a coffee and read the paper.

Autmn day

Appreciating the late afternoon Autumn light.

Autumn day

Wishing you all a lovely weekend. Maybe get your camera out and take some photos, or at least just stop and notice and appreciate the little things around you.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The new way to pickle

lacto-fermented gherkins

actually... it's really the very old way, but newish to me, and I'm a convert.  Have you heard of or tried lacto-fermenting? If you haven't, this will give you a very good overview.
I've been making pickled carrots, beans, gherkins and cabbage (aka sauerkraut). I'm keen to try other things.

making sauerkraut

It is so easy, and so delicious, and so good for you! (and if you are buying probiotics, it could save you a lot of money!)

So what are you waiting for! Give it a go!

lacto-fermented gherkins

This is how I do it:

- slice up your chosen vegetable
- pack it into a jar
- top with salty water* so the veges are completely covered.
- put a lid on and leave it on the bench for at least a week. (The longer you leave it the more vinegary/tangy it will taste).
- refrigerate and consume!

* salt to water ratio - you don't need to be exact. But for the carrots the original instructions I followed called for 1 1/2 tsps. of salt per 1 cup of water, and the gherkin instructions called for just under 1 Tblsp. of salt per 1 cup of water.

- you can add herbs or spices to your vegetables. I use cumin seeds in with the carrots, and I use dill and a few sliced fresh garlic cloves in with the gherkins.
- I pushed a grape leaf down over my gherkins to keep them nicely submerged as they tend to float, you could use a cabbage leaf or something similar if you don't have a grapevine.

lacto-fermented gherkins

Sauerkraut is a bit more time consuming as you don't use salt water but pound the cabbage into your jar with a wooden spoon to get the juices going. These are the instructions I follow.

I also make milk kefir, kombucha and beet kvass (super good for you!), I used to make sourdough bread but we seldom eat grains now.

beet kvass

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

House update

These photos are a bit old now, they are from just before Christmas, but I haven't really taken any photos of the house since then and this was a major milestone moment - big changes! From dusty paint splattered floors to lovely soft clean carpet, and useable rooms!

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

The kids drew some pictures and wrote messages on their floors in the morning before the carpet man arrived. Liam wanted to leave some money under the carpet.

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

pre-carpet

The carpet man made the mistake of engaging with the children so they followed him around the whole time talking his head off - he didn't seem to mind, and taught them a few tricks of the trade.
And then a few hours later.....
Our building site had been transformed into a home!

we have carpet

we have carpet

we have carpet

It didn't take the kids long to start moving things up into their bedrooms.

we have carpet

we have carpet

we have carpet

we have carpet

we have carpet

And the downstairs room which is going to be a relaxing/library room began to fulfil it's purpose immediately.

library being used already

We are slowly bit by bit filling the rooms with furniture and curtains etc, I will make sure I post some updated photos soon.

library being used already