Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekend Bliss

Monday 25th June 2012

We had a quiet weekend this time round.  Ron had to work on Saturday :(  This will be the norm around here for awhile as he has plenty of work to catch up on.  Such a blessing after a quiet year last year.
We have Em and Dave visit for the weekend again.  One of Emily's requests was, "could she do some baking? " I had no problems with this but as I had been around before while she worked in the kitchen I decided that it would be best for me to retreat to my craft room!  This allowed me to get some long term projects finished.
 First off the rank was this mini quilt I started years ago.  From memory it was a freebie off the Internet but I can't remember where?  It depicts Noah and his animals for the ark.  These are really small blocks and after doing all the embroidery and piecing it sat in my cupboard, basting done and everything.  All I had to do was quilt and bind.  The quilting was done and binding sewn on but I just lacked the motivation to hand stitch the binding down at the back.  Saying that it did get done and is now hanging on my wall until it can find a home somewhere else.  Maybe a special gift for someone!

Then it was on to a bag I had started and just had to put the handles on.  My collection is slowly growing but I still can't decide how I am going to sell them.  Online (etsy or ebay), local markets or maybe a morning tea at home?  I just can't decide.  In the meantime it gives me the opportunity to increase my stock.
I love this bright fabric and wish I had bought more of it.  The handles were attached by making button holes in the top of the bag and threading the handles through.  I then secured the handles with a zig-zag stitch and put bright buttons on for a bit of fun.

I eventually ventured out from my sewing to make some lunch and was confronted by ALL of my bench tops covered in cooking paraphernalia and chocolate everywhere.  She did a marvelous job though as she made a cheese ball, coffee biscuits for her father muffins, and a chocolate cake and slice, which she shared with us.  She also did a great job cleaning up all the mess and left my kitchen in nearly the state it was in before she started.  (I was still finding chocolate smeared around after she went home!)

I have always loved the look of penny rugs and amazed at their story so I thought I would make a modern version of my own.  As I have enough "things" in my house I choose bright felts keeping Emily in mind.  (She loves bright colours.)  I was a bit concerned she wouldn't like it but needn't have worried.

This is my version of a penny rug.

A close up of the design.
I have something in mind for Bec also but will have to wait to make it and give it to her before I can show you a picture.

The weather is really chilly and wet, not good for Ron's work or the vegetables.  We are still getting handfuls of beans and now the peas have started.  I love being able to put food on the table that we have grown ourselves.  The zucchini had slowed down dramatically but are now starting to produce flowers in abundance.  They are struggling with powdery mildew at the moment, so once the rain clears later in the week I shall have a go at removing some of the older leaves and spraying the others with 50:50 milk and water mix.  This is supposed to help, so I'll give it a go.

Snow peas and purple beans.  The beans change to green once they have been cooked.
Take care (and stay warm)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Wednesday 20th June 2012

I am one very lucky girl.  When Ron got home from work yesterday he said he had a gift for me.  That normally means work and when I complained he said he two gifts for me.  By this time I was really thinking it would be work, but I was wrong!

He first presented me with a green shopping bag, and when I peeked inside it had lemonade fruit in it!
How yummy do they look?  I have a recipe for orange jam that I've been wanting to try so I will do that with these.  I'll let you know how it goes.

The second gift was.............................

.............................some beautiful roses in a bucket!  I didn't leave them in there of course.  They were quickly put into a vase.
I placed them next to my chair where I sit in the evening so I could admire and smell them all night.  They smell divine.

He is working on a property at the moment where the flowers and fruit are just falling on the ground so he brought some home for me to enjoy.  How spoilt am I?

I bought some fruit trees today.  A lemon, orange and lime so hopefully I will get them planted this afternoon.  One step closer to my mini orchard.

Take care

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It's a worry!

Monday 18th June 2012

Have you been to your local rubbish dump lately?  I help hubby with cleaning up one of our job sites yesterday and we had to make a trip to the local tip.  Our rubbish dump encourages you to sort your rubbish and place items in the correct areas.  They have areas for concrete, timber, steel, tyres and garden waste.  We had some concrete that we put in the correct area and some plastic and particle board we had to take to the tip face.

I was shocked.  There were cars lining up to empty trailers etc.  I didn't know there was so many people were going to the tip.  The only time we seem to go is if we have a large amount of green waste.  Even then I try and run over it with the mower and put it on the garden as mulch.

When a position became vacant for us to park and we got out, people were throwing away all sorts of things that could be recycled!  There was cardboard, toys, furniture, clothing and too many other items to list.  This was then get loaded into large bins and moved to a pit where it was getting dumped!  Come on people don't you realize what you are doing to the environment?

We recycle as much as we can and as a consequence we only have one, or at the most two bags of rubbish a week.  I am talking shopping bags and not the larger ones you have to buy.  I am shocked to know that while there are some people who care, the majority don't!  It is certainly a throw away society.  Thank goodness our rubbish dump encourages recycling otherwise there would be a lot more going into landfill.  Lazy people just have to sort their rubbish and place it in the correct areas.

On the topic of recycling, I did some of my own on the weekend and came up with a bag for myself.  This is going to be my Market bag to use when we buy our produce at the local markets.  It is a good size and I should be able to fit most things in this bag.
I made this out of some old covers from our stools, so it is more like a canvas than anything else.  This will make it super strong for carrying.  I lined the inside with an old pillow case that I had.  It had a couple of marks on it but nobody will see it as it is only the lining.  I was hoping to use it on the weekend and give you a report but hubby had to work and I wasn't feeling the best on Sunday.  Never mind, next weekend.

I have also been making other bags.  This one I'm not 100% happy with.  It looks okay now but I think I need to do some fine tuning.  I still not happy with the way it gapes open and will have to come up a solution to keep it closed.  I was very fiddly and time consuming but I will probably have a go at another one.

I made a singed flower to place on the front of this and I think it balances the black on the other side well.

On the gardening front.  I have still to get some fruit trees but my local nursery wants $30 for each tree and I'm sure they sell them at the markets for $20 each.  As I want 4 or 5 plants it will save me up to $50.  So I will just have to wait until I can get up there and have a look.

The vegetables are still doing well.  We have been eating the English spinach, Pak Choi, lettuce, zucchini and tomatoes and tonight we will have some beans.

I hope to be able to keep us going with vegetables until Sunday when I will definitely have to make a trip to buy some produce.

I have decided that because Ron has been working so hard lately (I have hardly seen him) I am going to cook him one of his favourite meals tonight.  Meat pie with mushy peas, mashed potato and gravy and off course our HUGE amount of beans!

Take care

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Quick Post

Wednesday 13th June 2012

A quick post today to show you what arrived in the post for me yesterday!
I had been waiting for this to arrive for approximately two weeks now and it is finally here!

Just what I love.  A book that gives you ideas on how to up cycle items that you would never think of.

I love this bag made from old jeans.  I have made a patchwork quilt from jeans before but this bag uses the inside of the fabric.  Can't wait to have a go at this one.  Watch out jeans, you might be worn out before you know it.

This zippered pouch is made from a postage bag.  How clever is that.  I will have to try and get my hands on a couple of those.  I thought the bag that the book came in could have been used but it was lined with bubble wrap.  Never mind, I'll use it to send a parcel to someone else one day.

Can't wait to get started on some of these projects in the book.  Like I need more projects!

Take care

Monday, June 11, 2012

Church, Camping and Quinalow

Tuesday 12th June 2012

Well my weekend started on Friday when I had to finish work early to go to Church.  My nephew and God son was confirmed on Friday, into the Catholic Church.  I was very privileged to be invited along to the ceremony and then for a light lunch later.  The school he attends is a Catholic school and therefore the Church was on the school grounds and just a short walk later we arrived at the high school home economics building for a lovely lunch of sandwiches and some cakes.
The above photo is of Max and my sister who is directly behind him.  My sister was his sponsor.

After lunch I made a mad run home to finish packing the caravan.  We went camping for the long weekend at Quinalow to see this beautiful girl....
We were lucky enough to spend the entire weekend with Emily and her partner Dave.  It did mean that I had to put the electric blanket on the bed and we took the heater also as they had been having nights of 0 to 2 degrees!  We were lovely and toasty in our van.

Saturday we all piled into our cars and went for a drive to a place call Jondaryn to see a heavy horse show.  They had some beautiful horses there and luckily the rain held off.  While we were there we met Dave parents, Ian and Jenny. 
Wouldn't you love to ride around in this everyday?  I would.  I imagine that the tyres would give you a reasonably comfortable ride, although it would take you ages to get anywhere.

Here are a couple of cowboys looking at the horses.  Only joking this is from the left, Dave, Dave's father Ian and my hubby Ron.  I love this photo of them all.  As you can tell by the jumpers the weather was a bit chilly.

On Sunday we went for a scenic drive into Dalby.  This meant down lots of dirt roads and lots of unhappiness from Emily.  We got to see where she works, although the library was closed.

We had a look around an antique store packed with goodies, where I bought an old lamp.  The gentleman that I purchased it from informed me that it is heavy on the bottom as it has a weight in it.  It is a night light for a baby!  How cute, but I don't think I would like to leave it in a room with a child.

Emily and I went to a couple of plant nurseries where we drooled over the plants and the items in the gift shop.  I have yet to get to my local nursery to buy some fruit trees.  The ones out there where really expensive, nearly $40.00 each!

Back at the caravan park I noticed a lemon tree with quite a bit of fruit on it, so we got a bag and picked some.  I was able to bring them home with me.  The fruit is only small but it smells heavenly.  I am going to have a go at making my own citrus cleaner with the peel.  It should smell great.

For the three days we had been away some of my zucchini had grown big enough to be picked.  I love being able to go out to the garden and pick my own fresh produce.

These zucchini inspired me to make a zucchini pie and some salad.  It was cold outside and a warm meal would've been lovely also, but I couldn't let this fresh produce to to waste.

Nearly everything you see on this plate was grown by me.  The zucchini for the pie, the lettuce and spinach leaves, the tomato and the carrot.  I pickled the beetroot and the pickled bell pepper was grown and pickled by a friend.  The cheese was the only thing not homemade!  I think that is an amazing effort.

Take care

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Friday 8th June 2012

Don't you just love blogs?  I do.  For me it is like going to the newsagency and getting a magazine with all of your favourite things in it.  I love looking at the following blogs:

ledelicieux - an Aussie blog about food - check out the biscuits!

down to earth - a blog about living frugally and the simply things.

attic24 - an English blog about crochet

littlewoollie - an Aussie blog about crochet

abeachcottage - another Aussie blog about decorating and everything girly

Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I do!

Off to visit Emily this weekend.

Take care

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A New Recipe

Thursday 7th June 2012

We had Bec and Rana over for dinner last night.  This is a weekly occurrence so we can catch up with them as they are both busy working part time and studying.  I already had a corned beef simmering away in the slow cooker but needed something to have for dessert.  While I was doing a bit a stitching on another new bag design, I came up with an idea...........

How about a lime and chocolate meringue slice!  No recipe of course so I would just have to wing it and hope it all comes out for the best.

Here is a photo of the baked slice (only partially baking is required for this recipe)
The real test came when we all tasted it!  It was lovely, so I thought I would share it with everyone.

Lime and Chocolate Meringue Slice

1 1/2 cups of chocolate biscuit crumbs
1/3 cup of butter
Melt the butter and add it to the crumbs then press firmly into a lined dish and place in the fridge
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
2 limes zested
1/2 cup of lime juice
3 egg yolks
Mix all these ingredients together and pour over the top of the base.
3 egg whites
3/4 cup of sugar
Mix the egg whites until they are light and fluffy and then add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until the meringue is sticky and glossy.  Place on top of the slice and then bake in a moderate oven for approximately 10 minutes until the meringue is golden.
Once the slice has cooled place in the fridge.

Enjoy :)

I managed to get out into the garden yesterday and fertilize my vegetables.  They have slowed down a bit at the moment as they weather has really cooled off.  We had our first zucchini the other night and it was lovely.  None of the mushy taste, nothing like fresh produce for dinner.

My peas I planted have all popped up and the turnips are growing well.  Hopefully in a few weeks the pak choi will be getting closer along with the English spinach.  I love watching the fruits of my labour grow.

The garden up the driveway is ready for planting.  I just have to get to the nursery for some advice on which citrus trees would be best.  I have decided we definitely have to have a lemon and lime, but not sure about an orange tree and maybe even a tropical apple.  I would also like to plant some black berry bushes to keep the neighbours children off the garden.  They like to play hide and seek out there, but I would prefer they didn't!

I'm going to ride my bike to my parents this morning for a catch up.  They got home from America on Tuesday and I haven't had a chance to see them yet.  It will mean that the little dog will be coming with me as she loves bike rides!  It is only 4 kilometers and the exercise will do me good.  Work off some of that dessert. LOL

Happy gardening everyone.

Take care

Sunday, June 3, 2012

What a weekend!

Monday 4th June 2012

I haven't had much to post about lately as I have been trying to finish off a couple of projects I have started.  Friday morning I had a text message from one of my beautiful friends asking if she could come over for a cuppa and a chat.  As the weather was going to be wet we had decided not to go to our daughter's place for the weekend so I was free.  (Hopefully we'll make it there this weekend.)

I then got a text from my brother-in-law asking if I could mind his 6 year old daughter as she wasn't feeling well and needed to stay home from school.  So this led me to look after this beautiful girl for the day.
 This meant loads of crafting, so we got out some old jars and she covered them with scraps of fabric after which we (I) cut a hole in the lids to turn them into money boxes.  She made one for herself and one for her younger brother.  Note the pink nail polish.  My girlfriend is training to be a beautician and so painted nails were the order of the day - pink with glitter over the top!
 I have been gradually removing plants from alongside our driveway through the week (hope to plant some fruit trees here) and one of the plants I removed was a grass, so then we had to do some weaving.  Would you believe it took me approximately and hour to help her make this!  She couldn't wait to show it to her older brother.
I woke on Saturday morning to some terrible news.  An old school friend lost his son in a terrible accident late Friday evening.  The boy was only sixteen.  I makes you realise to appreciate each and every day.  I haven't been able to get the family out of my mind.  It is something, as a parent, you never want to deal with.  I send my thoughts and prayers to the family involved and hope they can come out of this terrible ordeal.

Saturday morning was wet so off to do our monthly shopping.  As I do the bulk of my shopping at Aldi I always make my hubby come with me as I find it too difficult to do on my own.  We stopped at a local pool shop on the way home to buy some chlorine.  The concrete around our house had become mouldy and dangerous.  We spent an hour or so treating this and then down the driveway to pull out another plant!  We loaded up the back of the ute with stuff for the dump and tried to time a trip there in between the rain.
This is me in my wet weather gear.  A picture of glamour!  Actually the boots and jacket are my daughters and the socks are hubby's.  Notice the terribly skinny legs poking out the bottom of my pants! LOL
Can you see the couple of doves sitting close together trying to stay warm.  Not a very warm place to sit mind you as they would have been getting all the wind sitting way up there.  Sorry about the blurry photo, they were a long way up and it was hard to zoom in on them.

So I really hope everyone takes each day as it comes and appreciates all the little things.  You never know what the future holds.

Take care