Saturday, February 26, 2011

Exciting times at my place

There have been a couple of exciting things to report this week. First off the rank is our new chooks, one of them (Margot I suspect) laid her first egg on Thursday, followed by another one on Friday. Yay homegrown eggs again.......thank you girls.

Queenie on the left and Margot in front, both are Old English Game hens

The next exciting event was that I made my first pair of undies. Yes you read right, undies, panties, knickers whatever you like to call them. It's been a goal of mine to sew my own underwear and I finally did it. Actually it was rather easy and I don't know why I put it off for so long. Interestingly I rediscovered a lingerie pattern I purchased in the 80's. It would appear I've been carrying this desire to make my own smalls for a very long time.

Why do I want to make my own undies? I simply refuse to purchase cheap imported junk from sweat shops in China or Asia. Cost is also a factor. I've seen some beautiful fair trade undergarments and clothes on the net, and as much as I'd love to support these people it's just too expensive for me. Plus I love to sew and this gives me a good excuse. No undies......I'd better make some!

1st pair made with leftover cotton lycra. I traced the pattern from a favourite pair and they fit perfectly!

2nd pair, you'll need your sunnies on to look at these. Leftover t-shirt cotton

You can recycle unwanted t-shirts or use up fabric that you've had festering away in the cupboard for years. I've found a supplier of Australian organic cotton fabric, I'll look at buying some fabric from them in the future.

Underpants this week, next week I'll tackle bras!! That should be interesting.

If you'd like to have a go making your own or are interested in ethical and fairtrade underwear and clothing have a look at isismade

Hope you have a lovely weekend

Cheers Lisa

Friday, February 18, 2011

On my mind

My Nana's old treadle sewing machine. As you can see from the picture, the old girl has seen better days. The machine was purchased in 1935 for the grand sum of 35 pounds. The piece of paper in front is the original hire agreement.

My sister and I learnt to sew on this machine when we were about 5 and 6. We used pieces of brown paper with no thread in the needle. Hows that for being frugal. Nana would take the needle out of the machine when she wasn't there to supervise us, for fear that we would hurt ourselves. Truth be told, I spent more time seeing how fast I could make the treadle go than practicing straight line stitching.

My plan is to restore the machine to its former glory. The cabinet needs stripping back and there are some areas where the veneer is damaged, all fixable. I found a link on Farmama's site about refurbishing old Singer machines. I'm hoping it will provide all the information I need.

I would love to be able to make clothes and quilts on the machine. Nana would be so pleased.

Thanks to Rhonda for this great idea, pop over to her blog and see what others have on their mind.

Have a lovely weekend
Cheers Lisa

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The pantry challenge

Last August (wow was it really that long ago) Rhonda threw down a challenge to all readers of her blog and the Down to Earth Forum, to clean out their pantry. I decided to accept the mission and managed to clean out my spice cupboard, the pantry however was a task that I just kept putting off. Recently a few bugs surfaced and the state of the pantry was driving me nuts, so yesterday was the day I finally got my act together and did the big clean out.

Spice cupboard before
Pantry before - what a disgrace, no wonder I couldn't find any thing

There were some interesting finds, two packets and half a jar of rock salt. Who needs that much rock salt? Tony found four bottles of red wine he'd forgotten about. A few old tins, some out of date packets of food and the contents of about twelve jars were thrown out. Very wasteful I know but it really wasn't salvageable.

Now for the great unvailing, it's a bit like a makeover!

Clean and tidy spice cupboard
I did this in August last year and I'm please to say that the cupboard still looks the same.
Lovely tidy pantry - I can now see what's in there and no more bugs!

The bottom two shelves are a temporary stockpile area

Thank goodness it's done and I do find myself just opening the doors and smiling at how lovely it looks. Ahh....the simple things give us such pleasure!

How often do you clean out your pantry, every month, six monthly, yearly or whenever the moods takes you?

This is Rhonda's original Pantry Challenge

Hope you have a lovely day


Monday, February 14, 2011

Let the sun shine

Look what landed on our roof on Saturday

Not the best photo I know, we have a high set house so it's a bit hard to get a good photo. There are eight more panels around the other side of the roof, making it a 3.04 Kw solar system.
Whilst I'm very happy to have solar power and all the positive environmental implications it brings. Apparently this system should zero out our electricity bill, not sure about solar credits yet. I'm really not happy about the added debt we have just incurred having this system installed. In the end I felt like I had little choice in the matter and now feel very much out of control of our finances.

To make matters worse, I finally got round to having my car serviced today. It cost a fortune as it was a major service and it needed some other work done. Boy don't they see you coming!
Oh well, the panels are here to stay. I'm going to pop over to Gavin's blog and read all his posts about solar energy, he's got some great info there.
Stupid paragraphs are all merging again :(
Sorry to moan.....


Friday, February 11, 2011

On my mind

What to do with Snugglepot and Cuddlepie?

The square was purchased a few years ago with the intention of incorporating it into a patchwork cushion or wall hanging. I found it recently whilst tiding up the spare room and still can't decide what to do with it. I don't want it to be too frilly or too folksy. Maybe a border and then embroider some of the line drawings on a second border. Any suggestions will be gratefully accepted :)

I love the Gumnut Babies, the illustrations are just beautiful and they were one of my favourites growing up. I'll let you in on a little secret, I love them so much I have a Ragged Blossom tattoo!

Just in case you're not familiar with May Gibbs and her stories.

Thanks to Rhonda for the wonderful idea. Pop over to her blog and see what others have on their mind.

Have a lovely weekend

Cheers Lisa

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Yes.....I'm still here

Just in case you've been wondering what I've been up to, have a look at the blog that I've just started contributing to. It's dedicated to all things Inspired by Enid Gilchrist. If you grew up in Australia in the 50's, 60's or 70's and had a mother, grandmother or aunty who liked to sew. Then there's a good chance your clothes were made using patterns designed by Enid Gilchrist.

I've loved Enid's patterns for as long as I can remember. Mum had a few of her books, so did both my Grandmothers. In the last year I've started collecting her books and have just begun making some of the patterns. I love the style of the clothes and the simplicity of the patterns. Can you believe something that cost 50 cents in the 60's can now sell for $15.00 - $30.00 on ebay. No I didn't spend $30.00....nearly did..
Some of my collection. Most of those above cost 20 cents each at Lifeline. I'm now looking for some of the womens and teenagers pattern books.

Look a whole book dedicated to cool!

Oh, I almost forgot, there has been some cooking and housework in amongst the sewing. I'll share some recipes soon.

Cheers Lisa

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My family

Tonight my thoughts and prayers are with all those in North Queensland as they brace themselves for the onslaught of Cyclone Yasi.

My sister, her husband and their three children live in the town of Gordonvale, which is about a 1/2 hour drive south of Cairns. My Aunt and Uncle live in Cairns, as do their adult children, my cousins and their families. There are also other extended family members spread all around the region.
I can't imagine what it must be like having to wait for the cyclone to hit, terrifying I'm sure.

Whilst people living in the north are usually prepared for the cyclone season, I don't think anyone can anticipate how big this will be.

Please keep them in your thoughts.