Friday, December 30, 2011

Summer harvest

Freebie potatoes that grew out of an old compost pile. Kipflers, and maybe sebagos? We had more, but did a big roast up a couple of nights ago.

The start of the nectarines- quite a few on the tree this year. I picked this lot a bit hard, but I was worried the birds might get them, or freak weather events destroy them.
A steady flow of tomatoes since (before!) Christmas. Might give tomato relish a go this year, and I've been making awesome guacamole with them.
The zucchinis are a bit slow this year, they've needed some help with pollination, not sure that we'll have many. Some have self sown behind the current compost bin, so I have my fingers crossed for them, though it may be a bit shady. We have plenty of bees on our lavender, they're just not noticing the zukes. Ah well, the free potatoes kinda make up for it. We've been eating produce from our garden every day, that sure is the good life!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Berry picking

Today we went berry picking at Pennyroyal raspberry farm. We picked mostly youngberries and American brambleberries, with a few raspberries thrown in (though we can pick a few of them in our backyard). The farm was in a really pretty setting, it's a shame we didn't get a photo of the resident donkeys. We have about 1kg of berries in our kitchen now, we may have to freeze some, but I prefer them fresh. I'd make jam, but we don't really eat it. I wonder if I could fit some youngberries into our garden?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A (belated) merry Christmas

mermaid outfits for their Bamboletta dolls
new bike baskets from Santa
Fairy wands (made by Lisa Leonard Designs), with their names stamped on
Liv with her new musical jewellery box at Nana's house
Evie, Liv & Lucy jumping on the trampoline, with water pistols at Lucy's (cousin) house

Just a few photos from Christmas day, not so many photos were taken on the day this year (unusual!). We're just taking it a bit quietly here at the moment, I find Christmas to be a rather tiring time, especially now that we have Livinia's birthday thrown into the mix. The plan is for some pottering around in the garden (harvesting some of the bounty already!), a bit of sewing for the upcoming Moriac Makers and Growers Market on the 8th of January, and some day trips while Andrew is off from work. And then it's my birthday...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


This lady won $5,000 in the Buy Nothing New in October campaign, run by charity and second hand stores, by organising a kids clothes and toys swap in her local town of Lismore. She also has a great blog, and Facebook group.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Now I am 3

Our rainbow banana cake

new Bamboletta doll and doll carrier
This bag looks like fun
Dis many!

Liv's 3rd birthday- the Melbourne edition

We had a family trip to Melbourne on the train yesterday for Liv's 3rd birthday. We saw the Myer Christmas windows from a distance (the queue was very, very long!), lucky we went to see them at the end of November, when we didn't have to wait long. And we just wandered around, soaking up the Christmas atmosphere, and tried to ignore the hype. We had lunch on the grass in the grounds of a church, and watched the horses and carriages go by. It was a good day, with very little whingeing from anyone!

La Belle Miette- a gorgeous little macaron shop in Hardware lane. A bit of a tradition for us when we visit the big smoke is to buy some macarons from this shop.

Me and my macarons
The royal arcade all Christmassy- my favourite Melbourne arcade

Will be back soon with photos from the rest of the day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Snap sale 30% off

To make way for new creative ideas, I'm having a quick sale, from now until midnight Monday 12th of December, 30% off all Etsy orders with the coupon code CHRISTMAS30 at checkout. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quick change trousers

I'm a bit slow off the mark with the quick change trousers pattern, I'd admired these cute little reversible pants for a good while. I finally bought a copy of Handmade Beginnings by Anna Maria Horner (I've been on the waiting list at the library for a while), and I whipped these up today. I didn't have many fabrics in my stash that were big enough, or co-ordinated, so I had to just use what I could find. I didn't want to use my absolute best fabrics, as I wasn't sure of the fit of the 18-24 month size on my nearly 3 year old. I think they fit pretty well, though they'd be a bit tight if there was a nappy (cloth) under there. A lot of fabric co-ordinating fun could be had with these babies!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New dacks in the shop

For the funky little men in your life, find them here

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Random Decemberness

Brightening up my kitchen, and making it smell Christmassy
Jonty the cat, sitting next to some lavender
New vintage pants in the shop, made from an op shop pillowcase, and some fabric scraps

We are awaiting Andrew's return from his final business trip this year, Japan this time. He's on the highway back from the airport now. This is his 7th trip away in 6 months. I'd say he's been away from us for at least 8 weeks this year, probably longer. It's all of about 5 weeks until he's off again. I think it's about time we had a quiet little family holiday, just the 4 of us this time. Not too far away, maybe up to 2 hours away, as Andrew is just a tad sick of travelling. Daylesford? Castlemaine? Somewhere coastal? I'm looking forward to some quiet times, I'm not into busy Christmases. There'll be a lot of baking, more so with Livinia turning 3 at the end of next week!
Gotta go, he's back!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A giveaway at Radish & Ruth

My good friend Bec is having a Christmas giveaway on her blog, a $30 spend in her gorgeous felted goods shop, as well as offering 10% off purchases in her Etsy shop. Hop to it!

A long overdue shop update

Balloons dress
Pinwheels dress
Gnomeville dress, size 3 only

With all the sewing for In.cube8r, and markets, the Etsy shop has been a little neglected. So I've finally been able to add a few new pieces, 2 from the gorgeous Sarah Jane's new fabric line, which can be custom made if I don't have the size you're after.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Early happenings in the garden

Roma tomatoes
white nectarines with bad leaf fungus
Ripening raspberry
Young raspberries (autumn fruiting!)
baby zucchinis

Everything is coming along very early in the garden this year, looks like it won't be long until we can start harvesting, and it's only November. I'm most confused by the autumn fruiting raspberries- they normally start fruiting around the end of January I think, summer hasn't even started yet!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Enjoying reading at the moment...

Calamity Jane from Apron Stringz and her Quiet Riot, thoughts on Fair Trade, and responsible consumption.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sale in my Etsy shop

I think I've sort of recovered from last weekend's (and last week's) busy market schedule! I've had a niggling cold this week, and generally felt tired, must learn to take it easy. Also, my Nana has come through a very risky heart surgery (yesterday), but has a long road to recovery ahead of her, it's a bit all over the place around here.

So I'm having an Early Christmas sale in my Etsy shop from now until next Friday, the 18th of November. You'll get 15% off, with the code EARLYCHRISTMAS at checkout.

For Geelong people (and those visiting Geelong), I've also restocked at In.cube8r

Friday, November 4, 2011

One more sleep...

...until Ecofest. There have been some crazy amounts of sewing going on here lately, what with In.cube8r, Ecofest, and then 2 weeks ago I signed up for a market stall at our kinder's family fun day, which is on Sunday. So Ecofest tomorrow, and another market the day after- exciting, but I'll be glad when it's all over! I made 6 skirts on Tuesday (Melbourne Cup day- Andrew was home), and another 4 yesterday, as well as being on kinder duty in the morning. So it's off to the second of 6 school orientations this morning, then up to the church to set up for Ecofest. Gotta love this time of year!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New (old) nesting boxes

So the girls have been laying their eggs under the passionfruit vine every morning. That's fine, but you have to twist your body around a bit to get them out, and it's not inside their run, so I have to let them free range until they lay, then herd them (or catch them), and put them back into their run. I'd heard that you could use old lawn mower catchers as nesting boxes, as they are nice and dark and sheltered, so I ventured into the tip shop for the first time this morning. What an amazing resource, just like a dirty op shop! I found 2 catchers (there were plenty more) for $5 each, here's the girls checking one of them out. I figure they could provide a bit of shelter when it rains too. I just hope they lay in them!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rainy day eggs

Andrew spent yesterday afternoon constructing a chicken run, so we can have them confined to the back corner of our garden, but it appears they can get out of the gate- it's expanding bamboo trellis. I thought I might have to put a second one over it so the gaps at the bottom weren't too big. Anyway, it's a rainy old day here at the moment, so I don't mind that they escaped, and all 3 sat under the passionfruit vine to keep dry. It appears that they each layed an egg while in there! So we now have 3 laying hens. There's one long funny shaped one, and one small one in there.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Less than 2 weeks until Ecofest

These packs of soap will be coming with me to Ecofest on Saturday the 5th of November. I packaged these up today with my little helper Evie, into biodegradable cellophane bags and jute string. There is only 10 packs, so if you're a handmade soap lover, you'd better get in early. I completely sold out last year. They make great Christmas presents, and of course, lovely treats for yourself. In each pack, there's a lavender & almond meal, peppermint & lavender, and a rose geranium & patchouli. They're all naturally scented and coloured with clay (or not coloured at all), and are palm oil free. $10 per pack.

Steiner school spring fair

A lovely day again at the Freshwater Creek Steiner school's spring fair. A bit of an overcast rainy day didn't dampen enthusiasm, and we brought home a few handmade treats. Bec, your mushroom baby seems to have gone a little broody. Bec's bee brooch is in the background there too. Very cute!
We also brought home a cat

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eggs take 3

We let the chookies out this afternoon, and while 2 of them came pretty much straight down near the back door and gate to have a feast on an aphid plagued nasturtium patch, one stayed up the back. Went down to see where she was, and I could hear her but not see her. On Sunday she hid behind the passionfruit vine, away from the wind, and that's where she was again today. I thought to myself that I should check there once she gets out, as she may be laying an egg. And I was right, one perfect, small egg was left behind. Fantastic. Here's Evie with the egg, so excited. She's a little under the weather, with some sort of viral thing that Liv has just gotten over, so excuse the dreamy eyes.

Egg update

For those interested in such things, another egg was laid this morning, outside of the nesting box. It was already squashed, but I could see it was thin shelled, so progress I guess. Must get out earlier tomorrow.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Our first egg...sort of

I got a bit excited when I saw a little egg in the nesting box this morning, so I grabbed my camera. Evie came out with me to have a look, but alas, when we pulled it out, it had no shell. You can see by the little indent that it only has the membrane. Apparently this can happen early on in egg laying. Hopefully we're close to some "proper" eggs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A girl and her chooks

I don't know how many times this week Evie has said "I just love having chickens in our backyard." Liv's not so sure when they come close to her, but they're fine when they're in their house. 2 of them had a bit of a sit on the chair in the backyard today while they were free ranging, so we had a little photo shoot. Love those fluffy bums. They are named Henny Penny, Lola, and Star.