Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hot iron caddy for sewing class

I've been trying so hard to get some sewing done this year, but it's been quite thin on the ground so far, the first quarter of this year is nearly gone already....it's going by soooo fast.....life...please slow down a little!  I did however manage to get to a sewing club get together and we made a "Hot Iron Caddy", the idea being that at the end of a class, we can pack up our iron and not have to wait for the iron to cool down to be able to go home. It can also be used during class to iron on.  It is very, very simple to make, and is lined with a thermal fabric, especially for irons etc. It is basically just a rounded square, thermal fabric on one side, cotton fabric on the other, sandwiched together with wadding, and quilted, then the edges bound, a handle added, and some buttonholes and buttons to do it all up. A nice quick project completed in class, other than a little hand sewing of the binding, which I did when I got home.

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you Sherrie for this lovely award.

As per the rules of the award, here are 7 things that may not be commonly known about me.

1: I love the colour purple
2: I am addicted to craft, simple living and gardening magazines, and have to control my spending on these.
3: I love, love, love chocolate
4: I am a fully qualified florist, having had up to 5 stores at one time with about 15 staff and the stress that goes with it.
5: Family is the most important thing in my life
6: I am a stickler for the rules
7: I am not happy unless I am busy or learning something new, I can't sit around doing nothing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Craft show goodies

I picked up lots of goodies yesterday at the craft show. The bank account is on life support at the moment!   Now I've just got to make time to make the projects I have in mind.

Some beading supplies
 Lace, ribbons, silk flowers and elastics
 Silk flowers, lace, bobbin fill, wool and some gorgeous rose trims

 Sparkly lace, lots of lovely wedding bouquet trims here...
 Wool for the dolls hair for the patterns I purchased
 Loved this!
 A couple of doll patterns, I purchased one, and got the other free, and I purchased a starter pack for drawing the facial feature, some more trims,some glass beads,  bobbin fill, an assortment of fat 1/4's for the dolls clothes, and the first 2 editions of Vignette magazine.
 Some more lace and ribbons, and a bit more bling...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Craft Show

Ann and I are off to the craft show today....look out bank account!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Permaculture course day 5

Day 5 was all about "cultivated ecology" ie: vegetable gardening.  The morning session was spent as a general question and answer session on vege gardening, and everyone had a chance to throw out a topic that they wanted to know more about relating to their vege garden or vege gardening in general. We also had a look at the "Mandala" designed vege garden, which is a permaculture designed keyhole, circular type vege garden. I can see so many advantages to this type of system. It will mean re-designing my gardens here, but I knew that was on the cards anyway.  There were food presentations just before lunch  on kang kong and cassava. Jeff did the presentation on cassava, which is so versatile, and he made a yummy cassava cake...it was really nice, and had a rice pudding, custardy type taste and texture. He also did some in the oven and made a fritter out of others. These will definitely become an addition to our garden. Tim did the presentation on Kang Kong, he made it up into a stirfry, this was also really nice, and can be used as a leafy green in stirfrys or in salads, again very versatile, easy to grow and tastes good to boot. It is quite similar to spinach, and I liked it much better than pak choi. The thing that I like about the food presentations is that I am trying food I have never heard of or tasted before, and it is opening up my eyes to the vast array of food available out there, that is much, much easier to grow than the standard vegies we've eaten for years as our standard daily menu. I think a cooking course might be on the cards after this utilising all of these types of foods. In the afternoon we got dirty in the gardens! We constructed a no dig vege garden, which is basically building up  composting layers on top of your vege garden and planting in to compost into this layer. This is obviously no good for root vegies, but fantastic for leafy vegies, and builds up the organic matter in your vege garden. This saves back breaking digging in your vege garden. This method is also fabulous for growing potatoes in. After this was a bit of revision of the day. So another informing, educational day. Next week is part 2 of water and trees in permaculture. I will be late for next weeks class as I have flowers arriving for weddings, and these need to be unpacked and regfrigerated before I can leave home for the day. I am really looking forward to the bus tour coming up in a couple of weeks where we go and visit other permaculture farms, I think this will be really inspiring. Tomorrow I go and do my skin care course that was postponed 3 weeks ago and Tafe. It teaches how to make skin care creams, shampoo and conditioners out of natural products.  I am really looking forward to this.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Permaculture course days 3 and 4

Day 3 was all about permaculture design 1, starting on the zones and how they all link within one another. Zone 0 being the house, zone 1 being things you need to access a lot, such as herbs for the kitchen, salad greens etc,, some fruit trees that you would access a lot such as lemons and limes for cooking etc.  zone 2 being things you access daily, the chook house, vegetable garden, etc, zone 3 being for a larger orchard etc, zone 4 being for pasture animals, bees, trees for firewood or cabinets and zone 5 being natural untouched habitat for wildlife. There are lots of other things to include in each zone, but that's a very basic overview. Some things could be in more than 1 zone, some things are right on the cusp of 2 zones, so it does come down to common sense as well. I did my presentation on passionfruit, and made a passionfruit slice and passionfruit cordial. It was an extremely hot day today at the course, so the cordial went down a treat. Saori did her presentation on choko, and made sweet poached choko, they were delicious and will definitely be something that I grow now.
Day 4 was about water and trees. We started in the morning in learning about the contours of land and how to read a contour map, and how to work out the contours of our own land. We then started on water storage, water tanks etc. The afternoon was spent on trees in permaculture, their uses etc. We also did a wander around looking at the various types of trees on the farm. Colin did a presentation on eggplant, and he made up eggplant fritters, they were really delicious! I have never tried eggplant before, so I was really pleasantly surprised. I planted eggplant in the garden some weeks ago, so I am now looking forward to those, but I may have planted them too late yet. They were creamy and meaty all at the same time, I was very impressed. Fiona did a presentation on Okra, I can't say these did much for me...but they may be nicer cooked a different way, apparently they are the main ingredient in gumbo, but I need to find out what that even is! We have an assignment to do which must be completed in 2 weeks time. I need to work out our roof area, and our yearly water use, and work that back to our average yearly rainfall and work out the number and size of water tanks we need based on all of that info. That will be interesting to do, and relevant to us as we have been looking at getting water tanks this year, as being self sufficient in water is something I want to do, especially with Unity Water charging us a fortune for water these days.
There have been other things happening around the place, but I have come down with some dreaded lurgy and not feeling 100% so will catch up on updating the blog in the next few days hopefully.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Permaculture Design Course - Day 2

Day 2 - all about soil and composting. I arrived on time today - good start.  Basically the morning was about the composition of soil, how to test it and work out the PH etc . The afternoon was spent on Worm farming and composting, including building of a compost pile. We also had a look at ground covers and soil improvers. There was a couple of food presentations, 1 on sweet potato and Kate made a lovely sweet potato pie, it tasted almost like caramel tart - yummy.  Jacinta did a presentation on sweet basil, and made up a lovely pesto for us to try with crackers, also very yummy. My turn next, and I am doing Passionfruit. Day 3 of the course touches on permaculture design1..the first intro to designing a permaculture system...looking forward to it. I have taken a few photos from around the farm:

(Sweet potato beds)
( Kassava Bushes)
( More sweet potato)
( Pinto bean as a groundcover)
( Pidgeon Pea - soil improver)
( I can wear this t-shirt now)
( Signs for atmosphere)

( Pumpkin and Qld arrowroot)

( Arrowroot chopped up for the compost pile)
( Comfrey for the compost)
( Dried mango tree leaves for the compost)()
( Chopping up the greenery for the compost)
 (Garden grass clippings for the compost)
( Tree art)

( Starting to build up the pile)

( The completed pile)

 Looking forward to day 3...