Saturday, July 30, 2016

Simple things

“To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.” 

― Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A little quilt finish

I have a quilt hanger in my sewing room. It needed a small quilt, so I made one from some batik that my DD found in an op shop, along with scraps from my last project. There are Japanese prints in there, and Australian indigenous fabric too. 
The sun was coming in my room as I sewed the hanging sleeve so I pinned up the quilt to take a picture with the sun behind it. 
The back is a special fabric from West Papua. 

I think this is such fun! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Not a secret any more

This is the 'secret squirrel' quilt I was making for a special friend.
It has fabrics from Bali and West Papua. It also has some special Australian fabric 
with indigenous motifs. 

This picture (above) was taken when I was auditioning borders. I decided to go with the red as it helped to pick up the red in the West Papuan fabric.

I gave it to my friend last night.
She loves it.
It has a lot of meaning for her. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Big excitement: dehydrator in the house!

DH came home today with a lovely gift from someone at church: a dehydrator with all the stuff including the instruction manual! This is an important piece of infrastructure for saving our harvests, but we haven't thought it would be an item we would buy new. We were given a preserving kit about 12 months ago.

My DD was VERY excited about this dehydrator. She has many projects in the herb/craft  line to try! I want to try to add to our list of things we can give as gifts as well as enabling our own use.

The person who gave this to DH also gave him a couple of boxes of glass jars too. Nice!

This week we have had the very cold dry days which are sometimes part of a Perth life. Then yesterday rain came back in quite a large storm.

DH has been using his new saw to prune our fruit trees. He does a 'man prune" sometimes which I don't necessarily agree with, but as he says , he hasn't killed a tree yet! I have my fingers crossed for the pomegranate and olive tree! 

The "happy wanderer" or Hardenbergia has come out in flower, and is letting us believe that the spring is not too far away! 

The winter garden includes self sown rocket and broccoli in the back raised beds. 

The avocado which we put into the garden after a few years in a pot, seems to have adapted well. We have hopes for fruit from this tree. So far we haven't had any! 

I will be posting soon about the mystery quilt and a small wallhanging I am working on. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Secret Squirrel Quilt is finished! Shhhhh

No pictures of the Secret Squirrel quilt yet. It won't go to it's new owner for two weeks yet. I am pleased that it survived the washing machine and dryer, and now has a label. I bought a decorative presentation box for it so we are good to go.

I thought I would make some barrier bags for when I am buying veggies, in place of the plastic bags the shops provide. I wanted to use the Singer 328P but she doesn't like sewing the lace curtain scrap I am using, so I am improvising with left over bits of quilt binding. These barrier bags are going to be very POSH looking! LOL This is something which I thought I would do for Plastic Free July

It is 4pm and only 8 degrees in Perth at the moment! We are all in SHOCK!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Getting sowing seed right!

One of the Simple Living tasks I have had minimal success with is raising vegetable seedlings. I can grow some thing well, but too often I find myself buying seedlings. This can be expensive, and the varieties offered are pretty basic. I want to grow heritage seed varieties for flavour and colour on the plate! 

The wonderful Perth City Farm is near my office. This is a community run garden. Recently I walked past it to a meeting, and looked at its extensive nursery, through the fence. There were rows of waist high tables with pots of seedlings and cuttings.I wondered why we can't grow things the same way. It occurred to me that the problem was after-care. We fail to water them properly. 

What we need is a System! I remembered this trolley. It has been hanging around after DH brought it back from a clean out at the church.Why couldn't this be my seed and cutting system? I can wheel it to catch the sun, or put it into the shade. 

So this weekend I tried to " do it properly!' I planted some seed and put some self down seeds into pots of seed raising mix. I planted tomato seeds from the here -Yilgarn Seeds is a Geraldton Western Australia based permaculture garden. These are local seeds for the kind of climate Perth is gradually moving towards, as a result of climate change.

I also planted almost every other seed I had which was ready to be planted at this time of the year. Some of the seed was officially 'out of date" - a result of me being a bit fed up with my previous results, which meant I left half packets of this and that unused. I decided to plant them on the basis that they deserved a chance! 

I am committed to regular watering of these seedlings. If I only get a 25% success rate I will still be winning!