Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In the meantime I made some Bitty Booties!
How adorably tiny they are..... of course I made them from this pattern by Heather Bailey.
Hmm should I add them to the flickr pool? They are all so lovely and creative aren't they?
And yep, that's where my first yoyo's went.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Throwing green treats to softly clucking chickens.
"Taste testing" sun warmed produce still growing in the garden.
Waiting eagerly for fresh homemade bread to bake....breathing in the warm yeasty aroma.
Deliciously pungent herb essence, sticky, thick and persistent on fingers from plucking.
Time, for sewing and creating; choosing colour and shape; feeling texture and working thread.
Sharing a custard apple in the sun...an indulgent and delectable tradition. A memory reignited of sharing the sweetness with my own Mum as a young girl too.
Friday, July 18, 2008
so maybe I'm a tad behind the masses....maybe I'm a bit uncool in the crafting world.....I even had to phone my Mum and ask what those "cute little round fabric things that gather in the middle" are called, so I could find a tutorial on how to make them.....I've never made Yoyo's before.
These are my first one's. I think I'm in love....but knowing me it's probably just an infatuation....I'll get over it.
Their simplicity leads me down the path of embarrassment. But their foolproof construction, prettiness and vintage appeal promptly surmounts any chagrin at having overlooked these small sweet wheels of fabric for so long and delivers me a steadfast grin instead.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
These gorgeous golden bulbs of sourness did not come from Morocco however but were amongst another bag full of naturally grown citrus goodness from Pottsville given to me on Sunday.
This is about my third or fourth bag this year and each time I keep promising to make some Moroccan preserved lemons....I can't keep putting them in my Corona's can I?
So I made some yesterday. I altered the instructions as my jars were only small and couldn't fit whole ones....especially of this girth. I just salted the quarters and threw in a few cloves and peppercorns (if I had cinnamon sticks in the pantry I would have added those as well and maybe a bay leaf) plus some extra juice and....squish and shake.
These should cure over about a month and last about 6 months...ready for spring and summer salads, olives and maybe a last minute warming indulgent winter tagine. I'll shake and turn them every day.
And still on my intercontinental kitchen journeying and again ending some procrastination on the subject I plucked some of my mint, which has been loving the overnight rain, while out picking peas for dinner this morning. It was time to actually make that Moroccan mint tea I love so much.
So into the teapot it went with some nice organic green tea, steaming water and sugar (I just kept it at a teaspoon...not tablespoons like those sweet toothed traditionalists love so much).
Mmmm I've just finished my first cup now.
I'm going to make some mint syrup that Sabrina has made on her blog next!
And when I can get my hands on lots more lemons I have bigger plans for them too.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I'm so excited and thrilled with this projects completion. Remember I'm a simple girl.
Well finally after my original post about these "extensions and renovations" I am ready to lift the veil.
Yes, our house may be some of the things I mentioned in that post...but I like it that way. It keeps us connected as a family, close and more entwined in each others lives and happenings, nurturing what I hope to be a continually bonded and open family.
"The Girls" however? Well, they needed more space....
Here's the new front door..... it just needs the builders hand print...(and a new sign).
And here it is...... "Chateau Chook"!
The garden bed down the left side is already sprouting comfrey for greens for the girls and garden fertiliser, and the bed down the right, which has been claimed for the moment as a sun bed for the dogs, will grow a grapevine come spring...if you look closely you can just make out the wire strung across the outside to hold it's leafy tendrilly canes.
What used to be the chookies entire house has now become the bedroom alone....
I'm certain they are very happy. Max unfortunately is not as there are no more free egg breakfasts. Oh well.
When my girls are not free ranging now I can easily throw treats and greens over to them to scratch in as I potter the garden.
And....the even more exciting news.....we are extending the family! (No sorry no more babies) We are on the adoption waiting list for two new baby girls. We are hoping to get our phone call sometime next month to go and bring them home with us and I am waiting with baited breath. They are like gold, a fairly old and rare breed here. They should look something like this sleepy little one when we pick them up. Not a great photo but I will wait to reveal their true identity at a later date.
And, a commendatory note to our very own Bob the Builder......Thank you Roger, you did such a fantastic job and I am very very grateful! You're cleverness, your ideas and creations are always treasured and appreciated more than words can say. Lots and lots of eggs (hopefully) and parsley (I'll grow some curly leaf just for you) coming your way!
In addition to my seed potatoes I also became very organised and managed to order my Spring seeds too. So it was time to get my next new raised bed installed and get the layering happening creating some luscious soil so it is ready to plant come late, late August. This bed, despite being kindly precut and drilled and perfectly ready for assembly was such a struggle for me. The digging of the slope and getting the two sleepers to sit flat on top of each other for a level edge running up the yard was very challenging. Don't ask Hubby about it, I'll tell you....after much huffing, back straining (my back is still tender...poor lifting practices), head scratching and blaming it on lacking enough strength being a female (*shame*) I lost my temper and Hubby came to the rescue. Oh dear....
Well here it is (not a great photo I'm sorry) with the layering started and "the girls" helping out.
And as for my conundrum over which fruit tree to plant in the new rock bed....well, you know I was leaning towards citrus and that's how it went. My dilemma was made even easier by taking Mia with me to the nursery where she promptly chose amongst the citrus a delicious Blood Orange....let me tell you I took no convincing. Mia helped plant it that afternoon and then she spent time talking to it to settle it in to it's new home afterwards. I think it's going to be her baby.
On the creepy crawly front....I decided to move and dig up my compost bin ( for various reasons one being to create fertile space for my summer srop of Sugar Baby Watermelon, yes, yum!)....which is why "the girls" were out because there was a resulting bug feast to be had....my goodness! Aside from the white ants (termites) I dug out, and subconsciously let myself dreamily and dare I say it, densely believe were baby bull ants (yes, true, but only because bull ants were nesting in there too I swear), I dug out this huge curl grub with a rather loud gasp of shock. I wish I'd put it on my hand for the photo. I have never dug up such a large one before....Ha! the things that amuse me.....a sign of a healthy compost heap maybe? As for the termites.....I'm silently worrying (hence my dreaming about them last night in their winged stage flying into our house!) but I'm trying to remain in calm denial...I somehow think I will loose this mental battle though. The remainder of the compost that didn't go into my new bed filled several garden pots where I have sown a few of my Spring seeds that I want to get going early. The site of my patch is warm so they should be fine. I have sown half a dozen Rosella's and a few Japanese Raisin Trees...I'm very excited about the Raisin trees though I don't expect fruit from these for quite a while. These can take 3 months to even germinate and the Rosella's 6 months to reach fruiting hence me wanting to get them both going early.
And...as a reward for reading a slightly well, long winded, post about garden bits I am planning on revealing the new "extensions" any patient people may have been waiting to see, tomorrow. Honestly I didn't mean for it to take so long to post about but with little ones and this and that it's dragged on....I should be out to take photo's of it this afternoon. I have to say I'm loving it!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I thought I was imagining things, or more honestly mistaking new leaf buds for flowers when I was out doing the laundry the other day. But, here they are. My favourite flowers of all. It won't be long now until every room in the house has a vase full of soft white and pink blossoms and an aroma so sweet and individual that lingers and lingers in and out of my days and my dreams. That scent is the best scent in the world, well other than burying my nose in my babies velvet soft hair.
There are things that mark the years and seasons...the repeated passing of time. For me it's usually smell that transports me to recollections and memories of places and periods of my life passed, and Jasmine is the one that most strongly bears me on my reminiscent voyages.
It's appearance also helps me survive the remainder of winter with hope and anticipation of warmer days. Funnily I never fail however year after year to get excited that Spring has made an early arrival and then the last cold snap of winter graces us with one last chill before we can really bid it farewell for another year.
Monday, July 7, 2008
I was thinking about how my garden looks and is growing and producing over winter and trying not to worry about how the coming ravages of our summer here will take it's toll. I've been watching our friends overseas with pleasure as they are already enjoying their summers and noticing with interest how some of our seasonal produce is still the same even in our differing climates.
The end of our winter will be the end and beginning of another cycle...the end of kind cool weather gardening, the beginning of hot sun and dry earth again....time for me to prepare and accept the change and choose my new seeds and methods wisely...and be patient if I need to bow down and just let summer do it's thing.
I know it's nothing new, nothing innovative or unprecedented, especially to the home gardener to exercise such consciousness of these cycles, of seasons, planting seeds, growth and reuse but I couldn't help contemplating for the moment on the serpentine nature of of it all and well, it's correlation to life.
Everything starts with a seed doesn't it? My pumpkins, my veges, our thoughts, ideas and actions; life may radiate into many branches in between, bearing sour or sweet fruit over it's own time depending on how our gardens are tended, and how many of our "scraps" we use to compost it...the lessons we learn and unlearn that power and direct our growth.
I'm not one really to go off with trying to sound sage like and sharing quotes but in a moment of serendipity this morning I read this from my celestial seasonings box while preparing my tea:
"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each." Henry David Thoreau
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
So, sitting on my table is some vintage fabric and some re purposed very cute floral fabric, partly planned and partly cut out for a little fun sewing project...just enough to fulfill my need. We (well not "we" but the family) are expecting an exciting new addition in the form of a baby girl later this year and who is better to create something for than a little babe.
And I also get to use another new favourite thing....my needle wallet, made by Mum. I just had to show it off.
Now if I can only stop procrastinating I may have something to show off by the end of the weekend.
What a contradiction I am....to be itching to sew and then procrastinating when I have the most opportune time while Bam is asleep and Mia is occupied and snuggled up...maybe that's it, I want to just snuggle into nothingness while it's raining too?
Nope, I'm off to sew.....happy weekend all.
Friday, July 4, 2008
The Bohemian in me wants to add rainbows and flowers but I think I've been convinced otherwise......
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Because of our "renovations" I've been motivated to make some more changes and improvements in the backyard. So on the weekend we dove into the earth. Shifting dirt, rocks, stones and plants.
Sunday saw me "mattocking" and shovelling mounds of soil from a section of neglected, ugly and quite useless yard. Frankly I was tired of the "kangaroo track" that had developed down along one garden bed to the bottom of the yard and it just wasn't going to do any more, especially with our other building making things look so much better.
So I attacked it, dug, shifted and turned it into much more useful steps, using only recycled and scavenged stones from around the house.
Each stone in the top section I threw in by hand after literally thumbing them from the earth of that top garden bed, where they had been discarded, previously not needed, unused and until now forgotten. Some may call me crazy and my thumbs and skin are not thanking me but there was something meditative and hypnotic about plunging my hands into that moist brown substrate and fishing all those smooth stones out. There was a gleeful satisfaction with each hard find especially when anyone would think I had already pulled out every last one. Maybe I went a little nutty but I lost, and found, myself in the process.
The bottom section hubby and I had dug out and levelled as a team on Saturday. Our plan is to pave this part. It will be the grand entrance to our "extensions". (I'm sorry to keep you in such anticipation about the other work that has been going on. All will be revealed I promise but not before it is fully completed. It still needs a lick of paint and some further minor refurbishment. Well, it has to look perfect before I show it off.)
We moved what seemed like a small mountain of soil and managed to fill other new beds with it.....to be finished with the addition of nasturtiums and comfrey to keep our "girls" happy.
We also managed another raised circular bed for a future fruit tree to add to our loosely titled "orchard" (I say that with a bit of a giggle - we have quite a few fruit trees growing but they are spread out hither and tither amongst everything)....I'm undecided and torn between Bowen mango and citrus but am leaning strongly towards navel orange for this spot...the mango will have to find a home in another place that I have in mind. I'm glad hubby was around because there was no way I was going to manage even budging a couple of these rocks.
And between all the shifting of dirt and stone, while baby was awake and needing cuddles? Much more snow pea munching was enjoyed....by all of us!