Friday, October 31, 2008

Garden - warning - way too many photos!

Realising I only have about 4 weeks until we leave for 'the mainland' has motivated me to get out in the garden in the vain hope something will still be alive & edible when we return in the new year.

The front garden bed:

I rendered & painted (ignore that dodgy join!) this wall a couple of years ago & planted out the bed with natives. After seeing how much sun the space got I started moving the natives to other garden beds & decided to use it for fruit & berries. As you can see it is still fairly empty.


I have planted a couple of blueberry bushes that are starting to take off


This self seeded native lily was too pretty to move & looks great against the blue wall. This is a great native plant for dry areas & as you can see from the top photo it easily seeds & you can have lots of these around the garden. My plan is to dig up these little lilies & plant them out in the barren space in front of our hedge.


I've transplanted several sunflower seedlings along this wall in the hope we have a quick fill in over summer. The long term plan is to have a grape vine growing on some type of trellis (or a mosaic or a bike sculpture if you ask Tim). This bed has a soaker hose under the mulch that the bath water empties through. We don't use soap or shampoos in the bath so it is fine for this (it uses one of those really cheap water diverter things that you put in the inspection hole of the outlet pipe)


The back veggie patch:

There are about 4 garden beds out the back (probably the limit I can maintain). Because we have heavy clay, all the beds are raised & have been built up over the years with compost, sheep poo, mushroom compost, lime , pea straw & anything else I could get my hands on. One of the biggest problems is keeping the dog, the blackbirds & Max out. I've found the best solution is old bird cages, they are cheap (from our local tip shop), easy to move around & generally big enough so that Max doesn't move them around. I've also just ordered some holographic owls in the hope they scare the blackbirds away (the plastic snakes scare visitors but not blackbirds).

This old bike is acting as a trellis for the peas to climb (if they dog would stop digging them out!)


The broadbeans are growing well, unfortunately our house sitter doesn't like them & most will be ready when he is here!

And my favourite patch is always the garlic which supplies us with fresh garlic for about 9 months of the year. I've also found a few rogue plants in the other beds that I think Max planted...they are massive.


The rhubrb survives no matter how neglectful I am - much to Tim's disappointment. This little patch supplies a few neighbours with rhubarb aplenty.

The bird cage protecting the strawberries

The silverbeet tree trying to shade out the cumquat, I let a couple go to seed like this as I keep picking the leaves off for the chooks as they don't get out that much because they wreck havoc on the garden.
The currants are looking good as well, these will need to be netted while we are away so we can make some cordial when I get back.


And lastly my new garden bed, it's in the chook pen & I plan to grow things that the chooks can pick off as they grow through the wire. That was the plan until I planted basil seeds in there this week...part of the grand pesto plan!


This week it is planting time for the tomatoes (now that we are past Hobart show day)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - old nursery rhymes

Max discovered my old book of nursery rhymes. I keep it because of the great illustrations & the memories. As we started to read through it I realised I was censoring.......

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sewing for boys

It seems easier to sew for Addie sometimes, the plethora of patterns & fabric. While I try to avoid the stereotypical pink girly clothes for her (even though these are by far the thing I sell the most of!) Max now has an aversion to anything overtly floral (such a shame) & just says "it's for Addie". But this week I decided to finish off a few unfinished 'Max projects'. With both the kids sporting runny noses I decided to skip playgroup today, so I got started on Max's pile of WIP. The first to be finished were these jeans.


The only thing 'jeansy' about them is the fact they are made of denim (great for summer) . But now that Max can man-handle the toilet step/seat into place on his own & reach the bowl I don't need to accompany him to the toilet all the time. Normal jeans are just too difficult for him to get off on his own so for the next while if it isn't elastic waisted, he doesn't wear it. He gave them a good work out this morning; making playdough, playing with playdough, some earthworks out in the garden & a jump on the trampoline (all supervised by me through the window while at my sewing machine)


I've had 5 pairs of jocks cut out for Max for a while now, I finished these pair off to see if they would still fit him. The fabric was in a $1 bag of remnants I got from Spotlight a while back. The pattern is slightly modified from Ottobre 4/2004. I made a pair ages ago & perhaps I'll bring out the coverstitch machine to finish off the rest as it gives a better finish....but really who am I kidding, they are undies after all!


Although in our house that doesn't mean they are hidden under clothes, especially if your mad mother makes you jeans just as the summer weather arrives!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Patterns !!!

I rarely leave an op shop without an old sewing pattern, consequently I have suitcases full of them. (I'm about to do a sort & purge.....I'll post some pictures so if anyone wants them I can send them to you.....I'll try to get sorted for next week). Considering how many patterns I have I find using them frustrating most of the time as the sizing is so CRAZY! I made this little simple dress for Addie on the weekend, I was thinking as I cut it out "it looks a bit big" but it was a 1/2 (that's half!) size & she was asleep so I couldn't check.


By the time I had sewn it up I knew it was too big. The strange thing is it fits Max, so a size 1/2 fits a boy who wears size 3 clothes!!!! I'll find another home for the bird dress. I ended up doing what I nearly always do & cut a pattern from something Addie already wears. I used this op shop tablecloth (they wash well & even if they have a food stain, they match everything else in the kids wardrobes!)


This is what I ended up with....the buttons still need to be lowered to give a better fit & I'll change the pattern slightly before I make it again.


I did manage a bit of work in the garden, mostly transplanting sunflower seedlings.....nothing that will feed us! But I've joined in with Bellgirl who is having a Veg about....not sure exactly what that means but the fact I'll need to post pictures of Vegetable means I'd better plant some in the garden!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Time in the garden

Even though we are heading off to the mainland for Christmas this year, the garden still needs a bit of work so (hopefully) when we return there is something to eat. I'll be planting out seedlings this weekend & the kids can have a go at transplanting some of the sunflowers that are popping up down the back.

At the moment we have artichokes galore, I just need to think of what else to do with them this year. We usually just boil & eat with olive oil & vinegar. I might try to preserve some.



Of course there is always way to much silverbeet!


We have also been visited by some of these rosellas this week.


Before they were promptly scared off by our resident wattle bird.



With a bit of luck they will persist & return.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Long overdue post

I've been meaning to post a thank you to Blackie for quite a while now after she sent this super cute little bag. It is on my list to return a little something handmade back across the city as 6 scraps of freezer paper seem a bit inadequate!

I've been trying to get a better picture of Adelaide using it but the camera is never handy when she has filled it with something - her baby, blocks, bits of food, scraps of paper, pencils - and is proudly carrying it around. And as you can see from the shot below trying to stage a photo just doesn't work! My only concern is the enthusiasm she already shows for bags & shoes at such a tender age!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

picnic - part 2

What a day. I decided to ride (bicycle) in with the kids to the Teddy Bear's picnic, it's an easy downhill run from our place. Max was excited that Tim was there as well. Our picnic blanket was placed not far from the visiting police car which was not so good after some kid found the horn & honked for ages before moving on to the siren switch....not so cute after 15 minutes of it! The rain sort of held out until the end, when there was a mass exodus of prams.

Max was really not that interested in the activities provided & Addie slept - the bike ride usually sends her to sleep. The highlight was when Max spied this digger working in another section of the garden. Nothing like standing around in the rain watching a digger at work (apparently!)


By the time we finally made it home (in the rain) they were both asleep. I parked them on the deck & went in to get changed & have a well earned cup of tea. When I went to check Addie was awake & happily 'eating' this apple, she has perfected the bite-chomp-and-spit-out-the-skin technique - check out the well of apple bits under her chin.

no time to blog because...........

.............today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Stash - what I dug out & what I made

A couple of tablecloths from the fabric stash (all from the op shop) became some new spring pants for the kids (when it's still a little cool for shorts or you want to hide those neon white legs from the midday sun!)

This:

became these pants for Addie (I've almost given up taking photos of her wearing clothes, they all look like a blurr of something with blond hair):


This:


became these pants for Max (finished on route to the beach today):


We had a rain shower come through so Max got to wear his dad's raincoat for a while.



Check out Tamara's blog to see who else is playing along.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

cooking for 1, washing for many

We dropped Tim at the airport last night for a 2 day work trip. The night went surprisingly smoothly as Max was asleep by the time we got home (he had eaten already). He stayed asleep as I changed him & put him in bed. ONE DOWN. Addie finished her dinner, I feed her & off to sleep she went. TWO DOWN! With the evening stretching out before me I rustled up some dinner, watched Spicks & Specks, called a few people & then loitered around the sewing machine, finishing off some Etsy orders. If only every night was like that!


I finally made a start on the (mountain of) hand washing yesterday. These were mostly knits that Addie has worn this last winter. Some will now be stored away as they will not fit her next winter. This was my final look at them for a while. Max does not have as many knits as he is slightly obsessed with fluff. He has destroyed many a fine hand knitted jumper by biting the yarn until he pulls large loops out & breaks off sections. Max can still regularly be found with a wad of fluff, yarn or a dust 'tumbleweed' (the jackpot) in his mouth. I can now find this quirk amusing but I have been driven mad by his fluff chewing in the past (he has to be in a pram if I want to go into a fabric shop, I need to vacuum regularly and my mohair blanket has been packed away, perhaps for good!)

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