Tuesday, May 31, 2011

catch up days

After the weekend there always seems to be so much housework to catch up on. Laundry, cleaning, tidying, a little shelf rearranging (it puts a little smile on my face to see my depression glass out again) and an after school play date.

Feeling content that the house is relatively clean again. Of course this self-set standard is proportional to the number of kid's in the house. But good enough is good enough, don't you think?

Is Monday your catch-up day too?

Monday, May 30, 2011

the weekend that was

Eating : Coconut cake from my new favourite baking book (more on that later in the week...)

Reading: Sew by Cath Kidston. Am I the only one who reads crafty books in the bath?

Violet : Turned six months over the weekend. How time does fly.

Knitting : Baby cardigan. Ever so slowly I might add.

Also reading : The Homemaker. Thank you  Christina for bringing this little book to my attention.

Sewing : A highly practical project in the works.

Visiting : The tip shop. Acquired a small bundle of vintage books. And a table.

The start of my little creative corner in the house. My sewing machine will have a home at long last.

Friday, May 27, 2011

home snippets

Rather looking forward to a weekend with no plan.

Homebody that I am there are thoughts of family time, a little baking, some reading, finishing off that knitting project and perhaps a little garden planning.

Ah, the possibilities of a weekend with no plan.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

grey days

Whilst the Wintery weather has certainly settled in a little ahead of schedule, we have also experienced a good dose of rain and wind over the past few days. Bringing the "chill factor" much lower than the home weather station suggests. My take on the weather forecast? 10 degrees celsius...feels like 4.

But I'm not one to get overly hung up on the weather. I generally embrace the chill and enjoy the indoor coziness. But day after day of overcast mixed with drizzle, wind and washing that won't dry,  and your mood can get a bit...well, grey.

Yesterday I went into town and did the weekly grocery shop and countless errands that needed to be done (with the odd nappy change and breastfeeds thrown in). All while dodging wind and drizzle. So, I arrived home rather exhausted, but pressed on and put away all the groceries, made a batch of no knead bread and then drove to pick up the elder two from school.

And then I learned that Daniel was held up at work overnight due to the rain and would not be coming home.  Not until this evening.

I really don't think I'm much good at this single parenting gig. After numerous sibling squabbles and quite a bit of voice raising, I was feeling a little over it all.

But when I finally had the benefit of a quiet house and all three little people asleep, I thought back to the day, and realized that even though  it wasn't the pleasantest of days, it was really only little dramas in the grand scheme of things.  Sometimes silence is the best medicine.

Thank goodness that today is a new day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

dabbling in natural dye

Some of you may remember this library book, which I did end up finding to be a highly enjoyable read. And I was even motivated to try my hand at a little natural plant dyeing. Turmeric seemed the easiest choice as it required no mordant (the chemical - often iron - that sets the colour in the fabric). However, a turmeric dyed item will slowly fade with each wash. I thought a string shopping bag would be a fun little first project.

First you need to soak your material to be dyed in water for an hour so the fibre will absorb the dye properly.

Mix your turmeric with some water. I just used what I had on hand, which was probably about a third of a cup of turmeric and then enough water to make a paste.

Unfortunately it got a little too late and dark to take any photos of the dyeing process. But all I did was add this turmeric mix to a saucepan of water, added the bag and simmered for about 20 minutes. I washed it in a little soap and rinsed well.

Not to waste the pot of dye, I also added a tablecloth. Not as successful this time as the colour came out a little patchy. It has been washed twice since, hence the colour fade.
It turns out that fabric dyeing of this kind was a very satisfying, fun and easy project. Next on the list? I'm quite curious to try ground coffee and onion skins. But I'm open to suggestions on other on-hand ingredients.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

little practical projects

Several small but highly practical items were ticked off the crafting list this week. In the world of crafting there is not much that is as instantly satisfying as a quick project of which there is a needed use for.

A little knitting case for all those little items that get lost at the bottom of the basket.  Sewn from a thrifted lined tea towel and zipper. Finished off with wonky embroidery.

Thrifted fabric covered address book (also thrifted) using craft glue. Though I would recommend a  brush (much, much neater than using your hands as I did) Quite prettier than the old one.

Another dish cloth to add to the collection. Must make a few more of these. Knitted up in two sittings.

Now working on a few medium sized projects that require a little more time commitment. I do think starting is the hardest part, don't you?

Monday, May 23, 2011

picnicking and knitting

We discovered a little track with a spot for a picnic and fishing yesterday. It turned out it was the old road, complete with river crossing and old metre readings. The trout were jumping and our friends managed to take one home. I realized how easy it is to pack for a picnic when you have a supply of pickles, chutneys and jams in the pantry. I even managed a little knitting, my first time doing so outdoors.

Hoping you all had a lovely weekend.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

sunday morning

Early waking means early napping.

Bedside knitting and reading

Sunday morning pancakes

May your Sunday be a pleasant one.

Friday, May 20, 2011

this week

Now that Friday is here, I feel I can breathe a little sigh of relief. It has been a busy week, and I'm looking forward to having a little rest on the weekend.

In the house we've been adjusting to the colder weather. I've been trying to keep the fire lit all day.
Flannelette sheets and woolen blankets have been added to our bedding, so we have now blankets and doona's. And I'm still waking up cold. One more blanket next week, I'm thinking.

The short days mean that it's hard to keep up with the washing right now. It often doesn't dry during the day and then it gets the morning frost. But it does dry eventually, which is the main thing.

It's been difficult getting photos of the kids lately as the house is darker now when they get home. But they have been busy with school and an athletics carnival. I think the associated baking to contribute to the catering, plus watching a lot of the events and dashing off now and then to do errands and grocery shopping, is what tired me out this week.

As for Violet, she is just at such a lovely stage right now. Smiley most of the time and often flipping over (and occasionally getting halfway across the room like that), she will be six whole months at the end of next week. How time flies.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.