Thursday, January 14, 2016

Heat & A Birthday


It's been pretty hot here lately and with a lack of rain everything is drying out.  I am hand watering the pots and shrubs but I am letting the lawns and everything else brown off.  Water is just too precious to waste.


My Geisha Girls are continuing to flower.  I just love their pretty petite little white lace edged purple flowers.


And the white roses along the front of the house are having a final burst of colour.  They appreciate the drink.


It has become quite a routine wandering around the front and back gardens before the sun comes out to give it all a little drink.


I get so much pleasure from wandering around the garden.


 I purchased these little pillow panels at an op shop a few months ago.


They were already sewn up and ready for stuffing.  Little Isabelle is having a birthday at the end of the month and is rabbit crazy so these will be perfect for her.  I am hoping that I can get them stuffed and sewn up today.

Hugs,

Fee x

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday Ramblings


It's another beautiful day here today and a little too hot to do anything outside but I was up early giving the tomatoes and garden a good water.  Hubby had some of these tomatoes freshly picked for breakfast and said the flavour was amazing.  You just can't beat home grown can you ?




Our middle daughter built a home and moved out over a year ago and left behind a few pieces of furniture that she had purchased off Gumtree and painted white in her previous rental property.  She has given them to me and they have been stored in the shed ever since.  I decided to choose my next make over victim and this dressing table is it.  I am thinking that I will paint it a combination of duck egg blue and white with the same handles.  I might just give it an undercoat today.


I found a bargain at the pet food store this week.  A 3kg bag of Eukanuba for just $10.  So we purchased a bag for Harry and one for the 2 fatties (Boo and Dreamer)


And the cheap coffee pods I purchased online arrived.  $19.99 for 60 and they taste just fine.  I got them from Catch of The Day.

I think today could be a book reading sort of day.

Have a great one.

Hugs,

Fee xx

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Diagnosis for Harry

  Harry has learnt to climb on the cutting table.  There is just no stopping this little guy.  

He now has an official diagnosis - Spina Bifida.  I had a really good chat to my old vet who is now retired but ever so knowledgeable so we now know what we are dealing with.  Let's pray that he has no more nerve damage and can lead a full active life.

Have a great day.

Hugs,

Fee 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Photography


I am not a photography expert or a lighting specialist and even though I have a good camera - I rarely use it.  Instead I use my Iphone.  So yesterday I needed to set up a photography area for the new business.  It's going to be important that the treasures I find are photographed as best I can.


It's hard to get good light here in Tassie but I think between 2 different areas I have set up I should be okay to take fairly good photographs throughout the year. 


I am starting to get a few things together for props too - It's going to be fun !  An old cane basket, a wooden apple crate, a rusty old tin and this louvre door.  Of course I always have lovely linens and lace too.


I am totally in love with this cameo choker which will be one of the very first treasures I offer for sale in March when I launch the business.  I took some lovely photographs of it yesterday.  I just hope I can resist the urge to keep it.  That is going to be one of the biggest dangers with unearthing beautiful treasures - Letting them go !  I will try my very hardest.


I couldn't resist sharing this photo with you of Boo and Dreamer curled up together.  They are such great mates and obviously snuck away on their own for a quick nap - They babysit Harry most of the day and are ever so patient with him.

Hugs,

Fee x

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Some Sewing, Baking, A Visitor and a Lemon Tree


Did you pop by Jenny's blog yesterday to grab her free block ?  Here is my version.  I am using scraps from my scrap bin as I am on a craft buying freeze at the moment and want to try and use what I have as much as I can.  


 I love the simplicity of the design.  Jenny truly has a beautiful style.  I can feel my mojo creeping back so get ready for an influx of sewing photographs in the coming weeks.



Hubby and I do have a small slush fund by saving our gold coins.  We had no real purpose for them for the interim but decided to lash out and buy ourselves a lemon tree.  I couldn't believe how expensive they are - $60 !  I shall look after it extra well.


But it already has 7 lemons on it so it looks like it's going to repay us almost instantly with some fruit.


We also bought some lettuce seedlings.  It will be great to just pick some lettuce as we need it.


Whilst I was picking apricots I found I had a blue tongue lizard as a visitor.  It was terrified of me and slid under the rabbit fence into the vegetable patch.  Boy it was fat !  Maybe it is expecting? I may have lots of little lizards around the veggy patch soon.


Morning Tea this week has been extra special with these melting moments on the menu - Some people know them as yo yo's.  It has been many years since I have made them but it won't be too much longer before I make them again - They are delicious !  And have no eggs so even better for the weekly budget.


Little Harry is continuing to grow.  He runs around really well considering his back half is twisted when he walks and runs - He seems to lead a full life.  He will be off to the vet next week for a check up and a vaccination.  He has become an office kitty and sleeps at my feet under the desk.  He is a real time waster as we love to sit and play and have little cuddles.

Have a great day.  I'm off this morning to take Toby to the doggy hairdresser for a well overdue hair cut.

Hugs,

Fee x

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Raspberry and Cherry Plum Cordial


Some weeks ago I was gifted this bottle of home made cordial.  It is just divine when mixed with some chilled water and ice blocks.  So refreshing, not overly sweet and NO yukky numbers on the label.




I have never made cordial before so decided to experiment and play with a recipe I found online for my thermomix.  I boiled up a bot of cherry plums in water and strained off the beautiful pink broth once the fruit and skin had fallen away from the stone.


I blended up 500g of raspberries to a liquid and then added 500ml of the cherry plum liquid, 500g of sugar and the juice of one lemon.  I cooked it at 100 degrees for 30 minutes on Speed 3 on my Thermomix.



Then I strained the liquid through a sieve to remove the majority of the raspberry seeds.


And then bottled my mixture.  Mine is a lot thicker than the one I was given so I think that the liquid (cherry plum or water) should have been more - Maybe double.  I have plenty more cherry plums so I will play around with the recipe some more.


Simply add a little cordial mix to a glass top with chilled water and some ice cubes and you have a lovely home made refreshing drink for a hot summer's day.  Now I am dreaming up lots of other combinations of fruits as they become available.


Today is the start of my friend Jenny's "Gentle Domesticity" FREE Block of the Month over on her BLOG.  I am going to stitch along.  Will you join me?

Hugs,

Fee xx

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The week that was ------ 2015/2016



This past week has been the cross over week from 2015 to 2016 and with it has brought a bit of change in our home.  This change hasn't been instant it has been made over the past weeks and months but has culminated in a fresh outlook and way of life for us in 2016 - The changes were gradual but certainly are cemented in place now.  Frugality is our way of life and has brought with it many new blessings.

Including this jar of awesome Lemon Butter from my niece who is blessed with an abundant lemon tree.  

One of the things on my wish list for this year is a lemon tree.  I have tried to grow them in the past with no luck but I am determined to save for a tree and to get a crop of lemons before the year is out !  
 This week I turned all of the left over stale bread into breadcrumbs.




Put them in a bag and popped them in the freezer.


I went to my local IGA and went to purchase this $2.99 bag of ripe bananas.  The young guy behind the counter gave them to me and another bag as well.  He said they were too ripe to sell.



I was very grateful - These are perfect for baking.  




They are all now residing in the freezer.  What a wonderful blessing.



I am hoping to begin my compost in the next few days so these banana skins will be a nice addition.




As for my $70 budget well I did pretty well although I blew it by $1.50.  We were taken out for lunch at a winery down in the Huon Valley and we stopped at a fruit shop on the way home and I lashed out with our remaining shopping dollars and purchased Cherries, Nectarines and Rhubarb.  I spent most of the shopping dollars on Coffee, Baking Supplies, Vegetables, Milk and Bread this week so it will be interesting to see where the dollars are spent next week.  I was hoping to have some left over for a slush fund for the bulk buying warehouse every few months but it was not to be this week.  I just need to find my feet and some balance so the first few weeks will be the hardest I think.



The rhubarb has been stewed and is now in the freezer ready for some apple and rhubarb crumbles.

The freezer has had a lot of additions in the past week with Satay Chicken, Bread Crumbs, Rhubarb, Stewed Apricots and Bananas having been added as well as some Porterhouse Steak gifted to us at Christmas.  The pantry has also been blessed with some homemade cordial which I will share with you next week.



So that's it for this week with a final little shot of Harry taking a selfie.

Hugs,

Fee xx

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Neglect


We are very fortunate to live on 3 acres of land.  Much of it usable.  We have a small orchard and quite a lot of garden including a vegetable patch area I developed a number of years ago.  BUT


They have been neglected in the past few years.  The fruit that we pick this year will be a true gift from mother nature because we have given the trees no care, no water and no love.  Sad but very true.

I think that I really struggled with the diagnosis of my condition for a long time.  Even though it is not life threatening - It is life altering and will change what I am able to do now and in the future so sadly I let that get the better of me and almost succumbed to the doldrums but thanks to a good GP and some good meds I think I have turned the corner and am ready to live again alongside my condition and take each day as it comes.


It has been a very dry spring and first part of summer.  Everything is an awful shade of brown and the orchard should have been hand watered but until 2 weeks ago we hadn't done that.  It has been too late for the apricot crop which is tiny and stunted but still packed full of flavour but for these Nashi Pears, the Greengages and the apples some water has been very welcomed and should result in some nice fruit.


You can see the slight tinge of green to the grass around the base of the trees where I have been hand watering.  They are very grateful for some love.


We have about 5 apple trees and all different varieties so hopefully they will crop well.



And the vegetable patch - Oh dear - I am ashamed to show it to you but without the pictures I wouldn't be able to describe the neglect and level of unloving it has endured.  I am not even sure I can resurrect it but I will give it a try.  One of the things I really want to do is to start a compost heap and begin my worm farm again so with a bit of love, TLC and some hard work hopefully we can turn this disaster around !  I am certainly keeping this blog REAL aren't I.  No GLAM photo's for you today.


You can see just how dry the property is.  The land is parched.



Another thing on my wish list is to have some hens again.  This shed and run was originally built for the cats but Dreamer in particular is totally stressed outside and it has had no use except for it being adapted for an outdoor area when Rocky was a puppy so we thought it would make a perfect safe hen house for some little ladies.


It just needs a bit of a tidy up and some nesting boxes put inside.  That is on my list of things to do.


So yesterday I spent some time in the orchard picking what I could and discovered that the birds must have dropped some pips and a Cherry Plum had begun to grow up through one of the apricot trees and was full of fruit !  What a wonderful gift from Mother Nature despite having no care.  I am going to use these in the kitchen today - I have an idea !


And I picked some stunted apricots which I will strew and freeze for pies and crumbles which will be wonderful in the winter.

I'll be back tomorrow with a round up of the week.

Hugs,

Fee xx