Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Decluttering


The quest to get organised and to de-clutter is still happening.  My sewing room has been packed up and lots of my pretties have been put away for safe keeping.  I still have a lot of my china on display and have kept out a number of projects to work on.  I have to admit to quite liking the feel of not so much clutter.  It may become a permanent thing.


We have decided to not officially go onto the market with our house until we find something that we are happy to buy.  The local real estate market is in a frenzy and houses are only lasting a few days and we do not want to feel rushed or make a rash decision when it comes to choosing our last home so we have spoken with our agent who is a friend and we are sitting just waiting to go onto the market when the perfect home for us comes up.  We have already viewed 2 homes in one of the areas that we have chosen but sadly neither were suitable so we will just sit back and wait and keep chipping away at our to do list.


Part of the fun of sorting through a life long collection of possessions is finding items that you had forgotten about.  It has also given me the opportunity to assess what I really want to keep and what I am happy to let go of.  We have culled so much stuff - It's quite cleansing.


Of course there are many possessions that must stay including my huge collection of quilts made by me.  Goodness knows what I will do with them l but now is not the time to let go of them.  Maybe one day when I can find someone who will cherish them enough.  


Lots of my linen and doillies have also had a refresh.  Everything smells nice and clean and has a new lease of life.


Whilst sorting through my bookshelves I found my recent mothers day gift.  The latest release from my favourite author Tess Gerritsen.  Shamefully I haven't read a book for a few years which is such a shame because I do love reading.  So I sat myself down and opened up the cover and then I couldn't put it down !!  I had forgotten just how much I missed reading.  I have a bookshelf full of books just waiting to be read so today I will chose another and start to work my way through them.


Whilst cleaning up I found this little notebook.  I have been a list maker for the longest time and have been looking for this particular book for months !  


It was given to me over 14 years ago by my son who would have been a pre-teen at the time.  It was just a little spiral note book but it meant so much to me and I kept it as my book reading log.  I have such a dreadful memory and often buy books that I have already read so back then 14 years ago I decided to keep a list of all the books I had read and they were kept inside the pages of this treasured notebook.



So the process of cleaning, tidying and de-cluttering has been really beneficial for me and I have found some lost treasures in the process.

Now the trick will be for us to keep the house as clean, tidy and de-cluttered as it is today.

Wish me luck.

Hugs,

Fee xx

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Planning and Preparation



I am very much one of those people who has to plan and be prepared.  But in the past few years with my physical health declining things have gotten a little out of hand around here and just looking at the clutter makes my brain go into a spin.  This spin becomes detrimental because everything becomes far too over whelming and I end up getting nothing done.  

Today I decided that has to change.  

We love our home very much and after being here for 14 years it holds lots of beautiful memories for us, but over the past 4 years or so I have been unable to physically manage with the growing list of maintenance and gardening that it requires and we have to admit it is getting on top of us.  We pay a gardener to come in as well as a handy man but as time goes by it is becoming quite a financial drain.  It's time to admit that we need to down size.  Not tomorrow but in the next couple of years.  So today I have begun the task of downsizing my considerable clutter and collections.  Our next home will be at least half the size of this one so lots of furniture and possessions will end up moving on.  I wouldn't be able to manage the physical demands of doing everything over a few weeks whilst we prepared to move - So why not start now ?




I decided that a number of my collections can be put into storage and just brought out when required like my growing Easter decorations that somehow seem to be left out all year long !!  

This morning I wandered from room to room and gathered them all up.  They all had a dust and a polish


And were carefully wrapped up for long term storage 


I don't know why I hadn't done this before?  But at least now I feel like I am achieving something


And I don't have to part with my special trinkets but simply just store them until they can be displayed again, next Easter.


So I have begun with 4 boxes at this stage and will scour the house until I have them full and then they will go out to the shed and be stored on shelves.  I have labelled the boxes so that we will know exactly what is in them and I have used plastic so that my treasures are safe from moisture and those furry little pests that sometimes inhabit dark, quiet sheds.


Everything is lovingly wrapped in bubble wrap and tissue to protect them


So finally I am starting to feel a little more organised and I know that when the time comes that it will make moving just that little bit easier


I can't manage a lot physically each day so this afternoon I will sit myself down with my growing collection of recipe magazines and remove all of the recipes I want to keep.  Then I can part with my big pile of magazines.  Well that's the plan anyway.  Wish me luck.



Finally before I go I wanted to share with you dessert from Sunday night (and leftovers last night).  It was cold and bleak and whilst cooking dinner I decided that we needed a nice hearty hot dessert.  Some Butter, Sugar, Flour, Milk and Golden Syrup were thrown together and within 20 minutes we had some glorious Golden Syrup Dumplings.  Such a simple but delicious dessert.

Hugs,

Fee xxx

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hibernating for Winter


Today officially is the start of the last month of winter and I can feel myself slowly coming out of hibernation.  Afterall it's been 3 months since I posted on this blog, although it doesn't feel like it was that long ago, time passes so quickly these days.  

The winter has been wet, cold and dreary but not as bad as past winters in our little patch of heaven.  



Like my tulips I can feel myself just poking my head out and wondering if it is time for sunshine yet ?  Sunshine certainly makes you feel much better and much more energetic.


The ground is slowly beginning to warm and the spring bulbs are beckoning the sunshine to help them reach their destiny and burst into bloom.  Much like me, I am yearning for the spring sunshine so that I may be able to go outside and bask in her rays.


Some months ago I planted these gorgeous little Sweet William plants.  They take me back to my childhood in my paternal grandmothers garden where these were a favourite.  We used to collect the seeds for her from the dried flower pods so that she could replant them the following year.  As I get older I seem to remember more of her methods and ways and certainly appreciate them more and more as the years pass.


My love of baking was passed down from her and baking sweet treats has been a favourite pastime over the winter months.  With just basic ingredients of Flour, Butter, Sugar and Eggs and adding another thing or two gives you so many possibilities.


Just last week we had notice of impending visitors who would arrive in just an hour.  So a batch of scones were quickly whipped up, A jar of homemade raspberry jam decanted into an antique bowl and some cream whipped to top them with and a feast was then shared with old friends.  So much can be done with just the most basic of ingredients.  Life these days has become so complicated as has our diet.


My sewing and designing mojo has also been in hibernation but began to emerge just last week after a long phone chat with my darling Jenny.  Even though the loss of my sewing mojo wasn't even discussed it seemed to reappear just a few days after our long chat.  We both always come away from  our conversations with renewed vigor and refreshed souls.



So some new designs are not far away and a few commitments well into the future will very soon be ticked off.  I am mighty pleased with that.

Happy 1st August to you today wherever you may be.

Hugs,

Fee xx

Monday, April 30, 2018

Some Accomplishments


Blogger has decided to play nicely with me today.  So here is the progress on the Butterfly Garden block that I have been working on.  I have to admit to not much happening in the stitching department around here this past week.  


Although I did make a few things for the gift shop - Some gorgeous Strawberry Pin Cushion Scissor Keeps from a pattern from my dear friend Jenny 


I made these with that little cardigan I picked up a few weeks ago.  Nothing better than a good upcycling project.  



They are so easy to make and make a lovely gift.  I fill mine with crushed walnut shells.


They keep your pins and needles nice and sharp.  I've lost count how many of these I've made since Jenny offered the pattern on her blog.




My SIL popped by this past week and put together a new craft studio chair the children gave me for my birthday.  I was in desperate need of a new one - The other was 10 years old, battered and bruised and gave my poor ailing spine no support.  Now Nick (my SIL) is a techy kind of guy so whilst he was here I got him to set up my DVD player and Chromecast in the studio - I have been without them since I moved the studio a few months ago.


Now it all works perfectly and I can watch my favourite television shows and movies whilst I craft.  Pure Bliss !!


This past week I became very brave and after deciding that I would begin a you tube channel in January teaching simple little craft ideas I finally posted my first video.  I have always suffered from a lack of confidence (even though it may appear I don't) and anxiety so this was a BIG thing for me.  I had so many requests on how to make those little butterfly embellishments so I finally bit the bullet and just did it.  I have so many ideas for more so will work on them in the near future.  You can subscribe to my you tube channel here if you would like.


I also finished watching the latest series of Great Australian Bake Off - I just love that show - The creativity and ability of the home bakers amazes and inspires me !  Needless to say I have spent a little time in the kitchen experimenting with some new recipes as well as some old ones.  My husband likes it when I am in a baking mood as the abundance of sweet treats are aplenty.


We had 3 of our grandchildren for the day yesterday as both parents were at work.  It was the last day of the school holidays so an outing to the local shopping centre and a milkshake were promised and fulfilled.


And I let them choose what they would like me to bake them for their school lunches for the coming week.  They all agreed on Melting Moments so I happily baked a double batch to ensure that Poppy got to keep some as well.  Here is my recipe if you are interested.
.
Fee’s Melting Moments
Makes approximately 14 Biscuits

Biscuits
185g Butter
60g Icing Sugar
45g Custard Powder
250g Plain Flour
Tiny Dash of Water

Filling
80g Icing Sugar
40g Butter
2 Teaspoons Custard Powder
½ Teaspoon Vanilla Essence

To make the biscuits cream together the butter and icing sugar. Add the flour and custard powder and mix to a dough with a wooden spoon. You may need to add a dash of water to get it to hold together.
Take a heaped teaspoon of dough and roll into a ball (approx. 30g). Place onto a biscuit tray lined with baking paper. Use a fork dipped in water and press out to form a circle but do not flatten completely – It needs to be a plump flattened circle.

Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees celcius) for approximately 10 – 12 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool slightly on the tray and the put onto a cooling rack with a biscuit slide.
Allow to cool completely whilst you make the filling.
Cream together all ingredients. Place into a piping bag with a large piping nozzle. Pipe onto the flat side of a cooled biscuit and top with an un-iced biscuit. (flat side to flat side). Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.

Have a wonderful week.

Hugs,

Fee xx

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Weekly Wrap Up


It's been a busy week this past week.  I finally got the stitching finished on my beautiful wool wall hanging


I then sandwiched it and did some simple quilting


I also had a birthday on Monday and celebrated for 2 days.  My dear friend Jenny sent me this gorgeous mug which I have enjoyed drinking many coffees from this week.


I did a little trip to my local opportunity shop to donate a bag of goodies and came home with some new goodies.


Including these wine glass charms (I have an idea for using these in paper crafting)


And this lovely upholstery fabric for just $1.00





 Which very quickly became a stylish draught stopper which was much needed in our family room



Remember the little lace cardigan for $1.00 from last week ?


It has been cut up and is destined to become strawberry pincushions.




I also did some work on some foam busts that I am making for my friend Karen's gift shop


I've had a lot of fun making these - Will show some finished pictures just as soon as she has collected them.


I baked some bread which we enjoyed hot 


And I worked on some upcoming swaps for May in my papercraft swap group


The brief for this one was 6 paper clips ......


I decided to make 6 different ones


These are great for diaries, reading books and planners



And yesterday I decided to use up all of my scraps and made some cute little butterfly stick on embellishments to gift with each swap as an added extra.


I'm pretty pleased with how they came up.  Something nice just from scraps.  I so love to give and these will be handy for cardmaking etc for the recipients.


The nights are getting quiet cool here now so we are lighting the fire every evening.  It's great for stitching and I have made some progress on my Butterfly Garden block but blogger won't allow me to add anymore photographs to this post so I'll have to show you next time.

I hope your week was as great as mine.

Hugs,

Fee xx