Monday, January 16, 2012

G is for Gardening

OK, I have put a couple of things I would like to get a bit of a handle on, back on the agenda. Things which have been on and off (and on and off) the agenda a lot over the past few years. Gardening and knitting. The knitting is just too traumatic to talk about tonight so I'm just going to go with gardening. Completely easy for some, not so much for others. Like me. I think the main problem is that I simply have not had the attention span or the memory, over the past few years, to make gardening a success. (I have to water them? Really?) But I don't ever like to give up completely, for ever and ever, so I'm having another shot at it. I started off with a store bought little green house thing to raise the seeds, and used the seeds I've been storing in my fridge for, ah, way too long. In fact I thought maybe they would just be too old, but they're going OK so far. Early days though. (oh, and for the completely clueless like myself, my seeds went from seeds to what you see below in about  4-5 days)
Ruby is my little gardening helper (and Clary, when he feels like it). Of course I could have, and will in future, bypassed purchasing things to raise the seeds in and just made it up myself like this lady here who has done a fantastic job making a mini greenhouse with toilet rolls and some plastic (and cardboard) packaging.

Now, bare in mind that I have been a lazy, half-assed gardener for many years so some of the pictures you are about to see maybe a little disturbing for some, but I'm just using them to show you other ways we have been able to incorporate the upcycling of goods in to our gardening ;) The crates below were found at our local dump and make perfect little garden boxes (yes, I am one of those people who sometimes goes away from the dump with rubbish).

Do me a favour and just ignore the sticks and weeds I am growing in the next picture and focus on the fact that those huge olive oil containers are actually quite ok for popping a plant into.

Galvinised buckets also can look  good. Would probably look better if it was overflowing with flowers but, hey, baby steps people.

Got an old suitcase lying around, it can be broken, worn out, or just plain old and ugly? Get some flowers blooming in it and it'll be looking a whole lot cuter.

And if you're like me and have a bit of a habit of picking up kitchy ornaments when you're browsing the op shops, despite having absolutely nowhere to put them in your house? Stick those babies in the garden!! My super gaudy little gold deer just loves it out amongst the blooms :)
And, while we're on the subject of plants and seedlings I have to share this, which I found while googling for........I'm not sure now, something or other related to seedlings, I guess.
These are cupcakes!!! The cupcake toppers (the seedlings) come from an Etsy seller by the name of mimcafe Union and you can check her store out here. How good do they look?!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Meet Me at Mike's

Hey, hey, was just snooping around my blog stats and that there below was my 200th post. So is anyone still reading? Leave me some love between now and next Monday (16th January), I have an as-new copy of Meet Me at Mike's to give away!! (it's a very cute book with simple little craft projects)
And it's entirely possible I actually have NO READERS at this point so leave me a comment, you may be the only one, lol, and the book could be yours!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Isn't is enough that I'm posting? Do I have to think up a title too?

I guess you wouldn't know it by looking at this sad and unloved blog, but I really do miss blogging. I simply have not have the time or the energy in the last few months. But I've missed it. Thought of it often. Have just struggled to actually get here in front of the computer and bang out a post. A couple of nights ago I sat down to draft out a post on a subject very dear to me.........but I just couldn't make it happen. I was swamped by my own thoughts and the words just didn't match up. So I scrapped it.
I wanted to shout out my love for a book titled 'Simplicity Parenting' but honestly found it hard to do the whole concept justice. All I can say is that if you struggle with the stuff that can bog down our kids lives (toys, activites etc), do yourself a favour and get your hands on this book. I got it about 12 months ago, I love it. It echoed back to me a lot of my own thoughts, re-enforcing them and making me feel like a bit less of a weirdo for thinking the way I do.
 Our children do not need 50 000 Barbies, they do not need to be palmed off with electronic media and they do not need to have activites scheduled for every day of the week. Our kids need us. They need our time and attention. I'm not saying my kids don't have any toys, nor am I saying they never see the televison, they do. In short, simplicity in almost everything is best: that is the message in this book and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any parent who is feeling overwhelmed by 'stuff'. (you can check it out on Amazon here). 

And if you're feeling overwhelmed by blogs with more pictures than words probably best you check out now. Because it's been a few months since my last post so I'm easing back into it. Just pictures and a bit of this and that. And how embarassing that after my rant about 'too many toys', my first picture is all "Hey, look at my kids new toys!" Go ahead, make fun of me. It's OK. I had been wanting Waldorf dolls for the kids for years, but kept putting it off, for one reason or another. Then I came across Debs' gorgeous dolls on Etsy and I bit the bullet and ordered two. They are wonderful and the kids love them. Surprisingly, Clary REALLY loves his (he's called Boo Boo, Rubys' is called......Ruby), carts him most places and changes his clothes day and night. It's the cutest thing ever. I love them and I'm so glad I waited until I found Deb, the dolls are superbly made.

And then, just like that.......Gift Wrapping Season was declared Open. My favourite time of year.

I spent a night using my little envelope template to whip up some cute envelopes using old book/comic/magazine/map pages. Some have been used, some on standby.

Got lucky in the op shop one day and scored this old Singer for FREE. The lady said she couldn't charge me as they didn't know if it worked or not. Well, it works. Yay. Not that I actually needed another sewing machine, but if mine packs it in now I have a spare :)
What the heck. Wrapped more gifts.
Salvaged what I could from a couple of completely-busted-up-by-the-time-I-got-home-from-the-shops packets of Arnotts Royale biscuits to make some cute little puddings.
Here are some instructions on the Arnotts website, I used red Skittles instead of jaffas and chopped up green Snake lollies for the leaves.
We had a go at gingerbread houses (from a kit 'cause sometimes I'm lazy). What do you know, apparently our gingerbread men live in the ghetto. Cracked windows, bullet holes and all. These things taste like crap by the way, but they're fun to make.
I decided to make some fruitcakes and, unknowingly, chose a recipe with an insane amount of fruit in it. So the fruit I bought and macerated in Cointreau for two weeks to make three cakes turned out to be enough for six cakes.

Over the holidays we managed to hit quite a few op shops where Clary stocked up on books. (no, he can't read, he just likes books)
Spent lots of days at the beach. Discovered body boarding, so much fun and must be good for you because we were so sore afterwards!

Attempted cards which lasted as long as Clarys' interest in it. It was a great one minute game.

Overall 2011 was good to us and I'm hoping 2012 is going to be even better. Cheers.