Wednesday, December 6, 2017

From Trash to Treasure



You know what they say.  One man's trash is another's treasure.  Months ago I visited a local thrift shop and stopped by a bin of books for 20c each.  Most were modern style soft cover novels but I managed to uncover these 3 aged beauties.


And how could I let this one stay there with a title like this ??  It was destiny.



And look at the beauty of this well loved one ?  Some people may see an old worn out book.  I see a much loved book whose owner had probably left this life and their possessions have been dispersed and this book was seen as junk and donated just waiting for someone like me to come along and love it again.  And all for 20 cents !



I always knew what I was going to do with these books but they have been moved from pile to pile over the last few months until a few nights ago I decided that it was time that they met their final resting place, on display in my home to be admired and loved again.

I lovingly wrapped them in aged lace and carefully glued it down making sure that I did not damage the beautiful cover of the book.


Then I laid some hand dyed lace over the top and found one of my many cardboard boxes just waiting to be recycled.


I cut a tag from the cardboard and 2 identical ones from scrap booking paper and glued them all together to make a lovely sturdy tag.


I used my favourite punch to make a tag top and trimmed the edges to neaten


I chose some embellishments and used some distress ink to age the card, ribbon, flower and tassel


I put it all together with some aged cheesecloth and a gorgeous rabbit charm


I then tied up the books with some silk ribbon to finish it off and attached the tag


I just love the end result


I love nothing more than to decorate my home but I must do it as frugally as possible


The total amount spent on this gorgeous home decor item was 60c - Everything else was either recycled or came from my craft studio


And I love it.  It is now on display in my front foyer and is once again very much loved.

Hugs,

Fee xxx

Friday, December 1, 2017

Tree Day


Can you believe it's the 1st December ?  Gee's that snuck up !  1st December in our home means Tree Day.  We only have a very small tree (a $5 K-Mart tree in fact) in our home these days.  Our children have all grown and it's really for the grandchildren when they come to visit.  They like to see that Nanna and Pa are in the Christmas spirit and of course to take a little peek at the gift wrapped up with their name on it.


December always makes me think about the coming year and what changes I would like to try and make to further enrich our lives.  Since having to stop working a few years ago our income is now 1/6th of what it used to be BUT we are richer .........  We value different things and just "make do" but there is so much more we can do to save even more money and better enrich our lives.


My darling friend Jenny and I have a telephone catch up every few weeks and part of yesterday's conversation was on this very subject.  We have both pledged to just "make do" in 2018 whenever we can and to grow our gentle domestic hearts.

Even though we live on less I do still buy craft supplies when I can afford to but one of the changes I would really like to make is to try and make do with what I have or to only buy craft supplies if I have been able to sell some of what I already have so that I can fund my addiction from my addiction.  The truth of the matter is that I have enough craft supplies to last many life times and the hoarder in me thinks I still require more !!  I've had an idea to share on this subject and will share more really soon.


Both Jenny and I are very much home makers - we speak from the same heart.

Our homes are already centered around baking from scratch, growing our own food, making gifts from scratch etc so in 2018 I will be sharing much of what we do in our home to live on a very small income and share some easy "craft" tutorials on making gifts, home making ideas and the like.  

Jenny will be running another year of Gentle Domesticity - Read her blog post HERE to learn more. 

 She will also be offering a FREE Block of the Month in 2018 "A Year in the Garden".  They are a beautiful set of stitcheries and we will both show you many ways to use them within your home or for gift giving.


So during December have a think about how your own household can benefit from reducing consumption of consumer goods and just maybe take a deep breath and slow down a little. Enjoy the every day pleasures of life and really live each day.  I promise it's worth the effort.


I am pleased to report that all of my Christmas goodies that I posted off earlier in the week have arrived with the recipients in one piece.  I was on tender hooks as I sent each of my closest friends some Tomato Chutney and Raspberry Jam as part of their  gift and I used almost all of my recycled bubble wrap stash to ensure that they were cushioned well for their long journeys.  They now all have just a little bit of my home made goodness in their pantry.


Next week I will show you all of the gifts that I handmade for them.  I really enjoyed making every gift with much care and love.  

That's one of the bonuses of living this frugal life - Satisfaction ........

And of course the recipients ALWAYS appreciate the effort and thought put into each and every gift.

All the money in the world can't buy that feeling !!

Until next time.

Love and Hugs,

Fee xx

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

This Week


It's just 2 weeks before I'm going to be laid up for at least 6 weeks so the countdown is on.  This week I have a huge list of To Do's and slowly I am working my way through them.  Today I posted out more than half of my christmas cards as well as gifts to some of my closest friends for Christmas.

I am still working on a few small things but the bulk of my gifts are done.  The shopping for the family and 6 grand babies is completed and wrapped and just waiting for the tree to be erected on Friday.


This is the first year that I have been so organised.  List making has made it so much easier as well as knowing way ahead of time what I was going to make.

My children are in charge of Christmas festivities this year and even though I am still going to be house bound, which I have been almost constantly for the last 6 months , they will take charge of all of the organising, baking etc and bring it all to me.  I will feel very spoilt - It will be the first Christmas ever as an adult that I haven't hosted a Christmas event.  I am secretly looking forward to it.


So the remainder of the week will be dedicated to crossing things off my list which I must admit has dwindled quite a lot - Thankfully.  BUT next week will be prepping projects to keep me busy whilst I am recovering.  I am hoping to work on some long term UFO's.  I really do hope that 2018 is the year of the UFO for me.  I have so many !


And if I feel up to it I will prep some meals for the freezer to take a bit of stress off hubby who does his best in the kitchen as well as taking care of me.  The poor thing will be under enough stress LOL


Finally I will leave you today with my new solar table lamp in my outdoor room.  It is just so pretty don't you think ?

Hugs,

Fee xx

Monday, November 27, 2017

8 months .....


It's been almost 8 months since I blogged.  I just can't believe it has been that long.  I have thought about my blog often but that is really about as far as I have got.

The last 10 months have been horrendous BUT hopefully with some surgery in 2 weeks time I might just be coming out the other side and back to some sort of normality (for me anyway).

So this morning I decided that enough is enough so here I am.


Not blogging hasn't meant no crafting - I have been quite busy in that department.  I haven't been able to sew very much but I have been able to do some small papercarft style projects (mostly from bed) but they have kept my creativity healthy and in the process I have been able to help some animal rescue organisations.  

I craft as much as I can for the month and then donate my made goodies to different charities helping animals.  This month all of these goodies are heading off to Southern Cat Rescue who run a pallative care programme for pets of owners who are undergoing treatment or are in pallative care.  It makes my heart sing to know that I am crafting for a cause and of course it gives me some purpose.  I probably won't be able to make enough throughout December so all of my crafty pursuits will go towards a January charity (Yet to be chosen).



I spent a few weeks stamping, colouring and cutting out some images to send out some handmade Christmas cards this year.  I haven't bothered with cards for many years as I find them to be too commercial and mass produced.  I think it is so much nicer to receive something that has been made with love with the recipient in mind.  So this week I gathered together all of my supplies and my cut out images and set about getting my cards made ready to post out this week.

It took me the best part of a full day and night but I am pleased to say that they are now all completed.  I am a self taught paper crafter who just muddles really so I'm pretty happy with the results.

This week is going to be dedicated to making class mate gifts for 4 of my grand children as well as finishing off some gifts for my friends so that they may also be posted by the end of the week.

Not being able to get around very much does have an upside !

I hope that you are all well and that you enjoy reading my first post for such a long time.

Love and Hugs,

Fee xxxx

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sleepy Sunday


It's the end of daylight savings here in Tasmania today so it's almost 4.30pm here and already the sun has gone, the sky is becoming dark and there is a distinct chill in the air with a promise of winter just over the horizon.  It's the type of day to just lounge around and snooze.  Harry has the right idea !



I am not a great sleeper these days as I find it really hard to get and stay comfortable in bed so I stayed in bed a little longer snuggling with the fur babies this morning.  With daylight savings ending we had an extra hour anyway.  We decided to head to the local tiny trash and treasure market today which is only held the first Sunday of the month and then stopped in at the local school farm opportunity shop on the way home.  We bought some lovely pink eye potatoes which are currently bubbling away in a pot for dinner, I got a mystery bag of spring bulbs and a few other bits and pieces


Including this gorgeous little glass dish which is destined to become a pin cushion to go in a gift I am currently putting together for a stitching buddy.


I have to say that after doing a few projects as a contributor to Let's Get Stitched and More Magazine (and being a month in front - YIPPEE !!)  I really wanted to stitch something else that wasn't one of my own designs so I decided to pull out all of my Tilda Club projects which I am way behind on.  I chose this one by Jenny and thought it would be ideal to take to hospital with me on Wednesday


But after prepping, tracing and choosing the threads I decided to start stitching it whilst I watched my beloved Geelong Cats play footy and what a game it was.  They won by 1 point in the closing stages.  It certainly did give me heart palpitations !  I hope that wherever you are that you are having a relaxing Sunday.

Love and Hugs,

Fee xx

Friday, March 31, 2017

Just Pottering


I am having surgery next week on both of my knees which means a couple of days in hospital.  So I've been just pottering around trying to get things in order and get a few things made before I am not able to do anything again for awhile.  I made these little bunnies on wooden spools with a magnet on the bottom.  Aren't they cute :)



And on my "To Do" list for awhile has been some Shabby Style linen tote bags.  I have managed to make 2 from the 7 I have cut out and ready to finish.



They are such fun to make.



And of course my creative adventures wouldn't be complete without playing with the paint brush.  I picked up these frames for 50c each at the local op shop.  I have grand plans for these !




And I finally made some more lavender bags with some pretty shabby bling on them.  They smell divine.




Today hasn't amounted to very much with just a little tidying of my shelves in the craft studio.  The lovely baskets are from Kmart and are perfect for my lace and trim collection don't you think ?  

Hopefully over the weekend I will be able to prepare some stitching for hospital and the recovery time afterwards.

Have a great weekend.

Hugs - Fee x

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Maggie Beer


As always our Lets Get Stitched weekends are full of memories and lots of fun but one thing that stood out for a lot of the ladies this year including me was the visit to Maggie Beer's farm.  Maggie Beer is a wonderful country style cook who wastes nothing.  She is also a judge on The Great Australian Bake Off and has her own television cookery show "The Cook and the Chef".  We were lucky enough to get a private class in Maggie's very own farm studio kitchen.


Our class was run by the lovely Bianca who obviously has a love of not only Maggie and her wonderful style of cooking but is also very passionate about food.  The menu was Roasted Pumpkin, Onions in their skins, Egg Plant and Buttered Mushrooms and then Apple & Rhubarb Roasted.


The lovely Shez was lucky enough to be Bianca's assistant and did the job very well.  The mushrooms that she cooked were divine and I don't even like mushrooms !!!



It was such a great class.  Everything tasted delicious.  Bianca told the story of how the television network wanted to film in Maggie's home kitchen but her hubby wasn't keen so instead they re-created here beautiful homely country kitchen at the farm shop and turned it into a cooking studio.  It was just beautiful.  Homely and warm - Just how a kitchen should be.

 We were able to wander around the studio and take as many photographs as we liked.

 So much about that kitchen reminded me of my grandma and her frugal ways.  Maggie wastes no vegetable peel and cooks everything the skins and all.  It was so refreshing to hear - Almost like we have come full circle.

 As soon as I arrived home I recreated the baked apple and rhubarb dish cooked with Maggie's Saville Vino Cotto.


And I'm pleased to report that mine tasted just as good as the one we had at the farm.  So healthy and just good old fashioned food !

The trip to the farm is one that I will remember for a very long time !  Just writing about it makes me want to cook it again !




Today I am creating a version of a FREE Easter Bunny Treat Bag that my friend Dawn has designed as an extra Freebie for the Let's Get Stitched & More Magazine subscribers.  It is so cute !  I can't wait to show you.

Hugs,

Fee xx