Thursday, January 30, 2014
Thank you, water hose, for assisting with this training.
The holidays have come and gone, work is much the same and my garden is being overrun by weeds, yet again.
Awesome news on my business front though, just before Christmas I was asked to join the Treasure Box Collective in Wakefield. This craft collective opened a shop November 1st and they are a treasure trove of interesting people and amazing products. Seriously. I feel like mine pale in comparison. But I did sell quite a few Christmas stockings just before the holiday, so that worked in my favor. I still haven't sold any items of boys' clothing, but I think perhaps the clothing for children doesn't sell very well in there all around. I could be wrong, it could just be my stuff.
On the last day I worked in that shop, I spent time researching new ideas and writing down page numbers of my pattern books to try out for my range of boys clothing. I have quite a bit of work to keep me occupied this winter with my sewing machine!
I also start a second part-time job as a nanny mid-February. I am looking forward to getting back into childcare and can't wait to see how this job works out.
Now if only I could find my lost energy and shake this achey feeling I have had all day. I better not be coming down with the flu.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Case in point- I spent two hours outside today trimming back the wisteria in anticipation of Jeff hanging up our twinkle lights for some summer evening glow. Oh yeah, and I weeded two flower beds. But the best part about today was concerning Tilly, Boo and Pearl. Jeff has been building a coop for them for a few weeks now and it's finally finished. Well, the hard construction part is finished.
Just look at it. And admire.
|He designed and built it all from scratch. What a clever man.|
|Front with a little doorway. Needs a ramp still |
and netting at the top.
|Beautiful weatherboards from old pallets.|
|It's fully insulated and lined (more insulated than our house is).|
|Outside access for eggs|
|My girls in their favourite place: the silverbeet area.|
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Moving on though, today is December 1st.
For free shipping in NZ, enter the code HAPPYHOLS.
For 15% off, enter the code HAPPYHOLS15.
Here's a super special one though- share this post on social media to get both codes applicable to a purchase. Keep an eye out for new items to be added daily (as I finish sewing them) and share, share, share!
|Doodlebug Designs Shop|
Merry Christmas, little elves.
|I love nutcrackers.|
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
It's been an interesting few weeks here around Dealbh Cottage (yes, I decided on a name for our house). Dealbh is Gaelic for creative...which I think is a pretty perfect fit for our house and what Jeff and I do.
A woman I work for gave me 3 chickens nearly two weeks ago. Yeah, that's right. I have chickens now.
So I've been learning how to take care of chickens while Jeff has been designing and finally building their coop and run. We had always talked about having chickens at some point because goodness knows we go through eggs like it's nobody's business and free-range eggs are about 5-6 dollars a dozen...yikes. It just so happened that a woman I work for had gotten 10 and decided that was too many, so offered some to me for free. Awesome.
This weekend I'm headed to the market to try and sell my kids clothes and knick knacks I've been amassing. I still haven't sold anything online, but I am really hopeful about this weekend. I need to sell stuff so I can sort out Christmas this year. I'm finishing up some Christmas stockings for the market and perhaps will crank out another pair of boys' shorts before Saturday to add to my collection. Man, I hope this works out.
I also have been taking care of Jeff the last two days. Poor guy came down with a flu bug Saturday night and spent most of Sunday in bed with a fever and chills. Monday was a little bit better, but he stayed home from work all the same (which is good since he went in today for work and came home early because he's still not well). I am hoping that I don't catch whatever it is he had because I really don't want to be out for a few days. Just too much to do.
This weekend was also pretty scarring for me personally. The thing is, I work with old people. Some of them aren't doing well at all and a few of them have passed away after going into the hospital or changing care providers. Saturday night was one of those nights I will never forget. I went in for work (it was my weekend on duty) and we had just gotten this lady into bed when she stopped breathing. The next hour and a half was a blur of CPR, first responders, grieving family and frantic phone calls to sort out things. This is the first time I've watched someone die. Let me tell you what, it made me take a hard look at my life and what was important. All I wanted to do was hug Jeff and tell him I love him. I'm trying to be more purposeful in my day to day now that this has happened, but I can only do a little bit at a time. It's scary, makes one feel insignificant and weak all at the same time. The funeral is tomorrow and I still don't know if I will go. I feel like I should go, not for myself, but for the family left behind.
I will try to get on here more and will update after this weekend at the market and hopefully will have made some money.
Also, you should all be proud of me--I have made salads for dinner the last two nights. Booyah.
ps- the chicken photos were taken a couple of days after they arrived here...They're much bigger now and I'll put up some new photos soon.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
This year though, I am making a stocking version to sell (and eventually one for myself to keep when we have kids) and let me tell you what, it's fun to make! I have 24 small stockings cut. The last few days I have managed to get 12 of them all sewn up and last night I spent some time doing some hand embroidery on them. I still need to find numbers to attach as well as pegs to hang them from their ribbon. Looks like I'm going shopping this week. The picture below is some inspiration:
The current set I'm making is of all Christmas print fabrics on the front and various felts and soft fabrics for the backing. Here's a picture of three of the six fabrics I'm using.
I have a small obsession with nutcrackers...
I am planning a second set of these stockings for a friend and I will be using alternate fabric instead of Christmas printed fabric. With the huge stash of fabric I have, I think I can sort something out. :)
Lastly, I stumbled upon another blog with a post about alternate fillers for advent calendars. Since chocolate would melt in the summer heat here (well, maybe) and not everyone likes to have a chocolate every single day (I know I don't), here is the link for some other ideas to fill your advent stockings.
|Read it at: 20 Ways to Fill|
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Chicken Tikka Salad
500 grams shredded chicken (I used leftover chicken from our Sunday roast)
2 TBS tikka masala paste
1/3 cup of light sour cream
juice of one lemon
small head of lettuce, chopped
1 red pepper, cored and chopped
1 carrot, sliced (I use a vegetable peeler to slice my carrots, but do what you want)
1 onion, sliced
1 red apple, diced
100 grams of raisins (or just a handful of them, that's about what it is)
1 cup of basmati rice, cooked
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Cook the rice and set aside. In a frying pan, brown the onion over medium heat. Add the shredded chicken and warm. Mix in all but a half teaspoon of the masala paste. Stir to coat the chicken evenly and then remove from the heat. In a small bowl mix the sour cream, lemon juice and remaining masala paste to make a dressing for the salad. Mix all the veggies and fruit in a big serving bowl or dish. Add the rice and distribute evenly. Pour the dressing over it and mix well to coat. Top with the chicken and serve with naan.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
So the plan is to use 3 quarters and let one quarter rest every year. If I get to the point where I need all 4 quarters, then I can just do that, but that wouldn't be for awhile in any case.
So what we have here are my four quarters. Top left quarter has potato sacks in it currently. I decided to try something different this year with potatoes since I hated having to mound up and mulch around them and fight the weeds that love the mulch. They usually take up entirely too much space in my garden, but I have them confined pretty well. We used old hop sacks from Jeff's winter job to plant potatoes. That section is my summer veggies section: it's going to get tomatoes, peppers, corn and beans in it by the end of this month. I'm just waiting on the frosts to pass. I think we're probably in the clear, but I don't want to risk it before the end of the month.
|early picture of our spuds|
|recent spuds: settling and expanding the bag|
The top right quarter is the first bed that I did this year. It has my onions and garlic. This is the one that really needs weeding. That's next on my chore list. I'm also going to finish out the space with more dwarf bean plants. We can never have too many green bean plants, in my opinion.
The bottom left quarter has my hot house, my strawberry hanging buckets and my rainbow silverbeet. I have already planted out peas here and soon to follow are carrots, lettuce, zucchini, cucumber and a few pepper plants. My hot house is going to raise more peppers, tomatoes and my eggplants. I love eggplant and discovered last year that I can't grow them outside, it must be in the hothouse.
The last quarter (bottom right) is the one that will be resting this year. I've got cardboard in the shed to pull out and cover it with, wet it down and then put pea straw over it. I'll let it sit until next spring when I'll use that plot.
My husband is a handy guy and he decided the best way to divide the garden was by building me a stone pathway. So here's what he has been working on.
|river stones we have collected|
|he uses gravel, foil bags and river stones|
|foil bags came from the hops place as well|
|it looks great!|
So what are you big plans for the garden?
ps- here's the updated picture on the wall Jeff's been building as well. Doesn't it look great?