Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Let's Begin!

Here goes nothing!  Completely new to this blogging business, but hopefully you'll find something interesting here.

Started Long Service Leave (LSL) on Monday - 6 weeks with 3 days a week child free!
Selfish?  Not really (I think) - I have a plan, it involves finally getting a heaps of projects completed.  Primarily involving the garden, and sewing.
 Here is the back garden viewed from the deck, taken the day before I started.  New shed on the left, posts ready for the vege garden fence at the back, to keep those chickens from digging up or eating all our food!.
I'm not sure how much difference will be visible at the end of my leave, but hopefully it will be noticeable.
I've made a list of jobs, which will probably be added to, but it is a start.

Day 1 Monday 14th March.
Dad came over to help as some jobs need extra hands, and the first one on the list was one of those.

He held the ladder while I cleaned the gutters and installed the gutter guard on the shed ready for the two 2kl tanks that will be going in.  Can't have veges & fruit without water.   I'll get a professional in to do the house - no way I am climbing that high!

Job 2 goes against my generally organic bent, but some things just need a bit of extra help - non-voluntary euthanasia for the sacred bamboo behind the shed!
I had already tried cutting it back and digging it out.  The roots might only be about 10cm below the surface, but they are matted like a Turkish Carpet! And I discovered my back can really only manage about 10 minutes with the mattock before I feel in danger of long-term injury.
So out with the Round-up.  Dad cut the bamboo back, and I, very carefully, applied the poison direct to the cut surface.  This is also the only way I have found to get rid of that dreadful weed, Asparagus Fern due to its underground rhizomes.

The plan is to garden in the morning & sew in the afternoon on my child free days.

Starting with two environmental projects. The first was to (finally) make my muslin vege bags (that's the Australian use of the word, not the American, see curves patterns and pins for more on this).  No more of those plastic bags for my cucumbers, grapes etc.
I managed to get 8 out of the fabric I had.  Because they are purely functional, and don't need to look pretty, I was able to do this really quickly.

Muslin Vege Bags - Method
a) Take your fabric & fold selvage to selvage.  The selvages are going to form the open end of the bag, the fold the bottom.  This works best with a 90cm width fabric, otherwise the bags are too long.
b) Fold the fabric lengthwise, until it is a width that you like for your bags. I had about 2m, so folded it in 8ths which gave me about 25cm widths.
c) Cut along these folds to separate into individual bag pieces.
d) Sew along one side of each bag, fastening off by backstitching at start & finish.  Use string-piecing to make this quicker.
e) Do the same on the other side of each bag.
f) Turn the bags inside out & sew down the sides a second time, sealing the raw edges inside the second seam.  This neatens the edge, but more importantly makes the bags much stronger, they would never stand up to use for carrying veges otherwise.
g) Feel virtuous for reducing your environmental impact by cutting out another source of plastic waste in your life!

The second project was making dishcloths out of some of my stock of fabric nappies.
No longer needed in bulk for protecting clothing from 'possets' or cleaning up 'accidents' (yeh!), I am going to make a whole heap.  I can then have clean dish/bench cloths everyday if I want & just chuck them in with the rest of the wash.  No more unhygienic & throw away sponges for me!  Provided I can get hubby to go along.
Because they are pure cotton they can even be composted when they eventually fall apart completely!
I got 6 from one nappy.  Just cut it up and hemmed the raw edges.
The muslin vege bag (with broccoli) is on the left, the nappy dishcloth on the right.  No fancy or creatively stimulating sewing - but feels good to have it done.

1 comment:

  1. 6 weeks with 3 days a week child free - yoooooooooooohoooooooooooooo! Go Rachel! Nice shed by the way, the garden is starting to look wonderful!