Kainga, where Roses bloom, life is lived at a gentler pace.Living Simply, doing all those good things like stitching, gardening, cooking and reading.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Soap making for Christmas and adding that third bathroom."

Hello,

I keep on seeing and hearing that Christmas is coming. We can't stop it can we. I decided to make lots of soap over the past few weeks. Personalising them a little makes them a great addition to Christmas presents.  I have used plants from the garden to flavour the olive oil that is used in the making of soap.

Calendula Soap
I wanted to use up some of the items from the re-cycling bin to make the soap in. I found the long life milk that is for coffee machines that is a square shape to be perfect for holding the soap. I have used the rectangular shaped cartons as well but they seem to splay at the top. I also used a tray that a prepared Indian meal came in.  I have a set of scrap booking letters that stamped out people's names perfectly.

Rosemary Soap
 These ones had Rosemary in them, everything from the plant gets blended together at the final stage. Of course you could take the plant out if you wanted a clearer soap.

Rose Scented Geranium
 Rose scented Geranium would have to be one of the most lovely of the scented Geraniums. I can't help sniffing and squishing this plant as I walk past. Once again I left all of the plant in the mix. I just cut up this lot of soap this morning so I am breathing in the perfume as I type.

We recently added a third bathroom of sorts.


 We moved this bath from another part of the garden to create a little oasis under the Graham Thomas rose bush. It is now in a rather private, well more private than before spot in the garden. It is a old bath, lovely to sit in to keep cool. Not that comfortable though for sitting too long.


There is a purpose to moving the bath to this part of the garden. With all the garden re-modelling we moved one of our smaller water tanks and wanted to have something to catch the overflow. With all the rain on the weekend it is nearly full. Of course there was a rush to find a plug. Ian found a sprinkler fitted perfectly. It hasn't leaked at all yet.Yes that is dirt in the bottom of the bath, we previously used it to grow potato's.

Thanks to Anthea  for hosting Christmas through the year. I will be linking this post. Make sure you check out what everyone else has done.You will get some wonderful ideas.
How is your present stash coming along?



Happy days.
Bev C

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Tending the Garden and Spring Chickens."

Hello,

Spring is certainly here, lovely one day and the next it is cold and windy. Glad to have the rain that we received on the weekend. The state had a once in a year storm. It is sad though listening to the radio this morning hearing of the farmers who have lost crops due to the hail damage.Yesterday we measured 36 mls of rain and this morning there was another 19.5 mls. These sort of falls are very rare around here. Lucky to measure about 10 mls as a good rainfall. We have been doing lots of gardening and alterations to parts of the garden this month.


Lots of plants in bloom at the moment. I wasn't able to prune the roses this year, it certainly hasn't affected them at all.

Tough plants are the order of the day here or ones that self seed. Salvia's are great plants for our Mediterranean climate. I have been adding lots of them amongst the roses.

The other things that have taken up our time is some little chickens.


We purchased these three little ones a fortnight ago. The first day or so they stayed inside in there box, the weather was just too cold for them to be outside. After a couple of days they spent time out in there new home. We decided to purchase a coop for them. This way they are more protected from Mr Fox. Over the weekend we let them stay in the coop during the night. There is a compartment which we can shut up so they were cosy and warm. We have given them names. Unusual ones considering they are females. The white one is named Woody because she pecked the cardboard box when she arrived here. Plus we love Woody from the Toy Story movie. The yellow headed one in the middle  is called Mrs Potato Head, once again from the Toy Story Movie and the other one is called Dougal because we love watching Million Dollar Minute and Dougal was the contestant that was winning the show every day when we first got them Dougal went onto win over $500 000 so we think it is a lucky name.

Sewing on the hexie quilt has come to a standstill. I ran out of the YLI Silk thread I am using to join the hexies and blocks together. I ordered some more from the Thimblelady last week. Hopefully it won't take long for them to come.

Happy Monday.
Bev C

Friday, October 3, 2014

"How to make a Ladies Tea/Sewing Tray."

Hello,

Want to make a ladies tray, they are so useful.
First you need some of Nana's doilies and lace.


 Everyone has a photo frame that holds a picture that you have tired of. Turn the print over to put the doilies and lace on. You could also use up an orphan patchwork block, cross stitch or stitchery. The op shops have heaps of photo frames for only a dollar or two if you haven't got any around the home.


 Purchase some kitchen drawer handles from a hardware store.Just make sure you can fit your fingers underneath the handles.


 While at the hardware store pick up a packet or two of small round wooden handles for the underside of the tray. These come with screws, discard the screws. You need to glue the handles on, we used Tarzan's Grip.


A quick easy project and perfect for a tray for your morning tea or to rest your scissors and threads on whilst stitching. Please let me know if you make one.

Happy days.
Bev C

Monday, September 29, 2014

"Around the World Blog Hop."

Hello,

Welcome to my turn in the "Around the World Blog Hop" I was invited to be part of this by Julie who blogs from a lovely blog in New Zealand called My Threadbear Life.

Julie from My Threadbare Life makes lovely tea towels like this.
 Have you read Julie's blog, its divine. The one thing I love about reading a blog from New Zealand is that their gardens are green all year long. Julie has a little cottage full of her home made goodies. Lots of them. I would love to visit and have a cup of tea in Julie's garden.

To be a part of this blog hop I have just 4 questions to answer. The first one being.

How does my creative process work.

I enjoy lots of different crafts, so each week I can be working on something different. It maybe some cross stitch or some sewing or whatever takes my fancy. I don't always follow the pattern, in fact I wonder why everyone does make a designers pattern exactly as it is in the instructions. My first port of call for supplies is the local op shops. I have been able to find some wonderful brand new in the packet crafty goodness. Recently I purchased several patterns and kits from a craft shop that had closed down in South Australia at the local Good Sammy's.

I like to include machine embroidery in some of my work. It is interesting watching a design stitch out to see how it has been made up and what the final picture will look like.


 I sometimes come to a complete standstill with a project. I may not be sure of a colour or if the fabrics look right together. If this happens I first try different layouts etc if this fails I will leave it overnight and come back to it the next day. I have found that lighting at night time can play havoc on colours, what I thought was good was certainly not good!

Why do I create what I do.

I love working with my hands, I could sit and stitch all day. Most of the things I make are for our home or gifts for family.
 This year we have been blessed with our first Grandchild so lots of sewing for Jacob. I recently made up two cloth books for him.


.It is lovely to walk into the different rooms of our home Kainga and see home made goodness in each room. I have been sewing or crafting for as long as I can remember. I was blessed to have a lovely teacher in Year 5 called Mrs Gibson who taught the girls embroidery while the boys played sport. At about this time I remember my girlfriends and I crocheting rugs at playtime and lunchtime. Over the years I have gone to different types of craft classes like Ceramics, Paper Tole, Crochet and Stretch Sewing as well as patchwork and sewing.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like add my own personal touch to things I make it could be a special button or thread. I have a stash of items that belonged to my Nana and Aunt and using these in something I make adds to the history of the project. I prefer to hand quilt, though I don't hand quilt like everyone else. I do it like cross stitch one stitch at a time. So anyone who gets a hand quilted quilt from me is special.


What I am working on.

Believe it or not I don't really like having lots of projects on the go.


 My main project this year and last is my hexagon quilt.  The original pattern I found in a book called "Everything Flowers, Quilts from the Garden" by Jean and Valori Wells.This has grown from what was supposed to be a 18 by 22 inch hanging into something that will be more like a single bed size. I have based this loosely on our home and garden here at Kainga. I made the hexagons a little larger than in the book. I found a  hexagon shape on line and photocopied pages and pages of them and cut each out. I don't use the modern glue method of making hexagons. I much prefer hand stitching on the fabric.I made some bigger hexagons to go across the top of the quilt on the embroidery machine. At the bottom of the quilt I will be adding the longitude and latitude measurements of Kainga.

The other project I have started recently is the "Tis the Season" Christmas quilt.


 Once again I am doing it a little different. I won't be using Christmas fabric but instead I am using a charm pack from a blogging friend and have cut the charms in half which will be used in a Brickwork pattern with the stitcheries amongst them.

I have found over time that my style of patchwork that I enjoy hasn't changed. I love applique and do it all by hand this is a wall hanging I did back in May 1997.


This was a design by Australian designer Tita Leach.




The fun thing about blog hops is that you get to meet different blogger's. Just google the words "Around the World Blog Hop" and pages of blogs will come up. Now I would like you to meet some new blogger's. Please visit the blogs in my sidebar. Through these blogs I have learnt so much about gardening ,interesting books to read, recipes, fabric dyeing etc.

I will leave you with a photo of one of about 5 different Bobtail Goanna's that I found in different parts of the garden last week. This one was just outside one of our front windows.


Don't worry they are completely harmless and love eating snails so they are most welcome here at Kainga.

We have a public holiday here in Western Australia, the Queen's Birthday. Happy Birthday Elizabeth !

Happy Monday
Bev C


Friday, September 26, 2014

"Cat Cushion."

Hello,

I made up this  cushion with a design of a cat for Lucy.  It was the purrfect thing to make for Lucy as she is such a cat lover. I used some of the cat  fabric she brought back from Melbourne from Lucello's.


There were three sizes of the embroidery design to stitch out. This one on the cushion is the largest size.

When I first saw this design I instantly thought of Marina who blogs at Maisie and the Boys, so I sent this sample to her for Maisie, her cat.


This one is the medium size of the design.The design was a freebie on the Urban Threads site. They have some wonderful designs and offer both machine embroidery and hand sewing patterns. Can't wait to see what Marina makes with this.

What have you been making this week? Anything interesting or is it a secret project. There seems to be lots of that going on.

Happy days.
Bev C