Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Handmade Xmas....

I love the process of making something special for people that I love for Xmas, be it baked goods, preserves, freshly picked flowers arranged in a pretty bouquet, hand-knit garments, crochet keepsakes, sewn treasures, I love them all...

This year as well as the usual home-grown preserves and baked shortbread, I've been creating a few special things with fabric, fibre, and thread to gift to those that are nearest and dearest to my family and I.

There's this sweet cotton table cloth in the loveliest shade of green.
I followed this great pattern by the fabulous crochet designer Sonea Delvon - only difference being that I used 8ply yarn and a 3.5mm hook instead of the 5ply and 2.5mm hook that Sonea suggested.
My finished table cloth measures approx. 75cm in diameter (before blocking - but to be honest, I won't be blocking this tablecloth as I have designed it to be machine washed and line dried, hence my choice of yarn). I followed this pattern EXACTLY (not like me at all) and it turned out simply beautifully!!!!
My crochet Xmas tablecloth is finished, just in time for gifting.... ♥ (I'll post the pattern, and yarn, details soon for those interested) xx
For the yarn, I used my all time favourite 8ply cotton blend (the same yarn that I used for my rainbow granny blanket back here). This yarn is AMAZING!! It washes so well and wears even better. I love that the more it ages and is washed the softer it gets.
A bit of 'colour-therapy' for your Monday arvo..... {I'm planning my next BIG project} ♥
I'm also weaving a special little something for an equally special person. This is my very first weaving project and I must admit, I'm absolutely hooked!!! The pattern I'm following was part of a kit made by the very clever team at Mollie Makes and I simply love it. If you've never heard of Millie Makes before then please go check them out, they seriously are amazing and a huge source of inspiration for me and my crafting.
Another special Xmas project in the making - this {weaving} thing is SO.MUCH.FUN!
I'm also working on a wee little quilt which I'm backing with old fabric bread flour bags. This quilt is to be used as a tablecloth also. The fabrics are from my stash and there's not really a pattern, I'm just sewing 5' squares together in strips in a colour combo that I like. I'm making this quilt light weight and durable - hence the muslin/calico bread bags that I'll be using for the backing fabric.
And on the right of the quilt is the makings a flower pillow. I'm only half way through this pillow but am hoping that over the next week it will double in size and be well on its way to being finished in time for Xmas gifting.
I'm using the Blooming Flower Cushion pattern by Lucy of Attic 24, a 3.5mm hook and that same gorgeous cotton that I used for the green tablecloth above (just in a different shade, of coarse).
The start of a sweet little quilt...  ♡
That's my Xmas crafting so far... There's still so much that I'd love to create but with the days clicking by much faster than I anticipated (as they do every year) I doubt that I'll get to them... But, I'm okay with that, I really am! A sweetly baked cake or some pickles pulled from the back of my pantry will make just as lovely a gift if my time does run out...
So, how about you, do you love a 'handmade' Xmas?
Are you crafting up a storm, so to speak... Creating lots of lovely things for your loved ones this year too?
Do you have a 'back-up' plan if you run out of time and don't quite get that special something finished?
Or maybe you're taking it easy, not worrying about the material objects this year, focussing on spending 'quality time' with loved ones instead?
I'd love to know! xx

Friday, November 6, 2015

warm days

There is so much goodness to be found in my garden this time of year, the warm days of our mottled Spring/Summer have truly settled in and my garden is overflowing with fragrant blossoms and delicious fresh produce....

Onions..... This week has seen me pulling up onions, sweet white onions, hundreds of them! I'm drying them out, hoping that once dry they'll store for (at least) 3 months in my pantry - by then it will be time to plant, and enjoy, my next years crop....
I'm excited to have finally planted just the right amount of onions in my garden this year - just enough to have my family and I eating them fresh from the ground months before our 'final' harvest and just enough (I hope) to have us eating them, dried, for months to come.

Tomatoes.... I can never plant enough tomatoes!!! Can you??

This year, so far, I have 24 tomato plants growing - all at different stages and many different varieties. For my bigger, taller growing varieties I'm having a go at 'stringing' and so far it's working a real treat!

Have you ever tried 'stringing' before? Here's the video I watched to learn how....

Cucumbers.... I love fresh cucumber, sliced thick and smeared with Danish feta, especially on a hot Summer day... This year I'm growing my vines overhead (instead of overflowing onto the ground), as a way of providing shade in Summer to a bed that will be filled with delicate leafy greens.

How do you like to grow your vines?
Bread.... It's something that I seem to be writing about in every post lately! I truly have fallen in love with the Sourdough baking process and was so excited last week when my Farmer baked a loaf for me in my absence.

It was perfect, this guy of mine is a natural!
Having been baking Sourdough EVERYDAY, for about 5 weeks now, I'm itching to start trying something new and when I saw this post by the gorgeous Glenda I knew that 'Sourdough Baguettes' were the next thing that I MUST try!!!!!

Crochet.... It's something that I love to do everyday too. It winds me down and lifts my mood after what can sometimes be a 'crazy' day in the schoolroom with my 3 kids.

Mandala's are my latest favourite thing to create and this sweet one has been made as a special gift for a dear friend. The pattern was from this issue of Mollie Makes Magazine - so simple and so pretty and so much fun to make. 
Mandala to gift a friend - pattern from Mollie Makes magazine #54.... ♥
Happy Friday Friends!

Jodie xxx

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

pre-loved chairs

I'm not an overly wealthy person and must admit, most of my home has been furnished with 2nd hand and preloved furniture over the years... In the beginning it was pure necessity as I purchased furniture from op-shops and clearing sales to fill my home as my budget couldn't afford new shiny pieces... But now, some 16 years down the tract (since I left home that is), my needs have changed and my family has grown. I am still a very budget conscious person and my love of recycled tressures has grown more than words could purely explain. I love the eclectic collection of furniture that I am able to give a new lease of life to and the warm home-y feel that it gives my rustic county home.... I am proud to know that most of the pieces in my home had another story to tell before they came to tell a story in mine. I celebrate these stories and share them with family and friends as often as I can.
The latest pieces to bring a new chapter to the story in my home are 5 pre-loved chairs. I was lucky enough to purchase these chairs from a clearing sale for $5 just over 2 weeks ago - yes that's right, $5 for the lot!!! 2 older style high-chairs and 3 turned timber stools.
Each chair has been tested by each of my little people...
But, it's my littlest person of all who has claimed this vintage high-chair, and it fits him just right - don't you think?
Now, onto the bread - it truly is a wonderful thing, is it not?

My love of its delicious, chewy, home baked, goodness has grown even stronger this past 5 weeks as I dive deeper and deeper into the world of Sourdough Baking.

Thanks to a cast iron pot, a super hot over, and a thriving starter I am producing artisan bread    E V E R Y D A Y!
And everyday it's new and different and exciting....
But the most exciting thing of all is the crumb - it's airy and chewy and tangy and simply delicious.
A 'crumb' shot of todays Sourdough.... #sourdoughbread #cantstopbaking
So, are you buying pre-loved furniture out of necessity for your family or you do it for the passion?

Or, have you started a Sourdough journey, like me? For so many years I was too scared to start and then one day (5 weeks ago to be exact) I simply dove in, gave it all I had, and haven't looked back!!!

Happy Tuesday Friends...... xxx

Thursday, October 22, 2015


It feels so great to be back in the 'blogging world' again and all of your gorgeous comments on my last post really concreted that for me, thank you!
Since I last posted life has been slow, steady, and simple for us here on the farm - as it always is...
Spring is in full swing and I love that we are picking wild flowers from our paddocks EVERYDAY... These paper daisies are my all-time favourite and always remind me of my gorgeous friend Suzy's birthday.
We were lucky enough to squeeze a trip down south to Melbourne, to visit dear friends, last weekend. The long car trip saw me knitting on a sweet little project for my kids, tube socks. These were such a great knit and I love that they fit my littlest guy just right, even though they were meant to be for my littlest girl. I used Jane Richmond's fantastic 'Tube Sock' pattern, 2.75mm circular needles, and malabrigo sock yarn - not the best yarn for socks as it wears fairly quickly but gorgeous all the same...
This past 4 weeks has seen me dive into the art of Sourdough Bread Making. After growing my starter, Stan, for 10 days back on the 20th of September, I haven't looked back, I'm baking Sourdough bread EVERYDAY and loving that with every loaf I am learning something new. I'm definitely no expert and have a lot to learn and a long journey ahead of me but, at the moment, it's exciting and invigorating and so VERY rewarding....
For instance, this mini loaf sat on the top shelf of my fridge 'proving' for 2 days because I simply 'forgot' about baking it - 2 days is WAY TOO LONG - normally (or so I've read anyway). And when I did finally bake it - for 15mins longer than I should have,
it still turned out incredibly delicious!!! I love that I am yet to have a flop with Sourdough baking regardless of the mistakes that I make. Although the process of making this type of bread is much longer than with the dried yeast that I used to use I must admit, it is so much more satisfying and EVERYBODY loves it, even the kids... It's chewy and crunchy and earthy and DELICIOUS!
This time of year brings with it a 'glut' of fresh produce, something that I truly love, and this week I'm picking more fresh radish then my family can eat so I'm trying something new and exciting and preserving them - pickled radishes, who would have thought!
They're crispy and crunchy and spicy and sweet and tangy and salty and simply delicious - all at once!!!
And to make them, I simply sliced my freshly picked(pulled) radishes and popped them in a sterilised jar with a few cloves of garlic, some peppercorns, a teaspoon of salt, and some chopped parsley. I then boiled 1 cup of white vinegar with 3/4 cups of white sugar, poured it over the top of my radishes, screwed on the lid and left it to cool.
The next day for lunch, I cracked the jar and spooned some onto my salad - they are AMAZING!!!! My new favourite summer pickle, hands down....
My lettuce is currently in the category of 'out-of-control'. I have about 100 plants at the moment and we are loving eating this delicious leafy green EVERYDAY, but... I'm wondering, 'what else can I possibly make with it' - any suggestions?
In another garden bed, not too far away, I'm eagerly watching as our pumpkins are finally getting some legs. These pumpkins are very special as they are seeds from a dear friends delicious harvest from last year.
And, after many weeks of watching we finally have zucchini, lots of zucchini in fact, and before we know it there's sure to be a glut of these also. Zucchini relish is a favourite in my home and I'm really looking forward to filling up our stores for another year, very soon... 
After the flowers, knitting, bread baking, pickles, and vegetable growing there's always a little time for kittens, right? We have the cutest new additions this Spring, 'little-one'
and 'sooty'.....
Are you knitting, baking, preserving, gardening, or simply enjoying the company of new little additions this week where you are?

Jodie xoxo

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Almost 2 Years.....

When I look at the date of my last post I almost can't believe that it's been over 18months since I was in this 'space'. An accumulation of things stopped me blogging back then, but mostly a follower who continually knocked me down with private messages full of detrimental content. As much as I tried ignoring and deleting the messages it still hurt, a lot! I had other things going on in my life at the time and after 6 months of being 'knocked down' I lost sight of what was important to me and why I actually 'blogged'. There are so many amazingly inspiring and supportive bloggers out there and I loved being part of this community. That is why after almost 2 years, I'm putting it aside and starting fresh. I'm excited and nervous and overwhelmed all at once. After such a long absence from blogging it's harder to put the words to the pictures like I did before so today I'm keeping it simple and sharing what I'm doing now, right now..... 
So.......Right now.......
I'm loving the parsley as it overflows from garden beds around my yard...
blog 4
I'm searching for passionfruit flowers, and finding them, dreaming of vine ripened deliciously sweet fruit come Xmas to top a Pavlova....
blog 3
I'm feeding my lettuce - they are EVERYWHERE!!! I'm growing more lettuce than I ever have before! - my young family is slowly growing {up}, enjoying this leafy green as much as I do. (Companion planting radish and onion with my greens this year has kept all bugs and pests at bay, so far...)
blog 5
I'm potting silvery gems as my love of succulents grows stronger and stronger... These hardy plants have been my companions through horribly dry and hot Summers when NOTHING else would grow and for that I am extremely grateful.
And amongst all of the gardening
I'm simply enjoying how beautiful Spring really is, with lots of barefooted bike riding, and running through sprinklers, and late afternoon card games on the front veranda - enjoying the warmth and stillness that October always brings...
blog 2
blog 1
I'm driving not too far down the road, to a clearing sale and I'm kicking myself that I never 'put my hand up' and purchased this rustic industrial sewing machine...
blog 6
I'm loving that although there are flies and hot sun and way too many scatter-burs about my kids are having fun (with their friends) and simply being kids. 
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I'm watching the end of a day surrounded by rusty treasures as people proudly load their newly acquired possessions a top of trailers... I was lucky to buy some old timber chairs, a cupboard, a pile of glass louvers for our cottage, a new garden trailer, and a vintage 'homemade' cot...  
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And lastly....
I'm finishing a blanket, a special blanket, that deserves its own {detailed} post!!!
I did it!!!! My #rainbowCAL is complete..... {and I'm already dreaming about what I'll make next}
Bye.... For now, friends.... xxx

Spring Seed Swap?

I had big plans of sharing a late Winter garden update with you all this post, full of beautiful pictures of Wintry produce such as peas (...