Monday, January 31, 2011

Project Genesis 2/1/2011

Welcome Back

We took 2 months off to allow us to
 celebrate the holidays with Gusto.
Now we have to get focused back on 
doing our part to change the planet. 

This year I'm starting off with something 
easy and simple to do but it will have guaranteed impact.
My chosen word for 2011 is BEGIN,
and I have begun a new goal.

I never spend my change, or use it to pay. 
Even if the bill is $5.01, I give them the $6.00.
I save it all in this tin, and in the past 
few years used it to take DD to a Shakespeare festival.
This year I've decided to save it and donate to

My dad was a lifetime member

For every $10.00 donation they are able to save
2,500 square feet of rain forest.
I usually save over $200.00 a year in change, so the possibility of my impacting 50,000 square feet is 
my goal for 2011.

I have my annual charity contributions for
St Judes
Habitiat for Humanity 
Heifer International 
 Safe Nest
and now the Arbor Day Foundation.
(Shakespeare will forgive us)

Whether your contribution alters 
the environment, a person's life,  
searches for medical cures or rescues
an animal it has impact.

Lest you think I live a cushy life...ah, no...
I do aim for 10% of my income
annually and most years I make it.
ANY amount multiplied by 
hundreds, thousands of others,

So get educated, find a group(s) you believe in,
and routinely donate. Lest we forget, 
 volunteer your time to these groups, just as valuable.

See the Rules to participate if new to PG:
(no self promotion, link directly to your 
PG post not just to your blog, etc)

C'mon we would love to have you join us!

BTW- all the Valentine Necklaces have been sold- thank you!


The day after your first Birthday it snowed. 
Not very much, but enough for you 
to roll together a snowman.
Grandma and PapPap were here visiting 
and Grandma was thrilled that you
 could use the snow suit she had bought 
you when you were born. I was positive you 
would NEVER use it in Vegas. 

February 1, 1987
You were one year and one day old.
Twenty Five years have flown by, 
no, they have galloped by,
leaving me to wonder how and 
why it went by so fast.

Today, flooded with memories and overwhelmed with 
the love I have for you, I wish you a Happy Birthday
my Dearest Son.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The icing on the cake

Thanks to everyone who helped with the house affordability question last week.  I was heartened to see that many people thought living on one income (even if there are two) is a great frugal strategy, and it is possible to buy a home on one income as long as the house price is low enough and you're prepared to put in some hard work renovating.  I agree.  I hope that post and the comments it drew

Friday, January 28, 2011

Introducing Bean Sprouts Bubba nappies and baby products

I get emails from people almost every day asking if they can advertise on my blog.  I reject them mainly because they don't share our values and because I don't like blogs that are weighed down with advertising.  I often criticise mindless advertising in my posts so it would be hypocritical of me to criticise it and then accept money to feature it on my blog. Recently I asked for Australian nappy

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives with these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY.  If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part in

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Can we afford to buy a home?

I had an email this week from Rebecca who wrote:
I'm about to turn 30 and I live in a rented smallholding in the UK. My husband and I live as simply as possible, rearing nearly all of our own food and spending as little as possible. We are very happpy and love our lives. We're both well educated and work in environmental jobs, which we both enjoy, feeling that they are worthwhile and really

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Playing in the studio
For Darling Daughter
Not sure it is finished
There are things I may change
Letting it marinate a bit

Wanted to shake out of my comfort zone 

 Because 2/14 is coming up fast...
 Because I still had more roses....

Another heart was born

Linking up to another White Wednesday
hosted by Kathleen @ Faded Charm

The thrifty way to preserve your jams and sauces

Let me start this by saying there are many ways to sterilise food by water bath.  This is how I do it and having been doing it for many years. I'm still here to tell the tale, but be warned, you need to do this carefully.

If you're a keen home cook and have ventured into making sauces, relish, chutney, bread and butter cucumbers or pickled beetroot, there will come a time when you might want to

Monday, January 24, 2011

Be a jam maker - nectarine jam

Here in our neck of the woods, summer is a time for stone fruits and jam making.  Hanno found a good bargain at Aldi during the week - premium yellow nectarines for $2.99 a kilo (2.2 pounds)  He bought three trays.  I didn't have time to make the jam so when Hanno said he'd make it, all it took was a quick lesson and now we have the most delicious nectarine jam.

I don't know why more people

Sunday, January 23, 2011


You can't make just one.
You can't
Even when you stop 

 even then, they breed when you're not watching

they turn to the light

they gather in groups

and they huddle close

Wools  Felts  Roses LOVE
post script:

I have been making roses like this out 
of paper and fabric since my college float days.
Yeah, yeah a LONG time ago.
Similar versions are all over the web and blogs,
so maybe there are tutorials out there.

Anyway, my point is I did not design this method, it's been 
around longer than me... AGAIN a LONG time :D
and I do not plan to take credit for it,
 but because so many asked and I aim to please..
( after a couple hours of searching, I just knew I had seen it somewhere!)
 I came up with this pattern
 from Better Homes and Garden Creative Collection.
Let's give them the credit. It's the winter o9 edition page 94


Bet most of you still have it on your bookshelf.
Now my bookshelf is a mess after all this searching
 so I am going to go red up!  Thanks Jeanne( Western PA phrase) 

Growing elder flowers for drinks

In his books, the late John Seymour tells us that in addition to the many foods found in fields and pastures, like rabbits, berries, nuts and fruit, some weeds are also edible.  In the UK, elder trees grow in the wild, are often thought of as weeds, but the berries and flowers are collected to make drinks and relish.  They're not common in Queensland but we have an elder plant and yesterday I

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catching Up

Still trying to catch up after the holidays.
I put my design services on sale in January, so that,  
and trying to spend time with Darling Daughter
has kept me pretty busy. 

Lunches and dinners with friends, 
finally getting all the Christmas down,
and purging some more stuff takes time doesn't it?
Now here we are almost done with the first month of 2011.
Well smack my butt, and call me Judy!

That means it is almost time for Project Genesis to return.
We're going to  try a very simple approach this time since we are all uber-busy, but maybe the simple approach will entice, or inspire others to join our ranks? <3

I am trying to be more goal focused this year 
using my "word" for 2011

So, with that in mind I am suggesting you 
choose one thing, just one, to commit to for 
the remainder of this year that will enrich 
your environment, and tell us your plan.
Now that allows for some grand interpretation,
so please girlfriends, surprise me with your 
wit and wisdom on February 1st.
(for new gals, linky usually goes up late the day before) 

Catching up on other matters
the lovely Sharon gave me a
Stylish Blogger award yesterday, so thank you 
girlfriend, I am so pleased.

She says I should be disciplined about this
  and I will try but you guys know 
it is not always my nature.....

So 7 things to reveal about myself
(there is no point talking about my adoration 
for family or ability to organize.. duh)

 I  love teaching someone how to do something
and then watching them take it to a whole new level.

I absolutely will not hold my tongue if 
confronted with racism or bigotry. I have 0 tolerance.

I read A LOT! At least 5 books a week, unless the kids are here.

Although I love gardening
I am not always very good at it.

I wish I were brave enough to wear my hair 
very short, so that I could cut most of it off and
 then stop dying my hair and truly be an
Old Grey Mare.

I never expected to meet such 
wonderful, amazing, generous friends here...
I was merely trying to 
successively keep a diary of sorts..
 After decades of trying and quitting journals within days,
I am in my fourth year here.

I eat Nutella straight from the jar with a spoon,
(my own secret stash, not the one others use yuck)
eat my ice cream in a glass with milk added, 
and eat candy bars chilled.... 
and need to diet obviously! 

Now 10 gals who some of you may not yet know, 
and they may or may not want to 
participate, but that's OK either way.

Tanya @ Bead and Needle  - because she "rocks" Vegas

MJ @ An American Mom in Paris - because she gives me
 "outright prolonged laughter" a thousand clowns

Evi @ Evi's Country Snippetsbecause she is a good friend to friends
 of mine and can she ever create magic with a needle! 

Marcia@ Child in Harmony - because this gal "mothers" all children in 
ways that matter.

Linda @ From Me to Thee _ primitives and more primitives oh my!

Susanne @ Zueeuz  - c'mon! Susanne with an S not a Z and Suzan with a Z not an S!
talk about kindred

Kitchu @ More Than This - because of her devotion to her family and her work
  one classy lady

Not disciplined enough I suppose, I listed 7.
(sorry Sharon)
I adore everyone on all my lists but this time I 
selected a few gals that I thought you
 just might have missed meeting
 because they are new or because they
 are a bit "quiet" here in blog land.
If you gals choose to participate,
 here are the rules as given to me:

Receive the award, say thank you, reveal 7 things about yourself, 
pass it on to 10 favourite and stylish bloggers!

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives with these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY.
To take part in this, all you have to do is post a photo, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Get the full measure of your money - using leftovers

Thank you all for contributing your ideas on how to save money.  I have to confess, we already do most of the things suggested and seeing them as comments validated our frugal choices. I think we'll have to start thinking about our Etsy shop soon or I'll have to find some more writing work.

 I'd like to continue on this theme with some thoughts on being frugal and then I'll go to to using

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

White Love

White Wednesday is almost here again:
Please visit all the other links over
hosted by the lovely Kathleen


Celebrating another milestone this week,
and we have two winners.
Nope, you did not miss the sign up, 
no comments were left, 
or entries required.
I prefer to just count the followers 
on one day ( today ) 
and Hannah selected two numbers.

Margarita @ Stipje
Debra @ Common Ground

If you email me your address I will 
send on cherubs wings a necklace 
to you for Valentines Day. 

There are a few more 
necklaces remaining. 
If you wish to purchase 
at these special LOVE prices
email me.

                Love birds     Caged Bird    Flower Girl    SOLD    Kitten   


Roses    Rose Basket    I love You
1 1/2" x 1 1/2"

Glass Charms with Glitter

All are on 12" drop ball chains
12.00 each 
2 for 20.00
I wear mine stacked in multiples 
or with other charms.

3.00 shipping

Cutting back and looking for savings

We have to tighten our belts.  Like many of you, Hanno and I live on a limited and usually fixed amount and with prices rising and new babies on the way, we're looking for ways to save.  We've already skimmed back to the bone on many things: we gave up cable TV, our second car, magazines and newspapers, eating out and buying clothes every year; we stockpile, cook from scratch and make do with

Monday, January 17, 2011

Roaming around the neighbourhood

We had a busy day yesterday with Hanno harvesting lawn clippings for the compost (mowing) and me working on the book.  The grass has grown fast with all the rain and the heat but it's all nitrogen or organic matter that will be returned to the soil and will help us grow more vegetables in the coming season.  In the afternoon I took a break from writing to make a half apron from an old dress of

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Preparing for the unexpected

This time last Monday everything was wet, it had been raining for days, but no one could have foreseen the events that were about to unfold in Toowoomba and many small towns to the east of it.  We live about two hours from Toowoomba and I've been there many times.  I never thought I'd ever see the scenes of the city centre that I saw on TV last Monday, just after a "flash flood, "an inland

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives with these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about. 
To take part in this, all you have to do is post a photo, titled On my mind ..., write a short caption explaining it, and

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Small Boxes, Big Boxes

Good things come in all size packages.
This week, two wonderful pieces of white
 arrived on my doorstep.

This lady I ordered from Carole and I LOVE her!

She will remain on display all year to remind me
of our friendship.

This next package was a complete surprise, 
and I must say 
tugged on my heart strings.
 I received this from the  lovely and 
talented Marcela;
she told me Santa left it for me under
 her CA Christmas tree.
I LOVE it!

In the busy Holiday season, 
she crafted this to inspire me and 
I will always think of her whenever I see it.
 It will reside in my studio.

This lace is so intricate, and check out
 that pretty little frame.

Thank you my dear friends so very much!
I am truly grateful for all the good people in my life.


Please visit all the other White Wednesday Links over at