Projects and Happy Mail :)

I seem to be forever posting this past two weeks….nothing for months then too many.

The first thing I need to do is say “THANK YOU so much” to the dear, sweet blogging friend (who wishes to remain nameless) who trolled my site to get a link for a family member’s lavender farm and sent these as a most lovely gift. I am not sure what I did to deserve such a pressy but what a gorgeous surprise, I am truly touched. Big,big hugs to you know who you are 🙂

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I finished the bird house and Roger added a couple of old wood and cast iron handrails around it. These had been lying around for years.

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I am still working on these and will show before and afters when finished. Loving the map drawers 🙂

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Last weekend we went to a couple of garage sales. One was a tumbly down old garage full of boxes and old crates of all sorts of man stuff. But I did see some boxes I needed. Roger filled them with junk handy stuff to have and asked for a price. Only $10 for the lot. See the one in the bottom corner, it ended up in the basement and I need to find it, it’s fantastic (if you love old boxes)

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Emptied, scrubbed and dried, my new SOAP MOLDS!!!!!! What joy, they are on their way to being filled as we speak.

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In one of the boxes was a long chain which Roger knew I had been looking for to go with this plate I picked up years ago for just a few cents. It had holes in the sides, no use for much but being pretty but I did get an idea off Pinterest last year.

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A bird feeder 🙂

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 Funny thing which I must add just while I am here before I forget. Does anyone else look at the search engine part their stats to see what leads people to their site? Most find it through searching for Tumeric to  Whten Teeth…thousands. But one last week got me ” Rubbing soap on legs descise drugrunners”. Mmmm!!!!

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Making new from old….and homemade Mod Podge

A month or so ago I showed a little cupboard I had started repainting, one that my son almost threw out. I wanted to turn it in to something my granddaughter might like but or I would rather have inside (depending on how it turned out!) then I didn’t like my paint job 🙂 I decided to decoupage it. Anyway this is it before:Image

My husband pinched a short length of cane from the back of a cane bookcase to replace the missing one, I painted it, covered it, attacked it with sandpaper to shabby it up a bit and applied a couple of coats of Mod Podge.Image

Mod Podge is a horrific price here in New Zealand – $20 for a wee pot of it. As I have never tried the real stuff I have nothing to compare the results with but from my very unexperienced eye I am happy with the surface.

Mod Podge:

1 cup Elmer’s or PVA Glue

1/2 cup cold water

2 tablespoons clear varnish

Mix all together and store in glass jar.

The price for much more than a jar or Mod Podge was around $3.

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I love the look of rusty barbed wire and old timber. Rustic and shabby are my favourite styles in decorating…which is good because it’s cheap, or sometimes free. Overall though I guess you could say we are eclectic collectors of junk 🙂 Roger works on a farm that has heaps of discarded “materials” everywhere so he brings home bits and pieces sometimes.

6 months ago he made me this kitchen shelf to hold bigger things I had no storage for. It was made from old farm gates and posts.Image

And a few weeks back he made me this 🙂

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And maybe everyone will wonder why on earth I love this but I have no idea….I just DO love it. We went to help someone clean up their section around 5 years ago. They own an old country pub/cafe and this was in a skip. It was much bigger and is solid wood and quite weathered. Much to my husband’s consternation I asked if I could have it for the kitchen wall. He cut it down for me to fit but it’s still very large. It came down in the quakes and we are about to put it back up.

About as eclectic as it gets adding this to the bunch lol

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Not much to blog about this month :)

I have little to report on the garden, except that it’s muddy as anything. The weather has been cold and wet, Roger has been pruning back fruiting trees and bushes and pulling out very dead plants. There are piles of spent plants everywhere.

I turned on my camera this morning to take a few photos but it’s flat – so, a short post!

We have just harvested our pumpkins but haven’t counted or weighed them yet. We have around 30 which is less than we were hoping but enough. There are still carrots, silverbeet, leeks, beetroot, broccoli, beans, lettuce etc growing. We have just had the last of the zucchini.

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We have been keeping a journal of harvests from the garden this year including weights etc. We have just reached 6 months and so far have well over 600 kg of food recorded from the garden, that includes eggs. We have had some great harvests this year but also some flop crops. Potatoes failed to do anything, from all that we planted with high hopes something happened to them and we only got 16 kg. Peppers and Chilli didn’t do great but I think Roger’s mammoth tomato plant prevented them from reaching their potential greatly 😦 Peanuts were planted and just disappeared.

We are still harvesting feijoa and figs. Did you know you can freeze figs whole? Just top and tail and freeze on a tray then bag. These will not keep there shape or texture but as we use them mostly in smoothies these are fine.

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I bottled the apple cider vinegar. This time I had a most wonderful “Mother” on top. I haven’t taken the time to find out what I can do with this but if anyone has any ideas please do let me know. I had a quick look and understand I can use it to make more vinegar but no-one really said HOW? so it’s sitting in some of the vinegar still waiting to become something new.Image

I bought a large box and a supermarket bag of walnuts for $30 from a friend.Image

I have been making soups galore. I could live on soups though Roger does not like them, my son loves them too so pots of it get dropped off to him. This one Pumpkin and Bacon.Image

Home:

After we finished painting the lounge we painted the porch which sorely needed it. To replace the large heart on the wall Roger made me a rusty barbed wire one mounted on a piece of recycled wood. I just love it but unfortunately can’t get a photo today. I also changed the little cupboard I was painting. I used to do alot of folk art but have discovered my hands shake too much now (I turned 55 on Saturday, I guess that’s just where age is getting this woman!) I was really unhappy with it so have decoupaged it. It’s very cute but no photo of that either today. I made my own Mod Podge as it’s $20 for a small jar of it here – how on earth do people afford that??!!

I am also making some velvet patchwork cushions, hand sewing them because my friend has borrowed my machine. I searched the op shops for old velvet and beaded clothes… and acquired some great ones but have just started them so I don’t imagine there will be any photos of them for a lonnnggg while 🙂 I am really enjoying having the time to just sit by the fire and listen to music and do something else other than food! I have also still been working but that will be ending shortly, winter at home is sounding truly good.

A photo of my shabby sideboard for Pauline (as requested) Image

And finally, I took some photo of Roger with Syd the other day without them realising – I thought I would share one on here because I love it (*whispers* don’t tell Roger!) Man and his best mate.

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 I hope you all had a lovely Mother’s Day!!!

Our weekend ….and this is how my husband “shops” no-shop style

No secret we are secondhand shoppers only. Everything we own is recycled from free or secondhand. Myself and another blogger were just saying a couple of weeks ago how everything you need turns up somehow if you are prepared to wait. Rather than impulse buying at malls we just have a list of items we need…and we need to buy them as cheaply as possible because we have little spare money. My husband takes a trip to town every Saturday morning and spends the week searching under $1 auctions on our most popular auction site, he’ll bid on things we need and hope to get stuff for $1-$2 so he combines collecting his treasures with dropping in at odd garage sales. I don’t generally go with him – he leaves at 7.30 am while I am still sitting in a zombie state trying to wake up, it’s winter here and outdoor shopping doesn’t appeal at present, he spends hours looking at tools and other very exciting junk which is actually very boring for his other half and he probably enjoys having me tag along as much as I love having him underwear shopping with me….rolling eyes and lots of sighing!! These are his latest purchases.

Electric jug $2 – Two years ago we were bought a jug as a gift. It cost $89 on special and I know this because it broke down 2 weeks later and we had to return and exchange for another. Two weeks ago this expensive jug started leaking. Roger picked this one up this week at a garage sale.Image

Cast Iron Frying pans $15: Normally he wouldn’t spend this much but these have been wanted for a long time. The large one is the same as one he dropped and broke the handle off last year….which wouldn’t have mattered too much but it took a big chip out of the side. These are hard to find and usually much dearer than this.

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280 bricks $1: He bid on these and no one else did. We wanted something to make a path through a muddy part of the garden. Image

Last week he had bought something else from these people and got talking to them on Saturday. They owned a free range chicken farm but were getting rid of everything to try something else, the recession had hurt them. They had 1000 chooks they were selling cheap so Roger bought 3 red shavers for $10. He was then GIVEN 2 automatic water feeders (something we were wanting) and a aluminium sliding window to add to his new collection of recycled windows for another glasshouse.

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25 kg bag of animal food nuggets $1: People had bought them for their sheep but they didn’t like them, it only had a little taken out of and Roger got it for pig feed.

So all this cost him $29 and the women with the chickens asked him if he was needing any chicken wire (and yes we do!) and on Sunday he is going to help them take a whole lot down and he can take it away. Roger would never ask for anything (except from mates if they were throwing stuff out) but he stops and yaks to people and comes home with all sorts. (I have grave fears for the state of our property as all sorts appear in ever growing heaps waiting to be tidied and stored somewhere out of eyesight!!)

So, me… I did the housework and some baking, planted mustard and cress in containers…actually the old trays of an old discarded beehive I found out in the wops. This is how they look this morning after a neighbouring cat used it!

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GRRRR!!

I went to my granddaughters birthday party an hour and a half’s drive away. This is what I drew for her in my quiet times over the weekend. I send her a picture every week.

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Now, these are the 3 dogs we have at present, the grey one is my son’s whose holidaying with us at present. This is what happens whenever you sit down to eat.Image

This is Bob. Bob is 18 years old and this is his beanbag bed. He loves it, it’s like his “blankie”.

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This is what can happen when you go and help your husband unload 280 bricks off the back of a truck and try and secure your chickens back into their run, AND you leave 2 big dogs inside with a beanbag (because they chase chickens).Image

So this is how I spent yesterday evening, mending a beanbag with Bob sitting waiting patiently, on the beanbag, on the sofa.

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