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I started the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op in 2008 when I invited a number of other writers to join me writing about sustainable subjects of all kinds. I retired the blog writing for a couple of years when things got really busy, but now it's back. The Co-op has always been popular and has had a unique take on simple living. Why no take a look. Click here to go there.

17 April 2015

Weekend reading

This is my desk, and yes, it's usually untidy.

It's been a wonderful week here full of life and family. A birthday always makes me look back and look forward to think about where I am and what needs changing. Often I write those musings in my blog but this year there was no time. Here are my musings from 2013, I hope you enjoy the read.  Did you have a good week too? Let's relax over the weekend and get stuck in again next week.  xx

Ethical clothing
Small town clothing building projects
Australia is still the world most expensive country to live in
Americans spending billions to subsidise the working poor
How to build a brick oven
Why should cancer make me want to knit?
A beginners guide to knitting

16 April 2015

A fine day for my birthday

 Sunny's sushi buffet.

We had a lovely day yesterday. It was my birthday and, as usual, I was made feel like the queen of Sheba.  Sunny and Kerry invited us all over for lunch and when we arrived Sunny had their new home looking beautiful and some delicious food waiting to be eaten. She did up two huge sushi platters for us as well as Korean fried chicken and some tofu-like acorn squares. The acorn from an oak tree had been dried and cooked into this delicious side dish.  Sunny is such a fine chef, whatever she cooks is superb.

Tricia sewing the covers.

After lunch Hanno, Tricia and I went to Spotlight to pick up a few extras for our sewing bee today. We're sewing for the new book, I hope you like what we're making, I think you will. This book is full of practical projects that suit simple lives. So today Hanno is out all day and Tricia and I are about to set up for sewing. I hope to get a few hours of writing in later. We'll be eating leftovers today so the food is taken care of, now we just have to get a wriggle on and start our fabric work.

Every year I do a birthday photo. This is from yesterday, after lunch.

I got a few spectacular birthday gifts this year and I want to talk about two of them. Tricia took me to the shops and asked me to pick out some fabric to cover the seating and cushions on the front verandah. Then she made them up!  It's looks absolutely fabulous. I'll show you some photos soon.  And the other gift was from Hanno, who gave me a French ironing press. If you've been reading here for a while, you'll know I hate ironing. Well, this press is so easy, I've been enjoying ironing! Wonder of wonders.  I'll write about it next week.

I have the best family. Every year on my birthday I marvel at how lucky I am to have the family I'm in the middle of. They see me at my worst and still there is love, appreciation and warmth. I'm one lucky woman.

13 April 2015

A pictorial of the past few days

It's calm in our home, even with four people here. Yesterday we had Jamie for the day and my sister Tricia is staying with us for a couple of weeks.  The routine is held together by meal times and cups of tea. Isn't that a lovely way to live a day?  This morning, just after breakfast, Hanno, Tricia and Jamie drove down to the coast to the Caloundra markets. They said it was mostly knick-knacks for tourists and there were no fruit and vegetables. They did come back with a very good loaf of rye bread with seeds though. We had a slice each with our lunch which was corned beef hash - using up the leftovers from Saturday's lunch.

Looking towards the chicken coop and creek from the house. From left those trees are : native fig, pecan, Eureka lemon and Washington orange.
Some of the ladies leaving the coop for their early morning stroll.

Jamie with two new cushions sewn by Tricia, the cushion queen. She added homemade bobbles.

Tricia knitting and watching a Norwegian cooking program.

Tricia and I have been working on crafts for the new book although she has done much more than I have.  Most of the time I've been at my laptop, fan on, door closed, writing.  But even though I've been closed away, I can feel the calmness in our home. We are working, relaxing, reading, crafting, cooking and baking, but the rhythm here is quiet and peaceful. It makes such a difference to work in a tranquil home.

Above and below: preparing and then painting the front verandah.  It's all finished now and it looks fabulous.

Chocolate buttermilk cake.
Someone's sewing equipment above, and below, one of many stacks of fabric.

I'm really pleased to tell you the book is half finished. It's all going along quite well with only a few brain freezes in my department. If it keeps going this way, it will all be finished on time in mid-June. Thank you for your continued visits, even with fewer posts. I hope you read through the archives because I've been told more than once that there are real treasures there.

I hope you are well and if you're in Australia, that school holidays are treating you kindly. My plan for the coming week is to keep writing and cooking but I do have to make some laundry liquid and some four ingredient soap. I'll probably do that on Tuesday. What will you be doing in the coming week?

10 April 2015

Weekend reading

We're spending some beautiful autumn days with my sister who is visiting us. The humidity evaporated, there has been plenty of talking and tea on the verandah, and cool nights have given us restful sleeps. I just love autumn. Today's menu will be pumpkin and sweet potato soup with our second lot of raspberry and lemon mascapone Napoleons for dessert. What are you cooking this weekend?

Eggs and tofu recipes
Overpopulation, overconsumption, in pictures
Slow TV
Saving money on the homestead
Crochet mug cosy tutorial
Crochet cat nest pattern
Knitting classic mittens pattern
Hand quilting
Sweet passion fruit tarts recipe
Caring people into change - this is not my usual subject matter here, so read it first before you decide to show it to your family
Tutorial garden cart/toy box DIY
Incredible pencil drawings

7 April 2015

Me and my sister

I have only one sibling, my sister Tricia. She is flying up from the Blue Mountains today to spend a couple of weeks here with us. I'm really looking forward to it. We'll be talking, drinking tea, sewing, talking, knitting, eating good food and talking. In that little photo above, I'm the one with the blonde hair. My fuzzy wuzzy top was pink and Tricia's was blue although I think we disagreed on those colours the last time we saw this photo.

When we were younger, we were as different as two sisters can be but over the years we've grown as close as two peas in a pod. Now we  talk on the phone almost every day and spend as much time as we can with each other. After a lifetime of excellent health, Tricia has spent the last year with an illness that has just been diagnosed in the last couple of weeks. So this visit she'll be resting (and talking) and we'll be able to look after her for a little while. She and I will also be sewing a few things for the book. We're both looking forward to that.

I'll post a few sneak peaks of what we're up to, but expect us to be surrounded by fabric or holding needles. And talking.

3 April 2015

Weekend reading

Easter is usually the last chance people have to camp out before the cold weather starts here. Camping is big where I live, especially over the Easter weekend. For the rest of us who stay home and sleep in real beds, I know the Easter bunny will find us but I'm not so sure about the campers.

Sunny and Jamie fly home tomorrow and I'm dying to see them both. We might see them tomorrow, but if not they'll be here with Kerry on Sunday for Easter lunch. Good times!

I hope you have a great Easter break. Take it easy, put your feet up and relax. I'll see you again next week, when my sister will be here.  :- )

Cross over apron pattern and tutorial
When apps are driven by the market, there’s only one winner. It’s not you …
How to use pins the right way
Underground Hybrid Self Watering Rain Gutter Style Grow System
Faux cheesecake - dairy-free
A simple life is a good life - five reminders from the Amish
In depth companion planting guide
Emissions links to respiratory illnesses double in Australia
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