I finished the frugal living book on Friday, mainly because I dragged it out by doing bits and pieces that had nothing to do with the book, but I heaved a sigh of relief when the last key strokes were made. I have one more book to write now - on baking - but I'm having time away from books for a while to get back to real life. I need to get into my routines again. I want to clean out cupboards, cook, bake and sew, and I want to write my blog. The books won't be published until early next year so the last one can wait. This week I'll be writing out a plan of what I'll be talking about when I give a series of talks for the local libraries that start next week. There is a flyer below with the details.
Yesterday I went through my beige and red fabric stashes. I am fortunate to have been the beneficiary of quite a bit of fabric from Tricia and Cathy over the years, and even though I'm not the quilter or patchworker they both are, my cupboard looks like it belongs to one mad patchworker because of their legacies. I'm sure all the quilters and patchers will know what I'm talking about - I pick up a neatly folder piece of fabric and often it will have a circle cut from the middle, or a strip cut off the side, or stars or triangles cut into the most interesting parts of the pattern. Still, beggars can't be choosers and when I accepted their cast offs, I knew that one day I'd have enough time to make quilts and I hoped the passion to create them would still be there. It is. A few years ago I divided the mixed stash up into colours so when I look for something in particular, it's fairly easy to find it because it's all there, together.
I want to make a quilt to go over the beige couch we have in the lounge room. I covered it with the quilt Tricia made while she sat with our mum when she was very ill and eventually died. But I want to keep that quilt and don't want it in daily use. We need a cover because when the grandkids are here, like most kids, they can make a mess and even though the couch is 17 years old, I want to keep it going a bit longer. It will be a patch quilt, in no particular style or pattern, just the colours and patterns from the stash that look good to my eye. And because the quilt is just to cover a couch and not a person, I'll use an old quilted mattress protector I have in the linen cupboard as the batting. I also have a couple of old doona/duvet covers that I no longer use that will do nicely as the backing. So apart from the cotton thread I'll have to buy to match the chosen fabric, I won't spend a penny.
And that's good because I snapped back into frugal mode since last Tuesday's government budget. I don't want to discuss the budget or anything else political on my blog, it is what it is and I prefer to just get on with it. But for the overseas readers, many welfare benefits have been cut, the co-payment for a doctor's visit will rise, and after July, fuel prices will rise. When that happens it will filter through to groceries and many other things because most items are delivered, if not manufactured as well, using fuel. Many Australians will be hit hard and although Hanno and I won't have it as bad as most, we're still tightening our belts and we've postponed our trip to Tasmania. We have to do some work on the house that will use the money we would have spent on our holiday. We don't have many holidays so it's a disappointment for both of us, but if we step up on the savings, we'll be able to go next year or the year after when we have the cash again.
We already live thrifty lives and I'm pleased we do. I want to talk about thrift tomorrow. I feel we have more control over what we do than we used to have when we over-spent and wasted so much. Life's main priority then I was working was to repay debt. When you make the decision to live a more simple life it gives you different priorities and more options. You discover there are things you can do to give yourself a better life, and you soon realise that if you do those things, life will be better. I like the idea of us sharing what works for us and I hope that people who are struggling to make ends meet and those who will be effected by the budget can use the information to better their situation. I look forward to a discussion about frugal life tomorrow.
Please note, the Caloundra sessions are booked out.