7 July 2011

Working through the week

Things are still busy here, but that's good, I work well when there is a lot to be done. I worked at my neighbourhood centre yesterday. We got our grant for the life skills workshops so it's now full steam ahead organising them and setting a calendar for the next few months. I'll be teaching how to preserve jam and relish, fermenting, breadmaking, soap, laundry liquid and homemade cleaners and maybe cheese, as well as the ongoing Frugal Home workshop. We might also have a bush tucker and crossing cultures workshop by my friend Aunty Bev, depending on her current commitments, and there will be a series on how to plant an organic vegetable garden, worm farming, composting and keeping chickens. We hope to use the garden as a tool to help people create their own vegetable gardens at home, then use the garden and plant fruit trees so we have a productive kitchen garden operating at the Centre.

I feel this is a strong and positive statement about sustainability for our Centre to make. To get those under-used traditional life skills back into local homes, and many more vegetable gardens and chickens in backyards, will be good for our community. It seems many more people want to learn these skills now too. These tough economic times are making people see possibilities in places they never thought to look before - inside themselves and in their own backyards. 

Today I'll be making aprons and finishing off some knitting. Tomorrow I hope to set the shop up and start trading. It's been a long time coming but it feels good to be earning some pin money using my hands and a little effort. Now that the grandchildren are here it's good to have that bit of extra cash to spend so we can see them whenever we want to, or if we are needed. 

But I have to let you in on a little secret - my work room looks like a crazy monkey has been let loose in it. I'm sitting here now - well, let me take a photo instead of describing this mess.

This is a list of the workshops I was working on when I came back from the Centre yesterday.  And yes, that is this post being written on the laptop screen. This really is instant blogging.

And these two photos are the mess on the other side of the computer. I've been sorting through my stash to mix and match fabrics for aprons. So there, my secret is revealed. Hopefully, before I start sewing this morning, it will all be sorted and the extras put back in the cupboard.

I've been meaning to blog about silver cleaning since the last time I cleaned mine, so here goes. Not many of us use silver cutlery nowadays but I do, although we also have a stainless steel set. I love using my bone handle knives and old silver and every so often it needs more than just washing, it needs the tarnish removed. This is how I do it with no harsh chemicals.

I boil a kettle of water and while it's coming to the boil, place a sheet of aluminium foil on the base of the kitchen sink. Then I sprinkle a tablespoon of bicarb soda onto the foil and place the silverware on the foil. When the kettle boils, I pour it into the sink, making sure I cover all the silverware. I walk away, leave it for ten minutes, when I come back, the silver is clean. If you've got heavily tarnished silver, you could add a tablespoon of salt to help the process along. You can clean any silver like this, including silver jewellery. When the tarnish has disappeared, take the plug out, rinse the silver and dry it with a soft cloth. It will be sparkling and like new.

Thank you for visiting me today. I hope you have a beautiful day.

ADDITION: I'm going to knit a couple of organic cotton teddy bears for our babies. I have the yarn but I would like to stuff them with some kind of organic wadding as well. Do you know where I can buy it online, or in Brisbane or the Sunshine or Gold Coasts?

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