Make It Monday, 1st May 2023
Not much to report this week, Wayne and I have come down with head colds and we are both pretty miserable. But we have plenty of eucalyptus on hand to use in the vaporiser overnight. I also made a roller of thieves oil for him to use during the day; I keep mine in my bag, on my desk and next to my bed.
*Tuesday was a gorgeous day, warm and sunny with a light breeze. We spent time in the garden, getting more beds ready for winter. It's almost done!
*Turned the scrapings and scraps from soap making into liquid soap for hand wash.
*Cut rhubarb from the garden and made rhubarb scones for afternoon tea.
*The sourdough starter has took off, then if fizzled. Right now I'm trying to rescue it as per the advice from Cheapskaters who are all expert sourdough creators. It is amazing and so exciting to watch it. Even more exciting to make pancakes with some of the discard yesterday - they were delicious.
*I made mini stuffed cob loaves for a luncheon I attended. They were a hit.
Made two potatoe bakes. One we ate during the week, the other has gone into the freezer. And yes, I used disposable foil trays, so that if the potato bake goes in a food hamper I don't need to worry about getting a casserole dish back.
*Spent half an hour every day decluttering somewhere - linen cupboard, our wardrobe, the laundry, the kids' bathroom cupboard, the kitchen dresser, the bookshelves (that one is hard, I don't like parting with books). And dropped the donations off every day too, so there was no temptation to put things back "in case".
*We had rain so no need to water the garden.
*The raspberry canes that were cut back and transplanted last week have new shoots already.
What did you make, bake, grow and sew last week?
This past week was a bit slow on the creative front.
The tomatoes were starting to ripen, so I picked them as they just started to turn red and brought them inside to finish off. It was a race between me and the birds, and we need those tomatoes.
I separated the rhubarb crowns and repotted them to grow more rhubarb plants. This is the first time I've done this, my mother used to always do this for me. I was praying the whole time that the crowns will grow and become new plants for our garden.
We brought in the last of the over-wintered pumpkins, it is the biggest of them, ready to process. This will become soup, puree for baking, some pieces for roasting and if there's any left it will be dehydrated and powdered. The seeds will be saved to hopefully become more pumpkins next year.
The weather was mild early in the week, so it was nice to work outside. I started to get the yard and verandah ready for winter. I know it's not even autumn yet, but there are a few chores on the list to get done before the weather turns. Better to start early and get them done easily than wait and have to rush them.
I let two more zucchini get big, and found one I missed amongst all the leaves and it was huge, so they were grated and dehydrated. My goal of enough for two years on the shelf is about halfway.
Most of the "makes" this week were cards. It was my turn to demonstrate a new card at our monthly card making group, so I played with my idea and created a few different versions of the card for the ladies to make.
And I started working on the samples for the card class in March.
And because I will be doing card classes here, we are rearranging and moving the craft room!
What did you make, bake, sew and grow last week?
Looking back, last week was busy, but it didn't seem to be. Perhaps loving what you're doing makes chores seem like fun and you don't think of it as work, I know I don't.
The really hot summer weather finally arrived, so I doubled the salads and we ate potato salad, coleslaw and pasta salad for four days. I also made a double batch of fish cakes, cream cheese patties and quick rice patties; half went into the freezer and we had the rest with the salad and in wraps for lunch.
I picked rhubarb from the garden and made rhubarb and apple crumble and an apple crumble using apples from last season that were in the freezer.
Brisket was on sale for $13.99/kg so I bought two big pieces. One went straight into the freezer and one went into the slow cooker. I used this to make Mexican style pulled beef and a roast beef and gravy dinner, and pulled beef in gravy for subs for quick dinners.
I had one red tomato, finally, I was so excited I called out for Hannah to come see, it looked perfect. Then when I went to pick it, the back half was eaten by a bug! But I have been picking cucumbers and zucchini.
I let some zucchini stay in the garden to get big, then grated them, drained them and put them into the dehydrator, and made zucchini pickle. I'm hoping to get enough for two years, to have some as a back-up on the shelf, just in case next year isn't a good year for zucchini.
We have been eating the cucumbers as tzatziki, and cucumber salad, and just to munch on, with the hot weather finally they are so cool as a snack.
I picked lots of mint and dehydrated it.
I picked lots of rosemary and have it hanging to dry - the kitchen smells wonderful.
The second flush of raspberries are starting, and the strawberries are just beautiful. I've picked a bowlful most days, and what we're not eating I'm freezing to make jam.
I had more oranges, so I made whole orange cake and more marmalade.
The greengrocer had potatoes on sale for $1/kg, a bargain price, so 20kg came home and I am working on them, getting them canned for winter.
I've been working on Bonnie's Make Do and Mend challenge and the mending pile is down to one shirt that needs buttons, but my button jar doesn't have the same or enough of any others the same so I'll keep looking. It's so nice to not have a pile of mending taunting me.
I packed up three big parcels of cards to send to the nursing homes and CWA.
I took the plunge and joined Stampin' Up as a demonstrator a few weeks ago. Why? Well because the deal is too good to pass up - pay $169 for $315 worth of product that I chose, with free delivery. I use so much cardstock that buying it for almost half price was too good to pass up. Then talking about it with Wayne, we decided that I'll start doing some cardmaking workshops - a new "career path" for me - or really a way to pay for the products I use to make the cards I donate. So if you are in Melbourne, and would be interested in attending a card making workshop, let me know. I'm in the planning stage to get started in March right now. And if you love cardmaking and quality supplies, this offer to join Stampin' Up and pay $169 for $315 worth of product is available until 28th February, and there is no ongoing commitment or requirement to buy more (unless you want to of course) - if you want to know more, let me know and I'll do my best to help you.
And finally, this isn't a make, bake, sew or grow, but something that's been hanging over our heads for a few months - AMRA Vic has finally found a venue for their annual exhibition, seeing as Caulfield Racecourse cancelled their booking for this year due to renovations. Poor Wayne has been going spare, along with everyone else on the committee, trying to find somewhere big enough, with the right facilities for unloading/loading, and catering, and parking and public transport for visitors, that they could afford. Some of them were just stupidly ridiculous prices - $60,000 a day for what is just a big empty hall was the worst. Anyway now they have a venue they can go ahead and plan the exhibition. How does this affect me? Well that weekend I'll be working in the exhibitor's coffee lounge, and we'll have houseguests staying with us for the week of the exhibition, and now I can plan because August will be here before I know it!
What did you make, bake, sew or grow last week?
Make It Monday Week 6, 2023
This is really a combination of week 5 and week 6, seeing as I simply didn't have the energy to upload for week 5. Good thing I keep a running tally of what gets done or I'd forget.
Week 5 was a good week for crafting and getting things into the present box and crossed off my list.
It started with orange marmalade. Yum. Some for the pantry and some for gifts. I etched "orange marmalade" into the jars and cut orange gingham toppers. I think this lifts them above the regular jar of jam type gift; it only added about 30 cents to the cost of each jar of jam, but increased the sale value by a lot. A jar of homemade or gourmet style marmalade sells for $10 - $16 for a 350g jar! It costs $2.10 to make six 350g jars and homemade is so much better than mass produced bought marmalade. If you have your own oranges, you can make six jars for $1.10!
I made burger pickles using cucumbers from the garden. Again, some for the pantry and some for Hannah's pantry (she loves them on burgers, says the golden arches should use my pickles on their burgers and everyone would eat them) and some for the hampers. The hamper jars have "pickles" etched on them. The cucumbers came from my garden so they are organic and just delicious.
I picked so many cucumbers I was able to share a basket with the ladies at the card afternoon I went to. They were excited to get homegrown, chemical free cucumbers and made me laugh with all the ways they were going to use them. I was grateful to share them, the glut is typical for this time of year.
I made a pavlova for Australia Day and used the egg yolks to make lemon butter for the topping. It was so good, and big enough for two desserts. I forgot to take a photo - I need to get in the habit of doing that, but I don't keep my phone on me, it sits on the desk. I'll need to rethink that too I suppose.
I spent an afternoon with some lovely ladies and learned two new card styles and techniques. I love them both, but will definitely have to practice the water colour with ink!
I made a new baby card, a sympathy card and a get well card. These were all made using materials from my craft room.
I took some little notepads from the cupboard and used some journaling cards from my stash to decorate the fronts for the present box. I love doing this, it makes an ordinary notepad something special. The journaling cards also strengthen the cover of the notepad, perfect if you keep it in your handbag or pocket, it doesn't get scrunched and torn so easily.
Week 6, last week wasn't quite so productive, but a few minutes here and there and still things were done. As one was finished I moved onto the next thing on the list.
It's no spending month over at the Cheapskates Club, so this month I really will be using up my stash and not buying ANYTHING at all to make gifts or crafts.
Last week I made some more cards, fancy folds. I love the fancy fold cards, they make simple cards something truly special. These are the last of the February birthday cards, and are already written and addressed and even stamped, ready to pop into the post box.
I made Valentine's cards. We don't usually do anything other than wish each other a happy Valentine's day, but this year I just feel the need to make everything we do, every day, a little bit special so I made cards for Wayne and the kids and I'll make some treats to go into the little boxes I cut on the Scan and Cut to leave on their pillows on the 14th.
Every day I picked more strawberries, cucumbers and zucchini. I picked some lemons. Thursday afternoon we had a storm come through that blew over all the tomato plants, breaking some of the stems. We had to go out and tie them back up; there are too many tomatoes to lose, I'm counting on them to add to our pantry stocks for the coming year.
I grated the very big zucchini and dehydrated it. Now its shelf stable and ready to use in winter soups and stews and zucchini bread and muffins.
I made another batch of tzatziki with cucumbers from the garden and we have been snacking on this with cucumber sticks all week.
I played with some acrylic blanks and the Scan and Cut to create some coasters for the craft room.
I added orange peels to a jar and covered them with white vinegar to soak. I'll add more orange peels as we use the oranges this week, and then put the jar in the laundry cupboard so they can steep. After six weeks (I'll put a note on the whiteboard so I don't forget) I'll strain the liquid off and use it for cleaning the bathrooms.
What did you make, bake, grow or sew last week?
Turn Those Christmas Cards Into Something Beautiful and Useful
These were cards, the fronts cut off and they will be used as present or gift bag toppers
I know some of you have already done this, but recycling last year's Christmas card into gift tags and even little gift card holders is simple, easy and quick. It's also a good way to keep some money in your gift budget! It may only save you $2 or $3 but that money can be used to buy materials for another gift on your list, and keep you on budget.
This year we had some really pretty Christmas cards and I wanted a way to recycle them and keep the "pretty" on them.
First I cut the fronts from the backs. Actually I very carefully ripped them apart, but you could cut them if you wanted to.
Then I put them into piles:
Pile A: gift tags
Pile B: gift card holders
Pile C: present toppers
To make the gift tags I cut the card fronts down to either 3-1/2" x 2" or 3" circles, depending on the image I wanted to use. Then I just punched a hole near the top and threaded through 8" of gold cord folded in half.
These were all cut from the backs of Christmas cards. Even the back can be recycled into a tag so don't forget to look at them!
Sentiments cut from the fronts of Christmas cards and embellished with bows. They can be used as present toppers or gift tags.
These were all cut from the insides of Christmas cards and repurposed into gift tags
This was one card front cut into five gift tags - you really are limited only by your imagination
To make the gift card holders I cut the card fronts down to make a little card and folded it in half. On the inside I centred a gift card, then marked the corners. Use a scalpel or very sharp knife to cut slits at the corners to hold the gift card in place.
Present toppers were so much fun. I chose the part of the card front I wanted to feature and fussy cut around it. Then I pulled out the gel pens and glitter and ribbons and lace and flowers and started embellishing the picture. Some double sided foam tape on the back so it can be stuck to a gift or a gift bag and they were done.
This is a present or gift bag topper made by combining two different card fronts and embellished with some red ribbon
This card front is so pretty I'm not sure if I'll use it as a present topper or make a little frame for it and use it as Christmas decor
Card fronts cut with dies to trim to size. I use these as present or gift bag toppers.
So use your imagination. Don't toss those cards or shove them in a drawer to just take up space. Put them to use and extend their life. Oh, and save some money in your gift budget.
Don't forget to check in for our Make It Monday show and tell over at Cheapskates Chatter, we'd love to see what you've made.
Make It Monday Week 2 2023
Hello Lovely Crafter,
Welcome to week 2 of our Make It Monday show and tell.
Have you been busy making, baking, growing or sewing?
I had to move out of the craft room and turn it back into a bedroom as we had guests for a few days. I just spread out over the kitchen table, like I used to before Hannah moved out and I had a craft room, so I could keep working on my list.
And then it all came to a halt, and not much was done, but every little thing adds to the present box and gets me ahead with gifts and household needs.
This past week I cut some little treat boxes on the Scan and Cut, to use for little Valentine's Day treats. We don't normally make a fuss of this day on the calendar, but this year I think we all need cheering up and a little something special after the trials and struggles of the last three years. Closer to the date I'll either made some chocolates or find something on sale to put in them.
I learned a new crochet technique? pattern? while I had to just sit. It makes pot holders.
I printed off some free sentiments from Shabby Art Boutique ( one of my favourite resources for ideas and free embellishments and ephemera) and cut them out using the Scan and Cut. While I was sitting I cut some inserts for coloured card bases, ready to use during the year.
Picked lots of cucumbers and zucchini from the garden, and continued to put strawberries and raspberries in the freezer.
Worked on my lists for the next week, month and the rest of the year.
Went to a card class on Friday, but wasn't able to stay the full time. I did get some great ideas for new card layouts and practiced a stamping technique that's going to save a lot of money and extend the use of my stamps, and I met some lovely new people.
What did you make, bake, grow or sew last week?
Make It Monday Week 1 2023
Hello Lovely Crafters,
It's our first official Make It Monday.
I've always called Monday, Make It Monday in my mind and in my diary. It's the day I try to do something creative, to make something either for a gift or our home or even to sell. I think I chose Monday because when the kids were small it was the one day of the week I didn't have any extra curricular chores - no reading, or swimming or library to do, no Church business to attend to. Monday was my day for sewing and crafting and I took full advantage of it.
Last week on the Cheapskates Club live YouTube show, Planning for a Handmade Christmas, Jane asked if we could do a weekly show and tell on our Facebook group, and Make It Monday was started, even though it was a Tuesday!
So last week the craft room was very, very active.
It started with finishing off the New Year clean and organise. I finally made the labels for the cubbies in the craft room - it's only been a year!
Then I had to find space for the Cricut Easy Press No. 1 Son gave me for my birthday (and he made his mother cry!).
Of course I had to find some projects for the Easy Press so I printed some images from The Graphics Fairy and transferred them to some tea towels. It was so much easier than using the iron or the Mini Press (and I love my Mini Press). This tool will get a regular workout I'm sure; the list of iron on projects is growing.
Next on the list was working on the birthday cards for January and a few for the retirement village (they requested more). I bundled up two envelopes to send off on Monday, one to the retirement village and one to CWA.
An order came in for white daisy dishcloths, so I spent some time listening to YouTube while I crocheted them - they were a special order, I've never thought to crochet or knit white dishcloths. I love them, they look so fresh - fresh as a daisy!
I worked on tutorials and videos for both here and The Cheapskates Club (our parent site).
Before any project was started, I asked myself if I had everything needed, or would something have to be bought? If the answer was something needed to be bought, I rethought the process and came up with either a solution using what was already in the craft room, or a new idea. I'm still trying to only use what I have, and not spend any more money to make gifts. So far, so good - no out of pocket money spent.
I made trifle for dessert and it lasted three days. I love trifle, and Wayne does too, and it's great for using up stewed fruit or stale cake (not that cake gets to go stale too often in our house). The weather has been very hot and quite muggy, so I've been making jelly every morning and putting it in the fridge. Ice cold jelly with fruit has been our dessert/after dinner snack this week.
Most of our meals were cooked from scratch, here at home, using pantry ingredients. We did have a delicious Indian meal for my birthday, and instead of going out, we chose to have it delivered and eat at home. It was so good, and under $60 for five, with leftovers that are in the freezer.
The garden is finally starting to look like a garden. It has been very slow this spring/summer. The tomatoes finally have flowers and the zucchini and cucumbers are producing. The celery is growing well, and the beans have flowers at last.
I've been picking a handful of raspberries and strawberries every morning and putting them in the freezer. When there's enough they will be come jam for the family.
What have you been making, baking, growing or sewing this week?