A New Front Door

Thursday, 19 July 2018


Before

Well not really, just the old one given a new life. I have disliked the front door since we got here but recently decided to paint it until (if) we get a new one.

During

I must say I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.

After

I still need to finish around the door and change the lock but every little step gets me closer to finished!

xx
R

A Garden Arbour

Tuesday, 17 July 2018



Last week Mr Homespun and I spent a couple of days putting up an arbour over the veg patch gate. We bought the arbour at an auction a couple of years ago when a property down the road was going up for sale. It originally had 4 individual arches but one was twisted so we decided to just use three, two outside the gate and one inside.

Mr Homespun has a collection of ducting sitting around waiting to be put to use so we are cutting them up to use as beds, some of which will go around the base of the arbour legs so I can grow some kind of climber in them to eventually cover the arches. At the moment the money's on roses, possibly something like a Pierre de Ronsard or Shropshire Lad, but I’m also considering grapes or passion fruit. I have to make up my mind soon as if I decide on roses I must order them very soon as this is the time of the year to get bare root plants.

More soon

xx
R

The Patch

Monday, 9 July 2018



Our vegetable patch was a couple of horse paddocks when we moved in, we had a pony staying there for a while but after six months of living here we experienced our first frost. We had lived only 10 minutes away for over 15 year but had never experienced a single frost. Our original plans for the vegetable garden to be positioned in the bottom paddock had to be changed so the two horse paddocks seemed the perfect spot as they were at the highest point on our 5 acres and therefore were the least impacted by the frosts.

So we replaced the fencing with something that might stand a chance at keeping the rabbits out and turned it into one big patch. It's around 600 square metres, larger than some residential blocks! It's also a lot of work and an ongoing battle against grass. How I hate grass.

In addition to the shade house, late last year Mr Homespun put a water tank, pump and tap in the patch so now I have constant access to water and no longer have to rely on consistent rains to keep the patch productive, something I battled with in the couple of years prior to the installation of the tank.

So this winter I'm continuing with the set up of the patch, it's so big I can't possibly do everything at once all by myself, especially with work commitments. But still, I'm making headway. I'd like to have a large bed along the bottom fence for flowers, both to attract beneficial insects, to keep my bees happy and just because I have a yearning to be a flower farmer after reading Kate's adventures this past season so I may make a start on that this year.

I also plan to write regular posts on what I'm doing in the patch so if that's something you are interested in, stay tuned.

xx
R

SaveSave

Rainbow dishcloths

Monday, 2 July 2018

I know I've written about my love of knitted/crocheted dishcloths here in the past but I thought I would share my latest little collection.

The lovely Jooles of the Sew Sweet Violet podcast is running a rainbow make along with Amy from The Little Tailoress podcast where you can craft anything you like with a rainbow theme. I've recently popped my little Etsy shop into an indefinite vacation mode (more on that another day) so I have a bit of surplus cotton yarn that I had no other plans for so what better use than to update my stash of dishcloths!


In keeping with the rainbow theme I gave each cloth a coloured stripe and I'm so in love with them I can't bear to use them yet! But they are so pretty I'm sure it won't be long until they are gracing my kitchen sink with their loveliness.

Detail ravelled here.

Two nights in winter

Friday, 29 June 2018

Hello again.

It's been a while since I last updated the blog, I haven't had a lot to say and have been busy at work but I've been thinking of this little blog a lot lately so I think it's time it started moving again.

Last week Mr Homespun did a little raid of our bee hives, something we don't usually do at this time of the year. We didn't take any honey in the last part of summer and none in autumn so we thought we could get away with a little raid whilst still ensuring the bees had enough to get them through the winter.

So two nights last week were spent processing the honey and I thought you might like a little peek into what's involved. We did it inside in front of the fire as it's mid winter here and the honey is too cold and therefore thick to be processed easily.


First we have to uncap the cells of honeycomb. In the past we have used an electric knife to do this but we didn't really like this process. The knife is heated and so burns a bit of the honey and wax as it's removing the caps making an awful smell and an awful mess to clean up afterward. This time we used regular uncapping knives heated in a frypan of simmering water. We are really happy with this method and will definitely do this in the future.

Then we popped the uncapped frames into the spinner, turning them to extract the honey from each side of the frame.

The honey then spent the night and next day straining through the mesh filter underneath the spinning chamber and then dripping its way into a bucket. The whole process is sticky and messy and involves a whole lot of cleaning up afterward but it is so worth the effort.


The next night we bottled it up and were staggered at the amount we had despite it being a small raid.  Our next raid won't happen until around late spring but luckily we have enough honey to last that long. I get a lot of questions about what we do with all our honey, most of it is shared with family and friends and we usually have a little stockpile in the cupboard for ourselves.

xx


Old dog, new tricks aka I have no idea what I'm doing...

Monday, 12 February 2018


I have a new hobby...spinning!

Mr Homespun bought me the most amazing birthday gift last year so I have to use it, right?

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

It's been while since I learnt a new craft. I've been knitting and crocheting for almost 40 years (yikes!) and even though I have only really picked up my needles and hooks again in the past few years I still knew what to do. But this is a different story. I had absolutely no idea where to even start. How does a spinning machine even work?


With the help of the University of youTube I have managed to get started. I'm trying to get a little practice in every day in an attempt to become more consistent with the size of the yarn coming out of the darn thing but it is really hard! So much fun though.



I've already learnt so much, even though I still pretty much suck at it for now. This photo is of my first attempt, something that I now know is called 'art' yarn but I call it 'no idea what I'm doing' yarn. It's very pretty but the things I can make with it are pretty limited.



This one is my second attempt, quite obviously a more consistent size but I still have a ways to go folks! Working with the colours is also a skill that I will work on when I have the size down pat. This photo is the same wool as the top photo but when the two threads are plied together it certainly has an impact on the colour.


I've since bought some undyed roving (that's what the thing above is called) with the intention of spinning it and then dyeing it so I can possibly make something at the end. No idea what it will be but I can guarantee it will be rustic.

xx
R

Sunday morning

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Good morning lovelies,

How has your morning been? Given that it's not even 9 am as I write this chances are you may still be abed. 



I've spent a little time in the veg patch this morning, mostly weeding as at this time of the year they are growing faster than I can keep up. We had a few showers this morning but not enough to make the dams or the tanks happy. Although it is only mid summer and the worst of the heat is yet to come, this morning had an almost autumnal feel with a lovely cool breeze after the rain. No doubt as the sun rises higher the temperatures will chase us all inside.

I'm now making my little family breakfast and pondering the possibility of spending every Sunday at home with a possible change at work giving me two consecutive days off every week. Doesn't sound like a big deal, especially in the middle of a four day break but it will be a treat to be able to plan something regular instead of having different days at work every week. I crave routine but haven't been able to achieve it for the past few years.

This evening should find us in the shed extracting honey from a hive box we raided earlier in the week. We usually do this the same day but scheduling conflicts this week have meant it has been sitting in the shed where it has started to drip and attract the bees.

But for now I am savouring a slow morning, perhaps a little knitting after some house chores have been completed. I'm currently working on a shawl that has been in my Ravelry queue for some time. I was hoping to have it finished this week to give to a colleague on Friday night but as I work my way through the border that seems highly unlikely. It's a 36 row cable and lace pattern that is repeated 19 times with each repeat taking about an hour. I'm trying to do one repeat every day but maybe today I will get a bit more done.

Hope your Sunday is just as lovely no matter what you are up to.

xx