Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Busy, busy, busy!

This is the amazing autumn sky I woke up to this morning. I love living in a house with a view.
I´ve been busy with my list and although it´s taking me a little longer than planned I´m getting there. I´ve also been busy crafting - a new bag, pin cushion, scarves and my first zippered pouch. Most of these things will be for sale in my Etsy shop soon. I wish you all a productive and happy day! (P.S three books have been given away and will be heading for Canada but Goodnight Nobody, Fabulous Nobodies and Housekeeping are still up for grabs!)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Book give-away!

If you would like to have one of these books just leave me a comment telling me which one - postage is on me, all you have to do is send me an ATC in return.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Spring cleaning in Autumn

I made this a while back to remind me of what I want my house to look like. Things are quite organised around here BUT there are lots of goals that I have yet to reach...most of which I wrote on my list of 101 things in 1001 days. I´m going to try to strike as many of these off my list as I can over the next week.

1.Give away 50 things that I own to people who will appreciate them more than I do.

3.Take apart the ugly wardrobe in Markus´ room and cut it up for firewood

9.Rearrange the furniture in Markus´ room.

13.Sew a new curtain for Daniel´s room

14.New curtain for Stefan and Markus

15.Paint a mural on Markus´ wall

24.Hang up a mirror over the chest of drawers in the hallway

39.Paint the upstairs hallway

55.Put another 50 things that I´m not sure whether to keep or give away, in a box. Write a date on top (6 months later) and if I haven´t opened it to take something out by the date, give the whole box away without looking inside.

89.Buy a plant for the bathroom corner

90.Put up a new blind in the bathroom

Anyone want to join me in doing some things around the house???

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Living the good life?

We´ve been busy lately...the boys are back at school which meant buying new shoes, clothing, books and stationary, finding new ideas for lunch boxes and ways to get the boys back into the swing of homework and study after our lovely, long 8 week summer break.
I am not one to waste or overspend BUT it was a real challenge this year. The school doesn´t need the boys old books to recycle(?), no - it´s not possible to use last years physics/biology/chemistry exercise book again this year (even though not even half of it has been written in) and it so frustrated me to see the difference in price when it came to buying "natural" clothing and shoes compared to made in China/India/Taiwan.
We spent one afternoon going through the boys old school books and tearing out anything of interest to make folders that we´ve put in the car so the boys have something to read and exercises to do on long trips or while we are waiting in the car. We made small notebooks from pages that hadn´t been written on, I´ll be making fabric covers for them and we can use them as gifts or as shopping lists and journals. There were still 3 paper carry bags full of paper to throw in the recycling bin after we´d finished. I bought glue, pencils, erasers and other stationary in bulk which will save us a lot of money in the long run but burnt a hole in my pocket on shopping day and we washed all the pencil cases and school bags which had them looking like new - I know people who buy a new school bag every year because the old one just isn´t "in" anymore. There are plenty of other things I´d rather do with €70 (per school bag).
As for school lunches...this is only one challenge amongst many when it comes to feeding 3 healthy and fast growing young boys/men. I don´t want them to eat rubbish, I don´t want them to eat products that come wrapped in 3 layers of plastic that have lots of numbers in the list of ingredients - but I also don´t want them to throw away their lunches because they taste horrible(even though they may be healthy) like I used to. So we have made a list of things that they like and that are nutritious and don´t cost a fortune. I bake bread, cakes, muffins and scones on the weekend and freeze them, we also buy locally grown apples and I make yoghurt twice a week - so they have a bit of choice and variety.
The main reason I started baking, making my own yoghurt, marmalade and cordials was to stop the flow of plastic going in and out of our house. It seems that you can´t buy a loaf of bread these days that doesn´t come in a plastic bag. We used to have a 60 litre bag full of plastic every week and now we don´t even fill one bag in a month. We refill our glass bottles with our own rasberry cordial every August, the only other drink we buy is apple juice which we buy from a local farmer in glass bottles that he takes back when they´re empty. We used to buy tetra packs of apple juice and orange juice - aswell as milk which we now buy from the farmer up the road for the same price as in the supermarket. We have 2 plastic 2 litre jugs which we fill up every second day, saving us and average of 14 tetra packs in a week just for milk. Our other main source of plastic was yoghurt containers - there is only one brand of yoghurt here which comes in a glass and it´s 3 times more expensive than other brands. I used to buy it when the children were smaller but now we need so much more and it´s just too expensive. I found an easy recipe for making my own yoghurt here and I make 2 batches from 2 litres of milk every week, mix it with jam, cordial or fresh/frozen berries and the kids love it. It´s a great drink too if you mix it with a bit of milk.
As for the clothing issue - it didn´t turn out too bad as my Mum bought loads of t-shirts for all 3 boys when we were in Australia and I decided a long time ago to buy only jeans for the boys which I brighten up with some jeans dye every 6 months or so to get rid of those faded knee patches. I love to buy things from here, I will just have to think ahead about sizes and buy things for the following year when they´re on sale. The same with shoes, I keep my eyes open for specials and the boys have a second pair of old shoes to wear at home for playing football and climbing trees. Winter is just around the corner and I will be sorting through the ski suits and winter sports equipment, selling the stuff which is too small on Ebay and buying larger things with that money.
I have come to realise that when I worked more hours I was earning more money BUT also spending more money to have things that I now am able to make myself, like healthy food. Having more time has definately improved the quality of life for me and my family and getting on the "use what you have" path has really changed our direction. If you´d like to read more about simplifying and making some changes look here.
green fox barking living the good life little brown dress everyday simplicity greenjewls

Monday, October 09, 2006


Autumn to winter, winter to spring,
spring into summer,summer into autumn-
so rolls the changing year and so, we change,
motion so swift, we know not that we move.
- Dinah Mulock Craik

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Here are parts of some more collages I´ve made this week. Jamie left a comment that I should make a calendar and that´s what I´m going to do. I´ve found someone who´ll print them and they should be ready by the end of October - inspirational calendars for 2007.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Collage # 7

Embrace the person that you are, appreciate what´s unique about you - and don´t be afraid to SHINE!