Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Extra-ordinary home & shop in Sydney

Ok - so you know that I haven't often blogged off topic from my tree change experiences - but occasionally I see something that I just have to share. And this one from my fave blog Design Sponge has totally blown me away. It's a must read and drool at.

An extraordinary woman who runs a shop in Sydney (Sybilla Court - who owns the Society inc in Paddington) - the shop totally changes every three months to fit a theme. Everything from the door colour to the paintwork. Wow wow wow.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bread & Butter Pickles and Sun Ripening Tomatoes

My Mum came to visit this weekend. The weather was Finally fantastic. Blue skies and a perfect temperature of around 25 26 degrees. We got stuck into harvesting my tomatoes and cucumbers and doing interesting things with the bounty. First up were picking about 4 cucumbers and making a batch of 'Bread and Butter Pickles'. Basically a pickled cucumber, left for around 2 months, then served as a side with cheese or a ploughmans lunch - even on a sandwich. This was an 'easy' recipe I picked up from the internet, which I would supply here but the link is now broken. The basis of it was 4 lge cucumbers, 4 onions, white vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Salting the cucumbers and onions for about an hour prior to adding the vinegar mixture. - That's the basis!
From various for blog

Then it came to my tomatoes. They have almost taken over -day of the triffids style - and my mum gave the wise advice of pruning them right back so sunlight was getting in. So we (well she) picked all the ripe tomatoes at the same time and so this evening I have made a roasted tomato and red onion puree sauce for future pastas. I have frozen the bulk in an ice tray for single servings with pasta. (we did sample tonight the fresh sauce however - and it was scrummy.). After picking the tomatos I also left them in the sun all day today for the extra ripening.
From various for blog

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Council clean up!

I LOVE this time of the year. Council clean up. The chairs I have redone have all been council clean up finds. Now we have a ute - it's a dangerous time of year. There is a deal that we aren't allowed to pick up more than we get rid off. So far this year we found

1.a fantastic side board (will post about that soon).
2.2 x old school wooden tressles
3. fence posts (for our compost pen build)
4. Wheelbarrow - an old white mini metal one below! This is my favourite so far :)
From various for blog
From various for blog

The new ducks

So after Nitsy died - Jessie the other duck was so distress we immediately went out an bought two more. These ones are Indian Runners x Mallard and very timid. Both A & I aren't nearly as attached to these two new ones - however as A's 8 year girl is slowly taming them they are taking on a certain charm. We have no idea if they are drakes or ducks, but as soon as we know we will be making decisions about which to keep. We don't mind having one drake, but not two. Regardless we have named them Bob and Stig. (!?). We have now settled them in to more permanant residences of the dog kennel with a wire run attached. We think they are quite happy there. They are now down in our 'back paddock' where the chooks roam. All seems happy family so far. So without further ado - please meet Bob & Stig.... (with Jessie in this photo.)

From various for blog

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nitsy, the duck, has died

Nitsy - our little yellow duckling has unfortunately died. She was found by A, buried with only her little webbed feet protruding from the ground. Very sad, very undignified way of losing your life. She has been caught by something and buried in shame. We are assuming it wasn't intentional as she had no scaring or obvious damage. So she either died of shock or broke her neck possibly. With Jessie - the other duckling, crying out for her, we have immediately gone up and acquired two new ducklings to keep her company - they are 3 weeks younger, half the size and are not Muscovy. These are Indian Runners x Mallard, flightless ducks which lay a lot more eggs than the Muscovy. The three are now curled up in the corner of their new pen (the dog kennel) keeping warm. Photos will come later when it stops raining! We did take advantage of about 10 minutes when it stopped raining, to start building a fence which will isolate the entire back part of our yard to allow for a bigger area for the poultry grazing. This area includes apple and citrus trees which is perfect for a grazing area. We will also be adding some coffee trees soon.

The rain has not let up now for about 10 days. Katoomba was on the Nine O'Clock news three times last night due to the awful weather. Thank goodness we are on a mountain top, otherwise there would be far more severe flooding in the area. The plants looks good!

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Chair

And with a clap and hooray - I present you my new reupholstered chair project. I found this chair on the side of the road about a year ago now. Only in the last few weeks did I get the mojo to do it up. We love it! We found the fabric from a fabulous Australian online store called (will be a new favourite for sure). The fabric was ordered and delivered within about 4 days. Great service. The fabric is Hofmann Petal Punch Floral Brown.

We were looking for something really contemporary and bright to go with the natural wood style. It's kind of retro danish looking and not that dissimilar to the chairs I did last year. The wood was sanded back and oiled. Probably still needs a bit more work to be honest - but if we ever get there - not sure!

Before & After:

From recycled furniture

From recycled furniture

From recycled furniture

Rain rain go away - The Ducks are happy

The ducks grow every day. Amazingly so. I swear each morning when I look at Jessie - (the darker one) she has grown overnight considerably. The rain wont leave, our Katoomba paradise is flooded and nothing but the plants and ducks are happy. Everything is soaked and even the chooks I think are depressed. Below are some happy snaps of the ducks, - taking to water Ducks! [The water is our flooded backyard!].

From animals

From animals

And under the watchful eye of one of our dogs...
From animals