A new path!

This week we (well not so much me) have been working on the path between our house and the sandpit.

This has been on the to do list for at least a year, but due to the labour intensive work, has been put off and put off time and time again.

Here’s how it all came together:

The path and sandpit border are made from recycled old red bricks, that Matt painstakingly removed old paint, mortar and concrete from, before laying them.

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IMG_5529I had the very important job of wetting the bricks and handing them to him!

The rock on the inside is also recycled. It was advertised as a giveaway by a landscaper, making over a garden.

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The process of finding the perfect placement for each rock was almost another painful process.

Once placement decisions were made, Matt tried taking some panorama shots of the layout, before removing them.

All the panorama shots were hilarious!

IMG_5561Thankfully he had a chalk reference system as well.

After a weeks work, the path is done, and I was finally able to make a garden bed.

IMG_5570Now there’s only another 23 metres of path to go on the other side of the sandpit…

Slow and steady wins the race!

Abby xx

 

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A Picnic Rug

I’m very pleased with this little project.

I’ve spent a long time lusting over pretty picnic rugs, and finally decided to make my own for this Spring and Summer.

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It’s made from a vinyl topped table cloth (for waterproofing the back) and patchworked duck cloth.

This was an easy little project. The most time consuming part was hand stitching the binding. At a fairly slow pace, I knocked this project over in a week.

I bought this ‘beautiful’ tablecloth on ebay for $8. I figured it didn’t matter too much what it looked like, as you wouldn’t see it when the rug’s laid out anyway.

table clothOnce I’d quilted the patchwork top to the backing, I trimmed off the excess table cloth, and then added the binding. I made the binding myself, because I’m too cheap and fussy to buy bias tape.

Here’s a glimpse at how the back ended up looking.

IMG_5508Penny was insistent on helping me take photos.

IMG_5505I’ve been toying with the idea of adding some hand embroidery to my quilts lately, so I thought I’d try it out first on this rug.

IMG_5502It’s not perfect, but practice makes perfect!

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As per usual, I made far too much bias tape, so I sewed around the edges of the left overs, and then sewed the strip to the back of my picnic rug, to hold the rug together when it’s rolled up.

and here’s the finished product.

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IMG_5512I’m so happy with it, and can’t wait to have our first picnic with it!

Abby xx

 

 

 

 

 

A Busy Week

It’s been a busy week for us!

We started out with picking Matt up from the airport after a work trip on Saturday night, just in time for Father’s day the next day.

Miss E and I made this cute little card for Daddy. Idea found here.

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fathers day card 2

 

(Daddy’s version doesn’t have the heart over the face!)

We spent our Father’s day visiting our Dad’s, having a picnic lunch, watching the footy (Australian rules football)  and then moving all the furniture in the house when I decided I wanted a change at 8:30pm on a Sunday night. Haha, he’s a super daddy and a very patient husband!

On Monday we took Miss E to the Royal Adelaide Show.

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I think we had more fun than Miss E did, but she really enjoyed seeing and patting the animals.

IMG_5181This might have been a nicer photo without my double chin. Ha!

She wasn’t too sure about the clowns, but was pretty happy with the pink fairy wand she won as a prize!

It feels like I’ve spent half my days saying ‘No’ on repeat. She may not be crawling yet, but she rolls EVERYWHERE and is in to EVERYTHING. We had a 20 minute argument about not touching the speaker here.

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As you can see in the picture above, with the cords hanging about, we’re still in the process of sorting out new homes for everything after I insisted on moving all the furniture around.

I worked Thursday, and Matt spent the day with Miss E, managing to slip in an IKEA trip to buy some shelves for our new play area.

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There’s a lot more work to be done in here, but we’ll get there eventually.

In the moments in-between, we’ve been enjoying all that Spring brings to our garden.

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The creek is greening up, and looking like a bit of a jungle.

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and our apricot tree is starting to blossom. I can’t wait to see all the flowers out.

and now it’s the weekend, and I’m looking forward to some couch time, reading a book, and finishing off the quilt I’m working on.

I hope you’ve all had a fabulous week too!

Abby xx

Welcome Spring

The first week of Spring feels very much like Spring in my little part of the world. The weather’s warmed up, and we’re spending all our spare moments outside in the sunshine.

Our garden is showing signs of Spring, and I can’t wait for it all to be a mass of flowers. Though I feel sorry for Matt and his terrible hay fever, when they all appear 😦

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We’ve got our first few blossoms on the almond tree.

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and the apricot tree is showing signs of life. I’m expecting a good season out of this tree after I accidentally left the hose running on it from our rain water tanks, and gave it a good 10,000 litre soak. Oops! So now we’re waiting for a bit more rain to replenish our stocks.

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There’s flowers popping out everywhere in the creek.

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We’ve got more strawberries.

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and I’m finally able to hang washing outside, in the sun, on my brand new washing line! Now to get some lawn or pavers under that line!

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We’re spending more days out on the back lawn or in parks, on our picnic blanket, and every time I pull it out I think that I should really make a pretty one to use this Spring and Summer.

I’ve just ordered some summer hats for Miss E, so we can spend even more time out in the glorious sunshine.

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T-Rex and I are patiently waiting for our expensive stick (Maple Tree) to sprout some leaves.

I’ve bought new bathers and I’m starting to look seriously at the state of my summer wardrobe. I think that the short shorts and singlets that made up the majority of my wardrobe the last few summers may need to be retired and replaced by some more mum-appropriate outfits this spring and summer.

It won’t be long and we’ll be having BBQs’s and salads most nights, my feet will remain firmly in my havianas and I’ll have to deforest my legs! Haha!

Spring, I love you!

Abby xx

In the garden

Last weekend brought us some beautiful weather, so we spent our days out in the garden.

I ripped out everything in our veggie garden that I wasn’t having huge success with (read – almost everything) and Matt worked on adding some more retaining to the beds. It’s still a work in progress.

IMG_7360I planted seeds for climbing beans, and now I have to wait patiently for them to appear.

IMG_7355and some saltbush and banksia seeds, which I hope to plant on the creek banks 🙂

IMG_7351Our potatoes are going crazy!

IMG_7353We planted an orange tree, and now we’re on the hunt for the perfect maple tree for summer shade and autumn loveliness.

IMG_7354I stole some Elephant Ears from my parents house, and planted them down in our creek. My hope is that they will take well, and spread, without any care from me!

IMG_7358Admired some of the flowers popping up on the creek banks, and scattered some seed for summer flowers.

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IMG_7357I’ve also planted some summer flowering bulbs in the front yard. I’m still waiting for my pansies to flower, but thinking they might be a bit of a lost cause.

IMG_7361and we played in the sandpit a little.

IMG_4376What a lovely weekend it was 🙂

Abby xx

Pizza Oven: A Work in Progress

I can’t take any credit for this project, I just provide moral support, Matt does all the real work.

When we bought our house, there was a fernery, aviary and tank, immediately behind the house. We knew we didn’t want to keep any of it there and planned to rip it all out and grass the area.

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Of course, it didn’t work out that way…

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When it came to pulling the concrete stand out, we discovered that the concrete went deep into the ground, and it would be best for us to leave it where it was. So then we were left wondering what on earth to do with this big circular slab of concrete sticking out of the ground.

It didn’t require a huge imagination to come up with the idea for a pizza oven.

and so, work began.

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The most recent addition has been the concrete slab, that will form the base of the oven, and the roof for the wood storage below. The section to the right of the round pizza oven will make up more wood storage, a bench and Matt’s hoping to include a tandoor as well.

Apart from the concrete used to hold it all together, it’s made entirely from recycled materials.

Matt’s doing an amazing job. He constantly astounds me with what he seems to be able to create from nothing. I just can’t wait to see it finished, and have our first pizza night!

Abby xx

Potato Container Continued

You may recall me talking about the potato container Matt made back here.

Well, we’ve finally bought some straw and put some potatoes in it!

I must point out firstly that we’ve never grown potatoes before, so this is all an experiment and we’re not sure how well it will work. I’ll keep you updated as they grow (or don’t grow!)

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Firstly we separated the container Matt made into two parts, to make it easier to get to the bottom

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and put some mulch and manure in the bottom.

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We bought some seed potatoes, and cut them into pieces. Each piece with one eye on it.

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We then placed each seed potato piece, with the eye facing up, in the bottom of the potato container.

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and took some photos of Penny being cute…

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added a light layer of straw and mulch on top of our potatoes

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potato container mulchedand now we wait patiently for them to shoot up, before we add more layers to our container sides, and put more straw on top.

Hopefully we’re not waiting too long!

Abby xx

 

 

June Roundup

How on earth are we already half way through this year! Slow down already!

It’s most definitely winter here now.

My lounge room is constantly full of fold up washing lines, as nothing dries outside and I can’t bring myself to use the expensive dryer.

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We’ve had our first few pickings from our veggie garden

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and we’ve had some good rain that’s got our creek flowing

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and we survived our first bout of baby illness, with Miss E and I both getting Hand, Foot and Mouth whilst Matt was away.

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I’ve been reading

Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall

&

The Gift of Sleep by Elizabeth Sloane & Mia Freedman

Get the feeling we’re not getting much sleep? I’m not entirely sold on everything either of them have to say, but I’m finding some of their suggestions helpful, and I’m now loosely following some of their routines. I like to read widely, then develop my own strategies with a little from Column A, a little from Column B and a little from Column I’ll-just-make-this-up-as-I’m-going. Both books offer an approach for teaching your baby, toddler or child how to self settle at night. They also give routines to follow around nap times, feeds etc, which is the part I’ve found most helpful. If you’re fairly open minded and you’ve got a little one keeping you up at night, they’re worth a read.

I’ve also been listening to audiobooks as mentioned here. I’m reliving my childhood, listening to The Secret Garden and now A Little Princess, both by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I enjoy the stories as much as I enjoy recalling reading them for the first time as a kid. I love a little escapism every now and then.

I’ve been watching

I really don’t watch much TV. I find it far too passive and get bored easily. But, I will always make an exception for Offspring! I’ve loved this show since it first graced our screens, and I never miss an episode. At the moment I’m finding it a little exhausting with all the crying it’s making me do, but I don’t mind. I love Nina’s style and her clumsiness. I love the non-stop awkwardness and the way I’ve fallen in love with all the characters. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, it may be because it’s an Australian drama series. If you’re outside of Australia, and can get your hands on it, I’d thoroughly recommend it!

I’ve been making

The crocheted blanket continues! I’m nearing halfway now, and I’ve reached the point where I just want it finished so that I can move on to some of the fifty million other craft projects I’ve mentally started. I really need to just stay away from pinterest… and Instagram… and all the blogs I follow… Far too easily inspired/distracted!

blanket progress

I’ve also made the crocheted face washers mentioned here

and I made a new cover for our boomerang pillow for Miss E

boomerang pillow

It’s nothing special, I just used some cheap end of bolt fabric because anything was going to be better than the old faded black pillowcase that was on it before. I tried my hand at crocheting the edge. I’m not thrilled with the results, but I gave it a go, and it’s serving it’s purpose!boomerang pillow crochet

June hasn’t been very busy, but it was long and challenging. Looking forward to a happy and healthy July!

Abby xx

Our Backyard: Before and Now

Today I thought I would share my backyard with you.

We bought this house nearly two years ago, almost entirely because of the backyard. It certainly didn’t look anything special, but we could see potential.

This is what our yard looked like on the day we got our keys.

IMG_4342This is what it looks like now.

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Not perfect by any means, nowhere near finished, but much better already!

Things that have happened in these photos

  • many trees pulled out
  • old side fence and retaining removed
  • New side fence and retaining put in.
  • ground levelled
  • aviaries removed
  • tank stand put in
  • sand pit in and path carved out but yet to be laid

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This area, directly behind the house was filled with rain tanks and aviaries, which we soon removed.

and now it looks like this –

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Aviaries and tanks gone, and the old tank stand is soon to become part of our new pizza oven!

Our favourite part of our backyard, and the reason for buying this house, is the creek. This part of our yard has had a little tidy up, but has had no major changes other than Matt building stairs from the top to bottom.

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IMG_2760Unfortunately when we did a lot of earth moving, we lost most of these flowers.

This is our creek more recently, after some heavy rain.

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Every time we have heavy rain, we head down to have a look. It’s so exciting to see it in flow.

At the beginning of Autumn I planted a variety of bulbs up both sides of the creek. Some are just starting to shoot up, and I can’t wait for Spring to hurry along so I can see them all in flower.

We still have a huge amount of work ahead of us in this backyard to make it our own, and we’ll probably never finish, but we’ll have a lot of fun trying!

Abby xx