Friday, 29 October 2010

I can haz craft?

Over the last few days I have been slowly making my handmade Christmas presents for everybody. Exhibit A is bathsalts, and Exhibit B is lemon marmalade. Details as follows:

Jars - found around the farm and scrubbed clean
Epsom salts - eBay
Organic lavendar and rose petals - Austral Herbs
Essential oils - store in Geelong
Wooden scoops - eBay
Chiffon bags to hold salts in the bath (saves cleaning petals out of the bath!) - saved from weddings I've attended
Fabric circles and ribbon - scavenged at Mum's place and my sewing basket

Total = $7.70 each (I made 8 - four lavendar, four rose). And I still have plenty of petals and essential oil left, so I might make potpurri too if I can find a few nice bowls.

Lemon marmalade
Ball preserve jars - Redback Trading Company
Lemons - free from a workmate
Sugar - my pantry

Total = $2.65 each

I still have five Ball jars left over from the batch I bought, so I am planning on making some strawberry jam too. There is a pick-your-own strawberry farm not too far away, so I might drive over there this coming weekend.

I need to also make cute little swing tags for both items, requesting that people save the jars and return them to me when they are finished so I can make more goodies. Which reminds me I need to scavenge through the fancy paper cupboard at work - tomorrow's job!

So in order to be ready for Christmas, all I need to do is:
- find pretty floral plates at op-shops
- make chocolate peanut clusters (just before Xmas)
- make cookies (just before Xmas)
- create a little cookie and slice cookbook to accompany the cookies
... and I'm done!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Knock-your-socks-off cuteness!

I should update you all on my most recent purchases. I haven't been in the mood to buy clothing lately - I think because I can't fit anything else in my wardrobe! I will amend this soon-ish, as my Mum and I are holding a stall at a local market in late November (weather-permitting)

I'm super excited about what I just bought from I am a real sucker for anything with the Air Mail stripe, as red + blue + white is my favourite colour combination.

The shopper tote will actually become my day-to-day handbag, as my Balenciaga City is no longer big enough (thanks to the iPad - hefty little blighter, he is). And I couldn't say no to the matching wallet and bag charm! I do wish that the cloth-ears website could handle overseas orders though - you have to email them for a postage quote and invoice, which can take a few days (but perhaps you're all not as impatient as I am).

I am also waiting on some more Ball preserving jars from Redback Trading, and the following etsy items. I love having items in the mail on their way to me... it's very exciting (but maybe my life is just boring).

Vintage-style robot brooch from bombshellbettiesvint

Blue earrings from laceandlinks - (I only really wear simple earrings in this style - studs always jab me in the shoulder (or J's shoulder) when I sleep)

Red bell flower earrings (for me) and a French love letter necklace (will be a Xmas pressie for my cousin) from BrassAndChain

Wheels in the Sky 2011 calendar and miscellaneous prints from bomobob - (I also bought two different calendars for my mum to give as Xmas gifts for the aunties and uncles)

Monday, 25 October 2010

Another year older

'Twas my birthday on Sunday, and I turned 26. To celebrate, J and I ate a whole lot of Tim Tams, and we went for a ride on his Triumph down to Apollo Bay to enjoy the sunshine (and enjoy I did - I got a little sunburnt / windburnt). My 270km round trip didn't do my behind (and particularly my sacrum) any good, but it was such a lovely day that it was worth the soreness.

My birthday haul was:
- a Bunnings gift card (the Aussie version of Home Depot, but with an awesome gardening section too)
- a Chinese cookbook with authentic dishes, and text in Chinese / English. I can't wait to cook 干煸四季豆!
- the Spicks and Specks board game (it's my favourite show on telly)
- a tripod / monopod for my DSLR
- and the awesome iPad from J

I was pretty specific with what I wanted - I know that sounds a bit rude, but we don't have any space in our house to store anything excess, and I am really over the scented candles/body wash presents of past. In hindsight, I should have requested no wrapping paper or cards too - such a waste. (But I did try and unwrap carefully so Mum can reuse it all.) I will request that my Christmas will be paper and card free though.

The most exciting part is that with my tripod, I can now take outfit photos all around the place. But I have to tease you a little longer, as these photos were taken prior to the unwrapping of the tripod. Behold, me not wearing vintage!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Spreadin' the word

Here are a couple of cool websites that I love, which you may not be aware of:

Kiva is a microlending site that lets you lend US$25 to entrepreneurs in developing countries. The entrepreneurs pay back your loan over a set period, then you can loan your $25 out again. The website makes it seem as though your $25 (combined with $25 each from other people to create the total of the loan - between $100 and $500 usually) goes straight to the entrepreneur, but in fact Kiva loans the money before any lenders get on board, so you're technically reimbursing Kiva... it's confusing, I know, but it's a great cause.

With PostCrossing, you basically send a postcard to a stranger somewhere in the world, and in turn you receive a postcard from a different stranger. Sounds strange, I know, but I think it's a cute idea, as I love receiving happy mail (not to be mistaken with bills and statements - that's boring mail), and I love learning a little bit about other peoples' way of life in the shape of a pretty postcard.

43 things is a goal-setting community. One look at their front page, and you will see a huge list of some of the goals other people are setting. You can join a goal, or create your own, and then you can discuss with others about your journey. If you've already fulfilled a goal (say, travel to China, for me), you can leave comments for others on how you accomplished the goal and if it was worthwhile.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I'm back!

Last week was a week I'd rather forget. It was horrible, thanks to a huge assignment due last night, which I left to the last minute as always. The thing that annoyed me the most was that it was such a time consuming assignment (requiring us to learn a whole new program, then spend 20+ hours creating project plans) all for just 30% of our overall mark. I'd rather spend more time studying for the 50% exam.

* think of happy topics, think of happy topics, breathe, breathe *

My serapes arrived from the States! And also, my new remote control for my DSLR. Annnnnd.... my birthday present from J - an iPad - which arrived today after a traumatic 24 hours lost within the University (my work) somewhere. I am very excited, as I can begin to fulfill my quest of becoming paper free at work. 

So... LOTS of photos to make up for my week-long absence. I hope you'll forgive me (I'm sure you will).

1. La outfit

The hair - not as happy with it as my last time, but it's ok. Four-day dirty hair, setting lotion and foam rollers overnight. It held up pretty well. I was planning on taking some snaps before heading to work today, but it was so cold outside that I waited until I got to work... and then I had to find a decent (read: pretty) spot to pose. Thankfully one of my workmates is an artist, and her desk area provided the perfect backdrop.

2. La serapes in la FC

Ahh, beautiful, beautiful colour. I am a very colour-loving person by nature, so therefore I just love these babies. Would you just look at the poor FC up on jacks though - I must make a time with my dad to install the new gearbox. And as promised, some pictures of the interior. It's looking a bit messy right now, because the carpet in the front is pulled back so we can access the gearbox. It was also really hard to take photos of the interior without being able to get into the car.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

It's oh so quiet, shhh, shhh

Not a lot is happening in my neck of the woods... but here are some little things to tide you over until I get my ass into gear and write a proper post.

♥ I changed the music for my blog, but I've been having trouble finding a flash player that will consistently work! Please let me know if it fails to load for you.

♥ I broke the layshaft in the FC - it's an integral part of the gearbox. Funny story (well, it is now... it wasn't at the time):

Sunday was a beautiful day so I thought I'd go for a quick toodle down the road with the dogs. Going up a very steep hill, it started shuddering, then stopped. On a steep hill. Just after a blind corner. In the middle of the road. In a remote location. I could start it again, but it refused to go forward or back... I couldn't even get it into gear.

I had no mobile reception because I'd broken down in a valley, so I jumped out of the car, ran up the hill and frantically called Mum to call my Dad to come rescue me. About half an hour later, my Dad appeared and tried to get it into gear (turns out it was jammed in two gears... it only has three, how greedy can it be?!) but that failed, so he ended up under the car, and removed the entire tailshaft.

I was stressing out to the max, because when he removed the tailshaft, if my drum brakes weren't strong enough to hold the car stationery on the hill, the car would have rolled backwards and crushed him! So I was pushing down on the brake pedal so hard, and for so long, that my leg got the shakes.

With the tailshaft removed, I could now roll backwards and forwards, and Dad managed to tow me home, with the rope only snapping three times. What was meant to be a 10 minute Sunday drive turned into a 2 hour saga.

I luckily found a replacement gearbox on the FE-FC owners forum for only $90, but a refurb kit for the new gearbox cost nearly $200. Lesson? Keep your gearbox oiled up! Here is Dad towing me home:

♥ Seeing as the FC is off the road, I can't go to the Camperdown Cruise. I am shattered, as this means that I will be spending my birthday alone again, because J will have to work now. Feeling pretty crappy about the whole deal, but what can you do?

♥ I bought two separes for the FC on eBay. They're those colourful Mexican blankets that usually adorn the seats of classic cars and hotrods (the aim is to prevent the hot sun damaging your precious tuck and roll upholstery). Once they arrive I will take some photos of the FC's gorgeous interior.

♥ My veggie patch has been extended, and the fence put up. I had to sew hems onto 41 metres of shadecloth (top and bottom of each strip) - it was tedious, and in the end, we only used 28 metres. Better photos to come soon.

♥ I am just about sorted for Christmas - yesterday all of the components of my Christmas gifts arrived (Epsom salts, organic petals and tiny wooden scoops for the bath salts, and jam-making utensils and pretty quilted jars for the lemon marmalade). Now I just need the time to make them.

♥ I am officially over studying. I have just one one assignment and one exam to go, then I graduate with my Grad.Dip! And, of course, I have left the assignment to the last minute, and it's a doozy (project management, anyone?). Prepare for a mini-meltdown any moment now...

That's enough for now...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

And the winner is....

I was planning on doing an aesthetically pleasing, paper draw out of a hat, but I decided to not waste paper, and just used a random number generator. I also planned on actually drawing it last night, but I got so sidetracked hemming shadecloth for my garden that I darn well forgot!

But, without further ado, the winner of the little Frenchy inspired items is...


Number 5 is Claire M! Claire, please email me at rach @ fifties-fever . com so I can get your items off to you, and thanks to everybody who entered!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


I am hoping one of my lovely crafty Aussie readers will be able to help me out!

I am after your unwanted scraps of pretty fabric (measuring 6"x6" and larger) and ribbon (at least 3" long) so I can make part of my handmade Christmas presents (lid covers for my jars of bath soaks). I will pay for postage, and I really don't need much.

I've also decided to make lemon marmalade, because everybody seems to be inundated with lemons at the moment, and they can't give them away quick enough here at work - I just need a few utensils (like jars and lifting tongs, which I have just bought online) and I'm right to go!

Don't forget that tonight I will draw the winner of my little giveaway, so last chance to enter!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Final days to enter my giveaway

Gosh, how that week has flown! Now, I am drawing the winner of my little giveaway tomorrow evening, so you only have a little over one day to enter! So quick sticks, hop to it! You can enter here.

And a few tiny tidbits:

My workmate has just returned from a trip to Europe, and she brought me the most darling little postcard back (which is now being proudly displayed on my desk) - it's the "Another day in paradise" card... but there is a whole set that I may have to try and get my hands on. I think life definitely would be paradise if I was the owner of that beautiful stove! (Kidding, kidding... I'm trying not to be materialistic.)

And I have almost all of my Xmas presents sorted! I am trying to make all my gifts this year, so I am making organic bath soaks using Epsom salts and flowers (stored in old jars I've found here on the farm), handmade soap, choc peanut clusters, and cookies/slices on pretty floral plates (from op-shops). I am also going to make a little slice and cake cookbook that I can print to accompany the cookies. Thoughts? Ideas for boy-friendly pressies?

Sunday, 3 October 2010


I am not normally very succinct, but I will try today because I have a lot of updates.

1. Green September is over! How quickly did that month fly? We used less electricity, less money and helped the environment. I am going to keep implementing my changes until at least the end of the year.

2. I survived my week of babysitting T. We made homemade soap and paper, and he played the PS3... a lot.  Not exactly how I wanted to spend my week off work, and I didn't really get thanked for it, either, which was really annoying. Must learn to say no to a day or two in future!




3. Brando has been quite ill again, but I think he's on the mend now, thanks to some antibiotics we're feeding him twice a day. To help him get better, we've had to move the dogs to my parents' place, and allow Mary (the one-year-old lamb) into the house yard so Brando will follow her around and, as a result, eat more grass!


4. I cut off my hair! I chopped off 5 inches, and it feels so much nicer! I tried pincurls last night, and they lasted much better (but still not great because my hair was clean-ish).


5. I went on a shopping trip yesterday and only spent $150 on things we really needed like saucepans and some shorts for J. I did buy a gorgeous pair of Review polkadot wedges for $30, marked down from $120 for myself though!

6. No more neck collar! Whiplash all healed, and my back is getting there slowly with the help of physio, heatpacks and strong painkillers. No outfit photos from that period will ever see the light of day, sorry!

7. During Green September, I collected rubbish from just ONE kilometre of our fenceline that lies against the road. And this is how much I collected. Disgusting, isn't it?


8. A random picture of Jagger the snake today going for a "walk"