Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spring bought me lots of lovely gifts!

So we have been busy as usually.  My lovely 2 sussex hens have been dutifully sitting on some eggs.  Myrtle and Gyrtle have delivered me 5 lovely baby chicks and have decided to sit again for me.  I think we have 3 sussex chicks and 2 Sussex X Ilsa Brown chick.  Aren't they just gorgeous!

Sussex X Ilsa Brown (we think)
Sussex X Ilsa Brown

our 3 Sussex chicks
We also have some new ducks,  A friend  had them but her exhisting duck did not take well to the new ones so they now have a home here. They are Indian Runner Ducks (you know the ones, they stand upright, the movie Babe had them)  We haven't named them yet but I'm thinking Duck, Duck and Duck!  I know its silly but when ever I walk out there the first thing I say is Duck, Duck Duck!  They seem to be changing colours nearly every day so we shall see how they turn out when they get their adult feathers.  They are cute but you wouldn't believe how messy they are,   I think my kids and chickens together are cleaner than these things.

Duck, Duck and Duck!
I also went out the a spinning equipment market at Littlehampton this month too.  It was my Dear Hubby and my 15th wedding anniversary and he wasn't here so what else do you do but shop.  I have been eyeing off the squirrel cage swift for a long time but couldn't justify the money for it, well I spend my b'day money I had been saving on getting it.  and I am so glad I did, no more bribing someone to hold the skein while I ball it up and followed by the inevitable knots and yelling, and it is as smooth as silk.  I also unexpectedly got a new wheel ( I know I already have 2 ashfords which I love).  She is a second hand Ron Dooley wheel ( I lovely old man here in the hills that makes wheels and lots of other wood things)  it is lovely and compact for me to travel with and spins like nothing else I have ever spun on,  My spinning improved just using it.  I made a beanie  (using my pattern but used a beginning st of 5 not 4) out of some lovely kathys fibres roving, it is 21.5 micron merino, so it is just so soft.

Squirrel Cage Swift                                                                  New Wheel

Kathy's Fibre Roving

Navajo Plied Yarn

Nish's Beanie

Hmm what else. oh I started the beginning of my veggie patch, I planted just some basics.  It's not the veggie patch I want but that is going to take longer that expected whilst we sort out other things around the property. So for now its a start,  I figured I would just keep expanding it until its the layout I want.  at the moment it is just 1 little lonely bed in a paddock.

The layout of my 1 little bed

see the very lonely little bed!

 The other thing I love about our first spring here is not knowing what is popping up in the garden.  The gardens here had been started and even though its a bit different from what I would have done there is lots of flowers.  It had been let go for a few years though and there is lots of work to be done but every where you look there are beautiful flowers of all shades coming up.  There is also some exhisting fruit scattered around the place so I thought I would share some with you - got to share the beauty!

Exhisting Passion fruit Vine

the flowers on the passion fruit vine

No idea what it its but its pretty and pink!

I love this one for the changing colours in the flowers

This is a type of rose, it starts out Pink and as it ages fades to white.
It grows like the clappers and is a pretty way to hide the Bio-cycle
  Well this has been a long post so better wind it up.  If I don't make it back before Christmas, I hope you all stay safe and enjoy this celebration of our lords birth.  Don't forget in all the chaos to love one another and enjoy.

Catchya later


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spring is definately here!

As usually we have been busy here.  Spring is definaely upon us and they Hayfever is in full swing.  Although even with the worst hayfever we have all had in years (if ever for some of the munchkins) we have still been so much healthier over all through the last few months than we were before we moved up here - so yes moving here is still the blessing we thought it was.

Hmmm where to begin this month.  How about with the sheep.  After shearing I got my lovely coloured girls some coats to keep their wool clean and to prevent sunbleeching of those lovely colours.  It is lovely when you let the sun get them and makes some beautiful hand spun tweed yarn, but I will generally keep them coated and then maybe every 2-3 years give them a year off.  Paul and Delvene (our farmer friends) came over for the weekend with the kids and we had a lovely time.  4 adults, 9 kids and 3 dogs in the house made for a very noisy but fantastic weekend.  On the sunday Paul and I ( and my beautiful spud and heys of course)  rounded up the sheep to put the coats on.  Here are some picies Paul trying to teach me how to handle the sheep - Yes go on have a good laugh, Ian was. (It was a miricale we got photos that werent blurred from the laughing movements)  and the girls have their coats on now.

Stick your Leg out round the back like this!

There I did it! Yay Me!

Having a go by myself this time - I did get it in the end it was just unconventional

Me and Paul putting the coat on


My beautiful girls (and 1 boy) some with coats on.

Free back in the paddock now!

Ok so now you have had a good giggle, what else has been going on.  The kids had their first sports day and their new school.  They had a great time,  which is unusuall for Dave and PJ especially.  Ian has made a dog fence around the house so now my lovely boys can run free all day instead of being chained to a long lead - their behaviour is much improved.  As we speak Nish is packing to go for a 6 day camp to Canberra with her year 7 class and some of the other year 7 classes from other schools in the area -  she is soooooo excited.  Its only a few more weeks left of this term and she is off to High School next year.  Where does the time go? she is practically a teenager! Kielah has been diagnosed with Autism (so thats 3 on the autism spectrum now)  nothing much changes around here with her - we always new- but at least now she will be able to get so more help at school  Her speech therapy is going along great guns and she is now speaking well enough that most people can understand the gist of what she is saying.  The boys are loving it here still,   David is outside so much  and PJ is just a born farm kid he is alway out either gardening or playing with the animals or wandering around some where.  Tycarni is doing fabulously at school and still loves it she is lovin all the flowers that are blossoming at the moment - definiately loves spring.

We also have our 2 white sussex hens sitting on eggs that should beggin to hatch over the next week.  I have cleaned out the cage ready for the new arrivals.  You will all be glad to hear that I still occasionally have blonde moments.  I got royally yelled at by Ian this week when he was on his way to the hardware store for some plumbing stuff and I asked him to get me some Hay.  "You've got to be kidding me haven't you, open your eyes woman have you seen all the grass lying around the property, go cut some!"  Yes I did actually forget that the paddocks are so full of hay and grass thay we cant get it down quick enough.  Yes I made hay.  I now realise we really do need to hurry up and get a tractor because chopping the grass with a whipersnipper and putting it through the mulcher took me ages and I got about 1/3 of a bale of hay!  Oh well at least the baby chicks have a nice new clean home to come to.

I have been very slack this month and have barely looked at my spinning wheel.  I have finished off a few projects of knitting though!

Next years Diary Cover - designed by me!

A vest for PJ that was done as a KAL with Delvene

Socks for PJ, another KAL with Delvene

and a Tee for Nish

I have decided to get some spinning done in november because poor David hasn't had anything done for him since we moved as 2 of the 3 things I have going for him are waiting on me spinning some more yarn.  Its good to have goals!

Delvene also put me onto a great handsoap recipe,  I have been looking for one for ages and couldn't find one that would work or that I liked (or rather Ian liked).  I love it and thought I would share it with you.

Easy liquid soap recipe

 This is the recipe from hazeltree farm but the bits in red are the bits I added or changed

This recipe makes just under two litres (half a gallon) of general purpose liquid soap. It is best made in the evening, as it will need to cool overnight before blending (the final stage).


1 cup soap flakes or grated bar soap.
1.5 litres (1 1/2 quarts) water.
1 tablespoon of glycerin.
 Lavender or any essential oil
food colouring if you would like to tint the soap (I use a 3 drps of red and it turns the whole thing a creamy  
     pale pink)

You will need:

A large saucepan.
A cup measure, and a tablespoon measure.
A sealable glass jar, or an assortment of cleaned hand pumps or old squeeze-pack shampoo containers.
    I use a clean 3ltr milk container
A stick blender, food processor or hand-held egg beater.


Mix the ingredients together in a large saucepan over a low heat.
Keep stirring occasionally until the soap flakes have dissolved and the mixture is smooth in texture.

Let cool overnight until room temperature. The mixture will be slightly thick and milky-looking, with a jellylike
      texture. (I usually pop it into a sealable jar for cooling). (or I leave it in the pot with the lid on on the stove
      over night
add the food colouring and the food dye at this point if you wish

Blend with a stick blender, food processor or egg beater until smooth. (this is the bit that made it work for
       me,  the recipe is the same as the one I had tried and failed so many times in the past and this is the only
       thing different and you wont believe the difference it makes)
Store in a sealable glass jar, or decant directly into whatever containers you want

I have used this in my cleaning spray (recipe below) instead of the grated soap and it works a treat.  My eczma is a lot better of and the kids using a bit too much doesnt annoy me so much as when we were paying through the teeth for liquid soap and no more dead soap bars lying around - its great give it a try.

Cleaning Spray
2 tbs of Grated soap (now I use 1/2 cup of the above soap recipe and skip step 1 of the method)

4 cup of  water

1/2 cup of white vinegar
prefered essential oil - lavender, orange or tea tree are my preferred

Mix the grated soap into 1 cup of boiling water. 
once the soap is disolved and cooled of to warm add in the remaing 3 cups of water and the vinegar,  once the water is a tepid temperature add in your chosen essential oil.  store in a spray bottle and use for nearly every thing

- quick cleaning of spills, cleaning the vanity, cleaning glass and windows, wiping of laminate bench tops - the list goes on, there is nothing I really dont use it for it is pretty much my standard go to cleaner.  The lavender is also an antibacterial so that is great too especially when there are horrid bugs or sickness in the house it is sprayed nearly on anything I walk past lol.
Now even better with the liquid soap and easier to make up as I dont need the boiling water any more and then there is no wait for cooling down time.

Well everyone, this has been a long post, thanks for hanging in there, you all deserve a chochie break now.  Ok well will post again soon, stay safe and well and enjoy spring.

catch you later