Monday, April 18, 2011

'oopsie daisy'

you know how when you're travelling through a town you hardly ever visit... you might be travelling to visit someone... or like me today just out for a drive to escape a dreary day in the house...

and a little voice in your head says to you... 'you can't possibly not stop at that op-shop... you don't know when you'll be here again and who knows what amazing finds will be lost in there forever. it is up to you to discover them!'

well that voice spoke loud in my head today.  and 'oopsie daisy'... op shopped today with only 6 days to go of my free living challenge!

and when i have an 'oopsie daisy' moment i do it well...

my favourite scores being....pretty much got a whole new collection of dinner plates and side plates, 2 dresses to alter, a wollen jumper destined to become my favourite, vintage doona, more soup bowls to add to my collection for sunday soup nights with friends and a tan document wallet - been looking for one of these for months!

oh dear. might have to hand the eftpos card back to hubby i think!  still got the buzz from all these finds hours later. i'm glad there are other vintage bargin lovers out there like you who know this feeling and also have those days where we have to justify some impulse buys to ourselves.

i am a faulty human being. imperfect with poor discipline. but oh today was so exciting!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

free living challenge - day 8&7... home days

goal... to abstain from spending hobbies - to focus on finding daily joy in no cost living.

today's joy...

was family dinner and nan & pa's.  the familiarity of family. the weekly ice-cream brand debate... the rare sharing of past memories from nan & pa's upbringing... such a lovely evening sitting round the kitchen table just sharing life. so good to be able to do this every week.

bit of a dreary weekend down my way.  indoor adventures were the order of the day.

my other joyous moments came from...

a spontaneous decision friday night to have a garage sale over the weekend while school holidayers were in town. the good old cardboard signs worked a treat! what a great feeling to sit back at the end of the day and have the bonus of a slightly emptier, clearer house and a few more dollars back in the wallet. i'm getting a lot  better of letting go of things and being realistic about what we need in the house.

these little guys kept me company... smarties were the treat of the morning...

we won't comment on the stereotypical gender status of these characters.... funny that my hubby is going to be a teacher and we had a female ambulance office stop by the garage sale. :)

did decide to keep a couple of things from my market boxes to grace my shelves...

got my rummage cases out starting to get ready for the may brissy suitcase rummage. took way to much stuff last time. decided next month's cases will be filled vintage sheet squares and clothing only. kiss. oh i find it hard letting go of some cute sheets! but i do oh so enjoy sharing the love with other crafters.

with only one more week to go of this challenge i am stoked and excited.  i miss my op shop adventures and think the goal of finding a better balance of my shopping hobbies and finding some free adventures through my week will be a natural progression after these free living days. 

how's this for timing... forget the wallet, this could be my reward!! there is a vintage market being held in a community hall down the road over the easter long weekend! i might limit myself to one dress or skirt to practice the self discipline and balance i aim to keep for my future. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

free living challenge - day 9

goal... to abstain from spending hobbies - to focus on finding daily joy in no cost living.

today's joy...

my afternoon ride.

saw this little guy and identified with him... just sitting alone, chilling, enjoying the warm afternoon.

bit too early for happy hour...
he's waiting for all the galahs who hang out there later on every afternoon after 4.
funny thing is its right opposite the rsl. :)

had some ups and downs this week with some things not going as smoothly as hoped and other unexpected things causing further upset.  chilling by myself has been therapeutic and needed indeed. 

they say habit and behaviour change takes over 30days... can be up to 60.  i have definitely noticed a difference in how i look at my days since starting this challenge and find it so rewarding to look for projects round home and ways to enjoy my town and the people in it, in no cost creative ways.

the other highlight of my day was dropping over to a friends place for a cold drink and watermelon. i've found myself much more comfortable dropping round for a cuppa or for no reason at all living in my beachside town. different to my old city life where a cafe or a meal out and about was necessary for a catch up. definitely saving some money now days.  and finding the real community of visiting in each others homes so much more fulfilling.

my challenge for the day? book in a drop-in at a friend or neighbours home in coming weeks. enjoy each others company for no other reason then sharing life together.

wishing you a relaxing, revitalising weekend. nais.x.

could this be it?

been looking for a new wallet for a while now....

been following beach vintage blog for a while now too and browsed her online store today.

i think i've found it!

definately suits my floral obsession. not usually a pink girl but the colours in the fabric balance it out for me.

maybe a little reward for me following the end of my  free-living challenge? :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

free living challenge - day 10

goal... to abstain from spending hobbies - to focus on finding daily joy in no cost living.

today's joy...

came from more sewing fun. a quiet day at home today.  searched some of my sewing books and came across this cushion pattern that i've been wanting to give a go for a while.

made it to go with the quilt i've started for my sister. all recycled materials (and button) salvaged from opshops.
buttons are to be my new op shop obsession i think!

doesn't appear to be much but this is my full days sewing results!  i hold onto the hope that as i get more and more practice it won't take me so long to produce such a creation. sat back quite stoked with myself. however if i was getting paid would wish it to be per hour and not per cushion!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

free living challenge - day 11

goal... to abstain from spending hobbies - to focus on finding daily joy in no cost living.

today's joy...

continuing my current cushion cover fetish. decided to save some fun t-shirt prints from the rag pile and use them as features on cushions.  great for something a bit different and to continue the life of pieces that have sentimental value like one from my hubby's travels. there's been a thrifting vs hoarding theme this week on a few blogs... vic at punk & me blogged about the benefits of hoarding today... and erica louise from recycled fashion blogged about the fine line between thrifting and hoarding earlier in the week.

i'm glad i can prove my hubby wrong that you can never have enough potential materials around the house! he's quite impressed with these creations. so yes, past spending was necessary for this no-cost project in recent weeks. maybe i just have to find a bit more of a balance with my spending hobbies in the future. :)

however as my goal exceeds my skills these may stay in this state until i master piping and zippers!!

spent a lovely sunshining morning at the beach watching the dolphins, taking some pics and picking up rubbish along the way.  have been thinking for a while now about creating a beach junk sculpture or sign to hang at the beach entry round holiday time when tourists numbers are at their peak to make a statement about personal responsibility with rubbish and our overuse of plastics.  only 2 bags of rubbish picked up at the beach today. seems april holidayers are better then new-years holidayers!

the start of my collection for my future creation...

not sure how hubby will feel about my collecting rubbish however!!

overall a very satisfying day. :)

its a bright sunshining day

proof we don't really get autumn here... winter is autumn... autumn is summer.. spring is summer... summer is summer... why would i live anywhere else?!

a morning at my favourite beach...

beach highway...
first time i've seen bike tracks through the rock shelf!

sorry if the fish is gross.
i find the cycle of nature interesting. after all, nature has its in built cycles of being resourceful and recycling.

i don't have a great camera for distance shots so these aren't fantastic... but everyday i see dolphins out in the sea i stand in awe. what is it about them that is so peaceful and fascinating??
(might have to click on these ones to view it full sized)

a pod of about 8 dolphins out there today
hard to see but they're diving through the wave.
so cool that they're an animal that plays.

surfers on the left, dolphins on the right.
this is when i'm jealous of competent surfers. one day i'll be out there.

i never know what i'm going to see at the beach but am starting to take my camera to keep a picture record of how the beach changes with time and weather... and the different signs of creatures and humans in my favourite environment.

love sharing a bit of beach sunshine with you on this lovely autumn day.
blessings, nais.

banana and blueberry loaf

Banana & blueberry loaf


for mum and me. mum had something similar to this loaf at a local cafe... with lemon butter. mmm. she tracked down this recipe for us to try.

melted butter, to grease
125ml (1/2 cup) mashed overripe banana
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 x 140g ctn apple fruit puree (or make your own!)
2 eggs
125ml (1/2 cup) reduced-fat milk
1 tbs light olive oil or vegetable oil
120g (3/4 cup) wholemeal self-raising flour
120g (3/4 cup) white self-raising flour
120g (3/4 cup) fresh blueberries

1. preheat oven to 180°C. brush a 6cm-deep, 9.5 x 20cm (base measurement) loaf pan with melted butter to lightly grease. line base and 2 long sides with non-stick baking paper.
2. combine the banana, sugar, apple, eggs, milk and oil in a large bowl.
3. sift over the combined flours. add the husks from the sieve. use a large metal spoon to fold the flour into the banana mixture until just combined. add the blueberries and gently fold.
4. spoon the mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface. bake in oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes. turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. cut into slices to serve.
NOTE: you will need 1 1/2 medium bananas for this recipe. if fresh blueberries are unavailable, you can use thawed frozen blueberries.

free living challenge - day 12

goal... to abstain from spending hobbies - to focus on finding daily joy in no cost living.

today's joy... came from...

lunch. brown rice with greens (all from my garden!) salad with honey/lemon/soy dressing. yum. so great to be starting to reap the rewards of my first 6months of vegie gardening. i've been off work for a few weeks recently and have had fun getting creative living from my cupboard and garden instead of buying lunch or dropping to the shop for more exciting ingredients in the spirit of this challenge.

and one of my favourite things to do which we never do enough... picnic in the backyard chilling with hubby in the cool of the evening waiting for the stars to come out. where ever my rug is, a picnic can be.

i have great plans for my rug and me. pulling it out and sitting in the peace of nature always clears my head and brigthens my day. being still can be such a challenge in our busy lives.  i've noticed i avoid being still by distracting myself with tv, dvds, gardening, sewing, organising... and previously shopping... to avoid thinking through some tough things on my mind.

i challenge you to take a moment out sometime this week to be still and settle your mind in a favourite spot in your world. sit, breath, enjoy. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


there can never be enough kindness in the world.

in a forum where we all come for inspiration, sharing and community i think kindness is so important to show respect for each other.

a lovely lady, jo-annie from em-jay & me started this pledge and many have joined. i think all of my followers here already abide by the principles this pledge stands for as i have felt loved, respected and inspired by you all. 

check it out and spread the kindness love!

rose drying

been lucky enough to receive a bunch of roses recently? or are you talented enough to have roses from your own garden you could keep? let the bliss last long by drying them and vasing them up for a dried arrangement somewhere around your home.

this is my sis-in-law's wedding bouquet we're drying at her mum's house to preserve for the future. :)

take your bunch (or bouquet) and tie them with string or rubber band to a coat hanger.

then hang them in a dark, dry cupboard and leave for a few weeks.

i have a bunch of white roses that my mum got me for our engagement in 2008 that i dried and vased. they've survived 5 moves and 3 years but are looking a little sad. might have to buy myself a new bunch to replace them! :)

any suggestions for other flowers that may survive drying? lisianthas are my favourite flower of the moment. would these work? hmmm...

make you own white oil

can't remember where i came across this recently but was stoked to be able to make my own white oil for my citrus.

2 cup vegetable oil : 1/2 cup detergent.
mix 2 tbsp of mixture : 1L water. spray.

it has worked a treat. very happy to be able to make my own instead of taking a trip to bunnings (which is an hr round trip for me!!).

Monday, April 11, 2011

free living challenge - catch up... day 34-13!!

goal... to abstain from spending hobbies - to focus on finding daily joy in no cost living.

joy from past days...

got a lot to summarise in today's free living post.

have to confess... i visited my mum a couple of weekends ago and our favourite thing to do is op shop together. so we went to 1 store... only 1!  i'm now 27 and she still treats me with 'just coz' spending money to make me feel special. love you mum.

so what have i been up to?

i organised up my sewing space...

love watching the weather out the side door...

the space is about 2.5ms sq... have all ready decided this is not enough space! i've already filled 3 lots of shelving with materials i've had around the house.

have had a play making my own pattern for some of my own softie creations... hmmm... need more practice for consistency!!

and started making some quiltes... discovered i love sewing much more than hand needlework!


and made some practical things like bread bags from old linen tea-towels. very impressed with these. we go through a home-made loaf of bread in 2-4days. it stays moist in these bags for that time. they would dry out and be only good for toast after 2days using our old recycled plastic bag method. definately an improvement.
(yes yes, i'm a queenslander through and through!! squeezing a bit of QLD love into our very NSW dominant family!!)

have enjoyed the growth of my peppermint plant being able to pick a few fresh leaves and make my own peppermint tea. so lovely.

and of course there have been many bike rides to the beach...

the other most fun adventure was my sister-in-law's wedding where i got to play with flowers and decorating... could do it every weekend!  as i said in my flower joy post a few days ago, so lovely being able to go to the farm where the flowers were growing, pick them with a group of great girls and play with them the night before the wedding for bouquets and vases for the reception. here are some more pics for you...

such a lovely location. yamba shores tavern.  if you're ever in the area, i recommend a look-see. its a lovely spot on the river.  we were there at sunrise (yes ohmygoodness) on the day of the wedding and then there at night for the reception. just as good feel at night.

phew!  great to be able to share my adventures with you. 

would love to hear of some of your free-living adventures.  we can't always achieve it but i think there is a greater sense of fulfillment when we are able to fill our day with nature, with family and friends, with simplicity and free joy. i challenge you to look for a way to simplify your adventures this week. then share it with others and maybe you'll inspire another one or two. blessings, nais.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

moose & bird

came across this creative lady on her etsy store when browsing for some new cushions for winter...

moose & bird

this pic of her cute pin cushions is what caught my eye from her blog...

i've been playing round with some ideas to create my own cushions last week and she has inspired me further. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

free living challenge - day 21... flower joy

goal... to abstain from spending hobbies - to focus on finding daily joy in no cost living.

today's joy...

being the stand in florist for my sis-in-law's wedding!

sorry i've been missing in action... internet issues. should be back online soon!

got to stretch my creative wings this weekend by putting together the bouquets and reception flowers for my sis-in-law. such fun. 

i'm proud of her resourcefulness... we gathered a range (over 33!!) of cute vases from family and friends, cut flowers from a church families paddock of flowers.... roses, dahlias and lisianthas... and put them together ourselves the night before the wedding.  such a rewarding and special feeling to have loved ones contribute in all sorts of ways to a special day.

they had pictures at the cane fields on her pa's farm and round the bales where she grew up helping feed the horses, working with cattle and killing cane toads! special memories. here's the top pic of the photo's from her photographer. such a lovely weekend all round.

so future career options suggested this weekend? florist and wedding planner!!

wishing you joy this week. nais. x.