Friday, May 25, 2012

Pedal to the Metal

of my Janome.

A few months ago, in the heat of summer, I realised that I didn't have a hat that fit my head. It's not that enormous, but store bought hats just don't seem to be big enough to fit comfortably. This need reminded me that I had bought a pattern for a bucket hat when we visited Japan two years ago.

Drawing the outline for the hat is a bit of a puzzle in itself. The sewing lines are drawn first for one sixth of the hat and then you need to turn the plastic piece around, 60 degrees at a time, to form the 'petals' of the hat. For each of the sewing lines drawn, cutting lines are also needed and a great plastic circle is included to make sure your seem is 10cm.

These would have to be the straightest lines I have ever drawn for a pattern. My attempts with paper patterns generally result in lines that look as though they have been drawn by a two year old.

This is done for the outside piece as well as the lining. Once the pieces are cut, the sides are sewn to form the bucket. The inside and outside pieces are then sewn right sides together with a small gap to turn and topstitch.

This hour long project has left me with a hat that fits my head perfectly and also folds down easily to fit in my bag.

Please remember that this is not intended as a tutorial as the Clover plastic pattern is necessary for this hat.

After a quick search, I have found some patterns that may inspire a bit of sewing.
Sew Much Ado Toddler Hat
Simplicity Misses' Bucket Hat
Martha Stewart Reversible Hat
Lorenna Buck Sun Hat
Kitsch Bitsch Denim Hat (You need to subscribe to the mailing list to get access to this pattern)

I haven't tried any of these patterns myself but thought they looked great.

I am also hoping to get a little more sewing done and make this great bag. I have make it a few times now and am always happy with the end result.

Take care

Here are two other patterns I found
One Pattern Piece Reversible Hat (This is similar to the style of mine as there is no separate brim)
Reversible 40s Inspired Sun Cap

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This weekend has been the first time that we had let the chooks have free range of the backyard, and they loved it. We were all a little anxious about setting them free as the yard is not entirely secure so decided they needed to be fully supervised, just like toddlers.

Luckily the girls have yet to find any of the gaps through to next door. These will be dealt with this week. 

We had been planning on getting chickens since we were in Germany, so all of the gardening since our return has been me 'preparing' little areas for the chicken to be able to feed. By preparing, I mean, 'Oh, I wont bother weeding that. I'll just leave that for the chooks.'

I could sit for hours in the yard and watch them work their way from garden bed to garden bed. Their behaviours are so interesting, and their antics are hilarious. Each bird has quite a distinctive personality and interactions between the four keep us all in stitches.

Take care

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Assembling My Dalek Army

This year I have undertaken a bit of study and decided to do a Diploma of Sustainability. I'm not really sure what I want to do at the end, but needed a bit of a change in direction.

The current assignment involved designing and implementing a program the supports a behavioural change. I have decided to go with a topic that I am really passionate about; composting. For my assignment I am hoping to change the behaviour of five households and get them to eliminate all food scraps from their kerbside collection.

This is where my Dalek Army comes in.

In the weeks leading up to the assignment I kept my eyes out on Gumtree, the Quokka and even bulk rubbish pickups, and managed to collect five preloved bins for less than the cost of one new bins.

Asking people to undertake this sort of change could have been a little tricky but being able to tell them that I had everything ready to go made it a little easier.

With the barrier of 'not having a bin' sorted, I am now going to each household armed with a bin, newspaper, straw, food scraps, cow manure and some of my own compost to help select a site and get the program started.

It is interesting that when I was trying to find people to be my guinea pigs participants, quite a few said that it was something they had thought about but weren't really sure how to get it started. With the chance to get someone to come and help them take the first steps, all four people I approached said yes straight away. My fifth 'composter' overheard one of the conversations and actually asked to join!

There are so many great sites out there offering suggestions on how to get started, but I am a big fan of these girls.

Each of us has some amazing skills that can be passed on to others. Perhaps you could see if a friend if they need a hand getting a compost bin started. Help them overcome that first hurdle of not knowing how to start.

One setup complete, four to go.

Take care

I have just returned from the morning school run and managed to score another bin in the bulk rubbish collection. Woohoo!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Urban Orchard

This morning I was lucky enough to have some time to myself to head into the city and have a bit of a wander.

Being Fairtrade Fortnight I thought I would catch to train to go and pay a visit to the Oxfam shop as I needed buy a birthday present for one of my oldest friends. I love the feeling that seems to sweep over me as soon as I walk through the door. It is one of those place I could spend hours browsing (and tasting their samples of chocolate). I did walk out with a few more things that I had planned (including a block of chocolate) including a sweet brooch.

I headed back to Northbridge, through the Cultural Centre, and stopped to enjoy some time in the Urban Orchard.

It is lovely to have something as productive as this right in the heart of the city. Although it looks a little bare at the moment, I have been there when the garden beds have been overflowing and people have been bustling around.

Take care

Monday, May 14, 2012

All Quiet on the Blogging Front

The last few months have just flown by and I can't believe that I have been away from this space for so long. I seemed to have lost the blogging mojo for quite a while there. Nothing earth-shattering had been happening. The days just seemed to be running into one another a little too quickly and before I knew it, here we are.

Grab a cuppa, (mine is Mizani, I love a new little business) sit down, and I'll fill you in on what has been happening around the Mouse House.

Our most exciting news has been the doubling in the size of the family. We now have four new mouths to feed, but I must add that these new additions are a lot less fussy: pellets of feed and kitchen scraps keep these girls super happy.

We have two leghorns and two Australorps which are about 9 weeks old now. The photo was taken when they were about 6 weeks old, just after we got them. We decided on getting 6 weeks olds as they had been sexed and I wasn't keen on getting tiny chicks that the kiddies would go ahead and fall in love with and then have to deal with the possibility of roosters.

We have settled back into life at home, but still talk about our German experience everyday. I am not working as regularly now and we are noticing how much more settled the entire household feels. There in a lot less running around in the morning looking for clean and dry socks, bits of homework that we can't quite remember when it has been put, or that note that needed to be signed and returned yesterday.

The garden is slowly coming back to life now the super hot days are behind us and the rain is beginning to make an appearance. I have added three raised beds to the front yard, following the no-dig method, as well as a lemon tree which is loving the rain water.

The leafy greens are fabulous.

The peas are just starting to pod.

Beetroot are looking great.

I love a compost surprise.

The lime tree has about 10 fruit which has us quite excited.

Broadbean seedling went into the ground this morning just before the rain.

I wont inundate you with all of the last two and a half months in one go, so I'll leave it there for now.

Thanks to those who emailed through to check all was okay. It was so sweet of you.

Take care
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