From the Stash

Leave a comment

Sometimes I get so involved in projects, I actually overlook posting about what I am doing. So, this is a bit of a catch up on my recent sewing endeavours.

The first was a valance to cover the ensemble base of our bed. We originally had a bedspread which covered both the mattress and base but that has not been the case for a number of years. I did buy an elasticised cover for the base several years ago, however, it was only moderately successful in my opinion. After lengthy consideration I finally decided to try making my own version. I used a piece of light-coloured upholstery fabric from my stash to cover the ensemble base and then joined some strong black cotton fabric for the fitted side panels.

This is a glimpse of the side of the bed once it is made. The black fabric-covered base is barely noticeable so I regard my mission as a success.

The next project was completed in less than a week once I set my mind to it. I have a patchwork knee rug which I made a few years ago for my mother. We have had some particularly cold evenings and GMan was rather envious as I snuggled under it while watching television. I set to work to make another one.

The first step was to select the fabric. As I sort through fabric I regularly identify small pieces which are suitable for patchwork. I cut them into 5 inch squares and sort by colour. So it was a simple process to grab the number I needed from the bag of blue fabrics.

In progress.

The squares were all salvaged scraps. The wadding was from an old polyester doona which I disassembled and reused. The plain edging was an old pillowcase and the backing came from a worn-out doona cover.

The final step was to add the binding. I cut and made my own bias binding from yet another piece of salvaged fabric.

Both of these items have been created entirely from fabric which was destined for landfill. We have so many resources already in circulation and it makes sense to utilise what we have.

Making a Difference

Leave a comment

Australia has just recorded the driest spring on record – EVER!  Additionally, it was the second-hottest spring on record and fell just 0.04C short of the record.

We live in what is generally regarded as a high-rainfall, temperate sub-tropical area, however, that description seems but a distant memory.  As the hot, dry weather continues we are constantly looking for ways to save our precious water.

Our water supply is entirely rainwater which we collect in the 2 large tanks with a combined capacity of close to 100,000 litres.  In the 14 years we have lived here we have barely scratched the surface of that capacity, however, the current drought has made us consider what measures we can take to preserve every precious drop. If we were to run out, our only option is to buy water.  Even purchased water has to come from somewhere and there does not seem to be an endless supply.

In an effort to be as self-reliant as possible we are trying to grow more of our own food which necessitates watering crops in the dry weather whereas during a ‘normal’ season they manage quite well on the natural rainfall except as very small seedlings.

We retrieved a square plastic washing-up dish from our camping equipment and it now lives in the kitchen sink to catch any excess water from washing hands, rinsing dishes etc and that is then tipped onto various ornamental shrubs to help keep them alive.

The other thing we did was to buy 10 metres of hose to attach to the washing machine outlet.  Before I do a load of washing I unroll the hose out of the laundry and across the verandah so that it empties the washing water onto the hibiscus bushes at the front of the house.  The only problem is what to do with 10 metres of hose when it is not in use.

Today, we located a bracket that we had and GMan kindly attached it to the wall above the sink and now the hose coils neatly in place when not in use.

2019-12-02 01

What changes have you made to save water or other resources?

A Precious Resource


When we think of resources many would think of water, electricity or the minerals in the ground.

For those embracing a simple life, one of the greatest resources is time.  Time to make your food from scratch, time to repair your possessions, time to refashion clothes, time to spend in the garden growing your own food and so on.

Time is a valuable resource and it is in our best interests to use it wisely.  As some of you would know from previous posts, I am not a great fan of multi-tasking.  Nor do I expect that we should be ‘doing’ something all of the time.  Taking time out to just ‘be’ is as important as any task.

Sometimes it is worth looking to see if you can identify time which is just being wasted.  For me it would be the 2.5 hours I spend travelling on the train each day.  I often use the time to write my blog, reply to emails, plan menus for the week or update my diary.  Sometimes I knit or do some hand sewing.  Today I have redone the hem of a dress for Missy.  I also stitched the facings down as they had tend to roll out otherwise.

Do you have any windows of time in your day that you could use to take the pressure off what you try to fit into 24 hours?  Perhaps it is while waiting to pick up children from school or a sports event?

The Other Side


Due to work commitments this is where I spent last night.  While it is all very luxurious I find the excessive resources a bit overwhelming. I do not need towels as big as a bed sheet  nor 32 square metres of space for 1 person to sleep.  The shower head dispensed more water in one short shower than would be required by a Third World family for a week.

I am looking forward to my own bedroom, open windows and bird chorus to wake me.

For me, it really is a matter of “There is no place like home”.  That is where I try to, “Live simply so that others may simply live”.  The inequity of resources in the world is obscene.  Is it any wonder that there is so much anger and hate in the world when everyone is scrambling to get their bit of the finite pie?

Have a calm and fulfilling day wherever you are.