What have I been doing?

Turmeric, chilli, cumin and basil  by Joluise
Dear blogging friends,

Its hard to believe it is October already, where has the year gone!  Less than three months to the end of the year.  This is the month that my youngest turns 21, I can remember him as a babe-in-arms and now he is all grown up, living away from home and working 3 jobs!  He is trying to be independent and doing quite well but from time to time he still needs our help. I can't help but feel sad that my baby is all grown up and I will never get back those precious years when he was young.

October also means we are mid way through spring and I have really been enjoying all the flowers around at the moment such as this very pretty poppy. If you check out my blog on Monday you will see some more glorious flower photos I took recently (that's a bit of self-promotion!!!) - tulips for those who love these flowers.
Yellow poppy by Joluise

I do hope you are all having a lovely October no matter where you are.  Those who have family staying, may you have a wonderful time; those who are about to travel to see family, prayers that your travels go smoothly; those who are unwell, prayer that you feel better soon.  And may the week ahead be without drama. 



Around the house

My 80 year old dad has inspired me!  He told me he had been going though his food cupboard and throwing out any items passed their "due by date" or food that  he won't be eating. He was surprised at what he found.  I thought I should do my cupboards as well, and like him, I found all sorts of things to throw away and now I have plenty of space. I also discovered I don't need to buy any more tins of lentils or beans - I have plenty to keep us going for quite a while!!

Whilst I had the cleaning bug, I cleaned the cupboard under my sink which contains all the cleaning products etc... I found all sorts of things that ended up in the bin. Now that cupboard is looking good. 

In the garden

Yesterday I planted beetroot (seeds and a punnet of seedlings) - I wasn't planning too - they never seem to grew for me. However after a long conversation with my dad (who has a green-thumb in the garden) I followed his instructions to the letter and planted some. Beetroot loves lime and "blood and bone" - these two ingredients need to be added to the soil before planting. Once the seedlings grow a little, more lime needs to be added (side dressing!). It will be interesting to see if, finally, I get beetroot to grow.  Dad has also planted his - now we can see if we are both successful. 


I have almost completed another skirt - this one is a brown stripped corduroy which I have lined with a rich coffee coloured satin. Only the hem remains to be done. Below is Ruby trying to help. Next one to make will be a white skirt for summer. 

For a change I decided to make something different - partly to give myself a challenge from skirt making - I decided to make a little girls dress (size 4) which is coming along quite nicely. I just hope it fits the little girl I am making it for - it won't be perfect (as its my first attempt at children's clothing) but she can wear it during playtime!! At the moment I am learning to gather!!  

New books

With some birthday money I bought a few books that those who like to sew might enjoy:

Making cushion covers by Debbie Shore
This book really does make cushion making look easy, I am yet to try any of the patterns to see if this is true but I think it just might be!! Perhaps later in the year. 

Skirt-a-day sewing: Create 28 skirts by Nicole Smith
I am yet to make anything from this book but I am looking forward to drafting my first skirt pattern as it will finally mean having a skirt that fits me without having to alter a pattern (already have the paper, just need to buy a long ruler for measuring).

Weekend sewing by Heather Ross
This book is full of great ideas but I doubt I will be using them anytime soon - until I am more experienced. Interestedly it got poor reviews on Amazon with some incorrect patterns and poor instructions, so I will need to sew with care when using this book.  

Hip Handbags by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader
Bought second hand last week, this one is full of great hand-made handbags. Nice to look at, perhaps down the track when I become a whizz at the sewing machine (lol!!!)

The best medicine in the world
is a good book and a comfortable chair

And here is a photo just for fun!! One large yellow rubber duck in a pond. 
Yellow rubber duck by Joluise


  1. Is that duckie the one that was at Darling Harbour a few months ago?
    I attacked the garden yesterday - pulled out old stuff, turned over the soil, fertilised and sowed new stuff. And got a big blister on the palm of my hand =(
    The lil girl's dress is looking good! =)
    And preparatory to going away for 5 days the house is clean and tidy - I wonder if hubby will keep it that way while we are gone???

    1. My hubby is quite good at keeping the house tidy - or more correctly, he is very good at making it tidy just before I get home - who knows what he does when I am away!!!

      Not sure where the duckie came from, it is very cute in all its bigness!!

      Have a lovely week:))) Looking forward to hearing all the happenings during your holidays.


  2. You do sound very busy. I am very busy too with many little ones. They grow up so fast and I'm sorry you are sad about your youngest being all grown up! It is a good reminder to treasure our time when they are little.

    1. I think all mothers feel sad when their youngest finally grows up.

      I have just finished a busy morning going through my study and filing all those bits of paper that build up. Now that I have had lunch, its time for some sewing:))

  3. Hello, My dear, you have been very busy :)
    Loved the Tulip pictures, and to think your in Spring and our Fall is upon us.
    You are so right about how we eat in this country!!
    May you be blessed, and I always really enjoy your Posts. Your new header was lovely!

    1. Have a lovely week:))

      Glad you enjoyed the tulips, they are so beautiful in their bright colours - I don't know how you couldn't like them!!

  4. One of my babies turned 21 this year too, they do grow up fast but it's so nice to see them become adults and follow their dreams. It seems Ruby likes to "help" you sew in the same way as Luna helps me!

    1. You are quite right - it is lovely to see our children go off and follow their dreams, however it can be tough when they find the transition from teenage years to adult life difficult as my youngest did for awhile. Ruby loves to help in all sorts of tasks, at the moment she is "helping" my husband clean the windows - or more correct, she is supervising his work!!

  5. Love these newsy posts! :)
    I cannot believe it's October (nearly halfway through now even!) - this year has sped away on wings and has been one of the busiest years ever for me. I'm struggling to hold on and keep up - starting to feel really exhausted all the time... I think I need a rest!
    I hope you have success with the beets - they are one of my favourite things to grow. I've never used lime on them and don't always use blood and bone... If they start waning I'll have to remember to try those!!
    Your sewing progress is really exciting! I'm so glad you're enjoying it and making more things. Sewing is such a wonderful pastime - both enjoyable and profitable!
    Your new books (all about sewing!) sound great - I love sewing bags, those are a lot of fun. I need to make some new cushion covers for cushions in our house... And some curtains... When I can find the time!

    1. My approach to sewing is completely different this time around - I don't try and finish an outfit in one day - I take my time and it might mean that a skirt takes a month to complete. I leave my machine out all the time and can easily use it whenever I want - I always hated having to pack up after every sewing day, it really put me off sewing. And now that I have worked out how to alter clothing to fit me, I can make clothing that "fits" me which is quite liberating!!!!! And it also means I can make clothes in the colours and fabric that I like and not what the shop is selling that season. I am about to move on to a top, something new and challenging.

      You must have the right soil for beets - both my dad and I struggle. Dad was saying that when he was on the farm he had no trouble, once he moved, he never had good results. I will let you know how the lime goes.

    2. I plan to make some cushion covers in summer using my new books - I will let you know how they go. The books contains patterns with zips and some without, I will go for the "no" zip patterns!!


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