Monthly Archives: May 2011

Repurposing: Art by Repetition

via design*sponge

A few weeks ago, I spotted this amazing piece of art featured on design*sponge. It was made using bus or train tickets (admitedly very cool and colourful tickets from San Fransisco, but tickets nonetheless) and it got me thinking about what I could put together, using otherwise unused multiples.

I have a bajillion plastic bits and bobs in the storeroom, left over from my Trove days, and these white plastic squares were perfect and easy to put together. I just used tiny balls of Blutack to stick them to the kraft paper, so I was able to reposition them if need be.

Obviously, this one and its twin still need to be hung on the living room wall, but I was so taken with the idea of using everyday or unused items in multiples to create a piece of art or a wall hanging, that I had to share. 

Other possibilities are:

– train/ferry/bus tickets
– buttons
– ribbon
– wool/string
– drinking straws
– bottle tops
– corks
– confetti

via Sharon Whelton on Etsy

Apologies for no Meat-Free Monday yesterday. I’ve been struck with this tummy bug again and the last thing I wanted to consider was food. It’ll be back next week though!!

Happy-Making: Family and Finders Keepers

The weekend is shaping up to be stupendous, with painting to do and a visit to Ikea in the mix, as well as a trip to the fairly incredible Finders Keepers market tomorrow. (Seriously. It’s awesome. You should go.)

I’m really keen to check out some of the handmade action on hand, as the only times I’ve ever been to the markets was as a stallholder myself, and had no time to shop around and see the sights. It should be really nice to head in tomorrow morning, have a coffee and check it out. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

In other happy-making:

– finding gem photos you had forgotten about

– booking next year’s holiday to Byron

– weather warm enough for bare feet in cool grass

– dinner in the slow cooker

– rhubarb and apple crumble

I hope your weekends are wonderful! x

3 Quickie Green Cleaning Tips

Print by The Gently Unfurling Sneak on Georgie Love

I have two bathrooms to clean before the kidlets wake up, so it’ll be a quick one today. Although hopefully still helpful!

1. Put down the bottle of Mr Sheen!! To do all your household dusting, just buy a microfibre cloth and dampen it with a little water. Or, as I sometimes do, a few drops of tea-tree oil. (Just steer clear of your TV screens if you use the oil option.)

2. Open your doors and windows for ten minutes. It may seem insignificant, but creating cross-ventilation can help rid your home of toxic emissions from our lounges, carpets, cleaning products, paint, etc. Plus, having stale air in your house causes intensely frizzy hair. (Or something.)

3. Potplants are amazing indoor air filters. Check out this post for a list of the top five indoor plants.

And in other news, Sparky managed to score our new across-the-road neighbours’ chook shed last weekend, so it will soon be free-range, (very) local eggs in our house! Yay!

In Season: May’s Fruit and Veges

image by donsutherland1

One part of the Lavender Experiment is to

live greener by: buying our fruit and veges locally and in season.

So I’ve decided to do a monthly list of common fruit and veges that are currently in season. This tends to help when you go grocery shopping, as in season produce should be cheaper and definitely fresher than its out-of-season friends (yes, I am looking at you, cherries in May!!) and, generally speaking, greener as you should find it to be a local product. Plus, it really should taste better too!

Ideally, you would buy your fruit and veges from local, organic producers, but really, who has the cash or the time to go on ten different trips to local farms? Not me, that’s for sure. Most weekends Sparky and I do go for a drive to the Hawkesbury and visit a little farm that sells mostly local, in season produce that’s free from chemical sprays, but if we don’t have the time we just shop at the local IGA.

(Just a tip for any Sydney folk reading this, the Hawkesbury Harvest Farm Gate Trail is brilliant, and the website has lots of info on local producers, as well as a search by product function where you can find local prodcuers and seasons.)

Aaanyway, May = late autumn, which in my mind equals two delicious things: apples and rhubarb!! But there are a surprising number of options this time of year, with tonnes of Asian greens in season as well as your root veges which are ideal for soups and stews.

Fruits:


apples (bonza, braeburn, fuji, gala, golden delicious, granny smith, jonagold, jonathan, mutso, pink lady, red delicious, snow, sundowner)
banana
cumquat
custard apple
feijoa
grapes (purple cornichon, waltham cross)
kiwifruit
lemons
limes
mandarin (imperial)
melon (champagne)
nuts (chestnut, hazelnut, peanut, walnut)
pears (howell, josephine, packham, red sensation, williams)
persimmon
quince
rhubarb

Vegetables:


asian greens (bok choy, choy sum, gai laan, wonga bok) 
avocados (fuerte, sharwill) 
beetroot 
broccoli 
brussels sprout
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
celeriac
celery

daikon

eggplant
fennel
leeks
lettuce, 
mushrooms (wild, field, pine, slippery jacks) 
okra
olives
onions (brown, spring) 
parsnip
peas
potato
pumpkin
shallots
silverbeet
spinach
squash
swede
sweet potato
taro
tomato
turnip
witlof
zucchini

*This list is for Australian fruit and vege seasons.

I know for me, shopping in season stretches my cooking muscles in sometimes uncomfortable ways, because it forces me to continuously revisit my go-to meals and start to look at ways of using less common (or less commonly used) veges. I think that can only be a good thing, and I’m aiming to this year start to try a few new recipes that take full advantage of all the good stuff we can grow here in Australia.

Play Time! Bubble Painting

Excuse the crummy iPhone shots!

Isy and I spent a good hour playing with this one afternoon, which is quite good considering her concentration span doesn’t often stretch longer than an episode of Charlie and Lola (ie 10 minutes). It’s super easy to set up, really genuinely fun to do (for both parents and kids) and messy/creative/fast/satisfying enough to entice pretty much everyone.

Just a note, you probably want this to be an outside craft session as it can get a little messy. And maybe some old clothes. Because when I say “a little messy” I mean, “the potential is there for this to get crazy messy.”

You’ll need:

dishwashing liquid (I just used the trusty castile soap)
liquid food colouring
plastic cups
stirrers
bubble wand
paper

Just pour a little bit of soap into each of your plastic cups and add a few drops of food colouring to each cup. It would be fun to mix the colours up and come up with some really pretty options, but we just went with the stock-standard colours that the colouring came in – red, yellow, green, blue. Mix with a stirrer and you’re ready to go.

Dip your wand into the bubbles and blow towards the paper. I really loved the delicate patterns you can create, as well as the unpredictability of it. Isla on the other hand loved mixing the different coloured bubble mixtures together, Mad Professor style.