Tuesday, 25 December 2012

sunflowers in my garden

Why you should leave "volunteers" that accidently grow in your veggie patch:


Over winter we had a chicken house in the veggie patch, which resulted in some commercial bought sunflower seeds being planted in the garden, since my three year old sun is a bit messy when feeding the chickens!

I am very happy I left these plants when they germinated, as now I have some lovely sunflower flowers in the garden. Not only will they provide seeds for the chicken, but they are an attractant to the bees, and even the odd coloured native parrot. (As long as they share, I’m happy).

I have tried to grow sunflowers in the past, I can’t believe how attractive these one are. It must be all the fertiliser we added for the veggies.

We didn't plant this pumpkin either !!! Usually, you dont get pumkins off sell sown pumkins since the seed is sterile, but ours are actually fruiting well.

Attracting butterflies to the Garden for your kids

I dont know why this photo cant be turned!!!

I thought I would let you know about the fun my three year old is having. Here’s a kale I’ve got in the veggie patch- you might notice the insect damage.

Since we don’t eat the kale, but grew it as chook food, we didn’t bother to spray it for cabbage butterflies. Needless to say, the cabbage butterflies have been visiting us regularly, giving Johnny easy targets for his butterfly net. If he can’t catch one, there are always the caterpillars to investigate, meaning we have even more butterflies for Johnny to chase.

So, if you’ve got young kids visiting your backyard, I encourage you to let a cabbage family plant be a haven for the humble cabbage butterfly and give your kids hours of exercise.

This sacrificing of one or two plants is also an organic technique to defend your other veggies, as you could let the butterflies lay their eggs then feed the whole plant to the chooks, grubs and all, but hey we want the butterflies so we let them complete their lifecycle.

chickens in the suburban backyard.

I love having my three hens in the backyard. Not only do they turn all those kitchen scraps and left over food into lovely eggs, but they teach my young boys all about having animals. Temporarily, my hens are housed in this cage with a piece of fibreglass roofing as a roof. This allows them to have contact with the ground, very important for dust bathing.
If its nice weather, I'll take the roof of, as chicken do need light to make them lay eggs.
One of the ideas I wanted to share, was the use of a dog automatic waterer in the hen house. This allows you to leave your hens for a few days, knowing they will never run out of water. Chickens seem to have no idea not to pollute their own water, making other bowls etc unreliable. Those bell shaped wateres need to be refilled regularly, which can be a pain. They are also heavy when full and perish in the sun. This waterer is connected to a small tank, so they have weeks of fresh water, not including the wrapper my son gave them!
I bought mine from here:
but as i'm not affliated with them in anyway, feel free to browse ebay etc.

Monday, 24 December 2012

making a change purse

here is the change purse I recently made for one of my aunties for christmas.

After I turned a ladies skirt into a dress for a little girl, I had this lovely off cut complete with invisible zip.

I have been making a few change purses for christmas presents and decided this had potential
The first step was to cut out the purse shape keeping the zip. The most important part is to make show the slidder doesnt fall off or get cut off!

 My first thought was a french seamed little purse, but you couldnt move the zip when it was the right way round! i think thats because invisible zips are a bit funny.
So then I found some similar fabric to make a binding. the zip can now move and as a bonus the purse is bigger. 

Then I added some sequins to improve the look of the binding.

It was the night before christmas.....

Here are the gifts that have been taking up my time:
Here is a tablecloth i made for my grandmother. at first it was going to be just a cushion, but i like the look of it so went with a tablecloth.

 There is a bible quote about the lillies of the field, and then 3 other flower embroideryies from emblibrary. My grandmother has an awesome garden, so it suits her.
I also decided that my aunties would be getting change purses this year, so we have
the donut:

 One made out of an upcycle skirt remanent.
 A juke box,

And one made from recycle demin with jeans embroidered on them. I used double thinckness thread to get the shape to really stand out.

I liked the back pockets on that pair of jeans so made this cute little bag out of that part.

Friday, 21 December 2012

dinosaur bone hunting

In a departure from my usual sewing, i thought I'd mention a great new activity for boys I heard about on facebook. You freeze some water with some toys in it and them let you're little dinosaur hunter attack it with a toy hammer etc.
Johnny loved it so much we had to take it to "Papuo's " to show his grandfather.

Friday, 7 December 2012

child's name book

 Even I can't make a 6 sided cube work for 9 letters, so I made this book for my friends baby boy- christien.

Again, designs by designbysick.com

the thing I like about these deigns is the image is a match to the letter, and so cute!

I just put the designs on some squares then cut out the letters using my quilts rotary blade and ruler to try to get them square sewed togther the squares in the proper order, then used a scrap to bind them altogther.

angel bag

 When my sister asked me to make a bag for her friend, that loves pink, I thought this applique design by designbysick.com would be a good way of using up some scraps; I like the way the wing loves even though i had to cover some problem areas with a few well placed sequins- thats becuase the sheer fabric had a mind of its own. I like the gold work though, and its in a very cute place luckily.

I stiched out the 2 appliques parts on paper for a template first. I just used adhesive spray to stick the pink satin to the paper then cut out the whole thing togther, since the paper then made it easy to stick the fabric to the base, adn the paper just acts like another layer of stabiliser.
i really have to start working on my own christmas gifts instead of everyone elses!