Wednesday, May 2, 2012

project leather satchel bags

I've been testing out a new project and have been making leather satchels.  It started because I wanted a bag, couldn't find one that was a reasonable price and so I bought some leather offcuts from Camberwell market and had a go at it myself.  I enjoyed it so much that I have made a few now and have more ideas in my head to try out.  I get like this sometimes.  I have an idea and I cannot stop thinking about it until I have tried it out.  The first one is made really rushed because I am too excited about what I am doing and just want to see if it's going to work.  Then, if I think that I it will work after the first rushed attempt I make another with a little more care and time.  That one is never quite good enough so I have to make another and then another until I perfect it or at least am happy with the outcome.  Sometimes I have an idea, have a go at making it work, then decide it isn't going to and put it down without ever going back to it again.  I can move on, I have got it out of my system and can then concentrate on other things.  My life is full of projects in the making, whether that be outside in the garden, inside the house, through my work or just little side things like these bags.  Life is short and there is lots to be made!


(*Jane, thought you might be interested in having a closer look at my terraced veg garden! T x)
The new veg garden is coming along well and I have only two more terraces to build.  I'm glad that I planted as I went cause now I have some growth to watch and it's motivating me to finish it all off.  The corn has been really fun to watch.  Jonty and I planted it together.  We are going to make popcorn out of some of it so he is particularly interested!  Also now rearing their lovely little green heads are kale, garlic, peas, lettuces,  broad beans, radishes and beetroot and I have heaps more space to plant loads more.  And by the time I finish the planting it will be time to harvest something which will make room for even more!  Staggered planting is definitely the way to go and with all this space that I now have there should be always something for Jonty to pull up and eat.  I am desperate to start harvesting something with him.  He's a fussy eater but I find that if he has grown it himself he is more inclined to give it a go especially if it means picking it straight from the plant and popping it in his mouth.  I was completely surprised the other day when I handed him a raspberry from our one small vine and he threw it with vigor into his mouth and declared it yummy!  He would never eat a raspberry inside from the fridge!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stacks of fabric

I'm still chipping way at getting my online custom making store up and running. It's taking way longer than anticipated but I will get there! These are just some of the fabrics that will be on offer for custom orders. If you see something you like then stay tuned for the opening date!

Around my house there are little corners like this that are not quite finished. There will be bits of plastering all over the place that will need doing and because it is such an awfully messy job we figure it is best to wait till the end of renovations and do it at the same time. So, in the meantime I will have to make do with dreaming of what will be!

An unfortunate accident today. Time to say goodbye to what was my favourite lamp and awesome opp shop find. My newly mobile girl is testing out the child proofing and obviously we need to batten down the hatches a little more!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

red and blue

Here are some recent opp shop finds for Scarlett. There is am obvious red and blue theme that was completely unintentional and I only noticed when I went to take the photos! So, TWO pairs of red shoes - I always imagined that if I had a girl she would be running around in red shoes.... now we just have to wait till she can walk. In the meantime the shoes will sit on her shelf to be admired. A lovely little dress which I couldn't resist and at the upper end of what I will spend on clothes, $4.00! And a very cute shirt which I think cost 50 cents. I love the tin spinning top. It's a German brand and I know it's very expensive cause they sell them at a toy store near here. Love a tin toy, so good to have something not plastic!

Scarlett is pretty happy with the purchases even though she seems more content to play with some building adhesive tube rather than the very cool spinning top!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A handmade home

Today was spent outside doing more work on the extension which at the moment means digging, breaking up rock, removing dirt and all things back breaking. Saturdays are generally like this, Dave spends the time outside coming in for lunch and I entertain the kids inside, popping outside with them to watch progress and give moral support; once I can't hold on to Scarlett anymore (there is no where to put her down that isn't dirt) I go back inside. Scarlett has two sleeps a day so when I get her to sleep Jonty and I get on the boots and race outside to do some work. I take the baby monitor with me so I can hear when Scarlett wakes but she is like clockwork... 45 minutes in the morning and an hour and a half in the afternoon. Jonty can be left to run around while I try to do as much as I can in this timeframe. I know that to many that this doesn't sound like fun but I LOVE it! I have always enjoyed hard labour outside. I absolutely love just going hard and pushing myself. I enjoy it even more when it is something as productive as building our own house and garden. It's my meditation. If I'm feeling stressed, unwell or overwhelmed an hour or so outside doing some work invigorates me and makes all well again. I don't know why this is, but it's just me and how I function.

Above shows what the ground is like here...rock! This is why it is taking months to get to the point of actually putting in footings and getting a building under way. The ground is unforgiving and the rock is relentless. But it is close to being done and then the really fun stuff starts!

Dave has been working for a while cutting the space out for the stairs that will join the old house with the new below. Today he finished that task which is a milestone.

I always like to fill my house with handmade things. If there is something that we need or want I prefer to find the solution with something that we can do ourselves or at least by using something recycled. By thinking outside the square and trying to do it ourselves we not only save a lot of money but create a house that has individuality. And the satisfaction is so far above what you get from just going to the shops and buying the product and putting it in your home. No amount of shopping can give you that satisfaction. We don't have a lot of money, and we will at some point soon run out of the money in the bank for this renovation but it doesn't matter. We are doing it ourselves so if we have to wait to save for a building product then we will save and just carry on with another part of the build. We are comfortable in our house and so there is no rush or urgent need to finish. Actually (and bear with me on this cause it may initially sound outrageous) I am happy that we don't have heaps of money. You see, by having to really think hard about where we spend our money it forces us to come up with clever solutions or at least to do a lot of research and get the same product for a lot less than just going to the appropriate shop and purchasing it. If we had all the money we needed, this build (and indeed our whole lifestyle) would cost a hell of a lot more for the same end product. As we go along with this build the forecast total cost is going down from what we thought it would be and that's because we are finding better solutions to just going out and purchasing what we need from the shops. And, not only does it feel good because it is all costing less, it feels good because you feel really clever! You feel that you are outsmarting the system; bucking the trends. So, I am glad that we don't have the money. It makes it more fun, more of a challenge and definitely more satisfying. It also makes my work more enjoyable because I can relate it clearly to what we gain. I sew a dress and then sell that to get the money to buy, for example, some timber. It is so simple and I like that. It gives reason to my work and keeps me motivated.

I know that we are lucky to be able to do this build because Dave has the skills but there is an awful lot that we are doing and have done in our renovation of the original house that were things neither one of us have done before. We research and generally back ourselves and just give it a go. So many people say to me "yeah but you guys know how to do all this....." and it really annoys me because there is so much that we have taught ourselves and basically just given it a go and kept on trying until we could do it.
I'm not just talking about the renovation and building here, but all sorts of things that I hear people wanting to do but just not giving it a go like making soap, vegetable gardening, pickling, sewing.... I wasn't born with an ability to do these things I just googled it and tried. Most of the time I haven't succeeded straight away but I have persisted and eventually worked it out. Life is short people, if there is something that you want to learn how to do then know that you can do it and just start the process of learning. It gives your life a new dimension, learning these handmade crafts. It gives freedom and satisfaction and changes perspective. All things that money can't buy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

out and about the house

We are out and about a lot these days trying to keep the renovation moving along. I am trying to crack on with the landscaping while Dave digs, welds, jackhammers, etc.

I know that it seems like the house is hanging in mid air but I assure you it's all under control! There has been a lot of excavation under the house which has meant that it has been put on and off props a whole lot. At first I was quite nervous as our house being on the side of a hill is quite high off the ground, but now I am used to it and not phased at all!
The picture above shows where the balcony used to be hence the door to nowhere. I miss our little veranda. It was a good place for visitors to arrive to and for muddy boots to be kicked off. But, the new deck which will wrap around to include our old balcony space will be better ......patience Theresa!

The extension will actually be on the flat ground in this photo, sitting next to, but below the original house, a big deck will sit above the new build which will be level with the original house, catch my drift? You'll see...

Here is my new vegetable garden in progress. It is terraced with rock walls and will run down the side of our backyard. I am planting as we go; the first bed you can see on the bottom of this photo is planted with corn. We are going to make popcorn out of it which Jonty is very excited about. There has been a lot of progress since this photo was taken and I am nearly finished so will take a few more snaps for another post. I am really loving having a veg garden again. Jonty gets a lot out of it and we all love watching it grow.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Opp shop finds

Here are some recent finds! Probably totaling a grand sum of about $4.00 I'm seeing a definite kitchen theme. Am thinking of filling those little moulds with homemade ice cream then dipping in chocolate. Or maybe with some fruit purees for something a little less naughty! The table cloth will be whipped up into some baby clothes for winter and I might just be making myself one of those skirts!

Peek a boo!

Scarlett is a bit of a fan of the ol' peek a boo lately! Sometimes I find her with a tea towel over her head playing by herself!

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Start!

There is a lot of action here on the Rummage Style front! I'm currently starting up my new online store and this blog. I'm pretty excited about it all. My shop will be custom made dresses where the customer can choose their size and fabric and then choose from extra options that they can add; like pockets, different types of sleeves, collars, etc. Basically you can take part in the design of your dress to custom it to be exactly what you want and definitely a true one of a kind. A build your own dress! Of course all the fabrics will be vintage and recycled and you will have to wait to see the designs. Am thinking that if I can pull a big night tonight after the kids are in bed I might be able to have it all up and running by the end of the week.
So I'm busy collecting up my fabrics, confirming my patterns and trying to snap the perfect photo.....stay tuned!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

a photo post

I figured that the easiest way to let you in on what we have been up to recently was with a bunch of photos....

The view from our back windows; the extension is on its way. I know it doesn't look like much yet but it has taken a lot of work to get to this point. Shortly there will be something that resembles a building going up!

Beautiful boy!

Beautiful girl!

It was Dave's birthday recently so we celebrated with a little party at home, just the four of us.

Our recent battle to keep Scarlett out of Jonty's room. She is relentless, I am constantly watching those little legs disappearing through his doorway and then I hear the distressed screams of Jonty as she embarks on a frenzied attempt to grab every car, truck, etc laying about.

I am really busy with Rummage Style trying to get the new range up and running.

More to come soon I promise!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

on the move

Right. Been a little while I know. But, things have settled down now and life with two children has slipped into a routine that should be able to squeeze in a little time here and there for a blog post. I do like the beginning of a new year; the craziness of Christmas has settled and for me it seems that there is a chance to start afresh. Things that weren't working last year can be revised and set straight and new goals can be worked towards. I think that it is only about now, in February, that I begin to lose the excitement of the new year....I know that this does seem a little silly; a new year doesn't really mean that it will be much different from a few weeks ago in the previous year, but I have always felt the same anticipation as time ticks over and we are suddenly living in a newly numbered time in history.
So, I have plans for this year and it is going to be big. The biggest thing of all is that we are on the way with our extension. The excavator has been and for the first time we have level areas in our backyard and a nice big flat spot to put the new build. It is going to take at least the entirety of this year as we are doing it ourselves in the evenings after the kids are in bed and on the weekends. It is hard work; so far a whole lot of time spent on trying to dig holes in rock, but it does move along and I am hoping that soon we will begin progress above the ground rather than under it! I do love the manual labour, I am the builders apprentice on this, and there is something so satisfying about the idea of physically building your house yourself. There is a sense of control that I think is lost when others are employed to do it which I also think brings the most amount of stress. We have no time frame, just short term goals, slowly, slowly we will get there.
There will be lots to show you as the year goes on and I'll try to keep up with the building process and all the information that goes with that.
And while that is all happening Jonty and Scarlett will be growing and reaching milestones as they continue to bring so much fun into these days. Scarlett is on the move now, commando crawling and getting into things (mostly Jonty's things!).

A common scene when Jonty isn't looking!