Monthly Archives: June 2021

Sedge planting

There has been quite a bit of sedge planting. These are going into the banks of the local creek, Willa Willa. Here, the day myself and a friend planted what you can see in my bike trailer, as well as the sedges my friend had propagated. We were joined by a local person who came across us guerilla gardening on his bike route, and stopped for a chat. He was keen to join us, so we got in touch and he came over to plant and weed.

On another day, I went to the same spot with my daughter and granddaughter. They brought a picnic and I brought along a bee motel in process and some more sedges to plant.

Here is my load heading out. I also had parcels for the grandbub to open! The hat, and a jumper that’s about to pop out of that package… This was a moment when I realised that I was wearing #memendedMay but she was wearing #memadeMay (pants, jumper and hat all made by yours truly).

Anyway… we found bamboo and other plants suitable for the bee motel. My daughter and I pulled rubbish from the creek. And the grandbub and I planted the sedges with glee.

Eventually the fun was over and I headed home again.

Here are my before and after pictures of another trip over to plant… and litter pick.

I’m happy to say that a lot of the sedges we planted last year are still there. Some are now a decent size, and others are established enough not to be washed away should winter bring us more rain. It’s promising.


Filed under Natural dyeing

Adventures in preserving

This year has been a lifetime peak in terms of preserving, fermenting and such. I’ve been brewing ginger beer all through spring and summer, and it is still going now, at the start of our winter. That’s my second starter, since given away on the Buy Nothing group.

I made mint jelly. I didn’t know it was really apple jelly + mint (nor did my mother, who used to make her own mint sauce)! Here it is before the mint was added.

Bread and butter pickles (pickled cucumbers and onion with dill and mustard seeds). This is a new one on me but I must say I like it! I’ve made sauerkraut and something that gestures toward Kim chi as well.

I dried my own prunes! (some of them were crunchy due to inexperience). I also dried sliced red plums, which I’ve been adding to porridge.

I had a gift of local big, fat olives. I’ve never preserved these before, but now that I make olive and rosemary bread above all others, we use a lot of olives, so why not? I have kilograms in brine at this stage…

While we were collecting leaves in the street (for mulch and compost, both of which required explanation to disbelieving neighbours) I asked the crabapple tree owner if he wanted the fruit from his tree. There were not enough for a lot of crabapple jelly, but certainly enough for me to want to make it again! And all this, after the passata making, the apple and pear preserving, and the jam and marmalade making. Too good. It is amazing to have so much delicious food coming our way.


Filed under Natural dyeing

Merch, and other junk!

My beloved ran in the Mothers’ Day Classic fun run this year. It’s a fundraising run for breast cancer research, which is great. However, as with many such events we have participated in, it comes with a lot of marketing merchandise. We are not fans of acquiring stuff we don’t want or need. So at an in person event, we have become quite good at bringing anything we need with us, so that if it’s on offer in a wasteful way (like water that comes in zillions of plastic cups) we bring our own. And we are better and better at saying “No Thanks!” to offers of merch. Under pandemic conditions though, all this came in the mail with no way to turn it down! What to do? I first trued offering it on our local Buy Nothing group. No interest at all. Then, I gave the backpack to a friend who swims a lot. Perfect for the pool. The ribbon/sash went to a kindergarten teacher. Anything capable of being recycled, to the right bin. Then I turned the scarf into four hankies. The best I could do. At least it’s cotton!

Three cheers for the roll hemming foot, and the return of the humble hanky.


Filed under Natural dyeing

#stitchitdontditchit news flash and invitation

It has come to my attention that I have a lot of readers in my home town. Darlings, this is a special message for all of you. Some fine folks in England have begun having street mending actions under the hashtag #stitchitdontditchit. Not to be confused with the punk mending phenomenon known as @dontditchitstitchit (still mending, quite different, also awesome, and perhaps the originator of both hashtags? Hard to know on the internets).

#stitchitdontditchit folks are holding socially distanced street mending events across England and beyond on 15 June. Let’s join in! I’ll be outside H & M in Rundle Mall at 1 pm on 15 June with my folding chair, a sign that says #stitchitdontditchit and a friend or two or three, and my mending. Maybe you will make it four! Come and mend, come and hang out, learn how to sew on a button–please yourself!

I suspect the folks who read this blog don’t need to have the connections between fast fashion and the climate crisis explained to them. But in case you know anyone who does, the Climate Council has written a great Explainer. And even Wikipedia says that H & M is the second biggest clothing manufacturer in the universe (behind one that does not yet have an outlet in our town, that I know of). So, see you there if you can and want to. It will be fun!


Filed under Natural dyeing

Of hats and other outfits

The grandbub is not a bub anymore. Her outdoor lifestyle and high level of energy continue, and mix and clash styling is in the genes!! The very fine and extremely generous Marion from Beautiful Silks sent another Moko Trews for me to assemble, so these have been added to the wardrobe!

Then there was the matter of the hat. I could not resist these zebra finches and a very nicely matching wattle print when I was accompanying a friend to the fabric shop (ahem).

There is no doubt that there is a lot of faffing in making a hat! This one has a heavy duty drill layer of leftovers from overall construction inside. The pattern is from Justine Online.

I may even have done a better job of following the instructions this time! It never fails to amaze me, to attempt a pattern and come across an entire section of the pattern I skipped over or missed completely…

I am just so happy with the outcome!

The “koala hat” in the first picture has gone out into the universe seeking independent adventures (AKA “lost”), so just as well I made a new one!


Filed under Natural dyeing