Wow no posts for a while, huh?

I guess there hasn’t been much going on in the garden recently. Work has been pretty busy, as has the rest of life. So here are some photos from the garden Autumn/Winter 2013. I’m not really focussing on the garden so I have only planted silverbeet and broadbeans. I have pruned the lemon tree because in Summer ol’ Frank just shot up without putting out any flowers. The herbs are still going really well except for the mint which has died off. The fig tree is in hibernation. I have also planted some Californian poppies, which came free with a postcard in a cafe.

New thyme plant – which I have been using very liberally in my pasta and stew!

June Garden 11

Broadbeans

June Garden 10

Sage and parsley

June Garden 9

Silverbeet sprout

June Garden 6

Frank the lemon, with a haircut (prune). He has actually started flowering again which is great! Sage to his right.

June Garden 7

L-R – Lavender, Thai Chilli, Rosemary (blending in with the bush in the background!), Fig (in hibernatino)

June Garden 3

Celery is still alive but well used in my soups

June Garden 4

One solitary broadbean and one silverbeet sprout

June Garden 5

I have been busy in other ways too. I got myself a pasta machine and learnt how to make ravioli:

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These ones were roast chicken, ricotta and orange zest filling served with just plain olive oil and thyme (fresh from the plant above).

I also made Kumquat Marmalade using fruit from one of Tim’s workmates just up the road, and some plum jam made from end of season plums bought for $1 at the local fruit store.

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But what I have really been focusing on at the moment is a bit of indoors DIY! I really wanted some rugs in the house, particularly in winter as the wooden floors downstairs get really cold. My plan was to paint up a rug for the lounge. Below are some photos of my test rug. It was $15 from Kmart and is made of jute. I used regular acrylic paint mixed with textile medium bought for $11 from office works. Now, I like how it turned out but it was a lot of effort, and so even though I have now bought my larger sisal rug from Ikea ($35 I think), I have left it plain. I kind of like the colour and texture of the sisal and am not sure I want to paint it any more.

Step one: tape up mat

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Step 2: paint

20130622_174406Step 3: peel tape off

20130622_175822Voila! patterned rug. I had to iron it for a bit to heat set the paint. Its now our new front door mat.

I have also (almost finished) painting a shelf unit I found in the hard rubbish which Tim and I use for shoe storage by the back wall. I found a shade of dark red which matches some artwork I have in the kitchen so fingers crossed it comes out the right colour! As you can see, its a little pink at the moment rather than crimson/red.

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20130701_171557 20130701_171610Grey paint is the primer/undercoat. I also had to use some wood sealer to fill some old nail holes and smooth the surface.

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Finally, the red goes on…

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Still one coat to go though. Waiting for it to dry right now.

I have also been planning on building myself a new kitchen table! I have found quite a few online tutorials but this was the one that started it off:

http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/12/elsies-.html

This one has better instructions though:

http://smileandwave.typepad.com/blog/2012/04/square-peg-in-a-round-hole-how-i-built-my-own-table-all-by-myself-1.html

Although to make things a bit more tricky I have decided to try and use reclaimed wood rather than just get some pine laminate planks from Bunnings like these tutorials have used. I have found some old Kauri floorboards at a local recycled timber yard and I’m going to pick them up next weekend and talk to the owner about hopefully getting them cut to size for me.

Bunnings timber options

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Preferred option: reclaimed timber

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Obviously the reclaimed timber is going to be a lot more work, including gluing the pieces, planing potentially to make it level and sanding. I will do a separate post on the table when I get all the material together!

UPDATE: as I was typing this, one of my wonderful friends told me she had a ton of old floorboards in her shed that I was welcome to have FOR FREE! And she has a sander and jig saw for cutting them to size. This is very exciting news and will make the process a lot cheaper and fun as there will be friends around to help!

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