Saturday, May 23, 2009


I made this! This afternoon! I used this pattern. The fabric is heavy duty cotton, really thick, I think some sort of upholstery fabric or something. It made it a nice, thick bag that has some substance.

The inside fabric is the same weight. The lighting is fairly atrocious, but I don't think the pink stripes are quite so garrish in real life. I dunno, I'm not into pink anyway.

As you see below, it's reversible! So if one liked garrish pink stripes, they could turn it inside out. I don't think I would.

The bag has a flat bottom - which is pretty cool, considering I'm not a master seamstress.

Our sewing machine was given to us by Christine, our Glasgow friend who moved to Boston last year. She's German. She gave us odds and ends of extra fabric too, which is what I used for the bag! So, this was free to make! Amazing. I love free. We pulled out the sewing machine last week finally, and repaired some clothing. This bag will be filled with some basic essential oils, some natural cleaning recipes, etc and given to our friend for a bridal shower I'm going to next week. She's been wanting to learn some more natural cleaning from me, so I thought I'd put this 'starter kit' together for her.

Now all I need is some more fabric, and I could make more! It'd be a great bag for keeping knitting odds and ends in, or even a beach bag, if it were bigger.. (and if there was a beach).

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

This evening I got the chance to do some things in the kitchen. I made a lasagne which is now in the fridge ready to be baked for tomorrow's dinner. I made rhubarb crumble (Nigella's recipe from Feast) with some early rhubarb from Yorkshire I got for cheap. The crumble is is cooling on the stove now. I also had time to put away the clean dishes and wash all of the newly dirty ones I created tonight.

Being able to do household tasks, particularly food-related ones, really gives me contentment. I feel confident that I am coping with life well when the flat is reasonably tidy and the food situation is not completely erratic. I do find it very difficult to keep up with domestic tasks when I work full time. Weekday evenings are notoriously bad for being able to cook a dinner as well as tidy and still feel like Joel and I get some time to talk to each other. So often, things are not as tidy or organised as I would like. However, those things are less important than building up our marriage and ensuring we are on the same page and don't feel neglected by each other. Often, we leave the housework (but probably not as often as Joel would like :-).

I was able to do so much this evening because -we had leftovers for dinner -Joel went over to Michael's this evening to get advice on fixing his bass -my evening event was cancelled.
So you can see this is not generally possible to get to accomplish so much on a weekday evening.

I consider this evening an energising break. Does that sound strange, when I spent it doing tidying, cleaning, and cooking? That is what I enjoy doing. Mostly the cooking part, although I do really enjoy washing dishes when I am not rushed and overwhelmed by lots to do.

I came across this article that I had read a couple of months ago, and thought it was worth sharing with you. It is about the value of homemaking/householding. Another excellent read is this article from Rhonda at Down to Earth (which incidentally would be my most recommended blog).

In the last couple years Joel and I have become more and more wanting to be responsibly domestically. This includes eating food we make ourselves, so we can avoid additives and get more natural flavour and nutrition; cleaning with natural ingredients like baking soda and lemon juice to we don't use unnecessary chemicals in the home; and making it recreational to cook. Incidentally, all of these things not only ensure we are healthier, but they also save money. There are loads of areas we have to improve in, mostly because we don't have time to do all the things we would like, like baking all our own bread (although that was working well for a monthish in the late winter).

The challenge we have at the moment is that both of us are 'working' in some form or another, and thus we do not have a homemaker. We hope that in the future I will be able to stay at home, and this will be a priority for us. I look forward to being able to focus more on making wise household decisions and building my skills in areas that are often forgotten these days.

I know many of you who read (women and men) are very skilled at various aspects of homemaking. Do you find contentment in it? Fulfillment? Joy?
Of course if you have any tips of easy ways to make our lives simpler and more homemade, do share!

Okay I suppose I better get started on the rhubarb crumble, seeing as Joel doesn't like rhubarb!

Update: Mm that rhubarb crumble is delicious, with custard (storebought, not homemade!) over it. I think Joel may even like this one (though he will never admit it!).

PS Grandma B, I would have used your rhubarb crisp recipe but somehow have lost it. :-)