Friday, 18 December 2020

Little Lavender Pillows

Little lavender pillows, sewn from squares of beautiful fabric and filled with fragrant dried lavender flowers, make simple and lovely handmade gifts. 

Little handmade lavender pillows.

Surrounded by the serene scent of lavender, I sewed up half a dozen of these little pillows in an afternoon. From the offcuts of a favourite Nani Iro fabric, printed with soft purple, yellow and white flowers, and an organic calico for the backing, I cut pairs of six inch squares. 

A pair of squares ready to be sewn into a little pillow.

Just some simple straight sewing around the edges, leaving a little gap in one side to turn them right side out, and they were nearly done. Each little pillow was then filled with a mixture of rice and dried organic french lavender flowers, which I purchased from a bulk foods store. 

Dried lavender, mixed with rice, for filling each pillow.

Once filled,  I slip stitched each little pillow opening closed. This YouTube video shows how to sew slip stitch which is ideal for closing up openings in pillows like these with an invisible stitch.

A little handsewing to close each pillow opening with slip stitch.

One little pillow is almost finished.

These little pillows release such a relaxing scent. Tied in pairs with simple ribbon or nestled into a basket with some lavender bath products, they would make a simple gift for anyone who finds the scent of lavender to be a calming and soothing one.


Saturday, 31 October 2020

Five Frugal Things

I began my more frugal journey with Rhonda Hetzel's Down-to-Earth blog and book and since then have gathered lots of ideas from many more blogs and books. I really enjoy reading about the simple everyday savings that people make and that I can do in our home too. Here are five frugal savings I've made of late:

Homemade lavender room spray.

I made up a simple and fragrant lavender room spray following the instructions I found on Wendy's blog, My Abundant Life. I mixed up cooled, boiled water and a small amount of water soluble lavender oil (from the supermarket) in a little spray bottle that once held a face toner. This room spray is simple, cheap, took very little time to make and smells beautiful without all the chemicals one would find in a tin of air freshener. I ๐Ÿ’œit!

Delicious home baking.

There's always something baking at our place. Lately, some of the delicious mulberries from our dwarf tree, which we picked and froze by the handful, have found their way into homemade apple and mulberry pie. Mmm! The sweet orange juice, squeezed from my friend's homegrown fruit, has been the star ingredient in batches of orange breakfast muffins. A delicious way to make the most of gifted produce. Not one, but two chocolate slices were baked while the oven was already on. One was shared with friends for afternoon tea and one was sliced and frozen for another day. Everyday, inexpensive pantry staples, like flour and cocoa and coconut, became a home baked treat with a simple recipe and some time. 

A little sweet gift.

I made a simple little notelet card, for a loved one in lockdown, by reusing the front of an old greeting card, some homemade paper and a piece of ribbon from my stash. A tiny bar of chocolate was wrapped in some saved tissue paper and, together with my notelet and message, was sent on its way in a salvaged envelope. 

Magazines from the library.

Many years ago, I would faithfully buy this magazine every.single.month. I still enjoy reading it and looking at all of the beautiful country-style homes inside the pages, but I no longer buy it. Instead, I borrow it from the library. This magazine costs $8.50 at the supermarket so over the course of a year not buying it saves $102. I still get to enjoy it but for free!

A second hand bargain!

Two sets of this children's construction material were purchased second hand. Both sets are in excellent condition and cost at total of $50. A single, new set can cost more than that! All these plastic pieces will be used and enjoyed often instead of ending up in landfill. As I use this material regularly, in my work, I consider this a bargain as well as a saving of resources. 

None of these things, on their own, lead to jaw-dropping savings but a more frugal mindset has made me more resourceful, creative and conscious of what I do spend money on. That does lead to healthy savings over time, for us and for the Earth too.

I'd love to hear about the ways you save at your place.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Shades of Pink

Different shades of pink, from delicate and pale to bright and deep, ...

 Pink petals of a Cranberry Hibiscus bloom.

Pale pink strawberry  smoothie.

Deep foxglove pink.

A fluffy pink puffball.

Playing with pinks for a quilt patch.

Bright pink salvia bloom.

...are such pretty variations on a sweet colour.