Friday, 25 November 2011

Refrigerator Realities

I am not sure if it is common but most people I know have had their electricity bill increase dramatically in the last quarter. Ours went from around $600 to OVER $1000.00!!! I was shocked to say the least. I had to ring the electricity company to ask for an extension to pay.

The phone lady was so lovely and set up a payment plan for me. She also told me that most bills increased by 30% with the last quarter. Really? That's ridiculous! How are people on a fixed pension supposed to absorb that cost increase? Well ours is fully over that increase.

I asked her if there were any tips to reducing our usage and she gave me a few:

  • turn appliances OFF at the wall when not in use.
  • buy appliances that have more STARS in their ratings
  • dispose of/ or replace items that are inefficient
Now we have a fridge in out garage that has been used for extra space to hold beer, soft drink, yoghurt and frozen foods.It immediately came to mind because it is not used to full capacity and the freezer section is more like an Ice Age than the fiiords of New Zealand at the moment.
So my plan is to clean it out and turn it off this weekend. Hopefully that will decrease our next bill by a little more.

So I needed to organise my kitchen fridge more efficiently. I got out my trusty label maker and got to work. 

Plus I made use of a few plastic containers that I found lying around doing nothing when I cleaned out the plasticware last Friday.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Preschool Legacy

The director of our local Preschool is saying adios at the end of the year after 20 years of service. She is a lovely lady and been a driving force in the development and success of this important institution of the community.

The staff and the committee are organising 2 gifts but I wanted to make something that will be beautiful, practical and sentimental to acknowledge her contribution.

After 2 mis-starts ( I will share later), I finally settled on some 3" jelly rolls from a Moda scrap bag. Four were burgundy and four were gold.

Then I raided my stash for some tone on tone or solids in yellows, pinks and burgundys.

Then I came across two yards of gorgeous 'Barclay' from the Alexander Henry 2010 collection. That provided the modern twist. Can you see the snails in the top print?

The solid white added a freshness to break up the colours.

Staggering the strips was a bit trickier and they did not always match up, but it didn't really matter.

The main challenge was to arrange the fabric strips to achieve a mix and a pleasing aesthetic.

I used basting spray for the first time ever (and I managed to clog the first one up early on) but I still pinned as usual. There is no fun in basting I must say, but I can watch a lot of 'Deadliest Catch' because the kitchen bench overlooks the tv.

It was small enough to quilt myself but I stayed simple and did some straight stitching on the verticals where I shadowed the ditch on the front. This made for a nice pattern on the back as well.

The binding didn't take as long to make this time and I managed to machine bind it all on within two and half hours. I only missed one corner this time!

So this is the front completed...

and this is the back.

I have to make a lovely label from some scraps and dedicate it to time for her farewell picnic on the 4th December. Now to bind another project!


Friday, 18 November 2011

Baking Choas

I have known for some time that my baking ingredients were in need of a good 'going through'. The opportunity arose this week when I decided to make some cookies with the children.

 So I got it all out of the cupboards and took stock of what I had.

Then I got out my trusty label maker and got to work.

I boxed up the ingredients I seldom need and put them in the pantry.

Next I put the essential stuff within easy reach.

Then we baked and ate our cookies. Next time I will put the milk choc drops on when they come out of the oven and the dough is still hot and soft.

These are the pizzas and garlic bread we made later. We are enjoying the benefits of our small herb garden.

Friday, 4 November 2011

A Legacy of Liberty

I have been working on a secret project this past week. I can't elaborate on the recipient yet but I can show the work.

When my mum did a HUGE de-stash, earlier this year, one of the things I inherited was 21 log cabin blocks in Liberty fabrics. I have never tried a log cabin block before and I was a little apprehensive...but it was easier than I thought. I needed to make another 3 blocks to create symmetry and come up with a good top.

Unfortunately each block was a different size. The least was 11 1/2"  x  11 7/8" and the largest was 12 3/4" x 12 1/4". So I took a gamble and decided to trim all of the blocks to a 12 x 12". Those that were undersized would have to be paired in such a way as to make the most of the seam allowance and make up the difference.

I was able to fudge the piecing of the blocks somewhat.

I still had enough of the printed fabric to add a light border and a second border with the darker fabrics.

I also had enough of the strips to add to the pieced back to bump out the dimensions.

I am not a big fan of the apricot but there was plenty of it...maybe even enough leftover to make some matching pillow covers as well.