Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sourdough - Starting a Starter

A friend of mine, Leigh (check out her gorgeous blog!), posted on FB how expensive yogurt is and how she is going to start making her own. It got me thinking about so many everyday food items that we buy from supermarkets at a premium and often full of additives, we can make ourselves. I have recently been organizing a group of people to get organic Raw Milk delivered from Hawkes Bay (about 3 hours south of Gisborne) as I have been reading about the benefits of raw milk opposed to the milk you buy in supermarkets. I am also excited about the prospect of making my own unpasteurized cheeses, yogurt and butter! I will post again once this is are up and running.
Anyway, I am really into this whole topic of going back to basics and making my own food, not only for benefit of my families health but also to save money!
I made sourdough for the first time over a year ago when we lived in Wellington, I made the starter and kept it going for months, making bread about once a week then once we shifted I kinda forgot about it.... Basically the only ingredients are flour, water and salt. You can add a bit of oil/butter too but this is not necessary for good sourdough. Basically you create your "bug", once you have made your bug you can keep it going without much effort, storing it in the fridge and "feeding it" once every week (this just means adding more flour and water) and you have the basis of your soughdough ready to make whenever you want.

Here is how you do it.

You will need about a cup of highgrade/strong flour (you can use wholemeal, rye, white or a combo - I have used white but will feed it with wholemeal as I have run out for now) and enough warm water to make the consistency of thick paint.

Mix thoroughly - incorporating some air. 

Store in a large jar (ideally you only want to fill it up 1/3 - 1/2 way) Don't seal it completely as you want it to be able to breath, but not open so that insects can get in. Leave in a warm place - I don't have a hot water cupboard, so mine will just sit on the kitchen bench. 

You will need to feed it once a day for a week. To do this I add just less than a cup of fresh flour and again enough water to maintain the same consistency, the second and consecutive times you feed the starter you will need to discard half the mix before adding new flour and water.  You will know when its on its way as it will start to bubble and smell yeasty. After about a week of feeding it daily you should be good to go. I will follow this up in a week for the next phase.

Yay it's Friday tomorrow!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oh for the LOVE of Garage Sales!

On Saturday morning I went garage sale-ling. I spent next to nothing and got a car load of stuff! I had so much fun sorting through the "junk" and found tones of bargains!

Espresso size little tea cup set. Japanese. $2 for the set!

Retro infrared lamp - $1. Planning to turn it into a normal lamp

Baskets, $1 & $2.

I love this - framed vintage car drawing $1

Italian white glass jar $1

Solid silver candelabra $1, frame and ring box also $1.

Love this stool! Its now my new sewing stool. $2.

I also got a few more things - including 2 wooden arm chairs that I plan to recover. Post to come eventually :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Summer Linen pants for Ollie

Summer is coming (Yay!) so out with the winter clothes and in with the summer. I bought this fabric from Global Fabrics in Wellington a few weeks back when I visited. When we lived there this was my favourite shop and is one of the things I miss most about Wellington - after my friends and family of course.
I love Linen - and it's such great fabric for warmer weather. I love the way it seems to get better each time you wash it. I didn't prewash this fabric (yes I'm sure it will shrink! Thats fine. I am far to impatient to ever prewash fabric!) so they look a bit shinny and "straight", but after a wash they will emerge with that lovely rough linen crinkled look.

I went garage sale-ling  early this morning - I love it! So much fun! I don't do it enough.. I spent under $35 and filled my car! Photos of my finds tomorrow :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Easy Ottobre Crawler Pants

My cousin ( and I have been getting Ottobre sewing magazines for well over a year now, I have made quite a few of the boys clothes from them. Although I find a lot of the designs "too busy" there are a lot of simple designs in them too. I often adapt/tone down the more "busy" designs to suit my style. This simple pants pattern is one I have used again and again. They are super easy and super practical. Yesterday I made a pair for Luca and a pair for my brothers baby who was born a few weeks ago. I used the same pattern for both but just lengthened the legs for Luca's pair. Easy.

Wall Eye Candy

I've been meaning to get this done for sometime now, I've had the frames sitting there and a basic idea in my head.. but I couldn't get motivated to do it. Until, I found this mirror from Sally's for $10. Score - I think :) Perfect addition to my mounting collection of frames. So I found some nails and a hammer and got stuck in. All but 3 frames are from 2nd hand stores or garage sales. I would guess the whole thing cost about $25 max.

I made a couple of pairs of little pants for Luca today, post to follow tomorrow ;-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kids Clothes Week Challenge Oct 10 - 17

Elsie Marley (who's blog I follow) is hosting a bi-annual sewing week. Basically you commit to sew for one hour a day for one week, and make clothes for kids! I think this is just what I need to challenge myself and also use up some of my ever-growing stack of fabric! So who's with me? hehe... I have two people following my blog at present... so you two better be in! Click below :)

Here are a few photos for inspiration:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

An Afternoon in the Country

Quite often on a Sunday afternoon we make the 15 minute trip out to my parents organic orchard, Ara Te Kereru. It's spring - and spring in my Mums garden is beautiful. Here are a few snaps.

My Dad went fishing yesterday and caught these beautiful Tarakihi - we were lucky enough to take home a couple of fillets :)

While the boys are in bed I'm off to start planning a dress for a wedding in 3 weeks... 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Sunday!

I'm really enjoying getting into my blog I have to say! I have set myself a goal to post regularly and so far I'm finding it not such a challenge (final last words during the first week!). Today is Sunday and I felt like baking something. Ollie helped, Luca... not so much!  :)

I'm off to enjoy the sun... (in between the clouds).

Friday, September 16, 2011

More Owls...

I have made a few more owls.. not quite finished yet as they need buttons for eyes.
It's good to have a stash of pressies for any new babies born.

Yay! it's the weekend - I'm off to bed early tonight so I have energy to enjoy it. Night!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Wrap-and-Go Skirt!

I have bought so much fabric lately... so I really need to get sewing. I have fabric coming out my ears and I really can't justify spending any more money on fabric if I'm not finding time to sew.... the problem is it's an addiction! Anyway so this week I have made something for myself - Again! I found the pattern at the Sally's for about $1... I'm not one for following patterns... so I changed it up and did it my way :) Turned out ok, although its see-through and needs a petty coat under it.

Hope your enjoying your day :) 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Latest second-hand treasures

I must be at the Salvation Army Shop almost every second day! I don't "need" half the goodies I find.... but I just love the thrill of finding something for next to nothing :) Here are a few of my finds as of lately.

I found the little one at good ol' Sally's, its' Japanese. And the other at a garage sale for $4 - its a Crown Lyn - I love it!

I have no idea what I planned to do with these but I had to have some - at the Sally's recently they have had a huge assortment of colours. I kind of just like them as decoration in my sewing room too.

a random assortment of fabrics. I have been on the look out for pants and short fabric for the boys - most of these fit the bill... now to find some time to sew them! The story of my life!