Monday, January 31, 2011

Seven Things Week 12

More feeding the freezer and pantry shelves cooking this week but I managed to squeeze in some op-shopping time.

I also picked up new glasses this week, but decided not to bother with the ins and outs of them.  How ridiculous is it that it is cheaper to buy new than to get new lenses put in old frames?  Ditto, that it's more expensive to repair boots than buy a new pair.

A few more ins than strictly necessary this week, but it's back to work tomorrow so my op-shopping time will be limited.  I'll also be living back at my place during the week, so expect more culling to happen.  The front room is chokka with yarn looking for a new home, so I'll address that tomorrow and Wednesday.
  • 2 pieces fabric (4m navy cotton lycra for tights and 4m burgundy silk for undies, $5 and $3 respectively) OP SHOP
  • 2 shirts (one each) $3.50 ea OP SHOP
  • 1 footy jersey for TOF OP SHOP
  • 2 leather backpacks (my handbag of choice) $2 each GARAGE SALE
  • 2 DVDs for TOF $3 each TIP SHOP
  • 1 stainless steel square cake tin found by side of road (I kid you not - made TOF let me out at the traffic lights to get it) free
  • 1 ball sock yarn.  ToF has discovere the joys of bamboo socks.  As the man with the sweatiest feet in Christendom he only ever wears woollen socks.  Now he also wears bamboo.  Guess which sock yarn I don't have in stash?  Have another ball coming. $8 RAVELRY DESTASH
  • 1 pr TOF's boots.  They could be repaired, but it would cost more than buying a new pair and they were dangerous to wear.  BIN
  • 1 saucepan - I burnt it senseless in a cherry sauce accident and it's beyond redemption METAL RECYCLING
  • 1 cat scratching post BIN
  • 2 fry pans - scratched and awful teflon METAL RECYLING
  • 60 balls yarn - GIFT
1 pr hand-knitted athletic socks

IN 11
OUT 65

Friday, January 28, 2011

Under Pressure

When I get gifts of cash I try to use it for something that is substantial and an investment in our future frugality.

The 2009 Christmas cash went towards buying our Fowlers Vacola preserving kit.  We love the Fowlers kit.  We've bottled lots of fruit and add to our bottle collection as we find them at op-shops and garage sales. 

At one garage sale (where we bought a second kit and lots of jars) we heard about pressure canning.

The water bath preserving method as used by the Fowlers Vacola kit, is great for things like fruit, but for low acid and protein foods, pressure canning is the way to go. 

So with my last birthday cash, we bought a Presto Pressure Canner via Amazon (for nearly half the price of buying one locally, including postage) and have spent a good deal of January canning soups, curries and casseroles.

With our combined food intolerances, we can shelf store our own dairy free, gluten free meals made from seasonal produce with no additives. It frees up freezer real estate, ensures portion control, and there are no excuses to get a takeaway when fast food is sitting on the shelf.  We see it as a win all round for a fairly small investment.

The canner will take ordinary glass jars with screw top lids.  We can re-use jars from store bought goods, although it is recommended we buy new lids.  We are using a mix of Fowlers jars because we have quite a few and because they make uniform canning and storage easier and larger screw top jars, which are really too big for jam etc.

A Fowlers size 27 bottle contains a smidge more than 3 metric cups of liquid.  This equates to two servings.  So far we've made about 200 servings of soup, curry, casserole and ragu.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Seven Things Week 11

The last couple of weeks has been all about cooking summer surplus into winter meals and stocking the freezers with gluten and dairy free bread, rolls and pizza bases.  No real time for reflection on the nature of consumerism in general, or mine in particular.

I was sad to take things to the tip for land fill, though.  There may have been other uses for the 30 year old three-quarter sized mattress etc, but they were beyond me.

  • 1 mattress - gift for the bed in the caravan
  • 1 spinning wheel bobbin.  Too big for my wheels but it's beautifully burnished with age and will make a wonderful candle holder - tip shop
  • 1 Akubra hat - free tip shop
  • 1 shirt - gift from my brother.  It's too big for him and he was going to give it to Vinnies anyway.  Putting aside as remodelling project in Feb.
  • 2 prs trakkie daks, TOF - Op Shop
  • 2 shirts, TOF 1 new, 1 near new, Op Shop
  • 1 jacket, TOF Op Shop
  • 1 Brumbies bucket hat, all clothing from op shops.  I am particularly pleased with this hat.  I loathe the baseball style caps that come with our annual memberships and have coveted the bucket hat but been unable to justify $25 or so for it.  TOF picked this up for me at the Salvos store for $3.  Just as well, the club isn't selling them this year.
  • 1 ceramic reusable tea mug with silicon top $5 from YMCA shop.  Exactly the same price as in the shopping centre chain shops but it was new and the money went to the Y. 
  • 1 knitting magazine - Interweave in newsagents now.
  • 1 Tupperware lunch box, new from op shop $6
  • 1 ironing board, broken LAND FILL
  • 1 mattress - the old one from the caravan - cost us $15 to take it and other hard rubbish to tip - LAND FILL
  • 1 bed head - LAND FILL
  • 1 plastic (and non-recyclable) chair base - LAND FILL
  • 143 balls yarn - GIFTS
  • 1 pr jeans, too big and despite the preference of someone in this house for fally-down trousers, they were driving me mad - OP SHOP
  • 2 books.  Actually read two books this year.  Amazing what being on holidays will do for letting fiction back into my life - OP SHOP
1 pr socks (yep, another pair.  Get used to it, I've got a lot of this yarn)

IN   13
OUT 150
SIAA     1

Monday, January 17, 2011

Seven Things Week 10

  • 1 high visability vest for TOF $7 Vinnies
  • 1 pr swimmers(bnw/ot) $8 Vinnies
  • 1 pr shorts for TOF (bnwt) $2.50 Salvos
  • 1 pr shoes for TOF
  • 1 DVD set.  Season 2 of The Cook and the Chef.  $14.95 at the Post Office.  An impulse buy but nearly as cheap as my late fines on the library copy.
  • 1 Frankie magazine 25c Vinnies

  • 1 magazine - RECYCLING at the cricket.
  • 1 magazine - GIFT
  • 1 Filofax cover - GIFT
  • 1 book - GIFT
  • 140 balls yarn - DONATIONS/GIFTS to colleague's granddaughter's school's knitting club and fellow knitters
  • 1 baking tin - GIFT
  • 87 lids for Fowlers' jars.  Note to self - only buy the stainless steel.  The other ones rust in seconds.  - RECYCLING
  • 1 pr jeans - OP SHOP
  • mended 1 pr trakkie daks.  No need to chuck 'em out, just replace the elastic.
  • 1 pr socks for me.  Actually needed.
IN     6
OUT 233
SIAA     2

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Wee atheltic socks made from Bendigo Harmony a pattern of my own devising.

These in response to a desperate need for sports socks.  I know I can buy 3 prs for $1.80 at Rivers, but they are crap. 

Good things about these socks:
  • soft, squishy, comfy and should be longer wearing that the Made in China rubbish
  • I can get 5 socks from a 200g ball of Harmony.  I'll be looking for Harmony or Heirloom Breeze scraps soon, I reckon, to make a stripy scrappy pair.
  • they use stash
  • they are really quick to knit.
  • while they stretch out worryingly on the foot, the wool and lycra content mean they spring back into shape when washed.
  • they machine wash in cool water
Mk II already on the needles.  This time I'm including knitting-in-elastic for the ankle ribbing and shortening the heel flap a tad.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Seven Things Week 9

Oh dear heaven!

Finally got to Mum's this week.  I was meant to be clearing out under the house storage, but she hijacked me into going through her wardrobes, linen cupboard and craft stash first.  I made a start under the house, but it's going to be a longer job than anticipated.  None of the stuff from Mum's is being counted.  If I stop to enumerate, it will never get done.

I've lost count of the trips to the op-shop.  Fortunately the paper recycling centre is located between the two closest op-shops and each trip to Vinnies or Salvos was followed by a trip to the recycling centre to pick up more boxes.

Mum's cupboards are now neat, tidy and adequate to her needs.  They are not minimal, however, so I can stop buying her clothes for a wee while.  Also, when the time comes to move her, I have a good understanding of what is there.

On one of the op-shop runs I met a woman who is a member of a group that sews and knits for charity. I've dropped off a lot of the sewing fabric and yarns to her.  I've been the recipient of much lovely yarn to knit for charity and Mum and I've been slowing working our way through it.  But now that Mum can't knit and my time is even more limited it's only right to pass it on when I can.  More will go out when I get the chance to really go through my stash.  All that's gone is the easily accessed top layers.  Also, TOF's Dad will be getting a couple of new jumpers out of stash.  Two lots of lovely 8 ply went to TOF's Mum.

Other yarn has gone to the Happy Spider for her school knitting program.  I'm always keen to support new knitters.  Also we all know how great knitting is for soothing the spirit and what more restless spirits are there than teenagers?

  • 1 shirt for TOF free from Tip Shop
  • 1 pr trousers for TOF - $7 Vinnies
  • 1 pr shoes for TOF - GIFT
  • 1 Tupperware pet dish $3 from Vinnies
  • 2 Tupperware champagne flutes $1 from Salvos
  • 2 knitting patterns $1 from Tip Shop
  • 1 dress to wear to a wedding, Vinnies $10.50
  • 2 knitting magazines (Yarn and Yarn Forward)
  • 1 pr sports shoes - new and never worn $8 YMCA op-shop
  • 2 balls sock yarn - GIFT
  • 1 shawl which goes beautifully with the dress for the wedding - GIFT
  • 1 DVD. TOF got series one of Ghost in the Shell for $5.  He's a very happy man just now.
  • 2 Tupperware Rock 'n Serves in TOF's favourite style.  They have broken lids which will be replaced at the next party we go to. Vinnies $2
  • 2 prs shoes - TOF
  • 1 pr shorts - TOF
  • 4 magazines - GIFT
  • 8 board games - OP SHOP
  • 1 lamp shade - OP SHOP
  • 19 sheets - OP SHOP
  • 2 doona covers - OP SHOP
  • 4 pillowcases - OP SHOP
  • 8 lengths dress fabric - GIFT
  • 1 pr tongs - OP SHOP
  • 1 balloon whisk - OP SHOP
  • 340 balls yarn (whole balls only counted, not partials) - GIFTS
  • 12 promotional drink bottles - RECYCLING
  • 1 pr curtains - OP SHOP
  • 1 knitted shawlette/scarf - yep, another one
  • 1 knitted beret
IN   21
OUT 401
SIAA    2

Friday, January 07, 2011


I finally got under Mum's house today to start clearing away Dad's workshop and 45 years of family life.

I've made two trips to Tiny's Green Shed, the re-use facility at Mugga Way tip, the car dangerously loaded.

Dad's trained as an electrician in the Air Force.  He was also a keen gardener and adaptive re-user before it was trendy.  It was how he and we grew up.  His workshop is full of tools and boxes upon boxes of useful things, or things that might be useful one day.  He spent a lot of time fixing things and creating things under the house. Mum can't go in, she keeps seeing him at the bench.  I know what she means.  He is very present in that place.

It is really hard to dismantle that.

My brother has been slowy removing Dad's tools.  As he needs something, he removes it and doesn't return it.  My brother, although he lives next door and is currently on leave, is keeping well clear while I deal with the other stuff. 

When Dad died, I was the strong one.  One of us had to do the organising and holding it together.  I didn't do a very good job of holding it together today.  I only had to pull off the road twice to howl.

I'm not counting any of the things from under the house as outs.  If I stop and think about it long enough to enumerate I will be paralysed.

While this is emotionally horrible, it's necessary.  I can also recommend being responsible for getting rid of someone else's shit as an antidote to consumerism.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

12 in 11

Louisa at The Really Good Life, has set herself the challenge of only buying 12 items of clothing in 2011.

I am sooo up for this.  I have a lot of clothes.  They are mostly op-shopped, but I still have more than is strictly necessary.

I've already bought one item this month, a dress to wear to a wedding in April, so that's January's quota taken care of.

Louisa's exceptions list is very sensible and I see no reason to change it.
  • Essential footwear – new sports shoes when the old ones die, gumboots or essential footwear for safety, anything else is part of the 12. 
  • Essential underwear – bras and undies are exempt but on a replacement basis only.  Hosiery is exempt but purchases will be minimal.
  • Gifts - gifts of clothing are exempt but I will not solicit clothing as gifts.
  • Stuff I make myself - I can sew and despite recent decluttering continue to have a good fabric supply.  If I need it, I should be able to sew it.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Seven Things week 8

Traditionally this is a week of cleaning out in order to start fresh in the New Year. 

And it's not just me.

The Op Shops are always overloaded during this period.  Vinnies even had half-price sales in the fortnight before Christmas in order to clear some space for the influx.

I was full of plans for my own clear-out but a gardening induced injury on Christmas Eve jarred my bad hip and I've been unable to do very much at all.  Resentful+
ToF has been marvellous and entered the spirit of Seven Things on my behalf.  He has cleared out several pairs of skis and stocks and let me declutter some of the flat surfaces at his house in lieu of the big clear out at mine.  He also let me tidy the linen cupboard as long as I promised not to throw things away.  I'm sure it's been bloody annoying for him and he's borne it with good humour and patience.  I'm also sure he's checking this to see if I've sneaked anything out on him. ;)

  • 7 magazines from op shop for browsing and passing on $4
  • 1 knitting magazine (a weakness, but it was the Fall Vogue)
  • 1 pr moleskins for TOF Salvos $1
  • 1 polar fleece ski shirt for TOF Salvos $3.50
  • 1 cast iron baking dish GIFT for TOF
  • 1 set serving dishes GIFT 
  • 4 prs skis.  Not worth salvaging, I'm afraid.  We'd sell them if we could - BIN
  • 2 prs stocks - OP SHOP
  • 1 kitchen scale  OP SHOP
  • 2 watches, unfixable - METAL RECYCLING
  • 1 steamer insert for saucepan - METAL RECYCLING
  • 1 plastic sewing box - RECYCLING
  • 1 bag marbles and decorative stones - OP SHOP
  • 1 glasses case - OP SHOP
  • 2 boxes bottle tops, failed craft project - RECYCLING
  • 1 cat scratching post, destroyed - BIN
  • 1 pr ski boots - OP SHOP
  • 5 books - RECYCLING
  • 1 pr jeans - OP SHOP
  • 2 jumpers - OP SHOP/GIFT
  • 1 pram net - OP SHOP
  • 4 shirts - OP SHOP
  • 2 skirts - OP SHOP
  • 1 jumper - OP SHOP
  • 5 storage jars - OP SHOP
  • 1 pr shoes - BIN
  • 12 odd socks - BIN
  • 1 pr dead cotton socks - BIN
  • 1 bathrobe, threadbare and stained - BIN
  • 1 doona cover - OP SHOP
  • 3 lengths furnishing fabric - OP SHOP
  • 1 book - OP SHOP
  • 1 aluminium baking dish - OP SHOP
  • 7 hand towels - BIN
  • 1 oven mitt - BIN
  • 1 lace curtain - OP SHOP
  • 5 items of microwave plastic stuff - OP SHOP
  • 1 casserole dish - OP SHOP
  • 1 coffee mug - OP SHOP
  • 1 set outsized playing cards - GIFT
1 shawlette/scarf

IN 12
OUT 74
SIAA   1

Sunday, January 02, 2011


TOF has set this as the wallpaper on his computer.

I'm a multitasker, but even I'm not that good (and TOF's just pointed out that my arms aren't that long)!