Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Friday, November 18, 2011

On my mind...is Snow Flakes for Christmas

Many thanks to Rhonda at Down to Earth for this concept.

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to here from your blog by saying you're part of "On my mind". Please write a new post, don't link to an older one. When you've done that, come back here and add a comment below, with  a link to your blog. 

 Phew! What a crazy week it's been here. I can't believe another week has passed since I posted, I really need to get more organised. I'm so sorry, I will try to include more in the coming week. I've been rather ill these last few days, not being able to control my blood sugars has really rocked me.....on top of running Mum around to specialists this week, well, I've been really tired. 
Stress is a horrible thing, and can really play havoc on your health. I really do put all my little issues this week down to stress, it's been a rather emotional time not having hubby around. I never dreamed it was going to be this hard having him working away from home. 

To everyone who has a partner who works away from home, for any reason, be it military, roadworks, mining, along with many others I haven't mentioned....I tip my hat, and give everyone a huge big hug. You are all incredibly strong people and I take inspiration from each and every one of you, that things will get easier given time.I really must stop blabbering on....I have to be out of the house shortly, I'm taking Mum to have an ultrasound on her heart....so back to my On My Mind........

On my mind today is Christmas...Until Nan passed away, we always had Christmas Lunch at her house. Family came from as far away as Gosford, and even Perth occasionally. Every year since, has been rather last minute to where we would be spending the day. The last few years we have just had a quite day spending it together, just the five of us. Which is fantastic! But this year things are different,  Which brings me to why it is on my mind today. With hubby more than likely being away this Christmas, things will certainly be adjusted around here to suit for when he is home. Once I know what we are all doing, I will let you know too.

I've been making a few decorations for a Christmas Decoration Swap on the Down to Earth Forum...but don't run over there just yet, as I think entry to the swap has been closed already. When I receive my swap, I will put up a link to the forum so you can check in and see all the lovely decorations that have been swapped all around the world. What a lovely concept! It really brings out the Christmas Spirit to be part of something like this.

I'm not going to show you what I have been making for the swap yet, but I will show you another decoration I have been having a go at this year...

I'm making my own SnowFlakes for Christmas and there not that bad, if I say so myself!....lol 

You too can have a go at these. There are plenty of coverage on the Internet for how to make them. I just googled "How to make paper snowflakes" and heaps of great ideas came up. I've tweeked them to my own liking, which you can do too. 

How to make a Paper SnowFlake

Step by Step

Firstly, make a square of paper, cut a long strip of paper, this must be lighter weight paper than ordinary printing paper, the detail you can't get from a paper that heavy. I used paper from a roll of paper I was gifted many years ago from a printing factory that was closing down. I still have about 4 rolls scattered about. If you have a printing or paper mill factory there, it wouldn't hurt to enquire about what they do with the end of the roll. There is so much waste when they are working with a roll of paper....The machines can't run all the way to the end of a roll of paper when making say notepads or books of paper. So check it out! They should be free!
Bring the bottom corner up to the top, until it is level with the top of the strip.
Then cut on the vertical and you are left with a perfect square.

Fold your square in half on the diagonal....then repeat 

You should have a triangle with four layers now. Bring the bottom two corners up and hold them while you pinch a crease in the top point.
Now with the crease facing north, bring the two outside corners together, to divide the triangle into three equal parts. If you don't make that crease, it's harder to judge the folds because that area needs to be neat to make a nice neat centre of your snowflake.
 You should have something like this now....But the back of it looks a little different.......
 Flip the whole thing over and use the flat edge as a guide to trip the paper.....
 You now have a triangle to which you can start cutting out your pattern. I always make sure I have the fold of the paper to the bottom, this way you know which will be the centre of the snowflake.

Each ugly little mess you make, now creates a lovely snowflake...........

 You just have to carefully unfold it, to reveal it's beauty...........................................
I've taken it a few steps further than the ones I found as a guide on the internet, and decided to laminate them, before decorating them. This way they won't tear, and I will have them for years to come.

So carefully line up the cutouts in a laminating pouch. I got my Laminator a couple of years ago at Aldi's, they are pretty cheap now.
After cutting them all out around the outside....punch a hole in them ready to hang on your tree, or anywhere for that matter.
 Then decorate with some little stick on diamontes.....add a string or even a bell, Or both....lol
and there you have your first snowflake.
Do you have a laminator, have you ever used it for craft work? if so, what craft do you make with your laminator? I would love to hear about it.

sorry for some blurry photos, but I must rush out the door shortly......
Hope everyone has a great weekend.
I have my gardening course on Saturday again....so look out for a gardening post with loads of info.....coming soon.


  1. These are absolutely beautiful. I'm sure they will look lovely hanging on your tree.
    Well done

  2. Those look lovely. I used to be a wife whose husband worked away, and it was so hard. I feel for you.

  3. So lovely, Narelle! At first, it looked like Origami paper folding.

  4. Oh Narelle, hugs to you. Hope you're feeling better soon.

    Love your snowflakes and a great idea about laminating them.

  5. Visiting from Down to Earth. Very cute snowflake.

  6. Hugs, Narelle... I'm having a pity party these days as well with my husband working away. So much to do and so hard when we are alone. It's very tiring and frustrating. LOVE the snowflake - so beautiful! :)

  7. I love these and laminating them means they will last for years. Great tip!

    Cheers - Joolz

  8. I do think they are turning out well, thanks for all the lovely comments and well wishes.

    Sherrie: It is tiring, and sometimes frustrating too, you're right!...At least I remembered the bins this fortnight. So much extra to remember now I'm doing work for two. The boys have been fantastic helping out too.

  9. Beautiful snowflakes Narelle, I too love the idea of laminating them, have put it on my must do list when the little grandkids are here next weekend.
    Take care of yourself, my husband worked away from home for 10years so I understand all the extra work.


  10. I hope it will work out beautifully for you all. It makes the times when he is home super special.
    I loved being sole parent through the week to my 4 children while hubby worked away. I did every thing anyway so it was same ole, same ole stuff. Plus, I did home dressmaking and designing and could work late into the night without the guilts!
    I hope your Mum is getting better and it's all good news. With luck we may see you up this way soon!!

  11. Beautiful! I love making snowflakes-but I never would have thought to laminate. What a great idea, Maggie18

  12. Jendie: the larger the square, the easier they are to cut out...depending on the grand-kids ages, you may find larger ones easier....they would look lovely hanging from the ceiling too.

    Dell: You are a true blessing, with all your generosity. We both appreciate your kindness and hope to enjoy your barbecue one day soon. Probably not this year though, seems to be getting crazier as we near xmas.

  13. I think you just gave me a brilliant reason to buy a laminator!

  14. Be careful though Melinda, some may say to think about how much plastic you will be using. Fair enough too, so decide on a good number, then store them well for years to come.

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