how to

A trio of projects

… the cheap, the clever and the crafty!

I have been having a bit of fun with stuff lately and I often forget to blog as I go, so today is a bit of a double-up.

THE CHEAP

I have been following a most amazing blog for a few months now—written by a woman called Rhonda Hertzel. I stumbled upon it when looking for soap making recipes and I just love Rhonda’s turn of phrase, the way she thinks and what she shares. I have not had enough time to read through her ‘back catalog’ but I highly recommend visiting her site at: http://down—to—earth.blogspot.com.au But I digress.

My recently completed CHEAP project comes from Rhonda’s site: how to make clothes washing liquid. I followed her recipe (see: http://down—to—earth.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/have-you-tried-homemade-laundry-liquid.html) but to be honest, mine did not turn out well at the start, and needed some extra encouragement in the form of an electric stick mixer. The result was a huge 11 litres of environment-friendly, cheap-as-chips laundry liquid that has passed the test with both me and my man.

In fact, the first load of washing we used it on was a set of black sheets and they came out beautifully—no tell-tale clumps of anything and they smelt so fresh. All up I used 11 litres of water, one cup of pure soap flakes, 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup of washing soda. According to Rhonda’s calculations my mix cost me $2 to make and the equivalent commercial brands with all of the extra nasties would set me back around $80–$90.

So: good four your pocket and good for the environment (read less crappy stuff down the drain and less plastic packaging when purchasing)!

THE CLEVER

Our CLEVER comes in the form of research: we have signed up to be part of a study being conducted by a PhD candidate from the University of Queensland. Entitled ‘Sociological research of urban farming/urban agriculture in Brisbane and Hobart‘ it aims to contribute to the developing an understanding of the outcomes and influences of urban agriculture on participants within the Australian setting. So far we have had a site visit where James (the researcher) asked a bunch of questions and over the last couple of weeks we have been asked to take photos of what is important to us in our garden to prompt a longer conversation which will probably happen this week. We are both very much looking forward to his return and to find out a bit more about his research and hypothesis.

THE CRAFTY

My CRAFTY project emerged when looking for soap making recipes a while ago, and I came across a knitting website that caught my eye. I love people with passion and Staci has it in bucket loads for all things knitting! Go and check out Very Pink (See: http://verypink.com) and have a wander around. Staci has such a depth of knowledge and a lovely attitude, and watching some of her short tutorials has shown me some very basic techniques I wish I had known as a beginner knitter in my pre-teen years!

What I have become slightly addicted to is knitting cotton face washcloths. They are so simple and using the most basic of stitches you end up with a fancy-edged cloth 😀 Staci calls them dishcloths (see: http://verypink.com/2014/03/07/traditional-dishcloth-pattern-free-update/) but I think they are too good for dishes!

Anyways I bought a bunch of different coloured balls of cotton 8-ply yarn and I guess I have knitted well over 20 cloths, sitting watching the TV at night. I am a slow knitter so it’s not a ten-minute job, but for me it’s a little rewarding activity.

So—as a belated Easter gesture, I would be happy to send a home made bar of soap (olive and  coconut oils with eucalyptus scent) wrapped in a wash cloth, topped with a festive Easter chicken!

First three people to indicate they would like a little bundle of all-home-made-goodness will receive a parcel in the mail!

 

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17 thoughts on “A trio of projects

    • All good Dan. I just need your address…not too sure how to extract that from you without the whole world knowing where the soap and cloth are heading. Any ideas?

  1. Ok, I think I have it. I’ll post my address here in the comments and once you get it you can hit the “edit” button- that should appear directly after my comment- from there you can remove my address!

  2. Well, it has been a week and your package arrived yesterday! Both the washcloth and the soap are very impressive – Thank you so much for sending them Sharon! I need to read up on the soapmaking and try it myself! Happy belated Easter to you too, Dan

    • Hooray! I am so glad you like them. 😀
      The links to recipes/patterns for both items are in the post above. With the soap, try tinkering with essential oils to add fragrance. My original egg-moulded soaps had clove oil (available from a chemist/drugstore) and cinnamon oil plus a teaspoon of turmeric (the stuff you use in cooking) but really the sky is the limit! Good luck and have fun!

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