Monday, December 21, 2015

Reflection and Goals

It's been a few days since I last posted.  To be honest I didn't feel like it - I had a few low days and just couldn't muster the energy or the desire to blog - so I didn't.  

This Christmas has been the only Christmas that I can ever remember since being a home maker and parent that I have been well organised and not stressed about anything.  I have made gifts throughout the year and tried to be thrifty, organised and a bit carefree.

All of my food shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped and I am looking forward to the next 4 days prior to Christmas of just relaxing and chilling out before the big day.

Yesterday our neighbors dropped in for a quick hello and to exchange gifts.  They gave us this adorable silver reindeer ornament.

And even had him engraved with the children's names on it.  He will be very much treasured.  It's gifts like these that really do become well loved.  

We made it to the farmers market again this week and I bought that rhubarb plant I drooled over last weekend.  I will plant it today and nurture and love it.

I then came home to a wonderful afternoon in the kitchen making 3 batches of my Thermomix Chutney and a batch of Kiss Biscuits.  

We are off out to lunch today with my old work mates and my old boss just loves my chutney and home baking so I popped some biscuits and some chutney along with a pretty tea towel for his wife into a gift bag.  

I know that he will appreciate them.  It is much more fun and economical to give gifts like these - All homemade and gifted with much care and love.

A couple of cookies and a tea towel make a simple little gift as well.  These are for another friend who doesn't need anything really but I know she will appreciate this small gift.

At this time of year I find myself reflecting on the year just gone and making a little list of what worked and what didn't.  What needs changing and my goals for the coming year.  They are not resolutions but instead a bit of a wish list and a mantra to try and live by.

I read many blogs of women with similar goals, interests and philosophies and one in particular rang so true with me this past weekend.  Sophie's blog post is one which I thoroughly enjoyed and will try to use some of hers as a template for my own life.  They are :-

Buy Less, Live More
Give Homemade Gifts
Write More
Create a Minimalist Wardrobe
Tread Lightly
Learn A New Skill
Give Back to the Community
Connect with Mother Earth
Live Simply and Love Greatly

Some more I could add is :-

Live Frugally
Upcycle and Recycle as much as possible
Stress Less

It will be interesting to see what I can put under each title in a year's time when I reflect back on the year.

So this will be my last blog post for the year.  I am going to kick back and enjoy this time with my family and begin to live by my own motto of stress less and just enjoy life as it comes.

I have a few plans for the blog for next year but will chat to you about those in January.

Thank you for reading my blog and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2016.

Stay Safe and Enjoy your time with your loved ones.

Love and Hugs,

Fee xx

Thursday, December 17, 2015

That smile !

Yesterday went well and the braces are off !  I just love her beautiful confident smile which was sadly lacking prior to the braces going on.  Amy was so self conscious of her crooked teeth but the 25 months in braces was worth it to see her taking selfies once we got back to the car.  

We celebrated with lunch out and then a trip to our favourite ice cream parlour - "Valhalla" for an ice cream treat.  Neither of us had any dinner we were so full from our over indulgent day.  We did some thrift shopping and I found a few treasures.  I'll show them to you tomorrow.


Fee xx

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

25 Long Months

Today is the day after 25 long months of wearing braces - Amy finally gets them off !!

She has been such a trooper throughout that time and I can't wait to see her beautiful smile once they are removed.  To celebrate, between having them removed and going back to have her night guard fitted later in the day, we are going thrift shopping for a few hours and out to celebrate for lunch.

Summer finally began to arrive yesterday with a glorious day.  My Geisha Girl trees either side of the front door garden beds are just starting to flower.  They are just so pretty - I think they are about 3 - 4 years old now and growing beautifully.

Yesterday I submitted my Feasibility and Business Plan and it looks like I have the go ahead to get to the next stage which begins the second week in January in readiness for a 1st of March launch.  

To celebrate I made myself a business specific planner with goals, financial records and weekly business targets.

I really enjoy graphic design and made myself some business specific forms as well.

I really can't wait until the new year to start this adventure.  It will be something completely different for me but something that I am extremely passionate about and a job that I can work around how my body is feeling from day to day.  So a win, win I'd say.

Bring on 2016.  


Fee xx

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bunkering Down

I'm a little late blogging today.  Hubby and I went back to the wholesalers this morning to choose our Christmas ham and grab some final supplies.  I have no intention of going anywhere near a store in the next 10 days so today was the final shop.

We also popped into the pet store to grab special kitty biscuits for the cats for Christmas and some pig ears for the doggies.  

All of my children will be home for lunch on Christmas day and I am looking forward to seeing them all along with partners and grandchildren.  It is always nice to have them all in the one place.

Yesterday's start to my feasibility study went well.  My brain was mush by late afternoon after playing with figures and estimates for much of the day but I got there in the end.  

I keep getting new variations of ideas and find myself having to write things down !  

I am designing some forms for the business this afternoon - I really enjoy that sort of thing.  The air conditioning is on in the office and I am ready to bunker down for the rest of the day as it's quite warm outside.

I'll leave you with the latest cute photograph of Harry.  He really is a sweetheart.


Fee xx

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hobart Farmer's Market

Yesterday we went to the weekly Hobart Farmer's Market which is located in a street in the city which is closed down for the day to accommodate the abundance of Fresh Fruit, Vegetables, Plants, Flowers and Hot Food stalls that come along each week to sell their wares.

Everything is direct from the farmer and in most cases picked that morning or the night before.  It is all so fresh and keeps amazingly well.  

Peonie roses have been in flower for quite a few weeks and look amazing.  I refrained from buying some as I am on a tight budget.

The market opens at 8.30am and the crowds milling around at 8.30 are amazing.  Especially this time of the year when customers are seeking small fruits and berries.

You can also purchase organically grown plants and seedlings.  I have my eye on those rhubarb crowns you can see in the picture.  They are $12 but are the old fashioned variety.  I am writing one of those plants in my budget for this week !!  I just love rhubarb.

So here is what we purchased.  5kg of Jam raspberries at $10 per kg.  We eat these raspberries as well as make Jam.  There is nothing wrong with them at all but they are just a little more mushy than the premium grade one's which are double that price.  I make jam at just 1kg at a time throughout the year so 4 packs of these will go to the freezer for later in the year.  If I can afford anymore next week I will try to get some more.  

We also bought Garlic, Salad Greens, Zucchini, Cherries and Gooseberries.  My grandmother used to make the most amazing gooseberry pie so this week I will try to make one.  The grower told me that I could freeze the berries whole that I do not want to use straight away.  The growers are always so helpful with information about their products.

The cherries this time of the year are just amazing !  So sweet, plump and addictive !

I have to tell you that the bowl is almost empty today.  But we have enjoyed eating them.

Today I begin a 3 day Feasibility and Market Research program on my business idea.  This phase will determine if I go on with the program and receive the funding to proceed so wish me luck.


Fee xx

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday Wrap Up

It's been a pretty quiet week this week.  I've had a few quiet days which I very much needed and today will be another after being at the market yesterday.

Part of going to this Christmas event was to do a little market research for my business plan.  Many of the people that I spoke to were excited that a lot of my products were upcycled.

I learnt a lot about what to take and what not to take

 So I am looking forward to 2016 when I can launch the new business label and the new style of product.

So this week I have added to the freezer with a double batch of Sausage Rolls, I didn't do any baking which means that the cake and biscuit tins are empty - I will remedy that later today.

I did a lot of upcycling for the market including the lace pillow and the metal tray

 I received the vegetable seedlings from my daughter which I will also plant later today

We are off out early this morning to the city and will visit the farmer's market whilst we are there.  It's always a lovely wander around the fresh produce stalls.  Very inspiring !  I'll try to remember to take some pics. 

Then I will come home to do a little baking and pottering and definitely a nanna nap !

Enjoy your Sunday



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Market Day

I had a very quiet and relaxing day yesterday and am feeling much better today.  Which is great because today is market day.  I am taking a few of my Vintage and Upcycled Wares to a local market.  It is more about getting out with crafty like minded people and doing a little market research for my business case study than making any dollars but if I cover costs then I will be a happy girl.

Quiet some time ago I purchased this brown metal tray with a drab decoupage bottom.  I'm not sure if you remember?  Anyway it took me forever to remove the glue and paper from the base - even using the trusty old eucalyptus oil - But I got there in the end.

I gave it a few coats of white gloss paint and gave it a lovely fabric bottom.  I roughed up the paint just a little and Voila.  It is transformed.

It is one of the pieces I am taking with me today.  I wonder if it will find a new home ?  I won't be sad if it doesn't - I'm sure I can find a spot for it somewhere .............

So I'm off now to have some breakfast and to pack the car for my little adventure.  I hope you enjoy your day whatever you choose to do.


Fee xx

Friday, December 11, 2015

Rest Day

It seems to have been a very long week here in "Fee" land.  I looked after our 4 year old grand daughter for 2 days in a row during the week and that always seems to tire me.  So I have declared today a rest day.  I have the Hobart Handmade Market tomorrow so will save all of my energy for that.

Here is a little lace cushion cover that I discovered a few weeks ago.  I gave it a good clean and added some little pink crochet flowers.  A very gentle upcycle for this pretty little thing.

Have a great Friday in readiness for your weekend.


Fee xx

Thursday, December 10, 2015


One of my passions is re-using and upcycling items that have been discarded by other people.  The world cannot continue to just produce more and more merchandise - It's just not sustainable.

In my own little quest to do my bit and make something old new again I upcycle lots of things including textiles.

This linen fabric was a pair of trousers at my local thrift shop - Brand New With Tags and marked down to $1 - They were an old fashioned style so obviously of no use to anyone.

So I cut them up and made some lavender linen hearts and adorned them with my little shabby flowers made from recycled textiles also and added a tiny hand dyed doily

I've made many pin cushions from tiny little ceramics.  This one is a tiny jug and I used an old cross stitched doily.  Isn't it pretty ?

Pin Cushions are very popular as they are a One of A Kind item. (OOAK)

And I love to dye old stained lace tablecloths, runners and doileys in sweet pastel and shabby colours.

Because my condition varies in degrees and I never know how good or bad I am going to be from one day to the next I decided that if I wanted to work again it had to be under my terms for it to work.  So I applied to undertake a programme which mentors new small businesses and in the process provides the students with a Certificate IV in Small Business Management.  My business idea has been accepted and my first on-line seminar starts today.  I have had to come up with a business plan and a business name and logo.  Here is a sneak peek of the logo.  

The Vintage Violet name has huge significance to me as both of my grandmothers provided me with so much guidance, inspiration and good old fashioned respect for frugal living and the joys of re-using and recycling and the name is dedicated to them both.  My paternal grandmothers middle name was Violet and my Maternal grandmothers middle name was Olive which is contained in Violet.  So it was pretty easy to settle on a name.  

I can't wait to start this journey and I look forward to an inspiring and fun 2016.


Fee xx