Recent Inner Reflection on My Blog Writing

These last few days of blog silence, I have been smiling while reflecting.

From the beginning of my blog (way back in 2008), blogging was a way to journal my thoughts, findings and changes.  A way to remember what, when, who and why for my future reference but in a public medium, so I remain accountable and open.

Earlier this year, I was seriously considering changing the purpose of my blog writing.  From writing for myself to monetising my efforts.

However after much investigation, consideration and inner reflection, I decided this was not the direction that would be most beneficial for my family’s goals (at this time). 

There is never enough time to do everything but always enough time to do what is most important.

These past few days of my blog silence, confirms I have made the correct decision.

All this being said, I can assure you that I will continue posting GreenerMe posts – just for the pleasure and enjoyment of it.  ‘Business as usual’ as nothing changes.

I’d like to take this time to say “thankyou” to you!  To you the reader (the quiet lurkers and the many who have reached out over the years, to share with me – I appreciate you all).

Going forward there will again be times of frequent post updates and yes sometimes infrequent updates too (life sometimes gets in the way of what we want to do).

Until tomorrow….

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Tomorrow I will share my gluten free playdoh recipe - for some sustainable children play fun.

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Creative uses for Tree Branches

Days ago I gave our ‘wattle like’ bush a massive trim, to allow more light onto the far top vegetable patch.  As I previously mentioned, I used to place the trimed branches of this tree bush in the green recycle bin.

It only recently dawned on me what a waste of resource this was and hence I needed to start getting creative, with the trimmed branches.

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Long straight branches, to be used as garden trellis - for peas, beans and tomatoes etc.

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Fire wood

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Branches used as fence stakes - allowing light through but not toddlers or small white fluffy dogs.

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Long skinny and flexible branches to be used for weaving - baskets and fences

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Leaves and small branches used as mulch in an area we need to rejuvenate the top soil.

You Can Never Have Enough Disco Balls

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Remember the tiny disco balls I sourced second hand for our Little One’s cubby house?  I just found a large one about the size of a soccer ball (bought at a second hand charity store).  Apparently you can never have too many disco balls!

At any time of the day, light bounces off the large disco ball, adding dancing refections throughout much of our veggie garden beds.  Interesting that I have noticed this scares the annoying black birds from this area.

In conclusion it appears large disco balls, are potentially the coolest scare crows ever – loved by small children.

Wood Firing Pottery Workshops in the Southern Highlands

I feel blessed to belong to a local community of creative and sustainable people.

Yesterday I was invited to Steve Harrison and Janine King’s home for morning tea.  Regular readers will recall my previous visit to their sustainable home, inspirational property and expansive pottery sheds.

I know many of my readers are local to me (Wollondilly & Southern Highlands NSW of Australia) therefore I wanted to share a link to find details of their wood firing pottery workshops.   Evidently many attendees travel long distances to attend.

All my potter friends have told me, any chance to learn wood firing from Steve and Janine, is an opportunity not to be missed.  As potters, Steve and Janine are renowned in Australia and Internationally.

As I am not a potter, I just feel blessed to know Steve and Janine as friends – kindred creative and sustainable spirits!

Photos from Steve and Janine’s expansive pottery shed:

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Janie King, My Little One and My Mum

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Fun pottery 'okay' hand on top of a kiln

An Even Better Way to Build Wicking Garden Beds – A Cracker of an Idea!!

From challenges, great ideas can come!!

One of the Green Square, community’s raised garden beds, has deteriorated – to the point it needs to be replaced.  You wouldn’t believe just how much research, discussion and community / council consultation the drivers of the Green Square Growers has put into coming up with a solution.

The raised garden bed was made from recycled wood.  The bed uses ‘wicking reservoir’ technology that we built inside the garden bed.  The bed also has an inbuilt worm farm.

Wicking Garden Bed - how it works diagram

Wicking Garden Bed – ‘how it works’ diagram. 

The above diagram shows the wicking garden bed design.  The challenge we have had with this design, came from the tremendous outward pressure from the water reservoir, causing the wood to bow and bend (over time).

Making smaller wicking garden beds (1 m x 1m) can help to limit the bowing of the wood but we weren’t happy with this solution.

Then Sabena and her husband Peter came up with a cracker of an idea!  Instead of using builders plastic in the wicking bed design, use a large food grade plastic container (which can be recycled and rescued from landfill).

These food grade plastic contains, are selling on Ebay (2nd hand).

These food grade plastic contains, are selling on Ebay (2nd hand).

These containers will make the whole garden bed structure stronger, less prone to leaking and hence last longer.  If repairs to the wood is needed in the future, we can easily replace the wood – as it is not part of the structure but really only has an aesthetic purpose (making the raised garden bed look pretty and traditional).

The Green Square Growers, plan to build either two or three beds together (with the timber frame built around all of the containers together – giving the illusion of one big bed).

Each garden bed will be approximately 1.3 metres x 1.1 metres.  If two are position together, then the total bed size will be 2.6 metres x 1.1 meters.  If three beds are position together, then the total bed size will be 3.9 meters x 1.1 meters.

The new raised garden bed design will require a small wooden ‘lip’ at the top to hide the plastic container – however this is only for aesthetic purposes too.

What do you think of Sabena and Peter’s cracker of an idea?

How to Become Exceptional at Creative Painting?

The sun shone briefly yesterday morning.  It was enough to believe we had an opporunity to paint our front fence.

However only a very small section of the fence was completed before the rain commenced again.

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We were using paint brushes however I am keen to try the ‘sock method’ once the sunshine returns (read ‘Green Eggs and Cans’ recent post about her sock painting technique).

So my painting pursuits moved indoors.

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It was a chance to paint a fun sign for our Little One’s cubby house (it’s important to let the fairies know where to go).

If you ask a room full of children “who can paint a polar bear” all hands will go up.  Ask the same question to a room full of adults and you would be lucky to witness one raised hand.

As adults, when did we loose our belief that we can do anything?  When did we start believing excellence is required before partaking in an activity that interests us? (hence hindering many from ‘having a go’).

You can paint a polar bear. Not being exceptional at painting polar bears is irrelevant (just ask a child). 

So if you have always wanted to explore your creative side, just give it a go.  At worst you will have fun, at best you may discover with practice, you become exceptional.

P.S the wood used for the sign was recycled from around our home.

Update ** Here are photos of the finished cubby house sign.