Monday, 26 January 2015

Old Jeans to Denim Skirt

Take one pair of old holey denim jeans, a couple of hours, a youtube video and you end up with a comfy denim skirt.

I had a pair of denim jeans that were really comfy, but had started to develop holes between the legs, so I thought I would try making a denim skirt out of them.

I started unpicking the inner legs, then accidentally started unpicking the outside leg (fixed that with the sewing machine), once the legs were unpicked, I started googling for tips and found this fantastic video.

I followed all her tips and found the skirt quickly came together. I double stitched all the seams and left the bottom of the skirt unhemmed for the frayed look.

I am happy with my first effort at making a recycled denim skirt.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Garmin Vivofit Review - Activity Tracker

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I love the way it makes so many things easier, but I don't like how much I have gotten to relying on it. So when I was sitting next to someone at work who was telling me how much he loved his fitbit (another brand of activity tracker) I wasn't really interested. However the more he talked about it the more I started to think about it. Did I really want another piece of technology in my life and did I need it? I am also aware of the impact on the earth each new purchase we make has.

I started researching with two criteria; it had to have the time and the steps on the actual band. I didn't want to be syncing it all the time. I came across the Garmin Vivofit and the things I liked about it are:
  • It is waterproof to 50m and I have tested this at the beach and in the shower
  • It has the time and date on it, incredibly handy
  • It has a 1 year watch battery, so once you put it on, you don't have to take it off to charge every few days
  • The whole reason for it, it displays how many steps I have done on the band.
I didn't know if it would motivate me to move more, but it really does. I am finding that I have gotten into the habit of going for a walk morning and night to make sure I get between 10,000 - 15,000 steps a day. The recommendation is a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.

Weekends I really have to make an effort to move otherwise I find I may only get 5,000 steps.

The other reason why I keep it on all the time, is it records how much you move in your sleep and how many hours sleep you are getting. I assume the less you move the deeper you are sleeping. This is just a nice little bonus, but not the reason I bought it.

Would I recommend it? It depends on a few things. Are you already really active? Do you already have a watch? Then no I probably wouldn't think it would be a benefit, but if you really feel like you need a push to move more, then definitely give it a try. 

Friday, 2 January 2015

DIY Outdoor Shower

It is around 43 degrees Celsius today in South Australia, so for fun decided to make a cheap outdoor cold shower to cool down. A not so quick trip to the local town for lunch with my sister and a look around for outdoor showers, but no one had them. I was looking for something like this that connects to the garden hose.

So we looked at outdoor garden nozzles instead and my sister pointed out a simple brass adjustable hose nozzle. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to make it work at home, but I worked it out quickly.

Hose thrown over a tree, hoses connected for stability with a bungee cord and it was completed. Threw a strong coat hanger over another branch to hang a towel on, but on a day like today, you dry very quickly.

Tested it out on a almost mist setting and it is perfect and very refreshing!

It was $16 all up for the brass adjustable nozzle and the brass piece that connects to the hose, but I imagine you could do cheaper with plastic. Plus I can use it in the garden as well :)

'tis the season for baby chicks

I keep kicking the chooks off their nests as they go broody as I really don't need any more chooks or roosters, but they are persistent and keep finding new spots. I have left these last two chooks to be and hope no predators get them during the night. Also see if they last the 21 days required for the eggs to hatch.

 One of my two favourites has gone broody and sitting on eggs in the Acacia bush

 Another girl has gone broody in the junk corner

I also have four little chicks and today is the first time I decided to let them free range and hope for the best e.g. lost, drowning, escaping, predators etc. As soon as I let them out the mama chook left them on their own and they haven't ventured far from the safety of their coop all day.

 Terrified baby chickens

...but very cute.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Baby Blackbirds

I love all new life, whether it be native or not, so was delighted to see the blackbirds building a nest in the carport.

Take 1, really didn't work very well for them, so they rebuilt in the other corner.

It isn't a very good photo as I didn't want to get too close to Mum/Dad and scare them off as there are little baby birds in the nest now. You can't see them in this photo, but I have seen their hungry mouths popping up out of the nest. Also that is probably why Mum/Dad are sitting in this weird spot as there is no room in the nest and it is a stinking hot day here, so wouldn't want to sit on the babies - 36 degrees Celsius.

Not sure what will happen now, will they fall out of the nest when they get bigger? I will need to keep an eye on them, so I don't run over them and the chooks, roosters and ducks don't attack them.

DIY Shoulder Bag

I've wanted to try making my own shoulder bag for a while now, so whilst wandering through Spotlight I came across the perfect fabric colour in varying shades of purple.

Last night I decided to give it a go making a pattern out of one of my own shoulder bags.

Starting to cut out the pattern using brown paper using existing bag

I made a pattern using brown paper, cut out 4 pieces from my fabric (bag with liner as the fabric on the wrong side wasn't a very good surface) and pinned it together to see how it would work as a bag and found I didn't like it. 

I found it was a lot of trial and error to work out how to make my first bag. I cut the handles off, so I could reposition them, plus made them the same width, rather than tapered. Then found I didn't like the bottom of the bag curved, so I sewed a straight bottom into it and cut off the excess fabric. 

The trickiest part was getting my head around sewing the straps, liner and bag all together so it came out the right way at the end. A quick google and I was on the right track, but needed to make a hole in the bottom of the liner so I could pull the whole bag through once I'd finished sewing it together.

I'm very happy with the finished result as below, just need to find something to keep the bag closed and sew the hole at the bottom of the liner. 4-5 hours and $8 for the fabric. 

Finished product, minus something to keep the bag closed.