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Friday, November 22, 2013

Handmade and home grown

We recently had an afternoon filled with bad tempers and frustration caused mostly by the malfunction of a certain piece of Apple technology.  I am not sure what was more frustrating, the actual malfunction or our inability to fix it.  Either way, after dinner Terry opened his leather working kit and made some horse equipment with his own hands.  

Sitting at our kitchen table, talking while a set of grass reins took shape, the irritations of the day seemed to melt.  Perhaps that is the difference between technology and making things by hand.


I am loving the bumpy surface on this Long Florence zucchini which has just started to produce in my veggie patch.  Each summer I find the first zucchini harvest so exciting and then as the summer progresses and the zucchinis start to clamber over the fence I start to fear them!


Flowers picked from the garden and a beeswax candle.  A peaceful display in amongst the chaos of school, paperwork, washing, toys and family life.


A brave little fig tree growing in the paddock near our house.  The lush foliage is very noticeable against the red dirt and dry grass.   The tree has been surrounded by a sturdy square of portable sheep handling yards to keep it safe from hungry horses, kangaroos and anyone else who feels the need for a green snack. 


Are you admiring your vegetables or making stuff with your hands?
I hope so.  
Have a lovely weekend!

*Grass reins are light reins used to prevent stubborn ponies from eating grass while being ridden, particularly useful for young riders.

39 comments :

  1. I hope you get to enjoy that fig before something else gets to it Jane! I need to net the peach tree to protect it from our peach-eating dog!
    It is extremely satisfying making something with your hands. I get satisfaction from cakes, biscuits etc and crocheted goodies. It is time to get out my hook for some festive hooking :)

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    1. I wish I could crochet Kate, I look forward to seeing your Christmas creations! x

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  2. Technology...grr! There are so many times I've wanted to throw my computer, camera, sewing machine over the balcony. Dave's told me thumping the computer will not fix it - but it makes me feel better Jane I'll tell you that. I'm "trying" to learn to sew - so far NOT very relaxing!

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    1. It is funny how the things that are 'relaxing' in theory can become a little stressful at times!?

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  3. Jane, I hope it's ok to put a link in here, please edit out if it's not. But this post I wrote nearly five years ago (one of my very first!) still applies to us now: http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2009/04/10/with-my-own-hands/

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    1. I love your links Celia! You had three comments on this post...how times have changed in 5 years of your blogging journey! x

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  4. Totally feel the same about zucchini season!

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    1. Happy zucchini season to you Gill! x

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  5. Nice, simple post. And to this girl on the other side of the world, mentioning that you have a fence to keep the kangaroos away is just totally exotic and cool, though I imagine they are as mundane as white-tailed deer are to us.

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    1. Deer sound very exotic to me Katie!

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  6. there's a gentleness in your post jane that is calming..the grass plaiting is not something i've heard of before but it looks time consuming to make..i've been picking lots and lots of broad beans and i have 7 more red cabbages to pick and eat that are getting bigger each day..and i've been making a hanky quilt but of course you know only too well about it since you so kindly sent me some that are being incorporated in it..i hope you have a lovely weekend dear friend..x

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    1. Thank you Jane, I cannot wait to see a photo of your quilt!

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  7. Wonderful as technology is, it is so frustrating when it doesn't work and it can't be fixed with a spanner or a big hammer. Terry's grass reins brought back memories of riding a very fat little pony who got around the problem of having grass reins by kneeling down to eat grass if ever we happened to stand still during a ride. It was a little bit scary for an 8 year old but at least when I once rode a camel, I was unfazed when it sank to the ground so I could dismount.

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    1. That is so funny Anne. We have spent a fair bit of time around horses and we have never seen that before! They are tricky little creatures aren't they? Camel riding is another whole story!

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  8. That shot of Terry's hands is beautiful Jane. You can tell alt about a man (or woman for that matter!) by his hands.
    My computer has just died - not even a year old and it refuses to turn on (I am using Anthony's laptop at the mo) I'm wondering if I really want to replace the silly thing...

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    1. I agree Kylie, our hands do tell a lot about us. Sometimes I feel like falling of the technology grid altogether, but we need to keep up for our children's sake I think. Or should I say try and keep up!?

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  9. Without the distraction of the internet I seem to be a lot more productive- there's more sewing, work in the garden and baking that gets done. its amazing the impact technology has on our lives isn't it.
    Such an interesting looking zucchini- I haven't seen that variety before. x

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    1. Thanks Zara, I couldn't agree more! x

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  10. i'm sure losts of us feel like that about zuke season :-) we haven't got any down here yet - still too cold.
    i agree with you - in this techie world, being able to create things ourselves is so therapeutic and important. it's why i love to potter in the garden after a day at work spent sitting at my desk; even weeding is wonderful.
    i love your collection of textured bottles for vases.

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    1. Thanks for calling in e. Yes, weeding can be therapeutic I agree!

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  11. I've made a few cards today and feel rather satisfied. They look good and I've managed to cater them exactly towards the person receiving it; happy about that.
    I often wonder how things would be without technology...a lot more grass reins to make I would think!

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    1. Thank you Brydie, I am sure your cards are beautiful!

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  12. Oh yes don't you just love technology? I much prefer pen and paper - a book will not suddenly decide to shut and not let you back in, where as computers can!
    Making things by hand, or growing or baking things are so very very satisfying!

    Happy new week,
    Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah, I know you understand!

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  13. Oh Jane, what a lovely post! I can barely wait for my three little zucchini plants to start providing us with some fruit. And my fig trees in the half wine barrels are doing well, we have ONE fig. Woo hoo! I've been home from work on extended sick leave, so have been doing a little bit more baking than usual. Love it too. Have a wonderful week, my friend.

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    1. It all starts with one fig Lizzy! I hope you are feeling better soon, thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  14. I loved this post - a great reminder to step away from the screen and get back to mother nature :)

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    1. I appreciate you calling in Christina!

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  15. Wonderful post ... your writing and photography is delightful!

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  16. mm. zucchini. Or courgette, whatever!

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    1. Either way, they are lovely aren't they?

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  17. Hello! First time I've been on your blog and I have to sympathise re the Apple malfunction. Yesterday I discovered that I can no longer load photos from phone/ipad onto PC - a nightmare! I've gone back to using an old fashioned camera :-) I have just planted up a fig orchard (I'll be blogging about it on the Garden Share Collective). I love the scent of figs in the spring....

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    1. Thanks for calling in Sarah, lovely to meet you. Your fig orchard sound so good! I will look for you on the the next GSC :)

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  18. the zucchini is beautiful! ive recently starting growing bits and pieces myself and its so rewarding! ps apple technologies like to break down at the most unfavourable moment, same case right here!

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    1. Thanks Amy, yes all technology seems to break down right when you need it!

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  19. Ah Jane, i feel calm after reading your post. You have such a calming influence and way with words. Bless you.
    I am in love with your frilly zucchini. Do save some seeds and i'll do you a swap! All i've made with my hands recently is the stringing together of words into articles - does that count? I've been busy writing features for work - but loving every minute. Have stock-piled some great experience and memories this year to write about. Next weekend i'm making camembert with friends.

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  20. You are so kind Rachel, thank you. I will try to save some seed for you! You string together the loveliest words, it certainly counts. Camembert with friends sounds fantastic.

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  21. Technology and me don't get a long at the moment either. On the bright side you may get a fig to sweeten the taste of disappointment. Plus that zucchini looks awesome. I tried crook necks this year, they have a really unique flavour.

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane