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Seedsmiths - Instameet - Table Cape Lighthouse

On the last day of summer we held our first north west coast Tasmania instameet for the launch of Seesmiths - our new adult education program for the region.

In typical Tasmanian Fashion it rained. The mist rolled in but in spite of that there was no wind and the most romantic and moody atmosphere was presented to us.

Regardless of weather, those true Tasmanian types attended and we had the most fantastic tour given to us by the Table Cape Light house tours people. It is not often that people get to go up a light house and hear the stories. We are lucky that we now have a running lighthouse tour in our back yard with some lovely people presenting it for us.

Thankyou for attending everyone we really appreciate it.

You can now view some courses we have on offer through the Seedsmiths program HERE

Instameet - Northwest Tasmania - Seedsmiths

We have been really happy to be featured prominently in two newspapers for our new venture Seedsmiths. You can find our facebook page here.

I also had an early morning wake up call from the ABC radio in which I had to a very impromptu and scratchy radio interview.

This weekend we are launching our new venture with an Instameet at our local lighthouse. We would love to see as many people come along, meet us, create community and take advantage of the $1 lighthouse tour. Please feel free to sign up and find more information here.

We can't wait for it all to begin. I am currently working on the logistics for multiple courses and I can't wait to start sharing them with you. We are still looking for more teachers and if you are one of those people with skills then please have a look at this link. It's not scary - I promise.

And here's a little read for you from the local rag The Advocate about the instameet:
(Why do all newspaper photos have to be so unkind! - Stupid side face)

AFTER being fed up with the lack of arts and craft courses on the North-West, two Coastal teachers decided to do something about it.

Marist Regional College teacher Naomi Fenton is an avid photographer and after spending several years travelling to Hobart and Launceston to undertake photography classes, she's decided to bring those skills to the Coast.

Along with fellow teacher and friend Michelle Walker, Miss Fenton plans to build a community exchange where people can teach others skills they've learnt, calling it Seedsmiths.

"The two of us had been talking about something like this with different workshops for years," Miss Fenton said.

"With the contacts both I and Michelle have and us both being teachers we thought why not do it ourselves if no one else was going to do it.

"We started with the plan of organising two groups of people, those with the skills and bringing them together with the people who want to learn those skills through the internet."

With Seedsmiths, the idea is to give the North-West community an opportunity to learn certain skills in an affordable way, rather than having to pay for expensive courses and accommodation elsewhere.
"Costs depend on the course, the teacher outlines how much each course will cost based off material costings and their personal time," Miss Fenton said.

Miss Fenton said courses would range from free to several hundred dollars, whether that be a beginners photography class or building a backyard pizza oven.

Despite running a few smaller classes recently, Seedsmiths will officially launch on February 28 with a free instameet at Table Cape.

Instameets allows people to learn the basics of smartphone photography and publishing those photos to popular photo-based social media, Instagram.

An instameet also allows people to take their online network of followers and bring it into the real world.

"We'll be teaching people who come along the little tips and tricks of photography," Miss Fenton said.

"Though it's really about the social side of things and meeting new people, or meeting people you may already be following on Instagram, along with gaining some new followers on Instagram."
Seedsmiths free inaugural event will be held on Saturday February 28 at 2.30pm beginning at the Table Cape Lighthouse.

For more information on Seedsmiths or to become a teacher visit

DIY Kids Hammock Chair

After all the baby swings I had been making I was told I had left out the big girl (stated by the big girl) and she wanted a hanging chair of her own.

Last week I threw out these vintage curtains to the vinnie's bin, they had been sitting in my stash forever and I felt I had moved past their style. This week I went back through the bags and pulled the strong material back out (oh! so naughty). 

Much to my delight they were the perfect size for making this hanging child's chair tutorial I found HERE over on A Beautiful Mess blog. The fabric choice made even more perfect by using the original hemming on the top and bottom without re-doing it. Any one that has sewn with me knows my hate for hemming so... winning!

The kid loves it. I love it and we are now lazily sitting around in the sun, reading and listening to Chet Faker, Kingswood and Milky Chance. Noiiiise.

DIY Plastic Shopping Bag Holder - Tutorial

I think it's fantastic that we all take our own bags to the supermarkets these days. What I do not think is fantastic is all the bought plastic bags littering the boot of my car because I have forgotten to take them in. I keep a couple in my handbag made from thrifted pillowcases which fold up easily but they wont cover a big shop.

So I got about making a plastic shopping bag holder and I thought I would share it with you all as a little tutorial. You can make one with limited equipment in less than half an hour.

What you need:
  • Bias Binding ( I am using some I handmade but you can use commercial binding as well)
  • Gripper Studs or Press Studs

Step 1
Cut two pieces of binding 110cm long (seen here in pink and blue) and one piece of binding 44 cm long (seen here in green/yellow). As you can see I have used contrasting colours for all three of my bits. If you were using the same colour for all bits you could cut the first two pieces as one long 220cm length folded in half and skip the next step.

Step 2
With right sides facing, sew together the two long pieces on one end. With the short piece, fold it in half vertical and sew down the entire length. Fold one end in to hide the cut edge.

Step 3
Fold long piece in half with the wrong sides together. Begin sewing the two pieces together at the folded end. Keep the sewing line right near the edge. When you reach the end place the short piece of binding in between the two layers and sew along the short end and then back down the other side.

Step 4
Ignore the short binding piece and fold the long piece in half to find the center. Every 7.5cm hammer a gripper stud or sew on press studs along the length till you reach the end. On the short binding piece place one half of the stud at the start and the opposite matching stud at the end.

Congratulations! You're done!

Roll up some bags and place them between each stud point. You can store seven plastic bags in each carrier. You can use the short binding piece in two ways. You can make a loop to hang the carrier in your pantry or roll up the whole carrier into a spiral and wrap the small binding piece around the whole roll to secure them in a bunch.

Beats them laying around in the car boot that's for sure.

Bohemian Baby Swings

You may have noticed I have been blogging and making a bit more recently. Last week I had the long awaited gall bladder surgery which means I can come off pain killers and eat for the first time in over a year. I have indulged this week just to prove I can. Promise I will get back on the good eating bandwagon again soon ...ha ha ....maybe. I may write about the surgery experience soon but at the moment it all feels a bit raw and I am over thinking about and being in pain. Things didn't go that well for me in hospital but I feel like its time for me to shine again and return to being me.

Anyway as I said in my last post I have been inspired to make these vintage styled swings for babies and toddlers. I have just placed two new bohemian styled swings in my online shop. I just love them so. They fill me with romantic ideas of summer and lazy garden time. If you would like to purchase one then please pop over HERE. All my swings will be individual and unique. No two will ever be the same.

I already have a few more colours cut so hopefully you will see them appear soon. Lets cheers to summer and enjoy it while its here. Bottoms up.

Baby Swing

I love finding a new pattern. I love when you find that you have the most perfect material in your stash for such projects. Serendipity was at work.

I made this baby swing out of some hand printed denim that I had made a while ago and lined it with a beautiful blue and red striped cotton. The rope is cotton and sturdy. The fasteners are strong. It is amazing how much weight this little swing will take - from babies to toddlers. I can imagine hanging it in the garden or on the veranda on beautiful summer days. 

I would also like to thank my baby for modeling this product so perfectly. He would also like to say that he approves of the swing and gives two thumbs up for fun.

I made two. One for me and one for my online shop. Each swing I make (and oh boy do I want to make more) will be original and no two will look the same. So if you like this one then please pop over to my shop HERE for a look.

Curried Zucchini Relish - Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles

Dear zucchini growers of Australia,

I feel your pain.
There comes that time of year where things in the garden just get a little out of control. We are all feeling the glut of Zucchinis, well not me, I refuse to plant them after the debacle of 2012.

If you want to see why I don't grow them anymore then pop over and read this past blog post about Bloody Zucchinis.

There you will also find a recipe on Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Fritters. These were just some ways that I dealt with my zucchini crisis.

Heres another way - On social media I viewed a people driven movement in which in the dead of night you left the offending zucchinis on your neighbors doors steps. Some would say this was very sharing of you. For neighbors who also grow zucchinis this may cause a great rift, hence the need to do this in the dead of night.

So for those struggling out there I present to you two more fantastic recipes for your mountains of zucchinis. Both are fantastic on mash potatoes or swished through your favorite salads.

Curried Zucchini Relish

(Chop the following)
500g zucchini
2 sticks celery
1 red capsicum
1 green capsicum
2 onions

1/2 cup coarse salt
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1 kg tomatoes pealed and chopped
2 cups sugar
2 tblsp plain flour
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tblsp mustard powder
1 tblsp curry powder

Method: Combine zucchinis, celery, capsicum and onions in mixing bowl, cover with cold water and stir in salt. Stand overnight. Next day, drain and rinse under cold water. Combine vegetables and vinegar in large saucepan and bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 10mins or until vegies are tender. Add tomatoes, simmer for 5 mins. Add sugar, stir without boiling until sugar has dissolved. Cool slightly. Add blended flour and vinegar, mustard, curry powder.
Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5mins, stiring occasionally. Pour into hot jars and seal when cold. Makes about 9 cups.

Zucchini Bread and Butter Pickles

1 large onion
6 cups sliced zucchini (or squash)
1/4 cup pickling slat
2 cups vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed

Method: Peel and slice the onions and zuchchini 1/8 inch thinck and place in large bowl. Salt thouroughly: cover and allow to rest over night. Rinse well and drain.
Combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a rolling boil: reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mins. Add zuchinnis and bottle in sterilised jars or seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 mins.

ArtsCape - Wynyard's Community Arts Centre

It has been a while since I have blogged about ArtsCape even though I have continued being a part of the committee.

ArtsCape have been doing fantastic things as a community run art space in a regional town of Tasmania. We have renovated nearly all the rooms and we now have three plus great usable spaces for exhibitions with lights and hanging systems. We find the fresh rooms great for the market and workshops and we hope they will be getting a lot more use soon. We are still finding things to invest in and our next project will be to looking into a projection system that can be used by workshop makers and projection artists.

We have some awesome things on the horizons with the development of Seedsmiths and U3A which will bring a lot more people through our doors. Due to the volunteer and community nature of the centre we are not privileged enough to have someone manning the space and open to the public all the time. We hope with these new projects the space will be come increasingly seen as a comfortable community space.

Later this month on Friday the 27th of February at 6pm we will be holding our AGM. At this meeting all positions on the committee are back up for grabs. Due to some people with their fingers in other pies we are seriously on the hunt for a new secretary. We also have general committee positions open and many other opportunities we would love people to get involved in. We would love to see some new faces inject some vitality and some artists approaching us to hang their exhibitions as we map out our future programs.

The thing about community groups is that it is often left to the original gang to continue to carry things on. To make these projects sustainable we need to see new ideas and new faces getting involved. I hate hearing people say 'there is nothing to do' and then not get involved with things that can be great assets to a community life. 

If you are at all interested in arts, even if you don't 'do' art, then I strongly urge you to come along to our AGM and put your hand up for anything. We are not just open to 'traditional arts'. We have many and varied groups using the centre in the past and present. We have had Word Players, sewing, life drawing, pattern making, spray painting, leadlighting, photography, blogging, photoshop, meditation and performances, just to name a few, use our space.

We have had people that just like an artistic life being involved. No level of skill is required at the centre. So please feel free to come along - you never know where these things will lead.

Seedsmiths - Book club and Instameet

We have two very exciting things to offer you over at Seedsmiths. The first being our very first book club. We will be reading The Great Gatsby and meeting at Bruce's. We are nearly full to capacity so I suggest if you want to get on board you will need to sign up... like... now.

Naomi is running the book club and has experience in presenting this book. It is one that she uses for her college English Literature students. I guess that means we all have high expectations now (ha ha sorry Naomi).

The cost of the book club includes so many extras - The book, light refreshments at Bruce's and a small gift of our appreciation.

The second event will be the first ever North West Coast Instameet... Eeek! So exciting.

We will be meeting at the light house on the cape where for a gold coin donation you can do the light house tour (with special thanks to the lighthouse people for this amazing deal). We will then wander around and take lovely instagram photos and possibly even do the walking track.

Theses social clubs will hopefully become a huge regular part of our Seedsmiths community. We are still looking for teachers in ALL subjects. We would love to see some courses offered in the arts, sewing/craft, horticulture, building, cooking/preserving...anything. If you have something you want to share with the community then please talk to us and let us help you put it together. We are also offering 25% off our normal fees till the end of January for all new teachers.

We would love to see your smiley faces be a part of our first community events - all are welcome.