Sunday, April 20, 2014

Getting back to basics

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately. Getting the new office setup and putting the inside of my house back together has kept me busy, but has also encouraged me to accept what I've been ignoring for a while - I've let a lot of things slide. 

The garden is a prime example. We had a very dry and hotter than usual summer this year which made growing vegies problematic to say the least. With that in mind, I kept it to just one bed of tomatoes and capsicum and a couple of pumpkin plants that I let run wild. Once they were in, they got very little in the way of tender loving care from me, except [fairly] regular watering.

Even in the midst of that neglect, there's still an abundance of fruit to pick. Rather than see another season end without preserving part of my tomato crop, I got organised.

Tomatoes - Ready to cook
I use a simple method of preserving tomatoes, I cook them, put them through a food mill to remove the skins and the larger seeds, then bottle and process in a water bath. Nothing fancy, no added anything. 

Tomatoes - jars of puree
If all goes well, I'll get another couple of tomato preserving sessions in before the plants need to be removed which will put a few more jars of organically grown, pure tomato puree into the cupboard for 'later'. Not to mention a fulfilling sense of accomplishment, too.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

{Studio Office Renovation} Almost done!

The renovation of an old 'shed' into my new office has been a long, long, and frustrating saga. Several times, I thought I'd secured a builder to do the work but it seems my job wasn't big enough to warrant their skills so, disappointment invariably followed.

It was serendipity that brought a young builder to my notice earlier this year and he jumped at the opportunity. So, nearly a year after stripping the shed and being excited that work was about to begin, I can finally say, "It's done!". Or, at least it's as done as it needs to be to be put to use. Nothing has been done to finish the interior but, after waiting so long, I don't care! Prettying up the inside is a luxury for some other time. Right now, the priority is to get my house back.

The outside is still being painted but here it is:

New studio/office
It's an incredible relief to have this space finished. Now I can separate work and home and hopefully, be better at both.