Finally at the age of 54 I wished for and received a food processor. How on earth have I survived without one all this time? It's brilliant. Among other things, I can now make myself a nicely chopped salad in no more than 5 minutes ( and that included cleaning the darn thing )
So I thought I should share this since it's the quickest lunch I can make in the morning. This is a perfect salad for anyone who like me never seems to have enough time before you rush out the door to get to work.
So put through your processor and I use the rough shredder only for this to save time.
Small piece of beetroot
Small piece of red cabbage
Small piece of white cabbage
Small piece of red capsicum
Pour into a mixing bowl, then add with scissors which is very quick
a bit of fresh coriander
a stalk of shallots
a handful of black sesame seeds
If you still have a minute you could always add cucumber ( I apparently did here )
Then add for dressing
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tblsp Cold Pressed Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Mix and put in container for later or just munch it up straight away. It's good for you and taste yummy!
Jane from Echoverde has designed a lovely faux wrap dress. With an empire waist and v-neck it's flattering for most of us. Echoverde is a Canadian label and so they are enjoying spring and this is part of their summer range. It matters not here in Australia since you can wear this dress all year around, just as it is, with a top under or with a cardigan. In this picture I dare to show my legs but of course you can add tights or leggings and yesterday I wore my faux wrap with skinny jeans.
I am wearing a v-neck top under here but yesterday I wore a round neck instead. The new crop top from Loulou is a very tight fit and brilliant under any dress. No bulk added.
We have used the clove oil method in the past but I think this time we’ll give the vinegar a go and then do a little clove oil touch up, just cause it neutralizes the smell so nicely. We got started last weekend with our lounge room. We used the white vinegar in a spray bottle on our leather lounge as well. I got mixed advice online about leather so we'll see if it falls apart but so far so good. And it smells a lot better at least in there.
If you are planning warfare yourself, then here are some suggestions on how to go about it.
Please Note – It’s wise to do a test patch first.
Distilled White Vinegar 1
Distilled white vinegar as it is in a spray bottle.
Spray leave for a few hours, wipe spray again and leave on.
It’s anti-fungal and it’s the acidity that breaks up the structure of the mold
Distilled White Vinegar 2
If you have really large areas to be cleaned another suggestion could work well. Prepare 3 buckets.
Bucket 1 - 8 parts distilled white vinegar & 2 parts water for the cleaning
Bucket 2 - 4 parts distilled white vinegar & 2 parts water for rinsing your cloth in
Bucket 3 – Only water for the second rinse
Tea Tree Oil
10 Drops Tea Tree oil + 1 cup of water in a spray bottle
Leave for a few hours, scrub and spray again leave on
Tea tree oil is anti-fungal and antibacterial
1tsp Hydrogen Peroxide + 1 cup of water in a spray bottle
Leave for 10 minutes, wipe and spray again leave on
Hydrogen peroxide is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It kills the mold by oxidizing the surface.
½ tsp Clove oil + 1 litre of water in a spray bottle
Clove oil is anti-fungal, bacterial, viral and microbial.
Spray on leave for a few hours, wipe and spray again and leave on.
½ tsp Baking Soda + 1 cup of water in a spray bottle
This can be good to finish up with after you’ve cleaned with any of the options above. Please note don't use this on varnished timber, it may peel off the varnish, yep pretty potent stuff.
Wayne was invited to teach a 3 day artshop in Geelong so I decided to come along for the ride. I had been willing the universe all week to produce clear sunny sky in time for lift off but we left on a rainy and windy Sunday. Wayne had a hot chocolate while we were waiting for the plane to arrive but needless to say I went for the wine. I was nicely tipsy by the time we got to board and yet that bumpy ride still freaked me out and I nearly broke my hubby's much needed art-fingers on the flight to Sydney. Thankfully the flight to Melbourne was better. A good friend picked us up and took us to our Geelong quarters, a quaint B&B with high ceilings and old furniture and clawbath in the bathroom.
During the day Wayno had his art class to teach
So I had time to explore the wool museum where I enjoyed myself for hours
learning about Australia's history of wool, interior design & fashion
About old bones of all kinds.
And where I saw the 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year' the most prestigious photography event of its kind and it basically blew me away. It's coming to Darling Harbour next, see it if you can.
This is 'Entwined Lives' by Grand title winner Tim Laman US
Together we visited Geelong Regional Art Gallery and got to see some famous art.
I loved the old buildings and it was charming around the Corio Bay.
And the coastline was its' usual W O W
I had nice coffees and did a lot of walking
The students were all happy with their 3 days with Wayne, each going home with a finished breaking wave with underwater coral scene. There will be more work shops in the future.
Our home flights were fine even though I safe guarded myself with more wine just in case.
This time of the year is my least favourite. The heat and the humidity. It's hard to know what to wear, just the 'birthday-suit' would be nice but maybe not appreciated by the multitudes.
The other day a lady walked in. She was after a nightie. 'Well' , I said, 'I don't really have nighties, but I bet I can find something on the sale rack that you could use for a nightie'. I found a swing dress out there, my last one in marsala. The lady was very happy with the $ reduction and bought it without trying.
Next day, she walked in wearing it. 'Oh', I said, 'I see you're in your nightie today'. We both laughed. And she said - 'Well, bamboo is cooler than cotton. I put this on last night and decided it's too good to sleep in and much better to wear in the heat. I need some more of these'. She got herself a black and a red. Another happy customer.
Here are dresses you can sleep in or just wear in the heat.
The reason bamboo is cooler than cotton is due to the fact that it absorbs 3 times its' own weight in water. Men love the bamboo socks since they tend not to get sweaty feet in them. In our summer heat, have you tried bamboo yet?
I would like to introduce you to the very versatile 'Rita Tie Dress' in easy wear bamboo and one size fits most. It's a loose dress that you can modify to suit your size and your style.
I had just received and steamed the dress when Debbie walked in. Debbie was after a couple of black dresses and found some to try on. I suggested the new Rita but I must admit it doesn't look that great on the hanger so I couldn't get my customer enthused about it. After all the black dresses except for one, were dismissed - being my stubborn self - I suggested the Rita Dress again. Debbie tried it on, came out and showed me. Loved it. Together we worked out new ways to wear it. Actually the pocket was Debbie's idea.
This dress really looks great on a lot of different body shapes and sizes, well worth a try next time you come into Greenroom. Rita is available in Black, navy and white. As always, if a colour is sold out I can usually order back in for you and it doesn't take many days. As a lot of our clothes, Rita is trans-seasonal. You can dress it up or down, wear with tights or even pants and treat it like a tunic. High heels or sandals it's up to you what you make of the Rita Dress.
I apologise for the poor photo quality but hopefully you can get an idea of the different ways to wear this cool dress.
From Left to Right.
1 - Make a pocket and tie a knot on the other side. 2 - Keep it tied in front. You decide where to tie the knot. You can also make two pockets or just let the ties hang loose at both sides. I forgot to take a photo of that. 3 - Tie at the back and pull the dress up a bit. Great with pants or tights. I was too lazy to put pants on sorry. 4 - Once again keep the knot tied in the front loose or a little tighter whatever suits.
Katie & Ruby - the creators of Ecodiva - are best friends and you can tell they know each other really well and get along like close sisters. Their first collection was made in Bali and all hand painted silk. I placed a small order. I must admit I was very unsure how it would be received. I just knew I loved it. The silk took off straight away. I wasn't the only one that fell in love with the colours and the simple styles.
Ecodiva was launched I think about 6 months before Greenroom. So both business were babies that grew up together. Ecodiva went from strength to strength. The silk production moved a few times but landed in China in the end and they went from hand painted to digital printing which is a very environmentally friendly way to print. Ecodiva has always been comitted to fair labour, that's a given. Last year they also brought back the sewing to Australia which was brilliant.
Over the years the silk has proven to be wonderful for Greenroom Gallery and our customers. The silks always look fantastic, blending well with our art and helping make our boutique the colourful haven it is. With our bamboo garments being so understated and plain, silk is the perfect companion. We have done brilliant fashion shows with the flowing, floaty silk designs getting plenty of ooh's and aah's. Not only do I love stocking Ecodiva. I have so enjoyed supporting them and getting support back. It's been such a pleasure to deal with lovely Ruby & Katie, absolute gems.
So now I get to the sad bit. They have had enough for now and want a break. Katie wants to travel and Ruby has her new man. It's been a hectic 7 years or so. I understand of course but they will be greatly missed.
Thank You Katie and Thank You Ruby for being part of my journey and for being your gorgeous selves.
If you have had in your mind to get your own Ecodiva silk one day. I must tell you my friend, you're running out of time. I have more silks coming this week and then another small top up later in February and then that's it. I will find a new label for sure, but there will never be another Ecodiva.
A few years back I made a 'Plastic Resolution' - I was not going to throw away soft plastic in the red bin anymore. As you know Coffs Council don't accept it so the yellow bin wasn't gonna cut it either. A bit of a dilemma. In retail, new garments usually arrive protected in plastic bags. That is each garment is in its' own bag. You get the picture. I started collecting it. Every week, more plastic. After a couple of months I had to start transporting my plastic bundles home since Greenroom didn't have enough nooks for plastic hibernation. Within a few years I had more than a cubic metre of hard-packed, pretty much vacuum-sealed Polyethylene. It was taking over my workroom. Things were getting out of hand.
As it sometimes happens in life. Solutions just show up. One rainy day I walked into Coles on Harbour Drive and Voila! there it was - bins for plastic packaging. I was going to get my workroom back after all.
I didn't feel that I could just wheel in my hoard of plastic. It has taken me 18 months to get rid of it all. Since then I have discovered that Woolworths in Woolgoolga takes plastic as well. If you know of any other place where we can take our soft plastics, please let me know and help spread the word.
I don't just bring in my shopping bags or garment bags. I actually clean all plastic packaging that isn't covered by Coffs Council because Coles says I can ( see the green sign above )
And just to prove that it's not a scam to make us feel better, this bench is found by the elevator at Coles. Love it!
Due to my aversion to plastic I am so careful these days. When I get my veges I just put them individually in my basket or I use the mushroom paper bags. I always look at the packaging before I consider buying a product. All my garbage bags at home I get from Bunnings. They are 100% biodegradable. I know I have an accomplice in my customer Bec who is better than I am at keeping her life plastic free. If you have any bright ideas to cut down on plastic, feel free to share.
I am quite pleased to have 2017 to mark the beginning of a small change. It's not a huge new years resolution. It's just a new mini-habit. It doesn't work for me to set my goals to high. If I think about climbing the whole mountain, I don't even make it to first base.
After my back-op in 2012, having been bed-bound for months, I had become a sloth with not enough stamina to climb even a small hill. I couldn't motivate myself to do anything remotely related to physical activity. Then I found Stephen Guise in cyberspace. He gave me two 'aha'-moments. The first one was to forget about motivation if I was ever going to get fit again, yep you read that right. Motivation was to be replaced with willpower. The second 'aha' was that I should commit to a mini habit, nothing to huge and exhausting. So at the time I decided to use my willpower and go to the gym every weekday morning. I didn't have to commit to doing stuff. My mini habit was to get dressed and get myself there. It worked. Two years later and I still go to the gym nearly every weekday. Haha I do stuff of course, once I'm there I can't help myself and I haven't been this fit since 1985.
But this post is not about that. It's about my back yard, a sad state of affairs.
My commitment to Greenroom Gallery has taken up so much of my time and I have let my garden go. Our backyard became an eye-sore where weeds thrived and all the nice plants that needed a little tenderness died. It got to a stage where I wouldn’t even go out there anymore.
Something that did grow was our Lillypillies creating a lush green barrier along the fence between us and the newly built neighbours’ house. With a height of 6m they were getting a bit out of hand and needed a little pruning. This is what we came home to after a nice weekend in Brisbane. STUMPS!
Funny enough after I recovered from the chock I got inspired. So 2017 is going to see me get back out there. I'm going to grow my green thumb and create with plants again. Feeling quite excited. I still have very little time on my hands so it'll be a slow project but that's ok I have decided. An hour every Sunday that's my mini-habit and I if I must I shall use my willpower.
Have you got any project for 2017? Some small change in mind? Feel free to share because it's good to put it out there and to get encouragement from others.
This is why I am sharing this. I feel it makes me accountable. And I will post some updates.
Hello 2017 you're here. Been waiting for you. So excited that you finally birthed. So young, so fresh. You make me feel optimistic. What have you got in stall for me, for us? What can you offer? How should I plan you? What's the best way to invest in you, make you work for me? Where should my focus be? Oh, so young so promising.
But of course 2017, I'll get to know you pretty quick. I'll get used to you and I know you'll be bringing both the good and the bad. You're not gonna be that different to the other years that passed. Well, some were worse than others. Some I still have many good memories from. Some years end up holding a special place in our hearts. My favourite year no doubt is somebody else's Nemesis. I wish that you 2017 could be a blessing to every one of us.
Now I know you're newly arrived and all that but there's no time to lose. 365 days may seem like a really, really long time but if you ask me, it goes pretty darn quick. You'll mature before you know it 2017 so I'd better make some good use of you.
I wish you, the reader so many things for 2017. I wish you enough time to rejuvenate, enough time with family & friends. I wish you health & happiness, persistence & courage, a sense of purpose in your world. Here's to the New Year - Cheers!
So once again, I got myself busy with a fashion event. This year we did it differently. Together with Retreat Day Spa on the Promenade we booked Shearwater Restaurant for an evening event with champagne and canapes. The verandah became the catwalk with chairs along each side. It was a first in best dressed seating arrangement. With 90 guest we had to extend it into the outdoor patio as well.
Our very own florist Emma from Emma Louise Flowers arranged flowers in hanging pots and of course the fairy lights of Shearwater added to the atmosphere. Luke the chef made yummy platters, Finn and the waitresses kept busy pouring drinks and the place got buzzing.
Beth Murray came into Greenroom Gallery, last week. We had a chat about the feminine hygiene kit and about her trip to the Philippines in October. So I had the opportunity to ask a few questions.
Local woman Beth Murray has a heart and a passion. She will be going to the Philippines in October and join forces with Lani and Nitz. They will get women involved in creating feminine hygiene kits and get micro business going. I think any western woman will feel empathy to women in other parts of our world who cannot get their hands on pads or tampons, something that we take for granted. Here's a little background on where Beth is heading. Check out my previous blog entry on the kits and our fashion event here.
There is an over supply of competing products in every shape and size imaginable on our supermarket shelves. We women of the western world can take our pick among pads and tampons. It is not so in the developing world. Having your period is such a basic bodily function but it makes millions of women all over the world vulnerable. Having to deal with taboos and cultural issues they often suffer in silence.
I have had on my mind for a very long time do put together short film clips to show what you find in greenroom, give ideas and tips. Last Sunday, I finally took the time to learn how to use my ivideo. I used the laptop camera for filming in my office at home but realised Monday morning, back in the shop, that the quality just wasn't good enough.
Ended up using Wayne's little camera that also can be used for some filming.
I got started early on Tuesday, an hour before opening and spent the day editing, between customers coming and going. So here's my very first film clip, all a bit of fun really.
There will be more coming since I think it's a great way to show you what we have in store, how you can put things together etc. If you have an idea for a film clip, I would love to hear it. Leave a comment, send me an email or let me know next time you're visiting in the Greenroom.
Running a small business can at times make you feel like you're treading water like mad trying to keep your head just above the surface but of course that is also true of life as we know it.
I have a problem with plastic, well actually the world has a problem with plastic.
Cool Coconut started it’s adventure at Bondi markets in Sydney 1999. It is now located in Mullumbimby. Cool Coconut is a small team of designers that are committed to running an ethical and sustainable business. Like Wayne and I, they believe that business should benefit all involved – from designers and manufacturers right through to retailers and consumers.
Cool coconut also make jewellery from wood and coconut shells. In 2012 Cool Coconut partnered with Go Green and funded the planting and nurturing of 1000 Pangantuon trees for use in their fashion collections, providing valuable rural incomes and renewing the natural wood used in their jewellery.
Cool Coconut is a member of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand. Of course Cool Coconut jewellery is the perfect accessory to our plain coloured tunics. The necklaces and earrings are so light and gorgeous in colour and the prices are great to.
So after 3 years of looking after little ‘greenroom baby’ it was time for a holiday in the ol’ mother country. What could possibly be better than Sweden in June.
7 weeks ago, I had the microdiscectomy which was a success and the one thing that I truly enjoyed. However my expectations of recovery were lacking insight and little did I know that the trial wasn’t over yet. We had new art to hang and so we did make it into Greenroom finally a week after my op.
Wayne and Marius organised art while I tried to help Emma with moving items around.
After two months in bed, on the 10th of December I finally had my Operation-Disc-Day. Friends kept asking me if I was nervous but I was only excited. The last few weeks leading up to the op, my overall pain had increased and I was back on Endone ( some kind of morphine mix and apparently quite addictive) so for me it was going to be a day of new beginning.
It’s been 25 days now.
I own a small business, it’s my baby, it’s 24/7.
I had 835 days of non-stop greenroom and then it stopped.