How to dress like a Revolutionary

how to dress like a revolutionary || cityhippyfarmgirl

Wear handmade

Wear second hand

Wear well made

Wear organic

Wear ethical

Wear sustainable

Wear thoughtfully

Try for one, or two, or if you feeling particularly revolutionary, go for all of them.

A long time ago I made a pact with myself. Any purchases that I made, needed to be as ethical, locally made, fair trade, or as a conscious purchase (do I really need it?) where ever possible. For some things it’s been fairly easy, other things, not quite so much.

I thought I’d create a little list of some of things I’ve been super happy with over a fairly large chunk of time, (both bought and not bought.)

Sea Shepard || cityhippyfarmgirl

How to Dress like a Revolutionary

Pure Pod– Kelli’s range of ethical fashion is divine. I’d happily wear any one of their outfits.

* Op shops- frequently provide goodies. Timing, choosing your op shops, and mostly down to just whether the op shop goddesses are smiling upon thee is dependent on what you’ll find.

* Undies- Tuffy’s and Tuffette’s (locally made and owned in Australia- their excess plastic wrapping is a big sore spot however.)

* Friends and family are also often kind enough to pass on kids clothing.

* A soccerball gift- Etiko has a lot more than just soccer balls though, have a peek at their fair trade underwear, clothing and shoe range as well.

* Make it myself- My sewing skills are still somewhat lacking, so while I would love to make a lot of our family clothing it’s really not going to happen for awhile, smaller things that I can make though, yep, I’ll give it a crack.

* If you are going to be a human billboard, be aware of what you are advertising, (Sea Shepard as pictured here.)

* Buying second hand- living in the city, I’m incredibly lucky as there really are so many practical options for this- Garage Sale Trail is also a good one to do.

* Ecolosophy– Small loving business that has all your ethical clothing, kitchen, food options also covered.

* Organise a clothing swap in your community.

Yoshi Jones– small designer in Sydney, that does divine Japanese influenced unique clothing (think vintage kimonos), especially good if you are after something for a special event.

* Go looking on Instagram- it’s great for finding small businesses. I LOVE how I have found different people and their work over the time I’ve been on instagram, and really enjoy supporting them- community shopping at it’s very excellent best.

Supporting small ethical businesses where ever possible is important. I know it’s not always easy, financially, time wise, and also accessability. Having three kids, I very much get that. Pay the extra dollar when you can though. New shoes, they really shouldn’t be costing $8, someone is being ripped off if they are.

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How about you, do you have any revolutionary links to add?

 

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Blueberry Cake and how did two happen?

blueberry cake recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl helping || cityhippyfarmgirl

There is a little lump in my throat this week,

she turned two, and I’m not sure how that happened.

Feels like nothing since I birthed that baby bundle in a pool by the dining table windows-

I still think of the afternoon light and the peaceful way she swam into this world.

Turning two meant there was birthday cake with her favourite, favourite “blues”.

She helped me make it, but we had to be quick-

one blueberry in the mouth and one for the cake.

There was a doll- the most beautiful doll you ever did see.

And after that, she will be two and one day, then two days and so it continues,

gulp.

lady || cityhippyfarmgirl a little vintage doll || cityhippyfarmgirl

A Little Vintage Store, is where the lovely doll is from. Beautifully handmade by Jennie in Brisbane, Australia- I’m in awe I really am. Love, love, love that this birthday present didn’t come from a department store with a ‘made in china’ tag.

cake || cityhippyfarmgirl

Blueberry Cake 

300g softened butter

300g sugar

4 tsp vanilla

zest of one lemon

4 beaten eggs

600g self raising flour

125mls milk

approximately 300g blueberries or enough to cover the cake surface

Cream the butter and sugar together, add vanilla, eggs, lemon zest and milk. Then fold through flour. Into a greased and lined tin and arrange blueberries.

Bake until golden at 180C.

(Depending on your cake tin size, this recipes bake time will differ. Cooked as I did, it took forever (23cm)- but I wanted it tall. Baking it in a much wider cake tin will ensure a shorter cook time…or half the recipe, (but where’s the fun in that.)

a little love into the seams

bunting- cityhippyfarmgirl

cutting- cityhippyfarmgirl

busy days and busy nights

good busy and chaotic busy all intertwined

a pause for a moment to do some measuring and cutting

it was sitting there for far too long, waiting to be cut, wanting to be cut

waiting for the right moment, that never seemed to arise

a project that I didn’t want to be rushed, didn’t want to be hurried

I wanted to do it mindfully

and sew a little love into the seams

finally the moment was right, the scissors were uncompromised and my thoughts were here, now

firmly embedding a little love into those seams.

gift ideas- cityhippyfarmgirl

warm and wonky

blanket

blanket

blanket

Finally finished

the little blanket with the 20 cent church sale balls of wool in it

warm and wonky

to fit on a lap, to play under

to smile at when I look at all the learning curves I put in there

the odds and ends stretched out to try and use them all up

my first crochet blanket

(funny little thing it is.)

in my kitchen this week…

cherries

My kitchen is a bit like a clapped out old Volkswagen at the moment. Stopping and starting in fits and flurries. With days of flour strewn every where, dishes mounting like excitable rabbits, and my mixer getting an excessive work out. This is then strangely followed, by not even a whisper of activity. My cooking mojo seemingly lost. It does this now and then, slowing, sliding to a halt only to kick start again, life being thrown back into the kitchen in the way of a cup full of flour here or a cooking pan there. Then quietly coming to another hiccuping halt again. My kitchen, the kombie.

cedro

I’d been wanting to get some cedro for quite some time. It was there, ready for the taking and somehow I ended up with some orange as well. I was nodding enthusiastically to the heavily accented man selling me the cedro and obviously saying all the right words in order to get some  of the orange as well.  I thought we were just having a delightful conversation, talking about what might go well with it. I felt too impolite to say, oh no thanks mate, actually it was just the cedro I was after.

pashmak

Pashmak…ohhh, I’d been looking for you for a long time. Now what shall I create with you my pretty fluff?

I’m still playing with cardamom buns, they really are delicious. It’s a happy thing playing with them, that’s for sure.

Local cherries, more beetroot, and the sweetest looking little pumpkin/squash/orangey thing. Surely it’s just the kind to harness a few rats up to and take some one to a ball….or a gnome house? All goodies found in my foodconnect box.

tomato

I’m really hoping that I see some of these guys in my kitchen soon. Things are looking the most promising they have in a long time. (Just avert your eyes from the mint.)

A needy starter. This weekend it has been so very hot. My starter was getting bulked up to use, but I just couldn’t face putting the oven on until it cooled down a little. The starter was getting a little impatient.

yum

Dinner can take form in many different ways when Mr Chocolate is out for the evening and the kids have something I don’t particularly feel like eating. Basmati rice, banana, sultanas, linseed and almond meal, sunflower seeds, sesame, pepitas, a splash of milk and honey/tahini drizzled over. I then chucked a handful of blueberries in for good measure.

advent

Last of all, not really in my kitchen but finished this week, (just in time.) My advent calendar. It’s not very “Christmassy” looking but that sits fine with me. I was a little nervous about the colour palate but it all seemed to come together enough at the end. The boys were happy to see it on the 1st, and now they get to count down until Christmas day. (Nothing like it what so ever, but I was inspired by Tania’s advent calendar from last year, which is truly, truly beautiful.)

That’s it for my kombie kitchen this week, what’s happening at your place?

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(linking in with the lovely Celia@ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial)

sweet white squares of deliciousness

The recipe calls these sweet white squares of deliciousness Australian White Christmas. I can’t bring myself to call it that. White Christmas in my head is a horrible taste memory that sits with childhood cake stalls, laced with copha, bulked up with a cheap rice bubble crunch and far too much icing sugar. Copha in my books is up there with finding slugs in your spinach moments before you eat it. The Monkeys (if I can help it) will never have to endure copha.

So why would I make something that is titled ‘Australian White Christmas’ given my taste bud association with the name?

Well one, because it’s in the SBS Feast magazine (surely THEY wouldn’t use copha) and two, because all the ingredients look like they would blend quite nicely- with a few minor change ups on my part.

Let’s give it a crack.

Oh! It’s good.

Really good. The good quality white chocolate I think makes a huge difference. Don’t bother buying ‘white chocolate’ if it doesn’t have cocoa butter in it. It’s just a concoction of sugar and some sort of vegetable/animal oil something or other. Go for the good stuff, (I use Whittakers.)

The macadamias give it some texture, and the odd cherry here and there, some colour. This one is super easy to make and cut up for a gift…

Or for a little after dinner nibble with an espresso or two and some lively dining table conversation.

Sweet White Squares of Deliciousness

adapted from SBS Feast Magazine- December issue

500g good quality white chocolate

395g can of condensed milk

100g macadamia nuts

100g glace cherries

50g desiccated coconut

1 tsp vanilla

In a pot over low heat melt the chocolate combined with the condensed milk, turn off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Spread mixture out into a greased and lined pan. Sprinkle with a little extra coconut and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours until firm. Cut into squares or logs for gifts.

upcycling to gift tags

Gift tags are such a simple thing to make. You can upcycle so many things to make instant eye catching tags that re-cycle something, look pretty good and don’t cost anything. Scissors, a hole punch and imagination are all that’s needed.

Christmas cards are a great thing to chop up, (thanks to Tricia for the point in the right direction with this one). Just make sure there is no writing on the other side.

Gift to match: Anything Christmassy.

Cereal boxes. I know that sounds a bit odd, and it would depend on what cereal you buy maybe… but with the right gift, I think it works.

Gift to match: Jar of muesli/granola, box of muffins.

Chocolate wrappings. Ok, this isn’t going to work if it’s a mars bar. But if you are buying some tip top chocolate once in awhile, it seems a shame to spend all that money on some delicious chocolate, for it not to get a second go doesn’t it? (See this post, on how to make wrapping paper and cards from chocolate wrappers.)

Gift to match: Anything, it looks a bit different.

Biscuit/Cookie boxes. Again, maybe not for any old box, but given the right one and it can look rather interesting I think. I was given these as a gift and loved the box so much it just sat there empty for a few months on a shelf. The Monkeys had been told to keep their little mits off it until I had decided what to do with it.

Gift to match: Something lovely.

So many things can be turned into a gift tag, or used as a small card. Perfume boxes, old calendars, pasta boxes… lots and lots of things to have fun with and give a new life to.

a new monkey hat

Thankfully Little Monkey is still young enough to want to wear most things I put him in. I’m sure if I strapped a pancake to his head, secured it with a ribbon and it kept out the sun, he would still wear it.

I think…

Pancakes aside, but with this philosophy in mind, I started crocheting my first hat.

I had the wool, I had the hook, and I had the image of a lovely warm colourful number. A hat to keep small ears warm, with the little imp running around and looking  rather dashing in his new hat at the same time.

Now I just had to harness that imagery and put it into practise. Crochet and I were new friends, quite new friends. I was still practising and wasn’t quite sure how to make a hat rather than a… well, a pancake.

Now, how do I make it all go in again?…

Ah well, lets get cracking anyway.

Reclaimed wool from my mum, who in turn had reclaimed it from someone else. Stolen moments at the playground after school to crochet, and a week and a half later Little Monkey can now wear his new pancake… I mean hat.

Blueberry Jam

Blueberry Jam

500gms blueberries

250mls water

bring it to a simmer

now slowly add

500gms sugar

1/2 lime juice

stir

a slow rolling boil until the jam thickens and passes the saucer test.

 

So what is the saucer test? Grab a small saucer and pop it in to the freezer while your jam is cooking. If you keep casting your eyes over the cooking jam, you will start to see the consistency changing, it will start to look like a thicker rolling boil. If you think it has started to thicken, get the cold saucer out of the freezer and dollop a small spoonful of jam on to it. Swirl it round a bit, and (hopefully) you will see that it has thickened up. Try running a finger through it. If it’s ready it will wrinkle a little and feel thicker.

wrap it a little differently

I really like thinking of new ways to give presents to people. I’ve always thought it was a bit funny the idea of buying gift paper, wrapping a present and then watching it being ripped to shreds by the recipient. Not that I don’t like giving presents, I do. Actually I love it. However, if it’s expensive beautiful paper it seems like such a waste and if it’s cheap, well it’s still a waste. I’ve mentioned before using chocolate wrappers which if you go through the quantity that our household does certainly puts it to good use.

Christmas is still a little while away, but if you like these wrapping ideas they may take a little while longer to accumulate.

1/ Old maps make perfect wrapping paper. They are square and flat. Easily bought in second hand shops where they are quite often sold very cheaply as areas change. Places get outdated easily. Looks funky too, well I think it does. Add a ribbon or some wool, tying it up and gift is ready.

2/ Old movie or music posters. Quite often sold in music stores cheaply as they were advertising a band or album that was coming out. For the music or movie  fan this can make an exciting present….(well the wrapping of it anyway.)

3/ Turn your head slightly on the side and look at your food packaging slightly different. Bulk rice bought in a bag can be a wonderful way to present a gift. Linen sack of oats, beans, coffee can all be done the same way. Just have  a look around. This one is a zippered 5 kilo bag of basmati rice.

4/ Second hand stores are usually brimming with baskets of varying sizes. Save wrapping a present altogether and present it in a basket.

5/ Use retro fabrics, easily picked up in second hand places, (or auctions). Hold the fabric together using ribbons or wool.

6/ Use simple brown wrapping paper that hasn’t used dyes and decorate it yourself. Draw your kids hands all over it and get them to decorate it. Paint some flowers all over it. Or write little messages all over.

So many possibilities.