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What do you think? You can find out more at our Pozible campaign page . We're still working on the page and getting active with marketing etc, the idea is very much to have a fun means of teaching people of all ages about sustainability. Particularly passing traffic and people at events. There's a whole big group of people out there who are into sustainability yes, but there's an even bigger group who won't pick up a brochure or attend a workshop and the games are very much aimed at this latter group.
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I wanted to take the opportunity to invite you along to our upcoming Green Renters fundraiser.  We decided to do something a bit different than the typical film screenings and trivia nights and we've paired with fellow Brunswick business Olive Grove to host an in-store evening of magic, shadow puppetry, jazz music, mulled wine, fashion and more with proceeds split between us and Olive Grove. There'll be hourly give aways and lots of entertainment and of course, mulled wine! I'll also be making my very special vegan chocolate crackles!

Every ticket sold includes a complimentary glass of mulled wine and books by Brunswick publishers, Aduki Press. 

Tuesday 14th August


Olive Grove Studios

159 Sydney Rd, Brunswick

 Tickets $8/$10

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We've a couple of places left in Sunday's jams and preserves workshop in Brunswick, Melbourne.

Ever wanted to make your own jam but not sure how? Do you have a glut of zucchinis or beetroot in the garden and would like to make something with them? This hands on workshop will show you the basics of preserving, including preparation, jar sterilisation, setting points and bottling of chutneys and jams. You'll be involved in making preserves using seasonal fruit and vegetables, and all participants will receive a couple of jars to take home.

Tastings include onion jam, lemon butter, rhubarb jam and tomato kasundi and a yummy devonshire tea.

Only $25 
To book go to: http://greenrenters.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=202

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Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

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Organising recipes for Saturday's (booked out!) Jam and Preserves workshop

Looking after Mr Pablo, he's been unwell and had an injection of antibiotics at the vet. Here he is enjoying the sun through the office window!

Making double door snakes for our winter warmer packs at the Green Renters shop

Reading crime fiction like this

and watching this at the cinema. It was unintentionally hilarious in many ways.

Other less pictorial tasks include writing multiple grants, applying for jobs ( I have a interview on skype next week with a company in Israel), working on a vegan lemon butter recipe and getting looking forward to the the comedy fest.
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Make your own full sized skin care products from high-quality, natural ingredients. Not only will you know exactly what’s in them, but you’ll blend ingredients to work beautifully with your own skin type.

You'll learn to make your very own:

  • lip balm
  • gentle cleansing mask
  • cooling hydrating toner/facial scrub
  • facial cleanser

All ingredients, containers and instructions are included in the workshop price and you will receive full sized products to take home for personal use, a recipe list and instruction for the products you've made.

March 8th 6:30pm to 8:30pm
: Ross House Association
First floor meeting room 3, 247 Flinders Lane

Cost: $50/$30 concession
Book here

Like this workshop?

You might like our following workshops:

  • Make your own bath products
  • DIY Natural Cleaning
  • Make your own jams and preserves

Planning a Girls Night In or Hen's Night?

We are able to offer this workshop in the comfort for your own home for you and your guests. Contact us for more information and rates.

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I've been really busy with the Sustainable Living Festival! Green Renters had a stall on the weekend and launched our gigantic green games.

Last night I made these as a gift for a vegan friend:

We're actually making these with some other goodies at Thursday night's workshop which will be fun, even if it means I've made them twice in a week. I'm also trialing a homemade toothpaste and deodorant to offer at workshops, depending on how they work out. Will get some guys to road test them also.

I'd like to offer the bath and skin care product workshops to 'hen's nights'* and the like, but I'm not quite sure how to promote them. I've contacted several 'green' bridal websites but they only focus on the big day not the preceding events.

Also busy hunting for part time work as Chris has been working full time the last six months and it's his turn to focus on Green Renters a bit more whilst I work (hopefully) to pay off some debts. Applying for jobs is always a bit soul destroying but fingers crossed. I'm also in the process of closing down my Polka Dot Rabbit shop to move the items over to Green Renters as appropriate, as they are all 'upcycled' products. It is too much work trying to promote two shops and the craft scene bubble has definitely burst.

I think this video is great, obviously the name of my blog and business makes it evident I love rabbits and find it quite abhorrent that they are seen merely as food by many rather than the engaging intelligent animals that they are.

*I really loathe the term 'hen's nights' I also dislike 'girls' as in 'girls' night in'. I wish more contemporary terms were recognised!
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I'm a rather behind blogger. I've been busy making things in time for Melbourne's Sustainable Living Festival where Green Renters is having a stall as part of the big weekend and running our life-sized board games (assuming they are finished in time) Rentopology and Sneaks and Ladders. We also have a stencil artist 'in residence' in our stall so people can bring along their calico bags, t shirts or other items and get them stenciled with a new design!

Chris dug up some fresh veggies this afternoon all set for making potato and beetroot mash. I love beetroot! Roast, boiled or eaten raw. Mashed with potato and Nuttlex and served with hot mustard, homemade capsicum and soy sausages, it's a definite treat.

I started Weight Watchers on Friday. I'm not a big fan really of some of the concepts but I do need to lose at lease 20 kilos to be anywhere away from morbidly obese. You get given a certain number of points each day and a massive list of foods and their points. Fruit and most vegetables are zero points. It seems odd though that two Ryvita (what I would consider diet food) is 2 point whilst a Tim Tam is only three by comparison. But I'm doing it more for the accountability of a weekly weigh in to try and keep me on track. My relationship with food is not exactly functional after 20 years of bulimia but I don't want to be this size a year from now. On a pragmatic level, most of my clothes don't fit well and I can't afford new ones. I'm also trying very hard not to drink as I know that's where a lot of my calories come from. I also feel once I start to lose some weight I'll have more energy and be able to exercise more easily without feeling like I'm going to die. I also myself a lot due to my weight which creates a self perpetuating cycle and I drink/eat more... We were filmed for a short film doco competition the other day and i look simply massive, all double chin, definitely good incentive to lose weight.

We have loads of herbs in the garden at the moment: rosemary, parsley, basil, vietnamese mint, culinary mint, oregano and thyme. I put bags full out the front with a 'help yourself' sign at regular intervals.

We're also enjoying a bumper crop of strawberries on our breakfast cereal this season. Nothing like homemade produce! We've three Green Renters workshops coming up on making jams and preserves, one of which is booked out already. I'm looking forward to them to demonstrate that preserving is possible even in small spaces without a Fowler kit.

I've also a couple more skincare and bath products workshops coming up. They'll be held at Ross House, in Flinder Lane, Melbourne city and cost $50 full/$30 concession. I've done several practice rounds of each workshop now and tweaked a couple of recipes, bought extra equipment and I feel I've got them nicely polished. All materials and recipes included in each workshop and the ingredients are all vegan.If you know anyone who might be interested in attending, please spread the word, I've left promotion to the last minute as usual...

Here's a cute pic of Chris with Mr Pablo, our 15 year old cat. We adopted him last year and he's surprisingly spritely for an older gentleman!
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Love this print! Can you name them all?

Love these word bubbles! There's even a tutorial...

Gorgeous sideboard from here

pic from here
I have one place left my next Make your own skin care products on January 22nd. Perhaps you'd like to come along?
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I've a few place left in the workshops if you're at a loose end this Sunday or looking for something to do on the 22nd:
Bathing products:
Date: Sunday January 8th
Time: 2pm-4pm
Location: Brunswick

We'll be making:
  • bath bombs
  • summertime body scrub
  • cocoa bathtime melt
  • moisturising facial mask
Skincare products:
Date: Sunday Jan 22nd
Time: 2pm-4pm
Location: Brunswick

We'll be making:
  • lip balm
  • gentle cleansing mask
  • cooling hydrating mist
  • facial cleanser

Cost of each workshop: $30
Bookings essential

In each workshop you'll learn about natural ingredients and get an opportunity to make several products using a range of materials including cocoa butter, essential oils and kaolin clay. All ingredients, containers and instructions are included in the workshop price and you will receive full sized products to take home for personal use. Class will include a cooling homemade cordial or glass of wine, homemade biscuits and a recipe list of products to take home.

Love to see you there!

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1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
Visited Beijing and Freiburg. I love travelling!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any last year but  my hope for 2012 is healthier eating and fitness (with hopefully incidental weight loss but this is not the foremost goal).It's also about managing my eating/food addiction better. I've realised I need to go back to the OA/FAA way of thinking about food rather than just treading water...

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
China, Germany, UK

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A little more money to be honest and a few less debts (stay tuned for more ebay sales as I'm trying to sell off a few things I no longer need/can afford etc). I also would like more socialising which really gets lost when you run a small not for profit and work from home.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Can't think of any in particular...

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting through the NEIS course which I found extremely difficult as I am not good at accounting. (it was a 13 week course squeezed into 5 weeks). Also have completed over 100 workshops for Green Renters, exhausting stuff~!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Debts? Putting on even more weight? Stuff like that.  I also have suffered quite a bit of grief in realising that craft as an enterprise is not financial viable (beyond the bits and pieces I sell through Green Renters). It just stopped being fun anymore to be honest and more like a chore.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just the usual, still trying to get my feet sorted...

11. What were the best things you bought?
Not paid for by me personally but the data projector I use for workshops and the trolley suitcase

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Husband for putting up with me

13. Whose behavior appalled you?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, amenities...I also got a loan from C to fund o/s trip which I need to pay back

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
It was really exciting winning the WWF Earth Hour award for Green Renters (but it didn't really result in all that much to be honest)

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Probably anything from Suede as I really enjoyed seeing them in Berlin

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

I. happier or sadder? Happier.

II. thinner or fatter? I'm bigger

III. richer or poorer? Poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
making/keeping friends

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
unhungry eating and mindless drinking, procrastinating...

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
All done thankfully. Christmas is still a hard time of year.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Mr Chris (5 years together) and the lovely addition of Mr Pablo our cat!

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Lewis, Bad Girls, The Hour

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. I don't think I hate anyone.

25. What was the best book you read?
I've really been enjoying a book on the Berlin Wall

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Battles, Beirut

27. What did you want and get?
overseas trip

28. What did you want and not get?
Effort translating into financial sustainability. I would desperately like for Chris to get paid for all the unpaid GR work he does....It's all getting there, just takes a while. We've just employed a communications/marketing person for 10 hours a week (who should have a uni student intern) which will hopefully build revenue which enables more pay for hours people do

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I was charmed by Midnight in Paris,

30. What did you do on your birthday?
Cried and got blind drunk at my husband's 30th birthday party

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
see 28

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
What fits with boots/clogs and we love colours tights

33. What kept you sane?
Too much wine, watching Bad Girls

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
See 33

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
hmmm not sure really, so many things annoy

37. Who did you miss?
brother of course, friends who have moved on to other lifestyles

38. Who was the best new person you met?
not sure really, some fantastic people overseas actually. I also need to make more efforts to be sociable in 2011 and not stay home as much

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Hard work goes a long way....

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"In the midst of life we are in death ecetera", Young and Tender Hooligan, The Smiths.
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