Saturday, 8 June 2013

Keeping Warm in Winter

Yup, it's cold!  Someone at work today told me she was going to light the first fire of the season.  Yikes!  We have had one every day for the last 2-3 weeks!  Being born and raised in a temperate climate did not prepare me for New Zealand winters!  Eeek!  Even at an average of 9degC, I find I am chilled to the bone unless I wear thermal merino underwear!  Hee hee, my new red boots are keeping me tootsies real warm with their sheep's wool lining!  

The beautiful colours of a persimmon leaf
We are well stocked with wood this year and so there is no need to ration our fires, having chopped up a tree we felled on our section, as well as 2 deliveries of firewood (total 7 cubic metres) to keep us comfortable.  But as with all things, there are two sides to a story.  A fire is romantic, it even looks warm and cosy!  Watching the flames in a wood-burner is soothing, mesmerising and a kind of meditative past-time on a cold winter's night.  The down-side, is the bits and pieces of wood fall-out that litters the pathway to the front door and from there to the hearth!  Now being a housewife-of-cleaning-allergy, I try to cut down on any process that increases housework, like not wearing shoes in the house (slippers only)!  So before we started our pyromaniacal winter past-time, I decided I had to improve the wood basket dilemma.  I needed to line it with something strong that would last the miles, not like the flimsy plastic liner from last year which soon got ripped and shredded in the loading department.  Mmmmmn, I knew that coffee bags were strong, so I set to sewing 3 lots of them together, and then sewed 5 of each of those 3 panels together to create one big piece.  Promising.  Might just work!

15 coffee bags all sewn together

I figured out that I would like to use 2 tea bag box liners for the bottom to break the busy-ness of the Inca Fe' pouches, and then I needed to come up with an idea for securing the top of the liner to the basket.  The little sealing bits that get cut off each time we open a new pouch proved to be just what I needed to do the job, also ensuring nothing was wasted.  I sewed several of them into loops around the top edge.
The bottom of the liner is made with 2 tea box liners

Details of sealing edges used as loops for rope tie

End result, a snug fit 

The solution to the problem!  And  an answer to our coffee addiction waste fall-out
The wood basket has been in use for 3 weeks now and is holding up and proving to be a real bonus to keeping all the dust and debris out of the house and off the pathway.  Yay, solving 2 dilemmas at one time.  In our bid to reduce our waste and live more sustainably, we need to look for novel ways to achieve that.  My solution cost me nothing more than time, cups of coffee (a pleasure) and a piece of cotton rope lying around in the shed!  Oh, and I still have plenty more coffee bags if anyone is interested........?

Kindling from all the pruned fruit tree branches too big to be put through the chipper

Shanti's new Best Postion, a box with shredded paper
 (that was destined to be bedding for the chickens), alongside the roaring fire.

1 comment:

  1. Two thoughts came to mind... first, you're crafty and most handy with a sewing machine. Who would have thought coffee bags, which brings me to the second thought... you drink almost as much coffee (ok, perhaps even more) as we do! :) Great job there. I'm re-looking at our coffee packets. I can't wait to have a sewing machine on hand again!