Thursday, July 3, 2014

So That Was June.......

Hello girls, how are you enjoying July?

Is it cold and foggy in your neck of the woods, or is the sun shining and the garden full of beautiful blooms?

Well, we're into the second month of Winter here.

There's still plenty of wood in the shed, so all is good.
I've been enjoying some lovely damp, grey days, they make this Pluviophile smile.......



Seeing posts here and on Facebook about Summery gardens in the Northern Hemisphere gave me some wonderful inspiration, so I stitched up a 

'Summer Posy'




We celebrated "World Knit In Public Day" recently and a post on our community Facebook page bought out a group of like minded women......and a few others!!
We met in a local cafe and over coffee and yarn we stitched and chatted, laughed and shared skills and
'Yack 'n Yarn'
 was born....
 I felt a couple of vintage cloths and a basket of wool and vintage needles were necessary to 'prettify' the table.
I got absolutely no stitching done,I was teaching a friend how to crochet.
That's my  ball of sock wool with 4 needles sticking out of it in the foreground......next time.





Friend and talented knitter Julie, not only knitted this gorgeous cardy, but she also spun the wool and if I remember correctly I don't think she used a pattern either.
Anyway, she is one clever lady and it's good to have someone with her experience in our little fledgling group.
So if you are in the area and feel like a Yack or a Yarn, we will be meeting on the 4th Sunday morning of the month in a local cafe and would love you to pop in......





If I ever needed some knitting inspiration I wouldn't have to look far.
These gorgeous Eastern Rosellas visit my property daily and on a foggy, grey morning, the certainly brightened up the view.



Loving the oak leaves still hanging on to these trees and the golden, coppery colours......




This pic was taken last Saturday, a damp Wintery day.

I  rugged up and headed up to our new block to take some pics.

The Manchurian pears on the right are still holding on to some leaves.
 It's quite a different micro climate.
 Our Manchurians at home dropped all their leaves weeks ago and there's less than a kilometre between the two.



Hubby has been busy in the vegie garden.
He's cleared all the grass and weeded the beds and added more.
They'll be raised beds, to make gardening easier.
I joke that we are going to be feeding our local community with all the beds he's putting in, but he's got it all planned out and is enjoying making that plan a reality.
If you read my March post, you'll be able to compare the difference and see how much he's done.





Wonderful fairytale,Fly Agaric toadstools which grow under Oak trees......
It's quite exciting when you stumble across them and it became the inspiration for the following stitchery.




I celebrated another birthday last month, so a rather large slice of lemon meringue cheesecake was enjoyed by hubby and myself.
It would've been rude not to share!!




Our Magpie family are quite the characters and this cheeky, young, thing decided to investigate the compost bucket which I was about to empty.
It picked out a few things and scattered them around, while Tigger slept soundly through it all!!






 Robins continue to visit the garden and this beautiful female, made a stunning picture against the blue, blue sky.
I love all the birdlife we see here and feel very privileged that we get to enjoy it.



The last of the green tomatoes were picked a few weeks ago along with the capsicums and I spent the day slicing, dicing and stirring.
By the end of the day there were 25 jars of green tomato pickles sitting on the kitchen bench
The second batch I've ever made and I have to say while they may not have matched the flavour of last years', they came a close second....
I used a couple of recipes  and merged them and added a bit of this and that and of course I was too busy cooking it all to write it down......
So next years batch will be interesting.....
It's so satisfying to turn something that once would've gone over the fence to the cows into produce for the pantry.....




So there's a snapshot of a few happenings in the
 Sweet Birdy Love  household.
While Winter is here, it's about cosy evenings  by the heater and enjoying the weather, whether it be a grey, foggy day or a blue sky and sunshine Winter's day.

I know that all too soon it will be Spring and then Summer and the temps will rise and rise and rise, so I'm not going to complain for one minute about the cold.
 I shall embrace it and run headlong into it wrapped in scarves, jumpers, tights, boots and gloves.
I'll throw another log on the heater and cook up some wonderful one pot meals in the kitchen.
 Snuggle under the doona and enjoy each and every day.

Righto, I'm off to bed, it's later here and I've taken way longer to do this post than I expected.


Thanks for dropping by for a catchup.
Always lovely to hear from you.....

Claire Xx




Sunday, June 1, 2014

Welcome to June........


Hello girls, just wanted to show you my new sewing machine.
This is Clothilde, isn't she a little gem?

I fell in love with her when I spied her on Ebay and knew she just had to come live with me........she's totally useless when it comes to stitching, but makes up for it with vintage, brooch gorgeousness.
Now that Winter's here, it's most definitely the season for a brooch or two.




I'm still creating little stitcheries.

I'm not sure what, but there's something about thready, frayed snippets of fabric stitched together that make my heart sing......and of course a fuzzy, little Bumbly bee adds to it




'Autumn's Bounty'
When there's very little flowering in the garden,I love to have a jug full of beautiful Autumn foliage to bring colour inside...



The vegie garden still has some Zinnias flowering, smaller blooms, but colourful and happy.
Recent rain has made them look a little sadder but I'm struggling to pull them out.
 It will look so bare when they are gone.
The Wisteria in the background has also added some beautiful golden colour to the garden.


  The Loquat tree has just finished flowering.
The perfume from the flowers pervades the air, smelling a little like baby powder.
The bees were enjoying the blooms, having a lovely time.





I've been enjoying misty mornings 

 and grey days.
 They make the last of the Autumn colour look so vivid.





 I had to share this photo.....grey skies, golden light in the corner and a silhouetted Robin......




This past week, we've had some lovely rain.
Days where it falls constantly, steadily, the sky slate grey.
We don't get days like this very often, I found it hard to focus on any stitching, preferring to enjoy the day.
Staying warm and cosy inside, making a pot of warm, nourishing soup.

Things are moving along quietly here as the weeks come and go along with the seasons.
I'm enjoying the slower pace the colder months bring.
The hustle and bustle of Summer is a distant memory and I look forward to evenings spent by the heater with a crafty project at hand or working on an idea for stitching up the next day.
But now I best go deal with a pile of ironing, I'm tired of looking at it.......

Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.
I'm still popping over to different blogs to visit and say 'hello'......

I'll catch up with you soon......

Claire X









Monday, May 19, 2014

May Musings............



Hello everyone, how are you all?

Life here at Sweet Birdy Love, is bubbling along nicely, like the big pot of soup I have on the stove......
This Autumn weather, has me thinking of one pot meals.
 Stew and dumplings, hearty soups and casseroles.
It's the season for cooking and freezing meals and using the last of the veg from the garden.

My little Janome has also been very busy stitching up new designs.
I've had alot of fun putting them together.

Here are a few of my favourite things in the one stitchery....

Chookies

Twiggy wig wams with Sweet Peas

Hollyhocks

A sweet, little red Robin

Polka dot wellies 



....and to stop those icy draughts sneaking in under the door, I've stitched up some draught stopper/excluders.
Of course there had to be some chooks on one of them.....


But there have been outings as well.  
A couple of weeks ago we headed over Jamieson way to catch up with family who were down visiting from Queensland.
We went prepared to help out with some chores around the family property and raking leaves was one of them.
Easy enough to do, but my goodness those Poplars drop alot of leaves.






These handsome little fellas continue to visit my garden, on a daily basis.
This fella was puffed against the cold of the morning.
He was  quite daring and came right into the courtyard looking for worms on the pavers after a rainy night.....


Now, I have to tell you about my new polka dot wellies which arrived the other week.
The timing couldn't have been better.
I had just posted a WIP pic of this stitchery on Facebook and decided to check the mail before having lunch.

Surprise, surprise there was a rather large parcel shoved into the letter box which is actually an old cream can, so quite roomy.
I was sure it would be for hubby or son, who often order things on line.
 But to my surprise, my name was on it and there was a Customs Declaration sticker, so it's come from overseas and  the contents was listed as 'Wellies'

When I opened up the parcel, these gorgeous wellies were inside.
No note to indicate who they were from, ordered online and sent to my address, hmm!!

For a split second I wondered who and then realised they would probably be from my gorgeous nieces who visited recently. 
They had found out my shoe size and obviously knew my postal address.......mystery solved.
I was quite overwhelmed by such a lovely and very useful gift as my other gumboots had just sprung a leak before they arrived.








Autumn continues to enthrall me with gorgeous colour.
These trees are at our new block.
The previous owner had great foresight and planted alot of English trees around the property.
 We are the beneficiaries of his vision and feel very fortunate to be able to carry on where he left off.






I'm standing on our proposed house site, looking back at
 Sweet Birdy Love HQ.
Our 'Wild Wood' of Silver Birches are glowing golden in the afternoon sun.
It's hard to believe that just a couple of months ago, everything was brown and dry and crunchy underfoot!!

Hubby has been very busy bringing the vegie garden at the block back to life.
He's been digging, weeding, planting and getting ready to put new beds in.
I think he must be planning to feed the whole community somehow, but he's enjoying the change of scenery and it's so lovely to be outside while the days are still reasonably mild.







Another little stitchery, I finished last week.

This was something a little different as I incorporated some hand embroidery as well as free motion embroidery, which gave a foreground and background feel to the cottage garden.
Love the old fashioned Bee skeps......




I'm also enjoying making wire hangers which have a rather rustic appeal I think.








....and last but not least, yesterdays stitching, inspired by the Zinnias in my garden.
The fabric I have used and they way I've stitched them has given  it a decidedly 3D effect.
I just need to add a couple of bees, make a wire hanger and I'm done........but my Zinnias aren't done yet.
 They are  flowering their heads off and despite the blooms getting smaller they are still lovely and bright and cheery.
It will be a shame to have to pull them out shortly



Phew!!!
Hope you're still with me.....well done if you are.
So life ticks over nicely and the days run into one another and become weeks and  then it's a new month.
Nothing particularly exciting happens and that's fine by me.
Ideas for stitcheries keep popping into my head as fast as I can stitch them up.
I have my wood heater going and things are lovely and cosy in the evening. I so love the cooler months.....

Hope you are enjoying the season where ever you are.
Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to read my ramblings and comment. 
It's always appreciated.

Take care,

Claire Xx



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Autumn Adventures


'SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness! 
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; 
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,         5
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease,  10
  For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.'

John Keats

A perfect description of Autumn and I am so enjoying it at the moment.

Beautiful, misty mornings, cool evenings, it's time to think about getting cosy and hunkering down against the coming cold weather.
Our wood shed is choc a block, I have put the doona on the bed and filled the freezer with nourishing soups made from home grown vegies.



 
 




While it may be heading towards Winter here, my FB news feed and blogs are full of beautiful Spring images from the UK & USA.
Of course it inspires me and comes out in my stitcheries.




A sprinkle of rain and a sunny day, have mushies popping up here and there in our paddocks.





After spending Good Friday out and about, I had to light the wood heater when I got home. 
It had been raining and was quite chilly.
The fire warmed the room, but I felt icy fingers of air sneaking under the door and curling around my ankles.

Action stations.......

I needed a new draught stopper to replace the saggy, old ones which were no longer earning their keep.
 An old, grey blanket was used and then I snipped and stitched Autumn treasures onto it......success.
No more chilly draughts....

I had so much fun making this that I think I need to make 2 more for the other doorways.




Look who I spied feeding in the Zinnia patch this afternoon!!
I quietly high tailed it back to the house to grab my camera and hope that he hadn't flown off.

I stood there for a good 30sec. snapping pics as this Eastern Spinebill flitted from flower to flower.

Isn't he amazing?......







Eastern Rosellas are regular visitors to our property and they enjoy the Silver Birch seed heads in the 'Wild Wood'.

Love seeing them here, I just hope the bird life at our new property is as prolific and diverse.....I'm sure it will be..








Monday week ago I picked up two very special visitors from the local airport.

My nieces Jacquie (Middle) and Shelley (RHS) from the UK made a whirlwind visit to Oz where they visited their dads family in Perth for 10 days and then flew across to Victoria to spend a week with me.

Jacquie was born in Albany, W.A. and has been back to Oz for a 3 month visit in 2002. Shelley was born in the UK and has never been out here, so it was extra special to see them both.

They are such lovely girls, funny, animated, friendly, happy, delightful house guests and yes I am a very biased Aunt.....

Nice to have some female company about for a change!

We chatted and laughed, drank lots of cuppas, went adventuring each day and before we knew it we were back at the airport again.

They are now back in Edinburgh having moved there just before their holiday. So, busy unpacking and setting up their new home.









Friday we packed sandwiches muffins and a thermos and headed to Mt. Beauty for a late picnic lunch, but when we arrived we decided to head up the mountain to Falls Creek resort.

We watched the outside temp.gauge drop as we drove higher.
We all had a guess as to what the temp. would be at the summit.....7 deg. I won!!

I had the pleasure of making the cuppas (teapot, tea leaves hot water, etc.) out side the car in the icy wind and rain!!
No complaints, I love a car picnic when it's rainy out and you're inside .......happy childhood memories.




We stopped in at Bogong Village on the way back down.
The water level was pretty low in the lake, so we could walk across to the island.
It reminded me of something out of the Hobbit or
 Lord of the Rings.

Beautiful, Autumn colours.....





We lunched at the Milawa Cheese Factory one day.....
Beautiful food and I just love this 'curtain' of foliage.
How gorgeous is this colour?



While the girls were here, I had my sewing machine and fabric etc. packed away......we needed to use the dining table!!
I did have with drawal symptoms, but had my crocheted granny square blanket to work on.......
By Easter Friday, some embroidery thread and snippets of fabric had found their way onto the coffee table and a little stitchery was taking place.
It's now finished and I so enjoyed a change of stitching pace.



It's been such a busy time with Easter falling while the girls were here.
There were two dinner nights with friends and family and we've just finished eating the leftovers!!
My 2 sisters who both live interstate made the trip down so it was a great family get together.

I showed the girls my little corner of the globe and introduced them to the joy of breakfast and coffee in town on a Saturday morning and the fun of doing the Age newspaper quizz with 'the gang'

They cuddled baby kangaroos and got up close to wombats and wallabies at our local wildlife refuge.

We headed to Bright last Saturday and fought our way through crowds at the markets and bumped into cousins that couldn't make it to lunch.

The last night they were here, we wrapped ourselves up in warm jackets, headed outside and lay down on the driveway to gaze at the stars.
They couldn't get over how many stars they could see.
 They were absolutely gobsmacked and I have to say the stars put on a great show for them.


It's been a very special time, who knows when I will see them again, but Jacquie has a spare bedroom in her flat, so if you don't see another blog post for a couple of months don't be surprised if I suddenly post pics from Scotland!

Righto, the sewing machine is back in it's rightful place....the dining table and I've got lots of ideas that need stitching, so catch ya later.


Claire Xx

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Woohoo it's Festival time again......



Welcome to April......Autumn....cooler days and even cooler evenings.
We've had lovely rain these past 2 weeks and the warmish days have seen mushrooms popping up in the paddock.
I cooked some up with garlic, butter and parsley this evening, absolutely delicious.

The respite from the heat and dryness of Summer has been refreshing. The garden has revived somewhat, the clover is shooting and the surrounding hills are covered in green.

The vegie garden is putting forth the last of it's produce.
 I'm cooking up pots of tomatoes, making veggie soup and enjoying the last of the pears and apples.....

There's still some stitching going on and I've enjoyed making some cards.
 Small projects.







Plus a little hanging, inspired by lots of lovely Spring pics I've seen on UK blogs...... 






Up at the new block, trees around the dam are colouring up beautifully.
 Love the contrast between the greenery, the dry grass and the Autumn colour.
The previous owner had a wonderful plan and started planting English trees when he purchased it 12+ years ago.
We now get to enjoy the beauty of his foresight. 







Old gate at the cattle yards.....love the splash of green.

There's a fair bit of work to do fixing fences etc. but they'll hold up for a little longer.
We're going to be busy for a while



Hubby has been busy weeding the overgrown garden beds.
It's been a time consuming chore, but he's making headway and the recent rain will definitely make the rest of the job alot easier.




The cockies have been enjoying, the berries in the Chinese Pistachio tree.
 They've eaten the berries and nipped off the sprigs dropping them on the ground.
They can be quite destructive and noisy birds, but I do love seeing them take flight with a stormy sky behind them.
  





Well 2 weeks have passed since our Folk Festival.
This was the main street on the Thursday before it all kicked off.
Fairly quiet, not too many people around and lovely weather.





Come Friday along with the visitors, the storm clouds rolled in to town.

We had it all, heavy downpours, wind, thunder, lightning, blackout and even a fire started by a lightning strike just down the road.







But the marquee went up, people pitched their tents at the camping ground and the sun showed itself in time for the opening parade.







Richard enjoys playing for a home crowd, but does find it a bit nerve wracking.
It was great to hear the new songs he'd been working on.

Love the 'guitar face'.....





This year we had the gorgeous Mezz Coleman (on the right) from the blog
 Mezz Makes Stuff playing at the festival.
I have been enjoying her CD since I won it in a giveaway she had some time ago.
It was so nice to see her actually perform.
She's one talented gal with such a beautiful voice, lovely personality, generous spirit and check out those gorgeous red sandals.......op shopped of course.
Also joining her over the weekend was Taz her SIL who blogs over at Butter and Buntings
. Taz is wearing a thrifted vintage tablecloth' skirt she made.....gotta love a pair of red sandals as well.


 I'm holding the 1st copy of the great,little magazine they produce called 

Mezz was also kind enough to run a ukulele workshop for the festival......her first ever workshop and if she was at all nervous she didn't show it.
 Everyone had a great time at it and got the opportunity to perform with her at her last gig.

Thanks so much Mezz and Taz and the gang ( Byron, Pete and the super cute Percy) for coming up to Yack for the weekend.
It was great to meet not one but two bloggers and share my little piece of paradise with them........
I hope you'll come back and play again Mezz.....







The weekend was a huge success, our biggest festival in the 17 years it's been running.
It takes alot of time and effort to put these events together and it's all done by volunteers.
A great effort for such a small community......

So now that it's behind us, what's been happening?

Well, we've had rain and it's been lovely.
Beautiful, gentle soaking rain.
Autumn is really starting to put on a show for us, I love it.
I have my 2 nieces from the UK coming to stay in a week or so.
It's going to be alot of fun, there'll be family dinners, day trips here and there and lots of laughter. 
They're only here for a week, but it will be a rather busy week, with Easter in there as well.
There won't be much stitching done, might have to pull out my granny square blanket and finish it off to get my creative fix.

So what's been happening in your neck of the woods?
I would love to hear about them?

Thanks so much for popping by to say 'hi'.....
It's always great to hear from you.

Take care,

Claire Xx