Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Home Is Where The Heart Is....♥♥♥

Hello there lovelies, it's been over 12 months since I last posted, so I hope you haven't completely forgotten about me,........wouldn't blame you if you have...:)

A lot has happened in that time, so I'll try and be brief and not ramble too much and I have to confess, that's not easy for me!!

We have settled in nicely to our new home, having moved in, in March.
I set up my sewing room and have been stitching away quite happily.
It's on the front of the house, facing North, so it gets the morning sun and has a beautiful view down our driveway/garden/ orchard which we refer to as 'the park', along with 2 beautiful 100 year old, plus Oak trees....

Spring has been having quite an influence on my work recently.

Beautiful, bright Japonica, birds eggs, a buzzy bee and of course a few words......

'Awake thou wintry earth.
Fling off thy sadness!
 Fair vernal flowers,laugh 
forth your ancient gladness.'

Beautiful Japonica, it grows wild on the road side and I love a few stems of it in a vase. 
It certainly brightens up a dull, grey day

Moving to our new home I was a little worried my favourite Winter bird wouldn't be able to find us and for the first half of the season, I didn't see any, but the last few weeks, they have visited regularly. 
Sometimes I've spotted 2 or 3 of these handsome red chested fellows and it makes me soooo happy to see them flitting from fence to tree to birdbath.

One day as I was checking the letter box for mail one chirpy fellow was sitting in a gum tree and singing away.
That was a first......
 I have never heard them sing before and I have to tell you it was quite a special moment.

Of course when you spot a male, there's usually a female close by and I love this beautiful, little ball of feathers, fluffed up against a cold morning.

Recent sunny, Saturdays we have enjoyed morning tea in the vegie garden.
 Home made Date scones, a pot of tea, blue sky and sunshine, what more could you ask for?.......OK chocolate cake maybe, hehe....

Another recent stitchery.
 I tried something a little different.
Love the fabric 'frame' and the verse by Shelley....
describes Spring's arrival perfectly.

I did a market back in July, the first for a long time and I decided to get some business cards
(apologies for the blurry pic, uploaded the wrong one!!)
I ordered these through Moo cards, they are Mini Moo and sooooo cute.
With our dodgy WIFI it took quite a few tries to up load photos but it was worth it in the end.
Great price, quality and service, definitely recommend them.

So, the last 12 months has pretty much been about moving,  building our new home and settling in.

We are sooooo happy with how it turned out,
We down sized a little, but there is still plenty of room for everything we need.....although my sewing room could be a tad bigger, but I think I would always say that....:)

It's a very comfortable, easy to live in home.
Every time I look down the 'park' and see that beautiful view, I pinch myself realising how very blessed we are to be the caretakers of this beautiful property.

Now that Spring is here, there's lots to do outside.

I'm keen to get started on the new shrubbery, so if any of you green thumbed ladies have some ideas on turning a bare patch of ground into a garden bed, I'd be more than grateful for your tips.

So girls, there's a brief round up of what's been happening in this corner of the globe.

Thanks to Sue over at Mr Micawber's Recipe for Happiness for giving me a gentle reminder that I should update my blog!!

Hope you are all well and enjoying the change of season where ever you are......

Claire xx

Thursday, August 7, 2014


It's 5am and I'm awake, what else would you do but get up and do a blog post? Right?

I've cranked the heater, made a Milo and got a box of tissues by my side.....someone has shared their cold with me....:(
I was thinking I'd get another blog post in before July ended and then realised we were well into August......so my brain's in a bit of a fog at the moment.....

I've been having fun playing around with some ideas and stitchy techniques.
When I've got a bit more time, I'll take it a little further and see what I come up with.
Gotta love Pansies and Violas and their sweet, little faces.
They come in such a multitude of colours.

Another stitchery finished and off to it's new home.
I used a different colour palette and was very happy with the outcome.
It felt like Spring was just around the corner.

There are pops of colour around the garden and the girls love getting out and having a good scratch around in the 'Wild Wood'
Although egg production has slowed down, they are still giving me an egg a day which is lovely.
You can't beat fresh egg from your own hens.....

On the roadside a Japonica growing wild deserves a little attention.
Love this colour and they are such hardy, drought tolerant shrubs.
It gets the tick of approval and will find a place in my new garden.

Recently I was given a bag of embroidered doilies and linen from a  work friend.
They belonged to her late Nan and Jo, knows how much I love this sort of thing.
Inside the bag were some exquisitely embroidered hankies.
 Such delicate fabric and amazing stitching.
Some of the pieces are in perfect condition and like these hankies I won't be using them in my work.
But some may find their way into what I do.
I think I'll take my time and wait for the right project.....

Our local knitting group 'Yack N Yarn' met again last month.
It was great to see some new faces around the table.
Patterns were discussed, projects admired, coffee drunk and much chit chat and laughter took place.
Not sure how much knitting was done by the participants, but a good time was had by all.

I've just treated myself to a gorgeous little cottage, from the talented Joy Williams.
It's called 'Meadowsweet Cottage' and of course when I saw the chickens and their little home I knew it would have to come and live with me!!
Joy has painted a series of different cottages and I'm a little worried I won't be able to stop at just one.....

I think Joy's work has inspired me and I've been working on a little cottage of my own.
Since I took this pic I have started stitching the garden and of course there will be some chickens.

The last month of Winter, is giving us some of the coldest temps. all season.
We've had snow on the 'Ben' and there was some excitement last Friday with the possibility of snow falling even lower.
It didn't eventuate here but did snow lightly in various localities across the state.....

A misty morning recently had me snapping madly.
A sea of mist turned trees into little islands.
It was an amazing sight, worth getting up early for.......

Another recent purchase that I just couldn't resist.
My new apron modelled by No.1 son, I cropped his head as he was pulling silly faces!
Love the storybook quality of the design and it will replace one that I have recently worn out.....perfect excuse for a new one, don't you think?

Spring is on it's way here......the days are lengthening slowly and buds have opened a little early on some of the fruit trees.
Our wood supply is dwindling somewhat, but I think we'll have enough to see out the Winter.
It's been a little too damp to get outside and do much, but once Spring arrives I'll be busy gardening and putting things in order for moving in December.
Busy times ahead, so I've been making the most of this time to stitch away.
If you have any tips for packing up and moving house I would love to hear them.
 I have done this over 20 times and still haven't perfected it as each move is different!!
Ok, it's time for porridge and I think i better see if I can track down another box of tissues!!

Thanks for popping by to read my ramblings, it's always lovely to hear from you.

Take care,

Claire Xx

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....


Twiggy wig wams with Sweet Peas


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

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