Saturday, January 30, 2010

Books, Birds, (Letter) Boxes!!

I have been working on some journal covers recently and enjoying the process, once I figured out what I was meant to be doing!!
As you know there has been a fair bit of "Kombi Love" going on around here, so of course a Kombi had to feature. I wasn't 100% percent happy with the finished product, as there was a lot of blank space around it but figured some flowers in the top left and bottom right corners would do the trick. Playing on the "Flower Power" theme of course, so that's yet to be done. Looks like the front left tyre has had a blow out but I think it's just a thread to be cut off.

Next of course there had to be a bird and I am more than happy with how this cover turned out . As it was my second cover, I was getting the hang of things. Love the colours the green and brown on the natural background are very striking.

Last but not least another favourite, this book is alot smaller than the other two and it just cried out for an Owl! Owls happen to be another favourite "thing" at the moment. For a long time I have tried a number of different owl designs and have never been happy with one up until now. I realise the branch doesn't stand out very well in the photo but in real life it seems find. particularly love his feathery tummy. Owls may have taken over from Kombi's for the moment!!

For some time I have been driving past groups of letter boxes and they have intrigued me no end. I love seeing them standing there waiting patiently for the postie to deliver something, whether it be a bill, letter or junk mail.
Going up to the letter box during the day is always a bit of an adventure, you never know if there will be something there or not. If there is will it be exciting, interesting or just rubbish.
I enjoy seeing the different receptacles people use
as letter boxes, whether it be a shop bought proper letter box, or an old oil drum that's been cleaned out and painted up, a plastic drum of some sort or just any old thing lying around that will keep the mail out of the weather.
Before computers they were our connection with
the outside world, family and friends. My letter
box, not only contains mail at times, but egg cartons and egg money from my neighbour, magazines friends pass on and numerous other things. I think at times the postie must get quite a surprise when she opens it to put something in there!!

I think people should use something in keeping with the countryside, something slightly weather beaten, to give it that rustic appeal . The little white letter box on the far right, looks so out of place in the country it belongs in a town, where they have concrete guttering, street lights and manicured lawns!

Standing like sentinels, looking a little worse for wear but still able to carry out their job. I particularly love the last four, so much character in the size, shape and colour. Times like this I wish I was an artist, I would get my paints out and do a series of country letterboxes paintings.

As you can see the countryside is quite brown, but there is a tinge of green here and there. We need some more rain and soon. It's a struggle to keep the water up to the garden and by the end of the day all the plants are looking very droopy
A big thankyou to Julie Whitmore for her blog posting tips, particularly the uploading of photos. Still struggling with text beside the right photo, but today I feel it has been 2 steps forward and half a step backwards. That's progress of some sort.
Thankyou for visiting and reading my 'wafflings'.
I hope you are well in your corner of the globe, till next time,
C x

Friday, January 29, 2010

Brooches, books and births!

The 'Kombi Love' continues to make it's prescence felt here at 'Sweet Birdy Love" blog.

Just a small sample of Kombi's waiting on the production line to be assembled. The orange Kombi in the top left corner is ready to roll off the assembly line once it gets it's brooch backing hand sewn on (not a job I enjoy). They are all on an angle, no it is not your eyesight, so put the phone down , cancel your appointment with the Optometrist!! At the mo my favourite is the finished orange one, but I have sewn up a red one just using red thread and not fabric and I think it has taken over the No. 1 spot.

Recently I found this lovely book in an Op shop and paid the princely sum of 30 cents for it. I was intrigued by the cover the lovely apple green and the delightful picture sucked me right in. It's a lovely story about a couple living in the country and it goes through the seasons and what happens in the garden. It is a true but not a historical story. I have thoroughly enjoyed it as these sort of books appeal to me . They are written in a time when life was centred around the seasons and society wasn't as fast paced as it is today.

The black and white pictures remind me of wood block prints, whether they are or not I wouldn't know , but they are very refreshing and quite appropriate for the story. There is quite alot of detail in them so if they are a block print then alot of time would have been spent on them

We have had a birth in the household and not just one birth but a multiple in fact probably close to 100 babies, were born last Saturday, intrigued? Read on - approx 3 weeks ago a Praying Mantis left an egg sac on the window screen of our living room. Initially I was going to remove it and then I thought why not leave it and just see what happens.

Last Saturday No. 1 Son called me into the living room to witness close to or possibly more than 100 baby Praying Mantii/Mantises?!! coming out of the egg sac. They were so small about the size of my little finger nail and perfectly formed. They hung around for a couple of hours and then started moving off in all directions. I didn't follow them to see where they ended up, no doubt some of them have become meals for spiders or birds but without doubt alot of them have made it into the wide blue yonder.
I have been busy working on some journal covers, which are coming along nicely , so pop back soon and I will be able to show you what I have been making.
By the way if anyone would like to enlighten me as to how I can get pictures in the right order and to stay put, I would be very grateful. I am still struggling to post a blog with which I am happy. Uploading photos and getting them in the correct position seems to be my biggest problem at the mo, I wonder how other bloggers centre their photos on the page? Anyway, I shall keep blogging away and maybe one day I shall unlock the door to posting success.
Thanks for dropping by, until next time.
C x

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekends Wrapup

It's been a mixed bag as regards to the weather here this weekend. Saturday was 37deg. warm and breezy, I eventually turned the air conditioning on to keep things cool inside the house.

Once the sun had gone down, it cooled off a bit and I could open windows and doors and let some air in.
Today has been quite breezy with a bit of a chill in the air. Went into town this morning as the local Lion's Club market was on. I usually have a stall but decided to take a break for a month or two during summer, also after Christmas things seem to slow down a bit, despite tourists being on holiday in the area. Twas nice to have a sleep in and not be rushing around packing tea cosies, cards etc. etc. etc.

I never thought to take my camera and snap a few shots, for you to see. The street outside the local primary school is closed off for the market and it's lined with large, oak trees either side, which is just lovely.
My boys have been away for the weekend down in Tassie, No 1 son was playing at a Folk Festival down there, so I had the place to myself!
Instead of tying"a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree", to welcome them home, I shall post a photo of some bunting blowing in the breeze whilst hanging on the clothesline!!
I made this back in Spring ,I love the red white and blue, seasidey feel to the fabric. No doubt you can tell it's Spring by how green the grass is and the Prunus Elvins (last tree on the right) is coming into bud. If you are not familiar with it, it has zillions of flowers which flower directly along the branches. The flowers actually outline all the branches so it is a maze of blossom, starts off white and deepens to pink as it ages, absolutely stunning. The flowers almost look like popcorn growing along the branches.

Hope you have had a good weekend wherever

you are and all the best for the coming week.

Thanks for stopping by, drop me a line to say "hi" it's always nice to catch up.

C x

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's quite on the cards.....

Two more cards to share with you, the first is the washing day with some very cute polka dot clothing, although I must say that the bloomers are most definitely NOT mine!! A pair of polka dot knickers maybe, but definitely not this sort.

My nanna used to have one of these clotheslines, a pole at either end to hold up the line and one in the middle for extra support when the washing was hanging on it.

Along with 'Kombi love' there is also some 'caravan love' going on around here as well.
Maybe it's the home on wheels aspect of both vehicles that appeals so much to me. You can hitch one to your wagon or put the key in the ignition in the other and head off into the wide blue yonder to follow your dreams. With so many 'grey nomads' heading off these days these cards always seem to raise a smile.

I love making them, I think the caravan in the middle is my favourite.

Things are pretty quiet here on the craft front at the moment, don't know whether it's the heat of lack of inspiration, but I certainly hope it sorts itself out soon.

Hope you are all well and whether your home is on wheels or stationary, all the best to you and yours.

C x

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'ts play time

Okay, I am posting this in such a topsy, turvy manner tonight, please forgive me, I have uploaded the same photo 3 times, would you believe. Managed to delete it but have got the order higgeldy piggeldy, but we shall soldier on, forward into the fray and follow on behind.

Here is one side of a heart I have made, yet to be filled, I love the raw, natural look of linen , the two little hearts off to the right, need to be bigger next time. I cut away the linen to reveal a floral cotton beneath. I love how well the safety pin turned out and I am using them quite a bit in my work now.

There's a wee bit of Kombi love going on here as well. The van on the right was my first attempt and I was reasonably happy with it. No. 1 son thought it was cool and let me sew it onto an old pair of school shorts.

They were a blank canvas and needed some decorating. So roughly zigzagged edges of different sized stitching seemed to fit the bill.

I also stitched a "saying" I found on the net, it read "music washes away the dust of everyday life from the soul", (that's from memory, so I hope it's correct!)

As he is a muso I thought that was quite appropriate and he thought it was "cool", so that was a big tick of approval. The kombi on the left is the improved version , there's a bit of flower power happening.
It will end up on a card with a little slogan typed up and sewn on. Isn't it funny how once you start thinking about something in this instance, Kombis, you suddenly start seeing that very thing alot more?
Here is the other side of the heart which reads" Love fails only when we fail to Love" Hmm. Once again FH machine embroidery and I cut away the floral fabric to reveal the linen beneath.

After reading Viv's blog over at Hensteeth and being inspired by her wonderful work, I felt the need to sew a heart, after all it is valentine's day next month.
It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I have recently discovered a new "love" !! Raw, rough, uneven edges, yes, you read it correctly.
Rip the fabric if you can, use blunt scissors to cut it to achieve the rough edged effect. Then delicate freehand machine embroidery with swirls.
I love the Scandinavian look of red against linen. This used to be a pair of linen drawstring pants I bought them from the op shop and a little bit of fabric can go a long way, as I use small pieces for my cards. This heart is just a little sample, a bit of playing about on the machine to see what I could come up with.

Well, that's what I have been up to here, the weather has cooled down, which makes life alot more enjoyable and you don't feel like you are melting!
Having trouble formatting photos and text, any suggestions or tips, greatly appreciated.

Till next time,


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time To Breathe A Sigh Of Relief

Well after 4 days of very hot weather, we have had a cool change come through, which is absolutely lovely.

We had half an hour of reasonably heavy rain which cooled everything off and gave the garden bit of a drink and will save me from watering for a day or so.

A couple of pics here of my girls. Top picture is of Mrs Rock (Plymouth Rock- black and white chook) Dorothy ( Dorking to her right, greyish chook) and our very handsome rooster, he's a Wellsummer and has the most colourful plummage. They are having an outing, in the orchard and enjoying the shade under the plum tree. It's quite amusing watching them move into a new area, as they go running after grasshoppers and it can look quite comical at times.

Here is a better picture of Dorothy, when I first bought her I was a little disappointed with her colouring as I was expecting something quite different, but on closer inspection, realised that she is indeed a very stylish lass. Although her feathers are grey and her chest is a coppery gold she has very fine markings and is really quite stunning in an understated way. She isn't out there shouting to the world "look at me"

Now that the heat has disappeared for a few days, we have something else to contend with. Another of summers unwelcome visitors - yes, you guessed it - a snake!! No 1 son was out at the vegie garden yesterday and heard a sound like a hose being dragged through the grass, he turned to see a brown snake slithering off into the rhubarb plant. The first time we have had a snake in the house paddock since we built 8 years ago, so not bad going.

Will have to wear boots and stomp very loudly so it can hear me coming and DISAPPEAR!!

This is our elephant garlic which is ready to be lifted, I love the flowers as they are so architecturally pleasing. The flowers have all dried off but they were a deep mauve . I actually cut some to put in the entry as I couldn't find anything else in the garden in flower at the time. They are still there 2 months later and have still reatined some of their colour. The entry smelt of garlic for a couple of hours after picking them!!

Fortunately, for visitors my roses are now in bloom!!

Struggling to get text in correct position with photos, so please excuse me, I still have my "L" plates on!!

Hope all is well with you - till next time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Corner Of The Globe

It's been another warm day here 43deg. once it gets over 40 who's counting!! It's just jolly hot. Not much happening on the crafting front at the moment, but there will be more photos next time. I actually cleaned up the table where I have all my craft stuff, well I cleaned up half of the table!! I might plug my sewing machine in and play a little bit today.

These photos are taken from the top of my driveway, looking in a south, south easterly direction. As you can see there is still a touch of green but that is in the house paddock . Still it's nice not to be looking at dry grass everywhere. The paddock is very dry but on the distant hills there is also a tiny touch of green, due to the lovely rain on New Years Eve and the following evening. Mind you with this warm weather it will dry off pretty quickly.

We have a lovely view of the hills and mountains further round to the right and when it gets really cold in winter, we get a sprinkling of snow on the top of the hills, usually only lasts a day but looks lovely.

Needed something cool and refreshing after dinner last night, the boys went for a walk, whilst I got outside and did a few jobs in the relative cool.
I chopped up some watermelon, pineapple and kiwi fruit and added some mint leaves and chilled it till they came home. Mint just gives it a lovely twist and is very refreshing.
Had a little hiccup trying to upload photos last night, so decided to wait till this morning when it was cooler and I wasn't going to get so frustrated.
Warm wishes to all those in the Northern hemisphere enduring the wintery weather and to those dealing with this heat, stay cool.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Last But Not Least

Just before we move on from tea cosies, I HAD to show you this little fella. I found it in an op shop and couldn't believe it. Being an owl lover I couldn't leave it there, after all they only wanted $1.oo for it. It's such a hoot (pardon the pun), I think it was the find of the day. It's very kitsch, but I just love it!!

Thought I would show you a few of the cards I make and sell when I have a stall at the local craft market.

Any small scraps of fabric can be used which means of course,I have great difficulty throwing anything away. Once again wonky lines are my trade mark and add a quirkiness to the card, it's definitely handmade. Being a chook lover, I had to make some and believe it or not, they are my best seller. Seems like there are alot of chook lovers out there besides me.

I used to cut words from old books and sew them onto the card, but now I have an old manual portable typewriter and can type up anything I want, which makes it a lot easier and quicker.

I quite enjoy making the cards as they are quick, easy and quite different from anything else around.

It's been a very warm day here 43deg. another three hot days on the way and then hopefully a cool change will come through. We are all doing our best to keep cool, poor old chooks aren't enjoying it but they have plenty of shade and water to get them through and the mornings are still relatively cool for a few hours.
Being a winter person, I just tell myself at the end of each day that it is "another day closer to winter!" For any UK readers who might drop by, our winters are nowhere near as severe as yours. Hope you are all managing to stay warm during the cold weather as it looks like there is more on the way according to our news report.
Wherever you are are in your corner of the globe I hope you are well, please drop by again or leave a comment, it's lovely to hear from you.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

One more tea cosy!

Another day, another post, so far so good, getting the hang of posting WITH photos very, very slowly. If I wore a hat I would take it off to all bloggers who post regularly. I guess like anything it will just take time.
Just wanted to show you another tea cosy, which now that I am having a good look at the photo, it does appear somewhat wonky in shape and yes I realise the "writing" on the reverse side is too far over on the right and is heading up hill, but nonetheless, it's obviously handmade and I just love it.
Once again I have used hot pink, seems to be a favourite, although being a read head it's a colour I wouldn't wear. I found a lovely green lambswool jumper at the op shop and felted it. It was lovely and soft and it was very difficult to actually make the first cut into it. But once that was done I was fine! I used the pink and white polka dot cotton to line it and then played around with some other felted wool scraps to make some flowers, roses if you like. I cut three shapes from the scraps moved them around till I was happy with their position and then machine embroidered them, "free hand" style. I was quite pleased with the way they turned out and the effect created.
Once again I thought up a short verse to embroidery on the reverse and it reads " A garden full of roses is enjoyed more when shared with a friend. Much like a pot of tea.
It turned out to be my favourite tea cosy depsite it's slightly wonky appearance, but someone at the market had their eye on it and so it went to a new home, where it would be used and enjoyed.
Fortunately, the green jumper was a reasonable size and so from the sleeves I made some recycled arm warmers and there is still a bit of the "fabric" yet to be put to use .
Well that's it for tea cosies, I have made others but unfortunately didn't take photos at the time and they are now sold.
No need for a tea cosy this weekend as it's hot enough , 42 deg. Hope you are warm and cosy if it's winter in your corner of the globe and staying cool if you are experiencing this heatwave.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Time for tea

Ah photos at long last, welcome to the New Year. It wasn't all that painful but just somewhat laborious. No doubt practice makes perfect or as perfect as I can possibly be lol!!
This little beauty is a tea cosy I made using a recycled woollen blanket that I dyed.
I was aiming for red but fell short somewhat, but I love what came out of the dye pot. HOT pink, luscious pink, pink that would make you gasp with delight! Ok that may be taking it a bit too far.
Sticking with the recycled theme I snipped some motifs from a crocheted table runner and added them, to the front of the cosy. I then lined it with a lovely bright blue and white polka dot cotton fabric. Some of my favourite colours coming together nicely.
On the other side I decided to add a little verse, that I "thunk up meself" and it reads "oh for fine bone china, a pretty tea cosy and a buttery biscuit. Simple pleasures are the sweetest"
In my haste to finish it off and take it to a market I forgot to dot the i's and then proceeded to tie off thread ends on the wrong side!!!
Never mind the i's have since been dotted but someone must've noticed as it sat on my stall all afternoon whilst other surrounding tea cosies went off to new homes.
I love making tea cosies they are a blank canvas waiting to be decorated. I like using recycled and felted jumpers in the main and adding something slightly quirky to them.
Well, this is my first post with photos for 2010. I look forward to many, many more once I truly get the hang of this. If anyone reading this would like to leave a reply it would be so lovely to hear from you.
Heading for a hot weekend in this little corner of the globe 42 and 43deg., arrgh, hope all is well wherever your abode is. Best wishes to you and yours for 2010.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Well, the wheels are turning ever so slowly, but I am making progress and I guess that's the main thing.

Last night Mr G. showed me how to move photos from my camera onto the computer and shrink them and lots of other things as well. Now I can access photos for my blog but this morning, I just can't manage to get them onto the blog, even though we successfully did this last night. Never mind, I will have another attempt at it tonight and under Mr G's expert tutelage I will be successful, because I know they are in the computer somewhere and I'm not going to be put off.

Have been "playing" with the sewing machine this morning, trying some ideas out on textile pieces. Problem is lots of ideas but not quite making it from the ideas stage to a successful outcome, but nonetheless having fun along the way and learning one or two new things in the process.

So far the new year has been very enjoyable, but I am afraid more hot weather is on the way . Oh well that's summer and at the end of the day I can tick it off and say to myself "that's one day closer to winter". Being a cold weather lover I look forward to the longer nights, snuggling under doonas, pots of soup on the stove, sitting by the wood heater with a cuppa and a knitting or crochet project by my side. Summer is bearble if you can get a good nights sleep and don't feel like you are going to melt everytime you go outside.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Stormy Weather

Well, it's storm central here. The start to the New year has been a very wet one we had 29.5 mls of rain NY Eve and last night we had a massive storm with the whole works, thunder lightning and heavy, heavy rain. When I checked the rain gauge this morning there was 38mls in it, yahoo, the tanks are overflowing but as we have been having fairly regularly rain that's not unusual.

I was home alone and boy did that thunder make me jump, particularly as it sounded as if it was directly over my bedroom!! The lightning was quite spectacular at times but as we seemed to be in the middle of it I didn't want to open the curtains up and watch, it's unpredictable and dangerous and I didn't even have the cat to hug for comfort!! He was safely tucked up in the garage for the night.

I am sure all the campers wouldn't have been too appreciative of the storm, but when you have only tank water every drop of rain is appreciated.

One thing I want to have a little whinge about is they guys from the Weather Bureau, particularly when they are on the Radio(ABC) tlaking about the weather. I was listening, Friday morning (Jan 1st) and this guy (Cameron someone) was talking about how warm and dry it was in WA,SA, and NT then he proceeded to say it's not so good in the over in the east as there are showers and rain all over the place.

Okay, let's just have a little looky here at this:-

No. 1 A fair whack of the country is in drought

No.2 It's bushfire season

Hmm, what does this tell you, the guys from the weather bureau don't actually think about what they are going to say before they say it, or they assume nobody likes rainy weather in summer!

Well, I love rain anytime of year, too bad if it interrupts my plans, I'll manage to deal with it but we desperately need it, hellooo!!

Of course having said all that, I realize that flooding and the damage caused by it is very traumatic and I have sympathy for anyone who is affected by it.

Well, that's my little whinge for the new year, if you would like to comment please do so and let me know your thoughts.