Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Beware it's addictive!

After much ummhing and aahing I finally got around to making a crochet hook roll. Hopefully this will help to keep them in one place.
After looking at numerous tutorials on the net, I put together this little number. Added a little saying on the front and felt quite pleased with myself. Started and finished the same afternoon. More photos further along.
I also had a go at crocheting some picot flowers which I found over at http://www.attic24.typepad.com. Lucy whips up some wonderful creations, but I haven't quite got the hang of weaving in the ends as I go.
My little flowers look somewhat like floral jellyfish, with their dangly tentacles.

Warning:- this is what happens when you ask someone to mind your market stall and you take a break to stretch your legs. You end up in a book shop and before you know it you have purchased a crochet book by Melody Griffiths,published by CICO books. It's the bright coloured photos that catch your eye and while they have you mesmerised you are reaching for your wallet and pulling out that little piece of plastic.
There go the profits for that stall, but what the heck it was worth it.
Just have a look at all this gorgeous, floral, Springy, loveliness. Boy, that was a mouthful but I think you get the picture. I just love this Forget-me-not square.

Narcissus anyone? Isn't it just lovely, the colours are so fresh and bright.

One very golden daffodil.

Aha, back to my crochet hook roll. Inside there are slots for a number of hooks, also a pocket for scissors and a smaller pocket on the front, for teeny weeny things. I felt the tie was a little too high, so the next one I make will be slightly modified.

I had fun tying it up and untying as I crocheted my way through the weekend. I was like a child with a new toy!!

I will leave you with a couple of photos taken yesterday afternoon. As the storm blew in, the sky darkened and down came the rain in curtains, obscuring part of the mountains.
The sun bared it's face briefly and then came the most beautiful rainbow. Click on the photo to enlarge it

It was quite spectacular and I can't help but marvel at the beauty of the creation around me and I love to share my corner of the globe with you.
A nice drop of rain has topped up our tanks again, given the garden a nice drink and softened the earth enough for me to get into the garden over the Easter break.

Wherever you are, enjoy the Easter break, if you are travelling, take care.
Thanks for dropping by, love reading your comments so take a moment to let me know you visited.
Claire X

Monday, March 22, 2010

Feathers, Fiddles and Folk

There's been no sewing of any sort taking place over the past week and it's just about killing me!!

Yes, it's sounds dramatic but for all those creative types out there I am sure you will understand and sympathise with me.

We have had visitors recently and as I sew on the above table I thought perhaps I should have a wee tidy up so said visitors could sit at the table for a meal if the need arose.

I folded and sorted and tried to be methodical and in the end I just shoved things into bags which I then crammed into overcrowded cupboards and hoped that no one would need something out of that cupboard!!

I also needed to clear fabrics and sewing bits and pieces off the spare bed so the visitors could sleep in it.

The spare bedroom looked lovely, with freshly laundered linen, fluffy towels and a vase of zinnias on the bedside table. Hope you have a good imagination as I didn't take a photo.

I love the above table, the colour of the timber and the marks and indentations. If it could tell the stories of family meals had at this table, of conversations it's heard, I am sure it would have some interesting tales to tell. It seats 10, 12 at a pinch. It was found on someone's back verandah with vinyl on top of it and pot plants sitting on it.

"Take a geezer at this 'lil beauty" I spied this on the weekend sitting on a table at a little store in town.

No "umming and aahing" needed, I bought it straight away before anyone else spied it.

After all this is "Sweet Birdy Love" blog and these are certainly sweet birdies.

I have never seen a tea cloth like this, it's in lovely condition. I had heaps of ideas swirling around making my brain hurt, bags, book covers, tea cosies!! BUT that would mean I would have to cut it up," oooooooh" you gasp, "how could you?" and that's where I am at . How can I?

So I will look at it, admire it and see what other ideas form before I reach for the scissors, so it has had a slight reprieve.

If you have any wonderful ideas of what I could do with it, feel free to share them.

Aren't these two cute?

I think the one in the middle must be one of those plastic budgies you buy at the pet shop, to keep your real budgie company!

It looks a little odd, wouldn't you say?

Now we come to the Fiddles and Folk part of the post.
Our visitors were Jackson and Martha from the Whitetop Mountaineers. They played at our annual Folk Festival in town on the weekend. They come from Virginia in the USA and play authentic old time music, sing and Martha does some great Appalachian dancing.
The fiddle is one Jackson made, how clever is that? The timber had a beautiful golden glow to it and on the front it had a shell inlay all the way around it. Certainly takes some skill to do that sort of work. BUT my favourite part of the fiddle was the end of the neck which featured a chicken, which Jackson had carved.
I have never seen anything like that before and I was quite taken with it. Of course you all know how I love my chooks!
Chooks, that was something I had to explain to them as they are called chickens in the States.

We had a lovely weekend of fine weather, fine music and fine company. The festival was a success as usual due to the wonderful talent from home and abroad and the hard work of the committee and all the volunteers
No1 son had his CD launch on the Saturday night, it went off without a hitch and we were all happy that this leg of the journey is complete.
The table remains cleared of sewing 'stuff' although I have set up my sewing machine and intend to do something with a budgie theme.

The Whitetop Mountaineers will be playing at the Apollo Bay Music Festival and the National Folk Festival in Canberra during the next couple of weeks. So if you are attending any of those festivals, be sure to go along and see them.
All's well here at Sweet Birdy Love and I hope it is with you too.
Till next time,
Claire X

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Anyone for tea and scones?

As promised dear reader the tea cosy mentioned in the previous post and it's finished.
It was made from a felted Op shop jumper and I used other felted wool from jumpers, scarves and some woollen blanket I dyed myself.

If you read the previous post you will notice how different it looks now that it has some stitching on it.

I burrowed into my fabric stash and came up with some cotton fabric to line it.

I don't 'do' tea cosies with openings for spouts and handles, far too fiddly for me

Autumns Jewels - rosehips and the last of the blackberries.

On the reverse side oak leaves and acorns and a lovely saying by Samuel Horowtiz.
It appealed to my love of Autumn.

Here it is keeping a rather large tea pot nice and cosy!

I couldn't resist showing you this little beauty I picked up during the week.
Doesn't it remind you of strawberries and cream or raspberry ripple icecream?
A lovely lady I met through my work has been crocheting them for many, many years. Gwen would be in her 70's and I couldn't help but admire it and offered to buy it .
It may be a little bit 'nanna' but you have to admire the workmanship and that's gone into it.
Lets hope that it's not a dying art.

This was one end of my stall at the market last Saturday, tea cosies, cards, baby singlets and some soft toys on the far left.

A bunch of zinnias to brighten everything up of course.

Shall have to whip up something on which to display my cards upright.

During the week a local paper featured an insert from a very well known, nearby bakery. In the insert was their recipe for their fabulous savoury scones.

We love them, a little bit too much perhaps, but No1 son decided he would whip them up.

An apron was a must, afterall, he couldn't get flour on his singlet could he?!!

Out of the oven and smelling oh sooooooooo good.

Let me reassure they tasted as good as they looked.

Funny that Mr. G. just happened to drop by on the pretext of getting some files for work!!

Another garden shot, vegie garden has done quite well this season, not that we have alot in it, we have scaled back due to the drought, but the late planted beans are going berserk over the arch (middle of the photo) I am picking a bunch everyday, just love them.

Where have the hills gone?This was the view that greeted me on Monday morning after a weekend where it rained and rained and rained, we thought we had seen the last of it, but Monday did turn out to be a fine day after a dull start.
To be honest, I do love this sort of weather and now that it is cooling down I am alot happier, as my thoughts turn to soup, more knitting, crocheting and mmm, maybe it's time for another savoury scone.
Thanks for dropping by take a minute to say 'hi', I love to read your comments.
From my corner of the globe to yours with love.
Claire X

Monday, March 8, 2010

Autumnal Musings

Autumn is here at last, breathe a deep sigh of relief, Summer is technically over. We have had a very, very wet weekend, 102mls (4inches and a little bit) of rain. It has been lovely listening to it on the roof and watching it fall. We haven't had rain like this for many, many years. Unfortunately, storms have caused alot of damage around the state, but we escaped the worst of the weather and just got the rain. Dams are filling, tanks are overflowing, creeks are running a 'banker".

So what crafty goodness have I been up to over the past week?

No1 son and I paid a little visit to Beechworth recently. A lovely gold mining town in North East Victoria, full of lovely shops and a couple of Op shops which were the drawcard on this particular day.
The sign out the front read " Bag of clothes $5.00", well what's a girl to do, I thought to myself. So while No1 son waited patiently out the front I rifled through the racks and found not 1 , not 2 but 6, yes that's right 6 woollen gems.
To felt them, they need to be oh, 70 to 80% wool, well most of these beauties were pure wool, bonus.
I thought I better check with the lovely lady who was volunteering, she assured me that all clothes were included in the sale and gave me a helpful little tip "if you roll the clothes in a ball dear, you get more in the bag"
What a sweet, helpful thing she was. So I shoved and rolled and stuffed those jumpers into the bag and left feeling very happy that I had helped them make more room on their racks for more stock!!
Here they are after being felted, it doesn't look as if they have shrunk much but they are hanging on kids coat hangers, they would probably fit a 6 y.o. at this stage.

First project I had in mind was a tea cosy with an "autumnal" theme.

I love that word -Autumnal, it's not one people use, so I have made it my mission to introduce it into conversation.

I love Autumn, the crisp mornings, leaves changing colour, the opportunity to wear a long sleeved top, make soup, have porridge for breakfast, start putting blankets on the bed.

So you can see the first side of my cosy, this was made with an idea swirling around in my head but not exactly sure how it would turn out.

I wanted rosehips and blackberries - Autumns jewels.

I cut and placed and replaced and recut and placed again until I was happy and then I sewed adding thorny stems and more leaves and it changed the whole look and made me smile.

Now dear readers, please don't be cross with me BUT it wasn't till I started this post that I realised I didn't actually have a photo of the finished product. Yes, I know, how frustrating is that?

Can't believe it, I am such a goose, never mind I shall make amends before the end of the week, so please, please, please pop by in a couple of days.

Here is the other side, with a lovely saying by Samuel Horowitz and YES, I realised to my horror that there was a 'typo'.

How could I not see that before it was too late, maybe I was enthralled by all the Autumnal goodness going on!!

There's no going back, unpicking and resewing, it can ruin the fabric as the stitches are so small.

What could I do, oh well, it is handmade and a little part of me is stitched into everything I make, so I fixed the offending 'typo' the only way I could. If nothing else I like to think I can spell well, even if I do make the oldd mistake!!

To tell the truth I quite like the 'typo' and think it adds a humorous or should that be a human touch. That's right, these tea cosies aren't churned out by the thousands in some sweatshop.

It needed a bit more embroidery and acorns and oak leaves seemed to be just the ticket.

Can't resist a green door, let alone two green doors. The old garage in town has been turned into a wonderful gallery called Spiritus. Full of lovely paintings, sculptures, jewellery, garden ornaments, and textile bits and pieces.

As today was a holiday for 'Labour Day' I thought I better get out into the garden and wield the gardening fork, Shake it in disgust at the weeds which had dared to grow whilst I was slaving away over a hot sewing machine.

I have to confess I have ignored the garden for quite a few weeks, which would actually become months!! So, there was nothing for it but to get busy, cloudy day so it wasn't too hot , but I did work up quite a sweat, digging, weeding,shovelling, moving rocks and pruning.

I filled one wheel barrow after another and whipped the shrubs into some semblance of order.

The roses are putting on an Autumn flush, this is Mothers Love given to me by my dear mum, she also gave a bush to each of my two sisters.

This year has been the best display, no thrips and now that I think of it, I didn't see one aphid on my roses this summer. Now that's a first.

Mothers love has a beautiful perfume and starts off a lovely pink and then fades to a creamy colour.

Two of my 'girls' Dorothy (Dorking) background, Lollopy Lou Rock (Plymouth Rock) foreground, surrounded by the Powlonia? tree.
This fine gent is enjoying a peach I threw him, the late fruiting variety is almost ready and looking very 'peachy"

Let me introduce you to another member of the family, this is Tigger, who likes to curl up in the most unusual places.

Yes it's a box on the verandah, obviously it has great cat appeal!!

Now this is the photo we don't want Mr. Grumpy pants to see, Tigger will sneak into any basket and have a snooze and as you can see he has chosen the basket on the left. No, he didn't fancy the sock basket on the right, he wanted the jocks basket on the left!!

What was I to do, (after I stopped chuckling to myself) take a photo of course and then remove the offending cat. So Mr. Grumpypants became Mr. Furry pants for a day or two!!

Mr. G and Tigger have a love hate relationship and this sort of behaviour doesn't endear my furry friend to Mr. G. I must admit when Tigger takes a snooze on top of our jumpers I get a bit tetchy with him too.

We really do love you Tigger xx I had my market stall on Saturday up in Beechworth and although it was little quieter than expected being a long weekend I was more than happy with my sales.

Sold out of all my chook cards, so will be plugging in the machine this week to whip up a few more.

Also sold two of my book covers and someone even offered me money for the bunch of zinnias which I was using as decoration!

I couldn't take money for them, they were given away from one Zinnia lover to another.

Well, that's an abbreviated roundup of goings on here in the Sweet Birdy Love household.

Thanks for dropping by, take a minute and say "hi" and I hope you have sunshine and blue skies in the coming week.

Please drop by soon as I owe you a photo of the finished tea cosy.

Claire X