Monday, June 28, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

Some new David Austin roses, awaiting planting.
I bought 4 new roses:- Lady of Megginch, Gertrude Jekyll. Eglantyne and Abraham Darby.
David Austin roses remind me of my mum. She loved them and had a wonderful garden.
A very generous friend gave me her David Austin Rose book when I told her of my purchase. She is moving down to the coast later in the year and her rose collection won't be going with her, so she no longer has a need for the book.
A new tea towel, bought at sale price..... it's made by Danica Studio. It's covered in foxes, deer, squirrels, birds and will be display only for awhile.

Better let the boys know, so they can keep their mitts off it! But then again if I want the dishes dried....hmmm!

Next year is a rather significant birthday for myself and Mr. G, although he is a number of years ahead of me!

I put it to him that maybe we should head O/S and have ourselves a little trip to you guessed it ...Italy and maybe France.

He was quite happy with this idea, phew, so today I picked up some "brochures Richard" (said with Hyacinth Bucket accent).

When I arrived home from town, I got a call from work. I thought they were ringing to get me to fill a shift, but no. They were ringing to inform me that I had back pay coming due to being paid the incorrect rate for the last few years.

Now, don't get too excited, I only work 2 or 3 shifts a week, but still it comes pretty jolly close to paying for an airfare and that in my book is the icing on the cake.

Maybe it's time to do a refresher class in Italian. Have had a go 3 times and as much as I enjoyed it I found my teacher whilst being Italian wasn't the best at teaching, so I did struggle.

I would love to speak it fluently as I think it's wonderful to have a second language and it sounds great when it just rolls off the tongue.

And last but by no means least........ this long haired larrikin is making me smile. Yes, the 'boys are back in town'.

They arrived home Saturday afternoon, to a chilly 12 deg after a spending time in a hot and steamy New York. I thank God that they are home safe and sound after having spent a number of weeks away and clocking up quite a few air miles as well as road miles.

All went well and whilst his tour was cut short due to a number of reasons, not the least being the drop in the Aussie dollar it was a wonderful experience. He met some great people, everyone at his gigs enjoyed his music (bonus) and he saw some beautiful countryside.

So, sitting on the couch, chilling out with a hot chocolate and marshmallows and watching an episode or two of Shaun the Sheep, that's making me smile, in fact I can't help but laugh.

If you haven't seen it, get yourself a copy or borrow it from the nearest 3y.o. and enjoy some wonderful animation and funny story lines.

Last night No 1 son and I rugged up and headed outside to gaze at the moon. The frost was forming on the car and it was absolutely beautiful. We stood there in the moonlight, just talking about different things and wondering how many other people made a point of going outside at night to look up at the heavens and marvel in the beauty above them.... best thing is, it doesn't cost a cent.

Thanks for dropping by and having a look at what's making me smile this week. Wherever you are I hope you are finding plenty to smile about. Until next time, thanks for dropping by,

Claire X

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Autumns' Treasure

Press some beautiful Autumn leaves.

Add Blu-tack and cardstock.

Voila an ' Autumn Leaf Wreath'
I usually make this late Autumn, but have been a bit slow off the mark this year, never mind.
I have been making these for the last 5 or so years, the chimney brest is the perfect place for it.
A blank canvas waiting to be adorned!
This year I used alot of different leaves out of the garden to add colour and texture:-
  1. Weeping Cherry
  2. Viburnum Plicatum
  3. Viburnum Burkwoodii
  4. Wisteria
  5. Canadian Maple
  6. Oak leaves

    I usually have Liquid Amber leaves in there as well as they have a wonderful shape, but not this year.Please click on the photo to enlarge as the little picture doesn't do justice to the colours.The Weeping Cherry leaves, held their colour so well and have really added to the overall look. It will stay there well into Spring, when the garden has sprung into life and there is so much to look at and admire outside.
Anyone know how many owls you need to make up a Parliament?
A little bit of inspiration recently, had me scouring op shops for denim skirts.
These are the latest addition to my market stall which unfortunately was a bit of a wash out on Sunday morning.
Never mind, I packed up early and headed to a lovely little coffee shop and consoled myself with a coffee and a scone with jam and cream!!
I had some lovely and positive comments about these skirts so we will see. It's always fun to try new things. As they say "you'll never know if you don't have a go" or something along those lines...

This is the 'Wild Wood' at the front of my house on the embankment. I love the silvery white trunks and branches of the Silver Birches.
Now close your eyes and just imagine ....... A dark night lit up by millions of twinkling stars , the silvery glow from the moon beams shining down on the tree trunks, making them stand out against the velvety blackness of the night.
If I could take a photo to capture this scene I would, but I truly doubt any photo would do it justice.
It almost feels magical, there's something about it that takes me back to my childhood, it's a wonderful scene and I'm sorry that I can't share a picture of it with you.

Oh, how sweet ..... it's the game of 'I'll lick you, then you lick me and see who gets the first swipe in'!! Tig usually wins this game and Mrs Kafups walks away in disgust, but it was so nice while it lasted.

Please don't be surprised dear readers by the fact that I have posted twice within 4 days. I am quite well and not suffering from anything serious!!! Just thought I would like to share a little bit of what's been happening in the Sweet Birdy Love household.
I hope you have enjoyed your visit and I hope your week is going well .
I am looking forward to a nice, cold, rainy weekend (yes, you read correctly!) and some time in front of the heater with my crochet a nice cuppa and maybe a piece of cake, but that would mean I would have to bake it, hmmm, slight flaw in the plan!!
Take care, until next time,
Claire X

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Love Hugging Hotties

Take one felted, woollen jumper and :-
Snip, snip, snip,
pin, pin, pin,
sew, sew,sew
One hottie hugger ready to go.
One bright, birdy on the front, just waiting to be hugged.

It's Winter time and the best way to keep warm is to hug a 'Hottie', wouldn't you agree.

Snug as a bug in a rug, one hottie in its cover.

After seeing Kates wonderful crocheted wrap over at (follow her links) I just had to have a go. Double crochet all the way, what could be easier.
A spare ten minutes ,a 20% off everything sale at Spotlight and I had a bag full of yarn a size 7 crochet hook and an itch to get started.
So far so good, I made mine a little bit longer than Kates and I am just wondering if I made it a little bit too long. Never mind it will still be worn but maybe not past the front gate!!
I love the colours, all those Autumnal (there's that word again!) tones.
Took hubby to the airport this morning so an early start, I had an hour to fill in between his flight leaving and my favourite cafe opening, what was a girl to do.
Sit in the warmth of the airport cafe and crochet a few rows, whilst watching breakfast TV.
I have a few days to myself until Hubby and No 1 son return from the States, so this should give me plenty of time to finish this project.
I think a raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake will be on the menu for dessert Saturday night to welcome the travellers home.
Thanks for stopping by for a visit, please take a minute and say "hi".
Till next time, I hope you are well and finding time to be creative in some way.
Claire X

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wot U Lookin At?

Someone's got attitude, they're not happy !!

They're sad, so I don't blame them for looking a little upset.

This little fella sprung from a bag of felted woollen jumpers and a recycled blanket. He's soft and snuggly and still needs to be sewn up on one side, but I was in a hurry to take a photo!

Click on the photo to enlarge, the small sign on the front reads ' I need a hug" turn him over and on the back, I have sewn "Hugs make my world go round, a frown is a smile turned upside down"

Some new cards I have been working on. This is a different direction for me and I must say I am loving every minute of it. Old book pages, colored paper and pen, easy, simple, effective.

I have all my bits and pieces on a tray which I can place on my lap and sit and watch TV in the evening whilst I create. Not too much mess to clean up and I am being productive whilst being entertained!!

I would love to know what you think of them - positive comments or otherwise, all welcome. The big test will be at my market stall next weekend.

You guessed it there was a birthday in the 'Sweet Birdy Love ' household last week.
This little 'beesting' was all I needed to pop a candle in have Mr. G. sing 'Happy Birthday' to me ( at double speed as he's tone deaf!!!) and then cut in half and have for dessert with a cuppa, delish.
I had a lovely day and wasn't overly perturbed about this being my last birthday in my ........'s.
Next year may be an entirely different story!

The cards piled up on the table as the week wore by and I was determined not to open any of them until the appointed day.
The envelope at the back with the huuuuuge stamp on it has come all the way from my sister in the UK and I knew along with the card would be a lovely hand written letter, something worth waiting a few days for.

This lovely envelope and picture is from a very talented friend from church - Meralin. She started drawing a picture which didn't turn out quite the way she intended so she cut it up and stuck part of it on the back of the envelope and some on the front.
I can tell you I was very anxious to see what was inside the envelope after hearing this little story.
I can imagine this picture took quite some time, but to then cut it up.....

Here is the card - it's inspired by Angie Lewin a very talented lady who carves and prints wonderful pictures.
The more I look the more detail I see, it is a work of art in itself and I shall put it in a frame.
Meralin not only draws, paints, sews, she is a wonderful gardener and cook. She made me a stunning hazlenut and chocolate cake for afternoon tea at church. It had 8 eggs and 750gm of chocolate in it, absolutely delicious, she just had the date wrong and was a week early, we laughed and enjoyed it just the same.

My corner of the globe as the last of the suns rays disappear from the mountain tops.

Aren't the colours wonderful?

Wherever you look there is inspiration. Don't look to hard at the garden you might see where the chooks have been kicking the mulch about!!

There's never alot happening in the garden in Winter, but one favourite is this shrub it's called -Chimonanthus Praecox commonly knows as Wintersweet. It has pale lemon coloured flowers which don't stand out that much, but it has the most beautiful scent and I look forward to it flowering. I love to cut bunches of it and bring it inside and let the perfume waft through the room. Fortunately, the scent doesn't make me sneeze!

The girls doing a spot of gardening. That little Camellia in the background has had a bit of a tough trot with the drought and probably not being in the best position in the garden. But this year it put on a burst of flowers and I didn't have the heart to nip them out. It's so pretty, I shall have to give it some extra TLC for the effort.

Two new arrivals at 'Cluckingham Palace'. These girls are Barnevelders and have beautiful markings on them. As you can see there was a lovely frost and I had to smash the ice on the water bucket so they could have a drink. On cold, frosty mornings I like to make the girls porridge and give them something to warm them up. Not sure if they all appreciate it though!!
These two lovelies will lay eggs with dark brown shells with flecks on them, can't wait for the first one.
I haven't named them yet, which is unusual for me,...........any suggestions?

The same morning the cows lined up along the fence to watch the chooks eating warm porridge. I didn't have anything for them and felt a little guilty, but I think they were enjoying the suns warming rays more than anything.

Tig, always manages to find the perfect spot in the garden and sleep most of the day away.
Life's tough when you are a cat.
Well I hope wherever you are the last week has been a good one. I hope you found time to be inspired by your surroundings and be creative, whether it's with a brush and palette, pen, needle and thread , on your knees in the garden or whipping up some treat in the kitchen.
Until next time, thanks for dropping by, please take the time to leave a comment and say "hi".
From my corner of the globe to yours,
Claire X

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Time is flying by........

A little visit to my favourite op shop, yielded the above treasure. It's a beautiful, fine lawn? handkerchief, with a design by Dessin Depose.
It was the design that attracted me and the lovely feel of the fabric.
I couldn't leave it there , so for 50 cents it found it's way home with me.
What am I going to do with it...... enjoy the lovely vintage/retro design
Have any of you heard of Dessin Depose?
I found another handkerchief with a different design by the same person? on Ebay. Not alot came up when I googled the name......
Can anyone solve the mystery for me?

Some little birdies waiting patiently to be put onto cards for my next market stall on the 20th of June.
"Am I getting organised ahead of time?" you ask

Surely you know me better than that by now!

It's time, I have been postponing this event, but today was D day and the Zinnias had to go.

Althought they were still valiantly flowering, albeit smaller and on thinner stems, they were still putting on a colorful show.

This is one of 3 wheelbarrow loads I took to the compost heap.

Talk about value for money....... Out of one packet of seeds, I had months of the most vivid colourful flowers in my garden. I gave away many bunches to friends, bought plenty inside the house to enjoy and they even inspired some book covers.

I made a friend of Gayle over at, we shared a love of this flower and one of my notebook covers found it's way to her home on the opposite side of the globe.

As I pushed the overflowering wheelbarrow to the compost heap the bees were still following the flowers eager to extract the remaining pollen.

They are such busy little workers.

Now that Winter has arrived it is time to start using my 'Winter" mug. It's a Brambly Hedge design, I have one for each season.

I bought this mug many years ago and just love the picture. Two mice in front of a blazing fire, lovely mantle above and beams on the ceiling. Mr. Mouse is in the big comfy chair with the cute little paned window behind him and Mrs Mouse has a fresh baked pie on a plate. No doubt they are going to have a big slice for their supper.

The scene is just so English and I am sure that some you who are reading this post, could quite possibly live in such a cottage ...... only without the mice!!

I spent some time out in the garden today, raking up leaves in the orchard. Of course as soon as I let the 'girls' out, they were into those piles of leaves looking for a tasty morsel.

Then it was over to the shrubbery and mulch was flying left, right and centre!

Did I mind, no not really, it's such a lovely country scene and they enjoy a bit of freedom to roam around the garden and of course they eat a lot of pests so I didn't begrudge them their 'time out'

When my back was turned 3 of them headed for the silverbeet which they love. There was still plenty left for me!

Another photo of the Persimmon taken on my way home from town today. It has dropped all it's leaves and there is still a heap of fruit on the tree.

I couldn't get any closer for a better shot and the colour of the fruit is quite washed out in this photo, but it has taken me close to 10 years to getting around to photograph it, so I think I shall be posting a few more shots before all the fruit disappears.

I had some problems with my camera last week and couldn't sort them out. Hubby who is in the States couldn't help, so I took it into the camera shop today and one of the staff sorted it out in about 60 secs !!!

It's times like this I wish I was a bit of a techno geek, or I wish I knew where the instruction book let was!!

I hope the past week has been a good one for you and you have your instruction booklet at hand for reference if needed!!

Thanks for dropping by and saying "hi", take time to enjoy your day and the beauty that surrounds you in your corner of the globe.

Till next time,

Claire X