Monday, August 30, 2010

Short But Sweet

Yes, you guessed correctly it's another tea cosy. I finished the fun part, now I've got to assemble it and that's the fiddly part hmm..................................
I love little English villages and couldn't resist putting one on a cosy. I would love to live in the cottage on the left with the grey door.
How about you?
Click on the photo to enlarge.
Remember those cute little hearts I was crocheting last week with the idea of making them into a garland? The lovely Lee at was also hooking way unbeknowns to me. She has blogged about her pattern and has been making them into cute little book marks .......... now there's a great idea. She's a whizz with a crochet hook, so pop over and pay her a visit and say "hi" from me.
Today was a gorgeous, sunny day. A day to get outside and enjoy sunshine on your skin, throw off the jumpers and jackets of Winter. Put on the gardening gear and.......................... clean out Cluckingham Palace our chook house.
So I swept, raked, shovelled, barrowed and got it looking all spick and span. Then I put fresh straw in the nesting boxes, much like fluffing up your doona.
The girls thanked me by laying 5 beautiful brown eggs.

The Violets have been flowering away and supplying me with enough to put a posy in a vase on my bedside table. I loooooooooove these beautiful little flowers, with their heavenly scent. The thing is it takes quite a while to pick a bunch, but so worth it.

The Snowdrops are flowering under the Japonica, I love the combination of pink, white and green.

Enjoying the last rays of afternoon sun is Tigger, surprised he's even awake at this time of day!!
I am heading off on a little road trip come this weekend. I am making my way to Daylesford to visit some friends and also to go to the Daylesford Makers Market ( which is on this coming Saturday Sept. 4th. I have been wanting to attend it for some months and have finally got myself organised. I spent quite alot of time there when I was younger, having wonderful holidays with my aunt and uncle. Auntie Margaret was amazing, she could turn her hand to just about anything, making bread, sewing clothes, beautiful cakes to put in the Royal Melbourne Show, even casting her own concrete pots to grow plants in !! So Daylesford, holds lots of wonderful memories. If there are any bloggers going to the Market perhaps we could plan a catchup and coffee, just let me know.
So, I am planning to do a little Op Shop Crawl along the way, why not. Perhaps even sample some coffee maybe a sweet little something to go with the coffee....
Ooh, I've got it planned, haven't I.
I'm hoping to take a lot of pics along the way and pics when I get there, so make sure you come back and visit me next week to read all about my adventures.
Thanks for dropping by, so nice of you to come and visit, if you'd like to leave a comment and tell me about your recent adventures of the householdy or crafty kind I would love to read about them.
Until next time , take care
Claire X

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Red,White and Blue and Polka Dots Too

Oooh, I am such an egg head, I have posted all my photos in the wrong order, never mind..........Grrrr!

Found this 'little beauty in the nesting box yesterday, ouch.... Is it a double yolker?

Comparative size the usual 67gm egg on the left and.............

This 103 gm monster, yes I did tare/zero the scales before adding the egg in the cup....
No it wasn't a double yolker just a very large goog.......

Time out of the run, if we hide in the Rosemary bush she won't see us right.............

I mean to say if we can't see her, she can't see us!

Then when she's gone we'll sneak into the vegie garden, eat the seedlings and kick the mulch all over the place. You know how much she likes cleaning up after us!!

There's safety in numbers and if we stick together, that big noisy monster out there won't come near us.... right?

Noisy monster being driven by No 1. Grass is almost long enough to slash and bale.

Twas a beautiful mild afternoon, surprisingly I managed to tear myself away from the sewing machine, don the gardening gear and get outside. I pruned, weeded and planted like a woman possessed

In a couple of weeks with warmer weather, the garden will go berserk and there won't be a minute for anything else ha ha.... So thought I better get a head start.

You could almost get high on the aroma of fresh cut grass, mmmm, love it.

This mornings view from the kitchen door, lovely and sunny, fluffy, cottony clouds in a beautiful blue sky.

Two hours earlier, we had this, couldn't even see 'the Ben' for the cloud and misty, love, love this sort of weather.

Creatively, this week I have been working on finishing some tea cosy orders.

This one is for an English workmate, he's actually a Cockney and put in an order when he found out I make tea cosies.

Of course it just had to be red, white and blue, they look so darn good together.
I kept it simple, the back is red wool and I 'wrote' something on it in rhyming slang.
I hope he likes it otherwise it will no doubt find a home elsewhere.

More red, white and blue, love stacks of crocheted goodies, in this case they are hearts and not granny squares.
Found the pattern over at take just minutes to whip up and can be made into a garland.

Might have to make a few more then join them up to make a garland or some heart felt bunting....
I'm feeling a tad frustrated today, why?
Because of my lack of knowledge about techniques, lack of drawing ability and lack of patience.
Shame I wasn't so interested in art etc. when I was much younger and had the chance to do an arts course at Uni. Believe me there's no way I would do one now, what with assignments and deadlines........
Anyway, I shall plod along and keep being inspired by what I see around me and there are so many tutorials on the net, there's really no excuse.
Sorry, to have a little whinge, I do feel better though.
Shall finish on a brighter note and list a few things I am grateful for apart from family, health and home.
1: The beautiful place I live in.
2: Living just a 4 minute drive from work (no traffic lights or congestion)
3: Having time to 'play' and create.
4: Wonderful, inspiring blogs and friendships made via the internet.
Okay, better, leave it there, time to get ready for work,
Hope your week is going well and you find lots of things to be grateful for.
If you would like to leave a comment I would be very grateful........... Always love hearing from you.
Enjoy the rest of the week, till next time,
Take care,
Claire X

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Tail/Tale of Country Mouse in Town

Country mouse and No.1 son decided a trip to the City of Melbourne was needed. No 1 son needed to take his guitars to the Guitar Doctor to have a little tweak here and there to get rid of the squeak before the start of the busy music festival season and I decided I would accompany him and visit the above exhibition.
No 1 son said he didn't need me to go with him, I assured him that I was going for my own interest and not to keep an eye on him!
Mind you I have the credit cards and the car, so I felt that having only just gotten his licence, it would be preferable if I was there on his first trip to the big smoke.
Being a country mouse, he's not exactly used to city driving or peak hour traffic and his sense of direction is still developing.
The exhibition was wonderful and if anyone is thinking of going to it, I highly recommend it. I also took the audio guide for an extra $7.00 and felt this also added to the experience.
Having only just started to take an interest in art in the last few years, I have much to learn. It was inspirational to say the least. To see these paintings 'in the flesh' so to squeak, I mean speak, was amazing.
There was plenty of inspiration out on the street as well. I have walked over this mosaic in the Block Arcade many, many, many times BUT saw it with new 'eyes' this visit. Those teeny, tiny pieces of tile must've taken hours and hours to place. Beautiful colour and design.

Lots of yummy inspiration in this shop window. We don't have these fancy cake shops where I live in the country and on reflection it's probably a very good thing!

In the Block Arcade we found the Hopetoun Tea Rooms and decided it would be nice to rest our paws for a little while.
It was with great effort that we made our selection for afternoon tea. I chose a simple Portugese Tart to have with my coffee and No 1 chose the mixed berry cheesecake. Both were delicious. Just as well there was plenty of walking to be done afterwards..........

Out on the street, young City mice were forming a conga line to a drum beat, strangely enough they were dressed in their pyjamas or sleep wear of some attire (note the fellow at the right of the photo).
We stood transfixed to the spot, not having seen this sort of behaviour in the country.
We wondered , were they protesting about something?
No it just seems it was all for a Teddy Bears picnic. They were enjoying themselves immensely, as they conga-d their way into Myers Department Store..........

Out in the mall someone had dropped their coin purse, but no one seemed interested in picking it up...........

I was glad I wasn't around to see the owner return looking for it. I could imagine they would have sent mice scampering in all directions, trying to keep out of their way!

It was quite Wintery and this country mouse was very glad she had packed her red leather gloves and scarf.

Oooh la la, look what I spied................... I think it would go very nicely with my gloves!
I haven't seen one of these in the country, wouldn't that make heads turn at home?

And this little beauty, how cute is that. I can just see myself whizzing down the country lanes on it, with a floral scarf and bright red lipstick, Audrey Hepburn style.

I popped into a beautiful shop in Brunswick street, full of lovely paper, cards, notebooks etc. I made a purchase after much deliberation and my purchase was placed into this lovely bag, a work of art in itself.
What did i purchase you ask?

Why these lovely 'birdy' stamps of course.
I spied them on a visit to the City some time ago and decided not to buy them. But this time I felt they just had to come and live in the "Sweet Birdy Love' household.
I hope to use them sometime in the future, I plan to have a lot of fun with them.

When it was time to go, we packed the car, and decided that we had, had an enjoyable time in the city, but we were country mice at heart and longed for the peace and quiet of the country roads. The wide open spaces and the slower pace of life.
No 1 son gets an award for his driving ability and I get an award for staying calm and letting him drive his way !
It's been an interesting week here in the Sweet Birdy Love household, with a middle of the night dash to the emergency department at the local hospital.
Mr. G. had severe pain, bought on by a gall stone. We thought it was his back playing up, but no.
I felt it couldn't have been too bad as he was still managing to crack a few jokes here and there and I was almost begging for some morphine to put me out of my pain!!
Things have settled down but tea and sympathy is still being handed out in liberal doses.
I can live without that sort of excitement in my life, give me the boring and mundane any time.
Well, I hope you have all had a good week, whether packed with exciting adventures or the boring, mundane day to day sort of stuff. I hope you have enjoyed it whatever it was.
Have a lovely weekend, thankyou for dropping by, please take a moment to leave a comment, it's lovely to hear from you all and find out what's been happening in your corner of the globe.
Till next time, take care,
Claire X

P.S. my apologies for terrible puns, couldn't help myself, Mr. G's sense of humour (or lack of) has obviously been rubbing off on me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

Spring has sprung..........actually it did a little while ago, but I still had some Winter to enjoy.
This is my Japonica - Flowering Quince, it's called Apple Blossom, easy to see why.
I love the simplicity of the bare branches and blossom. Unfortunately, some little, creepy, crawly,critters have been chewing on the flower buds and when they open up , there are bits missing, but I still think they look pretty.

Anyhoo, my Japonica has been the inspiration for a new tea cosy order. I was searching for inspiration on the weekend, when I spied a vase full of Japonica on the coffee table. I thought a sprig of Japonica is just what I needed. Not too busy, I like the minimalist look and the colours.
Click on the photo to enlarge, the above photo is with a flash, the 'writing' shows up better.

This photo is minus the flash, I'm pleased with the colours, although, I think I could've added a bit more pink. Oh well, there's always next time.

Close up of the blossom. Not exactly sure what I am going to do on the other side, let alone what colour felted jumper I will use.
I will have to do some surfing on the net for an appropriate saying and maybe some nice floral teacups will complete it.

The Daffodils are putting on a cheery display at the front gate, like sunshine on a stalk.
As I headed into town for a coffee last week, I stopped to pick a bunch, as they were all bowed down under the weight of recent rain. I shook the water off, thinking someone would like a bunch of flowers.
I walked into my favourite coffee shop and the owner, Julie, jokingly asked were they for her. I replied they were and she was quite taken aback. It was her fathers birthday , but he had passed away a year ago, tough day for her.
You never know when a small gesture on your part can make a big difference to someone else's day.
So here's to small gestures and they joy they can bring to others.

Stand back, here comes the rush, chooks heading for their run and dinner time. They look quite funny as they run.
I have one chook, who I think, must be deaf. No matter how loud or long I call, she keeps scratching away in the garden long after the others have returned to the yard. You can be sure that 'Mrs Rock" is the last to go back in the yard and you will always have to go and find her!

Ah, the Silver Birches or the Wild Wood as we call it. I just love the silvery, papery trunks. Standing out against the green and blue of their surroundings.
Spring is waiting in the wings, blossom buds are swelling on the Manchurian Pear, the Daffodils, Violets and Camellia are all flowering their little heads off.
The grass is growing slowly as the weather starts warming up and the days are getting longer. Come Spring, everything will go berserk particularly the weeds, which means mowing every week. Just as well we have a ride on mower, it takes an hour or so to go around the house yard.
This past week has been a rather unusual one for me. I have been out of sorts and am only just getting back into the swing of things.
We had visitors recently which meant we needed to use the dining table aka my sewing table. So I packed/chucked (ooh, my mum hated that word!) everything into the spare room.
The table looked wonderful, all that lovely old timber, the whole room looked tidier, but I felt things weren't quite right. I couldn't just sit down at the machine and play when I had a spare five minutes. I'm sure that's why I felt so at odds.
Anyway, the situation has been rectified, I have dragged it all out again (or most of it!) and everything feels as it should be now. So here's to creativity and the joy it brings.
I hope your week is full of creativity and joy and maybe a small gesture on your part will bring a smile to someone who needs it.
Thanks for stopping by and visiting. If you have a minute to comment, I would love to hear from you.
Your small gesture, always makes my heart skip a beat and bring a smile to my face, I love mail.
Till next time, take care,
Claire X

Monday, August 9, 2010

Gone Bush

No 1 and I decided to head over to the "shack" for a few days as I had some time off from work. It was to be our "creative retreat". No mobile phone reception, internet, radio or TV.......arrgh!! How would I cope?
We packed up the van, he with musical instruments, me with craft projects galore. There was also a certain amount of chocolate tucked away amongst the supplies, I mean to say, I can live without the internet and TV but chocolate. I wasn't about to put that one to the test!

The shack is just that, nothing shabby chic about it. We had a roof over our heads, a comfy bed to sleep in, running water and plenty of it, all the mod cons, but nothing designer whatsoever.

As you can see from the photos it's in the bush, about 20 feet away from the Goulburn River. Birds galore, Kookaburras, Magpies, Parrots and a very handsome fellow visited early one morning. Yes, you guessed it my favourite Winter visitor - a flame Robin. Certainly brightened up my day.

This photo was taken from the main street of Mansfield, looking towards Mt. Buller and judging by the amount of people in town on the Friday night, the skiing up there must be ok. It's been a very average snow season so far but the previous week saw the best dump of snow for the season.
To get to the shack you head towards Buller then turn right , head up into the hills for Jamieson and keep going for another 20 mins or so.
It's fairly secluded, despite the roadway being one of the boundaries, the trees and scrub screen the traffic. It's fairly quiet during the week, but weekends can see a bit of traffic heading up the hill.

There was plenty of this going on, note toast and a cuppa on top of the heater.
I took my lovely woollen, hand knitted socks with me. I bought them when visiting the Isle of Skye, 3 years ago.
So glad I threw them into my bag as it was quite chilly and they kept my tootsies, nice and toasty.
Sadly, one of them has developed quite a large hole in the heel, I have let it go a bit. Better think about darning it up somehow before it's too late. It took me ages to decide which pair I would buy, the colours were lovely and I could quite easily have tucked 2 or 3 pairs into my suitcase, had the budget allowed!

The river was up very high. The previous weekend they had 8 inches of rain, so the river was quite dirty looking and running very fast. No chance of fishing, this visit.

A very colourful visitor, waiting patiently for me to throw out some wild bird seed for him. He certainly stands out amongst the bare branches.

Here he is with his mate. They are King parrots and obviously they are used to being fed by visitors to the shack.
One morning I had left the bird seed bucket out in the carport and who was sitting on the edge of the bucket unable to reach the seed? It was his missus, cheeky thing.
We had a lovely time away and although you can't turn the creativity and inspiration on like a tap, we did manage to complete a few things.
No1, wrote some new lyrics for songs and came out with some killer tunes on the guitar.
My nimble fingers crocheted , embroidered and sketched. Sorry, no photos.
I learnt a few things , some of which surprised me:-
1) I thought I could do the no contact with other humans for a few days. Not so, about an hour after we arrived I was on the phone to big sis, just wanting to hear another human voice! Ok, so I hadn't settled into the 'hermit' lifestyle and it did get easier as the days went on. I found myself putting on the DVD, Yellowstone a couple of nights in a row, just to have another voice about the place.
Not being a social butterfly, I am quite content with my own company and when I feel the need to socialise I catch up with friends for a coffee, so I thought I would cope a little better than I did.
2) Don't take multiple projects with you. Select one or two any, more and it's unnecessary packing/unpacking.
3) After spending a few days in a one bedroom shack and coping quite well without all the 'stuff' I have at home, I am wondering do I really need it?
Why do I have all of this 'stuff'? What makes me go out and purchase things - need, want, desire!
I can imagine this question will be swirling around in my brain for a few days until I come to a conclusion.
I would be interested in any thoughts you have on said subject.
I hope you had a great weekend whether it was spent in a shack or a palace (or castle!).
The rain continues to fall here, Spring is waiting in the wings.
Thanks for dropping by, if you have a moment leave a comment and tell me how things are going in your little corner of the globe, it's always nice to hear from you.
Till next time , take care,
Claire X

Sunday, August 1, 2010

First Day of August - Last Month of Winter

Ooh, a burst of colour to start this post. I'm still having fun playing with scraps from felted jumpers, just love curly hearts.
Sorry, 'bout the photo, doesn't quite show the true colour of the thread, but they certainly stand out.

Spring is just around the corner had to pick a bunch of Daffs, as the rain was weighing them down in the garden. They are sooooo bright and cheery.
The egg, was laid by one of the Williams sisters , the latest addition to my little flock. This is the first egg and is a lovely brown with darker brown flecks on it.
A jar of Blackberry Honey, from the Beechworth Honey Co., doesn't it sound lovely. Purchased at the new organic shop in town. Nice to have a different shop in our little village.

I feel like the proud Gran ( "Yep, she's finally lost it!" Hey I heard you say that....)

Sitting my favourite childhood eggcup. Guess what I am going to be having for breakfast?

It was raining and quite chilly, what else was I going to do Saturday afternoon. Whip a batch of scones, drag out the FB china, a couple of tea cosies, a pretty thrifted tea cloth and enjoy a lovely afternoon tea.

This little fella is the latest addition to the herd in our paddock. He's just too cute. The breed is Murray Grey and they tend to come up to the fence when you are outside looking for some handouts. You know how it is, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. He was quite tame, came up very close to me, till one of the 'aunts' swung her head around and pushed him out of the way.

This is a new form of mulch I am trialling on pot plants!!

Not sure if it will take off but Tig was certainly enjoying himself in the last rays of a sunny afternoon.

I didn't realise that it had been so long since I last posted, tut, tut. Had a little bit of a hiatus on the creative front, but I think it's all back to normal.

Today being the first day of August, has been near perfect weather wise. It's been very wintery, just the way I like it. Cocooned inside, looking out, a few words to describe it as I didn't take any photos.....bleak, grey, cloudy, blustery, showery and oh so very wet.

This would have to be the wettest Winter we have had in quite a few years, there is water lying about in the paddocks, the creeks are up and it's gumboots outside, if you please.

I LOVE IT, was that loud enough, I JUST LOOOOOOOOOVE IT.

I hope your weekend has been relaxing and enjoyable wherever you are and the weather has been to your liking.

I am planning a little trip away with No.1 for a few days later in the coming week. So we will pack the van up with guitars, amps, paint brushes, embroidery thread and lots of other bits and pieces and head over to the 'shack' on the banks of the Goulburn River where we shall create to our hearts content. No TV or internet, hmm................. but I certainly hope to get a few projects started and finished in that time and take a few photos to boot.

Until next time,
Take care

Claire X

P.S. I have had a little play around with my background. Not being up with all the gadgets, widgets, buttons and all the other sort of stuff, my blog has remained quite minimalistic in layout etc., BUT a change is as good as a holiday, so they say. So I hope you like the change, lets see how long I like it for! One question ladies, all those little buttons and signs etc you all have on your sidebars, how and where do you get them? Is it tricky to download or can a computer novice like me sort it out myself without having to bother Mr. G.?