Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday Morning Snaps

Thought I might try out hubby's new camera, I refer to it as 'the beast'! It's quite alot bigger than my 'pocket rocket' camera which fits perfectly in my hand bag.
Unfortunately my little camera is playing up so until some clever person can fix it for me, 'the beast' will have to do.
I took 'the beast' for a little roam around the garden Sunday morning. A beautiful , sunny morning, I was a little bit snap happy, but have just chosen a few favourites to share with you all.
These Tulips just keep coming up year after year, creating a splash of colour in my front garden.
The cat has his afternoon nap in this garden bed and the chooks often head around here when my back is turned and they scratch away the mulch but these Tulips keep on keeping on.
Their colour is stunning and the camera has captured it perfectly.
The standard roses above the Tulips are Camp David, beautiful ,deep, red roses, with that wonderful rich scent. I love them, they provide me with many blooms to cut and take inside and fill lots of vases with.

Crab Apples, don't you just love the combination of raspberry pink buds opening to a paler pink, mixed with the green leaves.
Click on the photos to enlarge and enjoy all their beauty.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

The Nashi Pear is flowering. Love the contrasting little black 'dots' on the stamens inside the flower .
If you have never had a Nashi Pear, it's like a cross between an apple and a pear and they are lovely, sweet, juicy and crunchy.
Can't wait until the tree is fruiting.
When you are out in the garden working away and need a break, just grab one of these and sit in the shade and enjoy it, mmm................

Yes, more book covers . Three very different styles.
The chicken fabric has been sitting in my stash for way too long, so I whipped up a couple on Saturday afternoon while I watched the AFL grand final. I'm not a huge football fan (or should that be a huge fan of foot ball, hmmm! ) but this game had me on the edge of my chair for the last ten minutes or so.
In the end it was a draw and they have to come back next Saturday and do it all over again.

I was quite happy with how this turned out. It's a bit different for me but I think it's quite cute and I found a lovely saying to go with the picture:- "Man's heart away from Nature becomes hard." Standing Bear.
Whoever Standing Bear was or is, I think he made a very good point, don't you?
This week is a busy one with work, so not alot of sewing will be taking place. I will have to wait till Saturday before I can really crank up the sewing machine.
I hope your week is a productive one and full of creative moments.
Don't forget to take the camera with you and snap some of the beauty around you to share.
Till next time, take care,
Claire X

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Early Morning Wakeup - 5.57 am Precisely

Yes, it was a very early morning start this morning.

I was awake there was no going back to sleep so I dragged myself out of a nice warm bed, threw on some clothes and went out to feed the chooks.

WOW, what a gorgeous morning. There was a mist rising and moving across the dam, the rosy glow of the sun rising up behind the mountains.
Bird song, it was like a choir singing. There were Magpies warbling off in the distance, Willy Wagtails chattering, Sparrows chittering, Parrots with their beautiful, high pitched sing songy call. Crows cawing and other unidentified feather friends adding their voice to the dawn chorus.

The sparrows had been up a long time, but the cows were still lying on the ground , their backs covered in dew, mist rising from their bodies warming in the light of day.

It was great to be up and see all this.

How did your morning start? Tell me what goes on in your little corner of the globe I would love to hear about it.

Polka dots are still the flavour of the month here and chocolate cake has never gone out of fashion I can assure you.
The latest book cover, rolling off the production line for a market next month.
Had a lot of fun making this, so without doubt there will be quite a few more in the coming weeks.

Front and back view.
Inside it is lined with white fabric.

Of course there has to be bunting, it's just sooooooo Spring.
I made a quick trip to Spotlight last week and rolls of pink and green polka dot fabric just jumped into my arms, honest. You all know how it is!
There is still more to be made in different colour ways. It's so easy to cut, sew, press and voila. Well, actually there is quite a bit more to it than that!

The little birdy cushion hanging from the door is from If you have never visited her blog, head on over there, she is one, clever and creative lady.
Hey, not just yet, I have more things to show you !!!!

Check this out, isn't it one of the cutest bird houses you have seen. My boys bought it back from their weekend away at The Turning Wave Festival in Gundagai. No. 1 spotted it at the market and knew it was just 'me'. It's made of recycled timber and has lovely rusted iron on it, plus twigs and seed pods nailed to it for added interest.
I'm thinking it may be a teeny, tiny bit small for some of the parrots here, but I have hung it up in the 'Wild Wood' out the front where the parrots seem to visit and hope it's not too long before they are sampling the lovely seed I have left out for them.
I could almost see a little swag of bunting out the front. I am sure that would attract their attention.....................
Without doubt it would convince Mr. SBL that I have truly lost the plot!!
Made by the Eumundi Bird House Co., it certainly has alot of character.

The local market was on here Sunday morning. I didn't have a stall. As I hinted in my last post, the creative drive seemed to have come to a dead end, so I decided I would have a little lie in Sunday morning and head on in later as a customer.
I picked up this lovely pot of Daffodils for $3.50 , bargain. They are called Shirley Anne and have a beautiful delicate salmon pink ruffled cup.
It's seems as if I am becoming a collector of Daffodils......................

Yesterday, being such a glorious Spring day No. 1 and I decided to head to the waterhole for a picnic lunch. We drove the van down and along with two handsome looking ducks ( I assume they are fellas!) a black swan, which is a rare visitor to these parts and a couple of people trying their luck at fishing - we were the only ones there!
The water level has come right up with the recent rains. There used to be a 3 metre sandy beach behind those ducks now the water reached almost up to the picnic table.
It's lovely to see it looking so full.
I can see a few more picnics being had at this lovely spot, can't you?

Shall leave you with this photo of Tig. What can I say about it? Don't you envy him, being able to sleep anywhere and anytime.
He's totally oblivious to everyone and everything, how nice! Just hope he's oblivious to my new bird feeder.........................

Well, it's time to plug the sewing machine in and whip up some more bunting and book covers. I hope your day has something lovely in store for you.
Thanks so much for dropping by, always lovely to hear from you, so if you have a spare minute or two leave a comment and say "hi".

Till next time,
Take care,
Claire X

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spring Fever Has Me In It's Grip !

A worrying, niggling feeling has been lurking here in the Sweet Birdy Love household. Not that the two males in the house would notice! But there has been a slight change in the air, be it Spring Fever I'm not sure. The lure of the sewing machine has been waning and the lawn mower, whipper snipper (strimmer for those UK readers), shovel, rake and implements of the gardening variety have been calling me outside.
Now this dear readers, may not seem unusual to you, BUT I have to say for the last ooh,year or so the call of the garden has been fading and has been replaced by the song of the sewing machine, crochet hook, embroidery bits and pieces and all things of a textile nature.
I once was a very keen if not efficient sort of gardener and crafting was something I dabbled with occasionally.
So it has been a very strange feeling to walk past the sewing machine and head to the laundry to don my gardening gear.
Mind you, at this time of year the garden seems to consume every spare daylight hour you have. The lawn (ha, ha) needs mowing every week and the weeds are like something out of "Day of the Triffids"!
Oh, think I am exaggerating do you?

So,it was with a sigh of relief when the desire to sit at the machine and finish some bunting I started last week, overcame the urge to garden!
I made a deal with the two conflicting voices I was hearing.
"Let me sew, till my morning coffee and then I shall get stuck into the garden"
That seemed to keep 'everyone' happy.
So the jolly, polka dot bunting is finished and I am veeeeeeeeeeeery happy with it.
You do know how much I like red,white and blue, don't you?

It reminds me of Noddy and his little polka dot kerchief tied round his neck. I am sure he would approve of this and may even need some to 'jollify' his little abode.
It always helps if you have a tall person in the household to drape bunting prettily (well, as prettily as a 19y.o. male can!) in the Manchurian Pear tree.
Don't forget to click on the photos to enlarge them and get a better view of everything.

Talking about red,white and blue.......

Who could resist taking a pic of these colourful chairs? I snapped these during my stay in Daylesford recently.

They are in cafe called Frangos and Frangos.

We had a delish breakfast there of sweet potato pancakes and bacon with maple syrup. If you are going to order them, a word of warning:- Make sure you are really, really, really hungry.

Whilst in the throes of worrying over the lack of creativeness I had to whip up some muffins, so thought I would share a couple of photos just to prove to myself that all was not lost.

Homegrown raspberries form last season and dark chocolate mmmmmm.................

I used block chocolate which I cut into shards and then put the left over chocolate into a container and hid it in the .................. drawer!

No 1 son has a very keen nose when it comes to sniffing out chokky and as this was particularly yummy chocolate, albeit cooking chocolate,you know how it is. When you need chocolate, any sort will do.

The finished product. Yep, they taste as yummy as they look. I had to double check just to make sure!!

Finally, a bit of Spring colour from the garden. This little Daffodil is so sweet, it reminds me of an egg that's been scrambled. Not a particularly romantic description, but there you have it.

A variety of Daffodils from the garden, lemon meringue in front, scrambled egg to the left and in the middle at the back, well I'm' not quite sure about that one, but the colouring is very delicate and lovely. They are such cheery flowers and they have put on a lovely display throughout Winter and Spring.

Here we have Prunus Elvins a week later, such a change (See last post for comparison photo) and give it another week and it will be pinker still.
The bees are buzzing away , if you are quiet you may even hear them!
Check out the dam in the background, how full us that?

Beautiful blossom out in the orchard. How gorgeous is that colour?
Such a lovely time of year. Each season has it's own beauty. Sometimes we just have to look a little harder. But I am sure you will all agree that Spring is a show stopper, no matter which corner of the globe you live in.

The creative drive may be in first gear for a little while as I need to tend to things in the garden and keep them under control. But rest assured that it shall return in due course.
Hey guys, thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings. I hope it made you smile, maybe even laugh or just shake your head in disbelief ! If you would like to leave I comment, I would love to hear from you and what's happening in your corner of the globe.
Till next time, take care,
Claire X

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Jury Is In

It's official, I love owls.
Not sure what it is about them that is so appealing, but they've got the X Factor......................
A little bit of stitching took place today. An idea that had been brewing and bubbling away for quite some time was put into action. Above is the back view, which can be as interesting as the front sometimes.
The black and white is quite effective don't you think?

Ta dah..... the front. Click on the photo to enlarge.
I am reasonably happy with how it turned out, but I think there is something missing, not quite sure what.
Next time I make one I will change it slightly maybe make the owls bigger...........
Any thoughts, ideas, tips are always appreciated.
I had fun making it and that's always a good thing.

Another little stitchy piece I came up with last night, love the nautical look.
The stripey background fabric was hastily put in behind the picture so I could take a photo and is slightly wonky but that will all be sorted before it's ready for sail !!

I get the feeling that there are a few more of these fabric pictures to be made somehow before I move on to the next idea.

Today has been a real mixed basket weather wise. Its typical Spring....changeable. One minute it's raining cats and dogs and then sunny as then back to showers, windy and then the sun's out.
I stayed inside in my 'cocoon' enjoying the 'show' In the great room (kitchen, living ,dining area) we have glass on the north and south sides so you get a wonderful view of the mountains and the garden and paddock.
Couldn't resist this photo, love the contrast in the colour of the clouds and just outside the photo to the left was blue sky................

This photo shows our dam and how full it is now after almost 5 inches of rain in the last week. We moved here in 2002 and it was probably fuller than it is now, but over the ensuing years it has dropped considerably. We only use it for the vegie garden, orchard and my shrubbery. We haven't put a proper lawn in so we never used the watering system we put in. Each Winter the rain has been decreasing due to the drought so it has never filled up, BUT this year is different.
It's soooooooooo nice to look out the window and see it filling up. I think it's safe to say the drought is officially over.
To the left of the photo is my Prunus Elvins, the buds are just starting to pop open. It's a beautiful tree and in a week or so will be covered with squillions of pale pink blossom deepening in colour over time. The flowers line every branch and twig and look like coloured popcorn. It's very showy, you wouldn't think so to look at it now, but pop back in a week or so and I will post another photo.

These beautiful Daffodils are from a dear friends garden. They remind me of lemon meringue pie , the lovely yellow filling and the meringue topping, mmmmmmmm. Is your mouth watering yet?

The girls found something very tasty in the 'lawn' when I let them out this week. Not sure what but usually they scurry off to the shrubbery and spread mulch everywhere. They have been leading me a merry dance when I try and shoo them back to their enclosure. My 'new' chooks have decided it's fun to play chook chasey, with me being quite an unwilling participant. So armed with long branches I can be seen running wildly around the yard trying to herd them back to their run in one go.

Tigger has decided that when I am on the computer he needs to be right there in front of me, not wanting to be left out............
He is good company when the boys are away, but there are times when.........
It's been a quiet week here in the Sweet Birdy Love household.
My boys have been interstate where the sun is shining and the temperature is a good ten degrees warmer.
No, I am not at all envious, the warm weather will eventually head this way.
I had grand plans to get on and sew my little heart out, but they have been thwarted by things to do and people to visit. A little bit of stitching has taken place, enough to keep me happy at least. There are threads over the floor along with little scraps of fabric and designs hastily jotted down from ideas that keep popping into my head.
It's been a good week if not as productive as I had hoped !
I hope you have all had a good productive week wherever you are.
Thankyou for dropping by, I would love to hear what you have been up to if you would like to leave a comment.
Until next time, take care and have a fab weekend,
Claire X

Monday, September 6, 2010

To Market, To Market

So I packed the Austin Healey and headed off on my weekend adventure!

No, that's not quite true, my personal maid packed the car.

Oh, all right, I packed the car but not the above pocket rocket, the good old Holden.

I headed off on Friday morning and the further I got the gloomier it grew, hmmm, not looking too good.

The weather forecast was for loads of rain across the State and most of it falling in my corner of the globe.................

Anyway, I headed off full of excitement that goes with having an adventure.

I stopped in every little town I passed through and visited their Op shop hoping to find buried treasure. The first town I stopped in was Broadford and their Op shop was SHUT ON A FRIDAY.

Now, what's that all about? And it looked like the style Nazis had been there as well.......

My preferred Op shop doesn't look like an upmarket boutique.

My preferred Op shop is a bit jumbly with shelves and racks overflowing with 'things' .

I mean where is the thrill of the find if it's displayed on the wall with matching this and complimentary that.

You need to rummage and search and dig deep to find your treasure, well I do!

Saturday was wet, see above picture!

Main street of Daylesford mid afternoon, before the power blackout!!
I came prepared, you know how much I love this sort of weather (As long as you are prepared) but I managed to leave my umbrella back at my accommodation!

Grey and gloomy, but there were still plenty of people out and about.
There was a power blackout around 3pm! just as I was feeling the need for a coffee, hmmmmmmmm, bad timing.

The rain was very heavy and the friends I was spending the weekend with took me for a drive to see how much rain had fallen. This is the overflow from Daylesford Lake, a couple of days earlier it had been little more than a trickle.
There was a torrent of water gushing down the hillside, I felt a little nervous standing there watching it, such a powerful force.

In between showers I managed to take a couple of pics of local residences that appealed to me.
Love the blue and white of this little cottage

Not sure of the history of this one, but it has a school house/ church look about it, very cute and they certainly would've appreciated having a wood heater this weekend!

Now where are we?

Italy perhaps!

No, still in Australia.
Daylesford has quite diverse architecture, once you start looking
I could have taken 100's of photos but it was a bit too wet and I didn't want to bore you (too much!)
I used to holiday at my aunt and uncles farm many (more than I care to remember!) years ago , so I am quite familiar with it. But there have been many, many changes over the years .
I attended the Makers Market on Saturday morning, oneof the reasons for my visit. Due to the rain only half the number of usual stall holders were there, which was a bit of a shame, but I do understand.
There were some fabulous, clever, crafty people there, displaying their goods and I was very impressed.
I did feel a bit self conscious about taking photos just in case they thought I was some sort of 'Craft Spy' so I left my camera in the depths of my bag. Here's a link to their website if you want to check it out
I had a lovely weekend, despite the weather and lack of buried treasure! Thanks to the lovely, wood heater where I was staying, we had heat, a warm dinner, a cuppa and some nice mood lighting during the blackout.
A lesson learnt that I would like to share:- if you don't have candles get to the shop quicksmart before they sell out, as birthday candles really don't last very long at all !!
All up 80mls of rain fell in Daylesford, so it was quite damp.

I stopped at the Hepburn Springs General Store on Sunday morning for a bit of a look. It has all sorts of bits and pieces in it and I found this saying on a blackboard, click on the photo to enlarge. Next time you are planting vegies in the garden, you might consider some of the above . I thought it very clever and quite thought provoking.

I also picked up a couple of loaves of bread that they have baked one of them being Polenta and Pumpkin.

Made the mistake of cutting it when I got home and of course then I had to toast it and eat it ................
What else was I to do.
My little adventure has come to an end, it's nice to be home, by my own heater, toasty and warm (sorry 'bout the pun)

Whilst I was away alot of rain fell here. There was 117 mls in my rain gauge and there are floods nearby, I would venture to say that the drought may very well be over!
If you would like to check out some photos here's a link to the local newspaper
I know two furry little people that were very happy to see me after being locked out of 'their' house all weekend.
If you received some of this torrential rain I hope you are safe and dry. I certainly feel for those folk who had flood water running through their homes and hope that things can get back to normal as quickly as possible.

I hope you all had a good weekend and maybe even an adventure or two. Thanks for stopping by, if you have time to leave a comment, I would love to hear form you.
Have a great week, till next time,
Claire X