Friday, October 22, 2010

Feathers, Faces, Flowers

It's Magpie season here. They are nesting and very territorial at the moment.
I haven't had any problems with them, but the daily bike riders try all sorts of contraptions to stay safe from their swooping ways.
Bike helmets full of cable ties, looking like some weird pincushion seem to be the most popular deterrent.
I love the Maggie's, they come and visit my garden and bring their young to feed, finding many juicy, wriggly, creatures.
I love hearing them sing their warbly song and watching them strut around the yard.
I do get a little bit upset when they start taking chunks of my door mat to use as nesting material.
I think they ruined two door mats last season, but I have forgiven them
More playing with fabric, thread and old book pages.
I'm trying different things and seeing what emerges from the page.

Still more playing to be done, lots of inspiration around at this time of the year.


I found this little fellow out in the orchard, on Wednesday morning.
It was sitting on the fence and was so still I thought it was dead, but it's little chest was still moving, albeit very slowly. I carefully reached out to touch it, expecting it would awake and fly away in fright, but no. It just sat there, as if it was frozen to the fence. I gently picked it up having to uncurl it's little claws from the fence wire.
It was still breathing, but obviously it wasn't well.
I took it inside found an empty shoe box and put an old face washer in it and placed it near a heater.
I expected it to warm up and wake up. It took a couple of hours for it to show any real signs of life. It opened it's eyes, stretched it's wings, looked around but didn't try to fly off at all.
I was quite fascinated by this little ball of fluff

When it seemed awake enough. I picked it up and it sat quite happily on my finger. I thought it would fly off without looking back, but no, it just sat on my finger looking around.

I popped it back in the shoe box , took it out to the orchard and placed it in a sunny spot.
I was hoping it would find the energy to fly off but it didn't survive, seems a night out in the open was enough to do the little fella in.

The Irises are starting to flower and the first is "Designer Gown" which my mum bought many years ago. She loved it and so when she passed away, it came to live in my garden. It's like a beautiful , flowing, ball gown and something I have only just discovered........ it has a very subtle perfume.
I never knew that Irises are perfumed, so I have learnt something thanks to Janet at The Empty Nest. She has over 400 Irises in her garden, they must be quite spectacular when in bloom, but I don't fancy the job of digging them up and dividing them!
Well, that's just a taste of what I have been up to this week. The garden is looking a picture thanks to a few hours spent, weeding, digging, mowing etc. There are still plenty of weeds to pull up and the grass could do with another mow, it just grows so fast at this time of year.
There may be a drop of rain on the way but nothing like last weeks, 4 inches.
A rather large life lesson has been learnt here this week and that is to never take anything for granted, whether it be your family, your health or your surroundings, job, home, etc.
Appreciate what you have, slow down enough to see how blessed you really are.
I would love to hear from you if you have time to spare, thank you one and all for dropping by.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and find that once you start counting, the blessings start adding up and you may need to take your socks off !!
Till next time,
Claire X

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bloomin' Marvellous

Please stop panicking! I haven't been washed away with all the rain we had last week - over four inches in a couple of days. Friday was the wettest, it rained most of the day, heavy, tropical rain. It was lovely to watch it and listen to it on the roof.
Over the course of the morning I watched the creek at the bottom of our property rising.
It's at the bottom of the hill, so there was no possibility of being flooded.
Due to the weather a number of outdoor events were cancelled, my Saturday market stall was one of them. I was a little disappointed as I had been beavering away at the sewing machine, whipping up all sorts of goodies, but it would've been too wet underfoot and it was meant to be a cold, windy day and who wants to be outside in that sort of weather, when you can be inside by the heater?
The weather forecast was correct, although Saturday dawned with blue sky and sunshine amongst the clouds, it was extremely cold, so I lit the heater, made soup and stayed indoors, bliss.
Playing with fabric, thread and old book pages continues.

Poppy seed heads, birds and faces are appearing and I am enjoying the process. Not sure where it will lead, but I love the look of these pictures.

It's times like this, I wish I had gone to Uni and studied art as my lack of knowledge and skill frustrates me no end, but then again imagination and perseverance sometimes help make up the gap.

Yesterday, was a gardening day, so I mowed, weeded, dug,planted and to my delight discovered the Dutch Irises in the "Wild Wood" had flowered.

Each year I forget they are there and only 'discover' them when they are in bloom. They have been in this spot for several years and are obviously very happy there. I must get some blue irises to plant with them.
Mrs Kafups, was happy to pose with them this morning. The light streaming through the curtain of greenery was lovely and refreshing, early mornings.

Don't you just love them?

Another discovery too, my Lilac is starting to flower.

Click to enlarge the photo .

Each flower has a white border around it and it's one of my favourite childhood plants.

It grows next to a Lorrain Lee rose, which has the most delightful perfume.

I made the classic mistake when I started the shrubbery - planting things too close together, trying to get the established look in a hurry.

Look what happens when you pinch a piece of a succulent and shove it in a spot hoping it will grow.
I love the contrast of the burgundy and the lime green and I quite like it being in the wheel barrow, although I didn't realise it would grow quite so high !

Ah, yes, the Wisteria is starting to flower.
I was concerned that the heavy rain would damage the blooms but they were only just starting to open last week so no flowers lost.
The Crab Apples didn't fare so well and the rain knocked alot of the flowers off, but they had put on a good show.
I shall post more photos when it is in full flower, but if you lean really close to your computer screen you can actually smell the perfume - it's delicious.

Look who I have for a neighbour. Directly across the road from my driveway is the local Iris farm and it's all starting to happen.
In a week or two this sight will be a sea of colour, absolutely gorgeous.
For the last couple of years I have purchased a few rhizomes but I think I will have to say 'no more.'
I am struggling to find places to plant them and then when they multiply and you have to divide, replant etc.
If my mum had her way, she would've had borders of Irises all over my garden, I'm so glad I didn't give in!
I have enough to keep me happy and some very special Irises from mums garden. If I need any more I shall just head across the road and enjoy them.
Well, I hope you enjoyed your early morning wander around my garden.
Thanks for dropping by and visiting.
If you have a minute to spare please leave a comment, it's always lovely to hear from you.
Till next time, take care
Claire X

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Lovely Award

The Lovely Blog Award was sent to me by the talented Lee from Thankyou very much, I was thrilled to receive it.
Now, I have to pass it on to 10 blogs and as there are sooooo many out there, it was tricky narrowing it down, but here is my list of Lovely Blogs:-
(I realise that some blogs may be Award Free and that's OK if you don't wish to join in. I shall still tell everyone about you and shine a little light your way), this is the place to find wonderfully, sweet, quirky paintings and machine embroidered pictures. You can also read about 'flat girl' and her globe trotting adventures. Julie makes wonderful Faience pottery. Don't ask me to explain, head on over there and check out her work. It's chocful of woodland animals and people and quirky little touches which means her work flies out of her etsy shop. Gretel at Middle of Nowhere is a needle felter extraordinaire, children's illustrator and collectible toy maker.Wow, that's a mouthful. Her work is amazing, she's one very clever and busy person living in the Cotswolds., Dana lives in Amsterdam with her two gorgeous kids and partner. She is a busy mum but keen crafter and paints and sews wonderful creations with her distinctive style to sell in her shop., Fi lives in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and if you have never been there, you can check out her blog and she'll take you on a picturesque walk through the countryside. Her machine is constantly on the go, whipping up wonderful creations using recycled doilies. If she's not sewing then she is crocheting some cute little bunnies. Rima is another artist, whose, paintings and artwork is amazing. Conjuring up woodland creatures, no sparkles or fairy wings here. She makes fantastic clocks and jewellery and I always turn a shade of green looking at her latest blog posts., Helen's blog is titled A time to Dance and I can hear the clickety clack of her needles across the miles as she whips up beautiful creations for the coming Winter. She blogs about her latest makes, family life and wonderful holidays in castles! Gayle has the most amazing, colourful, interesting collections picked up over the years. She taught herself to crochet earlier this year and given a needle and thread can whip up some wonderful embroidery
. Jenny is a mum and artist living in the UK. She machine embroiders and is into lino printing and natural dyeing of fabric to name just a few. Check out her blog and be inspired........ maps can be used for more than just finding your way! Last but not least is this blog. If you have never visited it, you are in for a treat. Combining painting and embroidery in a way you could never imagine is Karen. Her blog posts, always leave me laughing and I have the sweetest little Red Robin stuffie hanging in my home courtesy of her creative, stitchy, self.
So there we have it. Please head over and visit these talented people and be inspired by what they do. Without a doubt you will come away from their blogs a little bit excited and itching to get stitching, painting or just channel your creativeness into something wonderful.
As I said there is no obligation to accept this award, but I love your blogs and was happy to point a few others in your direction.
After all that typing, it's time for a cuppa.
Hope your week is going well, till next time,
Claire X

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pull Up A Chair, Sit Down and Put Your Feet Up

I recently received this "One Lovely Blog" award from the crochet queen, Lee who resides at
Let me introduce you to her. She lives in Tassie (Tasmania for O/S readers) and is a whizz with a crochet hook, whipping up wonderful creations which she sells through her etsy shop.
She has a wonderful sense of humour which comes through in her posts, which are about her family and growing Christmas trees and beautiful flowers on her farm.
She is taking part in Blogtoberfest, so is posting loads of lovely pics, drop by and say "Hi".
This is my first ever, ever, award, so I am tickled pink with it, thankyou so much Lee.

Later in the week I will be passing on this lovely award to 10 bloggers, so I am busy compiling my list.

Come back in a couple of days I may have been able to narrow it down to 10 by then................

Spring is well and truly here and when you add warm weather and rain together you get............... veeeeeeeeeery long grass. Monday proved the perfect day to dust off the whipper snipper and head to the tree belt and whip things into shape.

Yes, the grass was long and there was about 100 metres or so that needed
cutting down.

Actually, apart from the fact that it can be a hot, sweaty and dirty job, I find it quite therapeutic. Can be frustrating if the line keeps flying off the whipper snipper but I managed to get it all done in one go. No 1 son kept supplying me with a cold drink every half hour or so.

You may wonder why he wasn't doing it, a strong, healthy 19 y.o.!

Hmm, let me think, not sure if I would trust him to be careful around young trees plus the fact that he drove 6 hours after a gig and arrived home at 5am, so still a little tired.

I seem to do this job every Spring, whipping that grass off at ground level and seeing the tree belt looking neat and tidy appeals to my slightly OCD side.

To tell the truth I don't think the boys really give it a second glance and maybe they're scared of coming across a snake....................

Chairs emerging from the pages of an old book.

These chairs have been on my mind for some time.

Thread, fabric and old books..................

The Crab apples are still flowering beautifully, although the flowers have faded, the display and perfume is still beautiful.

There are 4 along the embankment.

Monday was an overcast day and the atmosphere created by the stormy sky was amazing. I just love this sort of weather

The Maples are slowly beginning to 'leaf up' starting at the top and working their way down. Love the contrast of the new red growth against background colours.

My Forest Pansy tree has fl0wered and is covered in 1000's of little pinky purple flowers that are somewhat heart shaped. This tree is a real survivor, although it isn't planted in the perfect spot, it continues to grow and blossom and make me smile.

I had 'the beast' outside on this amazing day and Tig just happened to be wandering by.
You can see the rain on the hills in the middle of the photo, before it heads this way.

Hmm... what is he thinking?

"Hurry up and take the photo woman, I've got a cramp in my leg!"

'Fleas, who me?"

Made me smile
So finally, after a few hiccups with the computer, things seem to be back on track. I am a little less frustrated and slightly more computer savvy, (but still loads to why is this in bold print. I swear I didn't push any other buttons!)
Like I said, still loads to learn.........
Thanks everyone for dropping by last week and commenting, I love having people from all walks of life and other countries stopping by to say 'hi'
I hope your week and weekend have been good. That you managed to find things to make you smile and enjoyed the beauty around you in the changing of the seasons.
Till next time, take care,
Claire X

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Resistance is Futile

(The gremlins have been playing havoc with my post tonight and I 'm not quite sure what I need to press to eliminate the little monsters, so please bare with the underlined text )

I only popped in for some fabric, but walked out with this armful of gorgeous wool as well.
Well what was I meant to do when there was a 20% off sale on EVERYTHING at Spotlight?

I had 15 minutes to spare till my hairdressers appointment , so I had to be quick. As the wool was not on my shopping list I just picked up a few colours that appealed to me.

Knowing full well, I did not need the wool.

I have enough wool at home in my stash.

I have plenty U F O's in the cupboard if I want to play with wool................ but resistance was futile!

Resistance was futile, the machine was calling me to sew and this is what I came up with....... a needle book, part of a little project I am working on.

WARNING: The following photos may contain images of polka dot fabric and book covers.

Anyone allergic to these images should not continue to read this post.

Come and visit another day though! Please............

When you love Kombi's/Campervans resistance is futile, you just have to give in ..........
These little beauties have just rolled off the production line and need finishing off.

Couldn't resist making this caravan cover as well, you know how it goes............ resistance was futile.

Another photo of the Crab Apple tree R.W.F. It's a frothy, confection of beautiful raspberry and pale pink. The perfume is delightful and it's so lovely to look at.
In a couple of weeks all the blooms will have disappeared, so I am enjoying it while I can.

Just wanted to show this picture to you.
Now please don't look at the weeds in the vegie garden or the long grass that needs mowing. That's not what I wanted to show you.
Above the gravel walkway which leads to the chook run, is a Wisteria. In the last week the buds have suddenly appeared............ or so it seems and in another week or two it will be a vision of purple blossom.
I love Wisteria, one of my favourite plants.

Just wanted to show you a 'before' picture.

Looking through from one end.

There is a seat half way along, perfect spot for enjoying a cup of tea .

I took these photos with my 'pocket rocket' camera. Hubby has taken 'the beast' away with him for the weekend and No. 1 son has gone with him too. The light was fading so apologies for dull photos.

It's been quite a busy week for me, extra shifts at work have kept me on the go with early morning starts.
It's also been quite cool weather wise but still beautiful, sunny days if a little breezy at times.
It's the time of year, when you have to peel off those Winter layers of clothing and reveal the lily white legs you've been hiding.
It's time to stop lighting the wood heater of an evening and pack away the blankets . Turn off the electric blanket and put the summer doona on the bed.
I know resistance is futile but I will hang onto the cooler weather as long as I can.
I lit the heater last night and tonight. The boys are away so there will be no one to say "mum, you really don't need a fire tonight!"
I will turn the electric blanket on just to warm the bed and then turn it off when I am ready to go to sleep.
I will keep the lily white pins covered for as long as possible because, believe me they are a scary sight!!!

Resistance is also futile when it comes to :- chocolate cake with icing and sprinkles (not 100's &1000's, too crunchy for my liking)

Hot buttered toast and Vegemite

Sewing instead of gardening !

Surfing the net when I should be doing housework!

Ooh the list could go on and on but I will leave it there. Please feel free to leave a comment and add to my list.

I hope you have all had a good week and managed to resist the things you need to but give in to those things you can enjoy.

When the gremlins have been eliminated I shall share some news of a lovely blog award I have received.

Until then enjoy your weekend and thanks for visiting.

Claire X