Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up

Oooh, don't you just love a bit of turquoise?
The photos doesn't quite do the colour justice.
My weekend was spent sitting in the van between hubby and No 1 son as we travelled across the state to a music festival at Queenscliff.
All up, it was at least 8 hours travelling and that's alot of time one could spend, knitting or crocheting.
Well, actually, knitting would be tricky, as there isn't alot of elbow room, so I decided to start on this scarf I spied at
I am a little rusty with the crocheting, so this will no doubt be pulled out and restarted a couple of times, till I am happy with it, but it was nice to be hooking away and enjoying the time with my boys, even if it was a little squashy AND they were listening to the cricket.
I am not a cricket fan, but I am learning more about the game and their enthusiasm is rubbing off on me......

We stayed at a caravan park at Ocean Grove, a little seaside town we used to holiday at when I was a child.As soon as I got to the beach I would start shell collecting, filling up an empty jam tin with any treasure I could find.
Early Sunday morning, I decided to head down to the beach while the boys still slept. I didn't have an empty jam tin with me, just my camera and a hubbies windcheater I borrowed.
it was veeerrry windy and chilly too, but at least it wasn't raining.

Don't you just love a stormy sky?
I had the beach to myself, apart from someone walking their dog up the other end.

There were quite a few 'sea horses' rolling in.
I was looking for shells, but sadly there were none around save a few broken pieces, which I scooped up for old times sake.
The beach was pristine, no rubbish, which was lovely to see. Might be different during tourist season, but hopefully people are thoughtful enough to take their rubbish home or place it in the bins provided.

We had breakfastsat this wonderful cafe in Barwon Heads.
It's down at the jetty, right on the waters edge. You get a wonderful view, out to sea and inland. I could've sat there all day and just gazed at the view, or crocheted, done some drawing, drunk copious cups of coffee or read a book.
I love the beach, the waves have a mesmerising effect on me and I can lose myself watching them rolling in.

Last week, was somewhat different.
It was warming up and we were all feeling a little warm under our wings, a reminder that Summer is just around the corner.

It was picnic weather and the orchard was the place to be, under the fruit trees.
Fortunately, we had finished our lunch before a very curious young lady came looking for scraps.

There was mowing to be done, the rain has made sure the grass continues to grow at a great rate of knots.
But the end of the week bought more rain, just in time for the weekend.....
The temperature has dropped and an extra blanket is needed on the bed, ensuring a good nights sleep in the cool of the evening.
We had three inches of rain whilst we were away at the weekend........
The grass will need another mow in a day or two, the weeds will need pulling out and the berries will need picking and freezing.
This is just a little of what's been going on in my corner during the last week.

A little bit of Sweet Birdy Love to finish on.
Reading some of the UK blogs about snow and birds looking for food, I had to whip up a Robin just because...........................
I love these little birds, although they are different from the ones we have here.
I think I might have to have a bit of a play with some fabrics and sew up a few more.
Because I can.................
Do I need a reason?
Thankyou for dropping by. I would love to hear from you if you have time to leave a comment.
Hope your week is going well and you all had a good weekend.
Till next time, take care,
Claire X

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Introducing Muriel

I would like to introduce you to Muriel, the twin sister to Ruby Rose, whom you met last post.
Muriel is a rather unusual character, lovable in her own special way, but she doesn't have the natural charm and poise of Ruby R.
Muriel has decided it's time to step out of her sisters shadow and find out who she really is.

She's a little bit, hmmm, what shall I say here? Quirky, eccentric, zany, obsessive an interesting character to say the least!

She's a 'try hard', a square peg in a round hole, but that doesn't stop her from 'having a go'

Muriel is gracing the front of two book covers.

She's likes to think she's a bit of a trend setter, whether these trends 'take off' or not remains to be seen........

She decided to join the 'blue rinse' brigade, well before her time.

She thinks the colour suits her particularly when she puts on her new 'op shop' glasses.

She's planning on joining the local book club and thinks she will fit in nicely........

She also has a slight obsession with Peter Pan collars and puff sleeves. They bring back happy memories of matching candy striped party dresses her mum used to dress her and her sister in.
Harking back to her childhood, when she was carefree and happy and never worried about what people thought of her or if she fitted in or not.

Muriel will no doubt be making more appearances in the future.

I found these two photos on the camera when I was down loading and would like to share them with you.
No1 son has taken them and I love the softness and subtleness of the colours.
Two different evening skies and colours Muriel would approve of!

I whipped up a new bunny for my stall at the weekend and sold it before I even thought to take a pic of it, doh!
Just had to make another as I rather enjoyed putting him together.
I wanted to post before I went to work so here he is not quite finished but you get the idea.

Using a recycled woollen blanket and some vintage style fabrics. Love the colours and his little Suffolk puff cotton tail.

As you can imagine with Spring here and bucket loads of rain the garden has been taking off along with the weeds.
I decided to check out what the cherry trees were up to and imagine my surprise and delight when I found these little beauties amongst the leaves.
Last year during the drought we had a measly 3 cherries on each of the 3 trees and then to add insult to injury the birds ate them, grrrr....
This year it's a different story and between the 3 trees there must be close to 100 cherries. BUT if you click on the pic you will spy some nasty, slimy little cherry slug.
Whilst they don't appear to harm the fruit they do damage the leaves and there's no way I'm going to spray this close to the fruit being ready to eat, even if I use something organic.
The trees aren't netted, so chances are we will be sharing some of the fruit with the birds. But I will keep an eager eye on them to make sure we do get a taste!!

Along with the cherries, the berries are also cropping abundantly. They have only been in for 3 years and once again this year is a super duper crop.
With regular weekly downpours, the berries are filling out and colouring up beautifully.
Once again some nasty little sap sucking critters have decided to help themselves.
For the first time, we have those little green shield bugs, which suck the juice and goodness out of things.
We are using the natural method of picking them off and giving them the 'size 9' treatment (crushing them under our boots!)
One of the chooks has taken a liking to the taste of them and as soon as we head over to the canes she is right by our side, waiting for the feast to begin.
They seem to give off a smell much like coriander, which I actually love, so I don't mind picking them off the plants.
Hopefully, we will be able to keep on top of the problem and harvest enough fruit to make some jam.
If anyone has a natural method or product they know of to eradicate these nasties please let me know.

I started my morning with a wander round the garden, basket and secateurs at hand and dead heading the roses and picking some to bring inside.
I filled the basket almost to overflowing, I love roses and filling vases with them to place around the house.
There's a mix of Camp David, Radox Bouquet, Mothers Love and Lady of Megginch (David Austin and new this season) in the photo.
Forget your expensive arrangements of exotic flowers from the Florist (nice if you are sent some though) I'm happy to pick them from my garden even if some of them are a little too sun kissed.

Can't forget a little posy for the bedside table, rosebuds, lavender and parsley flower heads for added interest. The bees are loving the parsley at the moment and I love the shape and texture of the flower heads.
Mind you there's no parsley as it has gone to seed, but I am quite happy to leave it there for a little bit longer to enjoy.....
It's been a little while since my last post, I was busy sewing for my market stall last Sunday. The weather was perfect so we expected a bumper crowd.
But due to the weather being so nice it seemed the crowds were elsewhere. Never mind that's the nature of markets and there were still quite a few visitors and the usual locals.
I sold quite a few things and was very happy with the outcome, so will be once again beavering away at the machine making things for next months market.
All's well here in the Sweet Birdy Love household.
The weather is warming up, not sure how I feel about that. Doesn't take much to work up a sweat when you are out in the sunshine, but at least we will have lovely juicy berries and cherries....
The Lavender walk will be haze of purple shortly and the bees will be creating a daily hum. The orchard is filling up with apples, pears and nashis and in the back orchard are nectarines, peaches and plums. Not the biggest crop as heavy rain and wind have knocked alot of flowers/fruit off the trees. I love summer days when you can walk out to the orchard and pick a sun warmed peach straight from the tree. Bite into it's juicy flesh, let the juice run down your chin, mmmm..........
There are things I love about summer and that's some of them.
Well, thankyou all for stopping by, having a read and leaving a comment if you have time.
I hope you are all having a good week,
until next time, take care,
Claire X

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekend Wanderings

Last Saturday saw the opening of our annual art show, which has now been running for 10 years. A great feat for all the volunteers involved.
No 1 son and I, headed into town for the usual weekend brekky of raisin toast and coffee and to do the newspaper quiz with a couple of friends. Then we headed over to the old court house to be inspired by the wide variety of art on display.
I certainly wasn't disappointed.
It was 10.15 when I arrived, the doors had been open for only 15 mins but there were already a number of red SOLD dots on a few pictures including Ruby Rose.
I must say I was a little surprised but very happy.
So, my sense of humour has obviously appealed to at least one other person.....
Actually, I shall tell you a little secret if you promise not to tell anyone else.........Promise.
Ok, then.
There was a little bit of insider trading going on .
The sponsor of the
art show dropped in prior to 10am as she had to go to work that morning and she snapped up my picture.
Am I going to argue?
By the official opening on Saturday night, my other 3 pieces which included two book covers and a softee had all sold, yippee.
So, I thought I would treat myself to an oil painting of the nearby waterhole.
No.1 and I often head down there for a picnic lunch.
It was painted by local artist Carol Walsh and I just love it.

I had taken a few other photos but was a little worried about posting them as I had not spoken to all the artists and gotten their permission. Thought I better err on the side of caution, not wanting to upset anyone.
Sunday morning I visited an open garden and did get permission to take photos.
Isn't the rose over the arbour just stunning, it's called Zephrine Drouin. The garden was a mix of Natives out the front and English style out the back.

Want to make a garden shed beautiful. Grow a rose over the side of it and hang framed succulents.

Isn't this a great idea?
The owner of the garden told me she has to 'replant' the frame every couple of years as it gets a bit overgrown.

And from my garden, these lovelies have just bloomed. They were from my mums garden and I think they are Species Gladioli. Any gardeners out there, please feel free to correct me.
They are making a splash of colour underneath the roses.

Just to make you all go "oh, they're so cute" I spied these two wire haired terriers on Saturday afternoon. Mum is on the right and her son on the left and yes I did ask permission to take a photos.
Oh, I actually asked the owner, not the dogs!!
Aren't they lovely just like those little ornaments that are so cute, but I never seem to find in this corner of the globe.
I could quite easily have 'dog napped' these two but I think there would be one very upset Tigger when he saw them!!

I have had a great week, all over my ills. Sorry to have a moan about it all last post.
Thankyou for your concern and lovely comments.
The Spring weather has had me out in the garden this week, trying to subdue the weeds. I think I am finally winning the battle.........
The roses are a picture, in fact, I have just picked a basketful and have a problem........not enough vases, so, I have enlisted the services of an olive jar.
It was sitting in the pantry and I thought it just the right size, despite it still having it's label on, it's doing an admiral job.
I have also tidied the spare bedroom in preparation for a visitor over the weekend.
Apparently, we are going to get some more rain, may be a couple of inches, so I don't think we will be venturing too far.
I hope to get back into a bit of crafting next week, as there are ideas for more pictures that need to be explored.
I hope you have all had a good week and all the best for a great weekend, wherever you are.
Thankyou for dropping by and leaving such supportive and thoughtful comments. I love reading them and do try and reply to them all.
Take care, unti next time,
Claire X

Thursday, November 4, 2010

She Was a "Broochy' Kinda Gal !

Let me introduce you all to Ruby Rose, with her luscious red lips and her tumbling red curls.
This girl loves brooches and has one for every occasion, yes, every occasion or so she thought......!

This is an artwork I have entered in our local art show, 'Fresh and Unframed'. It's in it's 10th year and going from strength to strength.

We get a diverse range of artworks and they are of a very high standard (not referring to mine here!!). Each artwork must be for sale and no more than $150.00 dollars and must not have been exhibited before and of course it's unframed.

I started back in September thinking and planning for the art show. I had high hopes of what I would put in it. This year I would stretch myself and maybe try a lino print and some textile pieces, ho, ho, ho, ha, ha, ha.................

Days, weeks and months passed. The lino print idea was shelved and the textile pieces packed away. I dragged out my easel and acrylics, but nothing seemed to make me happy. I threw a rather large canvas in the bin in disgust. No 1 son, dragged it out and soundly chastised me.

"Don't be wasteful mum, have another go" I did. Then I put it in the spare room and shut the door.................

So Ruby Rose is it.

Click on the photo for more detail.

The sewn text reads " She thought she had a brooch for every occasion, that was until she had to make an emergency dash to hospital........"

Based on my experience, which perhaps I better not explain.....

It appealed to my sense of humour but I can imagine some locals raising their eyebrows and wondering what it's all about !!

Here she is from a distance, I love the colours.
Will someone buy it, or will I be bringing her back home in a week's time?

Now for some of Nature's beauty , my favourite Lilac (actually it's my only Lilac!) and Lorraine Lee rose.

Beautiful colours and perfumes.

Lorraine Lee is lovely but doesn't last long as a cut flower, maybe a couple of days at best.

A couple of photos taken by my hubby when he was in Adelaide recently staying with friends in a beachside suburb.
I must say I was a little surprised that he took them but then again how could you not see the beauty in this sunset, just gorgeous.

This lovely lady is my inspiration for a lino print and hopefully I will get around to it one day.....
She is a Dorking and I have called her Dorothy which is not particularly original but.......
Click on the photo to see the beautiful markings and the subtle colours of her feather.
She is quite timid and runs a mile when you go near her, but lays a lovely white shelled egg.

It's been a few days since I last posted.
I had a little health issue recently and found myself quite incapacitated.
One day I could do everything as usual, the next swollen joints and extreme pain, meant that I was struggling to do the most menial tasks.
I was home on my own as the boys were away at a music festival just out of Adelaide, so I just had to get by.
My wonderful big sister, who is also a nurse, came out with a home cooked meal and took me shopping to the local supermarket where I filled my basket with frozen dinners and a couple of sweet treats. She was very caring and helpful and I guess that's what big sisters and little sisters are for.
I received encouraging emails and phone calls from friends, so didn't feel lonely at all.
Just as well I have a sister in England, because when you are awake at 3am and want to hear a friendly voice it's nice to be able to call someone and know that you are not waking them up......
A visit to the Doc and a blood test were inconclusive just showing that there was inflammation, which I can assure you I already knew!
Still, I am glad there was no unpleasant news to follow.
Anyway, I am now in tip top condition thank God .
So lessons I have learnt which may be useful to someone !!
Kitchen tongs are useful for helping you put shoes on as well as turning the snags over....
It's ok to stay in your jim jams, leave dirty dishes on the sink and not brush you hair all day.... you will survive!
Frozen dinners should be for emergencies ONLY, nothing beats home cooking.
Never, never, never, take your health for granted. If you get out of bed tomorrow and are pain free, be thankful.
So I have been very thankful recently and can type using all my fingers once again.
I hope this finds you all well and looking forward to a good weekend,
until next time, take care.
Claire X