Friday, December 30, 2011

Hold On To Your Sunhats...........

Hello there and welcome to my last post for 2011...

Can we be on the verge of a new year already?

Not too many words you'll get the picture,so to speak.

But remember, not a word to anyone...

Escapades late at night.....

The first event.....
I do hope those bike riders appreciate the effort to 'pretty' up the boring, old bike racks...

A last wander around the garden, the sun is on the wane.
The temperature has dropped, it's quite pleasant out.

This sunny specimen is creating quite a show in the garden and keeping the bees busy......

It's a beauty and my girls are going to enjoy those seeds in a couple of months time.

Beautiful baubles on a tree, red, shiny and very tasty.
Eaten straight from the tree, the warm juice dribbling down your chin and running down your arm.....

Gertrude Jekyll, she was planted quite late in the season and I held my breath as she slowly took root and sent out the first tentative shoots.

She's a hardy thing and now here she is in all her glory and a beautiful perfume to boot.

Nearby are the Daylillies, blink and you'll miss them, they are aptly named.

Burnt orange and crimson red.....
Matching the warm weather we are experiencing at the moment.

We're in for a hot New Years Eve and more heat to follow.
Summer had to arrive at some stage.......

The Tomatoes are ripening and beans are coming on, zucchinis are turning into marrows if I don't check them every day.
The garden is where it's all happening at the moment......


I hope you all enjoyed the recent festivities and didn't over do it.

I'd like to wish you all a happy, healthy and creative 2012.

Thankyou all for stopping by to say 'hello', leaving a comment or becoming a follower.

You are all very welcome, it's nice to have visitors.....

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Thursday, December 22, 2011

We Have A Winner Folks............

Take one top hat when No.1 son isn't looking.
Preferably, while he's not wearing it as he has been known to chase people down who try and run off with it..........

Write down names on pieces of paper and place in upturned hat.

On the appointed day, just after finishing breakfast ask random person (aka hubby) to pull three names out of the hat.

And here they are in drawn order.........

First name drawn was
followed by
Jacquie from Bunny Mummy
last but not least
Alison from Tweed Thoughts.

Jacquie and Alison, I have been following their blogs for some time, but Emma's blog is quite new to me.
I found her blog when she wrote a post late November about a pub she visited The Gwdihw in Cardiff which had a lot of owl ornaments.......

We 'chatted' a bit and there was a funny little story unfolding which she posted about recently.

If you haven't 'met' these crafty talented ladies, click on the links and say 'hi'........

It's a stormy evening here .......
Grey skies with the hint of a rainbow.
No rain for us, but someone, somewhere is getting wet.

Screeching Cockatoos, disturbed from their roost, wheeling across the leaden sky.

This is the same view but a different angle.
You can see how things have dried out, but there is still some greenery around.

Yes, we have ripe tomatoes before Christmas, yay....
These are meant to be cherry tomatoes, but they are hoouge.
You can't beat the taste of a homegrown tommie...

My favourite Summer flowers....Zinnias.
The first for the season.

A little red Robin or three came to live in my garden courtesy
of my talented, artistic friend Ella.
She used some above ground pool, corrugated metal and pop riveted some wings and legs to the body.
Sorry about the dark pick , but the wind had whipped up and it was getting late.
I still have to show you the wonderful tea cosy I received from another time.

It was quite a different story last night......

A beautiful sunset and a freshly washed piece of fabric drying on the line.
I spied this fabric at Spotlight yesterday and had to buy it.
I love the vintagy colours, very CK I thought.
Hopefully it will be put to good use very soon.

Sharing a meal with a friend.....Tigger and Mrs Kafups

Thank you all for entering my first ever giveaway, I've had a lot fun reading about your blog reading habits and welcome to all my new followers.

Well I do hope you've all had a great week, not too hectic........

We're heading towards a warm weekend with 32deg. forecast for Christmas day and a possible thunderstorm.

Wherever you are and however you spend Christmas day I hope you enjoy the time spent with family and friends.

Till next time, take care

Claire X

Monday, December 19, 2011


Hello and welcome to another week.......

Just wanted to share with you some of the things that are making me smile right now and bringing a touch of happiness and a smidgen of joy into the world of Sweet Birdy Love.

Op shop finds......for just a few dollars I came away with a bag of beaut vintage buttons.
Gorgeous colours and patterns.

Some lovely green vintage Ric Rac made in Czechoslovakia, still on the original card and for a few dollars more some great beads.

Sparkly, shiny, in lovely pinks, greens and amber.

I have plans for the beads, a little bit of play time over the holidays, fingers crossed and tongue in the correct position and hopefully I'll have something interesting to show you.....

Vintage buttons = JOY

Sometimes it only takes a couple of dollars.

Other times no money at all.......

Toadstool love is in full swing here.

These little specimens are 'growing' quite happily in the
Wild Wood of Silver Birches......

I'm predicting a few more might pop up here and there.

Fresh berries = JOY

Picked straight from the garden......

They are starting to slow down a little but there will be more in a few weeks time.
In the meantime they have been frozen, turned into jam, given away, eaten and enjoyed.

Christmas shopping was completed here over a month ago....

No fighting your way through crowds of shoppers.
No driving round in circles looking for a car park.

One catalogue, many gifts to choose from.

Giving to those who have little or nothing brings great JOY
Visit the website and browse through the catalogue you're bound to find something that will make a huge difference to someones life.

If it all gets too stressful take a leaf out of Tigger's book and 'chill out'......


I had my last market for the year on Saturday and I am
pleased to say it was my best ever ......

Consequently, I didn't have enough stock to hold my stall on Sunday at the local market.
But hey, I think that's a good problem to have.

Over the holidays I would like to try my hand at a few different projects and hopefully learn some new skills.
I will post the successes and hint at the failures....
Of which there may be a few,hehe.......

I have some wonderful things to show you next post.
Gifts from clever, talented friends who never cease to amaze me with their creativeness.

I will also be drawing the winner of my giveaway on Thursday morning as I have my breakfast.......
There is still time to enter if you haven't already, please read the previous post for details.

Till then take care,

Claire X

Thursday, December 8, 2011

THANKYOU IT'S BEEN A 'HOOT'.............

Some things take a while to sink know what I mean?

I love owls as do alot of others, so the question is 'why haven't I been making any owlie things?'

Who knows apart from the fact it can take awhile for the penny to drop.
I think I was just too caught up in one of the hundreds of other ideas that invade my brain.....

So I have just finished and I mean JUST finished these owls.

Ladies they are hot off the press, still smoking, hehe......

Who doesn't love having an owl or two, or three or even four, perched in a nearby tree?!!

We often hear the Boobook owls calling across the valley at night.
A sound that makes me very happy as I drift off into the Land of Nod.

Not only are these little owls cute but............

They're also useful for holding your needles.........

Yes, these little fellas are sewing needle books.

Lots of bright polka dots along with felt a bit of stitching, some buttons for eyes and there you have it.

And guess what I'm giving 3 of them away, so keep on reading if you're interested.

I'm also giving away this little pendant I bought at the market last Saturday.
Told you I had something in mind for it, didn't I.........

I made a little pouch for it to travel in, to keep it nice and safe..........

I really had fun making this little pouch and it reminded me of when I was a child handsewing bits of fabric together to make 'things' for my dolls or myself.

Details of the Giveaway at the end of this post, but let's take a turn around the garden and see what's blooming.

The Chinese Star Jasmine is putting on an awesome display. It's been growing in this pot since we moved here 9 years ago. This is the best season yet, due to the rain. We all know how much more the garden appreciates natural rain compared to hand watering...........

If you are not familiar with this plant it has a beautiful perfume which fills the air in the warm weather and is just divine.............
Grows quite happily in the garden or in a pot.

The beautiful Buddleia is in bloom.
I love this plant, the honey perfume is heavenly.
Unfortunately, all the flowers are on the new growth at the top of the shrub which is about 5 metres high. Hopefully, we'll get some blooms lower down so I can pick an armful and bring them inside...

Further along in the shrubbery the Dahlias are starting to bloom.

The bright orange of this cactus Dahlia certainly makes a splash against all the surrounding greenery.

Along the driveway we have the ubiquitous 'aggies' or agapanthus.
They're hardy, they survived the drought and are frost hardy, so obviously they are a good choice to line the driveway.
They have just popped out of their little papery coverings and are about to open up fully.

Purple and green another great colour combo.

As you can see the countryside is starting to dry off as the temps rise.
Still quite green but Summer is creeping in.
There is rain due over the next day or so. It will give the 'lawn', lol a good drink and freshen up the garden.
Fingers crossed for more than half a dozen drops!
Now, remember last post I was talking about doing a bit of yarnbombing, ssssh!!!!
No words needed, it's self explanatory......

Dressed in black complete with beanie (took it off 'cos that would look suspicious and it was just too hot!!) my accomplice who shall remain nameless came into town with me.

He held the torch and the crochet while I stitched as fast as I could.

The old time dance was ending so there were cars around and we were trying not to look conspicuous!!
Mind you two people loitering in town late at night, always looks conspicuous, specially when you are dress in black!!

I haven't heard any comments yet, I do hope someone has noticed but there it is.
FYI I used a size6 hook and double yarn so it would hook up quickly.
I did a nice little picot edging at one end and a shell edge at the other end, just to give it that certain touch, hehe.........

Hubby thinks I'm barking and he's probably right, but hey, we got some good laughs out of it and that's what it was all about.


Ok, this giveaway has been a long time coming.
I never had giveaways at milestones.......
100 posts
1 year of blogging etc. etc.
I didn't want to just because everyone else did.

But now the time is right, we are heading towards the end of the year and I just want to say THANKYOU
to each and everyone of you who pops by to read my ramblings, whether you comment or not.
You have been encouraging, helpful with computer/blog issues (Cuckoo, Tanya Anne and Alison),
inspiring, motivating and all those good things.

Like everyone else who blogs, I really enjoy this community of people some of whom I have had the pleasure to meet (Tanya, Lee, Chris) but the majority I haven't.

Thanks for sharing your lives, makes, ideas, the good, the bad and occasionally the ugly, hehe.......

It's been such fun and whilst I think my blog can be rather pedestrian at times, I don't have all the fancy bits and pieces that are available due to my dinosaur computer skills you keep coming back, so Thankyou

Ok, let's get to the nitty gritty.

First name drawn out of No. 1's top hat will receive the pendant in it's unique little travel pouch, plus an owl needle book.

2nd name drawn will receive an owl sewing needle book as will the 3rd name drawn
(No.1 told me I couldn't have two prizes the same, but I said
"who are you the giveaway police!!" )

I will also add some other bits and pieces to these prizes but that's a 'Bgurk' surprise.

What do you have to do?
Just leave a comment, maybe you should give me two colour options for the owl just in case!!

There is a question I would like to ask

I'm just curious about your blog reading habits.........
Do you check out "Blog Lists' on other blogs or click on comments that are interesting to find out a bit more about who wrote it?
Are you a blog hopper or stick with your favourites and don't venture to far from home?

This giveaway is open to all and sundry from Tangambalanga (say that 3 times fast) to Timbuktu (which is actually in Mali/Africa)

Whether you are a follower or not, blogger or not, commenter or lurker, please de-lurk and say 'hi'
I won't bite, promise........ despite the fact hubby thinks I'm 'barking'

If you mention this on your blog please let me know for another ' bite of the cherry'
The giveaway will close at my brekky time 7.30am on Thursday December 22nd..............

Please make sure I can link back to you or leave your email in the comment or I will have to redraw.

The winners will receive their prizes after Christmas.........

So once again thankyou for taking the time to drop by and say 'hi', nice to hear from you it's been a 'HOOT', oops, just had to, sorry........

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Sunday, December 4, 2011

To Market, To Market..........

Recognise any of the above patterns?
Maybe you had a plate, saucer or cup with one of these patterns on it.........

This is the work of Robyn Steele one of the stall holders at the market I attended on Saturday.
She takes broken crockery and turns it into wonderful ceramic pendants.

She goes by the name of Five Poppies but as yet doesn't have a website, but her email is

Her kids are trying to talk her into getting a website up and running and I certainly hope she does.

Beryl is Robyn's mum, so naturally she had to make this little pendant.

I think it's a great idea...........

I had a lovely chat with Robyn.
It's always nice to catch up with other crafty types and talk about what you make and swap ideas...........

It was a gorgeous day and there seemed to be plenty of people coming along to the market.
It always turns out to be a bit of a social outing as well..........

It was a difficult decision and I ummed and aahed for ages before deciding on this cute little house pendant.........

It has come home with me and I have something in mind for it, so stay tuned.........

Something else I spied at the market were....

these gorgeous padded coathangers.
Now this is only one part of one of four tables full of coathangers for sale.

Seriously, there were hundreds of them, adult and children's coathangers.
They are beautifully made and I would love to see the fabric stash belonging to these crafty ladies.
Two sisters were running the stall and unfortunately I didn't get their names, but I did get.....

Two gorgeous red and white coathangers.

Of course it had to be polka dots and gingham was the other obvious choice.
These were actually a little of my Bgurk brooches for two coathangers.

I just love doing that sort of thing.

When it was time to pack up I didn't really want to, I was having such a pleasant time.
I also met another local lady by the name of Sue she had been talked into sharing a stall with some of her friends.
Sue makes lots of wonderful things, fabric bags, cute as a button knitted hats for kids, and jewellery amongst other things.
It was her first time selling at a market and I think it was quite a learning curve for her.

We did another swap a pair of her earrings which I had been admiring for my Nest brooch....
Once again we had a lovely chat about markets and creating and it was really enjoyable.

So Sue if you do read this, it was so nice to meet you and I hope I see you at another local market on a stall of your own very soon.

The trip home only takes about 40 minutes but as I drove through Tarrawingee I had to stop and take a pic of the local pub The Plough Inn.
It was looking a treat on this gorgeous day, pots of flowering petunias out the front.

I have been driving past it for the last couple of years thinking I must stop and take a photo.
Well, I suddenly found myself pulling up in front of it and jumping out of the car, camera in hand.
This pub was built in 1864 by Hopton Nolan and is still in the Nolan family almost 150 years later.

I think part of the appeal to me is the 'Englishness' of it........

Another stop to photograph what we refer to as 'the Billabong' just outside of Beechworth.

It's quite an expanse of water, I don't think it's particularly deep, but during the drought the water level dropped dramatically.

With all the rain we had over the past twelve months it's filled up again and is a haven for ducks and other waterbirds.

There are lots of little islands with tufty grass and reeds growing up out of them

Great reflections.......I wish I could've climbed through the fence and gotten a bit closer, but as I only had my little pocked camera with me, I decided not to.

Plus just having summer sandals on my feet, I thought my outdoor boots were needed just in case I encountered some to the local wildlife!!

The last stop on the trip home....Beechworth.

I can't go though without stopping and popping into a couple of my favourite shops.....unfortunately I was too late for the op shops, they had already closed.

But I did discover someone had been doing a little bit of 'Yarnbombing' yay !!

Hooray, someone has finally done it.

I wonder if they snuck into town in the dead of night and sewed it over the railing.

I would sooo love to do that here in my little town...........I think I shall head into town in the morning with my tape measure in my pocket and scout out a few possibilities.

I think No. 1 might be in on this too, he seemed to like the idea of a bit of Yarnbombing around
the place.

Wouldn't everyone get a surprise to see a crocheted cover over a tree branch or lamp post, but ssssssh, don't tell anyone I'm thinking about it.

Might need some help with the crocheting too....

A close encounter with some local wildlife, just before I got home.

Love the red nose, it looks just like a great big Maraschino Cherry, yum

So glad it stayed put and didn't run out onto the road..............

You have to admit it looks pretty cute.

And just for good measure a pic from the garden, or orchard actually.........

The Feijoas are flowering and they look stunning..

The combination of deep pink and red is just gorgeous and all those little bristly bits, remind me of little bottle brushes.

Looks like we're in for a good crop come March 2012.


Well, the jam making continues as the berries ripen here. No doubt there will be another batch on the go this week, just as well I have a good supply of glass jars.

The days are rolling into each other and it's a bit like Ground Hog day sometimes, but the weather has been good, despite a very warm and humid day Tuesday. We did have a storm, plenty of thunder and a wonderful lightning show, but not a drop of rain. At least it cooled down enough to have a blanket on at night and get a good sleep.

It's very windy this evening and I even pulled a fleece jacket out of the wardrobe to keep warm.

So that's a little sneak peek at what I've been doing over the weekend.

I hope you've all had an enjoyable weekend what ever you did.

Thanks for stopping by and saying "Hi" always great to hear from you,

Till next time,

Claire X