Thursday, January 27, 2011

If at First You Don't Succeed.....................

Some gorgeous colour from the garden.
I had to pick a bunch of Zinnias, keeping to the orange/ yellows.
Too beautiful to be outside with no one to admire them.
This year I have a white Zinnia, I've never had one before and it doesn't seem quite right.
Like something has gone awry during it's growth, but it has a beauty all of its own.
At this time of year, there's not alot flowering in the shrubbery apart form some roses. The only other picking flowers I have grown are Zinnias and some gorgeous Sunflowers which the chooks are enjoying at present.
Perhaps I need to rethink my Summer garden........
Years past, water has been scarce so I had to be careful, but now, there's plenty of water so I might plan a few more flowers for my 'cutting garden' next Summer.

OK, I'm a hearing you............ We've seen this before.......

Well, this time it's finished and I had to have a 'ta dah' moment.

So can you please just go with me on this as it's taken up all my sewing time this week........

I'm thrilled with the finished cushion, love the colours, the fabrics and the white text on grey.
(Unfortunately, the colours look a little washed out in the photos)

The back has a button opening with a contrast strip of fabric.
I used the buttonhole footy thing on my machine for the first time and it was a learning curve....
I read the instructions, practised on a scrap of fabric, all good.
Then I got the cushion back and proceeded to do the button holes.
First one, no problems, second one, all good, yeah, we're on a roll.....
Third one, well, I think the machine decided enough was enough.
Ok, I'm not going to let it beat me. Pull it out and try again. Still not right, pull it out try again....
Third time, whaaaaaaaaaats this all about, I'm following the instructions to the letter.
Pull it out and just use a good old satin stitch on the machine .
No problems, buttonhole finished.

As I was pulling it out and trying again and again and again, I decided to stitch up a little something.
This is what I would liked to have done, BUT, too much time and effort had already gone into it.
So, this little stitchery will sit beside my machine, to remind me to keep trying.
After all it was only a little, old buttonhole.

I know how to do them without the automatic , footy thing and I can handstitch a buttonhole. Learnt to do that at school, so...........

This week has been a little different from the norm with a public holiday (Australia Day) smack bang in the middle.
Whilst we had a lovely relaxing if somewhat warm day it has rather thrown me off kilter.

Today feels like Friday, hmmmm,

I hope your week is going well and Aussie bloggers enjoyed the holiday.
We certainly live in a beautiful country.

Thanks for dropping by and saying "hi", always nice to hear from you.

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cloudburst, Sunshowers and more Stitching

A hurried post before I have to get ready for work and I have uploaded the pics in the wrong order........
Thankyou all for your positive comments on my last post regarding the stitchy mistake I made.
I have rectified the mistake by making a totally new cushion front...... using a lovely charcoal grey fabric.
I am soooooooooooo much happier with it.

So which do you prefer colour wise the charcoal grey or the lighter version?
I am loving the grey , the white stitchy text stands out so well and that full moon......
I know it's not the best photo, but I was keen to show you all as I was so happy with the outcome.
I can just imagine it's a frosty Winter's night and there's a hungry fox on the prowl.
Spent all morning working on this ignoring the housework and now I have to whizz around the house furiously cleaning and tidying up before I head off to work....

Another cushiony picture that has been swirling round and round in my brain ......

Autumn is almost on the doorstep, so I wanted to celebrate it's arrival.......

Still more to add in he way of leaves and stitchy text, so finished pics later in the week.

Saturday evening we had an unexpected cloudburst, directly overhead, thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure.

A sprinkling of hail and some very heavy rain.

After the rain finished, there were the most amazing cloud formations.

My poor little camera doesn't do them justice but I thought I would share them anyway.
Same cloud 10 minutes earlier - remember I uploaded these in the wrong sequence, doh!

The sun comes out and it's all sparkly and shimmery and I wasn't moving the rubbish bins, or I would've been drenched.
As Janet over at The Empty Nest says "Just keeping it real!"

The sunlight through the cloud was brilliant and I raced outside between thunder claps to snap a few more pics.
Great shadow shot......
Click on pics to enlarge and enjoy the beauty.

Sunshowers, I have never really been a fan of them.
I prefer either a sunny day or a good storm.

They always seemed like musical Westerns, wrong, wrong, wrong.

But maybe......

So there you have a snipped of my weekend and what's on the production line, sewing wise.

I hope you all had a great weekend and your week has gotten off to a good start.

Thanks for dropping by, lovely to hear from you,

Until next time, take care,

Claire X

Friday, January 21, 2011

Success or Failure?

It started off with the seed of an idea and grew...............
I was a little excited about starting a new project.
A cushion, it was an itch I just had to scratch!
I had been thinking about it for quite a while and was looking forward to how it would turn out.
I tried not to rush, take my time, think carefully about fabrics and how they would look.

All was going well, coming together slowly, but I was happy.
Take my time, double check, then triple check, I know what I'm like..........

Sew carefully, keep the 'writing' legible, same size, follow the curve.
Double check, no typos so far, all going well.
Finish off, i's yet to be dotted and the moon to be added, but basically done.
Reread the text, hmmmm, something missing, can you spot it?

My smile slipped, a frown was gathering............
How could that happen, I was being careful, very careful.

Somehow, I got ahead of myself and left out three little letters, one word.
It's not a major problem, BUT I'm not happy...........

Does it matter?

What do you think?

Oh well, it's too late now, it can't be fixed, guess that's what you call a prototype....

Maybe I should just stick with some crochet.....
Make a mistake, pull it out and start again, too easy.

Maybe I'll just cheer myself up with some of these.
They belong to No1 and have been in the fridge since Christmas.
I can honestly say I haven't been tempted to sneak one. Even when offered I have refused........

What's that all about and is it fatal!
I'm worried, that's sooooooooo not like me.

No 1 is away for the weekend.
Do you think he would notice if one or two went missing?

On a brighter note, in fact a much brighter note.
I happened upon this beautiful eiderdown when my favourite, little op shop reopened this week.
I couldn't believe it was sitting there on top of the boring, old plain blankets, just waiting for someone to come along and fall in love with it.
That person was me and it was love at first sight.......

It's beautiful my favourite colour combination. Perfect condition, no moth holes or worn patches.

There's no label either, so I can't tell how old it is, but I am sure it's not 'newish'.
You never seem to find this style of treasure at the op shop, well I don't, maybe I look in the wrong places.
Don't forget to click on the photo to enlarge it and enjoy all that floral goodness.
But be careful you might just fall in love with it and I found it first.
Even hubby commented on how nice it is, now that's a real tick of approval.

More flowery goodness, just because.
It's been a warm day here, there's quite a sting in the sunshine.
The white cabbage moths seem to be congregating in the garden.
Don't mind them flying round, but please don't lay your eggs here, go elsewhere.....

Out in the orchard last night, to pick a couple of Nashis, I spied this cheeky fellow.

Twas a little bit dark for a photo, but he just sat there watching me, cheeky thing.

A beautiful Rosella, they fly in and eat the fruit and are quite bold. Not at all scared of me.

They are welcome to visit my garden, a visual delight and have a sweet, high pitched call, BUT.......

Well, another week has passed, it's been a good week, not too hot.
A couple of nights there, it was even cool enough to have a blanket on.

I'm back at work, getting back into the swing of things. Early morning starts, hmmmm.....

The days are getting shorter, it was quite alot darker at 6.15 this morning, but very pleasant.
Dare I say there was hint of Autumn in the air or was it my imagination?

I hope wherever you are you have had a good week and looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Thankyou for popping by, if you have a minute please leave a comment, so I know you have visited, I love to hear from you.

Till next time, take care

Claire X

P.S. If you haven't picked the fault in the text on my cushion.......'the' is missing from the last line.
It should read........'Before he reached the towno, towno, towno

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I can see clearly now...........the widows have been cleaned!

Not more photos of flowers?
You betchya, how could I not.
Look at that colour, so clear, vibrant, cheery.
For those of you who are heading towards Summer, grab a packet of these seed from your nursery or supermarket.
They love warm conditions and you won't be disappointed.
Would love to see a display in your garden.
Share the Zinnia love, you will have bunches of them to give away and bring inside your home.

And more Sunflower photos, (my flower garden is very limited obviously!)
They come in different colours and sizes, not just the gorgeous, dinner plate yellow Sunflowers.
I will have to keep an eye on the seed heads, so the Sparrows don't get to them before the chooks
We're going to have loads of Nashi Pears this year, yum.
Sweet and juicy, delicious.
Please don't tell the Cockatoos that have moved into the area that we have all this fruit......
Without a doubt they have already spied it and are waiting for us to go away before they invade..
We have to be careful picking the fruit as we have discovered Redback spiders like to make their home between the fruit.

Perfection, a beautiful morning a beautiful rose..........

The chickens continue to grow a pace as you can see from the photo.

I let them out of their pen in the morning and put them in the back orchard for the day and then in the evening let them into the main chook run with the rest of the chooks.

This seems to work well, they love scratching about the place, chasing grasshoppers and most of the other hens leave them to it.

There was a bit of a kerfuffle after I took this photo.
One of the girls out of shot, has taken a dislike to them for some reason........
She showed her displeasure and mum Dorothy was not going to take this bad behaviour. She flew in to defend them, then our rooster, got in on the act. It was a three ringed circus, feathers flying, fortunately no blood drawn and I was able to shut down this commotion very quickly.

Notice anything out of the ordinary?

This basket happens to be one of Tig's favourite places to spend several hours.....
Or, when he's lying on something he shouldn't be, I can put him up there out of the way.
Sometimes you don't even realise he's there, till he starts scratching and the cabinet starts shaking.......

Yesterday, was the most beautiful, glorious day.
The sun was shining the sky was blue as.....
The humidity we had been experiencing had completely disappeared , hooooray.

I planned to do a bit of house work and then plug in the sewing machine, but after vacuuming and washing the floor, I found myself washing windows.
How that happened I'm not sure.
I was even doing the job properly, taking the screen off and wiping the tracks to sliding doors etc.
There was a lovely cool breeze blowing, I was quite enjoying the whole process and who did I have to keep me company?
Yes, this not so little fella.

For those unfamiliar with Aussie creepy crawlies, this is a Huntsman spider and yes they can be quite sizable. Think palm sized for leg span, eek....

It was between two panes of glass, so I very bravely 'touched' it.......
It was quite happy to stay there but I felt a little uncomfortable, so very carefully moved it on.
They seem to come out of their hiding places when the weather warms up.
They are quite cute when small (very small) but I'm not so keen on adult ones.

Now at long last, I have to tell you about the 'Stylish Blogger Award' I was given by Jenevieve over at Buttons Ribbons and Other things.
Because I didn't post about it quickly enough, Tanya over at Suburban Jubilee
also gave me the award.

Thankyou ladies, does that mean I am extra stylish?

I think not, if you could see me now...

There's a splodge of toothpaste on my shirt, don't you just hate that?

Anyway, the rules if you choose to accept are to tell 7 random things about yourself and to pass the award onto 15 other blogs.

Well, I'm going to tell you 7 random things, but as there are so many other lovely blogs out there and all of you are stylish in your own way, I shall just leave it there............

7 Random Things

1. I write with my left hand, due to an accident when I was 3.
I use my right hand to hold scissors, racquet, knife etc.

2. I am an Anglophile, I would love to live in the UK for 12 months and experience all the seasons.

3. Have had a couple of goes at learning to speak Italian. I think it's a beautiful language and would love to speak it fluently.

4. I have loved chooks/hens/chickens since I was knee high to the proverbial. Finally got my very own chooks 9 years ago. They live in Cluckingham Palace and like all palaces it has a chandelier, but it's not connected to electricity...........

5. I have one child, a son. When I was 17 I knew I wanted to start my family with a boy and had his name chosen way back then!

6. I love Brambly Hedge and have all the seasons mugs. Love all those woodland scenes. Think it's the English thing again!

7. Last but not least and most importantly in my life I am a born again Christian. Check out Acts 2v38. I enjoy the beauty of God's creation and am very thankful for all the blessings in my life.

I hope your week is going well wherever you are.

Thankyou for taking the time to drop by and leave a comment it's always lovely to hear from you.

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Saturday, January 15, 2011

All Things Bright and Beautifully Sunny

The day dawned and not a cloud in the sky.......

It was completely foggy !

Still, it wasn't raining and that was a good thing.
Peering out the window, I spied a patch of blue sky, a good sign.

Feed the chooks and cats, get myself ready and it was time to hit the road.

I was having a market stall in Bright, a beautiful little town at the foot of the mountains.
First market for the year and my first time at the Bright market.

It was a beautiful drive, foggy in parts.
I could pretend it was Winter.

As I neared Bright the fog lifted and the sun shone.
Everything seemed fresh and green after the rain, almost like a Spring day.

A little look at my stall.
New bookcovers, singlets, a couple of vintage Blanket Bunnies and one Grumpy Bunny.
He's a bunny with attitude, but really just needs a hug.
Because, as we know,
'a frown is a smile turned upside down'

Down the other end......
Bunting, pot holders, cards and who's been playing with the brooches?

Vintage style hanky bunting.

Sold 1 lot, to a happy customer.....

The market was held in the park down by the river.
It was beautiful and shady.
Lots of stalls, lots of variety.
Live music, lots of people.
My stall is 3rd on the left, photo taken just after setting up, still quiet.....

Looking up the park to the music sound shell.

The crowds came, it was a beautiful morning.
A little warm but not unpleasant.
Note to self.......
get in early for your egg and bacon brekky roll, before they run out of eggs!

More stalls.

After the market finished and I had packed up, I headed up the street to have a wander and enjoy the glorious day.
The humidity seemed to have disappeared.
Bright is such a lovely town, full of holiday makers at the moment.
Nestled at the foot of the mountains, surrounded by pine forests and the Australian bush.

Driving home, I stopped by the river in Porepunkah.
There were families picnicking by the river, enjoying the fine weather.
I could've stayed there all day, but it was time to get home and upack.

A job I don't enjoy,...............

Does anyone?
Anyone need a bike?

The things people collect......

So that was how I spent today.
It was a lovely day, beautiful weather, great camaraderie amongst stallholders.
In fact I enjoyed it so much, I think I might head back there for next months market.

So how did you spend your day?

And so the back breaking, heart breaking clean up begins..........

Watching tonights news about the floods in Brisbane I was amazed to see crowds of strangers, carrying brooms, buckets, high pressure hoses anything that would help in the clean up.

This army of volunteers had come from near and far to help people they had never met....

As 'Matt' said when interviewed by the news reporter,
"It's what we do. We're Aussies, we help our mates"

'nuff said.

No. 1 son is playing at the Illawarra Music Festival this weekend and is donating $5.00 from every CD sold to the flood appeal.

Total of CDs sold thus far is 42....

Good job Rich and I know he would like to thank everyone who supports live music and buys CD's.

There are lots of auctions being held on blogs to raise funds for the flood relief, so please join in and help out.

One crafty lady who is whipping up a storm with her crochet hook is Kate over at Foxs Lane.

She has had to deal with her own flood over the last couple of days, so she's had a taste of what the folks up North have been dealing with.

Thinking of you and the family Kate...........

I have been given a blog award recently, shall blog about it next post.

Thankyou one and all for popping by and commenting,, always lovely to hear from you.

I hope your day has been a good one whatever you got up too.

Until next time, take care

Claire X

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Feathers, Flowers, Fowl, Fruit and a Funder Storm ( hmmm,)

Before Christmas I had a weekly catchup with a very good friend and talented, self taught artist Ella.
We had gifts to exchange, which actually hadn't been planned but turned out to be a nice surprise.
My gift to Ella was one of my book covers for her new visual diary, so it wasn't a surprise as such, although she did give me free reign with the design.
I forgot to take a photo, doh.

Ella's gift to me was a beautiful painting of some Red Robins, as she knows how much I love them.
Ella has a very individual style, she said she didn't even know what the Robins looked like, she just did 'her version' of them, which makes the painting all the more special.
She had just returned from taking her mother on a trip to Italy to visit family. When she got back to Australia, she was so worn out after suffering terrible air sickness and with one thing and another, she had lost her painting mojo.

My picture was the first thing she had attempted in a number of weeks.

Thanks Ella, I love it and will treasure it. X

A little wander round the garden yesterday proved to be very worthwhile. I discovered my Lillium, Stargazer had bloomed and as it was threatening to rain, I had to bring it inside to enjoy.
These flowers have the most beautiful perfume, but it can be a bit overpowering for some.
There are 3 blooms open with another 6 buds. It's absolutely stunning and I am thrilled with it. I planted the bulb about 3 years ago and it struggled in the drought and the heat of previous Summers, but kept growing each year. Obviously, it was happy in it's little spot in the shrubbery.
This year I watched it send up a single stem, it kept growing and I kept watering it.
The buds appeared and I held my breath (not literally..) waiting for them to open, wondering what sort of display they would make.

Voila... perfect, well, maybe not florist perfect, but not too far off it.

Did you spy the little ornament in the previous photo?
Good, cos you were meant to be captivated by the stunning bloom.....

This little chooky was a gift from a dear friend from Church.
Auntie Mabs is in her 80's and is as sprightly and with it as you could imagine.
She has known me since I was knee high to the proverbial and was a dear friend to my mum.

Anyway, she gave me a carry bag recently and inside was a box and inside the box were 2 cheeky chooks and a rooster about to devour some beautiful cauliflowers.

She said she saw this in the shop and thought of me and had to buy it.
The funny thing was, a couple of my Isa Browns (breed of chicken) had been escaping from their run that week and getting into the vegie garden, so it was quite a timely gift.
Unfortunately, we have never been able to grow such beautiful big ,white cauliflowers .
Still haven't discovered how the Misses Houdini are escaping, but I think a trim of a wing might be in order.......
Sunday night bought some rather dark ominous clouds on the horizon. I watched them build, enjoying the inky blue colour.
I love the contrast of the sky with the dry grass.
It started to rain and was quite steady, heavy at times. I was worried we were going to get another tropical downpour, but all was well.
We did get 28.4mls (just over an inch in the old scale) which was much appreciated as I had started watering in the evenings.
So everything has had a lovely drink and I won't have to water again this week.
It's quite a chore at times.

Lastly, a bowl of Peacherines. We picked them whilst they are still a little firm as the damp weather has caused an outbreak of Brown Rot. One side of the fruit will look perfect and the other side has turned brown and mushy, yuk.
But these, whilst they have a few marks and a split or two are sweet and juicy and sooooo yummy.
Why a peacherine?
When hubby was planning his stone fruit orchard he was very keen to have , lots of different varieties.
So there are peaches, nectarines and peacharines.......

Now a couple of things I would like to tell you about.

Firstly, the lovely Jenevieve all the way over in Scotland at
is having a giveaway.
She has made a beautiful and unique necklace using seaglass she has found.

If you would like to be part of the giveaway click on the link or her button on my side bar, (had to email her to find out how to do that. Thanks Jen it obviously worked, there's no stopping me now!!) The giveaway is open till the 28th of January.

Secondly, no doubt you are all aware of the devastating floods up in Qld.

Well, from Monday Jan 17th. you can head over to Make It Perfect where you will find a master list of bloggers who are running auctions from their blogs or shops.

The auction will run for a week, with proceeds going to the flood appeal.

A great idea, so join in and help out.

Whilst not having an auction, I will be doing the rounds of the blogs, hoping to be the winning bidder.

Thoughts go out to those folk in Qld who have lost everything, may you find a dry bed and a roof over your head.
Someone to give you a hug, wipe away the tears and put back the hope in your heart that has been washed away.

Till next time, take care and reach out to someone in need.

Claire X

Saturday, January 8, 2011

So On and Sew Forth......

So or should I say 'sew' what's happening?
Well, another week has passed by the first for the New Year...........
I hope it was a good week for you whether you are still on holidays or back at work.
My week has been centred around my sewing as I was on hols, yippee.
These are my latest 'makes' .......
Little cottages.....
There are quite a few around blogland, most being just a house and very cute they are too.
Below is my version....
They will have a ribbon loop for hanging and on the back I have embroidered
" Home is where the heart is" with a polka dot heart (oops forgot to take a photo).

I did consider embroidering
"home is where you can scratch where it really itches",
it made me laugh but not everyone has my sense of humour.....

So what do you think?
They are just a little decoration you can hang somewhere around the house.
I am doing a market in Bright next Saturday and these will be for sale.
This will be the first time I have done this market, so it will be interesting.
It's held in a park by the river and they usually have live music , so it should be quite enjoyable and Bright being a tourist destination I imagine it will be BUSY.....

Well, it's 'on the road again....' for the boys. The summer music festival circuit is in full swing.
The boys headed off, the van loaded No 1 son at the wheel, dad in the passenger seat...
3 gigs in 2 days, home late Sunday night.
I imagine they will be rather tired and glad to fall into their own beds for a decent nights sleep.
For those readers who may not be familiar with my little family, No 1 son is a muso and Dad goes along as the unpaid roadie, co driver, manager and as Dad.
There is quite a bit of equipment to be set up, so help is needed and Dad is happy to take on that role, plus we both enjoy the music.........
I stay home, look after the animals, garden and so on and sew forth!!

On Thursday, Hubby and I had to make a trip to Bright, so we decided to have fish and chips down by the river for dinner.
Rock Salt is a gourmet fish and chip shop in Bright that does the best and I mean the best f & c I have ever tasted.
Now, be warned, being gourmet it doesn't come cheap, but it's worth every cent and talking about money they don't have EFTPOS either.
A fact I was unaware of till I got to the head of the rather loooooong queue and then realised, gulp...
Hubby had gone for a wander so there I was scrambling in my bag for a few final dollars, checking every pocket.... twice, discovering some 'egg money' phew.
Bit of a giggle, but the young fellow was very understanding.

Now don't be put off if you see a long queue as they are so fast.
The guys cooking were going hammer and tongs, sweat pouring off them.
In this box we had 2 pieces of fish, 2 king prawns, 2 scallops, 2 potato cakes, 4 calamari and a small serve of handcut chips which were cooked to the most perfect golden brown.
A sweet chilly dipping sauce and a most delicious garlicky tartare sauce.

Is your mouth watering yet, 'cos mine certainly is....
Sadly, f & c just won't be the same again after this feast.

Let's take a look around the garden.....
The Zinnias are putting on a lovely display, not quite as good as last season. All the rain we have had, caused a fungal disease which really knocked them about in the early stages and the slug population has been out of control.... but those that have survived have been stunning.

This season the coral and orange seem to be the most predominant colour, last season it was this lovely purply/pink.
Together the colours are certainly eye catching.
Gayle over at Garden of Daisies is a fan of Zinnias too.

Out to the back orchard to check the Peacherines to see how they are coming along, almost ripe.
Looking lush and red.....
We don't have many due to the storms but what we do have will be delicious.

There will be a few less if this little chick gets her way, look at he eyeing off a peacherine that some sneaky bird has already had a go at......

The chicks are growing fast , they love being in the orchard, chasing grass hoppers, moths, scratching around, doing all the usual chicken things including looking cute as...

Last but not least my Dahlias have flowered this year. The photo is a little washed out but they are putting on a fiery show.
We never had any blooms last year, so I am certainly enjoying these.

Well, that's just a little bit or what happened in my week.

The holidays are drawing to a close, so I will have to get back into a work frame of mind and my uniform........

I would just like to thank everyone for visiting last post and leaving a comment it's always a treat to hear from you.

I hope the first week of the new year is going well for you........
Time to think about dinner, feed the chooks, do a bit of watering and tidy up the mess I have made sewing!!
Hope you have a great weekend and I look forward to hearing from you .
I must say a BIG thankyou to Sandra, Jenevieve and Tanya for helping me out with some bloggy issues.
A new year and I have already learnt some new computer skills, woo hoo.....

Till next time, take care,

Claire X