Monday, May 30, 2011

We're Winter Bound

Ah, more sweet birdy love stitcheries........

Guess who it was inspired by?

Saturday afternoon saw two young Robins visit our patch.
It made working outside all the more enjoyable as they flitted between the bare branches of the Silver Birches looking for a tasty treat or two.

Notice the flash of white on his wing, it makes a very distinct 'V' shape when viewed from behind.

The above pic was taken Sunday morning. Even with the zoom lens at maximum capacity, you will have to click and enlarge the pic to get a good look at him.

I was thinking how the birdlife around here isn't all that varied and colourful compared to say, bird life in the US...........

A few minutes later, I spied these two beautiful Parrots.


Once again, click on the pic to get a better look.

I have to share a few photos I found on hubby's camera whilst uploading pics I took.

No 1 had been out snapping away at the beautiful Autumn foliage.

Obviously, this pic was taken a few weeks ago, but the colour is stunning and of course 'I just had to show you'....

I remember him taking photos of the full moon last month.

They turned out a treat, not computer enhanced at all, just how it was on the night.

We'll often head outside to enjoy the full moon, it's reflection glinting on the water in the dam. Although, now you definitely need to rug up as it's very chilly.

Occasionally we'll let loose with a howl or two...............

It sets the dogs off across our valley, hehe, I know, I know, but every now and then you have to 'embrace the child within'........

After some birdy stitching this morning I thought I would make a little brooch.

I'm calling this my 'comments brooch'.

Here's a WIP pic.......... wonky lines 'n all, just the way I like it.

There's a plastic pocket for you to put your comments in ........

Maybe answers to questions frequently asked or a statement about how you are feeling that day.

The options are endless.

Certainly made me smile and I can't wait to wear it and see people's reactions.

I 'll tweak the next one and sew straight lines around the pocket so the comment sits neatly inside.

Outside in the orchard last Friday, No. 1 decided it would be a good idea to make an apple pie from the windfall apples............hmmmmm, first time for everything.

Standing back and just explaining a few things here and there, he whipped up a double crust apple pie and I have to say it was delish.

A little bit of adjustment next time and it will be spot on.

The decos on top are my handiwork, flowers and birds.

No he's really not violent and I don't know where he gets the ...................... (fill in the blank, I can't think of the word) from but it's certainly not from me.

I'm the shy retiring type, shun the spotlight 'n all that.

You will notice the carton of custard on the bench, I had suggested home made custard would be preferable but as he was making the pie, he insisted on bought custard and who am I to disagree with the cook?


I would just like to thank you all for your lovely, encouraging comments on my birdy stitchings from my last post.

I have been asked to do a tutorial on free motion embroidery by a couple of lovely people and I am hoping to post one soon, so as they say "watch this space"

Well, there's only one more day till the official start of Winter.

This is what I wait for all Summer, so I better enjoy it...........

I have dug my red leather gloves, beanie, scarves and jacket out of the wardrobe and drawers.
I intend to put them to good use and enjoy every minute of it, so if you hear me complain at all, feel free to remind me "I love Winter"

I hope this finds you enjoying the weather wherever you are.

Blogger hasn't been playing very nicely recently and I have had a couple of frustrating days trying to get into my account, password wasn't accepted. In the end I changed my password and whether that sorted it, or Blogger decided to behave I don't know, but thought it may be helpful to someone.

If you can't comment, you can always email and say "hi"

Thankyou for stopping by and saying 'hi'.
To all new followers don't forget to bring your bag of breadcrumbs with you when you visit as chances are I will be leading you up the garden path in search of a Robin or two.......

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I want to make something, not quite sure what, but I'm itching to get stitching...........

The problem is I'm not one to sit down and plan it.
I'm not very methodical more spontaneous .............

It's frustrating at times as I want to make something amazing but not sure what or how to go about it.
I realise this is where planning would be of great benefit but I'm too impatient.

So I will just play and see what happens.

Thus far, I'm liking the effect.

A little bit of machine doodling from the weekend.

Grab a few scraps lay them on some blanketing and stitch away.

The blanketing provides a firm base for machine embroidery.

This little fella looks as if he's had one too many worms........

I'll throw them back in the scrap bag and 'rediscover' them further on down the track.


It's a glorious day here and I have been outside in the garden. The weeds are coming out easily as we have had an inch of rain which was just lovely.

As you can imagine I enjoyed the grey, gloomy days and the rain.
I was cocooned inside by the heater looking out at it all...........

There's plenty to do outside as I have severely neglected the garden over the past wee while and now it's time to whip it into shape.

The fresh air is invigorating and the girls have been allowed out of their run to join in the fun.

Maybe, I will find some inspiration while I'm out there !

I hope you are all enjoying your day/evening where ever you are...........

Thankyou for taking time to drop by for a visit.
It's always lovely to hear from you,

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

P.S. As soon as I hit Publish Post I remembered something I wanted to ask you all........

There have been quite a few swaps going on in Blogland this month and by the time I discover them the deadline to enter has closed.

I would appreciate it if you spy any to drop me a line as I don't mind a swap here and there.

Thanks for your help Claire X

Righto back to the garden....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Market Day

It's market day again.
An early start to the day, when the alarm goes off I lie there and think 'Do I really want to do this?'
I know I do, but at 5.45am I take some convincing.......
A hot shower seems to work wonders.
The car is packed the afternoon before so no rushing.

I made sure I had enough clothing for all weather.

Bright is always cooler as it's at the foot of the mountains.
It was a fine day and the sun put in an appearance at times, but when it was hiding behind the clouds it was quite chilly.

I made sure I got in nice and early and bought a cupcake before they all disappeared.

Carly, the creative cupcake cook, has done a wonderful job decorating them.

The big decision was, did I want to eat a Ladybird, Butterfly or Echidna but really there was no question .......... It had to be one of the little chicks on the far left.

Aren't they cute and it was deeeeeelish.

I took a few snaps of the beautiful views around the park where the market is held.

There are still quite a few trees holding onto their leaves.......

The market started slowly, my first sale wasn't until 10am. There seemed to be plenty of people around, out enjoying the fresh Autumn morning.

I find it's quite a social thing and like to chat to other stall holders and visitors to the market.

All in all it turned out quite well despite the slow start, so I was happy.

After I had packed up, I made a quick trip into the main street of Bright to check out the local Op shop and see if I could find any treasures...........but there were none to be had when I got there.

Isn't it beautiful?............such a lovely place in any season.

Some more Autumn colour I spied on the way home.
Just as well there was no one driving behind me as I stopped three times to photograph beautiful scenery.

A grove of Chestnut trees on the side of the hill. They were golden in the mid afternoon light, although my pic doesn't do it justice.

The problem with markets is that you can be tempted to spend your hard earned dollars before you've earned them........

Once I had set up I did a quick trip around the other stallholders before things got busy.

I had a request from my hubby for some apples and whilst at the fruit stall I spied a plant stall selling beautiful tulip bulbs, I couldn't resist buying half a dozen.

I then spotted some friends from down the road they sell certified organic produce so I picked up a kilo of Feijoas as ours have finished fruiting.

A pie (lamb and mint jelly) from the pie man for dinner (boys are away) a coffee and back to my stall., with my purse feeling decidedly lighter........

At the end of the day I visited Sheree from Paper, Scissors,Rock, she makes lovely screen printed cushions amongst other things.

I had been admiring her fox brooches and I'm a redhead, so it was the obvious choice.

I keep thinking of a line from the TV Series Kath and Kim, where the daughter Kim refers to herself as 'A foxy moron....' hehehe
I have to admit I loved that show, made you cringe with horror but laugh at the same time.
The American version unfortunately, just didn't cut it.......

I had decided after this market I would unplug the machine for a couple of weeks and get out into the garden for along overdue tidy up, but I have ideas swirling around in my head and it's just so hard to ignore them.

So, I shall wage battle with he desire to create and the need to clean up and see which one wins.

I hope your weekend is going well.

Thanks for popping by for a visit, it's lovely to hear from you,

till next time, take care,

Claire X

Monday, May 16, 2011

For The Rhythm Of Life Is A Powerful Beat

Helloooooo and welcome to a new week.

Today started off frosty but sunny and quickly turned to cloudy with fog around the place.
Certainly had me fooled into thinking we were in for a lovely day,

I cranked up the wood stove and put a ham hock and split peas on to cook away.
Pea and ham soup is a favourite in this household and the last few years my hubby has made it but I've done the job today.
Fingers crossed it tastes just as good as his does otherwise..........

The washing is hanging on the clothes horse in front of the heater and the towels are on the line. Sometimes the excitement of my day to day life is overwhelming, hehehe.......

The sewing machine is back in action and as you can see by the photo I have been busy cutting out circles (some more 'circly' than others.....) from felted woollen jumpers.

They look like gambling chips from a casino in their little stacks.........

Pin them together and start sewing............
Believe it or not they make lovely, warm scarves as they are made from wool.

Wrap it around your neck a couple of times, loop it, tie it in a knot.
The options are almost endless.
The colours in the pic are almost spot on.
They remind me of beautiful little Blue Wrens.

I have to say this is not my clever idea but if I remember correctly I saw this in a Better Homes and Garden magazine some time ago and without doubt there are other crafty types who also make them.

I have one in a different colour way that I made about 3 years ago.
I love it and wear it often in Winter.
I did think perhaps it was time to retire it but after wearing it out on Saturday morning and receiving 2 compliments within an hour, I have decided it's not quite ready to go into mothballs.

The above scarf isn't finished just yet, needs a few more circles sewn on, so no final pic.
I'm preparing for a market this coming Saturday and I think scarves and fingerless gloves/wrist warmers may be a good seller.

So guess what I shall be doing this week?

Cutting out things from felted woollen jumpers can leave you with a lot of teeny, tiny scraps. I hate throwing them away, so pop them in a plastic bag to be used on other projects.
Sometimes I just need a small piece to add to a soft toy .
But the size of the scrap bag is growing and I have ideas swirling round as to how to use some of them up.
I like the idea of a scrappy, patchwork type of project, so shall keep thinking about it.
Hopefully something wonderful will spring to mind before my work space is taken over by my scrap pile...........

Alot of time was spent by the heater over the weekend as it was very chilly.

No. 1, has taken it on himself to keep the heater glass clean, no arguments from me.
So today he was sitting on the little stool with newspaper and a water spray bottle scrubbing the glass.

Easy peasy, scrunch up a piece of newspaper, spray the glass with water and wet the paper. Dip the scrunched paper into the cold ash in the heater and use it to clean the glass. The ash acts as an abrasive which doesn't damage the glass but help remove the build up of black film .

Mind you if it's baked on over a long period of time, more elbow grease is required and there's no guarantee that you will remove all the buildup but it's lovely sitting back looking at the logs burning.

After spending some time out and about on Saturday it was nice to get home to the warmth.

There's something I love about wintry Saturday afternoons .
The photo was taken about 5pm, it was cold out, warm inside. The football is on the radio, not that I'm a huge fan but keep my eye/ear on it just to see who is winning.
There are clothes drying by the heater, cat purring on the couch, the boys are out No. 1 is playing at a food and wine festival nearby.

It's quiet, it reminds me of Saturday afternoons in Winter when I was a child.
Back then I found them cold, boring and downright dreary I guess, but I love this time on my own now.


Now, I have a favour to ask all you lovely ladies.........

I have a mystery that needs to be solved before it does my head in........
So grab your Deerstalker and pipe and read on.

You see, I found the website of a lovely artist in the UK, she makes beautiful jewellery using silver and beads.
From what I can remember, she doesn't have a blog or an etsy shop, you commission a piece.
Anyway, viewing some of her lovely necklaces , I spied one that had a Badger engraved onto it, she also engraves Hares and other creatures in her work.

She was having an exhibition somewhere, but I can't remember where and her website doesn't show up in my history for some reason and believe me I have looked until I went cross eyed.
So I haven't been able to track her down yet, but I am working on it. I thought some of you super sleuth Sherlock Holmes types might be able to help me out.

If you come across someone who does this type of thing, would you mind emailing me a link or commenting, I would certainly appreciate it.



Well, blogger certainly gave us the run around recently, but all seems to be back in order now. Wasn't it frustrating not being able to post comments etc?

So to those who commented on my previous post and then were deleted by Blogger thanks for the comment I managed to read them all before they disappeared and to those recent commenter's thank you as well, always lovely to have you stop by and say 'hi'.

Well, I better finish off the soup and see how it tastes, throw another log on the fire and check the washing. There are windfall apples to be cooked up and the last of the tomatoes too.

Can I stand the excitement?

I hope your week has some excitement in store for you.

Whatever it brings I hope you have a good week and thankyou so much for stopping by.

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Twiddling My Thumbs

During a visit to Spotlight today guess what I spied?

Check out that gorgeous pattern, yowsers.......

I need something to line the pantry shelves which I have previously lined with paper.

This looked like just the thing.

Easy to wipe over vinyl, long lasting and nice to long at.

Certainly brightened up my day.

I wonder if you can get the same pattern in fabric?

This is my 'photo of shame' .........

Breaking my darning foot, wasn't the only problem I had this week.

In my enthusiasm (read carelessness..) I also damaged the metal plate on my machine.

The needle had hit the plate and caused a number of tiny nicks in the metal. The fabric catches on these nicks and so it's stop, start causing lots of frustration.

There's nothing to do but order a new metal plate, which means I can't do any sewing till it arrives.

So time to do a bit of dusting, hmm, obviously it's been some time since I have.

Must remember to do this regularly.

We've had quite a cold week, with temps of not much more than 11deg. pretty chilly for May.

So I have cranked up the wood stove as well as the heater and now we are warm and toasty.

It's so nice having the wood stove going and the kettle boiling away.
It's taken a long time to find a nice heavy based kettle to use on the stove. It actually belonged to my sister, she used it on her wood stove when she and her hubby owned their farm.

When they had the clearing sale before they sold up she asked me if there was anything I would like. So the kettle now lives with me, wish I had asked for the clothes horse too.

She has the clothes horse my mum had, it is huge and made from wood and can hold a whole load of washing. It opens up to about a metre wide and you just don't seem to be able to buy them like that anymore. I have two pathetic little wire ones which just about bend under the weight of the washing.........

It's too cold and wet to hang washing outside this week.

Looking at this pic, I realise we did get some sunshine this week !

We also had some colourful visitors to the yard.

These are Galahs, noisy birds when they get together in a group.
This lot were busily eating some grass seeds.
I managed to open the sliding door and snap off a couple of pics before they decided to fly off.

My gorgeous Flame Robin was back to visit today.
Brightening up a gloomy, misty rainy afternoon.
Personally, I love this sort of weather. I don't mind getting out in it as long as I am dressed for it, but I do prefer to be inside by the heater looking out at it all.

So as you can see my week has been a mixed bag of events.

Nothing terribly exciting perhaps, but there you have it.

I hope to be back sewing over the weekend and will be much more careful of what I am doing.

I hope your week has held some interesting, maybe even exciting events.

I would love to hear about them.

Thanks for taking time to visit and say 'hello' always nice to have visitors.

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Monday, May 9, 2011

Darn It All, I just Broke My Foot................

Yes, I just broke my darning foot that is and I also broke three needles before that, grrrr......
It's not that I am careless, just a little too enthusiastic when inspiration hits.
Fortunately, No. 1 is in town and on a 'mercy dash' to the sewing shop to pick up a new foot for me.

Having felted some woollen jumpers last week I felt the need to make some wrist warmers. The fact that it was pretty, jolly, chilly yesterday might have had something to do with it too.
This cherry, red number would fit someone with a hand a little larger than mine, but they turned out well and I love the blue and red together.

Sometimes, the longest part of making them can be deciding how to embellish them.

Of course I had to try them out and when it was time for a hot drink out came one of my favourite Winter mugs.

In the background you can make out the clothes horse in front of the heater.

It was quite a chilly weekend so the clothes weren't going to dry outside.

My boys were away, so I had the house to myself.

Today, I have been beavering away at more wrist warmers, for a market on the 21st.

It will possibly be the last market I do in Bright until Spring as it gets very chilly up there.

Standing at your stall shivering away is not a good look and there are so many stalls, I doubt the organisers could find a venue large enough to hold it in.

Obviously, Autumn leaves feature..........

Along with hearts...........

The embellishments are yet to be sewn on and now that my machine is out of action for a little while some 'slow sewing' will be taking place.

The middle pair of wrist warmers are a slightly darker lemon than the photo shows and they are 100% Cashmere, so soft and delicate, just lovely.

Hmmm, do I really want to sell them?

With the boys away I decided to head up to Beechworth on Saturday morning to visit a Farmers Market and just soak up the Autumn colour.

It's such a lovely place and the Autumn colour is spectacular.

I love the pattern and texture of these Liquid Amber seed pods. They are actually a bright green, my little camera doesn't show this too well, but the textural beauty is very interesting.

I wouldn't like to stand on one in bare feet as they are very spikey, not nice at all.

I googled them and found out the seed pods are also called:- Space Bugs, Monkey Balls, Bommy Knockers and Cuckoo-Birs among other names.

I have actually never heard of any of these, have you?

A beautiful carpet of leaves all the way down the street, varying in colour from tree to tree.

A visit to Beechworth isn't complete without checking out the two Op shops.
In the first I found a beautiful jumper made of Shetland wool. It was quite large and a light weight, loose type of knit. The muted colours of Turquoise and a Heathery Mauve caught my eye straight away .

I picked it up, checked it out, thought about it, carried it around the shop and then hung it up again.
I felt that it would end up sitting in a cupboard and I couldn't bear to cut it up for wrist warmers even though they would be lovely in those beautiful shades.

I finished browsing and then headed off to a couple of other shops still thinking about this jumper. Eventually, I decided that I should buy it so walked back to the Op shop and of course..... you guessed it....... it was gone. Oh well, that's the way it goes sometimes, but I thought I was showing amazing self control. Never mind, it's new owner will love it, I just hope I don't see someone walking around with Heathery Mauve wrist warmers made from Shetland wool.............

What I did pick up was this beautiful childrens book.

It was a Christmas present to 'Jason with love from Grandma Salmon, 25.12.1979'
I hope Jason enjoyed it as much as I do.

Love the illustrations.

More toadstool love happening and look at all those swallows.

I've never seen them in great numbers like this.
We usually have just a few flying around here and they nest in the roof vent.

Fancy feeding all these mouths.
Blue Tits, lay 8 to 15 eggs.......
Poor mum and dad they would be busy as, feeding this brood.

There's a lot of sweet birdy love going on here.

Here we are in Autumn, with lots happening in the woods..........

There's something very appealing about older style children's books.
I'm not sure what it is.
Maybe it's the fact that they were around before computers and TV took up all our time.

That you had to pick up a book to find out information, but I just love them and my collection continues to grow..........oops.

Do any of you feel the same way about books?
Maybe you can explain the attraction better.
I would certainly love to hear what you think.

So a very pleasant couple of hours was spent in Beechworth, then it was home to light the heater and do some sewing. A very enjoyable weekend in all

The boys arrived home in the wee, small hours of Sunday morning. It was nice to have them here for Mother's Day and spend some time relaxing together.

I hope you all had a good weekend and a lovely Mother's Day spent with family.

We are heading into a chilly week with rain forecast, so as soon as my new darning foot arrives, I shall be back in my regular posi at the sewing machine.

I hope whatever your week brings, you enjoy it, thankyou all for stopping to say "hi".

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sharing the Love

Hello, thanks for dropping in .

Here's a little round up of what I got up to today.

First I'd like to share the love............. of Op shop finds.

This beauty I picked up for 50 cents today.

I couldn't leave it there, just look at all that toadstool goodness.

A lovely cotton tea towel with plenty of dish drying years left in it hehehe........

My tea towel collection is growing and I'm worried I might have a slight addiction.................

Mind you, I don't bring home any old thing, it has to have an appealing design and feel nice to the touch...........

A selection of woollen jumpers which I have just washed and thrown in the drier to felt and now I'm just finishing them off in the sun.

When inspiration strikes I will have plenty of choice from which to make new tea cosies or wrist warmers.

The pic doesn't show the gorgeous jewel bright colours, cherry red, hot pinks, orange and a range of lemons..............

Let me introduce you to this handsome fellow who hatched last December.

In the last couple of days he's felt brave enough to eat wheat directly from the scoop I'm holding.

As chickens I couldn't get near him and his siblings.
Mum was very protective and would rush at me, wings outstretched and I wasn't going to push it.
He's a Wellsummer X Dorking and his markings make him one very striking rooster.

He has a 'brother from another mother" lol, who is a Wellsummer X Barnevelder, so he's a lot darker but with beautiful greens and purples reflecting in the sunlight.

Problem is I really don't think we can keep two roosters.

Whilst having hatched and grown up together, there's a bit of male testosterone coming to the fore and some argie bargie taking place in the chook run.
They have started crowing in the last couple of weeks and I love hearing them. I think if you live in the country you need chooks and a rooster.

If I have to sell one, it's going to be a very difficult decision..........

Well, it finally looks like hubby and I may be going on a little holiday next month.........

It's been four years since we took any major time off work.

I am certainly looking forward to it.

We haven't yet planned our itinerary, so if there are any Tassie bloggers who would like to suggest some wonderful places to visit, things to do, markets to see, coffee shops to haunt during our week to ten days please feel free to let me know.


To all those who commented on my last post, thankyou for the 'thumbs up' on my Emu needle book. I will be whipping some up for my next market stall.

The week is almost over, aren't they just flying by?

To all the Aussie mums and those overseas who are celebrating have the loveliest of Mother's Days on Sunday, enjoy your day.

Thank you all for stopping by to say "hi"

Till next time, take care,

Claire X