Thursday, June 30, 2011

Let's get cosy

A tea cosy for a friend who loves a good old cuppa...........

Some WIP pics.......... 'i's still need to be dotted

Bright colours and polka dots were the order of the day.

The red and green together make me happy, there's something about them that makes me smile and reminds me of................... Summer !!

The other side still needs some work.
A little bit of stitchy decoration on the teapot and cups just to lift them and add a bit more interest.

My creative mojo has been lost while I was on hols.

A reward is offered if anyone can find it.

The tea cosy is an order that has been on the back burner.
I thought I should crack on with it while waiting for the return of my mojo.........

Talking about hols, I managed a bloggy catchup with some lovely bloggers........

Tanya from Suburban Jubilee hosted the get together at Resurekt the wonderful shop she spends two days playing in.
I say playing as it can't be work when you are surrounded by wonderful, creative products made using recycled items and between customers you get to whip up items to sell in the shop.

Sounds like a dream job to me...........

We were also joined by Lee from Killiecrankie Farm and wee Herman who was feeling under the weather but was so well behaved .

We spent a couple of lovely hours getting to know each other better and discussing all sorts of subjects.

It was so much fun meeting these ladies face to face.
If you ever get the chance for a bloggy catchup go for it.

Lee spoilt me with some handmade gifts, the 'apple cosy' above which I have actually put on a mandarin as no apples were available for the pic. I love the bright colour and the gorgeous button. I have secretly admired these on her blog, so I was very happy to unwrap it.

I also received some wonderful birds Lee whipped up.

I wonder how she knew red and pale blue are one of my fave colour combos?
Ooh, I would love to look out the window and see some of these beauties in the garden.
I have just realised I forgot to upload a pic of the beautiful card Lee painted for me.
A fab picture of the Rotunda in The Gorge, time.
Some people have so much talent.........

Tanya had put out a blog call out to any other bloggers in the area who would like to join us and Chris from Chrisartist dropped by, a lovely surprise.

Funny thing is, Chris has met my son and hubby. She is one of the organisers of the Tamar Valley Folk Festival which No. 1 has played at for the last two years.
Small world isn't it?

You may remember back in December one of my chooks hatched 3 chicks, 2 of which turned out to be roosters..........

Well, as they grew it became apparent that they were not going to be best buddies (something I knew, but fingers crossed there wouldn't be any problems........tell her she's dreaming!!)
A decision had to be made about which to keep and which to rehome.
Noddy above is now King of the Castle and the other rooster who was very handsome has gone to live at the home of a work colleague.
I am yet to hear how he is going, I hope he has settled in............

Noddy needs a wing clipped as he likes to escape from the run and come over to the house and let me know it's time for their breakfast.
Guess, he's just doing his job and looking after the girls.

Sheesh, can't anyone have a little sleep in?!!

I secretly, suspect he's checking out the flight path..........over the fence and into the paddock.

Or just surveying his domain.

Before our trip away, we had a family dinner here.
It was a double birthday celebration for hubby and I as we both celebrated significant birthdays.................

I wanted to show what you can do with some milk cartons cut in half and a tealight candle.

No. 1 and I ran around in the late afternoon setting them up in the 'wild wood' and lighting them.
The light shining at the base of the Silver Birches was very effective.

They looked beautiful in the gathering dusk and when the daylight had completely disappeared it was absolutely magical.

A little bit of effort and the effect was stunning.

I had told my family to arrive at 6 sharpish as unbeknowns to them I had some 'entertainment ' organised and didn't want to give the game away.

Sister no. 2 decided to come out early to see if I needed a hand.
She rocked up at 5.30pm thereby missing out on the light show........... I had to insist that she stay inside as we lit the candles and then come out to have a look.
Not quite the same but hey.........

At 6.30pm my 'visitor' turned up (no pics sorry) and No. 1 had been primed to look after him.
At the appointed time I asked my guests to don coats and we all went out to the verandah.
With oil lamps providing light along the dam wall a piper played 3 tunes I had chosen

Scotland the Brave
Amazing Grace
Mull of Kintyre

In the beautiful starry night, the sound carried across the valley, this was my birthday treat to myself.
I had wanted to do this for ages and it was beautiful until the lamps went out and he was standing there in the darkness of the night, hehehe...............

I love the bagpipes, I know they are either love 'em or hate 'em instrument.

Anyway, it was a night to remember and I'm so glad I did it............


Well, here we are at the end of June.

One month of Winter over, two more to go...........

I'm still enjoying it and looking forward to many more hot chocolates, wood fires, rugging up, warming soups and all those things I love doing in the cold weather.
But it's back to work on Monday which means getting up at 5am, in the dark and cold, euughhhh.

Oh well, that's the way it goes...........holidays and then back to work to help pay off the bill.

I hope you are enjoying the season wherever you are.

Thanks for dropping by and for leaving a comment, I love reading them and finding out where you are visiting from.

Til next time, take care,

Claire X

Monday, June 27, 2011

Getting Back Into the Groove

Well, it's back home and time to get reacquainted with my sewing machine.

I've had a break of ten days and whilst I had some 'slow stitching' and crochet projects to keep me going I still missed my Janome.........

So I have whipped up a little brooch that has been an idea for quite some time and am working on another softie.

I learnt to sew on a machine like this.

I was ten years old and during the Summer holidays I made myself a dress..........
Fancy name for a rectangular piece of green and white gingham with some shirring across the top and two shoulder straps. Still, I thought I had done a great job and even wore it out in public.......

Mum did have an electric machine but it was the treadle machine for me until I became more adept at sewing.

Thought I would share just a few pics from our hols in Tassie.

Don't worry, it won't be like one of Uncle Arthur's slide nights.........

Our first day took us to Stanley on the North West coast. A lovely little town, which is very quiet through the Winter months but gets a lot of visitors during the warmer weather.

For some reason it felt like being back in New Zealand. Was it the 'feel' of the place, the houses, Pine trees, not quite sure but I had to keep reminding myself it was Tasmania.

This is a view of "The Nut' a huge lump of rock jutting out into the ocean.

You can walk up it, which hubby chose to do, but as I was waiting for some wonderful little shops to open , I decided I would follow him later so I..........

Took the chair lift................

I had a great view heading down.

The track up is quite steep so I'm glad I didn't overdo it on the first day........

Day 2 took us through Cradle Mountain National Park on our way to Hobart.

We watched the outside temp. gauge in the car fall to, hmmmm, very cold.

We decided to stop and enjoy the scenery, throw a snowball or two and have a warming cup of soup.............

It was very chilly but, invigorating...........

The beanie I'm wearing was a pressie from the boys, not quite sure what for but anyway.

I always thought it made my head look very round like a I put a woollen flower and couple of leaves on it just to add a bit of interest and detract from the shape.

Somehow, I think it still looks like a basketball but one with a flower and leaves on it, hmmmm

BUT, it was warm and that was all that mattered at the time.

In Hobart we scored a great accommodation deal through "Wotif' on one of their mystery deals.

We stayed directly across the road from the harbour and the view from the 3rd floor foyer at night was quite spectacular.

And just as interesting in daylight hours.

Saturday, was time to visit Salamanca market.
It was threatening rain, but it thankfully held off.

The market stalls disappear into the background and round the corner, so if you intend to visit,
make sure you have heaps of time to browse.
Allow yourself even more time in the warmer weather.

Apparently this was a 'quiet' day.
If you click on the pic, you will see that it really doesn't look all that quiet, so I 'm not sure I would fancy fighting my way through the hordes in Summer........

If you have time, drop into the Machine Laundry Cafe, which is in Salamanca Square. (behind the Salamanca facade) they do a great breakfast in an interesting spot.

Thanks Tanya for the recommendation

We continue our trip out of Hobart over to Richmond, wending our way to the East Coast.

This is the oldest bridge in the country, built in 1823.
Still standing today, they certainly built things to last.

Take away the gum trees and I could imagine I was England.........

We even managed some sunshine, which made all the difference.

Heading towards Swansea on the East Coast we came across 'Spikey Bridge' built by convicts in 1843.

They blurb on the info board couldn't enlighten us as to why they decided to place rocks vertically along the edges of the bridge, although there was the suggestion it was designed to stop cattle falling over the edge........

Out of Bicheno on the East Coast there some of the rocks have a red lichen growing on them giving them a wonderful rusty appearance.

A bit of sunshine would make this pic look completely different, but I love the splash of colour amongst the grey.

Before our arrival in Launceston we 'stumbled' across the Pyengana Cheese Factory and Cafe.

It was a wet day, driving through the hills and we had wound up behind a car towing a van, so it was going to be a slow trip.

A last second decision to turn off the road and head to the cheese factory proved to be another little gem in our holiday.

Above is the view from the cafe.
I could've sat there all afternoon looking out at the rain...........instead..........

I sat by the open fire on the leather couch. I had my crochet and some drawing bits and pieces to keep me entertained as we waited for lunch.
Hubby had cheese and cauliflower soup and I had cheese and chive scones with aged cheddar on the side and a coffee.

It was wonderfully warm and cosy, the staff very informative and friendly and the atmosphere 'just perfick'...........

A little bit of info about their dairy herd as I found this very interesting:-

They have 260 milking cows, though 60 were in calf at the time of our visit.

The cows are milked by 'robots' and the cows can head up to the dairy to be milked anytime they like.
So they may get milked 4 to 5 times a day and between 1am and 4am the cows are usually asleep.

The robot attaches the machine to the udder and milks until all quarters are empty.
Not like the older style milking machine which stops when one quarter empties.
The equipment can also tell the amount of butterfat in the milk, the quantity of milk and knows which cow is which by the shape of their udder.

Amazing hey?

All I can say is, lucky farmer not having to get up at 4.30am to get ready for milking.......


So that was just a quick look at some holiday snaps, next post I will tell you about my bloggy catchup............

It really was a lovely trip and we came home feeling very relaxed.
Tassie is a beautiful state, with lots to see and do, but it's nice to back in my own bed. I think Tigger even missed me..........

I still have a week of hols to go which is nice but today I felt 'out of sorts' not too sure why.
Maybe it was being home on my own after spending 24/7 with hubby for ten days.

Hopefully, I will get back into my groove soon.

Hope you have all slipped into the groove of a new week and it's off to a good start.

Thanks for popping by to say 'hi' and welcome to all new followers, don't forget to have a bag of breadcrumbs with you when you visit..........

Till next time, take care ,

Claire X

Friday, June 24, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Home again home again after almost two weeks away.

We arrived home on Thursday after a wonderful ten days in Tassie.
Yes, it was cold, wet and windy at times and there was even snow, but I was rugged up with scarf, beanie, gloves coat and my hubby to cuddle..........ooooh.

I took a couple of little crafty projects to satisfy the creative urge as the days were short and it was dark at 5pm.

I was hoping to have a few more crocheted flags completed but hey, I was on holidays.

You're probably wondering what happened to the colour scheme I had started out with, weeeeeeell...........

I couldn't help it, I found myself reaching for a few other colours and seemed unable to stick to the red, white, blue and pink originally planned.

Oh well, I still have quite a few flags to crochet and then there's all those ends to weave in, hmmmm.

On Saturday we paid a visit to Hobart's Salamanca Market.

It's a huuuuuge market full of all sorts of wonderful stalls. Food, craft, plants etc. loads to see.
If you are planning a visit allow yourself plenty of time to wander around you'll need it............

I met Narelle from Ruby Victoria blog.
I had discovered her blog before heading away and was hoping to be able to see some of her wonderful work in person. She makes handcarved lino prints and letterpress as well and has a stall at the market.

I wasn't disappointed, look at those gorgeous gift tags and...............

how about this wonderful card, I just had to have it.

The look of concentration on this chooks face.............

I have more to share about our holiday and a wonderful bloggy get together to tell you about, but that's for another day...............

----- 00000 -----
Let's back track to the June long weekend.

I had a girls ( plus a couple of hubbies) weekend away up in Bundanoon for my 'ahem' birthday...

It was a wonderful weekend full of good company, food, coffee, games, sight seeing, shopping and consuming yummy cake...........

On the Sunday we headed to Berrima a small village full of antique shops and this shop.........Peppergreen, full of THE most amazing array of ..............
embroidered cloths
Patchwork quilts.............

Buttons, trims, vintage nightwear (including bloomers), kitchen wear, so much it's hard to remember it's overwhelming.
I've never seen so much in the one place.

I wish I could have pulled some of those quilts out to have a look BUT...........
I might've been tempted.

There were bins and shelves full of woollen fabric offcuts and leftovers One of the staff members had whipped up a cushion cover to show what you can do with them.

I love the cover, so I stuck my head into a bin and started searching............

There was also a rug on display using the offcuts.

Love the contrasting hand stitching.

Click, clack, click clack anyone need some knitting needles?..........

The weekend went all too fast and by Monday it was time to head home do a load of laundry, repack the suitcase ready to head off to Tassie on the Tuesday.

Lost track of time? Imagine how I felt, it was go, go, go...........

Well, now we're back home which thankfully was still standing after No. 1 was left in charge!!

All was well, friends had been staying and a massive 'jam' had taken place including making structures out of jellybeans and toothpicks................why not?!!!

I am still in holiday mode, which means late starts to the mornings and no rushing, it's nice not to be constantly watching the clock.........

I have set up the sewing machine as I have been itchin' to get stitchin', so stay tuned for more Tassie adventures and makes.

Thank you all soooooo much for your lovely comments and birthday wishes
on my last post.

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Friday, June 10, 2011

Panic Stations............

A few years ago I decided I would prolong the beauty of all the Autumn colour by pressing some leaves and then making them into a wreath to display on the chimney brest.

Well Autumn, may have just finished and I'm a bit slow getting it together, but finally..........

A WIP pic, lots of Blutac is used to attach the leaves.

I arrange them first to see how I like the composition and colours.
Then I carefully move the leaves off the cardboard and use small pieces of Blutac to attach each leaf.

If I need to change something around later on it's not a major problem as they are not glued in place.

This year I pressed alot of different varieties of leaves not just from the trees, but from garden shrubs as well.

You can click on the pic to see more detail.

I love the various shades of colour, shape and texture.

It will stay on the chimney brest until Spring, or until I can bring myself to take it down.

Some male members of the household don't share my interests, but that's OK because I don't share some of his, such as eating mice.........

I'm feeling a little like the I'm not doing a mind reading trick......

I'm a bit at sixes and sevens, trying to get packed and organised for a long weekend away, followed by a holiday O/S and throw into the mix a rather significant numbered birthday and it's all a little bit overwhelming............

My boys are away at a festival at Perisher, brrrrrr...........

They're welcome to it I say, so I am going to head slightly North where it is hopefully warmer bahahaha............ and have a 'girls weekend' (well, not technically as 2 of my 3 B's-I-L will be there as well)

How did it happen? That so many years have passed so quickly?

Please tell me if you know the answer...........

Wasn't it only yesterday I was 3 and now -- years later I'm turning a certain number with a zero on the end of it.

I love this photo, even though we are all squinting into the sun.
I'm the youngest of 4 girls and this photo was taken at the annual show.
I'm the one in the pleated red skirt and jumper and I had my patent leather shoes on.
I remember that little outfit and loved it so much.

My sisters had to wear their school shoes, boring, but back then we didn't have the luxury of half a dozen pairs of shoes each.

Being the youngest I got lots of hand me downs.

No doubt they will all say I was spoilt and got away with murder, but that's not how I remember things.

So I shall be spending the weekend with my eldest sister and the next one up from me (both to the left in the pic)

We shall eat some of the above with wonderful coffee, have a look in some great shops.

Sit around and tell stories of when we were young, laugh till we cry, play pranks on each other. (did I tell you about the time I went away with same two sisters and one of them hid my underwear and swore black and blue she hadn't? Another time perhaps)

Then eat some more cake and complain that we shouldn't have.

This turning fffffffifty (ssssh!!) has had me doing a lot of thinking about all sorts of things recently.
Mainly trying to find the upside of getting older.

If you have any positive points you can share with me please do so............

After the weekend I shall come home and madly repack my bag for ten days in Tassie.........

It's a long overdue annual holiday and even though I love Winter and the cold, what was I thinking..............

I'm hoping our very loose schedule will allow for a catch up over coffee with a couple of wonderful blog buddies.

No 1 is staying home to keep the home fires burning feed the chooks and as he informed me invite some mates out for a jam........... should I be worried?

So, if you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks, never fear I'm not too far away and hope to be back by the end of June if not before with lots of interesting pics and news of our holiday.

So, thankyou all for stopping to say "hi".
If I get a chance over the hols I will pop by and see what's been happening in blog land.
We are taking a laptop, as it seems we can't live without it these days..............

I shall be busy crocheting up some woolly Winter bunting while I'm away, to keep my fingers warm..........

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Monday, June 6, 2011

Woolly, Winter Bunting

Bunting love continues here in the Sweet Birdy Love household.

Look at those bright, cheery colours. Ooooooh, it's going to be hard to make a decision......

Due to a family dinner on Saturday night, I had to 'pack away' ( read, stash in spare room and close the door quickly!!) all my sewing bits and pieces so we could use the dining table..........

I don't intend to set up my machine again till after we come back from holidays which will be late June.
Well, that's not quite true, hubby has asked very nicely if I could take up some jeans for him. It's a job I don't particularly like and put it off for as long as I can, but I have dragged my machine out again and will hopefully finish this job off tonight.

Anyhoo, I needed a little project to keep my fingers busy and satisfy the creative urge.
Plus, I wanted a small crochet project to take on hols. One that I could pull out and hook away without losing count or losing my place in the pattern and you all know how much I love bunting.

I have finally settled on a red, white and blue theme and have thrown in pink as I love pink and red together.

I think this should do the trick, but I might throw a few extra colours into my bag before heading away.

Just in case I finish my first lot of bunting, you know how it is..........

This morning I decided to head into town for a cuppa.
Monday morning isn't my usual coffee morning, but it was so lovely and sunny and I have today off work.
The rest of the week is going to be busy, so I thought, 'what the heck'

Of course I had my crochet with me and my coffee came in my favourite mug.

Do you think there's a bit of a colour theme happening here?.........

For anyone else wanting to crochet some bunting I have used Jacquie's wonderful tutorial over at Bunny Mummy .
If you have any queries she's more than happy to help you out, so pop over and have a look.

With the arrival of Winter a little bit of seasonal decorating has been taking place this afternoon.

Specifically, my wonderful 'stuffies' from Karen over at Mimilove.

Away, goes the cheeky Cockney Sparrow and out comes..........

My beautiful English Robin with his sidekick Batman.........

And new to the household is Norman the gnome.........

Click on the pic to see all the wonderful hand stitching Karen has put into the picture.

Norman's, holding a little lantern, with glittery, gold beads and thread to light his way home and there are some silvery, snow flakes falling.

"Be it ever so humble there's no place like gnome!" hehehe

Norman, has been hiding away in the dresser until Winter arrived.
It's time to bring him out and hang him on the dresser door.

They make me smile whenever I look at them, too cute.

So go check out Mimilove blog, you'll come away smiling.
There's also a cute little gnome called Tom waiting patiently in her etsy shop, if you'd like to give a cute gnome a home.

Just wanted to end this post with another couple of moon shots I found on hubbies' camera.

I received alot of lovely comments on my last post about some moon pics and then I found these...........

A full moon, reflected in the dam.

No computer enhancement here, just a good camera, bit different from my point and press job and hope for the best...............


Winter has really kicked in today, it's been lovely and sunny but there's been a wind blowing straight off the snow, chilly.

I've managed to get out in the garden and do some pruning and weeding.
That's because there's been no sewing machine calling me to 'come and play'

Somehow, I imagine by the time our holiday is over I may have crocheted enough bunting to wrap around the whole house............ no machine sewing for close to 3 weeks.

I do plan to take a 'slow stitching' project with me as well. You know the sort, throw your embroidery threads and a bit of fabric in a bag and wait for inspiration to strike.
That's about as much planning as I do sometimes..........

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend and thankyou all for popping by last post.

'Tis always nice to hear from you and I would love to hear what projects you have on the go, or any suggestions for projects I could do whilst away on hols.
I imagine there will be plenty of time during the evenings to get some stitching or hooky creativity happening.

Till next time, take care,

Claire X