Monday, November 28, 2011

Muriel Loved Polka Dots...........

Mondays seem to be rolling around pretty quick these days and after a relaxed weekend I find it a little bit hard to get back into the routine.

Today is meant to be a 'production line' sewing day.........
I have managed to work my way through a few jobs on the 'to do' list but there was a little bit of 'play time' first.

"'Muriel loved polka dots.....'

A little idea that popped into my head and I needed to play around with it before I could settle down to the jobs at hand.

When todays 'to do' list is completed I will play around with the idea a little more.

A little chooky fun needed to be explored too...........

I was thinking brooches.
The one on the left turned out to be just a little too big for my liking, so I scaled it down and it's a better size.

Just a bit of fun before I get into the 'production line' sewing.

I have a market coming up on Saturday, it's not the usual but an extra and although I have enough stock I always like to have something new and fresh.

Since Friday we have had 3 inches of rain.
It was very on again off again, heavy, light or not at all.........

It hasn't been torrential which is good and the garden will certainly be enjoying it.
With warmer weather forecast for this week, all the plants including the weeds will be growing whilst we watch them.........

I have been picking lettuce for the last two weeks and it's so nice to pick just what you need.
This cage belonged to a friend she used it for clucky chooks and gave it to me when she moved house.
It's a little on the wonky side but has come in very hand to protect the lettuce seedlings from the chooks and birds.

The Spring Onions in the foreground are ready for use, so with the warmer weather it will be salads galore.

The tomatoes are still a long way off but we do have bucketloads of berries.
It's time to think about using them up...........

I kept this old book of my mums, there's lots of interesting recipes in it, like Walnut Ketchup !!

Or, if that doesn't take you fancy how about mushroom ketchup?
How does preserved pears with coffee jelly sound?
Sorry, but I'm starting to feel slightly queasy.......

I don't intend to make any of the above but if you are interested just leave a comment and I can send you the recipe, hehe...........

I thought I would start off making a small batch of jam after being inspired by Jules over at Little Woollie

Easy peasy recipe, 1kg of sugar and 1kg of fruit and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice.

I can see myself making quite a bit of jam over the coming weeks.
The raspberries are coming on thick and fast as well, so the pantry shelves will be groaning with jars of jam very soon.
Plenty for us and some to give away to family and friends.

Sadly, there were no freshly baked scones so a slice of bread had to do for a taste test.

It was yummy and No. 1 declared it to be a lovely colour, so I think it was a success!!

Did you know that I actually worked in a local jam factory for 7 years?
We made the most delicious jams there but we used 100's of kilos of berries at a time.

My favourite was/is blackberry and apple and raspberry jam.
The smell when the berries were cooking was amazing and just like making jam at home if you turn your back on it when it's boiling.................

Well, you can imagine the sticky mess it would make if a kettle full of jam boiled over, eek.

Fortunately, it only happened once or twice and I have to say it wasn't my fault either, phew !!

Thought I would let the chooks in for a treat while I picked the berries and had to laugh at Noddy's acrobatics.

He jumps up and picks a berry then drops it on the ground and 'calls' the girls over so they can enjoy it.........

He's very thoughtful like that.

There's plenty to go round.

The netting over the orchard has been very effective in keeping unwanted birds out this year, so we can enjoy more of the fruit.

There are plenty of apples and pears coming on that aren't netted.
Very soon the parrots will be paying us a visit to enjoy the bounty.

A snap of Just's a beauty and the perfume is delightful.
The rain didn't spoil too many of the roses, but there are plenty of buds just waiting to bloom.

For some reason the girls and Noddy seem to find rose petals irresistible and rush to eat them.
I wonder what the attraction is?


So there you have a brief roundup of what's been happening in this neck of the woods.

Once December is done and dusted I would like to pack away my sewing machine for a little while, or at least unplug it and have a go at a few other little projects which have been in the back of my mind for a few months now .

I feel like the noise in my head, you know, all the ideas which keep popping in and wanting your attention.
Yes, all that sort of stuff has died down and I am really enjoying the 'peace and quiet'.
But it would seem that my blogging has dropped off a little too, which is fine.
We all know how life gets in the way.........
But I am still here and definitely getting around to blogs and keeping tabs on what you are all up too.

So thanks for dropping by for a visit, always nice to have a visitor or two and your comments are always appreciated.

Till next time,

Claire X

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let's Get Cosy............

It must be time for a cuppa.............anyone like to join me?

I finished the "Wibbly Wobbly" tea cosy today, so here's a photo to prove it, hehe.

It sat on the 'to do' pile for a few weeks but with a market coming up on Saturday I thought it was a good time to finish it off and see if anyone fancied a wibbly wobbly tea cosy!

I found the best light in the house for taking photos was in my bedroom so here it is on top of my dresser............

Here's the back view with it's wibbly wobbly verse..........

I love my little cup with it's bluebird. I bought it at a market when I lived in New Zealand back in the 90's.

Hmm, definitely time to pop the kettle on.
Ooh and I think there might be a banana and date muffin hiding in the cake tin too.......

Another beautiful bunch of roses to grace my dresser.

I have a mixture of Old Fragrance or Old Stinky hehe.......
as my friend Mabs jokingly calls it.
Mabs gave me a cutting off it a couple of years ago and it has grown like topsy even through out the drought and just before you start to has the most delightful fragrance.

That beautiful old world perfume that makes you swoon..............and I just ♥ the deep pink.

It would have to be one of my favourite colours, not that I wear it or have anything in my wardrobe in that shade.

Oh, almost forgot, tut, tut, David Austin's , Lady of Megginch is in there too.

See the heavily quartered flower at the front that's her.

Isn't she beautiful?

Whilst out in the orchard picking off the shield bugs I let the girls in so they can eat them, but unfortunately some of them are finding the berries much more appealing even though the lower ones are far from ripe.........

Our rooster Noddy, is quite a tall chap and when he stretches his neck he can reach quite a way up the canes.

Hmm, I don't mind sharing but.........

He's definitely airborne here........feet off the ground, trying to impress the girls with his acrobatics.

I think the grass needs a bit of a mow don't you?
Somehow No. 1 son seems to forget
this area as it's tucked away behind the wood shed..............

Red, yes........edible, no.

Don't even think about it !!
Won't be long before we are picking lots of beautiful berries.

Berry iceream, jam, sauce, muffins, hmmm.

I'm already out of ideas.....any suggestions.


Well, I hope you are all having a good week wherever you are.

My little Janome has been whirring away all week and there has been plenty of stuffing and stitching taking place.
I'm off to my fortnightly craft night and will be finishing off some stuffing and stitching, along with lots of chatting and laughing no doubt.
It's great to get together with other crafty ladies and see what they are all busy making.

I also received a packet of Sunflower seeds in the mail today.

Tanya from Suburban Jubilee sent them to me as a fundraiser for the Nettlefold Foundation which helps people understand and cope with depression. They also provide opportunities for life changing experiences for young people.

For $3.00 you will receive a packet of seeds which will bring sunshine into your life when they flower and you know how much I love Sunflowers..........

It's a great idea, pop over to her blog and read the story behind the foundation, it's very touching.

Righto, what was I going to do now, oh yes, time for a cuppa, so are you going to join me?

Okay, maybe next time, thanks for stopping by to say "hello" lovely to hear from you.

Till next time, take care,

Claire X

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shortbread and Jam Bunting

Hi there, I'd like to share some pics from this mornings diversion crafting...........the things you do when you really should be doing something else.

Yeah, you know what I mean?
Good then I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this.

These little embroidered hearts were started oooh, about 2 years ago and then tucked away in the sewing box until today.

It's bunting, yay.............. not quite finished.
Well, I thought I had and was just about to sew it onto the ribbon when I decided to hang it up to check spacing etc.

No. 1 said I needed to add a couple of more hearts and give it a bit more length, doh........

Ok, I have to admit he's right.
So a little bit more snipping and stitching needed and then I can hang it up.

He also said it reminded him of shortbread hearts with a jam filling.

Yum, that sounds delish.

I originally started making this having been inspired by some red and white Scandinavian embroidery that I had seen and this was my take on it.

I love the simplicity of the colours.

I'm also enjoying the roses which are blooming their beautiful heads off at the moment.

A bunch of Camp David roses on my bedroom dresser..............

Straight from the garden, beautifully scented and a gorgeous, rich, red.........

Let's back track to Tuesday morning and a beautiful, cloudy morning ( you know how much I like rainy, days !!)

There were two or three 'holes' in the cloud and the sun's rays shining through.

By the time I had found the camera it had changed slightly but was still beautiful.

You might get a better view by clicking on the pic to enlarge it.

So nice to get up early to see this sort of thing.

It looked like we were in for a stormy day, but the weather was teasing.
Black clouds, blue sky, black clouds........... nothing in the way of rain.

But, in the last 24 hours the heavens have opened up and most of the state has had a good drop of the wet stuff.

We had 60.5 mls (almost 2 ½ inches) so it's quite damp underfoot.
Fortunately, not too much water entered the garage (this time) but there was a 'mini tornado' in a township 40 mins away and some houses lost their roofs or part thereof.

Must've been rather scary for them, but no one was injured which is good.

Our berries will be enjoying the drink, we appear to have a bumper crop and they are plumping up nicely.

The 'undergardeners' have been put to work as the green shield bugs are back, sucking all the goodness out of the berries.

We don't spray, but pick them off by hand.

I think they smell like coriander when squashed, but I would prefer to feed them to the girls than squash them.........

I wonder if they'll lay coriander flavoured eggs?...............

A quick trip out to the shrubbery to snap a pic of

Gladiolus Cardinalis

which is flowering a the moment.

The heavy rain has bowed all the blooms, but they are beautiful and creating a lovely display.

A shovel full of bulbs from my mum's garden has multiplied quite a bit.

They always look elegant to me with the flowers borne on long stems.

Had to show you this pic taken 3 weeks ago when No. 1 and hubby were heading over to Adelaide for the Fleurieu Folk Festival..............

In the middle of nowhere (hmm good name for a blog!)
No. 1 decided it was a good place to break the drive, stretch the legs and go for a skate, as you do!!!!

Obviously there was no traffic around, but it does remind me of the Magilla Gorilla cartoon.

Remember, Magilla driving along in his little car and when it conked out he opened up the boot and took out a smaller version of the same car and when that conked out he opened up the boot and took out a pair of roller skates and strapped them on..............
Mind you I don't think Magilla had a top hat on and a guitar slung over his shoulder........

I'm heading into Albury to visit the Twilight Market which is on this evening.
I had put in an application to be a part of it, but it seems they have enough stall holders selling childrens goods.
I have to say I was quite disappointed as the concept is great.
An evening market centred around a lovely grassed area, live music,
food stalls and a craft market selling the stall holders' handiwork.

I understood their reasoning but.............
Oh well, next time I will just have to be a little quicker off the mark.

Hope you are all enjoying the week, whatever the weather.

Thanks for taking the time to visit and leave a comment, so nice to hear from you all.

Till next time,

Claire X

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's Flower Power People ✿

Hello there and welcome to my garden..............I wish.

It could almost be my garden as it is directly across the road from my home.
For a few weeks each year ( if there are no heavy Spring downpours) I get to enjoy the
amazing array of Irises, without having to do any of the work, hehehe......

I went for a wander recently and snapped a few pics to share with you.

If you click on the pics, you will get a better view of the colour and markings on some of the blooms.

The variety of colours are amazing and I have to confess, I do have one or two Irises in my garden.
I mean, how could I possibly wander around and not order some for my very own !!

If you look closely you will see a beautiful golden haired, bathing beauty amongst the flowers.
I had to strategically position myself to take this photo so as to preserve her modesty!!

I love the way the trees frame the view of the nearby hills.
The sun was shining over in the distance, lovin' those big fluffy clouds..........

A sea of pink, blue and yellow with gorgeous roses at the edge of the garden.

So many colours, so hard to pick a favourite....

I did spy these chooks in the garden, fortunately they weren't escapees from my chook run.

I don't think they were doing much harm, just looking very cute.

Shall I tell you a secret? Promise not to tell?

Some years ago when these new neighbours moved in across the road.
My chickadees used to free range far and wide.
They liked to play 'chicken' and cross the road to get to the garden on the other side.........
I was rather horrified when I discovered they had scratched up all the mulch on newly planted carpet roses lining the driveway.
I raced home and grabbed the rake to quickly put all the mulch back in place and tidy up before the neighbours came home and discovered the mayhem my girls had created.

Needless to say, I kept a closer watch on them after giving them a stern telling off and forbidding them to play 'chicken' again.

Here's the real deal posing amongst the flowers.
Not too manly to have his pic taken in the garden.
Showing his more sensitive side hehe......

Been very quiet on the blogging front recently, not alot to say and not much taking place on the creative side, apart form the usual makes for my market stall, hence the silence.

But all is well........the weather continues to warm up and the Roses are blooming their heads off.
The perfume from plants in the garden is amazing, you can smell them across the other side of the yard........and we have a large house yard.
No 1 and I have been busy outside whipping the green stuff into submission getting ready for the coming bushfire season and short grass makes it easier to spot unwanted visitors......

This fella was enjoying a dose of sunshine on the nature strip on Monday, it's a red bellied black snake.
They are venomous but not fatal.
I have heard they eat baby brown snakes and sometimes their own.

It was quite happy just basking in the warmth and not particularly perturbed by my presence.
It's only the second snake we've seen here since we moved here 9 years ago, so that's not bad going .


Before I say 'ooroo, I must tell you about a lovely giveaway with a Hebridean twist that Alison is having over at Tweed Delights.
Think cute little croft houses, sheep and then something with a bit of sparkle on it.
Pop over and say 'hi' and put your name in the hat, the giveaway closes on November the 10th.

Ok, now is there anything else that I have to tell you before I go?
Nope, all's good.

Anyway, thanks for popping by, it's nice to hear from you all.

Till next time, take care,

Claire X