Friday, December 28, 2012

The 3 B's......


Three things that make me smile.....

They demand to be heard and seen and I am happy to oblige.


 How many workers do you know that hum from dawn to dusk as they go about their busy ness?.......

Butterflies flutter by.....

"Just living is not enough" said the butterfly,
"one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.

Hans Christian Anderson

Life would be rather dull without them don't you think?

"He is richest who is content with the least.
 For content is the wealth of nature".....


The days are passing in a blur at the moment...

Holidays mingling with work days, it's hard to keep track of what's what. 
It feels like an extra long weekend......

The weather has cooled a little and a pleasant breeze has replaced the humidity...

The Nectarines are rosy and plump and ripening beautifully.
We have already dined on delicious peaches and eaten our fill of berries...

We have spent time with family and are about to welcome friends into our home.
The Christmas break has been relaxed and quiet for us...

No great feast or fuss but just appreciating what we already have and that all our needs are well and truly taken care of.
Donations to help provide those basic day to day necessities for others has again, been our gift this year...

Hoping that you are all enjoying the holidays and time spent with family and friends....
Travel safely if you're out and about and thanks for visiting......

Take care,

♥♥ Claire ♥♥

Monday, December 17, 2012

Light Bulb Moments and Other Happenings....

Hello girls, it's blue skies and sunshine with some lovely cottony clouds this morning......
What sort of weather is greeting you at the start of a new working week?

I'm feeling quite excited this morning.

No major earth shattering news just a little creative epiphany taking place.......

I toyed with this 'patchworky' style of design a little while ago and whilst I loved it, somehow, it just didn't 'click'.
 But now the last piece of the creative puzzle has given me the full picture and I can't wait to play some more.

Ditching the black thread today.

I love red and pink together......

I have a small list of sewing projects that need to be finished this week and this most definitely isn't one of them, but I had to 'get it out' and see how it looks.
It will be a tea cosy when finished, more stitching  to take place.

Friday morning when I should have been packing up for the market I was actually stitching some pincushions. I just wanted to play with some more Zinnias....time was limited and I forgot to add the lighter coloured stitching around the flower centres.....lesson learnt!!

My little Owlets from last months market were tweaked and the brighter colours are much more appealing.......

Saturday morning saw the last market at Bright for 2012.
Rain was forecast over the weekend but we were meant to get 28deg.
I wore my outdoor boots as tramping over the wet grass in sandals wasn't my cup of tea.......
Just as well I took the practical option as once my gazebo and stall were set up it started to rain, lightly......

Erin, my stall holder neighbour is also a wildlife carer and had  with her a Black Cockatoo feather.
A couple of these birds visit her property regularly.
Some markets Erin has had a little joey with her that needs feeding every hour or so......
It's interesting listening to stories of her wildlife work.

Isn't the feather stunning?

It wasn't long before the rain set in.........
Fortunately, people still came down to the market but in reduced numbers and as the rain got heavier they left so we all packed up an hour early......
I managed to sell 5 of the 6 tea cosies I took, so that salvaged the morning for me.
 Although everyone was very disappointed there was still lots of laughter and light hearted banter taking place and to be honest, we really did need a good drop of rain.
The garden is certainly looking a lot happier and it means we won't have to water for a few days......

Here's the pic of the finished gift from my last post.
The Zinnias became a pot holder for my artist friend Ella........
She's a fabulous cook and being Italian, whips up many wonderful dishes.  I thought I would 'jazz' up a basic kitchen item and on the reverse side I machine embroidered a little information about Zinnias.
Thankfully, she loved it. 
Somehow I don't think it will find it's way into her kitchen. Knowing Ella, she'll probably hang it somewhere in her home as an 'artwork'....

♥♥  Hollyhocks ♥♥

I now have a lovely pale, pink Hollyhock  in flower as well.

The Sea Holly is about to have it's turn in the spotlight.
It's colouring up nicely and by the end of the week should be a  lovely, deep purple ......

The Agapanthus are bursting into bloom.
This pic was taken on one of the hot days we had last week.

A lovely, blue sky pic for all of you who are dealing with leaden skies and low temps.

I do hope you can feel the warmth.
 Let me tell you it was hot....

Whilst the rain wasn't particularly welcome at the market it has washed away the humidity we were experiencing.
Today is going to be a balmy 28deg. 

Oh almost forgot to say......
After the market and feeling a little damp and bedraggled I headed up the main street to check out the Bright Op shops and scored 3 woollen blankets for a very reasonable price.
You know that little purchase made up for the mornings disappointment.

I have decided to give the Jan/Feb markets a miss and have plans for the new year......
I hope to get my sewing room sorted.
Tigger headed in there last week and I warned him to leave a little trail of breadcrumbs so he could find his way out again!!
Needless to say ...being male.....he didn't listen and hasn't been sighted since!!
There are also windows that need to be cleaned and wardrobes sorted.
Sewing has taken precedence over other things this year and balance needs to be restored, so something had to give.
Of course, I will keep 'playing' with new ideas and designs.
 The creative side of things will always be there.
I'm toying with the idea of opening up a little shop in 2013.
If you have any experience with Etsy or Madeit I would love to hear it......

Well, I better get on with some of those sewing projects and tick them off the list.

Hope you are managing to tick a few things off your lists and thanks for taking the time out to come and visit.

To all the people who have been affected directly or indirectly by the Sandy Hook massacre......
Words fail to accurately describe the deep sadness of this tragic event.
Hopefully, someone will have the strength and support to change the gun laws and make it alot harder for people to get access to weapons.It will never solve the issue but you've got to start somewhere.......

Take care everyone,

Claire xx

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All Work and No Play etc..........

Hello girls, how are you all?
Finishing off some hand made gifts for Christmas pressies, or perhaps you're just starting!!
Bit like me leaving things till the last minute......
I'm busy stitching for the last market of the year in Bright this Saturday.......
I need to stock up on tea cosies and an old design has resurfaced but I have tweaked it a little and am a lot happier with how it looks.

I just can't seem to get enough of these furry, little, bumbling bees

The amount of roses blooming in the garden has dropped off significantly, so I have been enjoying stitching some....shame they don't have a scent!

 I have wanted to do a garden shed design for quite a while.....
I'm reasonably happy with this, but the next will be tweaked quite a bit.....I'll just see if this one sells first!!

Exciting news from the first ever Hollyhock has bloomed.
I have waited patiently and watched it grow and watched the ants crawling over it...not sure what they're after but it can't be good!
I've watched leaves get rust and shrivel but finally I have  a flower.... a beautiful red.
I love it combined with the purple/blue Larkspurs.

Julie if you're reading this, you were the inspiration behind me planting some Hollyhocks, so 'thankyou' x

The Larkspurs are also a first in this garden and have put on a pretty display. Their floppy habit is a little annoying as any wind sends them over, but it's been nice to see more variety and colour in the garden...... 

This morning's sewing was about something I had to do.....not necessarily wanted to but it had to be done. 
Fortunately, there was still time to play and I quickly snipped and stitched a little design onto a piece of the 'new' blanket  I picked up from the op shop on Saturday.

It's going to be a gift for an artist friend who has fallen in love with Zinnias after I gave her a bunch of them last season.
She loves bright colours and these flowers fit the bill.

I was thrilled with how they turned out....

I love orange and hot pink together, the black stitching tones it down a little but it is definitely bright!! Just a little more stitching needed to finish it off.....

A little friend who hitched a ride into my kitchen hidden in a bunch of flowers I had just picked......

Once the fun part of a tea cosy has been put together and stitched it's onto the mundane part of putting it all together and that's what I will be doing tomorrow.
 There is a little stack of them and the snipping, pinning and stitching takes quite a bit of time.
But, if I'm very good and get into it hopefully there will be more time to play. 
I am keen to stitch up some more Zinnias.
My self sown Zinnias are popping up everywhere in the garden, but where they should be. 100's of the seedlings are growing up through the gravel path and I must pull them out but haven't the heart too.....

The weather has been quite pleasant here this week. Saturday was rather warm but it has cooled a little since.
The nights are still cool enough to sleep well and pull a blanket up in the early hours.....
Rain is forecast for later in the week and the garden could do with a lovely 'natural' drink.

Well, that's it for me, I have a new issue of Mollie Makes, which I picked up this afternoon, so I want to have a browse before lights out....

Thanks for visiting girls and I hope you are having a lovely week,

Take care,

❀ Claire

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spring, Summer, Winter!!........

I'm feeling a little topsy turvy in the SBL household this week.
Everything is not as it usually is and I need to concentrate so don't forget all the changes!!
The weather is yo yo-ing between Summer and Winter.
Last week the temp was nudging 40deg and this week, we're back to what feels like Winter....well almost 
(wishful thinking on my part!!)

Yesterday was very cool and windy and my Winter scarf reappeared along with my flannelette jammies.....any excuse!!

 Not together, perleeeease hehe!!

I was eyeing off the wood stove and wondering whether I should crank it up or not. a Winter frame of mind I had a play with some fabric inspired by a photo in the 'The Simple Things' magazine which has just arrived at our local newsagent.

Today is a beautiful 27deg. so the CFA  decided to 'burn off' the verge this morning......
So, at 8.30am there were utes, men in yellow suits, the fire truck, lights, detour signs and plumes of smoke.
It was all happening......

We have quite a large dam, which happily is full after being very low during the drought.

A good source for them, so they could fill up their tanks.
There were utes with trailers and tanks on the back of them, doing a shuttle to the dam and back.

The CFA is made up of local volunteers, some retired, some still working, young and not so young.
Business people, farmers, males and females, all giving up their spare time to put their lives on the line and fight bush fires or attend accidents.......they do a brilliant job.
Today there were mostly retired blokes helping with the burn off but I did spy a young face or two, amongst them.

I was a little worried about this big old gum tree on the verge. The photo doesn't do the size justice but it would have to be over fifty years old.
I needn't have worried the CFA did a great job and the fire never got away at all. Fortunately it was calm not a lick of wind......
Unlike yesterday which was very breezy.

It won't stay black and charred for long.
A drop or two of rain and the new green growth will spring up.
Love the shadows...... 

A sure sign Christmas is approaching!!
Christmas beetle bumbling over the ground.

Our potted Chinese Star Jasmine is in full flower.
The perfume is amazing.....
Unfortunately the drainage holes have blocked up, no doubt full of roots.
During Winter the pot filled to the brim with water and I didn't realise until the plant started to die.
It has survived, but we'll have to figure out a solution to the drainage issue, or we'll lose it completely.

The berries are fruiting nicely and taste delicious.
The Raspberries aren't as abundant as last year, but there are plenty of Blackberries.......
There is a hole in the bird netting and not surprisingly some cheeky birds are taking advantage of the situation......can't blame them really. 

I was rather surprised to see the Feijoas  sporting some flowers.
Seems a bit early, but no, they're on schedule.
Feels like yesterday that I was last blogging about them, but it's twelve months ago!!

I love the combination of pink and red and they are such interesting flowers.
 Late Summer/ Autumn the fruit will be ready to eat.....yum.

Apart from the weather being topsy turvy, my work roster is also topsy turvy so I have notes every where to remind me!!

We're heading towards 37deg on Saturday so the flannelette jammies will be packed away and the aircon chugging away again.
No complaints, the cool change has been lovely, but Summer must arrive eventually.......

So how is the weather in your neck of the woods?
Are you having a topsy turvy start to the season?

I hope your week has been going smoothly and you don't need to place notes around the house to remind you of where you should be and when!!

Thanks for stopping by to say 'hi', always great to hear from you.

Take care,

Claire xx  

Monday, December 3, 2012

'tis one of life's mysteries

Ah success!!!
But it may be short lived, keep reading all revealed at the end of this post.

How are you all?

I've been missing my little blog, but have been travelling around Blogland visiting here and there, although less often than I used to.......
It's been busy here at Sweet Birdy Love, nothing out of the ordinary...sewing, gardening, work and more sewing.
It's also been very hot, last week in particular was a real scorcher with temps. nudging the high 30's.
 We came very close to 40deg...uggh!!
The air con was chugging away doing it's best, the garden was wilting under the unusually hot was technically still Spring, according to my calender.
Summer was announcing it's arrival in spades.

I had booked in to do a extra market in Beechworth last Saturday, Dec. 1st. so more tea cosies were needed.

People like their tea to be hot if not the weather!!
After making the same design 2 or 3 times, I'm ready for something new and obviously cooler weather was on my mind.

Daffodils, Tulips, Grape Hyacinths, I love them all....

A little row of cottages appealed to me and obviously someone else as it now has a new home.
I forgot to take my usual finished photos, so these are the work in progress pics...

A rather dark pic of my stall and the finished cosies......
Saturday bought some relief from the  high temps and the sun hid behind the clouds for most of the day, phew!!
There was a lovely breeze, a few drops of rain and lots of people out and about.
It was another great market, with lots of chatting and laughter taking place amongst stall holders and shoppers.

I made another 'Audrey' specifically for this market and was very pleased with how it turned out.
 Just before I wrapped it up, I realised there was a typo.....
a word missing and no, I couldn't hide it, fit it in or disguise it.....arrrrgh!!
Nothing for it but to start from scratch and here she is.

Actually, I am much happier with this one.
She didn't find a home this market, but will come to Bright with me in a fortnight.....

The first flush of roses have been beautiful and many bunches were picked and brought indoors.
The Camp David standards continue to flower their little heads off and I love them in with purple/blue Larkspurs and a sprig or two of Gypsophila/Baby's Breath.

After months of waiting the Globe Artichoke has finally opened up to reveal it's stunning purple centre.
They really are quite spectacular, though rather prickly scales surrounding it......
Next season I might use some of the flowers in the kitchen while they are still in the bud stage.....
Check out the grass, it's brown and crunchy, that's Summer.
 We live in the country and don't water the 'lawn' always greens up come the cooler weather and rain.

Lady of Megginch with more Larkspurs.
I picked this bunch before the hot weather arrived, I couldn't bear to see them fry in the heat.....they make me smile just looking at them. I love the colours....

I think someone was after some attention this morning!!
Couldn't lie beside the computer it had to be right on top of it.

Love ya Tigg mwah!!♥♥

Photos have uploaded.....success!!
Nothing terribly exciting girls, but like a lot of other bloggers recently.
 I have reached my storage limit and have to figure out what to do about it.
I don't want to pay for my storage, so have to keep my pics under a certain size apparently and go through my Picasa Web Album and delete double ups, which I have been doing.

It's all been a bit of a mystery to me, but hubby has been very helpful and although we haven't had time to sit down and get it sorted completely, I am working my way though it.

A big thank you to Alessandra and Trudy who have talked me through how they handled this issue, but if anyone else has some info on this I would appreciate hearing from you.
I blog on a MacBook, seems to be so many different brands of computers and each having slightly different ways of doing things.I will probably have to get some program to edit photo size, so any tips would be good.  If you don't see another blog post  for a while, you'll know why!!.....

On a completely different note...Have you seen

 'The Intouchables'?

Hubby and I went to see it Saturday night at the cinema.
What a wonderful movie.
 I haven't laughed so much for quite some time it was terrific.
It's  very touching based on a true story, it's in French so is subtitled, but don't let that put you off.
And if like me, you love the music of Earth Wind and Fire, you'll find it hard to sit still in your seat. 
Check out the trailer on Youtube and don't miss it if it's at a cinema near you......

Today is lovely and cool, well cooler, there is a beautiful breeze and I even had a blanket or two on during the night.
What a difference 10deg. makes......

Hope you are all well and not letting the Christmas Crazies get to you......thanks for stopping by to read my ramblings....

Take care,

Claire ♥♥