Friday, December 13, 2013

Snip, Snip, Snippets

Hello everyone, how are you all going with your Christmas preparations? 
Not enough time to get everything done?
It's such a busy time of year.

Well, I have been busy stitching for what seems like months for the inaugural High Country Christmas Fair which was held in my little town last Saturday.
I had hoped to have everything finished the week prior but of course this was the scene on Thursday as I finished attaching brooch backs and stitching bunnies' nether regions!! 

You know I love English Robins, so when I found this blanket at a local Op shop, I knew straight away what the design would be.....
Just can't help myself.....

First time I've ever stitched Buddleia but I love this shrub and it's beautiful, honey scent.
It's just started flowering in my garden....delightful.

Last Saturday, turned out to be the perfect day weather wise. The sun was shining, a breeze blowing at times and with all the bunting hanging up around town there was quite an atmosphere of anticipation.

The final bunting tally was announced publicly by the member for Indi Cathy McGowan.
She started with the '3' and worked up to the '7' and kept us on tenterhooks. Had we beat the current world bunting record or not?
We smashed it, the months of snipping and stitching that had taken place were well worth it.
There's bunting all around town.
Round the sports oval a couple of times as well as the tennis court. Along the roadside and through the drain under the road and up the other side.
Round the park, through it, under the rotunda, down the main street, into the pub and around the antlers of the Stags' head, back outside down the street and back up again and if you're tired reading all this, putting it up was no mean feat either.
Lots of people volunteered their time and effort to work together.
It was a great community project and so nice to come together around something happy and uplifting rather than when there is some sort of tragedy......
Now we just have to have our efforts verified by the people from The Guinness World records, so lots of paperwork to be filled in and sent off.

The day was very busy.
 Busy chatting, selling and generally enjoying the hustle and bustle of the market.
It wasn't until pack up time that I got to have a wander around and take some pics.
Love the bunting shadows.....

I have been doing markets for close to 5 years and I have to say this would have to be the best ever.....
I also had the pleasure of meeting fellow blogger Susan from Scribbling from Jumbunna 
She lives just 'down the hill' from me but we hadn't met till Saturday.
 It was so lovely to catch up even if it was brief.
She now has as a couple of my stitcheries hanging in her home.
Pop over and say 'hi'.......


 I bought myself a two seater bench to place under the Manchurian Pear tree.
 It's the perfect spot for a cuppa and rest or to take a break whilst gardening.
As you can see things are drying out although there is still a tinge of greenery in the distance.

The flies this Summer seem to be particularly annoying.
They are small 'bush' flies which like to hang around your eyes and get in behind your glasses and I have found out that it's a good idea to keep your mouth shut outside as I have managed to swallow a couple as well!!
Cicadas also seem to be in abundance and their noise can be quite deafening.
 They have made their way down to trees and shrubs just outside the house so there is no escaping them.

Thankfully, we had some decent rain recently and it filled our tanks up and gave the garden a much needed drink.
 Of course some follow up rain would be just as welcome.......Loving those stormy skies.

Out in the garden the Hollyhocks have self seeded and are starting to bloom. Just love those fat buds before they burst into flower.
The blooms remind me of layers of net and tulle of a frothy ball gown.
 Can't wait to see what all the other colours are.

The peaches are ripening nicely and the birds haven't discovered them, despite there being a couple of holes in the bird netting.
Must put my stitching skills to use and mend them.

We have a lodger in the chook house, actually under the steps to the chook house.
Imagine the fright I got when I heard some rustling in the straw on the floor of the chook house as I went in there one day.
Quick as a flash he scooted away before I could get a good look at him.
I'm used to him now but there has been the odd occasion when I see some thing move out of the corner of my eye, my heart skips a beat or five and of course the first thought is 'snake'!!
It's a Blue tongue lizard and quite harmless, in fact they are quite good pest exterminators in your garden.

So here we are a week later......
I have been busy out in the garden giving it some much needed TLC.
It's been somewhat neglected for a number of months, so it's time to give it a good tidy up.

I also 'met' another blogger,
 Ale of homemade@myplace during the week.

We skyped which was alot of fun and she told me about her life in Jakarta.
It was very interesting and so nice to talk in person.
This blogging lark has bought me into contact with some lovely people.

I wonder what you have all been up to, apart from Christmas preparations? 
Would love to hear,
Thanks for stopping by everyone, it's always great to hear from you.
Enjoy your weekend,

Claire X

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hello it's me.....again!!

The weeks are gathering speed as we race towards the end of the year......

So how's the season shaping up where you are?

We're still having changeable Spring weather, a warm day last week had me considering putting on the aircon and the following day it was grey and damp and long sleeves were needed.
The tomatoes are only just beginning to flower after recovering from frost burn. I did think we would lose a couple of plants after an unexpected frost ....
The Roses are literally blooming their heads off before the heat of Summer arrives and the trees are clothed in new Spring leaves and looking lovely and fresh.
The paddocks are turning from a patchwork of green and gold to a lovely, buttery hue as the grass is cut and baled.
A good drop of rain wouldn't go astray either.
More than happy to swap blue sky and sunshine for a few days of grey, drizzly weather.....anyone interested?
I'm still working towards the December market, leftover stock from my market days was very low, so I needed to put together some new ideas and get stitching.

This week amongst other things, I've put together a couple of new mini stitcheries which have turned out well. I had fun stitching up a vintage Singer sewing machine, with it's distinctive, silvery design work.

An op shop find of a vintage, blue blanket has already been used for a number of projects, including another mini stitchery and the beginnings of a tea cosy.
Love the colour combo of red, blue, yellow and white.
So lots on the go, in the sewing department, with more to be done this coming week.

Ready to head outside for a wander?
Photo quality isn't so great, but this is a birds nest I found hanging on a Silver Birch branch.
Can you see the open beak there? 
There were 3 babies in the nest, which belongs to a Mistletoe bird!
Unfortunately, these birds help spread mistletoe which can end up killing trees. So whilst it was a thrill to find this nest and bubs, I was a little disappointed Mistletoe birds were breeding close by.
In our 'Wild Wood' of Silver Birches, there are at least 3 lots of Mistletoe growing. It looks like a gum tree has been grafted onto a Silver Birch, quite a bizarre sight.
But I am always amazed at the construction of these nests.
They look like a little bag  hanging from a branch.
Spiders webs, thistle down even cat fur have been used to make this lovely, soft, cosy home. It feel like thick felt and would take an amazing amount of time to make.

A brief storm a week ago gave us a couple of mls of rain, nothing to write home about, but I got some nice, stormy pics.
I love watching the clouds roll in....

The Bottle brush are in full flower, attracting birds and bees and adding a splash of colour to the tree belt.

Tucked away behind a shed and next to the green waste pile is a Loquat tree which is groaning under the weight of fruit this year.
The birds are having a feast and it doesn't take long for the fruit to go off once it has a peck mark or two in it.
In past years the cows have enjoyed eating the leaves in Summer and caused quite a bit of damage, but after running some electric fence tape along the fence line it has finally grown back.
The fruit is sweet, but more seed than flesh. Once you spit out the seed and the skin, you really just get a mouthful of juice and that's it.
But on a warm day when you've just wheeled a heavy load of cuttings to the waste pile and the flies are driving you crazy, it's nice to stop for a few minutes, stand in the shade and eat half a dozen Loquats before getting back into it.

This is the view down our road from the front gate.
I love living in the country.

See the sign (red triangle with a white W) on the left?
That's for the CFA, to let them know there is water on our property in the form of a dam. If there happens to be a fire nearby they can get access to the dam and fill the tanker.

The berries are ripening, but an extreme prune by moi in Winter has meant we won't get as many as in past years.
But that's OK, I needed to get in there to prune and tidy up the canes.It was becoming a bit unruly.
I checked on them today and there should be some ripe enough to eat this week......yum!!

I have admitted in the past that I'm not very good at remembering to water pot plants, but these Petunias underneath the Maples are putting on a wonderful show. The fact that they are in the courtyard directly opposite the kitchen certainly helps.
Maybe our trip to Canada and the lush gardens and hanging baskets I saw prompted me to plant up these pots but whatever the reason. It's nice to have some colour in view every day. 

Back inside there are piles of sewing waiting to be stitched.
Little sleepy time, blanket bunnies, looking peaceful, best thing is they don't snore!!

Another week full of stitching ahead of me. Lots of ideas I wish I could chase, but I have to focus and start ticking things off the 'To Do' list, or I'll be in trouble!!

Well, I'm going to be a good, little bunny and head off to bed. If I set the alarm a little earlier, I might get out in the garden and do some flower deadheading before breakfast.

Will I get up when the alarm goes or press the snooze button?

Hope you've all had an enjoyable weekend and have a great week.

Thanks so much for visiting, always lovely to hear from you.

Take Care,

Claire X

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Budgies, Brooches, Blooms, Birds.........Bed !

Helloooooooo girls, it's me......yes, I'm still here
Albeit, sporadically, occasionally.......well sometimes!!
Mind you I do pop by for a visit and comment, so I haven't completely disappeared.
Thanks to Anne of Ungardened Moments for a lovely email checking to see if all was OK as I had been missing in action for some time.
You see I am now one of those Bloggers who has gone over to play in the Facebook playground and stayed there.......they have different toys over there and bright, shiny things and well.....I know there's no excuse.
But here I am, I hope you are all well, we won't talk about how the year has flown, but here we are in November......

Things here at Sweet Birdy Love are busy.

 Spring has been stunning and continues to thrill me with all the Roses in full bloom now.
My Hollyhocks have self seeded and are popping up wherever they can.
I hope I get a variety of colour....:)
We are also planting vegie seedlings and the garden is filling up quickly.

The weather has been quite changeable....last Thursday night I was kicking the blankets off it was so warm and then Saturday I was adding an extra one as it had turned quite cool.
I hold on to the cooler temps and enjoy them as much as I can as I know Summer is just around the corner and along with it the heat!

I also love this time of year as farmers slash and bale their paddocks for hay/silage. From the great room window I watch the green paddocks turn a patchwork of gold as the grass is cut, left to dry, raked and baled. I love hearing the rumble of tractors towing balers down the road throughout the day.

As usual there is plenty of sewing taking place and Budgies are featuring at the moment.
Hubby was given a gorgeous, green blanket last week and I couldn't wait to start cutting and stitching.
This little fella is going to be a sewing needle book for a market in December.

A few more needle books for the market.
Of course I couldn't stop at one Budgie, they are such fun to stitch.........

I've also whipped up some brooches and I couldn't go past a cute little Hedgehog with a couple of oak leaves.
I do love the woodland theme..... 

Let's duck outside for a little fresh air shall we?....

William Morris rose planted last season has burst into bloom and is  just beautiful but I'm afraid I'm somewhat disappointed with the lack of scent.
I can't believe I bought a Rose that doesn't have much of a perfume!!
This photo was taken about 3 weeks ago and you can see how green everything was. It has dried off a little, but still quite green.

The Dutch Irises in the Wild Wood, put on another lovely display.
 I noticed the leaves growing but then always get a surprise to see the flowers.
They blend in with the white trunks of the Birches so well.
They're very happy in this posi and have been there for about 4 years now.
 I also planted the Blue variety of Dutch Irises but only got one flower this year.
 Hopefully next year a few more will bloom.

The Lilac was stunning and I just love the purple of the flower  and turquoise of the vase......the perfume is beautiful and I picked quite a few bunches to bring inside and enjoy.

It's also Magpie season and the hatched young ones spend the days in our garden with their beaks open calling to be fed.
I love watching them they're such characters. 
But I would be happier if they didn't stand outside the bedroom window at 6am waiting to be fed!!

The Magpies inspired me to stitch a textile picture for our local art show which opened a week ago.
I've forgotten to up load it, time!!

This is one of the 4 pieces I entered in the show.
Watercolour and stitching on canvas.
I haven't done this before, so was quite pleased with the
overall effect.
Thankfully, all of my pieces sold, so I didn't have to bring them home and find somewhere to store them.
I love seeing what everyone enters.
 There are some very creative and talented people living in the area.

Unbeknown to me No.1 son actually bought a piece of art at the show and surprised me with it tonight when he arrived home.
It's a beautiful pastel drawing of a Flame Robin sitting on a rusty old star picket.
 I was a bit gobsmacked I have to say, but totally thrilled.
I'm sure you all know by now how much I love seeing those Robins in Winter.
He bought so that I didn't have to wait till Winter to see them!
I'll post a pic next time..... 

A little more stitching......another "Woodling' but this one is a little different.
She was part of an order I sent over to Janet at The Empty Nest in Warrenton Virginia.
Janet has been selling my work in her gorgeous shop.
So part of what I am working on at the moment will find it's way to The Empty Nest as well.......

Finally, I just  had to share this pic of Tigger with you.
What is it about cats and boxes?
He quite happily curled up and went to sleep in it, despite there not being alot of room to stretch.

Wouldn't that be a great attribute to have?

 Being able to curl up anywhere and nod off.

Talking about nodding off, it's time I did.....
So there you have it a quick little post of what I've been up to recently.
Just the usual things happening. The year is drawing to a close and that pair of socks I intended to knit this year, hasn't
My sister and BIL from Wakefield in the UK were visiting about a fortnight ago. It was lovely to see them.
 Our last catch up was in 2007 when we headed over to the UK.
We had a lovely time together and they enjoyed the warmer weather . Not sure if they were enjoying the 41deg as they headed towards Port Augusta last week!!

So a busy week ahead of me. Stacks of sewing to get through.
Ukulele class is on tomorrow night and the Friday night
Yackandandah World Record Bunting Attempt happening so it's all go here.......
Hope all is well with you and thanks for visiting.

Take care,

Claire X 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Four Seasons In One Day.........

Hello Girls, it's been the most windy, blustery, showery Spring day here.
 I stayed inside and had some one on one time with my Janome and finished off my latest little stitchery.

Some of the things I love about Spring.......

It's now finished and ready for sale on my Facebook page.

Ok, let's head out and see what's happening in the garden.

The wind has blown alot of Crabapple blossom onto the ground and at a brief glance it looks like snow.
I hope we don't lost all the blossom, it's been divine, the perfume and the hum of the accompanying bees, make weeding in the garden....dare I say enjoyable?!

Anyone like to use the petal strewn birdbath?

The Hellebores have also put on a wonderful display and are well past their best, but I still love the colours and markings.

I'm happy to see lots of little Hellebores have come up and hopefully they will form a bit of a carpet in the Wild Wood....

On sunny days the Tulips are positively glowing.

These Camellias are form a friends garden, I love the pink tipped petals......

Last Saturday was the community Vegetable swap.
It's always interesting to see what people have growing and there was no lack of greenery on the table.
I had potted up some Rhubarb cuttings, Larkspur and Zucchini seedlings.
I came away with a freshly picked bunch of celery, a lovely piece of pumpkin and a bunch of Silverbeet.

I also managed to cut enough flowers to make a sweet little bunch.
I picked Linaria, a spike of Snapdragons and some Stock thanks to  Megan for the seedlings she gave me earlier in the year. 
I added some May flower, Broccoli and Parsnip leaves for some greenery and contrast......

Hopefully it won't be long before I'm picking bunches of flowers to bring inside...... 

Once every 3 months as part of the vegie swap the pizza oven is fired up. People can take along what ever they like to cook in it, from roasts to muffins, pizzas and everything in between.

Somehow, I think the oven was a little on the warm side when the door caught on fire!!
Luckily a CFA volunteer was on hand.....

Lauren is actually laughing NOT screaming!!

I happen to love rusty, dilapidated, deserted old buildings.
One's with a bit of history and character about them.

This dairy is just down the road from where I live.  
I love the patch work look of the corrugated iron......I wanted to photograph it with the trees in full blossom and Tuesday was the most perfect day for doing just that.
There are a few more old sheds around the district.....
 I think I know what I might be doing when this windy, chilly weather disappears!!

I hope you are all enjoying the beauty a new season brings wherever you are.
Thanks for dropping by and all the lovely comments on my last post.

Hope you've had a great week,

Claire x

Saturday, September 14, 2013

This, That and Something Else...........

Spring has arrived in all her glory as she is want to do.....
She has beguiled me with her beauty and turned my head.

When I returned from Canada I created a corner under my 'new' birdbath.
I placed a couple of pots with bulbs in them and waited for the explosion of colour and scent.
I certainly wasn't disappointed.

The mini Daffodils bloomed first and I was happy to discover they actually had a perfume.....somewhat citrus like.
Then the Hyacinths put in an appearance and their perfume is one of my favourites.
The rather late planted Tulips are yet to flower but they will bring the curtain down in a blaze of glory.

I removed all the grass/weeds and am not sure whether I will put some plants into the ground or maybe have a seasonal display of flowers in pots.
 I'm thinking 3 or 4 different varieties of Lavender might make a nice Summer display.
Given my bad habit of forgetting to water pots, I'm a little apprehensive......what do you think?

The Crabapples on the bank above the birdbath are dressed in their finest and are now a foaming sea of pinks and green.

Someone must've been spring cleaning as I spotted this tin at our local op shop last week......
There's chickens, guinea fowl, ducks and mmm, geese I think  around the side.
It's an Emma Bridgewater product, I was very happy to purchase it for 50cents.
Perfect for my button collection, the best thing being, there's room for lots more buttons, yippee.......

I've also been busy stitching and trying my hand at different things.
I recently discovered the work of Linda Miller and wanted to try something similar.
It was a lot fun, but I think I would need to have shares in a thread factory as you certainly go through the stuff.

Spring has also inspired some bunting....surprise, surprise.
I loved putting this together and the polka dot bias binding which I had purchased some time ago, was the perfect choice.....

Daffodils, birds nest with eggs, 
"Spring would not be Spring without bird songs"
 Frances M Chapman
Violets, Blossom, A bird and Bluebells

Hanging on the Manchurian Pear.

I fancy making some Autumn/Woodland themed bunting.
I'm thinking, toadstools, oak leaves and acorns, a Badger, a hedgehog.....something along those lines.

I also made some more brooches,
They're a fun project, when I need to restart my crafting mojo. 

Out in the garden everything is starting to take off....including the weeds!!
The bees love Borage....

 Manchurian Pear blossom

Grape Hyacinth

Prunus Elvins on the right and Loropetalum (Fringe Flower) on the left.
Two different pinks, both stunning.

Guess what gourmet delight I was looking forward to when we arrived home from Canada?

Hot buttered toast and a cuppa made with tea leaves in a tea pot.
"Just perfick....."

Life has resumed it's routine since we arrived home.
I've been busy in the garden, trying to keep on top of the weeding. 
I haven't had another market stall yet, not sure if I will.
I'll just play it by ear and see what happens.
Second day of Spring, I discovered a brown snake near the house.
I wasn't happy to see it.....but a good reminder to be on the lookout and to trim any long grass.
The weather warmed up quite quickly and it was t shirts for a couple of weeks and I didn't need to light the wood heater in the evenings.
 I wasn't impressed as I love Winter and the cooler 
 But we had a cool change last week, so I was happy to cosy up by the heater for a few more nights.

The chooks have started laying but sadly Mr. Whiskers paid my small flock a visit....the first time in 11 years of having chickens. 
He killed my rooster and a beautiful Barnevelder.

This happened the evening after we returned home.
I was horrified, but glad it wasn't while friends were looking after our animals, that would've been too much......

So life goes on and I now have a new rooster who is settling in well with his little flock.

Well, that's what's happening here.
I hope I haven't put you all to sleep, I will try and post every week, so they are not so long winded!!

I hope you are all well.
 Sorry but I have missed replying to some comments on the last couple of posts, but thankyou for visiting. I read and appreciate everyone of them.  
Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.......

Take care,

Claire X