Thursday, January 31, 2013

One Down, Eleven To Go........

Here we are about to fall off the edge of January into February....
How has the first month of 2013 been?
Are you keeping up with your resolutions and goals?
I've had mixed success, but that's about par for the course.
Things are going well so far and my little sewing machine has been whirring away again this week and I've been able to tick some things off my 'to do' list.......
A friend asked me to make her one of those bags in which to store recycled plastic bags.... a simple project
She likes bright and colourful and doesn't want to store it in a drawer.
So a 50cent tee shirt from the op shop has been re purposed.

European folk art influenced. 
I love the designs and bright colours......something a little bit different

I've also had a bit of fun playing.....
A Julie Arkell inspired watch added to  some inspiration from Trudy over at Playing In The Attic.....
After I had started stitching the numbers I realised they were on an angle....I figured it adds to the quirkiness of it!!

We've been enjoying some cooler temps this week which has been lovely, but a good drop of rain is needed to give the garden a satisfying drink.....

Hard to imagine that there are floods up in Queensland when we have bush fires down here in Victoria........

I'm just managing to keep the garden going, there's not much flowering, but the Pineapple Lily/Eucomis is opening up beautifully.

......and of course the Zinnias are creating a splash of colour.
They are hardy plants.....excuse my foot there in the picture.

My favourite colour this season... 

I couldn't resist putting some on a teacosy.....

I've working on the last few orders from 2012.....yes, I am a bit behind but I am getting there slowly.
I aim to clear the decks which will then allow me to work on all those ideas which keep popping into my head.
Plus I still have to organise my sewing room... ahem!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to the 

This blogging world is very supportive and it's been great to see the tally growing daily......

If you would like to contribute or share this on your blog or Facebook site please click on the link to find out more.

Thank you all for caring,

Big hugs to you all,

Claire X

Friday, January 25, 2013

About Flowers, Feathers, Food and Friends......

Hello girls how are you all, I hope you've had a good week and are looking forward to a well deserved rest over the weekend.

I've been a little quiet on the blog front this week, not for lack of things to show you but sad news early in the week left me with a heavy heart......more of that later.

I have been busy, stitching and making more Patchy Daisy designs for tea cosies and pincushions.
I love playing with the fabrics to get it just right, but it certainly takes quite a bit of time....

A successful trip to the op shop on Wednesday where I found 2 woollen blankets...yippee

Love the contrast of red and white.

Since taking this pic I have added a ladybird to the area on the I'm happy...

Remember the blue banded native bee that visited my garden recently?
Here it is on a pincushion....just waiting to be made up.

The last tea cosy design....seed heads....
I couldn't resist putting the turquoise and purple together.
A little more subdued than the daisies but I love it just as much.

Now I have to crack on and finish them off.
I have to admit I'm a bit naughty as I love playing with the design, that's the fun part, but putting the layers together and stitching them, that's not quite as much fun.....

I've also been working on some more birdy wall hangings.
Bright colours and an appropriate saying.

'My favourite weather is bird chirping weather.....'
Terri Guillemets

It's for sale on my Facebook site, just click on the badge at the top of this page.......

There have been lots of picturesque snowy photos on blogs recently along with wonderful Red Robin paintings etc. on Facebook, so I just couldn't help myself.
 You know how much I love red Robins....
It will be another wall hanging when finished.

'O, wind, if Winter comes can Spring be far behind'
Percy Bysse Shelley

More bright colours, but not fabric this time....

This is Tanya's beetroot and carrot salad in the making...
 recipe over here.

I wasn't sure if hubby and No.1 would enjoy it, but they certainly did.
Hubby is a confirmed beetroot hater BUT he asked me if I would make some up so he could use it in his lunch during the week!!
I think that says it all......
I would make it for the colour combo alone....


More colour inspiration from the garden...Zinnias.
They haven't been as prolific this year....I let them self seed and they came up all over the place. In the gravel paths and outside the garden bed and a few sprinkled around in the garden bed. I had to pull quite a few up as they grew in inappropriate places.
 They are blooming beautifully, but I won't be picking lots of bunches to bring inside or give away to friends, but I am enjoying them anyway.

Back to the sad news I mentioned, please take a minute to read the following.....

What would you do if the person you loved and relied on most in all the world suddenly died?
Most of us would turn to our support systems -- parents, siblings, church groups, fraternal organizations.  But what if you didn't have those sources of support?  Then, I think, you would turn to your friends.
Gretel Parker is a talented artist, illustrator and artisan needlefelter who lives in the county of Shropshire in the United Kingdom.  She's also my friend.  Perhaps she's your friend too.  And right now she needs some financial support.
On 21 January, Andy Macauley -- Gretel's sweetheart and life partner of 21 years -- died.  The two had just moved to Shropshire and had bought their first house together, a place they christened "Bodge Cottage." Andy died without a will, and it will likely take many months for lawyers to determine what, if anything, is left for his sweetheart.  Meanwhile, life does go on and there are still bills to be paid -- funeral expenses, mortgage payments, electric bills, trips to the grocery store, and all the other costs of daily life.
Andy's job helped pay for things, but now he is gone and Gretel's situation is financially precarious. Although Andy's family is dear to her, Gretel has no living parents, no siblings, no one from the usual support system to help her get through this.
But she does have us. We can help her.
As mentioned, Gretel is very talented.  She has written and published several books, has been featured in the British craft magazine Mollie Makes, and has held several seminars to teach others the craft of needlefelting.  Her blog, "Middle of Nowhere," is a window into everyday life in rural Britain and has helped her meet and befriend many people around the world.  I have absolute faith that Gretel will get back on her feet when the time is right, and that she will be able to keep Bodge Cottage.  In the short term, she could use some financial assistance.
Any amount you could donate would be welcome -- and if you can't donate, you can still help by spreading the word about the Gretel Parker Project on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.  Tell your friends and family.  Let as many people know as possible.  Please, help us to help Gretel.
Thanks for your time.

You may  know Gretel from her blog Middle of Nowhere, you may have already read this sad news....if you can help whether it's just a couple of dollars or more please do so.
Every little bit helps and at this moment Gretel certainly needs it.
I have made a donation and would really appreciate it if you were able to help as well.
It's very easy using Paypal or a credit card.
Click on the link and then click'll get there.

This blogging world is supportive, encouraging, inspirational and I love being part of it.

Thankyou for visiting and thankyou for your comments ......
Hug those you love and have a good weekend girls,

Claire xx

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happiness for 50 cents.........

Patchy Daisy pincushions have made an appearance.... 
After finishing off my latest tea cosy I was still enjoying playing with a mix of bright fabrics, so whipped up a couple of these to get it out of my system.

Polka dots have also been making an appearance this week......

This morning I headed off bright and early with a couple of friends to go on an op shop adventure.
Three towns, six op shops.....treasures to be discovered!!
I found this little beauty and couldn't resist its charm.

Happiness for 50 cents.......

I might fill it with doilies......or

some of my wool stash......

I did tell hubby I bought it for him to take his lunch to work in, but I don't think he believed me!!

At Red Ramia in Myrtleford I spied these wonderful cotton reels,
the perfect thing for storing some of my trims on.

 Might need a few more  as I have quite a stash of ribbons and trims.....

and there's plenty of room on the shelf for more ...

 Well I finally finished the tea cosy and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

It reminds me of Spring and all the new growth in the garden.
It's for sale on my Face book site, if you wold like to head over there and have a look....

Another bout of hot weather has arrived and it's a big job keeping the garden going......
The birdbaths are topped up every morning and sticks placed in them for the smaller birds and any bees that might need a drink.....

So girls, have you been on any adventures this week, or found something special to make you smile?.....I hope so...

Thanks for visiting and take care,

Claire X

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Creating Aside........ are you all?
I'm sitting here with a cuppa, it's a lovely cool morning which is very refreshing....
I've enjoyed a lovely, grey, overcast weekend and on Sunday, we even had a couple of mls of rain. 
There were blankets on the bed at night and Winter jammies worn, lots of snuggling down and enjoying the coolness.

You gals in the Northern hemisphere will probably think I'm bonkers, but it's in my genes and I can't do anything about it!!

I was tempted to light the wood stove and start cooking soup but I resisted the urge...

Moving on to other things, I picked up this sweet little plate in Beechworth at a bricabrac shop between Christmas and the New year

What a lovely cottage garden, I couldn't resist it. 

It's Queen Anne china and the design is Tudor Cottage.
 Friends from Daylesford were  visiting and Deb bought another little plate at the same shop.
 A reminder of our day out together......

Cooler weather this week has meant certain household chores could be carried out yesterday.


Obviously not my favourite job, but when they're done it's so satisfying.
Armed with brooms, brushes, buckets, cloths and squeegy thingy's I roped No. 1 in to help.
 He swept and wiped over screens while I did the windows.

 This is the view from one of my bedroom windows..... a little on the brown side at the moment, but none the less interesting.

No. 1 was happy to help as long as we could have a coffee in town when we were done........was I going to say no?

Everyone needs a carrot dangling in front of them at some stage!!

I think we deserved it, but next time I will do the windows in Spring......could someone please remind me around September!!

We've had some rather unwelcome visitors to our orchard this past week and while they are  pretty to look at they are terribly destructive......
I don't mind sharing fruit as we have more than we can possibly eat, but when they take a few bites from one piece of fruit and then move onto another I do get rather annoyed.

Sprung with a beak full of apple, grrr!!

This is just a small part of the mess they have made and they can be in the orchard well before we are up and about......

This little fella  has been attacking the nectarines.
You can see we have netting over the top of the orchard which keeps the bigger birds out, but these little ones can fit through the holes in the wire fence!!
Much as I love birds there are limits......

A visitor of a different kind, spotted last evening.....
This bee is actually a blue banded bee, not quite showing up the colour in the pic......
It was lovely to look at and googling it, I have found out it is one of many native bees in Australia.
First time I have seen it in my garden.......

The bird bath I  purchased recently and have been moving around the garden to find the best spot for it, has been used....
not quite for it's intended purpose but......

Mrs Kafups, has discovered another spot for a cool drink.....
either that or she is hatching a cunning plan.
I have spied a Magpie using it, but still think it's not quite  in the right spot......

This morning I'm finishing off this tea cosy. 
Enjoying working with the bright colours.
On the other side I have sewn another flower and the saying is

"Let us dance in the sun wearing wild flowers in our hair"
Susan Polis Schutz

I will have it for sale over on my Facebook site in a day or so.
If you are interested please click on the Facebook badge at the top of my blog......

✿ My Spring tea cosy is finished and now on my Facebook site ready for sale.......head over there if you are interested, I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.✿ 

I was planning to open an Etsy shop and may still do so but the price of postage is quite high for some items.

A $10.00 pincushion weighing 53gms would cost $17.50 in postage to the UK!!!!
I double checked this at another P.O. and it was correct info....

So, I am just rethinking my plans....the only way around this would be to post it without the 'filling' costing approx $7.00 and for the buyer to 'stuff and stitch' it up......not quite what I had in mind.....
Any thoughts you may have on the subject please feel free to share them.

Well I better get on and finish tidying up the sewing room. It was on my list of things to do while I was having a break from markets.........

Hope you are all well and thanks for coming over for a visit.
Have a great week and take care.....

Claire X

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

You're Surrounded

I'm surrounding myself with creativity this week,thanks to a couple of parcels that found their way to my letter box.

One parcel contained a CD I won over at Mezz Makes Stuff.
Mezz Coleman is a singer, songwriter extraordinaire.
So while I ripped and stitched and sewed today  I listened to some wonderful tunes......

 Another little birdy stitchery with a quote from
 Vincent van Gogh.

"If you truly love nature you will find beauty everywhere"

Finished and ready to hang....

It's for sale over on my Facebook page.
Just click on the button on the side bar.
Bit tricky to get a good close up
 and not cut out half of the pic!!

Thanks to Julie and Alessandra for their help 
in getting the FB badge happening....

Here's what I found waiting for me when I checked the mail today.
Mezz's CD, a lovely note in 'Granny Chic' card....
(You know the book put out by Tif Fussell aka Dottie Angel and Rachelle Blondel aka Tales of Ted and Agnes....)

Some magnets and sweet little badges Mezz made to advertise her music.
I played the CD through a couple of times....she has the most beautiful voice.
 I'm thinking melted chocolate, sweet, smooth, yummy and you just can't get enough.....
Hope Im not embarrassing you Mezz!!

I loved it and I will be playing it over and over again.
She goes under the Indie/Pop/Jazz genre and she reminds me of Sara Bareillis (American Singer songwriter/pianist)who had a hit back in 2007 with Love Song.
Head over to Mezz's Myspace where you can listen to some wonderful tunes and find out a bit more about her.
You can also visit her blog and see what she's been up to as well.
She certainly is one very creative gal

The other package which ended it's journey from the UK in my letter box, is this wonderful book by Mark Hearld.
I have admired his work for quite some time and so when I saw this book, I knew a copy of it had to come and live in the SBL household.

I'm certainly not disappointed......

I removed the dust jacket to see what, if anything was on the hard cover and surprise, surprise this wonderful image was hidden away.
The cover is more a golden, buttery yellow, the photo has washed it out.
Mark is an artist working with collage,
print, textiles and ceramics and some of you might have seen him  featured in a recent English Country Living.....

The book is divided into different nature related themes
such as Allotments, Farmyard, Winter etc......

There are 188 pages of wonderful pictures and text......
I'm going to be busy reading, perusing, drooling over this book,
(not on it hopefully, hehe)

I should've started this post a couple of hours ago, it's late, past my bedtime and I'm a little weary.
Today has been a good day weather wise, we had a cool change come through after a horrific day yesterday...high winds and temps....a dangerous combination in bushfire season.
I will need a blanket or two tonight to snuggle under.....
Insert happy, smiley face the way where do I get those things from?
Anyway, girls, thanks for popping by to see what I've been up to.
If you're on Facebook head over to my page and say 'hi'....

I hope there's some creativity taking place where you are,

Take care,

Claire X

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hot, Hot, Hot.......I think that says it all!

Hello girls, how are you going with your new year's 
resolutions /goals?
Sticking to them, or is it a waste of time?

I'm keen to get my first pair of knitted socks underway, so when in Albury on Friday, I thought I would drop in to the local wool shop and check out some yarn and patterns etc.

I was keen as mustard, motivated, focused.
 Even drove around the block a couple of times looking for a's busy....holidays.
So when I finally got  to the shop and found it SHUT till 15th? of Jan......
I was a little deflated, I can tell you.
Guess there's not too much call for wool and sock/jumper/beanie patterns in Summer!!
Never mind, I will put that goal on hold for a week or two, but if you have a good sock pattern for a beginner I would love to know about it.
In the mean time, little birds are keeping me happy....

See it's beautiful spotted/polka dot feathers, how sweet is that?
It's a Diamond Firetail, a member of the finch family.....

We've had temps hovering up around the 40+ mark since Thursday, so while I was still in town I bought another bird bath.
I already have 2 terracotta ones which belonged to my mum, but this is mine and I love it.
 Nice and deep and a lovely sea green/blue colour.
I had it in one part of the garden, but I think it was too exposed so this evening I moved it. I want to be able to see it from the great room and watch birds splashing around in it.I'll have to place some sticks in it for the smaller birds to perch on.
Fingers crossed I've got it in the right spot now...... 

We have a Magpie family of 3 who call our yard their home......

They bring their one and only offspring and spend the day here wandering round looking for food.
 It's lovely to watch them and hear them chortling away.
This pic was taken through the window this afternoon, so a little blurry....

Another pic taken yesterday afternoon, I was hiding behind the curtain so as not to scare it off.
Quite amusing to watch, it eventually plonked itself directly into the cats water dish to really cool off......

I found this brochure on Woodland Birds while I was searching through a cupboard on the weekend.......perfect.

A great little reference....think I might be stitching a few of them.....

Not sure if any of them live in my neck of the woods, but I'm keeping an eye out.....

Have I mentioned it's been hot here?
Everything is tinder dry and when the wind springs up, it sends a bit of a shiver through you.....remembering the terrible Ash Wednesday fires.
There have been bad bushfires in Tasmania with a number of homes lost, fortunately no lives have been lost.

I much prefer the cooler weather, but there is a beauty with each season, sometimes you just have to look a little harder....

Thankfully, we have air con and it certainly makes a difference.
A pack of icy, cold Paddle Pops in the freezer also helps you to stay cool......I don't think the boys have found them yet!!

Hubby and No.1 were away over the weekend,so I got to play to my hearts content. Unfortunately, the heat has a rather draining effect despite the air conditioning, so only a couple of ideas were stitched up.
I had fun ripping and tearing then stitching......working on ideas till I get them to a point where I'm happy.

Outside the poor garden is looking very sad.
 Leaves curled and crisp on some plants and buds burnt, but my 
Pineapple Lily/Eucomis is growing nicely.
3 bulbs were given to me by a gardening friend and although appreciated, I didn't have room for them in the shrubbery, so they were put in rather haphazardly.
 Obviously they are tough plants and thriving happily.
I'm keen to see the flower spike shoot up...another reminder of my garden loving mum, who grew these interesting bulbs.

Beautiful blooms of Gertrude Jekyll,which are shaded a little, have survived the heat.....

The Buddleia is once again covered in  beautiful
purple blooms, with their wonderful honey scent.

It was fun stitching up ideas over the weekend but today it's back to sewing for the local gallery......more Little Hoots are needed, so I must get back into production mode....
If I stay on task I might be able to have a little play time later.....hmmm!!

Things are a moving at a slower pace these hot, Summer days.
Poor Tigger in his fur coat, looks for the darkest, coolest spot, which is usually under No.1's bed.
The chooks certainly feel the heat and although there is plenty of cool, clean water to drink, I rarely see them doing so.
I usually take out some bread crusts soaked in water or some lovely cold water melon which they devour with gusto. 
Hopefully, this will help to keep them hydrated in the heat.

Well, here we are 7 days in to 2013, I hope it's going well for you.....
Welcome to my new Followers, thanks for joining me here......

I hope the weather isn't too extreme wherever you are girls  and thanks once again for visiting.

Just want to say, I love reading all your comments and finding out which part of the globe you hail from...
Never ceases to amaze me the blogging connections that are made.
I prefer to reply to all comments via email, but if you are set up as a 'no reply' blogger then I can't contact you. 
Please don't think I am ignoring you.....

Have a great week and thanks for visiting,

Take care,

Claire X