Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Hello girls, are you still talking to me? 
I certainly hope so........

I'm still here doing what I love doing, just not blogging about it as much.

I'd like to think that I would put up a weekly post, but I'm afraid that's probably not going to happen.
Facebook has won me, it's quick......post a pic, a few lines and there you go....done.
I know a few of you play over there, so come visit and say 'hi'.

This little, happy string of bunting is now hanging in my sewing room.I whipped it up on the weekend, it's thready and teeny, tiny and there's polka dots......♥♥

For much of the past year I've been interested in eco dyeing or printing and I finally gave it a whirl this week.
I gathered some Eucalyptus leaves and garden flowers and made a 'sandwich' between layers of watercolour paper and then steamed the bundles.
The Eucalypt leaves left a very strong print the garden flowers barely made an impact, but it's all experimental at the moment.
It's quite alot of fun wondering what results you'll get.
Eventually I want to try this on fabric and potentially eco print on clothing.
If you google 'eco print images' you'll see some amazing photos.

The Magpie family which have made our house yard  part of their territory continue to visit daily and entertain me with their antics.
The birdbath has been a popular spot in the recent heat wave.
We're due another hot week, so I'll have to keep an eye on the three birdbaths dotted around the garden and top them up each evening.

January has been an extremely dry month, but thankfully we got some rain last Friday..... a bit hard to see it in the pic.
This young maggie was enjoying a change of weather and not at all perturbed by the rain. The weekend was lovely and cool and I enjoyed sleeping under a blanket for a change!!

Christmas day is pretty much no great event in our household, at least. The 'reason for the season' is very important to us just not all the hoo haa and consumerism that goes with it.
So we have a no fuss, no stress, no debt, but a very relaxing day.
We breakfasted late and then finally did what we've been saying we'd do for years.
 "Have a ham sandwich, down by the river for lunch"
So at 3pm we found a lovely, quiet spot, I had packed a picnic basket, tray table, chairs and fly spray which was an essential.
It was so peaceful and relaxing and we had the yummiest ham sandwich followed by........

Trifle in a glass......it's easy peasy and can make individual serves which means no tempting leftovers.
 Hands up all those who overate at Christmas time!!

This little beauty has crushed Oreos for the base, sliced strawberries with a splash of Balsamic Vinegar ( if you've never tried it, it's wonderful) Strawberry jelly, cream and a dusting of chocolate.

Then a cuppa to finish off a lovely lunch.

Guess where we'll be having Christmas lunch next year?
Maybe we'll find a different spot further up the river for a change.

And two days after Christmas guess what appeared in the supermarkets?

Greedy supermarkets, out for every dollar they can get.
Easter eggs were out as well.

 No wonder the year flies by...... no sooner is the Christmas dinner table cleared than they're pushing Easter on us.

So the creative journey continues here. I won't bore you with all the things I've been working on but I particularly liked this stitchery.
Some different elements in it for me. 
It was fun putting it together and seeing how it turned out.

It's quite surprising how long it can take to make. 

Here's a little insight into what's involved.....

First the design, then finding and choosing fabrics, cutting out all the individual pieces. Placing them, rearranging, changing, deciding if it looks right or not. By this time quite a few hours have passed by.......I find it's not a process I can rush through.
Once you have everything sorted just the way you like it, it's time to start stitching.

Oops, too late, it's time to tidy up and start thinking about doing a couple of jobs before dinner.
Next day with fresh eyes you start stitching, oops forgot to find a saying to stitch on it.
Ok, time for a coffee and find the perfect saying an hour goes by. Found the saying, happy, happy, keep stitching.....darn the bobbin's run out.
 Wind thread onto a couple of bobbins, keep stitching.
 Feeling peckish, so have lunch.
Back to it, several changes of colour, stitching, snipping,
 looking, assessing.

Well, I think you get the picture, hehe.......

But I'll keep making them as I do enjoy it.

One thing I have achieved this Summer is to grow a bed full of Hollyhocks.
They self seeded last season and popped up here there and everywhere.
I have dark pink doubles, pale pink singles and white singles.
I love them all and some of them are at least 2 metres high.
The heat we've been getting has burnt some of the buds and the rain knocked them about a bit, but they make me smile and I love them.
In the rest of the garden the Tomatoes are fruiting nicely and we are getting loads of Cherry toms and Romas. The zucchinis are growing nicely and the beans are doing well too.
The pumpkins have been very slow in getting going, so I doubt we'll get anything from them before Autumn and the Capsicums are slow as always, but it's so nice to pick fresh veg from your own garden.
The self sown Zinnias are flowering away, but I don't have as big a crop as last year, but there are enough to cut and bring some inside.

And finally I asked Tigger to pose for me.
 I needed to draw a cat for the stitchery and this is what he gave me!!

There's one in every household, cheeky thing.

Well, thanks for popping by to visit.
I hope the year is going well for you.......

I hope it won't be so long until my next post, but in the meantime you know where to find me!

Take care,

Claire Xx