Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Autumn Adventures

'SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness! 
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; 
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,         5
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease,  10
  For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.'

John Keats

A perfect description of Autumn and I am so enjoying it at the moment.

Beautiful, misty mornings, cool evenings, it's time to think about getting cosy and hunkering down against the coming cold weather.
Our wood shed is choc a block, I have put the doona on the bed and filled the freezer with nourishing soups made from home grown vegies.


While it may be heading towards Winter here, my FB news feed and blogs are full of beautiful Spring images from the UK & USA.
Of course it inspires me and comes out in my stitcheries.

A sprinkle of rain and a sunny day, have mushies popping up here and there in our paddocks.

After spending Good Friday out and about, I had to light the wood heater when I got home. 
It had been raining and was quite chilly.
The fire warmed the room, but I felt icy fingers of air sneaking under the door and curling around my ankles.

Action stations.......

I needed a new draught stopper to replace the saggy, old ones which were no longer earning their keep.
 An old, grey blanket was used and then I snipped and stitched Autumn treasures onto it......success.
No more chilly draughts....

I had so much fun making this that I think I need to make 2 more for the other doorways.

Look who I spied feeding in the Zinnia patch this afternoon!!
I quietly high tailed it back to the house to grab my camera and hope that he hadn't flown off.

I stood there for a good 30sec. snapping pics as this Eastern Spinebill flitted from flower to flower.

Isn't he amazing?......

Eastern Rosellas are regular visitors to our property and they enjoy the Silver Birch seed heads in the 'Wild Wood'.

Love seeing them here, I just hope the bird life at our new property is as prolific and diverse.....I'm sure it will be..

Monday week ago I picked up two very special visitors from the local airport.

My nieces Jacquie (Middle) and Shelley (RHS) from the UK made a whirlwind visit to Oz where they visited their dads family in Perth for 10 days and then flew across to Victoria to spend a week with me.

Jacquie was born in Albany, W.A. and has been back to Oz for a 3 month visit in 2002. Shelley was born in the UK and has never been out here, so it was extra special to see them both.

They are such lovely girls, funny, animated, friendly, happy, delightful house guests and yes I am a very biased Aunt.....

Nice to have some female company about for a change!

We chatted and laughed, drank lots of cuppas, went adventuring each day and before we knew it we were back at the airport again.

They are now back in Edinburgh having moved there just before their holiday. So, busy unpacking and setting up their new home.

Friday we packed sandwiches muffins and a thermos and headed to Mt. Beauty for a late picnic lunch, but when we arrived we decided to head up the mountain to Falls Creek resort.

We watched the outside temp.gauge drop as we drove higher.
We all had a guess as to what the temp. would be at the summit.....7 deg. I won!!

I had the pleasure of making the cuppas (teapot, tea leaves hot water, etc.) out side the car in the icy wind and rain!!
No complaints, I love a car picnic when it's rainy out and you're inside .......happy childhood memories.

We stopped in at Bogong Village on the way back down.
The water level was pretty low in the lake, so we could walk across to the island.
It reminded me of something out of the Hobbit or
 Lord of the Rings.

Beautiful, Autumn colours.....

We lunched at the Milawa Cheese Factory one day.....
Beautiful food and I just love this 'curtain' of foliage.
How gorgeous is this colour?

While the girls were here, I had my sewing machine and fabric etc. packed away......we needed to use the dining table!!
I did have with drawal symptoms, but had my crocheted granny square blanket to work on.......
By Easter Friday, some embroidery thread and snippets of fabric had found their way onto the coffee table and a little stitchery was taking place.
It's now finished and I so enjoyed a change of stitching pace.

It's been such a busy time with Easter falling while the girls were here.
There were two dinner nights with friends and family and we've just finished eating the leftovers!!
My 2 sisters who both live interstate made the trip down so it was a great family get together.

I showed the girls my little corner of the globe and introduced them to the joy of breakfast and coffee in town on a Saturday morning and the fun of doing the Age newspaper quizz with 'the gang'

They cuddled baby kangaroos and got up close to wombats and wallabies at our local wildlife refuge.

We headed to Bright last Saturday and fought our way through crowds at the markets and bumped into cousins that couldn't make it to lunch.

The last night they were here, we wrapped ourselves up in warm jackets, headed outside and lay down on the driveway to gaze at the stars.
They couldn't get over how many stars they could see.
 They were absolutely gobsmacked and I have to say the stars put on a great show for them.

It's been a very special time, who knows when I will see them again, but Jacquie has a spare bedroom in her flat, so if you don't see another blog post for a couple of months don't be surprised if I suddenly post pics from Scotland!

Righto, the sewing machine is back in it's rightful place....the dining table and I've got lots of ideas that need stitching, so catch ya later.

Claire Xx

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Woohoo it's Festival time again......

Welcome to April......Autumn....cooler days and even cooler evenings.
We've had lovely rain these past 2 weeks and the warmish days have seen mushrooms popping up in the paddock.
I cooked some up with garlic, butter and parsley this evening, absolutely delicious.

The respite from the heat and dryness of Summer has been refreshing. The garden has revived somewhat, the clover is shooting and the surrounding hills are covered in green.

The vegie garden is putting forth the last of it's produce.
 I'm cooking up pots of tomatoes, making veggie soup and enjoying the last of the pears and apples.....

There's still some stitching going on and I've enjoyed making some cards.
 Small projects.

Plus a little hanging, inspired by lots of lovely Spring pics I've seen on UK blogs...... 

Up at the new block, trees around the dam are colouring up beautifully.
 Love the contrast between the greenery, the dry grass and the Autumn colour.
The previous owner had a wonderful plan and started planting English trees when he purchased it 12+ years ago.
We now get to enjoy the beauty of his foresight. 

Old gate at the cattle the splash of green.

There's a fair bit of work to do fixing fences etc. but they'll hold up for a little longer.
We're going to be busy for a while

Hubby has been busy weeding the overgrown garden beds.
It's been a time consuming chore, but he's making headway and the recent rain will definitely make the rest of the job alot easier.

The cockies have been enjoying, the berries in the Chinese Pistachio tree.
 They've eaten the berries and nipped off the sprigs dropping them on the ground.
They can be quite destructive and noisy birds, but I do love seeing them take flight with a stormy sky behind them.

Well 2 weeks have passed since our Folk Festival.
This was the main street on the Thursday before it all kicked off.
Fairly quiet, not too many people around and lovely weather.

Come Friday along with the visitors, the storm clouds rolled in to town.

We had it all, heavy downpours, wind, thunder, lightning, blackout and even a fire started by a lightning strike just down the road.

But the marquee went up, people pitched their tents at the camping ground and the sun showed itself in time for the opening parade.

Richard enjoys playing for a home crowd, but does find it a bit nerve wracking.
It was great to hear the new songs he'd been working on.

Love the 'guitar face'.....

This year we had the gorgeous Mezz Coleman (on the right) from the blog
 Mezz Makes Stuff playing at the festival.
I have been enjoying her CD since I won it in a giveaway she had some time ago.
It was so nice to see her actually perform.
She's one talented gal with such a beautiful voice, lovely personality, generous spirit and check out those gorgeous red sandals.......op shopped of course.
Also joining her over the weekend was Taz her SIL who blogs over at Butter and Buntings
. Taz is wearing a thrifted vintage tablecloth' skirt she made.....gotta love a pair of red sandals as well.

 I'm holding the 1st copy of the great,little magazine they produce called 

Mezz was also kind enough to run a ukulele workshop for the festival......her first ever workshop and if she was at all nervous she didn't show it.
 Everyone had a great time at it and got the opportunity to perform with her at her last gig.

Thanks so much Mezz and Taz and the gang ( Byron, Pete and the super cute Percy) for coming up to Yack for the weekend.
It was great to meet not one but two bloggers and share my little piece of paradise with them........
I hope you'll come back and play again Mezz.....

The weekend was a huge success, our biggest festival in the 17 years it's been running.
It takes alot of time and effort to put these events together and it's all done by volunteers.
A great effort for such a small community......

So now that it's behind us, what's been happening?

Well, we've had rain and it's been lovely.
Beautiful, gentle soaking rain.
Autumn is really starting to put on a show for us, I love it.
I have my 2 nieces from the UK coming to stay in a week or so.
It's going to be alot of fun, there'll be family dinners, day trips here and there and lots of laughter. 
They're only here for a week, but it will be a rather busy week, with Easter in there as well.
There won't be much stitching done, might have to pull out my granny square blanket and finish it off to get my creative fix.

So what's been happening in your neck of the woods?
I would love to hear about them?

Thanks so much for popping by to say 'hi'.....
It's always great to hear from you.

Take care,

Claire Xx