Friday, 29 January 2010

All Grown Up..............

..................you've all listened and watched while I've extolled the virtues of my wonderfully talented and beautiful grandchildren, so I figured that you would humour me once more when I tell you that I saw this photo this morning and had a little cry!!!
Today is Caitlin's first day of High School and doesn't she look grown up?
Go Caitlin! Have a great day, love you this much.........................................................................!!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Bath Time for some Australian babies...........


Right outside our bedroom we have a small fish pond with a little fountain in it. It's underneath a huge curly willow tree so we have birds coming down to bathe and drink all the time. It's in the shade and on a hot day it's lovely for man and bird to sit and listen to the splash of the water.



Yesterday morning there were around 12 young Rosella's in and around the pond for an hour or so.


My apologies for the quality of the photo's, they were taken through the fly screen on the window of our bedroom, so hence the fuzzy appearance. I was only about two metres away though so was able to take some reasonable close ups.

All these birds are this seasons fledglings, their feathers are still mostly green but by next summer they will have their trademark 'crimson' feathers.
For nearly an hour it was a watery day care centre for young parrots.................

......................this little guy spent 20 minutes on this rock washing and splashing around.



.................bathing with a friend...........


....................look at me, look at me.............



.............will I or won't I............?????



I felt very priviliged to be able to stand at my window and watch and record these Australian beauties at play on a perfect Australia Day morning...................

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Happy Australia Day..................

My contribution for todays b.b.q...............................

...............very big lamingtons...............

Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

My Bee Balm month..........

You know that I belong to an online quilting bee 'The Bee Balm', well February is my month for everyone to make a block for my quilt.......Yay!!!!!!!!!!
I've had lots of time to work out what I wanted everyone to do for my block as I'm the 6th month, half way through.
This gorgeous chocolate brown and white fabric is my background and this is what I wrote on my post yesterday.....................
"This chocolate and white is the background fabric and that's all I'm sending, the rest is your choice..............? I'm making a 16" block with applique on it, using probably the fabrics below, mainly aqua, pinks, some blue and some green.
You can use whatever you like and put the block together however you like!!!
I'd like a finished size of 16", so 16 and a half I guess OR anything divisable to make that size! For example, 4 X 8" blocks or two panels of 8"X 16".........does that make sense??
I don't mind as long as I can fit them all together later. Your choice of piecing or applique, hand or machine stitched, stars, logs, flowers!! I just want something that you would make for yourself, you know, something that's you - not me! I'm hoping that the background will pull it all together later, what do you think? Am I mad? No, don't answer that it's rhetorical! Really it is!"
Well, I posted all the envelopes then went home to start my block, I had a fair idea of what I was going to do, but I was really making it up as I went along. Just as well it was free and easy, I discovered that I had cut all the fabric wrong............I'd cut the pieces at 13" x 22" instead of 17" x 22"! After I had asked everyone to give me a 16" square! That would still be fine for those that were going to do a pieced block, but anyone who wanted to applique would have to piece the block together first.

I decided that as I had sent that size to everyone else then I should use that size too! I cut the fabric down to 16 1/2" x 12 1/2" then cut some 2 1/2" blocks from the off cut. Remember way back last year, about November I think, I bought the sample boxes from Moda. This sample of 'Frolic' by Sandy Gervais looked like great colours to go with the brown.


I made a chequer board border for the side of the block and ended up with my 16 1/2" square that I wanted in the first place.

Some raw edge applique...................



............and here's my block!! I love the way it's turned out, the colours work really well together, very summery. Now I wonder what everyone else will do? I can't wait to see all the other blocks that will go into my 'international' quilt.





Thursday, 14 January 2010

In the Genes...........

..........I'm reasonable sure that it must be genetic, this desire to create something using fabric and thread............
My sewing room was overtaken this week by a very enthusiastic visitor! Caitlin (granddaughter #2) spent the week here as she trys to do most school holidays. The beginning of the week was so hot that we couldn't do very much at all so she decided that a bit of practice with the sewing machine was the way to go. We all know that it's no good trying to practice on something that we don't have any enthusiasm for, so we chose to make a cushion for her bed. I had a small piece of fabric that was left over from her bedroom curtains (the black Ikea fabric) so she decided that was going to be it!!
She did a pretty good job and as you can most probably tell by the look on her face, really enjoyed herself!! She also made herself two pouch purses but I didn't get photo's of those.
I do have clever grandchildren you know!!!!
She sustained her creative juices with liberal amounts of treats.....................
..............not all as deliciously indulgent as dessert on Tuesday!! I have to tell you that she posted a photo of her Sundae creation on my facebook page with the sole intention of making her brother jealous - it worked too!!

Yesterday we took ourselves off to the shopping centre and had a little retail therapy, with liberal treats of muffins and fast food lunch. I will have to get serious with the Wii fit next week!!!!!!!





So as to the genetic statement..............




Caitlin - learning to sew
Her Mum - learnt to sew at about the same age
Me - I've always sewed something as long as I can remember
My Mum - has always sewed
My maternal grandfather - was the sewer in the family, I still have a crib that he made for me when I was born, stitched from canvas.
My maternal g. grandfather - was a tailor...........
beyond that I don't know, but it sure would be interesting to find out!!



Sunday, 10 January 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot................

.........the temp here at the moment is 43C, we're in a bit of a valley and in the summer it's a heat trap, equally in the winter it's really cold! I'm not complaining mind, I do love the hot weather and I sympathise with all my friends in the Northern Hemisphere. I had an email from my cousins wife in England this morning, they live in a little place called Knott End, not far from Blackpool. It's a port village, across the estuary from Fleetwood and snow isn't a usual thing, certainly not on the ground for so long! They had a white Christmas and it's still snowing! Not quaint anymore! Just cold.

Anyway, only a couple of quilting photo's to show you today, I finally finished another block of the CWBQ, this one took me sooooo long to do, not because it was difficult of course, just because it was put aside in the rush and hurry of Christmas and it was hard to pick up again. I only had one leaf to applique but I just couldn't be bothered with it, it's not my favourite block either so that made it easier to just ignore it for a while.

I also finished this block for the online quilting bee, this is
Elaine's block and she wanted 'Wonky Stars'. It was fun to do and I can see myself making a quilt out of this block in the future. Elaine sent the background fabric and asked everyone to use their stash for the stars, how colourful is it going to be??


Some more shots from my garden, I took these yesterday. How gorgeous is this Calla, it looks as if it's lit from inside

Doesn't the pollen look like corn kernels?
Lily Pilly flowers, tiny little pearls that burst open to reveal little tendrils to attract the bees......
The 'Pierre de Ronsard' climbing up to meet the bluer than blue Australian summer sky.........


..........pretty little Fuschia hiding with some miniature white Agapanthus under the trees where it's shady and cool..........

.........I don't know what this rose is called, I just love the way it's hugging the side of the old fountain that we use as a bird bath in the rose garden................

.......tall red Hollyhocks at the side of the verandah, I can see them now through my window, the sun shining through the flowers making them almost luminescent............

.....and finally, some pretty pink Hydrangea, starting to fade to that gorgeous soft green that will stay now until autumn....

.............the sunflowers should be out in a week or two (thanks Julie) and the Day Lillies should be back in flower soon too. I love our garden at this point in summer, it's still green and lush. Especially this year as we had a decent amount of moisture in late spring, before the intense, unrelenting heat of summer sears it all brown and withered.............then it all comes back with the first autumn rains, sigh! Isn't mother nature wonderful............

Friday, 8 January 2010

ACE............

...........or Australian Centenary Event.
Eden (in pink hat) is our third granddaughter and lives in Western Australia, she's a girl guide and was lucky enough to be able to travel with about 200 other girl guides from her state to Victoria to attend the ACE Jamboree. There are 2,500 girl guides from around Australia and the world attending. Wednesday was friend and family day. So being that I hadn't seen her for a while, Caitlin and I took ourselves off and spent the day doing guide things!!
The more activities that you did, the more stamps you gathered, so they did them all. We walked and walked, went from one activity to the next. Looked at displays from overseas girl guides, looked at displays about how to go green for the environment, how guides camped back in the 'old' days of the '60s, displays of uniforms from the 1930's to present day and the future new uniforms for later this year. We did it all!! It was a fabulous day and leaving her behind with her tribe (sub-unit) in the midst of 2,500 other girls was hard and emotional. But she is having a ball, doing things that she will remember for the rest of her life, learning things that will stand her in good stead for the rest of her life and she's only 10!!! Caitlin and I were priviliged to be able to share a small part of her week.
Love you Edie, you make me proud.
XXXXXXX

Monday, 4 January 2010

New Beginnings.................

......I've never been fond of new year resolutions, they always seem to me to be rash decisions. You know the ones? Promises made at the end of a long year - to be better, slimmer, kinder, happier, more tolerant. To eat healthier, to spend more time with family, to do this, finish that, start something wonderful!!!! But then again I haven't celebrated new year since I was twenty something and single and trust me, that's an awful long time ago! Speaking of which, this year is rather significant for me I guess. This is the year that the calendar tells me I will turn 60!! I'd like to think that it's just another year, somewhat the same as last year and not a lot different to next year, but it's not really is it? Someone in the supermarket last week called me 'dear'!!! Now I like to think that I'm pretty good for an old tart, I'm not hugely vain, I'm quite happy to not wear loads of make up. Yes I dye my hair but in another life I was a hairdresser, so it's a habit of long standing to do 'something' to my hair!! The thing in the supermarket was because I slipped on a lettuce leaf on the floor, I didn't go down, just lost my footing for a second. A woman standing just a short distance away grabbed my arm and said "are you alright dear?". Now I admit, she could have just been a very caring person, well she was really, it was just the whole demeanor. She obviously thought that I merited the whole 'dear' thing (and a pat on the arm!!). She was I suppose in her 30s, perhaps mid 30s and yes, I suppose she was about half my age, but come on, I'm not in my dotage - yet!!
Anyway, all this rambling on isn't getting me where I think I should be!
Being as I don't do resolutions, new year of otherwise - this isn't one...........but I have decided that I do need to lose a wee bit of weight! So I bought this on Saturday.......................

....................being that we live in a rural area and even picking up the mail involves starting the car, I decided that a gym membership just wasn't going to work. Walking is not an easy task around here either - no footpaths. Since I had my hip replaced three years ago, walking on uneven ground is a bit off putting, so at home was the only way to go. Plus no one can see how ridiculous I look in gym wear ( I did tell you I wasn't vain didn't I?). So, I have to tell you that I ache in places I didn't know I had!!!! Seriously, do you know how addictive Wii tennis is?????????? LOL! Oh yes, and I'd forgotten how much fun it is to use a hula hoop, well, except there isn't really a hoop is there? Just me on a balance board, wiggling my hips and hoping they stay in place................I love it!!!!! I'm having so much fun I might even crack open the Mario game that came with it ;o)

So now that you've all had a laugh at the thought of me wiggling my hips around the lounge room on to some serious stuff...............


......this is the December block for the online quilting bee I belong to, how fabulous is this one going to be? Twelve blocks like this one will look so bright and cheerful, I haven't done foundation piecing before but this has put thoughts of stash busting on the agenda - maybe!

Here's some more of the things I made before Christmas............

I made this bag for Sarah (youngest daughter) to carry to and from Uni this year, she's a very vibrant soul and this will make an excellent carry all for her...........
............I lined it with this funky dog bone fabric and put interfacing between the crochet outside and the lining, to give it some extra strength. I got the pattern from here. This lady is amazing with a crochet hook and generously shares her patterns on her blog.

The pattern and tutorial for this pencil roll is from You Go Girl and is incredibly easy to make.

Our youngest grandson is starting school in Perth this month so now he can take a bit of his nana with him everyday. Oh yes, he loves it and won't let his sisters touch it!!!!
They're not fussed though because all the girls got these as part of their Christmas gifts.......

...........funky street satchels from a pattern by Moonshine Designs. The two eldest girls got the 'Birds from Norway' fabric, Miss 10 got the pink and green and Miss 8's is the lavender princess fabric.

I have one more to make of these. Sarah wants one to carry her laptop to and from Uni, as it crosses over your chest (doesn't hang off one shoulder) it's a good distribution of weight for carrying. It's the easiest pattern to make and the girls, especially the 12yr-olds, just adore them. That's a winner then!!!
Now it's time to get on with other things that were left behind in the pre Christmas frenzy, back to the 'bride' and a start on Phebe, I would really like to make a quilt for our bed this year (ha, as if) and February is my month in the online bee. I've been thinking of something different for that and I've only got a couple of weeks to set that in motion. Oh yes, and I've joined a BOM, did I tell you that already? It's the Sue Spargo one, mmmm, can't wait for that to start. I'm really excited about doing some applique with wool and other fabrics and her designs are amazing. Sounds like I'll be busy hey? No time to get old this year then...................................

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