Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Last day of Winter...

Well, officially, on the calendar it's the last day of winter today. But I keep waiting for the sting in winters tail, I can't believe we're going to creep into spring with mild days just yet..? 








I spied this little baby in the garden the other day...




...it was so tiny that I was looking for its mama, but no, out in the big world all on it's own. Would you look at those tiny ears, so cute....!


Good job the girls didn't see it, they would have been so excited, running around in circles, chasing their tails barking their little heads off. Poor little rabbit would have had a heart attack. 


Good job The Railway Man didn't see it either, they eat his baby trees and shrubs..!!






Nothing much in the way of sewing going on around here this week, I've been out taking photos and playing with Photoshop again..


I'm getting in some practise, there's a rumour going around that I might be teaching it (Photoshop) next term, so I'd better be sure I know what I'm doing...


Besides, I need to do my spring header! I'm tired of the snowy one up there, didn't get any snow this year again and I find that I'm ridiculously disappointed. After all the whinging I did about the rain, wind and cold, you'd think I'd be happy? Nope, no pleasing this woman lately...















I went for a walk yesterday, around Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, it's so good to see it full of water again after years of being dry in the drought. The birdlife is abundant again and there were a huge amount of young swans on the water. 
Lots of gulls too, always plenty of those around.





























I finally seem to be getting the hang of this new layout, I like being able to place my photos with words next to them...? Is it too confusing do you think?
Takes me a huge amount of time though...great time waster my computer, no wonder there's no sewing getting done...!!


Ok, time to make the dinner, if you'd like to check out the rest of the shots I took yesterday, they're on my flickr page here...


C Ya round like a fruit loop.... (kids used to say that all the time............when they were kids that is  :o)

Hmm, it's so quiet here I can here the girls snoring in the lounge room, had haircuts and blow waves yesterday so they're all sweet smelling again, well, for 5 minutes I suspect..
XXX





Saturday, 27 August 2011

Life....

It's been a strange week this week! I've had things on my mind,   things to sort out in my head,   things to do,   places to be,   people to visit,   decisions to make...  
Have you ever been so sure that something is so much the right thing to do, that you worry that it won't happen..??  Do you ever wonder what made you take a certain road in life? One decision that changes your path? Do you believe in fate? 
These are quite rhetorical questions, I'm not expecting you to bare your soul, to analyse your life or mine for that matter. More a putting down of thoughts, a bit like speaking things out loud I guess! I often find myself speaking my thoughts out loud, especially when I have to make a decision about something, it just seems to be clearer really. Words spoken out loud can't be taken back can they? There's no delete button for words spoken is there..? Like Pandora's Box, don't open it unless you're sure you want to let out what's in there...!!
Very philosophical today aren't I? Perhaps it's the approach of a changing season, renewal, new life, rebirth....

Spring is ever so slowly creeping in, next Thursday is the first day of spring here down under, it's also Miss Samantha's 14th birthday...                                                               
They're all growing up so quickly, how can I be a grandparent to teenagers, four teenagers and another counting down until her 13th birthday next year...?? Yesterday was our eldest daughters birthday, her pupils, aged around 8, all sang happy birthday, gave her small gifts and home made cards and one of the more 'forward' boys asked her how old she was, quick as a flash she told them she was 26 and even quicker came back the reply...."Hmm, 26, well that's not too old, I thought you were older than that..." I wonder what they would have said had she told them her actual age of 38..??
This girl on the left, Sam, can't wait to grow up, they're all the same. Her cousin, Caitlin, is 3 month younger and doesn't turn 14 until November and last night told us that she can't wait and it is of course 'not fair' that they spend 3 months of the year not being the same age and more to the point, 3 months where her cousin is older in the writing of her age..?? 


I want to tell them to slow down, enjoy these years because they're fleeting, gone before you blink it seems. They're good years, the young teen years, the boys, the music, the friends, all memories to be treasured and stored away, ready to pull out and remember when you're working hard for a dollar, finding money to pay the mortgage, bringing up kids, shopping for groceries.....!!


They would of course laugh, life is never ending when you're 13 going on 14, don't have time to stop and remember the smell of the roses and really Nana, the roses will be back again next year and then we'll be 15....!!!!


Spring, visions of sunshine, blossom, daffodils and new green leaves. I bought myself some beautiful yellow roses today, I decided that I deserved them after such a strange and thoughtful week.


The house is already full of daffodils  and for me, they're the smell of spring, not so much a perfume, Daffs don't really have one do they? But it's just a hint of something warmer, something sunnier. Last year was the first year that we could actually pick the Daffodils to put in the house and still have lots outside, they've multiplied in the house garden really well, now it's time to start planting them out on the acres. 
I want to see a sea of gold........."a host of golden Daffodils..." I want to see the blue of fields of Bluebells to remind me of my forgotten English youth...!! 
Perhaps that's what it's about, all this pondering of life! Someone special told me this week, that things that come out of the mists of time make you sit back and think...!! 




My motivation seems to have vanished into the mist this last week too, so I'll be back later to tell you what I'm going to be up to. If you find it hiding somewhere, my motivation, give it a little reminder that I'm waiting for it, somewhere back here with my head in the mists of time....
xxx


ps. stay safe and out of the way of Irene, I'm thinking of all my friends in her path...
xxx

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Some more...

There have been quite a few comments about Little Brown Panda, the fact that he's been released from being nothing in a plastic bag for 10 years, the fact that he's very cute and the fact that he's a Panda of very small stature..!!  Well, you will all be pleased to note that Little Brown Panda has gone to live in a house in the bush!! He's gone to live amongst the Gum trees, I don't know if there's any plum trees but I do know that there's a clothes line out the back...!

Okay, sorry, iconic Aussie, but he's gone home with his new best friend....


 I've got a couple of other little fellows (and girls) to show you, these are some of the dozen or so that I have left of the ones I made years ago..




This little lady is only 2" tall and used to be a Woodland Fairy, she did have wings but I'm not quite sure what happened to them ..!!


 She's happy to just sit on a tree branch in the sunshine now..
















..her partner in the branches is this little ballerina bear below. She's got her warm up jumper on with her lacy tutu and tiny leather ballet shoes... Yes, I really did make tiny pink leather shoes for her....sigh! I must have been really insane back then as opposed to just plain silly now.. :o)


















Now this fellow is one of my very favourites..
Just before I packed everything away and left bear making alone, I was trying to develop a realistic Polar Bear, I got this far and I love the Polars that I made then. This one is about 6" standing up straight, but head to tail he's probably 4" long.  In my box of little bits and pieces I found a couple of double jointed Polar Bear heads, hmm, I might have to pursue that some more..! Sounds like a challenge!!














...another little favourite, soft dusky pink and creamy white. She's about 21/2" tall so a big girl next to the others... :o)


























This little scrappy guy is just over 3", scruffy and worn...

I'm waiting for a parcel to arrive, just the bits and pieces  I ordered from Gerry's Bear Making Supplies. I can't really do anything until I have some joints and eyes, but I'm itching to cut out some Mohair and make another little bear...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Here he is...

 

There's been a lot of concern over little brown panda living the last ten years in a plastic bag, dismembered no less...!! Well fear not, he's now a whole little bear.... ..ready to take on the world. 
Please do excuse the grubby window and the flare from the flash, it's another dull day here this morning..





















I had forgotten though, quite how difficult tiny, weeny, itsy bitsy noses are to stitch..! Have to find a little bell or key for him I think.


Now I just have to get on with the others. There was purpose in choosing this little bear to finish first, a gratifyingly quick finish spurring me on to do some more. 

I had a little online trip to Gerry's Teddy and Craft Designs to pick up some little eyes and joints.....oh alright, I might have bought a couple of pieces of mohair too..!! It's not quilting fabric so it doesn't count in my fabric diet  ;o)



Patchwork group today so I better go get out of my pj's and sort myself out....
xxx

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ooooops, I forgot a title.....

(edit:   I just noticed that, hehehe, gotta have a title.....)
I've been pottering this week! You know how it is, can't settle to anything serious, so you end up just doing a bit of this and a bit of that..? I seem to have been driving most of the week too, up and down to Geelong to check on Mum and Dad and I still managed to forget about a medical assessment appointment they had and I wanted to get to..! Luckily, my brother was able to get there so at least one of us knew what was going on. It's hard to get out of them what's said and what they have to do so if I can be with them it's easier.... I felt incredible guilty when my brother rang to tell me what happened, but realistically, I'm not superwoman and I can't be in more than one place at a time, even if I like to think I am and I can..  :o)
While I was pottering I made some new cushions for the sofa....

Our sofa is a leather chesterfield that we've had for ever, well it feels like forever anyway! We love it but it does tend to look a bit dark and quilts and throws tend to slip off, so I thought I would just fill it up with bright cushions, now I just have to figure out how to stop the dogs making a nest of them..?







When I made my pincushion the other week I rather thought that I could enjoy making a couple of little bears again, so I've been rummaging around in storage boxes looking for what supplies I had left. I did sell all my mohair, eyes and joints as well as a huge amount of small bears but I knew that I still had some bits and pieces somewhere..


I found this tin full to the brim with little bits of bears..!!


UFO's of the furry kind!!!
Poor bears! Some have no ears, some have no legs, some still can't see as they have no eyes. Some just need all their bits put together. I think there might be about six or seven bears in there...!!








This poor little fellow on the right, has spent the last 10 years or so squished in a little plastic bag waiting to have all his minute pieces put together and to get a nose..!! He's only going to be a scant 2" tall, so I guess I should finish him first ....






The weather is cold, wet, very windy and positively horrible today, but I have to venture out to do some grocery shopping. I did think about not doing it today, but it's not going to go away, we'll still need food in the 'fridge tomorrow and tomorrow is patchwork day..! 
Priorities people..   :o)


XXX

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Looking for the sun...

Just wanted to share this shot of a bunch of Daffodils all looking for the sun.. It reminds me of the ducks and geese in the paddock, all sticking their necks out quacking and hissing, busy telling the world what's happening.
Daffodils...!
Must mean spring is on the way.......yay!!
It's been such a long winter this year, I'm craving sunshine and warm winds and roses and sitting outside and feeling the kiss of the hot sun...sigh!!






I got to play here again today, Millrose is alway such a warm and friendly place, gosh it's hard working here....;o)

I love this quilt by Michell Yeo, she has classes here for any of her quilts...

  ..I seem to have a passion for quilts with black backgrounds right now..


There were Roses and Tulip buds on the table in the classroom and I couldn't resist taking some photos..

 These tulips will be open in a day or two but I just love the hint of bright pink, almost teasing, showing some of the colour to come..! 

..and the pink roses, gorgeous. The weather was bleak and very cold today, a chill, biting wind blew in with every customer, but the roses and tulips brightened the space and gave us all just another tiny glimpse of summer pleasures to come...


XXX

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Changes..

I've been making some changes with my blogs this week, you noticed of course..?  :o) I've been using the Blogger in Draft version for a while now for posting and now they've got a whole new look, fonts and templates so I decided to bite the bullet and have a changed look. All the little gadgets, pictures, buttons, logos and lists are now at the bottom of the page. There will only be one post on a page 'cos you know how carried away I get with photo's and such...
It just seems the easiest way to do it and I do love the clean uncluttered page. My photography blog Photographs I Heart, was the first one I changed and I just really loved the clean lines and the way the photographs are the focus of the post. So this is the new me....again, and because I just can't do a post without a photo...

...a little early morning magic in the Silver Birch... XXX

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sometimes.....

....just sometimes, I forget how incredibly lucky I really am!! I have an awesome family that I don't see quite enough of, I still have my Mum and Dad with me  (every day that Mum still knows me is a huge bonus), I have some incredible friends both online and in my bricks and mortar life.  I live with a wonderful man who indulges my passion for creating things, a man that never complains about fabric coming into the house (no you can't have him, sorry, but just don't tell him quite HOW much fabric comes in will you :o)
Today, this man that I live with, aka my personal Gardener but better known to you as The Railway Man, suggested I go for a walk..! 
I took this suggestion in the spirit it was given as I've been whinging and whining about the weather. You know how it goes....I wish the rain would stop.....I'm over this mud......why can't we live somewhere where it's warm all year.....yada, yada, yada....!! Well for the last couple of days the sun's been shining on this little patch of earth we call our own and being the last month of winter here down under, things are starting to stir...!! Don't get overly excited for me though, this time next week it's likely to snow!! August is usually our coldest month here in the hills, but I digress.....
I promised my man I'd take myself and my Nikon off for a walk to get some shots of his beloved garden after he left for work in the Metropolis. 


So, why am I lucky, well, this.....



..is our backyard..! 
This is where I get to spend every day. 
This is our home..!!
This, my friends, is why I'm lucky..


You don't usually see the view from this angle..



This is looking back up the big driveway (on the left of the photo) towards the house (hidden behind the big Cyprus trees), back towards the view I usually show you from my window. So, come for a walk with me around the paddock..


Gum trees, I just love them, especially when they can grow and do their own thing, such character. This is one of the trees that line the big driveway....


The old...

..and the new flowers on the Banksia's, also along the driveway. I just love that you get flowers in every stage at the same time on Banksia's, the bees love them too..!


This Birch was a victim of the drought and we just haven't taken it out yet, I'm so glad we didn't pull it straight out, I wouldn't have been able to get these shots if we were tidy gardeners...


..and..

...and..




...then there's this..
 
this is pretty cool too..

Are you bored yet? Do you need a break, go get a cuppa, I'll wait..
Ready, cool...

Late winter in Victoria is Wattle time...


..and if you've ever watched our athletes and wondered why Australia wears green and gold..

there it is, that's the reason, the green and gold of the Australian bush in spring..! I don't think I know an Aussie that doesn't love Wattle, well, if you're a hay fever sufferer you might not be that keen :o( but it's awesome isn't it?

Little fluffy yellow balls of pollen, I love, love them. We have three hay fever sufferers in the family and I feel for them but I love Wattle, makes me feel happy just to look at it..


Look, embryonic Gum Blossom, can't wait for this tree to flower later in the spring. It's blossom is deep pink and gorgeous..


Kangaroo Apple, I don't know it's indigenous name but I could live without it, the birds drop the seeds in their...well...droppings and it grows everywhere. The Cockatoos love it, doesn't stop them chewing on the daffodil flowers though :o(, they just chop them off. A bit like 'off with their heads' and leave them on the ground, they don't eat them, just leave them...sigh, b&%#*&y cockies!!

I love the gum nuts from last years blossom, always makes me think the ghost of May Gibbs is hanging around to check on her Gum Nut Babies :o)
From the truly Australian Gum Nut babies...

..to the quintessential English country garden, Bluebells just breaking out of the ground..


Look at the colour of this Hebe, isn't it just gorgeous, I know, it's purple and I don't do purple, but this is nature at her brightest isnt' it?

Another view looking up to the front of the house, can you see the man's stone wall? He loves that bridge...

Hazel, isn't it graceful..

This is a huge post isn't it, I guess I could come back tomorrow and blog about the rest of our walk then, but I think I'll keep going, we might not want to do the exercise tomorrow....



..Native Hibiscus, purple again  :o)




..Flowering Quince, such a sweet little flower..



Hellebore's, sweet and shy winter flowers, how lovely are they..




This is a Magnolia bud, isn't it soft? I love the halo of light on the tiny hairs...



One of the things I love about living here (in Australia) after growing up in the UK is the colour of winter, the fact that in the middle of a cold, wet and miserable winter, we still have colour and life in our gardens...


I desaturated this photo and just left the bee coloured so that you could see it?? Can you see him? I just caught him before he landed on the flower...

This is what took me out in the first place today.....Spring...awesome!



..and can I do a blog post lately without this little Miss in there somewhere? The dogs haven't been allowed in this part of the garden for weeks, it's just been too wet. So today it was roll in the long grass time and did they enjoy it...

ps: Do you like my new watermark? I thought it was about time I updated it and started using a watermark again. I love this one...

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