Sunday, 27 September 2009

A Bit if This and That

Mick sent me this picture of the dust on Wednesday and suggested I “Blogerise” about it. This is the black bitumen road near our place and the tyre tracks show just how bad the dust was.

That was on Wednesday….. move forward to Saturday…….

Although we’ve been having lovely warm weather I have been a doomsayer suggesting that there is bound to be another cold snap just to remind us of where we live. Yep, it arrived this weekend.

We had planned on going camping along the Bridle Track with the Sydney Sidecar Club for the annual rally. We went last year and it was a really friendly, family oriented rally. The Bridle Track is only about an hour from home and is a rather rough dirt road alongside the Macquarie River developed to get to the Hill End gold fields in the 1850’s and has some spectacular scenery. If it has just been cold we would still have gone, but it was blowing a gale and scatty showers, so it would not have been at all pleasant.

So, we went to Oberon instead – in the car. Oberon has it’s spring garden weekend this weekend, and we thought we would rug up and have a look around……that was until it started to snow just after we arrived!! So, we found a pub with a roaring fire and had a counter lunch instead. As we had nothing else planned for the day, we just went driving along lots of back roads and finally back home in the late afternoon.

When we woke up this morning we were also getting scatty snowy, sleety showers and apparently Oberon had quite good snow overnight. (Oberon is about 1100m above sea level, we are about 750m.) Therefore, we just stayed home today. This is our back yard this morning.

Seeing as we weren't camping I've been doing other bits and pieces.
This afternoon I made pretty pink invitations for Mum's 80th birthday party next month. We are having High Tea at a coffee shop in town. It should be lovely.
There was also baking of banana bread for afternoon tea. Yummy. The recipe is from here.
I looked at blogs yesterday and Jenny from Elefantz reminded us of the September challenge is to now make a sewing machine mat to go with our cover. I must admit, I'd forgotten all about it. Jenny made hers in an hour. Well, mine took two and half hours from deciding to make it, to designing it, finding fabric, clearing a track on my sewing table to finished product. It is a bit rough and ready, but it will certainly do the job.
I just wanted to keep it relatively simple. The fabrics are the same as for the machine cover with a pink peeper to give it a bit of a lift.

My machine just fits neatly on it.

Ta Da! Now I have to make a thread bag and pincushion to match. I just have to locate the pattern in a magazine. I know the pattern......I just have to find it........
Tonight, I have also completed the mammoth task of sewing up and filling the woollen pincushion. It has silica sand for a filling, which is something different. Apparently the silica sharpens your pins.

I have also been working on wash cloths this weekend, but no sneak peeps allowed.

Friday, 25 September 2009

I Shouldn't Be Telling You About This

I don't know why I'm not keeping my big mouth shut about these giveaways, as I'd like them to wing their way to my house, but Lyn from Bluebird Quilts is giving away some lovely treats. The fabric is Rosalie Quinlan's new range.

Also, my friend Loulee from the Isle of Man is celebrating her 401st post (she missed the 400th). Now, that is a lot of blog posts. Lou had made a lovely bag and just might put one or two things in it as well.

So, go and visit both of these lovely ladies if you haven't already done so.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Swap Parcel Arrives

Look what has arrived in the post!

My secret swap partner was Jewells. She is very organised and has already sent my lovely gifts for Wash Cloth Swap #2 organised by Jodie.

Jewells gets her yarn from the US, which accounts for the nice, soft colours, and her knitting is beautiful and the sun pattern is so cheerful.

I now have to get out in the garden and plant my seeds. They will add some lovely bright colour for the summer and some spice to our stir frys.

Thanks so much Jewells, I'm very spoilt.

By the way, the sky has now returned to normal, although there is a fine layer of red over everything outside. We now need a good drenching to wash it away.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Whacky Weather

What crazy weather we’ve been having.

Yesterday when I left work it started to rain – not just any rain, but the wildest thunder storm. I drove one of the girls home from work and the streets were awash, gutters overflowing everywhere and you couldn’t see a thing.

Mick wanted me to get some fresh kerosene for our emergency blackout lighting, as we’d already had one blackout at home, so I then went to the hardware store, by which time the rain had eased.

I had decided to take an alternate route to get home as there is a causeway on the usual road I take, and it floods in a rather spectacular way when we get storms.

As soon as I was back on the road another wave of the storm came over and we were right in the middle of it. Lightning everywhere, and although it didn’t seem possible, the rain was heavier than before. There was no way I was going to try and drive home in it, so I took refuge in a shopping centre while it passed. I then had a very uneventful drive home. We had not had nearly as bad rain and we didn’t get any further blackouts, thank goodness.

This morning we woke up to this:


It has blown all the way from South Australia, well over 1000kms. Everything is covered in dust. Mick called me on his way to work. He was the first on the road this morning and he was leaving tyre tracks on the bitumen road. He said more dust was billowing behind the ute on the bitumen than we get on our dirt road. Bizarre! You might expect this out west, but not here. I’m dreading what is going to get washed off our roof into our water tanks.

Since taking the photo it has started to rain lightly again – mud!

It has got cold again and is expected to stay that way for the day.


PS. While typing this Mick has come home to drain all the downpipes to try and keep some of the mud out of our tanks. Isn’t he an organised fellow!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Working with Wool

Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to another workshop in town. The Home Patch (home of Hatched and Patched) had a wool appliqué and embellishment workshop. Sue Spargo visited earlier in the year and Anni also does quite a bit in wool, so she stocks a good range of supplies.

Michelle, our teacher, had this sample pincushion and we were to just have fun trying out different effects with stitches and embellishments such as adding texture with ric rac, beads and novelty yarns. It was a lot of fun and everyone had very different work.

I finished mine off at home this afternoon. I had fun playing with embroidery stitches. Boy, did I get things in a lovely mess. The little booklet on the table is one Mum gave me when I was about 10 years old and is a great little resource. (And yes, that is Mum's quilt under all that stuff.)

This is my finished work. The bobbly green up the middle of the orange leaf and the fringe around the bottom one are the separated plys of a novelty yarn from spotlight. There is knitting wool, chenille yarn and the main embroidery is with lovely wool/acrylic threads. Anni sells them on bobbins rather than the large spools they normally come on, which is terrific when you are only dabbling. The pink flower is a felted button. Some ladies also cut felt balls in half and used them as flower centres.
I just have to sew the back on and fill it to have a nice new pincushion.
Great fun. Something a bit different to what I usually do.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

What's Been Hiding in the Bush?

We've been teased for a couple of weeks now by some very clever Aussie ladies and today they revealed all.

We are going to be in for a treat as 9 Australian designers share free Christmas designs during October and November and ongoing designs next year.

They have a new blog "Among The Gum Trees" which introduces the ladies. Pop over and visit them.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Mick's Project of the Month

Today we took the old BMW and sidecar on its maiden voyage.

This was to be Mick’s project of the month back in January, but the box of bits and rat’s nest of wiring proved to be a bit more involved than initially thought. But, it was finally registered with no dramas a week ago.

This morning we took it past our letterbox for the first time (about 1km from the house) and then after about 100m of tar it started to cough and splutter. Fortunately it cleared itself, so it must have just been the old fuel.

We actually got to go on a run with the Historic Car Club. This has unfortunately eluded us for most of the year.

We had a lovely, leisurely drive ending up at an old shearing shed.

This property has remained in the one family for nearly a century.

It had a lovely rustic feel.
We had a large roll up of members and had a wonderful day.

Also, yesterday I replenished my planter box with some lovely little polyanthus as the bulbs are now well and truly finished. I’m liking having cheerful plants in the kitchen.

The other exciting thing happening is that I have decided to partake in Jellywares' 2nd Wash Cloth Swap. This time we have to make a wash cloth and give some seeds for the garden. I'm currently working out what to make. It is a big secret. Should be fun.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

A Beautiful Spring Day

Now close your eyes.

Feel the warmth of the sun on your face and the gentlest breeze.

Hear the bees as they go about their business.

See the occasional petal drift towards the ground.

What a Wonderful Day

Yesterday was the best! ….. But……..I forgot my camera!!.....I’d left it beside my computer after loading my last photos. I could have kicked myself, as I would have loved to show you some photos of the day and Kim’s work.

Kim Bradley is a wonderful tutor. I had read about her in magazines, but when she brought out her show and tell I realized just how clever she is.

We were all given a pile of small quilt sandwiches. Kim’s motto is that “If you can draw it, you can quilt it”. So, Kim drew a simple design (cloverleaf) on the whiteboard and we then drew it with a pencil on paper to get the idea of the design embedded in our brains. Then she just said “Quilt it.” Oh well, let’s try……quite jerky to start with, but hey, this is our first go at this, so not too bad. Then she drew leaves and we tried that.

I’m glad I knew the very basics, like framing your work with your hands. Whenever I had tried previously there had been a design marked on the fabric and I'd had no luck with it at all. This was all freehand, so you were concentrating on your stitching, not on following a line; it seemed to work much better for me.

Next was a more detailed leaf (to a collective groan), then wonky leaves.

After lunch we experimented with lots of more designs – just doodling – good fun.

My last sample was just doodling. I am really happy with the scrolley things in one corner. My long feather border is a bit how’s your uncle, but my favourite would be the peacock feather.

Then, the main event…. Kim had gone around and drawn a feather design for everyone. This time we did follow a line – and initially I had difficulty – until I just started to use it as a guide rather than trying to stay right on the lines. It doesn’t look too crash hot on the front, but I’m quite chuffed with it when I turn it over. The stitch length is quite irregular, but we can work on that.

I just can’t believe that this was achievable after just one day.

Kim recommends having a large pile of samples prepared beside your machine and quilt for 10 minutes a day. I might just try that.

I really enjoyed the day (I think I might have already told you that) and urge anyone who has the opportunity to attend one of Kim’s classes to do so.

Saturday, 5 September 2009


We’ve had some lovely rain over the last couple of days, with the weekend predicted to be fine followed by more rain early next week. You can’t get much better than that.

Yesterday, when I went up to feed the chooks our apricot tree was looking a picture.

We seem to be feeding the entire population of birds as well at the moment, but I’d say their food supply would be at its lowest at this time of year. The crimson rosellas are so bright. We are getting about 20 each morning.

Many years ago we bought a lovely water colour entitled “Springtime” which depicts chooks feeding under a blossom tree. We seem to be doing our best to recreate it.

Today I’m off to machine quilting classes with Kim Bradley in Bathurst. It is being held at the Craft Learning Centre. Leanne did well to get such a well known teacher.
Free motion quilting is something I have absolutely no confidence in so I’m really quite excited about today.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Birthday Tim Tams

My nephew had his 7th birthday on Tuesday and on Monday his mum was despairing about having to provide birthday cake for the class at school.

I mentioned that Melissa at Day to Day showed a 5th birthday party on her blog recently and there were cool Tim Tam racing cars. My SIL was intrigued, so I showed her the sight and she went straight to the supermarket.

On Tuesday she delivered a sample to me. Didn't they turn out well. Apparently they were a great hit at school, as they weren't something that had been done up here. Many thanks for the inspiration Melissa.