Thursday 30 April 2009

Warm Fuzzies

I have so much to tell, I don’t know where to start…..I suppose first things first:>)

When I arrived home today there was a parcel waiting for me. I’m actually looking forward to three parcels (which doesn’t often happen here – usually it’s bills). This was a box shape so I guessed correctly that it came from the lovely Cam of Curlypops. I was the super lucky lady to win her recent giveaway of a vintage unstitched doiley in a pretty, old cardboard box she found at the op shop.

Mick had a go at me for taking photos before I unwrapped it. He was telling me to “Just open it!” and “For goodness sakes, just cut the string.” I just told him “It is a girl thing!”

The doiley is a real cutie. I have several old unstitched doilies, so I don’t know whether to stitch this one or add it to the collection…either way, I will really treasure it. There was also some old stranded embroidery thread and white brodre thread in the box. The brodre thread would be great for hand quilting instead of perle.

I thought I would just show you a peak of my old stranded cotton cabinet that I have had for a few years now (sitting on an old doiley, of course). I have some lovely old threads hiding inside.

Then, once I had unpacked the groceries, I checked my emails and there was one from Jenny of Elefantz. I had been waiting for this with baited breath. Jenny was my Redwork Cushion Swap Partner. This swap was arranged by Maree of On My Verandah and was super secret.

It was with relief that I learnt that my parcel arrived safely and most importantly that Jenny liked her gift.

I enjoyed making the cushion and used some of my vintage buttons to jazz up the back.

Visit Jenny’s blog to see her photos (clearer than mine) and to participate in the new block of the month she is hosting. This is one very talented lady.

This was the first swap I have participated in and it was fun. I hope to have another go in the future.

Then, finally, on Sunday I finished another project for the month of April. This is my scarf, which grew to be more of a wrap. It is so wide that if it is really cold it will wrap over my head and keep my ears warm. Anyway, I love the way it turned out. The yarn has such lovely subtle colour variations and using the boucle just gave it some nice texture.

Now I want to make another scarf that is more like a scarf, if you get my drift.

Sunday 26 April 2009

Brrrrrr! & I've Got Mail!

Well, I suppose it had to happen.......this morning I lit the fire!!! Up until now we have just turned on the little fan heater to take off the chill at breakfast, but yesterday and today have been quite bleak.

Today is drizzly with a cold southerly blowing and only predicted to reach about 12 degrees C. Therefore, I braved the woodshed that I haven't been in for months. I thought I had to buy a load of wood before we go away, but it is well stocked. I'll have to ask Mick about Dad may have been up to his tricks again.... he sometimes buys Mick a load of wood for his birthday... and this may be the case, as Mick's birthday is coming up.

On another note, there was a big envelope in the mail on Thursday. How exciting! It held the pattern I won in the giveaway from Kris at Tagalong Teddies. My first giveaway prize! (Sorry the photo isn't the best.) I can't wait to make it, but will just finish off a couple of other things first.

I have been knitting my lovely mohair scarf. I still didn't calculate my number of stitches very well, so it will actually be a stole rather than a scarf. That will be good, as I have often wished I had something like that suitable to wear of an evening, and this should do the trick.

Saturday 25 April 2009

We Will Remember Them

I have not long returned from the Dawn Service at Bathurst to commemorate ANZAC Day. This is the day on which Australia and New Zealand reflect on their service men and women who have served for their countries and fallen. Each year the numbers attending increase, which is good to see, as for several years they were dwindling.

The Dawn Service is held at the War Memorial Carillon, which is a wonderful setting. There was an amazing number of wreaths laid this year.

My Dad served in WWII in Singapore and Malaya and was a POW of the Japanese. Fortunately, he survived.
When we were kids, we always travelled to Sydney for Dad to attend the march and catch up with his mates that he only saw once a year. As he has got older he became more involved in the local RSL Club and therefore marched at Bathurst.

He is now 90 and will have a huge day. The Dawn Service is at 4.30am, but he gets there early to hand out sprigs of Rosemary that he spent yesterday picking and trimming to exactly the same size – he had 100 sprigs. This year he did sit down during the service, which I am glad of, as it is a long time to stand. After the service we went to the RSL Club for their ANZAC breakfast where we caught up with lots of friends.

I don’t go to any other services, but Dad will front up again for the main march in town at 10.30am. Then, there is a wreath laying service at the site of the old Army Camp where he trained in the afternoon, which he will also attend. Mum will go to these two ceremonies.

Although there are several old diggers in Bathurst, Dad is one of only 2 POW’s of the Japanese still surviving in Bathurst and the only one able to march, which makes him rather special. I hope his day goes well.

Sunday 19 April 2009

A Bit of Excitement

Well, just after I completed my post this morning I received a phone call from a mate up the road.

Pete: "What's with the big fire?"

Me: "What fire?"

Pete: "Look out your window."

Me: "Which window? I'm in the office and I don't see anything."

Pete: "Look out the back."

Well, it was a grass fire next door, but just over the rise, so I could only see the smoke. Not good, and Mick off at work too!

Pete got out his old fire tanker, which hadn't been used for a couple of years and headed down. The fire brigade were already on the way.

What had happened, was that next door's teenage son had been mowing some long grass in their paddock with the ride-on mower and grass got caught underneath and caught alight. It got into another neighbour's paddock and got away with a bit of a breeze behind it. He was quite upset about it, but it was such an easy thing to happen, and it could have been any of us.

Fortunately, the weather is fairly cool and the ground fairly moist and the wind was blowing the fire away from the closest houses (we are all on blocks 30-40 acres in area).

The neighbours whose paddock was burnt are currently overseas, so they will come home to a bit of a surprise.

I felt really useless, as Mick is the practical one in the family. Normally during the summer we would have a water tank in a trailer with the pump attached (for pumping water for our garden), but not at the moment. I don't even have a towbar on the new car yet, so couldn't even bring it up if it had been set up at home.

We were very lucky that there was no property damage except for a couple of fence posts and the fire brigade arrived promptly.

It was a bit of a wake up call for us all though, as it was not something we would have expected at this time of year on a day like today.

Kel Carruthers Dinner

It was lovely to catch up with everyone at our patchwork group yesterday afternoon. I always love seeing what everyone is up to. I had to leave early as we had another function to be at last night.

We went to a dinner in the pits complex at Bathurst's famous Mt Panorama racing circuit. It was to honour Kel Carruthers who was a famous motorcycle racer.

I knew of Kel, but didn't know what a great he was. He first raced at Bathurst at the age of 16 in 1955 and won his class. He raced there very successfully until 1965, including scooping the pool in 1964. He then went to Europe and won the Isle of Man TT and ended up world champion, based first in Europe and then in the USA, where he mentored the likes of Kenny Roberts who also went on to be a world champion.

This was Kel's first visit to Bathurst since 1965. It was a great night. There were about 130 people there including several illustrious racers from the past, a "fireside chat" with between Kel and our local racing historian as well as terrific food. We're really pleased we went.

Saturday 18 April 2009

A New Project

Our patchwork group has their meeting this afternoon and I didn’t have anything on the go to take with me (well, not any hand sewing). So, what is a girl to do? Start something new!!

My friend Cath and I went to Canberra for Floriade last September (while the boys went motorcycling to Broken Hill for the week) and while there we visited the Bus Shed Markets. We found some beautiful yarn and so both had to buy some (in different colourways) to make a scarf each. The idea is to knit five rows of the mohair and then two rows of the boucle. The sample was knitted with the length of the scarf on the needles, but I can’t estimate how many stitches, so I am just knitting it in the usual fashion. It shouldn’t take too long to finish as it is on12 mm needles.

It will be a good project for this afternoon as I won’t have to concentrate too much, which can be a problem with all the chatting that goes on:>)

Thursday 16 April 2009

Check This Out

I don't usually like receiving "funnies" by email, but this tickled my fancy.

Someone had waaaaay too much time on their hands!

Monday 13 April 2009

Ideal Weekend

Kris from Tag Along Teddies is having a great giveaway where you have to describe your ideal weekend. Mine was “My ideal weekend varies, but at the moment it would be staying at home with my hubby, preparing yummy homemade meals to eat on the verandah in the beautiful autumn weather, doing a bit of stitching and reading and no housework.”

I’m doing my best to make this a reality this weekend.

Well, how am I going so far?

Mick had to work on Friday and today – but we had 2 days together.

We have had some yummy homemade food. Mum and Dad’s hot water system died on Thursday, which was not good timing, so they came out to our place for a shower and joined us for tea. I made an old fashioned smoked fish and potato pie followed by bread and butter pudding made with excess hot cross buns. Both were yummy and the pudding was great with all the spices and fruit already in the buns.

On Sunday we had a mate out for lunch, yummy foccacias on the verandah, then Mum and Dad came out again and we had Easter cup cakes. I always bake with butter, but ran out after making the cakes. Note to self – don’t use low fat margarine for icing – not good, but will have to do.

As I just said we had lunch on the verandah yesterday and I managed to have my morning coffee on the verandah on Friday.

Beautiful Autumn weather – well grey, overcast, rain, drizzle. Not picture postcard, but hey, it is Autumn, and the idea is that it starts to move towards Winter. I did at least get the washing dry.

Doing a bit of stitching – well, on Friday I taught myself the “Neat Ripple” crochet pattern from Lucy from Attic24’s tutorial. It wasn’t too hard at all. Now I just have to get started on a cushion. Today is to be the day of stitching – no interruptions. I have a secret squirrel project which I must finish, so today will be it – it must be!

Reading, yes last night and this morning I read “Three Bag Full” by Leonie Swann, where a flock of sheep are detectives, quite light and enjoyable. I also browsed some English Country Living magazines, one magazine that I don’t usually see.

No housework – well, I spent most of Friday doing housework – but that freed up the rest of the weekend.

What else did we do?

On Saturday we went motorcycling. The Vintage Motor Cycle Club holds a week long rally at Bathurst each Easter. We took the Moto Guzzi out for a run out to Burraga. This is a small village in a rather isolated spot on the way to nowhere. The road from Bathurst has just had the last portion sealed, a godsend for the locals, and another great motorcycling loop opened up. We called in at the Rockley Antique Shop on the way home, only to find it is closing soon and everything was reduced in price. We bought a few bits and pieces (you can’t fit much on a bike). He didn’t even charge me for the tray cloth and magazines! The pudding bowls are the same pattern as the dinner set my Grandma used to have, what fond memories they brought back.

Sunday saw a day at home. The Easter Bunny put out some eggs and bits and pieces on the mantle piece. He has never done that before. It looks too good to eat, but I’m sure we will manage.

Mick tackled the jungle down the side of our house. When we first move here we planted a “Dorothy Perkins” rambler rose, which we had grown from a cutting we had literally torn from an old rose growing over a ruined cottage in a paddock. It is beautiful in spring, but is just too rampant, so we bit the bullet and it is now gone.

The area is now opened up and we will be able to do something in that part of the garden. Watch this space.
So, all in all, you could say this has been my ideal weekend. I hope yours was too.

Sunday 5 April 2009

More White Elephant Booty

I have finally take photos of the remainder of our booty from the White Elephant Stall at the Church Fete a couple of weeks ago. There are lots of photos, so I hope you don't get too bored, or envious:>) (Or alternatively you'll think "what a load of rubbish".)

Mick is our chief kitchenalia collector. He is always on the lookout for interesting bits and pieces. He found heaps this time. The plastic doohicky in the middle is a "Food Glamorizer". It even comes with an instruction sheet showing how to make all different types of garnishes and whathaveyou. The old Vacola thermometer has seen plenty of use but still works. There are 23 of the little patty pans and the photo doesn't show it very well, bu the cake tin has a decorative pattern all over the sides - it might show up better if you enlarge the photo.

These little mugs a Cornishware - yes, the real stuff - were a bargain. The paperweight doesn't show up well, it is clear with a blue swirl. I initially bought it to give to our mate Norm, as he collects them, but it look rather good with my collection of blue in my bedroom window, so he might just miss out!

Mick collects coffee pots and was delighted with this elegant find. I love the little stove, and thought I had quite a find......until Mick pointed out the word "Taiwan" on the back.....Oh, well, it still looks the part. It doesn't show up very well in the photo, but the little basket is full of flower decorating spiky things (I'm sure they have a correct name, but I've never known it). Some are in the shapes of the suits of cards - how novel.

" Elimentary, dear Watson." For $1, it will look good on the hat stand.

A Glomesh key holder, never used, still in the box (who knows what I'll do with it, but I couldn't leave it there).

I found another vintage table cloth - this one would be from the 50s or 60s with the aboriginal design - and some woollen skirts. These are just for the fabric - for the "one day" wool applique.

I couldn’t resist these vintage prints. They seem to be posters - maybe for a classroom? They are all numbered and have had thumb tacks in the corners. Imagine going to the flash dressmakers for a fancy dress outfit.

I love these Christmas ones – especially the vintage Mickey Mouse one.

I always love apples and cottage gardens and these two a just charming.

But… I think my favourite is the Mabel Lucy Atwell one of hanging up the washing.

There were more, but I think I went overboard enough as it was. What to do with them?? I wonder if we could somehow work out a frame and rotate them according to the seasons??

And then there was this jar that was handed to me – because I had told them I like sewing stuff. What a delight when we opened it.

Firstly, there was an old tape measure disguised as a basket of fruit. The colours are so vibrant. It is like new, but definitely isn't.

Then, there is a tiny white house. It is made from ivory.

Part of the fence has come adrift, but is inside it….. yes, it opens via a hinged roof….. and it has a round hole… hold your thimble!!! How exquisite!

Then….. there were 20 – yes – 20 thimbles. They range from 2 charms to children’s silver and brass to steel, to bakelite and silver, although none are hallmarked or Dorcas.

This one has lovely tooling and the reverse has a blank space for monogramming.

My problem (oh, such a problem) is that my thimble collection is housed in a little brass and glass display cabinet, and it is full!!! I suppose I could relocate the cheap decorative china ones which don’t really interest me and add these.

We are so spoilt.
Now I have to find somewhere to put all this, that will be the hard bit, we are starting to overflow!!

23 Loooooong Years!

Today is our 23rd Wedding Anniversary – or as Mick would say “23 Loooong Years”!! We never do much to celebrate, but at least this year we remembered it!!

Our day was rather relaxed (except for Mick having to work this morning) – so I suppose I should say our afternoon was quite relaxed.

We had nearly an inch of rain on Friday night, which was much needed, so as the weather was so lovely we were outside in the garden this afternoon. Mick did some serious hacking back of the suckers from the passionfruit vine that have overtaken the herb garden. We didn’t realise how invasive the root stock was. Next year we will trim any suckers as they appear.

Yesterday I bought some bulbs. I have been inspired by some of the British blogs with their pots of bulbs indoors. I would never be organised enough to plan that far ahead, but reading blogs where their season is six months ahead (or is it behind) – well, their season in opposite to ours, it makes you think of spring. Anyway, I bought some Tete a Tete daffodils and hyacinths and have potted them in little pots. If all goes according to plan we will have some spring colour inside. As I am the laziest gardener when it comes to watering etc, I have sunk the little pots into the ground in the garden to sit out the winter. When they start to make a move I will lift them out, wash them down and bring them inside.

This tub was part of our booty from the White Elephant Stall at the Church Fete and the four little pots of daffodils fit perfectly. It should look great. The tub is just a “Made in China”, so we won’t need to be too precious about it.

I also picked the last of the English lavender and coincidently the paper bag was purple. When it has dried I want to make some little lavender hangers. I had a lovely pair of satin pyjamas with little pink flowers which were hardly worn before the elastic perished, so I want to use the fabric for something pretty.
The bag is just sitting in the dining room at present and it smells lovely as you walk in.

To celebrate our Anniversary I picked the last bit of (presentable) colour out of the garden and put it in this cute little lusterware jug that Mum didn’t want, and set the kitchen table with a pretty vintage cloth and the good dinnerware (the dining table is covered in sewing stuff) and we had a lovely rack of lamb. Nothing flash, but very enjoyable just the same.