Saturday 31 October 2009

But Has She Done Any Stitching?

Yes, I have done a little bit of stitching in the last couple of weeks.

Firstly, I’ve been following the Sew Mama Sew Scrap Busters Projects during the month of October. I just loved the simplicity of the key fobs, so I made one……and then got carried away. So quick and effective. I think a few will be added to Christmas gifts.

I also finally finished Block 6 of Verandah Views. Block 7 is half done. I’m finally getting a wriggle on with these. They are just gorgeous.

And finally, Jenny from Elefantz put out a little challenge to make something for the home this month. This idea had been kicking around in my head for a while, so now was the time to bring it to fruition.

I really like the linen look that some ladies have been creating, but there isn’t really anywhere local to get some. However, I did find this rather large skirt at the Op Shop a while ago. It is 55% linen and 45% cotton. Perfect.

The fat quarters came in a little bundle at Spotlight a few months ago. I thought they looked bright and cheerful and could freshen up our kitchen.

These two placemats are what I created from the front of the skirt. I didn’t know what Mick would think of them, but he really likes them and then suggested I make some coasters to match!!!! After receiving such a positive reaction I will now make two more placemats and some coasters. It is so nice to get positive feedback.

Jenny & Vicki have just started taking names for a new Swap - very simple, two Christmassy fat quarters, two Christmassy buttons and some ribbon.  Pop over to Jenny's blog to sign up.  And, tomorrow I should find out who my swap partner is for the Christmas Decoration, which will be fun.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Mum's 80th & Open Gardens

Although Mum's birthday was on the 17th, we celebrated with a "High Tea" party on Saturday.

We had it at a really pretty coffee shop in town and used our own tiered plates and other pretty plates for serving, which gave it a nice personal feel. 

It's alway lovely to get family and friends together, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

On Sunday there was a Motorcycle Awareness Week ride to Molong.  Usually the street is packed with bikes from all over the western area of the state.  There are people we only ever seem to catch up with on this day.  This year I couldn't go, so Mick went by himself on "Olga".  This was her longest run since he has finished doing her up and she went like a charm.  He was very happy with her performance, particularly as it was wet all the way up there and back.  It was very small gathering of only the keen ones this year, due to the set in rain.  Very disappointing for the organisers.

The reason I couldn't go to Molong was that my friend Lisa and I have an annual date.

 We visit all the local open gardens together. NOTHING gets in the way of our day out.

Sometimes we are joined by her eldest daughter, but she thought better of it this year as it was so wet.

It was quite a cold day, only 11degrees at lunch time.

Lisa and I won't let a bit of rain spoil our day and the gardens looked lovely and fresh.

Some of the gardens were opened for the first time, which was lovely to see.

I even washed my car for the occasion - believe me that is worth marking down!  However, when I looked at it when I got home I wondered why - it was covered in mud from the wet gravel roads.  Oh well, it was nice and clean for half a day!

Sunday 18 October 2009

Church Fete Goodies

I've just imported my photos using email rather than Blogger. It seems to be OK, but I can't work out how to get them in any particular order. These seem to be random and they are all to the left of the screen. I'll have to see if I can work it out a bit more, or just be patient with Blogger.

Anyway, here is a sample of what came home with me yesterday.

I brought home quite a bit of old linen. This is only a little bit, as it is too awkward to photograph. The blue serviettes have a matching table cloth which is rather lovely. In among it all there was some unfinished items. I just grabbed them and would have a better look at home. It is a set of 6 placemats, serviettes and coasters with Mexicans - very 50s. Unfortunately, one serviette is missing. I love the old hand towels. I have quite a few now.

This collection is for Mick. Well, at least the tea strainer and bakelite measuring spoons are. There were lots of old keys. I initially started looking for ones suitable for china cabinets and book cases as quite a few of ours have keys missing. I'm sure there will be some in here that fit. I picked up the little ones because they were just so cute. You wonder what they would have all been used for. By the way, this was only a small portion of what was there.

I was lucky to find two new additions to my green glass collection and this sweet little tin. It is in ounces, so is at least 30 odd years old. Written on the base in texta is "My Stamps". It would have been a lovely little tin to keep your stamp collection in. I don't know what I'll use it for.

This was my favourite find. It only stands about 4 inches high. It is in good nick, although the needle housing is missing, not that I mind as I won't be using it. It will fit in nicely with the others I have.

Now, as usual, I have to find homes for them. I think I feel a bit of a cull coming on.

Saturday 17 October 2009

My Saturday

A couple of people have commented that they hope I’m not too lonely while Mick is away and that I’m all right out here on my own. I assure them that I’m fine while I have a secret little chuckle to myself.

Apart from the fact I’ve been at work most of the time, I’m really hoping for a nice quiet day at home tomorrow.

I was in town all day today and what a lovely day it was.

My favourite church fete was on. Mick missed out, but I still was able to enjoy it, and Mick wasn’t there to tell me that I didn’t need all the bits and bobs that came home with me. I’ll show you my purchases tomorrow. Needless to say, they did all right out of me again!! Now, once again, I will have to find homes for the new bits and pieces. You can see what I brought home last time here and here. I didn't bring home as much this time (which is probably a good thing).

Then there was time to kill in town, so I had a leisurely stroll around the shops. It was lovely not to be rushing around in my lunch hour.

Next it was my patchwork group afternoon. (I think I should really call it a “Craft Group”, as none of us ever do any patchwork on the afternoon, it is embroidery, knitting, crochet - whatever takes our fancy).

Anyway, on my way there I noticed, over where the miniature trains run occasionally, there were some old organs. It didn’t matter if I was late for sewing, so I went to have a look. It is the 16th Annual National Mechanical Organ Rally this weekend and this is the first time it has been held in Bathurst.

There were about 25 organs ranging from small “barrel grinder” organs (all with requisite monkey).........

.........To the grand fairground variety.

They have a beautiful sound. This one is German made and about 60 years old. You’d get a tired arm if you played it too much.

Some were fairly new (one even looked like a robot), but this one is about 150 years old and all the little figures move when it is being played. I think it was my favourite.

It was an unexpected treat to see all these together. I’ve only ever seen a couple of big ones at the Bathurst and Royal Easter shows before.
I had a nice chat with this lady from Victoria doing her bobbin lace work. She also had an organ there.
Her work was so beautiful and fine, and the colours we lovely and soft. I admire the patience and detail involved in bobbin lace. Aren't the bobbins a work of art in themselves.

I’d hoped to be able to show you another completed Verandah Views block, but I didn’t have one of the coloured threads with me, so I started the next block. Hopefully another block will be finished very soon.

Today is Mum’s 80th birthday but it was a very low key affair. She was busy selling raffle tickets at the fete for most of the day, so received well wishes from lots of friends there. We just had Chinese for tea and I gave her the Blue Wren wall hanging to add to her collection. The big do will be next Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.

Thursday 15 October 2009


Mick has headed off this morning for Phillip Island for the Moto GP on Sunday. The weather isn't expected to be the best, so he took the sidecar (the newer one). He had planned on taking a solo bike for a change, but gee, a sidecar is handy for carrying extra coats and tarps and other "stuff". I'm happy that he is staying in a house this year and not camping. Despite the weather, I'm still disappointed that I can't go. (I just never seem to have enough holidays accrued at work to do all we want - such is life.)

However, that means I have 5 days to myself (sort of).

I have just signed up for Clare and Robyn's Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap. If you want to play too, you have until the end of the month to sign up - just go to Robyn's blog. Robyn also has a list of links to find patterns, which I have been trawling through for ideas.

I now have four decorations to make. I like to make one for each of my nieces each year and our sewing group are having a Christmas lunch and we are to take a decoration for a gift.

Hopefully I'll get some sewing done while Mick is away.

Sunday 11 October 2009

Race Weekend

Our visitors arrived yesterday and brought this little gizmo with them. (I know this is more the stuff for a"Boy's Blog", but I found it fascinating.)

It is a little radio controlled helicopter with a digital camera attached to the bottom. It looks quite simple, but, it is all carbon fibre and Kevlar and weighs less than 200 grams and is worth about $80,000!!!

It is used primarily for taking aerial shots of water front and prestige real estate for brochures. There are only a few in Australia. One of the electricity suppliers uses one for inspecting power poles. We were quite intrigued.

The plan was to take some aerial photos of our place (no, we do not have a prestige property, our guests were just playing) but the conditions were too windy to get a steady shot. They will try again next time they visit. It would be interesting to have an aerial photo of our place.

Today was the big Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race. The weather has been horrid all week. This is the sky we woke up to this morning – quite stunning – but didn’t bode too well for the races. Fortunately, despite a few showers passing over, it wasn’t too bad today, although still quite cool and breezy. The racing was good and close at the finish, which was good.

We don’t have a TV, so we had the radio on, broadcasting the race in the background, and while listening I finally finished Block 4 of Verandah Views and completed Block 5.

I now have to trace the remainder of the blocks ready to complete. I’m getting there, slowly but surely.

Saturday 10 October 2009

Wash Cloth Swap Received and Letter in Homespun

I was very happy to hear that Liz received her wash cloth swap package on Thursday. This is what I sent to her. I enjoyed knitting the butterfly pattern from here. The variegated cloth has a great texture, simply by doing double crochet into the back of the stitch below, rather than through the complete stitch, if that makes sense. Anyway, I love the effect with the colourful yarn.

Thanks Jodie for arranging such a great swap.

Australian Homespun magazine arrived in the letterbox yesterday. I was flicking through it last night and was delighted to see my softie I made earlier in the year. I’d forgotten that I’d sent photos in to the magazine, after Megan the Technical Editor saw it on my blog. Very exciting, I must say!

The big car race is happening in town tomorrow, so there are lots of people around and we have some friends arriving soon to stay, which will be nice. Mum and I went down the street this morning and it was surprisingly quiet, as all the visitors to town were up at the Mount watching the final qualifying and practice. We found a new dress for her to wear to her party in a fortnight’s time.

I’m now going to try and do a little bit of stitching before our guests arrive.

Monday 5 October 2009

The Week That Was

I seem to have fallen into a routine of only posting once a week, but that will just have to do.

It has been a long weekend here, and on cue, the weather turned cold and bleak. Wet enough to be a nuisance, but not enough rain to be of any real use.

Mick worked on Saturday, so I went to my sewing group in the afternoon. It was nice to catch up with everyone after missing the last couple. I worked on Block 4 of Verandah Views BOM. I did some more at home that night, so should have it finished soon (but I don’t think I’ll get the chance this week). It is so nice to just sit and stitch.

We had grand plans of taking the old BMW and sidecar out yesterday, but due to the unreliable weather we had a day out in the car. By the way, the old BMW outfit has been named “Olga” - a good German name, which also can be linked to “Old Girl”.

Our day out yesterday took us to Millthorpe for their annual open gardens weekend. We visited ten gardens during the day – five in town and five country gardens. I loved the mossy trees.

Wasn’t this a creative way to use worn out work boots.

Tulips featured in many of the gardens. These were really beautiful.

After looking at gardens we visited Mick’s Dad to watch the footy grand final. We would have liked Parramatta to win (even if my brother supports them), but it was not to be.

Then, it was a mad dash to our neighbour’s house for a farewell dinner for one of our other neighbours. We have been blessed here. We are in a tiny hamlet of 5 houses close together in the middle of paddocks. We are all the families who bought a paddock and built our homes. This is the first of the families to leave, which is sad. We hope our new neighbours are just as lovely.

Today we actually stayed home. Mick worked in the garden. It was very overgrown. I cleaned out some kitchen cupboards and have bags and boxes of stuff for the white elephant stall – yes – that special church fete is coming up in a couple of weeks and I am clearing some stuff out in anticipation of some good finds. (Well, not really, I was just amazed at the stuff I never use and had forgotten we have.)

There was also some planting of flowers and a gooseberry in the garden.

What about the rest of the week. Not much really, no crafting to mention. But I did read a book. We had some book vouchers from Christmas that we finally got around to redeeming and I chose “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”. I had heard it was good, and it lived up to expectations. Very enjoyable.
The other book I chose was “Made in France”. Beautiful, simple patterns in cross stitch and stem stitch. I have a little band of natural linen with a red edge that I bought in Paris when we were there two years ago, (the bags were very full at that stage) and have not been able to find a suitable pattern to stitch. Now I have inspiration.

The Blackwork Embroidery book was being given away by one of Mum's friends who is leaving town, so she thought of me. She's a good Mum isn't she.