Sunday 31 October 2010

Open Gardens and a Small Finish

I had a lovely day out today with my friend Lisa.  We have our annual outing together to see the local open gardens.

The day started showery, so we thought we would have a damp day.  However, it soon cleared and we didn’t need our brollies at all.

We started out with the gardens in town.  “Blair Athol” is stunning, having won a National Garden award a few years ago.

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We visit every year and it is maturing beautifully.

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Our next stop was “Bishop Court”, which is a boutique B & B.  The garden is beautiful, but a special feature is the old chapel which is now a delightful dining venue.  We have been lucky enough to attend a dinner there a few years ago.

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Here are some random photos of some of the other gardens.

I don’t know what this flower was, but it was stunning.

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The Koi Carp in this delightful pond were huge.

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This little gecko was sweet on his rock.

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Such a simple thing can look so good.

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My favourite garden is “Hillendale” at Yetholme.  It is a mature cool climate country garden.  This area is about 1100m above sea level and quite often receives snow.

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It was so good to see it in a good season, as the little stream running through the garden was trickling down the hill to the dam.

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The dam was brim full.  Such a lovely change from the last couple of years.

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The Rhododendrons are something to behold.  This was by no means one of the large ones.

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Just look at the size of these peonies.

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Even the vege garden looks stylish.

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Some of the borders were only just starting to bloom as it is so much cooler up there.

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After such a lovely day out I realised that I hadn’t completed anything for OPAM.  I can’t have that.  So, I finished off my Secret Santa Christmas Decoration while sitting in the sun on the back verandah.  This is as much as I will reveal. Phew, at least something is finished.

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I have been doing a bit of Secret Santa sewing, but unfortunately nothing else. 

Thursday 28 October 2010

Repurpose Thursday

I decided to play along with Fee’s Repurpose Thursday this week. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have a very good “before” picture of my little project.  This is part of my booty from the church fete I told you about a couple of weeks ago.

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See the little tea lamp doo dad with purple beads.  Well, I bought it with a purpose – well actually to repurpose.

This is what it looks like now.

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I’ve been wanting a beaded fob for my little embroidery scissors but am not into doing my own beading.  I hope it isn’t too big. If it is I’ll just repurpose it again into a Christmas tree decoration.

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Pop over to Fee’s to see who else is playing.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Lovely Gifts

A little while ago Toni from Red Boot Quilt Company celebrated a milestone with her blog and she was the one giving the gifts.  I was lucky enough to receive a special copy of her pattern and what party is complete without a party bag.

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This is what was in it.  How good is that.  The buttons are really cute.  It was a lovely surprise.

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Thanks so much Toni.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Tuesday Treasures – Grandma’s Radio

Just next to my treasured pantry/loo door is this little collection of treasures.  The shelf is actually attached to the side of the pantry. They might look familiar from my banner.

I was just going to tell you about the radio, but I might as well tell you about it all.

The radio was Grandma’s.  It is a 1942 model Phillips.  The date is quite clear in Mum’s memory, as it was purchased in anticipation of the electricity being connected to the farm.  I found it covered in dust and cobwebs in the back of the shed at Uncle Chris’ and was lucky enough to bring it home and clean it up.  A friend who is into radios gave it a service and it worked.  However, it gave up the ghost again.  I think it needs new valves.  It is a lovely thing to have sitting  in the kitchen.

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The other items are also little treasures, especially the apple box label.  This is from Uncle Chris’ orchard.  Granddad died in 1953 and Grandma and Uncle Chris carried on with the farm until Grandma died in the mid 70s. Uncle Chris is still there, although there isn’t much of the orchard left. I can remember when I was little, the apples being packed into wooden cases, the label stapled to the end and then being taken into town to be sent away by rail.  How things have changed. 

Hartley was a very well known apple area in the early 1900s and always put on a big display at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.  There is a great photo of the orchardists, dressed in their best suits, in front of a big pyramid of apples.  I wish I had a copy to share.

There were also competitions for the best apples and in 1928 Granddad won.  His case of apples was shipped back to England and presented to the King.  It was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Age and Canberra Times on the same day that Uncle Chris was born. It must have been a very exciting day for him.

But I digress….

The shelf is an Ashelford’s soft drink case.  They were our local company when I was a kid and there are actually a few Ashelford’s bottles on the top shelf.

The kerosene lamps are not only decorative.  They get pressed into service if we get a blackout, which is more common out here than in town.  The one at the back is quite elegant.  I can’t remember where we found it.  Mick’s Mum found the one at the front at Vinnies some years ago.  The base is actually a Bushels coffee jar.  It works really well.  However, Mick was cleaning and refilling them recently and the jar cracked.  He was devastated.  Not to worry, I just called Mum and did the cadge.  I swapped a Moccona coffee jar for her string jar – yes she has a jar that she keeps saved string in that just happened to be a Bushels coffee jar.  The lamp is now fixed.  Thanks to Mum.

Pop over to Clare’s to see what other treasures are on show this week.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Domestic Diva – Not

I’m definitely no Domestic Diva.  I consider there are much more fun and interesting things to be doing than housework and ironing.

However, when Mick complained on Friday that he couldn’t find an old T-shirt to wear for mowing the grass, I thought I’d better do something about it. (The fact that there were several old T-shirts on a shelf in the wardrobe is by the by.)

I have a bad habit of folding and putting away clothes that don’t need ironing and just ironing things as required.  So yesterday, as apart from ducking down to the school to vote in a local council by-election I didn’t have to go anywhere, I tackled the piles.  My clothes can wait, as it is only me that can complain. 

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I ironed a heap of household linen, a big pile of hankies, 13 pairs of jeans, 4 pairs of shorts, 20 T-shirts and 13 shirts.  How embarrassing is that! 

Then I had to tackle Mick’s work clothes.  He is rather hard on his work trousers, putting holes in the knees, tearing them on something or getting paint or concrete all over them.  I have a bad habit of just dumping them on the couch in the office (otherwise known as the “Orifice” or “Black Hole of Calcutta”) when they need mending, or if they are beyond it, also dumping them to cut the good bits out to use as patches.

So I started sorting – 7 pairs just needing ironing,  8 pairs of faded, 10 pairs worth mending and 7 pairs beyond it. So, the ironing was quickly done.  Next the faded ones.  A few years ago both major companies that make work trousers in Australia started using a different fabric.

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It was stronger, but didn’t hold its dye and very quickly faded, so before long couldn’t be worn to work.  I was going to chuck them all out, but only 2 had holes in the knees, so out they went.  Remember, the fabric is stronger – darn. The others are now for working at home and I’ve just folded them – no ironing.  At least he can just grab a pair as they don’t have holes.

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Then, with the ones that were beyond it, I cut out the backs of the legs and bottoms of the fronts of legs to use as patches and removed the buttons.  I thought the zippers would be handy for zipper purses, but after persevering to remove one, decided that if I want a zip I can go and buy one.  At least they are well constructed. I ended up with a nice little pile of patches.

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That was enough for one day, so this morning I tackled the patching. It was back to winter here today, wet, dreary and only reaching about 12 degrees C, so a good day to be in the warm sewing. 

I normally (on the very rare occurrence this happens) do my patching on my little Elna Stella. Actually, I probably haven’t done any since I’ve had the Janome – oops! Anyway, the Janome has no free arm and Stella’s free arm is really wide, so not very easy to manoeuvre with. So I got to thinking that we could make this patching process a bit of fun.

I decided that the best way to go was to use this little baby.

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I’ve had my little Singer Featherweight 222K for about 3 years now.  I found her at the local swap meet.  I was over the moon, although she wasn’t a bargain. When I bought her I checked that she worked, bought some more bobbins and a quarter inch foot and put her back in her case.  Last time I had my machines serviced I sent her up too and was assured she is a great little machine – and left her in her case.

This is actually the first time I have used her.  She has a nice, narrow little free arm. Perfect for trouser legs.

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First up I had to work out how to thread her, put in the bobbin and drive her.  She is so lovely and quiet and the light is excellent. Every time I look at her I marvel at how tiny she is.

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Then we got stuck into it.

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By this afternoon, and with only one cotton lock, Mick had 10 extra pairs of trousers.  It was as good as going shopping. It feels so good to have that all done.

I still have to tackle the pile of work shirts.  There will be no mending.  They will be ironed of thrown out.  I think I will be ruthless.

I did give myself a break and made a yummy Banana Parkin for afternoon tea, so it wasn’t all mending.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Flea Market (Church Fete) Finds

I found some great bits and bobs at the Church Fete yesterday.

I have coveted a set of those green canisters for many years, but they are nigh on impossible to find, and if you do, cost a bomb, so I was absolutely thrilled to find one.  They look so very deco.

The rabbit jelly mould is another wonderful treasure to find. The little plate matches another I have at home and thought was pretty. The bread board is identical to one that Mum and Dad have.  This one is very worn, but I have another old silver one which is missing its board.  I’ll see if this one fits. The long covered dish is really old Meakin and I’m guessing that the xylonite brush that was hiding inside is a clothes brush??? And finally, I think the little dish is for eggs, as the cavities have a curved base, so wouldn’t be for a cruet set.  Anyway, as no one wanted to buy it by the end of the day I brought it home, rather than it get chucked out.

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I’ve been wanting a little table ironing board for a while and when I went for a wander late in the morning I found this one in perfect condition on the “Bargains for Blokes” stall.  I can’t imagine it would be on the shopping list for too many “blokes”, but it was a bargain for me. 

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There were several little bags of gold buttons with shanks, so I replenished my jar after making my bangle.  Now I’ll be able to make another.

I have plans to repurpose the purple beads on the tea light holder soon.  We’ll see how I go.

I only noticed the bell knitting needle gauge on the white elephant stall at the very end of the day.  How could I have missed that?

There was a jewellery stall and I found several cute brooches to add to my brooch cushion, including a quilt block one and a crafting one.

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And finally, I’ve seen mug trees used to hang scissors etc, so I thought this cutlery hanger would do the same thing.  If I don’t like it, I’ll just donate it back next time.  the flour bags were being thrown out at the end of the day, so I grabbed them.  The stationery and old frame will just be handy to have.

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Now for the usual problem of finding a home for everything.

Pop over here to see what other wonderful Flea Market Finds there are this week.

Saturday 16 October 2010

What Happened to Spring?

Earlier in the week it was nice to see the second wave of spring blossoms start to appear with the apple trees.

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I do love apple blossom.  The pink is just so soft.

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Then, on Wednesday the weather changed…….it started to get a bit cloudy again.  On my way to work there was a break in the cloud and the view was just stunning looking down over our local water supply, which is nice and full.

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Mick and a mate headed off to Phillip Island for the Moto GP on Wednesday, and encountered torrential rain all the way down.  They are camping and  it hasn’t exactly been ideal weather.  It has been really windy and rained all day on Friday, so no racing, although it is a bit better today.

It turned rather feral here yesterday, wet and windy, although it wasn’t too cold…………until another change came through last night……and today we have had this………

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Yes, that is snow – real snow with flakes – right in Bathurst, which is only 600m above sea level!!  There was next to no snow in the area all winter and there hasn’t been snow in town for years.  There were flurries right up until lunch time, which is unprecedented.

Why is the church in the background?  Because today was the Spring Fair!!!  Fortunately, most of it was held in the church hall, as the temperature only got up to about 5 degrees C.

This is my favourite church fete that I have mentioned here, here and here.  Normally I’m just a customer.  However, this time, at Mum’s request, I was also a helper, as many of the usual workers were either ill or away.  I haven’t helped for many years, but from when I was about 10 I used to help on the craft or book stalls.  This time I was on the White Elephant stall, which was lots of fun.

Of course, I made some purchases. What amazed me, was that even though I was at the stall all morning, I still found interesting things that I had missed, right up till the end. I’ll share photos tomorrow.

The weather has started to clear now, but it is still bitterly cold, so the fire has been relit.  Hopefully tomorrow is a bit better as it is Mum’s birthday and they are coming out here for afternoon tea.  I’d best go and do some cooking.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Tuesday Treasures – Old Loo Door

Our old door may seem to be a bit of an odd thing to have as a “Treasure”.

We found this door at an auction at Oberon in the late 80s.  It was a ratty looking old dunny door.  The paint was faded green and all crazed but attached to the back was an original cast iron “Victoria Toilet Fixture” loo roll holder.  Reproduction brass versions of this were all the rage at the time with heritage decorating.

I was quite excited to find an original and for $10 the old door was ours.  It also had a nice old brass lock.  When we got home, the hardware was removed, the loo roll holder cleaned up and installed in the house and the door put up in the woodshed to be thought no more of.

At this stage we were renovating an old 1920s workers cottage in town so the door  became a handy painting plank over the bathtub when we were doing up the bathroom  and then returned to the woodshed.

When we got to the kitchen, Mick made all recycled oregon cabinets and built a corner pantry.  We wanted a door with character, but couldn’t find one.  Then I remembered the dunny door up the back. It was the right size.

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We gave it a good wash and the faded green brightened up.  The back was a whitewash, and when stripped back revealed lovely old pine. A coat of estapol brought it up beautifully.   Mick then hunted out the old handle we had removed and reinstated it and put the hinges on the outside.  It was just the look we were after. This, according to the back of the photos was in 1992.

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I made the calico angel to finish it off. The kitchen wasn’t nearly as pink as it appears in this scanned old photo. The small window is my one and only foray into leadlight and I was sad to leave it behind when we moved.

The back of the door came up really well too and Dad provided an old hook which he had found at the tip and cleaned up.  It suits the door perfectly.  I’ve never seen another like it.  It reminds me of shaker pegs.

The old crock was painted orange when we bought it from the deceased estate auction of one of Mum’s old friends and then Mick made the oregon lid to suit.

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The old shopping list board features a Lucy Mabel Attwell picture  and is identical to one that was always at Grandma’s when we were little.  We found this one in an op shop in Maryborough in Queensland in the late 80s. 

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We eventually sold our little cottage, once we had made it just right for us, and started again in a bare paddock.

This time Mick built a cream timber kitchen with a corner pantry. Of course we couldn’t find a door we liked, so the old dunny door came with us.  It cost a bomb to buy oregon to make a replica to leave at the old house, but it was worth it.  I love our old door.

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Of course, the old loo roll holder came with us too.

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Pop over to Clare’s to see what other treasures are on show this week.

Saturday 9 October 2010

Trunkey Creek Show

While Bathurst was enjoying the roar of V8s going around the Mount we attended a very different event.

We first attended the Trunkey Show a couple of years ago when the Historic Car Club received an urgent invitation to attend due to the outbreak of horse flu, meaning that the horse section of the show had to be cancelled that year.  Trunkey Creek is a small village 60kms south of Bathurst.  Of course we all turned up and were delighted and surprised at what a great little country show it is.  It is not just horses and sheep, there is something for everyone, as they say.

I had received a copy of the show schedule and subsequently entered a few photos and Mum and I entered the craft section.  We were amazed at the time that the craft section was really strong in both quantity and quality. We were even lucky enough to win a couple of sections.

We weren’t able to attend last year, but this year we got out there again.  There was a pink theme with the show aiming to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation.  They did exceptionally well and raised several thousand dollars, a great achievement for a very small village.

The Historic Car Club was invited again and there was a good display of old cars from the Club.

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We had planned to take “Olga” and to dress her in pink, but her gearbox continues to cause grief so we took “Doug” the 1926 Douglas (on the trailer behind the car).  Doug always creates a lot of interest and is a great talking point.  Mick got into the spirit of things in his pink shirt.

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The “Carpark Cafe” did a roaring trade and took to the theme with gusto. The showground was a sea of pink as most people, both male and female, were wearing something pink, some a little brighter than others.

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Notice the size of the coffee cups - “C” and “DD”.  It put a smile on everyone’s faces.

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We were entertained during the day by “Collector”, a great local folk band.

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There was also a pipe band.  This little boy was enthralled. Notice the bunting of bras along all the stalls in the background.  The whole grounds were festooned in bras.

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Of course, any country show must have the sheepdog trials.  This dog was just amazing to watch.

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Our larrikin local Councillor, Bobby Burke, attended wearing his suit made of men’s ties.  Earlier this year they collected thousands of old ties to raise awareness for prostate cancer.  This suit was made by a local lady from some of them.

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He also got into the spirit of today’s theme.

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I decided to put a couple of things in the craft section again.  I hadn’t made anything big or detailed this year, so just thought my bits would at least give the judges something to look at.

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Unfortunately, there was nowhere near the number of entries this year, so each item won a prize.

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I was thrilled, of course, but just wish there were more ladies entering.

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I’ll just have to nag some of my friends to put something in next year.

We’re really pleased that we went out for the day. It is so good to see a small show thriving.  They have a really strong committee and  promote it well.  Now we’re looking forward to hearing what the theme is for next year and I’ll also have to start making some more craft items to enter.