Monday, July 21, 2014

NO LONGER A WORK IN PROGRESS


 
This photo is from about two years ago and I must say I thought today would never come about! BUT IT HAS! Last night I finished my afghan rug, so many nights beavering away until last nights when I looked at E and said that's it. And he agreed!


The rug is more than enough to cover me, an essential on these chilly nights.


I decided I wanted to fill in the gaps on the sides and ends and as I didn't want to spend more time than necessary on these so- called gaps I worked out I could do my own thing...


And it worked!



And I love it! I love all the colours and I'm so pleased I did that last row on the outside in the yellow, it finishes the blanket so well and after all it is a favourite colour, makes my heart sing when you get the right colour as this is.
I have crocheted quite a lot over the years, cushions and toys, the odd beanie or two but haven't much to show for it as I've made them for friends and family, and I'm happy that I have done this. But this time it is just for me, and of course for E, not that he would use it as he doesn't feel the cold as I do!
I really feel like doing a celebratory jig around the block but maybe not! So I will just celebrate with you all. Isn't it the best thing to finish something you love, especially when it is something that has been an on-going project for a couple of years!!
 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

THE COMFORT OF BOOKS


Books have been my friends for ever, something my mother passed on to me and thankfully I have passed onto my own children...and on down the line. It was lovely a few days ago to see my 7 3/4 year old granddaughter lost in her book, wanting to eat and read at the same time. I completely understand that feeling, just not wanting to put the book down. 
There is nothing like settling into a good read, especially when the words sing to you. The joy of picking a book up and knowing just by the feel of it in your hands that you are going to love it. I'm not sure why the feel can tell you but it just does! I can't go to sleep at night until I have read, even if it is only a few lines. As I'm now in my seventies, early seventies (!) reading has accompanied me through small children, wakeful nights, snoring husbands, waiting for teenagers to come home late at night, good times and not so good times. In the midst of sadness I would get a 'good' murder mystery and forget. This reading literally helped me to get right back on track to do whatever I needed to do. 
This post has come about as we have had a couple of upside down weeks, we decided to buy a house here, all very exciting until we realised we were taking on too much for us, hard to accept that we are not as young as we once were! The garden was just too big and too immaculate for us...I'm much better off with a garden that spills over, where weeds can nestle under my favourite flowers without being too obvious! So we pulled out, the best thing for us but we felt we had let down the sellers. Not good in a small country town particularly.  BUT what kept me going were three books I had from our local library, I loved them all!
The first...

 
A beautifully written story about the daughter of Greek immigrants who settled in America. Daphne goes back every summer to spend time on the island where she lives. The story goes from past to present, how our family history has such an influence on us. I loved it!


The latest Karen White book and another story travelling from present to past and back again. I always enjoy her writing, mysteries, nothing too gory, some romance..of course and so much more. The story of relationships gone wrong and the ties that bind us to our families. The story involves the story of a beloved grandmother and the granddaughter who left home, vowing never to return...but of course she does. It is quite a long story and again I loved every minute of it. She is such a good storyteller!
And my third book...


Another mystery, travelling  between 2009 and 1849. Julia, in New York,  finds she has inherited a house from her great-aunt, someone she didn't know existed, in London. She goes to investigate and find a house that is filled with all sorts of memorabilia, rubbish, an overgrown garden and mystery. A great read as well and I will look out for Laura Willig again.
Books my friends for ever !!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

SOMETHING FINISHED AT LAST

I'm sitting watching the last colours of a beautiful day fading into evening. There are gum trees surrounding the garden here and at this time of the night they are lit up by the last rays of the sun, the trunks and limbs glowing with golden warmth. Then as that fades the hill that sits at the back of our little town is hit by the golden light too. And then comes the gloaming, that lovely word...when it is neither day or night. 
I'm starting to see a little progress with my creativity, not much but some! I've finished a sketchy painting, a watercolour of quinces that I began ages ago. It has sat there on my bench, with lots of fifteen minutes of glazing going on to get the depth of colour I wanted. It is a good feeling when you think, that is enough.


The beginning...


and the finished!

A birthday card or two for my June birthday friends. Just one for you...


And a beanie for a wee little girl, actually one of three....


I have also been working on my afghan rug, it is a long standing project but at last it is nearly long enough, maybe a photo next post! If only I had used a bigger hook! If I had worked it more loosely I think it would have been better...
Hope to be back sooner! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

AUTUMN-SPRING PLEASURES



One of the things I enjoy in the blogging world is the fact that while I'm enjoying Autumn here, I can also enjoy the lovely Spring posts from the other side of the world. And when we are faced with yet another hot summer I get so much pleasure from seeing the snow and the cosy fires at the same time! Somehow these winter posts encourage me in believing that yes, Autumn will come and Winter won't be far behind. I do understand of course that the snow I see on your beautiful posts is not so attractive and enjoyable when your lives are severely impacted by the snow. 


It seems rather incongruous then to be posting these two current photos, the Autumn leaves and what could be seen as a Spring posy, roses and jonquils together. Of course the roses are the last of the season and the jonquils the early harbinger of Spring. Winter has barely begun, we have only had one frost, a light one at that, and today is one of those bright sunny days with a wind from the Arctic I'm sure. We have had lovely rain, some saying the best Autumn rains for thirty years and we are relishing every drop. 


A quick scribble sketch of a tree dahlia from a photo I took in our Winterfold, the farm, garden. I've painted it before I know but I'm enjoying the task of painting and sketching loosely. It is good for me to let go somewhat, not quite with gay abandon but maybe that will come with practice!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A POEM JUST FOR ME!


Once again my blog is suffering from neglect. Again just life getting in the way as well as being stuck in the mud...figuratively speaking!
However there was a bright ray of sunshine when I received the following verses from a very dear friend...

So good to get your letter
And I'm glad you're feeling better
And I'm glad --------'s feeling like a home!

 I'm so pleased you've your 3-wheeler
You will look a lively "shelagh"
As you head to do your shopping in the town.

You may need to wear a scarf
As you tootle down the path
And a wintry wind comes chilly on your neck.

But I reckon that it's great
And your bike must be first-rate
And if you think you look a dork...well, what the heck!

'Cause we're at that certain age
Where we care not at this stage
If we're a dork or something saucier, Oh well!

We can ride a 3 wheel bike,
Or go on a crazy hike
Do whatever we would like
Enjoy ourselves and ring a little bell.

Now I'm finishing this rhyme
And I've had a lovely time
With a picture in my mind of you and E----
'Cause when he gets a bike
Or a tandem he might like
You can both go out a-riding on your bikes!


I know you've seen this before but I had to put it up to go with the poem!!
Now, hopefully, I will get back to blogging more frequently, maybe this blog has broken my 'drought'!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

NEW...OLD BOOKS FROM THE LOCAL CHURCH FETE


Yesterday was the local Anglican Church Fete and as I can't resist the thought of a bargain, (and of course supporting the hardworking people of the Church!) I had to go. I bought two jars of delicious 'bread and butter zucchini' relish, I'm sure just the same as the bread and butter cucumber recipe. Also some yummy muesli slice...I do wish the recipe had been provided as we both really enjoyed the slice.
However my piece de resistance, I should say pieces, are the two very much preloved childrens books. The most interesting was the story of KERSTI and Saint Nicholas. It is the loveliest story, first published 


 by Frederick Muller in 1949. This copy was presented as a Divinity prize in 1950 and it turned out that the lady who was in charge of the book stall, and who sold it to me, was the owner of the book! We had a lovely few minutes talking about our mutual love of books and also her sadness that her grandchildren were only interested in screens. Their closest link to reading was that they at least listened to audio books. I'm encouraged that my grandchildren are readers, as are their parents.





It really is the most delightful book and one I think my 7 year old granddaughter will appreciate. The pictures throughout the book are beautifully done as well.
My other buy is interesting for a different reason. It is the same vintage, given as a present in 1952. 


It is very dated and although I'm enjoying browsing through it I don't think the modern teenager would relate to it at all.


'Aren't you ashamed of yourself?' Said Grandpa reads the caption. 


Poor Elizabeth struggles with the expectations of her family when all she wants to do is to go to Art School. It ends up being a bit of a budding romance and she does in the end get to do what she sets out to do. And as for her Grandpa being so thoroughly disappointed with his granddaughter, hopefully that wouldn't happen too much today.
If any of you follow Kate at  http://greedyforcolour.blogspot.com.au  don't forget her giveaway of her beautiful childrens book about Stanley and his adventures, STANLEY AND THE HOT AIR BALLOON. She has crocheted all the characters and so much more. All the patterns are included for the reader to crochet their own Stanley. It is a treat of a book!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SCRIBBLES AND COLOUR


I've often picked up a pen and scribbled, just allowing the pen to go wherever it and whenever but I've never valued these scribbles as anything other than a loose suggestion of a subject. Lately I've been looking at them with different eyes and I'm enjoying the effect with paint thrown on top.



Cropping, is there such a word, helped this version of my quinces, lemons if you prefer!


A gardenia from the amazing bush here that just keeps on keeping on.




This one is on watercolour paper with a thicker pen. It should be fun to do I think!
What do you think?