Thursday, July 29, 2010


At last my cushion is finished, I feel like doing a drum roll and turning hand springs to announce my newly completed crochet cushion!
You might remember this.......

and ......

And NOW.........

I backed the crochet onto a type of micro[macro?] suede,  and at the back just folded over the edges as in a pillow slip, then made the ties. Spotlight suggested a needle for sewing leather...I would never have thought of that... it made the sewing so much easier. The colour hasn't photographed well, it is a much darker and more red, suits the wools really well.
I feel like keeping it but no, it has a special home to go to so I must be brave and will deliver it to it's new beach-side home tomorrow!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Don't You Hate It When.....

Can you see the horse? Look carefully! I aimed my camera and by the time it snapped the photo, the subject, i.e. the horse, has gone!

And of course with this one, I forgot to bring the subject close enough to see properly!
Our next door neighbour had his stallion parade yesterday, four beautiful stallions all looking their best, were paraded in front of a gathering of breeders and race horse owners. Malcolm was in fine form, the day was beautiful and so was the lunch. We were the neighbours, the only ones not interested in sires for our mares...we don't have a single horse here at all. Neighbours was even written onto our name-tags so we were spared having to show off our lack of knowledge about the racing interest. I really enjoy seeing their horses, watching the wobbley foals , then seeing them growing, playing together. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to rub a new foal's nose, cuddle a furry neck as it wibbles and wobbles on it's sparrow-thin legs, And smell of the loveliest smells!

Today we had an unexpected trip to a local town which has a lake fronting on to the main street. We sat in the sun and ate our lunch looking at the view, listening to the seagulls spiralling around us, a bonus treat for our day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fairies Live Here and a Trip to Bendigo.

A secluded spot under the old mulberry tree,acanthus spreading their bear-like paws, bluebells popping their heads up, grandaughter aged 3 3/4 and Pa walking down the path. 'Pa, is this where the fairies live?' Of course' says Pa and they come into lunch, both happy!
Daughter No 2 and I went to Bendigo yesterday to meet an aunt, uncle and cousin
AND to see the McCubbin exhibition in the wonderful Bendigo Art Gallery. Frederick McCubbin was an artist who painted at the end of the 1800s and early 1900s. His work is mainly Australian scenes, lots around Melbourne and overseas as well. His works are beautiful, and many, and well worth seeing.
Most people look at the front of the gallery, it is very imposing for a small city, built when Bendigo was a very important centre because of the flourishing gold mines. The building was built to impress and has continued to do so for many years.

This is at the back of the Gallery, I loved the two old buildings at the front of this photo, old bricks always have such a charm and I am sure these buildings are as old as the Gallery, or older.

If you look closely you might see the green grass parrots, I did wish I could get closer!
We also went to the Bendigo Woollen Mills.....

to get wool for a blanket/shawl for a baby-to-be in our family. I love the colour, Luxury... Barley. The pattern is the one where you begin with 2-3 stitches, adding one at the beginning of every row. I am looking forward to starting but am knitting a vest for grandson N0 6 and want to finish it first before starting yet another project. I still have to finish a cushion for a friend, [before next Friday,] work on the flowers for my purple vest that didn't work out and is now going to be a cushion cover, the cardigan I am knitting for myself,[have finished the back and figure I don't really need it until next winter!] and this morning grandson No4 asked me if I would crochet a small ball with beans or something inside. When I suggested something like a hackey-sack he was thrilled that I had grasped the concept! That is definitely more important than my cardigan!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Joy of Weeding My Flowering Apricot

I know you have seen this photo before... this is where I have been weeding this afternoon. Petals falling on my hair, almost bridal....except it has been a long time since you might say I had the bridal look! The scent was so delicious, wafting down , not continually in which case I would have taken it for granted. No, it wafted down in 'sweeps', nectar from the gods and a nice reward for the chore of weeding.
It has been a lovely afternoon, clouds in the sky, vivid blues and now although it is nearly 5.00 pm, it is still quite mild and as a bonus we have the long shadows and the golden glow of the evening light.
So a great day. I hope yours was or will be the same, wherever you may be.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Coincidence or Synchronicity

Kate suggested this book to me and I loved it, set in Salem, a Great-Aunt missing, the mysterious lace readers  and secrets which have been held too long. Lots to get one's 'teeth'into! Weird expression isn't it! I brought the book home from the library last week, thinking it looked familiar [a senior's moment] and of course when I began to read on Saturday morning [with my cup of tea in bed] I instantly recognized the story. Then my next thought was that it would be a very easy book to read again, something I rarely do. I wondered vaguely whether Brunonia Barry had written anything else but just went on reading. 
The morning papers arrived and there on the literary page with newly published books was a BRUNONIA BARRY book! THE MAP OF PLACES. Again set in Salem, another mystery to solve and secrets to unearth. It was published in May of this year. I am hoping our library has it, otherwis might suggest they get it.
I do enjoy these synchronicities and just hope I have spelled it the right way!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chocolate Cake

During the school holidays a friend came to stay with her son, bringing a boiled chocolate cake, a really yummy moist cake which is very easy. I made one on Saturday to take to Melbourne to Son No3 and his wife......

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 oz butter
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups SR flour
1/2 bi-carb soda

Place sugar, water, butter,cocoa and soda into saucepan and stir over low heat until butter is melted. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
When cool mix in beaten eggs and SR flour. Turn into greased and floured cake tin, mine was 19 cm, 5cm deep. Bake in moderate oven for 25 minutes although mine took a little longer so worht checking!
Sally cooked hers in a ring tin so you could do this if you would like to.
 I have another boiled chocolate cake recipe, it is a bigger cake and it too is very moist so will post this another day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Winter into Spring and chocolate ramblings!

In the midst of winter, we have the beginnings of Spring. I love the changes we have in our seasons although I'm not too keen on the summer heat.
I love the bulbs popping up, the yellows we have in Spring,

the our flowering Apricot, always the first with blossom here. I am wondering whether the blackbird will come back to his nest in the tree. If so he will have the most deliciously scented bower for his bed!

The creamy whites are everywhere in the garden, some from the old garden we had herre from long ago, others come from my dear sister-in-law in Melbourne who has a garden with absolute treasures in it, rare and fascinating things which her husband other words, he is what I think of as a real gardener!

The blues...Julia Crossland on her blog has some lovely photos of her garden with borage flowers, it is a 'world family'feeling when I see we have the same flowers blooming on both sides of the world, even if ours are really too early and rather sparse on the plant.

The purples, my gorgeous and tough perrenial wallflower, grows so easily from cuttings.

The very last of my roses, one even has some buds but I don't think they will come to anything. I won't prune my roses until nearly the end of August as the frosts tend to kill off all those lovely new tawny shoots so I need to be patient.

Lastly.....does any-one else find that chocolate assists them when faced with  chores!!! I find that New Zealand's Whittakers chocolate helps me through all sorts of things from cleaning bathrooms, deciding what to have for dinner, washing up, putting things away, ironing, putting things away, any upsets, irritations,anxieties, annoyances and even
Our local Safeway has had it for a couple of years and I'm always worried that they might decide not to import it. They also have the NZ Anatoth range of jams, so like home-made , they are amazing. The raspberry is so delicious, I love it. I used to bring home the chocolate from  NZ but chocolate does weigh quite a lot, especially when you bring 2-3 kg home!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A tale of some tails

I am enjoying making these little flower/circles/motifs to place on my cusion cover which was meant to be my vest, the first thing I had knitted for myself for so long and it was AWFUL on me! However the cushion I will really enjoy!!
However, there are to be heaps of these little poppets and they all have many tails which ALL need to be dealt with. So they become quite tiresome poppets! I do have my jar beside me as I work and all the tails go into there. It is quite satisfying to see the jar nearly full but I know it can be squashed down to make some room. I always think 'maybe I can do something', perhaps be incorporated into a collage, but then perhaps not!

I went outside onto the verandah to take the photos as there was more light and decided not to sit on this chair...we have had some lovely rain, at last have water running off into the dams and even could perhapsget bogged in some of the paddocks here on the farm. What a wonderful thought as there has been no possibility of getting bogged for the last ten or so years!

I love these succulents on our outside table, they weren't looking very happy for ages but strangely enough they still need a little bit of water occaisonally and now are much happier. The jugs are so pretty but sadly have some chips but the succulents don't mind even a little bit and we can still see the jugs...they have a purpose in life, just as we do!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bastille Day

I know there are many through the world who celebrate Bastille Day but our celebration today is for my Daughter No 1. I can't believe how the years have flown since she just arrived on Bastille Day with twenty minutes to spare! In other words, at twenty minutes to midnight. I can't say she has had a mad passion for all things French as a result of this, she studied German at school so she's not  even a speaker of the French language.
Life has tossed her some very curly twisty turns and I am so very proud of the woman she has become. She has created a wonderfully warm and welcoming home for her family, always ready to help someone else in their times of difficulty and a wonderful sister, friend and daughter.
I went to Melbourne yesterday and there was an early birthday dinner which her cousin brought us, along with her 3 children 4 1/2, nearly 3 and one!! How could she do it, getting them all into the car, all the dinner, etc, etc. And still be smiling!
 The birthday morning began in the traditional way, presents and cups of tea in bed, then a hectic morning as the mobile, the land-line and the doorbell ringing all at the same time!
And now I am home, she is at work where she is working for her cousin.....

Whoever would have thought it he would be her boss!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Time wasters?


It is a really beautiful day here and I have been 'fiddling' inside, on the computer and generally wasting the beautiful sunshine. And I have this great new book waiting for me as well as the house, crochet, knitting and the GARDEN! I do love reading Barbara Erskine and this is a new one, published this year. I am always fascinated with stories that combine past times with present, past lives and the ability to 'see' the past. The book will have to wait, maybe after lunch I will have an excuse to sit for a while, book in hand and of course a cup of tea.

This is waiting for me too. It looks good too, Elizabeth Berg is another author I like, I think Kate put me on to her.
Well, now enough time talking... I am going outside!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A dear friend

Sometime ago a dear friend said she had leant her wheatsack to someone who had never returned it. As you know we have had some severe frosts so I thought she needed another one. So a trip to the op shop yielded a woollen straight skirt for the sack and bingo! A new wheatsack for her!
I made a calico sack for the first layer and then the wool skirt sack, a lovely soft wool. Some crochet flowers, thanks to Lucy at Attic24, some wheat from the new local shop, Fare Enough in our local town, some rose essential lavender... and the sack is going off to it's new owner after lunch.
It is such a thrill to have Fare Enough so close. It is run by a local lady who has an absolute cornucopia of organic 'stuff'[ according to my grandson who is helping me write this blog!] The smells are divine, my husband loves the dates from California. They even have some lovely handmade wool, gorgeous colours and the lady makes fresh sushi every morning. Kate will love all the gluten free products she has so it will make our lives much easier. We came home with popcorn, the dates, wheat, some bulls-eyes...the boiled sweets, not the real thing....some beautiful sour dough bread , oh and a CD from the op shop as the two boys convinced me they needed it and for fifty cents so what else could I do!
By the way, the bread was delicious this morning toasted with the marmalade I made a few days ago.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

We have a special place here which a treasured member of our family called
Here we can see 'all over the country-side' and the evening light makes it all the more beautiful.
We visited there on Monday nightwith family and friends and watched the sun go down, all rugged up as it was very cold, heading for a big frost that night. I love to see the shifting light and the glow that colours our world.

There is a large log E dragged up there with the tractor, levelling off the top so that we could use it for a table or to sit on......

The sun goes down ......

Time for a last look
 and home we go.
We have had Number three and Number four grandsons stay on for a few days after daughter Number one went home to Melbourne. It is a different house with the children staying, clothes dotted around, and 'please, please, please can we get up at 4.30 am to watch the Germany-Spain soccer match' and not liking the reply,'  we think we had better ask your Mum!' and 'Oh Mum you are mean!' whn the reply was a very definite 'NO!'
One goes home today and the other tomorrow and I KNOW we will miss them when the house is quiet, no soccer or other TV on??!!