Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Crafting Birthday Present for a Four Year Old Girl

I found a great dolly's cot in an op-shop a few weeks ago,thereby beginning a journey to create the birthday present for this special little girl. I began with four beautiful shirts donated by one daughter and began with strips sewn had a peak on an earlier blog.

I made the matress and the pillow from an old pillow slit into two, with  new covers, a bottom sheet, purple with the Pink label on it, the top sheet has a white doiley to decorate it, the pillow slip is striped with the shirt material and then made the doonah into a patchwork doonah

The Birthday Girl was thrilled but probably not half as much as I was! It is very satisfying to see a day's enjoyment, [the making of it] turning out so well.
Then last night it had to be wrapped, not an easy task when  it is quite a large parcel and there is nowhere enough wrapping paper in the house! So brown paper, patched, and bits cut out of proper wrapping paper that have been kept and are not big enough to be useful....why do I keep these leftover bits? I now know, they can be very useful!!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I meant to put this on the blog I have just completed! I just saw that Attic24 had shown a similar one and realized my error of forgetfullness! I have been planting more pots and putting some that already have shot into the garden beds, I love it because it is so tough and flowers in the most awful of conditions and does not mind being neglected!

Gardens and Projects

         I have been helped in the garden and around today and of course much more has been accomplished. The paths and verandah have been cleaned up and then blown with the grass blower, so much better than the old straw broom. Just after the big one finished the paths our very friendly blackbird, the one with the wonky wing, got to work, he just didn't want to have such tidiness in his domain.  He is worth while though with his singing, a sound that is Springtime to me and so heis excused the mess he makes! You can see his little peck-hole about half way up the path.

A patch of brilliance in the dappled shade.

My works in progress.... The baby shawl for one daughter is more than half way now, I am so pleased and of course after half way each row becomes smaller, even if it only one stitch at a time!  My scarf is also on the way, nearly finished the lighter purple. I have a plan for the ends, hope it works and of course will show you when it is finished
Now I have to do a few things inside. I sometimes would love to have the inside help when I have been in the garden most of the day. I should be waited on hand and foot, in fact feet should be massaged, a cool drink placed in my hand and dinner miraculously on the table!! If only!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday morning and a quiet house

The big one here has just left, another body is still asleep and here I am. I always intend to write two or three blogs a week but somehow life gets in the way. The sun is shining, a cool wind is blowing, I have pelagoniums in pots I am going to put in the garden, lovely hardy things they are, and generous with their flowers. And the baby magpies are atr it again. I can just imagine those gaping mouths wanting their breakfast NOOOOOOWWWWW! Ah! Instant peace just evolved at that very minute; the naughty dog [??] just chased them away!!! And I do want to write this before I go outside!

My latest project, a scarf for me, the purples will come next. I was thinking of a double stripe of the green but I don't think so, too much in the middle.

I'll show more next blog.

Two glimpses of my garden, waiting for me as I walk out the back door. I used not to like the acanthus but now adore the sculptured leaves. The flower spikes are just unfurling, gorgeous! Isn't it strange how out tastes change, perhaps  just as well sometimes!
The irises are beautiful and the photo doesn't show the lilac behind and the lavender, Never mind, it is a beautiful combination and I am sorry you can't enjoy the fragrance as well.


A glimpse of my next project, unveiling next week. the material used in the strips are from some beautiful shirts from Pink in Jermyn Street in London, far too good to be chopped up but the donor was keen for them to be involved in this project> She has been working on her fitness in such a dedicated manner that she has gone from a 12 to a size 8. Why can some people be so focused on getting fit!! I have wonderful intentions but they soon fall by the wayside and I am back to my old habits

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Morning Lilac and Greedy Magpies

We are having the most wonderful Spring, all the rain coming at the right time. Everything in the garden has luxurious growth, even the weeds, some of which seem almost as tall as I am!
I am so enjoying the lilac, full of blooms and the scent wafts over me asI walk past it. The scent is beside me when I go to sleep and when I wake up for my morning cup of tea.
I don't know about any-one else in Australia but I am getting heartily sick of the bad manners of the young magpies demanding food from their mothers ALL THE DAYLIGHT HOURS!!!!!! Either they  have very poor mothers who never feed them.....which I know is not true because wherever there is a squarking teenage magpie there is a frazzled mother bird running around trying to find the choicest worms for these ungrateful children. At the moment there are two of these ungrateful terrors outside on our lawn. So, have they not heard about childhood obesity, [I am not making fun of this huge problem, it is a real concern,] or is it they just want lots of attention or whaaaat! Anyway where are the fathers, I don't see two parents to one child. Actually, maybe itis the father birds who are trying to do an adequate job and it is the mothers who are off enjoying themselves, parting or having cups of coffee away from their painful children. Maybe they just haven't taught their babies to ask nicely and politely and wait patiently while dinner is being prepared!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spring and Books

I have neglected blogville lately, just life getting in the way. Today is the day I begin again! The house is quiet, no-one here and I go to get my camera. No camera. It has gone in the car with my big one. Not on purpose...the last time I returned from Melbourne I didn't unpack the car properly.
So, no new photos. However, wisteria is flowering profusely in gardens round about and this one is in a friend's garden this time last year. I love the look and the SCENT, it wafts me around to all sorts of romantic places!
I have loved reading all the books people are enjoying on Kate's giveaway and have written lots down to read another time. Congratulations to the winner, the prizes look gorgeous, hopefully she does it again next year!
One of her favourite books and mine is The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry and I have just discovered a new one, 'the map of true places' ... no capitals in the name. It says inside the cover, first published 2011 so either they are ahead of themselves or....maybe it really is 2011 and I have lost track of time! I know time does fly quickly past but hopefully not quite so fast!

So there we are for the day, I had to do this first before I began more mundane tasks. Have a lovely spring or summer day wherever you are!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Satisfaction of a job well done.

Yesterday was Kate's birthday and a Sunday and the tenth of the tenth of the tenth! Surely an auspicious day in any language, even a day of rest or spent in contemplation, fishing, lying in the sun, reading a favourite book! But no, I did none of those things! I cleaned out my fridge.....a big job! Then after lunch, a short nap and a read, I cleaned out the pantry, an even bigger job. I figured I was in labour 34 years ago, I may as well labour again!! The end results were perhaps not as deeply exciting, however therewas plenty of satisfaction!
What is it about going away and coming home again that there is a desperate urge to clean, tidy and declutter! Today my aim is the family room and the rest of the kitchen. So far today I have a clear 'end of bench' somewhere clutter tends to collect. My nature seems to be 'I'll do that later' even with my mother telling me years ago, DON'T PUT THINGS DOWN, PUT THEM AWAY!

Today I am slowly doing the familyroom/kitchen, badly in need of the declutter. I had great plans of doing a heap but we took off for a couple of hours, very pleasant but not gettin g the job done. It is a gorgeous day, too nice  be inside really.
Job satisfaction is at a high though, justneed to keep on keeping on!
At least I had a nap in the car while we were coming home!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010



We have had a week away, driving up to Warren out west from Dubbo which is in central New South Wales, then across to Sydney, then home. We always take a picnic to start the journey, cups of tea...rather wishy washy in the photo! With chocolate of course!
A t this stop there were wildflowers, lots of them!

I wish I could tell you all the names and could probably do so if I dug out the little book Kate gave me years ago about wildflowers. Maybe another day! Suffice to say I loved to see them all growing along the sides of the roads, E coming to a quick stop when I called out, 'LOOK!!'  It was very windy and my legs are there to protect the everlasting daisy from the wind!
There has been a lot of rain in this very dry part of the country so everywhere we went was green, grass growing very tall wherever we stoppped.
Warren, our first destination, is in cotton growing country and the cotton is planted at the beginning of October but this year the paddocks are too wet to go on, what a change fro them when the cotton growing has been very spasmodic over the last ten years or so.

When there has been a lot of rain on this heavy soil, as it is drying out it tends to crack, sometimes very deep.
Our Warren visit was mainly to attend a family reunion and a dedication of a tombstone erected paid for by the American Consulate. Our boys' grandfather's grandfather fought in the American Civil War, so their great, great, great grandfather. He was from the South, left his  beloved mother and family to fight in the North and he never saw them again. He served in the navy and marched in Abraham Lincoln's funeral march. I am not much good with dates but he came to Australia as a youngish man, had many setbacks along the way and eventually was  inan unmarked grave in a little contry town. I think by someone researching those Americans who had fought in the Civil War and had settled in Australia. There were two of his grandsons at the service, one of whom remembered visiting him as a small boy. It really does make history come alive when there is something like this to put it all in perspective. Two family members, one of them a young man who has always been interested in the family story, spent hours and hours researching the story and have found so many photos and stories, the  young fellowhas collated them into a small book which we will get soon.
The highlight was a certificate with the American gold seal on it, signed by Barack Obama in recognition of this ancestor and thanking him for his war effort. There were  copies of this for all the young descendants, something to treasure and remind them of the family that went before them. I was very moved by it all, especially the story of the beloved mother, in the south, in secret sheltering and healing a wounded soldier from the north, writing later that she hoped there would be someone from the North who would care for her son if he were wounded. She would have been tried for treason had she been caught.

From Warren we drove for another 9 hours this time in just the day. We stayed with Son M, at least we stayed in his studio flat and he went to stay with a friend. We had a lovely morning breakfasting out  and then we just spent the day together, always a real treat for us. we also had a beauuuutiful dinner on the second night, vietnamese/japanese, and at the end were given a dessert platter, a gift from M's friend who is a waiter, delicious!!!! And visually superb. Where was my camera you may well ask!!
We walked along the above street to get to M's flat. The trees were in the divine lime green stage, lacey as you look upwards through them to the sky.
Wednesday we set off home, another 9-10 hours of driving, collected our dogs from our very noble family who had cared for them and arrived home very tired. The only things I can say about all the driving are, a. I didn'nt drive at all, and b.I knitted a huge amoung of the wrap I am knitting for the new baby to come in January!!! A real bonus!
A walk around the garden the next morning was a must and there were Kate's iris's from Ripponlea, an old historic house in Melbourne where she had worked in another lifetime, glorious purple. Behind them was the 'winter' buddleia, something the bees just adore.

 And now time for me to think of my favourite book for the year for Kate's birthday blog and giveaway tomorrow. I have said I can't win but it will be good to see all the choices every-one makes! Happy Birthday to Kate!!