Sunday, July 29, 2007

The 5 Love languages.

On my last post I skipped over the whole Love language thing, mainly because I have the kind of personality that likes to know a little about everything (hence the success at trivia nights) but I readily admit when I am not an expert and I try to leave the expert things to those who really know what they are talking about.
Unfortunately I had a number of emails about the general gist of the love languages, so I am sharing the cover of the two books I own and adding a little more info. so that you may decide for yourself whether it may be a good purchase for you. For all of you who are bigger experts at this than me, I ask your tolerance!
Chapman describes 5 love languages that each of us may possess in some form but usually one is(for many reasons) our prefered way to "speak" love. They include: Words of affirmation, Quality time, Receiving gifts, Acts of service and Physical touch. His book goes on to show you how to work out which is yours and your partners love language and gives insight into how to better deal with a partner with that love language.
Now, my husband did not buy into blogging, I did, so I am not going to give you a heap of examples of how it works, but he would have no problem with me sharing the whole gift thing. As I said in my last post-gifts are v. high on my list, it is ingrained in me somewhere that people may say whatever but the proof is in the gift! Now as I get older I am far better able to value all the other love languages but you can't just quash 37 years and 51 weeks of what makes you tick. So what did this presenty girl do?-marry someone who just doesn't believe in it, family really didn't do the gift thing, probably didn't say much either, but they did things for you-acts of service, and spent quality time. Now it is fabulous to marry a man whose has a main love language of acts of service (I only have to mention casually that something needs doing and it is instantaneously fixed)....until is is Mother's day, Christmas or your birthday and...nothing!
This is where the book's insight comes in-you can read a million articles about how to spice up this area of your marriage or build up another area or understand how men tick....but if you don't know which language they are speaking then how do you work on these dialects?
You may be running around trying to be a better wife through acts of service like cleaning the house, when he doesn't even notice and is just hurt that you never sit and talk to him for 20 minutes. (Quality time) Until the light goes on about this you just don't realise how long you have been batting your head up against the wall.
So you may like to give the book some consideration, especially if you have ever said the words, "But I did this for you...and you can't do this for me, why?"
Anyway, it is almost 11 pm here, I am off on School camp up the mountains in the morning for 3 days, think of me abseiling, canoeing and jumping off the flying fox in 0 degrees as you sit by the pool. DD is so excited she can barely speak, she has been packed for over a week and if she wakes and find my things are not in my bag there will be trouble!!
On that last note I am off, sorted some of the buttons off the Op shop shirts today, I didn't want to get them all mixed up so I put them in a $2 pill dispenser, already making it easier to replace buttons so i thought i would share-have a good few days and don't hesitate to email for more of my non-expert advice!!!It just worked so well for us.

Friday, July 27, 2007

He's here!! And he bought nice friends!
My books arrived this morning, I have just returned from my favourite coffee shop where I toasted JK with a skinny latte (and cream covered delicious scones!!!) And read the first 3 chapters in an environment where I didn't feel I should be doing something else, more worthy!
How will I read him, again, the dilemma-all at once or make this last treasure endure over an extended period of time. I know what will win, it will be just like a box of Lindt chocolates-I want to make them last but they just mysteriously keep disappearing-pages of Harry will be exactly the same!

Fresh from Church ladies fellowship zone rally yesterday, as the V.President they utilized me as the entertainment! I am full of Bible trivia! I wonder who is the first to tell me how many siblings Joseph had...hey, off the top of your research! Also off to a trivia night tonight, I have been headhunted by a table determined to win!

Anyway, that is not the point, today I have a question-

What would a good wife do??

Now, there are less that 2 weeks until the event known as D-Day here, yes, my birthday. Been married 12 years and it is only recent years we have worked out the love language thing. Still good though, as many people bat their heads up against brick walls for years wondering why their partner doesn't appreciate what they do "for them" when it is not what the partner wants at all. Anyway, that's a whole other post!

DH now understands that the whole gift thing is high on my love language list and I realise that even though gifts are my thing, he would prefer me to sit down and spend quality time with him.

Hence the cause of serious perspiration at this point for DH and the question.

When would a good wife tell him that there is a Jim Shore nativity and quilt book in the cupboard? Perhaps even a few of the books from today's photo, as Harry and 3 days at School camp next week should keep me suitably occupied without the need for them until D-Day.
....A good wife would be tempted to tell him now and end the huddled secret discussions going on between DH and kids...wouldn't she?
Well, all I can say is what a lot of birthday related fun "good" wives miss out on!
I have fairly regularly remembered to stop quilting and cook, I have occasionally cleaned, I've been known to mend, I have sleepily packed lunches even though mornings are not my thing, THEREFORE I want to see effort, the secret stash are "in case", but only after the effort and the perspiration!

What would you do?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Some actual sewing...and a meme...and a thanks!

Is there anything nicer than a day with bright winter sun, a sewing machine, a whole heap of cut up shirts and a sentimental movie? Yes, it would be the addition of a package in the mail!

We will start there! After doing a trifling service for ATET, I received this lovely package in the mail today......

Spoilt my little darlings and me! Aren't those fat quarters divine, I am not sure which ones to walk around holding up to my face first, the pretties or the gorgeous blues/browns. I'll go the lot! Thankyou so much, love them!

Now she also tagged me for the meme Finn originated, I like this one, so after giving it a night's thought here goes.

5 things to do before I die

~outlive my children EDITED!!!NO, NO NO!!! Typo-that they outlive me!!!
~See the Lady of Shalott painting for real. Missed that experience in London, now shall have to go back!
~Watch a test cricket game live overseas, my friend Robyn and I have a penchant for a West Indian one.
~handpiece and handquilt something.
~put stuff away after I use it-on a regular basis!

5 things I can do
~ 2 finger type a lot faster than when I started blogging!
~parallel park, it's easy when you have to do it every time you shop.
~dress poultry-and i don't mean in clothes!
~tell stories... for a long time, with no notes, on anything a child asks me to include. Doesn't make me rich but makes me a popular mother at school! My kids think I am close to famous.

5 things I cannot do
That I admit to-
~function if the bed is not made.
~go into things half heartedly...if I am involved, it is fully.
~hand quilt in a manner resembling appropriate.
~always put stuff away.
~walk past an Op (thrift) shop without going in.
Family would say-
~patch clothes and sew buttons on quickly even though she has a whole room to do it.
~say no to people who ask her to organize things
~live without the computer and the phone
~ cope without going to quilters

5 things that attract me to the opposite sex-
hmmm, there's a difference about attracting me and keeping me attracted, I'll split the difference.
~a ready smile
~a generosity of spirit
~good with children
~adoration of me!!
~the ability to ignore my faults! So, so , so attractive.

5 celebrity crushes, with some specifications.
~George Clooney -in Ocean's 11,-13 and ER
~Harrison Ford-as Han Solo and Indiana.
~John Corbett-as Aden in S*x in the City and Chris in the morning on Northern Exposure.
~Sean Connery-pretty much in everything!
~Cary Grant-in pretty much everything!

5 people to tag
Not sure who hasn't done it already but I will take a stab and tag: Gail at Quite Quilted, Kim at Kim's big quilting adventure, Dawn in Korea, Cheryl at Quilting Hollow and Fiona at scraps in progress.

Here is the patchwork I promised, I have been working on shirts. This is only a few sleeves so far.

I am toying with the idea of adding in the red blade type effect, what thinkest thou?
I am also playing with the offcuts, a real scrappy look that I forgot to photograph!
And finally, the only downside to my day, I just dedicated 2 hours of my life to message in a bottle and Kevin Costner dies at the end...does no-one do happy anymore???? I think I'll put Northern exposure back on! Or take a peak at my Indiana trilogy, maybe even that one that has Indiana AND sean...yeah, now that's a plan!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Query.-please help!
My copy of Harry is still en route so I am staying away from all sites that may let something slip. My sister has just rung in a panic becaise she brought my brother that children's version and someone has told her that it isn't just a different cover, the adult's version has another 150 pages of lurid detail.
Now I don't know any child over 5yo who would put up with this, so i think it is rubbish, someone please confirm so I can end her worry, ta Tracey

Monday, July 23, 2007

Family, and all that entails

My machine is dropped off for a long overdue check-up, should be returned fairly quickly unless there is a parts requirement. I borrowed my sister's as I felt like my arm had been cut off without a chance to sew. My sister's belonged to me once, about 6 years ago, I started to go mad on the patchwork and wanted a machine with a few more stitches (mainly a good button hole applique) so Mum bought mine for my sister as an extra wedding gift and I traded up. My sister had domestic, pre-wedding dreams of sewing but I think the thread I sold it with is still threaded up! Her children are well stocked with blankets and quilts from me so she hasn't needed to start.

The DN's birthday party was good, very busy-my kids were exhausted, a crotchetty son only wanted to hear John Denver's "grandma's feather bed" all the way home, boy, was I upset when he fell asleep!

It was just the light I like on the local mountain yesterday afternoon so I took a few snaps, still sorting them but here are a few I like, Grampians mountain range in the background. DS, is, as usual, an un-cooperative model!

I have a huge luxury today, DH has gone away for the day so no-one is going to drop in for a coffee and say, "are you on that computer again??"There are also no terribly pressing places I need to be, so I think I may check every link before I do some housework, have a walk and try out my old machine.

I found some great wallpaper borders, they are from "York" and had to be ordered in from the US. This is the houses one, the other one is for the studio, it is log cabin and star patchwork blocks. DH mustn't mind this one as he hasn't mentioned it being above our bedroom window, I wasn't game to test him with the patchwork blocks...or maybe a chook border!
OOps, on closer inspection those photos could be clearer, that's what I get for taking them in a hurry in the near dark!
Had a bit of success with my one of my middle big nephews' birthday presents yesterday. (Sorry, I group them, there are BIG nephews, who are my age down to 30, then there are about 5 middle big nephews who are 16 through to 18 then there are a mix of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews from 0-9, it all gets very confusing when the generations are out of kilter.)
My middle nephews are all pretty cool, teasing me is one of their favoured pastimes, the first recently turned 18 and even though phone credit(!) was suggested to me as an appropriate present, I rebelled. I think it deserves something a little more special, hence the toolkit.
Now, DN is not in any way domestic,or handy....yet. But I thought there may come a day when this will be useful.
To eliminate the problem of him not being handy or thinking of anything other than, the playstation, music and his cell phone...yet, I decided to pack it with a few other things a boy about to enter the world may need-
Yes, that's right, large range of tools, but also soap, pencils,toothbrush and dental floss, 2 panadol, a shaver, shampoo sachet, cotton buds and balls, band-aids, a SEWING Kit!!and you, are correct, a tin of spaghetti and pack of 2 minute noodles in a bag marked emergency non-perishables. There is also $5 tightly wrapped in plastic and wrapped over and over with sticky tape, I labelled that "in an emergancy, break seal!" If you are getting the idea that this boy may be in need of a good woman when he leaves home, you would be correct.
Anyway, with trepidation I presented it, in front of the other cool nephews and it was a hit...a huge smashing hit actually-and I know because these boys would not bother pretending to me, and their mother wasn't there to ensure manners anyway.
He was still wowing and shaking his head as I left, so perhaps there is an idea that the wider world may like to share. That age are so hard for non-parents to buy for as electric equipment seems to be the centre of the universe.
Anyway, off to surf the net...after fresh coffee! Cheers, tracey

Friday, July 20, 2007

Still no machine.....but I can see the floor of the sewing room!

Cleaned every bit of the sewing machine and it hasn't made any difference to the noise so I will be reclaiming my old Janome from my sister tomorrow, I know how it works and my quarter inch foot will fit so I think that is the best way to avert what I can only call a crisis! I can't go 3 days without sewing a stitch, I get grumpy! getting it ixed will not be an overnight option around here.

Wednesday I spent the entire day cleaning and reorganizing. It really clears your head, I found every bit of fabric I had lost and made enough space so I could comfortably use my cutting table again.

This is my cutting table, would have made it a little bigger if I did it over, but I would still fill that space and be cutting in the same sized area so this is fine. It is on castors and made to my exact height (tall) so that cutting doesn't hurt my back, I love it.

Here is a close up of underneath, hooks to hang my tools, a hanging fabric rubbish bin and two new containers, one for crumbs and the other bigger scraps. Everything small and leftover goes straight in these after cutting. All my rulers are sitting on a wooden hanging rack that is being used as an extra shelf until I hang it from the roof for strips.

This is what you do with your wooden playpen when it was getting a little old and you REALLY don't need it anymore! I took the screws out and made hanging racks for the wall and benches. Strips go on the bench ones for when i am sewing log cabins. I find my personality copes best with my stuff being out-I struggle with drawers and putting things back so this works for me. I have those little bulldog type clips and hanging hooks on this rail so that all my printed out instructions, tools etc can be put straight there and not lost in the abyss.

Another new organising idea, as I have my own space I can do what I like so I have turned this shoe holder into a wall mounted storage system for bits and pieces, I am loving this already and have only just started filling the pockets-I think velcro may need 2 pockets!

Had forgotten to share this purchase, it is a Jim Shore panel, he makes the patchwork angels and houses I like. It even has my favourite red barns and a covered bridge!
Here's to a machine tomorrow! Tracey
Gratitudes: DD singing, happy and relatively pain free, school is "brilliant!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

First day for 9 weeks without children...Take Two!

As your are by now well aware, planning is not always my best option; remember in October when I started blogging because I had my new sewing room and the quilts were going to flow thick and fast...and that's about when DD started her tummy problems and I have been generally stuck in the house drinking coffee, eating choc and feeling sorry for myself ever since (with short periods of sewing freedom in the middle of the night!) Then remember that great day a few months ago, had the whole house clean by 8.30 am, just boiling the pot of coffee to take to the sewing room for the day when i got the phone call that DS hadn't even made it to school, had injured himself on the bus, straight to emergency room... and then when I told you all the quilts that were to be made after the school fete...and I had to work for 2 weeks instead.

Well, you know how yesterday was my first day with the kids gone, well DS on Monday night took exception to his sister bossing him around while cleaning the loungeroom and punched her in the back of the neck. Now, he is sorry, "I am ashamed of myself Mum, now stop giving me THAT look and lets just forget about it". "THAT" look spoke could you hit her and make her sick when I was SOOO Close to free!!!
She was dizzy, headachey and sick in the stomach, watched her for an hour or two, put her to bed and woke no better. So she missed going on the bus but I managed to get her to school by 10.30 am, thought I was right, just got over to the sewing room about 1.15, managed to cut up a few shirts into strips for a play, then School rang..... Needless to say , back to town, straight to the chiropractor who fixed her straight up and back to where we all started-
Today, I have no children, my house is tidy and what has the universe told me this sewing machine is making an apalling noise and DH says if it was a tractor he would say it's done a bearing!!! I'm going to see if MIL will lend me hers, but am also going to accept the signs...tidy the sewing room and do that officework that is weighing upon my shoulders...that exciting and oh so tempting box of shirts isn't going anywhere! And hopefully neither am I !

Oh, sharing the zoo component of the holiday with you today, love these girls, fantastic new enclosure, set out like an extended rainforest.

And no , I don't just like them because the make me feel thin...
And all on grass and hay,

Keeper checking for chocolate, your hips can't get that big without it, surely!
Nah, just hay.

The entrance to the underwater seal view looked very "quilty" to me.

Love this chimp's hand, he was playing peek aboo with us behind the hessian.

And these two are doing what they do best.

Last but not least, Sweet P has challenged me to "Pay it Forward". The first 3 whose comment/email tells me they are "in" will receive a gift from me (in the near future). The catch is that you must be prepared to continue the random acts of kindness to your own 3 bloggers, she also has a stitchery swap happening if you want in. have a great day, Tracey

Monday, July 16, 2007

Country meets city
Now here is a standard day in our life; sheep, sheep and more sheep....

(spot the little black one)

Then a little change of pace, a few photos from our recent city holiday.

This is the banner at the Australian Rules Football game we went to, between my team, Essendon and the rest of my family's team, Geelong.

James Hird has been my football playing hero since the early 90's, this was his 250th game in his swansong year so i was very excited.

Running through the banner (told you I was excited....)

..warming up earlier on the ground... (did I mention i am a little partial to him? there are about 20 more of these on the camera!)... I then have another picture I am not sharing, that is of him sitting on the sidelines from the 2nd quarter, having badly injured his calf muscle-I was no longer excited, especially as that was about the time the geelong team began to get dominant and the crowd sitting around us started to feel sorry for the lone Essendon supporter in the family!

My girl with her blue and white painted face, very pleased with the result.

Walking back across the Yarra to our hotel at Southbank.

Had to cut through the casino food court to get to our Hotel.... I just took a pic for you, can you see the middle right cake with the toffee on it?Yummo! There were at least triple this many but Dh said if you are going to keep ogling the cakes and taking pictures like a tourist, then for goodness sake eat one! So I put the camera away like a good wife.

The next morning saw us off to the aquarium, DD had to take her baby as well......

same bridge.

It's a fabulous aquarium, you can even swim with sharks, never actually opted for that, but DD tried to kiss a fish that would look even better in a pan!

As would these crabs! Yum, love crab.

Watched the shark feeding, would rather the divers than me! The stingrays were the most annoying, sitting on the divers heads.

I have had a very hard day today, kids are back at school tomorrow so we had a PJ marathon of Gilligan's Island, MacGyver and The Three Amigos. I am starting to get excited, the coast is looking good for some schooling time for both kids, 18 hours from now I may have my first childfree day since the 6th of May! But who is counting, prepare for major patchwork happenings! (that's if I am game to make a plan!)Cheers, Tracey

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cot quilt and odd pets!

Here is my contribution to the current cot quilt craze, made for my DN who I babysat yesterday. It is completely made from one of my recent scrap bag purchases and there is still plenty left in the bag., embroidered with her name, it has a little matching pillow.

The hexagons filled in some car time during the last car trip to Melbourne, I am also working on another hexagon project but School holidays are impinging upon my time.-how rude!

I am doing lots of Mum things like bike riding with the kids and will have to wait until Tuesday to really get creative again. Today we all cleaned their rooms ready for a new start, wow, did that take some time!

This is DN, taken yesterday, she is showing me her hairclip, at 2 she finally has just eniough hair for her optimistic mother to clip! Isn't that face one that just makes you want to sew quilts for her!!! And she is a cheeky, chatty little rascal as well, who knows how to kiss you and twist you around her finger!......she had me at hello!

And finally, one for the cat lovers (of which I am not sure I am still one!!!)
Here are 2 of the 3 cats (yes, 3, I really have to give this story it's own post at a later date!!) and their chook who sleeps with them in the cubby and lives on cat food! Excuse the dirty window, if I open the door they bolt inside so I can only get a pic at a glassed distance. Now, I know I promised publicly that these would not go outside but they are driving me stark raving crazy...I would prefer another baby to the younger two always inside, -and that is saying something! They are the neediest and naughtiest cats on the planet and WILL NOT GET OFF MY BENCHES AND TABLES!!!! In the past week they have broken 2 wedding presents pieces of crockery that I actually liked and therefore used!! The kids smuggle them around like contraband, especially since the handmade pottery incident!!!
And then wait until I get you a pic of the relationship between Archie the dog and the black cat...........why do I always get the odd pets??!!! Cheers, off for DH quality time, Tracey

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Just a quick post this morning. I am feeding an extra 5 men who are here today working with sheep so no time to chat!
Just an update on DD's "scopes" yesterday at the Children's hospital. we left by 5.30 am and were home at 7 pm, absolutely exhausted. She did a great job and everything looked good (we even have pics for Show and Tell!) they biopsied everywhere and took more bloods so all that should be back in a week. Doctors reckon it is looking like a really bad dose of Irritable bowel and may take 18 months to come right-so we are half way there!!! On lots of Lactobacillus type powder and a few other powders to keep everything working, hopefully she will continue to improve.
Bit of stitching in the car, this-

got to a new stage but I will wait to show you the finished product, Cheers, tracey

Monday, July 09, 2007

What's happening on the farm?

...the rain has abated and left only large 'lakes' -unfortunately they were once cropping paddocks! C'est la Vie....
I'm still organizing my photos from the holiday (managed to whittle them down to 215 at least!) so I will share some lamb marking pictures instead.

Lamb marking is my kids' favourite thing so they were well involved. My grown up nephews also assisted as they need a few 1000 done as well.

Lamb marking involves putting a ring on tails (and another pair of bits that are not required!) and giving the lambs an ear tag so that they remain traceable at all points along the chain. They also get a drench, an injection, that was performed by little old vet me, that covers them for 6 diseases including such gems as black leg (sounds more like a pirate) and pulpy kidney (self-explanatory!) It is all done in a beautifully pain free way and the tails just drop off after a few weeks. This is a much happier result than leaving the tails on and having the poor sheep invaded by flies in their nether regions in the summer.

DD surveying the Mums waiting very noisily for their babies to come back, nice and foggy as well.....

Couple of old farmer's surveying their surrounds......

This little cutie is too small to fit in the marking cradle so gets personalized attention, farmer version of private health care........ Notice her superb addition of costume jewelry, all the best dressed Australian lamb is wearing it this season!

Ahhh, the stirrups, an unfortunate memory for many...not just the lambs!

No, I wont talk, you can't make me.........

DD learning the ropes on a smaller lamb, very proud of her efforts, while her brother just kept chasing them in...-and requesting, in no uncertain terms that his mother stop taking pictures and get on with the work!

Preparing for the unknown, reminds me a little of Babe! Excepting of course, that they are not pigs!

Are you my kid (or was that lamb??)

Back outside and the great match up begins. The lambs may not be quite so keen to see their mothers when they catch sight of that trendy body piercing!

And speaking of wool, I retaught myself to crochet (after a 20 year hiatus) when on the way to Melbourne, here are the prototypes that may one day be something, Ds suggested the one with the green bubble in the middle looked like a Barbie sombrero and DD thought the red could be a 'hair thing!' Works for me!