Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cold and wet couple of days here. Real rain, and all over the state. I think we have had a couple of inches, it has called a halt to the sowing for a couple of days until the ground is less sticky.
Not the best lambing weather either, but the three who are now inhabiting the pen are warm.
The second is "spring"(found at the spring, of course), she is on the right. Needs a bit of botox, she 's extremely wrinkly! The latest addition only came Monday, his name is Brad, he was found in a hole, that DD and I decided didn't sound good enough for a name so we called it a pit and hence he is Brad!
Unfortunately Thistle, (the lamb for the uninitiated!) became physically challenged the night before last. He was fine when I fed him at 11 pm and when DH fed him yesterday morning he was almost like he had cerebral palsy. He can walk a little, then his knees give out, he'll stand if i help him up. Anyway at a lot of farms he may have left us by now but I run more of your Charlotte's web type operation and, just like the seagull with only one leg, Thistle will probably receive special treatment!
Guess what naughty, naughty thing I did today...lean closer....I got a house cleaner in for three whole hours. It only used a little of my working money and it has cheered me up no end. DD and I shifted to the sewing room when the cleaner arrived and I sewed all afternoon! Of course I had to clean for a good while to get it to cleaner state-cleaners don't appreciate picking up Lego much! But at least I din't have to waste 3 precious hours scrubbing. I just haven't been able to get a run on with DD home with fairly high needs and after working so this went well.
Played with another rose tonight (therapy). Tried it with no shading. My edges curves are improving but the petals need work and I think I prefer the increased "zing" of shading.
Better run, DH likes the quality time of watching his only TV show of interest, "Prison Break" with me. I seem to spend a lot of time with my hand over my eyes, but we get by! Cheers, Tracey

ps The kittens are beating the weather by both squashing in this vase (during their short supervised runs outside Tonya!)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A rose by any other name...

~Or a bit of an attempt at free-piecing one anyway!

I have a long way to go on this but these are a few early plays. It is trickier than you think if you want to get curves and the shading similar to a real rose. I have collected up a few rose pictures and am using them for ideas. I think I need more shades, I may have to reach outside the stash.
I have always been very surprised that there aren't a bunch of patterns for roses like this, now that I'm trying to make one I can see why! If anyone else decides to have a play, drop me a line so I can look at yours.
This is one of the green and pink ones I did at last year's quilt retreat, pure free-piecing. No picture, a pair of scissors and a machine, it was great fun! I made three that day. You have seen one in a cushion last December.
About to have a present making week, I am way behind and need to get a good few in the mail. I was waiting for some special material so now you winners should be in luck!
This is a bag for my birthday buddy at quilters, it's from the Moda faded memories range.
I have once again retired from teaching. I ended up working 7 out of the last 10 school days and with a sick daughter that wasn't easy. On Friday I actually felt tired down to my bones, I then arrived home to find her crying from the tummy pain and her father almost beside himself. This irritable bowel business is the pits! The most incredible thing about it is that she can be crying from the pain, you put her in bed with a hot water bottle and she goes to sleep within a minute and sleeps soundly all night. She very fortunately woke up just about perfect on saturday morning and spent a beautiful autumn day playing. It once again got worse as she got tired but asleep again as she hit the pillow! At least we had 2 months in between bouts this time and we are hoping this bout is almost gone but surely there is some long term treatment-we've done 4 doctors, naturopath, QX10 machine, Bowen technique and chiropractor. Chiro and QX/naturopath have helped- Bowen is ongoing.
Anyway, that was my little rant for the day, loved the actual working though; it's like with anything when you actually think you might be good at something, it's great to get a chance to do it, -just far too hard to fit it in! Cheers, Tracey

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Your camera of choice.
Hi, help me to have something to dream about as I teach again tomorrow........what is your camera and how do you feel about it, good close-ups and can focus in from a good distance away? Does it have a dock/recharge station and how quick is it to kick back in between photos? All info. welcome. Too tired to write anything else.........

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Same design, whole different picture.
Busy working again so a quick post tonight. Sharing a couple of orphans who are now high on the "find homes" list. Chris from quilters taught us paper piecing a while ago, the blue and white was my effort. I got it to this point and no further, it was even lost a while. Thinking I may spark it up a bit and make it bigger, more blue, less white perhaps.
The other is the same method (my only machine paper piecing ever!) Going for a vibrant sun design that will eventually fit into my farm/chook collection for a big folk arty quilt. Hard to believe they are the same block.
In answer to some queries....I have been mushrooming since I could walk, so I know exactly what ones to pick and how they should look, touch and smell. It is beautifully easy after 35 years experience but not a game for new (unsupervised) players. Had one roasted upside down about 10 minutes before the end of a rolled roast chicken last know those nice cooking juices mixed in with the mushroom flavour........
TTFN, Tracey

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

7 things you didn't know about me.

unless you are one of my quilting group who reads this!
I have been tagged by ATET to play along with this game. I think I played along a couple of times when I hit something like my 2000, 4000 and 5000 hits, so I'm not sure there is much left (that I am prepared to share anyway!) but here goes~

1. Managed to have a perfectly successful teaching career without ever drinking coffee, then when I gave up teaching I took up coffee drinking pregnant because that was what I craved. That craving never stopped though I have swapped the 2 sugars for Equal so slightly diluted the vice.

2. Allergic to wine/champagne, actually I think it is preservative 220 but it only worries me in wine form. I am now almost old enough that I can politely say no and cope with the fact that people think I am a party pooper rather than spend all night sneezing, wheezing and having an itchy throat! Fortunately whisky and Pepsi max is just fine!

3. Nearly 175 cm tall, think that's up around 5 foot 9', not sure as I can't find my conversion calculator.

4. Have a Graduate Diploma of Theology to add to the teaching stuff.

5. Accounting is the only thing I ever failed at Uni or anywhere. (Was doing my Bachelor externally, threw in Accounting because I thought it may be interesting, couldn't get the hang of it without a lecturer, then my best friend had a brain haemmorage and spent a month in the Melbourne hospital, I spent all my nights visiting her so her parents could have a break and didn't pass the exam!) I am actually quite good with figures but not in that course!

6. I have a terrible feeling I would be grey if I didn't give into vanity!

7. I love car racing.
Now one of the things you do know about me is that I like to buy fabric, here are the latest purchases (from eQuilter.) Don't you just love that Blue Hawaii Elvis! ...what i mean is, don't you think my DD and Mother will love that Blue Hawaii Elvis! DD wants some appliqued to a t-shirt! There is a bit more Heather Bailey in there as well, and a great black and white geometric pattern that I can't wait for a spare 5 minutes to play with! The spots were just 'cos.

We are having the most amazing mushroom season here ever, I have never seen anything like it. I think that the ground was so very warm when the rain came that they have just erupted. I am living on them as I am the only family member who likes them. Mushroom sauce on steak, mushroom gravy on toast, roasted mushroom with worcestershire and parmesan cheese, bacon and eggs with mushrooms...the list goes on! Have a great day, I'm heading off to try a new therapist for DD's tum, then having the rest of the week at school, Cheers, Tracey

Sunday, May 20, 2007

No need for explanations....
Contrary to a recent very funny newspaper report I read about a whole heap of people in a country I wont name buying lambs because thet thought they were poodles...I haven't been tricked!
Meet "Thistle" who was found abandoned a few evenings ago by DS in the paddock. I was picking up DH from another paddock and when I got back my 2 darling children were dressed warmly, waiting on the motorbike with a towel for me to come and help them save the lamb.
Thistle (who was cuddled up to one in the paddock) has settled in very nicely and is being treated like a family member (but sleeps in the cubby house!)

Thistle out walking.

Thistle in one of my good towels! Look on his face as he reflects upon his good fortune...the foxes have missed a meal.

Oh, it was only a few weeks ago I was joking about God laughing at my well-laid plans! Last Monday was a big mistake, I dared to even show you what would be finished and then my one day of teaching stretched to two, then the teacher had her appendix out and I worked 4 full days! So, absolutely nothing was done in the sewing line except a couple of Bingo board squares for Bingo at yesterday's Saturday Quilters, we should have enough squares to now come up with a Qs quilt for charity.
DD has had a funny tummy again this week so a few chiropractor and naturopath visits were slotted in, hopefully she is on the improve now.
This week should see Monday and Tuesday relatively "normal" and then I probably have to finish the teaching week if the appendix has quite healed, let's hope for a quick healing process for DD's teacher. Cheers,~ a messy house beckons! Tracey

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

H i B e a u t i f u l ! ! Did you know that it's Beautiful Women Month ?
Well, it is . . . . and that means you and me! I'm supposed to send this to FIVE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN . . . . .and you are one of them!!! Facts On Figures : There are 3 billion women who don't look like super models and only eight who do.
Did you know Marilyn Monroe wore a size 14? She also did not have good hygiene . . . . . Can you believe that?
If Barbie were a real woman . . . . .she'd have to walk on all FOURS due to her proportions!

The average woman weighs 144 pounds, and wears between a size 12-14 (US sizing - 14-16 English). One out of every four college-aged women has an eating disorder . Models in magazines are AIR-BRUSHED - NOT Perfect !! A psychological study in 1995 found that just 3 minutes looking at a fashion magazine caused 70% of women to feel DEPRESSED , GUILTY and SHAMEFUL ! RELAX . . . and learn to love who you are You are BEAUTIFUL!!! 20 years ago, models weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, they weigh 23% less . . . . . ~ ~
The Beauty Of A Woman ~ ~ The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, The figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from her eyes, Because that is the doorway to her heart, The place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, The passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman With time, only grows . . . . .

An English professor directed his students to punctuate correctly the following words: "WOMAN WITHOUT HER MAN IS NOTHING" .
The men wrote: "Woman , WITHOUT HER MAN, is nothing."
The women wrote: "WOMAN! WITHOUT HER, man is nothing!"

The Images of Mother
4 YEARS OF AGE My Mummy can do anything!
8 YEARS OF AGE My Mum knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 YEARS OF AGE My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.
14 YEARS OF AGE Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either!
16 YEARS OF AGE Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 YEARS OF AGE That old woman? She's way out of date!
25 YEARS OF AGE Well, she might know a little bit about it.
35 YEARS OF AGE Before we decide, let's get Mum's opinion.
45 YEARS OF AGE Wonder what Mum would have thought about it?
65 YEARS OF AGE Wish I could talk it over with Mum. . .
Please send this to all the PHENOMENAL WOMEN you know in celebration of Women's History Month.
If you do, something good will happen . . . . .YOU will boost another woman's self-esteem

Had this emailed to me with beautiful moving illustrations that will not transend to blog, I'm not going to email it to all the beautiful quilters out there (unless you ask) so I'll post it as best i can here, Tracey

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The pictures will be improving for next year's harvest!

This is my little darlings in the 05/06 barley crop . Not a bad pic but I have been wanting to get something with better close up, lenses, etc. My photography is getting to be a little more than snaps and I had decided to save the egg money and perhaps even have a craft stall to get a new one. I worked, for real bank account money! My precious DD begged me to come back and teach her class while the teacher is off, she didn't go for yesterday's fill-in, and as her Principal added to the request i got to teach my baby and it was just like riding a horse! I had fun, even after DH very obligingly put a bottle of Pepsi max in the fridge to go with the whisky in anticipation of a hard day!! That relieving money is easier than sewing for a week for a market, but I'm worried I'll get temped, DH calls it "sucked right back in." But at least the camera might be quite a few months closer now.

Apologies, no sewing progress...because of work! So I will be out of kilter for finishing everything in a week but there is always next week, the joy's in the journey, Tracey

ps funny story, Miss 9 watched me get ready to teach and decided my black pants weren't quite stylish enough so I had to replace them with a black and white skirt and knee hi boots, "that's style" she announced and I was allowed out.
Post script: Looks like I am working tomorrow as well, just got the call-here comes a camera!
Just snapped this for you to celebrate, the sunset after a shower with my favourite river redgum that we built the house around, in the foreground. Life doesn't get much better than that, Tracey

Monday, May 14, 2007


Colic is mercifully becoming a hazy memory to me, but it isn't yet hazy enough that the desire to help anybody with a crying baby does not grip me in all venues at all times. So when dawn suggested a few bloggers should discuss it and how they got on I thought I would share.

Here are the two little darlings, the bigger one was a beautifully easy baby, I thought I was so good at this mothering thing. She slept all the time and was just happy. Then her brother came along and I realised that it's not always the mothering. I did everything the same but I knew I had a completely different baby in hospital already. He just didn't settle and wasn't happy. I dropped things from my diet, (neither of my children have ever let me eat onion b/feeding, it made them both scream) I watched how long he fed for, how he fed, it made no difference, that was colic and that was life.

Coping strategies; I was fortunate as the real constant screaming happened b/t 5pm and 11 pm and my darling wonderful husband would finish off the tea that i had started and then take over DS after. He proved very talented at this and saved my sanity. Other good strategies were putting him in the carrier strapped tight to my chest so at least I could do something, putting him in the pram and taking him back and forth, preferably over a bump like in the doorway where the carpet meets the tiles, and holding him in the best windy baby hold ever~laying him along your arm tummy downwards and resting on your arm, with your hand gripping the babies bottom and baby's head resting down around your elbow.

I taught that to a new dad at a footy evening once and he and his wife stood there amazed in the change, last week at Church I noticed him carrying baby number 4 up to Communion that way and I smiled!

The best thing about it is that it goes away and they grow into beautiful cuddly little boys like this so don't throw in the towel!

"....still I think I'm a lucky gal, I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.".....
Excuse the singing this morning but Annie get your gun expresses it so beautifully.
After a week of running like a crazy woman and neglecting to blog, (even though I have dropped a few comments around) I am now back and enjoying a low profile morning of checking sheep and catching up on a glorious autumn day.
The market is over for better or wosre and we will have cleared around $4500 after expenses. I think I am happy with that and I have made copious notes on improving it for next year so i am not put off. I will have recovered for next year! It's easy to just do raffles but it is great to have a social event when you all work as a team. The day was perfect and we got a huge crowd, here's some pics~
My show bags being packed to head to town
The Mother's day craft. The MUM's are cut out and scrapbooked, looked great, I bought one.
Our flower expert made up 120 bouquets like these with a few helpers on Friday, made over $1000.
And here is this week's "work" for me. As soon as I have posted and finished the house I am off to the studio where a good few hours work is required to turn everything to rights. Then there are a few little gifts to finalize and post, a block to finish for quilters and i am " all go on the UFO's" I would like to see this couch filled with completed (or perhaps basted) items by next Monday morning. I will be posting daily progress to keep me on track. I haven't given you a close look at all these projects today as you can now wait for the finish!
Hope everyone had/are having a great Mother's day, mine was lovely and restful! DH took the kids shopping last week for presents and earnt huge brownie points! Then the precious home made ones were icing on the cake!
I have a post to do on colic for Dawn but I will post that separate for search engines.
Got to go, UFO's to complete!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Where did this girl think she would be today?

(Apologies for the line, the scanner wouldn't cooperate!)
-I wonder where she thought she would end up?
I have a few clues, and not just because she was once me. Her Year 12 magazine lists her ambition a "to marry a farmer and have ten kids!" High aims indeed, and as my bridesmaid read this out in her wedding speech I am still teased about being 8 kids short! If that had happened, I know where I would be now...somewhere way around that bend!

I don't ever remember her thinking that she would live a life of lattes in Italy but I am not sure she thought her coffees would be drunk as this mornings was.

I love watching S*x in the city, Friends and a lot of other shows where there life is very different to mine, just as I am drawn to blogs where the people may think like me but their lives are diverse. This morning I dropped the kids at the School bus and then proceeded to walk around the ewes with my instant coffee in it's insulated mug and my plastic disposable gloves for "birthing babies" and I enjoyed the trip. I took the photos you have been asking for, in lieu of quilting which will be back (with a vengeance) next week.

The lambing photos do not get much newer than this.

Wrong end darling!

I would appreciate that clean now, thanks!
On my way back to the house I saw mushrooms and green grass trying to pop out of the ground, 10 days after the rain and, as usual, I am in awe of nature.

No Italian coffee could taste as sweet as mine this morning.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A day of parenting
-and more chooks and pot holders.
Tried to devote the day to the kids today and had a good time in the process.
Well, devoted most of the day to the kids...after a little sleep-in and then being told to stay in bed while I was presented with this-

-from my dd who can make them (from scratch) and likes doing so! What a nice way to start the day, next I'll have to teach her to make coffee! She says that she is practising for Mother's day, I love her!

After an hour or two playing Star wars monopoly and number games we headed off for an adventure around the farm.
DD took a while to get into the exploring nature mood, she was more keen on continuing her Roald dahl! I hope the calves enjoyed it.
The chooks know where the good pellets can be found but they do take their life in their hands! Isn't he beautiful, he is a silver laced wyandotte crossed with bush chook!
We ventured further...this is dd showing off the fabulous new crossing her clever father created. The stones are the result of rock picking our paddocks for cropping and are the reason that dh isn't really very keen on me having a rockery, he's sick of the sight of stones! Now how clever is he to be able to strategically place stones like that with his tractor. I have a funny feeling i could hire him out as a garden handyman should he ever give up farming.Here is the old spring, I love the idea that ds is playing with posts that his great great great grandfather meticulously put in, along with the bluestone edging, in the days when this spring was the only early water. It is now no longer so reliable or relied upon but a fabulous indicator to the weather as it only starts to run like this when the Autumn break is due.

Needless to say, ds could not keep out of it!

We ended with a picnic under a gum tree and seeing the first lamb of the season, I may share those pics tomorrow. I kicked the football when we got home and was told I could have an hour "off" and go to the sewing room, they had seen enough of me!
I made the above string pot holders and the new chenille chook for the market, now I had better go and do some more. Cheers, Tracey

Friday, May 04, 2007

A post full of photos.
Trying a few different theories to see if you can then click on the photos to enlarge them. The cushion is the control, it is placed at medium size and middle layout. The rest are no layout and large size. We'll see if any click.

Here is the cushion close-up for those who asked, I hope you can see some quilting, it is difficult with the black.
My group strips of friendship (for Anne). Done three or so years ago ,it hangs in the entranceway.

A sample of the 60+ show/gift bags we are making for the market day.
Little wall hangings and string pieced pot holders. (Old blanketing inside.) Aiming to do a fair few pretty floral ones as well.
I scored 8 metres of this floral satin. I don't even like to guess how old it would be but it makes up beautifully into little cushion stacks/doll pillows and I'm going to try some pillow slips and doll blankets. I am happy to swap a fat quarter for the odd piece if anyone is interested.
and, of course, no fete is complete without chooks. We have done about 30 so far and more of the chenille ones are definitely on the cards, they are so cuddly.
Busy organizing the School market today, sick of the phone but enjoying the little email chats with a few of you in between. Cheers and tell me how the photos go, Tracey

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Recovering from craft day.

The sewing day was a great success, when I get that magical thing called time I will take photos of the day's achievements. Yummy soup, yoyo biscuits, cake and Kim's apple cake really topped it off. I always appreciate good ideas for fetes and markets so you may appreciate some of ours as well.

Dear, dear DH has taken the kids off to footy training tonight, it is pouring rain here, we have now had close to 2 1/2 inches in the week and he has called a temporary halt to working the ground as it is sticky. It has been a while since that happened ! But great that I have scored a minute to blog.

I mentioned that DD has gone crazy on Elvis on Tonya's blog and she sent me a great link to equilter where they carry everything and Elvis included. Purchased a few things there, it will be interesting to see if they are as efficient as the Fat Quarter shop, who normally have things here within the week.

I will be sure to share Elvis when he comes. I actually cleaned to Elvis today, Mum gave the kids some old LP's and when I put them on it was just like I was 10yo on a Saturday afternoon again! I have Elvis on Cd but the order isn't "right" and they don't have the familiar crackle and you can all tell me I am odd but some things need to stay the same!

I was asked about the Amish style cushion in my new table post. Here is a better picture. It is evidence that I actually have hand-quilted. This is one of 2 times, the other time I was in bed with the 'flu and bored (which is actually the quilt behind it). My DS grabbed this as soon as I made it, but as his room is now overflowing with home made stuff (and his stuff) I stole it back. Hmmm, now I look closely it is slightly out of focus and you can't see all my little quilted patterns but calves and tea beckon so it will have to do. Cheers, Tracey
Oh, I was a little proud of a saying I came up with on Nadine's blog about a quilter's retirement home (worth a read!)so I thought I would share, I don't think I have stolen it but you had better tell me if I didn't make it up-it's possible!!
"Old quilters never die, they just feel increasingly sew and sew!" (I am presuming that Australia is not the only country where people feel a bit 'so and so' on occasion.)
Have a great day, Tracey