Sunday, September 30, 2007

Can I have my cake and sew as well???

Good news here, the Geelong Cats successfully broke their 44 years Australian Football Premiership drought yesterday.

So DH's Godson's 10 am birthday party at a fellow Cats supporter's home ended up meaning we did not make the 2 km trek back to here until 9 pm last night! It was the kind of walkover I would normally hate, except it was the family's team so it was ok.

We were talking about exercise at the party, the Godson's mother has 4 kids under 7. Her 'me time' is that she gets up at 5.30 am from Monday through Friday, drives the 30 kms to the gym and is home by 7.15 am to get the kids organized for the day.

Now, I am in awe of this, but it is not my way, I am an evening person, I only do mornings because I have to. Outside of School terms mornings are very flexible around here. (read : Mum gets up at 9 am!!) Also, it is the only time I am guaranteed to see my husband, who likes quality time and I kind of like it when my little boy sneaks in for cuddles, but don't tell him that!

But, there lies the problem. Summer is looming and with it comes the knowledge that we have a pool in which a fair few of my friends swim and that the beach is just about everyone's favourite place.

It is time for the annual ship it all back into shape. I require motivation to achieve, in the past I have had a competition that was to involve fat quarter rewards, with my darling friend Susan, but someone who shall remain nameless (Susan!!) went and got pregnant which does tend to make a weight loss program slightly difficult! I achieved great results with my sister another year, natural with our competitiveness, but there is the slightest hint she may not be immune to Susan's complaint, so she is out! Dawn in Korea and I talked about it online, but then both of us got caught up with life distractions, so i am on my own. I am motivating myself with a reverse fabric diet, only allowed to buy fabric if I have lost some weight.

The last few days I have done pilates regularly, boxed for a few minutes at a time, done some walking and gone bike riding with the kids but I am already seeing results and they are unfortunately not the ones I wanted.

When you do pilates while watching TV, you can't sew, same goes for boxing, bike riding and walking. So the time you have free where you sneak in your sewing decreases rapidly if you need to exercise, and really we all should do that.

So, I want the quilting women of the world to unite!!! Surely, somewhere, somehow, there is a way in whick we can sit, sew AND exercise. Surely if people can invent abtrainers, electricity, the internet(which I really don't get) and padded bras, then surely someone can help the quilters so they have time to do everything they want AND still look like Elle in a bikini!!! What say you, do we unite and start putting political pressure???? Tracey

"It is no good saying, "we are doing our best." You have got to succeed in doing what's necessary."

Winston Churchill (who looked a little like he needed one of these inventions that exercises us as we sew as well!!!)

The bees on my lavendar

Friday, September 28, 2007

Life is Good
In a far more springy mood today, hence the picture of my tulip for you Autumn girls who just make me confused!
Had a great time with my sister, took my 30 plus tablets, which may have helped, but just having her and the kids here was nice.

My sister took this photo of me nursing her girl, this is a feel good moment because she has to be wrapped in the quilt I made her for the day she was born in order to sleep...wrap her and she is gone. She is in a big bed now, with a doona, but has to be wrapped in this underneath.

I was interested to see how it had worn, being used every day and frequently washed for over 2 years. I also tried a complete different thing when making it, I wanted it to be cuddly and I was fully prepared to make my only niece more quilts if necessary, so it is just backed with a pink fleecy, then machine quilted and bound as normal. This has kept far better than I expected and looks hardly used. You can see the fleecy around her head. The full photo is Monday, Nov 26th in my 2006 archives, I couldn't get the one post to link.
One of the extra good things about my sister's visit was her,no, it wasn't like that, sisterly competitiveness did not bring us to blows, it's just that she took my kids with!!!
My brother, who still thinks he is a kid, was at Mum and Dad's for a few days, kids wanted to see him so she dropped them there.
Therefore, the other reason life is good, I finally got my date night!!! Yay!! Enjoyed the 24 hours off as well. Loved the reunion with my babies today though, we all appreciate each other more after a break...and that doesn't do anyone any harm!
They are home now and excitedly asleep, if that isn't an oxymoron!! The Geelong Cats, the rest of the families football team of choice and the one that I am jumping on the bandwagon of, is hot odds to win their first AFL Grand Final in 44 years tomorrow. My little boy is especially excited, I hope I don't have to witness whole family despair!!
During this week I have actually dusted...probably why I was feeling flat!!! And I thought you may like to look at this treasure.
See the magazines, the rolled up wool with knitting needles and over on the left, folded fabric and bear pattern pieces.
No, it isn't my craft box, it is in fact only about 5 inches in size, it's a miniature craft box i found at a market stall and has so much work in it. And the time to make little embroidery threads, beads, tape measures and buttons...well worth the $10 I paid and a good idea as a crafter present.
Off to bed, have a great day, Tracey

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In a blue funk today, letting the worries of the world suck out the creative juices...or is it just not enough time in the sewing room makes me grumpy, add in that I need a walk and perhaps we will put it down to that.

I should remember to take my "30 plus" tablets more regularly, they have been great for the hormones and seem to be a good general "stabilizer"!! Sad when you haven't got time to take a tablet that actually makes you feel better!!

My sister is due here in a minute, staying the night as well, she and her babies should pull me out of the funk. bet Dh goes to bed early tonight, not because he doesn't like my siter, he loves her, he's watched her grow up from her teens and takes a very paternal interest in her well being. No, he is guaranteed to go to bed because we generally play board games when the kids are in bed and he can't cope with the competitive streak!! He has seen Pictionary games that would seemingly be being played for a million dollar purse, Scattergories games where people are being phoned at midnight to collaborate and answer and we wont even start on scrabble. At some point he sneaks away shaking his head.

He would never have coped in our house, when you throw in the other game loving brother, School holiday Monoploy games used to go over several days and often didn't allow participants to get out of their pj's!! so really our mild little games are quite sedate!

It is funny because we all really like each other, but when the games kick in, so does the competitiveness and the feeling that you are back at Mum and Dad's, then we all just resort to that persona. Anyone else have similar experiences with their family?
Post script a few hours later, this is me, just up at the computer because I have to Google to prove some words I beat my sister with at Scrambler...some things never change!!!
And finally, my scales!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The best laid plans of mice and me

Shouldn't be posting right now, about to watch the red carpet arrivals at Australian Football's night of nights, the Brownlow medal for best player in the league. Well, that is obstensibly what it is about, but it is really all about what the wives and girlfriends wear!

But shouldn't even be planning on watching that! It is meant to be hot date night!!! I took the kids down to Mum's this morning and basically the day went pear shaped from there!!

Dh suggested a week ago that after all our illnesses etc, it would be good to have a night kid free! I immediately got onto Mum who usually has the kids for a night in the holidays and organized it. Knew I was in trouble from the time Ds got up this morning. He walked up the middle of the bed far too early, wrapped his arms around me and told me I was beautiful and the best mum in the world! That's how I knew we were in would say that to me without some ulterior motive at 5.45am!!!

Sure enough..."I don't want to go to Ma's, I will miss you too much, I will be too sad" get the picture! We skirted around the issue all morning, managed to get him in the car..albeit with a quilt over his head......but by the end of the hour drive he was not staying!!! I was to go and shop while he had a picnic, then I was not to ring and check on him...I was to come back to the farm and get him...he was going home!!!!

So much for a big afternoon of indulgent sewing!! Instead I headed to the local town where I made a big dent on the credit card and the Christmas shopping. Just when i am about to head back out to their farm I get a message, "DS says go home!! He is having more fun than a school excursion so don't pick him up!!"

Would have been lovely to get that message 5 hours sooner but I headed date night? No, to a quick tea before DH went off to a Church meeting that he had forgotten!

So, here I am blogging and watching the football telecast! At least it is peaceful. Regular readers know by now that I should NEVER make plans of any sort!

To the instructions for the basting frame!!! And about time too, you say!

The frame "legs" and the posts that fit across into the slots. The frame legs are made from the same width timber that is described below. The timber piece that is attached to the base is exactly a metre long. The base can be made from whatever you have around that is sturdy. If you are shorter ot taller you can alter there heights, I'm tall and it was great.
There are two different lengths here for the long pieces, one for a standard quilt, and then 2 extra large beams to a king size. They are over in the sewing room, yell out if you want their measurements. The quilt group has used wide cotton tape and attached it with a staple gun, very easy and easy to pin too. You need to have a lot of pins.

The instructions are from an absolutely fabulous book that i am also hiring from Mum's craft group for the princely fee of 20 cents per month!! It is called, The Complete book of Machine quilting, byRobbie and Tony Fanning. My copy says 1980 but there are copies around when you put it in Google and some have a much newer looking cover. It looks a really good one to own.

Instructions from here on the frame are:

At a hardware/lumber store, ask for 2 straight-grained fir 1x2s (2.5x5 cm), each a foot (30 cm) longer than the long side of your quilt. and two more lengths of straight grain fir 1x2s, a foot longer than the short side of your quilt; and four 2 1/2 inch (6.35 cm) C clamps. You can see more pictures of how the frame went together by going back a few posts.

Staple denim, pillow ticking or canvas tape to each wide edge of the four frame pieces. If you are really a perfectionist you will mark the centre of each board on the tape. When you clamp the pieces together, always make sure that the pinning fabrics face each other.

When basting: the ironed backing should be placed topside down: if you pieced it together you will be looking at the seams. Using straight pins, pin one long side of the backing to the tape that you have stapled to the frame. Repeat for the opposite long side. Then use the clamps to fasten the short sides of the frame to the long sides. I fhtere is canvas tape, put the short frames, (tape side down) on tops of the long frames (tape side up) Check where the two boards meet with a right angle to be sure the boards form a 90 degree angle. Now pin the short sides of the backing to the short sides of the quilt frame. Don't overstretch the backing. BNow the backing is entirely attached to the frame.

Now you layer and pin the batting and quilt top. repinning until you have it smooth and just how you like it. Then you are ready to baste it in whichever way you prefer, thread, safety pins or pins.

I am going to do another in a few days so I will take pics of each step. Off now to watch the Brownlow and then back in the car in the morning to go back and get the kids!! Have a great day, tracey

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Apologies to those checking for the basting frame instructions, the free hour to take the pics and to describe the process in a post just hasn't eventuated this weekend, somehow i have been flat out but not accomplished much-the joys of motherhood! Hopefully Monday, Tracey

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fall arrives???!!!

Starting today with a little housekeeping information. I have had fairly significant interest in the dimensions and details on putting together the basting frame, obviously I am not the only one whose back doesn't appreciate the exercise! I will post that information tomorrow for all of you, easier that trying to email.

Had a fabulous day yesterday, as well as the massage and lunch....and the clothes shopping...the quilt shop was changing hands! 40% off everything that wasn't fabric and the fabric bolts she had left were half price for metre cuts. She also had my plastic coated Moda half price, so I had fun! The Gutermann thread was the big bargain, normally $14 for the big spools here, came down to nearly $8 so Robyn and I pretty much shared the big ones out between us. Even the DMC cottons were nearly half price, the hardest part was standing there and trying to desperately think what I needed!!!

Loved the jelly rolls, they were $20, 2 metres of fabric, so that works out quite cheap for here. I am thinking of making a shaggy from at least one.

Finished my maintenance off today by getting the roots matched to the rest of my hair, I don't feel quite as bad when I see how my poor battery hens are going. They went into a full moult shortly after arriving, lost even more feathers, if that was possible, and now they are growing feathers back in preparation for a new season of laying. Here is the one who reminds me of the pathetic hen on Foghorn Leghorn cartoons, (Priscilla??) politely enquiring of one of the normal chooks who does her roots???

Even though she doesn't look happy they are actually going very well here, they all venture out and socialize, also try to hang around my feet.

But the most exciting thing is that I mail today, my Four seasons quilt swap came and I REALLY love it, it was from Amy, the Calico Cat. Thank you Amy for the cowboy fabric I had been looking for as well, my boy was very excited!

It is a Fall swap, but it is actually the beginning of Spring here, I think I have been reading too many overseas blogs as i have talked to people here about it being Autumn!!!!! So this photo of my new quilt pretty much sums up my confusion!

Autumn quilts and spring buds!

Liked the setting so I thought I would put the engagement present I made today there as well. It is a pot holder for young farming couple, I figure anything that may motivate him to be domestic is to be encouraged!!

And for those of you who were a little confused, Joshua is my Godson, not quite my boy, but close!! He is the 5th of 7 children so I take pleasure in special treatment for him. Have a great day, Tracey

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yes, it was finished in time, here is the little owner proudly displaying it!
The way he is going he will get another for Christmas and another next year, I have been cuddled, hugged, thanked and thanked again by him. He even ran across the Churchyard 2 days after to jump in my arms and say "thank you for my beautiful blanket,"- unprompted as well!
Wouldn't it be nice if all recipients were as appreciative of the time and effort a quilt takes. I gave a special one to a close relative when I was still in the learning process, it took me ages but it had all materials of significance, even a soppy label-Christmas day came and she didn't even unroll it! Pulled it half way out of the wrapping, said, "thanks, that looks nice" and pushed it back in! She only looked at the back! I went outside and cried, Dh asked what I expected, I said I at least expected her to look at it!!!!
Of course by the time a few family members worded her up when we had gone onto the next family she was full of praise the next day, I'm afraid I was rather of the feeling, too little, too late ...and after prompting! Another friend of mine sewed for ages for a special quilt for her FIL's 60th, then took it home after the party to finish the hand quilting. They went back 6 months later and she said she almost had it finished. They told her they didn't know what she was talking about and couldn't remember the present from the party!!! Needless to say that isn't going back!!
Everyone slowly resuming normal health here, both kids actually went to School the last 2 days. They have to go tomorrow because Robyn and I are off for treat day in Port Fairy before School holidays start on Friday. Hoping to have the house clean early today and to get in some sewing, not many chances in the last few days, have a great day, Tracey

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Basting frame
I have been working on Joshua's quilt as tomorrow is his birthday. I hate the basting part of the quilt, my knees and my back can't stand crawling around on the floor, so I tend to under baste as compensation and then suffer the repercussions of that when it comes to trying to machine quilt with my standard sewing machine later on.

My Mum mentioned that her craft group had copied "some quilt thing" and no-one was using it. She described it to me and I decided it could perhaps have a little holiday here.

I picked it up when I got the battery hens and yesterday I gave it a run.

It is a form of basting or quilting frame, ideally I would use it in the big space of my sewing room but the job needed doing and we were all in the house so the house it had to be.

Here are the kids playing under it, they think it would be a great cubby!

This is how it fits together

You pin the backing to the cotton tape. There are red clamps that you can see in the actual basting pic that keep it all where it is meant to be. I found it heaps easier and a lot better on my back. I had the whole thing on and basted in an hour and a half. I have all the dimensions in a machine quilting book the group lent me so yell if anyone is interested in more info, looks very easy to make yourself. It came with these size posts and the next size for a queen or bigger quilt.
I machine quilted it last night and only need to sew the bindings on-that isn't my favourite part either, but preferable to basting. Joshua's party tomorrow is 3 pm, so everyone being well enough, I should get it done.
Kids are finally improving, DS went to School today, it was the matinee of his School concert, he was a fine dalmatian dog, I took his sister in in time to perform as well, hopefully they will both be in peak condition for tomorrow night's major performance....I am just...still here-but fortunately capable of finishing a quilt.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Luxuries and treasures.

There was one specific luxury that I really looked forward to when the kids were both finally at School.

There were of course, quite a few that tantatalized me, - the idea of coffees, lunches and sewing, all carried out in uninterrupted peace, sounded great. The sheer joy of being able to walk into a shop without my son saying in a painfully clear voice, "I don't like this shop, this shop is yukky" and the restfulness of grocery shopping without him rolling under the supermarket shelves and disappearing up the aisles-laughing all the way and calling "find me Mummy!!!"-all appealed. (They tell me that every child has their stage when they cause trouble, I am working on that being my DS', leave me in ignorant bliss there please people!!)

But, the most appealing thing was the luxury to be sick in peace.

You know, being able to lie in bed for at least 8 hours in a darkened room, with complete quiet and no interruptions? No-one running up the house every 5 minutes to cuddle you, bring you their teddy, report on what Elmo did on Sesame street.......

Last year I din't get my weeklong annual flu and this year I would say it is well and truly setting in and guess what...the two little darlings are here with me!!!!

Have done a fairly major repair job while being at home. It reminded me of Atet talking about her first wonky quilt, well here is my first and if I had known that it would still be getting dragged around 9 years later I may have changed some things, but as I had less that no idea I probably wouldn't have!

I managed to cut out and sew some squares together, then I sewed them to an old sheet and sewed satin ribbon over the joins. Then I went to a hardware store and got some kind of lightweight foam, turned the edge of the sheet and sewed it together, put a line of stitching through it to hold the foam in and, there you have it, a quilt!!!! It is very fondly known as "warm doona" and is the first one layered on at night. The old flannel sheet was the first to go, I have already replaced most of the back with better quality flannel but now it has reached this point, almost a crisis!

I cut off all this rotten edge, reached into the trusty op shop reserves and found satin ribbon, and reinforced the 2 trimmed edges with that. The sick daughter did not feel up to the paparazzi but you get the point.

Here is the next one I made, 3 years later and with a little more assistance, but didn't realise you were meant to do things like measure the middle and keep things straight, I just added to whatever edges were there, which worked ok until it came to the quilting and the finish...then I just had to jam everything into the binding. And does it worry the daughter who layers this on second when she goes to bed?? No, not a bit.


I may go and lie on the bed and wait to be the cuddle machine now, have a good day, Tracey

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A few quilts for you and more "fun" for me!

Great feedback from you about my Autumn swap, thanks! Loved all the comments from "new" visitors as well. Will probably get some time to work on it again in the next day or two ...but that is it's own story.....

Had tired children yesterday, I took them down to my parent's for belated father's day celebrations and it really seemed to tire them out. Great, I thought, early to bed for them and I may get to spend some time with their father, but as regular readers know, I should never makeplans!

It is 7 pm here right now and I think I may have managed an hours sleep somewhere in the night, between wetting facewashers, trying to tip panadol down a recalcitrant 7 year old's throat, holding the bucket and dealing with the "sand" and the "sand band" that was at some imaginary place a delirious 9 year old went to when her temp. hit 40 degrees...think that was around 2.35 am!!

They are both very flat today, general reports seem to be that this awful flu can last up to 3 weeks and keep coming back. Oh well, DD did manage a nearly 4 days of school this week!

Needless to say, romance is a long way down the list!! And the only sewing today was a lightweight nighty for a hot daughter.

I can't ever remember signing on for 12 months of daughter's chronic tummy pain, then the chesty flu, then the temperature flu, but obviously next time I will have to take a more careful peek at the fine print! No, really, they will be fine,.... and the good news is that I took some pics for you at Quilters.

Robyn has finished her kit, I think it is the Vintage Holiday range. Used 5(?) inch squares and jelly rolls.
Helen got her son's back form the Australian version of the longarmer. Cross hatching in the squares and something else was in the rest! It is flannels.
Thought you may like this wall hanging that Helen received from her group when she left Queensland years ago.
And finally, Robyn was Kerrin's birthday buddy and as Robyn had the enforced 2 weeks in the house with her kid's flu, she whipped up these beautiful angels. Had to get a photo for you (remember if you click on the pics they enlarge)-no idea on pattern details but could probably get them if there is, off to dose kids and go to bed! Tracey

Friday, September 07, 2007

Why is this so hard?
Thank you for all the comments about the kids health, specifically my girl, she is still going well and has done 4 days of school this week. A 3-4 month record I would think.

I have made 3 quilt tops and assorted other things in the last month and you would think a simple Four seasons quilt shouldn't be just too hard then? You would be wrong! I battled to pick the colours, now I am unsure about the top. It is trickier than you think making something for someone you don't know. I can tell she is very nice...(like all quilting bloggers!)....but there is still the pressure of trying to get it perfect and not disappoint her..sigh. Anyway, maybe you can give me some assistance as here is how I am going so far.

Used the Sonnet range, which is a big enough print that doesn't need to be over pieced. I want it in a pattern that lends itself to table centre, seeing it is only to be 12-16 inches in size.

So here is idea 1-

Idea 2-

Idea 3-

I wont tell you my preference, I want untainted views!
I am also open to putting each block end to end for a table runner, didn't take that photo but looks quite nice.
Also made a bag today, I have to work out how to make a specific order so this is my practice piece, it has to have a zip-"Bah humbug"!! So hence the practice. (Therefore it is not officially something that was off the "Have to" list!!!)

And I finished off Milly's name banner to give to her grandma at Quilter's tonight. favourite night of the month! Should I take my camera for you, in case there is progress since retreat?

Two funny stories today, well, kind of funny eventually! DS is ok but not at school, still grumpy and cuddly (calling me the "cuddle machine!"-pleased I am useful for something!)

Today he felt like an icypole and as we were out he headed over to see how his Grandma was...Ha!- back very quickly to tell me Grandma was sitting in her chair, not breathing , talking or moving...dead!! No, I did not wimp out and call my husband to come back from the paddock, I went over and hesitantly opened the door after which she jumped in surprise and I jumped even higher!! Needless to say, not dead.

I went back and told my boy who said ok, he's go back for the icecream (how pleased I am that he had not grabbed one before coming to tell me she was dead, I like to think they are raised with some semblance of sensibility).....any way, he was gone for a while, I was happily sewing then decided a good mother would check his location, thought for a further peaceful minute or two about which type of mother I was today, then checked.

No boy at Grandma's, no boy answering increasingly indignant/panicky screams of his name, one Archie dog who is usually with him and just as this time I AM about to call his father to commence the search party, I thought I would check the house. Yep, you have guessed it, sound asleep in his bed! Now I haven't seen the human dynamo have an afternoon sleep since 2003, so I still can't work out what made me look.

Blissfully, he is still there now.

Now, a good mother may wake him soon, so that he goes to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight, but, heck, I'll be gone to quilters and you can't be a good mother all the time!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Picking up the crumbs
It often amazes me that just when you are getting seriously concerned about a situation and think you may not be able to cope any more, you see the light at the tunnel.
I specifically remember this with labour, thinking, "I may have to tell someone I don't think I can do this, this really hurts!!", and then remembering with the next one when I got to that stage that there is only about a minute to go!!!
Back to the real story....On Monday my daughter was about as bad as she gets with her health and tummy. I haven't discussed it much, 'cos what are you going to say?-even her legs were feeling numb (!!???) Then yesterday she brightened up enough that we ran her into school for half a day and, huge news, she has headed off for School on the bus this morning singing and dancing, believe me her parents feel like doing that as well! Her colour really looks good today and there was no mention of anything even mildly associated with life is good!

Now, if we could only get two to go on the same day then I could get some serious sewing done! Her brother is improving from the flu and is just at the cuddly, achy stage, we have just watched Bob the Builder together and he is curled up under his tractor quilt and asked for some peace and quiet! Know he's sick then!

Great mail this week!!! My stitchery arrived from Anne at Quilting Bebbs. I love it! I have photographed it under a number of different conditions but nothing really does the gorgeous purples justice. Thank you to Anne and to Sweet P Paula who organized the swap.

My Country threads and Country Craft and Decorating came as well, there went a good hour with a coffee.

Thought you may like to see the crumb progress, I took a photo of it with my other shirt quilts for posterity. I am just about to have a shirt rest to finish off some other projects with deadlines, but Joshua's needs to be presented next week so I had better give it some attention.

Thanks to Tonya whose quilts remind me that all the details do not need to be on the back. I am thinking picnic rug after this gets some kind of border. There are quite a few of the slightly smaller crumb blocks to go, they will get the red sashing and be their own quilt..but don't tempt me, I HAVE to finish some other stuff! have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, September 02, 2007

So not a factory farm....

Late Sunday night and I think I should be sleeping while the sleeping is good, but I shall take a risk and fit in a post instead.

DS seems to have the flu, very high temps meant he ended up in bed with us last night, I gave up and went into his bed and found out this morning that DH spent most of the night up with him watching DVD's!!!

That was a great way to start my husband's Father's day, but quite fitting really as he is a very hands on Dad and always used to divide the night with me when they were younger and more prone to night-time illness. I really appreciated that, if Tazzie is reading this, it is a bit like the book she mentioned, with a title I wont write for fear of who will google me, but basically relating to what really makes a woman fall for a man, and it isn't actually what a man thinks it would be. More housework than big muscles!

I have to share the Father's Day card my girl made him....because it's my blog....and she is only 9....

Dear Dad,
You don't like the sand,
but you like the Lee Kernaghan band.
You never get mad,
for that I am very glad.
When you play hide and seek,
I think it's neat.
While Mum is feeding the chooks,
what you are doing is harder than it looks.
Thanks for bringing home lambs,
and pushing me in prams.
Thank you for your love,
you came from above.
You have a truck,
and you love when the bulls at the rodeo buck.
You married Mum,
you cuddled me when I had a sore tum.

Needless to say I had to steal the card from beside his bed.....

Catered afternoon tea for a wedding yesterday and thought the bridesmaids flowers may interest you. They were made from a whole heap of satiny fabric circles, and just pinned to a styrofoam ball, then with a short piece of dowel stuck into them to hold onto. They actually looked good, especially from a distance, even if I am a sucker for real flowers.
In answer to a million questions from my last post.
The emails have been running hot regarding my battery hens. I have stopped trying to sensibly explain them and will do so as clearly as possible here.
Battery hens are the general term for chooks/chickens that are factory farmed. That is, as many as possible of them are kept in order to maximise return on investment and space. As the world continues to grow we have to accept that this is increasingly how our food needs to be grown....but we don't necessarily have to like it. The chooks that I bought have been specifically bred to lay, the desire to go clucky has been bred out of them. At the end of the first year they will probably moult, which involves them losing their old feathers and stopping laying for a short period. In their second year of laying their production falls off. Fot this reason I could purchase them cheaply in the bargain bin. Even if they drop to 4-5 eggs a week, they will still be supplying me with more eggs than some of my old darlings who have produced eggs for 5-6 years, given me enjoyment and are allowed to live in a happy, semi-retired state until time catches up with them. If I cross these new layers with my lovely bush roosters I will get the variety of colours I like, with improved egg laying ability in the new generation. But I will have to get some of my old faithfuls to do the sitting as they battery hens will not.
Factory farming is not the way we choose to farm here.
Factory farmers would not have cute poultry like these, admiring my chenille quilt that I finally added flanelette backing to, running loose. They would artificially inseminate, so have no need for the cute rooster who is presently standing on my quilt!
Factory farmers wouldn't have pet lambs either. Especially ones like Spring who enjoy
escaping from the paddock, playing withthe kids, eating the chook food and shaking hands.
And they definitely wouldn't have rude little lambs, that after unsuccessfully attempting to follow their foster mother in the back door,
... quickly run around the front and bang on the door until one of the kids opens to see who is there..... we put a quilt on her back and called her a Jim Shore figurine! (Isn't she getting big, will be shorn in a month!!!)
Finally, seeing I missed Blog day, a great blog to call at is Carol's. Carol does fabulous digi scrapping layouts and her "things that never really happened" shots are a hoot!