Thursday, November 29, 2007

Aint no Roman Holiday here!
........Though I do have a blue motorbike, just not a Vespa.

There seem to be many and varied animal visitors that appear at my front door. Luckily there is room at the Inn as there were a few more this week.

Here is the latest visitor, thankfully only to Tracey's half way house, not the bed and breakfast.

My MIL caught this in her bathroom, had made a hole in the flyscreen. I was asked to handle it. It is a Ringtail possum, an Australian native. See the tail-hence the name.

They are very cute, the tail is for climbing. DS and I took it away to a nice house less farm, doesn't he look happier now....

Unfortunately Sigmund the calf has also joined the ranks, on a more permanent basis. He is called Sigmund because I think he will have mother issues... and Oedipus was too tricky for the kids.

Last farewells, apparently a torn uterine lining in a cow is a fait accompli.

Here's one last pic to really tug at the hearts on today's episode of 'The Bovine and the Beautiful."

There's a poppy that I have managed to acquire as a cross between pink fluffy and red single-that is SO my pink. It is meant to lighten the tone.....

And so is this, more midnight madness, made this one while watching Sabrina Fair, I love Audrey Hepburn...I am working around all these secret things that I am making but cannot post pics of.

Used up more of the Roman Holiday Charm pack...and a bit of the extra stash. I think it must have been 2 charm packs, it is going a long way. I used the 3 fridge magnets again to stop it blowing away.....just because you cat lovers have been good.

-and here is one more, just because you had to get the bad news about the cow....
They are two weeks old on Sunday, so just getting used to opening their eyes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Latte anyone?

I am constantly reminded of how different my life is compared to if I were a "city" girl. My sister only lives an hour away in distance but a world away in lifestyle. Her life is full of playdates and coffee latte laden playcentres, her only animal responsibility is an overindulged cat. She loves that and I love this...mostly!

How would she like this in her latte?

No, not is colostrum, the first milk from a cow. They are doing fabulous things with this superfood for humans,- for the face, for good internal health....but it does it's very best work in providing a new born calf with everything it needs for a good start.

So why is it on my kitchen table, am I really that desperate for a coffee, and have no local shop?

...that I had to do this? (Very tricky left handed so you can take a photo as well!)

No, unfortunately that isn't the problem.

I am in charge and the cow is not "right" after calving. I am watching her, and while she was down, I milked her in case of the worst case scenario.

I must have had cold hands as she did get up after this, long enough for her little man to have a drink.

Not quite the best photo, but I love that tongue!

After I had checked on them again late last night I must have had one coffee too many as I wasn't ready for bed. I had put Roman Holiday on the TV and decided at 11 pm that if you love a fabric so much,like I do the Roman Holiday range, then you should just sew it together rather than look at I did. (And i have lots more!

I wont tell you what time I went to bed, but here is my Roman Holiday Table runner...with Isabelle's new kittens as quilt weights!!

I used my charm packs and just sewed.

And then I wanted to have some HST's, so this is a table centre, or may be a cushion as this red matches my couch perfectly. More quilt weights!

And, yes, cat lovers, DD's cat had early kittens, was pregnant before we had time to get her surgery done. She will get to be a mother once in her life, i think it has improved her needy, whiny nature, we'll see if it lasts. If you are good you may get a close up in the future!

Have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I have been loosely tagged for the latest round of memes at many sites, but it wasn't until I realised what the date is that I thought I may play along...and I am so pleased I did as trawling through the old photos unearthed some treasures.

I will play along with the 10, 20, 30 years ago meme.
Here I am 10 years ago, within a few weeks.
Exactly 10 years ago I was finalising reports for my Prep (first grade or Kinder?) class and trying to start sorting out a few years worth of collected 'stuff' in preparation for my 'retirement'.

Within a few weeks I was being a bridesmaid for the first 7 months pregnant!
Oh, you say, now I know which one she is in the photo!!
On all the other photos my bouquet neatly disguised my bundle. The bride now teaches my boy's year 1 class, small world!

So that was 10, here is 20.
20 years ago tomorrow I attended my Year 12 formal at the culmination of my final exams.
Yes, loved taking photos even then. Both friends in this photo are gone, Gary within 12 months driving home from Uni into sunglare and one of my two BFF's, Tracy, who was lost at sea 5 years ago. Here's dreaming they are both enjoying the 20 year anniversary together .
And here is 30 years ago, that is scary to think about. Who else had the 70's check and denim pinafore, with a good red skivvy underneath for good measure. Everyone says my kids look like their father, but I see a hint of me in there somewhere.

And also found this, and now I know why I keep making DD matching outfits!!
From about 32 years ago, but Ted and I are still enjoying our matching dressing gowns!

And also the page 161, line 6 meme.
I am reading at least 3 books at present so let's see what we have.
Classic stories from around the World, (Italy-Giovanni Verga)
....and lived on mouthfuls of weeds which they could snatch from the roadside as they went".
(Talking about the man's donkeys.)
One for the money, (Janet Evanovich)
...."if you are really going to do this job you are going to need someone to help you with the takedown"
The Princess, (Lori Wick)
..."she had lost her heart to this hurting child and knew that speaking to him like an adult made all the difference to the relationship."
An interesting bunch
-have a great day....sewing progress next post! Tracey

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hi, received this as an email, as a teacher it appealed to me, and I thought that all of the non-English speaking bloggers may appreciate a read....or is that a read! Not really fair is it, my theory is that the English language was obviously designed by a man...who said to his wife when she bought up the anomallies..."oh but they will just know the difference''!!
I still have it in easy to print email form so if any teachers want a copy, please drop me a line.


This is absolutely BRILLIANT.

For those who speak English well, you will find it amusing.
For those who don't, then this is an eye-opener.



Can you read these right the first time?
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce .

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish
the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead
if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present .

8) A bass
was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row .

13) They were too close to the door to close

14) The buck does funny things when the does
are present.

15) A seamstress and a
fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow
to sow.

17) The
was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to
the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

Shirring elastic tutorial.

Many of you were interested in the shirring elastic, I will give you a quick tutorial as it is too easy if you know what to do.

This is shirring elastic, it comes on a spool like normal thread, I then hand wind it onto the bobbin with a little bit of tension applied.

You only have to use shirring elastic in the bobbin, whatever colour normal thread for the topstitching. You may need to loosen off your bobbin cover a little to draw up the shirring elastic.

Then it is just normal sewing. Notice here I didn't do my top hem first-should have, it is much easier to hem first, before it is all gathered. Make sure you securely anchor the start of the row, by whizzing back and forth a few times.

Keep going, notice I am doing it on the flat piece, you only need to sew the dress up at the finish.
Second row sewing line is dependent on how close or wide you want the look. Needs to be straight, so either work of your previous line like I have, or use masking tape to mark the line.
Here we are after 5 rows...
...and here is the back.
Just need to sew the two pieces together, hem top and bottom and put in some straps for little girls, i just used ribbon on DD's a few posts ago. You are done.
Shouldn't have shown you will think I am very clever after seeing how simple it is!!
As you can imagine, you pick a piece of fabric generously wider than the girl's dimensions and then you get a lovely gathered looking skirt.

Note to my swap partner.
Feel free to post photos of the present on your blog, just don't say it is for me! I like surprises.
I would like to say I will open it Christmas day...but if it is in my hot little hands prior to then I can't be held responsible! I will definitely post a photo for all after it's opened,
Thanks, Tracey

Thursday, November 22, 2007

An inch of rain has slowed the harvest so I have leisure to post while DH does the work today. DD had her treatment last night and is looking brighter this morning, desperate to get to a sleepover birthday tomorrow night-probably not the best plan but you can't keep them locked up for fear of the tummy pains returning.

I have been good this week, the gym 2 times!! (OK Susie P, pick yourself up off the floor now!!!)
I love that rowing machine, though 2x 10 minute sessions on it in 2 days mean that I do have some extra previously undetected muscles this morning!

And look, distracted progress!!
The houndstooth check is at the hanging on the fence stage, I think a black border and we are go. It would mess with my head if it were much bigger, I don't think you could make the blocks much smaller starts to play with your eyes..
Could probably call this photo, "Hounds amongst the chickens", "Check out the chooks" to another competition almost!
Thought you may like to see the result you can get with just the stripy blocks.
I like this as well, but even more points have to match than in my version....nasty, nasty matching points!!!

Have been designing my Christmas cards this week, better late than never! I think Carol's Canola layout will feature heavily, but I also wanted to include my new treasured Christmas decoration, so I took these pics of my Jim Shore nativity.

I could honestly look at that all day....any bloggers want to be on my Christmas card list! I might do some as postcards as well.

Thinking about this for notecards, I love the light in the pink.
Better be off and clean, have a great day, Tracey
1. DH here to do the work
2. Whoever invented DD's treatment machine
3. Jim Shore, who put 2 of my favourite things together..... patchwork and the Nativity!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

200th post caption winner

Life goes on around here as I try to sew, the houndstooth is the quilt that is coming much for not getting distracted.

DH is busy with harvest so I am basically in charge of everything, DD also at home with the tummy pains so I can't really leave the house to play in the sewing room with the new toy. I have transported the sewing machine to the house but there is no way I am moving that frame!

These Willy Wagtails are nesting outside my sewing room window, under the fuel tank. I love these birds, they "talk" to you and like to be around people. I am also very impressed with the shared parenting.

Here is Dad watching my every move.

Weaned some calves, here is Archie the wonderdog thinking he is a cattle dog. He very quickly bolted to outside the fence when they kept inspecting him.

Here is a have to read!

I finished it really quickly, then Robyn borrowed it and was reading it making tea. Thank you to everyone who suggested these books to me, the great mix of a bit of quilting, good characters and a good story as well has been very enjoyable.

And my boy is providing the sparkler fireworks for the announcement of the winner of the 200th post caption for this photo.

I don't know how the Pioneer woman does it, she gets 1000's of entries. I loved all mine, but coming from a family of comics and a stand-up comedian brother, I am a sucker for a pun. I also loved that this one was all about the particular photo, so Leigh, who presently has her blog in hiatus, wins the prize for, "I've got my eye on you"

Ruth is an extremely close second with "The grass was greener...honestly", then there was Kim with "they make it look so easy on dancing with the stars"....and all the rest of you caption writers.- All too clever, so you get this poppy picture posted as a thanks!

Have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Houndstooth check way.

Little did Maddy know when she was photographed in her houndstooth jumper on November 4th that some one would be doing a tutorial on how to turn it into a quilt 2 weeks later! I would ring and tell her but think I lost her number when I updated my mobile phone...the price of technology!

I have emails and comments regarding this and rather than email 10 photos to everyone intersted, I will post my method. You don't have to like my method, my method is not necessarily good, just works for me and contrary to the many hypotheses presented to me, there is no foundation piecing, it is not done like a string quilt and there is not one bias edge...bias edges get me nervy!

So here we go.

This is a 6 inch base square of white. I then cut 2 x 3 inch squares for the corners. Can you see the green line on the black squares? That will be my sewing line.

Here is the exact same thing, except in reverse; a 6 inch black square, with 2x3 inch squares in opposite corners.

What's going on here?

Well, I have sewn along the green pencil line, (I would do a whole heap of these at once normally, chain piecing them together). Then I have turned it around and sewn another line of stitching to turn what would have been the wasted points to be cut off into little half sqaure triangles for another project straight away.

They are now gone.

And I am left with this after I iron it flat. See the green line there? Well, that's my humility line as I was too enthusiatic ruling that at the start as it needed to be on the back! Rule it on the back now people!

See, that wasn't so hard! Now place that square over it's opposite number, that one you just did on the black base, you know,

this one....just before I ironed the corners down.

Then sew 1/4 inch each side of the now blue pencil line...not on the line this time...that's something I would accidentally do when it was midnight!

See, 2 lines! Cut down the middle.

Which gives you this result.

Iron it, and you now have 2 blocks already, I told you it was quick and easy. Useful for so many colours and styles and I never worked with one bias. Trim and tidy as necessary to 5 1/2 inches.. You would need plain white and plain black squares as well to finish this quilt, as i started at 6 inches for this one, your plains would need to be 5 1/2 inches as well.

This is what I like,I am half way down the road with another quilt from leftovers, never waste your leftovers!

Off to watch CSI and see if Grissom is the one making those miniature house thingys! Can't miss the start!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Some sewing!

The couple of hours I had in the sewing room was well worth it yesterday afternoon.

I made baby Clancy a muslin wrap for the summer. He may have only had it hemmed until he gave me gorgeous 8 week old smiles and coos at Bible Study on Tuesday....then he got a gingham edge.

Here is Baby born modelling it......

Also got the dress finished, this is another enthusiastic model as I matched up the ribbon. More great near freebie fabric, has some stretch in it or would have been good for quilts, especially as I have over 6 metres! I used my favourite shirring elastic technique, probably should have used masking tape for a sewing line guide but it is just for home. I think I may make me one of these as well for the summer, good over bathers.

Here is another model who didn't even realise she was inspiring me. Loved her jumper,

I am sure that there is an official hounds tooth check block out there, but I made my own, getting this far took less than half an hour, so I wasn't really getting distracted...not really!

And here is one for Chookyblue, a big thank you...and chook photo, for helping me on the phone last night with my uploading problem, worked like a charm this morning...and I just got that little envelope from you-I think I need to go and make a bag now!

Mother was ready to take on all comers, babies are looking much better than a week or two ago when they were almost drowned. I wonder how she will feel when those baby ducks take off in the water...will she ever twig?

Kids home for report writing today. We clipped and washed Archie-he held onto that piece of raisin toast throughout the entire one hour ordeal! Look at those eyes!

Still 2 days to give the 200th photo a caption, and I have heard from Dawn-Marie and am all sorted, thanks.