Saturday, December 29, 2007


It is hot work just breathing outside today.....39 degrees celcius at last check.
It is probably lucky I only planted one punnet of tomatoes last night because I have a sneaky suspicion that if I were enthusiatic enough to go out and check I would have none too many left-even with shadecloth...oh well, hopefully boxes of sauce tomatoes will be cheap when I want to make sauce.
There is meant to be a slight change, but only down to the low 30's and then 42 degrees by New Year's. I think a New Year's Eve pool party is on the cards.
Speaking of New year's, I have begun my ritual Christmas to New year tidy up. I hate to carry over a heap of unfinished jobs to a new year so today was my pantry clean-while watching the cricket...tonight will be paperwork and tomorrow and Monday are the backyard and the office.
The backyard may have to be done about 6 am!
Have you started thinking about your resolutions?
I was discussing this with my sister yesterday. My major one was to do things as they need doing (read:...don't put off the boring jobs and go off to make quilts instead) My sister says that sounds very much like last years! My other one was to keep the car clean(read: don't use it as a portable office)-she said that sounded familiar as well! She is lucky she is pregnant or she may have received a sisterly punch!
That made me think of what kind of resolutions I should really make....something achievable like:
1. Tidy the kitchen in the morning before turning the computer on.
2. No blog reading unless the washing is on.
3. Work out what the family are eating for tea BEFORE leaving the house for the sewing room.
4. Empty the car on Saturday mornings...preferably by parking it next to dumpster!
5. Stop everything I am doing at 9 am and do half an hour's farm book work and telephone calls ....not half an hour more's shopping online at the Fat Quarter Shop.
6. And finally...measure twice and not unpick once!
What are your achievable resolutions...come on, be honest and share!
We have also had a night at the beach, got back yesterday. Here are the kids enjoying themselves.

They have really mastered those boogeyboards.
Here is a scene from the breakwater, a gorgeous evening.
Regarding DH's photo book-he loved it, said we had really found him a present he loved-finally. My sister really loved it and as I have all the good pics of her kids I am thinking another one is on its way by her mid January birthday-speaking of which, I had better sign off and start organising photos....or swimming in the pool, whichever comes first.
ps we are down to 2 kittens and both of these go to their new homes next forgive me another kitty pic!
Also, Donna has posted about 70 photos of the Secret Santa Christmas swap presents. They would be a great resource for quilters, pop over to her blog and scroll around for a look...and at her flood pictures...Santa almost didn't make it into Coonamble!
Have a great day, Tracey

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Another Christmas over.

We are all very quiet here today, enjoying the pool and the Boxing Day cricket game between Australia and India. DS was up as I wnt to bed at !.30 am Christmas morning wanting to open presents....knew Santa had been as he had heard his hooves on the roof1 took some talking to get him back in until almost 6. Hardly seen him since...or his he (or they!!) got a big remote controlled J. Deere tractor for Christmas!

Christmas day was wonderful, we catch up with both families as mine are only an hour away. By 9 am we were in the car and down to my sister's, then back by 2.45 pm for Chris Cringle swap with DH's family then stayed on for tea.

I am sharing my quiltier presents with you, I did very well in that department, first here is my SSCS from Gudrun, doesn't it match my couch well! It is fabulous and I love it, some Playing cards from the Iceland Museum accompanied it-I will be ensuring they are not used by DS for '52 pickup'!

My sister had me in my family Chris Cringle, I like it when she has me, we both love buying the right present. She wont tell me where she found this fabulous picture but it is already hanging in my kitchen.

She also found me this trinket box.....I think she will get a photo book for her birthday filled with my pics of her lovely children after that shopping effort.

My lovely DH's niece also managed to find me a quilting book I didn't have. It has great pictures.

Last but not least is this great Angel bag my friend Susie mailed me from WA, I posted pics of these for her, not realising I would actually get one! Thanks Suse...hope you got your mail.

The other things are ones I found for me and the kids wrapped. DH felt his work was over with the quilting frame and I wouldn't argue that!

More Northern Exposure to fill my quilting hours, a mousepad quilting calendar...may actually make me realise what day it is if it is attached to the computer!-and the 2008 block a day calendar. I love these and they give fabulous ideas.

Fot those whose day is not quite over, enjoy, Tracey

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The night...or morning...of Christmas.

Well, not really the night before Christmas here any more....actually is Christmas, 1.01 am.

You just missed Santa....I nearly got him with the trusty camera...but not quite. The Santa sacks are full, so he must have been here.

The kids are tucked up in their beds, more excited than I have ever seen them. They did a great job in their Church Nativity tonight, then home to put out Santa snacks and listen to "The Night before Christmas". There was the most amazing shooting star over the Church yard sky as we talked outside tonight...I think it is a good sign.

I was very impressed that Santa has Patchwork quilts.....unfortunately my Dad will have to wait just a little bit longer for his. Did you know it takes ages to double a completed quilt, especially when you are only getting the hours between 10 pm and 1 am to work on it?

The width is now done, just needs the top attached....and new backing attached....and the binding all put back on...and sewn down....sigh.
Why isn't it done?
The days have been just full of Christmas, of making Gingerbread houses with the kids, wrapping and making presents, bike riding, catching up with friends, farm stuff and cleaning....Dad will cope, should get it fairly soon.

I was hoping to get around to each and every blog friend and say Happy Christmas-but it is now 1.11 am and my kids will be up at 5 am, so I will say hello to everyone between now and New Year, pinky promise. -as my son would say.
Been very cold here, lots of rain but no flooding...nearly did get close to the unheard of white Christmas.

Have a great next few days, and don't forget the reason for the season, lots of Christmas love and good wishes, Tracey

The kittens and kids wish you a Happy Christmas......

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Photos to share
Up late last night in the sewing room working on Dad's quilt and watching Northern Exposure DVD's in peace and quiet... that started to be not so peaceful...I looked out the door and watched all this unfold over the mountains.....and this is only a tastes as the batteries were flat when it got really good.

It was terribly hot and muggy so not unexpected.

Speaking of photos, while I don't yet have any of Dad's improved (?) quilt, I did get my DH's Christmas present back from the printers today and I am so happy with it.

It's a coffee table book of all my favourite farm photos from the year.

He is terribly hard to buy for, his only real passions are farm and family so I combined a way I love as well. Should give me years of excuses for taking photos.

have a great day, Tracey

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I hear a lot of people complain that there is no service in the world anymore, no-one has compassion, no-one cares....well they obviously don't have my friends and they definitely don't have a quilting blog.

When I put out my little request for help with Dad's farm fabric, I knew people would have a think about it for me, but I didn't realise new bloggers I had barely got to know would scour quilt shops in places like Dubbo in outback NSW armed with a photo...(and only miss the fabric by an hour!!!!!) or lovely friends would check the shops in Kalgoorlie, a mining town in Western Australia or that shops would be scoured all over North America....just to name a few locations I know about.

This is really only the tip of the iceberg: fabric comes when needed-(and Amy will eventually get her surprise for the lovely cowboy prints for my boy-when I get my act together), quilt blocks come.. and go for good causes as well, birthday surprises, bag magnetic clasps, completed quilts for swaps and even lovelier, all those words of encouragement, whether over kid issues or quilty business....and the multitude of ideas your blogs add to my "to do" list!

It really makes you feel part of a wide tight knit group, a fabulous feeling-and thanks go to everyone who has helped make my year brighter and hopefully I have done my little bit for someone as well.

Here is Isabelle junior as your reward.-and she really is happy, it's just those eyes!

But onto the sewing front, here is me doing something that brings tears to my eyes and probably makes all quilters feel a little sick. Yes, using my new unpick...and not just on anything, but on an entire double bed sized quilt binding.

Not understanding why I would perpetuate such a crime, well, we will go back for a quick overview.

In Feb of 2006 I decided, with 3 or 4 days to go before my dad's 70th, that I would make him a it is, with me and Dad. It was made entirely from stash as I got it all cut out after 7 pm one night. All the guests signed it on the back, it had family photos printed on it and that, I thought, was that.

Half way through the year I was given it back, Mum wanted it bigger, for their bed. Many bloggers gave me ideas but the overwhelming response was make him another one....and this I was going to do until the "fabric and the 6 days left until Christmas and they are calling out for their summerweight quilt back" issue.

Hence, the binding picture. I am going to add the farm pictures to the bottom and 4 or 8 more of the log cabin blocks to the sides, and it should hit the mark. The farm pics are a risk...but I like 'em, they scream my Dad to me. I also don't think I have enough of the original cabin strips to conjure up too many more even slightly co-ordinating blocks so the farm pics should cover the hole. Here is how they are going so far, they will, of course be sewn in one long strip.

This was more the original quilt plan.

And this is the photo that is my Dad, (he just doesn't look right when he is polished up and in good clothes!) so I printed it on fabric and it will go on either back of front as well.
Have a great day.....and for the many who have enquired, DD is still good, 2 weeks now! Tracey

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mothering issues: The good, the bad...and the just plain gross.

There are a lot of similarities about motherhood in the animal kingdom and motherhood in our more human realm. One major one is that not everyone is good at it, or perhaps, it is not always second nature.
Now in humans, this probably leads to visits from child protection in a major scenario while in nature the result of bad mothering is usually grim.
Fortunately for Sigmund's new best bud, we wondered past soon enough that he was found, hollow and weak, but still with enough energy to suck the teat, and now, two feeds later he is starting to put his head up.
Is he not cute!
His mother is not young and has no excuse to have left him days ago and be socialising at the trough, so her number has been taken and she will face the full brunt of our farm law-which means she will be looking for a new place to live next time a stock truck is visiting.
Now do you think Sigmund is happy?
Going for the ear like that is close to a cow kiss.
I am thinking Heinrich for a name. A Sigmund would have a brother, Heinrich, surely! I also think my kids had a great grandpa called that, known as Harry (perhaps fortunately!) which is the name my hypothetical next boy would be...but I think a calf is about the closest that name is going to get to an airing!
And then you get a naturally wonderful mother, and here she is...........
The kittens begin to go Christmas Eve, two children who spend their days carting them around in the doll pram and calling each other Mum and Dad are going to feel it deeply. I think Isabelle the cat will as well. I am hoping santa will lull the pain.
And they are going, so indulge me with gratuitous kitten picture #2.
Now that is a relaxed Mum.
She is obviously relaxed as her babies don't get vomiting bugs.....4-5 times in the night....just spaced out enough so that his mother could fully return to sleep.... and not once in the bucket and more than once on the carpet!
And then tonight, all better, he gave away the fact that he has peeped at a present under the tree....(because neither of them has any ability to lie) and he has cried and begged for forgiveness and spent an hour walking around the house shaking his head saying, "I am just so ashamed of myself." He was just as cute as those little kittens but I couldn't really tell him that, but I did tell him not to be so hard on himself because even mothers are very tempted to do fingers itch to just open the edge of Gudrun's SSCs gift....but no, I am remaining strong!
I had another good mothering moment tonight as well, after trying to get them to appreciate "The Velveteen Rabbit" for a few years I have finally hit the year when they both snuggled up...and actually got it. DD picked up straight away that her baby born with it's pink and half dislodges eyes is real to her and DS lamented that he has never cared about anything quite like was only after he went to bed that I realised that his security type toy is me....which is nice until everytime he has to go to School, or I go to do the groceries, or he would like to play at someones house....and unfortunately Mum doesn't fit in his back pocket. He will grow out of it, just like his sister will grow out of Baby born....and I am not sure that is a gratitude.......
have a great day, Tracey
ps...hopefully Dad's are understanding as well, because the way I am going here, mine will get a sketch of his quilt for Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

You Are Christmas

More than most people, you are able to find magic in life's small moments.Traditions mean a lot to you, and you tend to be quite nostalgic.You are a giving, kind person who really understands the true meaning of holidays.You inspire others to be as altruistic and caring as you are.
What makes you celebrate: Tradition and a generous spirit
At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The storyteller. You like to recount memories with everyone.
On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Give a gift to everyone you know

Yes, that may have elements of me, but actually everyone's that I have seen seems to say the same thing! I should go back and put in "I like to keep everything for myself" answers and see if that livens up the response!

The storyteller part really made me laugh though...that is my ideal parallel universe life.... traveling the world unencumbered and telling stories to children all day.

NOW! I NEED HELP!!! Can anyone explain to me why I do not buy great fabrics in 2 metre pieces when I see them? Who would have though my Dad's perfect fabric for his quilt that needs to be made in 12 days, would be sold out at my LQS!!! Obviously not me!
I don't have much so am putting out a plea if any Aussie girls have seen it lately and would be prepared to grab me another metre and a half or just tell me the name of the shop so I can do it myself you better email me was included in last couple of posts. Have a great day, Tracey

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

with 14 days 'til Christmas...

Other than being busy, I have been a little quiet on the computer front this week as I checked my usage and I had racked up a $45 excess bill! We are on satellite so it already costs a fair bit per month....I wasn't sure I was going to be able to convince DH I wasn't having an internet affair so thought I had better cool it off. He would never understand it was an affair with quilts and fabric! I think that all the security updates suck it up as well. Well, we will keep putting it down to that! Thankfully today is a new month so I am good to go!

I had the most fascinating visit to Melbourne on Saturday for DD's tummy; the only thing missing was Obi-Wan's voice calling...."use the force!"
The lady we saw came highly recommended as "worth a try" so we did. She used kinesiology and muscle testing and reflexology and bells........I was way out of my depth. She told me something at one point and I quizically said, "you reckon?" and was very soon told that "I don't reckon, I know"! I felt like that old 70's song Mum had on all the records that also had Dolly Parton and Kenny doing duets ..."get out non-believers or the rain will never come, someone keep that fire burning, somebody beat the drum!!"- especially as DD has then had her first fully good week in a few months!
She was funny, she walked out of the place and got in the car, then said, "Mum, I have a question, was that lady using crystal balls... because we aren't into that?" I said, no, she was just using her God-given talents to fix you up and then DD announced it had worked, she was better.
I am still more likely to be kicked out than asked to beat the drum, but it is great to see her feeling good especially as the doctors were all just telling us to 'live with it, she may grow out of it, or not.' So I will keep you posted.

Just when I had overcome the aero bars...or they overcame me....I was given this at School yesterday for a year of story I have to eat them!
School finishes tomorrow and life should be far less hectic, plenty of time for quiet chocolate eating.

Took a photo of this at Ladies fellowship break-up for you, very cute and well loved.
And speaking of cute and well-loved...the day is coming when these are moving on to their new homes, but at the moment they are being dragged around in their Aristocats basket and the pram, being the babies for Mums and Dads'!

There are still 14 days to I have decided to make my Dad a whole new Q/S bed quilt instead of just enlarging his other one. I found this great fabric that is just him, even the same tractor, motorbike, dog and woolshed...and he is the quintessential Australian stockman and shearer, always with his wide brimmed Akubra hat on.... this fabric just has to turn itself into a quilt in a fortnight, plus I need to quilt my sisters shirt top, and Roman Holiday pieces and make a few other things...surely all achievable...if Icome up with a plan ...and don't sleep!
Laila's Secret Santa Christmas Swap gift from me has arrived in Norway, thank goodness! For details on what that swap was, visit Donna at Chookyblue.
Have a great day, Tracey

Friday, December 07, 2007

It's here!

Finally got a few minutes to clean my house today...and look what I found!
What a temptation-especially after I actually wore my bathers in front of non-related humans at the School swimming sports yesterday! That also resulted in my first blue swimming ribbon in about 25 years....yes we adults really wiped the floor with those 11 year olds!!

But the sports went very well, in 33 degree celcius weather so there was a lot of sunscreen and t-shirt reminding done. DD lasted the day which was great as swimming is her favourite thing.

Far bigger excitement here today than just finding the beautiful and scrumptious Aero bars, my SSCS came....and all the way from about the polar opposite area to here-Iceland!
I had noticed on my Statcounter that I was getting visits from Iceland...never twigging that it was Godrun. Now if I could only work out who visits me from Alaska and that little Island off Africa...speak now, you fascinate me. As a Northern Exposure devotee, I really love Alaska.....not just John Corbett.
So Thank you in anticipation Godrun, as I regularly lurk on your blog and know your talentsI am very excited about my gift!

I had to take it out of the envelope as it was almost out itself..only held in by a bit of bubble wrap. The actual parcel is still intact and the kids and I put the tree up tonight just so it could go under.

I promised you Chris' second Kaffe Fassett effort, also from Kaffe's book, and as I have been busy it is about the only quilting I can show. Next week should be all go again here. Not tomorrow though, I have an 800 km round trip to see someone new about DD's tum.
I was very impressed with these triangles, no flying geese seam. There would have been if I was doing it! Chris worked it all out very well....I don't think I am that patient.
Have a lovely weekend, Tracey

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Summer Wonderland?
Do you know what? I have lived within 3 hours of my present location my entire life, and even I think Christmas in the Summer is crazy!

I see people in the the Northern World laying in their treats, decorating their homes in the growing darkness, shovelling their pathways and generally taking time to reflect as Winter and Christmas close in....and it all makes perfect sense to me. But what am I doing? Trying to jam a multitude of events and responsibilities into the day, knowing full well that until School closes for 7 weeks (in exactly 8 days but who is counting), life will be crazy.

I have just spent 6 hours working out the swimming program for the School sports, I now have to do my President's report for Church Ladies lunch and AGM tomorrow, Thursday is the sports all day, Friday DD performs his Nativity at School Chapel, Saturday another break-up for School Council....and all fitted in around the fact that it is not deep in a quiet winter but right in the middle of our busiest farm seasons. ....I suppose there is no point starting a movement to shift Christmas to winter here so I can enjoy it and guaratee DH wont need to get on the harvester! I would promise to give a Winter Christmas even more religious respect...does that count?

Anyway, one good thing is that in the midst of all the reruns we will be given on TV for the next 3 months, one channel is actually doing Friends from the start, 7 nights a I am guaranteed I can watch something of a night!

Another huge excitement is the first of my notecards have arrived. I did these with my Christmas cards and I am so happy with them. What do you think?

The Canola ones are just for me, but the others I can share with the World, I even included my own little label on the back of the pink succulent.

I love playing on the net!

These are the Jim Shore's, with "she wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger" printed on them.

And this is my pink succulent.

I am more than happy to share these further afield than just my local quilter friends. I can post around 8 internationally for $1.95 post and in Australia for 50 cents. I am selling them for 50 cents Australian a card, but am fully prepared to negotiate over fabric. Just drop me an email if you would like some.

Last but not least is my buy of the week!!! Dh did look at me as if I was crazy, but what is a person to do when their printers show them how good a photo looks on a t-shirt...and it is on sale as well!

I remember a male cousin of my Mum's coming to Christmas once. I arrived with my very small kids and framed pics of them for Mum and Dad, he looked at me and smirked in a very condescending way and announced "You are really proud of them aren't you!" It wasn't a compliment, I remember turning around and saying, "of course I am!" I often think of him and the fact his own children didn't care to have him at Christmas...and it is just one more reason to wear my t-shirt proudly.

Have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Bits and Pieces.

The local show went very well, DD won 2 blue ribbons for Spring in the pet show, he was very well behaved, just had a few issues with a couple of labrador dogs.

I grabbed a couple of quilts as I went out the door for the craft, received a first and 2 seconds. Here is the completed Roman Holiday cushion, with one of the battery hens. Thought you may like to see how well and happy they are now.....big change from a few months ago. Have run out of the yellow from the Roman Holiday range and think a co-ordinating cushion would look good on my couch, so I just may have put a teeny order into The FQS when it was half price, hope you got there in time, apparently it sold out quickly.

Big celebrations here, Dh is home from harvesting away, not sure if I will see him much more as it is hay season here, but at least he will sleep here........and I will have a reason to stop sewing at a decent hour!

He has been madly cutting more hay at home, all that late rain has made it a bumper hay season in our area..

In 10-14 days it will have cured enough to bale.

I have been doing some more playing with my Jim Shore figures, I can't decide which of these I prefer as a notecard...any ideas?

Had one of my favourite nights of the year on Friday, it was our Quilter's break-up and Chris Cringle. I highly indulged, especially in the cheeses, after my 2 1/2 weeks of exercising and behaving...surely you can't put 3 kgs back on that quickly!

This is the gift bag that was part of my Chris Cringle's gift, it is using ons of the Nancy Halvorsten Christmas panels...and the inevitable Roman Holiday.

I will show you Christine's latest Kaffe Fassett next post, looks good.
And finally, a mauve fluffy poppy.I will be ensuring I collect these seeds carefully, the trouble I have with the chooks doing a lot of the garden cleaning up is that they over tidy and you can lose your seeds.
Have a great day, Tracey