Monday, June 30, 2008

More books...

Unfortunately, no update on the serious playing with shirts I started yesterday. I have a migraine, hopefully a neck related one, which means it will be back to normal in exactly one hour and 15 minutes when my chiropractor gets me.

We had 200 sheep in to mark, drench and innoculate so i managed to get out of bed and help do that. Lambs still drinking off their mothers do not take migraines into account.

My Dh and family all said they knew I was really sick as I didn't bring the camera!

Instead I will show you these great sheep.

Are they mine?

No, if you look closely they are completely made out of old phones. Brilliant use of the cords.

I have the Church ladies here tomorrow afternoon, so was going to spend the rest of the day cleaning. Now they will see the real us!

On the book review front, please remeber I would love you to post a pic of a favourite or two. here is today's.

The next one after the Quiltmaker's gift. (Jeff Brumbeau) Still fabulous. It is actually a prequel to the first story and explains why she became a quiltmaker who gives to the poor. Once again the pictures are amazing and the story well worth reading.

I am sliding back to a darkened room for half an hour, have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Sunday treat..and your book reviews wanted!

What's the perfect recipe for a very cold and bleak Sunday afternoon?

Sleep on the couch, read a book, soak in the bath or veg in front of the TV?
Well, they all sound good, but a bit of mindless sewing where I could start with strips from shirt sleeves and end up I-know-not-where sounded very enticing, so that was what i chose.
Here are some random strips with very little attention to seams. I love very little attention to seams!

I found this maths thing that I bought cheap in a pack at the back to school sales, so decided to see what would happen with it
I decided just cutting like this was too easy so i started cutting on an angle to make the whole effect more random.

That way I ended up with a lot of different effects for the blocks.
I have absolutely no idea where this will lead me tomorrow, but I think I will enjoy the trip...
Whatever I choose will definitely involve foundation piecing though-there are a huge amount of bias edges there.
In the lead up to my 300th post i am planning on a making few posts this week, so you should see how this develops fairly quickly.
Each post this week is going to include a mention of a favourite quilting related book. I am always looking for quilt books that are a good read so if you want to jump on board and include your favourite book in a post this week, drop me a line so I can check it out-and perhaps more.... (hint, it is coming to my 300th post!!)

Today's is the Quilt maker's gift. A fabulous story for adults and children. my daughter and I read this together regularly and never tire of it as there is always something new to discover in the text and illustrations. It is a great lesson for all of us on why we do what we do- and the "quest" for happiness! have you read this, what do you think?
Have a great day, Tracey

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A birthday

My baby is turning 8.

We could do a multitude of things for his birthday, so how did we end up with this?
He goes to a town school where farmers are in the minority, so we transported his class out to our place on the shortened last day of term for a bonfire, pet lambs at their feet, marshmallows, kicks of the football...and rides from my boy's good dad at nice low speed around the paddock. The kids were beside themselves with joy and all wanted to stay longer...and me, i was just that thankful it didn't rain!!
And what about the cake....In March it was Hannah Montana concert stage, last year a spooky castle, what was this creation?
Well, that would be a Pavlova...with broken up peppermint crisps on top.I had to suck up the fact that he's getting bigger and go with what he wanted...a pav!!
Here he is cutting it, his sister has moved in next to him in the hope he will touch the bottom of the plate and have to kiss the nearest girl!

The sister has had some of her dressings off, this is how one cut looks, I wont give you the close up! She still doesn't like to look at it but is improving.

Took these when going around the sheep the other night, can't quite decide which i like best.-i think the first probably, but the second interests me as well.

That is part of my gratitudes today; a farm that I love, along with smiling happy children who like each other.... and are healthy (today!!) and a workaholic husband who took time out to help me with the party. Life is good.
Hope yours is too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nieces, a bag and a winner.

How did it get to 1.02 am on wednesday morning so quickly?
I have just emailed off the minutes from tonight's-well, last night's, school council meeting and I should be going to bed, but meetings always make me wide awake.

The meeting reminded me I actually have something to show. This is why I save stuff....(well, that's wht I tell my Dh and I am sticking to it...)

At the end of the going back to School season i picked up this folder very cheaply. It has a zippered section ring binder and then the front section opens into an expanding file system and more storage. Perfect for all the committees i am on...and the endless search for improved organisation.

I dug around in my stash and found the old strap from my daughter's 2007 drink bottle that had a torn cover, attached it to a couple of Herringbone tape loops and got this very handy-and easy to carry folder system.

I have been very neglectful and haven't shared my latest niece. This daughter looks far more like her dad. Her 3 year old rascally sister looks just like my sister and I did...except we had a little more hair at this stage! My sister is a great "doer" of hair. I am not into it at all. She got the girl with virtually no hair....(who cut most of this off playing hairdressers a few days later anyway)...and I got the one with thick blonde hair. She really doesn't think it's fair. We keep telling her it'll grow sometime.

She obviously just hated her birthday...and Donut King birthday cake!

And on the card front, the Random number site pulled 9 out of the hat. I had given all of the two post's comments a number starting from the first commenter, so that makes the winner Cheryl, at Polka dots and ric rac. Drop me a line Cheryl and you can pick your cards.

Here are your random numbers:9
Timestamp: 2008-06-24 15:19:00 UTC

Have a great day, Tracey

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Farm wife life

I love a tidy kitchen.

It is a beautiful thing to behold...for the few fragile seconds that it occurs in a week at my house.

Clear benches, sideboards unadorned by readers, school notes, newspapers or discarded paperwork, sinks that are dish free-these are the things that i dream about....well -behind beautiful quilts, hatching chickens and Harrison Ford as either Indy or Han.( I don't discriminate!)
Back on track here now, don't panic-; I love a tidy kitchen, especially the floor. farm floors are notoriously gritty, even when people generally remove their shoes. Dirt just seems to float in on clothes-well, that's how it feels.
But yesterday my kitchen floor was gleaming, even the kitchen table was clear...
Want to see today?
This is my kitchen.
A lamb who was found abandoned in the paddock.
A box full of out of season hatching chickens that need to be away from the cold.
That's the frizzle silky cross. These are her first babies. i can't wait to see how they turn out.
And there are also two of these little darlings out of view in the picture. Land crabs that I was conned into as long as they could live in a PLASTIC container! I love these, so do the kids, but why is my warm kitchen floor always the best place for everything?
On a different note, i have made some fabulous second hand book purchases this week. I love buying my books second hand, the extra history adds to the reading (especially inscriptions)...and it is great for the environment.
My paperback copy of my favourite Catherine Gaskin novel is held apart by tape, so when i found it in hard back for 50 cents I was ecstatic. I loved this in my mid teens, named my Budgie after the falcon!
Then I found the only Danielle Steele that i have ever really taken to, The Promise. I find the weight of tragedy that Danielle generally dumps upon many of her characters to drag me down. I had this and lent it to someone and it never came back, so buying it back for 50 cents was no big stretch.
The Time Traveller's wife is a recent favourite that I borrowed from the library. I paid a little more than 50 cents at a second hand book shop just to own it. It is definitely a book that cries out to be read more than once.
And 3 works of jane Austen for 50 cents in hardback...that was not staying there!
Do you buy books that you have loved and even owned in your past, i wonder what favourite you might have bought to complete your ideal library.
Have a great day, Tracey

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We have action!!

"Oh Donna, Oh Donna..

I know a girl, Donna is her name and since she met me (at Quilters and stitchers fair) , life's never been the same......."

Why?? Because she reminds me constantly about the great quilting frame in my sewing room that I haven't been using!!!

Well, Donna at chookyblue, do I have news for you!!

On my second afternoon of cleaning I finally got my sewing room to this stage, so i can see the quilting frame. (I took a before shot but am too humiliated to share!!)

I got the other side to an organised stage like this..


with some handy new Aldi containers. Lots of fabrics sorted by projects, i think that will work for me...and I can see them! Dh will have a fit when he sees more shelves and containers, One and a quarter walls are fully shelved ( & full!)-but, the search for the perfect container is a woman's never ending search for some kind of organisational Utopia! Life will be organized there!

As I could see the quilt frame I proceeded to get it to work. The frame was initially set up wrong, then I found out the machine was set up wrong, today i had the time and inclination to fix it and we got results.

TA Da!! Real honest to goodness quilting!

Well, if you don't look too close it's not too bad!

Soon got bored with a play piece so decided to work on one of my million tops.

Having fun getting my stitches to be even but I will perfect it if it kills me as a stitch regulator was a LOT! Do you remember what they quoted at the Quilt fair Donna?

I was very naughty-I just used vintage chenille on the back so noone will be able to see how badly this first one went.

I have only been able to get stitch in the ditch type patterns up to here, I am loving the stipple look.

Actually, i think I may be in love. Maybe I will join the get 5 things done by July challenge!

Have a great day and remember you have 2 days to comment...on this or the last post-I'm pretty relaxed about giveaways, for the chance to have some cards come your way

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Patchwork cards

Mainly thanks to blogging and the enthusiasm shown over some of my farm photos I now have quite a range of cards. I haven't been putting info. on about purchases as that wasn't ever what the blog was about, but I am getting more and more emails on this and being able to link here is the easiest way to show them.

The patchwork cards are included here, there are now also about another 40 in the farming and flower range. They have been selling themselves around here and will be going into our local post office as well this week. They are glossy, folded and professionally printed on good quality card-blank inside.
If you are interested, I am "swapping" 10 of them internationally for a $20 Fat Quarter Shop gift voucher-postage included. That seems to work the easiest. You also get a set of semi matching little patchwork gift cards thrown in. Australian girls can email me for a price as it is cheaper for you due to the post.

oops, just realised that number 2 and 8 are the same card...grrr, was meant to be this.... we will call him number 10!

Seeing I am in an (semi!) organisational mood I decided it was time to get my sewing room back on track.
I am so lucky to have a separate room to work but everything has just been thrown in there since before the market and I want to get back to work so a sort out was in order. I can manage for a while in a messy workspace but I can't get really creative when the surrounds are getting me down. My lovely DH thinks it will take another week (!!), but I think another afternoon will pull me up. I t was great to get over there and put Northern exposure back on....
Drop me a comment on where and how you work best- for the chance to win some of my had better pick your favourite card in the comment as well. Drawn on Saturday, 21 June.
Good luck...and email entries will be allowed, I'll convert them to a comment for you! Tracey

Monday, June 16, 2008

Quilts for girls

After a day of house cleaning, sheep and the Monday afternoon neighborhood Bible study (that is looking at a lineage of Bible women, it was on Rahab today), I am hoping for a little sewing time tomorrow.

In lieu of new sewing I thought i had better answer a couple of emailer queries. Apparently some would like a closer look at the quilt that presently graces the top of my daughter's pile on her bed. So while I sit here and stream the late nite lounge radio through my computer I will fill you in.

This quilt was all that she asked for for her 7th Birthday. But she wanted the things on it that she loved so I collected up some good stitcheries and appropriate fabrics over a few months and this is what we got.

The castle centre was my design, there is a princess up the top looking out there any other way for a Princess to look?

I wanted a sky and moat type appearance, then I drew out a castle, transferred to the lovely visoflix/fabric and we were off!

Here is some of the detail off the castle-you know you can click on the pictures for a closer look. She was mad on unicorns so i converted a colouring book horse.

The little mermaid is her favourite of those movies, I made her blonde to suit my little mermaid.

Wanted to marry Peter Pan at that point so he got a spot as well.

This is from her favourite b*rbie movie that we both liked.

I think this is a Bronwyn Hayes stitchery, that's meant to be her pet chook.

This one was out of an old magazine, made the cat look like hers at the time.

This is her guardian angel up the top, out of another old magazine.

Some of the detail on the fairy tale fabric.

So now I have fulfilled the girl quilt requests. In the near future I may catch up on a few of the others!-I really do need to find a few more hours in the day!!!

Have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I am not sure whether to laugh or cry over this email I received, but I decided you are grown up enough to decide for yourselves! Tracey


Men Are Just Happier People-- What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character.Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier.

Send this to the women who can handle it and to the men who will enjoy reading it.

Tracey's note...My only query is, what does 'everything on your face stays the original colour' refer too? oh...and I know stuff about tanks too-"never put a glass one within reach of your kids bunk bed!"

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Today I have to start with a 'Thank You'.

I have really appreciated the support and concern from everyone, as has my girl. She says she felt quite special and it certainly boosted me up as well. I will get back to you all personally soon...
On that front, the surgeon was very happy with her progress yesterday. So we did not need to be in theatre today as was a distinct possibility. The scars are going to be major though, but the surgeon has a fair few minimisation tricks up his sleeve and we are looking into all of that next week. I am thinking a supermodel career may be out....(what a relief!!!)

So, hopefully the sun is setting on that chapter, just as it is on the crop sowing, though school has just rung and said she is complaining of the arm hurting and is sleepy-so who knows!
Close to 1000 acres of crop has been put in here in recent weeks, we have had a mild start to winter, so we are ahead of schedule, but a rain hold up would be a relief for our farmers. The radar says it's close.

Here is the tractor and air seeder at full tilt, I like the crow's appearance.
We have been doing a bedroom revamp this week for my girl (funny thing!!).
DH cut the bed in half with the angle grinder the day after the accident, neither of us could have ever slept again with her up high. Apologies to the woman who contacted me after the accident about advertising bunk beds through my got on the wrong boat there dear!!
She had been wanting a pink feature wall for ages. I have never painted anything uncrafty in my life but gave this my best shot. Has to wait a week for her pictures and posters to go up and we haven't quite finished relocating all her stuff, but I love the result. The quilts are all still layered in order of receival-her dad does that every night to particular instructions. They all got carted into hospital with her!
My sister imagines my girl probably gets a new one to match the wall-I was thinking about it! I am just so glad I still have her!

Picked up this cool thing a few weeks ago, anyone got one? It is a spinning sewing caddy. I am trying to work out how to liven it up so it is less "brown"!! I'll keep you posted.
have a great day, Tracey

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tracey's top 10 for not getting your quilt finished in time

10. Design and implementation alterations. (read: Stuffed up!)

9. Creative clashes. (read:don't like the colours someone else chose)

8. Critical analysis (read: someone dared say it looked bad!)
7 , 6 & 5. Digitally challenged (Read: ran out of time, ran out of camera memory/battery to take the blog photo or cut a finger off with the rotary cutter!)
4. Important business partner dinner. (read: husband has the audacity to expect me to sit down to eat!)
3. Junior staff co-ordinators role. (read trying to get kids to go to bed!)
2. Contract cleaners performance not up to scratch. (read: what cleaning!!!!)
But finally, if I was looking for the #1 reason my niece's, or anyone else's quilt would not be done by tomorrow it would be this.........
A lovely 10 year old daughter who went to bed early and safely(?) home from camp.....
An elevated, bunk high bed.....
a fish tank that seemed far enough away from the bed.

Well, it seemed far enough away from the bed in normal circumstances but when your daughter does some kind of airborne Highland fling in her dreams you end up hearing a bang as you are shutting off the lights for bed and by the time you get to her room you are pulling her from the space between her bed and the tank table.

and feeling for a broken necks and bleeding.

Then the fish tank water she is laying in starts to look like the water around a Jaws victim. Thought I had it sorted, still more red water and there was another big laceration on her upper arm to join the one on her lower.An absolutely horrific feeling to be checking all over your babies body for something that may kill her...when she should be asleep!
So we spent the night mostly in emergency, we've been back to the surgeon today and she is resting comfortably with two 3-4 inch wounds and a lot of huge bruises and grazes.
At about one am in Emergency I whispered to my husband that we were so lucky it wasn't her neck.(head, spinal cord, major artery..!!!..) She heard and replied, "Yes, God can't stop the accidents but he can help!"
That was just about the end of me!
Hope your day was great! Tracey