Friday, September 26, 2008

Out in the garden

Oh the excitement, the tingle in the toes, the sheer joy......

Tomorrow the rest of the family's team plays in the Grand Final of the Australian football league. This is our equivalent of the Superbowl. I am kinda excited, it's not quite the same when it isn't your actual team, the family team won last year after over 40 years of no premierships. I was right on board then, this year i particularly dislike the opposition, too many 80's memories of them winning everything!! So I will probably board the bandwagon and say, 'Go Cats!' quite enthusiastically.

But, that's not the only excitement I am sharing. I get a huge amount of joy out of a girl who hatches a baker's dozen so i even snuck out in the middle of the night to get hatching pics for you....knew those fluffy silky frizzle cross feathers would be good for sitting.

I just never get sick of this-mammal babies are pretty impressive...but the whole hatching from an egg!

I then attempted to get the perfect chicken picture to share...i will never be a professional chicken photographer that's for sure-look at these tries.

Do they have no concept of "stand still and smile or I will withhold the chick crumble??"(-works on the!!)

This is my favourite.

They are all out and about today in their little fox proof wire cage. I have got my kids back...with they and their cousins have spent a good part of today just sitting watching the chicks meet their world.

When I dug up all my front garden months ago I dumped a lot of the arum lilies into pots and threw them in a corner with a few other pots, empty, dead and otherwise. I wondered past that today and spotted colour -in my favourite shade of pink.

Now last year someone told me that cyclamen are bulbous and will regenerate. (Bit of Doctor Who there-the regeneration bit and the fact he definitely used to battle some things that sounded a lot like cyclamen!)


But I'm getting distracted.....Closer inspection found a cyclamen pot, well and truly neglected, that just goes to prove what I found out last year....that I have thrown out a lot of good cyclamens in the past because I thought they were dead and not dormant. It is now flowering beautifully at my front door after 12 months of neglect. My Mum is going to freak because she has thrown out a good 2 pots of "dead" cyclamen a year, treats them almost like cut flowers. Who knew this was a "things you can learn about your garden blog"!!!I'll have to ask for more pay!

Have a great day... and for peace and harmony in the home, GO CATS!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Statute of limitations on the old boyfriend chest....

Kids are away....and I am not sleeping, exercising or sewing, I am cleaning out the old nursery come playroom. No, no exciting news! Just the weight of mess was weighing me down.
It is pretty much tidy now except for all the treasures I have stored in it's cupboards and this....
We laughingly call it the old boyfriend chest here; filled with cards, letters, postcards, photos, gifts and keepsakes from the pre-marriage era.

But it isn't just the old boyfriend chest, it is these hanging in the wardrobe as well...

I don't think I am keeping these as 80's night dressups as i really had better get off the computer and go exercising if that's the case....(I'll be back from my run by about 2010!!!)

No, it's just the unwillingness to shed the memories, here's a taste....

What have you done with the treasured 11th birthday clock that wont work, or the cigar box of old newspaper clippings of boyfriends/cute teens who managed to get in the local paper, or your badges from a life changing Russia trip, the special music single from a long ago romance, the miniature 21st birthday cake from a friend who wont come back again? Even the little pink notebook (in the top left corner) from 1981 with the pattern for legwarmers!!! (Call me if you want the second page, lol!!!)

Can you throw it out? Who are we keeping these things for? What is all this stuff for?

Perhaps patchwork is the ultimate keeping of 'stuff'?

I have done a bit more work on my friend's mum's string quilt, she is a stuff keeper, all these scraps of her kids clothes were kept "in case". She has done well and after 20 years someone who appreciates that has come along...on about the day her girls were making her go through everything and throw it out.

She now gets a quilt, and I get to say thank you for a lot of the memories that are stored in that trunk.

My DH doesn't have "stuff", doesn't take photos either, his only bow to history is a daily diary, kept mainly for farm reference, but kept daily no less. For him 'the now' seems to be enough. So should I throw my stuff or keep...what do you do?

Oh, while you are thinking about that, here are the semi skeletal reasons why I would be running until 2010....amd why I am glad my DH is happy with "the now"!!
Have a great day, Tracey

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quilters group show and tell.

It is very late here. I have just finished watching the Brownlow Medal count. The Brownlow is the Best and Fairest Award for Australian Rules Football. I always stay up and watch it-many a quilt has been basted or bound over it's often 4 hour duration.
Until this year I have always been up by myself but tonight my boy, who is on School holidays, stayed up to join me in the hope that his favourite player, G@ry Ablett, would win.

He missed votes in the last game and lost by 2 votes....and my boy actually cried! It is sad to be 8 and see your hero miss out-but as my Dad would say, it's character building.-and I think Gary has many good years left in him. His Geelong cats team winning the premiership again this Saturday will fix a lot of wounds...but is definitely not a given!

Enough football, I have some Show and Tell from Quilters.

Kerrin is working on her churn dash. It is all going to be on point.

Robyn is working on her son's sheep quilt. This is from a 7 or 8 year old magazine (that I even have somewhere!) and is a wonderful block.

Mirinda has been stitching this...

.......and this....

-and I was working on my friend's mums strings. Made with all her 5 daughters clothes scraps from the 70's. I am loving these colours.

In the morning I am off to take my kids to their grandparents for the night. It must be nearly 12 months since they ventured there on a sleepover...let's hope they are brave enough to head out the door in the morning. Then I will have to decide whether to:1. Sleep for 2 days 2. Exercise for 2 days or 3. Sew for 2 days.....hmmmmm, you shall have to wait and see!

Have a good day, Tracey

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Swap bag successfully globetrots to the US!

Stephanie dropped me a line today to say that she had received her bag from Linda's swap. I will take her word that she was happy!

I can show you now......
Stephanie is a fabulous bag maker, she comes up with great bag ideas and I was a little daunted about just sending something she could just as easily whip up herself. I had a think and remembered the fabulous photo she had shared of her favourite corner of the house. Her husband had made her a flying geese stain glass window that I was in awe of, also a lampshade, and she had them with her antique sewing machine.
I didn't think she would mind if I uploaded the pic for the greater good, then i converted it to Colouring book with some old Kodak software-

Via the lightbox I traced it on some Osnaberg and we ended up with this
I just highlighted the lighter parts of the stain glass lamp, I practised on another bit of fabric trying to outline the whole thing but it just came out messy.
Stephanie said she liked green and red so I used some Madeira fabric to turn it into a tote.

This was a really fun swap that challenged me to try something I hadn't done before- a great part of the swap process. Thanks to Linda for organizing it,
Have agreat day, Tracey

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Farm tour

The new season is well and truly kicking in on the farm.
Shearing is just around the corner again so Dh has to clean up all the sheep's bottoms prior to the shearers coming in-can't have the daggy bits contaminating the wool or slowing the shearers down. He hates sheepwork with a passion, really prefers a tractor but unfortunately there are still a few paddocks with too much stone to crop so they have to have sheep on them. Don't worry sweetheart there are only about 2500 to go...hee, hee, hee
This is not the time to stress him out at all-more the time for going to the fridge for him and helping him remove his boots-thank goodness that doesn't last long!

-he doesn't want to be blog fodder so I will put this sheep instead.

The crops got a good drink on the weekend and are now enjoying the sunshine, some of our Canola is running up to flower, the sowing was staggered to limit frost risk so this paddock is still to start the flowering process.

The kids and I have been enjoying the weather for bikerides, this is another of the old treasures on the new farm. The old owner says they are going, I said I really don't mind if they stay-it seems a waste for the machines to be scrap.
I think I told you i had been busy fence building-here is part of the results. want to hire me, i did all the nailing myself!
Here are some more shots of the girls, (Queenie and Snowy) Some days I have been getting almost 30 eggs! That will cool off a bit soon as they are all wanting to sit-there will be chicks walking out from every nook and cranny in coming weeks! Cool, I love that!!
I also love the way chooks walk out....
The light is just coming the right way for some good succulent shots, but still not quite what I want.
So that's a farm update for the present. Both kids at home today,-but improving, perhaps they will go to School soon and I can sew!!!
Have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The best laid plans....

Now Tracey...what should rule #1 be? You should know by now....never make plans!!

Guess where I was going today? I was taking my girl to the city on a bus trip to see 'Wicked', the musical-it was a big treat to make up for another dicey year with her, she really cannot take a trick!-(between fish tank accidents and gastro and her semi-recurrent tummy pains.) And am I just getting home, exhausted? Well the exhausted may be right but that is only from trying to get her temperature down from 42 degrees!! She got the awful f'lu on Friday and has been miserable ever since-so Wicked tickets were the least of our worries.

I think she may be slightly improving, didn't seem quite so hot today but the best she could still do was lie on the couch and watch new DVD seasons of The Brady Bunch and Mork and Mindy (there are worse fates!)

Meanwhile this did mean that I got to dash over to my neighbors this afternoon for cake for my Godson's 5th birthday. I voided out the cake by riding my bike the couple of kilometres each way.

Do you remember Joshua? Last year he was the worthy recipient of this;

His much loved quilt.
Today when i arrived and he saw fabric in my bag he said, "more quilt!!!
Well, not quite, just a treasure bag filled with treasure.
He is just as cute as last year!Here he is showing you his bag.

I have also finished and mailed off my bag swap bag, hopefully it will be liked, it is such a tricky thing making craft for someone you don't know. I have taken pics but can only show when it arrives, it is a little too personalised to be general.
Better get off to bed in case I am up again in an hour! Have a great day, Tracey

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bag swap arrives!!

Wow, have I ever received good mail. I went in Linda's bag swap and this beautiful bag has arrived here in Aussie for me from Betsy at Quilting Fiesta.

I love the card from Betsy, she said she read my blog from start to finish (whoo-hoo, poor Betsy!!) and that she thought this pattern was right. Too true, Betsy, I love it and my girl also thinks it's gorgeous. (High praise indeed!)

The bag hanger is an antique wool bale hook-wooden handle.

Hand pieced hexagons and all!

-and beautifully quilted!

-with a pocket that has a little purse and needle case. too spoilt!

My swap bag isn't quite finished. It has been little bit of a stitching marathon, but the end is looking well worth it. I am dying to share, but a full photo would really let the cat out of the bag (get it...out the bag!!) so you only see this very uninspiring snippet.

I also have a huge confession to make now-I'm in love.... and look how cute he is!!!

He goes to my Bible Study and seriously distracts me.

Thursday is his first birthday and his name is Clancy so I whipped up this little naive stitchery for his wall. I am about to go and attempt to add in a horse seeing he wasn't at Bible study today so I have a few more minutes up my sleeve-also think I may tidy up the "at" on closer inspection!.

This is from the classic Australian poet, Banjo Patterson's "Clancy of the Overflow". Banjo's poems are very much perpetuators of the Australian legend, the Australian bushmen....usually compared to their city counterparts. This one is written from the perspective of the office clerk who would like to "take a turn at droving" (walking sheep and cattle through the bush for long periods of time) rather than stare out of his office window.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A free week ahead!

Desperately trying to not get too excited as life has a way of changing my plans....but I look like having my first commitment free week in ages coming up!!! YAY!!

No trivia nights, no markets, no meetings, no talks.......what unbridled joy.

I may even get my housekeeping done-no, not THAT housekeeping, I mean the checking of everyone's blogs, which is the thing that you are forced to limit a little occasionally if you have any intention of sleeping. Well, it comes down to that or sending the kids away...and society tends to look dimly on kid neglect so it has to be the blog gossip sacrificed! Hope to remedy that soon.

I wont share my plans, that could blow them, you will just have to wait and see.

The new local farmer's market was a great success for the town and not too shabby for me either. Great having the cards and the craft. Craft is notoriously slow, but having $2 and less cards means you get plenty of turnover....the card range includes 50 now!! I have a baby quilt order, 21 st card orders and a few business card orders, all good fun.

Here were some of the finished projects....

A "bijou" bag joined the pop garden, Gotta love those selvedges!

Some finished baby blankets and quilts.

Little bags from my left over "All you need is love" charm packs-I loved that one girl came back 3 times to fondle these and then finally gave in came back with the money-she will never know how close she was to me giving her one just for the compliments!!.

The plastic coated Moda purses are always popular-and embarrassingly easy once you master those zips and the top stitching.

We went exploring at the new place today, beautiful day, this is DS checking out the "new" tractor. (apologies for the closed eyes!!)

It was Father's day here as well. I successfully managed to get a huge tool chest delivered here secretly and after an elaborate charade we got DH to the shed and surprised him this morning. There was only one drawback, he has always said he could read me like a book but didn't get any clues on this one, so i think he is a little fearful that he may not be as up with everything as he previously thought!!

Hee, hee, always fun to mess a little with their heads......

Have a great day! Tracey

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Out "pops" a surprise!

A frosty morning turned into a beautiful Spring day today. DH And I have spent the morning replacing a garden fence, now I am off to finalise the questions for the School quiz night we are doing tomorrow night.

We have our first Spring hatchlings,

There are 5 of these little darlings that walked out of a pumpshed on Tuesday. The start of many for the season no doubt.

I received my Heather Bailey in the mail yesterday. The two 'tone on tones' at the right are from her Bijou and the rest is Pop Garden. There is a layer cake there of the range, just to tempt me.

The fabric did tempt me already! So lovely and bright I made a bag from it, complete with lining and zipper!

I decided that Jodie at Ric Rac is not the only one who can do stuff with selvedges so I rescued one from the range and added it as a label-too pretty to throw away! (i can assure you the label is on straight, it is the bag that is sitting creased!)

I need to get to town so I better run, I took these of the pets last night, can you pick a favourite? I want one for a card.

Have a great day, Tracey