Saturday, May 31, 2008

She sews!!

I have a list of projects a mile long.

Next week, i am going to get out all the fabrics and paraphenalia (?) associated with making them and photograph it, then post it here with the order it all needs to be completed.
Weeeell..... that is the organisational Tracey's theory anyway.
But things pop up that push chook quilts, baby quiltsx2, niece's 3rd birthday quilts and everything that goes on from there, down the line.
I remember once, in a galaxy far far away (that is known as "Pre-childrenville") when I questioned a parent on why he was putting raffle tickets in his teenage children's names...."why don't you just write them all out for you?" I naively asked. He looked at me with that 'you are SO young and stupid' look and said, "one day, when you have children, you will find out!"
And wasn't he correct. Aside from the fact that when you have children you effectively just dangle your heart outside your body to be damaged for life evermore, you also want to do things for them......
-and so , back to the list of projects.
It is long and should be set in stone. Heck, some of these babies will graduate before the quilts come, my DN may get a custom made quilt for a bed she no longer fits in, but when the daughter makes requests all these considerations go out the window.
You see, she is well enough to go on her 3 day School camp on Monday and she can only sleep with the required number of quilts on. I think I may have conned her into foregoing one or two for a sleeping bag but she still needed a quilt bag for you do!
So here is the interloper to the list, made in my precious sewing moments yesterday.
It is made from the plastic coated Moda I love, and fully lined. It even has one of my new labels on it...and a zip! My girl thought it was very clever-the lamb thought it was something to eat.
Seeing I was working with the plastic coated I also diverted a little to something for me. I have been needing a new purse and tried out a prototype
here is the front...

The back

and the lining and card holder section.
All bag zips are from opshops.
It needs to be about an inch deeper. It was, but I had some trouble figuring out the lining and a little bit of depth asked to be sacrificed. As you can see, it is a bit over 2 credit cards long. when I get another break in the project list I will have another go.
As regards my last post.
I fully support local fabric shops in general, and I encourage you to do the same. If, however, you are like me and the choices locally are very resticted, you may like to look at the Australian stores online or, if feeling brave, try the US stores. It is a free country and this is up to you.
The trick is looking into their shipping rates before you fall in love with hundreds of dollars of fabric that seem cheap. I was caught out once with $100 shipping charge on an order totalling not much more than that because I dealt with a company that bills you for the shipping after they get the online order. I had dealt with other companies and thought mine would be in the $33 range. A hard lesson to learn. I have also had the fun of filling an online shopping cart only to find they don't deliver to Aus!

Some favourite U.S fabric suppliers that I have tried and like are:
Fat quarter shop.- Fixed rates of postage per $ values spent, good sales.
The Thrifty needle.- Fixed rate again, discounts off the Australian post and throw in extra fabric/surprises depending on spending. good backings.
Z & S. -Generally a cheaper standard yardage rate. Postage on par with first two.
Shabby fabrics.- Standard $11 postage to Australia no matter what. Not often on sale, but the reduced postage makes up for it. Have a 10% off coupon for your entire order in an ad in most recent quilt mags.
I haven't linked, you can find them in google as easy as I can!
Have a great day, and add in any of your favourites as well....especialy if you know they deliver to Australia AND reasonably!

Friday, May 30, 2008

We'll blame it on global warming!

Quick look over my shoulder as I prepare the fastest post in history.

2 reasons for that,
#1. If I can go around the sheep quickly I may get my first 2 hour window to sew in 2 AND A HALF WEEKS!!!!
#2. It is about my recent fabrics splurges.
I have the pile next to me for telling you the names and if my DH walks in I am not sure that the fact that he is gorgeous, patient with a not-always-clean-house and possessing of expert spousal taste will be enough to not get me a major "what the???" response.

"But, you have to understand darling, none of these purchases are my fault.".....
This range from barefoot roses is my sister's fault. She decided it was great for my nieces birthday quilt, so I had to cut up my stash of it, and what is a girl to do when she has to cut up her stash of a current favourite....especially when Shabby fabrics have $11 Australian postage no matter what you buy and 10 % off the whole order???? (Which makes the purchase also their fault!!)

And these dots, same deal, Shabby fabrics $11 postage's fault.
And these we will blame on a sale and the high Australian dollar, also, Blackbird designs whose fabrics I love-for making it! It is madeira.

And these? Completely not my fault. the blue I bought 3 metres of to make a pretty summer dress for my girl...and the fact it now has to go into the stash is her fault for being a little too pale blonde...or perhaps the maker's fault that the blue wasn't a little darker. Oh well, the sacrifices the stash has to make sometimes!
And the pink...oh , that is the craft display convenors' fault from this year's market, she wants a big shabby chic quilt to raffle-so completely not my fault at all.
And these will save us money dear.....they were very cheap backings from the Thrifty needle.

And these...some sanctuary and shadow play...we will go back to the sale and high dollar explanation. I can't be blamed for the high dollar, I'll blame the government...or perhaps globalisation. Yeah, that sounds good, everyone blames everything on that...or is that global warming?
Sound reasonable?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out!

Okay, secret confession day, lean a little closer.....I am big S*x and the City fan, so is my sister and we are eagerly awaiting the new movie.
She organized my DH to get me the boxed set for Christmas a few years ago. I wonder if a few of you are raising an eyebrow as to how that fits with my Church roles...well I think that we all have to be able to live in the real world and relate to real people, so I think as long as i don't start trying to be Samantha I am ok..

Now don't spoil it for me, you overseas girls!!!! This flick better be soppy, it better end well and there better be Big!! I love him, I have always leaned towards the challenges myself and can therefore see the attraction. Please tell me they get, no, don't tell me, that's right, i just told you not to spoil it!
Oh, life is hard!!! Between that and a new Indy I am almost beside myself. I don't care if Harrison is 65.......
Anyway, enough daydreaming. While Carrie is wearing her gorgeous shoes and flitting around New York ,I, too, am seeing action.
Well, let's say, seeing the result of a lot of sheep's action!!!
I considered getting you a far less sanitized pic, but worried someone may flag me if I actually took a photo of the little nose and 2 little hooves that seem to constantly greet me when I go around my sheep.
I wonder if a cosmopolitan could be as satisfying as bringing a sweet little lamb into the world on a frosty morning, hoping for a first breath, seeing none, then giving him a chest massage and seeing that first gulp of air.
But wait!..... don't think we don't have style down here, look at my usual shoes I wear on a daily basis.....
Think they look should smell them!!! They have to live outside the door-but very comfy!
But it is starting to get wet and muddy so I needed new rubber boots, here's where Carrie would go green with jealousy i am sure!lol
Da-da!! leopard print!!! My Dh thinks the sheep wont notice...but I'll know!
See you v.soon with lots of sewing (or they will be locking me up!)
Have a great day...and yes, i will visit soon, my internet has been out, my sheep have been calling..

Monday, May 19, 2008


So, how farmerish are you feeling today....apparently you want more lamb pictures. Do you like your lambie pics all clean and white like these?

-who I watched enter the world about 15 minutes before this shot? I', thinking they would be a cute card.

They are very fortunate and had a lovely mother who cleaned them up straight away with a little judicious licking and presented them to me all beautiful for pictures.

These next pictures may not be quite so pretty, I found this little darling next to her dead mother.
I was on foot so I put my gloves on, out of a desire to not catch any dodgy animal diseases rather than the gross factor, and headed across the paddock for home.
I already have 5 lots of ewes and lambs "rebonding" in the sheep yards and wool shed, and I am feeding two so I wasn't that keen on adding to the collection. They are always much better on a real mother.
I spotted a motherly looking ewe who had just delivered and while her back was turned I raced up and rubbed my lamb against hers for the smell, then raced off to spy from the tussocks.

These are my spycam shots, notice how she is smelling them both? Something seems wrong from when she turned around but she can't quite put her finger on it.....(the darker is the imposter)
Still investigating.....
-and off we go!
I love a happy ending, don't you? Even if they aren't all clean and white!
Look at this big fellow I saw on my is Spring, last year's pet lamb, who has featured widely in the past 12 months, often draped in quilts. He is a head taller than the other sheep....grossly overindulged!
I still haven't gone around and caught up all my favourite blogs, don't think I have given up on you, it's just these little darlings, my 10 calves, my 97 chooks, my kids, my husband and associated resposibilities seem to be demanding a large amount of time.
Here's a comment from me anyway, on my latest favourite card and a big seller at our recent market. Have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Opal sock yarn

Hi, some info. for the knitters amongst you.
I have spoken to Robyn, the computer generated sock yarn is "Opal" sock yarn. Here is a sample website but just put it in Google and you may find something closer to you.
I am up to my arm pits in ewes and lambs after an inch and a half of son now knows WAY too much about child/lamb birth! He says he is staying home for the rest of the week to keep helping me! Back soon, Tracey
OOps, just added it the link sorry about that!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

To Market...and beyond!

Serious house cleaning going on here, no time to sew so I will share some good things from Quilters on Friday instead. First though....remember my sister's baby blanket I nearly binned...she wonders if I will take orders from her friends!? Go figure!

Helen received this pack of hand dyeds from a friend in Queensland-fabulous colours. We had a play with different arrangements for putting them together.

Robyn was working on her socks. You may have seen this wool before with the computer generated pattern in the wool-all you have to do is knit and it looks like fair isle.

My lovely quilters spent most of their time helping me wrap boxes of hedgehog and pots of succulents for the market....and doing the stuffing and stitching for heart cushions and chooks! we had a real little factory happening!

Now, to the market.

The organisation of it works that there is a co-ordinator, which was me, then convenors in charge of the different areas, eg, flower bouquets, Mother's day Craft, confectionary, bbq, hot potatoes, children's activities/show bags,Cafe, Bakehouse, trash'n treasure, 2nd hand kids books and toys and a Farmer's Market.
I do all the initial work and get the helpers, advertise etc, then the helpers are allocated to the convenors and they put their actual section in place. They do a fabulous job. We give each School family a baker ID number for food handling and that goes on all their baking and jams for traceability.

School and Church people all contribute to the stalls, we used to hold it at the Schools but felt we mainly got School and Church people, so we now run it in the Senior Citizen's hall down the main street...adjacent to the supermarket car park. We are getting a lot more town's people calling in that way and find we don't have to make everything AND buy it!
So, the grand figure...our little market took $8500!!! hopefully only $1000 in expenses so $2000 up on last year...not bad for a 100 family School.
Here are some pics I thought you may like.....

some craft from our craft days......recognise any trademark Tracey???

I paid some girls on commission to sell my cards while they sold their jewellery, they sold $120 worth!

The bouquets bought in over $1500, 8-10 talented women put them all together on Friday, they get a lot of natives donated and everyone cleans out their gardens so no outlays at all!

So a great community day all around.

Have a good day, Tracey

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blankets and babies.

Kids have been home and "fluey" again so I haven't quite had the week of decadence I hoped for. Finally well enough to go and see my sister and baby today, I finished the blanket at 1 am this morning. It is chenille on fleecy.

I thought I would just pillow case it like I have done before with blankets, unfortunately that was with one cotton layer, one fleecy. This was double fleecy and it stretched a little top and bottom. I covered up the stretch as well as possible with chenille edges but I was still ready to throw it out at 1 am...luckily I didn't as my non-sewing sister could see nothing but perfection-she is a great sister! She copped a feature in her local paper as her sister in law gave birth in the same hospital on Mother's day as well. I managed to get my photo in our local paper today for the market and my girl got her Mother's day letter picked for the local paper's feature...want to read it? Here it is-

Wonder if she will still feel like that in 4-5 years!

It had her first name and School-everyone said the first line gave it away anyway! I was very touched .

The little darlings have been enjoying the pet lamb-the enclosure did not last long, he is now at my door!

-at least until the morning when I get to construct something for him.

Like his bow?...he is considering speaking to his union about the indignity of it!

He is sleeping in Archie's dog kennel as well.

Why can't I ever have normal pets.... NOT like these?

I missed the best pic...when the calf nibbled on the rooster and it was eating so intently it almost lost a wing!

I suppose you have to get in while the going's good.

Almost forgot, kids and I discussed the winner of the chook competition-it ended up being related to number 1, he is my boy's favourite. He loved that the people who chose him all gave names, Dr. Spock, Rod Stewart, John Howard and Dame Edna!! John Howard was the lucky recipient, that really tickled my boy's fancy and the rooster has been saved from the pot and will be Johnny hereafter! So Lissa jane you can drop me a line...and I take it from your comment that you do NOT want him mailed to you! Darn, shall have to think of something else!

Here he is if you missed him....

have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Mothering" Day

Mother's day here in Australia, and lots of places around the world.
I became an Auntie again today-, after a brief but potent brush with pre-eclampsia all is well for my sister and I have a Daisy Lou to make quilts for big do you think the temptation is to try to whip up a big appliqued daisy blanket before I go to see her on Tuesday?????

Mothering in all forms is highly prized here, not just the human type, because on a farm good mothering is even a criteria for choosing stock.

Not everyone here is as capable as the Isabelle the cat.
She is going for mother of the year-well, breeder of the year anyway, but we wont talk about that!
We have been lambing for about a week. DH is busy in the tractor so I have been looking after the stock. I walk around them as much as possible, I like exercise with a purpose and it is less disturbing for the sheep...also means I can carry the camera easily.
You see a lot of stuff-
You run into the mother's who are just too tired to get up-

And then, you get her up and she runs away across the paddock so she has to be reminded of her duties by a day in the tank....

which would definitely make me pull my socks up!

Then when you have sorted that out you find the ones that the mother just forgot....
This one took a shine to Archie! I can see why....

We often try to foster these onto a mother who has lost her lamb, but as we are only lambing one mob so far and the weather has been kind, there aren't a lot losing their babies....

-which means it has to come home, where the junior "I am going to by my own farm" worker takes over the mothering!

The lamb spent the night in the kids cubby (!!) then both little darlings spent a large proportion of this afternoon trying to make it a yard before their father blew a foofer valve over it sitting squawking and doing whatever else at the back door. They dragged in the broken rose climber and threaded it with string...and pegs, and extra string. Great fun!
So this is not just Happy Mother's day from me, it is have a great day to all those out there who are carers in every shape and form-well done!

I am contemplating ending a lovely day with a bit of Stephanie Plum reading in a bubble bath-does it get much better than that? - I survived yesterday's market and you will get a report for ideas but I will do that separately for all those googlers that come searching and don't need to know everything!.
Here is a little bit of appropriate stitching my very caring quilt friends helped me finish on Friday night,

Have a great day, and here's to a peaceful week where I get to visit you all for a catch-up! Tracey

The next survivor series...

Sorry, but I have to share this...apologies to all those incredibly capable dads -but it is Mother's day! And I can't get the spaces at the top and bottom to go, but you will manage.


Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each
for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean,
correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and
pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist
appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to Emergency.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all
chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn himself with
jewellery, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and
eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal
cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once
complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings, and find time at least once
to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

They will need to read a book with the children each night and
in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair
by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be
required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday,
height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name.
Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of
labour, each child's favourite colour, middle name, favourite snack,
favourite song, favourite drink, favourite toy, biggest fear and what they want
to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins
only if...he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a
moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again
for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right To be called Mother!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Hi, need to ice a heap of slice with chocolate icing and I need to know what chocolate icing recipe you use to get a shiny icing that is still cutable-mine tends to crack or lose its shine, mine is a predominantly melted cooking chocolate plus a bit of butter recipe.

Also, who had the tutorial or even the picture of that cute round pincushion you make, then you whip DMC type thread around to kind of quarter it? (all the DMC threads come up through the middle) Around the diameter of a coffee cup or however big you want to go.

I don't know what it is called and writing all that in Google will not get results!

Now, for the information of the competition enterers and whoever else is interested, here are the chook vital statistics.

#1 -a silky/barred plymouth rock cross rooster
#2 -silky/pekin cross rooster
#3-purebred bush chook rooster!!
#4-predominantly pekin hen with a tiny bit of silky
#5-bush chook frizzle cross hen
#6-bush chook frizzle cross hen (the rooster is very virile and easy to pick his kids!)
#7-silky pekin cross rooster
#8-THE frizzle rooster...he may be small......but it's the quiet ones you need to watch!
#9-silky hen
#10-frizzle silky cross hen
#11-silky pekin cross rooster
#12-frizzle rooster crossed with bush chook.

And finally, because this is meant to be a quilting blog (!!!) here is the little stitchery I made for last Sunday. It is attached to a card with double sided tape so can be hung after the event. I stitched it during a report at convention-I like to have something to stitch, stops me from falling asleep!
Have a great day, please drop me a line asap with the queries, Thanks, Tracey

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pick your chook!

I have been asked many times just how many chooks (or chickens for you o/s people) that I have.

My husband quite often asks the same question as well....usually when they have been in his sheds.
So the other night I did a count of the ones that roost in the shed or somewhere I can find them and I have a number for you.....just don't tell my husband though, promise, have you promised? Ok then,
it's 97!!!!
And seeing life is busy this week with minimal sewing I am going to introduce you to Tracey's top 10 ...or 12...of the most unusual. I breed for unusuality. We may as well call it a competition, just for fun, and one lucky voter might just win a prize! You can get all creative and even name the ugly one of your choice -or who it reminds you of. That will keep me entertained when i need a break from strudel..or jam..or slice...or making pot holders!! Have fun, you have until Saturday, 10th May!












Have fun! Tracey