Thursday, November 27, 2008

2 buckets and a funeral

I have sooo many things I need to blog about and only 5 minutes spare in the next 36 hours so much will wait until next time.

We have had a tragedy here, and while not being of the human kind it has still been monumental in the eyes of my juniors...and their mother if you must know!

Even after 39 years of pets you never get used to death and the fact it is a 3 week old kitten doesn't make any difference. My kids loved that baby and my boy was especially paternal. It was dead on it's doormat when i got home from the gym yesterday with it's mum still fully cuddling it.
It did have the most beautiful funeral though.
If you don't believe in funerals for pets then that is up to you, I'm not saying it's gone to heaven, just a happy world of running dogs and purring cats! We had an "in the round" prayer that got some good death discussion happening. I wished I had my camera(but would have felt more invasive than a Britney knicker snapper!!) when my boy was praying in front of me with his eyes tightly closed and his hands raised...with tears trickling down his cheeks...a precious moment that will too soon be "boyed' out of him.
After a rousing rendition of All creatures great and small and an adapted 'if I were and Octopus" (kitten) he was interred in my new rose garden with a nice succulent or two above him....and a big rock to deter the persistent Archie! we don't need that disaster!
I have been making a few fabric buckets (from Ric-rac jodie's pattern) for Christmas presents. I wanted to make them bigger than Jodie's so I dragged out the old 2 pi r equations to work out my measurements..who knew sewing could be so hard!! They are Nancy Halvorsten panels with some red Roman Holiday
I'll leave you with some kitty pics taken the day before his untimely passing.....cue the violins....
Do you think he suffered some only-child-loved-to-death thing.....she was very attentive...
Back soon, don't give up on me, i am driving tractors, amidst all my normal stuff, to get hay done..the joys of farming !
Have a great day, Tracey

Friday, November 21, 2008

A finish and a flower show

I am freezing...and very hopeful that this weekend may see an addition to the paltry 3/4 of an inch of rain we have had all spring. It may hurt the cut grass hay a tad, but it may save any more crop from being mown for hay rather than harvvested for seed in the coming months.
While it is very dry in this part of Australia, Queensland has seen more than 10 inches in a few days in some areas, terrible storm damage and hail as big as cricket balls, even in central Australia.

I am freezing because I have been playing semi midnight cowboy...or girl!

I WAS meant to be at the School PTFA end of year break up and AGM, instead I was facing off to a mental mamma cow who did not understand that the the two suspicious looking people (with rope and a calf puller hidden behind their backs) were friends rather than foes! She had a red hot go at the ute (truck) I was in, so when it was just me and her in the laneway I was quick to give her right of way! Never mess with a female in the throes of DH learnt that!

My poor family are going to be eating the egg salad and rocky road that were meant for the bbq all weekend. They aren't complaining about the rocky road.....

Something else unappreciated was the suggestion I made to my husband as he was standing on haybales trying to rope the cow as I ran her past; the suggestion that I really should have bought my camera as the great light, stormy sky and lassoo action would have made great shots....For future reference...let's just say that a farmer who has been cutting hay around the clock and has to stop to spend a few hours chasing a cow that loosely is the responsibility of his wife does not appreciate the need for my blog readers to be in on the action!!!

But, onto sewing. Yes, there has been some!

If this quilt were a house you would call it overcapitalised. It was an order for a baby blanket and of course I could have just used the panel and the name. But when you want something to be special and treasured it doesn't matter who is getting it, it still has to be as good as possible. So it got Murray grey appliqued cows and the property name embroidered on as well. It also managed to be finished a whole 8 minutes before the girl turned up to pick it up so, unlike my DH doing his cowboy impersonation, you got a picture.

It has a great matching farm flanelette backing so it's cosy.

A week or two ago when I held the Church morning coffee we had a bloom and succulent show as well. I snapped a few shots of my favourites to share.

1st. Iris

2nd Jacobean lily

some kind of succulent!! a distance

..and up close

An amaryllis

A rose whose name escapes me...but by any name would smell as sweet!

And one of my great new mauve oriental poppies that have come from crossing a red fuzzy with a pink single. The heat and wind fried them all nearly overnight but I managed to get this one.

The rain is coming down, I wont mind if it keeps me awake on the tin roof all night...have a great day, Tracey

Monday, November 17, 2008

Economy saving fabric purchases (??).. and show and tell

As I take a break from being surrounded with visoflix and enough letters for the names for 6 santa sacks I'll share some show and tell.
Firstly, the farm panel on Jake's blanket was in the $2.99 last call at Hancock's, I got these 4 above in the same deal-Good enough to win me over even with our dollar in the proverbial toilet at present!
Another good deal was these zips.

I happened to wander into a little sewing shop in town as the owner was tipping these out and wanting to get rid of them, I got 100's for my purses and paid $10 I think. I love a bargain and often source my zips at the op shops, but a whole heap of uniform size and colour will make the purse sewing much easier.
I had quilters here on Friday night. While I cut up letters, Chris clipped her Heather Bailey shaggy.

She has also been working on a table runner and attempted her first machine quilting, very artfully I thought!

Well done, Chris!

We have another baby here...we so needed another pet! But this is rather cute and, scout's honour, it really is the only one of one. Last year she had two under the BBQ, this year the one appeared during last Tuesday's Bible Study....perhaps we should call it Christy after the DVD series we are studying this term.
You can tell she only has one baby by the size of it's tummy!
The mother has moved it to the backdoor mat! I hope i don't wander out in the dark and squash it!

She is a fabulous mother, no matter where the kids move the kitten, inside or out, she is there picking it up and putting it back on the doormat!
Better get back to these santa sacks, doing them assembly line style so probably the first peek you see will be of all 6!
Must go and see if we have a new CSI on while I sew.....has Grissom left in the US yet, last week he slept over at Lady whatsherface's. Don't know how the show will go without him...any good??
have a good day, Tracey

Oh...and just a the poor girl who googled these key words ....

"how do i get rid of feelings for an old boyfriend"

"want to call an old boyfriend 3 times"

"and going back to an old boyfriend will it work"

...and according to statcounter ended up with me on my blog on all 3 occasions, i hope I helped although i know not how....and if you happen to come back here my advice is start enjoying life and even looking for the next boyfriend. If the old one comes back at least you aren't sitting there looking needy and pathetic...and if he doesn't come back you are 3/4 of the way past him anyway!

*Ed. note. all advice learnt from sometime bitter experience! As Carrie Fisher would say on When Harry met Sally"...'please tell me I'll never have to be out there again!!'

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quilt displays.

I took a break from baby quilts and visited a nearby Agricultural show yesterday.

They have a craft section so I snapped a few shots for you as inspiration.

I was especially impressed with the next one, but it would require far too much precise thinking for me!

As you can see, it won first prize.

I added to my animal picture collection with this shot from the animal nursery.-Gotta love a pig that whispers sweet nothings in you ear!

My sister's family came along as well, how cute is her Daisy!!

On the way home we got a little sidetracked and ended up at quilt shop, they had just shut but their window displays looked nice, so you can have some more inspiration>

From the stitchery quilt you can tell even Australians are mixed up over what season Christmas should be in!

I also manage to track my brother and his family down so met baby Jake. Apparently he is very good and sleeps all the time! A perfect late baby.
As they are horse crazy as well as being dairy farmers the blanket went down well.

Apparently I need to answer a burning question.....

How many chook do I own? Well, there seem to be between 50 and 60 hens running around this afternoon, also about 20 roosters (all far too handsome go in the pot!) Then there are about 70 chickens aged betwen new and 7 weeks, about 30 chook eggs are under clucks (that I know about!), as well as about 30 duck eggs are under clucks. There are about 14 ducks and 15 young ducklings.....and one turkey hen-who is sitting on Indian runner duck eggs!
And yes, I sell the eggs in town, also a lot of young poultry and I sell point of lay chooks later on.

Off to wash the floor and hang the school uniform washing that I forgot all about yesterday!! Have a great day, Tracey

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Second families

Remember my first babies of the Spring? You saw hatching pics and early pics, I thought you may like the update 7 or 8 weeks on...

a few changes aren't there! About half inherited their mother's 'frizzlenessness" and the rest have normal feathers. They are a scream to watch around the yard, they look like they would be better served as dish cloths!

As you can see their Mother has long since given them up, she has actually already moved to the new family and is sitting on 10 eggs under a shelf in my garden shed.

The moving onto the second family is tricky, in people as well as chooks.

My big brother is a grandfather a few times over already but a few years ago his wife left him and it is not in his make up to be by himself so after a few disasters he has found a hard working dairy farmer lady, (with 4 kids to join his grown 3)...and early in the week they made it a round 8! At 39 and 45 this is up to them, but once again I am reminded of the 'Anne's House of Dreams' book (part of the Green Gables series), where Anne first meets Miss Cornelia who announces she is making special things for a baby because, "it isn't to blame for being the eighth." Well, I feel like that as well, I think all babies deserve some fuss, so I am working on this blanket-(even though the baby's Dad only punched me everytime he passed me in the house growing up AND used to sit on me and force me to listen to "old Shep" because it made me almost hysterical with tears...he thought that was hilarious!)
This is only the top, hopefully get it finished tomorrow.

I wonder if there is any chance my brother and his partner will equal this present favourite and make it 10?

(Perhaps just for his sister's quilts!)

Have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Chook blocks.

The Church ladies morning coffee went well, 20 ladies and their kids came, the weather stayed nice and the trading table made over $350! Some of the leftover plants stayed here, and I bought a few, DH thinks we will need to expand the garden.

Having a quieter day today after all the rishing, may even take the kids into the Clone Wars movie this afternoon....(even though there is not the slightest chance of Harrison Ford!)

I love all the international relationships you form with a blog, I have had a few interesting emails this week from different parts of the world, wanting to ask about something or check on instructions..or just chat about patchwork.

Carol in the US wanted some closer chook block pictures and I thought there may be someone else out there who wanted them as well, so here are a few i have.

These two are from the shirt quilt. when you look closely you can see it is really just a few variations on the flying geese block idea. I appliqued the beak on but you could have a seam along there and sew it as a half square traingle type arrangement, that would save a lot of time. It is all in 2 1/2 inch size units. The comb is actually double layered fabric for a bit of extra oomph, sewn into the seam below. I think I intended appliquing around it once but prefer the loose, 3 D look and as it hangs it hasn't frayed. Felt would do well for this, or applique.

Here is another version of the same block, with additions like a stitched beak, appliqued comb and stitched wing.

These are some other chook blocks. This is just a flying geese block with comb attached in the seam, stitched legs and button eggs.

another variation.

applique possibility

another applique possibility

...and another variation, completely free!

She wandered out of my DH's workshop yesterday morning. She hopped back on her nest last night and I found her...she had just sat there quietly for 21 days with no-one any the wiser!

Off to the movies, have a great day, Tracey

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A calf and a shirt quilt.... or two.

Okay, so once again Monday has magically turned to Thursday and have I checked bloglines and what everyone is up's coming!! Hopefully after the weekend "time" will miraculously appear...kind of like those cleaning fairies I am waiting for who will make my house ready for the Church ladies morning coffee that is at my house on Saturday morning!!

Congratulations or commiserations to the US ladies depending on their leanings. An unbelievable amount of coverage of your election here, live feeds on lots of channels and an incredible amount of information. Almost more so than with our own elections.
I can't help being reminded of the Goodies episode where Tim and Bill take on each other as a type of Evita Margaret Thatcher vs. Che for the leader of Britain and the telecast is so engrossing no-one shifts away from the TV to vote! Those boys were way ahead of their time.
The thing that fascinates me is that you vote on a Tuesday. We vote on Saturday as people have it free. The lines look enormous, do you get time off work to vote or how do you manage it? I also have trouble getting my head around voting not being compulsory, we would be fined if we were over 18 and didn't vote here.
Anyway, enough of that, I have had a few emails about my last post, mainly regarding the shirt quilts. I also am non the wiser on who my swap buddy is. You will need to trawl back through my posts but you will find plenty of quilts made from my shirt stash. A couple I still had around here were.....
This one that I made up and hangs in my bathroom.
And I thought i would introduce you to the latest 'sucker of my time' a good way... Harry. Harry proved a most accommodating display board..
for my shirt chook quilt.
...except when doing his rodeo exercises...
And finally Harry got his reward, still enjoying his shirt quilt.
The problem, (or good thing depending on your mood) with having a coffee morning is that you also need to tidy your garden. When I get gardening I wonder why I don't do it more, then I get sewing and wonder why I have a garden....... Perhaps I need to be like the lady I met after my weekly attempt to hold back the fat tide at the gym yesterday...she said her hobbies were exercising (!!!)...and just stick to one thing. But I can't see it happening...especially the exercising!
I was repotting succulents and unfortunately this one was in a round pot and there was only one choice-
-the radical one!!
I thought it's roots were well worth a picture, they reminded me of something off Doctor Who, something that would come creeping around a door jamb to eerie music whilst the Doc and his latest assistant took off in another direction to investigate where the people were. I have just decided there is far too much British tv in my past!
So off I go to in the vain hope that those fairies visited as i typed! Have a great day, Tracey