Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Of swaps and cards and recipes...

I can share what I sent in my tea swap parcel now, as Belinda has received it. I hope she thought it was worth the wait! Shocking photo, but it was sent before I realised so it will have to do. Belinda has a pic of the stitchery on her blog if you want a better look.
Lots of cards thrown in..and quilty sticky notes-guess whose?? -plus Jodie's tea set pattern and Chicken soup for the Tea lovers soul. Thanks very much to organizer Stephanie at Loft Creations.
Speaking of cards, I am packaging off a few this week to some winner girls who are being very patient!! I had been waiting on new stock and here is some that has arrived...for them and the market i have to do this weekend.
DN is the model...
Gift cards.
And the new thing I am very excited about, promotional posters...thanks to Jodie at Ric Rac who helped me in this direction!! I am going to do the card of DN as a big poster with the verse for my sister, that's one of her favourite sayings.
CUCUMBER CHIPS or Zucchini and cucumber chips...or just zucchini chips! ( Some people call this Pickled zucchini and cucumber.-I see that more as the whole veggie!))
Put in a big bowl ....

3 lbs cucumber (or 3 lbs of mixed), 1 large onion thinly sliced, some diced capsicum, mainly for colour (red) and 1/4 cup salt.

Note: I do all the slicing on my V slicer, makes it nice and quick and uniform. I do the cucumbers, etc on the thicker side and the onions on the thinner side.

Put 3 cups of vinegar, 3 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 1 desertsp mustard seed, 1 teasp celery seed, 1 teasp tumeric, few peppercorns, 1 teasp curry in stainless steel saucepan and bring to boil.
Pour that over the vegies and let stand for 2 hours.

Bring all to boil and put in small jars with metal lids...hot jars, seal hot.

BIG thing...don't boil for long, you want cucumber/zuch still slightly opaque and crispish, not soggy and see through.
Like this!
Hot bottles, sealed hot, so you get the sound of the button clicking and sealing down on your lid.

I would do about 3 times the recipe, with huge zucchinis I often peel them, to stop it being too woody, but make sure I put in some young green ones as well for colour.
Have fun, Tracey

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bushfire quilt gallery

Heaps of photos to show you, but these cry out for their own post.....

My spare rooms is bursting from blocks and quilts, I have many more blocks to share but I finally managed an hour to organize the majority of tops tonight.

These two accompanied the beautiful kaleidoscope that has already been given away. Fully finished they were made by Heather in the Blue Mountains and delivered to my door along with restashing things by Darla.

I think this is saw tooth, i can't remember - but I love it!! It arrived from Marcie at patchalot more, whose friend Sue also sent a block...that is stored with all the others at present.

Nancy at Nancy in philadelphia has really been amazing. She put the word out and received boxes and boxes of orphans, blocks and quilt tops. Basically everything else pictured has come from Nancy. A huge effort in postage as well as sewing. I will lay out all of the blocks again soon, perhaps friday when Lise and I sort them, and take the rest of the pictures. But take some yime to enjoy the variety of quilts, i know I am, they look great...

Beautiful work girls!!

By tomorrow morning I should have nearly 150 jars of pickles, chutney, jam and zucchini and cucumber chips made for the School market...it will almost be time to start on the Strudel-didn't that time fly??!!!

Here's last night's ripe tomato chutney...with very little light because earth hour was about to start! Isn't it lovely and rich looking finished...

And here's where I am tonight with the Zucchini and cucumber chips....

great with sandwiches and meat. Yell out if you want the recipe, it's an easy one and very yummy!

I am in charge again, and between that and the Church convention we are hosting I am not really getting a lot of relaxing computer time-or sewing time!! It will be cyclic and the next thing I know I'll be twiddling my thumbs looking for a job...right?

Something to hope for!! oops, the zucchini's are turning translucent, it's time to bottle,
Have a great day, Tracey

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tea swap parcel.

My tea swap parcel has arrived in the mail. I am in this swap through Stephanie's Loft Creations blog, I just haven't put the logo in my sidebar as my sidebar hasn't let me in for almost 12 months!! Can't subtract or add, can't do anything with it. I am hopeful one day I'll just go there and something magical will happen and it will open...like Aladdin's cave, hey I hadn't thought of trying his password!!

I received the most beautiful table runner from Belinda at Brown Dirt cottage-hand quilted as well,- beautifully hand quilted may be a better description!

I am in awe of hand quilters, so thank you so much Belinda. I loved all the other things as well, especially the pieced pot holder, the family are all under threat of death should they dare use it as a pot holder!! The kids also say a big thank you for their gifts...no chance of seeing those in a pic! Dd is working on her cross stitch and the pencils went straight to school..and DS only has the tin left ...for treasures!!

Gosh Belinda, I just hope your swap present is half as good.....

My weekend away was great...saw a little of this fellow.....

and he even sang my favourite, Gundiwindi moon,

Mostly saw a lot of this....

...with not half enough of the Holdens in the lead...oh well, always next year! Fortunately also saw a few shops as well and, like a well organized squirrel, should now be right for the winter!

I made hexagons on the trip over, veged on the way back. I'll show you the hexes another time.

finished these little wallhangings for my kitchen before I left, from Blackbird Village, i love house prints with quilts hanging on them, so this was a fun make.

Got a call from the bushfire couple who received the beautiful quilt from the blue mountains today. I hadn't thought about thankyou calls...proved fairly emotional, but if that is only the start of how people will feel when all these other blocks are sewn and the quilts are given out you should all be very proud to know your donations are really making a difference. I have a heap more to show, am waiting for a sunny day to lay them outside for you.

Have a great day, Tracey

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stitches and craft highlights bloggers.

Dear, oh dear, oh dear!! ...a week offline with satellite antenna problems and bloglines is screaming it has over 1000 posts for me to read...all the rest of you have probably given up, I was behind with my reading anyway! Anyway, I promise that next week I will be back visiting..and sewing!

Wicked was...well...wicked!! we loved it, DD reminded me of Vivian at the opera in pretty woman..she was entranced! She even spent her birhday money on the CD, which we have almost worn out since.

We have fortunately also uploaded it onto this fine new toy!

I have never had an ipod, the Sony CD stereo I bought with a very early "real" paycheck when I started nannying has served me faithfully for 18 years but I don't say no to a win..and I won this!! Answered the questions right at a recent field day and hey presto, a 16 GB ipod and speaker system. Have almost loaded my whole dodgy music collection on..and it doesn't seem to have blown up from my uncoolness ...or the dulcet tones of a Marty Robbins gunfighter ballad-so the world is good!
Had a fabulous time at the Stitches and Craft show...after a little detour to Ikea! There was a slight chance there for a while that DD may have had to be strapped to the roof for the trip home but I managed to keep my love of containers..and container systems-in some sort of check!
Saw the blogger section at the show, especially Jodie. Here are a few pics-she looked fabulously professional just at her site....
and then you got even more impressed when she was interviewed on the stage!! Amazing where blogging-and oodles of creative genius-can get you!! Jodie's famous selvedge dress was even on our national TV morning show!
She chatted about her sewing and her blogging, it was great!! And very entertaining as well.
I got some of her fabulous patterns . And can't wait to try them out.
I also visited Audrey and Maude and did some shopping.
My DD was a sucker for the puppies, i loved the elephant and DD is going to work on the canvas. She lasted very well for an 11 year old. i thought the new format of the show was very good-but i was bias as they highlighted blogging!!
We came home into a setting sun and I took some pics. I need one for a card and verse I have in mind...which of the four is your favourite?? You can tell me while I am travelling across the country in the next few days to see the V8 supercars first race of the season in Adelaide. DH and I will reintroduce ourselves to each other while the kids are safely tucked away here with my parents and stand up comedian brother-they WONT miss us!!!!! See you for a coffee and catch up in a few days when my life hopefully slows a notch or two...ready for a BIG bout of bushfire block sewing.
Have a great weekend, Tracey

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Big couple of days...off farm!

DD's Birthday "week" is about to come to a close with our second attempt at seeing this lovely show...
If you remember, last year we had tickets and DD had a temp. of over 40 so we missed out. Tonight should see a better result. Of course when you are choosing to see a musical and stay in Melbourne, you may also just accidently book it for the same time as the Stitches and Craft show. Blogging is going to be big there this year, with many bloggers featured...Ric Rac Jodie is one of them. Last year I was wandering around Stitches and craft with Chookyblue, Jodie and Annie's flower garden and this year Jodie will be a star!
I'll take lots of pictures for you, I hope DD can cope -can you put an 11 year old in a creche!!.....hee, hee

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sample block feast

Good news, a big thunderstorm tonight that fortunately produced rain with it's lightning. I think we only got 30 points, but as we were down to a few inches in the last tank it's most appreciated, especially by my poor garden! The people in town got 3/4 of an inch and we are meant to get more, it would be lovely if this was the start of the autumn break but that's a little optimistic yet...even for me!

Boy, have you been impatient and scrolled through the feast of blocks already, if you haven't then i give you full leave to go now!!

I ask an incredible level of forgiveness if your name is on the wrong block, but it has been tricky keeping everything in the right piles....and believe me when i say your efforts are fully appreciated no matter what!

I still have lots to go, so stay tuned!! I just can't post everything at once-as I have said before, I have this 'unreasonable' family that seem to expect i do some cooking.... and even less cleaning!! LOL

What do you have to say about all these lovely ladies pieces of work.....may don't have blogs, so go ahead and make their day....... I will just say...fantastic girls!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Sitting here organizing block photos...post to follow soon......but thought my many cat loving bloggers may like to see DD's birthday cake. I got the basic idea out of the Women's weekly birthday cake book...but had to change the face to make it look like her kitten..-so had to try and think up something for white whiskers instead of licorice ones at midnight the night before..how did I go???

(-and note to anyone trying it, mixing orange in 4 different shades is tricky!!)

And as I go off to decipher more return addresses, here's the chocolate fondue fountain everyone should have at their birthday....reminds me of a Vicar of Dibley episode, anyone remember??

And, yes, filled with Cadbury dairy milk...it was goooood!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A birthday and a donated quilt....

Started my daughter's birthday "week" celebrations yesterday, she passed one small rite of passage and had her ears pierced....hopefully we will again get her to wash her hair in the not -too-distant-future....but right now she is being very pedantic about ear care! She has been wearing her hair in a ponytail to highlight the ears. My sister took a pic of us this afternoon when she came for cake-you don't see many of me so make the most of it!! I prefer being behind the camera.

I love making a fuss of my kids' birthdays (there are a dozen little girls due any day for a pool party..sorry, should probably say young ladies, but they really ARE just little girls!!) But I would have to say the height of enjoyment of this milestone came after my sister and Mum had left and we were jumping on the trampoline, "you know what Mum, I was jumping before and I thought, I really love my life" I said that was what all Mum's wanted to hear and she said, "yeah, I'm pleased i didn't die when i was sick all that time!!" So am I!!

I hardly dare mention that it has been six months since the last serious bout of her irritable bowel/migraine trouble, she seems to be okay as long as she is well rested so we are hopeful that that particular 2 year phase is over. A very joyful lady informed me the other day that it will probably come back really bad when puberty hits.....that lady is extremely fortunate she isn't buried in my backyard!!! Nothing like looking on the bright side!

Speaking of looking on the bright side, I had some finished quilts dropped into me this week, more information and pictures will follow, but this one I just have to share.

This has been donated to the fire effort from a lady in the blue mountains. It is stunning!! And hand quilted as well. My job was to find it a suitable home and it has left already, it has gone to wrap a lady in love who lost the majority of her family in the recent fires. I had a contact for her and thought this appropriate as it seems a little like the light shining in the darkness.

I have received a huge amount of blocks this week, people have been very supportive and I am getting ready to start sorting and sewing. I am going to show you them all, but it takes me a while to get them all in order for you...especially after Tuesday......

Tuesday was almost hurricane like winds....in a tinder dry state! Not as hot as the very bad bushfire day a month ago, but windier! They closed almost 200 schools and closed down the Govt. bus service. i took mine to school in town as they were safer there. Before they went they had to tell me a few things for me to collect if I went anywhere. My girl was her quilts, Hannah montana doll and her cat!! The boy was his motorbike. I packed up my photo albums and everybody's donated blocks!!!! There was no way I was losing them.
I trotted off to Church ladies coffee in the afternoon with the backseat filled with everyone's most precious stuff. Interesting exercise that, when it comes down to it...what really matters but your family? Must admit i would have been a bit sad to see the stash go-but there was no way that was fitting in the car!
Needless to say we got through that just fine, but as you can see, everything got packed in in a hurry and some of my elaborate "ownership" system may have gone astray-but I will do my best. Since then there would be at least 2 or 3 more bags as big as that front one -full of blocks, tops and fabric.....a great effort!
Aside from turning 20 kilos each of zucchinis, plums and apples into pickles, and sauce this week, i also made this little quilt for a friend's baby.
Which brings me to the fact I have nearly done enough for the week, so off to bed I go.
But I didn't forget my competition winner, the kids drew out nancy in philadelphia as the Tag galaxy winner, I have a funny feeling a few of my Bible verse and quilting cards will suit Nancy, so well done! And the "Belladonna quilt group~beating the recession one recycled quilt at a time" idea? I am seriously considering starting that up as a forum for sharing your recycled efforts-stay tuned!
Have a great day