Sunday, May 31, 2009

Finished my hand pieced Lone Star!!

Whoo-hoo...light the fireworks,break out the whisky (any excuse!!) ....we have an identified and competed UFO!!!!!


Okay, well, that was a slight lie. It is completed in that it is bound, the star is fully finished and appliqued on-AND the star is shaded in...wait for it...drum roll please...real, honest to goodness, HAND QUILTING!!! I am hoping for more hand quilting in the big gold areas, but as it is attached to a pre-quilted back there isn't a desperate hurry for this.
Yes, that is correct, the only thing not done by hand on this quilt is the attaching of the binding to edge-everything else has been completed by these hands that spend half their time playing up on me! The star was all individual diamond templates.
My Dh and I had date night by his mother's hospital bed last night, between that and two kids playing sport I have got a lot of work done on it lately.

It is from Kathy Shmitz's blackbird Village range of a few years ago. It was started a few summers ago and has waited patiently for me to work out how to complete it for a LONG time! I love Lone or Bethlehem stars and am very proud of this one!
Thank you for all the kind comments and support regarding my MIL. There is no improvement, it is my DH's 8th vigil tonight. I am very proud of him. They seem to be rapidly increasing her doses of morphine, but even then she is only settling for an hour at a time.
Too much depressing stuff, not what my blog's point is, so today I took some farm photos for you when i was going around the ewes and lambs. Unlike Scarlett's offsider in Gone with the wind, I do know a bit about birthing babies and I bought these two into the world, then enjoyed the sun on my back and the restfulness of kids at their grandparents and not being able to wake DH at home for half an hour while I watched their Mama go about her side of the deal...

Licking them clean and dry....
Let's just hope for her sake that is spearmint flavoured!!

Cautious first steps..

She's just smelling to check I wore gloves-oh boy, did I ever wear gloves!!
Off to dig up the chutney recipe..I must find the chutney recipe!-and sweep the floor, and do some exercise and clean out the kid's school bags..and wash...sigh!....
Hope your day is great, Tracey

ps, the reptile on my knee last post was a blue-tongued lizard..and I still love them! And yes, they do bite, something my Mother may have taken into consideration but then I wouldn't have one of my favourite pics!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Life..and the losing of it.

The recipe for chutney will appear next post. It's my Mother in Law's, which is kind of fitting as the week has been about her.

If you are looking for quilty content click away now...the most quilting I may get to is some cutting out, therapy almost as good as sewing!

The MIL relationship fascinates me, i see plenty of girls with MIL's I would quite appreciate-who are always on their backs and complaining about them. There seems to be a competitive streak there and it isn't always MIL's fault that the relationship is sour...but then not always the DIL's either.

We could have been doomed to failure, my Dh had lived with her for 40 years, 15 without Dad; we built a house 20 metres from her door..and she had grandchildren my age already! (Hence, I have never called her anything but Grandma!!)

But it has gone quite well. The biggest challenge for me was her attempted kidnapping of my husband on any occasion where I was home even one minute after 12 o'clock lunchtime. THE MAN MUST BE FED!! Don't ever tell her he made his own salad sandwich at home every lunchtime anyway..I would never put enough Mayo on!! She would permanently kidnap him back! Like the owner of the Gingerbread house (in the nicest possible way!!) a full lolly jar, biscuit tin and icy pole freezer has been the lure that meant my kids first steps were normally in the direction of grandma's house.

But grandma was taken off from her house a month ago by ambulance. It was a wet, cold and miserable day, she stayed home from Church and fell sweeping the car port. She says staying home from Church was her mistake, I say her mistakes were; 1. Sweeping the carport-I will never fracture a pelvis doing this at 88, i don't do it now!! 2. Thinking a straw broom is good enough support to sit your walking stick down and 3. getting off the Couch with a bad foot and knee in the first place!!

She had a lovely social time in hospital until last Sunday when she has inexplicably started experiencing the kind of pain the doctors have rarely seen. No painkillers are doing more than hitting the sides and there is no way to stop the suffering.

This is when her life long dedication to her family is reaping it's rewards, her 3 children are taking turns ensuring she is never alone. My Dh has been doing the nights and trying to get some sleep during the day. He had been working up to 21 hour days getting the crop in and now this.

Today I did the afternoon shift with my other non related SIL ( all three siblings were called in last night for what looked like the end) and it is amazing how a relationship changes. She may not have quite spent the last 17 years doing the hallelujah chorus about my existence, but when she reached out and wanted her hand held for hours this afternoon any of that was forgotten.

So I only ask hope that grandma will soon get whatever healing is required.

But there is another aspect to the grandma story. Last night I sat here and played with my recently downloaded Picasa3, i am having fun with that and have solved my photo storage problem by buying a 1 TB External hard drive and installing Picasa there. It is permanently set up on my computer and surely 320,000 photo capacity should take me a while to fill!!

I was trying to find some nice photos of grandma, and herein lies today's lesson.

NO matter what size you are, how many new wrinkles have appeared and how much you wish all the pics looked like they did when you were 18; when you are approached with a camera for goodness sake, pull your shoulders back, stick out your chest and smile!! Then these laughing smiling happy snaps will be the everlasting memory of you. No one will worry about anything else. My MIL hated photos so in the few we have she is making an angry looking face, has her head down or is generally not looking great. You should see our wedding pics, you would think someone was holding a gun to her!! A smile would fix everything! My kids have real memories, but what a pity very few lasting photos.-and none that truly depict the generous Grandma they love.

I'll finish with one photo picasa did find somewhere on my harddrive. I think this explains my kids love for reptiles.....are you looking closely enough to see there isn't just a dog? That's me about 38 years ago...

World according to Tracey......Have a great day and smile in your next photo!! (Do you?)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lamb with tomato chutney....

I am sitting here deciding whether I clean the kitchen or a start a shaggy baby do you make that decision!!!

Up to my armpits..literally! baby lambs this week! I have been happily whizzing around paddocks on the 4 wheeled motobike, bringing home orphans to feed, and often orphans to foster- left, right and centre. Even with giving a lot of new babies to new mothers I have still ended up with 6 to far!!

No-one here gave this little darling a chance, but a hot water bottle (and a whisky bottle full of hot water on the otherside for good measure!!), hourly feeds and a heat lamp and it was out with the others by the next afternoon.

Rosie, the new pup, is in full sheepdog training, lol!!

She will be completely fine as long as they don't get any bigger

or stronger

or faster at running!

Rosie will be there and in charge!

Even trying to supervise the feeding!

I'm working on my Mother in Law's old ripe tomato chutney brew tonight. We are on our last jar and there MUST be chutney for family Sunday morning bacon and eggs! Aldi had tomatoes for 49 cents a kilo so I have made a double batch. It is about an 8 hour brew. You can see how much it has boiled down, will go down a few more inches yet and get really dark. The first year I took over it's cooking I had to get my MIL to wander over a couple of times to tell me when it was right..felt like I was in Masterchef!! recipes just can't do the trick on these old hand me down delicacies.

Yell if anyone wants the recipe, it is delicious!!
Have a great to make a baby quilt...don't tell DH I'm not cleaning!!
Have agreat day...I see a baby quilt forming! Don't tell DH!.....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Back to farm wife life......

So, what's my excuse??

Well, I consider myself on a month's annual leave. Annual leave from organizing anyway! The market is done and dusted. School made around $8000 from the morning. It was a great team effort. My excuse for the slack posting?...150 jars of jams and pickles, 25 foot of Strudel, 10 slabs of hedgehog, 25 bags of toffee, 25 of Rocky Road, buying all supplies and doing all other necessary coordinator stuff...while fitting in picking up a dog, finalizing raffle quilts...throwing the family food.... You know how it is!

Our lambing began the day before the market so i promised DH as soon as the market was out of the way I would take over the sheep and cattle and he could happily sit in a tractor around the clock and get the crop in. So that's what's happening.

I am watching a lot of ladies sort out whose kids belong to whom..and feeding 3 orphans already.

While Dh got in the Willy Wonka man with his seed cleaning contraption and is now flat out sowing the crops. -In the mornings my house yard looks like the yard of a machinery dealership, I will have to snap a pic next time all the tractors and equipment are here.

Haven't had the proper Autumn break yet, our springs aren't running and it's only drizzling rain. Lots of frosty mornings and clear afternoons. The pets that live outside have developed strategies for this...

Do you think Archie minds Mr. R the farm cat utilizing him like this? Not one bit, I would say! Rosie is still living a cosier life, I am pleased she was a hit, we adore her, my big tough DH and I fight over who gets to cuddle her of a if there was only an easy way to cure the little accidents on my kitchen floor!!

In between trying to rediscover whether my laundry in fact has a floor, and whizzing around my farm on the motobike, I have also done some sewing.

My little niece, Daisy is one already. I dropped her in a bigger quilt than her original "Daisy" balnket a few days ago. That barefoot roses stash is just about gone now! I still like it, even after the fourth quilt top.

Just 2 layers, my sister likes them like that, the pieced DNP top (I love this new block!!) and nice warm cream fleecy on the back. I was running so low on the fabric it has a tiny binding, but it seems to be a success.

She was cuddling it at the party today as well.

I did go just a tad silly about the birthday yesterday( I only have one sister and a few little nieces and can't really spoil them!!) and decided to have a go at a baby sleeping bag. Beautiful ones of these are all the fashion here, but deathly expensive. My sister had casually shown me a catalogue, so i had a play....
I practised on baby Born first, just to sort out how to do the zip, the sleeves, neck etc. Baby Born's just has a half zip and no sections for wearing with a seat belt in a baby car seat. It is a little big for Baby born as I did have some idea that it may as well be useful in a dozen years or more perhaps, for it's owner. The real one, on the left, is lined with fleecy, has a two way zip so that you can open it from the bottom to slide the seat belt through, and a bound and velcroed slit in the back where you can put the seat belts through the rest of the way. I also made a flap at the top to cover the zip and protect baby's neck. The only problem with the success is that judging from the interest at the birthday party I may have to make a few more! They will be paying proper money!
Time for bed now, i am still way behind on sleep..I was just catching up and DS had a friend for sleepover last night and from 4 am they were talking and wanting to get up...I had to get up every hour to tell them it wasn't morning and to go back to sleep....
Hope your weekend is great, Tracey

More beautiful bushfire donations

An update on the bushfire blocks.

I have had 2 lovely parcels arrive recently and they are far too beautiful not to share.

The log cabin quilt tops have been made especially for the cause by Rita in Belfast. It's funny, Log Cabin is one of the quilts that originally "got me in" and i have made one for my Dad, but never for me, after seeing these beauties it has definitely gone back high on the list!!
The multitude of new blocks have and post and rail top have come from Sharon T in WA and the Pieceables Guild in Lynden, WA.
Lise, the girls and myself will put these to good use. Thank You.
It is 100 days since the fires, and many people are still living in temporary accommodation with little space for extras. It wont matter that their quilts aren't all there yet, just that they arrive in some already have.
Kerrin, from our quilt group, has finished 2 tops -here's the one I remembered to photograph.
Made from someone's orphan quilt for a cure blocks. Thanks Kerrin.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Meet Rosie

Okay, it is 12 past 12 and I need to be in bed, but I couldn't go without introducing you to Rosie....


She is an 8 week old Shih-tzu Maltese cross.

She wasn't completely sure about the collar and lead

But she was sure about her new owner, a perfect pair!

We had put Rosie cosily in the cubby house for the night-with assorted beds and toys, but it's getting cold so I just smuggled her into the kitchen,(she is recovering from a little bit of ladies surgery so surely a sleep in the house is allowed.)I will have to be the first up in the morning!!

Have a good day, Tracey

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The joy of pets!

One down and one to go....

The convention last weekend was a great success, everyone successfully fed, watered and entertained. We decided to do a little craft display to add to the mission and ministry displays. Thought you may like a peek at that-click on it to get it bigger.

I am about to go and start sewing and baking for this weekend's market, I think all emails are sent and the phone has stopped ringing for the moment so it may be all clear.

We have had a great loss here... my girl's Tom kitten drowned in a trough on Sunday night. DH and I rubbed, warmed and even did a bit of kitty CPR but to no avail, he was gone too long. He had only been outside for a while while we soaked his kitty litter tray. DD wrapped him in his favourite blanket and he is buried with his favourite toy under a tree with a sandstone "Tom" headstone.

DD was devastated and says she is giving up on cats, this is her 5th in 3 years-they are so well loved and looked after but something has happened to all of them. She now wants a pup...probably lucky as not that many cats are volunteering to come and live with us at this point!

DD and her Tom kitten with matching birthday cake..

I couldn't help thinking as I tried to warm the kitten and watched it optimistically for signs of life how horrific that would be if it were your real child...really doesn't bear thinking about.

Not a great note to leave you on, so how about the secret that there is a little white and black girl puppy sitting in the animal shelter at the local town just waiting to be picked up by an 11 year old pet lover on Thursday.....