Thursday, 27 October 2016

Crochet crochet crochet

Hello lovely readers.  

I've had a busy last few days.  Drove to the nearest 'big town' for 'supplies' (crafty stuff I can't get easily from here) with my mother who wouldn't let me buy any more yarn.  Brought some fabric for Daughter One's Christmas present (a quilt), brought some borders for my Sunbonnet Sue.  Got some curtain fabric for our school (somehow I am the designated 'seamstress' and I have committed myself to stitching curtains though I haven't really a clue how to do that - I'll sort it with Mum's help, thanks Mum).  

Had a lovely day, and was totally exhausted when I got home.  Once upon a time I could shop all day.  I can see those 'shop all day' days looming with at least my eldest daughter who could shop for Australia.  Thankfully the youngest one isn't so interested but I fully expect that she'll grow into it.  

I've spent my afternoon sorting out some hexie projects that serve as my ballet project (you know, sitting in the car waiting for ballet to be over), and I've laid out my crochet blanket above to see how many squares I still need to make (answer, HEAPS).  

And that's been my day.  Nothing too much of note to report.  The weather's beautiful, I'm avoiding all news stations and I'm about to go out and pick my strawberries.  So life is good!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Sunbonnets–still not done

So I finished my Sunbonnets and hung them up:


And yes, it needs a border.  I know.

So it’s coming down again and I’ll just do that one last step.  It’s always the one last step that kills me.  I don’t have the right fabric (fancy that) so I need to order some, and then that one last step should be done.  Hopefully!

Thursday, 20 October 2016


I’m trying something new on my blog, just go about your business as usual!  Here’s a photo of a puppy. xx

Something completely different

Last Christmas (I gave you my heart…..), I saw loads of do it yourself Christmas wreaths around on the internet.   I'm sure you’ve seen them, they are made with Christmas baubles and hot glue. 

I managed to score some good deals after Christmas with the baubles (always, always buy your Christmas decorations in the after Christmas clearout!) and they sat in my laundry for ten months, until yesterday.

I don’t know why yesterday was the day, but I got down and dirty with my hot glue gun and I made this:


I’m stupidly happy with it.  I used many many glue sticks and lots of baubles, and it was so super easy.



Really, really simple.  There are loads of tutorials out there.  The one thing I think I needed was more larger baubles, the small ones (of which I have a million) are great for plugging up holes but the bigger ones just look fabulous.  Glue on the bauble, stick it on the wreath.  Glue on another bauble, stick in on the wreath.  Plug any holes with smaller baubles.  Rinse, repeat.


I never throw out those dead cutting mats, they come in so handy for all sorts of other uses!






Now I’m fairly sure I will have to constantly fix the thing, I’m not optimistic that the hot glue will cope with our Summer Christmas temperatures.  But I’ll worry about that when it happens.

I am now officially a craft blogger.  I should start up a Youtube channel!

I’ll be back to quilting tomorrow.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


So…I finished stitching my sunbonnets!  It’s been a long time coming, but they are all done now!


I need to trim the alternate blocks, I found that each of them was just a little off. 


But I’ve trimmed all my sunbonnets back to size now, so all I need is a little time to stitch them together.



This took me such a long time to prep.  The stitching didn’t take that long and I think it’s done okay.  I’m still very much a beginner with needle applique but I did really enjoy it.  I think since I began I’ve learned a few shortcut tricks in my preparation (floriani and a gluestick springs to mind!) so hopefully the next time I do a quilt like this it won’t take quite so long.

All I need to do now is stitch the blocks into rows and the rows into a quilt and then another UFO is off the list.  BAM!  Hitting all my goals today. 

(apart from all the housework and garden weeding but that doesn’t count as a goal, does it?)

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Brandy, the Christmas Pudding




A hundred years ago (well, perhaps ten) I had a kit left over from when we were in the shop.  Doll making was big back then and no doubt I started this one as a shop sample and then we got out of the shop and that was that.  She sat in one of my UFO boxes and waited patiently to be done.

We recently had an all day sewing day at our group, and even though I have 938383 million projects started, none called out to me to be finished.  I bit the bullet and brought along this design and apart from the face details and the painting on her shoes, I finished her!  Quickest UFO I’ve finished in a long time!

I think she’s very cute but I’m so not into dolls these days.  No doubt she’ll end up in a box somewhere, packed away.

I found it really hard to remember how to do the face.  Amazing how quickly one skill replaces itself with another.  I had to go search up my old craft magazines to see some pictures.  I knew I was keeping those old magazines for a reason!

So all in all, a pretty productive week.  I am V. pleased with myself!

Monday, 17 October 2016


You’ve no idea what a month of weather we have had, both in October and previously in September.  Spring traditionally is a bit of a mixed bag, but this past month and a half have been off the charts.  Yesterday was 14 degrees, the day before the girls were ready for the swimming pool.  Mental.

Last night it rained (again) and when I woke up this morning, the sun was shining and everything was clean and clear and crisp, so I took some photos I thought I’d share.

You’ve seen my garden before, but have another look around:


After a dodgy, slow start, the roses are amazing.  They are all enormous this year.  Like roses on steriods.  It must be the weird weather, they weren’t pruned any differently than last year and they are twice the size.


Forgive the aged hand there (and I do actually have a thumb, it’s hiding) but I wanted to show you the size compared to the dinner plate sized rose next to it.










Gorgeous.  It’s our Rose Festival this week so they are coming out just in time.  Clever things.


We (my husband) cleaned up the strawberry patch last year and we barely got a strawberry from the bushes.  They were under threat of removal this year for a new lot, and I think that scared them.  Now we just have to keep the lizards and the birds away from them. 


Why is it the thing you need the smallest amount of is the thing that flourishes in the garden?  We eat so little parsley.  Look at it all!  I give it to the chooks but even they are sick of it.


I’ve always been able to grow silverbeet – this year’s crop was a bit sad but it’s starting to come good now.  This is another thing for the chickens – I love silverbeet but sadly I am the only one in our family.




If you lived in my town right now, all you would be able to smell would be orange blossom.  It’s overpowering and overwhelming and gorgeous but my goodness, does it play havoc with my hayfever!  I’ve been feeling particularly crabby lately and I’m sure it’s from the hayfever!  It smells like someone has dumped a big bottle of citrus oil outside. 




My beautiful apple blossom.  Have yet to get a good apple from this tree but I’m hopeful for it this year!  Look at those lovely blossoms






The grapes are thriving.  I just stand at the vine when they are ripe and eat.  They don’t even make it inside.


My almond tree is doing very well this year also.  Everything is blooming, growing.  It’s such a wonderful time of year.








And this year’s award for spectacular floral arrangement goes to our bottlebrushes.  They are amazing right now.  They are amazing every year.  Love them to pieces.


A little pink flower I’ve not seen before in our garden.  Must be something new my husband planted.  He’s forever adding new stuff.


And this is the front garden.

It’s just got away from us like you wouldn’t believe.  I’m about to go out there now and pull some weeds, though I suspect I’ll never be finished.  I’d much rather be quilting, to be honest.

And there’s my gorgeous spring garden for you.  It never fails to please me. 

Tomorrow, some quilting photos!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Some quilts (not mine) to show you

Sorry for the crappy photos (how many posts do I start with that?).

This month, and last month are hands down my busiest.  Bring on Christmas, it’ll seem like a holiday compared to the last few weeks.  I’ve been doing very little actual machine sewing but I have been working hard at my sunbonnets and very soon I will be able to show you the whole finished quilt.  But for now, I found some photos on my phone from a quilt show I went to on holidays.  First daughter wants a quilt like the orange/teal squares.  Second daughter wants a quilt like the row by row.  I just loved the jewel box – no matter what colours you make it in it works every time.

The kids go back to school on Tuesday and life will settle.  And I’ll be able to dive head first into what I hope will be a productive last term.  That’s the plan, at least!

How have you been?  Sewing much?

Saturday, 8 October 2016

The Flinders Ranges

As promised, I have gone through my 203973 photos taken this past week to share a selected few with you.  There still are loads on this post thought, and I apologise in advance for the loading time.

We had three nights at the magnificent Rawnsley Park Station which was about 40 k’s from the nearest town, Hawker (which only has 300 people or so living there anyway).  It’s far away from anything, there is no phone coverage and no internet, and though everyone thought their throats had been cut initially, it was actually really lovely.


I think, if memory serves correctly, this is Rawnsley Bluff. 


Rawnsley Station began its life as many of the other stations in these areas did – the family lived in little stone huts until life got more prosperous and the big house could be built.  The cottage above is what the original family lived in until they could build the bigger place.  Quaint, isn’t it?


Now it’s more of a storage area for ‘the old stuff’, it’s a bit sad to see it not being looked after but it’s quaint all the same.


This broke my heart – it was once a horse carriage.  The cushion was still in place, still red in places.  But left to fall apart.


Rawnsley Park is HUGE and if I took a thousand photos it wouldn’t capture the sheer size of the property.  And it was wonderful that there were so few houses – sadly the best view seems to be spoilt nowadays by people who want to build up high in ‘the best spot’.  None of that happening in the Flinders, which was brilliant.


The tree above is outside of Wilpena Pound and I have found out that it’s a famous one.  Called the Cazneaux Tree, it was photographed by Harold Cazneaux in 1937 and he titled it ‘The Spirit Of Endurance’.  Apparently it has won many photography competitions and judging by the picture below, has barely changed in eighty years.

Artist : Harold Cazneaux (New Zealand; Australia, b.1878, d.1953) 
Title : 
Date : 1937
Medium Description: gelatin silver photograph
Dimensions : 
Credit Line : Gift of the Cazneaux family 1975
Image Credit Line : 
Accession Number : 134.1975


And of course, there were emus, emus, emus.  Emus everywhere, and really not all that bothered by our presence.  Kangaroos are a dime a dozen at home, but emus seem to hide a lot more out here so the girls thought seeing them up close was pretty special.



IMG_8444 (2)

We saw those particular emus above on the way to a group of ruins in a place where the name escapes me.  But long story short, English immigrant came out, staked his claim and built a little house and various outhouses for himself and his family so he could run his sheep/cattle.  Built this down the road from a mine, and in those days (and I suspect now also) mines are big business and the miners didn’t like him being there.  This brought forth years of antagonistic letters/trials/fights over the land. 


The houses were lovely.  They were originally filled in with mortar and covered with a lime wash, but over the years that has disappeared and only the rocks remain. 


This was the toilet.  A long drop.  I can’t imagine going out there in the middle of the night!  Bring on the chamber pot!


I think visitors to the site built this mound.  We added a rock to the pile.












The house above was the Mine manager’s house.  Much bigger and much better built than the other smaller houses.  This one seemed to stand the test of time much better.


I don’t like to include the children in this blog too much, but I wanted you to see the scale of my eight year old to the tree above.  Massive, isn’t it?  She was tiny compared to this gorgeous tree.  And this tree wasn’t any thing out of the ordinary, there were bigger trees around.  I don’t put my car under these trees, they are notoriously bad at dropping limbs on unsuspecting people.






And of course, there are wildflowers everywhere, including this lonely little poppy out in the middle of nowhere.  Poppies aren’t anywhere else in the region – I wonder if this was planted by the original white settlers?


We ended up this particular day rough driving through small creeks till we reached the bottom of a gorge – the name of which escapes me.  There are quite a few of them in the region and they are all spectacular.  We saw a couple but this was the only one that we got out of the car and explored.  It was so very windy I didn’t feel too safe, a lot of those rocks are loose and enormous and I had to keep one eye on the children who were off up those cliffs as soon as my back was turned.














Another photo of the kids, showing you how teeny tiny we are in comparison to the cliffs alongside.  All in all, we felt very small and insignificant in the middle of so much size, and space.






On our final day of holidays, we walked around the Bluff, which involved some quite physical walking up quite steep hills (the guide said the walk was ‘easy’ – it lied).  It proved to me once again that I am desperately unfit, a state I am determined to rectify once the kids get back to school next week.  Once we were at the top of the track, it was horizontal for a long time and we managed to walk about ten kilometres around the mountain, which was amazing.  I didn’t take too many photos – it was more fun to soak up the view myself rather than constantly reaching for the camera.  The eight year old survived very, very well and the eleven year old was a real trooper but I must admit to really feeling it the next day! 

So there’s my very first foray into the Flinders Ranges.  I do hope it won’t be the last one.  We were very keen to see the Sturt Desert Pea but sadly didn’t come across one single flower.  I was told it was too wet and windy just yet, and we were a few weeks early.  I shall leave you with a picture someone else took of them, and you can see why I wanted to see them in person.


image from here


Beautiful, aren’t they?  Maybe next time.

See you soon!