Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dreaming a Plan

Summer Sunset
It seems wherever you go in Blogland at present, there is lots of planning going on!  Something about a New Year that sets everyone in motion - and perhaps that time of settled quiet we get when Christmas is over and many are on holidays or have some extra time off from the general busyness of life!  In a blink or two, January will be over and I'm still dreaming about plans.  Things once again got put on hold as we had somebody interested in the house, but it seems they were only interested if we would take a ridiculously low price - everybody wants two bathrooms it seems these days!!!  So we are debating and deliberating on the idea of putting in a small ensuite off our bedroom which could be done with a few minor changes ............  We will be
having a few discussions this week to see how viable that is as we look at our options and where to from here!  In readiness I spent today clearing out the little nook (it was the original wardrobe area when we bought this house 8yrs ago)..... I have way too many things!!!!  The difficulty lies in needing warm woollies for the cold winter we get here, as well as summer gear for the hot dry summers!  Clothes for working at the hospital, clothes for wearing around the yard, clothes I'm trying to fit back into so don't want to get rid of them as I really do want to loose about 5 kgs which will get me into these things again!  Urggghhh!!!   Clean eating is what I need to be doing. 
For me, I'd really like to get back to growing more of our own food again.  Things around here went all askew when we decided 18months ago that we would purchase a house up in Queensland and sell our place here - hence food gardening discontinued until I bit the bullet not so long ago and put in a few vegies again! Not many, some tomatoes, a cucumber and butter beans .......
 These capsicums all grew from seeds that were the remains of a purchased capsicum a few months back - I basically just tossed the capsicum top with its seeds into the garden bed allowing it to do what it wanted (if anything), hence the reason they are all so close together!
I'd previously been given a single capsicum seedling which I had put in this pot beside the lemon verbena (I think - very yummy lemon smell to it), which had been struggling in the garden for the past few years - both seem to be doing well and the capsicum is flowering too!  I must have a look and see just what I can do with Lemon Verbena- presuming this is what it is - I may need to look at that too!!  Anyone know from this photo??  Very pretty white flowers

And more potatoes are sprouting in the pantry - so out they come to this tin in the garden which has no bottom to it - I cover them with dirt and once the green leaves begin to grow, I continue to cover them with dirt - continuing this growing/covering process all the way to the top of the bucket and then wait for them to die off which means I have a lovely crop of potatoes ready to use!  I'll be taking this rusted out tin with us when we finally move from here so I can use it in the next vegie patch!

Apart from that, I have a few other herbs, including this society garlic which had a lovely show of flowers.  Pete came home with quite a bit of garlic the other day that had been dug up from a farm he was working at!  Such a blessing when he is given produce and other goodies! 

The 3 girls left have not been laying any eggs at all since the fox attack a few weeks back which is rather disappointing!  With us trying to sell, and an interstate move in the future there wont be any new hens purchased until things are sorted out!   So I think I'll go and get my home binder out, perhaps look at getting it set up ready for when we do sell and move north so that things will be planned out just a little ..........  Dreaming the Plan!  Building the footings for what is to come in our next chapter ...........

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Farewell Holidays

Yep, it's sad to say I'm back to work this morning! I've soooo enjoyed having 3 weeks away from
Pete seeing to the grapes
the stress and red tape and nonsense and I've tried to make the most of it .......  lots of R and R; time in the garden and the sewing room, time reading, getting back into some crochet, picking up my exercise, time just sitting watching some movies and TV shows, beginning another round of 12WBT and catching up on a few letters and just pottering around at home ........ It's also been nice to have a couple of weeks at home with Pete here to!  He decided to check out how the grapes were coming along and get them netted before the birds start eating them - even though it will be a while before they are ready for eating ...... we couldn't believe how many there were!!!

 Ok, so the pottering may have been a number of "keep the house clean ready for prospective buyers" and a tad bit of sorting of various spots, but hey!  Any how, thought I'd quickly show a few of the yarny goodies I've been working on as well as some I uncovered when I sorted through the sewing room hunting for the hexie tablecloth ........  I've started a queen size crochet blanket that will be for our bed!
 And then found the one I started a few years back and had put aside ........... I guess I'll be getting back to it at some point this year since I really want to address the UFO's

Of course when you find 1 UFO, you tend to find others ....... a pair of fingerless gloves still waiting for the 2nd glove .......

and the sweater I started in Winter and put aside .....

And of course I still have 2 more cushion covers to finish crocheting for son and DIL to make the set of 6.  Since I recently saw a photo they had on FB with the other 4 in use, I best make these last 2 a priority!

Hoping to link this post up with Janine over at Rainbow Hare who is hosting Wool on Sundays (even though I'm a couple days late ......)
The animals have also been enjoying having us at home ......Cliffy (lorikeet) has been spending time getting around the back veranda area and just loves this old ironing board Pete picked up a couple of months ago from a clearance sale!   And with that I bid you good night xo

Saturday, January 6, 2018

January FNWF

What a great way to begin 2018 but with FNWF (virtual sew in) hosted by Chez.  After a bit of a
search through the crates I located the signature Hexie Tablecloth I started work on a long time back - before we had decided to put the house here on the market - Mid 2015 I think!.  There were still a number of hexies to attach, and more still that had to be made to fill in the blank spots - so I got to work firstly attaching those already done and then working on making new hexies

This morning I decided since it was going to be 42 degrees outside today, I would get back to the tablecloth to keep working at it.  I have no real idea what the original plan was or the way the colours were meant to be, so it's ended up more of a scrappy combination together with the lovely signature blocks provided by several other blogger friends who were so wonderful in making up a block and sending it to me to make the tablecloth.  A big thankyou to: Lin, St Victor Quilt Blog, France ; Susan, Susan's Sewing Space from Brisbane - my home town in Queensland! ; Kerrie, Channelbank Creations from NSW; Narelle,  Pins and Whiskers blog from the North Burnett Area of Queensland - which is very close to Maryborough where we will be moving to when we sell here!!..... I'm hoping for a bloggy meet up at some point in the future!  Sheryl,  Sewing After Seven  from Spain; Ruth of Green Twiggy from USA; Jo of ButterZ , Victoria ; Maria, of Life on the Block in West Australia; Anthea of Hibiscus Stitches and also from West Australia;  And Lynda from By the River in Tasmania.  Thankyou so much girls for taking the time to do these lovely signature hexies for me -  you will be a constant reminder each time I use the tablecloth ....... which now just needs to have a thin bit of wadding and some backing and I will do some top stitching to attach it.  I'll have to wait till I'm in Wangaratta next to pick up the thin wadding material - so hopefully it will be finished by the end of January!!

As a bit of a change I also did a tiny bit of work on the Mochilla crochet bag - its going to be a very very slow process as each stitch needs attention with so many constant colour changes and carrying of yarns!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and perhaps visit some of the other blogs either doing the FNWF or the girls that sent the hexies to me
Hugs Sharm

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 OPAM

It's hard to believe its the very last day of yet another year, so as we say farewell to 2017 I thought I'dgive a little review of the completed projects I managed to get done.  Firstly a big thankyou to the girls who run OPAM (which stands for one project a month) Peg and Kris, who keep a tally of all the projects we all get completed each month!  I managed to complete  a total of 32 items: 4 knitted, 20crocheted and 8 sewn. Working on a single block does NOT count - it has to be a completed item (so a whole quilt that is ready to be used for example), that is sewn, knitted or crocheted - so preserving and soap making etc don't count either lol.   First of all here is what I managed to get finished yesterday and today adding to my December Total of 14 items (7 of which were dishcloths) ....... 2 crocheted mats - although I'm thinking I kind of like them as placemats.  It's my own design and I'm kinda liking how they've come out!
As for the rest of the year ..... I managed to make 4 crocheted blankets this year

A couple of scarves,

 a beanie, gloves,  Numerous dishcloths, some pot mitts, a kettle holder, cushion covers,  Journal covers and a few other odds and ends
And with that I wish you all a very Happy New Year!!!


Friday, December 29, 2017

Relaxing and A New Photo

The old Header Photo
I think its that time of year ...... the last days of one year looking forward to the possibilities of the next year.  It's something we could actually do at any time of the year, but for some reason it's the thought of a bright shiny new year that makes it seem like the best time........ or perhaps its because this is the time where many of us get that breathing space - between Christmas and the New Year to just sit and "be" that enables us to have that space to reflect and dream and plan ..........   I thought that today was a good time to change my blog just a bit too ...... the old header had been there for a good number of years now, so it's definitely
time for a change ...... and given that we are waiting to move from here to another state, the "where to next" sign seemed appropriate to be on the header!  I also replaced the welcome picture on the sidebar with a vase of flowers from my garden which sits on a lovely table runner made by a dear friend of mine "Lyn" as a gift a number of years ago! 
I've been enjoying sitting and doing a bit of sewing - a couple of pot mitts were a request from Daughter at xmas; and then I made up this little thread/scrap holder. Actually I need to make a couple of

table runners as this year I really would like to do a bit of seasonal decorating ....... at least, I'm thinking about it!   In the meantime I've been spending my time crocheting up a few more dishcloths (some went to Melbourne for the daughter), but I needed some new ones here as well.  I also crocheted up a mat to pop under the kettle as the others are getting a bit old now. 

So as I take time this week to just relax, potter a bit in the garden and catch up on various bits of reading, I can't help but want to plan a few things too........ well, planning has to be rather basic when one is trying to sell a house!  But there are unfinished projects from this year .......  The quilt "Down the Rabbit Hole" which I am a couple of months behind with, but will then need to have a backing and be quilted and bound (I'm thinking this could take another entire year to get done!) - the rabbits on these borders are huge!; 
More hand stitching has been accomplished!
Then there is the Hexie Tablecloth that I was in the middle of putting together when everything had to be folded up to move half our household items and furniture up to Maryborough - Translation: When I find which container I put it in, I'll be able to get back to it!!   I also didn't get any further than the first 2 parts of Val Lairds Hand Picked Wardrobe (see the sidebar) .......... and I started a little hexie table runner designed by Michelle Ridgeway (Edit: after going searching it is actually a Lynette Anderson design only available as a class) - I stumbled on this pattern as a free trial ..... but the trial stopped after the hexie bit and with 2 mortgages each week till we sell I just couldn't afford at the time to pay for the rest of the online lesson.  It looked fabulous and I certainly learnt a much simpler

way of making a hexie than the way I'd self taught myself ...... so hopefully I can find this again and I'll get a spare change jar going as I remember thinking how much I loved it!   Actually I need to make a couple of table runners as this year I really would like to do a bit of seasonal decorating ....... at least, I'm thinking about it! 
Then comes the planning with the yarn stash!  That's going to need a bit more planning lol .....
I must show you this lovely bowl my hubbie made for me for Christmas!  It's his first ever bowl, made from a burl he cut off a Red Gum whilst out getting fire wood during the year.  He improvised with tools, since most of his tools are in boxes in Queensland at the other house - I'm blown away with the wonderful job he made of it!  It's just soooo smooth and a great size! 

The weather here has been super hot  here, nudging the 40's .....and thankfully last night we got a

storm which has given the garden and lawns a good drink.  Still got some cloud cover today which is keeping the temps down a little!  It's done wonders for those bean seeds I popped in just last week as well as the cucumber and tomato plants!  The cucumber is flowering already, so I am pleased I went ahead and put something into the garden since we will be having salads for a while yet!

Anyhow I'm off now to enjoy a cuppa and maybe look at a book or magazine ..... or even look through some of those containers in search for those projects that need finishing ........
I hope you are enjoying this time of year where things are just a little less stressed and everyone seems to be ready to sit back and relax!  Take care my friends until next time. 
Hugs Sharm
The lovely cup and saucer I received from Jaron, Nay and the grandies

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Round Up for 2017

I hope everyone has enjoyed their Christmas day wherever it may have found you.  For hubbie and I our plans were changed about a month ago and instead of heading north to Maryborough where I was looking forward to creating a Christmas feast for family and friends - things happened with all involved so instead we altered our plans, deciding to spend our holidays here at home in Bundalong and head down to Melbourne to our daughters for Christmas Eve and Christmas lunch.
Scruffy was very excited to be heading off on an adventure and even more excited when he discovered who was at the other end! 

Stace and I took a walk to the beach - super windy and Melbourne had dropped the temps. 

Stace and I at Brighton Beach Christmas Eve

Somebody needed luch before everyone else!
 For Christmas Lunch instead of heading down the beach as planned with all our scrumptious food, we used the picnic table at the end of the garden in the Unit block Stace and John live in. 
It was a lovely lunch and initially we had planned to wait till Boxing Day to drive back home - unfortunately Scruffy had been unwell the previous night and its not easy getting up and down a steep flight of stairs outside the units to take him out every hour or so ....... hence we decided after lunch and desert to begin the 3.5hr drive back home.  The freeway was not at all busy which was good and when we got home our eldest son was here.  He has been so busy working long hours we rarely get to see him much, so it was a lovely catch up.  He was having to work Boxing Day, as was Stace and her partner John.

Each December since 2013 when I started up a group for ladies over 50yrs who were doing that particular round of 12WBT, we became quite a close group and a number of us take part in a Christmas decoration swap each year which can either be made or purchased - since not everyone in the group does handwork ....... this year we had 15 of us take part and what a lovely lot of decorations went around various parts of Australia

Boxing Day was a quiet relaxing day .............. well, in sorts ....... DH spent a good part of the morning getting the dishwasher working again - hooray!!! And then settled down to watch some movies. And Stace and John had sent back a present for Cliff - the Rainbow Lorikeet who has been with us since a baby when our son Jaron got him - he has a thing for pulling out his feathers so looks rather "different" but is a real character and now 17 years old ...... somehow he got left with us when Jaron moved out 13 yrs ago!

I still had a Kris Kringle here to open up - from a Facebook Runners Group I joined in October and this was what was inside .........  It may be quite a while (if at all) that I get to take part in a half marathon lol ...... but I'm hoping to at least take part in a 10km walk this year for a bit of fun.
 While he did that I pulled out the Mochilla crochet to work on again.  I had realized I needed to have the yarns separated in order to do this type of crochet, so had to make something up - luckily this post box was at hand to use!  So part 1 is completed with the next bit out on the 29th December.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

December FNSI

Last night and on into today depending on where exactly you live in the world - it was the last virtual Friday Night Sew In for 2017, hosted by Wendy at Suarlane Designs!  It was just what I needed to help with a bit of Mojo therapy.  I started early and pulled out my "Down the Rabbit Hole" quilt top to continue on that - managed to place another rabbit onto the first border and begin the process of hand sewing it into place. I didn't take a photo since not much to show just yet.  Next I decided I really desperately needed to make a new apron.  You see I only kept 2 of mine here and had packed the others which were sent north for whenever we move - well the 2 left here finally became thread bare and both ripped over the past month to the point where they just can't be used any longer!  I did make them a good number of years ago, so they have done well as I use my aprons on a daily basis to protect my clothes when I'm cooking and often when I'm out in the garden gathering. I prefer to make my own aprons as I like a large pocket at the front to hold various items, wider ties at
the waist and an easy loop to go over the neck!  Luckily I found some material in the stash I have here but had to use the back of some Christmas wrapping to draw up another pattern!  It can be a pain when half or two thirds of your stuff is packed in boxes 2 states away!!  Still, I'm very happy with how the apron came out.  I'll need to make another one before long but at least I have 1 now.
Then this morning I decided I would being a CAL (crochet along) with a facebook group making a mochila bag.  I've never even tried one of these before so it's a bit of a learning curve. It requires cotton yarn and luckily I have enough cotton from the blankets to use for this bag.   I managed, after a few false starts, to finally get going on it, up to the point of the first colour change coming in ......... then went to do a few things ..................

 hmmmm, well to cut a long story short my right hand got trapped in a heavy old fashioned window that slid down with some force and I was trapped yelling in pain for Peter to come help me.  By the time he found where I was (I guess it wasn't that long, but it sure felt like it), I was actually in a bit of shock - I couldn't actually stand up or stop sobbing - he thought I may have broken my hand or split the finger with the blood that was flowing -  on closer inspection he managed to check and it stitches were not going to be needed and it seemed neither finger or knuckles were broken.  Lots
of Ice and TLC and it's come out looking not too bad, just somewhat sore still.  Hopefully more crocheting in a day or two.  Very pleased that hubbie was here and that I don't have a broken hand for the holidays!!
I pray you all have a safe Christmas!  
Hugs Sharm