Sunday, November 26, 2017

What's Been Happening?

I know some of you have been wondering why I haven't posted in just over a month .. a whole
month with the garden showing some lovely flowers....
well to begin I had to get straight into the next crochet blanket for our other grandson - with 215 stitches per row and needing to be a double bed size, pretty much all spare time when not at work or cleaning house for possible inspections was spent ensuring I got this finished in time to post out at the beginning of November for his birthday on 9th  November.  Good news, it got completed and he's really happy with it!  Pretty good for a 13 yr old boy.  Once again made with Bendigo Cotton 8ply.  Black, Navy Blue and Sambucca - I think it came out well, but took a bit of planning with only the 1 ball of sambucca available!

After finishing 4 crochet blankets this year along with other items, I'm feeling rather crocheted out
you might say, and my arm certainly needed a break. I had a Ravelry Catch up in Chiltern with the North East group and got another spinning lesson, finally managing to get my own wheel up and running and able to actually do some spinning of my own!
Still, I  found I needed a break from all things yarn .... and then even the applique as well! It was time for a total handiwork break, and with the weather finally turning to something more like Summer weather I 've been keen to be back outside!  . 

Paddle Steamer on the Ovens where it meets the Murray River.

So with doing so very much sitting over the last many months of this year, my fitness felt at an all time low and I've gained a couple of kilos which now means I really need to loose 6kgs to hit goal weight!  It was my mood (what can I say after a year of having the house on the market and living in limbo ), my low feelings of fitness, and my clothes all getting tight that made me decide I needed to get moving ........ I started some walking
River Walking Track
again at a faster pace than I had been and gradually increased the distance .....See the photo to see me time and distance with majority walking!... I've added in a bit of running ....... currently I can only manage a short 300mtrs before I have to break back into a walk.  I'm certainly feeling better for it, and I know my fitness levels are improving .  

It's actually been quite refreshing having a break from handiwork for the past month - I've been able to get back to my book I started at the beginning of the year ......."Drums of Autumn" one of the books by Diana Gabldon - I'm just managing to stay in front of the TV series "Outlander" and enjoying both the series of books and the show!  Once again we have left off planting any vegies in the hope that perhaps this Summer season the house
will finally sell!  It's making planning somewhat problematic, but it is what it is ........ so for now the walking/running is proving helpful in managing that for me!
Before anyone asks - the house has not yet sold and our plan to have Christmas in Maryborough has fallen through.  Sadly Jaron and Renee had major car trouble which meant using all their savings, so they could no longer drive down from Townsville with the grandies ... and our other friends had their plans change so that they were no longer able to come for Christmas Lunch.  Since the whole idea of going up was based around Christmas, there didn't really seem much point in just doing it for ourselves - We've instead decided to stay here and keep the gardens watered etc etc
Meantime Pete has been doing a bit of extra painting around the house to have it looking just that bit better.  He's also managed to get away for a couple of fishing trips with some of the guys in the Bundalong Fishing Club which has been a change from the past few years.  He has also been busy doing a bit of cutting of logs and burls doing bits and pieces with a few ideas for down the track.........

Would you believe that the Irisis we bought about 5 yrs ago finally flowered this year??  We had pretty much given up on them, so it's been nice to see the lovely colours on them - particularly the deep purple which is pretty much black in parts!
So now that we have pretty much caught up the past 5 weeks, I'd best get to the Sunday evening roast lol ........ I'll leave you to enjoy a cuppa like I was the other day while sitting out checking out the some of the pots I have ready for that move .........

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Catching Up

Well Hello there!  It's been a few weeks since I last caught up with you all! Doesn't time just seem to
zap itself away every now and then with weeks rushing past in a blur!  Hubbie had his birthday at the end of September which was pretty low key being mid week and  work, followed by watching our football team finally manage to win a grand final after 37 years!!  I barracked for the Tigers when I was in my last couple of years at high school on the Gold Coast where AUssie Rules was not the popular sport that it was in Victoria at that time.  When I met Hubbie, he also barracked for them so we were both pretty excited to see them win!
The crocheted flower blanket was wrapped and posted to Townsville for our Granddaughter for her 9th birthday, and safe to say that she loves it!  She was having a flower party for her birthday so the blanket made of flowers just happened to be right on target!!  How did you all go with your flower blankets? I really enjoyed having others crocheting along with me! 

Only 3 days after Jacey's birthday it was our daughter Stacey's turn for a birthday - turning 28this year.  We didn't get down to Melbourne to catch up with her since Pete was working on the Saturday.

And now I'm working on the last of the blankets for this year - this one is for the eldest Grandson who turns 13 in the early part of November.  I have really been trying to use some of my time the past few weeks to try catching up on my quilt BOM - Down the Rabbit Hole, which I got a few months behind in between my poor sewing skills and pressure on getting the grandies birthday blankets crocheted up ....... so I managed to cut out the sunflowers and attach those borders and finished the needle turning for them Monday morning before heading to work ...... I had just one leaf left and really wanted to get it finished!  I'm pleased with how it's coming up, but I'm realising I'm not so great with machine sewing and placement - very thankful for being able to place the leaves in ways that hid where my sunflowers did not meet in the way they should have, but I double that many could tell how bad it was seeing this here now lol ...... after all, its all in the presentation is it not???   There is another small border of pieced bits that I'm not keen on doing ...... we shall see how that works out ........and then I will be finally up to this month where they have just begun on the outer border of rabbits!  I really do need to catch up......... and I also really need to finish the last birthday blanket in the next 24 or so days! Yep, no pressure!!!  My elbow was starting to get a bit sore after the flower blanket, so I'm hoping that all the hand sewing has given it sufficient time to recover for the mad rush ahead of me! I don't have much time off work this week or next so it will be minimal output depending on what chores need doing these next 2 weeks.
Murray River just a short walk

We did have somebody come and look through the house last week which created a flurry of cleaning after the winter months ( although it's still just 4 degrees outside this morning - 14 inside, but we have no heating going now as we let the fire go out the other week).  No offers yet, but hopefully we see this place sold before Christmas gets here!  We also have another inspection happening today - Glad I have the day off today, although now I may not be able to spread material all over the place!  Your prayers for the sale of our house here would be greatly appreciated!  Well, I best get to while the internet is being friendly and get this posted.  Hope this finds you all well, 
Hugs Sharm xo

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Late Weekend Wrap Up

Here I am making a very late weekend wrap up! I meant to do this on Sunday, and then yesterday
since I had the day off, but here I am before work today finally getting this posted! FNSI  hosted by Wendy was on. After getting the flower garden blanket finished my stitching was minimal for the entire weekend ...... I started playing around with a pattern  using some of this heavy cotton brought back from US when my daughter was over in Hawaii for a holiday earlier in the year

And ....... we have our eldest grandson Jarryn who has his birthday in early November and is also getting a blanket.  He picked these colours (black is a little tricky at night), but its working up quite well and looks very "boy" like.  This will be another Ripple Blanket, but slightly larger in size as he has a double bed now he is in his first year of high school! French Navy, Black and Sambucca Crush all 8ply cotton from Bendigo Yarns.  The sambucca was a limited one so I've had to sit and work out the stripping for just the 1 ball. I did this by weighing the first 10 rows of the black - so we shall now watch and see how that goes lol  The Navy is looking bright in this photo

While sitting out on the veranda yesterday (finally a nice day), I glanced over to see that Cliff, our
Lorikeet of 17 yrs, had found a little gap between the 2 cages to go for a climb on the outside of his cage!  To date he hasn't flown away - and quickly heads back into the cage if he thinks you might be going to take his ball!

I managed, after much debate and hubby and I having a discussion regarding colours and how neither of us were overly keen on the extra colours used for the Sunflower section of the quilt - to actually cut out the pieces.  I've yet to get them pinned on ready for hand-stitching into place.  No photos yet ...... instead I'll show you the enamel dishes I picked up from the Sunday Market which will be getting put to various uses.......    Have a great week, even if like me,  you have to be heading to work for the rest of it!
Hugs Sharm

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Whoot, Whoot!!

Yep! You guessed it lol ...... I arrived home from work a couple of days ago to find the parcel of yarn waiting in our mail box.  I was pretty excited after a whole week of waiting to be able to get back to the Flower Garden Blanket I'm making for our granddaughters 9th birthday in a couple of weeks time.  As you might imagine, as soon as dinner and clean up are done each night after work, I've been busy working on it ......... and today ..... after playing yarn chicken (and winning) with the rose pink yarn I managed to finish the last stitch!!  Hooray!!! 

Tonight I have to sew in all the ends that didn't get crocheted in during the process and then it can be wrapped up ready to post to Townsville.   I love the design made when these blocks are crocheted together - its like little butterflies ....

I debated about the type of border - First I wanted to do the row of Treble right around in white to balance it out, then did a treble row of Rose Pink.  After laying it out on the floor I decided I wanted something a little "flowery" to finish it off ...... kind of like nice little flowers on the edge of the garden ....... so this is what I ended up with and I think it does the blanket justice.  What do you think? 

So here it is -without those ends sewn in yet ...... its meant to be heavy rain here the next few days and I wanted to take advantage getting a few outdoor shots of it.  I wanted to thank those of you who joined in crocheting along with me and I've enjoyed seeing some of the lovelies you have been making. Also wanted to thank those of you who have left comments or emailed me during this project.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Waiting ........

'm not particularly good at waiting .....especially when I'm waiting on a yarn order to arrive!  I didn't win the yarn chicken with the snow cotton for the flower garden crochet blanket and last Saturday Evening I did an online order for more from Bendigo Woollen Mills ....... So its been 1 entire week that I've not been able to continue working on the blanket, hence instead of being able to show you the finished blanket - you get to see the "waiting to be finished" blanket ((sigh))

But rather than mope about it, one usually has other projects that also need to be worked on .... like the Down the Rabbit Hole BOM - only 1 Dresden plate flower to finish handsewing down ......

then I move onto the corners which have sunflowers in them - colour playing with fabrics while I have the quilt on the floor.

I'm almost at the point of being able to split for the sleeves on my "Sleepy Hollow" sweater.  I'm using some yarn I picked up at the Wangaratta Woollen Mills a couple of years ago

And I also did a few more rows on the Mystery Knit Along that Laura Aylor has had going. I have to say that at this point I was in a total mystery as to how this will turn out - I know its to be a type of shawl/wrap.  You'll have to wait to see how it turns out!

I didn't do much walking at all over the weekend - I was still mentally  and emotionally exhausted from a stressful week at work, which thankfully ended well right at the end of Friday Afternoon!  When I did finally drag myself off, I was blessed to see the black swans swimming by with their 4 little babies (cygnets as they are known) - I had to take the photo on my phone so its not fantastic.

Scruffy has been struggling the past couple of weeks as the longer and colder winter plays on his arthritis and he struggles to walk far some days.  He will be 15 years old in 9 days time!  Sometimes, he just wants to stay warm in bed ...... can't say I blame him when we only get a top of 12C for the day!!!

Hope you all have a great week and you are making progress on whatever you are working on! Hopefully my yarn order arrives this week and I can finish off the Crochet Flower Garden Blanket!
Hugs Sharm ....... Must finish the embroidery on this little tea cosy too!!

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Pincushion Parade Party

Today marks the 3rd Annual  Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade held by Ida over at her blog here.  If you pop over you'll be able to visit lots of other blogs all with pincushions on parade!  I'm afraid some of my pincushions are going to be very jealous since they can't all take part in this years parade - you see a number of them were packed up and taken up to Maryborough back in June.  I truly thought we would be living up there by this stage, but alas, the house here is still waiting to be sold ............... I'm just extremely thankful that I didn't pack up all my sewing, knitting and crochet bits. 

So these are the pincushions who managed to remain here with me.  The round woollen one with the embroidery is one I designed and made many years ago now, when I used to do lots of hand embroidery work (before the days of studying to become a nurse). The little mouse , the square and the cupcake all came as gifts from various places ..... swaps I think (they have been with me for quite some time now and the little mouse has been a long time favourite of mine).  The carrot sits within the hussef I made at the start of the year designed by Sarah Fielke and linked in with the "Down the Rabbit Hole " BOM quilt that I'm making this year (and am 2 months behind in due to my trouble with building the village houses lol).   I debated about how to parade the pincushions and with a bit
of sunshine out yesterday afternoon I took them to sit next to some of the bulbs that are flowering - they look lovely and much as I would love to cut a bunch to take inside - once cut they don't smell very nice at all (I discovered that error last year!).  Look at my poor old Eiffel Tower - it has seen better days (just look at my header photo taken a few years back). The bulbs have grown up inside it and have it held like the leaning tower!

One of these pincushions will be getting lots of use this week as I hand sew down these Dresden flowers that I put together yesterday .......... they make another part of the Rabbit Hole Quilt.  Hubby is enjoying the process of putting in his thoughts and was quick to point out that one of these is more a girl colour and the other a boy colour - just to remember this when they are getting placed around the quilt (in other words - make sure his side of the bed has a blue flower and not a purple one! lol).   I'm just hoping they end up balancing the colours out - there are sunflowers yet to go in the corners and then another thicker border to make up before I'm caught up - yep, 3 months of patterns to try getting done during September! 
  At least I have the Crochet Flower Garden Blanket almost finished - except I ran out of white and have had to order more!  Just 2 more blocks to border and a dc around the outside in white - that was all I needed but alas, it will have to sit and wait for the arrival of a new ball! (see posts below for info on making your own crochet flower garden blanket). Till next time, have fun looking at all the various pincushions out there
Hugs Sharm

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Spring Time

Yesterday was the 1st of September which is the official start of Spring here in the southern hemisphere ..... We still seem to be getting frosty mornings!  With clue 3 of this MKAL completed (yes, its another one of Laura Aylors - now known as Fogbound Knits) .......

I was pleased to join in with Cheryl who hosts Friday Night with Friends!  Having yesterday off work, I got going in the morning with my main plan to work on the crochet flower and plain blocks  for the Flower Garden Blanket I'm making for granddaughters birthday.  I managed to get quite a few done and only have 1 left to go before I finish the borders on them and join them together.

I've been thrilled to see some of you have joined in with me on this project and I've managed to get a couple of photos from some of you to share your progress!  These are from Lin  and Janine Don't they look great?

This morning I decided to take a break from the hook and work with some of the produce that's filling my kitchen benches.  From our compost pile we managed to get 4 large pumpkins and so I'm using one of those to make up Pumpkin and Ginger Soup - It's simmering on top of the wood heater as we speak and I kind of made up the recipe so I'll let you know how it goes - I added the juice of a lime (I was given a few of these by one of the ladies at work who has a lime tree in her back yard). 
So while the birds might be busy nesting young chicks, the chooks
have started laying and the citrus trees around the district are putting out plenty of Vitamin C!  Pete brought home  a handful of lemons the other  night and it was met with such delight by me, that the next night 2 bags full were brought home!  That's a lot of lemons, so I'll be juicing most of them and freezing the juice to use later, and I also need to freeze some of the peel while I think of it!  Actually, I wouldn't mind having a go at making some crystallised lemon peel ??? hmmmm, I'll have to think on that ..... but in the meantime this morning the kitchen has been humming as I turned some of them into Yummy Lemon Butter (or Lemon Curd as it's also known); our favourite Lemon Drizzle Cake (recipe from Attic 24); and I experimented with a batch of "Lemon Cookies" - only making the one tray as I wasn't sure ........ BUT .....YUM!!!  We will be having more of those in the future ...... I took a recipe from the web and changed it a bit to suit me:

Lemon Cookies:
100 gr unsalted butter softened
50gr caster sugar
150g self raising flour
approx. 1/4 cup lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
With a wooden spoon beat the butter and sugar together, add the lemon juice and zest and beat till well combined.  Now gradually beat in the flour.  Roll into small balls and place on a greased tray. Using a fork dipped into flour, press the fork down on each of them and sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar over each of them.  Place in a moderate oven for approx. 15mins or until they look done.   Enjoy!!!

Hopefully we begin to see some warmer days soon - a work visit the other day  had me driving down past Mansfield and took me past the views to Mount Buller  ...... Still snow capped for now, and the weather forecast seems to hint at a bit more cold weather and rain over the weekend!  So since I'll be spending the rest of the day inside, I might take a look at what pincushions I have here ready to take part in The Pincushion Parade that is being hosted next week by Ida.   Enjoy the rest of your weekend ...... I'm off to get a slice of Lemon Drizzle cake to have with a cuppa ...