Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Little Things In Life.............

Handfeeding the birds that fly into our garden
Are the things that bring a smile to your face,
And make the hassels of the day disappear......

Furry friends loving your handmades

Flowers picked fresh from your own garden, and sitting on a table runner hand made by a friend
Home made goodness
"A Heart at Peace gives Life to the Body"  (taken from Amish Proverbs)

Monday, March 26, 2012

2 Years Today.............

Two whole years today since we picked up the keys for our home here in Bundalong!  It's hard to believe, and when I look around the yard I see how much we've achieved in that short time!  Apart from the tall gum trees & a couple of other trees, there was nothing here on this block...... apart from prickles (yep, prickles everywhere - so bad the poor dogs could not walk on the yard!).  We have fenced, made sheds, dug gardens, planted fruit trees & vines, built up garden beds, compost bins, built a pond, made a chook pen & area,  fixed verandahs, installed solar hot water, fixed ALOT of things within the home.............  I'm still trying to sort out places for some things and declutter other bits. We've had some sad times (like having had 3 of our dogs die from old age during our time here) and we've had happy times (like seeing our son married and grandchildren born .... although we had to visit Townsville for those things)...... I've been busy sewing, crocheting, preserving our produce from the garden......... making this house into a home - in fact, more like into a little homestead - one in which we can become more self reliant rather than dependant on the world, or going into immediate melt down if the power goes out, or the roads are cut off from town supplies.  I want our home to be a place of refuge and comfort.....
A "Proverbs 31 " type of home.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Meet the Girls

Inside the Pen, just before they head out for the day.
This week I had 3 new girls come to join us, bringing our little flock to 7.  So come meet the girls before they head out the door..... from the front, the old girls - Rosie, Henrietta, Scarlett (white silkie), Mary (black pekin), and then the new girls- on top of the perch - bluebell on the left & chloe on the right and hiding in the back corner is Patty!    

Time to head out & start work
 I love having chooks - I enjoy watching their antics and interactions with one another, giving us the bonus of fresh eggs and manure to add to our gardens. 

Part of the Chook Yard - access inside the netted fruit trees is optional via ducking under the netting LOL
 Initially I had them roaming around the whole yard - but they seemed to prefer heading under the house (not the best place for eggs or manure!), and so I fenced off an area around their little pen. 
Funnily enough, as yet they have not jumped onto the old swing chair which we have yet to move out of there (it needs a recover job)!
"Chook Hilton"
This hexagonal "avairy" was only partially built when we bought the house here - Pete worked on it, even putting in "window shutters" on 3 sides to allow breezes or extra shading etc.  We had to add a tarp over the roof cause it had been made of logs and had a few leaks! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Material Scraps........

Is there anything better than homemade I wonder?  Yesterday afternoon/evening I got into my sewing and used up some fabric scraps, turning them into pot holders.  I'm really pleased with how they've come out, since I tried a couple of different ways.  I have a few to post out to a few ladies whom I doing a "pot holder" swap with.  I also managed to get a few more aprons made up..... some for me,
 since I really need a couple of new ones, and a couple to go into  the gift box.  It always pays to have a few bits and pieces on hand for gifts :)  I use up pieces of material from my stash to make my aprons - a pattern I did for myself a number of years ago with a large pocket at the front.  These pockets will hold ALL sorts of items from eggs you might be collecting, baby chicks that need to be rescued, childrens toys, vegies from the vegie patch....... Yep, my aprons don't just get used when I'm baking - they get used whenver I think I need to protect my clothing (so I can be ready to head out the door, but with the apron on, I can achieve a variety of tasks first and not have to get changed again!)
Anyhow,  That was about the time my sewing machine decided it wanted to play up...... so I headed to my basket of wool, picked up the crochet hook and managed to get 54 crocheted hexies done to add to my crocheted grandmothers garden lap rug (which IS going to be finished in time for winter...... this year!!).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Hit List........

So in doing a bit of blog visiting the other day, I decided I may as well join in with all the girls who have agreed that this is the time to get some of those crafty goodies working for us and turning our homes into something that gives us delight to look at........... as opposed to those "not so delightful areas" that it seems many of us currently have!  I'm so pleased to see I'm not alone and if you also want to join in, then jump up on the wagon and check it all out over at  Cherry Heart - by clicking on the link on my sidebar .  On the 26th of this month it will be 2 yrs since we collected the keys for our home here in Bundalong, having arrived down from our 7months of living in Townsville - a "lifestyle "change that did not work and has set us back quite a ways.  It's been very much like having start all over again from scratch, but in a smaller home (a very good size living area, but 3 very small bedrooms - 2 with no built ins; and 1 bathroom).  If you've been following my blog for a while, then you know that we have worked very hard on the outside areas - building sheds, chook pens, installing water tanks, gardens, pond, orchard area and vegie garden - all on just 1/4 acre block :)  So now it is time to start spending some time inside dealing with areas that are really prooving to be difficult, need sprucing up, or need to be changed in some way without draining any finances!
So as suggested by Sandra  here is my Top 10 Hit List for the Inside of my home as it stands today (which happens to be an extra messy kind of day, which is always the best time for seeing how things really work ).  So these are the BEFORE photos........

No 1:   The pantry
Now that I have that lovely new set of canisters, I might be able to clear this out & get it sorted a bit better!  Definately need a potato and an onion bin down the bottom!
AFTER: All nice & Neat now & cannisters all filled

No 2:  Just HAVE to find a home for these pillows and cushions that get moved from one place to another........ oh, and look, a little TV also looking to find it's place now that dear daughter has purchased a newer one.

BEFORE- On a very bad day!
No 3:  Does anyone else have this problem???  I seem to have a dumping ground growing at the speed of lightning in my kitchen (almost as quickly as the weeds in the garden......hmmmmm :( 

This has now been addressed as well, but yet to take a photo.

No 4: This would have to be the basket of filing...... I need somthing a little prettier in which I can have all the incoming paperwork where it can be divided into stuff needing to be followed up, and filing needs to be done at that moment in time and then this little basket and it's friends can disappear :)

No 5:  My walls need some more loving attached to them - you know, some of those embroideries and wall quilts that are sitting waiting for just the right spot...... and this lovely little hanger needs to have the photos put in it that were meant to go in........ It should be showing the photos of our family of puppy dogs over the years (only Scruffy is left now)

No 6:  Would have to be a home for my bags, now that I've cleaned out our little cubby hole/wardrobe  they have been sitting very quietly in the corner of our bedroom, waiting very patiently........ 

No 7:  Well then I guess this would have to be a long standing home for the winter coats that won't fit into the wardrobe .  This could take some serious thought, so I'm open to lots of ideas for this!!  See them currently laying on the floor beside the desk!

No 8:  Needs to be "Return to the Sewing/Study Room" - It's still needing some help to fit everything in, and still be pleasant to be in for writing letters and sewing (and all my homemade soaps are here as well!)

No 9:  I guess this will have to improving the laundry and finding homes for all these things?? Maybe something up on the wall................ 

It may only be 9 items on the Hit List at this time, but these are the  Giants living in my home right now!  Now I'm going to go off and look for some crafty fun ways to deal with these giants and put them in their place, leaving us with some pleasing things to view instead :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Swaps coming and going..........

Yesterday a notice came in the mail box letting me know that I had a parcel to collect from the post office in our closest town - Yarrawonga.  So off I headed.............. there is still flood waters across one section of the main road, but they are letting traffic through (after all it is a highway...... they just have traffic lights set up allowing traffic each side to take it in turns driving through that section, since you need to drive in the middle of the road where the water is at it's lowest level).  And I was extremeley happy to find the parcel was my OASS! It was sent from Carol of Blessed Mum and I just love all the wonderful goodies that were inside..........
The Jasmin scented wardrobe hanger is already hanging up in my side of the wardrobe, the little notepad is on my freezer to help with my meal planning............ and what was in the wrapped parcels???

The most georgous little pin cushion, and 2 great wall hangers.  I love the saying by Emily Bronte (as an old speech & drama student & teacher, it has an extra special appeal).  I can see just how much effort and love and thought went into everything that you made and sent my way, so thankyou very much, it is all just wonderful!

And while I was visiting the post office, I was finally able to post off my mini name game swap that Samilias Mum was hosting.  I really struggled with this one as my partner didn't have a blog that I could go and visit to get an idea of what they liked, and had also specified to only have their name and bright colours............ so it was with lots of trepidation that I have finally finished it and posted it out........ hoping and praying that it is well received.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Receding Waters, Treasures and Swaps........

The grass has surely grown in all this wet
Thankyou to all of you who have sent such wonderful prayers and thoughts our way over the past week or two of rain and flooding.  The waters are receding now (a bit like Noah and the Floods) and Sunday afternoon saw a flurry of activity as the sun came out in full force............ 

First off, we had a couple of kookaburras fly in and ask for some meat (they like it raw and still "kill" it before eating),.... see him sitting on the post.

With the sun drying the roofing areas, Pete took off to get more plumbing/roofing supplies and put up extra downpipes and such to take pressure off certain areas of the roof that we found did not cope well with heavy rains, and even the bees came out in full force looking for watever flowers were still around after the drenching rains - these garlic chives managed to survive in a built up garden bed.

And now, as it's Tuesday...... I should be sharing a Tuesday Treasure with you all............. So here is the lovely little doll pram Pete bought for me when we went to the "Swap Meet" in Wanagaratta a few weeks ago.  Mostly it's like a big market for guys with lots of car bits and pieces, but in amoungst it all are are a  few other stalls of knick knacks and such......
It now looks after some of my special teddies...
And now I'm finally getting to share with you about the name game swap and what came in mail for me from Shannon.   When I returned from holidays to the flooding......... this parcel was waiting for me - with 2 wrapped gifts inside... one had this lovely, very useable zippered bag and piece of lovely looking fabric - not sure just what I'll be doing with it yet, but perhaps it might even go with some of those Autumn colours in the Jelly Rolls.  In the other parcel was this wonderful mini quilt with my blog name on it together with things she found associated me with my blog - and WOW, did she get it right or what!!!!   She is just sooooo clever and has done such a wonderful job and I just LOVE IT!!!!  Thankyou so very much Shannon...... and also for the very lovely write up on your blog.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Raining, Raining , Raining.........

Pyke St Bundalong - just one street away from us houses needed sandbagging

Praise God for providing us with a home in a higher place......... we still got a river of water running through the yard, gardens and some of the sheds, but nowhere near coming into the house.............. here it is at it was receding......

Heading into Yarrawonga for supplies before totally cut off

The main round- a - bout at Yarrawonga was only taking boats! We had to find an alternate route to the supermarket which was still open.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Holiday Recap

There was 11 mts of water over this bridge, destroying the road way and leaving a tree behind.
Just a quick update on the rest of the holiday.......... sooo great to get away for a whole week, even though it was raining/flooding while we were away.

Thanks to Chrissy and Den for having us stay with them and getting to see their new place which is coming on a treat!  Also got to have some time with Chrissy checking out a couple of patchwork shops in Gympie and then got spoilt with a couple of jelly rolls from Chrissy's stash getting sent home with me............. can't wait to put it to something with an Autumn theme which works with the colours

A great catch up with Colleen and Brendan when we all spent the weekend together in Noosa.  Colleen and I have been friends since Grade 1 and although we live a couple thousand miles away we discovered we can still "giggle" like little girls!!!   The boys had some time  watching the beach scenes while we girls checked out the shopping......... of course LOL

Then we had a couple of days all alone and stayed in a great little
 motel  at Maroochydore.  Unfortunately the beach was out of action for swimming due to the storms and flooding, so instead we took the time to drive up the hinterland to Melany and Montville.......... and in this wonderful little shop Pete found a set of cream and greeen canisters!!!!!!!   At the right price I might add.  Seven years ago I got the little salt container (cream and green) when we were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in Tasmania, so it was kind of appropriate that we found the matching cannisters on another anniversary trip (seven years later at the Sunshine Coast).

We arrived back in Melbourne airport yesterday afternoon and then spent 4 hrs driving home...... via various detours and having to drive through some flood waters to make it back.  Luckily we did as we would not have gotten through today. 
 My internet connections have been horrific  over the past week and even worse most of today, so hopefully some pics will accompany all of this.
Love and Hugs to you all,