Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Relaxation equals projects

The horse wagon did numerous rounds past the house over Easter 
Easter really was overall quite a nice restful time ........   I spent quite a bit of time sitting on the verandah or in the bee hive working on knitting or other projects, watching all the people walking by, and the horse wagon going past several times (rides were being done from the Pub to help raise money for the royal childrens hospital appeal).  Bundalong had a nice community  fundraiser afternoon going which we attended before heading over to Boorhaman for the annual RCHA auction which we have attended every Good Friday since 2003, except for the one year when we were living in Townsville.

I did get a tartan/ reversible project sack made up for the knitting project starting on 9th April that I mentioned in my previous Easter post .......  It's very simple, but it will be good to pop the knitting project into to keep it nice and clean.   I may end up making some more of these simple sacks for Christmas .

And I also managed to get a good bit of weeding done in the garden ..... even started work on what will be a major makeover for the pond area.  Stage 1 involves the weeding of all the "memory herb" (remember it's invasive!!!) and all the other weeds, covering the lower section (which overflows when we fill the pond right up ) with plastic sheeting which will then be covered with rocks and stones and perhaps some sand as well to give it a kind of "beachy" feel .  The chair will then sit on the edge of this to make it easier when mowing.  I'll also be digging up all the bulbs and smaller plants - way too difficult to keep the grass and weeds under control in this area.

Pete managed to get an armload of apples from a roadside tree, which were promptly turned into a large apple pie for desert and a few
smaller ones that he could take with him this week while he is working away again.  Last week he got to take blackberry puffs with him as I'd "found" the container of stewed berries I had put in the freezer a few months back.   I had planned to make some more batches of plum jam from the 3kg of plums I bought at the farmers market on Sunday, but after they sat on the kitchen bench we discovered they were full of fruit fly - I was and still am rather unhappy about that!!!  Not only is it the fact of $, but this would have topped up my current supply to give us a good full year supply with enough to give to family and friends.   Anyhow, it happens - luckily this year I have a decent supply of our own tomatoes that I have chopped and frozen ready for the next batch of tomato relish!    And now unfortunately, it's back to work I go! 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter.  I certainly hope everyone is having an enjoyable time with family and friends .... and perhaps even a little bit of "me" time.   I've certainly been keeping busy in the Beehive - hubbie poked his head in at some stage today and asked if perhaps a nuclear bomb had gone off!!  I was very careful to explain that Beehives are very busy places and he should be careful of getting stung lol
There has been crochet, knitting, and sewing all going on ...... sew linking in with FNSI which this time is an Easter long virtual sew along ........

Dishcloths and hand towels
Some more work on the hexies as I begin to work out which colours and hexies to put with the signature blocks that are starting to roll in from everywhere to help me make up my blogging tablecloth for the Beehive.

  I've decided to work on each of the signature block flowers in order that they arrive here ..... first off is Lin's ..... I've decided to go with the bright pink for 3 petals and the blue flowers for the other 3 to make the flower ...(and yes, those are marshmellows that I was eating while contemplating ......)

I also decided that I should go through my fabric stash and pull out some of the fabrics that I might like to use in the table cloth ...... some to use as the petals for the signature flowers, and some for hexies that will fill in other places.  I know I have quite a few picked out, and they may not all end up getting used, but it's a start ......... Any thoughts?? 

Knitting has also been on the agenda as I continue to work on Stonehaven (it WILL be completed for Winter for DH!!),   and a bit of my Sirocco that I started whilst on holidays.   Then, by accident, I stumbled upon an "Outlander" mkal that is to begin on 9th April (which is more like our 10th April with the time difference).  It's going to be a shawl or scarf or something like that (it is a mystery knit along after all), and there is a hint of "plaid" that they speak about.  Well, you have realised I'm an outlander fan when I shared the photo of the Dianna Gabaldon book I found whilst on holidays!   So, naturally that led me to searching out some yarns in the colours I want to use.  They suggest colours based on Jaimies kilt from season 1 .......... since I don't have many plain colours in 4ply, I decided I would order some from Bendigo Woollen Mills ......... amazingly a couple extra balls of yarn jumped into my online shopping cart!  If you think you might want to join in, you can find out more about it on Ravelry or by clicking here.    There was talk in the chat about the upcoming Mkal, that some have found tartan project bags to keep this particular project in ......... hmmmmm, I knew I had some tartan fabrics in my stash, yep!  Sew I've begun working on a little project bag ......... I'll let you know if it works out!
In the midst of all the merriment, don't forget Jesus is the reason for Easter and perhaps take a moment to give thanks.
Hugs Sharm          

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hexies and a Name!

Finally I've found a name that sits just right for my little crafting cabin!  It's taken quite a long
while ........... So, welcome to ............." The Beehive"!  What do you think??  When I was thinking of  various names, it occurred to me I like to do numerous types of craft in that little space .....  At times it is overflowing with creativity  ............  I'm also very, very keen for my little cabin (aka: Beehive or "The Hive"), to look cute and have flowers  which will also attract the small birds, and the bees for pollinating the "kitchen" garden that will be growing around it!   That's when it occurred to me that I'm usually busy as a bee ....... Therefore, having a beehive to Bee Busy crafting in, creating Sweetness galore ...... it just  makes perfect sense to me!!!
   Sew...... Meantime  I've been busy getting some of the large hexies made up for the table cloth I'm making that will go onto the table in " the Bee Hive"!  And finally, I've got a Hexie post in time to link up with Anthea who host the EPP.   I'm so happy that some of you have decided to answer my call for some signature blocks which will become the centres of some of the flowers. 

 I'm also thrilled that even those who were a bit u sure of making the finished Hexie, still made an embroidered centre and sent that with enough fabric surrounding that I'll be able to make them into Hexies!  I've been working on a few different colours to surround the signature blocks that have already arrived...... From France, Spain, USA, and a couple from other areas of Australia.  the centre of the cloth has my blog name, and the plan is to surround it with flowers - each with a centre that is a signature Hexie from friends who read my blog.  If you'd like to make a signature Hexie for me, please send me an email or leave a comment  or read this post about it here.  For more info about the signature hexies go here.    
FNSI was postponed last week, and instead a virtual sew in is being hosted by Wendy over the Easter weekend ......... Can't wait to check out all the blogs to see what everyone is doing..... I'll be busy with all sorts of things going on in and around the Hive!

Time for some homemade pumpkin scones and a cuppa!

Take care xo

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Weekend Wonders

Dad and Scruffy on the new seat
A while back Pete and I found a couple more old style wheels, and after some discussion it was decided they would become a new garden seat.  I'm so thankful that Pete is handy like this.  While the seat was finished a couple of weeks ago, being on wheels it wasn't safe to sit on until he was able to stabilize it .... which also meant we wheeled it around the yard a bit finding "just the right spot".  The right spot seems to be in front of the water tank with its grapevine.  Dad and Scruffy were keen to try it out.  I can see myself grabbing a cushion and laying along it while reading a book in the Autumn sunshine!
I also wanted to show you this......  Sheryl from Sewing after Seven sent me this gorgeous
embroidered hexie together with a craft magazine from Spain!  No, I don't speak the language, but I'm loving looking through it at the pics, and it has lots of projects that you can work out what to do from the photos.  I'm sure if I get stuck I can just take a photo and ask Sheryl for a translation lol   later this week you will get to see how the hexies are working up.

It seems to have taken ages to catch up on the 

Mail Box at the Finley John Deere Shop
mowing.  The grass grew so much during the time we were away I was beginning to wonder if we might end up making hay!  Of course it might not have gotten quite so long if the battery didn't always need jump starting, which is quite a process on your own with a ride on.  Finally on Saturday while we were out we lashed out on a new battery for the ride on ... Hooray!  I had to stop and take a photo of their mail box at the front of the shop! 

The 3 chicks all have feathered feet
The yard always looks so nice after a hair cut doesn't it?  The chooks seem to love it too, and they
were let out while I got around to doing some inside renovations on their pen.  Its only a small shed, which was already here when we bought the house (minus a proper roof, or shades, or door ).

  I decided to use a couple of pellets to lift the nesting boxes off the ground, and also added a couple of "new" nesting boxes since lately nobody seems to be wanting to lay eggs in their house!  Well, here it is Monday morning already and I'm off to work shortly - have a great day everyone!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Busy Bee ..........

I seem to be buzzing around as busy as a bee of late.  I wonder if it's because Autumn is here
(although we are still having summer like weather) and I'm just trying to get things "in hand" before Winter descends ?  Something else I've noticed is that I still don't have an actual "name" for my little cabin where all my craftwork is stored, other than "the cabin".  While I do have a nice stash of fabrics and a couple of sewing machines in there, I also have a wonderful large - ish stash of yarn, a spinning wheel, wool winding gear, and then of course the soap making stuff and beeswax is also stored in here (ok, so I still have a drawer and a couple of small tubs and a basket or two of bits inside as well - but we aren't talking about those just now lol).  
 Although I love chooks and often get referred to as the chook lady when it comes to asking about chook related things, we already have a real chook house up the back .......

I was musing over "Sheep Shack" for a day or two when I noticed all the bees busy on the garlic
chives that are in flower and just outside "the cabin" ......... it occurred to me that I'm just as busy as they particularly when it comes to all my craft and the cabin is overflowing with crafting bits and bobs (honey) ......... perhaps calling it "The Beehive" might be a better name.   The more I think about it, the more I'm loving it ........ and as you can see it's slowly being surrounded by pot plants and flowers.  The back of it is where I'm planning to make a kitchen garden (since our big vegie patch was pulled out by DH a couple of years ago due to gum trees having grown over it).  The window still needs to be painted (and not that dark colour somebody started doing it in lol).
  So.......... what do you think??

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bye Bye Annual Leave ....

Tuesday this week I finally had to head back to work (the paid type of work that is), and I have to tell you it was tough! It's been nice being able to take some time to get back to some of my embroidery.   The 3 weeks  "annual leave" I took has been a pretty busy time, even with that little holiday away in the midst of it all.   Before I get started on all of that I want to say Thankyou  - a couple more "signature hexies" have arrived........... well, almost hexies, lol the lovely embroidery has been done and I'm more than happy to sew them into the hexie!  Thankyou to Lynda from By the River , Jo at ButterZ  and Ruth at Green Twiggy 

  The start of the leave gave us a few days to begin to get things done around the yard and home, and 2 days post arriving home from our holidays I had to fly out to Brisbane (yes, it was all previously organised).  The plan was to fly up  on the Sunday to help Dad who had the removalist booked for the next day (well, admittedly I had done the booking so everything would be streamlined ...... and it was thankfully).  Dad had decided he didn't want to be up there on his own anymore, so is buying a little unit down closer to us.  I helped him with the last of the packing, cleaning out his retirement village unit and then we drove his car back down here.  We had a pretty good trip all up (I'm sure we had somebody watching over us, as we didn't realize till the end of the first day when we pulled into Narrabri that the fuel gauge was faulty!  We made it to the town with around 3 litres left in the tank and gauge showing half full).  We made it the rest of the way on the 2nd day, even with a detour due to an accident on the highway.  Dad will stay with us for a few weeks until settlement on his new unit, which also gives time to sort out all the bits and pieces involved with an interstate move, and some medical bits and pieces.  He seems to be very pleased with the decision he has made.
Once home again I was able to get stuck into the garden, and also have a good look at our 3 new chicks!  You may remember the 2 chicks we purchased at the market a few months ago ..... that grew into roosters.  When the first one started his crowing - the stripey one who grew up quite lovely ...... I noticed he had a passion for Scarlet the white Silky hen and constantly demonstrated his love for her!  I managed to get away with keeping him for about 2 wks before I had 2 crowing roosters that I knew would create bad neighbour issues - lots of suburban type blocks around here with city attitudes (Roosters crowing - No!  Boat, Motorbike etc noice - no prob!)  Anyhow, both the silkie and Henrietta went broody a couple of days after the roosters went to the freezer - I had been keeping the eggs from the Silkie to "try" ....... 3 wks later and Henrietta (red hen) had 1 chick and Scarlet (white silky) hatched out 2 chicks ...... they all stick close together and the chicks seem to be almost identical with the yellow  bodies and stripey wings.  Sure hoping they grow into hens ....
In the kitchen I managed to get the plums and tomatoes out of the freezer to get some jam and relish made up.  The tomatoes are still producing, but are almost finished.  I should get another nice big batch of relish from them.   We also got 11 Jap pumpkins from the vine that started with some pumpkin seeds Dad was drying out on his last visit here ...... they blew into the garden and we left them to see what would happen!   Hope you have an amazing day!  Hugs Sharm

Saturday, March 12, 2016

31 Years

On 23rd Feb Pete and I celebrated our 31st anniversary!  We try to ensure some time away around this time of year - our "time out" so to speak.  This year we did it a little different by organising a week with another couple (the couple we met last year!).  Since Pete was keen to get going, we left a couple of days early and headed to Cowra where we stayed for the first 3 nights ....... In Cowra hubbie dropped me at the patchwork shop while he went to check out the fishing shops ...... turns out I got the better deal since he got "lost" in a little jewellers shop and I ended up with a lovely ring!

Driving around the town we went to the look out and then down to the remains of the POW camp from wartime.....

Talking to locals we were told of an old fellow who has a collection (around 50) old, and some rare cars in a township not too far away .. Canowindra....... so we headed out there for a drive and to see if we could find the old timer "sitting outside his shop".  He doesn't advertise his car collection and so while Pete stood chatting I went to explore the old township.  I figured he had a better chance of getting to see the cars if it was just him there - unfortunately his phones camera wasn't working:(
Meantime I wandered around finding a wonderful 2nd hand bookshop that has a dog that comes to greet you as you walk in the door lol     I was super happy to find one of the Diana Gabaldon books from the Outlander series I've been trying to find.
Australian Patchwork and Craft enthusiasts might be interested to know that I also stumbled upon  yet another little patchwork shop called "The Plague and I" owned by Debbie Guihot.  Debbie is
known for many of her wonderful quilt designs over the years.  She was just so lovely and I stood and chatted with the her for ages before finally coming away with a couple of fat quarters and my name on a list for a design she is in the process of putting onto paper (The Snowman Quilt).  She also allowed me to take a photo of one of her fabulous quilts she designed herself which gave her a placing in one of the APC challenges. (this type of work is her personal downtime, so she doesn't have a pattern written up for it).  The wonderful Blue Bee Quilt that is featured on her facebook page, is a delight, and Debbie was amazed as she began to explain how blue bees do exist, that we actually have those Aussie Bees come to our garden on occasion.  I had thought I had a photo on my ipad to show her, but you never can find the one you want at the right time lol  Thanks Debbie for such a lovely time visiting your shop!

With Cowra being so close to Bathurst, we took one day to head there for a bit of a look. 

As most Aussies will know, its the home of the Bathurst 1000 Car Racing.  Mt Panorama is a public road, so you are allowed to drive around the circuit (at 60 kph with speeding cameras placed all the way around the circuit lol).  Even at just that speed, Pete still had a great time driving it and we got to appreciate just how tight some of those curves are for the race car drivers!

On the way back to Cowra we passed through a little town that was having their annual Country Show ............

Love the old tractors - 3mph!!
An Unusual Gladioli
Then it was time to head to Wyangalar  Dam with our friends ..... I had planned to do some 
Wet hat and crazy photo as usual!
blogging from the Dam, but found we had No phone or internet reception at all!!  Hence my blogging fell to having to wait till we got home.   Lots of fishing, ...... Our friends also had their fishing boat, so lots more time in the boat for me this holiday (kind of good, but I did miss having my quiet morning times of sitting knitting and reading - some knitting occurred of an evening while we were all sitting chatting), and I did get to use my kayak one day.  Unfortunately the cabins were located far from the water on a big steep hill which was not going to make pulling the kayak to and from the water an easy thing!
heading up the trail
looking out over the dam from the top
  Since I didn't get as much walking in as usual (I often go for walks during the time Pete is out doing his early morning fishing trips), I did get to take one of the short bush walking trails one morning -  which gave some fantastic views!

Looking out over the Village near the dam wall
And from the water looking back to the "hill" I climbed on the bush walk.

  Just 2 more photos to show you the Dam wall  before I sign off from our holiday post!