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

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Limbo Land

The Buddlia Bush in Flower
It's been a tough year being stuck in Limbo with the house here on the market since November 2016 - its difficult to plan anything much at all when you don't know if you will still be living in this state in a months time or shifting ....... whether that be planning the vegie garden, holiday planning or applying for a different position at work ...... so I am extremely pleased to finally be on annual leave from work for a whole 3 weeks - time in which to be able to locate myself again!  
Up Close - love the dark purple which looks lighter in the photo

Towards the end of one year and the start of the next I've always looked at that time as a reflection and planning time for myself ....... a little tricky when one is waiting to move 2 states away - so planning is slightly problematic. 

 I've decided I at least need to have a few vegies in regardless.  Luckily I threw in some potatoes that had started to grow. I decided to pop them into the old rusted out tin and continue to cover them over as they grew and see how it went - I pushed it over a few days ago and ended up with 1.8kgs of nice fresh potatoes which we have enjoyed eating! 

That's kind of what enticed me to just bite the bullet, regardless of when we may or may not sell and just get some vegies planted ..... tomatoes, cucumber, more potatoes, a capsicum and some bean seeds have been planted.  I also put the end of a sweet potato into some water and its beginning to sprout so I'll need to look and see again just what I do with it ...... I seem to be using more of these lately
 And meantime many of the cuttings I took last year (in order to take with us to the new house), have survived and possibly need either repotting into larger pots or else I may need to plant them out in the garden and take more cuttings - something I hadn't really expected to be doing.  I really don't want to be purchasing plants when I know I could have taken cuttings from here for nothing! However the number of pots seems to be multiplying ........ hmmmm
What's not multiplying are the chooks - we had a fox attack about 10 days or so ago and ended up
loosing 3 of our hens ..... poor old Henrietta (the New Hampshire) and Scarlett (the silky) and Alice (xbreed) all died and have been buried.  Thankfully they were old and had a good life and I won't have to worry about what to do about them when we do move.  That just leaves Mary (the little pekin who is also around 8yrs, but a good mother and very cute ...... currently hiding somewhere in the yard or under the house sitting on eggs I haven't been able to locate!); Suzette the youngest and one of scarlets off springs has also decided to go clucky as of yesterday;  leaving Penalope who is about 4yrs old and still laying ..... but wandering the yard on her own these days!  Needless to say I won't be getting any new hens or chicks until we sell here and move north.

I finally picked up the crochet hook a couple of days ago to work on some dishcloths.  I'm really not sure about what yarn projects I may or may not do next, although I do have 2 more cushion covers to finish off for Renee and Jaron for the set I gave them on their birthdays this year.  Anyhow, I'm off to grab a cup of tea before I start work on some dinner preparation ....... till next time,

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