Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy Happy, Sewing Time

Wendy hosted FNSI on Friday and I'm truly grateful to her as it really got me into the sewing kind of head space I needed to get going on some things ....  Note the several projects all on the go on the dining room table as I joyfully moved from one to the other depending on what was going on around me .........

 First I finished off the crochet squares in the "Glacier"  colour for our Crocheted Veranda Throw - its now sitting in a plastic tub while I wait on an order from Bendigo yarns, and an order from Deromores (UK) . I would have preferred to use all Bendigo cotton for this project, but unfortunately their colour selection is somewhat limited.

Next on the agenda was to begin doing something with the lovely little Elephanz embroidery..... I had to do it twice when I made a bit of an "oh dear" when I forgot the pen I had not used for such a very long time didn't actually erase when you ironed it ...... nope, apparently I should have wet it!  Oopsie!!   So I got some practice doing a second one!

Moving on, and by now it was Saturday afternoon and I was itching to get back to the sewing ....... so,  as you might have read, I'm taking part in the BOM, "down the rabbit hole " by Sarah Fielke which I had seen on another blog (oh how I wish I could remember who else was doing this and where I saw it???  Is it you?? Whoever it was - a big thankyou as Sarah explains things so well in her videos as well as having the pattern sheets!) .... anyhow, she also includes little surprises as part of the BOM we pay for apparently and sent through a lovely little "Hussif" pattern with video instructions for making it up.  Although it certainly wasn't compulsory, I just couldn't resist when I saw the carrot pincushion in it!  I've still got a tiny bit left to finish it off, it's been such a while since I've done much sewing and I first had to dust out the sewing machine and give it an oil,  but here is a snippet .............

 I'll show you the rest once I get it completed,  which I would have done, if I hadn't been blog hopping on Saturday morning while having breakfast ....... 
Val Laird had a post about a lovely wall embroidery  over 12 mths which she is doing as a freebie (check out my sidebar for the link), and it really spoke to my heart.  It will be a good reminder as I stitch the verses and it  will then make a perfect little wall hanging for our new home!  So since I didn't want to go and buy anything for this one, I had to stash dive in the fabrics I'd unpacked the other day - I really did not want to have to go and undo that box again  (thankfully when I pack boxes I number each one and have a book with the list of the main items in each box) ........ instead I had to undo a different box  (number 26 ), to pull out my cutting mat and ruler lol  ......... Why did I ever think it would be a good idea to pack up the Beehive with all my crafting goodies???  Still, I surely have more than enough to keep me occupied for a while!!!  Naturally I had to get creative with the fabric scraps I had and try to work out how to get the amounts out of what I had ....... this ended up taking way longer than I had ever intended it to take, so I've yet to begin on the actual embroidery yet!  But I do have the pieces all cut now (except for the "cream on cream" ones) and in little plastic sandwich bags!

I don't think the sewing smile left my face all weekend!   The table sure has been covered in sewing goodies - Hubby just smiles and nods appropriately......    It's all going to have to get cleared away this week as we have an open house here on Saturday ...... fingers crossed and prayers please for a house sale!
Have a great day everyone!
Hugs,   Sharm

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Don't you just love the weekend, more so if you work outside the home I guess.  Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet so to speak and undid one of my boxes in the cabin to pull out some of my fabrics I may wish to use in the BOM!  Thankfully I've always made a list of my boxes when I pack them - they get a number and in my little book I put a note as to which room and what in general is in the box!  Hence I was able to locate the exact one I was after ....... and then proceeded to sort into colour piles those fabrics I've chosen to keep out ..... 

  Today the local fishing club had a fishing comp on for the day. Pete took part and Scruffy and I headed down to the boat ramp around 9ish and went out in the boat for an hour or two - long
enough that I was able to catch a small cod - but before I could get a photo, Pete had him unhooked and back in the water (at around 52cm he was still a few centimetres under legal limit to be able to keep him).  It was lovely out on the water, but oh boy was the sun packing a punch!!   So Scruff and I got dropped back off at the boat ramp and walked back up to the house where I continued the process of making plum jam with a couple of kgs of plums I had frozen in the freezer from last year! 

Then it was time to sit and do some stitching ..... once again working on the little pattern from Elephanz ...... this time with a pen that washed out after I finished the embroidery!  After a bit of asking around and Jen telling me she uses her lightbox, I suddenly remembered that years ago I used to hold (or tape) the pattern on a window with the light coming through, then it was easy to trace onto the fabric!  I'm sure a lightbox might be easier, but for those of us who don't have one there is always the window!  Its been a lovely weekend, and I'm off now to sit and watch some TV and do a bit of crochet ..........
Have a good night!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

While We Wait........

It's a waiting game this putting a house on the market and then sitting and waiting for it to sell for who knows exactly how long......... cause at the end of the day no matter how many lookers stop by, it's that one person that you are waiting for ................

so until then we are both busy back at work, but on days off we are also busy packing up any items that we don't feel need to be sitting out (less to pack when it does sell, although I feel I may have packed up a little too much of the cabin) ..... and as promised I'm getting back into my projects ......... linking in with Anthea for English Piecing, (although I keep missing the real linky to add me to it lol),  its reasonable that I continue to work on the hexies for the tablecloth .....
today I worked on getting Ruth's signature hexie turned into one of the flowers.   I need to think about layout soon and also the colour hexies that I'll be using to connect them all together ....... And after the last post I have a couple more lovely bloggie friends who are hoping they might get a signature hexie made up for me!
I'm also keeping pretty busy trying to work out materials for this new BOM I'm embarking on .........  "Down the Rabbit Hole" by Sarah Fielke ......... its such an appropriate name for us that it's fitting this queen sized quilt will be for our new bed in Maryborough when we get there ............... and if I get through it all!  Talk about a rabbit hole, my goodness, I'm finding out about all sorts of things I never knew about (given this little piggy has never had a sewing or quilting lesson ever - its always been a " yup, looks like, feels like , yup that'll do it" which may be why I've always found sewing such a chore!) ....... so why does it still appeal to me sooooooooo very much I wonder???????    Anyhow, I now have background fabrics and black mottled fabric for my bunny rabbits........  and a couple other colours for other bits (I need lots more and I may have to pull out one of those boxes that are already packed)  ....

Today as you might have guessed is a rostered day off, and being my only day off this week I was taking full advantage ...... so I did manage to pull out the frozen bags of tomatoes (4kgs) which are on the stove as we speak turning into tomato relish which I hope to get bottled up later tonight before bed.  Moving those out of the chest freezer meant I could move the stuff from the drinks fridge freezer into the chest freezer and get the drinks fridge frosted (so nice to find frozen bardie grubs and bullocks livers in there for fishing lol) No, I won't share those photos, I'm sure you have all had your share of defrosting those kinds of freezer spaces lol ....... So instead I'll share a photo of my supervisor for the day ..... Mr Scruffy is feeling rather exhausted after all the cooking, washing, cleaning and sewing we managed to achieve today!  He is very happy to be waiting for Pete to arrive home so he can relax!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sew, Crochet, Embroider ... and signature Hexies Request

I've received some lovely comments and emails welcoming me back to more blogging here - it's nice to know there are people and friends out there who care enough to want to follow here .... thankyou!  Last night was the first FNWF for 2017 hosted by Cheryll - a time when lots of bloggers spend the Friday night at home working on various projects knowing there are other doing the very same thing in lots of corners of Australia and other countries.  Friday was the last of my 3weeks of holidays so I took advantage and began the morning on the computer downloading some stitcheries from Jenny of Elephanz, its sew nice to have my threads out once again .........
 and then ........ well, I read on somebodies blog (I've been reading and commenting on so many of late I just can't remember who it was) ..... there was a 2017 Block of the Month called "Down the Rabbit Hole".  The name had me right from the get go ...... I secretly enjoy rabbit holes and was always a fan of the Rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland".  In fact I always feel a strange sense of excitement and fascination mixed with achievement when I see a rabbit scamper away.  Yes, I know they can and do reek havoc, but they also manage to continue on no matter what gets thrown at them!  Anyhooooo .... I joined up with this BOM by Sarah Fielke - initially quite excited by it all ...... now I'm beginning to feel a little terrified (think of rabbit sitting there with a gun pointed at it and you'll have the picture).  So I also went out looking (in the 1 shop we have in Yarrawonga) for some backing fabric that might work .... I ended up with this which has some silver thread through it ..... I'll use if for various parts of the background
I also ended up coming out with an advent calendar to work on through the year ........

After packing up a couple more boxes of stuff we aren't currently using I got back to work on my 
8 Wonderful Ladies have sent signature blocks so far
blogger tablecloth ...... I wanted to make a tablecloth that shows other blogs and friends who follow along in my journey here at Country Fragrance, so I put out a call asking for  some signature hexies - here is a copy from that original request.  It was right at the end of a very long post and recently Jo from ButterZ suggested I should post about it again in case there are others who would like to have their signature hexie featured on it. I can visualise it on a table on the veranda at our new home in Maryborough with lots of ladies sitting around enjoying nibbles and stitching  and reading all the names and blogs...... So if you are interested please either comment or send me an email - but here are the main details.....

"So I'm putting it out there and asking if any of you might like to embroider your name onto a single hexie and post it out to me so I can add the petals to it to make the flowers.   All I need is the centre hexie with your name (and town or state or country you live in, if you want to add that and your blog name if you wish).   The finished hexie size is 2.5inches ( that is 2.5 in along each finished hexie side).  They will need to be done in white, cream, calico, pale lemon or pale yellow please ...."

Back to FNWF ........ I also managed to begin some secret sewing for the Valentines Day Swap, and I managed to get a few more of the crocheted squares done for the veranda lap rug together with drawing up an approximate plan for colours and placing ...... unfortunately it appears Bendigo Woollen Mills do not have anything like a slate colour in their cotton range ....... so I'm thinking on that one still ......  All in all  a very productive Friday!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January Planning

Is it just me or do others enjoy sitting down at the start of a new year and dreaming of the plans and goals you'd like to achieve during the year?  Rather than a resolution, I prefer goals that can be worked on to become achievable accomplishments and I also like to check in on this list a few times during the year.... which often coincides with the start of the next season funnily enough! Whilst thinking on these things I've been busy doing some work on my Hexie Tablecloth which has some lovely signature hexies from friends and bloggers who were nice enough to answer the call and make me a signature hexie to add to my blogging tablecloth.  Its kinda nice being able to work out which colours I'll use to hopefully do justice to the signature hexies these lovely ladies have spent time making for me.

This year is a year of hope for us as we plan to move forward with a new chapter of our lives and hopefully also see a reduction of stress.  So while we wait for our home here to sell ( and we continue on with our jobs as per normal), I've decided I want to get back to more regular blogging and interaction with others in Blogland as I've missed being here as often as I would have liked.  I'd like to add a special thankyou to those few key bloggers and friends who have always come to visit my blog and taken the time to comment (or send a letter or email later) - it has often been more like a big hug that has often been needed, so thankyou!  Returning to more blogging is also a way of me getting back to what I enjoy which is all centred around Home and Hearth ........ snail mail, sewing, crochet and knitting, preserving, baking, gardening and as much self sufficiency as is possible for us at the time.  We will need this even more once we sell and Pete retires and I reduce my days of working outside the home.

To make a start I'll be joining back in with Friday Night With Friends with Cheryl from Gone Stitching.  It happens on the 1st Friday of each month with the first one this Friday!
 I've joined up for the Valentines Day Swap hosted by Cheryl which should be some fun  
Then on  the 3rd Friday of each month where we join Wendy from Sugarlane Designs for Friday Night Sew In.

This should see me getting the ball rolling.  OPAM is run by Peg and Kris (I'm hoping they will be running this again this year). 
In 2016 I finished a total of 36 articles - 3 Sewn, 17 Knitted and 16 Crocheted. I've been part of OPAM since 2012 although back then I deleted my list of items each month so don't have those figures or items to look back on. I do hope to improve this number this year, although it really does depend on just what those items are that are getting made ...... it takes longer to knit a jumper than it does to sew a mug rug for instance, still - they are all handmade items which is a special deal to me and thankfully also to my family members who appreciate what I make (and even put in orders :)  )

The first few days of January has also seen me busy in the garden while I'm on holidays from work ...... so gathering seeds has been on my list of priorities as I want to take seeds with me to help get some flowering plants going when we move permanently. 
Carrots allowed to go to seed for collection
After all, you need flowers to bring the bees and good insects into the garden for health and pollination!  Pete has taken down the big wheels from the edge of the garden as they will be coming with us when we move ...... it looks so different without them there .....  I've ended up putting in some geranium cuttings which should help fill up the space fairly quickly.

I've also taken more cuttings from the rosebushes that are planted over our other dogs who passed
away during our time here ...... Mitzi, Muffin and Gramps who were a big part of our lives as the children grew up and left home to start their own lives.

Something else I've done was to sort out the bathroom cupboards and throw out quite a bit of older stuff!!  I came across the sponges I had collected a number of years ago when we lived in Townsville and collected not long before we were leaving to move down here ...... I gave them a good soak in a bleach mixture and cleaned out the bits and pieces of shell or rock that were still in there!  How nice to have these to use or gift.

Before I go, I did promise that I would share the crochet blocks I began working on whilst on our driving trek over Christmas ....... 8ply Bendigo Cotton.  This is a free pattern on Ravelry by Luba
Davies and written in American crochet terms.  So far I have 7 blocks, but I plan on adding a couple of other colours to mix it up a bit so it eventually becomes a nice throw rug for the veranda at our New Home.  Although the photo makes them look off white, they are actually a very pale blue/ grey shade.   I'll share more on it as time goes on.

Oh, and I've also been busy with the insurance company getting quotes done after I managed to back into the gate at the house in Maryborough ....... or was it the gate jumped out and attacked the car????  Now just a few more days and then I'm back to work .......... still have lots on my list lol .............

Monday, January 2, 2017

Welcome 2017

2017 is very welcome around here!  I have to say I am pleased to begin another New Year, and by the sounds of things from numerous other places, many other people are also happy to see the end of 2016.  The New Year finds us back at Bundalong where we have our home on the market and hoping it sells over the Summer period.

  For now though the Apricots are ripe and I've been busy making many jars of jam and a pie or two ........ then there are the cherries from the freezer that have been turned into Cherry Chutney and another kilo I'm hoping to turn into some type of cordial or liqueur.   I've been asked where I store all my jars of goodness as well as empty jars ...... well all of those, together with the paraffin wax (which I melt down in an old teapot to seal the jars easily before putting the lids on - this keeps the contents safe for up to 2-3 yrs) you'll often find jars/packets of seeds ......
These are all kept in that Pie Cupboard that hubby rescued a couple of years back from a demolition job where the farmer wanted to burn it!  You remember Pete brought it home and I cleaned and painted it up.  It's just perfect for housing all of these things ....  and as you can see it also holds extra candles, candle melts and right down the bottom is a plastic tub where I keep supplies of my homemade soaps.  So you can see that this cupboard has become a very important piece of furniture in our home.  It's part of our self sustainability and each year during the right season, I try making enough of these things to last the whole year plus some extras for gifting.  Some years the bounty is small or non existent so making extra when the bounty is good has become a natural part of life around here.  Don't forget jams and chutneys can be made from frozen fruit so if you get given fruit and don't have the time straight away to make it up, then pop it into the freezer for using a later time!

Pie Cupboard with dec from xmas in July swap

The garden is needing lots of attention with all the spring flowers now finished and the heat of Summer upon us.  Pete has also taken down all our big old fashioned wheels from the gardens as they will come with us when we move.  Tomorrow we will likely be gathering items for a tip run (or two even??).

When it comes to items finished for December for OPAM I'm afraid I only managed one ornament, although I did make a start on a number of crocheted squares which will be getting put together to make a cotton lap quilt for the Maryborough Veranda.  I have yet to get some photos of those so guess you'll have to wait to see them .....

Today I managed to finish a Beanie off , which means I've made a start for January OPAM at least lol   Best of all is that I still have another whole, entire week off before I have to go back to work!!! 
I do have quite a list I'd like to get done during that time, but it's nice to know I still have that time to get things done ....... making some much needed soap is on that list!!

As I look forward to 2017 the biggest thing on our minds is selling Bundalong and making the permanent move to Maryborough in Qld.  Apart from that my goals are to get some "me" time back into my life and way, way less stress than the past couple of years.  Blogging has always been something I enjoy, so I hope to be more active around here again, and more active in everything to do with home ...... sewing, knitting and crochet, baking, letter writing ..... taking part in a few blogging swaps ..... oh and yes, I do need to loose about 5kg (I seem to have that goal each year???)
Hugs to all until next time!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Maryborough Christmas

As you know we headed to Maryborough for Christmas....... which seems to have come and gone quite quickly now I find myself sitting back here in Bundalong!  We took the trailer up filled with some basic bits and pieces for a camp out in our house up there ....  

As you might remember we had decided to buy ourselves a new bed for the house which I had been saving up for ..... The bedside tables arrived the day after ..... I love the little glass flower in it

We kept busy doing a few things while we were there ...... Pete fixing the watering system and putting in a couple of extra taps (one in the chook yard and another in the vegie garden area), mulching up palm fronds and such, while I was kept busy with some cleaning ...... One of the kitchen bench tops was just sooooo sticky - this was the result after I poured some boiling water on it to see if I could remove the stickiness after spray and wipe did nothing at all!

 Christmas Day was spent with our friends down in Curra who have 5 Border Collies. When we arrived they were all wearing Christmas Bandanas (so cute!) and they had something waiting for Scruffy to wear as well!
 Scruffy was a little overwhelmed when we had first called in earlier in the week, but Clyde took him under his wing and they became best mates ........ Scruffy is missing him!
 We enjoyed our time up there, and I even got a chance to go and check out the little yarn store
down on the corner which was filled to overflowing with lots of material and patterns ...... that side of things is going to have to wait till we move up there permanently (which will happen once we sell our house down here).

Between Dalby and Moonie Crossroads

 We enjoyed lunch at Hervey Bay and checking out various places around the town ...... and all too soon it was time to get back in the car to begin the 18hour trek back to Bundalong.

 Scruffy travelled pretty well ..... just a little sick at the start of the 2nd day of travel after we left Parkes where we stayed overnight.

Luckily after a couple of special stops for him he came good again and enjoyed the breeze blowing over him........  as we passed by the Harvesting going on  around the Junee area ....... and finally we arrived back home to Bundalong yesterday feeling refreshed after some time out from the pressures of the past year .........

And now I'm afraid to say I may have been enjoying a little too many chocolates and sugar filled drinks over the past week or two ........ I may need to do something about that ....  I'll think about it over the next few days while I enjoy some blog hopping and coffee :)   Hugs to you all!