Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Wednesday 30th May 2012

Nothing much happening around here today.  I had computer troubles and by the time my technician had come and gone and then I realized he had removed my picture editing program (now reinstalled) time has gone nowhere.

I did get around to giving the caravan a clean and half making the bed in there (we hope to visit Em this weekend) which led me to putting this on the bed.....
This quilt was made in 2009, using some embroidery designs by Leanne Beasley.  I had the panels laying around and then put them all into a quilt.  The quilt was designed by me using a variety of fabrics including some Debbie Mumm.

 Here are a few of the blocks I made to go into the quilt.

 The quilt below was from a pattern on the Internet.  I can't remember the name of the site, but once a month you were given instructions on how to make a certain block and at the end of the time you were shown what the quilt looked like.  A lovely surprise.  I love the contrast of the bright pink and softer green and yellow in this quilt.
 This quilt was one of the first ones I ever made.  I cringe when I look at it now, but that is how you learn.  The embroidery pictures (all but the centre one) were drawn by a good friend of mine.
 This quilt is more a wall hanging.  I made it when I was involved with a craft group and it was a mystery quilt.  We were given six envelopes and you had to make a block using the items (if there were any) and instructions for that envelope.  The first one was a nursery rhyme, second - nine patch, third - using fabric contained in the envelope, fourth - favourite thing (s), fifth - small, sixth - from the garden.  Mine had a common theme in the ladybugs that are found in each block.
 This again was one of the very first quilts I did and had a go at quilting myself.  Nothing extravagant just some pretty fabrics.  I made one of these for my sister also.
 This quilt is unfinished.  I have put the top together but have yet to back and quilt it.  This is the first quilt I have done with alot of applique in it.  It took me ages!
 The two photos below are a couple of the blocks from this quilt.

Quilting is such a time consuming craft but really worth it in the end when you have something beautiful to show for ALL the hours you put into it.

I hope you enjoyed looking at some of my past projects, and just to think I have more to show yet!

Take care

Monday, May 28, 2012

Gardening and a Postcard

Tuesday 29th May 2012

I thought I would take some photos of my vegetables to show you how much they have grown.  It always amazes me how quickly plants grow, but the special things about vegetables is you get something to eat at the end!  How wonderful is that?
If you look back at the photo from this post you can see how much the cabbages have grown!  It might not be too long before we have to make a flyscreen cover to keep the grubs out.  Hopefully I will get cabbages from all these plants, there is approximately six plants.

I have been busy keeping an eye on my zucchini everyday as there are flowers opening on the plants already.  I have tried growing zucchini before but haven't had any success.  The plants are always lovely and healthy but no fruit, then I read somewhere that if you don't have bees around you have to pollinate the female flowers yourself!  It is easy to tell the difference between the male and female flowers as the female flowers have a baby zucchini on the base of them, so I have been busy as a bee!!  Ha Ha, get it!!

Never mind.....

Because of my efforts I have a couple of fruit on the plants but here is a picture of my biggest one (approx 4 inches long).
Isn't it wonderful!!!  As you can see there are plenty more flowers growing so hopefully plenty more zucchini.

I have mentioned in a previous post that I was going to have a go at planting some potatoes that had sprouted in the cupboard.  I have had success.  I think all bar one of the potatoes have grown.  I had been trying to hill up the ground around the plants to give us more potatoes but it is difficult to do unless you have a large garden, so I have made some boxes to place over the plants and that will keep the soil where I want it.

When I fill to the top of the box with soil I will just let the plant grow out,  after it flowers and the vine starts to die I will harvest the crop and hopefully have some beautiful home grown vegetables.
Look what I got in the mailbox yesterday.

A postcard from my parents.  They are on a holiday to Canada, Alaska and America.  They left approximately 4 weeks ago and will be home this weekend.  How beautiful is this postcard?  I love how all the shops (I think they are shops) are painted lovely colours.  It makes you want to hop right in there, although I wouldn't want to be there during a storm.  Check out the pier they are built on, I can imagine that they would sway a bit in a good storm. Yikes!

I went to see a couple of friends today, I went to school with their son, and while I was there they were kind enough to give me a jar of home made lime marmalade, pickled green chillies and pickled bell chillies.  They also dug up a few small bell chili plants that I will have to get into the ground this afternoon.  How generous are they.  I hope your lucky enough to have people like that around you.

Take care

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another bag

Monday 28th May 2012

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  My was spent mainly at home without any visitors.  It was the quietest weekend we'd had in ages.  A trip to the hardware on Saturday to get some fertilizer for the vegetable patch and a couple more packets of seeds - peas and turnips!  We'll see how they go.

We were up reasonably bright and early to go to the markets as hubby had a hankering for some Manuka honey.  It is absolute favourite!  We braved the chilly conditions and were back home by about 8am to cook a lovely breakfast of bacon and eggs.

Hubby spent quite a few hours repairing the wheel bearings on the caravan, as we hope to take a trip to visit Emily this weekend!  While he was doing that I made the most of my time a put together another block for the quilt I am working on.  I now have three blocks assembled, 1 stitched and only 7 blocks to go!

I spent some time on Friday adding to my gift stash.  Actually I have promised this person one of these for a couple of years now so I thought I had better deliver!
This is a casserole bag, used to carry food to potluck dinners or your contribution to a meal or BBQ.  You can use it for hot or cold items.  You simply place the casserole or whatever you are taking into the bag, pull the cord tight and tie it in a bow then use the handles to carry it.
In the above photo you can see one of my casserole dishes in it with the cord done up and the two handles.

This way you can carry your item without getting burnt!

A friend gave me one many years ago as a birthday gift and I use it all the time.  When I say she gave me one, I was given the materials and basic instructions and then had to make it myself.

If the bag becomes soiled all you have to do is throw it in the washing machine with a normal wash.

If anyone is interested leave me a comment and I will write a tutorial on how to make this bag.  It would make a lovely housewarming gift if you gave it with a casserole dish and maybe a cookbook.

Take care

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lady Bugs

Friday 25th May 2012

I have been trying to build up a gift stash.  Somewhere to go to get a gift at the last minute.  Hopefully all handmade also.  This has seen me cruising the Internet to get inspiration.  I came up with a cute idea that is reasonably quick to make, doesn't use heaps of material and should easily fit in a standard size envelope so is cheap and easy to post.
It is a cute little key holder.  Can you see the key ring hanging out the bottom?

Here it is with keys attached and when you pull on the leaves at the ladybugs mouth the keys go into the body.

This helps to prevent them from rattling around in your bag and marking everything, and because the red wings are so bright she should be easy to find in my handbag.

When I showed hubby he said it looks good, but he doesn't have to have one does he?  I told him YES and I was going to make a fish one for him!  LOL.  Seriously, that is a good idea though so I might have a go at one of those later!  Stay tuned.  There will be more of these to come!

After posting about my quilts the other day, I went searching for some blocks I had been working on more than two years ago.  For some reason I thought I had finished more than one block!
Feathered Friends quilt by Cinderberry Stitches

When I picked up the second one - nowhere close to finished - I realized why I had put it away.  My eyes just don't see as well as they used to so hand embroidery has to be something I do during the day and leave the crocheting to night when I don't need such good light.
I am excited to be back stitching again!

This quilt is by a very talented Australian lady called Natalie Lymer from Cinderberry Stitches.  She does such whimsical designs.  I have one block down and eight to go and then the border!  Plenty of work ahead of me.

While I was digging around in my fabric yesterday I also came across a bundle of fabric that I bought to do another quilt with and a packet of stuff that I have started doing a paper pieced quilt with.  When I dug out these blocks I found another two (oh my goodness) quilts that are only partly finished!!!  All of this work in progress.  I really need to stop finding new projects and start finishing ones I have already started!  I'd better get to it!

Take care

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Footy Feast

Last night saw the first game of the State of Origin for the year.  In this house it means a lot of excitement from my husband.  Normally he spends most of his time yelling at the TV thinking that the players and refs can hear him I'm sure.

We had Bec and her partner coming for dinner so I thought some footy food was in order.  PIZZA!!  Not the bought type though as I had a falling out with a certain pizza company about 8 years ago (4 hours waiting and still no pizza) so we resorted to making our own pizzas at that time.  This means making the base in the bread maker and finding all types of contents in the fridge to put on them. 

First dish of the night was Creamy Corn Chowder (microwave recipe) that I made on the stove top, this was followed by the pizzas - two of them.
This one has salsa dip, onion, tomato. capsicum, mushroom (home grown), feta cheese, olives, salami, bacon, left over meat loaf, spinach and herbs (both home grown).  We only had 4 slices left, just enough for lunch.

Once we had all settled on the couch to watch the game, hubby got up and made dessert - ice cream in a cone.  Then it was game on.  Needless to say Queensland one so hopefully they can continue with that for the rest of the series!

Take care

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bunting, buckets and burlap!

As mentioned in my previous post I had been making something for a special soon to be five year old.  Whenever possible I try to make the gifts I give, and for me part of the challenge is coming up with something different to make.  This year, this special boy is getting.....
some bunting, with his name on it.  I have seen this around on the internet and thought it would be great for a boy.  I find boys especially hard to make things for.  If anyone has any more suggestions please leave me a comment.  Below is a photo of the finished bunting.
This was surprisingly quick and easy to make.  I simply chose the size of the top of the triangles, measured the point in the middle, which is the same measurement of the tops and then drew the sides down to this point.  This gave me a triangle that was the right shape.  I backed each of the front triangles with interface to make it a bit firmer, then drew out the name and appliqued the letters onto each triangle using a straight stitch and raw edge applique.  You can see this a bit clearer in the top photo.

I always find that one project leads to another and because I detest buying wrapping paper (it only gets thrown in the bin) I made this cute bucket to put his gift in.  He can then use this to store items in his bedroom.
I used the same fabrics I had used in the bunting and again, used raw edge applique to put his initial on the front, really personalizing it!  Again this project led to another and I have just completed these this morning!

These were made from an old hessian (burlap) bag that my daughter gave me when she moved out of home.  I really love the rustic feeling of the hessian with the neater look of the lining.  The bottom bucket is my favourite. I love seeing the stipe fabric on the handles and just a peek of the lining.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with these but they will probably go into my gift stash for giving away throughout the year. 

I hope you all enjoyed these photos.  I enjoyed making all of these items (can't wait to do more) and the best thing is they cost me nothing as I had all of the materials in my stash!

Take care

Monday, May 21, 2012

Previous Patchwork

One of my favourite things is patchwork.  I love getting the beautiful fabric together and waiting for inspiration to hit.  I haven't done any patchwork for awhile, but hope to change that soon, as it is something that isn't easy to work on and you need plenty of space.  I simply didn't have enough time when I was working.  I have one quilt top finished waiting to be backed and quilted and another that I have started the second block on, but it will take awhile as it has a lot of hand embroidery and applique.  I will get back to it one day soon I hope!

In the meantime I have found some photos of some quilts I have made in the past.  This is just a sample of some of my quilts.  I have plenty more!
The above quilt is one I made for Emily.  It is a double bed size and as you can tell by the fabric it is all horse material.  Emily is horse crazy and we had been saving bits and pieces of fabric over quite a few years to eventually make her a quilt.  Another stipulation was there could be limited lighter colour fabric as she wasn't known for being very clean at the time and I was worried about having to constantly wash the quilt.  The design for this is called Hidden Star.  She still uses the quilt today!

This is a quilt I made for my bed.  At the time I was going through a floral stage.  This is a huge quilt as my bed is a queen and this quilt hangs nearly to the floor.  There is a needle turn applique heart wreath in the centre.  No doubt this quilt will probably end up on our bed again one day.

This is a wall hanging I made for my parents for Christmas one year.  My father loves gardens and I wanted to show that in a quilt.  All of the embroidery and applique has been done by hand and the design of the quilt is my own.  The embroidery patterns were given to me by a friend so I can't tell you who designed them.  If you know please leave a comment.  My parents have since moved house but now have this hanging on the wall of their new home.

I am working on a birthday present for my nephew who turns 5 in June, so hopefully I will have some photos to show soon.

Take care

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Busy, busy, busy!

Where do I start?  Just when you think you're going to have a quiet weekend mayhem erupts!

Emily's smart new uniforms!
It all started when this beautiful person came home Friday night.  She bought her partner, two Queensland Blue pumpkins and two loads of washing!  She was very excited as she had gotten her uniform for work.  Emily is working for the Western Downs Regional Council and loves it!  I must say the uniforms are lovely!

I did manage to complete the dog coat I had mentioned in a previous post and it really was quite easy.  The hard part came trying to take the photo.  You know how the saying goes.  Never work with animals or children!
It does look cute though and seems to help to keep her warm.  Our house has timber floors throughout and always seems really cold in winter.  Cindy's fur isn't very thick so she really feels the cold.

I bought a mushroom box awhile ago (4 weeks) and am just starting to get some mushrooms that are ready to be picked now.  I can see plenty more coming through and hopefully we will get a good harvest from them.  We love mushrooms and hopefully this will work out cheaper than buying them from the supermarket.  I have been told that the mushroom compost is great on the garden, so when it has finished that will be going there.  I also have plans for the poly box they come in, so stay tuned to see that!
Some mushrooms ready for picking
Sunday saw an early rise to the markets.  Bec collected me on her way to the markets and I showed her where the best produce was and hopefully the best prices.  She said that so far it has cost less than previously.  She just has to see how long the produce lasts for before they need to go again. 

Emily wanted some bread to take home and as we had to put the oven on for that, I suggested that she made some muffins to take for lunches also.  She made some chocolate ones!

Emily had already taken her portion of muffins before this photo was taken, but the peanut butter biscuits were all for us.  I made these to go in my hubby's lunchbox over the next couple of weeks.  It would be so much cheaper if we didn't need to eat!
In the afternoon, after Emily and Dave had left, I was exhausted, so I put the TV on to watch Gardening Australia and work on some crochet roses from Attic24.  These are to go with another project I have been working on since last year.
I just have to keep this.......

away from this little face, as she thinks it is a play toy for her. 

I had all sorts of images of this project being strewn all over the floor when I got up this morning, but so far she seems to have forgotten about it.

Take care

Thursday, May 17, 2012

When life hand you lemons . . .

While visiting a very dear friend last weekend, she gave me some beautiful lemons.  They were given to her from her in-laws who grew them on their farm.
As the lemons were very ripe I need to use them.  I have been making our own cordial, as it tastes much better than the store bought type and therefore would only have to be better for you.  These lemons were destined to become another batch of cordial as our last lot had been finished for awhile.
So I ended up with 1 bottle of cordial and one jar.  The jar will probably go home with Emily, as she is coming to visit again this weekend.  Bec will have to wait until I make some lime cordial from the limes I have in the fridge.

If anyone is interested my cordial recipe is an old one from the Bundaberg CWA cookbook.

1kg sugar
2.5 cups of water
4 lemons juiced
1 tablespoon tartaric acid
1 teaspoon lemon essence (I don't worry about using this)

Boil the sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves.  Put in the tartaric acid and then leave it to cool.  Once cool add the lemon juice and bottle.
Keep in the fridge.

I have also made this cordial into lime or orange.  These both work well also.

I mentioned on Monday that I would be out on site helping my husband this week.  I went to work with him on Tuesday and thought I was going to get sacked after I broke his drop saw.  He can't get replacement parts so it will have to be thrown away.  Luckily he has a radial arm saw that I was able to use so I cut 175 wall studs for the job he is doing currently.

I went back to work with him today to help him stand the roof trusses!  This is the part I really hate as I am so worried that he will fall off the roof.  He didn't, so we ended up standing the trusses before I was told there was nothing else I could help with, so I was sent home.  Not before I went shopping to buy him a new mobile phone.  I turns out they don't bounce well when they hit concrete!  More expense, but not my fault this time.

This is what we have been working on!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Take care

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A teeny tiny bit bigger ...

Sunday afternoon, after everyone had left, I decided to expand my vegetable garden another 900mm!  I had to pull out the existing plants, dig in some compost and then a trip to my local nursery to have a look at some plants.  I didn't buy many plants, just a chilli and box basil, but did some home with some Rosella seeds (for jam making) and some spring onions.  I also planted some more lettuce, as this is something we go through!
Lettuce, with zucchini at the back and English spinach to the right.  We have peas slowly climbing up their supports and some purple beans nearly coming into flower.
This is some purple cabbage with the beetroot to the right and pak choi to the left.
The vegetables I planted a few weeks ago are doing well.  The lettuce is starting to form and my cabbage is growing fast.  I have had my beetroot, English spinach and Pak Choi all come through, so hopefully there will be plenty.  So now my teeny tiny garden in a teeny tiny bit bigger!

Last night we had Bec and her partner come for dinner (they come around once a week), so I took the opportunity to make some fresh pasta.  This is always a favourite.  I think next time I make it I will take the pasta machine down to the smallest setting as this pasta was a bit thick.  We had it with a broccoli, mushroom, spring onion and garlic creamy sauce.  Sorry didn't take a photo of it!

Fresh pasta.
 I also made a caramel tart for desert as hubby had been asking me to do that lately.  I had some of the pastry left over so I made some cute loveheart biscuits.  They got iced together this morning with some yummy lemon butter icing.
Loveheart biscuits

Iced ready to eat
Because I had the oven on to bake bread and the caramel tart, I thought I would give some muffins the go.  I read about Lucy making these for an afternoon snack for her children and thought I would give them a go.  They are beautiful apple and sultana muffins and are really light a fluffy just like Lucy said they would be.  I just sampled one.  Yummy.
Ingredients ready to go for the muffins

Muffins hot out of the oven
The nights have been getting cooler, so we have been lighting the fire in the evening.  Our house is like an icebox because of the timber floors.  Our little dog, Cindy, loves to sit in front of the fire.  Sometimes she sits almost underneath it, but then has to cool off by laying on the floor.  I am in the process of crocheting her another coat at the moment.  I made one for her yesterday, but it was a bit tight and too short.  Ron came home from work and thought it looked as though she had a boob tube on.
Cindy trying to stay warm
Take care