Monday, October 31, 2011

Using Scraps Again

Lately I've been fiddling with some of the off-cuts in my 'trash' box, and have made a few little ATC's just for fun.  To cut a long story short, I've grouped them in the above collage [only one photograph to load].  I haven't decided what will happen to them at the moment.  If anyone would like one, or care to swap, please let me know.  I think my favourite is the green one in the top right hand corner.

We have still been experiencing storm activity in our area, and have had the land phone out for quite some time.  Our mobile phone doesn't work very well from the house, so things have been rather quiet.

Thank you all for the lovely comments on my bags.  I most certainly appreciate them.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Love Bags!!!

Although I don't make lots and lots, I still really like handmade bags in all shapes and sizes.  Recently I stumbled across an interesting sewing blog/website, with downloadable patterns for sale.  Of course, most of them appealed to me, so I jumped in for the kill............  You can see the bags here -  The bag pictured above is the first one I've made using Michelle's lovely pattern.  I have another which I will try soon.  Whilst I did not follow the pattern to the letter [a slight change in the base boxing], I found everything in the requirements and directions to be faultless.  Please make time to visit Michelle's blog too, and see some lovely sewing.

I've put a small collage together showing a few elements of this bag.  There are some small pockets inside [always handy], and I really like the added stitched detail on the bottom.  The inside lining has a firm pelmet vilene rectangle stitched into it, giving a more rigid base.  I hope you can see the fabric pattern.  I purchased this fabric quite some time ago, to make a bag, and still have quite a bit left.  I managed to find something in my stash for a lining, and what I consider to be a suitable button trim [a natural timber button from Tasmania].  I am using this as a swap gift for my group's break-up in a few weeks.

Whilst on the subject of bags, I thought this one might be of interest to readers too.  I made this about three years ago.  I originally purchased the handles, and then decided I needed a bag to go with them......  I have included this link -  as both were purchased from this lady.  I fear the pattern has probably been discontinued.  It is quite large, has a number of inside pockets, plus a piece of MDF in the base, as well as little feet.  I find this an excellent bag for taking projects to my sewing days.  It was 'built' around the handles actually [colourwise], with fabrics I had on hand at the time - leftovers.

I hope this little bit of sewing is of interest.  I will try to make up the other bag pattern I purchased from Michelle - and hopefully this will go together as well as the first one.

Things have been a little crazy here this week, storms around the district, some of them quite nasty - another reminder that Mother Nature will do as she pleases!! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dessert Anyone??

In a few weeks my patchwork group is having our annual Christmas luncheon to end the year, and begin the recess until the New Year.  We are making and taking our food again this year.  I have been thinking about taking something a little different, and decided to try my hand at this Ginger Wine & Lime Sorbet yesterday [just a trial in readiness for the real thing].  The recipe I used is in one of my oldish Womens' Weekly cookbooks, but I found a similar one here:   I have made this before.  The recipe in this link has the ingredients in slightly different proportions, and to be honest, after tasting 'mine', I think the other would be nicer as it only uses ½cup of the ginger wine, whereas the recipe I used has 1½cups which I feel is just far too overpowering flavourwise.  I would also advise adding ¼ teaspoon of Cream of Tartar to the sugar/water syrup.

I've put together a small collage of some of the steps used in the preparation of this very light and tangy dessert.  I have not been given the seal of approval from my husband to continue to serve this at home, and to be honest, it is not the most sensible thing to be taking out of one's freezer and expecting it to last a 60km journey in November!!  I also think I should have allowed the wine/water/juice mixture to freeze much more, as my mixture became extremely runny.  One thing I must mention.  I made a continued effort to fork the mixture through many times during the freezing process, as the 'liquid' seemed to continually seep to the bottom.  It is fine once the whole mixture freezes, but does sort of melt/liquify on you whilst enjoying your fruit/sorbet cocktail, damn!!

And, just one more photo showing the lovely fruit salad and sorbet - a dessert probably more suited to brunch on Melbourne Cup day morning.............LOL..........   The fruit salad is nothing more than diced pawpaw, banana, strawberries and whole blue berries, moistened slightly with a squeeze of orange juice.   Voila!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Local Entertainment

Yesterday we decided to drive into our little local township to watch the campdrafting  Campdrafting is a uniquely Australian horse sport, and if you do follow the link, I hope you enjoy reading more about it.  This event is held every October here, and is always a must attend competition for campdrafters from near and far.  Of course, it is run to benefit local interests, with proceeds going to help the schools, hospitals and such in our district.  And, most importantly, all helpers do so on a voluntary basis, from the women who feed the multitudes, to the property owners who provide the cattle that are used in the draft - no small undertaking in anyone's world.  I have put together a small collage of photos I took during yesterday's action. 

There has always been something amusing to see, and this time was no exception.  For the most part, people seem to bring along their newest pup to show off, but this little one was a first for me!!   Raising an orphaned macropod is not an easy task.  This little one looked so cute, I couldn't help but share it.

I also managed to catch an 'impromtu committee meeting', or so it seemed to me at the time.  These men have been involved with the draft since they were youngsters, as their fathers were before them.

Of course, this sport is not for those with a limited budget.  The outfits we saw were like homes away from home, for man and beast.  Talk about traveling in style!!!  I hope these shots will give you some idea of the modern transport facilities that people use.  Many of them have several horses [it is acceptable for them to nominate, and compete on a number of horses in their relevant sections].  It's quite a family affair as well - sometimes entire families competing.

I did try to upload a small video clip I took, but my Internet is not good enough for me to do so.  Therefore, I will just finish this post with the opening still shot from my video.  This young man has been competing and winning for a long time.  I think he grew up in the saddle.  His hands are always in the right place, he hardly moves in the saddle, everything just gels.  More often than not his 'round' is like poetry in motion.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mail Art

I've finally managed to put together a selection of digital images, printed, labelled, and ready to go.  These are to be used for my group's upcoming market stall.  Some of the images began life as one of my photographs, so far removed from the original so as not to be recognizable.  Others began as blank files in GIMP or PSE8.  I have some clear cellophane self-seal packets, and thought these might be something different - rather like a postcard with more.

Each little packet contains the outer page {slightly nicer than copy paper], as well as an A5 sheet with printed lines {normal copy paper].  All that needs to be done is to write the short note, pop it back into the clear packet, seal, stamp and post.  Perhaps it may even brighten the mailman's day.  The image in this photograph was originally some dried and cracked earth - go on, you will see it if you look!!!

I also hope to print some of these {or similar} onto fabric for postcards which will enable a bit of added embroidery.

I'm only making a few of these, as each sheet has been hand cut.  I really need to buy some A5 paper, or a guillotine!!

Thank you for taking an interest in all that I manage to fiddle with. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sugar & Spice

Things have been rather crazy here lately, but I've managed to finish another knitting project, as well as a little pair of pants to go with my latest little cardigan.  I am not sure if the photograph is showing the colour correctly, but these little pants are made from very fine hot pink corduroy [everything of course was in my stash].  Oh, I do wish I had a sweet little baby to use to model this.  It would look so much nicer actually on a child the right size!!

I am quite happy with the little cardigan.  It's a rather more boxy and roomy design than the red one, and is a pattern I purchased online as an instant download -  If you are at all interested in lovely patterns, that don't cost the earth, then I can recommend this site to you.  This pattern comes in about six sizes, and cost just under $6.00!!

I knew I wanted a little pair of pants with a contrast turn up to go with the cardigan.  I found this pattern in one of my Top Kids magazines, but I am not sure if this magazine is still going.  I always found it had rather spunky little fashions for kids.  I found a partly finished brushed moleskin skirt that I can use to make pants to go with the little red cardigan.  It's the traditional creamy beige coloured moleskin, and very soft - watch this space!!  It's so much fun making little clothes again.

 I hope the close-up will show you the lovely double moss stitch and cable design that is worked into the little cardigan.  I liked the idea of the collar, which I think makes it a little more dressy.   Of course, I again used my favourite twisted rib in the bands, etc.  The wool was some more that I purchased from that lovely store in Kyneton, Victoria -

Thank you all again so much for persisting with comments.  I am not at all sure what happens.  I have honestly never had a problem leaving a comment on other blogs.

I need to catch up on some bookwork now.  It's BAS time again, and today I finally received the Cash Book back from our accountant, so it will be clerical duties for me for a few days.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Modern Technology

I am always trying to learn more about the workings of all things computer related.  Since taking an online course using the GIMP programme [with Sharon Boggon], I've been constantly trying to improve my knowledge of digital art imagery, and photo alteration.

I won't make this a long post, but thought I'd share a little mish-mash collage of various images I have created, and hope to use for small gift notelets in the future.  Some of these have started life as cropped sections of my own photographs, and some began as blank spaces, gradually being filled with different colours and brushes [digital stamps], followed by a variety of filters.

Many of these stamps are available as free downloads.  It is gratifying to know there are people out there who are happy to share their knowledge for the amusement of others.  If you would like to check out this website: you will see the various tools that are available if you have a photo programme.

Of course, I am still knitting.  This time I'm working on a white cabled cardigan.  Take care all.