Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Wishes

A very quick post this afternoon.  I know everyone is busy with their plans, etc., but I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Christmas, filled with laughter, and love.  Take care on your travels.  Thank you all sincerely for being part of my world, making time to read my posts and commenting.  I love hearing from you.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Green Landscape

As Christmas is fast approaching, I've been making time to enjoy the green that surrounds us at the moment.  For a long time, brown has been the predominant colour for us at this time of the year, so to see green paddocks is quite enjoyable.  I decided to renew my header photograph, showing a crop of sorghum [a crop grown at this time of the year] and the ever present galahs that seem to take delight in eating the grain.  They are noisy, raucous, and rather destructive birds, but part of our unique birdlife, so including them as part of my blog is probably only natural.  I'm also sharing some 'new growth' that has delighted me.  The little bedding begonia in the photograph above was all but broken to pieces by 'the pups' a few months ago.  I came out one day to see the pot tipped over and most of the growth chewed off.  It was in a sorry state.  I broke all the mauled bits off, and repotted it into a much larger pot.  As you can see, it is now fully recovered and flowering beautifully.  I've always told my husband things need a good hard prune now and again.........  However, I would much rather be the one doing the pruning!!

Unfortunately, the destruction didn't stop at the begonia.  Just when you let your guard down, they decide to up and at something else.  For three years I've been watching my ponytail plant grow and thrive.  They made a real meal out of it one day, but I kept watering it, hoping it would recover.  I've taken this photograph, so you can see the bite marks on the tuber, the sad looking top, and can understand how annoyed I was to see it.  It's difficult to find somewhere to put the plants where the pups can't get at them, so I somehow have to sit them out.  In the last week or so I've noticed these little nodes, so I know the plant is still alive.  I have a feeling these little growths are all new ponytail plants, not a new top on the old plant.  Has anyone got an opinion on that theory??  I'll keep watching them for a while, and then decide if I'm to leave it like that, or try to 'strike' each little node into a new plant...........

To finish off this post I thought it might be amusing to share this photograph of Dude.  I captured him sound asleep on the back landing, and to look at him, you wouldn't think he'd be capable of doing anything naughty.  Think again!!!

My thanks also for the interest in the painted paper folder.  Your comments are always appreciated. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ready for TAST2012???

I am not at all sure what is expected for the TAST2012 project.  I have seen a number of sampler books being made, and I like the idea of keeping said samplers in one place.   I have been planning a folder for my samples, but being the person I am, ie interested in various techniques and mediums, I was always going to incorporate hand and machine work, as well as mixed media.  The outer shell is complete, as shown in the above photograph.  Unfortunately, the glittery effect isn't being picked up by the camera.  It is a little more on the green side, and quite sparkly, due to the use of Angelina fibres.

My folder began it's life as a brown paper shopping bag, very much like the one in this photograph, just a slightly deeper shape.  In my Maggie Grey book, Raising the Surface, there is an interesting technique using brown paper.

After cutting the bag apart, I painted it with several different colours.  I also painted some Vliesofix using the same paints.  The painted paper was scrunched up several times, fused to a piece of calico, then fused to some pelmet vilene, and then black wool felt.  The painted Vliesofix was fused to the painted side of the paper, but it all look a little bit blah.  I decided to add some Angelina fibres in purple and gold, then place a black chiffon scarf over the whole surface.  That seemed to lift it, yet tone it down.  This photograph does show the green tones a little better.  The piece was now beginning to feel quite firm.  

After a few days looking at my rectangle of painted paper, I remembered I had some lovely fine green silk in the cupboard.  This piece was just made for my painted paper.  I would love to tell you I painted the paper to match the silk, but I didn't!!!  I just happened to have the silk!  I found some rayon and metallic threads that had possibilities.  I didn't really think I needed to add too much to the surface, so a few wandering lines did the job.  I ended up using only the two 'green' threads in the centre of the group.

I am hoping to make my stitch samplers into 'pages' which can be inserted into the folder via eyelet holes, with the aid of spring release rings.  The folder 'spine' was made using just the silk fabric, as I felt the painted paper surface a little stiff, and prone to cracking with constant wear.  I stitched a long strip of fabric along the centre of the 'spine', and then stitched across it to accommodate the rings.

I have to say that I am quite happy with this project.  The size is slightly larger than an A4 page.  It is sturdy, yet has a soft feel to it.  In time I may need to add a button/gold elastic closure, but will wait to see how it all folds when the pages are in place.  I have not made a 'logo/title' page, as I've yet to decide how I'll stitch my samples onto the appropriate size for this folder.   

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Sad Day

Our township of Miles is in mourning this week, following a fire which destroyed one of the iconic buildings in the main street.  Thankfully, the fire brigade managed to contain the blaze, and save the adjoining buildings.  I am not totally sure how long the building had been in the street, but it had been vacant for quite a while.  The photograph above was taken yesterday when I went to town.

When we first moved to the district in the very late 70's, I was amused at the little tower atop the building.  At that time it was a Holden dealership/workshop.  The very latest venture saw it as home to a furniture and electrical retail outlet.  During it's day as a car dealership, the Holden flag was always flying.  This small photograph shows the building in it's final livery.  It also recently provided a small space for an ATM outlet.

Who knows what the building owners will do with the space now.  We have been told the town is expanding due to the Coal Seam Gas and open-cut coal in and around the district, but the businesses don't seem to reflect that expansion.  Time will tell I suppose.  

It must be a sad day for some of the older residents of the town and district. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fun with Family & Friends

We don't see our family a lot, everyone seems to be always busy or going their own way, so visits and social get togethers are not very frequent.  Last weekend was the exception.  We were very happy indeed to attend our grand daughter's dance concert on Saturday night.  It was delightful.  She danced well, as part of the group, and seemed to enjoy the night.  I hope she will continue next year.  The few photos I did manage to take are not good, as I was sitting quite a distance back in the audience.  The dance tutor organizes costumes, so that part wasn't a drama for her mother.  

After a late night Saturday night, it was a 4.00am wake-up call for us to travel in the opposite direction in order to help with some yard building for #1 son.  Dad did the welding, while the sons worked on the calculations....................  Thankfully, the morning wasn't too hot, and we managed to get a few panels started.  It will take quite a while yet, lots of panels to go!!   Shortly after this was taken, we called it quits for the day, had some lunch and a chat, then headed back home for a well earned snooze in the afternoon.

On Monday I went to visit one of my close friends here, as she had organized for me and another friend to have lunch.  I had a birthday this week, and as has been our tradition for over 12 years, we 'did' lunch.  I hadn't been to her home for quite a while.  The day was lovely, and very relaxing.  It also gave me an opportunity to see Little Bill who is now not so little........LOL...  The three pups have certainly grown and changed a lot from their puppy stage.   Bill is on the left, Meg top right, Dude bottom right [and still the biggest].

Unfortunately, the dog saga does not end with the three pups.  A few weeks ago we were offered a pup which we took, as he is a grandson to one of our best dogs [now departed].  In the hope he will be a chip off the old block, he has been named Chip.  At the moment, I think he's just a splinter!!!  He bears an uncanny resemblance to the old dog, in looks and in nature.  Perhaps we can soon stop collecting dogs!!  Last count was TEN.  Two are quite old and can't work much anymore, and two really don't work 'to standard', so may have to be re-homed in due course.

It has been much cooler this week, following another two inches of rain.  After a very dry November, we are having quite a green December to date.  More is predicted for the weekend. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

And some more crochet.................

I've finally managed to be in a position to take photographs of some more pieces I've done in crochet during the last few years.  These pieces all live with my daughter in law.  We were visiting [make that working] on the weekend, so I quickly snapped them to share here.  They were in use, so have not been pressed properly, ie just a tad bit on the crumpled side in places, sorry.  All have been worked in #40 cotton, in ecru, with two featuring the long time favourite design 'pineapple'.  Two were designs in Crochet Monthly, and the small mat came from an old Paragon book I've had for years.

I am sorry this is not going to be a long post.  The last few days have been quite busy here with us, and I really don't have too much time to devote to the computer today.  I hope these pieces will be enjoyed by my blog readers.  

As always, I thank you for your interest.  Your support is sincerely appreciated.

Friday, December 2, 2011

TAST2012 Challenge

I'm delighted to be joining a large number of ladies [several of them my very close blogging/SF friends] to work through the TAST2012 challenge next year.  The logo above was created/stitched by one of the SF members, Annet, who kindly allowed other participants to use it.

You can see more about the challenge, and find links to many blogs which perhaps may be of interest to you.  This is the link:  The challenge is run by Sharon Boggon, of and fame. 

I am not sure I will be able to work through each stitch, but I'll have a red hot go at it.  Over the last few years I have watched many ladies share their TAST work via various sites, and feel such a challenge will be of benefit to me at this time in my stitching life.

I hope I can share some of my efforts, and that readers will enjoy my progress, as well as take an interest in each and every other participant's work.   

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Harvest Complete

I took these pictures a few weeks ago, and have been meaning to put them here for people to see.  The harvest in the district is now well and truly over, with summer crops already planted and looking lovely after the rain last week.  This was the harvester/header that did the work on the property here.  The photograph was taken as I stood on my northern lawn.  The wheat paddock [the one in my header photo] is not much more than 80 metres from our house.  These big machines are very sophisticated these days, with GPS systems, comb sensors in order to avoid hitting higher ground, bin-full beepers, and more beepers than one can throw a stick at!!  They have sealed, air conditioned cabs for the driver's comfort.  Can you imagine how horrible and dusty the work would be without that.

This photograph is showing the wheat being transferred from the header to the 'chaser' bin.  A little later in the day, the tractor and bin were being driven along beside the header with the wheat going straight into it.  This needs a lot of concentration and communication between header/tractor driver.  If there is a big crop, there is also a need for trucks to be employed in order to move the grain to on-farm storage or take it directly to the wheat depot.

I took this photograph in town during harvest.  These are the 'big rigs' that are used to transport grain.  I know it's not a property shot, but I couldn't resist taking it.  Unfortunately, I missed the front wheels, but on doing a count, that vehicle has 54 tyres.  I actually thought it was amusing seeing him pulled up in front of the tyre shop - bet that shop owner was rubbing his hands together when he saw the big guy pull up!!  Is it any wonder transport costs are soaring.  I hope these few images show a little more of my world.

Thank you all again for your wonderful comments on my recent playing.  I do appreciate the feedback.