Sunday, January 31, 2010

WET AND WILD SUNDAY certainly is.  Not a day for going out, its a day for staying home and being creative. That is if I can get my act in gear.  I've been very good with the 20 mins a day, I can crochet one strawberry and get it all finished in 20 mins.  Once I get going I find it hard to stop - I just need to get going thats all.  The 20 mins helps me do that.

On Tuesday I got a crochet book from the library and made a comment about I'd whip up a few of the things in it and they could have a display on the shelves. "What a great idea" was the reply. OOOps, mouth running away from me again, I really should think things through before I say anything.  It fitted in quite nicely with my 20 mins a day and I soon had a orchard of fruit, couldn't stop myself.  So this is what I did this week when I got bored.  Last night I played around with motifs from the 250 Crochet Motif Book and using a rose as a base made up this pot holder, I was going to make it up into a cushion but got bored with it so I folded the corners to the back stitched them  up to make a double fabric and there we have it.  This took the last half  of The Bill and the first half of Taggert last night.

I haven't been and bought new yarn, I really should, I actually have to despite saying I wouldn't buy any more till the yarn box was decimated.  But (what an excuse and its a valid one ) if I submit the ami doll design I have to put in what yarns I used and since the ami's were made with scraps that I am not sure of the origins, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go to the craft shop and buy more.  The stash box is getting down, though, the lid still won't stay on of its own accord yet so theres a way to go.  I've been making flowers and leaves with the smallest balls of yarn and just throw them into a box when done.  I felted a few that were made with wool to make into brooches when the mood hits. 

I drove around Atherton yesterday looking for garage sales and didn't find one, which is good really since I didn't have any cash on me. So frustrating to find something and not have the money.  Theres a really nice antiquey place outside town but its not open, I was going to call in on the way home just for a browse and a drool.  Thwarted at every step.  So I'll just placate myself by drooling over blogs.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Handkerchief box

I found this pretty little hanky box this morning, its about 1 inch deep, burgundy covered board sides and the lid is covered by a etched and embossed tin sheet. It was so pretty and perfect for the hankies I bought for 5c each at an op-shop a few years ago.   The lady in the op-shop wanted the grand sum of 50c for it and as I only had a $50 note on me she let me have it for nothing as I am a good customer.   I rummaged around at the bottom of my bag and found 35c in change so I handed over that.

I haven't even crafted at all today so far, rushed into town and managed to round up enough money to pay the rego on the car for 6 months. Phoned Telstra and pleaded poverty and got an extension on the bill. I really should join the circus as my juggling skills are getting better.  I've managed to pay a little of each bill to keep them all quiet and have till middle of Feb to pay the rest.  With careful budgeting I should just make it.
All the departments I dealt with wanted to know why I couldn't pay with a credit card - cos I don't and won't have one. The only money I owe is for immediate bills.  Why is that so strange. If I can't afford it I go without or if its something I really want I save up - by the time I have the money I usually find I no longer have a need or deisre for it.

Just realised I haven't had lunch yet and its 2.30 p.m. already.  I was so good in the shop I hesitated over the chocolate, should I shouldn't I and I was so good and walked out with just bread and milk.  I'm denying myself all the goodies and yet the weight still refuses to budge. I park the car the opposite end to town that I want and walk everywhere.  I'm happy though that over christmas I didn't gain anything which is a plus. I think I'll just have a couple of crackers and a piece of low fat cheese and hang on till dinner.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

20 mins a Day (Tulips)

Well, maybe not full blown parrot ones, but they are tulipish.  I'm going for jacobean style, that could change but at the moment its going okay.  I spent the day looking for stitch ideas and colours which of course led me off course.  Found some stuff I had been looking for.  20 minutes extended into a couple of hours and since I was all fired up after the drawing out, scrapping, drawing out again I put the first few stitches in.  It felt good knowing that all I needed to do was 20 minutes. I was allowing myself those 20 mins to craft anything after that was a bonus.  No guilt over me time, no feeling that I had to do it.  I still really would like to do the parrot one, but that would be a big job, one that would take me a while to do and I haven't found the right flower yet anyway. The design I'm doing now I feel could develop into one for submission.  So when finished it will go into my design folder.

Nothing much else to tell today, still raining, grass is still growing like mad and I'm lounging about in my jami's as usual.  School went back today after the long summer break.  I don't have kids that young anymore but we live just a few hundred yards away from the little village school so now I have my time keeping back. I know when to eat lunch and when I should be getting dinner on etc.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I love tulips,  especially the big flashy parrot ones. When I was a little girl in the UK I used to go to a big park, I wasn't supposed to go there on my own but I did. I loved the sunken italian gardens, in spring full of tulips, I loved how the rows and rows moved in the breeze, if I squinted all the colours blurring together. One year there were builders in one part of the park - they were going to build a miniature village.  All the rubble lay for months. Then come spring out of the grey broken pathways and piles of earth came shoots of green, in the midst of all this upheaval came colour. The parrot tulips bravely reaching skywards, I managed to pick a couple of the blooms and took them home to mum, telling the smallest of white lies that a lady had given them to me from her garden.  I have loved them ever since. 
When I asked Vicky to choose another flower for me to do, I was saying over and over - please pick tulips, please pick tulips. Thank you Vicky.

Well my time here today is short. Its Australia Day today and I was going to go down town for the big barbi but unfortunately we have rain, lots and lots of rain, thank you ex-tropical cyclone OLGA (who despite fizzling out and moving towards the Northern Territories is still causing us grief). Its thundering and lighning now so I'm going to switch off the puter, grab a shower and then look through lots of garden books to find the perfect tulip.  There is a design in one of my craft books that I have always wanted to do. Maybe I'll do that, maybe I'll scan a picture and make it into a crossstitch.  So much possiblities. OKay I'm off before this storm gets any closer.


Monday, January 25, 2010


It took 30 mins and I'm not happy with it but its done.  I tinted it with crayon and really it should be washed out so that just a hint of colour remains. But I wanted to get it photograped and out of the way.

So Vicky whats the next one.

20 mins a day

I have joined marmalade Roses '20 minutes a Day challenge' marmaladerose.  Theres actually a fair bit you can get done in 20 mins, its not just hands on crafting job,- weavng in loose ends on crochet, winding yarn, cutting out fabric and if the 20 mins wants to go on a bit longer then let it.  Some of us have lost our mojo, our passion. We've just got a little bogged down in everyday life. For me I created because it helped me get through the hiccups, speedbumps and upsets of a not so normal life. I could lose myself in the stitch.
My life is now normal after years of being a wife, mother and carer. The only person I am responable fr now is ME.  My health is doing okay.  My finacial situation sucks bigtime but apart from needing to pay this months bills and get my car rego next month I owe no money to anyone.  I have a craft room full of material, threads and yarn.  I have wonderful friends who are always there for me, my family support me in anything I do.  So, life is good.  What I need to do now is get back my passion for crafting without the drama and stress I escaped from by immersing myself in stitching, just plain old simple passion for the stitch, I need to do this for me.

The SNOWDROP will be my 20 minutes for today, theres probably only 20 mins left to do on it.  I've gone back to the simple outline stitch. I tried to do it in thread painting but despite two attempts that looked like they were going to work it refused to allow me to do the flower.  I tried crewel, it didn't just look right, I couldn't get the correct tension on the shading on the thread painted one, I frogged and frogged.  I'd chosen a silk fabric for the thread painting, the light was so bad yesterday I had to turn the lights on, which reflected off the fabric, then the bursitis started.  I gave myself a good talking to, it was no biggy if this wasn't going to work, if the the basic outline stitch works, then go for that.  Why did I have to do something I was in no mood to do.  The snowdrop made the decision for me, as soon as I redrew it on a tatty piece of fabric, as soon as I put those first few stitches in the flow happened.  Its basic stitches, its just four colours, it gives me pleasure to sew.  I know I can thread paint, I love crewel work, but it just wasn't the time to do it.

Olga like Neville fizzled before it hit the coast.  Its now a LOW, but we are getting plenty of rain from it. I put back all the verandah furniture and rehung the plants,   en I was woken by the house shaking and banging. My heart raced, the dog was quaking, then the room lit up followed closely by roaring thunder.
The wind howled and the rain lashed the house. Okay, I thought, so its not a cyclone just a LOw, don't panic.  We were just on the edge of the weather system, if this is what we were getting from just LOW, what were the poor things who were in its path getting.  It was 4 a.m., I did a quick tour of the house, laying down towels on the window sills in case the rain came through. The furniture I'd replaced on the verandah had blown over, the cushions soaking wet, I just threw everything in the house, some of the plants had blown over so theres soil to clear up this morning. JUst a normal monsoon storm, something that we get a few times a week during the WET. The thunder and lightning stayed around for a few hours gradually moving away. I read for a bit and then dozed off again.  The BOM says we will get a lot of rain and storms out of this system, doesn't bother me, I'm going to stay curled up with my book and my stitching.  I'm not venturing out today. 


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wet Sunday

One of the things that annoys me when there is cyclone around is the uncertainty. The one time I will get complacent is the one time a big one will hit - when 'LARRY' was heading straight for us nearly four years ago we were on a plane flying to Brisbane.  (is it really nearly fours years ago that our lives were turned back upside down again). That was a pretty scary plane ride, we must have hit every pot hole in the sky. Especially when the pilot came on and told us we were flying right past the eye of the storm.  That time we left all the preperations to our sons, we had other things to worry us.  We watched news reports as the far north received a battering like no other, at the hospital when my beloved was waiting for his PET scan we listened on the mobile phone as we called home, hearing first hand the noise of the area being ripped apart.
Then all phone coverage was lost, no way of finding out if our loved ones were safe. 
Flying back in later that night was so eerie, no lights at all in the City, drving through it was an impossible task to even drive on the right side of the road, constantly swerving round fallen trees.  We couldn't get back up the mountain till the next day, one range road had been cleared but the winds had shredded all the leaves and they lay like a sheet of ice making it perilous to drive on.   We had to drive through 3 towns and the closer we got to home the worse the devastation got.  Innisfail on the coast was the worst hit, the banana industry totally ruined, our little towns on the Tablelands up in the mountains got off fairly easy compared to the coast but it was still the worst cyclone the Far North has ever seen.  There was no power for days, a neighbour plugged in our fridge to his big generator and on alternate days we did the washing, I cooked on our gas barbi for the neighbour on the other side, the boys were out every day helping with the clean-up. Roads down to the coast were blocked and the coast roads that brought all our food up were cut-off by flooding for weeks.  The damage to our house was minimal, a leak in the roof where the tin had lifted and the whirly bird blew off, a couple of broken windows where flying branches had hit, the big soursop tree broke in half (luckily falling away from the house narrowly missing the sheds) and since it was dangerous had to be chopped down.  The big shed got flooded and the beer fridge was the only casualty.  So if I get complacent over this latest one I just remember LARRY.   OLGA is going to make land further north now, but we will still get the gale force winds and the driving rain and our rivers will get flooded.  The good side is that if the power goes off I can't do anything, no telly to watch, no cleaning to do - all that spare time to sit and sew.

Every morning I try to read through at least one blog on my list.  Who needs books when there are so many wonderful ladies who can weave magic with words.  If I need a recipe or an idea for dinner - just go to the blogs, the same for a crafty idea.  There is soooo much inspiration out there, so much so that I tend to just look and not do, filing it all away in the "ONE DAY" basket.  Scrapbooking has never really gotten hold of me (I'm still annoyed that the one craft shop in the area went over to the darkside and doesn't stock anything other than beading, patchwork and scrapbooking items) but I am drawn to all the vintage cards being used in the blogs.
So i phoned home and asked mum if she still had all the cards from the 40's and 50's - YES.  I don't care what you leave me in your will mum, just make sure I get those cards. I've instructed my bro to scan them for me as well.  Just in case one day the scrap booking bug bites of course.

Another little part of my craft room.  All my ami dolls wanted to pose so I had to let them, they are getting quite fond of the camera.  I had made a few granny squares for a cot blanket but gave up after 10, the pink was tooo dark. They lay in the UFO box for weeks until I made 9 of them up into a little doll blanket for one of the girls.  Now I have one little square left, all on its lonesome, what shall I do with it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wonderful weather for Ducks

.....and the rain came down. Not unusual since we are in 'The Wet Season'.  The cyclone that was, then isn't, then was and now isn't again is hovering off the coast further north and I'm not going to worry about it any more.  My neighbours ducks are splashing about in their little pool, quaking and thoroughly enjoying their little selves. Taking their lead late yesterday afternoon I went out into the garden, walking down the driveway was like walking down a river bed, the rain felt so good, who cared if the neighbours saw. I was actually rescuing some lillies that had chosen that moment to open, I didn't want them getting ruined so I picked them. It was invigorating. We got 80mm out of that little downpour and since it has been raining steadily ever since theres probably another 80mm from overnight.  The only downside being that it is our villages market day today and there is no way I am venturing out to a muddy paddock. I wanted to buy some more gem stone beads but I reckon most of the stall-holders will have peeked outside and just gone back to bed when they saw the weather.  Some old die-hards like the old italian small holders will have braved it - even after "Larry' they were their selling there produce out of the back of their ute.

But who needs veggies from the market when I have these beauties growing, going back to the house after my stroll around in the rain I noticed something red in the veggie patch near the house. Aren't they gorgeous, they remind of the sour apple lollies we used to eat when we were kids. I think these will be going into a tuna and pasta salad. I'm out of olives and I just remembered there was a market stall holder who sold the most wonderful dried herb and spices mixes, dare I get dressed and wander down, chances are he won't be there, I forgot to go to the bank yesterday, oh poo, so no money anyway.  Oh well, they'll be other markets he'll be at.

When I make a conscious effort into being motivated I can do it, I stuck at the snowdrop, not rushing in and losing heart early in the game, I did the preparation.  I am gradually rediscovering my deep passion for embroidery.   I love thread painting and jacobean work and even just doing the outlines for the snowdrop fired me up, beacuase the outline stitches are just used as a guide and padding for the surface stitches they are not too neat but I think it would look good as an outline and maybe just one leaf and the flower petals filled with a crewel stitch.  I might work another one in stem stitch later today and just see what it would look like. 

Doesn't seem to by many cars around, usually the road is chocker block market days, so I think I'll just stay home today, I'll drive down to the library later to stock up on some feel good books, then go get some chocolate and a packet of Grain Waves and hole up for the day. Got Adam Sandlers Bedtime Stories to watch as well.  All thats missing is a pot belly fire to curl up in front of. 

Update:  Ex Trocial Cyclone Neville fizzled out, typical of a bloke and Tropical Cyclone Olga category 2 flew in. She's hovering off the coast and expected to hit land maybe tomorrow evening,  This one will hit the area I live in if it does as predicted. I have a son living on the coast so maybe I should get the spare bed made up just in case he decides to head up the mountain where it will be a little bit safer. Better rush around like a headless chook getting prepared, I wasn't intending to go back into town, looks like I'll have to.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Is it or isn't it

Yesterday the cyclone was downgraded to an ex, it hovered out at sea and the BOM predicted it would head back towards land further north, it was also predicted to reform as a cyclone overnight but just looking at the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) site its still an ex, heading out to sea again but will come back towards the coast for weekend and maybe reform then. We are sure getting plenty of rain from it. Just steady rain, which is badly needed after all the bush fires the Tablelands have had over the past few months.

I tossed and turned all night, the dog was restless (she hates the wind) and insisted on sleeping as close to me as she could get. In the end I slept on the other side of the bed (which is something I don't do - even after 3 years I still keep to my own side) but she followed me.This morning there she was all wrapped up in the covers and the bed looks like a tornado has hit it. Normally I sleep very tidily but I have a bad case of tennis elbow, it kept me awake most of the night. Won't stop me stitching though since I taught myself to embroider with my left hand - one boring weekend when I couldn't settle to anything.  A few years ago I was most upset and disappointed when the magazine I had submitted my designs to said that I wasn't 'country' enough for them.  So to get the prim naive look I stitched the design with my left hand, I had tried and tried to get the look they wanted but the obessive compulsive part of me had to have neat, perfect stitches, I just couldn't bring myself to do anything less than perfect.  Doing it with my left hand gave everything the look the required and its a good skill to learn just in case of a sprained wrist etc.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Snowdrops it is then

Okay next challenge - snowdrops

Despite the BOM saying that the chances of the low developing into a cyclone one developed overnight, I could feel the change in the air, the wind felt different. Its way out to sea at the moment and will probably head north heading for the Cooktown area, we'll get the rain from it hopefully.  But as I said before these things are unpredictable.  Ones formed over in Western Australia as well. Ours is called Neville and their is called Magda.  It goes alphabetically and they alternate between boy and girl names. We always have a laugh when one has the same name as someone we know, if the cyclone has their attributes or failings etc.

I love my grandkids immensely, they have brought great joy to this family but they are so tiring.  Jessica looks like not only inheriting my crafting skills but also my gift of the gab, from the moment I put her in the car to the time I drop her off again she is never quiet, my head spins from all the chatter. I stood at the kitchen sink washing up after the dinner my son had cooked (using leftovers from the previous nights dinner - I taught him well), made myself a cup of tea and then decided I couldn't stay awake one moment longer.  I quickly tiedied up my books and got ready for bed. Then remembered I hadn't washed up, dragged myself over to the sink and stood there wondering where all the pots had gone.  I haven't been that tired for a long time.  As soon as my head hit the pillow that was it I was out for the count.

I'm going to rush into town early, I have to go to CentreLink and take my forms in, rush round to the veggie shop and get more veggies and then home again to clean and then get some serious stitching done.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Daisy, Daisy........

Finally, the puter decided that it would accept the usb stick and I was able to download all my photo's as you probably all could tell by the previous post.

Here they are Vicky - 100+ daisies, I'm awaiting your next choice of flower.  Make it a hard one.

Jess and her first embroidery lesson

It is a joke amongst my friends that I am the BAAAAD BAAAAAAD BAAAAAAAAAD Grandma, well I think that today I have totally redeemed myself.  After months of Jess inching her way into the craftroom I relented and said today was the day I would teach her to embroider. Got McCains pizza squares and bought cup cakes on the way round there to pick her up.  We played the usual games of Trouble and for once Grandma slaughtered her.  All the time she's eyeing up the embroidery threads next to my chair. Unbeknowns to her I had already got the threads, material, needles and scissors all ready.  "Grandma I really really would like to learn to sew" "Yes, darling grandaughter, shall we begin"      I got her to draw out a simple flower shape and to write her name on a piece of homespun, she chose her threads and I did two stitches for her and away she went. She is a NATURAL, the way she held her material, she never got a knot in the threads once, she never pulled the threads too tight and the way she held the material and needle was like she's been doing it since birth.  She even managed to hold a conversation and watch tele while stitching - she's definately her grandmothers granddaughter.    She had a little break and we put lunch on and since we couldn't go on our picnic because of the rain we set it up in the living room, once lunch was over and cupcakes eaten - they were strawberry, vanilla and chocolate frosted and I told her to chose the two she wanted - she chose strawberry and chocolate but sneaked a small bite out of the vanilla one just to see what it tasted like we set to to more crafting.                                                              

After we cleared up from lunch we set to more stitching, then she needed a break and we got the beads out and she made some bracelets while we watched Peter Pan, Jess was amazed that Wendy kissed Peter Pan and refused to take her eyes off the screen even while she was threading beads, definately got my genes.

I went down to lie on the bed for a bit and read the paper and she joined me with her stitching, she just laid back propped up on all the cushions and stitched away. I just cannot believe for her first time how easily it came to her, she's 7.  I taught handicraft up at the school a few years back and the 10 and eleven year olds were hopeless, knots, pulled work, I was forever rethreading needles and pulling back work.
So I suppose I'd better get her a little sewing box made up. All we did was running stitch and a french knot but she seems well and truly hooked. 

Thinking it was safe to relax a little I made myself a coffee, she was still all fired up for crafting and she got out the blank jigsaw puzzles and I drew out one for her to colour in, but she lost interest in that and left me to the colouring in, but then she came back and did one for herself.
She made two more bracelets and I decided that was enough, we'd excelled ourselves and we hadn't even done half the normal things we usually do. It was a very good day and I know which one of us will be going to bed early tonight.  I've just done a quiick tidy up and removed three cups of coffee that I never got to drink.


I was going to put up the photo of the daisies but for some reason I can't get my photo's off the little usb stick, it was working fine yesterday, thats all I need. Puter keeps telling me New Hardware Found, ready to use and then nothing.  Vicky, I did over 100 daisies so what flower is next in the challenge

I was going to have my grandaughter over today but the weathers is miserable, glad I worked in the garden yesterday.  I'll give them a ring and see if she still wants to come. I found 4 packets of beads in the op-shop before christmas shaped like small shells so I had planned on making bracelets with her. We normally go on a picnic down by the creek - tablecloths, napkins and the whole works, then a trip to the library, maybe bake some cupcakes, do some drawing and colouring in. I usually dedicate the whole day to her, no housework or shopping, its our special time together.

Scuse the double chin and the daft hat - I just look a dork in a hat, hats and me just don't go. Unfortunately they are a necessity in this climate.This is my gorgeous girl and I on our last picnic.
Well she still wants to come over despite the rain so better go get some indoorsy stuff organised. Might be the time to teach her to embroider.



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Inspiration hits - KAPOW

Okay, its either feast or famine with me. Last night I sat down to crochet my one little daisy, one little daisy looked lonesome so I did a few more, drew out a heart shape and proceeded to fill in the heart shape with lots of daisies.  This morning I made a start crocheting some motifs form the library book I got yesterday. Ooops, its a good job I'm fairly clued up on crochet as the book has plenty of mistakes - now I have ideas for things swimming round my head.  Then this morning a friend dropped in with a book for me from our mutual in/outlaw - Beading Design with Semi-Precious Stones by Kim Gover.  Since I have heaps and heaps of semi-precious stones and have a great supplier to get more I was inspired to get out my beading boxes.
So many things to do and not enough hours. So in the morning while the light is good I will embroider, its cooler then, in the afternoon when the sun gets round to the front of the house I will bead. I can embroider anywhere but tI need my desk to bead properly. In the evenings when it gets cooler again I can crochet.
Somewhere in all of that activity I will fit the shopping and housework.  The doctor while pleased I have a hobby to occupy my mind says all that sitting doing the craft is bad, so for every 20 mins inactivity I will rush around like mad doing housework for 20 mins or gardening even. 

So the plan is..........................

1)  To work on new designs with the goal of getting a design accepted by Embroidery & CrossStitch magazine.  Research what is currently popular (this would mean buying craft magazines and cruising round the web, what a lovely excuse)

2)  To finish of the designs already started with the goal of submitting them to HandMade and Creating Country Threads magazines.

3)  Creating the patterns for the amigurmi dolls I made up as I went along. 

4)  Looking into making kits for basic embroidery designs.  I have the patterns already written up for the simple designs I have had in the magazines before.  Need to price fabric, threads etc.

I think that is enough or now.

Now to get back to normal life.  The low pressure system is out in the Coral Sea and is expected to develop into a cyclone. This will affect our area. So I have to get prepared just in case its a bad one.  Make sure torches are working, make sure we have candles and matches accessible, make sure first aid kit is up to date, make sure plenty of food, check there are no things around the garden that could become missiles. Clean out the window wells, move pot plants to a protected place.  Move electrical stuff off the floor in the sheds, get out the tarps, find the battery operated radio and check its working.  Check the holiday home next door. 
The damm thing could hover around out in the gulf for days before it intensifys and it might just fizzle out but we have to take these precautions. 

So better get to it,


PS: Did 30 mins in the garden, ended up weeding rather than moving stuff.  That can be the next job, after 30 mins of embroidery.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Brewing for a storm

The storm clouds are gathering, there the threat of a  cyclone out in the gulf, hopefully it won't affect us other than winds and more rain, but if it crosses land and goes out to the coral sea there is a chance it could develop into a cyclone and head back which would affect us.   These things are so unpredictable who knows what they will do.

Got taken in early to see the doc., ecg okay, blood pressure okay, blood sugars okay.  Thyroid not causing concern so I don't have to see her again till December. Sounds good to me, I'm happy with that. Went to the library and got some gardening books for embroidery ideas, also found a boof with 250 crochet motifs in - wonder if I can do every single one before the book goes back. What a task that would be.

Here are the girls ready to go party.
Looks like I have missed the christmas in JUly deadline but who cares, they are finished, the
pattern is written up and I can start of something else.

Getting my mojo back

Okay I have a few hours to kill before my hospital appointment and thanks to Vicky at Anglesey Allsorts I'm going to be rummaging around for something to embroider - one daisy, well Vicky I know I won't be able to stop at one and I am very good at daisies.  What sort do you want - I'm fond of the sailor boy daisy or maybe just a sweet little ordinary daisy.  You do know what you have started or it was it your intention all along.

Yesterday I did something I have not done for a long time - I started and finished a project in one day, I made a sister for the christmas in july angel. Well I had to check the pattern and thought since yesterday was a miserable drizzly day I would stay in and get stuck into it.  So santa's little helper was born.  I can't say I got great joy out of it but I disciplined myself to it and determined at least to get to sewing on limbs stage.
I amazed myself by sticking to it and put the last finishing touches on at 11 p.m. last night.  In fact despite the fact I had finished I was still rummaging around for a christmas button way after midnight.  oooooooooohhhh - I don't really want to go in that craft room this morning, I just remembered the mess I mad in there.

I'm typing away and all I really want to do is make a start on the daisies..........Shasta's, I love Shasta Daisy, I'm going to walk away from the puter and get the gardening books out or maybe marguerittes (sp ?).  I've been published in two of the best craft mags in Oz but what I really really really want is to get a design in Embroidery and CrossStitch. But I'm going to start small.......... a little little daisy and I'm going to go now..........Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

embroidering daisies

Sunday, January 17, 2010


My inspirations taken a very long rest Vicky, I think it forgot to take the map on how to get back.

I feel its stirrings, but its buried deep.   I went garage saling yesterday, after posting in y other blog and pulled myself together and got out of the house. I went to the market but failed to be inspired to buy anything, not even seedlings for the veggie garden. I nipped to the store while I was there and bought essentials to get us through the next few days till payday, I noticed a sign for a garage sale  at the checkout so I nipped in there on the way home, Nothing much - there was a cute little pottery cow jug, all pink and blue and it was only a dollar but it was badly chipped so it stayed where it was.  I did buy a wheat heat bag though, just what I had been looking for. Perfect for sticking in the freezer for those dread power surges.

We sat on the verandah of my friends new place and just gazed at the view,  so matter what direction you look in this is all you see, blue skies and green hills, the only sound  the cows in the paddocks below and the occassional symphony when the wind blows through the pipe on the sheds.  Its high on a hill, up a winding farm track, they wanted out of town and its certainly out of town.  The only downfall being  that the area has one of the highest rainfalls in Q'land and its shrouded in mist come the wet season, its not called the Misty Mountains for nothing.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jean Greenhowe dolls

These little cuties were made 29 years ago from a Jean Greenhowe pattern (? sp.). Would I have the patience now to make a dozen of the same thing. I wonder if any of the little girls they were made for as mascots still have them.  Its a scanned old poleroid so thats why the quality is bad. I know the uniforms are dated now but they don't look much different from dolls on Etsy do they.  Just wish I could have back some of that patience I must have had way back in 1981.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday 15th Jan

Ooops, need another coffee, not quite a wake yet.  After a busy day yesterday cleaning  the holiday home next door for my neighbour I feel great. Its a very strange feeling. A few aches and pains but thats to be expected after cleaning walls and scrubbings bathrooms. But I feel fine otherwise, no breathlessness, no chest pains. I sat down after I finished to read for a while and suddenly realised I was feeling okay, I analysed the feeling as I always do which is a habit I need to get out of.   Could be a one off or it could be that I am not so focused on my damm health.  I never used to be, but then I wasn't affected by anything, didn't even know I was a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off.  All you ladies approaching 50 watch your health, heart disease and diabetes symptoms can mimic menapause - hot sweats, leg aches, itching skin, headaches, fatigue  etc. Being women we tend to ignore these things and carry on regardless. I was 49, recently widowed and just getting back into the workforce after years of caring for kids and my hubby. I'd had symptoms for years but ignored them. I nearly died,   Get regular cholestrol, blood pressure and sugar tests. If your health centre do free well women clinics get yourself along there. Okay, lecture over for today.

I had the house to myself last night, didn't watch tele again, played a bit on the computer and  then sat down and finished the doll I was making.  Sorry about the bad quality of the photo, it was late and the light was bad and then the batteries died on the camera.  She's  for a christmas in July submission - based on my little grandaughter Stacey who is a very individual miss, very independant and has her own sense of style. 
We have christmas in JUly here in the middle of our winter, not that our winters here in the Tropicl Far North of Queensland get very cold but down south it does (they even get snow)

Just another little corner of my craft room. I was looking for a certain button and completely forgot about this little spice cupboard I use for my small buttons. I tend to overlook it when I'm looking for a button, its mainly for display.  I bought it at a garage sale, probably only paid a dollar.  Definately one of my best finds.  The old buttons on the card were in a very nice foreign biscuit tin I also picked up at a garage sale, it was full of old sewing bits and pieces and I think I only paid a dollar for that as well.  I really miss finding bargains like that.  The darning mushroom and the wooden cotton reels were also in the tin.   I really do need to find that passion again, I need to feel that rush of adrenalin when I'm on the hunt. I just seem to be going through the motions, just living each day as it comes, it just needs something a bit more. 
I didn't even look in the paper to see what garage sales were on this weekend. 

Don.t like the sounds of that, sirens have gone rushing through town,  more sirens now.  There is a very windy mountain road down to the coast about 10 klms out of town , I hope nobody has gone off it.  I always do a quick check of where all my kids and friends should be right now.  Our fire engine hasn't gone out yet,  just the police and the ambulance from the next town.

Better go get dressed, nah, better go make another coffee, have breakfast and then get dressed. Going out today to look at a house my friend is going to rent, its near the tea plantation so might call in there for morning tea.  Its got great country views so hopefully my camera batteries will be charged up enough to take some piccys.

Friday 15th Jan

Friday 15th Jan

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Thanks for the comment Vicky..

I go out with a friend and she always looking for a bargain, something marked down, something on special and she buys it wether she needs it or not, in fact I have a couple of friends like this.  The money they must waste on objects that they end up sending to the thrift shop or giving away.  I have got into the habit now of self talk - do I really need this, come on you know its going to sit in the cupboard, it will never get used, think of the money you will save if you DON'T buy it. Yesterday I put two balls of crochet thread back on the shelf - the sales are coming up soon and I know it will be marked down (last seasons colours) and I did make a vow to myself not to buy any more yarn or threads till I had used up part of my stash. I have plenty to keep me going.  I also saw two gorgeous embroidered shirts in the op-shop, one dollar each. But I knew they would sit in the craft room waiting for a project to come along. No, no more stuff comes in unless I can use it straight away or it has a purpose or I know it will be something that I need. 

I am going to make a list of items that I do need to make the projects I have plannned for the year and then when I garage sale or op-shop  I can keep a look out for these things.  I do want some vintage fabric - curtaining or sheeting and I do want a shelf unit or small chest of drawers that can be used for storage, plus I need some baskets or boxes. Every year I say this will be my year for getting myself organised and come July I'm back to my usual cluttered life.  Though the kitchen cupboards have stayed tidy and my wardrobe is reasonably clutter free.  I think the house could do with one more declutter (I have stocked single handedly over the previous years decluttering a whole op-shop) before I am happy. Though this time I will have a box for things I am unsure of - like that beautiful rose chintz fabric I turfed out and I am still in mourning over.  I am also going to make a box up of things that can be used for when the grandkids come over.

Once you get in the habit of thrifting (I believe you have to do something regularly for 30 days before it becomes a habit) then its second nature. But what you have to be careful of is becoming a scrooge, false economy and just looking downright mean.  I save water, it sounds ridiculas I know, but living in Australia makes you become aware of what a precious commodity water is.   So we save rain water (I've been through a drought where the areas dam was so low we could walk across it, despite our area being the Wet Tropics we sometimes don't get a proper 'wet season' . Water out of the kettle goes on the pot plants, rain water goes on the garden, veggie scraps get composted, seeds are saved. I've now got into the habit of only using the car for necessary journeys and doing as much as I can while I am in town.  I use the library for books and magazines.

This little tea-pot which is my favourite thing was bought from a garage sale about 5 years ago, I paid $5 for it and the gentleman who sold me said it was his grandmothers and he doesn't remember her ever using it, there is no crazing or staining anywhere on it so it might not be vintage.  its a Johnson Bros one but I can't find it or anything with the lid design on in any of the Johnson Bros designs. I don't think its part of the friendly Village series, I have a couple of pin dishes with that design on and this one seems much more brighter.  I think the shape is the tulip shape. Wether its vintage or not matter very little to me, I like it and thats all that matters.

Its so hot today, my son has gone down to the city to get a tattoo removed so the house is all mine so I am just in a sarong.  I didn't sleep well last night - the dreaded power surges. So I don't want to do anything today.  Got a whole heap of books from the library yesterday so might just settle down under the fans and read all day. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thrifty Tuesday

Thanks to Vicky over at ANGLESEY ALLSORTS I'm feeling very thrifty. Before christmas we had a very frugal few weeks, I was owed money, bills had to be paid (or else) and christmas was definately going to be home-made.  So despite the whinges coming from No.2 sons corner about the cupboards being bare we knuckled down and used up what we had.  We were practically vegetarian for the whole time. I decided that getting up early and driving the 16 klms into town to get there as the supermarkets opened just to save five dollars on meat sort of defeated the object.  If I am in town already when they are marking the prices down fine then I will stock up. I refuse to buy the cheap loo rolls - mainly because thats what they are - cheap and nasty and you end up using twice as much. But I do buy a reasonably priced one and when its on special two packs for the price of one I will buy.  Soap and toothpaste I always buy when its on special, in fact I still have 8 bars of Palmolive Gold left over from this time last years sales.  Shampoo and conditioner are always bought two for one. Since the washing powder has been reduced to those little concentrated packs the chemists seem to be selling off the bigger boxes. Is it me or is there no real difference, I seem to be using more of the concentrate stuff and its twice the price of the old and it doesn't seem to wash any better.  I managed to get Bio-Oil on special at the chemist as well. I always tend to shop in just the one place and never really go in the chemist unless I'm getting my script filled. Buts its certainly worth wandering around while I'm waiting and seeing what is on special.  I saw somewhere washing powder for $1.78 for a kg (the old stuff) so I'll stock up on that today.  I usually buy the fruit and veggies from the markets or farm honesty stalls. We have sweet potato, tomatoes, capsicums and spinach still growing in the garden.........the aubergine plant finally died after 18mths of producing non-stop.  I'm not a big fan of eggplant so it won't be replaced.. I do miss the chooks, I resent paying through the nose for eggs now, in the shops they are labelled caged, cage free, barn and free range. So if you go for the cheaper eggs you are made to feel like a criminal. I usually get the Tamigoshi Happy Eggs if I can. 
Now I'm all  in a thrifty mood I'm off into town soon (better get dressed first), check out the op-shops and the chemists (need my cholestrol meds) and see what bargain I can find.


PS" Couldn't find the cheap washing powder but did find a few bargains at the op-shops, a nice skirt for $1.50 and two espresso cups, 4 nice tea-plates and a trivety thingy to put on the gas burner to stop the espresso pot from falling over .   I defeated the object by buying two nice pongy votive candles from Loot.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mooching around

I'm so restless at the moment. I finally got my car back off number 2 son - his is registered and back on the road now - YEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAA.  I went for a drive, the view was spectacular and where was my camera and phone - at home of course. The recent rain has greened everything up, we were in a drought situation and its so good to see green grass again.  I just can't get into stitching, I keep finding more and more ufo's.  4 are submissions for the magazines so I can't show you those yet.  I know once I get into the swing of things there will be no stopping me. 

This is what I do when I'm left to my own devices. Its a doodle with thread. I just play around and see where it goes, all hand stitched.  This is a design for an amulet or tarot card bag. Just playing around with colour and shading.  I totally lost myself in this design. I bought metres of silk fabric in bronzes/golds and greeny colours, satins in reds and blues and panne velvets in blacks, dark blues, greens, golds and its still in its Spotlight bag (For non-aussies Spotlight is the crafters heaven) not unpacked yet. I even got my overlocker out and set all the threads up ready to make the bags. This was way back last year. 

Well thats a turn up for the books, just had a phone call from a lady in Melbourne, she's seen my design in the latest Creating Country Threads and wants to know if it is in a kit she could buy.  So now I can show it you if its already out there.  Funny, I haven't seen it in the mag yet, they normally send you a copy when its in, that also means the cheque should be in the post hopefully. 

So there we are, will this give me the incentive to get my finger out and get into that craft room. Its just a basic sampler in a naive style, I was just using up all the bits left over from other projects and used stem, back, herringbone, split, chain and  blanket stitches, the frame is a silky oak one picked up as a pair from a garage sale for 50c. I think I started it towards the end of my beloveds life and it lay in a box like all the others until one morning I woke up and thought one more try, lets see if the mags are interested and if they are I will get it finished. So finished it got, published it got and  now its hanging in the living room. 



Saturday, January 2, 2010

1.21 p.m. 2nd January 2010

I can't believe I did what I did but after turning my craft room upside down I obviously did.  Since I can't find that beautiful rose chintz fabric I can only assume that I packed it off to the thrift store, But I did find lots of ufo.s to keep me going. 

This was started as a project while I was hanging around in the hospitals while my late beloved had his chemo and then lay hidden away in a bag of scraps. Theres only one more set of roses to embroider, it will be hard to match up the threads but I'm sure that somewhere in my large stash there will be the right colours.
I might make it into a small drawstring bag or a pin cushion. I wish I had taken a photo of the pin cushion I did that was very similar to this.  I think I might of but I have a feeling it was in the photo file that I lost when my puter crashed.

I love crewel and jacobean embroidery and I seem to start and then lose interest, this was intended to be the front of a amulet bag, it was only started a few months ago so perhaps its still a WIP and not a UFO, I did find a little bag of threads that might actually belong to this so I won't have to match up the threads. This one I was making up as I went along so it won't matter if I change the colours.
Well, these were started many christmases ago, my dear friend Maureen got me hooked on crazy patchwork and as I hate wasting anything these were perfect for using up all those odd scraps that I just hated to throw away.  Each christmas they come out and I try to do a bit more, but then I lose heart with them and they get hidden away for another year.Some of the fabric I brought with me to Australia from the UK 17 years ago, some my mother in law sent me.Maybe this year will be their year.

These are only the tip of the ice-berg in the ufo pile, I should really get every single one out and photo the whole lot. Is this blog big enough for the whole kit and caboodle. Am I brave enough to show the whole world the extent of my inabilities to ever finish anything off.
Bribe me with chocolate and I might.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I tried, I really did. But I didn't quite stay awake, I heard a few fireworks and cheers but rolled over and went back to sleep.  I had a wonderful nights sleep and awoke refreshed and ready to face the new year.

First I phoned my sis in law and we had a long chat, then I had brekky, I went back to bed and finished off a book, then I pootled around doing nothing in particular.  I just couldn't keep still and as soon as the sun went behind a cloud out I ran and grabbed the mower - fully intending to just do around the back of the house, but I did just a bit more to tidy up the driveway side of the house, then since I was near the front I might as well just do that and what the heck lets get the back done as well around the fruit trees and the hidden garden. Okay enough is enough leave some for Matt to do.  Hot, sweaty and covered in grass and dust I stood back and surveyed my work. Pretty pleased with myself that I had the stamina to do it all. 

I even did some cross stitching in a UFO. Not sure wether I can get used to this not stressing thing. I've been changing slowly over the past few years, my other blog explains all the upheaval in my life and how I dealt with it and I really don't want to drag it all up in this blog.  I get so far and then go back a little.

Enough of that, lets get on to what I need to do this year.  The craft mags are very interested in my designs again, I've had one published  recently and a nother due to be published soon.  I've got the schedules of whats needed for the mags for the next few months and need to decide what I want to make. What will be my direction this time. In the past I've gone naive stitcheries. I really would like to go a bit shabby this time, maybe alter some of the naive designs. I did recreate a embroidered house tea-cosy from the 30's s I think I'm going to play around with it a bit and see if it works shabby.
This design was one of the last ones I had published a few years ago. I want to try and get away from this style.
I have a couple of rose designs that would work very nicely with shabby fabric. 
This blog is probably going to be harder than I thought.
The designs I want to re-work were all done at a time when I needed to immerse myself, escape what was happening around me.  Many were stitched at chemo appointments or waiting around while my hubby had tests done.  Many done in the early hours when I couldn't sleep. Each stitch keeping me sane, stopping me from going under.
So perhaps I will change the blog title description to something about moving on.  The past three years have all been about moving forward, reinventing myself and getting my life back on track.  So perhaps now it is time to let go, admit that I am now a different person and I am ready to go back out into the world.