Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cupcake and Tea Swap

I was so lucky to receive a parcel yesterday from my swap partner in the 'Cupcake & Tea' swap that Rachael Rabbit hosted. It came from 'summer by the sea' and is so so special ( yes, that means I love it!). All these little parcels, I wasn't sure where to start. I got some yorkshire tea which I will enjoy and have promised 'SH' I will share. I got a soft knitted cupcake and a heart -out of cupcake fabric of course! I also got some special paper pans, might even have a special afternoon tea this weekend to enjoy them. At the bottom of the box was a wonderful personalised sign for my kitchen, my favorite lime green with a cupcake on it (one of my favorite things) and best of all my name is spelt correctly!!! I love it and you would of seen a photo of it already on the wall but my memory was full on my camera. Thank you so much Natalie, you are so generous.
After work yesterday I was super busy (again) with a meeting with the 'Horsey' ones art teacher to discuss costumes for the upcoming musical in which the 'horsey' one is part of the dolphin chorus. I have bought home 27 capes??!! to sew and there are far more waiting should I find some spare time! I then scored "HS's basketball game before going to the 'Parent & Friends' meeting at school - don't think I will bother going to another meeting for a very long time. It was a very frustrating experience!! Roll on the weekend.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Does anyone need some eggs???

A few weeks ago on the 'Horsey' one's birthday we bought 6 new hens. We had got to the stage that we were having to buy eggs, the ducks weren't laying , the 3 chooks were a little old and the 'Horsey' one's chook she raised in Science last year hadn't started yet. Even the appearance of a very sharp knife in the henhouse had not scared them into production! (likely they had overheard the discussion between 'SH' and I that I insisted they would live out their retirement with us!!!). Well even with zero temperatures things are now happening! The new girls began laying about 10 days ago and that obviously led the others to think their lives were in jeopardy because everyone is now laying which has led to an abundance of eggs! I have already sold 2 dozen at work this week and have another dozen to take today. We mainly use the duck eggs for our baking and at this stage they are threatening to take over too. We do bake a lot but obviously not enough. Saturday is penciled in to the calender as a baking day to fill the freezer!

No sewing yesterday but I did order a pattern. My sister-in-law had seen a quilt made up in a shop and dropped many hints ..... which I eventually took and asked whether she would like it for her boys. There is to be no time pressure though! It is an 'Americanjane' pattern based on the old rhyme 'Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around..'.

I have caught up a little with my blog reading, gosh everyone has been busy!. I will be back on track soon - I hope.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm back......

Well I am back online again, didn't really go anywhere but life just lost control for a few days there! I have had a dreadful cold/virus again and have felt really lousy for the last week. Am starting to feel better now thank goodness. Have been busy working on my 'cupcake and tea' swap and it was posted today (a few days late but I feel now like a weight has been lifted), not sure if my partner will like it and am worried it will not be up to her standard but have my fingers crossed it will be okay. I will post photos as soon as I know she has received it. On Sunday I went on a bus trip down to the 'Craft Fair' in Melbourne. I didn't think it was as good as others I've been to but I still enjoyed the day out. My big purchase for the day was a lovely Jarrah 'Light box'. I do quite a bit of stitching so it is something I've wanted for ages and something I will use a lot. I also bought some 'Sashimo' Japanese embroidery panels, something else I've always wanted to try. I have told myself I have to finish something before I am able to start them though!! I only bought one pattern which the 'Horsey' one has decided she is making - for a daschaund dog with puppys on a mat - very cute! All things being equal I will catch up on my blog reading over the next few days, I have missed checking what everyone is up to. Oh and if anyone has some spare sun and warm weather I'd appreciate you sending it here.......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Well after my post yesterday there was actually some progress!!! No finishes but definately some progress. Unfortuantly the main work was on the 'cupcake and tea' swap so no photos but I am feeling slightly! less daunted by the deadline now. I also did some work on my christmas redwork stitching and it is so close to being finished now. I did finish a book yesterday which was good. I have always been a big and quick reader but in recent years I am more likely to pick up a magazine or newspaper than a book due to time restraints. The book I've just finished is 'The Kite Runner' and I would recommend it highly. An inspiring, emotional book to read on so many levels. They have just released a film based on the book but I don't think I will go to see it. Jessie-jo is doing much better, it is hard to believe that this time last week we thought we were going to lose her. She is back to her happy self and let the chooks out yesterday so that is definately a sign she is on the mend!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some stitching and a deadline.......

A slightly lighter post than yesterdays!! I thought it was about time to talk about some quilting / stitching which my blog has not had much of recently. It is time to make a list and get into some routine. The stupid thing is I find it so relaxing when I actually settle to it but on my really busy days (which are in reality no busier than anyone else's) I find a million other things that need to be done first and then I go to bed!!
Okay so the list stands at the moment :
1/ The cupcake and tea swap - the deadline is looming so this is a priority but I worry I have bitten off more than I can chew. I so wanted to make the absolute perfect thing instead of sticking to the K.I.S.S. theory that it took weeks before I even decided on something. Anyway that will be all I work on this week and will post photos very soon.....
2/ Noah's Ark B.O.M from Lynette Anderson, I have tried so hard to keep up to date with this - unlike most things!! but I am now 2 blocks behind, the kangaroos and the elephants. The plan is to finish them before she releases the next pair. They are so lovely and quick that really it's just a matter of setting aside a night each. By the way do you think it's rude to stitch at a school info meeting??? Yes I guess so!
3/ A redwork christmas stitching - that I was given by a church craft group I attended in Canberra when I left. It is almost 4 years now! I love picking this up and it really has so little work left in it that I would like to get it finished. Soon!
4/ Simple pleasures quilt from the cyber stitching day - I have 1 block finished! Pathetic, 11 to go!
5/ The 'Golf' quilt - there is a huge story behind this which I will post when you see the finished article. I would just like to get it done...
6/ The 'socks', it will be summer before I finish them and to all the other family members who have requested some it may be a very very long wait!
Okay so these are the 6 most urgent finishes as of today, I have a lot of other started but not yet finished projects and I have lots and lots of projects I have the fabric and patterns for but haven't yet started and I have millions of things I'd like to try one day so I better get moving!!
oops - I forgot the angel story quilt (sorry Stina) , it will have to be number 7, there we go one for every day of the week ( Ruth's theory may work yet!).
I will report any progress tomorrow........but maybe just maybe you shouldn't hold your breath!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A terrible week......A happy ending!

This is Jessie-Jo, our beautiful dog who has been such a special part of our family for the last 12 years. She has had a hard life ( quite evident by the grey!! ), while we were living in Broome she was hit by a car and needed extensive repair to her hip, then developed pancreatitis which she almost didn't recover from. Last Monday morning we woke up to find her unable to get off her bed and crying in pain. Off to the vet with heavy hearts but sure she'd perhaps hurt her hip, with a bit of rest and medication she'd be okay. Amy - our most wonderful vet, couldn't find anything specific, agreed with us she was not herself, gave her a shot and sent her home with more painkillers hoping she'd perhaps slept the wrong way or pulled a muscle??!! Tuesday morning she was no better, she looked sick, but we went off to work and school leaving her comfortably resting. Just as I was about to leave work I get a frantic call from the 'Horsey' one, she'd got home from school and Jess had collapsed and couldn't walk and 'HS' had to carry her off to see Amy again and this time she wondered whether she'd hurt her neck but she was definately staying in hospital. Phoned Wednesday morning to check on her to receive the most terrible news that she was no better at all and we needed to talk about making 'the' decision. Amy wanted to wait until friday to ensure the medication wouldn't work but that was the deadline. With lots of tears we knew we loved her too much to let her suffer in pain and knew what we would decide. I guess you're wondering 'the happy ending ' part ??? well on Thursday when we went visiting she had responded and was so much better and happy in herself which was even more important. She came home on Friday, our own little miracle - again (think she must be part cat with lots of lives!), still not completely well and on medication but happy and even if we have only bought some time we will treasure it and she will know how loved she is! I have felt guilty at times over the week that we can be so upset and devestated by the thought of losing an animal when such terrible tragedys and illness are happening to others which is so much worse but the truth is ,she is part of our family and gives us the most wonderful unconditional love and protection and puts all her trust in us.

We lost our older cat 'Martin' earlier this year (only a few weeks before I began blogging) and we have still not come to terms with it . He was a 5th birthday present for the 'Horsey' one so had been with us almost 9 years. We were in Broome when he joined our family and he moved with us from there to NSW and back to VIC. He ruled our house, he was the leader, the king, we were mere servants to rule him. He diced with danger daily, enjoying our driveway to watch the world going by and often exploring the neighborhood which was against the rules!! It was a hot saturday evening and it was one of these adventures that was his downfall, when crossing the road, a 'hoon' sped up and hit him He was killed instantly. We have a lot to be thankful for, we heard it happen and were there straight away so we could bury him and we knew what had happened, it would be awful for an animal to just go missing and not know. He is buried in the garden outside our kitchen window with a pot over him holding a flowering native to attract birds!!! It is his picture on this blog and has taken me this long to write about him. We still miss him daily.

That brings us to 'Fred', our little cat. He is now 3 1/2 (we got him when we returned to Victoria) but we still call him 'Kitty'! He is the exact same coloring as Martin was, they could pass as brothers which is quite bizarre when they came from opposite ends of Australia. He is timid and scared by anything and everything. He is cuddly and affectionate and displays few of the typical 'cat' behaviours. He ended up at the vet with Jess on Friday with an infected toe so sported a red bandage for a few days and is still on antibiotics.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What a glorious sight!

The 'Horsey' one today finished sewing her boxer shorts in art in school. She gave me permission to post a photo as long as it was only waist down! To explain her 'strange' dress!! she still has her school shirt, tie and jumper on, then under the boxers is her thermals that apparently she wears under her winter skirt everyday??!!! and she had just been outside to throw some hoops so she had her sports shoes on.................... Not sure that she belongs to me.....................Enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My boy is home!

I have just put a huge pot of pumpkin soup on so thought I would catch up to date with the happenings!
My boy is home so I am very happy! He had a great time but as you would expect is tired. Thought maybe he could start his school holidays now!!!! I don't think so. Showed his photos last night and was full of stories of things he had done. Didn't spend a lot of money - think when it is your own the shopping is not quite as appealing. Was quite upset he hadn't bought good enough presents but the best present I could have is having him home safe and sound. He caught a virus while away and his friends Mum took him to a clinic where he was given 5 different medicines!! As it is only a cold I have stopped him taking them but I will be interested to show them to Sam's Mum (the other boy who went) who is a GP to see just what he was given!
Collecting him from the airport was an experience in itself. As I didn't want to make the whole trip in one day , it is around 3 and 1/2 hours from home, I finished work at lunchtime on Thursday and the 'Horsey' one and I set off. We stopped in Ballarat on the way for some shopping. We needed to buy new riding boots and school shoes! Had a coffee with the 'Horsey' ones godmother before she heads overseas tomorrow then continued down the highway. It was cold, it was dark, it was so cold if it wasn't raining it would of been snowing, there was water sitting on the road. It was not a good trip! The car showed the temperature as starting at 6 degrees and dropping steadily to 1! The motel near the airport that we normally stay in didn't have any specials so 'SH' had booked us into a cheaper one - after all it was only to sleep! The motel room was cold and noisy and our dinner was very ordinary and breakfast the next morning even worse. I then came down with an upset stomach so things weren't good but I was excited 'HS' was coming home! We arrived at the airport in plenty of time, purchased the 'krispy kreme' donuts (another story in itself) and waited for the plane to arrive then waited for 'HS' to appear and waited and waited and waited........ All of a sudden we were the only people waiting and my stomach was sinking further and further. I cornered a customs man and he very kindly interuppted his coffee break to go and investigate. When he told me customs and luggage was clear and my boys hadn't been on the plane I felt sick. I phoned 'SH' and while he was at home trying to contact Hong Kong to see what had gone wrong there I reread the itinery and after another 10 minutes I read it correctly that I was a day early and they didn't arrive home until the 12th!! This is not like me at all, I may be unorganised and busy but I am always on time and almost anal about things like this. After I had cried and laughed in relief and frustration the Horsey one and I went and booked into the good motel and spent another night away from home. Noone else had checked the itinery as they assumed I would be right! The only thing that made me feel slightly better was that Sam's mum had thought they were getting home Friday too and had even baked a cake.
I did manage to do some stitching (thank goodness I had taken it!) and read a book so the time was not altogether wasted!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Another box!

The 'Horsey' one had a lovely birthday yesterday, enjoyed every minute! Think one of the highlights was her Nan coming for lunch and giving her another piece of her handiwork. This is another little box with embroidered 'chooks' on each side and then embellished with braid and feathers. Not the best photos - sorry. Even better there was a $ gift inside!! The 'horsey' one intends to use it as a money box!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

14 today!

The 'Horsey' one turns 14 today. Happy Birthday! Hard to believe my baby is growing up so quickly. She is such a joy.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sovereign Hill

As I had the day off on Friday I had promised the 'Horsey' one she could choose what we would do for the day as a school holiday treat. I thought we would be off shopping somewhere - what a shame! but no she decided we would visit Sovereign Hill. As the friends she asked to join us already had plans it was just us. Sovereign Hill in Ballarat is a historical park based on the goldfields in the 1850's. It is a township just as it would of been then complete with costumed staff and volunteers. It has been open for approximately 30 years now and is always growing in some way. Over the years we have had some wonderful days there. The 'horsey' one last visited with her 6th grade class a few years ago and they stayed onsite and dressed in costume and attended the school for 2 days. This visit was no exception. We had a great funfilled day from the minute we got there until we staggered to the car in the late afternoon. We had a coach ride, went down a mine, bowled in the bowling alley, had a pastie from the bakery (yum!), panned for gold, went to school, dipped candles and went to the confectionary shop and bought our traditional boiled sweets - our favorites - raspberry drops and horsehead lollipops!! We sat in the bar of the hotel to eat lunch while listening to the folk band and explored both the tent city and the homes of our early settlers. To the 'horsey' one's amazment and puzzlement I took photos of the quilts on some of their beds! She couldn't quite understand why!!!
A definate touristy must if you are ever in this area.

 (not sure if this link will work or not!)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday!

A very big Happy 2nd Birthday to my darling nephew John. Wish we were closer so we could help him celebrate. (My only sister lives in the UK!). I have just phoned and sung him 'Happy Birthday' and he is firing on all cylinders so think he will have a very busy and fun day.

Happy 4th July!

Wishing all my friends in the States a 'Happy 4th July'. Hope you have a wonderful day and a great holiday weekend.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stitching update!

As I mentioned yesterday I am trying to work on one project each day and therefore make some headway , works for others (thanks Ruth) so have decided it is worth a try. So far this week I have worked on my sock knitting, my golf quilt (there is a very long story behind this which you shall hear if it is ever finished), my angel quilt ( a new beginning - am I mad?) and last night was my Noahs ark Block of the month which Lynette Anderson very generously posts free. I have really enjoyed this and although I am not as quick as others churning them out I have really slowed down on the cows block so appreciated sitting and working on it last night. It was an evening I would of otherwise attempted to read the paper while watching tv and instead snoozed in the chair!! Why am I telling you this?? well I've decided if I do you will hold me accountable and I may not be able to slip back into lazy, bad habits quite as quickly!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Angels on the go!

Okay so this posting more often failed! Oops.....Been busy but nothing particularly interesting to report so this may be a bit of a waffling post - be warned!
Spent last Sunday at a horse show with my darling 'horsey one'. It was cold and windy and started to rain about 2pm. I know, its winter and I should expect winter weather and I know everyone wants rain and if I was tucked up at home with the heater on and a good book I would of been happy but I wasn't and the 5 layers of clothes only kept me warm for so long! Luckily I was able to prove that my coat was indeed waterproof. Anyway in dressage the horse stayed in the arena and she stayed on which was a bonus with how he warmed up and she didn't do the worst test of her section. Showjumping was great, a nice clear round. Good things are looking up! Cross Country was ugly, very ugly!!! Dudley started playing up before he even got to the first fence and continued the whole way around the course. The ditch was disasterous but they got through, but finally on the next jump they were eliminated when he refused this one too and they walked home, one poor little girl very upset and disappointed but most importantly both horse and rider safe and well. It was their first grade 3 competition together but there will be many more and they will improve in each one!
Monday I worked but SH, the Horsey one and I watched 'Alvin and the chipmunks' together in the evening. Wasn't the best movie I've ever seen but it was fun.
I had an unexpected day off yesterday and decided I should make the most of it! (looking at the house this morning maybe I should of cleaned first and played second!!). I started my Angel quilt! Hopefully Stina will be impressed!! I really didn't need another project on the go but I've owned the book for years and have only made little bits and bots from it so while I can join others I will see how much I can get done. I am making it entirely out of my stash - or that is the plan anyway. The 'horsey one' and I went out for lunch (her choice Maccas - yuk!) then to the movies with friends of hers to see Kung Fu panda. I could relate to Po in a lot of ways, unfortuantly I am often lazy and motivated by food!! We enjoyed it and had quite a few laughs. Came home and read the latest 'Homespun' magazine and did some more work on the angels so a good day.
Am trying a new system with my craft at the moment which I have stolen from another blogger. I am concentrating on just 7 projects and working on just 1 each day, setting myself a minimum of what I'd like to get done. Only started this week but have enjoyed sitting down and stitching in the evening opposed to running around and just getting a few more jobs done. I have had some 'me ' time. Not sure how long I'll stick at it but we'll see.
Have had some emails and a phone call from 'HS'. He is having a great time in Hong Kong and seeing a lot. Spending a lot of time exploring the markets especially the food sections!!! He is missing us though! which is lovely.