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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fabric Giveaway!

I was over at Cathy's Sewing Room and saw that she had posted about a giveaway in this post.

I'm glad the good fairy was out and allowed Cathy to share her find!

Stray Stitches  is having a giveaway. And not just an ordinary one! It is a BIG one!

The first thing I did when I got to her post was have a crack up about the quote at the top.

Stray Stitches is giving away the mostly complete set of Thimbleberries Quilt Club 2006 BOM Quilt Kit.

There are several bits missing, but she has a more thorough explanation on her blog. This is also open to everyone and competition closes on the 10th of December.

Good luck fellow entrants! May the needle be with you.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Colourful Fridays ~ Silver

I've been sitting here, taking almost forever to upload the right photos and Colourful Fridays is nearly over for today! So quick, the explanations!

First a teapot Mum said I could bring back from the farm for tea cosy photos. Mum would like me to knit a tea cosy for one of my Dad's cousins and perhaps she thinks this would be a good model! This was the teapot most commonly used as I grew up and the inside is very stained with tannins!

Next, a teapot trivet from my Aunty Helen, modeling cottons from my paternal grandmother's sewing box.

Can you see the cotton names on the Dewhurst Sylko cottons? Dk. Blue Slate, Dk. Beaver and Grey Mist on the Super Sheen! I loved that they named them and they weren't just numbers.

Next up we have little electronically plated silver mustard pots that I was gifted by mother when I was young. I'm pretty sure I was gifted them because she didn't like cleaning them. Guess what, neither do I and it shows!

On the bottom they say Farmers and E.P. Do you suppose they were from Farmers Department Store in Sydney once upon a time? Here is a little link.

Next for the Francophiles some DMC Tapestry wool wristbands in colour 7618 which I bought from Lincraft this week for the princely sum of $0.79 and knocked up into this rather stylish piece of art. I think so, anyway! I am knitting some to go with my daughter's friends end of year Christmas presents at the moment in all the colours of the acrylic rainbow. Mine is in WOOL! This is another modification of the My Friend Kylie scarf. Perhaps I will try them next in DMC Cottons. They take about 8 metres of yarn exactly.

Next, a slate grey wall plaque that my husband's grandfather Jock bought back as a slate tile from Scotland on his last visit. He had very good friends who were wood turners and they framed the slate for him. This is normally up on a wall somewhere, but my husband has painted several and removed nails in preparation of moving.

Finally, some pewter goblets. One with Vanessa and one with Cameron, I think from our wedding and probably from Claudia!

Also, my graduation one from University of New England Orange Agricultural College 1991-1992 where I did an Associate Diploma in Rural Business Administration. My husband did an Associate Diploma in Horse Management, hence the horse above!

And lastly, but not least, three knives I bought yesterday for $1 each from Salvos at Bankstown! Bargain. All Stainless Steel. One branded "Embassy", the next "Cavalier - Made in Sheffield" and lastly "Carlton Cutlery Co. Made in Sheffield".

If you want to see more Colourful Fridays ~ Silver, pop on over to Bev at  Kainga Happenings, with thanks also to Robyn at Daisy Quilts.

And if you have not played before, please play next week, all welcome to join in!
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Blue Teapot, Short and Stout

This little blue teapot is feeling the love tonight and the need to share details about how to get a little love just like this one. Perhaps for Christmas?

I have done a little more digging up about it. I purchased it in March 2008 off Ebay as I said. The seller's id is Artistnext and he is still selling teapots on Ebay, (hears screams of delight across blogland ...) and has one that is the same shape as my blue one but another colour.

Importantly, scroll down on the page and read his info. This is HANDMADE in Australia and hand signed!

P.S. I am getting no commission, just satisfaction in passing on an Australian artisan

Artistnext Ebay Details

That should show you straight to him. Mine when it came, was wrapped perfectly in bubble wrap in a box with absolutely no damage.

Now I am off to sneak a look at the other ones he has sold!

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Tuesday Treasures

Melody at  The House on the Side of the Hill has taken over from Tuesday Treasures from Clare at Clare's Craftroom and while I have never played before, I have long been an admirer, so here goes my first foray into Tuesday Treasure playing ...

First, I have my needlebook, purchased from Como Markets, Sydney about ten years ago, before kids. Regardless of whether I am knitting or sewing on a button, I am always relieved and happy to find this and use my needles!

Secondly, I have a little brown two person teapot I purchased from Vinnies at Bankstown last week for $3 (half price day). How could anyone throw this out? No chips. Just perfect. I've made tea for one in it with one teabag and enough water for two mugs and it is the perfect size for that second cuppa.

Thirdly, I have a little teapot I purchased from Peter Stephens of Seavington Road, Elizabeth Park, South Australia, which I got on Ebay about 3 years ago. Peter has been in the Potter's Directory, and his write up said "Currently producing earthenware teasets, casseroles, lidded containers, vases, bowls, and other tablewares. Also makes individual, handbuilt vessles and objects making contrasts in the shapes and forms for an evocative artisitic image ... Developing a poetic and simple form of art or craft, for a more ecological and aware society." "Studies and practised in Adelaide, Hobart and Sydney."

My photo doesn't do it justice. It is more bluebelly!

It is a bit "I'm a little teapot ... " isn't it!

Happy Tuesday Treasures!
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Strike a Pose - National Archives of Australia

Today, I was looking up Osti Fashions as a fellow blogger, Recycled Fashion had a photo of a skirt she had up cycled by making shorter and it very much reminded me of dresses my own mother wore in the 1980's and 1990's. I bet actually, if I searched through my Mum's wardrobe today, I would still find them, but that is another matter ...

Anyway, in my googling for this company, I found this ...

"Strike a Pose ... with Lee Lin Chin features 89 images taken by Australian Government photographers during the 1960s and 70s to promote the burgeoning Australian fashion industry. Many images are drawn from the collection of the Australian News and Information Bureau, which took images to promote Australian industry and lifestyle overseas."

National Archives of Australia 

The exhibition is currently running at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery and runs until 12 December 2010, but you don't need to go to see the fashions! Simply click on the link!

It is also being shown at other regional galleries including Gippsland, Port Pirie, Gladstone, Cairns, Western Plains (Dubbo), Bundaberg and Brisbane (City ... lol, not regional!) as listed here.

This interested me and I wanted to share!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Contemplating the Possibilities

On Friday night, I met up with three girls from high school and had a post 20 Year Reunion reunion which was very interesting. While none of us had been particularly good friends at school, we very much enjoyed each others company at dinner and discussing the difficulties that each had felt while at school and were glad those times were over.

Knowing that these three girls each had their own girls, I knitted each a headband and presented them during dinner. I do have photos of the mothers wearing these, but I am not sharing!

I am told that each of the daughters loved the headbands!

On Saturday morning, my husband woke me at 5.30 am and it was wake the family, pack some clothes and into the car and off to my cousin's farm to assist with some stock work he had to do. On the trip down, I knitted, while my husband and cousin worked in the sun with 700 sheep, I knitted inside, while his wife did bookwork on the computer. During the night, I knitted. I also sewed. Buttons and seams!

My cousin's wife also went into town on the Saturday to get some vaccine for the stock work and while there we went and looked at the house that we are contemplating renting next year. Unfortunately, she also got a flat tyre while there, with a nail in the tyre.

This is them bringing in the stock, a streak of fresh white wool, having been sheared recently.

On Sunday, there was less knitting as I went and helped catch sheep and was assured by my cousin it was much faster with an extra set of hands on board.

Then it was back to the house for a sausage and sauce sandwich and into the car (with some knitting) and home again.

So today I have sent a message to the convener of the local monthly markets, wondering what is required to participate, and I am contemplating the possibilities for next year.

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Monday ~ Plug Your Mates

As today is Monday, it is Plug Your Mates Day and today I have chosen A Passion for Vintage Textiles to plug.

She is from Toronto in Canada and I really enjoy seeing her displays at her market stalls and hearing about what vintage jumpers she has saved from obscurity and sold to other vendors or other purchasers!

She also has photos of beautiful vintage scarves and her photos of seasonal changes are a reminder that seasons change as the world turns. While it may be warm in Australia, it is getting cold and frosty in Toronto!

So go and check out her blog and have a great Monday!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Colourful Fridays ~ Brown is in Town

This is one of my father's plantings at his farm. When I asked him what it could be he rattled off a few types of pumpkins and squash. I think it might be Butternut Pumpkin ...

This is a teapot made by my sister while at school found lurking at the top of a cabinet! Dig the heart handle?

While at school, my sister did 3 Unit Art for the HSC. My sister's artwork was chosen for Art Express following the 1991 Higher School Certificate and this painting was exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in early 1992, alongside other artwork chosen from students work across the state. She didn't go on to have a long and dedicated career in art, but she shows a fine hand decorating and redecorating her home for her husband and her six children. Perhaps one day she will return to her art.

This is a Buff Orpington rooster, hen and chicks, and includes real feathers from those chooks, collected from our suburban backyard. Now if you are wondering why the hand is in the painting she had to incorporate a human element. The painting would have been more lovely without the hand ...agreed? Growing up, my parents always had chooks in the backyard, including this breed, and Anconas.

For more on Buff Orpingtons follow this link here.
For more on Anconas follow this link here.

These days, Dad prefers Isa Browns. Link here.

And to finish off the rural feel, I have chopped timber from the farm. My brother's and husband are responsible for the chopping, not me!

For the china enthusiast I have included one of my maternal great grandmother's dinner plates by Meakin circa 1930s, which my mother has.

Does anybody else agree that Elizabeth has short arms?

And finally for the knitting enthusiat, some of my scarves, sitting on my Dad's old piano stool at my house. One of these scarves isn't like the others. It is not knit!

Happy Colourful Friday all. For more Colourful Fridays, visit Bev at Kainga Happenings.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Martin Place Children’s Christmas Concert & Tree Lighting

Is on tonight in Sydney and I am going with my neighbour, Margaret and my two children! Daddy has declinded attending, having gone last year.

It starts at 6.00 pm, so it will be straight home from school, into the shower and into fancy clothes and off on the train with 10,000 other Sydneysiders! Hopefully less.

Justine Clarke from Playschool is MCing with Yo Gabba Gabba, Curious George, Beccy Cole, and the Australian Girls Choir.

The Martin Place Christmas tree is 21 metres high and includes 58,000 LED lights, more than 300 stars and a 1500mm seven pointed shimmering tree top star.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

20 Questions

This is from Goo and Titches blog and you can play along too if you like! Go and see who else is playing and read their responses too!

1. Sweet or Savoury?
2. Dresses or Jeans?
3. House or Apartment?
4. Shop Online or Offline?
5. DVDs or Downloads?
6. Cocktails or Juice?
7. Chocolate or Strawberry?
8. Laptop or PC?
9. Magazines or Newspapers?
10. Facebook or Twitter?
11. CDs or MP3s?
12. Kids or Pets?
13. Macaroon or Cupcakes?
14. Walk or Run?
15. Breakfast in Bed or Breakfast Out?
16. Market or Supermarket?
17. Sourdough or Grainy?
18. Heels or Flats?
19. Late nights or Not?
20. Coffee or Tea?

1. Sweet or Savoury? Savory. Cheese and bikkies. Or dip. Or chips.
2. Dresses or Jeans? Jeans. Cords, denim, khakis, anything to cover my "good Germanic legs". My paternal great-great-great grandmother was German from Grossbottwar, Germany, arriving in Australia in 1852 on the Helena with approx. 190 other German migrants (vinedressers). My paternal Aunty Helen and I thank her for her legs. She probably had great legs.
3. House or Apartment? House.Somewhere among the Gum Trees .. like this John Williamson
4. Shop Online or Offline? Offline. Usually offline (Op Shops etc) but bookshops online are great too.
5. DVDs or Downloads? DVDs and Videos! It pays to have a working video player when Op Shops sell movies for $1.
6. Cocktails or Juice? Cocktails!
7. Chocolate or Strawberry? Chocolate. Dark with peppermint in the middle. Made by Cadbury.
8. Laptop or PC? Laptop.
9. Magazines or Newspapers? Magazines or The Sun Herald (a Sunday paper in New South Wales)
10. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook.
11. CDs or MP3s? CDs. I don't do MP3s.
12. Kids or Pets? Kids. No pets.
13. Macaroon or Cupcakes? Macaroon. I think I had an overindulgence of cupcakes for play lunch when I was kid. I don't love cake.
14. Walk or Run? Walk. I don't run.
15. Breakfast in Bed or Breakfast Out? Out. Like at a Cafe. Or someone else's house. Somewhere where I don't have to cook or wash up. This doesn't happen often.
16. Market or Supermarket? Supermarket.
17. Sourdough or Grainy? Sourdough.
18. Heels or Flats? Flats. Always. Heels do the balls of my feet in, and make my back ache.
19. Late nights or Not? Late nights.
20. Coffee or Tea? Tea

And leave me a note if you are playing so I can read your responses!

Also, if you live in Brisbane and are crafty, you might consider this job just advertised by Thea & Sami

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Does $9 Buy You These Days?

Not blooming much these days. Perhaps two cups of coffee, if you are lucky.

BUT perhaps if you shopped at the oppies at Padstow, you could get REALLY lucky, like me and $9 could buy you this:

Shop X
Bag of Books $6
Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
To Love, Honour and Betray by Kathy Lette
A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve
Constance by Rosie Thomas
Freedom Land by Anna Jacobs
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Longmans 1963 ed)
Cordon Bleu Memorable Meals (1971) (I'll be checking out the china)
Kings Go Forth by J. D. Brown (1957) (my husband may like this one ... cover is good)
Wild Brother by Mary Patchett (Collins London-Sydney 1954 hardcover). Reminds me of The Call of the Wild, but Australian, with dingoes. Just looked it up. Listed on some collector sites as up to $A61.
Coffee Pot, Sugar Bowl and Creamer $1. (Made in Japan) I kid you not. Perhaps the person that served me was as disgusted as I at the person who rejected the donation. I said "Are you sure?" and she said "Yes."

Padstow Community Bargain Centre (41 Howard Road, Padstow)
 Creamer (pattern matched sugar bowl I recently bought)
 Made In New Zealand Mug for $2.

 If you live local and have donations, take them to Shop 2.

Have a great day!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday ~ Plug Your Mates

It is Monday and I have choosen Fairchild Street to plug.

She has been blogging since mid August, and the photos on her blog are glorious.

She sews, she DIY's and you should see what she can do with a plain old pine set of drawers!


So head on over and check out her work!

Also, today I went shopping at my local oppies and scored a few treasures ... I'll save them to share with you tomorrow!

While I was in one, a man from the local real estate agent came in with four bags of clothes his wife no longer wanted and they said no thank you because they were a size 6. He looked aghast and took them back out and started to take them back to his car. I said "stop, I know the other store would love them" and asked him to leave them out the front and I would take them around when I had finished my purchases, which I did, while they were wrapping mine in paper.

I'm glad that I took them around the corner, because they appreciated them. They also knew who the man was as they pay the rent for the shop to his agency. I went and told him that they really appreciated them and he was thankful. He said that he has a wife and three kids and he had been taking things to the first shop for some time and had never had that reaction before.

At least now he will know which shop to take the things to and know that the money will stay in the community. I am pretty sure if I hadn't intervened, he would have taken his things home and dumped them in the bin as the reaction he got was unexpected and he felt unappreciated.

If you work in a shop, please be mindful of your reaction to donations. You might be chopping your nose off despite your face.

A lot of the things he had donated were from Events and other stores and would have suited lots of teenage girls .....

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Knitted Headbands

Aside from posting pictures of lavender things, pulling the Christmas tree out early from the cupboard under the insistance of my children, who have now put it up very nicely, thank you, I have been knitting and sewing headbands for my daughter to sell at her Stewart House fundraising day at school.

These are knitted on 4.5 mm needles, 7 stitches, using My Friend Kylie etc pattern in my patterns ---->, using SURPRISE .. Lincraft Surprise Yarn. Two balls knits up about 9 each. I knitted one of the first couple with 9 stitches, but 7 stitches works fine. I then sew together and add a button. Big W have great bags of mixed buttons by Beutron for about $7.  Hopefully they will be well liked and bought by the handful!!

Here's a closer picture. I took this one first, but the modelling tree was getting jealous and needed a showing as well, particularly as it now wearing red dangly things.

If you look even harder at this photo, you might see I have a little cardboard cut out in the shape of a flower with $2 on one. Not sure if this is what we will agree on her charging. Maybe $3. When I was at Lincraft at Macarthur, I bought the cutter as I thought it might be good for price tags to attach. Turns out Arnotts BBQ Shapes packets are the ideal thickness for pressing. Breakfast cereal packets are too thick!

And the hydrangea flower is looking like this, this morning ...

With a sister blossom looking like this ...

The colour of the flower is dependent on the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. I don't put anything special under my plants, it is just what the runoff does to them ...

Retro Mummy is having a GIVEAWAY!

She has two (TWO!!) sets of 14 fat quarters of Sweet Broderie by Rosalie Quinlan fabrics in delicious colours.

Go and check out her blog here ... Retro Mummy

She is based in Sydney and the fabrics will also be available from her shop.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Colourful Fridays ~ Lavender

Normally Daisy Quilts hosts Colourful Fridays, but for the time being, Bev of Kainga Happenings has been chosen for the special job in her absence!

This week is Lavender. I used to have a French Lavender plant in the front garden until it became way too woody. So I took to it with secateurs last year and cut the lot out.

Now I have no Lavender in the garden at all! I do have hydrangeas and also agapanthus to fill the blue colour loss, but they are seasonal and only last for our summer.

Here are some of my hydrangeas coming into colour. The agapanthus are budding, but not blooming yet!

I also have a selection of Lavender books. This one I bought at the Library this year for about $1.00!

It is Lavender by Tessa Evelegh, with photos by Debbie Patterson.

I also have Lavender, Sweet Lavender by Judyth A. McLeod and The Essential Lavender - Growing Lavender in Australia by Virginia McNaughton.

For a long time my husband and I dreamed of a farm called Lavender Hill, with Lavender growing in the garden. This may happen yet!

I was going to add another photo, but I can't get it uploaded in the direction I want! So enjoy Lavender Friday and check out the other links.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

I've been tagged by GeorgyG Design

Just as I was reading GeorgyG Design's blog, I realised I had been tagged! Here we go!

4 things that..... are usually in my handbag

1. Knitting. I always take knitting everywhere. In fact, I feel naked without it. It is perfect for occupying me on the bus, on the train, in a doctor's reception etc. Today my daughter had conjunctivitis and we visited the doctor's and got drops and I had my knittting with me!!
2. A library book that needs returning or that I just borrowed. I love my local library, and borrow books on knitting and other stuff incessantly.
3. Wallet.
4. House keys.

I'm pretty bad at preplanning when taking the kids. Today I went out and then as I walked up the hill, I could have kicked myself, as there was bottled water sitting in the fridge that I could have taken to sustain their never ending thirst!

4 things that..... are in my bedroom

1. A small oil painting of hydrangeas purchased at South West Rocks (NSW mid-north coast ...) pre kids (199?) at the Boatman's Cottage (best co-op craft shop!!). It is by S. McDougall, a local artist and I paid about $70 for it and I love all the blues in it. My friend Karen bought a similiar one of Pansies by the same artist at the same time.
2. Two turned bedlights. I have two wooden tall boys (handcrafted by R. C. Roberts Pty Ltd, Ringwood) with a mirror stand that has turned sides. When we were married, we had matching light stands turned to match the mirror stands by a wood turner in Engadine. It was the first time he had turned wood and left square sides at the bottom.
3. A amber glass dressing tray with butterflies. These were from my maternal grandmother's paternal aunt when she died, Amy, who had a reputation for being a little difficult. She obviously had fine taste though! I also have matching candle stick stands that are at the top of my cupboard somewhere, out of the reach of the toddlers that had invaded my life!
4. I hate to say it, but usually a washing pile I have yet to put away!

4 things that ..... I would like to do but never did

1. Get my car licence. Now I can hear the gasps, but yes, I don't have my full licence. I do have my L's and now I also have a small white automatic car and I have been driving with my husband, but for the longest time, I was very fearful of driving. I'm getting over that and having older children now helps!
2. Go to a Laoni Prior workshop. Laoni is the self confessed Queen of Tea Cosies, and has written Wild Tea Cosies and Really Wild Tea Cosies (google them!). I've looked at her dates for next year and I think children and schooling might get in the way. Blast. Maybe I'll have to work on my husband not working that day!
3. Go to Adelaide. (yep, never been)
4. Go to Perth. (yep, never been)

4 things that .... you don't know about me 

1. I have two brothers and one sister. And one brother-in-law.
2. I have 12 nieces and nephews from those two brothers and one sister. 4, 2, 6 children each. 14 kids together makes for quite a party! (And none from the b-i-l.)
3. My sister and I used to fight like cat and dog and now get along quite well.
4. I'm moving from Sydney at the start of next year. You might already know that! 

Now I have to tag 4 people to play along!

Secret Diary of a Stay-at-home Mum
I Am Housewife ...... Hear Me Roar
MonetPaisley (and check out the swimsuit giveaway while you are at it!!)
A Passion for Vintage Textiles

Play if you have the time or inclination!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Two Things to Share

The first is a scarf I completed last night which might have Sharon's name on it! It is in Lincraft Surprise yarn.

I promise you, I have no commercial arrangement with Lincraft, even though I do use Lincraft Surprise Yarn a LOT. It appears I am drawn to this yarn.

It is knitted on the diagonal, the first time I have tried this. I cast on 21 stitches on 4.5 mm needles, knitted the first row and on every second row, knit the first two stitches, and lifted the first stitch over the second, knitted to the end where I knitted the last stitch and increased.

The next photo is a teapot I purchased at Ulladulla Second Hand Shop in Boree Street, just down the road from Coles Supermarket. I'm not going to mince words. It has to be one of the most disorganised second hand shops I have ever been in .... but ... the people were nice and there were bargains to be had.

My friend Kylie who was with me picked up a 1920's Grindley teapot for $30. Grindley is an English brand of china, that has since ceased production. I've tried since I got home to find her pattern on the net, but not been able. It is beautiful shape.

Mine cost me $3, and has "Made in Japan" "36" on the bottom. I would say it would make tea suitable for two. I think it has tea cosy written all over it.

They also had a Willow pattern blue and white teapot for about $50 ....

I could have spent more time in Ulladulla checking out the second hand shops,  if I hadn't had a 5th birthday party to plan that afternoon for my son Angus, with cocktail franks, coloured popcorn, chips, watermelon, donut cake, and 24 kids!

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