Monday, June 29, 2009

my daughter joins the bloggers!

My daughter has decided to join the land of blogging,
and if you can stand really cute pics check out her latest blog
post - a pic of Lilly.
You can find her here.

Carole ;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

a busy week

A bit of a crappy pic, as the light isn't so good today.
It's murky and drizzling, or it could be mizzling (if you live in certain parts of the world! lol)

This week I have managed to get quite a bit of gardening done, and I have also completed this quilt top. It's very simple using only 3 different fabrics. I wanted to try making a lap quilt by myself without using a pattern. I know it probably sounds pretty 'novice' but I wanted to learn how to work out the measurements myself. I have been quilting for may be 18 or so years, but I have always meticulously followed the pattern. I think it's time I got a little original instead of buying patterns! I was pleased it came together really well. The rose fabric is the most delicate shade of duck egg blue, and the plain blue fabric has tiny pink spots. Now I just need to quilt it.

Then I went to visit with some friends who have bought 30 acres of land and are working like beavers to develop a vineyard and winery. The land is lovely with gorgeous views of the snow-capped ranges, which is great as they will eventually build a new home here too. It was lovely to hear about their fabulous plans and see where they will plant their vines.

And a small purchase this week. This lovely fat quarter of fabric covered in chubby wee bubble bees!

Now unfortunately I have come down with a cold! Darn, however it's a great day to spend reading in front of the fire!
Until next post,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunshine at last

Today I made the most of the sunny weather and spent the whole day in the garden. It is time for my strawberry plants to be lifted, separated, and then replanted. A big job.

The plants had lots of pea straw round them which I found to be really great for the fruit, as it lay on the straw instead of laying on the dirt. Now I will dig what is left of the straw into the soil and add compost from my compost bins and lots of black gold, (or sheep poo from the paddock) to make a lovely soil to plant the young strawberry plants back into.

These plants I'm pulling out are only a year old, and will fruit well for another 2 years, but I like to start with young runners every year. I have heeled the young plants into another piece of garden until the bed is ready to plant into.

It's nice when the cats get involved too. Wednesday came out to visit and watch what I was doing. She found a lovely spot in the sun under the passionfruit vine. Unfortunately she wasn't much help when a large hairy spider tried to run up my glove!!

Hopefully we will have more fine weather tomorrow as well and I can do some more catching up in the garden.

Carole ;)

a foodies weekend

Grab your attention did they? They sure grabbed mine!
On the weekend my family gathered together to celebrate my sister's birthday, and it seemed as tho it was a weekend of heavenly food indulgences!
On Saturday night we all went out for a buffet tea, and I was in sheer heaven with all the seafood on offer and then I saw the large plate of brandy snaps!
(sorry there aren't more pics, but I was too busy sampling everything!! lol)

Then the next morning my nephew was conducting a taste test on baked beans, and needed people to taste them while he recorded results. So my sister and her hubby cooked up a storm for breakfast for everyone.

Toast and mushrooms, baked beans, tomatoes and eggs, sausages and bacon
and mini pancakes, croissants and fruit juice .
What more could you possibly want?
It was absolutely delicious!

Carole ;)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The ribbon atc swap is finished

Well now, remember this tangle of ribbons? Debbi, Annie, Doreen, Ann and myself all got a bunch of them to use on our June ATC. This swap would prove interesting because we all had to use the same items, but we could make whatever we wanted. We could also use as much or as little as we wanted.
They are all great, and all are different! Thanks girls for a challenging swap month!

Here is Debbi's, she has woven her ribbons to make a background.
Quite effective don't you think?

The next one is from Annie, who has used her ribbons in her background, I'm
not sure what she has done with them, they look as though they have almost been fused together, but she has made a landscape with them, pretty cool!

Then there was Doreen's, and it looks like she has chomped hers up to use as a
background fabric, held in place with lots of stitching. It looks jam packed with
ribbon! Great card!

No: 4 was Ann's. She has made a creative collage and added a small amount
of ribbon for accent. She has made an ATC with a purple theme, and used the purple
ribbon. I love the 2 girls!

And last here is the one I made. I fused the ribbon to timtex, and used it as a background
to stitch things to.

Thanks so much to you all for your ATC's, I loved all of them, didn't we do well!
I am working on the next swap now!
Carole ;)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

stunning art arrives in the mail

Remember the mystery pic of the "nails"? Well now all can be revealed.
I am part of a creative art group, the QB5's, and our last swap challenge was to make a 6 x 4" with a childhood theme. Each item could be made with whatever we liked, but each had to contain a picture of ourselves as a child. Each of us has a different style, and all the swap items have arrived now, so I can show them to you...

This is Linda's, she loved books and horses as a child can you tell? The little pocket on the back held a wee library card with lots of info about her childhood. The layered book pages also had wax on them to give them a lovely finish. Thank you Linda!

The next little treasure was Nathalie's, ain't she sweet? This creation was collaged using a vintage postcard and stamps that tells how proud she is of her heritage! Thanks Nathalie!

Then there is Patty's. She couldn't play this round, but sent us an ATC on the theme, I wonder what it is about Patty and I that we both have our tongues sticking out? Cheeky do you think? I think this would make a lovely little broach! Thanks Patty!

And then there was this card made by Margaret, I love her collages and her words and her colours, I just don't have the same talent when it comes to paint brushes and glue! This is her and her brother, aren't they a great pair!

And lastly here is my creation, I tend to like to play with fabrics, and was a little adventurous adding ribbons and beads and some antique lace. I was always in my gumboots as a child, loved playing outdoors.

Nathalie has made a wee hanger for mine from a test tube with tiny buttons, hooks etc... in it. How cool is that!!

photo by Nathalie

And Patty has used an old fork to hang my art on! It looks perfect!

photo by Patty

Well I hope you enjoyed viewing our art works as much as we enjoyed making them! We are about to embark on our next project, which is quite different again. I'll keep you posted!

Take care,
Carole ;)

Monday, June 15, 2009

some exciting mail...

it's enough to make you hyperventilate, and that's just looking at the envelopes! this space...

carole :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

tea anyone?

Tea plays a large part in my home. I am a big tea drinker.
I don't drink fruit flavoured teas, I drink decaf with milk!
However I do like to buy them ... to play with!

Brew up a concoction ...

Normal tea dyed calico on the left, unbleached plain calico in the
middle and raspberry dyed calico on the right.
Delicious colours!

And these tea bags will come in handy in a project, just need to dry them out.

Carole ;)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Some whimsical goodness!

Wow a whole week has passed since I posted last.
I have been studying for exams. Only one left to sit.

I have found a little time to create, and here are some
whimsical goodies I made for my Etsy Store

I thought these cards would be nice to give as a small hand made gift.
Sometimes it's nice to get a gift, something small, for absolutely no reason at all!


Monday, June 8, 2009

2 old boring photos!

Well this is it! All laid out with backing and batting ready for me to baste it. It's a bit hard to see as it is made up of so many small pieces and patchy blocks. But you get the picture! The light isn't so good, and the dark wind coloured sashings are not as dark as portrayed in the pic. I think my 1 1/2" squares look good too.
I think I will make a tube for the back so I can hang it on the wall too.

Carole ;)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

books and biscuits!

Well how exciting is this find?!
On a wee excursion to Shannon with a friend, we went into the 2nd hand book store, I've never been in there before, and what did I find in the bowels of the place?
These wee books on poetry, with the most fabulous covers! I think one may dedicate itself to art, it has a loose spine, but the others will be added to my collection of old books.

OMG! Then I spotted this spine!

And it revealed itself in embossed pink!

Is this too much or what?
The book was published in 1905, and given to Aunt Emily in 1908 from Gretchen.

Inside it has the beautiful drawings/etchings. With poetry and short plays.

This would be lovely in a piece of art work, but I love it so much as it is, it will get pride of place among my collection!

And because you all enjoyed the ginger crunch so much here is my recipe for Malt biscuits. I can remember taking a spoon of malt when I was a child, it was disgusting. But these crispy plain biscuits are easy to make and include malt, great for kids and adults!

Malt Biscuits

Cream together in a bowl 4oz butter and 3oz sugar, then warm 1 Tblsp malt and 1 Tblsp of golden syrup, (so they are runny) and addto the sugar and butter. Mix, then add 6oz flour.
Mix these together roll into balls place on a lightly greased tray and then flatten with a fork.
Cook in a moderate oven, approx 180 C.

Note: I usually make a double mix of these, very moorish! lol Also some of you are wondering what golden syrup is. It is a thick golden coloured syrup, made from sugar cane, very sweet, looks like maple syrup, slightly different taste.

Well enjoy and let me know how you get on with the biscuits!
Carole :)

*UPDATE: Kate from USA emailed me to say:

"We don't use Golden Syrup in the States but many of our supermarkets now carry it in the foreign foods section of their stores. Also, if you google it, there are online places that sell it."

So it is available in places! Hope this helps!