Saturday, 28 July 2012

The week that was

The week has been about "feeding".

Feeding my body with a birthday lunch by the Ovens River"

Feeding my creative urges with a little shopping at Sackville and Lane.

Feeding my soul with sunsets over the Ovens Valley,

And a trip to Huon Hill lookout.

Olympic opening ceremony

I was woken early this morning by Horrie wanting to go out, so I decided to get up and watch the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

Did you watch it? What did you think about it? Did you see how disinterested the Queen looked?

Those who know me, know I'm not into competitive sports. I understand wanting to play sports, but I'm conflicted about how we (as a country) can invest so much money into sport, or why sports people are hero worshipped they way they are.

But to me the Olympics is about much more than the sport. With so much conflict and sadness in the world, to watch the athletes marching under the Olympic flag as independents resonates with me. I feel for these athletes, to not be able to represent their country due to political issues or conflicts.

When the Australian team walked out into the arena I couldn't help but feel a little proud to be an Australian, and to have local girl Lauren Jackson as the flag bearer.

Here's hoping the next 2 weeks are memorable for all the right reasons.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Creative space

I'm not the only one at my place that needs their creative space. Mr is an artist, and for his recent birthday I bought him this drawing table. At the moment it's set up in the kitchen. It's just way too cold to be outside in his "studio area" (otherwise know as our outdoor entertaining area). So cold in fact that the oil painting comes to a halt in winter. It doesn't dry!

Want a closer look at what he's been working on?

Monday, 23 July 2012

A winter garden

Even though the weather has been cold and damp, that doesn't mean there's nothing happening in the garden. Not on your Nelly! It's my time to look at the bones of the garden, and make changes. There's been trees loped, garden beds reshaped, shrubs riped out, and others pruned back.

More rocks carried up hill to widen the garden beds. My "lawn" is a mix grasses and clovers, and looks dreadful at the moment. I'm making the garden beds bigger, so I've more room to plant and less lawn to maintain.

The trees along the road have been loped back to give a more uniform shape. They look pretty haggard at the moment, but should recover when the new spring growth kicks in.

The winter veggies are in, and coping surprisingly well with the frost. Unfortunately the Passionfruit hasn't coped and has "gone to god". Oh well. It was an experiment.

The bulbs are pushing their heads above ground. It's always a treat to see them come through each year, and I'm reminded of what was planted in the previous years.

I've tried to create a garden that has colour all year round. So when I went out to take some snaps, I was pleased to see so much colour.

The Weeping Apricot is coming out in the most gorgeous trailing blossom.
The Blood Orange is only a young tree, but still has quite a bit fruit almost ready to pick.
The Robyn Gordon Grevillea blooms are fantastic. Can't wait to get them into the new "nature strip" bed.
The Mixed Asian Greens are looking strong and healthy.
The Hellebore give a splash of colour under the stairs to the veranda.
The Jonquils can't help but make my smile.

Roll on Spring.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The week that was

Woolshed Falls were spectacular after all that rain. Notice the guy half way up. He had a camera on a pole and was leaning over the edge to take photos.

Horrie had another lot of surgery on what is left of his tail. Think we may need to change his name to "Bob".

More cold foggy mornings.

And cloud filled sky.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

A vintage buy

You'd think that with the jars of buttons I already have (thanks Mum), that I wouldn't need any more. But with vintage, I don't think it's about need. It's about want.

So when I was at the Lions Club market last Sunday, I couldn't go past a stall with vintage buttons and embroidery yarn. Love the chunky ones at the back.

I knew the embroidery yarn was vintage when I read the label -  "Made in West Germany".

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Is change as good as a holiday?

I hope so. A holiday isn't on the cards for us until September, so I decided to revamp the look of my blog instead. Perhaps it was just that I was looking for a distraction from work (testing a new computer system process design was just not grabbing me today), Anyway, hope you like the changes.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Spring Is On The Way

Spring is on the way - Hooray! The weather has been so cold and miserable lately, that I've been dreaming of spring. Being a gardener my thoughts turned to the bulbs I've planted. So to remind myself of what was to come, I started flicking through bulb catalogues. I must have squirrelled away the colours in my mind, because the project I started that week has taken on the colours of my spring bulbs.

The blue of the muscari.
The purple of the crocus.
The orange of the jonquil trumpets.
The cream of the freesia.
The pink of the tritona.

I started making circles, not really knowing how I was going to join them together. They seemed too big to just join circle to circle. They needed to be edged, and then joined. So here is what I came up with. I never seem to be able to get the corners to join well, so I stitch a cross to pull the 4 corners together. This time it had the added benefit of giving a nice little "star" effect in each corner (totally unplanned).

I tend to make the backs of my cushions different to the front, and just merging the yarns is a great way to use up the left overs. This time round I haven't felted, so instead it is just a htr (or hdc if you're in the USA)

I'm note sure I want to sell this one. I've grown quite attached to it.

Friday, 13 July 2012

A Photo A Day

12.07.12 - 6.30pm Beechworth

On the way home from Melbourne yesterday, I called into Beechworth to pick up some dinner. While it was cooking, I had a wander around the very empty town. So different to a busy Sunday afternoon full of tourists.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A Photo A Day

10.07.2012 - 8.30pm Williamstown

I've been fortunate to spend the evening with my niece Melissa and her friend Coby. Talking about future plans for university and living away from home, takes me back to when I first moved to Melbourne for university. A dramatic learning curve, but so grateful to have made the move away from the small country town environment. I wouldn't have made the life long friends I did, or have had the drive to travel the world. I have to say I'm a little envious of Melissa & Coby. They have so much to experience and look forward to. A really exciting time.

A Photo A Day

08.07.2012 - 12.30pm Murmungee lookout

I'm cheating a little here, and posting two photos for 8th. Unfortunately you can't see the snow in these pictures, but in the distance are the Falls Creek and Mount Hotham snow fields. The Murmungee Lookout is a favourite launch place for gliders, and I can see why!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A Photo A Day

Life has gotten in the way of blogging this week, so I'm bringing things upto date with one big post.

05.07.2012 - 7am - East Melbourne

Looking out the apartment window, I was reminded that we can still have fog in the city centre.

06.07.2012 - 2.30pm - road to Mansfield

I left the office at lunch time, and we took cross country road home rather than the freeway. The view of Mt Buller was fantastic, and this really doesn't do it credit.

07.07.2012 - 4.30pm - Home

After getting home from dinner out, Horrie meet us at the door with a substantial tail injury. I hate to think how it happened, and what would have happened had he been trapped outside in the -4C overnight. So after a trip to the vet and some further amputation surgery, he has the new nick-name of "Stumpy".

08.07.2012 - 8.30am - Home

Another freezing night! The structure of the ice forming on the car roof, makes it look at "hairy"

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Bag That Nearly Never Was

With a visit to Sewjourn looming, dragging my crochet around in all sorts of weird and wonderful bags, just wasn't going to cut it anymore. Plastic bags, enviro shopping bags, cloth bags. You get the idea. It was time I bit the bullet and get myself organised. I've had a heap of 8ply part balls left over from previous projects, so set too with an 8mm hook. I knew I wanted a round unstructured bag, but that was about as far as I had thought about shape. So I started with a basic circle with 12 dc (or sc if in USA). The next round increases in every second stitch with 2 dc. I've continued to grow the circle, increasing in the same 2 dc stitch. I wasn't worried if it was a bit "wavy", because I knew it would be an unstructured bag. When the base was about the size of a dinner plate, I stopped increasing which formed the sides.

I knew I didn't want to line the bag, so felting seemed like the logical thing to do. The risk of running out of a colour was high, and I was determined to keep to using scraps, and not open a new ball. So the logical thing was to use a strand of 2 colours, and change over 1 colour on the next row.

I struggled to know what to do about handles. I was keen to do something wooden, but struggled to come up with something I was happy with. The main problem was that the opening to the bag is quite large, and any manufactured handle just looked too small. So the bag sat, and sat, and sat for weeks while I got on with other things. 

On the weekend, I finally got my act together and decided to come up with a solution. I had made the bag big on purpose, so I could fit the yarn, project, needle roll etc all in one bag. No more going away and not having the vital bit with me. I didn't want to restrict the opening, but did want to close it in when needed. So the logical solution seemed to be to make it a draw string bag. I wanted the draw string to also form the handle, so made it about 30% larger than the opening. I was worried about the draw string not moving freely if it was felted, so left it unfelted.

To give a full gathered top, while leaving room for the "handles", I've positioned the 3 belt loops at each end and left a larger space between the 2 sets to allow for the handles to form.

Given it was looking like this may never end up a finished bag, I'm actually happy with how it came together in the end. (And no more enviro bags)

A Photo A Day - 03.07.2012

3.30pm - Under The House

Oh the joys of renovating an old house! Not the most fun way to spend the school holidays, but Mr has started adding insulation under our floor, and even though the house is elevated he can't stand up straight. A horrible job to do, but it should make a big difference.

With the overnight temperatures below zero at the moment, it is the perfect time to do what we can to keep our toes warm.

Monday, 2 July 2012

A Photo A Day - 02.07.2012

10.30am - My Garden

Do things creep up on you, or are you more in tune? The growth on the Twisted Willow at the bottom of the front garden sure crept up on me. With the end of the drought the growth over the past two years has been steady, and even though it had started to block out the view, I wasn't really aware of just how much! After a visit from the local Arborist, the tree has had a winter haircut, and I can now enjoy the view up the valley again. Well worth the cost of getting a professional in to do the job.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

A Photo A Day - 01.07.2012

11.30am - The Farm

Where does your food come from? So often the food we buy at the supermarket is so far removed from the actual "production", that you could be excused for forgetting how it really gets to your plate. I was reminded today, when I watched the butchering of a steer. (Thankfully I arrived after it was killed. Not so keen on that part).

 As the daughter of a farmer, I'm disappointed when I hear people not being aware of the true source of what they eat. I was floored to have a conversation with a 30+ year old colleague that didn't realise that the eggs we eat are the same eggs that chickens hatch from. She assumed there were 2 types of eggs!!!  If you are interested in learning some more about where your food comes from, take a look at Farm Day, and spend some time on a farm.

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