Monday, 11 September 2006

Here's a pic of my indoor furbabies,Lillypilly and her son Ginger Meggs. Lil and Ginge had just woken up from a sleep as I took this shot. Boy, Ginge sure does live up to his nameLOL

Sunday, 10 September 2006

I'm still here! Just haven't got around to posting anything for a while.
Well, we've actually had some really good rainfall in this neck of the woods-still teeming down at the moment, in fact.Everything is starting to look lovely and green.Won't be too much longer though, before the mowing starts in earnest.I've been trying to get a headstart on growing some Summer veges.I figure if I start sowing now, I should have something to show by Christmas.Also if this Summer is anywhere near as hot and dry as last year was, it'll eventually get too hot for most
crops to thrive.

Sunday, 20 August 2006

My version of 'Bertha Angel of Buttons' from a pattern in a Homespun Mag. She was made for yet another swap I took part in.

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

This is another slightly different version of 'Lalie Rose' I made for my eldest daughter. Above is a golly and mammy I made for a swap. The golly was adapted from 'Luther Golly' in a Homespun Cloth Doll and Bear mag and the mammy was from my pattern I used for the raggedies in an earlier post.

Saturday, 15 July 2006

This windmill is a typical Aussie rural scene. I thought the colours of the land contrasted beautifully with the clear blue sky.
Since early this morning it's been raining. Hope it keeps up.

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

This is bushland near Crow's Nest in Queensland. I love the xanthorroea's (speargrass, grass tree, Goonangurra), they do send up a tall spike of creamy white honey-scented flowers that birds go mad for, but I read somewhere they usually do that after a bushfire has gone through.

Thought it was about time I posted something. I've been very slack lately.
The picture above is of a Christmas Ornament I made for a recent swap I took part in. I'm sorry about the picture quality - this pic was the best of a very bad lot-and even IT is a little blurred.The flower is an SRE poinsettia stiched with ribbon stitch petals and lazy daisy leaves. The centre of the flower is french knots. The year was chain stitched with gold thread. Below
the flower is some beaded ribbon,to the left beaded sequins, a zigzag of bugle beads top right and beaded lace top left.

Sunday, 25 June 2006

Here is a bag I made for a recent swap. It's an enlarged version of a jewellery pouch that my Mum bought me years ago. I used a cream jacquard for the outer bag and pockets and green homespun for the lining. I then used green cebelia crochet cotton for the edging and drawstring cords. The cords were a little long but they can be easily shortened.
I stitched a round pincushion from the jacquard and finished it with some SRE irises and a beaded edging which doesn't show too well in the photo. The pincushion is attached to the centre of the pouch with a velcro dot.

Friday, 23 June 2006


The section I embellished on this CQ RR block reminded me a little of tree bark and as it will eventually be returning to U.S.A., I decided to embroider some Aussie wildflowers on it. I began by sketching out a rough design on some paper. Once the placement looked okay to me, I threaded up my needle and started stitching, using what I call my 'freehand' embroidery.
There are some gumnuts and blossoms (eucalytus), bottlebrush (callistemon) and some wattle (acacia). FinallyI added some of our tiny stingless native bees. I stitched all of this with DMC stranded threads using straight stitches, french knots and lazy daisy stitch.
I didn't do any seam treatments as I had already taken up quite a large space and I am only the 2nd of 12 to work on this block.

Monday, 12 June 2006

Here is the recipe for the cinnamon dough that I used to make the buttons, beads and gingerbread men for the raggedies in the previous post.
Mix 1/2 cup of cornflour, 2 x40g or 50g (1.9 oz.) containers of cinnamon and 1 of ground cloves. Place in bowl and set aside.
Put 1 1/2 cups of applesauce ( either commercial or homemade applesauce or tinned pie apples that have been blended to a puree ) in a saucepan and add 2 sachets of gelatine. Stand for a few minutes then heat, stirring constantly until simmering. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until a dough is formed. Knead well, wrap in plastic and rest for 10 minutes.
Then the fun begins. Either roll out and cut into shapes or hand-mould them as I do. I usually make stars, hearts, gingerbread men and beads, using a skewer or darning needle to make holes for buttons, gift tags or christmas ornaments. Air dry on sheets of greaseproof paper on a rack, turning several times a day or for beads, string on dental floss and hang to dry. I find that the slower they dry, the less cracks will appear, but they can always be patched up with a little moistened dough. The whole house smells lovely during this process.
I have kept buttons made from this dough for years. I think it might keep indefinately if kept dry, a little like bread dough. I once read somewhere that to refresh the lovely smell, just lightly sand and rub with a little clove or spice oil. My buttons, etc. are stored in airtight jars with whole cloves which I buy more cheaply in larger quantities from a local dried flower outlet.
From September, I usually start making old-fashioned pomanders from oranges studded with the cloves and rolled in spices. One year I made miniature pomanders from cumquats and decorated a small Christmas tree with these, cinnamon dough ornaments, raffia bows and topped the tree with a tiny hand-stitched country angel. I gave it as a gift to my best friend who was thrilled with it.

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

These are some that I've made for various swaps. My first doll was the one that can be seen on top of my craft cupboard in a previous posting. Once I have some very dark brown mohair I will be a little closer to completing her. She reminds me so much of my High School Headmistress LOL.

Above right - "Raggedy Spice"- Her necklace, buttons and the gingerbread man are made from cinnamon dough. The pin was made from a free online pattern ( I think it may have been a 'Mogs Design' )
Above left another Raggedy made from the same pattern for a friend's Birthday.

This teddy was made from mock suede and was supposed to have worn a dress, but I thought 'he' should sport a tie instead. As my swap partner lives in NZ, I embroidered the raw silk tie with Australian wildflowers.

My version of "Lalie Rose" a design by Judy Gray from a Homespun Doll and Bear Mag.

Monday, 5 June 2006

These are part of another block in the Herb Garden RR. I was very happy with the 'parsley' - I dyed some flat silk thread in the microwave with 'Ozecraft' dye, pulled some threads along one edge until it ruffled up, then stitched it down to form a clump.
I need to have more of a go at different seam treatments, they always seem to be greatly lacking in my work.

My First CQ
The very first CQ I ever attempted was a Herb Garden RR. Here is a section of a block entitled 'Culpeper's Garden', one of several that I worked on. This was also my first try at SRE and embroidery other than cross stitch.

Friday, 2 June 2006

Here is another of my recent finds. These wooden cotton reels-69 in all- were languishing in an old cardboard box in a backyard shed.
Tomorrow I plan on checking out our local thrift shop. Haven't been there for a while. I once scored some lovely vintage hankies for 10 cents each and two heavy shot satin evening dresses ideal for CQ. All sorts of interesting things there. Just have to be there at the right time.
Well, Winter is officially here and don't we know it! The wind started blowing a gale this morning. All it succeeds in doing is drying out our soil still further and absolutely no sign of any rain in the near future. If they weren't on water restrictions, I'd get my daughter to wash and polish her car (used to always work without fail)

Tuesday, 30 May 2006

My Most Recent CQ
Thought it was about time I posted pics of some of my CQ and other crafts. These are part of a combined effort wallhanging which can be viewed in full here

Monday, 29 May 2006

The first day of June (This Thursday) is officially the start of our Winter here in Australia. It's been quite chilly. We've had an occasional frost but are still in very sore need of some decent rain - Any Rain! Our neighbour's dam, quite a large one, which was once stocked with young fish and full of crayfish, is now just a small mudhole.
Here are some pics I took at Perseverance Dam last month. You can see in both pics just how low the water levels have dropped. The area in the foreground of the top picture is where the water used to run over the spillway, which is off to the far right.
Apparently towards the end of construction on the Dam, it rained so heavily that it filled before
some of the earthmoving machinery was taken out and it remains on the Dam floor to this day. It'll soon be on full view again if we don't have some rain very soon.

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

The few spatters of rain we received last night were just enough to put a nip in the air today.
Here's a pic of the only patch of green on our block, ( apart from the grass over the septic drain) a very young crop of lucerne (alfalfa) watered from our bore.

This cupboard had been left for years in an old barn and was about to be taken to the rubbish tip by a neighbour when I saw it's future potential and rescued it ( much to my Husband's disgust).
Along with it's battered appearance,it also had quite a few coats of paint on it, so rather than spend heaps of money and time stripping off the many layers, I decided to just give it a good clean up and repaint it. I slapped on a couple of coats of some leftover paint and when dry, gave it the Midas Touch. This was achieved by spraying inexpensive gold aerosol paint onto some old newspaper and using a dry brush to pick it up and splotch it randomly over the cupboard. I then found an old handle for the door and a key ( in my Husband's shed ) which I gave the finishing touch of a small gold tassel. The 2 cherubs were a later find from a thriftshop ( they are only made of plastic, but co-incidentally happened to match the cupboard colours) and were so easy to attach, having holes for hanging on their bases. They cost me a whole 20 cents. I now have a very useful and I think quite attractive cupboard to store just some of my crafting supplies and at very little cost. I do hope I still have a little of that paint left, as I need to touch up the inside of that left-hand door.
I get so much satisfaction from recycling items that others might see as rubbish. As the old saying goes "One man's junk is another man's treasure" or should that now be in these politically correct times, "One person's junk is another person's treasure".

Early last year, I found this tablecloth at our local Refuse Tip. Would you believe someone had actually been using it as a grease rag. I so wish now that I'd taken pics of it in it's sorry state. It was absolutely covered in black grease. Well, with the help of some Morning Fresh washing up liquid, Sunlight laundry soap and a final soaking in some Napisan, I finally managed to remove all the grime with very little fading to the colours of the embroidery.
It has a little damage to the lace on the top right, in a couple of spots the cloth has come adrift from the edging and is very slightly frayed and a few stitches here and there may need replacing ( Maybe I really shouldn't be attempting any repairs - any advice would be most welcome.) Made of a very good quality linen, I am just so pleased that it can now be preserved as a very small part of Australia's Sewing History. I love vintage linen and now have a small collection, mostly bought from thrift shops or flea markets. Stained or damaged linen can often be utilised in Crazy Quilting or other sewing projects instead of being discarded as is too often the case.

Sunday, 21 May 2006

Just thought I'd show you the results of some experimentation in dyeing. I had a small reel of rayon crochet thread and it had an almost identical twist and sheen to some Edmar thread I had. I dyed it as I do with silk ribbon, in the microwave using Ozecraft dyes. Unlike the silk ribbon though, I didn't dry it on paper towels in the microwave, but hung it to dry naturally on my verandah. I found that each bundle of about 10-12 thread lengths had to be knotted together at each end as it is very prone to unravelling especially when subjected to the rinsing process. I was very happy with the results as I've saved myself quite a bit of money. One of the greens and a mauve are very subtly variegated but I don't think it shows too well in the pic. The green on the far left is a silk thread.

More 'Fibreworks' pics

Here are a few pics of the 'Fibreworks' Exhibition.
For my first posting, I thought I'd tell you about the Rosalie Gallery in Goombungee. A small town just 8 kms from where I live. Each month there is a different exhibition. This month's was entitled 'Fibre Works' a celebration of fibre. The felted items on display illustrated traditional methods, nuno, modern, artistic pictorial and needlesculpture. There were woven articles including delicate silk scarves, garments and everyday items. Other crafts on display included latch hooking, patchwork both crazy and sane, knitting, crochet and bobbin and knitted lace.
There may be a felting workshop starting up quite soon, as there were so many expressions of interest from those attending the exhibition ( including Yours Truly of course ) so here's hoping!