Sunday, 28 October 2007


I've just received a photo of a doll just like the one I had as a child. The pic came in an email from a lovely lady in the UK who identified my doll from a description I'd given her. I was made to give away all of my dolls and a lovely big teddy with growler before we emigrated to Australia back in 1969. I do think that my parents misunderstood how many of our belongings we'd be able to bring and I guess that toys weren't as important as many other items. As it turned out, we actually could have brought nearly everything but a few larger furniture pieces. This photo is the next best thing to having the doll as it brings back many memories. By the way the doll is a Pedigree Pretty Peepers made in 1957. It had jointed legs and a button on its stomach that when pressed would make the doll's eyes turn to the right, then with each successive press, to the left and then the eyes would change from blue to brown

I've also posted a pic of a lovely depression glass rose bowl of my Mother's. It is now missing it's matching glass frog, which would have been about 2 inches high and across. It was broken before I inherited it. If anyone knows where I might find a replacement, I would be most grateful.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

These Apostlebirds (Struthidea Cinerea) would really have to be one of the most intelligent of Aussie birds. Very cheeky too! I took these pics this morning, and by a sheer fluke managed the en flight pic. Apparently they are mudnest builders, so I may have to give them a hand with the lack of mud, as droughts can drastically upset their breeding cycle. I do know I had a flock of them here last Summer, going absolutely ape under a fine sprinkler.
Years ago, we were outside talking, and only a few feet from us, a flock of them encircled one of our cats. Well, the cat sat there just stunned, but the moment he made a slight move, they flew off. Do so wish I'd had my camera handy that day.
Another bird that plays games with the cats is the Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) We have a pair of them that nest on a spotlight on the Western side of our house.
Do hope our little fairy wrens return this year. I have noticed some honeyeaters feeding from the flowers on the aloe vera and grevilleas and also some tiny yellow finches that seem to appear at daybreak.
There are several magpies that nest here each year. Each family has it's own tree. The young left their nests several weeks ago. They never seem to worry us at all, but they're often a problem in public parks when they can be very aggressive around nesting time. Years ago my Mum was dive-bombed by them and ended up with a nasty cut on the bridge of her nose. My husband's cousin had a very tame one that visited them each day. It was an albino, having very pale brown and cream plumage. I just love listening to their songs, and that of the cicada beetles.
One of the peskiest birds would have to be the mudlark or peewee. They make such a mess with their droppings on our vehicles' side view mirrors and continually dive-bomb their reflections in our windows. All I can say is, they must have beaks of steel.LOL

Wild turnip would just have to be the scourge of the Downs this Spring. Everywhere is clothed in yellow at the present, and although I don't usually suffer from hayfever, I've been sneezing at the drop of a hat.

Monday, 24 September 2007

I found this recipe just the other day and I'd forgotten how good it was. Haven't made it for years.
100g/4ozs. plain flour, 50g/2ozs. butter, cut into small pieces, 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon ice cold water, pinch salt.
Rub butter into flour or whizz in a blender, add egg yolk and water. Mix into a dough and roll out to fit a pie or quiche plate. Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
2 tablespoons corn or olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 kg/1 lb. 1oz. onions (thinly sliced), 1 tablespoon plain flour, 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (beaten), 150 ml/5fl. ozs.fresh cream, salt and pepper
Heat oil and butter in frying pan and gently fry onions until soft and golden. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Pour filling into chilled pastry case and bake in a fairly hot oven 200oC (400oF)for 20-25 minutes or until filling is just set and golden brown.

I baked one yesterday had a slice for lunch with some mixed salad. Yummy! It is quite rich, so low fat substitutions could be made. Might try it again one day and try a few variations. Maybe some salmon or chicken.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

The above exhibition is now showing at our local art gallery in Goombungee until the 30th of this month. Last weekend I was lucky enough to pay a visit to see some beautiful new work by three very talented Australian Artists, Abi Thompson, Debbie Dieckmann and Marlene Page.

Abi Thompson, a Textile and Mixed Media Artist from Woodonga, crochets gorgeous bird and animal tea cosies, hats and assorted cakes and tarts. This talented artist also creates some very colourful and often amusing paintings.

Debbie Dieckmann, is a mixed media artist from Millmerran. To see more of her unique
  • Debbies Heart

  • The very talented silk artist in the above picture is Marlene Page from Fremantle. Marlene specialises in handpainted fine wool and silk. To see more of her work go to her website at Healing Circle Silks
  • Sunday, 26 August 2007

    Look what my sister gave me recently. Her overlocker, which has only been used a few times and has just sat in a cupboard for years. It's very similar to mine which is no longer working, but this one has differential feed. It's just like new. I really appreciated it as I miss not using my old one.
    I also scored a Breville breadmaker, again, as new. I have successfully used it to make some dough for pizza bases, but I think I'll have a go at some loaves of bread or rolls this week.

    This last week we've had lots of lovely rain. I'm going to start planting some more Summer vegies and hopefully there'll be no late frosts. All of my silverbeet is doing well, although it'll be a few weeks before any of it will be suitable for picking.
    I took this photo one morning at about 6.45 am. The building below the rainbow is our neighbour's surgery. She runs a very successful practice from there. It's so convenient for us as we only have to go next door if we need a doctor. A pharmacy has recently opened in a small town about 12kms away and they have free delivery for filled prescriptions. Another of our farming neighbours just a little bit farther away has a dental practice, so we are quite well-serviced here.

    Wednesday, 1 August 2007

    This is the book which inspired me to thoughts of painting Australian wildflowers on the cupboard doors. There are some really beautiful designs and I've even used the book as inspiration for embroidery.
    Kate Broadfoot also has some gorgeous books published.

    Here are pics of of a glass-doored cupboard I bought from our neighbour's clearing sale. One pic was taken with the blind closed, hence the colour difference.The exterior was painted white, but I've stripped most of it back. I've left the original painted interior. It fits just perfectly on the top of an old floor-standing cupboard that belonged to my parents. My intentions are to one day re-paint sections of both cupboards and try some folk-art on the doors of the bottom one.
    Most of my collectables have cost me very little, or sometimes nothing. There are some tiny English Wade china animals on the centre shelf that came in a large box of items from a Lifeline Op Shop. I paid $2 for the whole box. The Wade china hedgehog though, came out of one of my childhood Christmas crackers.(bonbons here in Oz)The little cat coming from our local OP shop and is from Mexico.
    The wall-hanging I have on the front of the doors was made for me in a swap I took part in. The saying is so apt.
    I also love old bone china cups,saucers and plates. I have a plain white china dinner set with a gold edge that can be mixed and matched with all the odd pieces.
    My lovely old 1950s glass cabinet is in need of repair at the present. My ginger cat jumped at a chair which fell backwards into the beautifully rose-etched glass door.
    I don't think I'll be able to afford to replace it with anything other than plain glass. Thankfully nothing inside the cabinet was broken.


    Look what I found when I was out watering my garden this morning. This tiny plant is flowering at the base of a standard in a large tub I was given. It's some type of bulb, but what exactly?

    Wednesday, 25 July 2007

    These 2 AGM insulators I rescued from old posts being cut up for firewood on our neighbour's property. I just love collecting pieces like this. I've even kept a few pieces of wire from old posts that were burnt as firewood, simply because they reminded me of insects.

    I'm breaking all records today. Here are 3 more things we dug up in our garden. Just behind our house was the site of the teacher's house,behind that their rubbish tip.Isn't the kewpie doll perfume bottle cute.It has a bakelite lid and is in almost perfect condition.
    The ship isn't too good, but considering it's made from lead and has been through a fire,it's still recognisable.I can just make out the name Rex on the end.Another ship and a train didn't fare as well, being almost melted. The other item is a bakelite top from a desk inkwell. There were also pieces of slate and slate pencils.

    We built our home on the site of the old Primary School. It had been built in 1908 and closed in the 60s. When we first moved in, we were digging a vege garden and found a heap of petrified wood,axe heads, fossiled shells etc. all in a fairly small area. I think they were most likely a collection discarded when the School closed. The petrified wood in the pic is just a small sample. Can you see my 'maps of Australia' minus Tasmania? The large piece with the fossilised shells looks like it has some fossilised fern on it, but I've seen some like it in the Brisbane Museum and apparently it is just a type of rock formation.

    Sunday, 22 July 2007

    I was looking through all my photos the other day and came across this one of myself. I believe I was about 4 at the time so it was probably taken around 1960 or thereabouts. I remember the dress I was wearing was a turquoise blue with white binding and white daisies on the heart-shaped pockets. Most of my clothes back then came from Marks & Spencer, British Home Stores or were ordered from Kay's or Freeman's catalogues.
    From the look of my smile, it wasn't long after I'd broken my front teeth. It was Summertime, and I'd been splashing around in our old galvanised bath in the back yard. Our Landlady who lived upstairs, opened a window and threw down a small plastic swan for me to play with. I raced inside to show Mum, and sliding over on the wet lino, I fell and hit my mouth on a wooden stool that Dad had made me. That day is just so clear to me-most probably because of the pain. I also have no trouble at all remembering everything in colour so precisely from back then, yet don't remember many more recent events anywhere near as clearly. Is that a sign of Ageing?My Dad was like that and he was 92. No chance for me.LOL.

    Tuesday, 12 June 2007

    Another 2 bears. One, a Birthday present, the other, a cent sale prize. A good friend of mine organises the cent sale each year in conjunction with a Morning Tea to raise money for the Cancer Fund.
    I think that I might try lowering the eyes a little next time.
    It's been quite chilly here, especially in the mornings, but at least after the rain we had, everything is starting to green up. I suppose that frosts will now be a regular occurrence. I believe we've had one good one already, as my lovely big clump of blue agapanthus turned into a flattened brown mess overnight(I lost some to frosts several years ago)I really thought they were supposed to be quite hardy. I'm going to try digging up what little remains of the plant and transplanting either into a pot or to a more protected spot in the garden. The really funny thing is, I have a cherry tomato plant in a tub that is growing in the open, unprotected, and has already been through 2 Winters.

    Monday, 7 May 2007


    I recently took part in another online swap. It was for a needlecase. This was adapted from a design by Joan Gibson in Inspirations magazine issue 23 (1999). I put my own touch to it with the embroidery, which I almost always seem to make up as I go along, occasionally using a water-soluble marking pen. I used mainly DMC threads, a little home-dyed rayon thread , flat gathered silk for the parsley, and a little silk ribbon, embroidering everything onto a small piece of raw silk. A few beads also added for the cumquats, lemons, oranges? The monogram was chain-stitched with one strand of DMC and some gold Kreinik blending filament. The needlecase has a pocket inside to hold scissors or threads.
    I find so much inspiration in other peoples work, but always have to add my own individual touches. It's so important though to give due credit to the owner of the original pattern.

    Saturday, 24 March 2007

    This is my 13 year old Grandson Andrew in his School cadet uniform. I'm so proud of him. His ambition at the moment is to eventually join the Armed forces, but who knows, he might change his mind. He's doing very well at school, so he will probably have quite a few options open to him if he keeps it up.

    Here's a vintage 1957 photo of me with my 2 sisters. Sylvia to my right and Joan. They were 19 and 18 when I was born. I've grown up with their children who have always thought of me more as a big sister than an Aunty.
    My eldest sister Sylvia passed away just over 10 years ago.
    I'll have to try and find a recent picture to post of my sister Joan and myself. The age gap isn't very apparent now, as I am quite grey-haired and don't try to cover it up LOL

    Recently, I've not been getting very much enjoyment from sewing. Just look at the all of my U.F.Os. - 3 bears, 2 gollies, a raggedy, 2 rabbits, a cat, a bag and at least 8 hearts for the Chains of Hearts group.

    I have found crocheting very relaxing and rewarding. I've been crocheting beanies for sick and premmie babies. A friend of a friend is the co-ordinator. The knitted and crocheted items going to 3 Toowoomba Hospitals as they are needed.

    Wednesday, 21 March 2007


    This morning we laid our beloved old blue heeler to rest under some gum trees in our backyard. She passed away peacefully during the night. Almost deaf, she was well into her nineties in our terms. We'd had her with us since she was a pup. The above photo was taken when she had the first of her 2 litters of pups. Such a good Mum and a really great worker when we had our cattle, also a wonderful guard dog. She'll be missed so much. Goodbye Rosie.

    Tuesday, 20 March 2007

    Isn't this doll cute? Only a few inches tall, made as a gift for my daughter by the mother of Emi, a Japanese exchange student, this is the male doll. The pics I took of the female (with longer hair and mauve and pink clothing) were very blurred. I'm going to have a go at making them as they are basically stitched from small rectangles of fabric.

    Nap time for our 'Ginge'. Usually just as I'm about to take a good pic of one of the cats they move. Not this time! He must of been in a really deep sleep.

    Aren't these alpacas beautiful? They were on a property at Nanango, Qld. Don't you just love the close-up of the white one? Soooo cute.

    Thursday, 8 March 2007

    Here are a few pics taken in September last year. On the left a Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Garden Competion winning Garden, above, a grass horse in one of the many Toowoomba parks and on the right, a display of clivias at another prize-winning gardener's home.

    Unknown to me that is. Would anyone please be able to tell me what this is? It was about 8ft. high. It was growing in Toowoomba amongst some Aussie natives, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to cultivate it here. Only difference being that Toowoomba has red soil, ours is black and we're unable to grow things like proteas or any acid-loving plants. Sorry the pic is a little blurry.

    Monday, 19 February 2007

    Just managed to go over to the new blogger using my daughter's computer. I'm having trouble accessing blogger at all, but I think my modem may be the problem. We now have access to broadband so I think we'll soon be saying goodbye to the old dial-up.
    Don't have any pics with me to download so maybe next time.