Tuesday, December 27, 2011

where did christmas (and most of december) go????

Well Im not sure what has happened Christmas has come and gone as has most of December!
I really dont know what has happened with the days - have been so busy both off and on the farm, that its nice to have a quiet day or two - or has it been quiet?
We were blessed to have all my girls home for christmas (as well as there respective other halves) and had the usual big chrissie lunch - this year at Garys brothers home.
Mia loved everything about Christmas and its lovely to see it all thru a childs eyes - presents were wrapped and opened and admired etc and I think I got everything right as I didnt hear any complaints! And here's the proof of the parcels - Christmas morning before the pressies were attacked.
Hoping that all those who are reading this had a blessed day - and remember the true reason for Christmas - Jesus!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a lovely visit

On Sunday we had a lovely visit from both my granddaughter Mia and my daughter Sarah - the purpose??? Putting up the christmas tree of course.
BUT other things happened too!
Yes the tree was put up and Mia put the star on the top of the Christmas tree (for some reason everyone fights over who gets to put the star on the tree - so when Mia was born we decided that she would put the star on every year - not sure what we will do when grandchild number two comes along next year!)





Mia also had a bath and had a great time being a fool with a sieve on her head!

And finally Sarah painted her toe nails - mainly cos Sarah had just painted mine and Mia wanted to look like Nanna.
Thanks girls for a lovely day that went way too quickly!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

new and exciting

Yesterday our new (yes brand new!!!) tractor arrived.  Its a Valtra N101 for the experts.  Very new and shiny and red - which means it goes fast.....well Gaz had it going 42 kms down the road and you wouldnt even know it.
Yes Ive had a drive, a short one, and yes it has heaps of gadgets and buttons etc.  And yes the bank owns more of it than we do....BUT....we've done the sums and realised that we have spent so much on tractor repairs etc in the past year or two that we just might as well buy it!
Our workers jokes that we will never see Gaz now as he will always be in the tractor!
And what did I get - well half a tractor but also a nice shiny red ride on mower! Yay!!!!! Nice lawns and gardens look out

Sunday, November 13, 2011

a heap of finishes - well actually four!

I've managed to finish four (yes four!!!) things in the one day
Firstly a book that I have been reading the old fashioned way (as in an actual book!) The Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini which is about two friends who set up a quilt camp and quite enjoyed and an easy read which I have been reading in bed at night - only a few pages at a time as Gaz doesnt like reading in bed (and I do!)






Next finish - the lingerie socks,  By far one of the most tricky and complicated items I have knitted - but very satisfying and they fit great too!

Third finish -  binding finally sewn down on this table runner which I think will go into the present box in case I need a nice homemade present for someone - I used up scraps etc so almost a "free" project

Finally and fourthly - this book which I have been listening to on my ipod courtesty of audible - The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  A good (and long) family saga spanning several generations.  An excellent read  listen which I would highly recommend.
So all in all a quite productive day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

a new addition

A new addition has arrived.....a new fridge!
Our old one was dying a slow death - according to Gaz it could be 30 years old so I think he got his moneys worth!
He still thought the old one was ok - I was worried about it dying on a stinking hot day in summer when I couldnt get the fridge I wanted and would have to buy whatever was in the shop.
So......with the money I have earnt from sitting on a couple of boards.....I proudly introduce the new fridge - its a Kelvinator upside down fridge - looks lovely and clean!
Do I go and put all the pictures etc and magnets back on it as before I wonder?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

120 biscuits

Came across this yummy looking recipe - 120 biscuits and made it up today - ok I only got 108 biscuits but still great - and yum!
120 biscuts

500g butter

1 tin condensed milk

1 cup sugar

5 cups self-raising flour

pkt diced preserved ginger.



mix together well, roll teaspoonful sized amount into balls and flatten with the back of a fork dipped in flour.

cook 10-12 mins on a moderate oven approx. 180C

remove and cool.

then stack back on trays, doubled along is ok and bake again for a further 8mins.

They last forever it seems

you can leave out the ginger and add some vanilla and use a multitude of different topping from hundreds and thousands, to lollies, choc chips, roll in coconut, etc or you can cream 2 together with icing

Friday, November 4, 2011

tired....you better not be!

Got home after working a huge full busy day at the local Tattslotto agency and Gaz informs me that he needs help?
Will it take long? I ask....no..........sigh.......it took two hours!
Had to drive the truck (big old hino truck) that Im not very good at drivng while Gaz loaded the silage bales on - had to be done so that they could be brought back here to the home farm to be "wrapped in plastic"
So........managed to have a cup of tea at around 9ish.......when I really wanted one at 6ish
Oh well the life of a farmers wife

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

we have A sock!

Hooray!  Sock one is done and dusted - and it even fits!!!!!
I dont know if Ive mentioned it but this is by far the hardest thing most complicated/complex thing I have ever knitted - and now I have to knit another one or else just one sock is not good for anything at all - wish me luck Ive cast it on.......

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a pleasant afternoon

Well here we are - 1st of November already and Melbourne Cup day to boot!
Im sorry poor blog that you have been neglected again but I have been busy!
Today was a rare day when I (and Gary) had an hour (yes a whole hour!!!) to relax and indulge ourselves - so what did we do - well we both sat outside on our back verandah area - Gary reading a book and me knitting with two dogs and four chooks to keep us company
This is what I was working on lingerie sock which is by far one of the most trickiest things I have yet knitted - but Im getting there - half way thru the foot on the first sock. BTW the wool is gorgeous - Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Sock in the colourway amethyst.
Did we listen to the cup? No, in fact neither of us had a clue what was even running - apparently it was horses!
BUT it was lovely to just sit and enjoy each others company (and a cuppa each too!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

a new way in (well sort of)

Finally! Finally! Finally!
We have our entrance sign! So when you come to visit this is what now will greet you at the top of the driveway.  Hopefully the cows will leave the plants alone and they will grow into lovely big plants.
By the way for those that dont know "Marantha" means come Lord Jesus - come and reign on our farm - making a statement here!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

busy times

As this is my birthday month I had grand plans of posting on my blog each day - but of course best laid plans.......
Here on the farm we have been really struggling.  Our feed for the cattle has not grown as we expected and Gary has been quite down about it.  Its been hard to work out what to do - but finally we ARE doing something.  Two paddocks behind the dairy that we laughingly call the "show paddock" (mainly as they are so terrible!) have been disced and lasered and hopefully will have seed (rye grass) spread on them today.
So if you are one of the many that pray for us - please continue to do so - we really need this grass to grow - we dont want to sell up or move away and believe we are meant to be here.
On another note - Ive managed to get the next round done on the friendship medallion quilt - here it is

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

quilting is a process

Making a quilt is all about process - so as Ive been working on my next round for the friendship medallion I thought I would document the process....except that I did leave out the first step - pieces of quite lovely fabric!
Next step - cut said lovely fabric up into the required pieces/sizes

Next join these pieces up as stated in the pattern - hopefully you cut out enough to do this - I was 6 x 1 1/2" squares short so had to cut more when I got to that part!

Next join these "bits" into blocks and then into rows and then onto the centre block
Easy!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

free friendship medallion quilt

Thanks to flourishing palms I have started making this free medallion quilt from patchwork pumpkin
It came with a few strings attached. They are:

1. You are not allowed to purchase any fabrics for the quilt top. You must use your stash!

2. You may swap fabrics with your friends.

3. Show us your quilt centre to get the next border instructions. No proof? No pattern. No exceptions!

Here's my centre block - have emailed them my "proof" will now await the next round of instructions!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

meet 2149

Please welcome 2149 (also known as Dora according to Mia) to our herd.
First calf of the season and its a girl!  Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.
Thankfully I am all but finished with the census and am actually enjoying a day at home doing farm work.  Spent time walking thru the calving cows and teaching this little one to drink from a feeder.
Didnt realise how much I missed it all as Ive hardly been home lately.  Mind you ask me the same thing in a few days and I might not have the same answer!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the census

Tuesday night saw the night all in Australia were to fill out there census.  Me???  Yes mine is done but Ive been really busy delivering census forms prior to the census and since then collecting them.  I have a HUGE area as its a rural one and covered 690kms delivering the forms!  Hopefully I will not have to travel quite as far to collect them as some have done them by e-census (online) so need to go back to them as the census unit already have their data.   So.... not much productive stuff at home but lots of "quality" time in the car.  Hopefully this caper will be all worthwhile though - I have plans of spending the pay I get for it on either a new oven or fridge

Sunday, August 7, 2011

catch up





In case you have been worried- I havent fallen off the perch or anything- just been incredibly busy. Garys leg is a little better but he is now paying the price for getting back to things much sooner than he should have.  Im often needed to help out and of course Im happy to do so - it just doesnt always seem to be at a convenient time!
Also the last week we have had a student from Japan staying with us- her name is Risa and she has (hopefully) had a great time here with us -



 milking and doing farm work etc and Megan and I took her to Murrabit market yesterday(Saturday) to do some shopping. 



 Megan drove and she is getting quite good!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

all for a good cause

Gary is on the way to mending but needs to take it slowly and carefully (easier said than done!) How on earth you keep an active man who is used to doing everything himself to rest is impossible!
This morning he was back milking - although slowly he got the job done.  He is finding the hardest things to do involve using the clutch on the tractor as he damaged his left leg - and of course you need that to depress the clutch pedal!
Ive actually managed to have an hour or so to myself so decided to make up some snowball blocks for a christian online quilting group that I belong to.  We are each to make blocks and send them to one lady who is going to make them into quilts to be send to an orphanage in Zimbabwe that another lady in the group is involved in.  Here are mine - lovely and bright (as requested) and so nice to have some quiet me time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

life has got in the way

Sorry I was trying to be good about posting to my blog and would have hoped to post some photos of a quilt top Ive been working at .... BUT.... as they say - life has got in the way!
My lovely husband Gary has managed to tear a muscle in his upper leg.
Caused by an incident with a neighbours sons absolutely mad yearling bull calf - but I wont bore you with the details.  I will just say that it was a genuine accident and the calf is gone.
Spent yesterday going to Bendigo for an ultrasound on his leg as it was the closest place we could get in. Managed to quickly see Sarah for maybe 10 minutes tops.
So here I am at 5.43 am writing lists on jobs that have to be done today - and already Im daunted.
Some of the jobs I can do myself - I already have a whole list of my own stuff that needs to be done (and sadly no quilting and knitting are NOT on it)
Gary is on crutches and can barely walk - so therefore cant really do much - hopefully I can somehow if not do the rest - at least organise/contract someone to do it
Prayer for healing would be great please (and for me to be able to cope with all of this)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

but wait there's more!

And the finishing off continues!  This is a felted cushion cover that I got in a kit - started it in September last year so its just about my oldest knitting item that was on the go - I changed the pattern just to get it finished - its felted beautifully so just now need to get an insert to go in it!

These gorgeous socks are watermelon socks and I was gifted the yarn in a swap from a fellow raveler.  Turned out gorgeous and fit well and Im wearing them today!  Can't believe how much finishing off Im getting done!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

even more finishing!

WOW now that Ive got the hang of this finishing off caper - Im on a roll!
Firstly on the knitting front - February Lady Sweater made from Nashua Handknits Desert Flower - not that old a ufo as its only been on the needles for a month and a half - but its done!  Next Knitting item- this one was a test knit - falling knots wrap made from Wollmeise (yes I used some Wollmeise!) Once again only on the needles for a bit over a month - but it too is finished!
On the quilting front - two finishes here too! The first is a table runner I made from two lovely blocks I found whilst cleaning up - a quick and easy make and finish! The second is a dresden plate that I had almost finished except for the binding - so that too is now done!  Its lovely to finish off so much "stuff" and to have offloaded/sold/sent on so much of my things - it makes you feel great!  Must admit that the lure of starting something new is really starting to bite but Im still standing strong (hopefully until ALL ufos are done!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

a whole lot of finishing going on

If you are reading this blog and you are a quilter/knitter/or any sort of crafter at all - I am sure you will understand what I am about to tell you.   I knit, sew, quilt etc and I have heaps of projects and bits and pieces stuff that I dont think I will ever use/make.  So.....in the interests of making more room and also boosting my bank balance, I have just listed and sold some items on ebay - for a ripping profit of $700 plus dollars.  Dont know what I will do with this princely sum - but a new oven is looking good!  Anyways I digress.  The items I sold where kits, books etc that I bought AGES ago and have never quite got round to using/starting so thought someone else might as well have the pleasure - and of course I get the $$$$.  I also have (in the course of finding said items) found many things that I have started but not yet finished.  These that I still like I am aiming to finish BEFORE I start anything else (can I hear cries of famous last words????)
Here's the first two finished things - a chinese coins quilt that I actually started not that long ago - I used a charm pack of sorrento fabric.  Also the infamous rivulet socks that I made and where too big so I frogged and now they are done!  Ive also managed to almost finish a table runner and a table topper but will post photos when they are actually finished - just the hand sewing on the binding to go so not far.
Also I have completely cleaned out my scraps and spare quilt squares - the square etc and some fabrics I have sent to Jan Mac - a lady I know who makes quilts for charity.  As for the scraps - the bigger pieces I have cut into 2 1/2" strips and have made one quilt top in greens that I am quilting at the moment.  The bulk of the scraps (and huge garbage bag full!) I have given to a local girl who is starting out on the quilting trail.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

two presentations





What an exciting week here - first Megan's deb ball on Friday night - here is one photo but will post a copy of the professional ones when they arrive.  Doesnt she look gorgeous and also Gary proudly presenting her.  Where have those 16 years gone?
Next presentation was (finally) Tom receiving his 21st birthday quilt - "Shoofly for Shewie".  I made it into a quillo so that there were 21 blocks in the quilt- 20 on the front and the "cushion" block on the back.  He loves it (as he should!)
So all in all a full and busy week!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

a knitting finish too

And a knitting finish as well - this is this shawl called latice and lace that I test knitted for a fellow member on ravelry
I used three irish girls westerly sea sock in the colourway grace kelly (hence the elegance!)
The shawl turned out beautifully and I only had just under 5 yards of yarn left, so a close call!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

finished~!

Phew! Tom's quilt is finished- of course I cant show you a full photo YET as Tom hasnt been "presented" with it - that is still to come.  Spent most of my free time in the last few days handstitching down the binding - all 8 metres of it.
Listened to a great audiobook while I was doing it though - Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  Worth a listen/read I reckon.
I do hope Tom likes the quilt - Im sure he will!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

a frogging we will go

A month or so ago I finished these socks.  They looked lovely but sadly they are too big for me :(
I received the yarn and pattern in a great swap on ravelry called magic yarn ball.  You swap with a partner and you send them a pattern and a ball of yarn BUT inside the ball of yarn are lots of little treasures to be found - of course you only find them as you knit.
As this yarn and pattern were sent to me, I do think its only fair that the actual socks are mine....so.....decided today to frog (i.e. unravel) the socks that I had made and use a smaller size needle (2.00mm) and make the size small - think that should all be good!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

from my nans sewing stash

I was at my Mum's home today and was on the "scrounge".  I needed some blue cotton for a quilt I am making for a certain someone (lol Tom) and asked Mum what she had in her pile(s) of goodies.  It is so good to have a Mum who is a quilter too.  Sadly she cant sew like she used to due to poor eye sight but she is still happy to share with me!
Anyway while looking through her HUGE jars of blue thread (yes jars!!!) I came across this cute tiny reel of blue.  Its teeny tiny - Ive photographed it beside a bobbin just so you can see just how small it is.  Asked Mum where it came from and she said from her Mum (ie my Nan).  Nan was a dressmaker - infact I think she might well have been a dressmaker extraordinaire - she is the one who taught me to sew and to knit (Mum did a bit too but it was mostly Nan).
Nan always had the most amazing scraps - silks etc as she used to make wedding gowns and evening dresses.  Mostly not from actual patterns but "made up" by her. Hopefully I have inherited SOME of those genes!
Of course I asked Mum if I could have the reel - and of course she said yes! So its going to sit on a little shelf above my sewing machine - no Im not going to use it - just look at it for inspiration from my Nan - how good is that?

Monday, June 13, 2011

who would be a dairy farmer?

Who would be a dairy farmer? I just took this photo and its 7.30am.  Its now a toasty warm 5 degrees and Gary has been up since 5.30 to milk. 
Is foggy and icy outside and freeeeeeeeeezing!!!!
Being the good wife that I am - I took him up a nice warm cup of tea (actually I do that every morning - rain, hail or shine).
Thank goodness my calves are now all weaned so I no longer have to go up and do those duties early in the morning.
And yes I do milk - just not this morning!
SO -
The next time you make a cuppa and add milk, or actually use milk, cheese, butter etc at all - think of the process that it took to get to your kitchen - and the cold man/woman who started the chain rolling!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I think she likes it

Ive just finished knitting this vest for Mia.  Used Bendigo woollen mills silk supreme yarn in the colourway petal pink (pink of course!) It was a test knit for a fellow raveller.  I THINK she likes it......lol

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I think I remember how to make a quilt!!!!!

Well goodness me! I think I have remembered how to make a quilt (well its actually TWO quilts now).  Sarah's boyfriend is turning 21 soon and has asked for a quilt for his birthday - yes he asked, isnt he wonderful.  Something with 21 on it he said....bit tricky but I think Ive worked out what to do - cant say too much here as Tom might read it - except that I am making shoo-fly blocks as his surname is Shewen (get it?)
Well I have managed to make 12 blocks so far and was mindlessly making half square triangle blocks for it and .... well..... it got a bit boring and also my machine kept wanting to "eat" the ears of the triangles.  So what is a girl to do?
I had a look on the moda bake shop site and found this quilt so managed to find some charm squares and have been sort of sewing both at the same time.
So... how productive am I?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

rip lassie

One of our dogs, the lovely Lassie has gone over the rainbow bridge.  Unfortunately she went under the tractor wheel.   When I first came to Gary's home, Gary warned me that he had this really nasty, vicious dog called Lass and that I had to be careful of her.  When I got here, Lass came straight up to me and sat on my feet.  We have loved each other ever since.  We will miss her ways, her funny noises, her wiggly squiggly body that she wriggled to greet you.  You have been a very good dog Lass and very sadly missed.