Saturday, 15 December 2012

Busy time of year

Life is so busy for us in the lead up to Christmas this year. Although the poor old veg patch is getting neglected it doesn't seem to mind. I still managed to pick some little tomatoes, lettuce & there are oodles of bush beans coming on. Yay for low maintenance gardening.
The Christmas Tree is up & decorated entirely by the kids. I've given up trying to control how it will look each year as I'm enjoying seeing their happy little faces when they load it up with decorations they have made at home & school along with ones we have accumulated over the years. It is fun trying to remember who gave them to us & when they came into our home.
Every year I make a panaforte for the Festive Season and this year is no exception, chocolate, coconut, sultanas, dates, walnuts, almonds & macadamia nuts along with brandy & apricot jam all go into the mix.
Yum we cherish each little piece nibbled on.
I would love to hear of your customs this time of year.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Bye bye Book Book

Today was a lovely hot sunny Sunday. After a lazy morning watering the fruit trees & the veg patch, we made our own rice paper rolls for lunch with thinly sliced beef from last night's BBQ & lots of fresh salad goodies.
It was after lunch that my husband discovered that one of our black chooks had died. Book Book the black chook had been part of our family for close to seven years now & she will be missed. Our kids weren't as devastated as we expected so we had a little funeral with our daughter placing the old girl into a freshly dug hole near the back fence & our son covering her with soil. Then we all took turns paying tribute saying a few words about what we loved & remembered about our time with her over the years.
Flowers were placed on her grave & then my husband sprayed us all with the garden hose which cheered us all up as we squealed & squirmed away from the cool wet spray.
The afternoon was one of eating Mangoes & cherries & taking a long cool dip in the ocean while my parents entertained the kids in the rock pool & built sandcastles by the edge of the surf.
I'm looking forward to many more ocean swims this Summer.
Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Budgie Smuggler?

Boy oh boy I love the blue in these cushions. I've been saving up this vintage tablecloth wondering whether to make a bed quilt or cushions from it.
3 cushions now complete & dropped over to Mooch Inside at Killcare/Hardys Bay. I'm sure they'll make someone happy. I have a real thing for budgies at the moment.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bush Christmas

I'm sewing new cushions today featuring great looking native Australian Flora & Fauna even some of the extinct kind *sob sob*
I'm looking forward to a hot & humid Aussie Christmas Holidays with lots of swims in the ocean, sandy feet, sun kissed shoulders & long cool drinks in the evening with friends.
These soon to be available cushions have got me thinking Summery thoughts whilst I listen to the cicadas chirping along with the sound of my sewing machine. I'll be spending actual Christmas Day with my husband's family down in Albury where it will be hot & dry & brown, maybe a swim in the mighty Murray River after lunch to cool us down.
Are you looking forward to Christmas this year?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Tiny florals

Hi I'm sewing a couple of tiny dresses in teeny tiny florals today. Drinking tea & trying not to raid the biscuit tin.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Home day

Having a home day today, pottering in the garden weeding the veg patch, picking a bunch of beautiful wild roses from my backyard. Tidying & vacuuming, snore snore. Oh how I wish I loved to keep house but I can always find so many better things to do like cups of tea & looking at other people's tidy houses on blogs.. Oh the irony.
One good thing that came from today's home overhaul was under covering one of my husband's oil paintings from years ago. Although he says it is a study of Queens Park, I always mistake it for Clovelly Beach... But that is grass not water he tells me.
Hope you are having a relaxing Saturday.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Make believe

Today when I picked up my five year old daughter from preschool.. she said she had something very special to show me. Special it was... A unicorn's egg in a little peat moss nest with a tiny yellow pansy snuggled in.
"It's a real unicorn's egg that I found in the playground & look here's a map I made starting right here taking you to where I found the egg out in the garden".
She cradled her precious little nest in her hand for the whole way as we strolled home, it was so sweet.
Last weekend we had our turn at bringing home the Preschool Budgie named Pudge. I think I was more excited than the kids at having him here. I kind of miss his sweet little twittering, seems awfully quiet in the front room without him.

Monday, 22 October 2012

For little Ruby

Over the weekend whenever I could grab a little bit of time to myself I cut, ironed & stitched away at this gift for my cousin's new sweet baby Ruby.
I can't wait to meet her & have my first hold.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Portello happiness

After our Sunday family lunch I really felt like a nice strong cuppa tea... But oh bother no milk in the fridge... I persuaded Hubby to pop down to the corner store for milk, which he did bring back, along with two small bottles of Portello.... Yikes said I, that's a bit extreme & he replied 'Portello Spyders'... I wasn't so sure, but once the ice cream was added woweee hot zoweee it turned the most intense pink colour & tasted like a dream.
I do believe we have found our new summer treat.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Floral fiesta

I completed this little floral frock last night & I'm really thrilled with how it looks.
Great for a floral fiesta or maybe a Mexican Hat Dance just to stick with my current Frida Kahlo theme.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Frida Feeling

I'm thinking Frida Kahlo & bright sunshine, colourful spring flowers in the hair. If only I could shrink myself down to fit into this wee little summer frock I'd pencil on a mono brow & moustache just to get into character.

Imagine seeing the world through a child's eyes.
New Sean the Prawn summer frocks are making their way from my sewing machine to you.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Bushfire too close to home

We have had a beautiful warm start to Spring. On Friday Mother Nature provided us with another magical day but there was a hint of smoke in the air which is nothing unusual as we live with National Park at our back door & the Rural Fire Service often operates controlled burning of the undergrowth approaching Summer as hazard control. By 10am the smoke had increased & a friend from a neighbouring street dropped by to inform us that police had closed off his street & this was not a planned fire. I tuned into our local radio station & heard that the strong winds were to turn Southerly by 1pm & blow the fire towards our homes.
I started to gather together photos, sentimental keepsakes like vases & trinkets that belonged to my Grandmother's, our children's favourite toys & drawings. I placed everything at the front door ready to go into the car for a quick exit.
I then began to hose down the house, block down pipes & fill roof gutters with water. I placed wet towels & blankets against doors & any gaps in our newly built but unfinished house extension. By now the Southerly had hit filling the air thick with smoke & our street had firefighters wandering around looking for the supposedly well marked water hydrants on the road in front of our house. My husband now started to realise that the situation had gone from unpredictable to being one which needed sharp action. By this time the police had closed off the road into our suburb & stopped all traffic from entering our area. My neighbour came flying up the street in her car telling us that she had heard the fire had jumped it's containment line & we should all get out. I checked my mobile phone & the Rural Fire Service had sent a message a hour earlier telling us to evacuate. My hubby finally managed to grab our cat & headed for the car while I did some last minute wetting down of our property. It felt so wrong to drive away from our home but knew we shouldn't put ourselves at risk any longer, we needed to be with our children who were already at my parent's house twenty minutes away. As we drove out of our street we noticed police going from door to door telling people to evacuate. We passed dozens of fire trucks & firefighters standing in groups preparing themselves to start battle with the approaching flames.
People were scurrying around desperately with garden hoses in a last ditched attempt to wet down their property.
We waited at my parents house glued to the radio as they kept mentioning our street & that property protection was now happening there. At 9pm I had been informed by friends that people were being allowed back into the area so I said to my husband that he should stay with the kids & I'd go back just to check on things & then come back & join them spending the night away from home.
As I approached home the air was so thick with smoke & I could hardly see ahead of me as the headlights of my car seemed to make it worse. Firetrucks lined the my street & the whole of the hill behind the houses across the road was glowing orange with flames. Our home was OK & still standing phew a bit relief! After speaking with the Firies & being assured that it was under control & they had lit this line of fire to contain the large one that burned out of control through 90 hectares of dry bushland. I took a bit of convincing & thanked them for saving everyone's homes, then hung around for a couple of hours wetting the house down & checking no spot fires had started around our property.
It felt harder to drive away the second time seeing the hills aglow lighting up the night, knowing how close it had come to taking our home but tiredness was overwhelming me & I feel into a deep sleep on the mattress on my parent's floor.
Our little community seems so much stronger from this experience, we were all looking out for each other & texting to check on people's safety.
We also got to realise just how many wonderful people there are around here who put themselves at risk on the frontline as part of our Volunteer Fire Service & these same people are the ones you see patrolling our surf beaches & maintaining our National Park. Thankyou to our wonderful Firies & to great friends.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Lemon coloured orchid

Today I have been soaking up the beautiful Spring sunshine whilst doing a spot of gardening & working my way through washing a mountain of dirty clothes & hanging them out on the line to dry in the warm breeze. I don't know what it is about the ritual of washing & then hanging out fresh clothes on the line, it seems to make me feel like all is good in the world & gives me a sense of being in control of my crazy chaotic household.
When I was a little girl I used to love washing my dolls clothes in my grandmother's front loader, it was so different to my family's top loader. I would put in the detergent & press the buttons to start, then set myself up a little chair to watch the little clothes spin round & around in the sudsy water.
Grandma would help me tie rope between a couple of the gnarly old banksia trees in her back garden on which I would carefully hang out my clean dolls clothes to dry in the sun. Today felt like one of those happy sunny washing days from my childhood, must be the warm Spring breeze sending those kiddie memories flooding back.
In the veg patch today I through a whole heap of pelletised organic fertiliser all over the beds and then watered it in to the soil. I'm sure the plants will love this mix & will hopefully reward us with loads of delicious goodies to eat during the coming months.
On one of my many trips back & forth to the rainwater tank I spied this pretty lemon coloured orchid. Orchids amaze me, this one has been neglected for so long & has spent much time totally dried out in its pot. A little splash of liquid fertiliser months back & our recent couple of showers of rain have been all it has needed to through out a flower spike. And what a pretty flower spike it is!
Do you have a little ritual in your home life that you don't mind doing more so than other domestic duties??

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Spring in my step

Wow, Spring is here in full force in my neck of the woods. The weather has been gloriously warm & we have had a couple of afternoon thunderstorms to quench the thirst of our garden & really get the flowers blooming.
Our garden has been established for seven or more years now with many plants growing wild providing me with a contrast supply of beautiful blooms to brighten our home. Look at this bunch I plucked a few minutes ago. Preeeeetty!
Lucky I have flowers to tart up the house as you can see we are living on a virtual building site. Sure it is getting closer to being finished but oh how I'd love things to be a little less chaotic around here. It will be so fantastic to have the extra space when it is all done.
Today Betty Bernina & I have been sewing up a storm creating a bevvie of beautiful Springy themed skirts perfect for frolicking in your hood, where ever that may be??
I hope you are enjoying the change of seasons & the little rituals we partake in according.

Monday, 17 September 2012

She's back!!!

Hi thanks for hanging in there, I dropped out of the bloggersphere for quite some time didn't I.
Early in June my husband was given some rather shocking & depressing news regarding his health which certainly turned our world around. After months of being in shock & him engaging in treatment everyday which involved him travelling a round trip of 4hrs each day, I'm pleased to say he is a lot better & we are feeling more positive. Phew... now that that's out of the way we can get onto lighter subjects.
Last week I had a visit from a very tame cockatoo who didn't seem at all disturbed by me watching him eating the seed pods from the wattle tree at our front door. He seemed just as interested in me as me in him.
I've also been busying myself in the veg patch of late, harvesting homegrown broadbeans (yum) & planting many more seedlings such as tomatoes, eggplant, beetroots & butternut pumpkin. The plan is to be feasting on nutrient packed homegrown fruit & veg all Summer long.
Do you enjoy getting your hands grubby & attempting to grow your own food? Ever had a little critter from the animal kingdom pay you a visit at your pad?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Hello Possum

I've almost got my sewing mojo back. I had a couple of power sessions at the machine late last week resulting in more Australian themed cushions of varied prints & sizes. I also whipped up another psychedelic terry toweling & Pom Pom beach cover up for a wee little one.
On the home building site front, WE HAVE CONCRETE! After a lot of digging & filling & forming up, the concrete trucks arrived at 7am this morning & the guys have been troweling & helicoptering to get a lovely smooth surface.
Yay progress in the sewing room & the building site.
My son turned 9 last week & we had a ten pin bowling party for him on the following Saturday. 14 kids all sugared up & having fun. Dave (hubby) made the most amazing bowling ball shaped icecream cake. He mixed chocolate & vanilla icecream together along with fresh raspberries & M&Ms & filled a large rubber ball that he had cut in half & lined with cling film. Once pulled out of the mould, it had a few coatings ice magic,the result was magnifique. Yum for everyone.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Busy times

Busy busy times! So much happening on the home front. Last week we finally started the addition to our house.Dave told me the whole yard would be nothing but dirt but I just couldn't comprehend why so much of our garden would need to go. Now I get it, it is quite a process & to quote three tradesmen in the space of a couple of days "you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette". It is rather exciting to be finally making a start, I've been thrown into the role of project manager, talk about a steep learning curve. I think I'm a natural at hounding people. I've even been shoveling plumbers grit into the sewer trenches,very hands on.
I've also added a photo of the garage door of a house my husband designed in Marrickville Sydney. The owner of the house is an amazing women & she commissioned artist Louise Tuckwell to paint a mural over the door.
I love it, it sure brightens up the inner city street scape.
I have a long list of Sean-the-prawn orders building up which I must tackle soon. Plenty of designing & cutting out going on, I just can't get myself into a sewing head space.
What do you do to inspire yourself to get back to the machine?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Hippity Hop Hop Easter's on its way

Happy Easter dear blog friends.
For those celebrating Passover well happy times to you too.
Thursday at my son's school they had an Easter Hat Parade which was a lot of fun, I took my parents along to have a picnic with the kids & to watch the parade. So many beautiful hats & happy faces.
On Good Friday we had a beautiful lunch around at the home of some great friends of ours. Delicious homemade curries, prawn green curry, yummy Malay fish & aubergine curry along with a yummy aloo mater.
We brought dessert, a lemon yoghurt cake with whipped cream & another friend who arrived later served up fresh ricotta drizzled with honey. The afternoon finished up with fresh made mint tea Tunisian style.
A lovely afternoon spent chatting & eating while our kids played together & we had some quality snuggles with the host's 9week old baby daughter. Ahh bliss.
Today is Easter Sunday & the kids awoke at 6.30 am to find that the Easter Bunny had left chocolate eggs outside their bedroom, they were very excited.
My parents joined us for a sumptuous Easter lunch of roast chicken & an array of delicious salads, my favorite being beetroot, bean, watercress, pecan nut & goats cheese.
My hubby tried out a new recipe for sweets, a lime & ricotta pudding.
Soooo good we'll definitely be making that one again. Lately we have been using produce from our home garden:- lemons, limes, basil, mint, rosemary, wild cherry tomatoes, water cress, leeks, green beans, free range eggs & sorrel. I'm a proud, lazy gardener, learning as I go.
It has been a beautiful Easter this year enjoying special times with family & friends.
Now I've crashed out on the bed trying to recover from our healthy feast.
Happy times to you.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Sulphur Crested Cocky

Yesterday I finished making up a cushion of a patched Aussie Flora & Fauna theme. I thought the cockatoo needed a little more attention, so I snazzed it up with embroidered detail in some bright yellow Japanese sashiko thread.
Jumps right at you now.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Green Seas

There is something fresh about this appley green sea surrounding the map of Australia on this vintage tea towel cushion that I made last week. I love the sweet 1950's style illustrations of the koala & other native animals.
I've had such a lovely weekend catching up with a dear, dear friend of mine from my childhood. We went our separate ways when we hit our teens but have always had a special connection. It is great to she her so happy now at 42years old with a cute as can be 4 month old baby boy and a fab man. Baby Felix it is awesome to meet you & spend time with your beautiful family.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

New life

I recently made a couple of cushions for an old friend from high school. She was so sweet, about 12 months ago she found me on Facebook & had a look at my Sean the Prawn creations & decided to gift me a whole heap of beautifully embroidered doilies that once belonged to her mother in law. She was hoping I'd give them a new life & that is exactly what I did. I love doilies & have quite a collection now. I treasure their beauty & uniqueness, not to mention the thought of just how much love & dedication went into all those pretty stitches. So yep, it means a lot to me to give these treasures a new life, a new chance to be admired. Thanks lovely Jo for the doilies & I hope you had a great birthday.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Feeling breezy

Today is a great day, issue two of online Breeze Magazine has been launched. Sean-the-prawn cushions are on the front cover & throughout the mag, as is a feature of one of David Boyle Architect's (my hubby) sensitive renovations. This issue is all about The Bouddi Peninsula an area in which I am lucky enough to live, & about a few of it's people & their businesses. Many of the photos in this edition were contributed by two amazingly talented women Lisa Haymes & Brigid Arnott, whom I'm fortunate to call my friends.
Such beautiful work ladies especially Lisa's photos of the Bouddi bush.
I'm also loving the awesome Elkhorn's Instagram Adventure, I might have to do that walk soon myself.
The more I look at the the images in this mag the more I realize that this is my heartland/ my dreaming.
For a visual feast check out this mag,

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Another one just like the other one...sorta

I'm loving these psychedelic beach cover ups in terry towelling & pompoms. Makes me want to dance around to the Monkees & dream of being a kid in one of those great 1970's TV shows like Sigmund the Seamonster, HR Puffnstuff, Banana Splits, Brady Bunch & the list goes on
or should I say "& The Beat Goes On" Sonny & Cher style.
Guess you could say I'm inspired.
Are you feeling inspired in what you do?
Photo was taken at night with a flash please excuse the grainyness.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Terry & Pompoms

I have been wanting to make these beach cover ups for quite some time now. Carrying around the vision in my head for a good 18 months or more. When the Pompoms arrived by express post today I no longer had any excuses. This one is a prototype with other colours & prints yet to come.
6pm tonight I bundled the family into the car & we drove a couple of minutes to the National Park for a swim in the pristine ocean. A great way to wind up a hot & sticky, busy day.