Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday at last!!

July 27th

Finally Friday is here!! Lovely weekend to look forward to - and the housework that goes with it!!

I arrived home tonight feeling quite invigorated. Cooked a big pot of minestrone soup - that covers lunch for the weekend, then retired to the sewing room. Finally stitched the borders on a quilt top for my youngest granddaughter, Erinn. Really pleased with it too. I guess this one will end up on the floor just like the one I made for Niamh!!

This is a pretty little quilt, just perfect for a three year old. It's from a book called 'Fairyland', by Australian designer, Natalie Bird. Very cute. Here are a few of the blocks.

What next? Well, I have about 20 blue and white and yellow Dresden plate blocks which were made for me when I was a Woodpatch quilter. Quite a few of them need fixing up as some of the quilters didn't bother to trim the inner circle before they appliqued the centres and the ragged edges are showing through under the yellow centres. That's the reason they are still in a box somewhere, but it's time I got them out and put them together - my August challenge.

My other challenge is to get the roses and hydrangeas pruned. Spring will be upon us and nothing will be ready. At least the long dry summer kept the weeds at bay, but with the rain we have been having this winter, they will soon be on the move. I hope this summer we have enough water to keep things looking good.

Liz Needle

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Back to school

Thursday July 26th

Well, nearly a week back at school and I feel like I've been back for 10 days straight. I find the first week of term very tiring, especially on the voice, which has been rarely used for a fortnight!

Had a very peaceful, relaxing holiday - some housework achieved, though nowhere near as much as planned. Little gardening done - far too cold to even venture outside. We did move a dozen very large tree ferns and relocated them to the front garden. This had to be done to clear an area to build a new room - mainly for Mark, though it will be very handy when the grandchildren come to visit.

We went to Varekai - Cirque du soleil - and as usual just loved it. Brilliant costumes, great music and so much action and movement. This was a birthday present from my lovely daughter, Jo.

My best achieevement though was to finish the blocks for a quilt I am making. And I put them together in time for Show and Tell with my quilting group. Just have to work out what to do for a border - but so far I love this quilt. It is from a pattern called Stars in my Garden, by Lori Smith. I have done all the applique blocks by hand - buttonhole, which has been fun as I have been able to sit by the fire and keep Don company, instead of disappearing into the sewing room.

Whole quilt minus borders

Smaller units

When it is finished it will be sent away for quilting. Too big for me to tackle. I have two others to finish by September when they are booked in to a quilter.
Time to do some schoolwork!!
Liz Needle

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Garden bits

July 17th

I found this photo I took a week or so back during our frosty spell. This was not the worst day, but still very cold. Our fishponds froze and the dogs' bowl and birdbaths became iceblocks.

And while the garden is very bare at the moment, the hellebore's are just beginning to show their new flowers. These are two new ones I put in last year.



Tuesday July 17th

It is so cold here today - not snowing as in some parts of Victoria, but icy cold. In fact I think I would prefer snow to the bitterly cold wind that is coming straight off the Antarctic - or appears to be.
A walk around the garden brings me no joy. There aren't many weeds out there because of the dry summer, but it is wet, muddy and miserable and so many plants have been burnt off from the frosts we have been having. We haven't even started pruning and cutting back because there never seems to be a day that we can do it. There are a few brave , bright jonquils valiantly attempting to bring some winter cheer and the early camellias are trying, but they too are suffering from the rain and wind. Nothing else, including me, wants to show their faces.
The best place in the house is by the fire or sitting here by the computer with the heater going on my legs. Trying to think of something to write, my eye fell on the latest menu that Mark has been typing up. Hmm. Sounds great. I wonder if he will use us as the guinea pigs.
"pan-fried chicken roll topped with a sun-dried tomato, basil and white wine cream sauce, served on a bed of char-grilled vegetables"
"mussels, prawns, scallops and calamari in a mild chilli, garlic, roasted pepper and tomato broth, garnished with garlic croutons and Aoli"
"coriander and honey glazed pork rack on sage potatoes with jus and garnished with crisp pork belly"
Makes me feel quite hungry. Now, what will we have for tea tonight - chops and veg?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fun with Cross stitch

Monday July 16th

Must be school holidays. Here I am back again. Very tired today. I have spent a week or so staying up to watch the Tour de France. I really enjoy the cycling on the telly - and it is quiet late at night and I can sit there and stitch away at various projects without interruption.

I have been working on these little fun cross stitch patterns on and off for a while now. One day I will put them into a quilt. I am a member of a wonderful group of quilters, affectionately known as "The Cows". I won't go into details of how and why, but we have known each other for about 7 years now and really enjoy being a group. These little cross stitch pieces seemed appropriate somehow.

There are 12 altogether, but I won't bore you with them. Now I just have to think about how I am going to incorporate them into a quilt.
I must say thanks to fellow Cow - Dy Taylor who actually did read my blog yesterday and welcomed me back. I have at least one reader. Thanks Dy. She, by the way, is an incredible craftswoman and her blog is fascinating, full of all manner of crafty ideas and things she has accomplished.
It is freezing here. We have had a lovely fine, but very cold day, and were able to get out into the garden. We are building an extension onto the house and had to move about 8 very large tree ferns. Tiring but satisfying work. Now we just have to hope that they will survive the move. Even son, Mark got himself moving on his precious day off and dug the holes for us.
Just as well we got moving today. The weather forecast says more rain and cold weather tomorrow. We are having a very cold wet winter after a horiffic dry summer. Our dams are full and the ground is saturated. Every step I take the water comes up over my shoes. Unfortunately I tend to forget this and go outside in my uggies - now very muddy uggies!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Getting my act together

Back again - 2 in the same day!!

We have just been out to lunch at maximilians - one of my old favourite restaurants. Had a great time, lots of laughs, wine and food. Now feeling quite bloated, but happy.

Before we went I prevailed upon my brother to take a photo of Jo and I. Jo hates photos and noone ever seems to take my photo unless I am part tipsy - and then the photographer is usually that way too. The result is some pretty weird photos.

So here I am - showing all my wrinkles, but looking reasonably respectable. My family have been very rude about the photo on my blog showing me about 35 years ago - dishonest they call it. LOL.


Back again

July 15th
Back again!! After 5 months. Time just seemed to have disappeared once school started, but now hopefully I will be able to keep this up. Who knows? I doubt I have any readers left anyhow, so it will probably be just for me.
Had my birthday on Friday - the thirteenth. Always lucky for me. One of my girls also has a birthday on the thirteenth and we get Friday 13th in the same year as each other.
Yesterday I cooked dinner for my brother, a cousin and her husband, Don and I . Had a lot of good talk and great company and far too much great SA wine! Today the family is off to a favourite restaurant for Sunday lunch. In fact I should be getting ready now. For some reason I decided to see if I could remember how to get to my blogger page and so I am still here.
Must away, but will come back to it later - I promise.
Liz Needle