A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Autumn

I love Autumn.
In Australia we don't do autumn like the northern hemisphere.
Autumn leaves are not the norm, although some villages and gardeners do go for autumnal colours.  But here, where I live in the lower mountains green is the norm.



We have had a very wet autumn this year. 


Some of the downpours have been quite astounding.
The garden is damp and little and not-so-little fungi are popping up everywhere.
Most of my herbs in the herb garden are doing very well thank you very much, especially the thyme which is creating a cascading silver-green carpet in the rockery.


Autumn, is of  course, harvest time.
So our community Crop and Swap celebrated the end of Season Three on Saturday with a community lunch after the final meet for this season.
After each swap I go home feeling very blessed because I'm sure I always go home with more produce than what I bring.
Herbs don't swap very well...only because everyone seems to be quite successful at growing herbs of one sort or the other so I've had to diverge a little think about what else I can take to the swap that will be of use to others.

This month to the swap I took:

6 jars of homemade organic full cream yogurt
Many bars of handmade soap (two types)
Lemongrass
Thyme
Chilies
5 or 6 Handmade paper garlands
Decorated note book
A posy
A jar of die cut paper butterflies.


I took home
½ a pumpkin
4 potatoes
14 persimmons
11 eggs
A bag of Jerusalem artichokes
3 choko
A bag of tamarillos
A bag of cherry tomatoes
Coconut and cherry slice
2 gluten free blueberry love bombs (aka muffins)(they were to die for by the way).
1 strawberry guava tree
2 punnets of snowpea seedlings
2 cobs of corn
Lemon verbena 
2 limes
6 lemons
1 kids’ cooking book
1 gardening book
A pot of jam 
A bouquet of flowers... 
and a raspberry bush.

Phew!

Here are some photos I took of the most amazing roses that Paula brought to the March Crop and Swap and which I was the lucky person to take them home.

 

 





 





Our little village, each autumn celebrates the founding of the town of Springwood with a festival.

I think the best part of the festival is the midday parade.



Military Pipe Bands have such a profound affect on me I have been known to cry whilst watching a parade.


 
The drummers from Hands Heart Feet had people dancing in the street!

And the rain held off just long enough for everyone have a wonderful day!















Thursday, April 10, 2014

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vintage Quilt With A Smidge Of French General...

Or...I Wish I Had A Quilter's Table.

I'm writing this post in between snatches of pinning my quilt layers in readiness for machine quilting.  
Pinning quilt layers must have to be the worst part of making a patchwork quilt!  
Do you agree?  
I can understand why sending a quilt off to a 
long-arm quilter could be so tempting. 

But apart from that, I think this quilt has been my most magical quilt of all so far.  I have been 'planning' it as I go along. Maybe that's a bit of an oxymoron. I don't have a pattern for it and the original squares given to me by my Sister were not identical in size posing a few challenges. 

There is a little story behind this quilt.  My Sister gave me six squares of blue cotton fabric masterfully embroidered and, or appliqued by sewing machine.  

One of the squares has been hand appliqued. (Sturt Desert Pea)

Some of the machined applique is layered and cut to produce a finished image using up to three prints of cotton fabric. (Sun Burst).

These were part of sewing class my Sister attended and she felt she had no use for them so passed them on to me.

At first the only way I could imagine to re-use them was as cushion covers but that is too obvious and I don't really like too obvious.

Shortly after I thought I'd make a quilt with them but life took over and even though I'd purchased a selection of fabrics to add to the squares the project was set aside for many years.

Until this year...

It's my little Sister's sixtieth year this year and I have decided to make the quilt using her blocks and gift to her for her birthday.

I hope she likes it!

The reason I would LOVE a quilter's table is because stretching and pinning a quilt is back-breaking when it's done on the floor!


I purchased my batting about a month ago. (Yes, life got in the way ... again!)
At that point my quilt hadn't quite come together yet...I was still contemplating blocks/sashing/borders but since I was at the quilting supply shop and I didn't know when I'd be back I purchased two metres of batting for this quilt. 
As you can see from the photograph above...it was perfect!!!!! Couldn't believe it.


And here is the quilt top.
Some of the fabrics are scrappy, some are stash busters, and some were purchased just for the quilt. Of course all were very carefully selected to complement the 70s-80s prints my Sister has used in the Australiana themed squares.  At the top right is a frill necked lizard and its frill is actually 3D.
Isn't she clever?

Oh...and the French General?  The four cornerstones were made from a fat quarter I found in my stash.  The colour is perfect. 

Now must get back to my pinning!



I'm linking to

Quite coincidentally Lee is having a vintage quilt revival at her blog spot...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To Thank & Reciprocate


























Just over a week ago, I met up with fellow blogger Robyn from Fine Arts Journal Blog.
As she writes in her blog, we have been messaging and emailing each other for a number of years now and on our first meeting it really felt like we were two old friends catching up for a chat over lunch.

After lunch we visited a small plant nursery and Robyn purchased an echinacea to photograph and plant in her garden. 

My echinacea plant flowered some months back and is long past its peak but I couldn't resist photographing what's left of the buds. The flower heads are ever changing and I think Robyn will find this to be a fascinating plant for her to photograph.

In the photograph above, what you can see is the 'flower head'.  The pink 'petals' are in fact bracts and not real petals.
Once the flower head begins to bloom you will find a mass of tiny flowers which emit the most heavenly perfume and fill the entire garden.

It is also know as the coneflower because of the cones that remain after the bracts are long gone.  These are often used by florists in floral arrangements because of their structure, texture and longevity.

I became familiar with the plant about seven years ago and I quickly fell in love with it.

Its perfume is a close rival to that of the rose, in my humble opinion.

Robyn, I had a great day too...and it was wonderfully to finally meet you in real life!  




Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Month That Was

February...gone...already. In February I forsook my blog...and not by choice. Auto immune disease strikes again...but before it took its hold ...


...I celebrated lots and lots of birthdays (February is a big birthday month on both sides of the family).


...I made things for Crop And Swap such as..


...sachets for the pantry


...herb salt with herbs from my garden


...and some herb butter...


...I was inspired to sew some birthday gifts by Kath at Hillside House Blog.  I loved her crazy patchwork covered coat hangers so much I thought I'd try my hand at crazy patchwork (not something I have attempted before).
Kath used flannelette as a base for her work but I experimented with off-cuts of wadding.  I stitched straight onto the wadding and used my walking foot for the entire project.
 (Do drop by and visit Kath...she is bravely undertaking a house renovation as well as doing lots of sewing.)


Wow, was I thrilled with the results!  


 I used a little soft toy stuffing to add some padding... 

The above two coat hangers I made for my niece and her husband using crazy patchwork and fancy sewing machine stitches as suggested by Kath.

Don't you just love this fabric?  I used it for my nephew (yes the brother of the above mentioned niece.)I used whole cloth for this and did some simple quilting to finish off. He is a mechanic and the fabric matches the lining I used for a toilet pouch I made for him last year.


Another one and this time for the third sibling (nephew), and also matches his pouch lining fabric.  His birthday is in November but since I was on a roll...I thought...why not?

It's finished off with vintage yellow buttons from my button collection.


And for my BIL (their father)...I thought some paisley print would be appropriate for his age bracket (hehehe!).  Guess in which decade he was born?

Then, there was a brief hospital stay and little activity has taken place since then...except for some reading. 

So...I've finished reading two books...Gone With The Wind (if you haven't already read this book I highly recommend it) and The Boy Who Fell To Earth by Kathy Lette.

I have mixed feelings about Kathy Lette's book...witty, fast-moving writing about a mother(Lucy) and her autistic son (Merlin) his absent, opportunistic, father and extended families.
Read at your own discretion.


And last but not least...I've stopped drinking coffee, and eating sugar, and ingesting gluten...just like that! The thought of them turns my stomach.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Thank You

Thanks again to Karen at The Graphics Fairy for featuring my clock tutorial once more on her blog.


Recently Karen did a feature on her blog titled  "14 Amazing DIY Wall Decor Ideas" in which my clock was included.
It was a lovely surprise and I feel very privileged to be featured.

You can find the wall clock and thirteen other ideas here.

Karen is an inspirational and generous blogger.
Do stop by and visit her.

I'm sure you will be motivated by her enthusiasm. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Upcycle Queen

Here in Australia, we have what we call a bunny rug which is an essential item for newborn babies.  It is a large square of fabric usually made from one hundred percent cotton flannelette and used to swaddle baby.

Little Miss Six of course had many of these as a newborn.  She loved being swaddled and without swaddling would have trouble getting off to sleep. 

Recently, her Mum has made a little bit of pocket money by selling no longer needed items of clothing, toys, etc on an on-line garage sale site that we have here in the Blue Mountains.  But it seems everybody wants new bunny rugs for their babies because these just do not move.  So, I bought them off her and made myself some very long lasting dish cloths with them.

I ironed and folded each square into four using the fold line to then cut it into quarters.



This one originally had rounded corners so I marked the freshly cut corners using a plate of the right size as a guide to match the original corners.  


Next I trimmed them with sharp scissors to match the original corners. I kept the original hemming and simply finished off the newly cut edges by matching them to whatever was on the original rugs.  Those that had overlocked edges I overlocked.


 Those that had turned edges I turned.


  

In all I made sixteen new dishcloths.



Of course, new dishcloths need a tidy under-the-kitchen-sink-cupboard.  So I gave it a spring clean, even though it's almost autumn.

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