Thursday, 31 December 2009


The last entry for the year is also the last creativity I have done for the year, too.

This is just an old gifted plastic clock, I flicked the clear plastic cover off, and pulled off the hands and made a new face from quilt patterned paper.

Which do you think looks better - with or without the buttons?

And happy new year - I hope 2010 is going to be full of wonderful things for all of us!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009


Hey, hooray - Xmas has come and gone, hooray!!!!

I get so very stressed about Christmas. Bloody Christmas. It is almost 20 years (maybe it IS 20 years...) since I had all my boys together for Christmas and I miss them more at this time of the year than any other.

Xmas Newstead 2010.
Mark that in your diaries my boys cos it is all happening here next year. And I mean ALL!!!!

The Sweetheart and I had a wonderful time at Mitta. There are a mountain of photos somewhere. Shall tell you where tomorrow...

But here are a couple of lovely things I got.

My brother and SIL at Mitta always get me something wonderful from the Op Shop for pressies. I was *almost* disappointed to unwrap something that was shop bought. Look at this gorgeous little sewing machine that is really a clock. The hand wheel turns around, and the little pedal moves too. It is beautiful.

When I was born I got a Bunny Plate. And then it was handed down to my five siblings to use, and I got it back for all my boys. After they had it, one of them had a baby and he had it for his child.
It was pretty battered, and had most of the Santa Bunny scraped off with generations of us eating from it.
And then the grandchild turned out not to belong to my son, and the boy lost a dad, and a great granny and grandparents and lots of aunties and uncles and cousins, and the mother also lost my Bunny Plate along her sad road. It was all very sad, and I often wonder where that poor kid is now. And if the mother bothered to go to the bloke who was really his father and explain that a whole other family had thought he belonged to them for years.

The story is that long ago (before WW2) the designer at Royal Doulton got the sack.
In a nasty way.
However, the Head Bunny gave him a week to get his work finished before he was slung out into the nasty fox world.
And in that time Designer Bunny redesigned the logo that goes on the back of all the Bunny Plates.
And he did the story of what happened to him.
One Bunny being shafted by another Bunny who is being helped by a lesser Bunny...
I don't know if this is true but it really does look like one Bunny is rooting another Bunny. And it is on all the Bunny crockery...
(It is a bit like that Smellie of mine being screwed for all sorts of child support for years and then all she had to say was "Oh - it must have been one of the others then"...).

My next sister down remembered that I didn't have my Bunny Plate any more.
And she found this for me.
I had a little cry when I unwrapped it. What a lovely present.
It is a very special replacement plate.
And when Moo comes to visit she can eat her porridge from it just like all her great aunties and uncles and her uncles on this side of the family!!!

(It is even better than my Bunny Plate was cos you can SEE the picture...).

And it was still 35* C at 6.30 when I was taking those photos.

The gorgeous flowering thing by the front door that smells delicious at night has grown buds and begun to flower whilst I was off being a Christmas Fairy. Too hot to try to remember what it is called. Everyone will know.
It is gorgeous - covered in budded sprays. I wish I had a screen door so I could leave the front door open at night and let the smell in but not the mossies or the snakes (I have yet to have one in here, but that is only a matter of time. Or knowledge. Might be a cunning one living here all the time for all I know).


Thank you Milk Tooth's Rain cos I found this really useful book on her blog. Lots of lovely design things...
Well, that book LOOKS useful.
May just have to put it on the Yearnings list too (I typed 'LUST'. Most appropriate Fruedian slipping!).
It is called:

Remake It Home: The Essential Guide To Resourceful Living

This is nicked from Readings website (that is there link on the title above):

"This is the indispensible, inspirational and practical guide to being resourceful by design in your home. Save money, save the planet and stay ahead in the style stakes: if theres something going spare, theres a use for it somewhere. With a wealth of tricks and tips, design examples from leading luminaries such as Jasper Morrison and Marcel Waanders, and step-by-step projects you can try around the house, Remake It: Home provides design inspiration and practical know how in equal measure. Smart, savvy, entertaining and fully illustrated throughout, this book will show you how to make the most of the things you already have in style."

Thursday, 24 December 2009


Sibella Court could be writing about me and my home.
But I still desire it.
So that it can be even more about me and my home...

I wrote this before Christmas but didn't post it, hoping I would get it as a surprise. Be even more surprising if I had got it when nobody knew I was lusting after it...

What is this plant?

Does anyone know what this plant is? It came up in a pot a couple of years ago, and now there are a few more of them idly sprouting around the garden. It doesn't really have any sort of flowers, they are very insignificant but turn into seed clumps that look like they should be some sort of useful spice. But I am not game enough to taste them in case they turn out to be scary ones (wise girl I am at times).

It has heart shaped leaves that are rimmed with red as it gets older. It is only a couple of feet tall, mature leaves are about 3" long.

Granma's Christmas Pudding

Mum's maternal grandmother was born in 1863, She died when I was about 7 but I still remember her. A tiny woman, with white hair in a bun, and old fashioned long skirts. She had 6 sons (all over 6' tall!) and Nana (who was only 5'11"...).
Nana said Granma used to make this pudding in the 1890s to take on picnics - not just for Christmas. Mum said Nana used to make it for picnics too. But now we just make it for Christmas. Possibly the recipe is even older than Granma's day - maybe she got it from HER mother.
And the best thing about it is you can start it tonight, boil it up tomorrow and have it for Christmas lunch. It isn't one to hang about for months getting riper - it already is ripe!
(And these are Santa's Little Helpers - Trevor (the recycled dog) and Jake).

Granma's Christmas Pudding

Mix together:
I cup each currants, raisins, sugar
2 Cups plain flour
1/4 C lemon peel (mixed peel)
1 t each cinnamon and mixed spice, pinch salt

Mix together in a separate bowl:
1 t bicarb soda
1 T dripping (butter etc)
1 1/2 C boiling water
Stir till butter dissolves and add to dry ingredients.

Stand overnight
Boil 4 hours in cloth.

(Pour boiling water over cloth in colander, sprinkle with plain flour, spoon in pudding mix and tie with string - use kitchen stuff not poly/nylon. This makes a yummy skin on the outside of the pudding.

It is ACE cold with custard, icecream, cream, and equally nice hot.
If you are putting 3d and 6d in boil them first to sterilise. You can't use decimal money as it is too crappy.

Christmas IS Coming...

Yep, even tho I have been trying to believe yesterday was November 23rd it didn't happen. Never got that extra month.
I had a minor panic attack when someone on the radio said "...and only a day and a half left to get all your shopping done..." I could do with an extra few days at least.

Anyway - the tree is up and sparkling away! The tree itself is the 8' tall wire stand that usually is in the bathroom with soap and stuff on it's shelves and towels hanging off. Circled by fake pine tree garland I have had for 20 years, and lights, and lovely antique shiny red glass balls I bought in a garage sale in San Francisco in the 80s. At the bottom is a little wooden train I painted in the 80s with my boys initials as the carriages.

Jake is one of Santa's Little Helpers and he KNOWS he isn't allowed on the couch.
This is his compromise!!!! So naughty!

On Tuesday I had a Little Christmas with Smellie 4 - we met half way from where he lives in Melbourne (in time) at Sunbury. This is what he and the Gorgeous Clancye gave me.
(More photos of the Quilt Calendar following).
They also bought The Sweetheart two very appropriate pressies - "The History of Porsche" (lovely coffee table sized book full of wonderful photos), and a little Matchbox 911 that S4 found on the 'Net. It has had a roll-over, and obviously is as well loved as The Sweetheart's 911 is (tho his DOES have a windscreen...) and was made in 1978 - almost the same age as his 911. Very clever pressies, thank you darling ones. (And one can never have too much Chanel 5. Has been my perfume of choice since the 1970s and I love it. Even tho they have changed the formula somewhat. Probably used up all the rare species' juices they once used...).

This is what the Quilting Calendar looks like:
It has a quilt on one day, and the following days have the patterns for that quilt, and then there is another one! What a way to spend the year - looking at quilt patterns to start each day.

Off to finish a quilt which is a pressie, and do a few things - then to Mitta to the mighty Witches Garden for Christmas, hooray!!!!!

Stay safe and happy Christmas time to everyone!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Cos it is the 21st of December

and because it is the 21st of December you have to listen to Paul Kelly's How to Make Gravy... Cos it is about the 21st of December...

Paul Kelly is an absolutely legendary songwriter. Check out his other songs. But this is the quintessential Christmas song!

We don't know how lucky we are...

Way back in the 70s I was married to a Kiwi whose lovely Mum kept sending Fred Dagg records and tapes over for us. Last night ABC TV had a Fred Dagg retrospective. John Clarke is genius of the first water. And who can forget the farty scene in Death in Brunswick when John Clarke and Sam Neill were carrying the corpse of the nasty chef through the cemetery at the dead of night?

Here is one of my favourite Fred Dagg songs:

Here is a tiny trailer for Death In Brunswick, too:

PS One day I was in Threadbear quilt and antique shop in Castlemaine and heard a most very familiar voice. Dashed in to the antique half of the shop and came nose to nose with John Clarke. Who of course I don't know in the biblical sense or indeed any other way except electronically. I did a sort of head scratching skid to a halt, checked the price tag on something and scuttled nonchalantly back to the quilt side of the shop...

Back to Christmas sewing. I am fooling myself that it is still amonth to Christmas I know. BUT - it is a month to Newstead Live best little folk festival in the world (Andy Irvine told us so. Which reminds me - still have to finish HIS quilt too...)

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Another jolly Christmas song...

How about this one to sing along to?

You could alternate it with Rolf Harris's jolly little number too.

Friday, 18 December 2009


I really hate spam, it is almost as bad a junk mail in the letter box. Being only marginally less so because it doesn't chop down trees but DOES waste my time and therefore next door to grrrr.

I recently got an email from some woman in Sydney gushing about my blog, and how we could come to an arrangement where I would crit one of their products and then I could use it as a give away on my blog, etc. And said they were targetting bloggers. If you have had one of these spams from anyone then do contact your ISP. If they don't oblige, please feel free to cut and paste the answer below which I received from my ISP.

I forwarded it to my internet provider cos it gave me the shits.
This is what I just got from them (got to love an ISP who is at the other end of the phone, AND the computer, and who does things promptly!!!!) (BTW - NB I obscured all references to the spam company - not giving them any freebies here!):

Subject: FW: SPAM
From: Southern Star Internet []
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 10:55 AM
To: '
Subject: SPAM
Hello there,
This message (see below) has been forwarded to us by a client.
This unsolicited email causes ISPs and hosting businesses a great deal of trouble - it blocks legitimate mail, clogs SPAM and Virus filters and creates unwarranted load on our servers.
We will ask you once and once only - Stop SPAMMING our clients. If we receive another unwanted message we will report the sender to ACMA.
Be aware it is illegal.
If you doubt us:-
"Under the Spam Act 2003 it is illegal to send, or cause to be sent, unsolicited commercial electronic messages. The Act covers email, instant messaging, SMS and MMS (text and image-based mobile phone messaging) of a commercial nature. It does not cover faxes, internet pop ups or voice telemarketing."
SSC Support
Southern Star Internet
1300 888 695
Dialup, Broadband and Hosting
Hello Jasmine,
My name is Xxxxxand I'm writing from the promotions and publicity division at, which is part of I really like your blog, Banaghaisge. I am interested in discussing a possible free giveaway for your readers or providing you with a free product to review and keep for your home. If you choose to do a review; your review should be 100% open and honest. We are connecting with the bloggers as a great way to connect and raise awareness about xxxx whilst, giving something back to the community. We're always looking to expand our outreach, and I feel like your site would be a perfect fit.
Let me know if you would be open to brainstorming possible giveaway ideas. We have a huge range of xxxx (cheap crap umm she didn't say that, my interpretation...) and would love to working with you (sic) to pick out the perfect product. All we ask is that there be a write up about the product or an introductory post for the giveaway including a keyword link.
Take a look at our site and let me know what you like
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,
Xxxxx Xxxxx- <>
Office +61+XXXXXXX <> is a joint venture between XXX
<> and XXXX<> .
Kind Regards
Southern Star Internet
1300 888 695
Dialup, Broadband and Hosting

Thursday, 17 December 2009

It was in the 40s yesterday (110+*) and I had to go 400 kms to a funeral up in the Mallee.
The Sweetheart insisted I take his Cherokee rather than my aging Volvo which doesn't have air con and uses about a bucket of water every 100 kms.

His car died 250 kms into the trip...
The fuel pump carked it.
The car kept dying - specifically when I hooned out to overtake a semi. Some cracked tubing was sucking air into the petrol through a broken pipe and squirting petrol probably onto hot exhaust so I am lucky I wasn't barbequed really.
I spent 7 hours at Charlton until it was fixed (5 hours after funeral started) and then turned around and came home.
I cried a lot on the way home.
Jack Cook was our neighbour when I was growing up. He was the only person not family who had known me all my life...

Fortuitously, my quilty friend Jazy lives in Charlton with her DH John and kids (DH is the local
copper). So after the first three hours sitting in the backyard of the garage workshop, when the owner finally said it was going to take HOURS, I went around to Jazy's. But no lunch and I was too busy pretending to be upbeat to ask for some food.
Her home is lovely - old weatherboard that they have renovated heaps. Pale greeny blue walls with fine maroon trim, wonderfully ornate tin cornices, polished wood floors or coir carpeting. And air con of course - an essential in the Mallee.
Jazy does beaut embroideries, all very country, and she has a couple of Christmas trees with home made decorations, lots of Santa collections, wall hangings and Christmas quilts. It was a delightful place to spend time I didn't want to spend!
They live next door to the old Court House which was built in 1868. John recently got some funding to restore the building. It is the same design as all the Court Houses built in Victoria around that time.
High ceilings, polished timber floors and bench for His Honour to sit behind (with a drawer still with the Bible for swearing in), and in the back room a real treasure.
All the old Government Gazettes dating back to 1856. I could have taken the older ones home for bedside reading. Before the days of 'electric telegraph' everything from the Government was printed and sent out sometimes daily to each of the Government departments chiefly Court Houses and Police Stations.
All upcoming Court Hearings, Land Sales, shipping news - including arriving mail (and for whom), missing persons, tenders to be called for - 'removal of bodies from old cemetery in Castlemaine to the new one in Campbell's Creek', provision of food for prisoners ('16 oz bread, 4 oz meat, 1/4 oz salt'...), hay for Police horses; iron bars for Pentridge Gaol, impounded/lost/stolen or strayed horses and bullocks with detailed descriptions (this before the days of photographs in printed bulletins).
And each Gazette collected and then bound at the end of each year into an impressive volume with leather corners, a lengthy and detailed index at the end making it possible to find when mail had arrived for my great grandfather Morton in Castlemaine.
The Victorian Archives have them scanned and available to be read online (so I didn't need to sneak one of the great volumes under my shirt to read it in bed).
And this entry is one I held in my hand and read yesterday afternoon.
I had a search for George Morton who was one of the great great grandfathers - and he is there. He was Clerk of Court for Richard Colles who was the first Magistrate on the Goldfields (Mt Alexander ones - now Castlemaine).
Could get very engrossed paddling through those waters of history...

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Christmas In The Sun!!!!!

Ah, you have got to love Rolf Harris. Eighty years old and still coming up with Christmas songs. Who can ever forget "Six White Boomers"? We used to sing that all the time when we were little - Mum would piggy back us in the dam and sing it being a bounding kangaroo with her little joeys on her back!

And now Rolf Harris (who is 80, or will be shortly) has a new carol:

Put that on high rotation and keep singin'!!!!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

spelling mistakes

Now what sort of image does this listing from eBay conjure up for you?

All I can see there is a rather tatty Arab...
Still huntin' the four poster bed. But am working my way through Christmas presents for all the Smellies and their loves...
EBay is SO much fun!!!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Friday Flaunt

I know, I know - it is TWO weeks since I last blogged. But I have been busy. And so busy that when I am not being busy I have been recovering from being busy...

Firstly, two weeks ago The Sweetheart and I went to Adelaide to the Classic Adelaide Car Rally. We had Media Passes - all very important bits of laminated plastic around our necks on important looking lanyards and hi-vis white vests. The rally goes for four days, covering about 1,000 kms around Adelaide and surrounds. I shall write about it all in another blog. However, this is a shot of the Porsche which won.

I made a pile of Happy Scrappy House blocks for a swap with the American group I am on. Lovely, easy and good fun pattern from Quiltville, thank you Miss Bonnie!!!
There is a door mat with my addie and I fussy cut kangaroos looking out each window...

Smellie 4 and his GF are moving into a house in Northcote (hopefully they have a landlord who can see what great tenants they will be and they have the house they want!).

I found some furniture for them at St Vinny's. A wonderful almost new couch - for $10 and a table for $15.
The round table has lovely slender Scandanavian looking legs, really rather elegant and pulls out to a larger oval.

Really pleased with these treasures.

And my garden is coming along - I had strawberries for dinner the other night. Not many but they certainly made up for the paucity with their wonderful flavour.
These are the ones I bought at the South School fete a couple of months ago.
The spuds and corn are also looking healthy.

And then - I dug out 8 Ohio Star blocks that are ages old. All rose prints with pink backgrounds and all rather last century looking.

Made another dozen blocks and they still looked rather last century.
It pays to sleep on things - in the middle of sleep on Wednesday night I woke up to "Double Nine Patch" running through my head.

And how good do they look!!!!

They are 12" blocks so if I use 18 stars and 17 Double Nine Patches I shall end up with a fairly decent sized quilt...
Set 7x5 that will make it approx 7' x 5'. Ahh, probably need borders on the side to make it wider.
I don't want to set it 6x6 cos then the stars wont be in each corner. I don't like the lopsidedness of that sort of setting. But may just have to live with it.
OR - I could set it 7x7... Stars will be in each corner... Woo - I shall have to get a new bed - this would be draped across the floor on my double bed.

The Nine Patches start with little 1 3/4" squares pretty cute all scrappy pinks and greenswith pink larger squares making up the Nine Patches.

How funny is this? I had 8 leftover blocks and suddenly am now looking at a king sized quilt. All from stash so it is a FREE quilt.

New bed would be nice though. I lust after a four poster bed. With curtains I can pull around and close out the world, and lots of quilts on it, and a mossie net for the summer when I open all my French doors and sleep in the tree tops...
I keep checking eBay. All the good (ie cheap!) beds are in Perth or Brisbane it seems...

Got to run - am off to the Porsche Club Dinner Dance at The Windsor in Melbourne this evening. And all I have to wear is a 1930s black crepe gown. However, The Sweetheart may have a coronary if I wear something that is really vintage but which he may just see as 'old'...

Friday, 27 November 2009

Classic Adelaide

Here it is for the petrol heads - the video of some of the action at Classic Adelaide 2009!!!!

That is me in the orange jacket and white vest - kind of standing where I was told not to. Was supposed to be behind any big tree in case a car fell off the track. And so I pretended to be, and kidded myself I could leap to safety if a car came at me 180 kph. Fortunately none of them did and The Sweetheart didn't need to give me too big a telling off when he saw how stupid I had been.

Two Victorian based Porsche blokes were killed on the first day (Thursday) when their car smacked into a very large gum tree, so this sport is really dangerous. Not for the fraint hearted at all. The rest of the field were pretty subdued for the rest of the event because of the deaths of Gary Teirney and David Carra.

This is just a little taste - here are lots of photos that The Sweetheart and I took. Can't tell you which ones are mine and which are his though. You can hear me clicking away when you watch the video. There should be a camera that doesn't make noise! (yeah yeah I know there are, and my dig does have a silent feature so you can stop pretend it is a real camera, but this one is a real digital and does make noises cos it has proper innards!).

That is Bendigo used house dealer Bernie O'Shannessy and his nephew in the silver grey 1930 Chrysler. He was having GREAT fun - he rather epitomises old car racing for me. Get in there and get your hands dirty, find a car and fix it up yourself - and then bloody well race it like you were enjoying yourself! Laugh a lot of everyone else and everything else whilst doing so.

There was a frigging Ferarri worth something like $12 mill (YES - TWELVE MILLION bucks) and as it fluttered slowly past a woman behind us snorted "I drive my kids to school FASTER than that". And she is right - if you can afford a $12 mill car then you can afford to drive it like you can afford to fix it if you bend it. Otherwise (in my opinion) you are just a wanker.

Anyway, have fun with a little slice of the action:

Oh bugger, the embed code isn't working on Youtube.

Until I get it fixed just go to Youtube and check out the video there. Here

And I will give embedding another burl!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

eBay Delights!

Since I bought the John Watts quilting frame etc back in June I have been slowly getting the hang of eBay.
Watching LOTS of stuff, and even bidding on a couple of things. Usually at the very last moment - I have been to enough auctions to know not to push up prices half way through an auction...

Recently, I bought ten Barbie dolls for $26 (woohoo- after spending $4,000 of Noela's money on the John Watts frame etc that was a good way to get the hang of a second auction!).
I have been making clothes for them from the Enid Gilchrist Teen and Fashion Dolls book and they will be for all the great nieces, and Moo the GK for Christmas pressies.
They are all gorgeous, and the seller had washed AND SHAMPOOED their hair and their clothes were all clean and a couple of them even had shoes (tho Trevor ate one I later discovered. Naughty Barbie thing must have kicked it off while I was taking the photo out in the garden...)

Next, I got a pair of the most delightful little Japanese dolls for $10.

They came from Tasmania near Noela's place so she picked them up for me.
While I was waiting for her to organise collection with the seller I bought a great stack of Lego blocks for Noela to hand on to her grandies as well. That was about 250 pieces for $20.

Aren't the dollies gorgeous? I have yet to touch them but Noela said they are really lovely. I thought they would be lovely toys to have when (future) grand kids come to visit. (There were special toys at Nana's for us to play with - a Mammy Doll with gold hoop ear rings, and a topsy turvy Red Riding Hood and Wolf, a long legged clown and an elephant. Nana had made them all.).

Last night I bought two quilt tops...
When I got the notice from eBay I realised I "knew" the seller. She is an Axe Murderer quilter who wrote to congratulate me on buying the John Watts.

This is the link to her blog with photos of the tops she sold last night. I haven't met her except here on the Net.

I got the lovely square one with yellow stars on purple and print which has coffee cups all over it; and the red Hunter's Stars on green background. As she says in her post last night that it wouldn'tbe possible to make them for the price they all sold for.

I rather wanted the autumnal coloured pineapple - for The Sweetheart's Dad for his summer quilt. It would match the flannel one I made him when he first moved in to Happy Paddocks Retirement Village. However, it went very high - as much as I paid for the first two tops.

She says she has 50 more to quilt. I don't feel so bad about the 13-ish WIPs I have here... And I want her to send me a label so I can acknowledge her creativity when I quilt the tops.

I have got such bargains. I will have to sell something, but I really can't see what is going to make me any money when things are so cheap!!!! There ARE lots of quilty books that I have outgrown so they really may be the first things I flog off...

Mum's ball gown

Our Mum made a ball gown to wear to a Highland Ball - 6 weeks after she had her 6th baby. I wrote about it here where there is a photo of my sister Noela wearing it.
Mum was so slender she wore under it the full circle taffeta petticoat she had worn when she was a bridesmaid for her sister. When she was 16...

Mum made this gown on the Singer treadlie, it is blue crystal organza with embroidered silver sprays on it

The original pattern is long gone. I have spent years looking for one. I think I have found it!!!!

It is Butterick 6810 and looks VERY like Mum's gown. Mum made a gathered skirt rather than the circle - the organza was so fine that it fitted the waist just fine without bunching out. Mum had to sew the seams with tissue paper over them to stop it scrunching and dragging and making life hell under the presser foot. It is 22' feet around the hem...

Mum actually was (is) about as skinny as the drawing of the model - she is nearly 6' tall. I remember how gorgeous she looked in her ball gown. Hector was in his full kilt regalia - MacDonald tartan of course.

I just found it on eBay - an envelope that didn't look very healthy, and I found it with only minutes to spare in America so there wasn't time to ask the seller if the pattern was complete etc.
So I didn't actually buy it. There have been a couple for sale - mostly around $US65 - 100. Ouch.

So I shall just keep looking. If anyone has this pattern in a useable condition please let me know - I could swap something Aussie and worthwhile for it.
Though how does one put a price on nostalgia?

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Here are some photos from the weekend that I didn't get to add in on Monday's post.

This is Edna the Axe Murderer cuddling a koala.
Please note no actual koalas were harmed in this photo shoot...
This koala was made by Mum's Uncle Shig (Sid) Bayliss who was a famous tanner, saddler and whipmaker in Tumut. He shot the kangaroo, tanned the hide and made this koala for me when I was a tiny baby.

We don't get to see too many left hand drive vehicles up our road...

And here is the Axe Murderer, and her DH, and The Kid.
Yep, some of my quilts hanging there.
Actually - quilt tops...

And this is the wonderful dessert I made.
Jelly (jello for your Americans) made from cranberry juice and pomegranate juice with a dash of rose water. I reduced about 500 mls of the pomegranate juice to 200 mls - so it was a thick syrup with intense flavour.
Thickened it with a few envelopes of gelatine, and then cut it into cubes when it had set.
The dessert is made to your liking with crushed meringue, dollops of extra good icecream (this one had caramel clumps in it), globs of cream, strawberries sliced finely and added to thawed mixed berries, with the cranberry jelly on top.

It is sort of based on Eton Mess - have a Google for more ideas...

I might have to go make some afternoon tea. I don't think there is any jelly left, but there is icecream. And cream. And meringue and berries...
I can justify it. It is heading to 40*C again today....

I love aprons!!!

Mum always wore an apron, usually with her wedding ring pinned to the bib with a nappy pin. One frosty winter morning she got back from milking and discovered her wedding ring was missing.
Back in the 1960s it was a dreadful thing to not be wearing a wedding ring - particularly with six little kids trailing along behind like a duck train. I think Mum wore her engagement ring back to front when we went to town, church etc so she wouldnt be branded a Scarlet Woman (not that it would have mattered - everyone knew who she was! But it mattered to her). Until about six months later she saw something glinting in the dust of a hot summer morning as she was struggling back with a couple of buckets of warm frothy milk - and there was her wedding ring.

Mrs Prange from Mittyack made most of Mum's aprons. She had even more kids but they were a bit more spread out and older and able to look after the younger ones, so she had time to whip up aprons. I guess she made thousands over the years. Always full aprons with sensible ties and bibs and a useful pocket or two for hankies and little kids' treasures.

Remember this apron I wrote about a few months ago?

I found a lovely give-away apron to celebrate Goosegirl's 100th posting.

You can find out about her give-away here.

Isn't this gorgeous? It is rather similar to the old pattern I lust after. In fact Goosegirl copied it from an ancient flour bag apron that used to belong to her MIL.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Axe Murderers

Edna The Axe Murderer was an American quilter who found me last year on Facebook, when she and her DH were living in Germany.
She is now a member of QDU and Scquilters and settling in well with the Canberra Quilters, etc.

Her DH is with the American Embassy and was transferred to Canberra in June. And this was their furtherest trip from their new home (450 miles according to their GPS machinery)! Smellie 3 stayed with them for a few days when he was in Germany earlier in the year and they treated him to every tourist trek they could and looked after him so well.

They drove for 11 hours on Friday (the 13th) stopping at every quilt shop, and a few wineries (Brown Bros tho missed June Brown by a few minutes but got to see her quilts in the winery) and craft shops along the journey. It has been appallingly hot weather, was 40* again on Saturday when we took them to a barbeque and Naming Ceremony for my friend's little boy Oliver who was born 13 weeks prem in Aug last year. This is when he should have been one year old!
A lovely party at the Dad's parents place here in Newstead apart from the appalling heat. Oliver's Mummy had very cleverly thought of buying a GREAT many cheap water pistols from the $2 shop and handed them out to all the kids (even the old kids!). Fabulous idea in that heat.
A lovely meaningful ceremony with Gifts of laughter, music, light, faith, friendship, family bestowed upon the dear little man.

I made one of those desserts with 2 packets each of chocolate ripple and ginger snap biscuits (cookies) dipped in coffee and then sandwiched together with 1.2L of whipped cream, then smothered in more cream, sprinkled with cocoa, grated chocolate and peppermint choc bar crumbled. All served on a great oval silver tray. It vanished in one minute.
The other desert I made was 1 litre of pomegranate juice and cranberry juiced with some rose water set with gelatine and then cut into cubes, and served on bought meringue cases filled with more whipped cream and served with lots of sliced mixed berries and strawberries. (We had more last night but with added icecream mushed in too,. Perfect!!!!!)

Yesterday we went to Bendigo to the Swap Meet which was rather disappointing as most of the stands were already packing up at noon. However - not too many of the 25,000 visitors who usually turn up! I bought the Axe Murderer a very old Grimm Fairy Tales book (her surname is Grimm), and a little old Corgi Matchbox metal Porsche for The Sweetheart as it is our anniversary today. I also tried on a diamond ring and walked over to the next stand to show The Sweetheart - it was worth (the stall holder said...) $26,000. It was pretty garish actually...

We went to the quilt shop in Maldon where Edna scared her plastic a fair bit. They all got to talk to the alpacas and emu at our neighbours; and pat the Clydesdales around the corner who are on R&R from Ballarat's Sovereign Hill (historic village) - their 14 yo boy hadn't ever touched a horse before!

Lots of 'chantelle' this morning (show and tell), and in between we had a lovely lovely visit with her, her DH, and their boy. They set off at 11 this morning to head back via Threadbear quilt shop in Castlemaine...

I am just putting this up quickly before I fall sidewys in to bed - check back tomorrow for the photos and the links!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Housekeeping...and Axe Murderers!

Today there is an Axe Murderer coming to visit. All the way from Canberra with her husband and a 14 yo son. They left early this morning to avoid the heat - when I rang at 0800 they were just coming up to Gundagai and The Dog On The Tuckerbox.

And instead of making beds, and doing dishes and knocking down spiderwebs I am deleting spam comments on my Gallery.

Thousands of them...
They were being added as I was deleting them. Faster than I was deleting them too which was frustrating!
I talked to Smellie 2 in Dublin - he is the Treasureful Son who hosts my website - he said "Oops, sorry, I set a spam filter up for (his wife) but I must have forgotten yours"... He is forgiven. Nothing to forgive, really - I should have done it myself.

So now all comments will be moderated for a little while. I also added an API Key -
If you have any sort of website you should add this. It does all sorts of things, including keepign stats etc, but specifically - for me - is a spam filter.

How good is it to read:

"Checked 585 comments. Found 0 spam comments."


It is free, and although you need a Wordpress account you don't need a Wordpress blog.

While I am on housekeeping there are a couple of other things you could do for me. And for yourself, and for the rest of the world really!

Please activate your email address on your Blogspot profile. That way, when you leave a comment I can say thank you to you.
Otherwise, it looks like this:
and that is no use to man or beast. Or me.

Thank you to Sheila aubirdwoman who is my blog helper on this.

Additionally, regularly check who your followers are.
I have had a couple of followers whose names have been obscure - sometimes just letters, or scary stupid - who are phishers. I have blocked them.

There are also some of my followers who don't have a photo.
It isn't at all difficult to add a pic. It doesn't have to be of yourself. You can put up a photo of a quilt, or your dog, whatever. It is really hard to remember who is who if ten of you look the same!

Also (another also!!!) check and see how many blogs you have. Seems that when you are just beginning here mistakes are made. It is easier to start another blog than to correct the mistakes.
Just make sure you have deleted your old, unused crappy blog.

Now I had better make beds for my visitors. The Axe Murder is an American quilter and her family. When they were living in Germany Smellie 3 stayed with them. Now they have recently moved to Canberra and this is their first big trek out of our nation's capital (a bloody good sheep station ruined...).

We have some excitement planned - apart from 40*C heat and spider web counting I mean.
Bendigo Swap Meet - the largest in Australia - is on the whole weekend with lots of wonderful treasures. We will be going on Sunday I think (hoping it has cooled down a fraz by then!)
or the Daylesford Market.

The Restorer's Barn in Castlemaine which is always a magic place to visit.

And here is today's quilt.

The green and yellow front is my own design ("Mallee Windmills"), tho I later saw it being taught by someone who claimed it as their own design. Someone who had asked me how to make it. And who, when confronted, said "I didn't think you would mind".
Well I did actually.
I still do, actually.

Anyway, this was made in 1998 for my lovely friend Frank Ham for his 60th birthday. It is called "Dressed in Green and Gold" for Eric Bogle's wonderful anthem "Shelter". It is named with permission from Eric Bogle, and he even signed the quilt for me (Frank).
The reverse (the B side) took much longer to make! It is all lovely Aussie bright colours.

Here is "Shelter" - I reckon it should be our national anthem.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

I shall again try loading my video of Eric Bogle and John Munro singing at Maldon Folk Festival last week:

Hopeless - BUT I did find Eric Bogle singing on Youtube:

There is also a rather lovely version sung by Joan Baez on Youtube tho I am mystified as to why there is a picture of a woman whenever she sings "...waltzing Matilda...". Perhaps she thinks that refers to dancing with his girlie????
And those aren't Aussie soldiers in her stills...

For a great explanation of Waltzing Matilda, here is Rolf Harris to make all you ex-pats feel a bit sniffy:

And here is a "real" swaggie - my friend Campbell The Swagman.

Campbell travels all over the country, going to festivals and reciting poetry. He has a wonderful voice. He has only recently started flying to events rather than going by Greyhound or hitching lifts.

He is a lovely bloke, supports himself (and a lot of charities like the Fred Hollows Foundation) by busking - he has never been on the dole.

Sometimes he comes and stays - I love having him. He is the most appreciative eater - you scarcely need to wash plates after Campbell has eaten!!!

He had polio when he was young, but despite this still walks all over the place if he can't get a lift.

One Easter he was performing, as usual, at the National Folk Festival in Canberra. He then came to stay with me for a wee while.
My neighbours had a fit. Robyn rang me to say "I saw Campbell in Canberra yesterday, we came home and I just saw him walking down our road. How DID he do that????"!!!!

Ted Egan and Greg Champion wrote a song about him - "Where Ya Goin', Campbell?".
Having a song written about you is pretty special, I reckon.

Yesterday it was 41*C here. And going to be hotter today. Am going in to town to forage for groceries and more shade cloth for my garden.
And fly spray - under the verandas in the shade it is black with blowflies. I hate flies too.
Where is that predicted cool change????

Another quilt before I go:

Who did I make this one for? I had forgotten all about it until I found it whilst looking for photos of Campbell. Made it in October 2006, it is from an Aussie book - Margaret Rolfe perhaps???

Please let me know if I gave it to you!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Rememberance Day

At the 11th hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 Armistice was declared in the First World War.

Both my grandfathers were in WWI - I posted about them on ANZAC Day.
Eric Bogle wrote a mighty fine song about WWI - "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"...

This is a vid I took at Maldon Folkie this year with my little camera. The beginning is missing cos I wasn't paying attention (but then I would have missed out on the end as the camera ran out of memory anyway...):

Maybe I shall try loading this video later. This is the first time I have ever done one of my own and there is a possibility I have done something not quite right because it is already more than an hour since it started...

If you really lack patience you can google Eric Bogle and "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda".

But November 11 is also famous for other momentous Australian happenings.
Ned Kelly was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol in 1880. I love his Jerilderie Letter.
Paul Kelly and Mick Thomas wrote "Our Sunshine" but I can't find it for you to listen to.

Redgum have a great song about Ned ("Poor Ned") but I can't find that on Youtube either, only this pub session with an unknown but lively lot of Wesburn Pub Allstars:

Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was dismissed in 1975. It was a very tough time in Australian politics - I reckon The Dismissal was the closest we have come to a revolution since Eureka Stockade:

The Whitlams wrote a song about Gough:

Here is a photo of the shady bits I made for those plants I put in on Monday. Whipped up from some shade cloth which was too small so supplemented with a worn out sheet, and lovely bamboo sticks.

I really really want to grow some bamboo. I don't think there would be much chance of it getting away and going feral here.
Does anyone have any plants, corms, sproutings, shoots - whatever they grow from?
Especially that great big enormous bamboo that I could use as an instant garden to hide from the horrible neighbours and then make a four poster bed from at the same time. Or shortly thereafter...

And here is a quilt I made a while back for wee Jarvis. Using Anjii's Angles which is an immensely clever thing to do with Half Square Triangles. Just to show that I do make quilts occasionally...