Thursday, 31 December 2009

Today...


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

Christmas




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.
Almost...

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).

Yearning...

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

Yearnings...


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.
xxxx

Friday, 18 December 2009

Spam

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 [mailto:support@ssc.net.au]
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 10:55 AM
To: 'service@XXXXX.com.au
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."
http://www.acma.gov.au/web/STANDARD//pc%3DPC_2008
SSC Support
Southern Star Internet
1300 888 695
www.ssc.net.au
Dialup, Broadband and Hosting
=======================================
Hello Jasmine,
My name is Xxxxxand I'm writing from the promotions and publicity division at XXXXX.com.au, which is part of XXXXX.com.au. 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
http://www.XXXXX.com.au.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,
Xxxxx
Xxxxx Xxxxx- XXX.com.au <http://www.XXX.com.au/>
Office +61+XXXXXXX
xxxx.com.au <http://www.XXXXXX.com.au/> is a joint venture between XXX
<http://www.XXXX.com/> and XXXX<http://www.XXX.com.au/> .
=======================================
Kind Regards
Southern Star Internet
1300 888 695
www.ssc.net.au
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'!!!!
XXXX

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'...