Friday, 29 October 2010

It maybe Halloween but really it is...


Hooray! It is that time of the year again when we all sit on the side of Mt Tarrengower and listen to wonderful music!

Here is a video of what life is like over a Maldon Folkie weekend, too:

It is just the BEST Festival - like a family reunion except you like everyone...

I am not one to ever whinge about rain but I would like to mention that there is up to 75mm (3") of rain forecast for the next two days with flood warnings, and sheep grazier alerts (where sheep farmers have to bring newly shorn sheep into shelter so they don't die from shock, etc) as well as all sorts of other sensible things like moving stock and equipment to higher ground.
I have planted seeds out in the garden - made another little bed around the bird bath.
And did three loads of washing so everything will be all dry and lovely before the cold and rain begin.

And you wont be hearing anything of me for a few days - I am Door Bitch at the Anglican Church again all day tomorrow. I have done this same security job for 10 or 12 years now. I really should be due for Long Service Leave... I was hoping it was going to be this year. Sigh.

Have a lovely weekend - see you at Maldon!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Me, and the Rich and Famous.

 Subtitled: Who is that up there with Jasmine?*

Last Sunday we did HEAPS of stuff.

Firstly we went to The Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton ("one of the world's oldest exhibition buildings").
There was a great show (Motorclassica) of veteran, vintage and classic cars. Some of the most expensive cars known to man!!!

And I got to meet my childhood hero!!!
A man who was my pinup boy when I was still in single figures, and who fed my yearning to be a racing car driver. Which, incidentally, has yet to be fulfilled - and I possibly have left the running (ha ha small bad pun) too late...though have done my share of marshalling, timing, navigating, et al at car thingies.

Here is (another out of focus) photo taken by The Sweetheart (I do not know what it is with him taking photos of me with Famous People - they are always out of focus. And worser cos he MAKES A BIT OF A LIVING taking photographs...).

Yep - me and Sir Stirling Moss! We had a nice conversation where I got to thank him for giving me so much delight over the years and for being a hero of mine. I don't believe many people get to tell the people they admire just how much they mean to them!

I was taught to drive in my teenage years by another famous (Australian) racing driver - Frank Coad. I went to school with his daughter and he was our local Holden dealer which made it much easier to learn - hooning around in their paddock in his race car...

Here is Stirling Moss's car which was at the show.

I was going to write a big deal post about all the things we did on Sunday but I reckon this is enough actually.
Me and my friend Stirling Moss.
(Oh bloody hell - I see I am the same age as his wife of 30 years.
Where was I in 1980????
Oh bugger - I know where I was...
Saving lives in refugee camps in the Thai Cambodian border and being shot at by drunken Thai soldiers.
Double sigh.

* Precis version of old joke:
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke visited the Vatican and was leaning out a window with the Pope, waving to the crowd.
A couple of Aussies down in the square looked up and asked "Who is that up there with Hawkie?".

Monday, 25 October 2010


This is what the garden looked like 12 months ago:

Garden end October 2009

And THIS is what it looks like now!!! 

End October 2010

I can't even get in to it to weed it - there are too many bees in all those weeds (I am REALLY allergic to bee stings ).
You can see that I haven't done too much to the old gate or the bit of netting... How embarrassment!

I need someone to come and help me. Who would like a little holiday in the bush? There are kangaroos and echidnas...

Even the trees in the bush behind look more lush. You can't see as much sky between the branches because there are so many more leaves on them! The understory has been a carpet of lovely wattles - different shades of gold in the greens and greys of the bush.

Anyway, please give me a yell if you would like to come and stay and help me do some gardening - it isnt actually onerous work. The garden bed is quite small really.
See you soon!!!!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Even MORE creativity!!

This is my sewing chair. It really needs some TLC.

Watch this space! Two projects (that you know of!!!!).

Saturday, 23 October 2010

More creativity!

Yesterday I put a lot of my Sister's Choice blocks together.

Here it is hanging over the balcony.
Now it is up to 8 blocks by 10, the blocks are 8" (finished).
I have another 30 blocks so it is going to end up being 10 blocks by 13 which will make it 80" x 104" - that is a good size!

These are blocks made by my Best Sister, and my friend Trish. And me.
We have been making these and sharing them around for quite a while now.
Here are some more pics. Now each of my three sisters and my two sisters in law have one. Shall have to make one for The Sweetheart's baby sister, too. (She is only 24 (younger than most of our Smellies!) and we have only recently had her back in our lives. SHe is off to Europe in a few weeks so I shall make a Travelling Quilt firstly).

The white dangly bit on the top RH side isn't daggy threads - is the wiring from the sparkly Christmas lights which decorate my chandelier.

Sister's Choice

Friday, 22 October 2010

Getting creative

I rescued this drawer from my neighbour/cussie's bonfire. I reckon there is a shelf in this bit of kindling:

Upcycling at work!

I can see this with it's back off so the base part will be the front of the shelf and this side (ie the open top part of the shelf) will be against the wall. The bowed front has an overhang which will make a cute bottom shelf.
Might leave the knobs.
Might not.
Some paint. Some pretties...
Just you wait and see!!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

More spring!

It is really tough to grow anything here - this land was all sluiced in the goldrush days (from the 1850s) and there isn't any topsoil left.
I live right on the edge of the alluvial fields. Only a couple of kms out in the bush there are DEEP shafts - now fenced to stop animals (and people) falling down them. Wouldn't be much fun. I think there are more than a few "missing persons" who could be located down shafts around the district...

I have a great pile of dirt that came from the derelict goat pens that were here when I bought the place. I got the bloke with the bobcat to push it all into a great pile and then let it compost for a few years.
It is now my vege garden.

I had lots of lovely things growing last year  but there are too many bees there already for me to start weeding and planting. I have had a couple of cardiac arrests in the last ten years from bee sting reactions. I now carry TWO Epipens but I still live in fear of being stung when I am here alone. Pretty scared of being stung when I am with anyone else, too!!!

Look at my pretty petunias and snapdragons, grown from seed, in a tub by the front door.
There are also irises and some lavender in there which will soon be flowering.
Very pretty. Everything is abuzz with foraging bees. The paddocks are chockers with Capeweed. An awful pest, but it looks so lovely, and smells wonderful!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Spring is here!!!

Eight years ago I planted a row of lilacs.

These are the first flowers ever. Poor little plant is about a metre tall. This is a tough bit of land to grow anything really...

I thought since I missed the 2010 posting - not by much though :( - that I could post at 20 past 10.
Which would be 20.10.2010 at 10.20.

Stuff it, I can't stay awake any longer...
There is always 10.11.10 at 11.10 (or 10.11)

Look at the date!!!

And here it is - 20.10.2010! And hopefully I will post this at 2010...
(Buggeries, it ticked over to 2011 as I hit "publish post". All good intentions however...
As usual.

Last weekend was Mt Tarrengower Hill Climb, run by the VSCC (Vintage Sports Car Club of Victoria).
The last couple of years the Sweetheart and I have been Flag Marshalls 'up the hill'. This year we weren't able to be there for the weekend of fun (cos we went to Lake Boga for dinner on Saturday night to celebrate WATER IN THE LAKE!!

Dave Gittus loves his old bikes! He also restores old (and ancient) bikes. And is a great box player - always good to have at a session or party!), and used to be our Mayor.

This photo made it to a great half page spread (IN COLOUR!!!) in the local rag.

You can check out more photos of the Hillclimb taken by The Sweetheart here .

This is our good friend John Needham, praying that this MG will have massive gear box failure as it flies up the mountain. Thereby giving him more work...

Monday, 18 October 2010

More stuff!!

I am beginning to do some creative things to my kitchen.
Lots of my house still needs finishing/renovating/even BUILDING (like the bathroom which is still 'temporary'!). I have written a bathroom blurb here.
The kitchen doesn't have any cupboards in it.
It never did.
Nor a sink.
Not much of a stove even.
My Best Sister brought me a wonderful old four oven Rayburn stove from Tasmania as a house warming present when I first bought the house. The concrete on the floor was put down with not enough cement in it so it is all flaky and dusty. The bathroom and laundry area (10' x 30') was the same but I have ripped that up and laid lovely old red bricks in it's place. I want to do that to this kitchen area too. Just need to get some energy from somewhere!

the left hand drawer of kitchen cupboard
Anyways! I bought a couple of entertainment units. Since everyone (else) in the world has gone crazy for enormous flat screen televisions there is now no call for the sort of cabinets that used to hold a 'normal' telly, along with drawers etc for CDs, DVDs, videos and all those other useless bits of wiring, remotes, waranty docs and manuals. I have one pine unit which will fit snugly into the pantry, and this one as a bar in the kitchen.

This cabinet has a pull-out drawer shelf at either end (see top photo) which had a couple of vertical boards with plastic thingies to hold DVDs and CDs. So I pulled them out, and cut the timber into lengths to make them into horizontal shelves, and nailed them in.

useful drawers full of jasmine

Just totally perfect for herbs and spices, and all the small things that get lost in a big cupboard.
The centre has two doors that fold back into the unit with another unit inside with shelves where the TV and DVD player etc sat, and more drawers.

interior of kitchen cupboard

One of the Woods Ware Jasmine plates (cups and saucers, jugs, bowls, whatever) which is tucked away in the bottom drawers and shelves of my new unit.
the Wood's Ware Jasmine china I collect

The answer is 42. Painted on 10.10.10 - 101010 or XXX
 On October 10 I made this painting to celebrate 10/10/10. There are 10 x 3 hearts cut from handmade Japanese papers, as well as three x 10, and three x X. Somewhere in there is perhaps going to be a shadowy 42 because in binary 101010 is 42! There are bits of gold leaf as well as a warm and cold cream (ha ha not Ponds...), and metallic sparkly paints. It is a long time since I painted. I think I shall have to do more of it (I need the practice for starters!)

Teddy, and a barbie - with new clothes
I have also been knitting dolls' clothes. And teddy clothes. This is my poor old Bare Bear who I have had since newborn. He is called Bare Bear because when I was three I threw him in the copper when Mum was washing clothes and all his fluffy mohair fur fell out...These are the first clothes he has had since I took him out of the nightie Nana made for Uncle Ernie 89 years ago. Still got that little nightgown, too! I have made a lot of barbie doll clothes, and even smaller knitted ones for a couple of tiny teddies who are about the right scale for the doll's house I am making (see below!). The tiny garments are knitted from one play tapestry wool on 1.5mm needles. I have also made some blankets for the doll's house beds in fine crochet silk, and the one ply wool. Good fun - fiddly but achievable when I am feeling tired!
doll's house bed with knitted blankets
OH look!!! a tiny doll's bed with knitted bedding! Next plan is a weeny small patchwork quilt using fine Liberty cottons and some silks I have stashed away!

This is a smaller scale doll's house that I have been making for years! It was a rather crude kit I bought in San Francisco when the boys were little. I put some of it together with their help a long time ago, and then put it away as it was rather too fiddly for little boys...
cutie pie doll's house and furniture I am making (yep that is a quilt!)
Some of the other furniture there is from the weekly installment doll's house I am currently putting together.
The quilt hanging behind is one I bought in SF back in the 1980s. It is hand stitched reverse applique and made by Hmong refugees who had gone to live in America from northern Thailand/Laos.
Tiny Teddy's new clothes
The very small teddy with his new cable knit jumper and woolly shorts!  That is a dressing gown on the needles.
The patterns are from the booklets that came with the weekly edition packs. We started buying this back about 1997 - it was supposed to be 100 weekly installments costing $10 each. Then it wandered up to $14 or $15, and to even monthly intervals. AND THEN - when it got to 100 installments it kept going for another 25 installments...

It took YEARS to collect!

All up these five boxes of kit must have cost about $1,500 (I could have had a REAL bathroom for that price!). Sadly - or surprisingly! - I am missing only one installment (somewhere in the mid 50s). It is the one that has quilting in the booklet, too. I don't know what part of the house is missing.

Below is a photo of the booklet front page. It was developed by Del Prado, originally it seems from Spain, but then from the UK. Each installment came with a part of the house, instructions on how to construct said part, and a 6 or 8 page booklet that went together to compile a whole book about all sorts of aspects of dolls' house stuff.
Sometimes the wooden bit would be a chair, or a dresser, or half a wardrobe with the other half the following week (fortnight....month...sigh), or a piece of wall, floor, ceiling. Absolutely impossible to construct really until all the pieces were acquired!

Fortunately I DID get a ring binder with separators for each of the construction instructions to keep them orderly.
However, all the other bits are supposed to go into binders to make into about 6 different books. Don't have them, haven't been able to source them online either.
Nor did we get the transformer for the electricals - lighting etc. But that is probably cos it would have been different wiring or even voltage if it originated in Spain. But do have all the tiny light fittings and bulbs etc.
Cover of doll's house booklet
The bottom right hand house is similar to the one I am making. Mine has a narrower hallway in the centre rather than rooms, is two storied with two more rooms in the attic.
So far I have got the bottom left hand room done, and the downstairs hall as well as some of the dear little furniture. It is really lovely silly fun!
right side with new shelves

Oh will you just look at that!
Here is the photo from the top of the page that I thought was lost!
I am not going to risk trying to relocate it again...
This is the right hand pullout drawer/shelf unit. That is the pantry door in the background, and the sink is to the right, lounge area to the left on the other side of the unit.
It is high, high enough to lean on whilst entertaining guests on the other side and I am on the working side creating a meal!

And cheap as chips.
I bought this on eBay for about $80. It was a craftsman-built unit, solid timber as well as classy veneer (not crappy chipboard and plastic!) - weighs a tonne!

I thought I was immensely clever to think of upcycling one of those redundant units (or two of them really!).

Apologies if this is difficult to read and with a messier than messy layout. Suck it up. Next entry will be better I promise - I am at The Sweetheart's on the eccentric notebook to add insult to injury!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Some stuff

Some of what I have been up to recently....

There was a great tree, far too close to the house because the ground was "heaving" around it. (Technical term used by the tree surgeon who came to look at it).
Here is the tree LOOMING over the house, and the water tanks.

Every time I came home I would turn the corner at the end of the road and look to see if I could still spy the blue triangle of the end of the roof!
It is about 12 metres to the first branches.

This is the "heaving" ground. Not very comforting. Eucalypts have very shallow root systems, they spread out on the surface with no great tap roots to hold them to the centre of the earth. Furthermore, the last ten years have been dreadfully dry droughty years, so all the trees are under stress. We have had some good rains this winter - the best in ten years in fact - but too late for many trees. There are lots which have fallen in recent months.

And then Wesley, the tree surgeon cutting in to the lovely big tree. He cut down three for me, the two others were looming over Outer Bungolia and the house but smaller than this one, and destined for firewood.

Here is the yellow gum lying down. It is 9 metres long, and tapers from 800mm to 650mm along the length.

Wesley said it would be "a shame" to burn it for firewood, as there is a house full of timber in it. How amazing is that?! Even if it only is an Outer Bungolia full of timber I shall be happy.

I am still looking for someone who has a portable mill who will be able to cut it into useful timber for me to use.

And that is one of the things that has occupied me lately!

(and ignore silly text change too - in case I haven't been able to fix that either...another sigh!)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

About time!!!

It seems an appropriate date to start blogging again - 10/10/10.
I should have got started earlier and posted this at 10 a.m. as well. However, we were watching the beginning of the Bathurst 1000...and when the Sweetheart raced there, too!

I am so sorry to have left the last post hanging - and so long ago, too.
Everything is now fine, it wasn't so bad back then either. Got through all the gyny-oncologist stuff with flying colours. Actually, the colours were rather drab and murky, but things is now good, am beginning to feel human again.

I got out of the blogging habit over winter. Lots of lovely curling up in bed with good books - and not so good books, lots more of knitting (tiny dolls clothes - they are achievable!) in front of the telly and a fair bit of being at my sweetie bloke's place. (And not JUST because he has instant heating either...).

I shall have to not only get back in to a blogging habit, but to learn all the new things that Blogger seems to have come up with whilst I was hibernating!

Thanks for your patience - I shall now be back in force!PS - Just went off to see if I could edit the time to make it look like I actually was on here at 10 a.m. but decided either a) it going to be too difficult or b) I am not really good at lyin' and cheatin'!