Thursday, 26 November 2009

The 'C' word

Hi everyone

Well one of the 'C' words is CHANGE - yes I played with my blog title.  Another 'C' word of course is CHRISTMAS - and yes that has to do with the changes I have made.

Now I know I am a little early, but my family is celebrating Christmas in 24 days, so this is my start of advent.  I will, over the time, show you some photos of my special items (well some of them anyway).  In years past DH and I got quite into the swing of Christmas and decorated our whole front room (which had a very large window fronting the street) with Christmas goodies.  The neighbours loved and the kids faces were not to be missed.  That won't work where we are now, but a few of my favourites will come out - or those I can reach in storage.  There are literally boxes of them, and they are stacked quite high!!

If I can work this out, I will embed a YouTube video which relates to both 'C' words.  The song is sung by Rolf Harris, an Australian-born, England living entertainer.

This is my favourite Christmas song!!!  I always get a tear in my eye remembering my "littlies" when they use to sing it at Christmas.  The video has various Australian scenes - Carols in the ? in various capital cities, what we do most of Christmas Day if it is hot (especially the travellers to our country, if your Australian you would not be there in the middle of the day with the heat) and various decorated streets and houses

Hope you enjoy it

Bye for now

PS - Just checked - it worked - Wahoo!!!!!!   Another lesson learnt

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Misty Rain & Giveaway Hint

Hi everyone
Firstly a HUGE thank you to all the kind bloggers and commenters for their thoughts and wishes for cooler weather - IT WORKED!!!!!

Temperature dropped by 20C yesterday and today.  It is about 22C now, a little hazy, misty and with a hint of light rain.

I have been reading Retro Mummy's blog for a while now and she has some wonderful fabric and craft there.  And as of today a fantastic giveaway, so hop on over and you too can have a chance to win some of the most beautiful fat quarters!!!!!  Corrie also has a very cute little model, as you will see if you click on the link.

Good luck - no really!!

Bye for now

Monday, 23 November 2009

Hot, hot, hot .... need to chill

Hi everyone
Well it continued with the heat wave over the weekend.  Friday was 42.2 Celsius (108 F).  Late Friday bought a very little of this ....

5 minutes of this - and this is the total width of it - with lightening strikes in the centre of it.   It was pretty dramatic

Saturday was a little cooler.  There was a breeze, which luckily was not a burning, hot wind.  Temp's back down to the high 30's.

So thinking about Kimbles at Home's tutorial for this and The Royal Sisters tutorial for this and this - I came up with this ....... maybe for a Secret Santa Swap

Anyone else think I am trying to cool things down a bit here with all the "Winter" themed items!!!!

Now we are back to Sunday and we are back up over 41 C (106 F)
We finally got the southerly very late Sunday night which cooled things down while we were sleeping - well actually thats when we could finally fall asleep.

And as for Monday, well hopefully there will be rain today to drench all the bush fires everywhere

Bye for now

Friday, 20 November 2009

Hot days and new project

Hi everyone
Well another beautiful hot day here.  I have taken a panoramic photo of the view yesterday about 2 pm.  The temp was about 36-38C.  Washes out the colour a little bit when we have had a few hot days.

While I look over a lot of other apartments, I am lucky enough to be high enough to be able to view valleys and trees.  The purple splash you see everywhere is a tree called Jacaranda.  It is not native to Australia, but is very well loved here for the wonderful display.  The flowers are already dropping and green, ferny type leaves turn up to offer filtered shade.  Here is a view of the tree that not many would get to see.  The photo was taken about a week ago, before the heat causes the flowers to drop

Late yesterday, once the sun had truly left the balcony, a lovely breeze started, which made the temp. bareable.  So of course I took advantage of it!!

Yes and yes - that is new yarn for a new project and that is a beer bottle behind it.  But no it was filled with icy cold water.  The Grolsch bottles make excellent chilled water bottles!!!

The new project is for DD3 - her colour choice and she requested a Hexagon.  I love the combination, but I do find the dark blue and brown hard to see stitches, but that's ok as I can do it by remote.  Any chance I can get this finished for Xmas??????????   If not the wedding is only in May!!!

No, I haven't given up on the ripple, but foolishly thought I just might get this finished for Xmas - or hopefully.

I find that I can do hexagons or grannys by remote.  But I have to work a little harder with ripples.  Maybe my brain goes round and round, not up and down.  Actually sounds just about spot on - my brain does repeatedly recycle thoughts, ideas etc!!!

The only place cool enough in the morning is at the computer.  Can't wait for the shade to come to our balcony.

While I complain about the heat sometimes, I do truly love the warmth, just gets a bit much when its days on end well into the high 30's.

I would love, actually crave, to experience one winter where there is snow and log fires.  I think a week would be about as long as I can last though   :-)

Hope the heat turns down a bit before tomorrow though, sitting on the side of a cricket field when its a stinker (Aussie slang for hot) is not at all fun.  DH is finally been given the clearance to get back to his passion (cricket) after the surgery.

Have a great weekend

P.S Forgot to mention the other great thing with the weather - the washing dries SUPER FAST!!!!!  :-))

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

No crochet or knitting but Pixie's

Hi everyone
The weather has been so hot and humid over the last 5 days or so and very little crochet or knitting has been going on.  My hands are just too clammy.  So no updates on that front, cause I am not sure you would notice the difference.
South Australia is on a 'Red Warning' (or something like that) because of their heat wave. This means weather similiar to those in Victoria earlier this year where so many people, families, homes and neighbourhoods were so severely affected.  Let's hope that is not the case now.
So I will talk about an old book I have had from a young child.  Well the book was given to my sisters and me, but I am the reader, so somehow it has always been with me.
The book was given to me by "Aunt Ruby", who I believe was my grandmothers cousin.  Now I also know that someone was a house-cleaner for the author, Pixie O'Harris, not sure if it was Ruby or my Nan, Thelma.  I know that my Nan was forced very early into employment as a house-cleaner when her Dad died (her Dad died when she was 13 in 1930 and her Mum when she was 16 in 1933).  But I think in this case it is more likely to be Ruby because of the inscription in the book.
The Inscription reads
"For Ruby
a Xmas Gift in advance
with love
Pixie O'Harris
26 April 1960"

Here is the cover of the book with my shadow on the right.  I am not sure if a dustjacket was ever released with the book, but on prowling around web-sites, the few that are available are described similiarly to this.  So I believe no dustjacket.
So now you know the author - Pixie O'Harris.  A Welsh born Australian.  You can read more about her here.

One of my favourite stories is 'Rondel the Fair'.  I used to get so lost in the fantasy that I would forget everything and anything.  Love the drawings and the stories.  My escape valve!!
I believe the book was published in 1950.

My Aunt Ruby also gave this to us.  Also another Pixie O'Harris drawing, but with colour.  It is a real pity that someone bent the board.  But it has been like that for as long as I can remember it.  Used to always think it was of me.  So I am not sure when Pixie drew it.  I am guessing when she did "The Story of our Baby" which was published in 1940.

I am also lucky enough to have a copy of a photo of my Nan and Ruby taken in 1935
Thelma GAY & Ruby GAY

Bye for now

Friday, 13 November 2009

The Forgotten Garden

Hi everyone
So for the first time I am trying the new version of Blogger, lets see how it goes - it certainly uploaded the photo quickly.

I was a bit too quick to write yesterday about feeling better. 
As I mentioned yesterday was another scorcher and although some of my readers would like to join me in the warmth, I don't think they realise how very hot it was!!!!  As per normal with down-under, a few hot steamy days is only the prelude for the HUGE electrical storm that follows - very heavy rain, great electrical displays (beats a lot of fireworks) and loud thunder.  And of course the temperature has dropped by about 10 degrees today.  So in sympathy my head decided to explode - well not really, but that is only cause I was holding it together with my hands  :-)  Thank goodness that is a rare occurance for me!!!

I put a weather gadget on my site yesterday to show those from elsewhere what it is like here, but on checking what it had I will delete it today - not even close to what it really was like.

Now back to the book I promised yesterday - here it is


I have wanted to read this book for a while and kept putting it off - choice between yarn or book, and yarn had been winning until recently.  The other reason I put it off was that for the last few years I had only read history non-fiction books and did not know if I was ready to go back to fantasy.  But I so was ready!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  It reminds me of when I was a child and use to become thoroughly absorbed into the story so I would forget everything else.  A bit fantasy and a bit fact.  A very easy read, which just teases you along with interest.  The Authoress is an Australian - you can find more about her here.  I will definitely be on the look-out for her earlier book "The Shifting Fog" or for Americans "The House at Riverton".
After reading about Kate on the website, I knew she would have a love of the old children's books - that is what I kept thinking about when I wasn't reading her book.

PS - I have always kept wondering what The Garden Bell was on about with no spell-checker.  Well now I know - the new version does not have one!!!  Someone tell Blogger we need it!!!

PSS - A big thank you for everyone that left the lovely comments on AB Ripple Pillow both here and at Flickr - THANK YOU!!!

Have a great weekend

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Red & Blue & Brown & ...

Hi everyone
I promised a show of the ripple pillow on Monday.
Well Mon, Tues & Wed just were off days for me, so it will just have to be today.

I actually finished the pillow on Friday. Another hand-made gift for Xmas and this will be a big test as its for DD1 and she has not seen any of the projects I have been up to.

So here it is, perched on my lounge, which luckily is in a similar colour as DD1's lounge ....

So although I was off-colour and could not concentrate on the Autumn ripple, I did manage to find my favourite reindeer - or in this case snow deer :-)))

I also made this for a gift.
Now there is a story to tell behind this yarn and I am so glad it is gone.
I bought the yarn a few years ago thinking I would make myself a simple singlet top. Cotton a great choice for summer and as it had texture I could knit it plain. Weeelllll ......... this yarn is horrible, I will never again go near textured yarn. In parts the cotton (I think it was a cotton mix) felt like string with bumps on it. It affected my tension badly, and then I noticed that my fingers were turning blue - the dye was coming out. But I kept going and finished the top - it was OK.
But then I found that it kept stretching and stretching and the dye kept coming out wash after wash. I gave it away in the end.
Now this is a washcloth. Not super soft, but ok. And at least the dye should run in the bath or shower :-)
Must warn the recipient :-)

And here is the start of the Autumn ripple - note to me I must start with looser chains when rippling!!!!!
For some reason I could not concentrate on the ripples over the last few days, so that is why I went back to knitting
I did do some reading in the off-time though, which I will save for the next post
Its another scorcher here today and there are fire-bans through most of my state. Need to keep cool
Bye for now

Friday, 6 November 2009

Look who turned up ....

Hi everyone
During a couple of hours of TV watching the Stargate series last night, look who I found ..........

Snowman washcloth, originally uploaded by Aussie Maria.

Frosty would be more familiar to those in the Northern Hemisphere than he is too me - but I do love him.

This was a quick knit to fill out some Xmas baskets with.

Please don't worry, the ripple pillow is progressing nicely, but has been held up waiting to get to Lincraft or Spotlight to pick up a pillow insert. Hopefully after the weekend it will make its debut

Well another overcast and slightly drizzly day - so perfect for crafting

Bye for now

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Nothing in particular

Hi everyone
After having a 36 degree Celsius day it did not cool down to very, very late last night

This is what the moon looked like at about 9.30 pm - ignore the double moon, its me with the shakes as I needed to do a long time lapse to capture the colour

And today ...... well its dropped about 10 degrees, is lightly overcast, with light showers :-)

I can start rippling again :-)

Bye for now

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Kurrajongs

Hi everyone
Firstly some lovely lilies that DH bought home on Thursday. He bought them with all the buds closed tight so that I would get to enjoy them opening. Now if you have read my profile I mention that I like reading. I have not even mentioned it here at all, so I thought from time to time I should do that. So here is the first ......
I enjoy history, I love Australia, and I have more than a passing interest in the human side of war. Not so much the battles and deaths, more the intimate stories behind it, so this book is a great start.
The author, Ian Small, has labelled it a "faction" a mix of fact and fiction. I think he got the mix right, it certainly kept me entertained and I also checked for more information on the "The Kurrajongs". So if you have an interest in Inverell, NSW or 33rd Battalion you should pick up the book from here or at the St Ives Heritage Craft Fair (which is where I got mine from).
Bye for now

Monday, 2 November 2009

All is right with the world

Hi everyone

Sometimes I should just have a little more faith in myself.

After crocheting and frogging this amount at least 10 times with 3 different patterns (btw they all ended up with the same curve), I took hook & heart in hand and continued with the pattern.

And look what happened ..........

Ripple Pillow, originally uploaded by Aussie Maria.

Just a little faith goes a long way and I actually did not have that much time to spend with it this weekend.

A HUGE THANK YOU to the very concerned and helpful people out there in blogger & flickr land. You did help and made me very determined to work out what was going on.

Another btw - I have no idea why it curves when I start, maybe I do the chains too tightly or ????????

But it worked out!!!!!

Here is one of the reasons I did not get to do much on the pillow

Way too hot to pick up yarn out here :-))))))

This is the view from North Bilgola lookout looking south - beach on right is Bilgola and left is Newport. The colours are not so good as they are taken with my very basic mobile phone. But what you really can't see is 2 very large pods of dolphins playing - honest. And they were having a ball!!!!

Hope you all had a great weekend