Sunday, August 30, 2009

A step or two outside my front door.......

We have a few native plants in bloom - one small grevillia is quite pretty, although very prickly to brush against. There are also 3 bushes close together - a bottlebrush (dark pink) a light pink one (possibly a larger, softer grevillia), and a yellow one that was never planted, but appears to have grown with the bottlebrush - I'm hoping it's not a weed, because it is growing quite well and is quite pretty with its yellow blooms. Although we lost the kangaroo paw in last summer's heat, the Anzac Bottlebrush (I hope that is the right name) is showing it's lovely cream blooms off now. As you can tell - I'm not that great on knowing all my flowers, but they are pretty.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A proud mum talks about her son...

My eldest John, (16) is a blues guitarist. He has been playing guitar for 2 years is his passsion. More than a hobby...(just don't mention that he looks like a young Elvis!!)

He is currently involved in the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society - Youth in Blues Project. This culminates in a 'Battle of the Bands' style playoff mid-September.

Last night, he was offered a chance for his band - "Rags & Old Iron" - to be the headline act for a function organised for this Saturday to aid the local CFA.
(Long story short - the person organising the 'entertainment' failed to do so, and John' and his band were thought of as an emergency replacement)
This is a function for the local High School age youth. A femal vocalist and a DJ have also been called in to help.

John and his band will be playing 2 sets - from 7-8pm and from 10 to 11:30pm.
The really exciting bit is that Southern FM 88.3 will be broadcasting the function live from 10pm. They also stream their transmission..

Please tune in on Saturday night if you are able - this will be John's first Public appearance and we wish him and his band all the best!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ice in August - brief storm

Evening all.
We've had a severe storm warning all day - very windy and quite a heavy rain forecast. Tonight at 5:45 the storm hit our street. Gale force winds, lightning, thunder, hail and heavy rain lasting about 10-15 minutes in all. There is still a forecast for more overnight. I took a couple of snaps from the front door to show the hail against the pilar and the side of my car. (sorry, the one against the pilar didn't work.... :o)
Ok - to those people who live where it snows - it may not be that spectacular - but it was a bit of excitement in my day.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday - Of Scrabble - TUSAL and stitching....

Had a great evening last night - my girlfriend came around to give me a bit of moral support with identifying my ebay glassware and pottery - then then settled down to a few games of Scrabble
Now, it can take Wendy up to 20 minutes to make a move, and mine are usually made within 5minutes. I won the first game with some splendid words, Wendy by chance had a poor selection of letters. Then, I won the 2nd game in only one move - Wendy conceded when my first word placed was a 7 letter word and all she had to contend with was an Irish version of Old McDonalds Farm (O-II-O-I-OO) After carefully (& sneakily) taking all the letters off the board while I made coffee, we started the third game - which I won again!
Ahhh I love it when my brain functions. I can gloat, because It's unusual for Wendy to be so off her game!

Ah yes.... My TUSAL update: You can see a lot of black and arond the back is hidden some more orange - must be all that halloween stitching. I'm also showing off a vintage Black flower frog - originally designed for holding stems of flowers steady in vases, now being used as a scissor holder - I really must invest in some fancier scissors! In the background is the now framed print of Van Gogh's Iris's - I found this print in an Op-Shop for $2 - it is a National Gallery Print and would have been very expensive when bought new. I've had it framed and it is due to be hung over my bed-head. I've always loved this picture and it was a treasure find!
Next is a quick snap of "Spook" and "Boo" (WIP stage) - I really like the orange cat version. Looking forward to playing and finishing all my Halloween stitching into ornaments and pillows - Here also is my quick stitch - Lizzie Kate "Spooky Patch" - I've got to find a little spider to attach to the web - unless I feel like stitching one...I used all DMC for this one - including the new variations.

I'm itching to use WDW Tin Roof (as is suggested in the chart, but I don't have the opportunity to buy it just yet),having seen it in use on other blogs, but I like the greenie one against the pumpkin. I might just stitch this again on the black aida.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday morning thoughts

Here I was, finally thinking to leap into the waters of daily blogging, incorporating meandering thoughtwaves that would leave deep and meaningful ideas in the minds of the readers......
and the best I could come up with all week was the Yellow Cars!!
Seriously, the days have just flown by - by night-time, I've tended to veg-out and stare mindlessly at the tv screen or even worse - face to face with the PS2 and Lego characters exploding everytime I walk them off the edge.
I don't even have photos to alleviate this post - my camera cord is 'somewhere'.
My original plan today was to talk about my little car. I have a 2002 Dihatsu Curore and I love it. It's such a little car, and a lot of fun is made about the size (or lack of it). The yahoos next door have tried to move it by getting a burly male at each corner and lifting. It probably would have been successful had they not been so drunk at the time (possibly just as well). It seats 2 of us comfortably, and until John had a growth spurt, was also capable of taking the 2 boys in the back seats. When the 4 of us are in the car, it is hard to keep a circus theme from drifting through your head when we disembark - there are only 2 doors and my lanky teen having to try to untangle himself and pull himself out. The storage area is small, but can fit 6-8 green shopping bags carefully placed. However, I have been known to transport 4 kitchen chairs at a pinch (no other passengers)
It is great on economy - only having a 30litre tank - I travel nearly 600km on a tankful - a big joke to the motorbike riders in the street - the engine is less than 1 litre capacity - but it gets me where I need to go - safely.
The worst bit is at night. The other night on the way home, I had a whopping huge Landbruiser behind me - and his headlights were aimed directly forward. The problem was, his quartz-hallogens lined up either side of my little car - one into each outside mirror. I was blinded each time I had to stop in the traffic and he pulled up behind me. I couldn't see to change out of the lane for some distance and I was so tempted to get out of my car and tell him to re-angle his lights, if they had been angled down a smidge, he wouldn't blind smaller cars. (the pic is not my car - mine is a darker blue, but you get the idea)

well I seem to have waffled on enough for this morning. I'll search for my camera cord today and see if I can find some photos to cheer everybody up!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Giveaway - Blog Candy bonanza

Oh my - what a superriffic giveaway - Mel (my newest bestest friend in the whole wide world) is having a giveaway to celebrate her 8th blogoversary How generous is that? Look at all that stash! If it were icecream it would make your teeth hurt! And the scissors !!! Spread the word - visit her blog - leave your entry and share the joy - Good Luck!

Monday, August 17, 2009

One step closer to Sampler....

I'm cheerful this afternoon - I spoke to the antique dealer who has THE sampler for sale, and he's assured me that it will not be offered for sale for the next 3 months and he will hold it for me - without deposit. At the worst outcome, he will contact me before he brings it back out for sale - if he's not heard from me, because he now knows how much I really need to be the new carer for this piece of art.
I've not mentioned that I've done a bit of research on the stitcher. I've not mentioned that I intend to also chart the design. I have a photo of the sampler as my desktop picture at work. I fully intend to list more things on ebay to go towards my 'Bronny needs to buy a sampler Fund'.
If any of my blogger friends end up being a winning bidder for any of my items, be it stitchy or glassware - I ask that they identify themselves at the close of auction. I have a lot of bonus items that could be slipped into the envelopes....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My favourite floss is....

Weeks Dye Works - Ultraviolet !
It is such a wonderful colour. Although I don't celebrate Halloween in Australia - I have always been drawn to the more funky designs. Last year I was fortunate to be gifted the JCS Halloween ornament issue - and several small charts and freebie charts. I was also given some lovely fibres - including Ultraviolet.

I stitched Val's Little Design - Bats in my Hat last year, and from the Ornie issue - fell in Love with La D Da's 'Trick or Treat' and this week picked up another Val's Little Stuff - 'Boo' (featuring the lovely ultraviolet in the hat!- and because I was stitching on black aida - I changed the cat from black to ginger. After all - Pyro could be a halloween cat! (pictured last week when he tripped over a sunbeam and fell asleep instantly)
I also stitched Carosel Creation's 'Spook when Spoken To!' last week. This was a fun and easy stitch - stitched on a moss green soft aida - I've plenty of this and it lends itself well to Halloween black and orange designs.

This morning I picked out ouf my filing cabinet, a Lizzie Kate chart - possibly a freebie - called Spooky Patch. I don't know where this came from, but I stitched it up quickly - no picture yet - sorry.

Hopefully, I can put a few of these Halloween designs behind me for awhile - I need to get the machine out next weekend and have a fit of finishing I think.

I've also had a fit of ebay and have listed a lot of charts - all monies raised to go to the "Bronny needs to buy a sampler stitched in 1840-Fund"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Counting Yellow Cars

It seems the consensus is to add bits of my waffling to my stitchy blog, after all, istn't that what I'm reading on everybody else's blog.
Of course I love to watch the stitchy progress, but I'm learning more about my new friends as I read along.

My first offering is something that I do on regular drives.
I was a courier for 15 years, driving the same run morning and afternoon. It was a great way to look after the boys, never having to put them into child care, and I was able to work around their school times. In the afternoon, I devised this counting game, to try to pry them away from their game-boys and get them to take an interest in what was outside the car window.
I love maths - I calculate fuel/speed/time/distance in my head for fun. I didn't realise that was such an unusual thing or that it was a skill. I often stun people by calculating expected change in a transaction before the cash register does.
Anyway... I picked YELLOW as a colour to count. There are too many white and red cars. Blue and Green can be difficult to differentiate. But there is no mistaking a YELLOW car. The points are as follows:

1 point for a yellow car
2 points for a taxi
3 points for a yellow van (like a Hi-Ace)
6 -8-10 -12 points for a truck. There are all sorts of sizes of trucks - a cement mixer is a 10 pointer - a Semi is a 12 pointer
15 points for an emergency vehicle - police/fire/ambulance
unless of course it has it's lights on... then they count for a whopping 40 points!!! (woo-hoo!)
No points for police helicopter - you are supposed to be watching the road, not scanning the air while driving!

Of course sometimes you get desperate, but a cream car does not count - even when you try to justify it by calling it buttermilk (butter is yellow right??? ...therefore a buttermilk/cream car is yellow????) Orange cars do not count either.

At the moment, my average trip to work is 137 points. I drive 37km to work and in the morning it takes about 50 minutes. The lowest morning was 41 points, the best was 288 points (3 police cars at an accident with flashing lights and I drive past a firestation that had it's doors open and 2 trucks flashing their lights) I drive past a car yard that up to last weekend, had 3 yellow cars. You get to know where a yellow car should be parked.

So tell me, am I totally nuts? Or do you want to try this game?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A question to ask of my blog followers.....

I'm in a quandry.........
I started this blog as a visual stitchers journal - I admit I was very new to blogging and did not understand the compulsion to collect other blogs and read all the interesting tattle which is going on in other people's lives - admittedly, we all had the one thing in common - Stitching - and I could feast on other people's WIP's and share in the joy of completed UFO's.
I've joined in with competitions - and run a couple of my own. I'm not quite ready to dip my toe into the exchange or RR world yet. I really do not like stitching to obligation deadlines. I've found when I'm committed to something, then life has a way of throwing obstacles in the way which in turn makes the stitching experience unpleasant.
I thought I'd start a foodie blog - and keep forgetting to take photos of splendiferous family meals, but that is not a main focus blog.
It takes me nearly an hour to drive to work, and home again, and I have odd thoughts at times that I think I'd like to share, but then I think this is my stitching journal, but then, I think of all the bloggers that share their family events and triumphs.
My quandry is... should I start yet another blog - just to deal with my daily life and obscure observations and thoughts - OR include my wafflings within this stitchy blog?
What do my followers think?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seek and ye shall find a GIVEAWAY !!!

I found another giveaway - and whoops - nearly forgot to let everybody else know......

Celebrating her blogaversary (and a LK flipits finish) Lori is having an absolutely splendiferous giveaway.... of course I could have kept quiet and hoped that less people would enter.......but that would not have been fair - would it??
Good Luck everybody!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A couple of photos of recent finishes

Firstly, 'The most Patterns - 2nd time around' - Still stitched on hand-dyed aida - more a creamy yellow than appears here - using varigated and hand-dyed threads - I also used beads for the halo. This one will be finished into a wall hanging and the original one will possibly be finished into a pillow for a friend. (No names in case they read here so ...nyah-nyah!!!)

The next was a quick stitch - a freebie from Plum Street Samplers - I used Caron Waterlillies (hyacinth?) on hand dyed aida again. I also changed the wording to make what will be the finished item more compact. Once again, this is to be a gift for a friend!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thought Provoking Questions - About this great ART of Cross Stitch.....

OK - to start with, these are not even my questions, but thanks to Melissa, I'm going to pass them along - get us all thinking (as hard as it may be at times). Answer them on your own blog - get other readers thinking..... Refer back to Melissa's blog to see how these questions originated... it's food for thought.

6 Questions about Cross Stitch....

1)Why do you stitch? To release tensions, to create something, to make gifts for family and friends, to indulge my artistic side.

2) On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being least important and 10 being most important what is your cross stitch passion level? 10 can we spell O B S S E S S I V E ????

3)If you're only option for cross stitch supplies and patterns happened to be the major chain craft stores would you just walk away from the little X? Kiss it goodbye? I believe I am SABLE enough now to exist with what I have. I could NOT walk away from that little x now. I don't have a credit card, never will - I only have a major chain store to purchase my supplies from in any case.

4)Also are you so passionate about cross stitch that if indeed your only option was the major chain craft stores, would that inspire you to create your own cross stitch pieces because you have to stitch and you've stitched your way through the whole of Dimensions catalog--because you must stitch and the thought of life without a relationship with the little X leaves you feeling empty? If I don't have a needle and thread in my hand for more than a 2 days in a row, I get antsy. Sure, I'll design my own stuff. I'm not keen on what's available in my chain store (what is left after all the dedication to scrapbooking and knitting) - I look online for inspiration.

5)Finally what do the cross stitch magazines on the market offer you? Do they relate to you as a cross stitcher? Do you look at them and think to yourself, who do they think buys this magazine? I guess what I'm asking, when you see the current cross stitch magazines do they make you feel like they know their readers or do you find it's more of the same? What could they do to be ambassadors for the art of cross stitch other than putting a sampler on the cover with "F-U" on it? What are we missing on a PR level that could change the opinion of cross stitch itself? Magazines have changed drastically and while they offer interesting charts, on the whole I find the designs too 2-diemensional. While witty sayings on new style samplers may appeal to some younger stitchers, new to the creaft, I don't feel that they are lingering styles that will hold the attention beyond the first 4-5 small items - oh and leave out the mandatory button or bead that 'must' embellish the chart. Not always available to overseas stitchers on a budget!

6) And finally, finally, do you do other crafts and if so what are they and why do they pull you away from cross stitch? I drift into stitchery and patchwork, they pull me away for a short time, only if it is a quick and easy pattern. I will not step into attempting intricate patchwork patterns - rather leave that to the experts. I make my own FIMO buttons when time allows. I knit when I get the urge, but not anything specific.

Refer back to Melissa's blog to see how these questions originated... it's food for thought.