Thursday, December 30, 2010


I spent a few hours in the garden this afternoon, but the main discovery is just how unfit I've become. I've exhausted all my energy supplies and realise that I have perfect New Year's resolution material. Not so sure that I should put it in print, or even verbalise what I need to do, but one thing is for sure, I really do need to get myself back into shape. It's a couple of years since I chased that little black ball around the squash court and was several kilos lighter, but I know it would be good to regain just a little of that fitness I once had.
I'm thinking I should make 2011 the YEAR OF THE GARDEN. Of course, not to the degree that I totally neglect rag rugs. They still need to happen.

When my energy levels dropped to zero after chopping and digging, I got my camera out. This little fellow does a great job of guarding my old wheelbarrow planted up with Dianthus.
I adore Zinnias. They always look so bright and cheerful.

I'm happy to share my figs with the possums, but I really hope they feel the same way about sharing with me.

Our agapanthus were late this year. This one is still coming out.

I have very few memories of my Grandmother, but Hydrangeas always remind me of her.

I don't know what it's called, but this ground cover has pretty furry fox tails. They're gorgeous.

Just one of many Salvia. Love these plants. They just do their own thing and when they get out of control I chop them back. The only thing is they don't smell so good for cut flowers.

That concludes my little tour of my garden this afternoon.  

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


It's been a wet soggy Christmas here in Queensland. We lived for many years in this farm house and in our memory the Condamine River has never before been so high. The water needed to rise only another 2" or so before it would have come right into the house, but thankfully it stopped  rising just in time. You can see some of our cotton crop, and while cotton doesn't mind good soaking rain it really doesn't like having it's feet quite this wet.
Some of the neighbouring homes weren't quite so lucky and the SES were kept busy with evacuations.
This photo shows our water storage dam entirely surrounded by water. The buildings and sheds you can see are inundated with water and the little bit of green at the top of the photo is more cotton just poking it's head out of the water. When I first moved to our farm, we lived in one of those buildings. I'm pretty happy that I don't live there right now. I'm so thankful that where we live now is high and dry. 
The waiting game to see just how much of our cotton has survived not only the water logging, but many days of cool and cloudy weather is about to begin. The season which looked so promising a month ago has deteriorated rapidly.
Our hearts and prayers are with those in other areas as well who have lost much and who are dealing with the devastation.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Now that it's holidays AND endless wet weather in Queensland this year, this little Jigsaw Puzzle Christmas Wreath is a great little project. I think it's simple enough for the kids to get involved in. 

I had this one given to me, so I don't know where the original idea came from, but I will be gathering supplies so the grandkids can enjoy making their own next time they visit.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another Rag Rug

I'm always on the lookout for big volumes of fabric for making my rag rugs. My daughter came along with me to my favourite Vinnies Shop recently and when she spotted fabric with lime green highlights she was convinced that it was the perfect ingredients for my next one. Of course I'm always looking for more earthy colours, but she insisted and so another rag rug was born. Even my camera balked at photographing these unfamiliar colours, but you know maybe I could get to like bright colours..........

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I remember my mum had a drawer full of Australian Home Journals when I was a kid and she'd get them out from time to time and go through them to see what she could make. The other day my friend Janet from Gottabee Country at Abbie Lane in Highfields gave me this one from August 1950. Janet had rescued it from her MIL's possessions after cleaning out some of her things. What a treasure and many thanks to Janet. By the way if you're unable to get to Highfields to visit Gottabee Country (my absolutely favourite shop) click on the link and take a visit through their online store.

Friday, October 29, 2010


You've got to try this chocolate cake recipe. You'll find it here on Jackie's blog. She's from The Back Shed and when I saw her recipe there I thought I'd try it. I'm seriously embarrassed to tell you how much of that cake just two of us ate in one day and even on the next day it still tastes as fresh and delicious as when it first came out of my oven. It's just as easy as any packet cake and twice as yum. Thankyou Jackie.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


 "Little Princess" one of Sally Giblin's patterns. She's from The Rivendale Collection and she has gorgeous designs which incorporate the cutest stitcheries.  I have quite a selection of her patterns which you can check out here, but I'll be offering this bag as a kit at the upcoming Christmas In The Country Craft Show at Gatton early next month. After that I'll put it on my website. At $10.00 each, her patterns are really good value.

Monday, September 20, 2010


You know a function has been well organised and planned to perfection when it all appears to run smoothly and everybody is happy and friendly and it all looks too easy. That is how Spring Into The Country at  Geham  was over the week end. The girls did an amazing job and it was an excellent market. I loved being there and being part of it and meeting and talking to people who have similar interests. Even the rain held off for us - well it did until it was time to pack up! But it wouldn't have mattered as that is why undercover markets have so much to offer.

I was ecstatic to find some old rolling pins there and this was my "big" purchase for the weekend (we won't talk about the fudge).  I already had a few, so only 2 of these are my new ones. The ones I love most are the ones with the green and red handles. Gorgeous aren't they, and how she could part with them for just $5.00 is a mystery to me. Thankyou Sharon if you happen to read this. They will be well loved in my home.

Monday, September 6, 2010


One of the joys of having little people coming to visit on a regular basis is finding little surprises like this after they have gone home.  I'm not sure why this little floppy eared dog is such a favourite, but it made me smile when I found him so carefully put to bed on the shelf of the dresser that decorates our hallway entrance.  The doiley that's being used as his doona is one of the nice things my mother in law hand embroidered  and gave me a very long time ago.  A perfectly good use for it don't you think?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Much as I love the "men" in my life, I get very upset when my tools disappear on a regular basis.  But today I realised there is a solution and I think it might just work.  I don't have a problem with my sewing tape measure which is regarded as second class by all but me, but I do have a problem with the other type of tape measure which you buy at the hardware shop.  I use that type too, as we do quite a lot of house renovating, so I'm always measuring something or other.  That's where Lincraft comes in.  Do you think he'll be "brave" enough to claim this one for himself?

It's not quite perfect in that it only has centimeter measurements, but I think I can cope with that.

An other problem area is my stapler.  I lose track of how many I buy, so where they disappear to is a complete mystery to me.

Lincraft have a variety of tools - all very pretty and girly.  So I may just have just have to pay them another visit and expand my range. (I'm sure you'll find them places other than Lincraft, but I just happened to find them there)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


There's a bit of a fresh breeze at my place this morning which means everyone seems to be looking for something delicious and warm to have with  coffee.  If you go on over to 
Selinas Vintage Blog (just a couple of posts back) and try out her recipe for Date Cake, you'll find the perfect complement to your morning cuppa.  It is disappearing very quickly at my place and already I've been asked for the recipe.   I must say I think the lashings of butter that she recommends are decidedly wicked, but seriously scrumptious.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Sally Giblin from The Rivendale Collection has some beautiful new designs.  I've made up this cushion pattern that she's called "Angels", and I'm really loving it in country fabrics.  I'll have it for sale as a kit at the "Spring Into The Country" Geham Market on 18th & 19th September.  If you're in the Toowoomba region that week end for the Carnival of Flowers, come for a drive out to Geham and visit the market at the Geham School.  Be prepared though, to spend a day in our area as we're spoilt here, and I promise you you'll be renewing your list of favourite coffee shops and special places to visit.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I noticed 2 of my grandsons using the fruit off my cumquat tree for target practise the other day, so I decided there would have to be a much better use for them.  After rescuing the ones they didn't completely demolish, I decided that the only thing I'd heard of using them for is jam. Now, I have tried on many occasions to like marmalade, but I just don't.  Whether it was the tedious cutting up these tiny little fruit or the copious amounts of sugar that I used, I'm not sure, but I actually quite liked the end result.  As you can see by the photo, I even gave my jar a little bonnet, just like Grandma would have.  My half kilo of fruit made up 2 jars, but my son in law got the other one.  I think he'll like it too.

And while we're spending time in the kitchen, I want to show you this gorgeous cushion.  It's one of Sally Giblin's (from The Rivendale Collection) patterns.  I've just added quite a few of her new patterns (and some not so new) to my website.  You'll find them on this link.  I'd much rather stitch a recipe that cook it, so I think this would suit me very well.  I can even see it looking equally as gorgeous in country colours.  

Monday, July 26, 2010


Fabric from Harvest Moon by Buggy Barn and Itsy Bits arrived last week.  Finally I have some gorgeous country checks.  It's embarrassing to have country fabrics, but hardly any checks. But no more.  Itsy Bits is a lovely range too.  Tone on tone with just a little pattern.  Nice.

While I spent an afternoon photographing them to list on my website, my little shadow opened his eyes and looked back at me.  "How come you're taking all these photos and NONE of me" he said.  So just to make him happy...............

I've also listed some of my fabrics on sale.  They're a good price and I'll be adding more as they sell.

There's a few changes happening on my website.  I've added a few buttons and rearranged others.  I've still got a way to go, but it will be easier to navigate your way around when I'm eventually done.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Be Creative Country

I'm off to "Be Creative Country" in Dalby which is a women's camp organised by the church.  There are several enticing workshops on offer, but my little group of ladies are going to make our Kindred Spirits bag.  I have a feeling we're going to have a great week end.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Love to have the King Parrots pop in for a visit. He wasn't at all keen to have his photo taken, so we had to be really quick.  I'm not sure what he was chasing, but he quite liked my camelia bush.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Not just my jeans, but the entire load of washing came out of the washing machine looking like this.  It  happened because a complete notebook got recycled through the wash.  Not only did Mr Apple lose the precious contents of his book, somehow I have to find a way to clean off paper pulp from my washing. It's not exactly what I had in mind for the day. I don't know why I washed anyway - it was raining!  The black socks are going to be a challenge.

Monday, July 5, 2010


When I think of Buggy Barn, I always think of gorgeous rich colours that say "buy me I'm irresistible".  The folk art range that has just arrived is no exception along with some blacks which I adore.  These two I've photographed here are just a sample of the 19 I've got in, so if you want to have a look at them I've put them on my website here.    If you'd like samples, just let me know and I can pop them in the post for you.  They're just $12.00m or $4.00 for a fat qtr so once again, a good price.  

My house painting is still coming along.  The man from the paint shop tells me I should not paint unless I know we'll have 24 hours of over 10 degrees.  That's absolutely not happening, so I try to give it a couple of hours at least before the temperature drops in the evening and some days we've been lucky to even reach 10.  I love the cooler weather, so no complaints there.   I wonder how painters operate in cold countries or do they have some magic paint that doesn't need higher temperatures to dry.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I've been playing around with photos for an upcoming advertisement in Country Threads.  The dog was in the running to get in the photo, but after the showers of rain we've had, his paws weren't exactly in an acceptable state, so I decided the bear was the way to go.  She was also much more co-operative.  

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Lots of fun this morning for Grandparent's Day at school.  Grade 1 students have been studying farm animals and this little clay model turned out to be a farm donkey.  It was supposed to be a horse, but "donkey" seemed to be more appropriate by the time it was finished.  Mr Apple was very impressed by how the lovely the teacher was to the students.   Certainly different from the teachers he remembers from a bygone era.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This is the little quilt I've been working on, inspired, obviously by the owl family that moved into our big old pine tree last summer.   They seem to have taken up permanent residence in our garden, so this quilt was designed in their honour.  I hope they like it too!!  I haven't written the pattern up yet, but it's not too far away.

I managed to overcome my fear of heights and got the little high section in the front of our house painted.  I don't have a photo to prove it, but that bit is definitely all completed.  Today's challenge though was to get up on the roof to paint the section between the verandah roof and the main house roof.  Must say that gathering courage is very time consuming.  I was afraid that after I climbed the ladder, it might accidentally become dislodged while getting off the ladder and on to the roof, and as I was home by myself the idea of spending the rest of the day on the roof unable to get back down, held little appeal. I tried to get a helper to hold the ladder in place, but my only hope was Dermott, who quickly reminded me he has a sore leg.

Bonny of course was nowhere to be found, but I know she would have let me know that she is, in fact, quite a lot older (in dog years) than even I am, so there wasn't much chance there.

The solution was to provide an alternate route just in case the ladder plan failed. With stools on top of stools,  it was actually the way I used because it felt safer than the ladder.  I somehow think it might have failed all Work Place Health & Safety regulations, but it worked for me and I live to tell the tale.  Once I'd been up and down a few times, I felt like I've done it all my life.  I will be very pleased though when this next section is finished and I can say good bye to roof climbing.

Friday, May 14, 2010


It doesn't look so high in the photo does it, but somehow I'm not sure if I've got what it takes to climb up to paint those high bits in the front of our house.  I was thinking that the plank on the top rung of the trestle was scary enough, but hey I'm still too short.  I've solved the problem, but I've still got to gather the courage to actually get up there.  Tomorrow will be the test.   
I've had a sewing frenzy happening too.  I've got an advertising deadline with Country Threads soon, and I'm trying to get a new design finished in time to get it photographed for the ad.   Thank goodness Master Chef is on nearly every night, as that's been my stitching time these last few weeks.  Must admit though that my blanket stitch seems to be getting a bit bigger every night as I'm rushing to get it finished.  Hopefully it won't show too much in the photo.  Will let you have a look when I'm finished.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


This Vegetable Lasagne is one of my all time favourite recipes, and I love it.  I love it even more when there's plenty left over for dinner the following evening, especially as it tastes even better the next day.  I'll share the recipe with you.

1 Large Eggplant
1 Butternut Pumpkin
2 Large Red Capsicums
Packet Lasagne Sheets

2 Jars Leggos Pasta Sauce
Fresh Garlic
1/2 Tsp Oregano
1/2 Tsp Basil

600ml Milk
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg

Prepare Eggplant & Pumpkin by chopping into slices, brush with olive oil and roast in oven 200 degrees for 1/2 hour.  Put the Capsicum in the oven whole and when it is cooked put it into a plastic bag for 10mts and the skin will come off easily.   Slice it into strips.

Prepare cheese sauce and set aside while vegetables are cooking.  Add 2 Tbsps Parmesan Cheese and 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg.

Add garlic, oregano and basil to tomato sauce mixture.

Arrange in baking dish in the following order. (It's a large mixture so get a large dish)

Tomato Sauce
Lasagne Sheets
Tomato Sauce
Lasagne Sheets
Tomato Sauce
Egg Plant
Extra Parmesan Cheese
Lasagne sheets
Tomato Sauce
All the cheese sauce on top

Bake 190 degrees for 35mts.

We have vegetarians in our family, so we often have meals without meat.  If you have someone in your family who can't live without meat, you could easily add some mince or chicken to keep them happy.   We usually eat it with salad.  It's a perfect meal for me at the moment when I'm spending most days painting.  I can prepare it early in the morning when it's too damp outside for me to start, and then in the evenings when I'm ready, dinner is ready too.  

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I found myself minding this little man in my life yesterday, and as it was the Toowoomba Show holiday, we decided to take some time out and brave the show with a 4 year old.  Now, I do know there were quilts there because I caught a glimpse of them in the distance, and I'm sure there were other crafts there too, but must say I didn't actually see any of it.  It didn't take me long to realise that 4 year olds aren't really very interested in the more cultured side of the local show.  I soon learned to interpret "Now, let's do something fun, Mum-ma" as "I want to go to sideshow alley and have some more rides".    Along with the dodgem cars, jumping castle, chips and balloons he did have a lot of fun and his mum tells me he's talked about nothing else since.  I think Grandad was secretly very excited to have a good excuse for this dodgem car experience without looking totally like an old man trying to recapture his youth.

Must say that we thoroughly enjoyed John Williamson's Great Australian Muster, despite being just about frozen solid because we hadn't planned to stay for the evening programme and had neglected to bring enough warm clothing.  We came home feeling very proud to be Australian.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I know I created this blog to be a crafting blog, but really there's not much crafting happening at my place lately.  I'm spending all my spare time painting and hoping like crazy that the painter will still make a miraculous appearance.  I don't hold out too much hope, but maybe.............
As I walked out the door on my way to church this Sunday morning, I had a timely reminder that today is indeed a day of rest.  There was certainly one person member of our household who was intent on holding to that belief and had himself very comfy on our couch.  I'm going to be a dog next time - in fact I'm going to be MY dog next time............

Saturday, March 20, 2010


When you get to have a 70th wedding anniversary, you receive letters of congratulations from all manner of important people.  That is exactly what my parents have achieved this month, and Prime Minister Kevin and his wife Therese were amongst quite a few who sent their well wishes.  Others included the Queen, the Premier of Queensland, the Governor of Queensland right down to our Mayor and our Local Member of Parliament.  I do think though that staying married for 70 years is definitely quite an achievement and deserves sincere congratulations.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I just want to tell you about Washpool Farm.  I bought this soap for my dog from them at Stanthorpe .  His skin is quite sensitive and I thought I'd give this soap a try.  I found it works beautifully and since I gave him a bath with it yesterday - no scratching - YAY -  he's much happier.  They don't just make animal soaps, but they make them for people too, but I've not tried mine out yet.  Melissa & Juanita make their own soaps, and the ones I really liked were wrapped in wool that they'd felted themselves.  Very nice.  By the way, I have no connection with them, but they were such friendly bubbly girls who believe so totally in their product, that I just knew it was going to work for me.  

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I'm back from a wonderful weekend at Stanthorpe's Apple & Grape Festival.  Visitors loved Chloe's lavender owls and they sold well.  Her little "owl" purse is bulging as her funds towards her trip to Italy next month have increased enormously. 
She is now working on increasing Chlo-Bo Designs range of products.  She's got chickens and now owls and we're waiting to see what's next.

This is my table of rag rugs that I had at the Civic Center for the week end.  I took this photo just as we set up.  There were lots of visitors to the market and I didn't get a chance to get another photo of the crowd.  I talked to lots of lovely people and heard many stories as early childhood memories were jolted.  Rag rugs certainly played a part in many people's lives.  One man had tears in his eyes as he told me about his Grandmother teaching him to crochet a rag rug back in England when he was a child.  He was quite moved by a memory he'd completely forgotten about and thanked me for bringing it back.  I know rag rugs were made in America and Australia, but obviously they were made in other parts of the world too.  I loved that I could play a small part in helping people recall a little bit of their family history.  I listened too, as Grandmothers explained to their grand daughters a little bit of what their lives were like when they were young.  What a wonderful experience.

I'll be updating my rag rugs section of my website now that I know which ones I have left over.  Just got to get a few things organised and find a little bit of time.  Should get to it in the next day or so.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I wonder what a group of rag rugs is called.  Maybe it's a pile, or a stack, or a heap, but in my case it's more like a mountain.  These are a few of the rag rugs that I'll be taking to Stanthorpe next week end as I have a stall at their Apple & Grape Festival.  It's in the civic center, and if you can possibly make the trek to the little border town, I promise you there's lots to see and do and loads of fun to be had.  It will be well worth the drive from where you live.  My two grand daughters who live there will be in the Grand Parade.  It's one of  Chloe's duties in her newly acquired position as School Captain.  I am of course a very proud Mum-ma.

This was the view of my drive way this morning.  You can see the fog, but fortunately you can't feel the wet and the wind in this photo.  I think Toowoomba has just about been blown off the top of the hill today.  I've been listening to ABC local radio and feel for all the people in Charleville and Roma who have flood waters through their properties.  Even good things  have a down side.  I'm hoping the weather will have enough time to fine up and be perfect for the Apple & Grape on the week end.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Slowly, very slowly this railing is getting painted.  Not the most exciting job I've ever had, but I will get there eventually.  I so wish the dowels were flat, and I so wish we didn't have so much verandah.

Bonny says she'd love to help, but she just needs a little bit more rest in her favourite spot under the hedge and amongst the violets.  On a hot day it's a pretty good choice too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I've been asked to take a bag workshop at a craft week end later in the year, so I've decided our Kindred Spirits Bag will do nicely.  I've made it up including some of my new fabrics, and I really like the way it looks.  I've made up some extra kits, so at the moment I'm offering it as a kit on my website.  I always make sure my kit fabrics are the same as the photographed item, so it will look the same as mine.  This is a simple and satisfying pattern to make up and doesn't take too long.  Lots of fun really.  Click on the link to find it on my website. Contact me for more information or extra photos 

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Rag balls really were taking over my house until I had a big tidy up this morning. Truly, they had got scattered in just about every room.   They're now under control and sitting on my old miner's couch ready for more rag rugging this evening.  I've got several new rag rugs ready to list on my website too, but I need to get a few spare minutes to do that.  
My rag rugging has slowed down this last week or so because of our decision to paint our house.  The tradesman we'd chosen to do the job and who also assured us it would be finished by Christmas, just hasn't showed, so in a moment of weakness, I decided that I could do it myself.  Must admit he didn't say exactly WHICH Christmas.  Why is it that we always choose the wrong tradesmen.  Obviously, we still haven't learned the art of recognising the reliable ones.  Anyway, I'm now very skilled at scraping old paint of steps, and my trusty sander is doing a supurb job.  Luckily the rest of the house isn't in need of very much scraping, so it will be much easier when I get to the walls.  I can see I'm going to have to overcome my fear of heights unless I can talk some kind person into doing the high bits for me.