Friday, February 27, 2009

Wedding Quilt Update

I started to cut out the Garden Wall wedding quilt last week - boy did it take some time!! Anna Maria says on the pattern that you'll spend more time cutting than sewing, and I think she's right! I sewed 4 blocks yesterday afternoon, only 5 to go then put the sashings on and send it off to be machine quilted. It's coming together really easily and I think it looks very effective. You can see the dark garden wall, and then the green foliage and pink and yellow flowers.

Farmer Phil is at a Controlled Traffic Workshop today, so hopefully I'll get the other 5 blocks made and put together.

You're thinking, what on earth is a Controlled Traffic Workshop?! No, he's not becoming a traffic cop!! It's a day where like minded farmers get together with the experts to see whether this farming system would suit their business. Controlled Traffic is a no-till farming system using machinery with wider axles and confining paddock traffic to permanent tracks using GPS. The experts believe that growers using this system have significant yield advantages in dry seasons and potentially stand to capitalise in average and good seasons through enhanced moisture retention, crops growing in uncompacted soils and machinery using less fuel whilst operating on hard permanent tracks.

It all makes sense, but there is the added complication of extra costs from having to either convert your existing machinery or buying new machines. We already use a no-till system, meaning we don't plough the paddocks 2 or 3 times before we actually sow them. Our seeding machine will sow straight into last years stubble and then leave that stubble on top of the ground to act as a mulch - just like everyone should use mulch in their garden to retain moisture. Farming is really just large scale gardening, just using bigger machinery!

Bill and Molly

Quite a few years ago I was making teddy bears like lots of other crafty people out there. Bill and Molly are my favourites. They sit together on their little shelf like an old married couple! They're only about 2-3inches tall when sitting. I think they're cute!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tennis Court Construction

This is the scene at the front of our house today - Peter and his traxcavator (bulldozer) grading up a tennis court for us. We live on the crest of a hill, so making a flat area is a bit of a challenge! We'll have to let the dirt settle and then get a bobcat in to finish the surface off smoothly. We had a large pile of rocks near where the court is to go so Peter moved all of them and used them as fill for the bottom of the court. As you can see, Jack took a keen interest in proceedings!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jenny the Jetsetting Qantas Air Hostess

When I was a girl back in the 70's my Aunty Shirley gave me a fashion doll which I'd never seen before - I'd only seen Barbie or Sindy. She was a gorgeous girl called "Jenny" who was promoted as being a Qantas air hostess. She wore an exact replica of Qantas' real uniform of the day which was an Emilio Pucci designed jersey shirt dress. She had other costumes for when she travelled around the world exploring - she went on an African safari, rode the waves in Hawaii, travelled to Japan and went skiing in the Swiss Alps!

I loved playing with Jenny and always wanted mum and dad to buy me Jenny's other outfits other than her air hostess uniform. I never received any other outfits, so a few years ago I discovered you could buy them on eBay. Well, I just had to fulfill my childhood dream, so here is Jenny in all her 1970's outfits.
I also discovered that Jenny is in fact the short haired version of the American girl "Dusty". Dusty was promoted as a "fashion-action" doll who loved to play sport. I have lots of Dusty dolls in her 1970's outfits too, so here are a few of my favourites from my collection. Don't you just love the flared trousers, boob tubes, halter neck tops and long skirts!

Anna Maria Horner

Finally the fabric arrived from the USA for the Garden Wall quilt I'm making as a wedding present. The fabric is lovelier in person than in any photo I've seen - such rich, juicy colours! I can't wait to get started on this project - maybe I'll start cutting today if I can get out of my pyjamas and do some housework first!

I also recieved Anna Maria's new book "Seams to Me" in the mail last week. It has some great projects which I'll just have to try!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just Shows How Hot It's Been!

I received these photo's in an email titled "Just Shows How Hot It's Been"!

This is Australia...........................!!!!! Victoria has just suffered a record heat wave and a friend of a friend lives at Maude, NSW. His wife sent him these photos of a little Koala which just walked into the back porch looking for a bit of heat relief. She filled up a bucket and this is what happened!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Heat Wave

It really is no wonder that Victoria and New South Wales were on bush fire alert with the heat wave conditions we've experienced over the last fortnight.  The temperature has cooled down considerably today, but here is a run down of the temps we've had in the last two weeks in degrees Celsius.  They were measured under the house verandah.

January 26 - 40 
January 27 - 43
January 28 - 43
January 29 - 45
January 30 - 45.8
January 31 - 46
February 1 - 43.6
February 2 - 40.5
February 3 - 41
February 4 - 40
February 5 - 44
February 6 - 45
February 7 - 46
February 8 - 44

For those of you who measure your temperature in Fahrenheit, 38 degrees Celsius is 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  It was bloody hot!!!

Apprentice Mechanic

Yesterday I had to help Farmer Phil with some maintenance on the air seeder.  I was his apprentice mechanic!  We had to change the bearings and seals in the press wheels on the seeder bar.  It was very dirty work as you can see from my hands!

Australia's Bushfire Tragedy

I guess most people in the world would have heard about the devastating bush fires burning in Australia at the moment.  The death toll keeps rising (over 170 people at the moment with more expected) and the number of houses lost is staggering - over 750! I feel a bit helpless as to what to do for the people affected.  

I was overdue to give blood by a week, so yesterday I went and donated.  I took Farmer Phil along as he had never donated before.  I think I've convinced him that it is a wonderful thing to do for people in need.  I have been a regular donor for the past 10 years or so and I urge all of you out there who can donate, to please do!

I heard that there has been 15 million dollars raised so far for the fire victims - this is a staggering amount, but I think these people will need a lot more money than this to get their lives back together!  You can donate through the Australian Red Cross.

We have had the smoke from the bush fires blanketing our area since Sunday.  The sun and moon have been bright red in the sky - it's really quite beautiful, but also a very sad reminder of this tragedy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Designing Graham's Quilt

I've been busy today drawing designs for Graham's birthday quilt. I've come up with 9 pictures - the house, the header, the tractor, a cow, some sheep, a duck, a chook and a rabbit all together, a gate with a magpie and a galah sitting on it, a drawing of Graham and his wife, and a bee with a hive. I'll take them down to my mother in law for approval before I start sewing anything. I've drawn them on A4 paper, so the quilt should measure about 120cm x 100cm, which will be fine to either hang on the wall or throw over the back of the lounge.

It's over 40 degrees here again and inside the house the temperature is still 30 degrees even with the air conditioning on!! We've had more than a week of this extremely hot weather and it looks like we've got another few days of it yet. I wish we had our planned swimming pool installed already!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Squirt's Graduation!

Farmer Phil will not be happy!!! Squirt can now jump onto our bed!!!

New Dress

I receive the Ezibuy catalogue and have bought quite a lot of clothes from them in the past few years. When I received their recent catalogue I fell in love with this Grace Hill Dress, but thought that $120 was a bit much to pay. I was pleasantly surprised when a Clearance Catalogue came and the dress was advertised for $30!! What a saving, so I quickly ordered it online and it arrived in yesterday's mail. It fits great and will be perfect for the wedding at Easter.