Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Teddy Bear's Picnic

The Story of Balthazar ....

Balthazar was a Circus Bear. He had spent his whole life (the part of it he could remember anyway) in the circus and was really quite fond of his life there.
His parents would have preferred a more illustrious life for their little cub but it was not to be. He was left with his Aunt Bearyl and Uncle Jehosafur when his mother and father got the call to be part of the International Handmade Artist Bear Display in the Steiff Museum in Germany.

Balthazar's aunt and uncle were, of course, the 'Performing Ping-Pong Pair' famous in such exotic places as Paddington, Port Possum, Paradise Point, Poowong and Peppermint Grove just to name a few. They would stun and amaze crowds with their Ping-Pong prowess holding many-a-crowd spellbound as they danced and leapt around the table their quest to never allow a ball to touch the table, floor or bat.

Memories of those early years in the circus were of happy times learning every ping-pong trick in the book (and lots that weren't there as well). His aunt and uncle spent hours teaching and training the little fellow in the hope of creating the first ping-pong trio act (a concept that none of them had thought through all that carefully)

One day there was a newcomer to their circus. Fabienne was beautiful. She wore the brightest clothes and was quite the prettiest thing that Balthazar had ever seen. Her little head was adorned with a daisy wreath and her sweet little shoes were decorated with tiny perfect little yellow daisies.
When she performed her act Balthazar (or Ballsy, as she affectionately called him) was mesmerized. She would use her bright clothing and floral accessories to hypnotize her little herd of Civets. She could make them dance, balance on balls, hop in time to Advance Australia Fair and numerous other astonishing tricks.

It wasn't long before Balthazar knew where his future lay, he had to break the news to his Aunt and Uncle that he was not cut out for Ping Pong. They took it pretty well and were secretly somewhat relieved as the promise of a trio act was causing quite some logistical nightmares.
Poor Fabienne had some bad news for Balthazar herself. It turned out that Civets were not suited to Circus life. Being rather exotic creatures known for their scent they craved their natural environment of perfumed parlours, department store fragrance foyers and definitely not the circus.

The decision was quick and final. Balthazar, Fabienne and the Civets were to leave the circus.
They settled down raising award winning yellow daisies and Civets and discovered a blend of the two which became a perfume unmatched anywhere in the world. The named it 'Dazet' (of course) and lived happily ever after.
(Incidentally Fabienne was particularly particular about acquiring the musk from her Civets and would only use musk that the Civets had given of their own free will. She never asked them for it, heavens no! how rude that would be! She would wait until they gave it to her, which they did regularly as they were quite fond of her and appreciative of their spacious, deliciously perfumed living quarters)

Balthazar was able to come to the picnic today but alas Fabienne was not. She had to stay home as not only were the Civets whelping but she was still 'dazed' after making a particularly potent brew of perfume yesterday.

Please come and see all the other bears at The Teddy Bear's Picnic hosted by our dearest Melody.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

My Tuesday treasure is this wall quilt which I made for my mother.
I think it was called 'Tea Party' by 'Crab Apple Designs'
It was a block of the month stitchery with log cabin borders.
Each month I waited very impatiently for it to arrive and some months would ask for two to be sent together as I absolutely loved sewing it and couldn't wait for it to be finished.
I embellished the hand quilting around the cups and flowers with seed beads which sparkle subtly in certain light. I used my Gammil quilting machine for the rest of the quilting.
It is so pretty.
Here is a close up of some of the stitcheries

The milk jug and tea infuser

A teacup full of violets

A delicate pink rose and rosebuds in a lovely scalloped cup

A cup with a bullion rose spray holds pretty violas

Please visit Melody's Blog for more special Tuesday Treasures

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Photos

My daughter's sent me some lovely pictures of my grandchildren today so I thought I'd share them with you.

Firstly here is Cooper who is 7 months old. He is enjoying a day out at Warburton. It was a bit nippy up there so he's rugged up with his toasty warm fleecy hat. Cute bubba!

Secondly is Eva who is 16 months old and it's her first visit to Healesville Sanctuary.

Hey checkout the wallaby!

Here she is with her Dad making friends with the wallaby

And meeting an ibis.

She had a lovely time and this time next year when cousin Cooper is ready she can show him around too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Floral Friday #5

I had so many lovely responses to the poem for Tuesday Treasures that I decided to write one for today's Floral Friday.
It has been a long time since I have written so I'm a bit rusty. I always seem to have a bit of a clumsy rhythm to my poems so I beg your forgiveness and hope that you don't find it too clunky. The commas are to help you with that (I hope)
I hope you enjoy it:

The Secret Garden

Down in the gully where the old-man big trees grow
Water trickles down the hill, a constant bubbling flow
The coal mines from years gone by, feed my little steam
With water from inside the earth, pure, soft and clean

Little birds own this place and guard it with their lives
Anxiously they sound the alert, husbands warning wives
Mothers warning babies, to watch out for the danger
“Keep off the ground, stay in the nest, here comes a stranger.”

The canopy of old man trees, lofty overhead
Shades this mini forest floor, where Hawthorn now have spread
Thick in summer with tiny leaves, in autumn now they fall
Bare then, as winter winds make their howling call

My gully in the springtime, is full of Hawthorn flowers
Each tree of sticks just weeks before, is now blossom endowed
The best is yet to come as October winds begin
Coaxing petals off the trees, and downwards they spin.

The water in the creek, is still and cold and deep
Reflections of the canopy, enhanced by black beneath
Petals float above the black, above reflections made
As if suspended in mid-air, a magic act is played

How lucky I am to have this place of beauty so near
To visit whenever I want, every day of the year
I come, I sit, I watch, I breathe, and most of all I marvel
And blend as one, in this place this special secret garden

Bronwyn Barton 24.3.2011

Above is a picture of my Secret Garden. It is at the bottom of our block of land and can hardly be seen up at the road, apart from the tops of the old growth trees. You would simply not know that this beautiful place exists unless you take the hike down here. This pic was taken in the Summer with berries on the lovely Hawthorn trees.

This is the biggest of our 'Old-man' trees. It is our pride and joy and bigger than it looks in the picture. We are so blessed!

Please leave your link below if you would like to share in Floral Friday.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

My Tuesday Treasure is Autumn. I love it and I love winter too.
One day 7 years ago as I was sitting at my computer and looking out of the window I was inspired to write this poem for my granddaughter who was 8 at the time. If I found a beautiful leaf I would post it to her (even though she only lived on the other side of town). She just loved the pretty autumn leaves.

Golden Stars - for Tanaha - 10th May 2004

The wind is blowing hard outside
I can see it through my window
The trees are being tossed about
The clothes on the line are too.

I like it when the days are cool
Especially at night
I can wrap myself in blankets
And tuck up nice and tight

But best of all I love the sight
Of all the pretty colours
The leaves are changing on the trees
And falling by the hundreds

The tree next door has golden leaves
And when they're ready to fall
They flutter and spin and whirl around
Like they're dancing at a Ball

Sometimes sunshine catches them
And lights them up like glass
As they're falling to the ground
These beautiful golden stars

The tree is nearly bare now
But it really won't be long
Before the leaves are growing back
Thick and green and strong

In summer when the sun is hot
That tree gives welcome shade
And shows off with it's green stars
The ones that it's just made.
Please take a look at Melody's blog for more Tuesday Treasures.

Friday Night Cushions

Wow this is late for the Friday night sew-in!
I am really happy with these two cushions. They were quick and easy, as you can see and look great. I have another 6 or 7 to make as the couch is very big and needs heaps. The fabrics I have are all different and look brilliant together. I be setting every Friday night aside as my sewing time.
Thanks Heidi for your inspiration.
Join Heidi each month for the Friday Night Sew-In

Friday, March 18, 2011

Over 1,000 views!

Wow I'm so excited.
Thanks everyone who has taken the time to look in at my blog.
I hope to be able to entertain you with lots more flowery pictures and silly stories.
So here's to the next 1,000 views!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Floral Friday #4

Secret Nerine!

Many years ago I noticed a plant in my garden beginning to sprout. It was growing at the base of a large gum tree. I was intrigued to see what it was and when it flowered lo and behold it was this gloriously beautiful nerine! How did it get there? I hadn't planted it. I had planted the gum tree many years earlier so I knew it had been planted recently. Then the penny dropped. My mother must have sneaked into my backyard and planted it without me noticing. The next time she visited I took her out and showed her the result of her lovely kind secret planting. We were both thrilled at the colour and beauty of my Secret Nerine. It gave me so much pleasure each year when it would peep up through the soil where it had been hiding just like it did when she first planted it there. Then I would watch it slowly grow and burst forth with its spectacular flowers. We couldn't take it with us when we left that house but I have planted many here to remind me of my Secret Nerine.

Flowers for Dear Mum

These stunning bowls of roses and Philadelphus (mock orange) were a gift to my mother from her 'proxy' niece. My mother had met her mother when they did their nursing training together during WW2. The families had remained friends through all those years since.
Mum would visit her dear friend as she lay in her nursing home bed and bring her Peonies, Roses, Gladioli, Anemones and Daffodils to name a few of the flowers she grew and cut for her.
As my mother lay in her respite bed (at my house) her dear late friend's daughter brought this most gorgeous bounty from her garden as small payment for the hours and hours that mum would spend sitting with her old friend in her last months.

Aren't they too beautiful for words! I was so lucky to have them in my house. I would just stand there smelling them and admiring them distracted from my duties for my mother.
What a garden they come from. You should see it. It is on the side of the hill and covers around half an acre. Whenever I am lucky enough to walk through it I find it hard to keep my mouth closed and "Wow" is about the only word that comes out.
I hope my new garden is even a fraction as magnificent.
I hope you enjoy this tiny glimpse of its spendour.
Incidentally its owner knows the name, common and botanical, of every single plant in that garden and there must be hundreds of roses alone.
I would love to see your additions to Floral Friday please leave your link below.

Teddy Bear's Picnic

Oh Dear, Oh Dear!
Here is pictorial evidence of my sorry tale of Benj and Binge.
The Sorry Tale of Benj and Binge.
Benj is a very old bear, as old as bears can be. (At least that's what he says and no one argues because it would just be plain mean to tell him that he isn't.)
Now the town of Furlickton is where he lives and has done for such a long time that everyone there calls him Benj, even though his real name begins with Lord or Duke or some such thing. He prefers just plain Benj because, well, because that's just the kind of bear he is. No airs and graces for him, after all he has known most of those other folks in town for longer than anyone can remember.
Anyway one day, when Benj was much younger, he took it upon himself to become a fixerupperer. He had seen the hardship of so many other bears with loose limbs, lost eyes, chewed ears, bald spots and saw the need so decided that he would take the job on as he had much spare time on his paws (it turns out that his parents came into quite some wealth investing in growler implants so he didn't need to work)
He became quite the best fixerupperer not only in Furlickton but his reputation went as far as Bruinsbane and Tedney.
The years came and went and Benj tended and fixed many a floppy neck and threadbare snout but like the plumber who never fixes his leaky tap Benj had fallen into disrepair and always promised he'd get around to it 'tomorrow'. He did not.
Benj had heard about the Teddy Bears Picnic and invited his BFF Binge to come along. All was going swimmingly until Binge spotted the Butterscotch Drops. Oh Dear, Oh Dear! Before you could say "Reflux" or "Wait" or "You'll be sorry!" greedy little Binge had put so many in his mouth that he began to come over all unnecessary with the rapid escalation of his blood sugar levels. Poor Binge! Poor Benj! Benj had seen what was about to happen. He had dashed to stop Binge but fell flat on his face as his leg joints were so loose they could not hold his weight any longer. He tried to crawl the last few inches to his help his best bud but his arm joints were useless as well. Finally he reached his friend and cradled him in his arms as Binge spoke his last words - which were "Don't let me pass in vain - please - Tell the Plumbers."

Sorry everyone. I should have warned you that tissues may be required. Please take a look at all the bears who came to todays picnic on Melody's Blog.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

My beautiful people:

My Tuesday Treasures are my grandchildren.
They range from 15 years down to 6 months old.
I had a rough day today with my dear mother who suffers dementia. It made me think about how important it is to not waste a precious moment with these wonderful young people.
I want to share with them as much of my time (the olden days) as I can.
I want to encourage my 15 year old granddaughter to love and forgive - just because she can.
I want to share with my 8 year old grandson the joy of Mozart which will last his lifetime.
I want to read poetry to my 16 month old granddaughter because I am really afraid no one else ever will.
And I want to tell my youngest grandson that a man with a soft heart will give his family the strongest bond.
All of this because you just never know if or when it may not be possible to spend time with them again.
Thanks Melody for more lovely Tuesday Treasures

Friday, March 11, 2011

Colourful Friday

Spots on Dogs!
Here is our new puppy Harry. He is a Brittany and has spots on his nose, feet, paw pads, legs and his cute soft tickleable puppy tummy. He's as cute as a button. As you can see.

Thanks Robyn for 'Colourful Friday'

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Teddy Bear's Picnic

I was thinking that a picnic at the beach would be nice. These little fellows have had a lovely time in their little boat.
Oh NO!
I have just noticed that it looks as though the quintuplets have all been a little sea-sick over the side of the boat. I have never noticed the marks on the side of the boat before - haha - Perhaps that is why the poor Dada Bear has his paw up to his head. The little black bear up on the post doesn't look all that flash either!
Time to get the heck out of that stinky boat and find a shady tree to lie down under. Shouldn't be long before these squiffy tummies are back to normal and these five cheeky brother's are chasing sea-gulls, splashing in the shallows and ready for a Peter's Dixie Ice Cream or a scrumptious Eskimo Pie. Just the thing to finish off a beach picnic.
Please take the time to visit Melody's House on the side of the hill Blog and all the other bears who have come to today's picnic.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

Thanks Melody for the opportunity of sharing some more Tuesday Treasures.
My treasure is twofold this week.
Firstly is a lovely old smoking box which belonged to my Grandfather. My Grandfather died 5 years before I was born and left it to my father who would keep his smoking bits and pieces in it. Now it belongs to me. In it's two drawers were some fascinating bits of history:
my grandfather's spectacles, a collar stud box made of very thin almost transparent tortoise-shell, a payslip of Dad's from 1948 (for £1:14:5 for 6.5hrs time and a half!),
a nib box and a matchstick rolling mat for 'roll-your-own' cigarettes.
I simply adored this box as a child and longed to own it and now I do.

The second item is the tablecloth underneath my box.
This cloth was made by my mother over a period of 3 decades. She had started it when I was a small child and would bring it out whenever holidaying with us at her brothers' farm on the Murray River at Goodnight (between Swan Hill and Mildura). She would sit crocheting and sunning her legs as she sat on a wicker chair on the decaying wooden verandah which overlooked a small orange grove in front of the house where we played.
Her brothers' were heard to comment, on more than one occasion. "Are you STILL making that 'Fool of a thing'?" Thus is became known as 'The fool of a thing' - and still is.