Monday, February 27, 2012

Treasured Pet and New Roses

I'm a bit early for Tuesday Treasures with Melody but have a full day out and about tomorrow.
I fully did the rose post and then noticed that it was the day for the pet posts! Aghh - had to ammend the post.

Part 1.
My chosen pet is Kanga. She is 2 years old now. I got her for Christmas 2009 and not long after, the second of our two Hungarian Vizslas passed away. It was a very sad time as he was my dearest friend. Kanga helped take my mind off my loss . She was our 'Barn Cat' as we were living in the barn for the first 9 months of having her. She is 'Kanga' because she is an expert jumper, as all kittens are I suppose but she did seem to have an exceptional aptitude for it from a very early age.
She would sleep on my bed every night and wake me with a smoochy snuggle to my face in the wee small hours when she wanted a feed or a drink of milk! Scallywag!
Cute Kanga
Naughty Kanga
Rubbish Bin Kanga

Hypnotized Kanga
Best friend Kanga
Comfy Kanga

Shocked Kanga (fell in the wading pool)

Sticky Beak Kanga

Fussy Kanga

Cuddly Kanga
It took a long time for her to be fully confident wandering around our large property but now she is full of confidence and wanders far and wide. She loves to keep us company when we are gardening though and will sit in our shade as we pull weeks or plant seedlings etc. The only issue with that is Harry, our Brittany who likes nothing better than to terrorize her and chase her from one end of the place to the other. Kanga has his number though and will dive and tack back and forth from one refuge to the next so that Harry rarely catches her. We know when he has though as she is covered in yukky, sticky, spikey patches of 'pupkus' oh ICK! 
She is the first cat I have had for a long time and I am loving every minute of her company and cuteness! 
Part 2.

On Friday we took a drive - in the ghastly heat - to Warragul and a rose nursery we had heard was there. It was a small nursery with an abundance of beautiful blooms as you can imagine.
The poor proprietor was lamenting his relentless battle against the elements, the current one being the hot dry wind.
Pink Gruss en Archen - what a beauty. This one is going near my back door in the Cottage Garden.
He was a wealth of information and knowledge in all things Rosaceae. When I inquired as to whether a certain rose was a moss rose or not he quietly yet authoritatively said "Rugosa" Oh okay! Yep, he knows his onions all right - um roses I mean.
There was row upon row of wonderful flowers, colours, perfumes and forms. There were: Pots and pots of soft apricot, gigantically petaled roses that looked like silk. David Austin roses with tight spherical buds and fabulous cupped flowers with uncountable massed petals in their centres. Velvet red Hybrid Tea's. Glorious orange floribundas which glowed as though lit from within, just to list a few.
Each plant filled my mind with pictures of their potential grandeur: An arbor covered in a pretty pink climber with a scent guaranteed to lure one into the garden and make excuses to stay there all day! "Yes I'm still weeding!" and "Just checking for caterpillars."or the old favourite "Everything needed a feed." That can take hours you know, all that measuring and carting of watering cans etc.

Anyway here is what I bought: Pictures were stolen of course, apart from the last one from my old garden.
Crepuscule.  Seen here on a fence.
St Cecelia - with a Myrrh fragrance which is hypnotizing. With fruit, grapes and licorice all wrapped up and a dainty gorgeous little rose flower.
Pink Sparrieshoop - Mine does not have such defined pink on the petal edges and the centre stamens are dark pink, almost copper.
Double Delight - Just because! This one has always been my favourite. The smell is of freshly cut ripe summer fruit.
There are so many more that I want. I am working on an area which will be filled with David Austin roses and arbors supporting delicious climbers and pillar roses. This spot will be hidden down behind a hedge of conifer trees (which are still tiny puppies). I can't wait to see it all develop. I will call it my Secret Treasure Garden - in honour of my wonderful friend Melody - see what other Treasures are on show at her blog; The House on the Side of the Hill.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

It's time for another blast from the past with my Tuesday Treasures.
This time it is my Dad's treasures though, which I now own.
Firstly is Dad's piano. He loved to play the piano and I loved to listen. He loved the instrument too, as musicians do. This piano was his pride and joy.
Dad's little corner in my house.
 Music Lessons:
When I was a child Dad bought a new piano for my sister and I to learn to play on.
We had lessons once a week with a lady who lived in the next street. Her name was Miss Pinches. My goodness she was a gruff old thing, and she probably wasn't all that old really but just seemed that way to an 8 year old.
The one thing that I remember about her was the way she would beat out the time to the music I was playing, by poking me with her boney old finger in the shoulder. Ouch. I dare not say a word but gee I wanted to give her a few good pointy pokes in the shoulder. She did, at least teach me to play the piano, to a certain extent, although reading music was never my thing. I would learn a piece of music agonizingly, by reading the music, then I would play it by ear as I have done pretty well ever since.
Interestingly the other thing I remember about those lessons was her dining table on which I had to sit to do my 'theory'. It was a beautifully carved oval oak table. It had a centre pedestal base with three (or four?) feet. The pedestal and feet had ornate and beautiful carving of vines, grapes, flowers and acanthus leaves, from my young memory. Ha, what a mixture. The edge of the table was also carved; I think it was Jacobean although not sure on that. I clearly spent far too much time admiring her beautiful table and not paying attention to my crochets and quavers!
'Bro. Smithwick' or 'Bro' as this clock is now affectionately known in my family
A Stately Old Clock:
On top of the piano is my beautiful old Ansonian Clock.
On the back of the clock it reads:
Prize Medal: Paris Exposition 1878 - Eight day MONARCH strike - Ansonia Clock Company - Salesroom 11-19 Cliff Street, New York.
The Plaque on the front reads:
Presented - as a token of esteem - to PA Bro. W Smithwick by the Yarraberg Lodge *UAOD 1898
*This was the United Ancient Order of the Druids which was in its infancy in Australia in 1898.

When my mother married my father in 1949 she moved into his family  home and went from being the matron of a country Victorian hospital to being a 'housewife' as was the custom back then. She was bored rigid, needless to say. She cleaned the house to within an inch of its life and discovered this old clock in the process. It was tucked away in the back of a cupboard, wrapped in a sheet. She liberated the poor old boy. He had been painted black! Oh Horror!! so she went to work sanding and sanding until every trace of the ghastly black was gone. Then she, oh so carefully, re-varnished him. Every bit of him is still original, including the beautifully etched glass insert in the door.

Every since I was a little girl this clock was very special to me. I would watch Dad lovingly wind it each week. First he would wind the clock, then he would wind the chime. We lived in a small house but our sleep was never disturbed by the chiming of the clock through the night. He had promised me quite some time before he died that the clock was mine after he passed away. He would tease me every now and then, when I went to visit, and say that he had sold the clock or given it away. My shocked reaction was always welcomed with a laugh. It was a game we played out many times and still warms my heart to remember it.
Apart from needing it's pendulum rebalanced the dear old fellow is still in perfect working order.

Dad went bald very early in life, in fact he returned from active service in New Guinea without his hair! A shock to his mother I'm sure. Hats were part of his everyday life. He wore a hat in the yard, down the street, to the cricket and football, to school (he was a teacher after the war) and to church.
The hallstand had one of his hats on every hook. When he died I took two of his hats, his cricket hat, which has since deteriorated and his best hat which still rests on his precious piano with his clock.
One of Dad's hats and Dad and Edward.
And a Dog:
This picture shows my Dad with his old friend Edward. They were best buddies and special treasures to each other.

Please join Melody at The House on the Side of the Hill for more Tuesday Treasures

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A New Bag

I desperately needed a new bag. Heavy and non-capacious bags were the bain of my life. But I wanted something funky. The shops are full of bags and gee are they ever boring! So ... I went to my very favourite online fabric shop (The Fat Quarter Shop) and chose some lovely dragonfly fabric - YES I did - but then I couldn't find a matching contrast that I thought would be appropriate for the bag bottom and handles - so I chose a floral fabric and then discovered this gorgeous scooters fabric which matched the floral - Woohoo - I just love it.
My new 'Scooters' bag. I love the print
I had to wait a couple of weeks for the fabric to arrive from Texas, (I think) No worries, I had to find a suitable pattern anyway.
Just before the fabric arrived I went to the local patchwork shop, (somewhat pessimistically) to look for a bag pattern for me and see if they had a Moon Shine Designs Backpack pattern that my granddaughter wanted me to make for her. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that they had the exact backpack pattern I was after. Then, to complete this serendipitous event, I saw MY bag made up on a shelf. It was the perfect bag pattern for me. It is big, lightweight,  has handles as long or short as you wish them to be, is easy open with a spring loaded closure - no zippers or pesky flaps or open top for light fingers to dive into. It's carpet bag shape make it self supporting and it was just so easy to make! That was a real bonus.
Self supporting, easy open and very light on the shoulder
Anyway I dashed home with my pattern and found that while I was gone the postman had been and dropped a parcel card for me to collect my FABRIC from the Post Office. Oh poo, I had just missed him.  I turned the car around and sped off to the Post Office. When I got there the lady told me, very politely, that I had beaten the parcel there. They postman hadn't even dropped it there yet, he was still doing his rounds. It said this very clearly on the the card, which I hadn't read due to my excitement. I had to go back in an hour or so - which I did, of course.

Monica Poole is the designer and I can highly recommend her patterns. I'm a bit of a dummy with figuring out written patterns. This one was so easy to follow and execute with lots of diagrams and the finished product looks so professional.

Super easy pattern
So, there it is and I am absolutely rapt. It is so cute and perfect for me and unique and I just love it.
I have no affiliation with Fat Quarter Shop or Moon Shine Designs, financial or otherwise and have put in the links for your convenience.  I hope you enjoy the browse.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

For the Cat Lovers!

This is my sewing table - Which, incidentally I am working on today. I have a spot right on the end out of camera. Pardon? Cramped? No no no  - Plenty of room. Anyway that's not the point. Later today Bailey goes home. He has really made himself at home and loves to be wherever I am. Thanks to him I have had to stay in the house today and this, in turn has inspired me to make my new bag. I will show you that soon.
Now, apparently the job of interfacing supervisor had a vacancy and Bailey, despite his tender age, took up the initiative and assumed the post. Unfortunately just prior to his first shift he found himself faced with a bowl full of Tender Tasty Turkey Casserole!! Oh goodness, he didn't have a hope of resisting it. He polished off the whole lot. He then took a bath, chased a couple of irresistible white butterflies, which were out on the nastursiums, and then went to work in the salt-mine which is - my sewing room.
The result was inevitable. He wandered around the room a few times with his eyelids drooping. He made a vain attempt to look interested in the white butterflies outside the window, chewed on a fabulously fluffy piece of batting and even played peek-a-boo through the tube of interfacing BUT all to no avail.
The weight of his satisfied tum and his brain full of wistful white butterflies sent him off into a blissful slumber. Fluttering eyelids, flicking tail tip and his tongue in 'mid-lick' testament to his happy state.
Can I please come back as a cat?!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Putty-Tat Wednesday!

Some pics I hope will make you smile:
Kanga - reee-lax-ing on the couch - Lurvin' that afternoon sunshine
Hahaha - South end of Kanga - Not sure if she was balancing like this or got comfy too fast to bring her leg around.
Cat - Sitting  
I must mention that Kanga said some very unladylike words when she saw Bailey in HER house. I was a little worried for Bailey's tender ears but he was far too busy investigating and exploring to worry about her rather unpleasant tone.
Bailey is a  6/12 Scottish Short Hair - Ginger point, I think. At this point he is unaware of the camera.
You now have my attention! How's this pose?
I'm getting a little tired. You got enough pics yet?
I'm over it! Go away.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

I dedicate this post to my Valentine treasures - my Darling Husband and my Precious Mum & Dad
Lovely Silver Old and New
I was wearing my fingers down to the shiny bones today polishing these lovely treasures and thought you may like to see them.

My Dressing Table Pretties
I will start with the silver Shoe Button Hook in the centre.
(If you click on the picture you should be able to see it closer and more clearly)
I came across this in my mother's things. I presume it belonged to one of my Grandmothers. It is quite beautiful with printing on the shaft 'Steel English Made' and hallmarks on the silver handle. How fabulous to think that one of these ladies used this to do up her shoes every day. What a job! Thank goodness for pumps and joggers I say! Although there is certainly a delightful charm in button-up boots, lacy bloomers and silk petticoats.

Gramma's Mirror
When my Grandmother, Frances Ethel Ruby (Ettie as she was known - or Gramma to me) died in 1963 I was 9 years old. I was utterly devastated at losing her and still remember the day so well. One of the items she owned was this beautiful silver hand mirror. It rested on her wonderful oak bureau which had inlaid ovals of blue stone behind the hinged pull handles. I would sit on the silk Eiderdown on her bed (she slept in our bungalow) and admire her lovely old items including this old mirror. I don't know when she got it but presume it was when she was married in 1910. My aunt took possession of the mirror and when she died in 1983 it was given to me. I cherish it. I love to think that Gramma used it every day for all of those years to adjust her hair, make up her face or check the back of her dress. There are 5 Angels pressed into the silver. It is still in pretty good condition although the mirror is slightly marked around the edges.
My Anniversary Box
When I was visiting my sister in Brisbane 16 years ago we saw this beautiful jewellery box when out shopping. I was so excited to see something that matched Gramma's mirror. Our 22nd wedding anniversary was nigh so I 'suggested' to DH that he may like to buy it for me. When we got back home we went into the city to DJ's and fortunately they had it there. The top is pressed silver, just like the mirror and although it was a tad over budget it came home with us.
These items span so many years - The boot button hook is over 120 years old - The mirror is around 100 years old and the box is a mere pup at 16 years old. I feel so privileged to be the temporary custodian of these beautiful items
Please join Melody for more Tuesday Treasures this Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Roses and some Wonderful Favourites

The weather report said a chance of gi-normous hail - So I dashed out and picked as many roses as I could. It hasn't hailed yet - and probably wont but that's okay. I have this jug full of most glorious roses to spend the weekend with.
Centre: Leonardo DaVinci - Yellow: Freisia - Cream left: Dianna Princess of Wales - Cream with pink edges top right: Athena - Red Centre top: Oklahoma
Centre top: Oklahoma - Centre bottom: Maurice Utrillo, a spectacular Delbard Painted Rose
Looking so good on my old friend
My Dressing Table
At last my much loved Dressing Table is back where it belongs, in my room. We bought it some years ago at a second-hand shop in Warrandyte. It is so good to have it back in my room after being in storage since our move.
Rocking Horse
(Now I'm fully digressing around my room. Once I got the camera going I couldn't stop photographing my favourite bits and pieces.)
This dear little rocking horse was made by my friend Jacquie and her husband. It looks lovely with teddy bears or large dolls riding on its back. Jacquie is now a bead artist. Her work is amazing!
Armani Lady
This is my1973 'Florence', Armani figurine named 'Young lady with Yorkshire'. Mine was made in 1993 and was signed by the artist in 2001 when he came to Australia and visited the shop where I bought my lovely lady. I hope to buy a matching piece sometime this year. Oh boy that is going to be a long shopping trip as I try to decide which one is to keep my 'Young lady' company.
She sits on one of the glass shelves in my room which will one day be behind glass doors - (patience is a virtue)
I hope you have had a lovely weekend .. mine has been a bit lazy .. Back to work tomorrow - maybe ;o)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Friend.

Today is my dear friend Melody's Birthday!
Happy Birthday to You!
Melody and I have been friends for about 13 years and I'm so glad she is in my life.
Here is a photo of us a couple of years back at our sewing group Christmas Breakup. Melody is the one NOT being an idiot!
We have so much fun when we get together. This usually takes place at restaurants for lunch time catch-ups (with our other lovely friend Jacquie). I feel somewhat sorry for the other patrons who have chosen the same day as ours for their lunches. We are, perhaps, just a weeny tad loud'ish. It must be said that Melody is undoubtedly the BEST story teller of all time. She reminds me of Billy Connelly in being able to make the mundane hysterically funny and anything further up the funny meter has us crying with laughter. It's a wonder we don't get screaming indigestion after our lunches. But we don't. What we do get is just pure joy from her infectious smile, naughty giggles and never ending supply of fabulous stories.
I'm getting my next fix very soon as we get together for the first time this year, and I can't wait.

The other thing about Melody is how she shows genuine enthusiasm and encouragement about any project you may be doing or meagre talent or ability you may have. Whatever sewing project I have ever shown her has been praised profusely. This encouragement is so appreciated and inspiring.

One such project, which I unearthed today, is this little stitchery I did many years ago. It was tucked away with all the pictures taken down off the walls of our other house. I remember being a little dissatisfied with this design but Mel told me it was beautiful so I finished it and although not perfect I am very glad that I did. It is framed and will go up on the new walls.

I'm no artist but I was happy with this little cottage design stitchery. The colours are a little washed out in the pic.
Dear Mel - Have a super, fantastic birthday - see you at Warrandyte!