Monday, May 31, 2010

Pumpkin Festival

Today we went to Goomeri, to the Pumpkin Festival.
It was awesome!
On the way, I crocheted. 
And on the way home I crocheted. 
And now I am almost finished the front of my cushion
Will be revealed soon!
We watched the street parade.  This is the winning whopper of a pumpkin!
We saw horses, stock whips, drafthorses, working dogs, bands, old cars, pumpkin pagaent princesses...
Mum and I checked out the crafty section and saw some quilts including this gorgeous hexagon quilt, which was massive and the hex's were tiny.  Now... I haven't made many quilts so I'm not really in a position to be too critical BUT I would never ever spend a trillion hours hand piecing something like this and then machine quilt it with a revolting bright green thread in a pattern that just doesn't do anything for anyone! 
Machine quilting is def the way to go, but surely a nicer colour and pattern would have been better.
Here are the cute mini pumpkin themed quilts!
We ate pumpkin scones and pumpkin pie! 
This is pumpkin pie, it was good. 
They (the CWA type ladies) were very secretive about the recipe for pumpkin pie which kind of made me mad, cause I really didn't want their exact recipe, I just wanted to know if there was a pumpkin pie recipe in the special cook book they had for sale!
Me and my BFF Kimmy and the pumpkins! 
Our super cute kids enjoying the fairy floss.
Kimmy insisted on going in the famous Pumpkin Rolling Competition and she entered herself and her son Kai.  He chickened out (actually I think he realised his Mum is nuts)  so my boy Joey stepped up to the mark. Here he is trudging up 'Policeman's Hill' to the starting line.  All 680 of them lined up ready to roll their pumpkins!
And here they are with their tagged and numbered pumpkins getting marshalled! 
 It is big business and you can be disqualified for stepping over the yellow line!
Kimmy ready to roll, she was number 367!
And she is nuts, but I love her!
Joey and me waiting patiently, he was number 162!
The view down the hill from the starting line. 
Somewhere down there at the bottom is our family dodging flying pumpkins that hit gutters and got airborne!
Joey's pumpkin went well, flying down the middle then hurtling off to the left...
...and came to rest somewhere around here.  The policeman you maybe able to just see is standing nearby to the special yellow spot that marks $1000 if your pumpkin comes to rest right on it! 
No one won the $1000 this year!
We picked up 6 pumpkins! 
They are in pretty good condition too considering they were hurtled down a bitumen road.  Actually everyone picked up pumpkins.  I thought it was a bit wasteful at first, but every single pumpkin was taken away and we have pumpkin soup in the slow cooker ready for dinner tonight!

We loved the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival and have marked it in our calendar for next year!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Organising Craft (trying hard to)

There is a million different options for doing craft/drawing/colouring here at this house. 
I am always tidying it up.  Here is the latest array of options.  (there is another small box housing all the derwent pencils in tins and oil pastels and textas as well!)
I was running out of containers- upright sides, not sloping are the best to house pencils, crayons and textas.  So I got the mod podge out and these cute scraps and made over a milo tin!
So I think I'll be doing a few more since it looks pretty good and works perfectly.  These are Joey's chubby pencils.
She is only 7 years old and she can draw.  I find  these 'sketches' scattered all over the place. 
I am pretty sure this one is a donkey.  Clever girl Lill!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Monarch Caterpillar Update

Munchie the caterpillar is growing!
He/she has more than doubled in size in 1 week and yesterday we saw him/her shed its skin!  They do this a few times as they grow but we've never actually seen it happening before.  You can see the skin behind him (look I am just going to refer to Munchie as a him ok!!)

And my 2 trusty caterpillar observers keeping a close eye on things.  You can just see Munchie on the underside of a leaf nearby to Lilly who is on the right of the picture.
p.s. like I predicted we now have a total of 8 caterpillars, in various stages of growth on this one branch of milk weed!  It is amazing how tiny the eggs are and all of a sudden if  you study the leaves closely tiny tiny caterpillars seem to appear before your eyes.  And as I also predicted, we will be needing another fresh branch to continue feeding these little guys which will in turn bring more eggs!  So as soon as Munchie turns into a chrysalis and then a butterfuly, we will put the branches back at the milk weed patch so the rest of the little caterpillars can do their thing there!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Creative Space

Colourful spotty fabric cut in 3 inch wide strips, the width of the fabric, and pressed ready to become apron ties!
The finished product.  A simple cafe style apron.
I am co-ordinating our school fete cafe this year in August.  And I decided to make a start on the prettyness of the cafe since I still have a couple of months to go.  I thought we'd all look matching and colourful in bright aprons.
I took advantage of Spotlights 20% off spots and stripes and $10 gift card to get 7 different colours in the mini dot.  I am making 7 aprons at this stage (not sure how many people we'll have at any one time on the day working, but its a good start).  And with the leftover I am making bunting to hang around the marquee in all these gorgeous colours.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lemon Butter and Paper Craft

Yesterday we had a day at home.
I made Lemon Butter using a recipe from Julie Goodwin's new book and the kids made flowers. 

They made lots of colourful flowers using cupcake cases, pipe cleaners, paddle pop sticks and crepe paper.
Lilly was testing out ways to make flowers for table centrepieces at our school Fete Cafe I am helping organise.
I think they are beautiful. 
Yummm Lemon Butter, best eaten straight from the jar!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Garden Dam Exploring

This is my newest garden.
I really like cordylines at the moment.  I got most of these from a grower up near Noosa for a good price a couple of months ago, they are doing really well. 
I also got a couple of Brom's as well, I think this one was $10, its big and so glossy and green.  You can just see my shell collection amongst the leaves.  Thats where  we dump all the shells that do not have a hole in them and we sit and fossick through them for something to do.

This weekend the kids explored the dam (thats the dam you can see, we drained it and are now in the long process of cleaning it up and filling again).  It has a little bit of water in it with water lilly's and reeds and grasses and a few stray fish and other insects.
That you can catch with a basket with rope tied to it!
They caught about 10 little guppies, 1 or 2 very important Dragonfly babies (nymphs) including one that was shedding its shell, and some very interesting water dwelling beetles.

Here we are with the catch.  The dragonfly nymph was taken to school, since that is exactly what they are studying at the moment in grade 2- the lifecycle of the dragonfly.  And the beetles and guppies got released back to the dam today after a day of study in this container!

UPDATE: Munchie the Monarch Caterpillar is powering along and has doubled in size!  There are 2 more tiny caterpillar's now in view as well and  no more eggs that we can see left on the branch.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Monarch Caterpillar's

It is that time again!
Time to watch caterpillar's change to butterfly's!
Don't worry, we look after them very well, we just watch.

There is hardly any milkweed around at the moment.  We found a small shrub of it nearby to last's year patch.  There were some tiny caterpillar's on it!  Meet "Munchie". 
After this little guy grows up and makes the transformation, we'll be putting this milkweed branch back at the milkweed patch so the other eggs and tiny caterpillars we can't see can have a chance.  And this year, I am definitely going to try to grow a patch of milkweed, you'd think that would be easy given its a weed!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Creative Space

Making pretty bunting to hang in the kitchen/dining space.
...actually, I've gone too far and made wayyyyy too much.  I don't know where I am going to hang it all, it will probably reach to Mum's house!
I enjoyed making the binding and finally am 'pro' at the binding tool- at last.
More creative spaces here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flowers, Tea towels and Cookies

Flowers by Lilly, thanks little you are so sweet!

Tea towel by Mum.  For my birthday a  bit back.

Choc chip cookies by me.  With a added 1/2 cup coconut for a different twist!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Masterchef Boy

Joey asked for an apron. 
So I finally did it today without him to measure, so I winged the whole thing and I think its pretty good.

Eating magic wands!

I put 2 little pleats in the front, might look a bit girly now but at least it allows for movement when you are 4 and cooking up a master storm!

Addicted, I tell you, they are addicted to Masterchef!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Kitchen - Before and After(Better)

Here is my kitchen BEFORE.
That is, before we bought this house, before when the 'squatters' lived here, very very before!
Actually this photo doesn't really tell the full picture.  This house was a mess, a filthy falling apart mess but we loved the land and river so we bought it and we are slowly but surely making it beautiful.

Here is my better kitchen, much much better.  Not exactly how I want it, actually probably not really even close, but better!
All we did was rip off the disgustingly filthy brown tiles with feature scene over the cooktop and retile with large white rectangular tiles standing up on the short edge.  This way we hardly had any cuts and the grout lines are only vertical so it kind of looks like glass, kind of and only cost $60 since my clever husband did the tiling himself.  I bought some new handles, long stainless straight handles keeping in mind I had to buy them to suit the holes in the cupboards.  The old 'bow' handles were silverish with black happening through the wear on them.  When we moved in here, that very day, I ripped down every stupid stinking curtain, pelment and blind!  So the curtain in the before photo is long gone as is the arch over the bench (not in pictures). 

I think it is a pretty good transformation for next to nothing in cost!
Lastly a picture of the Montville Rose by my 4 year old Joey.  Yep that's a garden gnome, got lots of them and love them!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cherry Hexagons

I started stitching these at ballet then finished off the rest at homework time yesterday.  Joey entertained himself arranging them and last night in front of the TV, I stitched them together!
Now what to do with this!


My Nanny would have turned 80 today. xxx

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What we did on Mothers Day...

We took some photos of Granma's presents after breakfast in bed.
We (me) are now addicted to making hexagons and don't know what to do with them all!  Click here to check out my gorgeous dolls quilt that Nanny made me when I was little out of scraps and hexagons.  It is very very special.
Back of the bag. 
These are all Nanny's scraps and some of the pieces were already put together.  I made some mini log cabin pieces and chopped up some more white and joined them all together to make the back piece of the bag.  Cousins and Aunties who read this will recognise some of the fabric from items that Nanny has made into beautiful items for them.  I think Nanny would be pretty happy that I am still using her fabric, esp to make something so special for my Mum who misses Nanny so much. (me too)
Inside of the bag with a special zippered pocket so Mum doesn't lose her stuff and a key loop.  Here is a link to how to make that pocket, it was easy Mum!

We tried out Mum's other gift, a tea cup bird feeder.

We admired the only flower on my Just Joey rose and admired the blue hyacinth for Mum as well.
We went to the beach, gave Granma presents, cards and chocolate.
We did my most favourite thing: collect shells. 
We had a Mothers Day photo, I love you both so much!
After lunch, we fitted in a slice of Mum's sponge, it was good as usual.
We came home, sorted shells, threaded shells and tied another string of shells and threw the ones with no hole in the shell garden.
The boys did some mowing.
We put the other teacup bird feeders in our garden to try out.
They don't match, but aren't they cute anyway.
And lastly, my little boy, found a bird ornament try it out.  Looks like a nice sturdy perch Joe boy.