Friday, January 28, 2011

The rag rug

One of the things I want to do this year is finish a rag rug. I have admired them for a long time and always had it pegged for a 'one day' project (same basket as a hexagon quilt).
I have been plaiting for a while. I cut up strips of old clothes, old sheets and some fabric that I realised I would never sew with. I am sticking with a bit of a colour scheme for this one (yes, I think there will be more). 
I started sewing the plait together the other day. Hmm, maybe I was a bit premature in suggesting there will be more- or maybe my 'rug' will turn out the size of a placement. 
Or maybe the whole project will calm me down and help me learn to meditate, enjoy the see, that sewing bit is going to be quite repetitive.
Ooooh, but the end result will be rather lovely I think.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy as a pig in mud

These little guys arrived at our place on the weekend

They are so cute, you can't see from the photos just how small they are, but they are very funny and lovely. We are going to give them a very happy life- just look at their playground. They can play hide and seek the grass is so long, they have a mud hole and a 'piggy shelter' as sleeping quarters.
And, as we are raising these pigs for meat, we will give them a 'good death' too...
Onto other bits of the farm...
Some of the stone fruit is rotting really quickly after we pick it because of the humidity this year. But not these heroes.

Licola blood plums. I think blood plums are my favourite stone fruit, it's a toss up with white peaches. Mr A's favourite are the green gauge plum, but they aren't ready yet.

The blackberries are still going crazy. It would be easier to think about jamming them if it wasn't so hot. At the moment, we are freezing them to add to baking or milkshakes when they are no longer in season (and eating them fresh)

We appreciate the fruit and vegies (and the farmer!), and are thankful that we are not flood affected. Are thinking of those who are. 
Farming. There are a lot of ups and downs. Last year we copped it with one day of hail which really put a massive dent in our fruit tree season, and recently we have been threatened by locusts and water. 
I heard a discussion on the radio about people having to come to terms with blemished fruit- I tell you what guys, if you did a blindfolded taste test of our fruit versus 'perfect looking' shop fruit, I would confidently bet that 'home grown' fruit would win every time (many of our varieties aren't commercial because they don't store well or look beautiful but taste- oh my goodness- does not compare, so good!)
Phew, now I feel like I have got a bit passionate and 'het up' let me change the subject.

My friend Del said I haven't posted much about my sewing on the blog lately. Is there where I confess that my sewing machine has not been out once since I have been back. I have cut a dress out and it's patiently waiting to be sewn. But today, it's all about smashing tiles and plates for mosaic tiles, at our place...yep, still school holidays in this neck of the woods!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The wonder of pomegranates and a winner...

I love the idea of an 'edible' garden. Pomegranates are a great example of where productive food plants and 'ornamentals' meet. These are so good looking!
Thanks to those of you who entered the giveaway.
I used the random number generator thingo which chose comment number 6 the winner, which means, Karen wins Corinne's book. Hooray for you Karen!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Art Room

Before I go on, see that button on the right- the pink umbrella- well, crafty bloggers are pulling it together, coordinated by Toni, to raise funds for the Queensland flood appeal. 
On the weekend, Toni will be putting up a final list of participants in the action- people are donating things left, right and centre for auctions and 'raffles'- there are heaps, so go and have a poke around.

Now, about that 'art room', well it was my kitchen actually.
We got out the paints, the canvases, a bit of fabric, the brushes, the bubble wrap and Kelly Rae Roberts book for guidance and played...

This is what I came up with. The fish I made a long time ago using cooked salt dough. Why I still have it, I don't know, but it came in useful. The process was really fun, and I don't mind my 'end product'.
I don't know about the colour of the fish- I wish the photo showed it better, it's quite shimmery and has this bronze kind of embossing powder on it. 
I ripped the fabric (cotton voile), scrunched it up and saturated it with pva glue and plonked it on and kind of manipulated it around, then added a bit of paint when it was a bit drier.

The fish has no eye. I am abit nervous about doing eyes...
The background is some of the fantastic lavender I harvested last week.

I think this contributes to numbers 11, 15 and 21 on the list. So that's a bonus!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

List action- and a giveaway

As per number 27 on the list, these are off to the op shop. I love them but don't need to hang on to them. I have a wonderful local library if I need to access them. These books are better for my mental health if they are not cluttering up my bookshelf. And, I don't feel too silly saying that because lots of people said they 'got' my list 
and this is off to one of you, if you are interested-
It was great- and slightly scary, funny but helpful. I have read it and am ready to pass it on. 
Leave a comment if you want it and I will do a random number thingamy to chose a winner on Sunday 16th. This one is just for people living in Australia- besides anything else, if does contain daggy Australian references! I think Corinne Grant is around my age (I am 38) because I understood and laughed and cringed at her fashion references and many other experiences (she's a northern Victorian girl who took off to Melbourne as well- except I came back!).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The list

The list- in no particular order
It's not a list of resolutions, I don't like them, because if I don't do them I am mean to myself and that's not pleasant. This is a 'things to do' list which I really enjoyed thinking about and I could probably add loads of things to, but it will do for now. Things I aspire to, or ways I want to be. 

(There are other players who have inspired me with their lists, you'll find them at Tinniegirls place by clicking on the link above)
  1. look into peoples eyes when I am talking to them- not in a creepy way, just give my attention
  2. go outside more often
  3. put things back where they belong after I have finished with them (hmm, be tidier)
  4. finish my sentences (I tend to drift off, forgetting that there is a listener involved who can't necessarily read my thoughts)
  5. swim in the ocean. Swim anywhere, actually, but the ocean is always great.
  6. walk 10km all in one go
  7. ride the Beechworth- Bright rail trail with our friends.
  8. read a book every month (at least), and stretch myself in my choices of book
  9. make an effort to spend time with my friends
  10. practice being in the present- be mindful- no need to drift off
  11. do something creative everyday
  12. make yoghurt instead of buying it
  13. write (and don't forget to post)  letters regularly
  14. have more hand made Christmas decorations than store bought
  15. play with my children
  16. cook with my children
  17. listen to music- always enjoy it when I do, just forget to put it on
  18. smile and laugh- a lot
  19. take more photos (see number 3. give the camera a home so I can always find it!)
  20. write a tutorial for my blog
  21. make some collages
  22. make mosaic steps for my garden
  23. start a hexagon quilt
  24. finish a rag rug
  25. exercise at least three times a week
  26. go to bed earlier and get up earlier
  27. own less books at the end of the year than at the start of the year
  28. use fresh herbs in my cooking
  29. eat seasonally from the garden and don't whinge about having a hankering for broccoli or asparagus when it's not time!
  30. grow tulips
  31. sew some clothing for me
  32. keep a 'thoughts to get back to' note book. And get back to them.
  33. spend less time on the computer...
  34. attend the newly initiated 'first Sunday book club' with Mr. Apple (it's only us two!)
  35. Generally make time for, prioritise and nurture my close relationships
  36. drink more water
  37. do regular stretching or yoga
  38. chuck stuff that I do not love or use out
  39. keep a journal
  40. take the children to the snow
  41. go camping
  42. spend some time in silence each day
  43. eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full
  44. be generous
  45. contribute to my community
  46. be brave
I am adding these to here because they like lists too!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sweet as apple pie (if I may say so myself)

It was about 1975- I was 3 and I might just have been at my cutest! How about my older brother- in his matching mauve outfit including floral tie, white shoes and socks. 
Gorgeous- and probably a good thing he doesn't read my blog or I might get in trouble!
What was the go with matching- come on, 'fess up- do any of you who are mothers do it?

Still going okay on the crafty thing each day and yesterdays challenge involved old photos which led me to my parents house and to these treasures... 
Hand knits and home made jeans. 
I wonder what my daughter will be saying in 35 years about the absolutely fabulous and very funky 'homemade clothes' I am currently providing her to wear. 
She'll probably just marvel at how cute she was (and perhaps question my taste!).
So pleased that ric rac made an appearance.

Yes, I had very little, very short, very fine, very blonde hair and some suggested I looked like a boy. And, yes, he is my brother by birth with the very same parents, and people often say Junior Apple looks quite like him. Genetics can be fascinating!

Monday, January 3, 2011


It's that time of the year again...
Destination currently unknown- jam, dried, bottled? A fair share will be eaten fresh but there are a lot more coming, and other stone fruit as well, like these nectarines.

These onions and garlic are just the tip of the vegie iceberg. 

Harvest time. Life is good. Thanks Vegie garden man, Mr. Apple (that's one of my ways of saying I am crap at the garden- I am often great at the cooking/ preserving end though!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Best wishes and high hopes

That's best wishes to you for a really fun and fulfilling 2011. 
I really like the start of a new year, it feels like a clean slate to me- full of potential.
I have read many a conversation about inspiration, copying, influence etc in the crafty world. 
What's original, what's flogging someone else's bright idea, what is being inspired? 
I am a bit of a crafty dabbler and when I was in America I met Kelly Rae Roberts' work for the first time and was quite drawn to it and have since purchased this book
It's interesting and thoughtful and probably what I am up to right now. 
Getting to the core; of me, of my craft, of the connection between the two. 
There are a lot of words and thoughts- I like words and thoughts. 
As well as this she shows how to do stuff (techniques). I think she is generous with sharing this stuff- there are several contributors who also share their tips and techniques. 
I never use paint in my craft and like the idea of having 'instructions/ suggestions' for what to do with it and how to get certain effects. I am looking forward to getting dirty with paint! I am looking forward to paint and fabric combinations. 

And, on the first day of the year, full of hope and desiring some rhythm I am also planning to do this in 2011.
Another book I bought in America (I did ask why, as I was trying to stuff everything into my case to come home!). 
It has a different activity for each day with some routine- like, Mondays is always a journalling activity, one day is about found objects, one day is about personal history, one day is an un-crafty thing (which they say much more eloquently but I don't have the book here to help me out).

So I am looking forward to thinking (and not thinking just crafting) as I discover more of what I like and am drawn too, what stresses me out rather than fizzles me in a happy way (you know, when you are crafting and loving it and getting energy from it). What makes me feel like it's teaching me patience, perseverance and stretching me. The core. 

Last night I went to our local New Year's Eve carnival and visited a small, rural art gallery/ space/ collective that has just opened in my town (well, I don't live in a town, but the closest town). I had a great conversation with a bloke (who is one of the drivers of the project) about art and crafts, community building, intergenerational opportunities through art and craft, health etc. 
It got me going, I tell you. I love that stuff! 
And I found out that my small town is going to have some pretty cool creative workshops this year and monthly live music. Nice one. 
Hooray for local community minded people who have energy to share and put into these kind of projects.
Here's to a great one, I hope you have high hopes for 2011 as well.

By the wayI liked Kelly's post about what's okay and not okay about replicating her artwork- see it here (didn't tell you till the end so you would keep reading about me!)