Sunday, 27 September 2015

Spring Bluff

My aunt and I took a little trip to Spring Bluff. It's a Queensland railway station not too far from where we live. The rail station is part of the Carnival of flowers events held in town. The weather was great for the trip with some storm clouds hanging around, but we only got a bit of rain on the way home and the rest of the day was cool with sun.

It's possible to take a steam train from town to Spring Bluff.  We drove up instead and took a wander around the place.

The rail station does a really lovely job of creating the gardens and there's a great view from the station as well.

Every flower seemed to have a bee on it. There was masses of flowers in a cottage formal style and some native plant area included as well. Overall, I really enjoyed the day trip and hope to take another visit again.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Cottage Potpourri

Cottage garden mix
1 cup dried lavender flowers
1 cup dried rose petals
1 cup dried pinks (Dianthus)
1 cup dried scented geranium leaves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried grated lemon peel
2 tbsp orris-root powder
3 drops rose oil
3 drops geranium oil
Mix ingredients together in a covers container, and set aside for six weeks. Stir daily to distribute the fragrances.

 Sweet spring floral mix
1 cup dried lavender flowers and leaves
1 cup dried rose petals and leaves
1 cup dried jasmine flowers and leaves
1 cup dried alyssum flowers
1 cup dried heliotrope flowers and leaves
1 cup of dried rosemary
3 drops of lavender oil
2 tsp orris-root powder
Mix ingredients together in a covered container, and set aside for six weeks. Stir daily to distribute the fragrances.

Orris root powder is the dried powdered root of sweet flag (Iris). Orris root is used to keep in the scent of the essentials oils which evaporate over a couple of days. You don’t need Orris root powder to keep the scent of your essential oils in your potpourri fragrances. A few suitable alternatives are suggested below:
Gum benzoin
Myrrh and Frankincense (you can crush up incense sticks or cones)
Cinnamon powder or sticks
Cumin, coriander, and angelica seeds
Vanilla pods
Oak moss
Chamomile flowers
Geranium roots                    
Sandalwood oil

(Avoid essential oil contact with textiles, wood surfaces and painted surfaces. Keep away from pets and children)

Useful link: Potpourri 101

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Warm Mediterranean Salad

Warm Mediterranean Salad


Olive oil
Crushed cloves
Egg plant thick slices
Zucchini thinly sliced
Sweet potatoes


Combine oil and garlic in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Brush vegetables with the oil mixture.

Roast hard vegetables in oven until golden. Toss in celery and capsicum/ soft vegetables towards the end of the cooking time and lightly roast them.

Serve warm with steamed kale or fresh rocket leaves. 

We served ours up with roast lamb.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Patchwork days

Spring is very definitely here! We've had some thunder storms pass through and ended up with a power black out rather late at night. I don't know about anyone else but I always notice how quiet the house is when the power is off. I'm talking about that hum that seems to be always present when the power is on. Does anyone else notice that?

I've been wandering around the garden picking a few spring flowers for potpourri and for pressing. We recently planted out some new lavender in various shades from white to a deep purple, I think the variety is called 'Princess' I'll have to check the label to be sure.

As usual I've been quiet and puttering around at home. There's been some stitching.

I also sent out a few bits of mail to old and new pen pals. Alas, this did break the aim I had of only spending $10 as one was a parcel. Oh well, I'll keep trying. 

There's been some good home cooking. But not much. The way we eat here is changing. The parents are getting older wanting less and I'm more of a grazer so we cook smaller amounts that are plain food. We had Kale with mash and sausages the other day. And what ever was left over we made into bubble n squeak the next evening for dinner. Nothing exciting.

It has just been normal days where I have been tackling a few unfinished sewing projects, getting on top of my mailing out, puttering around inside and outside. It keeps me happy though.

 I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Simple delights

 Lace edges for cross stitch 

Is it too early to be thinking of Christmas gifts? At any rate, this simple tutorial shows how I add lace to a piece of cross stitch to be added to a face washer towel.

To begin, I stitched my piece of cross stitch and then iron it. I made sure the length of Aida fabric is the same width of the towel, with a little extra for turning under at the edges.

Once stitched and ironed, I choose a piece of lace I think suits both the design of the cross stitch and the color of the towel.  I then pin the lace to the Aida fabric and sew along the lace edge.

When I finished sewing the lace, I then pinned the entire piece to the towel. You can sew the entire piece to the hand towel with a sewing machine using matching thread and a top stitch.

I didn't have matching thread so I hand sewed using back stitch and using the embroidery thread I used in the cross stitch piece which also matched the hand towel.

The edges of the piece are folded in at the end and then slip stitched close using small invisible hand stitching to match the Aida fabric. I then ironed the piece again. To finish, I added final touches of thin satin ribbon and some french knots in the middle of the lace flowers, I used the mint green thread in the design to match.  

The card, I finished up with an embroidery piece previously mentioned. I used what I had in my stash and the most expensive item would have to be the Aida fabric which comes in a packet for about $10, but I can get about half a dozen designs from the packet of fabric. The ribbon came from some tags that was on clothing my Aunt or sister gave me. The lace was from ebay which had a huge amount for about $5 and free postage I used the same lace on the card. The flat back pearls on the card came from the dollar store for about $2.  The face washer was about $2 from the cheap stores but had a nice feel to them and didn't feel or look cheap. Overall, a really cheap gift to give or keep.

There's a few mistakes in counting with the cross stitch but it is all done with love, no one will really notice. 

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.