Saturday, December 24, 2011
The kitchen and fridge are well stocked, and I went to the Barossa Farmer's Market this morning, bright and early. Got there at 735AM, only 5 minutes after open time and it was already packed. Queues to wait for picking produce at several of the stalls. I got a magnificent half side of a salmon I had pre-ordered for pick up today--it's for tomorrow's main meal, to be cooked with nicoise salad style accompaniments. Bought fresh farm eggs, local jersey milk, and freshly local roasted single origin fairtrade coffee from Barossa Roasters. Plus red and gold plum tomatos, and black tuscan kale for a stunning salad. Oh yes, can't forget Raj's hummus, whose hummus is amazing (and a big favourite of our visiting family here at the moment).
Today I made a plum vinocotto clafoutis. Made with fresh plums picked off neighbour Fab's tree, after he welcomed us to collect some plums off it. This fruit torte is going to a Christmas Eve barbeque tonight.
Ian and I wish you a wonderful holiday. Cheers !
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
|pergola structure extends from back of exterior wall behind kitchen|
pergola with roof on, looking out towards garden
It's almost Christmas and the past month has been cockatoo "season" across the street, in the large trees in the park. Not just a few birds either. Hundreds of them. Maybe 300 ? It is hard to count them. But there are definitely more than 200. And you can't miss them. They are big birds and screech very loudly. A chorus of hundreds of them makes a very loud noise. They swoop around and fly fast, from tree to tree. Many will sit in a large tree, and more keep coming until the tree branches have 80 or more cockatoos on them. Lately, the grass on the way to the sports oval in the park has been littered with white feathers. Sulphur tinged white cockatoo feathers.
The cats enjoy having some feathers to sniff and bat around too.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
You can see the pitch the roofline will have from this first picture.
Below left is a photo showing the same as above, but from a slightly different angle.
Bottom right photo shows the framing above for roofline. And that it is beginning to feel like an outdoor room.
More soon !
Friday, December 2, 2011
The new line of bags is exciting. Something I have been planning to do for ages. I did the first run of three of them, each featuring some amazing vintage textiles from the collection I have been building for years. Each bag is a bookbag style bag, and conveniently can be folded flat. Very handy for travel, I always pop a bag like this in my suitcase for a trip, so I have something to take out and about on the weekends, or tote magazines and books in the hotel, on the plane, etc. The bags have canvas straps that go over the shoulder. Each is fully lined in a charming complementary fabric and has a divided inner pocket for mobile phone, keys, etc. The front pocket is across lower front of the bag, and also is lined fully. Divided in half, and handy for stowing a small notepad or other small items.
The design I have highlighted above is called Country Strawberry. It features a fabulous (mint condition !) strawberry print motif fabric from a vintage American feedsack, probably from 1940s or 50s. And also some fadey soft blue text printed on an old flour sack. Combined with red and white check decorator fabric. Lining is red and white ticking striped, with inner pocket also of the old flour sack and cute red baby gingham trim along the edge. And the front pocket has gorgeous striped canvas taping and lovely candy pink vintage button trim. It is a happy and cheerful looking bag.
I have ordered new fabric labels for the next run of bags. Exciting !
Here is a shot of all three bags, which are now on exhibition (and available for sale) as part of the Retro Mommas show at Jacqueline Coates' Salon Rouge Gallery in Kapunda. For more info on Salon Rouge, check out http://www.salonrougegallery.com/, or check out latest news on Jacqueline's new blog http://jacquelinecoates.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I found several finds. Two fab vintage dresses, one with faded velvet ribbon trim and the other one without buttons. A great beaded vintage purse in a cornflower blue colourway that matches one of the dresses. Old timber spools I will use to wind up and hold some vintage ribbons and passementerie trims. Two vintage magazine covers with cute animals. An old cutter quilt. Same cool finds indeed.
This photo above shows some old timber boxes. Soap boxes to be precise. Now I know what it means to get off one's soapbox. They are bigger than I thought. You really could stand up on one !
Monday, October 24, 2011
Meantime, the garden is looking beautiful, though it will take another two years to get it where we truly want it. Here is a quick peek at what spring has brought us.
Stunning broccoli and broad beans. We have heaps of broccoli and have harvested some already, as shown here. Broad beans we tried a few weeks ago, but they were not yet ready. Now they are. Lovely and very tasty. Though a fair bit of work to remove from pod and then shell ! The bowl below shows them out of the pod, but before coming out of their soft shell casings.
The roses are putting on lots of buds after their big winter prune (chop ! way! back !). The early blooms are shown here, collected in a trug basket, which is perfect for harvesting flowers and veggies. Many colours and beautiful flowers. I made up a couple vases of the flowers. Multi colour and also reds+pinks shown. Also some pretty white ones called Glamis Castle, a David Austin variety I just planted this winter. Lovely big flowers, with a delicate scent.
All the roses arrangements turned out stunning and lovely. Though they had to go out on the front verandah table, to keep Winston from over enthusiastic rose grazing.
More in mid spring, when I get home from this last biz trip of the year.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Practicality says I don't need 12 or more vintage quilts. Surely 6 and a bit will do ? Bravely, I started going through the stack of them to decide which should go. It is a difficult task--they are all lovely and unique vintage pieces. I had started collecting them when I moved to Australia, maybe 2 years after coming here, most obtained online (mostly on eBay). They are mostly 1920s - 1940s era American patchworks, all with hand quilting and many also hand pieced. In fact, I used to have many more. In the course of finding ones I really was after, there were a few extras or not-quite-what-I-was-after that got acquired. So a couple years ago I let some of the least favorites go, selling them online. But I still had over a dozen that came with us on our interstate move.
|Rising Sun quilt, ca 1930s,|
pattern by Hubert ver Mehren
How to choose which to keep and which not ? I decided I would keep ones we would use and let others go. This produced a small pile of 4 or 5 that should go. I did a photo shoot of them, hanging each in sunshine on the clothes line, measuring them, and preparing to write a lovely story on each for its online auction. I wanted to research and pin down the age of one, as I recalled it was made from a 1930s pattern and I believed it was made in that era. But I wanted to find the original reference to confirm that, as such info would be good for the auction storyline.
|close up of Rising Sun quilt|
|Ocean Waves quilt, ca 1930s|
|detail of Ocean Waves yellow, reds, and pinks quilt|
|Close up of Multi colour Pinwheel quilt|
|Multi colour Pinwheel quilt, ca 1940s|
So, my decluttering effort has only be partially successful this week. But I am happy with the ones going and the ones staying. Though even the ones going give me a twinge. I hope their new home and owner like them as much as I do. Meanwhile, I am looking for other decluttering "targets". I want to keep this small collection of amazing quilts.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
We have some clucky neighbours up at the back of the garden, just over the fence. They were quiet during winter, but spring has them a lot busier (and making more egg-laying noise too). Monday early morning one of them got loose, we guess it flew over the fence, because we found its gorgeous glossy black-green feathered self wandering around our garden. Seeming like it was trying to work out how to get back home. Eventually our neighbour Amanda heard us trying to catch it to send it back over the fence...and she came over and helped catch hold of it, after we had a few rounds following/chasing it through the garden, trying to channel and corner it into an area where it could be easily grabbed.
This one is a stunning character, a silkie chicken. There is a beigey sort like this, and also this white one in the mix next door. It looks so exotic among this group, and very cute in its own way, with grey beak and vivid blue wattley jowls. Last week, Amanda brought us a dozen gorgeous eggs, saying the girls have been busy lately, laying well over a dozen eggs each day lately. I was delighted to see some pale green eggs in this box too !
Looking like omelettes on the brekkie menu tomorrow.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Maggie poses in profile in front of the framed bus rolls (pic above), now in place on the wall that was waiting to display them.
Below you can see the bus rolls hanging up, just on an adjacent wall to the window wearing its new black and white buffalo check curtains (made up by yours truly). Nice complements ! I am loving the look of the room with the crisp graphic text elements of the bus rolls on display.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I liked doing his whiskers and fur in the charcoal and smearing it a bit gave it a softness that really looks like his coat. I added some notes about how I might develop this composition. In fact, I thought I might paint this up, but have not yet. I thought of doing his fur in indigo. He is a blue cat, after all. And he revels in his blueness. But in the end, charcoal seems to suit his impromptu portrait very well. I liked this particular sketch and had it framed up, even with scribbles I had put on the page. The title of this composition is "W".
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
A trip to a local vintage store that sells consigned items got a few things out of here, including a 1928 vintage kooka stove we haven't got room to keep. We have learned has already sold, soon going to its new owner. Then a few days later we had a pick up of a number of items we donated to charity, and it felt nice to see they were happy with the items we donated, feeling sure they would go to good use. So some good decluttering flow moving....now we have a Garage Sale to do this Saturday and a number of weeks worth of eBay campaigns. At that point, the decluttering will be more manageable, but we still do have to work out a few things. Some longer term store items have gone into the rafter in-rooftop storage in Ian's shed. But we needed more space.
We have been contemplating a garden shed for a while. But had not actually started that or bought one. It was clear we need a place to stow the mower, garden things, and some building supply items, plus the bikes. But where to put it ?
Turns out one of our 4 humongous watertanks is empty. So the idea is, put a garden shed in its place. Of course, it is not the tank at either end, it is one of the middle ones. Ian thinks it used to be down by the house. So he removed it, and tied off the pipes from the others, as he will redo the pipeworks in a way he likes (and that is not running in front of the new shed). The watertanks are Big, Really Really Big. 3 metres diameter big and Ian has calculated they each hold 13,000 litres of water. Given the size, we got a 3 metre square shed kit to build in the empty space.
|The unassembled shed kit|
|Shopping for a new Dining Table, in a Salvage Yard|
So our project and adventure continues. The concrete base for the shed is being poured/laid today. We have been out looking at salvage timbers, which will be used for a new Dining Table Ian will make. And we have been doing some gardening. Planting some bare root roses and also some fruit trees. A nectarine, two varieties of lemon, and a dwarf pink lady apple called Pinkabelle. Along with the mulberry tree and hope the transplanted plum tree makes it, plus an orange in the front yard we hope for a miniature garden orchard. Joining these are some table grapes, blackberry, and raspberry vines. I am already cutting out recipes to make things with the fruit. And dreaming of warmer days :)
Sunday, July 3, 2011
First, the mantel partially unassembled and waiting in the workshop. Because of some rotten timber that needed to be replaced, he decided to take it apart to restore it, then reassemble it. I did some photographs for reference (but he did not need them, this was an easy project compared to others he has done of late !)
The fireplace without a mantel. It does have a black facshia plate covering the top of the fireplace hole. But it wants something more.
Close up of the fireplace korbel detail, after restoration and painting. It came up really nicely !
The room looks nearly complete with the mantel in place. In fact, it looks like it has always been there. Fit into the space perfectly and looking very elegant.
The trims at the baseboard got finished finally (they were waiting to be fit around the mantel, so this has been one of those things not yet done). Also, the vintage french factory clock got put up.
We have a short punch list to complete for this room. Paint the window frames and trim. Put up a curtain rod & put up curtain panels. Get the vintage bus rolls framed for the empty wall. Put up the ceiling fan/light (taking the old one down). A longer range project is to refinish the coffee table top in a black finish. The low console to right of fireplace will be redeployed and something more characterful will replace it (thinking a vintage piece we have in storage).
Below, a true before and after. Left, what we were working with, and right, our current state of progress. Looking good, very good.