I just got off the phone with yet another charity organisation. This was for blind and deaf children. I would love to help everyone that calls. I would. How could you not WANT to help a poor child. Even a poor adult! But, you really do need to say enough sometimes. The tickets for this particular charity were $40 each. Not sure if they realise that Christmas is only 4 weeks away or not. I honestly feel that I do my bit. I do a Christmas Tree Wish Gift at Kmart/Target, sometimes both. I send some local special needs kiddies to the cinema so their parents can have a break and Hubby and I sponsor 2 children in Africa and have done for almost 10 years. I have kept every card, photo and letter that 'my other children' have sent to me, and it is a delight to see them grow up so big! I also give money every month to Mission Australia to help give the homeless kids something to work towards. I have had bad days with my kiddies, we all do, and I feel it is only by the grace of God that my child didn't feel the need to run away and live life roughly...so if I am in a fortunate enough position that I can help someone elses child who couldn't stay at home, for whatever reason...why wouldn't I? When I spoke to a young gentlemen from Mission Australia he asked me 'why do I do it', I really don't like to talk about it. Charity to me is a private thing. No big announcements about ohhhh look what we did, we even turned down a commercial from World Vision.....it is no ones business where you give, what you give or whether you give at all. Some people give charity through their time, and maybe someday I may do that too. I don't give for a song dance, I give because one day it could be me or my family..and I would take comfort in the knowledge that maybe someone out there is just quietly giving back to me. So sometimes I just feel I do my bit....so I can say no occasionally...but, oh I feel soooooo guilty when I do. But, Christmas is JUST 4 weeks away...eeeekkkkk!!
I have found since I started craft as a business that I work best under pressure. When I have insurmountable pressure I must work amaaaazingly well. This month, and until the end of October I shall find out. I have about 30 new signs to create for the website, yeah ok...not too hard, as well as participating in the TCCT swap..pffft...easy breezy so far.....I have decided to make a lap quilt for my father who turns 65 on the 10th of next month, hmmm...feeling the pinch alittle...especially as I have only drawn up a mock pattern as to what this lap quilt shall entail** I am also participating in a Christmas ornie swap with a fine group of girls from the USA and am required to make...hmm let me check.......28 identical ornies that need to be shipped off safe and sound by the end of October as well as all the lovely customers who have ordered from the website and TCCT which is due (AGAIN!!) on the 7th of October...add into the mix a home show and full time work (and so I found out 2 days ago.....school holidays....) yeah...kinda think I am out of my mind....and might be looking for some sedated accommodation come November when I hope the madness is well and truly all over!!!! Wish me luck...I just may need it!!
Have had a busy day uploading lots of new bits onto the website!! Yay!! Have been trying to find the time to do it for sooooo long and well...today was that day! Have put some Australian signs and some shaker sets onto the site...but, you can have a little sneak peak here!!!
I had an epiphany yesterday and the more I think about it, the more I AM GOING TO DO IT! What you ask? I am going to fully enclose my pergola with a mesh screen. Make it a complete indoor/outdoor room,. replace gates with proper screen doors....oh I can see it now!! Hubby was well..... a little dubious....ok...outright horrified when I told him what I...ok....HE was going to be doing. I told him I was going to buy 400ft of mesh screen for him. Now we have been told by others that out pergola is quite well....HUGE but, I just cannot help but, thinking how easy it will be even with the angled corners....and hubby....well....he can't help but, see how hard this is going to be! I have told him he has 2 months to get it done. When he picked himself up off the floor and I brushed the dust off of him, I assured him, I had alllllllll the faith in the world that he could do it easy! I come home today and mention to him that I had discussed my BIG plans at work, and he had already KINDA had a think about it today.....even had a way of getting around something I didn't know how too!! He is a clever bunny!! Of course further discussions about EXACTLY what I wanted left him on the floor again....but, I am sure he will find his way back again over the next few months!! Sure is gonna look faaaaaabulous when it's completed!! (not to mention keep the pesky flies and mosquitos away!!!)
I mean really? A whole month (and a bit) since I was in last. That's terrible!!! So much has been going on and it is really hard trying to find a new routine!! I have changed jobs, still with the same company but, am now out on the road instead of being in the office. More than a little bit daunting and extremely scary but, I love it!!! Also working more hours which is where the routine goes out! Trying to find time for crafting, family, friends of of course the house work!! Funnily enough without the crafting I have less housework to do! Why does it have to create such mess *sigh* I couldn't not craft though so that is kinda beside the point!!! Decided to have Halloween on TCCT this month as we do a Christmas in July theme and you can't have Christmas until you have Halloween!!! Means I couldn't do a 4th of July but, we all have to make sacrifice's!!! Actually managed to get 2 dolls made, I have not made any dolls, oh goodness it could have to be near on 4 if not 6 months!!! As with all things, my doll did not end up looking like it's pattern sample but, I think it is always nice to put your own touches onto things!!! Have been making oooooooodles of new signs, I have soooooo many samples here that I have decided to list them on ebay (not sure when I will find time for that lol) just to shift them, as I have so many more that I need to make up. Yes *hanging head in shame* I have been on a stencil buying frenzy!!!! Seriously! Hubby has NO idea.....not that I would ever hide it, but, well...just not flaunting it....much like buying new fabric really!!! Have decided to show you a sneak peak of one of my goodies from TCCT this month used a pattern from Aunt Manny....I just love her! If no one loves her like I do, trust me, she can stay right where she is!!!! Hubby thought she was a vulture before she took shape.....pffft boys, what do they know!!!!
This weekend has been pretty amazing...nothing in particular has happened..we had ANZAC Day yesterday which is always a firm favourite of mine (for the Internationals....ANZAC stands for the 'Australian New Zealand Army Corp' and is the day that we remember our Fallen Soldiers and thank them for the service they gave their country. Ex Servicemen (or even current) march with all their service medals and spend the day remembering. The day starts with a Dawn Service and the Last Post is played.) The weather kinda managed to hold off for them, by 1030am it was as wild as could be...it was pouring, hailing and WINDY!! A great day to sit inside by the window and do some hand sewing and watching a great movie! I have been working on a special quilt for about the past 3 years now, and I WILL have it finished this weekend....I WILL!!! (I hope!!) My brother had himself a small car accident yesterday as well.....very lucky...when the storm came through it really just hit out of the blue, and he was on a white metal road and hit a hole, slid and managed to get himself down an embankment and into a tree!! Sooo very lucky that he was not hurt at all, and infact the car was also not that badly damaged and he felt he could have driven it home IF he could have gotten it back UP the embankment. Fortunately my brother has a calm head on his shoulders and a wealth of rally car driving!!! Talking to my SIL later she said if he had hit anywhere either side of where he did and it might have been a different story! Very lucky little Potato indeed!! Today has been a little slower than I would have liked....I tend to mentally plan my day out and then end up a tad frustrated when I get distracted and don't get what I wanted to get done...done! I worked until 1am on the website this morning, just kind of got into a groove so I stayed with it...of course that has had ramifications on todays progress hahaha....oops!! Thought I would have my orders finished and boxed (but NO!) thought I would have finished the borders on my quilt (but NO!) and the washing hung out to get wet again (but NO!) and here I sit! I am actually in the process of drawing up some new Australian signs I have having made for me (which is why I am actually AT the computer!!). I get so envious of all the USA patriotic signs available so I have ALWAYS wanted something uniquely Aussie....so that is what I am doing, not what I was actually going to be doing but, oh well.....always tommorrow right!!! Enjoy your Sunday (or Saturday!!) x x me
Bev’s Quilt of Hope, as it is now known, began its long journey back in July 2008 shortly after Beverley Miller, the founder of online magazine and crafts marketplace “The Chocolate Crow Trader” lost her long battle with cancer. Although the majority of the girls involved with this quilt never met the loving, gutsy, endearing, patient and determined woman who became a big part of their lives through The Chocolate Crow Trader, their lives where much richer for having had Beverley Miller pass through them. There has been a wide range of artisans working on this project, including primitive folk artists, embroiderers and quilters. The Blocks received for the quilt were as varied as the crafts showcased on The Chocolate Crow Trader. There were traditional pieced quilt blocks, stitchery's, applique's (both hand & machine), there was lace, calico, cottonsbuttons, embellishments but most of all there was love and lots of it and as you can see all of the blocks fitted together as though the quilt designed itself even though the artisans who made them came from all corners of Australia. October Long Weekend 2008 saw the quilt blocks come together with hundreds of country toned scrappy squares and hand appliqued sashings. The individual blocks had become a quilt top which was packed up together with its backing, donated by Country Hart Designs and sent off to Bev’s home state of Tasmania where it was lovingly quilted by Leonie and Deidre of The Quilted Crow, who also donated the wadding. The Quilt of Hope then made another trip across Bass Strait back to be bound and finished off. Once it was bound and finished, a photograph of the completed quilt was sent to all the contributors before it set off on another adventure, this time to Australian Country Threads! Bev’s Quilt of Hope is to be auctioned on The Chocolate Crow Trader – the auction will on May 15th to celebrate the 5th birthday edition of the Chocolate Crow Trader and will run until July 14th. The highest bid for the day will be taken at 6pm and is being updated daily over the duration of the auction. The winner of the auction will be announced in the Xmas in July edition of The Chocolate Crow Trader, which will be updated on July 15th. The aim of Bev’s Quilt of Hope is to raise as much as possible to go to The Cancer Council of Australia in memory of Bev Miller (who did so much for the Australian Craft World) so they can continue their great work. The contributors to Bev’s Quilt of Hope were Suzanne Caruso, Emily Churchman, Treann Clark, Meg Cook, Julie Duncan, Pam Eyre, Katherine Falco, Margie Finnerty, Julie Gibbs, Robyn Larkham, Jackie Proctor, Michelle Short, Jodie Storm, Kim Warren , Leonie & Diedre of The Quilted Crow, Chris Byron and Robyn Welsh. As of the 15th of May you will be able to submit bids for the quilt throught eh TCCT website, I will put a link up on my blog when the quilt is up!
Many thanks to Robyn of Country Hart for letting me use her already written spiel!! I did have the pleasure of meeting Bev a few times, and she was a very warm lady who had such a passion for Australian crafters like you wouldn't believe!!! She ran her own business Saltbox Mercantile with the very lovely Michelle for yearrrrs and was always 2 steps ahead of the game. Anything she could do to help encourage and support other craftisans had only to be mentioned and it was done.....Bev kept her cancer battle very private.....so many of us either did not know, or did not know how bad it was for Bev......and yet she continued at the helm of TCCT until the very end. She is very much missed. Please help us raise some much needed funds for the Cancer Council, every dollar raised is a step closer to finding a cure for this dreaful disease!!!!
Have been flat out making up some more new signs......I could not help myself I had to add some Twilight ones to the mix!! A great Winnie the Pooh quote sign, some vintage adverts for the Amish, Billiards and even for Peein'!! Am going to be listing a heap of excess sign stock onto ebay today (fingers crossed!!) and will put the link up WHEN I get it done. Just trying to make some room here!! I still have alot of new ones to make up and I cannot keep them all! Can I? I am also going to be listing a HUGE amount of deleted stock from the website that I am just tired of having about the place...so why not ohhhh I don't know...sell it? So I am going to spend the day taking piccies and listing, atleast that is the plan, but, I have learnt the minute I plan for something, that is not what I will end up doing!! I will pop the link and some piccies of the newbies and a sneak peak at TCCT items in a little while. x x me
I bake on Sundays. Sometimes it is as simple as a box of mixed muffins (Hannah prefers the chocolate, Hubby prefers the Orange Poppyseed and Matthew eats anything. But, usually I bake from scratch sometimes a Lemon Slice or Melting Moments, whatever it is it is usually consumed very quickly and usually mostly by Matthew! As much as we try and stop it, well......we all know it's Matthew! Today I baked Granny's Chocolate Chip biscuits. Granny is actually my sister in law Leanne's Mother and every one calls her Granny. Her biscuits are sooooooo devine that she would usually have my children (Matthew) begging his Aunt if her Mum would make some more for them (him). Leanne even made up both children a HUGE biscuit jar full of yummmmmo biscuits as part of their Christmas gifts last year. Needless to say that it went quickly with most of Hannah's being eaten by someone else (Matthew). There are now 3 trays of biscuits cooling in the kitchen being cooled down faster than usual by someone who keeps hovering them asking "can I have one, can I have one' yep....it's Matthew!! Hahahaha...he is shaking his head and laughing in disgust at what I have written here but, cannot speak as his mouth is full of fresh HOT biscuit......bless him!! So here is the recipe for granny's chocolate chip biscuits...(and when I usually make something that tells me I should have 25 of something and end up with less than that I am suprised...no where near as suprised as I was when I ended up with nearly 50 of these babies!! Yes, a recipe that makes something that last 2 days!!!)
Grannys' chocolate chip biscuits.
1.5 cups of self raising flour .5 cups of plain flour 1 cup castor sugar .5 cup brown sugar 180 g melted butter (I use 3/4 of the stick) 80 g milk choc buds 80 g white choc buds 80 g dark choc buds (I just use 240 of milk most times) 1 egg 1 egg yolk 1 t of vailla essence
Preheat overn 180*C In large bowl mix flours, sugars, stir in butter, chocolates, eggs, and vanilla Roll into balls, flatten slightly, place about 4cm apart and bake 10-15 minutes.
YUMMMOOOO!!! Hope you enjoy them as much as we (Matthew) does!!!
PS: He did not even attempt to deny ANY of the information above!! Ahhh gotta love a growing boy!
and I am a Twilight addict. yes, I am one of those sad pathetic 'slightly older than 20 year old' woman who are HUGE Twilight fans! And while I am Team Edward allllll the way.....sometimes I think I could be Team Jasper or Team Emmett or even Team Carlisle hahahaha....tho if Jacob looks anything like his description in the next book...well I might be a little Team Jacob too!! Anywho...I defy ANYONE to NOT drool over this latest promo pic of Robert as Edward! Anyone!! Coz Lordy Lordy this man is samokin'!!!!! (and really at 25 he is not too young for me!! hahaha if only I could somehow insnare him hmmmm)
I am just devestated that I have to wait sooooooo long before I can see the next instalment! Oh well...such is life!!
I was fortunate enough recently to purchase some of the remaining stock of a business 'aquaintance' who was no longer going to be making signs. I am slowlllllly making my way through all of the new ones and now have 2 more gameboards (and the last of the lot I believe (mentally doing a tally!!) to add to the website. Now I am just going to have to list the samples that I have made up onto ebay...but, whats the hurry...I may as well keep them gathered about the place for a few more months hahahaha....anywho...here are the last 2. I will be loading these up onto the website later on during the weekend.
I had a lovely customer ask me recently about the gameboards that I have available. Sadly, I had to stop and think as I have a few of them on my family room wall but, I have never loaded them onto my website! I mean, THAT'S a great way to run a business!! So....just for you Di, here are some of gameboards that I have available, I still have 3 that I have to do as an actual gameboard. One I used about 3/4 years ago as a table top design ( I think the antique dealer would have had a stroke if she had seen what her cute little *BORING* oak table ended up looking like!!) And in my defense the other 2 designs have only been waiting 4 weeks or so for my attentions....so I guess that isn't toooooo bad!! (The notyetdone designs are of a sampler/saltbox checkers design, a JR Simms & Sons and an Americana parcheesi design). So here they are!!! Some will be on TCCT this month...or not...I have until this afternoon to decide...but, I though I might as well put up some other newbies too!!!
This one has a little wooden 'lip' all of the way around it.
This is the smallest one ((sheep and crows) at only 6 inches wide and about 16-18 inches tall
My Uncle was killed in Vietnam on the 21st of February 1967. He was just 20 years old. An armoured personnel carrier (APC) that he was travelling in accident hit a mine and while he survived the initial blast uninjured, when others when into give assistance they accidently tripped a second mine that killed some more of their group. My Uncle Richard was one of them. Nine were killed and 22 were inured. This past week we have had the honour of entertaining the remaining 4 Platoon B Company 5th Battalion RAR members during their 2009 Reunion. I have never met a nicer bunch of guys. It was an emotional week for all of us, obviously for them more so as it is always held on the aniversary of that unfortunately accident, this being the 42nd year. We had a memorial for the fallen on the Saturday (the 21st) and so many people bent over backwards to support the boys any way they could. We had the Pipe Band Major playing Amazing Grace which just sends shivers down your spine, we had a Buggler playing the Last Post, lots of different associations placed wreaths, and while this was a private Memorial those that needed to know did. The Mayor put on a lovely afternoon tea, a private quarry was opened up so they could see how limestone is quarried (the owner is also a Vietnam Vet) the local RSL bent over backwards...its was truly amazing to see! One of the Vets has truly struggled since returning from Vietnam, like many of them had. While it is not my place to share his story, Doug you were most generous and gracious person I have ever had the joy of meeting! Everybody loved him!! Even the girls behind the bar.....he asked questions and inturn was more than happy to share his stories and details about how he has come to where he is now. He was/is truly inspirational!! It was also very fortunate that one of the Veterans is now a skin specialist in Sydney, as Hannah had some rather nasty reactions to some sand flies which were just getting worse and worse! She had a five second consultation in my parents backyard (cost my Father a BBQ tea hahahaha) and one amazing tube of ointment later the infection is all gone!!! Many thanks to you, again..... Dr White!!! Another of the Veterans bought me a simpy GORGEOUS bunch of Lillies as a thank you for some of the bit and pieces I had done for their reunion.....whilst you didn't need to do that Bluey, thank you so much they are just gorgeous!! I will post some pictures to share tommorrow....time to start the evening routine!!!
Wow...time passes so quickly when you have a blog! Before I know it, it has been WEEKS since I spoke last! Where does the time go? As most people on the planet are aware by now (surely!) we have been having some HORRENDOUS fires down here. Fortunately not where I am but, there are so many people dead and homeless...it truely is just devestating to see. The temperatures have been up in the mid 40's and wind gusts of 100kms/hour. They never stood a chance!! My prayers, thoughts and excess clothing and blankets are with you all!! I guess the one positive that has come from this is just how greatly the country has pulled together...well, I should not be suprised at all, as it is the foundations that this country has been built on. Giving your neightbour a hand. The country bent over backwards to help us with Ash Wednesday, now this is the least we can do. The temperatures have cooled about the place we even had rain! We just all needed to stand out side and blow it all a little further east! But, please bear in mind that we have almost half of QLD suffering through floods too!! It is just crazy! But, a little part of me cannot help but wonder how this will affect the economic climate that is already a little wonky. Sure hoping those insurance companies do the right thing too. This is one of my favourite pictures at the moment. Just seems a little crazy that a fair majority of our plant life need the intense heat of fire to re grow!! Hoping that the weather stays cool for you all!!! x x me
Can you believe that not only are Christmas and New Year's is over but, the school holidays are too!! 6 weeks has positively flown by! I am a little sad that the kids had their first day of school today. Not only is today the first day of my baby starting high school but, it tells me I only have him for 5 more years!!! He will be off to the big city going to University before I have had more time to sniff his freshly washed apple hair!!! I enjoy having the kiddies home. Well, even though Hannah is an adult and off doing her own thing most days....I enjoy them being here. We are all the little bit more casual in the mornings, no desperate running about the place, everyone trying to make their way into the same bathroom, no panic if someone sleeps in, no hurry for the kiddies to be in bed on time. Yes, I like school holidays! Just to be clear I DON'T like washing 27 glasses a day because Matthew decides he needs a clean one each time he has ANOTHER drink....I don't enjoy deciding what we are having lunch as well as tea.....thank heavens he can make him self something...which leads me to the next point.....I don't like cleaning up the kitchen everytime some decides to make themselves their 15th meal for the day! Teenage boys.....it sure does take a lot of fuel to grow!!!! Not a lot of crafting has been done AT ALL and I have been okay with that! I have managed to keep up with the signs orders (kinnnnnda...) but, thats about it! I started cutting up strips for a log cabin laptop quilt I want to make.....trying to use up some of those scrappy bits!! I even managed to applique some of Hannahs quilt I am giving her for her 18th (hmmm wasn't that LAST year????!!!! Maybe her 21st then!!!). I have about 40 new signs to make up.......reallllly looking forward to that!!! then I have to get them loaded onto the website....maybe I should be doing that instead of this...nooooooo it's much nicer here under the aircon!!! My Uncle served and was killed in Vietnam in 1967 and his Company are having a reunion here in town next month (they come from all over the country) so I am making up a sign for all of them (thinking about another 25-30 signs!!!) but, shhhhhh don't tell them it's a suprise!!! My Dad is helping to organise it all and I won't show him either...I wanted something they could hang on their walls with their photo's, while everything else will have 2009 reunion on it, I have left it off the sign. I am so excited about doing this for them, and of course a little nervous, I hope it is well received....I guess anything done with the best of intentions should be taken that way...but, fingers crossed!!! They will never be available to anyone outside of the Company and while I am a little disappointed we couldn't use the logo (to complex to digitize) I hope the stars in the Company colours will suffice!!! Well.....guess it is time to change out of the work clothes and into the dags!!! Happy Tuesday to all!!!
Happily married to someone who still makes my heart skip a beat, he is the most supportive and patient hubby a person could have!! I have three beloveds, My sweetie Hannah who is Mother to Isobel who is just the most precious wonder *sigh* and Master Matthew who is always going to be my dear little boy even when he is not! Appleberry Farm was started by my sister in law Leanne and myself 1n April 2004 when we realised that we loved crafting so much that we had to turn it into a business! We were store front for almost 2 years, but, decided that being a business 'business' was not for us, you really don't have alot of time for sewing when you are trying to keep up with book work!! So we are a mainly online business, particpating in the occasional craft show within the regional area. I have a total love of primitive and shabby and old goodies and take great joy in turning something boring into something stained and different.