Friday, 17 April 2015

Broken plate jewellery or "shattered peices" & Autumns changing colours .

It has been such a long time since I sat here to tap out a few lines. I cant really say why, maybe it's a time thing or a lack of  inclination thing or a combination of both I suspect the latter. Whatever the reason I though it was high time I made the effort to reconnect with my blog, to make an effort to achieve one of the things that has been on my "to do" list. So here I go.
 The time seems to keep moving like a big old steam train chug chugging along at a faster than preferred pace, plans made but not achieved, seasons passing all to quickly then before you know it six or so months have passed and on looking back I ask myself, what have I done with those days, weeks, months ?. The answer...not a lot sadly. Oh I dabbled in a bit of jewellery making.

gifts for friends

Love this china
A birthday gift
These have all been made form old plates or in the case of the Orange bird, an old ginger jar was used. All were chipped or broken sadly/happily :-), I call my little creations "shattered pieces".
We are still renovating the house a slow but worth it process. This is possibly another reason for my not being proactive, my excuse and I'm sticking to it :-). Well the house and my work area is in disarray/turmoil...true, you should see it :-).

The new bathroom started

New bathroom coming along.

The wall had to be replaced for the bathroom, sookie checking to make sure all is perfect




The garden is wearing her autumn colours, leaves are falling and the shadows are longer, a time of year I love.

The fallen leaves.

Autumn colours through my window

Soon our beautiful tree will be winter bare.

Shadows of Autumn

Autumn leaves are falling
I have been working on my new website which isn't open yet so I wont bother with the link to that but you can check out my facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TheNestOfTwigs?ref=hl

All of our animal family are happily settling into the change of season, spending more time inside of an evening, we have even had the fire on a few times, temps can drop quite quickly here.
Miss Tilly, wont be long before she will be needing her winter jacket.

Little Sookie hiding behind my sewing machine, the fire was on so she was snug as a bug.

Miss Sookie.

Master Bart, top cat.

Master Bart enjoying the warmth.

This is the old man of the house, he "found" us, his name is Doc and he is about 10.

Beautiful Doc who adopted us 12 months ago.

The crab apples are ready to pick so crab apple jelly will be made, I sell it at our local general store where it has been a big hit, thankfully.
These were made a few weeks back.
So there you have it, now it's up to me to make sure I sit here and tap away for a short time every few weeks, for me and hopefully for you.
Hope you are all smiling and content.
Hugs and blessings
Chris
xox
 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Spring is sprung and the birds have....pooped in my pegbasket !

 
Wisteria over the gate, do I see a bee ?


Spring Spring Spring, love love love it !!

Whats not to love about the season of spring, the birds are all singing away in the trees, the bees are buzzing, baby animals are everywhere, life is good.

I have seen lots of sweet duck families toddling about the place, wild bunnies are hopping around, I love them but sadly the farmers do not !

But farmers or not if one bunny needs saving, I'm the lady for the job. I cant stand by and see any animal harmed, so does that mean I'm not a true " country " girl ? probably not being that I came from the coast :-) but no bunny will be harmed on my watch ha ha.
Enough about bunnies lets talk about the garden. Our Pink lady apple tree is blooming away nicely, things start slowly here because we can have a late frost all the way into October.
Pink Lady

Pink Lady buds
The peach and plum have young fruit just starting to show up, hopefully some jam will come of this crop.....if the husband doesn't get to it first :-)
Peach

Plums


We have corn planted, chilli & tomatoes, and I am going to dig through my seed box, I'm sure I have some organic sweet Annie seeds tucked away in there.

Corn seedlings

Tomato seedlings

Chilli seedlings

Sweet Annie, someplace in my seed box :-)
While we were away on a trip to the South coast my friend and I did a lot of opp shopping and tip scratching and I was lucky enough to find an old dressing table and an old bike at the tip, on the side of the road I found a lovely old swing back chair, so I have lots of chalk painting to do, I will post the pictures next time as they were put straight in the shed which is stacked to the rafters !!.

Well that's it for me this week, I will leave you with some pictures of whats blooming in the garden. Hope your long weekend was a happy one and if your footy team is in the grand final I hope they win.
Bless Bless
xoxoxox
White Iris

Isn't this sweet, just sitting near our water tank :-)
Skitty's garden RIP sweet kitty


Lilac bush


Skitty's garden under the Crab Apple tree

Lavender just blooming

water for the birds


 
 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Jam making, its a seedy business.

                  What's been cooking in my kitchen. 

3 kg of Cumquats/Kumquats.


 What do you do when your given 3 kilo of tiny little Cumquats ?? why make jam of course.
Now I have never made Cumquat jam before, I have however made orange marmalade.....which was a hit n miss affair I have to admit.
 So being that I'm living in a small country town having formally been a coast dweller ( still miss it ) I thought I had better learn and learn fast how to master the art of jam making being that I am surrounded by some heavy weights from the CWA, "Country Women's Association". So off to the computer and my best bud Google to find a recipe that works. Armed with " the best recipe" according to Google and Google knows all don't ya know !! I head to the kitchen to make jam.....

1 kilo soaking over night ( day 3 )
 Three days later and with a sore back and numb fingers, I kid you not, it took me three days ( I made 3  x 1 kilo batches ) to cut those sour, teeny tiny little suckers into teeny tiny little pieces, soak over night then spend three days watching, hovering over and nurturing this concoction of sweet sticky, golden citrus delight, made to set your morning toast n tea into a taste sensation, a perfect start to a country morning, right ?....NOT !.
  Do you think I could get that bubbling brew to set ? not on your life, how long can one pot of jam boil before "setting point" is reached ?. I followed the recipe to the T, I kept all of the tiny slippery seeds, put them in a muslin bag, soaked, measured, weighed, simmered, added the sugar at the specified time, boiled, simmered, checked, and re checked the mix on a cold saucer, but still it did not set.
 After some thought and admitting defeat off I went to the local grocery store to purchase some " Jam setter " a  little packet of pectin made to help jam set, ( I call it a miracle in a packet ) clearly never used by the CWA because the recipe I used was a CWA recommended one and it did NOT say add 1/2 a packet of Jam setter.
Well I may not be worthy of a place in the CWA but I did get that sticky batch Cumquats to set thanks to the jam setter, shhhh don't tell the CWA.
It may not win a prize at our local show, I have a lot to learn before that will happen, but I have to admit it tastes beautiful !!  

Left plain Cumquat Right Cumquat & Honey.
Now I'm no quitter, just so you know, so when your given a bag of Grapefruit, what do you do ? why you make jam of course, but not just any old grapefruit jam, no, you make Grapefruit, lemon and Carrot jam, do you think I'm getting ahead of myself ?
Grapefruit, Carrots & Lemon soaking overnight.
But this time I am armed with a little helper,( sorry Google ) a handy little book I picked up at a local opp shop called " Preserving Made Easy " no jam setter mentioned in this little bible, put out by the Dept of Agriculture ( sorry CWA ) I have a good feeling about this little gem.
The Bible.....please.
I will of course keep you up to date on my next batch of sticky yumminess, I vow to master the art of Jam making and all its secrets and hidden mysteries !!
So until next time, keep a smile on ya dial and a sticky slathering of home made jam on your morning toast.
Big hugs
Me :-)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Farewell our Fairy

The Fairy Rose.
Its taken me a month to sit down and write this post, I knew the day would come but I was not quite ready when the Angels came to call.

I lost mum on the morning of June 16th, she was not sick in the sense of the word, she was, for lack of a better word a bit vague or ( pixielated ) which was a term of endearment that we used with mum and aunty Mel ( mums sister ) from time to time, "the two pixies". Mum had been saying odd little things for a day or two which I'm told can be a sign of an infection in the elderly, but on Sunday the 15th of June, she seemed more confused and just not her old self so a call to the ambulance saw her admitted to the hospital for a thorough check and hopefully to get some fluid and antibiotics, something we have done before and within a day or two she was always back to normal. So all the test were done and the conclusion was that mum may have a possible infection in one of the ulcers on her leg, so after spending 9 hours in emergency the hospital sent her home with antibiotics.

 Now if you have read my blog in the past you would know that mum had a great dread of having to move into a full time care facility, she also had a fear of hospitals, so as my sister was pushing her out in the wheel chair, she turned to me and said " there's a sign we like to see Chrissy " my reply was " whats that Pixie " she pointed to the exit sign and with a cheeky grin said " The Exit, its nice to be escaping " which gave us all a good laugh. So on my sisters insistence we decided that both mum and I would be better staying with her for a few days until mum was feeling better, so that's where we went on Sunday night after we "escaped" the hospital. I went back to mums to grab a bag for us both while my sister and hubby settled mum into her nice warm bed, with a nice dinner of chicken and vege bake and a lovely cup of tea, she was snug and warm and as she said felt full and sleepy. So we said good night to our dear little pixie tucked her in again, checked on her a few times before going to bed and somewhere in the wee small hours I think a band of the sweetest angels you could ever wish to meet came and smuggled our Mum,Nana fairy, pixie off to a beautiful home where there is no pain from horrible leg ulcers or sadness because her little body could not do the things it so badly wanted to do, like dig in her beloved garden or walk around and look at pretty treasures in the shops.
 She is home now with her mum, dad, brother, sister, husband, best friend, and many many more loved ones who had gone before her. We are left behind to live our lives without one of the most beautiful souls that God gave life to, I will miss my sweet, funny, graceful, gentle, kind mum every day until I see her again, but I am truly blessed to have been able to spend the time I did with her and especially over the past year as her full time carer and although my heart breaks for our loss I am also so very happy for mum, as her full time room had become available in the care facility and she was to have gone in on Thursday 19th of June, so you see that band of angels knew how mum dreaded " lock up " and I can almost hear them say " it's now or never Spide " ( another nick name given to her by her dad ) so she chose to take that step that we will all have to take some day and God love her escaped " lock up " .
 Thank you mum you gave us so much and the memories I have will comfort me.
I love you sweet Pixie, I hope you are strolling in that beautiful garden that you prayed to God about every night before you closed your eyes to sleep.
God bless . xoxoxox
Molly, Spide, Nana Fairy and  our sweet Pixie.
Sweet dreams Fairy.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Time changes all things.

 
Scissors in hand ready to snip off a dead plant head, a pleasure she can no longer enjoy.


Well hello again, I am not getting the time to sit and blog, as I thought I might, for as each day passes, I see the small changes in mum, changes that mean she needs more care more often, simple things that she was capable of doing pre Christmas are now becoming harder for her, making my job a little more labor intensive. She seems no longer able  to wander far even with her walker, the pain in her hip and knees prevent that little pleasure, the medication she is on to ease the pain causes her to sleep more through the day, but less of a night, for her bed to some degree is her enemy, when she turns to find a comfy spot the pain is great and so keeps her awake, then the pressure on heels and elbows brings the new and ever present threat of pressure/bed sores, something that we just don't need, being that we are battling leg ulcers, how very sad.
 Watching a loved one or anyone age is a heart wrenching thing, I know I battle some days with missing my home and family, or repeating a spoken word over and louder for mum to hear, or the hunting for a missing pair of glasses, that all the time were sitting " just there " where she said they were not, but for the bad days there are more good days, with special memories being made, I must write the funny moments down so they are not lost forever from my memory ( note to self ).

Taken about 18 months ago with my daughter and my granddaughters.

 Mum or Molly or spide ( short for spider bum ) as her siblings and friends referred to her, is a mother to 7 children, 5 girls and 2 boys ( the spoiled ones ) as we girls like to call them, she grew up in country Australia, lost her mum at a very young age, 7 if my memory serves me, worked hard, suffered asthma and terrible varicose veins as a young woman  that worsened as a  mother.

Mum is the most gentle soul I have ever met, she is a devout Catholic, still to this day saying her Rosary each night before sleeping, and I sometimes wonder how her faith can be so strong having been handed some of life's low punches and still believing in the her " Holy Father " or " The blessed Virgin " but she picks herself up and tells herself as she has told us many times as kids growing up
 " Chin up ", and she gets on with life. 
Mum will in the coming months have to go into full time care, something she dreads, but she also knows I need to with my family, and she does not want to burden her children, she battles this every day I know, I see her quietly thinking. We have a beautiful care facility picked out, one which she has gone into for  respite, but still the permanency of the life change is frightening for her, I wish I could take that fear away from her, but I cant.

Mum and Aunty Stell ( who cared for mum and her 2 siblings when Nan died )
So for me I have decided that right here and now is where I am meant to be, I will get to make all the things I had planned to make and do all the things we had planned to do, when the time is right.
Mum on her 70th birthday, with aunty Mell in white and her best friend Daph in yellow ( both gone to God )
Mum in her 90th year
What I am doing right now is what the universe has had planned for many years I'm thinking.
 So if asked by anyone " what have you done in life that you are most proud of " I can happily say
I shared my days with my mum in the winter of her life, and I will be forever thankful. 
I love you mum, you are a treasure and I am blessed to be able to call you  my Mum. 
Mum before Christmas, she cant do this now
 
 Treasure each day :-)
xoxoxx