Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sew Good....

The last couple of days has seen me spending some quality time with a good friend.... First we sewed Miss Millie a new little peasant style top (very similar to this dress) using some super cute mushroom fabric I picked up from this great on-line shop for under $2....
Then we worked on some little skirts...
I'm so lucky that my good friend is also awesome at embroidery, she made these size labels for my new skirts in next to no time.....
Very simple but straight to the point, what do you think???
Here's another little skirt that we made but if you look closely you'll see that the black label is in a different spot.... I'm still unsure as to where it looks better, down the bottom or in the middle, what do you think???
(another size label pic)

So as you can see it's been 'SEW GOOD' catching up with my friend, I really have been missing her... *wink*

Take Care..... Jodie..... :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ripe for the Pickin'.....

This morning while hanging out the washing with little Millie we discovered something.Just around the corner from the clothes line is our grape vine and today the fruit was just ripe enough for the pickin' so Millie decided to help herself.........
I have visions of yummy pint sized jars filled with purple grape jam in the not too distant future.... Yum-mo!!!! That's only if we don't eat them all first... :)
I battled the heat for a little while today, that was until it reached 42'C, and made a start on waxing an old table I bought at a clearing sale 12 months ago for $5....
The wax I'm using is a black one which I bought from here for $14, 1 tub will do 2 tables. It really helps to make all of the age marks caused by the years of wear and tear look extra rustic... I can't wait to finish this table as I have another one waiting in the wings for a bit of TLC too.
Do you have loads of kitchen appliances???? I do and they all usually live stacked away in a cupboard. I love using all of them but hate having to drag them out every-time I want to use them....
Once I'm finished 'waxing' my 2 tables they'll be destined for my pantry (my pantry is absolutely huge, the size of a normal kitchen), here they'll serve as utility benches. I'll then be able to have all of my gadgets out and ready to be used whenever the urge strikes, YIPPEE!!!!!
Here's hoping you're staying cool where you are today...
Take Care.... Jodie....... :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Yo-Yo Fun....

While sorting through my every growing scrap pile this morning I decided to give my new super cute heart shaped yo-yo maker a go... I whipped up a couple of yo-yo's in no time thanks to my handy little gadget and then turned them into hair pins for the girls......
A cute red checked one for Little Millie
And a bright yellow one for Miss Connie....
These little heart shaped yo-yo's are so addictive, I can see quite a bit of my scrap pile being eaten up by them in the very near future...
Do you have a scrap pile??? If so how do you keep it organised??? Mine is an absolute MESS and needs a real overhaul so any advice that you have would be great....


Take Care..... Jodie....... :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Daddy's Girl....

This week saw Brad (my DH) start a new chapter in his life.... You see we own a 37,000 acre sheep station which we run merinos on (we also do a bit of cropping on the side)....
Having bought the station ourselves just over 3 years ago Brad and I had to take extra work to help pay the farm mortgage. After having bub # 2 12 months ago I gave up my job. I now stay home and take care of the girls as well as help out on the farm where I can. Brad continued to work full-time as a manager of an Earth-moving Company that was until this week. Well, to cut a long story short we no longer need that 'extra income' so Brad will now be staying home to run the farm....
(doing a boundary run)
One little girl in particular is extra, extra, super excited about this new adventure her Daddy has taken and just can't let him out of her site....
(letting the working dogs out for a run)
She's always been a 'Daddy's Girl' even though her time spent with him has been short in between his long working hours....
(having a chat while re-fueling)
But now they are making up for lost time and savouring every minute of it.....
(a quick smile for the camera)
What perfect timing for this Mumma, just when she got a phone call from another local business wanting to stock her preserves, things really are looking up for our family this year!!! How are things going for you and yours???

Take Care..... Jodie..... :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Preserving....

I've been making pickles like a made woman of late, trying to use up my abundance of home grown produce... This morning saw me trying to put a bit of a twist on some old favourites.... The 2 jars on the left are 'Spicy Pickled Heirloom Cucumber' and the 2 jars on the right are 'Crystal Apple Cucumber Relish'.... I have a taste testing this evening with my sister in town and if all goes well these 2 'new' varieties will be hitting the shelves at 'Country Simplicity'...... Which one would you like to taste??? I'll pop the recipe up on my blog for the most popular one according to your comments....

As promised here is the free washer pattern that I gave a sneak peak to in my last post....
'Vintage Lace Washer'

Using 4mm knitting needles and 8ply cotton cast on 41sts. Knit 5 rows.

Row 1 - K4 *K1, YO, K2, sl1, K2tog, psso, K2, YO* (rep from * to * until 5 sts remain) K5.

Row 2 (and alt rows) - K4, Purl to last 4 sts, K4.

Row 3 - K4, *K1, YO, K2, K3Tog(purlwise), K2, YO* (rep from * to * until 5 sts remain) K5.

Rep rows 1-4 a total of 10 times.

Knit 5 rows and cast off. Weave in ends and if you like, make a tag for hanging using one of your ends by crocheting 12 chain then slipping back into first chain to create loop..

I'd love to hear any feed back on this pattern from those that are willing to give it a try... The one that I made in the pic is not blocked, blocking will help to make a squarer looking cloth...

Take Care...... Jodie...... :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Something Different....

I've been working on some square washers for a change and am really loving incorporating some old 'vintage' lace stitches into them.... This one is for a special someone that we visited while away over Xmas....
I'll post a full pic and the free pattern as soon as I know she has received it. I really want it to be a surprise and I have a feeling that after my visit she might now read my blog, *wink*
The garden has been producing prolific amounts of produce lately which is a real surprise... You see, the heat has been atroshish and I would of thought for sure that the majority of my plants would curl up and die in protest to the heat.... Boy was/am I wrong!!! I get a haul like the one below every 2nd day, now is that awesome or what??? How is your veggie plot doing with all of the heat????
Yesterday saw me drop my first batch of preserves off for sale in town, 56 jars to be exact... I can't begin to explain just how excited I am about this new little venture in my life. I love to cook and now I get a chance to share a little bit of that with everyone through my range of 'seasonal' preserves. So if you're ever calling through Cobar please do pop in and say 'hi' to Jacqui from 'Country Simplicity'. She's a real sweetie and her shop is a divine mix of incredibly gorgeous things, and if you look extra close you might just see a little bit of 'Jellywares' in there too.....
Take Care..... Jodie......

Monday, January 11, 2010

Scorcher.........

You can tell it's going to be a scorcher of a day when at 8:45am the temps have already reached 39'C... So after starting my day extra early this morning my outside jobs of mowing the lawn, tending to the chooks and bringing in the washing are thankfully done. I can now retire to the coolness of the house before the temps increase any more. Yesterday was a horrific 49.6'C here at the homestead and today is predicted to be the same, crazy I know!!!!!
Yesterday saw me harvesting yet another batch of green squash and baby zucchini (there's also some heirloom and apple cucumber in the pic, to the right). This lot was turned into zucchini and squash relish last night...
This relish is delicious and tastes a lot like mustard pickles..... It has a sweet tangy flavour that is divine with corned meat (silver-side)...
I also managed to make another one of Dana's little skirts last night for Miss Connie using an old white cotton sheet and some leftover festive fabric...
I love this little tutorial of Dana's it makes up so quick, I think the gathered pocket is my most favourite part, it's just perfect for my 3yr old to put all of her little treasures in throughout the day...
I hope you are keeping cool where you are today.....
Take Care..... Jodie..... :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy B'day Millie Rose.....

Today my littlest baby turned 1.... It feels like only yesterday that we bought her home from the hospital.....
(Millie a couple of days old)
This past year has been a roller-coaster of a ride and we've loved every minute of it... You're a super special sister to Miss Connie and a sweet little angel (most of the time) for Mummy and Daddy...
(Millie at 6 months old)
Our days would not be the same without that little ray of sunshine that you bring to each and every one of them....... We love you very much Mil-Mil, Happy B'day!!!!
(Millie today at her cousins house for afternoon tea)
Now what would a b'day be with out a bit of crafting, right??? So I whipped up a little Summer shrug in some bendigo cotton last night for the b'day girl (pattern particulars coming soon).... As well as a couple of my new dresses in size 0 yesterday afternoon (other dresses similar are now available in my shop)... Both dresses are being modeled by the b'day girl herself....
Well, in a fashion anyway... LOL!!!!
Take Care...... Jodie...... :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Additions...

With the new year there comes some new additions to 'Darling Downs'.... One of my laying hens went clucky about 3 weeks ago on 6 eggs. After checking on her yesterday I found 2 little chicks already hatched and a few more with cracked shells just waiting to come out....
After my devastation with the Fox a little while back this really was a blessing....

Take Care..... Jodie.....

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!!

This year was my first ever Xmas in my own home... I usually travel and spend Xmas with extended family but this year we stayed put!!! We had such a great day and then on boxing day we packed up the car and headed down south to visit family and friends for a week.... I made loads of little hampers that were dropped off along the way....
With the most favourite thing of all being my 'cinnamon butter' shortbread (which is just the shortbread recipe from the last post with a generous teaspoon of ground cinnamon and an extra 2 Tablespoons of butter added to the butter mixture and then topped with a cinnamon sugar before baking...) YUMMO!!!
As part of Connie's Xmas pressy this year I made her some of these cute little skirts... They were inspired by this great tutorial by Dana.... This woman is a geneous!!! She makes the most amazing clothes and if you haven't checked her out you really should... *^_^*
For Brad for Xmas this year we bought a truck.... This is going to make it so much easier to take our livestock to market in the new year and hopefully, just maybe, we might be able to transport a few other peoples stock as well in our spare time to earn a little extra money...
Now, while I was away the gardening God's really were shinning on my little garden... :)
I pulled all of the ripe veggies off before we left and then when I returned home after 6 days I had a bumper crop of cucumbers, zucchini and squash waiting for me....

(I'll pop some more pics on my pore neglected gardening blog sometime today for those interested...) This batch will be turned into pickles and relish... You see, I have some very exciting news, as of the New Year I will be stocking my preserves in a shop in Cobar, how exciting is that???

Happy New Year...... Jodie.....