Saturday, 31 January 2015

Spoon Progress

Be prepared for spoonlishous photos
(or being bored to tears)

This is kind of my tah- dah moment with my spoon.

I've gone as far as I can for now and may i say I am pretty pleased. .

It is so thrilling to whittle and sand a piece of wood and see it develop into something so tactile and pleasing to the touch. This lump of wood also has the most fragrant smell. You can smell the eucalyptus seeping out of the wood and it fills the air each time you cut into the wood. It also permeates into the car when driving to dads place to show him my progress and ask what to do about the burr hole in the side of the spoon. Oh such bliss from such a time consuming pursuit.
This is my reaction to taking a piece of wood and making something I desired.
Alternatively , my husband's interest peaked at ïs that what you've been doing all afternoon?"- not really impressed at all. But he hasn't had the same involvement with said wood and hasn't formed an attachment of any kind. Really you can go and buy a 99 cent lump of wood which will do exactly the same thing.

I've got to say I spent some time sanding this little gem and it is as smooth as a babies bum!

Just a side shot comparing the depth of my spoon compared to the 99 cent variety. Looking at my cheap spoon makes me want to go and give it a good sanding.

So next job is to head down to the hardware store and buy a filler suitable to use in a spoon that will expand with washing and wont need coating (so that I can oil the spoon later) or this might just become a decorative spoon.

 My other project that I mentioned doing is this....yeah I know something as boring as knitting. Well it is boring for me but I was determined that I would be able to knit in the round and after four attempts at casting on using four needles I finally got started. Once underway things aren't so bad. The colours are nice and bright and I did get a bargain buying each ball for 50 cents ... having spent so much money on thread I felt obliged to do something with it... so a  pair of socks it is (or one sock if it doesn't fit my big feet- which will become a Christmas stocking of sorts!). Anyway it is a project also of time wasting proportions because I am such a slow and if you were watching me, painful knitter to observe. There is nothing coordinated about the way I knit. Gamme handed ! Only time will tell about this one!

Friday, 30 January 2015

A week Of Firsts

There is always so much to inspire on the internet and it is sometimes easy to get lost in the scroll of blog posts. I dont know about you but when I see something i love I mark it as a favourite...I will go back to visit the post sometime later but rarely do I do anything more. But sometimes you just get a hankering that you have to do something.
I have been most desirous for many, many moons to do two things and generally I have stopped myself from doing these things always finding  reason - not the right equipment, not enough skill , not enough time...your get the idea.
One of things I have wanted to do is carve my own wooden spoons. Ever since seeing Ariel's lovely and insanely good makes on her blog Brooklyn to West found here I have coveted the wooden spoon. I have asked my dad in the past if he would help me but we never seemed to get around to it.
I have been further inspired by Kates Husband , farmer Bren on Foxs Lane found here. I've been watching him whittle and produce the most aesthetically pleasing spoons for his lovely wife and watching the whole family get involved.Well if a couple of girls can sit down and do this then I am up for the challenge.
(have a look at his work and the lovely flowers he made for Kate. If you go a little further forward or backwards in blog post you will also see the lovely spoons)

The internet comes in handy for instruction and I watched a couple of simple youtube uploads on how to make spoons. I took note of what type of tools were used and then googled them and a location to purchase some. So I have tools in hand as of this morning (and am slightly poorer) but I figure I will make some to sell and can always use them at a later date for other carving projects.

I plucked up a couple of off cut limbs from somebody's trees that are sitting in a bucket up the back of the yard and traipsed over to dad to get him to cut them down to plank thickness so I could make up a spoon blank and get started.
Now nothing is ever that easy with dad... he is the type of man whom can sometimes be overly helpful. Meaning he has a tendency to take over, not that I mind because usually this makes my life a whole lot easier. Anyway he kindly reduced my mini logs to slabs of wood. I marked them and he showed me how to use the jigsaw to cut a basic blank. (I am now glad to have done this as my hands are not so strong for gouging and whittling). We also utilised machinery to reduce the handle to a more manageable size. At the time I was feeling a little disgruntled as the purpose of this exercise was to produce a me made spoon - kinks and all - but you know thank you dad for taking over, because my hands and fingers are sore just from the little whittling I did do.
Any hoo I have the basic shape under way and will take up carving again tomorrow
Progress thus far. The spoon will be quite deep when it is finished and hopefully leaner~!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Catching Up

Firstly let me say thank you for your kind thoughts with Matildas passing. I have felt a little at a loss without her company and hence have not been motivated to write or share despite being out and about, mainly trying to fill the void.

I've been off blackberry picking again. I really enjoy taking off for a drive into the country and am most contented to play search and destroy with the blackberry bushes. I have definitely become more adept at the skill of picking fruit without totally destroying my skin. I have now a healthy tanned glow on my face and lower arms, the rest of me is lighter as I remained covered to protect myself from the brambles. I must look a sight in my bright orange shirt and baggy pants, picking away madly on the side of the road.

On Friday the Tour Down Under, cycling race was passing through the region near where I was picking. I saw the community race and actually drove alongside some of the riders as they headed through the hills. I didn't hang around to watch the race as that would have been a few hours away but I think I will plan next year to set up camp on the roadside and cheer a favourite South Aussie along. Sorry i didn't think to take photos. But I did photograph this beautiful display of natives,  a pink flowering eucalypt which was quite a sight from a distance and up close.

This little guy was visiting the fig tree with his mates and having quite a time chomping into the figs, but at least they are pretty to look at although very noisy

And lastly I realised that December never had a moment to shine
so here is the month that was...December

Sunday, 18 January 2015


RIP My dog Matilda

'you were always pleased to see me come home 
and without a word would welcome me 
a wag of a tail a cheeky rise and playful beckoning at my side.
Oh how I wish you could still be here
wagging your tail and your presence so near
without you I am bereft
A heartfelt loss . Not much else is left.
I mourn you my friend
thank you , It is the end xx

Matilda my friend xM

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mini Vacation

If you go down to the woods today, You might get a big surprise.....Yep that would be me loitering in the meadows , bum in the air as my posterior greets the sun and my face plunges once again into the brambles reaching for that elusive berry (obviously one that got missed by other pickers). I certainly have been a determined blackberry picker of late... would you believe I have been 3 out of 3 days.

The first day was intentional when I wandered off with my girlfriend and had a day of picking and galavanting in and out of op shops, eating a decadent lunch in the Port Elliot pub. We both managed to pick a 3 litre bucket full of berries which approximates to equivalent weight of 3 kg. I was terribly excited to find another mixing bowl to add to my collection as well as others finds previously discussed.

The next days trip was also on the way to Port Elliot, in virtually the same area for picking.. I wasnt going to drive past all these bushes on my way to an overnight stay with my sister and manfriend in Port Elliot (I say man friend because he is way past the age of boyhood and as a mature adult needs a little more recognition than boy...or I could just say partner..what's in a name??) Anyway I traversed the terrain in search of berries with bramble barbs picking at my jeans and occasionally snagging the cloth and scratching the old girls legs. My arms haven't faired too badly as I have become a very adept picker and utilize my bucket to hold pesky vines out of the way. I filled another 3 litre bucket and presented them to my sister on arrival...I was very pleased with my offerings

 The return trip home afforded me my third days picking. I went back to the places I had been two days before and managed a third of a bucket. For some reason I went across the road to pick a single bramble patch, that offered a few. The real find was the hidden vines entwined in amongst the gum trees and other shrubs nearby. Yippee Obviously not visible from the road were great big fat juicy berries hanging in clumps in amongst the leaves. They are protected from the sun by the foliage of the gums, so were juicy and ripe. Of course I picked it clean! And with my bucket filled I had another three litres to take home.
So today I have made 5.8 litres of jam! Gold!~I have actually discovered jam setter and have the thickest jam I have ever made. That being said I wont be re doing my first batch of jam - that can remain runny for my yoghurt with strawberries and muesli in the mornings.

I have to make comment about this spider. I apologise for the photographic quality but my phone camera is not good for macro shots and small objects get missed during the focusing process. I really wished I had my good camera with me but my lovely daughter had commandeered it for her own purposes.
I dont know if you can see the zig zaggy line on the left but this is part of the web. Obviously this spider has had to put up with other intrepide pickers whom have damaged his web and he has done the most amazing repair job. Isnt that just amazing.! The amazing spider and what webs he weaves.

Enough of the picking stuff ( I really want to say shit - Is that too rude? I've said it now!)
Enough of the picking shit!

On to Port Elliot. What tales, what adventures will she tell. Well it really is a rocky tale, a stone cold story of trekking across massive boulders  and desolate scenes as dusks light fades.

Really what I am jibbering on about is my sister and I went for a walk. Yes we did this at dusk after dinner. I was so bloated I needed movement to digest the vast quantities of roast that we ate. My plate was very full and I ate every bit of it and then lived to regret it.

So off over the hills we went.

And here are all the granite boulders in their varying states of glory.

The walk didn't help the digestion and both my sister and I were up chatting to each other at 3-4 am in the morning.
Surprised I kept you up this long. Thanks for tagging along through this long winded drawl but I enjoyed my mini vacation away and just had to share it with you. Toodlepips!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Ecclectic Week

Its been one of those weeks where I've done a bit of everything in between working. I continue with the neutral squares blanket , but tend to get a little bored after a while. So I Have deviated with crochet and made a few stars -still in the neutral tones because I was too lazy to get out of bed and find some other coloured wools.

I made a lovely stack of jams the day after I went blackberry picking. The colour is really vibrant red  -I think because they were such early picked berries. When testing the jam the dolloped blob of jam came out looking like a bird...I just added legs
The other fella is a friendly chap we saw today at Mount Compass....the ladies in the bakery there feed him daily so he is a very friendly magpie. Yes, I went blackberry picking again and once again my arms and legs are scratched to death...what a girl will do for a decent jam!

 We picked in a few different spots and found one lovely shady area that will be great to pick under in hot weather. On a small off road / side road there was a large felled tree. Its huge base is exposed with lots of dirt still attached. Growing out of the base were these fungi...  don't they make wonderful pictures. Its almost like a sea sponge.
Fungi are not a common sight in out hot  dry climate and usually only seen in the damper weather - winter mainly.

 Bought a few flowers today - real and of the pottery kind
and added to the glass bear collection