Saturday, April 28, 2012


This is my big brother (he’s a bit bigger now!).
Here he is, with me in the pram, being a kind, considerate brother. Or was he plotting to get rid of me .........?
He’s a legend.
I have to tell you about him.
Bill (most people call him Max because our family name is Smart – I was 99 – we grew up in the sixties – “Get Smart” was on the telly – but now I’m rambling) is the sort of bloke who would go outside in the morning, sniff the air, and take off.
He'd "go bush".
And he could be up in the middle of the high country somewhere and meet someone who knows him!
He is a regular genius when it comes to repairs. If he can’t fix it in the conventional manner, he’ll invent a method.
I dropped my Grandma’s tiny toffee hammer on the tiles – broke the handle. I was devastated. Thought it was ruined! Bill to the rescue! Good as new (or should I say old).
We found a toy guitar in the op-shop for 50 cents. Perfect for Archie to make “music” (read: “noise”).
It needed batteries but the connections were eaten away by battery acid. Bill just happened to drop in that day, and he said, “Leave it with me”. So we did.
Result – guitar good as new! And very loud!
Bill was heard to mutter, “I never throw out ball point pen springs”. 
It’s his birthday on Tuesday.
Happy Birthday Bill!!!!!!!
Liz  XXX
P.S. (There’s always a P.S. in my blogs!)
We lost our younger brother, Bob, several years ago at the age of 49, and miss him dearly. Although we had the usual sibling quarrels, the three of us spent a lot of time together when we were young and enjoyed each other’s company so much. Enjoy your families - warts and all – they are very precious.
Here is one of our favourite photos of Bob.
Playing "Cowboys and Indians" on the workhorse!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

No Excuse Now

No. There's no excuse now.
It's finished, and now I have surfaces!
David (what a legend!) made it out of recycled and new materials, so it has been a very affordable workbench!
The drawers are fantastic - perfect for fabrics, courtesy of my daughter-in-law's father who was a dental technician. They are from his lab.
Weep ladies! It's all mine!!!!! (I have been found guilty of disappearing into the workroom to stroke and caress the lovely smooth top - it will be so good for draping fabrics over, especially with the rounded edges.)
However, this means I have to get cracking on the new designs that are floating around in my head!
We love looking in the op-shop near us - all sorts of bargains beckon! We found some toy cars - this one was 50 cents and I've told Paul that he can't have it! (He's in a band and the guitar logo is his thing!)
P.S. New designs on the go - a fairy bear BOM, a collection of Christmas patterns and a new Christmas BOM, but don't hold your breath!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stages 3 4 5 and 6 of Workbench

Stage 3. Cubby hole sides going in. Spirit level is there for a purpose (ie. said item and David are joined at the hip. As for me - if it looks level, it probably is.....)
Stage 4. More cubby hole sides.
And "Eureka!" he said. It's level!
Stage 5. View from other end. Note the drawers (or the spaces where the drawers are going) - perfect for fat quarters!
Stage 6. Shelf supports in place and timber on top ready to brace everything before the top goes on.
And it's still level!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

All Chocolated Out

I'm all Eastered out! Sunday dinner with the family. Don't want to see any more chocolate until .............. hmmmm ........... maybe ......... tomorrow?
Here's the workbench in progress - the end bit is the part that has drawers. All will become clear tomorrow!
I hope.
That is, of course, if we actually get out of bed!
I wish I could sleep like Archie!
Anywhere and anyhow!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fed up, did you guess what the badges are and the AQC

I'm blogging because I'm fed up!
Yes - I had today planned to the last second.
Calculate "ingredients" for the workbench - for a trip to Bunnings tomorrow. Then design for the rest of the day.
But no - it wasn't going to happen!
Had to make up more patterns, and print more pre-printed stitcheries.
Time consuming.
I'm a designer - all I want to do at the moment is design.........
Is that too much to ask?
We have a trade show (QCE in Sydney) at the beginning of June - I need to get lots ready for that!
So. Here's a blog posting instead!
Here they are! The badges from the self portrait - the last one is a real giveaway.........
My favourite group of all time.........
.........yeah, yeah, yeah.........
.........yeah - you guessed it! The Fab Four!The Beatles! I grew up in the sixties - remember?
P.S. If you are in Melbourne on Thursday next (12th April - yes, I know, right in the middle of the school holidays.....) I will be at the AQC at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens. Meet me at The Patchwork Tea House stand.
P.P.S. Here's one last photo - it's so true what is said about expensive toys - give them a cardboard box any time!!!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Head in the Clouds and Nose in a Book and a Big Pile of Dirt

Well here it is - the finished self portrait.
Your task is to find the following:
1. Ten things to do with sewing.
2. The Welsh connection.
3. An outdoor pastime.
4. Something to represent family.
5. The Scottish connection.
6. The artists equipment.
7. It was designed for the people.
8. I like it spinning around in my head.
9. & 10. What I like when my nose is in it.
11. A little obscure, this one. So I'll take tiny photos and blog them next time. In the meantime, see if you can work out what the four little badges are - remember, I was a teenager in the sixties!
Now for the pile of dirt.
This is the neighbourhood pile of dirt. It tends to move around a bit. It has been in next door's back yard for probably 25 years. Over that time it has been chipped away at - for filling holes, leveling and garden beds.
Now we are the custodians!
Our neighbours had a little bit of excavation work done, and while the machine was on site, the communal dirt pile was moved over the fence so we now have something too back-fill behind our retaining walls!
This is what we are using it for.
David has started already - I'm putting lavender along part of the wall. Can't wait to start planting!
The pardelots are going to be very disgruntled when they come back to nest!
This is what will greet them.
Easter is looming - it's the time of year when we get into the garden and achievements occur of monumental proportions - such a good time of year - weather perfect!
P.S. And the best part is sitting outside at the end of the day, admiring our work, with a frosty beer for him and a glass of bubbly for me. Bliss!
P.P.S. David is attacking the workbench today - it means I have to move stuff. Lots of stuff. Must be time for a coffee!!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Bit More Blog

More about Benalla - here's Jan's stand (GingerBears of Benalla). I was very taken with her range of bear mohairs - now I know where to go when I get around to making the grandboys their teddies!
David Short had the table next to us - here's Ernie with some of his restored dolls. David repairs dolls and let me tell you - he did a very brisk trade, and his work was fantastic! There was a never-ending stream of ladies having their old dolls fixed - new eyes, limbs re-attached, new hair. We watched (with some trepidation, I might add) when he cut open a plug in one unsuspecting doll's bottom, and thrust a hook (similar to a long crochet hook) up the hole, to find the workings inside that attach the arms and legs. There was a lot of "Ooooohing" and "Aaaarrrghing" going on, and much involuntary clenching of buttock muscles!!!!
David goes to lots of doll and bear shows, and he has a website which is worth a visit.
Ernie met up with his friends from Burgundy Raggies, another website worth looking at. We often see Sandra at the shows - we always enjoy a good natter! Can you find Ernie in the photo?
What's a teddy bear show without a bear wandering around entertaining the children?
Another stand we loved was Beth Grant's doll's houses. I just love a good doll's house.
She had a few different styles, all lovely, and the furniture was so cute!
I need a granddaughter!
Or do I? Do I need an excuse?
I just wanted to play all day.......
Beth can be contacted by phone on (mobile) 0407532652.
On the way home - water under the bridge at Bonnie Doon. This was one of my playgrounds when I was young - we had a boat and went fishing, swimming and "mucking about" in the paddocks.
Ernie was delighted to see so much water!

Next time you will get to see my self portrait!