Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Loving Monday 'Cos....


....the new blade on my rotary cutter is gliding through the fabric as though it were butter

...i'm hearing the hum of my sewing machine again

...i'm looking at the bountiful boughs of jacaranda blooms outside the window

...twentysomething mr p did the vacuuming voluntarily this morning with not even
a whisper from me!

...the breeze is cool and the smell of rain is fresh and invigorating

...the dogs are settled, the humans too, it's a peaceful monday.

some days it just feels good to be alive!

naturally Carol xox thoughts go out to our aussie soldiers and their families today....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Early Bird!

good morning!

this morning
i'm grateful that
'kara' woke me up with her barking...

{people were parking in her street}

so i had to get up early
they are having their spring fair
at the church across the road...

so i had to get dressed and go
to the fair
and as they say
'the early bird catches the worm'!

well today
i was that early bird....

here are my worms..hehe!

4 x 'johnson of australia' pale green luncheon plates @ 50c ea
{they only wanted $1 for the 4, but that was too cheap}

2 x lemons @ 20c ea
1 x brand new, in the packet still, ham bag @ 50c
4 x butterfly cakes for morning tea  @ $1.50
1 x sausage from the sausage sizzle (brekky) @ $2.00
{eaten already!}

then i remembered that lincraft has a 30% off sale for three days
beginning today.
well this early bird scored again...

more worms...

2 reels of thread 250m..a good brand
2 blades for my rotary cutter
1 new rotary cutting board

paid the princely sum of $22.00
for the lot
{30% off + a $10 discount voucher i had waiting for such an occasion!}

and i was home before 10.00 am

hows that?

hoping you find great bargains yourself this weekend...
check out 'maxabella's' place for more grateful ppls!

naturally Carol xox

Friday, October 28, 2011

Where Do You Get It?

hello, this showery friday evening!

it's lovely to be warm and cosy,
huddled over my computer,
tucked away
in a quiet corner
of my old queensland house.

these were some of the first cushions i ever made.

they were made from a pack of charm squares
'fandango' by kate spain for moda.

a few of you commented and asked me
where i get my fabrics from,
as you have said you like them.
{thanks for the compliment!}

i buy from 'hawthorne threads'....

my second choice is
the fat quarter shop....

i buy from these shops online
'cos the price is right
they have great fabrics...
a myriad of choices
if you buy 5 yards at a time
the postage is $12.50...american dollars...
which only adds on a couple of dollars a yard to each fabric.

not all online shops post overseas
but these two do...
and their service is excellent.

when i first bought fabric online
there was a company that i first bought from
whose prices were very low...
every now and then
they would short cut the fabric
send me pieces that were
several inches short of a yard!

{even after drawing their attention to this fact
they didn't admit to doing it either!}

i hope you have time to spend a few hours this weekend
just browsing and dreaming....

have a great weekend!

naturally Carol xox

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cherry Cherry!

hi to you, this cool queensland afternoon...
with stormy clouds hovering and the ground wet still from the night rain!

after making jeni's little drawstring bag last week,
i really wanted to make another one
'cos they're just so cute,
easy to make

i have made a layered frilly apron out of this fabric
and found some leftovers
so thought a bag would be just the thing...

this time i made the drawstrings out of fabric
as per the pattern
thought a lining of red and white polka dots
would look the bees knees...

thanks jeni!

the link above will take you to jeni's lined drawstring bag tutorial...
while you're there check out her other makes,
she is phenomenal.

i'm joining up with 'ourcreativespaces' today too...
thanks kootoyoo.

see you ' a red rubber ball..hehe!

naturally Carol xox

p.s...did you know that the 2012 colour of the year is about this colour?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Seed That Grew!


this seed was probably deposited by bird droppings

into the fork of the jacaranda tree...

and it grew

until it's bright green glossy leaves

broadcast it's existence...

it's an umbrella tree

growing in our jacaranda tree...

what the?

a weed is just a plant

growing in the wrong place at the wrong time...

so he had to go!

pulled out any weeds from your life lately?

{i find it's a constant effort!}

naturally Carol xox

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Finish...

a big hi!
on this very warm & sunny afternoon....

sometimes finishing something that's been sitting around a while
can be a drag...
just the thought of doing it
wears thin as it's moved from pillar to post.

i've used this as a prop,
cleared it off the table before dinner,
moved it onto the table again
when i've gone to use the sewing machine,
hidden it away for a while
when i wasn't interested
brought it out again
when my conscience has said
'what about that little bit of crocheting you haven't finished?'...haha

well..all along,
in my heart,
i knew
that it would end up covering a teeny little cushion...just 35cm...
'cos the little cushion was just sitting there
begging to be covered!

i know this looks a bit skewiff in this pic...
but it is a lovely cuddly piece of woolly goodness!

just the right size to fit between the small of your back and the sofa,
or rest a weary cheek on while resting your eyes for a moment.

the back..a little less spectacular...
{but just as cuddly!}

by the way...
since my lounge room makeover,
i love having somewhere permanently set up
for  the display of a bunch of flowers.

the lilliums are gone,
but a bunch of bright red gladdies
are about to bloom
in among a red flowered,
black berried
piece of bush
that mr w found down the back yard
on the weekend...
it was pretty so we had to keep it.

i've made another of jeni's little bags...
see 3 posts ago..i think...
for my first.

i'll show you next time!

have a creative kind of tuesday...

naturally Carol xox

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Unfurling the New!

good afternoon!

sunday afternoons
are a time of reflection for me...

church just starts me thinking in the morning
about deep things
like pools of water...
hidden things.

mr w is back on his way up north to start a new working week,
the occupants are coming back...
mr w probably passed mr p coming down on the highway
as he went up.

it's got me thinking about new things.

it's a bit like this photo...
the new starts to unfurl
even when the skeletons of the past are still present in our lives.

the new takes time to appear
and grow...
but soon enough
the old will disappear under the canopy of green leaves...
slowly decaying...
feeding the new...

sometimes we are disturbed by seeing an old season pass,
changes coming...
 we're comfortable with the existing patterns
and routines and landscapes.

there is a grief and mourning that accompanies change some times.

but inevitably
the new comes into focus
it's bright
and the shape of it
captures our attention
becomes established
where the old once existed.

thoughtfully yours....

naturally Carol xox

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Grateful for...

a rare occasion...

{these hibiscus flowers were photographed this afternoon in our front yard}

mr w is home for the weekend...

and all the other regular occupants
{besides me}

are not!

we are home alone!!!!!

{except for three dogs..but they're not saying a thing.}

have a good weekend...

naturally Carol xox

p.s...linking up with 'maxabella' and her grateful buddies.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Great Idea!


i have a great idea to share with you all today...

'crafty rie'
is putting together a 'universal craft blog directory'

this means that if you consider your blog
a craft blog
then you are welcome to add your blog to the directory
even if you're not a craft blogger
then it is a site where you will be able to access craft blogs

by the


if you want to be part of it..join me here!

isn't this a great idea from 'crafty rie'??

naturally Carol xox

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jeni's Lined Drawstring Bag...

good afternoon!

i'm joining in with 'ourcreativespaces' and kootoyoo...

today has been a productive day
and i'm pleased with myself
'cos i've tried something new...
and it worked!

i saw a tutorial on jeni's blog...'in color order'
for a lined drawstring bag.
the one she made is so sweet
i had to try to make one myself.

jeni has inspired me this week
with her amazing fabrics and very professional sewing...
you should really check out her blog.

so here it is...
{we had to go where the light was..
'cos it's stormy and was getting very dark inside the house}

this little bag only takes the equivalent of 3 fat quarters of fabric,

stands up beautifully due to it's 'shopping bag' corners

and is very cute!

i like the way it's neatly lined too
and was very easy to sew!

even hanging around it looks pretty...

it measures about 10" wide and 12 " long,
a good size
and i reckon it would be great for all kinds of things.

wouldn't it be great
with a piece of handmade clothing in it for a christmas present...
or a softie for a baby?

then mum could put clean nappies in it,
it'd hold about three or four,
just right for going out shopping or visiting.

i also made another 'blossom' cushion,
like yesterday's but a little bigger...
they look great with the japanese lady ones
on my chinese chest.

i'm off now to check out some fab creative spaces now...
maybe i'll see yours there!

'til tomorrow...

naturally Carol xox

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Brownie Points!

good afternoon!

almost every tuesday evening
for the last nearly two years...
i go to bible college.

{i positively can't get enough of learning
what God says through the bible
and understanding the way He works!}

every tuesday evening 
different people provide food for supper.

we begin early..6.30 pm
and go through to 9.30 pm
with half an hour for supper from about 8 til half past.

i don't know quite how it ends up being 
but very nearly all nights end up being a feast...
and on the nights various ones of us are restricting our food intake,
it's pretty near impossible to resist.

tonight's my turn...
and this is my part of the feast!

...ok, just for suspense,
besides, this is one of my favourite tea towels!

i'm sure i'll get brownie points for this..hehe!

it's actually two packets of 'betty crocker' brownie mix...
one is the 'rainbow brownie',
the other is the 'caramel brownie'.

i was going to bake them separately
but when i poured the first mixture into the pan
i noticed there was no way it was going to fill it...
so i quickly made the other mix
and poured it in too.
{they only take about 2 minutes each to make up!}

when i was getting the packets of brownie mix from woollies,
i just happened to duck into gloria jeans for a you would.

i told sam i was running home to make brownies...
{he works there}
and his mum is going to be there tonight.
he asked whether his mum could keep him a couple of pieces...
how could i resist?

so here is a little package for sam...

so sam's mum
will be instructed to put it in the fridge...
and tomorrow
sam will be over for a visit.

of course the four of us here
just had to have a test piece each...
the middle..where the caramel and mini m&ms collide...
it got thumbs up all 'round...


said a slightly fatter foursome!

naturally Carol xox

Monday, October 17, 2011


hi there!

this has been a day of all kinds of pleasures and surprises.

first of all i just want to show you
a couple of rare photos that popped into our email today.

they were begging to be shared...

don't you love this one...
it's always good to see the guys do the dishes,
but wow...michael jackson and paul mccartney?

i've never seen either of them look so relaxed either,
now that's a good reason to do some housework.
i wonder if it'll work with our men?

i can imagine it..
darling how about doing the dishes?
it's so darn relaxing!

now for this one...

i love this for it's style.
two of the most elegant and beautiful stars of the fifties,
dressed up to the hilt
and it's just so romantic!

look at audrey hepburn...the neck of a swan,
and grace kelly...perfection.

well, apart from that
i've sent off one of my 'pay it forward' gifts...
to tasmania.

in fact i had two parcels to tassie in the post today
as i sold a cushion cover to be sent there as well.
i think i love packing them up and sending them out
just as much as making them.

'retromummy' corrie is sending up some quilts to be distributed,
which should be loads of fun
to hand out to people who were affected by this year's floods in january.
most of this area was affected
and further north
so i am sure they'll all find worthy homes.

a big thank you to all who've contributed,
i'll keep you posted.

i won a bag of various balls of wool
from christy...from 'a christy production'
thank you christy!
i don't know what will be made of them
but i'm sure in time
all of them will be useful.

i also found the most darling wall art
at 'poss and wom' on madeit
for the most darling little girl
who's just turned one...
her name is pearl possum..for real!

she has a few difficulties to contend with
in her young life
but is now rolling over
which her mum says is great progress
as doctors didn't think she'd ever be able to...
now they think she'll achieve
but just a little bit slower than others.
i think she's a winner!

i hope you've had an interesting day too!

naturally Carol xox

Friday, October 14, 2011

About the Rain!

this week
i'm joining with 'maxabella'
'cos there is lots to be grateful
'bout the rain!

 growing up in new zealand
i got used to rain...
there is no shortage of rain
but here in australia
i learned to appreciate the rain...
it means a drought is one day further away!

whenever it rains
i can see the trees drinking it in...
the smell of wet earth
and the freshness of the cooled air
are intoxicating to me.

i am comforted by the patter of rain
on our tin roof...
only slightly apprehensive
when it rains hard
'cos the roof is old..very old!

rainy days are cosy days...
i am cocooned by the raindrops
in my safe wooden house...
excused from venturing outside
and given the opportunity
to be entertained and cook comfort food.

thank you Lord for the rain!

naturally Carol xox

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wonky Transmission!

afternoon all...

i'm feeling a bit under the weather this week..
you know...
just a common cold.

sneezy & wheezy

ticklish throat

runny eyes


so there may be breaks in transmission this week...

i haven't even felt like sewing!

some good news just recently though...
my eldest boy just rang
to say he's having his wedding photos taken right now...
as we speak.

it's an asian tradition,
the wedding isn't until dec 31st...
but the photos are taken now
and made into an album for the guests
to have and keep when they come to the wedding!

so he is all dressed up in a white

miss b is now a  checkout chick at walmart in canada....
she told me yesterday.
she loves getting to know the people she is working with,
and being from oz
i guess she is seeing goods she's never seen before.

i'm happy she has a job.

anyway..have a great week, beavering away
in your neck of the woods.
i'll talk to you again soon!

naturally Carol xox

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

this morning was one of the most gorgeous i've seen in a while.

the air was fresh from rain,
the leaves, crisp from the cool air,
birds chirping,
gentle sunshine...

 light mist filling the gullies...

an early drive to church,
barely a car on the road,
a sunday morning sleepiness pervades the atmosphere.

His Word says His mercies are new every morning...

this is easy to believe on this brand new shiny morning!

a grand new day...

my 301st post.

naturally Carol xox

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Basketful of Flowers...

hi, how are you this afternoon?

nearly a week ago now
i completely overhauled our lounge room
and then decided to make these cushions.

i haven't decided for sure
whether i'll keep these or sell them,
but i do like them...

this basket lives next to the tv
in an area that is kinda shadowy most of the time...
so i thought some dashing florals would make this basket shine.

these sophisticated ladies
in their best kimonos
are lounging on my chest right now...

they may just be holidaying
or perhaps they'll stay a while.

where are you hanging out this weekend?

wherever you end up
i hope you'll have a great one!

i'm off to bring kara inside...
she barks at the kids next door,
well, not them particularly
but the wheels on their little trikes
send her crazy.

{she doesn't like the wheels on the wheelie bin either!}

see you next week...

naturally Carol xox

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Five Pieces of Bunting!

good afternoon to you!

i was too late for the proper bunting swap
but rachael very kindly said she would swap me
five pieces of my bunting for five pieces of hers.

these pieces will be incorporated into various strings of her buntings
used for whatever purpose she so desires...

it's really stormy looking outside
so there's no sunshine
and the light is dull,
better than inside though
which is very dark and gloomy today indeed.

all the bunting
is made from bits and pieces...
offcuts of fabric and trim.

i made all of these bird ones rectangular
to fit in the whole length and width of the bird and leaves...

they are all backed with this tweety bird fabric too...

all your thoughts for success in my test must have been spot on
'cos i am pleased to report that i passed with 93%...
thank you!
{despite some initial brain}

my next task is to package these babies up
and send them on their way down south.

have a great day!

naturally Carol xox

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just Perfect!


thanks for your comments from yesterday...
the picture stays!

of course i couldn't help tweaking..hehe...
so have changed some of the cushions already
just to see if they look better
{though i can tell this may be an ongoing thing!}

today i just wanted to capture these beauties
before they are past their best...

these old walls..built in the 1930's
are made out of horse hair,
they have an unusual texture
and a few bumps and imperfections
have graced them over the years.

i have a revision test i have to study for...
the test is tonight.

it's back to normal tuesdays here.

i wonder what you're up to?

naturally Carol xox

Monday, October 3, 2011

Before & After....

good afternoon!

thanks for coming to look at my lounge room yesterday,
it was lovely to get all that positive feedback...
i appreciate every single comment.

it was actually mr w
that came up with the idea of filling the space above the cushions on the chinese chest...

have a look at the 'before & after'
and see what you think.

this is looking through from the dining room...
a night view..
{so the light is different from yesterdays shots}
the painting is on the wall.


what do you think?

is it too long?
or the frame too bold?
or just the wrong colouring?

i can change the cushions...
i think i'll have to live with it a few days to decide properly.

here is a close up of the painting...
mr s's fiance's mother painted it for me as a gift.

it shows two little birds in a wisteria vine.

all the kids are back at school up here in queensland...
this morning the shopping centre was school kid free
and i had a relaxing cappucino at gloria jeans
with a piece of raisin toast.

i seriously had to give away eating so much banana bread
as it is the equivalent of eating four slices of cake ..i think!

whether you are surrounded by holidaying kids
or back to 'normal'...
i hope you're having a splendid monday!

naturally Carol xox

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My {Renovated} Lounge Room...


over the last few days
i've been inspired by 'the renovators'
to do something about our lounge room.

i would have taken some pics of the 'before'
except that i was so ashamed of it that i wouldn't want anyone to see them.
suffice to say it was cluttered and messy
and nothing coordinated with anything else.

just took some pics of 'after'...

it all started when we realised that the white net curtains on the windows...
suitable for letting a bit of winter sun in,
wouldn't cut out the strong summer sun that was just beginning to be a problem.

i had made the cushions and had just got another yard of this fabric
and thought it may make a suitable blind-like curtain,
teamed up with another from this range.

what do you think?

another wall...
that's ellie walking past in the right hand corner.

i think there is something needed on this wall.
i'll know it when i find it!

{and the cushions may change without notice too!}

the opposite wall...
i shifted the old cream sofa chair to the front room
and decided to use this as a feature chair here.

the small table was left behind from miss b,
i think it's from ikea.

the other end of the black couch...
that corner now resplendant with a bunch of lilliums
was the messiest eyesore of the room before.

miss j...notice your handmade coasters on the table!

the opposite end of the room...the entertainment centre.

all of the dvds and the wii are now packed away neatly in these drawers
and the tall narrow bookcase near the chest has a selection of reference books...
right at my fingertips!

this took me a couple of days to reorganise...
this white cabinet was under the house since mr m moved in a couple of years back...
he's since moved on and he left it and one of the chinese chests here.

the black couch and the coffee table were mr s's and he's moved on too,
both round tables and one chest were miss b's...she's gone off as well!

thank you to all my kids
for leaving home
and leaving your furniture behind..i love it!

{and the room would be a lot barer without it all,
in fact i think only the white chair and the narrow bookshelf are mine!}

i hope you will have a wonderful week everyone...
see you soon.

naturally Carol xox