Sunday, October 14, 2018

New Proggy Rug, Begun 24th September 2018

I started a new Proddy/Proggy rug at the Melbourne Show, got home and pulled it all out then started again with a completely new plan. The first one looked fine on paper, but seemed too abstract for my taste. Mud!

So here is the progress report...

Just so you can see the state of things around here. I keep putting it on the verandah (because of the mess) but in the end, I'm too keen to dilly-dally. So we're knee deep in thread and fluff and crazy. The One True doesn't mind at all.
The trolley was in use at my Granny & Gramps's pub (The Star Hotel at Yackandanhad). I used to roll it out with the bread and butter dishes to set the tables.
Some of the fabrics I have had since I was a teenager, or remember my Grandma having in her cupboard. I can point to the origin of most of it and so my memories are well and truly in there. I might be the only one who will ever know, but the family will have other associations in time to come, I guess.



It's around 80 x 150 cm.

The starting points, above and below.


Monday, September 24, 2018

Survived another stint at the Melbourne Show. Sore neck/back/feet...
Again, the little children were the biggest participants... although there were loads of grown-ups wanting to try rug making or chat about crafts in general. It's very warming and the best conduit for friendliness. It's good to share a passion, a history, an addiction (and a benevolent one at that).
Young George spent some time experimenting with his methods, grinning all the while. I handed out a few ready-cut scraps which got scrunched up in his warm fist and shoved in his pocket with probably some string and a frog. Soo cute.
At least two grandfathers/husband's had their internal woodworking hats on and casually accepted the task of making frames or turning tools for their wimmin. So easy-peasy they could just spit on the ground to prove it. Ha ha ha!
One of my earliest childhood friends came by (Rhonda Looney) and it was so nice to see her I could have cried! I think we had little tears in the corners of our eyes. Ronnie wants to come to rug group, which will be a pleasure all round. Can't wait.
Big love to Betty La, Jon and my own Gumbo who all helped loads, morally and physically. Except when the One True got lost because he Can't See For ****ing Looking!








Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rose & Little Bird Penny Rug Updated Pattern

Finally finished and wrote out the pattern for the new version of my Penny Rug! Yay!
You will find it as a PDF download at my Etsy store

This is the original...
And this is the new...



Saturday, August 11, 2018

Catch Up... Home & Harvest

Fig (from our tree) & Ginger Marmalade

African Cucumbers. Very prickly. Quite delicious. Gorgeous looking. Massive vine. Hardly ate any. Months later we still have some in a bowl, looking impressive.


I made a heap of Bees-wax Wraps. They keep avocado's for ages (cut) without their going at all brown. It's the antiseptic nature of the wax, I'm thinking. Vintage fabric... 

 

Still loving the biscuits but could do with another mould (getting bored).





Saturday, June 23, 2018

Smith Family Get Together, 7th July 2018 at Brighton

John Smith's great grandson Graeme and his sister Betty and other cousins have arranged a gathering 170 years after John, Frances, Amelia and Lucy's arival in Australia on the Andromache, July 1848. So it will be Saturday the 7th of July this year.

It will be in Brighton at a local watering hole or suchlike (to be nearer to Betty's house and to be advised). They would dearly love to meet as many of John's descendants as can come along. Last time we got together I was able to take Dad and Ruby along and we had a lovely time sharing both the history of the family and just getting to know each other.

Hopefully we can find and invite some of the other descendants of Amelia and John Armstrong too?


John Smith, born 18th of December in Appleton, Berkshire England, and died 6th of January in Ballarat.

He married Ann Lambourn in Berkshire and they had two daughters, one of whom was Amelia Smith, my great-great grandmother.

Anne died in England and John's second wife Frances, along with Amelia and Lucy, came to Australia and had eight more children.

Amelia in turn married John Armstrong and amongst their children was my great-grandfather George Armstrong (who married Bessie McKenzie).

My Gramps, Keith Armstrong (or George Keith as was on his birth certificate) is Dad's (Bob's) father.

John was said to be one of the three who first discovered gold in Ballarat, though they hid their findings to go and retrieve their wives and children from Geelong. When they returned to their selection with the families, gold had been officially declared found.

Frances's obituary claimed these wives and children were the first on the goldfields, contrary to other claims.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Rug Group Day At Loch

You can see Chris's grandchildren rugs on the wall behind me.
Today Anne, Katherine and I (Robyne) took a trip to Loch for our get together in Chris's lovely home near the gorgeous hills of Western Gippsland. It's always a nice drive and this autumn weather was just perfect.
Chris worked on her big (huge) rug, clocking up hundreds of hours so far. It's going to be amazing when she at last detaches it from it's frame. Note to self: Be there when she does, with a loud hooter or some drums! And cake!
Katherine began her Magpie Rug with a lesson from Chris, and me butting in the whole time with helpful advice. I blame the cups of coffee I'd fortified myself with after the drive. And it's great to be back at Group Days such a long time away with family committments. Combo. Katherine has her newly constructed PVC pipe frame off and running too and seems to have her hooking sorted! Being a knitter, she has tension wel ingrained.
Anne Will Finish Her Hooked Carpet-Wool Rug At Some Point! Just as I Will Finish My Footy Rug! We at least work on them at our monthly gathering.
Unfortunately one of Joy's family had the bad manners to be born on this date, probably years ago, so she was forced to celebrate with them and was missing from action. A poor excuse!
I brought my new Penny Rug (just cut out) along for advice from the Gals. Who were very helpful. I couldn't see for looking anymore, to make decisions.
It's a design I have for sale on Etsy. However, my original version (as seen in the Etsy pic) was made with some inferior felt and it literally fell apart with use! I have dyed a few pieces of woollen blanket for the backgrounds and we lay it out in varous combinations. I can take bits on the train to stitch and use up some stash at the same time (bit hard with hooky's). We agreed with which colours to use, so that made me feel better. Feel free to share your thoughts! They both look good, but I'm thinking the plum-brown with the green peeking out from under will suit our bedroom. Both look good I think. We think.
It's lovely to share our food and company. We welcome any newcomers or old usuals. If you are interested, please put a comment on the blog or email r.m.square@bigpond.com.
More photo's to come too. Of all of us. xxx


Monday, April 16, 2018

New Deluxe Hanky Box

Here is the newest Hanky Box. I love hankies and have way too many for the last box, so I've made a bigger version. I have used an old Book of Cats I bought years back (Op Shop) for just this purpose, i.e. crocheting together.

The beads are made by rolling up paper, around a tooth-pick, then gluing the ends.


It's hard to photograph, because of the plastic covering.


This was a card I gave my Dad, after his big operation 5+ years ago. Thanking him for staying with us. He gave us 4 1/2 years after it. Thanks Dad xxxxxxx
The blue patterned base is  from a heavy cardboard box I kept my water-colour pencils in for years and didn't have the heart to throw out. Using such a strong base makes the box very stable.

Follow the label Tutorials, at the bottom, for some help as to how they are made.

Monday, March 19, 2018

My First Springerle

I am ridiculously in love with all Springerle moulds, but this one is particularly amazing! You can see my wonky cutting!

My definitions are not too too bad on these. It is a multi-image mould, but I pressed them as if they were individuals, concentrating n one image at a time.
Notice poor old bottom left. It's a bit bloated!

The fish moulds are not very deeply cut and some definition is obscure, however overall they turned out better than I had expected. The little heart biscuit is far prettier when done that unbaked.

OK, the Swiss Cow...! They all rose too high and then collapsed in the centre whilst drying. Plus, cooked unevenly and have darker patches at the centre (which are not seen so much in the photo). Perhaps I didn't let them dry long enough before baking?
Note to self: Don't let the pastry be too thick! Cut them all the same thickness! Use baking paper!

I used the 6 cups of sugar/6 eggs/Baking Powder recipe (found in the Facebooks "The Springerle Cooking Appreciation Group"'s files, but I can't remember which, sorry) and added the rind of 2 lemons. They smell delicious! I have eaten a total flop of a Swiss Cow, who wouldn't come free of the tray (because I hadn't floured them) and it was very tasty. Might share one right now with our coffee, but the rest are for Easter.

These are unbaked...



.

Happy Birthday Grandma!




It's my own Grandma's birthday today. Phyllis Lucy West, nee Dickinson, Born 1909. 
The best sewer, crocheter, fixer... I remember watching her fixing some dropped knitting stitches, with fascination (and managed to remember because it was interesting). 
She was always trying a new technique, finding hit or miss excellent/terrible stuff at the op shop. Talking back to the grumpy old men at Job Warehouse. Helping Mum or us. Being mean to my Dad, who still cried at her funeral. 
She was generous, bigoted, easy going. She let me live with her when I studied patternmaking, a 15-16 year old hippie full of fancy, smoking pipes and bringing home all sorts of friends. We had a great year of sewing and whilst we drove each other crazy, we were cut from the same cloth and had a ball.
She was generous, bigoted, easy going. Could cover a chair or lay a brick path.
She let me live with her when I studied patternmaking, a 15-16 year old hippie full of fancy, smoking pipes and bringing home all sorts of friends. We had a great year of sewing and whilst drove each other crazy, we were cut from the same cloth and had a fantastic time. 
I still miss you! You would love so many things we've been up to. Like my parents, she was always ready to be so pruod of us all. xxxxxxxx Happy would be 109th birthday!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Latest Knitting

This is the cutest pattern! Easy to follow too. Check them all out over at my Ravelry page.



It's a bit cute that Jon wanted a bunny too. 






For baby Jackson, so he'll match his lamb.