About Me

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I am a mother of eight and grandmother of four who loves to make and create. Rosemary Hill is the name of our home where we live, work, learn and create together

Saturday 30 May 2009

Clap hands!

Yesterday we went to visit friends. Mr 15, Mr 8 and Miss 12 (pupil free day) went to play. Mrs 24 and I went to visit and grandson went to be cute. (It's one of the things he does best!) When we picked them up grandson was busy clapping whenever he did something cute. Apparently clapping is a group activity so Miss 12 had to join in whenever he clapped. I spent yesterday and last night drawing. I am designing stitcheries again and am having a lot of fun doing it. Today I will be stitching. If I like the results I will be putting the patterns in my etsy shop next week. Hope you have a fun day too!

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Some questions answered for Joolz. (Head on over to be part of the fun!)

Joolz is having a 150th blog post celebration! Yay Joolz! And part of winning her small giveaway (her words not mine) involve answering some questions on your blog. Here are my answers. (They looked like fun so I'm in!) Ahem........ everything some of you might have wanted to know about me............

# 1 What's for dinner tonight?
For dinner tonight we had sausage hot pot cooked in the slow cooker, with mashed potato and baby peas.

# 2 What's your favourite cute animal picture?
My favourite picture is above. It's one I took myself at the Botanical Gardens of a heron helping himself to the fish in a glasshouse. It was a warm day so the doors were open and this guy saw an opportunity and took it! Survival of the fittest, huh?

# 3 Who does the dishes in your house?
Well, it's either no-one, or everyone. I'm not sure which. Everyone I guess. We have a dishwasher (when you get to child number eight you get one, that's what I told my Bradley and he fell for it......umm......followed the rule completely) and the idea is we all stack it as we finish using the dishes. Mr 8 is the emptier. He's very good at it.

# 4 One a personal note, regarding toilet paper - Are you a Scruncher or a Folder... or a Fruncher/Scrolder, he he!
This one is to do with advertising I think. (I never understood that ad!) I don't think I do either. I don't think I do?????

# 5 What jar (brand) of (tomato based) Spaghetti sauce do you use for Spagetti Bol?
I don't. I make my own. I use tomatos, garlic, onions, herbs etc simmered.

# 6 Do your children make their own beds and put out their clothes or do ... you?
Hmmm....... this one is difficult. We do the quilt/doona/duvet thing so there's not a lot of bedmaking to be done. They do their own. They also put out their clothes. If they want them back again clean they have to get them to the laundry.

# 7 Can I have your favourite recipe for a dessert you love?
I think this questionaire shows just how contrary I am. I don't actually like dessert much. If pressed to provide a dessert I will usually make a pavlova. My favourite is just the meringue recipe I use for my kids (they love meringues!). Three egg whites, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Once it's baked and cool I top it with yoghurt (the kids favourite flavour is vanilla, but I'm happy with any flavour!) and fresh fruit. I go for whatever is in season. Tastes best that way.

# 8 My ironing board is permanently set up - do you labour over baskets of ironing ordo you fold, put away then iron as you need.... like me?
I used to have an ironing basket. Until baby number five. Of course it was always full and we were always scrabbling through it to find clothes when we were in a hurry. I decided that was dumb and ever since we have just put all the clothes away and then ironed as needed. I used to fold them all. Now (since baby number 7) we don't even fold them. We just make a pile and each of us takes our pile to our room and puts it away. It seemed silly to fold things that were going to be hung up anyway and it's not such a big job if we all fold our own things before we put them in our drawers.

# 9 Do you wear makeup each day or go Phhhffft! Stuff it! How often do you go to the hairdresser?
I have never worn makeup every day. When I was young I couldn't wait to be sixteen so I could wear makeup. (the age at our house) Then I turned sixteen. I get migranes from perfumes so wearing makeup was never really going to work for me because it is all full of perfume! I am also an excema sufferer. Yeah, dunno why I was so excited to be sixteen. If only I'd thought about it for a minute I'd have realised that it would never work! My Mum used to wear makeup more often than not and some of my daughters do. The hairdresser? Hmm.... my Mum is a hairdresser so the number of times I've been to a hairdresser could be counted on my fingers. She also taught me to cut hair so most of my kids have never been to a hairdresser at all. I think two of them have been to a hairdresser.

# 10 What is your ultimate personal indulgence eg. relaxation/treat
I think it is fabric. And sewing accessories. I find stitching and sewing to be very relaxing. Theraputic even. So I have a cupboard full of fabric, a rainbow of threads, zips, buttons, wadding etc, just incase inspiration comes upon me. I never have to wait for the shop to open to finish something! It is an indulgence I think, but one that I find very relaxing and pleasurable.

Okay Joolz, so that's me! If you want to be part of Joolz's giveaway go visit her blog. And if you decide to answer her questions let me know in the comments so I can come read yours too!

Sewing and duplo day.

(Flowers from Ballarat's Botanical Gardens)
We spent this afternoon at Mrs 24's house. She stitched. I drew. And the boys (grandson, Mr 8 and Mr 15) played duplo. A very relaxing and enjoyable afternoon. We had a wonderful time and laughed a lot. We must do it more often!

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Paperbag swap received!

Yesterday I received my paperbag swap from Leah. She did a marvellous job with the fabrics I sent and I really love what she did with it! I am desperate for a new bag and wallet. Well, not anymore because that's what she made for me. The bag is above. (The stitching is lovely, but all the detail photos I took were blurry!)

A good look at the wallet Leah made. I have been meaning to make a wallet since mine died last year. (Sad I know) I love this one because it's really practical. I will really be able to use it. I just love those fabrics!

A brooch with all my bits and pieces. And an mp3 player lanyard and cover. (Okay, I have to admit here that I had no idea what this was when I opened the package. As I stood there wondering Mr 15 said, "Hey! Cool mp3 cover!" Of course! On the tip of my tongue - thanks son!) All the mp3 player crazies in my house (there's a few of them) are eying it off, but I haven't relinquished ownership of it yet. I may just get an mp3 player myself!

Thank you Leah for all the lovely goodies (and the extras!). Thank you Sam for organising the swap. I am still working on mine for Leah. It's got to be good now! This swap was so much fun! Got to hit the sewing machine!!!

Sunday 24 May 2009


Just wanted to share this with you today. It is what I am all about. I think President Uchtdorf expresses exactly how I feel about creating. We all can create and it can bring joy to us all. Creating is my happy thought! Hope you are having a great day!

Saturday 23 May 2009

It's a doily kind of day.

Remember the Leanne Beasley doily I stitched for inspired stitches? Well, today I finished it. I was pretty impressed with myself! I found one of my favourite florals to back it and decided to use that fabric to make some matching doilies too. I really enjoyed making the doilies and figured that I didn't need to stitch to make a pretty doily. So today I went doily crazy.
I finished stitching my spotty flower doilies this week and finished those doilies today too. I particularly love these two. The ric rac is a piece of my favourite ric rac that I have had for about five years. I know! "Favourite ric rac"! I'm a sad case! It just seemed so perfect for this spotted fabric, so I used it. These are backed with a white self patterned fabric. Also one of my favourites!

These doilies are some that I inherited from Mrs 24. She had a clear out after acquiring grandson and all of the baby paraphenalia that grandson entails and I scored her "op-shop" doily collection. These were embroidered organza. Seriously, what kind of doily is that? So I sewed them onto some of my favourite white self patterned fabric and turned them into robust, serious doilies. They feel and look great now! Mrs 24 approved of my doily makeover. Misses 22 and 12 and I went over to her house today to visit and I took the doilies along to finish the little bit of hand sewing each one requires. Grandson loved them too! He carried them around and wore them on his head, so I must be on to a winner! Will I ever make any more doilies? Hmm..... you'll have to wait and see!

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Knitted Scarf

When we travel far in the car I am always excited about the handwork I'll be able to do! For some reason I always think I'm going to stitch, then I realise that it's just too bumpy to do that well. So I usually end up knitting. This past trip I knitted a scarf. I used 15mm needles (I loooooove fat needles!), three yarns and lattice stitch. So, now there is one more scarf at our house!

Monday 18 May 2009

Home again, home again... jiggity jig!

Yesterday was spent driving, driving again so we could go home. We only had five days to "spend" on our holiday. I really needed to get away and I had the most wonderful time. It's quite hard to take holidays when you are self-employed, and I really appreciated Bradley taking time off so we could go away. The drive home was hard because I had a migraine all day. I so badly wanted to stay in Melbourne in bed, but we needed to be home by this morning. Bradley and the kids did all the packing up while I stayed in bed moaning and then we got in the car. It really was one of the longest days ever, I was so grateful that it was a cloudy, dismal day which made the journey more bearable. When we got home I crawled into bed and didn't emerge till late today and my head is much more bearable now.
These photos were taken at "Suga" in the Queen Victoria Markets. They make a feature in their shops of the toffee (candy) making. It is facinating to watch. It is quite a heavy job and involves skill too! They are so good at it! I was fascinated to watch them at the markets. Then we went to Southland the next day, found another Suga shop and watched them there too!

We loved our holiday in Melbourne. I guess anywhere we don't usually go to would have been fun, because everything was new and exciting. Even the zoo! We have annual zoo membership for Zoos SA which means that we can go to the Adelaide Zoo or Monarto as many times as we want for a 12 month period. It also meant we could go to the Melbourne Zoo for free. It was pretty exciting because of the butterfly house and also the elephants. We don't have any elephants here in SA so the kids were pretty excited to see elephants. Especially Mr 8. So, I am grateful for the holiday, but think I need another! (There's no pleasing some people, is there?)

Saturday 16 May 2009

Buddah Day

Did you know that today is Buddah day? We didn't, not until we made our way to Federation Square here in Melbourne. Federation Square was full of all sorts of things asian. We stumbled onto an origami stall. Mr 8, Miss 22 (who is pictured above with our tutor) and I all made an origami flower brooch which Miss 22 and I are dying to replicate! And then we wore our origami brooches all around Federation Square where we discovered a book sale. (My favourite thing!) I managed to buy two books I have been looking for for a while. (Very restrained of me. Really.) And now we are relaxing and I'm considering which book to read first.

Melbourne Aquarium

This morning we went to the Melbourne Aquarium. It is just lovely. We really enjoyed it. All of the exhibits are really beautiful. One of my favourite exhibition areas was the jellyfish. They are just so graceful.

Miss 12 and her camera were busy all the time. Mr 8 had a lovely time crawling into little cubby holes with perpex domes extending into the aquarium. They also had a touching table and Mr 8 was able to touch a starfish and the empty egg cases of sharks. We had a great time, partly I think because we don't usually get to see anything like this at home.

Friday 15 May 2009

Butterfly House

There is a butterfly house at the Melbourne Zoo. I have never been in a butterfly house before. It's hot. Hot and humid. I got hot. Hot and sweaty. Today I discovered that I must be sweet. I discovered this in the butterfly house. I tried to photograph the butterflies.

I got a lot of photos that look like this! I think that pretty, exotic butterflies can fly faster than boring ordinary ones. They were so hard to photograph! In my efforts to photograph butterflies I stopped dodging butterflies and some began to land on me. One landed on my finger poised to click the button and take a photo. It's proboscus (is that a word?) unrolled to rest on my finger too. I think I must be sweet because this butterfly just didn't want to leave me. Miss 22 gently blew it off my finger and it flew right back on. I walked around and it stayed. I took photos and it stayed. I even took this photo of it on my finger!

Once it had finished being my butterfly it landed on my man, Bradley. It loved him too. It was obviously very sympatico with us! I loved the butterfly house! Mr 8 loved the elephants. (We don't have elephants at our zoos.) All in all it was a good day with some of us ending up on top of a windy observation deck tonight being scared, but appreciating the view! (Not me of course. I was at the motel with my boring knitting. Have I ever told you how much I like boring?)

Thursday 14 May 2009

A little more driving

When we left Adelaide yesterday morning it was raining. Looks like we took that rain with us to Ballarat because when we woke up this morning it was raining. Ballarat is on level 4 water restrictions and is very dry, so we felt it entirely appropriate to get excited about the rain in an Adelaide way. The photo of the leaves on the wet bituman is a tribute to the rain in Ballarat.

Our first port of call this morning (Okay, after the breakfast stop and after the jumper buying stop - did I mention that it was cold and that a certain child didn't think I meant it when I told him to pack 2 jumpers? In fact he so didn't think that I meant it that he didn't even bring 1 jumper!) was the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. The Gardens are across the road from Lake Wendouree which is quite strangely an empty lake (with jetties and rowing club houses and fishing clubs lining it's edges). We didn't bring anywhere near enough rain to fill it unfortunately, so it's still strangely empty! Just after we entered I was very taken with this lion. He seems to be an incredibly happy lion, but looking at his face fills my head with the song "Never Smile At A Crocodile". He is obviously an anthropormophised lion because he seems to have the kind of teeth you get after having been to an orthodontist for some years, rather than the kind of teeth you need to tear flesh from bones!
Everyone was happy at the Botanical Gardens actually - despite the cold! We had a good look around and then we drove to Melbourne. Melbourne is big. (I guess you all know that!) And colourful. I think if I had to describe it in one word colourful would be the word I would use. Colourful freeway barriers, colourful buildings, just colourful! We are here for a couple of days so hopefully we will see some sights!

Wednesday 13 May 2009

Driving, driving...

We drove and drove and drove today, and ended up here. Sort of. These photos were taken in Maccas (we needed a toilet!), but that was not our aim or destination. We drove all day to get to Ballarat. These photos are Ballarat as it was. What a lovely place it was! It is still somewhat like this (which obviously thrills someone from little old Adelaide where we shun development!) and Ballarat seems to have a focus on history. Of course, I have only been here for 2 hours so far, maybe that opinion will change! We hope to study Ballarat a little bit more closely tomorrow.

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Leanne Beasley's Doilies

I planned to sew for Mother's day. Instead I napped. I am still pottering around in my sewing room sorting and organising - finding homes for those things that have never had homes before. I am very happy with how it is all going. I have been stitching (I guess when I say "sew" I mean using my sewing machine and "stitching" means hand sewing!). I actually managed to finish my stitching project from inspired stitches on Sunday night (wonders will never cease!). I enjoyed stitching it so much that I managed to stitch a round doily yesterday and am planning to stitch another as well. Then I will turn them into doilies. Being at inspired stitches was invaluable because Leanne sat down with us and showed us how she puts her doilies together with a ric rac edge. Hopefully mine will look as pretty as hers after watching her! We are going away later this week so I guess the sewing machine will be idle for even longer! Hand stitching rules!!!

Saturday 9 May 2009

Mr 20 and Girlfriend's Engagement Party

Just got home from Mr 20's engagement party. It was a pretty good night and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves. The photo below (on a canvas) was taken with Mr 20's phone. Phones take such good photos these days, don't they?

This was grandson's favourite thing to do at his uncle's engagement party. He can now stand on his own and is very much looking forward to being a walking person. Any opportunity he gets to "walk" - he takes it.! Miss 17 spent quite some time helping him wander around the restaurant. Hope you are all having a great weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to one and all!

Wednesday 6 May 2009


Isn't nature wonderful? We do our very best to overcome it and it still triumphs! This tiny photo (taken by my Bradley on his phone today) is of fungi growing near the entrance to our local mall. The fungi was so pretty and it grew all along this side of the pillar. I love this time of the year. It's starting to be cooler and to look like autumn. I have been busy tidying my sewing room. It had deteriorated to a terrible mess, I couldn't even get close to my desk! I am almost done. Just those few things left that never actually had a "place" to start with. I think sometimes that the "natural" state of my sewing room is messy and no matter how much I tidy or organise, nature always triumphs and my sewing space returns to it's natural state! Messy! It is a continual struggle to keep it organised! Once it is all finished I will sew and sew and sew. Can't wait!!!

Redwork cushion swap (me to Chookyblue)

Photos taken by Chookyblue (Doesn't that gorgeous tree look just like Chookyblue's place?)

This is the redwork that resulted from my drawing here. I had a lovely time making it! It was lovely to work on because it is so textured and feels wonderful. This kind of stitching is very much like painting with needle and thread to me. I love to paint and draw too. I want to design more, I also want to paint more too. Goals for 2009! See how I go!

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Nine Patch Swap

I joined another swap. Hard to believe, I know. This is a really exciting swap though. Each month you make 12 6 1/2 inch nine patch blocks from two reproduction fabrics (one dark, one light). Easy peasy I think. You post off your 12 (and a stamped envelope-Aussies only because of the postage!) and receive back 12 blocks of different fabrics ready to go in your quilt. After 6 months you will have 72 blocks (ahrgh! Maths! Hope I'm right here!) to put together in your quilt. It is being run by Christine. You should pop over and see her to join in. (She also has made her first 12 blocks and shows you how she did it!)

I once made a civil war quilt, but apart from that have had very little experience with reproduction fabrics. (None in the stash!) So it was off to the patchwork apple to see the lovely Jane. Today was the patchwork apples 15th birthday! I have been going there for 15 years now and I love it as much now as the first time I went there. Right from the first moment I went there I felt at home. (Well actually, the shop was in Jane's home to begin with!) Jane and Annette were so friendly (and tolerant of my many homeschooled children who went everywhere with me! Unlike another Quilt shop that had a ban on children!) and their fabrics so pretty! The fabrics are still pretty and Jane is still friendly, but mostly everything else has changed! The shop has moved from Lenswood to Woodside, Annette is no longer with us, the kids mostly have their own things to do now, and I am a grey haired grandmother when I walk through Jane's door! Like my reproduction fabrics I got there today? Then you should consider joining the nine patch swap!

Sunday 3 May 2009

Rain and STILL Inspired Stitches!

For the last week or so we have had rainy weather. This is very exciting (in a really sad way) to Adelaide people! At our house we had about 84 mm of rain in April and have had 12 mm so far in May. The rain in the photo below was last Saturday.

Yes, I am STILL talking about Inspired Stitches. I was reading Peg's blog tonight about her weekend away with her sewing friends. She said that she was very blessed to have her stitching friends in her life and I thought that I hadn't conveyed to you just how much fun it was to meet other sewers at Inspired Stitches. Each unit at Westminster school slept 4 people and our unit was so much fun! It was also a wonderful feeling to be in a room full of people who love to stitch. On a swap note I sent off my Redwork Cushion Swap (that Maree organised) and it was received by Chookyblue on Friday. (So relieved! I worry until they are received. What can I say? I could worry for Australia!!!) She should be blogging about it today or tomorrow so go over and have a look at my stitching and cushion. I designed my own redwork stitchery (you may remember the drawing I showed a little sneak peek of) because I know Chookyblue loves wildflowers! I was quite pleased with it when I finished. I am spending some time this week getting organised (translation - resurrecting my trashed sewing room!) and then I will sew! Hope your week is wonderful too!

Friday 1 May 2009

It's May!

Wow! It's May. Quite unbelievable! This photo is Rosie's punchneedle bag from Inspired Stitches that I forgot to post in my projects post. Isn't it pretty? Last month saw Miss 16 turn into Miss 17. It also saw me post off my Redwork cushion swap to someone in NSW. And now it is May. We have an engagement party coming up this month. Mr 20 is engaged to his girl and their engagement party is early in May. Mr 8 is really looking forward to the engagement party because he doesn't remember Mrs 24's engagement or wedding at all and feels he should know what an engagement party is like. (Well, he was only 3!) Miss 22 is uncomfortable at the moment. She came home early from her mission because of ill health and has just discovered this week (after a CT scan) that she has a lump in her tummy which needs surgical removal. It is not a dangerous lump at all, but it requires an operation - which is not one of her favourite things - and is causing her discomfort. (Seriously, who does like operations? Those with Munchausen syndrome aside, of course!) So that's where we all are at the beginning of May. Still hoping to move, with no move on the horizon! I hope May brings you everything you are wishing for! (And me too!)