Sunday, 29 August 2010

Another Gardeners Journal block complete

At long last here is A Gardener's Journal Block H completed.  I really enjoyed stitching the tools and seed packets in this block, very cute and pretty quick to stitch too.  I'm still a month behind, but have been also getting a few stitches into the big house block which I didn't get done in June, so slow progress is at least still some progress.

Some closeups of the stitcheries.......
And the finished block.....

I've really loved reading the comments about our little corner of the world, we feel we are pretty lucky to be able to do what we do in such a beautiful and special place, so thanks for taking the time to say hello.

Hope your weekend has been enjoyable too, thanks for visiting here ....................till next time,  Nicky

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

This one's for you Blu........and we have lambs!

Yesterday our first lambs arrived, this set of twins will be the first of many.  Not a very closeup pic as I didnt want to disturb them. 

The lovely Blu, a 'clueless city girl'(her words not mine, lol) asked a few sheep questions on my last post about sheep on our farm and in New Zealand.  We run 2900 ewes, 750 hoggets, and about 70 cattle here on our farm. 
Blu also asked about black sheep. We don't have black sheep, but yes, you definitely can get them.  They usually only look really black when they are just shorn, then as their wool grows they look more of a brown colour.  Every couple of years we seem to get a completely black lamb born from a white ewe mated to a white ram.  I guess it is just one of those genetic anomalies that happen every now and then, but they are pretty cute when it does happen.  
And yes, there really are more sheep in New Zealand than people, by a huge amount.  4 million people and about 45 million sheep.    Enough of the sheep jokes now, thankyou!

Today we had the conveyor contractor here, to vaccinate our main mob of ewes.  The sheep run up the drafting race, up the little ramp and on to the conveyor.  It is a bit like a horizontal escalator that they are moved along and we give them two small injections.  One is a long acting drench, the other protects the ewes and therefore the lambs through the ewes milk, from several clostridial diseases like tetanus, pulpy kidney, blood poisoning and a couple of others I can't recall at the minute!  The conveyor makes it a very quick, less stressful job on both sheep and farmer!  We put 2000 ewes through in just over 2 hours.
Then it was time to spread the ewes out for lambing.  We scan the ewes in late winter, and the twins all lamb together in their own paddocks, with the single bearing ewes lambing in their own mobs too.
The farm is starting to green up again now that winter is almost over, we have had a few beautiful days, so the grass is really growing now.

This next pic is from near the back of our farm, looking back towards our sheds on the left of the picture.  The hills and paddocks in the far distance belong to our neighbours.
And these two are from near the other end of the farm.  Our house is down below the trees in the middle.  The cattle yards left of the middle of this pic are ours and so is the paddock beyond them, but the rest of what you see here is all our neighbours land, but these are some of the beautiful views we enjoy.  Most of our farm runs to the right of the top pic.  The bottom pic is looking north from the same spot and our paddocks are one on each side of the driveway going in towards our house.

Well, that is enough farming for one day, hope that helps Blu, thanks for your interest.  My garden is calling me today, it is another gorgeous spring-like day, so time to get some more roses pruned(very late, I know).

Thanks for visiting today, and for all your lovely comments on my needleturn last post, bye for now,

Monday, 23 August 2010

Down on the farm this weekend............

........there was lots of this............shifting sheep.
It was all hands on deck to help with putting up fences.
It really is a dog's life around here!

There was time for some Butterfly Garden stitching on Sunday night, and finally I have finished one of these needleturn daisies ..................

..............and another miniblock from Block One.

Not the most perfect needleturn, looks a bit bumpy round the edges to me, but it will do for now.  I have another 15 of these to try and get my technique right!

Hope you had a fabulous weekend too ................Nicky

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A Friday Night Sew-In Finish

Yippee - A start and finish all in one night - must be a record for me. LOL
This is a pencil roll for my daughters birthday next month - I like to give them a little handamde something as well as the 'big ticket' item that is usually on the list.
 This was super quick to make, it took me longer to work out the measurements than it did to sew it up, that might also have something to do with my maths ability though!

I love Friday Night Sew-In - because I also managed to get most of my next Gardener's Journal block made up too.  Will get that finished up tomorrow and get some pics.  If you were busy for FNSI, I hope you had a productive night too!   Thanks for looking .......................Nicky

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Friday Night Sew-In Plans

Tomorrow is Friday Night Sew-In....check out the link in my sidebar............why not join in?  My goal is to turn these two new Michael Miller fabric purchases into a little surprise for my younger daughters birthday next month.  It won't be completed in one night I don't think, but I will  let you know how I get on .  I thought these giraffes were just too cute - they make me smile, and I think my daughter will too.

Also planned for Friday Night Sew-In is to get this garden tools block made up as much as I can for this months A Gardener's Journal block, I still have a couple of little stitcheries to finish to complete the block, but it's slowly getting closer.


Also purchased this week was the latest edition(at least in NZ anyway) of my all-time favourite magazine, Australian Homespun.  I have been collecting these from the beginning, and there is so much eye candy and gorgeous inspiration to be found within.   This is the Christmas Issue - and as always I was not disappointed.

Whether you are joining in Friday Night Sew-In or not, have a great weekend doing something that makes you smile!!  Thanks for stopping by ....................................... Nicky

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The week that was ......

Hi all, there isn't a lot of news around here.......just the normal comings and goings of family and work life. Thanks for all the kind comments about our new baby Kelly, this is a photo of her I got yesterday....why is it they always look so sad? I'm sure she does have a happy life for the most part, but as soon as you try to get a still photo, those big eyes always come out so sad looking! 
We've had a very cold wet week, this was the view from the upstairs deck last Monday, snow falling, thankfully it didn't get any worse than that, but it was a slow trip to work as before the snow started, we had a very hard frost, so roads were icy too. Bring on Spring, we are all over Winter!! A few rhodos are just starting to flower so something better must be on its way. 
It's been a case of going backwards not forwards on my stitching. The miniblocks I had done for BG were laid out on my sewing room floor, when our very old(nearly 17 years) cat decided to relieve himself on them. I only noticed the next day that they all looked a little messed up than how I had left them. On closer inspection I could see - and smell - that they had cat pee on them. While I was seething mad, I realise he is very old and in failing health, so we just need to watch him carefully, he doesn't usually spend a lot of time inside, and I will keep the sewing room door shut in future. I've washed the blocks(several times), and apart from one fabric shrinking a bit, which I have now replaced, they look and smell OK now. The joys of pets!

Some Gardeners Journal stitching was achieved last night though, the garden tools are nearly done. Definitely trying to get this block done before the end of the month. We start lambing in about ten days and things will get a little crazier round here! We are vaccinating our older ewes this afternoon, and then spreading them out around their lambing paddocks. Can't wait to get some lambs on the ground - then winter will have to go away! If only it was that easy. lol

Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate you visiting!

Till next time ............................... Nicky

EDITED TO ADD: The photos on this post didn't seem to be showing first time around, so I have republished this post.  Apologies if you end up with it twice on Google Reader etc.  I thought I was being smart trying to blog straight from Picasa, but somehow I don't think I got it right!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Introducing the newest member of the family........

I've been very slack in not sharing this news Kelly, the newest member of our family.  Kelly is a black Labrador Retreiver, and she is a real delight. We thought it was about time the girls had a pet dog, as even though the 5 farm dogs we have are all very friendly, they can't live at the house, and the girls don't get to care for them regularly as they do for Kelly.  We picked her up at the end of June, when she was six weeks old.  She is now thirteen weeks old and has tripled in size from these early photos.
She is heaps of fun, a very busy girl, although is tending to be a bit nippy at the moment when she is excited, but I think she will grow out of that.  She is loving to chew on anything she finds, doesn't matter if it is your sock with your foot still inside it!  I'll get some more photos of her soon, as she looks a lot bigger and more 'grown-up' already.

It's a horrible day here today, freezing cold rain, with some snow predicted - I just hope that doesn't happen.  After we've shifted sheep, and helped put up some more fences for the next few days, we're going to watch a couple of rugby games and I am planning some stitching tonight. I'm picking Southland to beat Otago(I hope) to retain the Ranfurly Shield, followed by the All Blacks to beat the Wallabies(I hope). 
Go the Stags and the AB's!!! 

Have a wonderful weekend.............Nicky

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Flutterby butterfly

Here is a quick update of last weeks miniblock - the one with the stitchery butterflies, these blocks are pretty quick, so I've also done this weeks easy-peasy one, no stitchery or applique on it - now I have to get on with some dreaded needleturn - I hope it goes OK, it's not my best skill yet - probably never will be, but I will try!
This is the pattern of Block One, you can check out the original quilt here.  There are 9 blocks this size, in a  3 x 3 layout, a total of 81 miniblocks in all.  So I have 4 miniblocks done, only 77 to go!

Thanks for looking, bye for now,  Nicky

Sunday, 1 August 2010

A Gardeners Journal June(?) Block

Does it matter that today is the 1st of August? Of course not, it only matters that progress is happening! I finished this orchard block up this morning, and it is so nice to have another one done.  My plan is to continue with the garden tools block next.

I also have another Butterfly Garden block nearly done, so far I am getting one miniblock done per week.
Early days yet though, given my track record of taking a very long time to finish things.  Not a lot exciting happening around here, the girls have been back at school for a couple of weeks, our eldest's netball team still have a few weeks left in the season, and by the end of this month we will have lots of lambs running around.  We have had an incredibly mild winter, no snow, and not too many southerly storms, so hopefully we will have a good lambing, and not lose to many newborn lambs in stormy weather.

Thanks for stopping by ...........till next time, Nicky

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