Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spring bought me lots of lovely gifts!

So we have been busy as usually.  My lovely 2 sussex hens have been dutifully sitting on some eggs.  Myrtle and Gyrtle have delivered me 5 lovely baby chicks and have decided to sit again for me.  I think we have 3 sussex chicks and 2 Sussex X Ilsa Brown chick.  Aren't they just gorgeous!

Sussex X Ilsa Brown (we think)
Sussex X Ilsa Brown

our 3 Sussex chicks
We also have some new ducks,  A friend  had them but her exhisting duck did not take well to the new ones so they now have a home here. They are Indian Runner Ducks (you know the ones, they stand upright, the movie Babe had them)  We haven't named them yet but I'm thinking Duck, Duck and Duck!  I know its silly but when ever I walk out there the first thing I say is Duck, Duck Duck!  They seem to be changing colours nearly every day so we shall see how they turn out when they get their adult feathers.  They are cute but you wouldn't believe how messy they are,   I think my kids and chickens together are cleaner than these things.

Duck, Duck and Duck!
I also went out the a spinning equipment market at Littlehampton this month too.  It was my Dear Hubby and my 15th wedding anniversary and he wasn't here so what else do you do but shop.  I have been eyeing off the squirrel cage swift for a long time but couldn't justify the money for it, well I spend my b'day money I had been saving on getting it.  and I am so glad I did, no more bribing someone to hold the skein while I ball it up and followed by the inevitable knots and yelling, and it is as smooth as silk.  I also unexpectedly got a new wheel ( I know I already have 2 ashfords which I love).  She is a second hand Ron Dooley wheel ( I lovely old man here in the hills that makes wheels and lots of other wood things)  it is lovely and compact for me to travel with and spins like nothing else I have ever spun on,  My spinning improved just using it.  I made a beanie  (using my pattern but used a beginning st of 5 not 4) out of some lovely kathys fibres roving, it is 21.5 micron merino, so it is just so soft.

Squirrel Cage Swift                                                                  New Wheel

Kathy's Fibre Roving

Navajo Plied Yarn

Nish's Beanie

Hmm what else. oh I started the beginning of my veggie patch, I planted just some basics.  It's not the veggie patch I want but that is going to take longer that expected whilst we sort out other things around the property. So for now its a start,  I figured I would just keep expanding it until its the layout I want.  at the moment it is just 1 little lonely bed in a paddock.

The layout of my 1 little bed

see the very lonely little bed!

 The other thing I love about our first spring here is not knowing what is popping up in the garden.  The gardens here had been started and even though its a bit different from what I would have done there is lots of flowers.  It had been let go for a few years though and there is lots of work to be done but every where you look there are beautiful flowers of all shades coming up.  There is also some exhisting fruit scattered around the place so I thought I would share some with you - got to share the beauty!

Exhisting Passion fruit Vine

the flowers on the passion fruit vine

No idea what it its but its pretty and pink!

I love this one for the changing colours in the flowers

This is a type of rose, it starts out Pink and as it ages fades to white.
It grows like the clappers and is a pretty way to hide the Bio-cycle
  Well this has been a long post so better wind it up.  If I don't make it back before Christmas, I hope you all stay safe and enjoy this celebration of our lords birth.  Don't forget in all the chaos to love one another and enjoy.

Catchya later


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spring is definately here!

As usually we have been busy here.  Spring is definaely upon us and they Hayfever is in full swing.  Although even with the worst hayfever we have all had in years (if ever for some of the munchkins) we have still been so much healthier over all through the last few months than we were before we moved up here - so yes moving here is still the blessing we thought it was.

Hmmm where to begin this month.  How about with the sheep.  After shearing I got my lovely coloured girls some coats to keep their wool clean and to prevent sunbleeching of those lovely colours.  It is lovely when you let the sun get them and makes some beautiful hand spun tweed yarn, but I will generally keep them coated and then maybe every 2-3 years give them a year off.  Paul and Delvene (our farmer friends) came over for the weekend with the kids and we had a lovely time.  4 adults, 9 kids and 3 dogs in the house made for a very noisy but fantastic weekend.  On the sunday Paul and I ( and my beautiful spud and heys of course)  rounded up the sheep to put the coats on.  Here are some picies Paul trying to teach me how to handle the sheep - Yes go on have a good laugh, Ian was. (It was a miricale we got photos that werent blurred from the laughing movements)  and the girls have their coats on now.

Stick your Leg out round the back like this!

There I did it! Yay Me!

Having a go by myself this time - I did get it in the end it was just unconventional

Me and Paul putting the coat on


My beautiful girls (and 1 boy) some with coats on.

Free back in the paddock now!

Ok so now you have had a good giggle, what else has been going on.  The kids had their first sports day and their new school.  They had a great time,  which is unusuall for Dave and PJ especially.  Ian has made a dog fence around the house so now my lovely boys can run free all day instead of being chained to a long lead - their behaviour is much improved.  As we speak Nish is packing to go for a 6 day camp to Canberra with her year 7 class and some of the other year 7 classes from other schools in the area -  she is soooooo excited.  Its only a few more weeks left of this term and she is off to High School next year.  Where does the time go? she is practically a teenager! Kielah has been diagnosed with Autism (so thats 3 on the autism spectrum now)  nothing much changes around here with her - we always new- but at least now she will be able to get so more help at school  Her speech therapy is going along great guns and she is now speaking well enough that most people can understand the gist of what she is saying.  The boys are loving it here still,   David is outside so much  and PJ is just a born farm kid he is alway out either gardening or playing with the animals or wandering around some where.  Tycarni is doing fabulously at school and still loves it she is lovin all the flowers that are blossoming at the moment - definiately loves spring.

We also have our 2 white sussex hens sitting on eggs that should beggin to hatch over the next week.  I have cleaned out the cage ready for the new arrivals.  You will all be glad to hear that I still occasionally have blonde moments.  I got royally yelled at by Ian this week when he was on his way to the hardware store for some plumbing stuff and I asked him to get me some Hay.  "You've got to be kidding me haven't you, open your eyes woman have you seen all the grass lying around the property, go cut some!"  Yes I did actually forget that the paddocks are so full of hay and grass thay we cant get it down quick enough.  Yes I made hay.  I now realise we really do need to hurry up and get a tractor because chopping the grass with a whipersnipper and putting it through the mulcher took me ages and I got about 1/3 of a bale of hay!  Oh well at least the baby chicks have a nice new clean home to come to.

I have been very slack this month and have barely looked at my spinning wheel.  I have finished off a few projects of knitting though!

Next years Diary Cover - designed by me!

A vest for PJ that was done as a KAL with Delvene

Socks for PJ, another KAL with Delvene

and a Tee for Nish

I have decided to get some spinning done in november because poor David hasn't had anything done for him since we moved as 2 of the 3 things I have going for him are waiting on me spinning some more yarn.  Its good to have goals!

Delvene also put me onto a great handsoap recipe,  I have been looking for one for ages and couldn't find one that would work or that I liked (or rather Ian liked).  I love it and thought I would share it with you.

Easy liquid soap recipe

 This is the recipe from hazeltree farm but the bits in red are the bits I added or changed

This recipe makes just under two litres (half a gallon) of general purpose liquid soap. It is best made in the evening, as it will need to cool overnight before blending (the final stage).


1 cup soap flakes or grated bar soap.
1.5 litres (1 1/2 quarts) water.
1 tablespoon of glycerin.
 Lavender or any essential oil
food colouring if you would like to tint the soap (I use a 3 drps of red and it turns the whole thing a creamy  
     pale pink)

You will need:

A large saucepan.
A cup measure, and a tablespoon measure.
A sealable glass jar, or an assortment of cleaned hand pumps or old squeeze-pack shampoo containers.
    I use a clean 3ltr milk container
A stick blender, food processor or hand-held egg beater.


Mix the ingredients together in a large saucepan over a low heat.
Keep stirring occasionally until the soap flakes have dissolved and the mixture is smooth in texture.

Let cool overnight until room temperature. The mixture will be slightly thick and milky-looking, with a jellylike
      texture. (I usually pop it into a sealable jar for cooling). (or I leave it in the pot with the lid on on the stove
      over night
add the food colouring and the food dye at this point if you wish

Blend with a stick blender, food processor or egg beater until smooth. (this is the bit that made it work for
       me,  the recipe is the same as the one I had tried and failed so many times in the past and this is the only
       thing different and you wont believe the difference it makes)
Store in a sealable glass jar, or decant directly into whatever containers you want

I have used this in my cleaning spray (recipe below) instead of the grated soap and it works a treat.  My eczma is a lot better of and the kids using a bit too much doesnt annoy me so much as when we were paying through the teeth for liquid soap and no more dead soap bars lying around - its great give it a try.

Cleaning Spray
2 tbs of Grated soap (now I use 1/2 cup of the above soap recipe and skip step 1 of the method)

4 cup of  water

1/2 cup of white vinegar
prefered essential oil - lavender, orange or tea tree are my preferred

Mix the grated soap into 1 cup of boiling water. 
once the soap is disolved and cooled of to warm add in the remaing 3 cups of water and the vinegar,  once the water is a tepid temperature add in your chosen essential oil.  store in a spray bottle and use for nearly every thing

- quick cleaning of spills, cleaning the vanity, cleaning glass and windows, wiping of laminate bench tops - the list goes on, there is nothing I really dont use it for it is pretty much my standard go to cleaner.  The lavender is also an antibacterial so that is great too especially when there are horrid bugs or sickness in the house it is sprayed nearly on anything I walk past lol.
Now even better with the liquid soap and easier to make up as I dont need the boiling water any more and then there is no wait for cooling down time.

Well everyone, this has been a long post, thanks for hanging in there, you all deserve a chochie break now.  Ok well will post again soon, stay safe and well and enjoy spring.

catch you later


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spring Is Here

Yes spring has begun and this month has been all about the knitting.  I have finished and started quiet a lot of projects lately and have been buying wool like a made woman. hmm where to begin, OK I made this top for Nish,                                                   and this vest jacket (with a few modifications)

PJ Scored a vest (sorry no online link to pattern).  I actually did this as a knit along with my farmer friend DJ. I found this really annoying to knit and don't particulary like it cause its just too busy and like an explosion in a jam factory, but he loves it and I have trouble getting it off him to wash, which does make me feel good about knitting it.

DJ and I have also started this for our girls and this vest for our baby boys (sorry need ravelry to access this link).  I am also knitting a tee for Nish and a dress/top for Tay.  So yes knitting has been busy. 

Ian was also concerned about the growths on my trees as you can see in these photos.

 Yes they are lovely skeins of recycled yarn.  I went for a little trip to my farmer friends and she took me to a local second hand shop that does recycled yarn.  I went a bit nuts, I think I worked out there is about 70 x 50gm balls of yarn I bought. I will definatley need to do some more knitting. the yarn stash is getting a bit out of control now, I have officially run out of space in the workshop to put it.

On the farm, we also have a new sheep, her name is Cutlett and is a White Merino, so we are now up to 9 sheep in a vast aray of colours.  We also had a first shearing.  I have kept the fleeces but not sure that they will be spinable as they are all a bit short.  they sheep were shorn at all different times and were all under a year ago, but to get them into the right time for here and all at the same time I had to bite the bullet and just do it.  here's some picies.

Chastity - Black Merino
lovely black smooshy goodness

Naked Sheep
6 adult fleeces & 2 lamb fleeces
So now my lovelies are all immunised, drenched, shorn and tagged, so they now get to spend 6 months just eating and growing me lovely wool.

We have also taken Myrtle (one of our sussex chickens) and put her seperate with 11 eggs to see if she will sit and hatch some chickens for us - now we just wait. 

The grass around here is getting a bit out of control and we have yet to buy a tractor or ride on mower.  So I took to the patch were I want my veggie garden to be with a whiper snipper,  yeah not something I would like to do regularly, I am only about 1/2 way through and I have had enough already.

Well thats about it for now, next I plan to work on our putting in our veggie patch and orchard, so we shall see how that goes. 
Catch you later

Monday, September 13, 2010

A catch up!

I must begin by saying I have been so slack with my blog but life has been very busy and exciting to say the least. Where to start well our girls had their babies. Patience had twin boys we named Justice and Honour. we were hand feeding Justice and he was going great guns. he would spend the night in the outdoor cage that is attached to the house and then in the morning he would walk out on his lead to the grass for the day, then back in at night and spend the evening getting his bottle feeds. He was just starting to really settle in as part of the family when unfortuately he got in to the old grown over veggie patch and ate something he shouldn't - unfortunately he is no longer with us. Probably a blessing that I wasn't blogging then. his brother Honour will now become our breeding ram. Hope had a lovely little girl who is very prissy and delightful. both are with their mums in the paddock doing well.

PJ and Justice

We have also added 4 new sheep to our flock. They are an early birthday present for me. Chastity is a Black Merino and she has a white bottom. Honesty is a Black/Grey Corridale and Mercy is a Grey Corridale, and last but not least is Purity who is a White Corridale. These girls a lovely addition to our flock and will supply some beutiful choices of wool for me to spin. Both the Merino and the Corridales will also cross well with our Border Leister Ram Honour to produce even nicer wool and lovely meat - We are looking forward to lots of BBQ's with friend in the years to come.

The New Girls

Life was also a bit chaotic here with Ian away for the only trip of the year that spans 2 weeks and a weekend and in true tradition I ended up with my arm in plaster the thursday before he left. This is a trick I really don't want to repeat. You think you know how much you use your hands/arms until you can't use one and then you really realise. Nish was amazing and picked up a lot of the slack helping me do things while Ian was gone. I think the toughest thing of all was not being able to knit or spin and even typing on the computer was very restricted (I'm not very good with the one finger approach and got very fustrated). Well the good news is that the plaster is off and I am back to my normal self now.

The Chickens have been supply many a tasty egg. I have added to our chickens with a Sussex Rooster and 2 Sussex Hens - I bought them home from my go to farming info friends the Johnsons - after a lovely trip over to visit them. They were laying within a day of travelling and they seem to have kick started some of the Ilsa browns to lay too. I have finally moved the out of their temporary accomodation into the big chicken house and I am now getting on about 3-5 eggs a day!

The new chickens

Talking of my friends the Johnsons, when I went over for a visit I took Heys and Spud with me and they had a lovely time running free with their mum, dad and brother tiny. I came home in the car with 2 dogs, 3 chickens and a little sickly lamb I was going to try and coax into surviving - Gracie. She put a good fight but went to supply all our spinners and knitters in heaven after about 5-6 days. The Johnsons returned the visit this weekend and taught a couple of city folk how to heard, hold, drench, tail and tag sheep and use the dogs to heard. I was so proud of Spud he was amazing at hearding the sheep, definately a natural. Heys also had a good go and is learning from Spud. Paul says we wouldn't have gotten the sheep into the pen without Spud and I was proud like a school mum really. I was also very impressed with my city boy hubby who really took to the farm boy skills and tag and drenched Patience and Honour and even tailed Honour. He had a ball and was so excited and motivated that today he went and worked on the fences and fiddled around all day on the place.

Knitting has been a bit on hold with the plaster but is back great guns. I finished a few jumpers and a hat for a friend and have started a few more projects (will update on them next time). I have also been doing a vest as a Knit-a-Long with my friend Delvene. KAL are a great way to keep motivated and I am loving doing them with her and are forever looking to the next project.

Well there are probably lots of holes in my update but I will let you know as I think of them so I will go for now and I will try to be a lot better with my blogging.

Catch you Later


Friday, July 9, 2010


Ok life has been exciting to say the least since our last post.  It started of with Akielah finally learning to ride her bike (only took us 3-4 years to teach her how to do it).  Now I'm not so sure it was a good idea.  4 days after having her training wheels taken off she has turned into extreme sports rider, speed racing down the driveway, testing the very steep bumpy paddock hill for bike suitability, and now riding off the garden area off the 4 steps to see if she can land the bike with out falling off!

Ian also finished the first paddock fencing so now we officially have a paddock.  And he has been off to Sheep School too!  We will be mini farmers yet! 

We also got a PIC number (property identification code) so we are really doing the farm thing now.  We also decided on a name for the Farm - Magarmhey - you will get browny points for working out why (unless I have already told you of course).  So with the these things finally done, and now look what we bought yesterday!

They are Border Leicester Sheep, and hopefully they are pregnant due in late july - mid august.  Hopefully we will have some very cute additions to the family soon.  We have decided to name them Patience and Hope -  Well that is the general consensus at the moment could change over the next day.  We got them from a lovely man at Inverbrackie Border Leicester Stud.  He also blessed me with 4, yes, count them 4, alpaca fleeces, so I am sure you will be seeing/hearing more about them soon.

I have also been knitting again as usual,   The yarn I spun up last post is now this Beret (sorry the link is only in Ravelry) but its lovely to Knit and even warmer to wear.

I have also spun up some beutiful Alpaca roving into this lovely yarn, it is really soft and squishy - I could just roll around in it.

As you can see busy, busy, busy.  Catch you later


Saturday, June 26, 2010

A busy 10 days!

Well its been a bit cold up here at the moment,  The locals keep telling me it's not cold yet but my body doesn't seem to agree with them.  As you can see from these pics  its we have had a few frosty mornings.  I know we had green pasture here when I went to bed!

We have also had a little bit or rain, and what else do you do when your 7 and its wet and rainy - go an play in the mud!  Akielah was having a ball playing in the mud, she looked so happy it made me miss being young on a rainy day, Ian wasn't real sure about her playing in the mud on the driveway so I figured he wouldn't have been to happy if I joined her!

I have been knitting up a storm.  I finished Akielah's Steppe Ahead jumper that I was doing on the long weekend.  She loves it and now I have to convince her to take it off so I can wash it.

I have started a vest version for David and a Jumper version for Tycarni.  The down side if having 5 kids is that they all want one and I am sort of over knitting this pattern and am ready to knit something else. 

I have also been spinning as well.  What started out as this corridale fleece from a sheep called romeo

became 210 metres of fingering weight, yummy squishy soft yarn and now I need to decide what to make with it. Any Suggestions?

We had a bit of a messy week this week,  The good was on wednesday when my compustion fire went in.  Ian had thursday off to fix up the fences so we can get the sheep on the property but when we got up in the morning there was no water to the house.  There is at least 3 weeks of water left in the tanks, so we figured it must be a pump problem.  He spent the day fiddling with the pumps while I was down in the city taking Akielah to speech therapy. 

Her latest assesment report has come in and she has a severe speech delay (well I knew that) but it has her at about <0.1% of her age group.  Then it was off to the pediatrician.  That didn't go much better, he is not sure about her, on paper she presents as Autistic but he said watching her in the room not so much, however he is concerned that because of the work we did with both David and PJ for their Aspergers to help them with their eye contact and social skills and because we worked with them as a whole family, that we may have hidden or "coached" her how to act and therefore makes it hard to see some of the things he is looking for - although this is good for Akielah it makes diagnosis that much harder.  So now we are on the waiting list for a child development team assesment which wont probably be until April next year! We ae however going to try and sort it out privately.We will go and see the phycologist from the team privately and our pediatrician is the teams pediatrician, she has a speech therapist and we may be able to sort it out this way.  We shall see.

So then I headed home to arrive to Ian in a snoot.  He had spent $1500 on a new pump to find out that its not actually the pump but the actual placement of the pump.  Because the water level was now lower than the pump it couldn't get it out and up to the house.  So we ordered a water delivery in and now we have water again and Ian's list of things to do just got longer (have to move the pumps).  Ahhh well its all funny after the event.  We will get there and we still think that a bad day here is better than a good one down in the burbs. 
Catch you next time!