Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas presents

Wow I can't believe how long it has been since I was here last.  My flu has gone, only to be replaced with other health issues; nothing life threatening so all is good. 
In amongst all the usual things of life, work, kids etc, I have been busy working on some christmas presents which I thought I would share with you.  One of them is still a secret so that will have to wait for another week, but these can be shown now.  i have made two table runners for a couple of friends. One of my friends has the surname of 'Noel' and it has been a bit of a joke at christmas time; you dont see my surname on all the christmas stuff!  So i happened across some fabric with Noel printed on it and made a table runner around that.
I quite enjoyed making this with the redwork and am quite happy with how it turned out.

The next runner is for another friend, I had the pattern for the angel stitchery and worked the runner around that using material from work.  I am pleased with the way the different fabrics went together; this is still a skill I have to work at.
I actually am pleased with  both and now am wondering how I can bear to give either of them away! I guess that is a good thing, it means I haven't skimped on the quality and they should both be very happy.

The last present is for someone special and while it wont be quite finished, it will be in an okay state to be given as a gift and I do think the recipient will not mind. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cute kids

Okay, okay, as my eldest son turns 15 on Saturday (where did the time go?), I guess they are not really in the "cute" catagory anymore but they were both so sweet yesterday.
They knew my plan was to lie on the couch wathcing movies so my youngest son compiled a little pile of DVDs so i would have a choice of what i wanted to watch. Then he removes one of them (The Notebook) and puts it back on the shelf saying "we dont have enough tissues left for you to watch this". Funny little bugger. I haven't watched it in front of them; i like to watch my sad chick flicks on my own and have a guilt-free sob without spectators!!  But he knows i think it is sad so back on the shelf it went! 

My eldest son's contribution was Finding Nemo which I am about to go and watch.  I am feeling much better today but have been grocery shopping this morning, by necessity and not by desire; so am going to take it easy for a couple of hours, watch a movie. Then i will be dusting off some nice clothes and going out for dinner which a very nice friend has just invited me to.  Yesterday that wouldn't have been possible but I guess we humans are resilient creatures.  So while i dont feel well by any means, I do feel better than I did and hope to continue that way, with frequent rests I imagine.
The other sweet thing was the bowl of jelly my youngest son made me the night before.  I always make them jelly when they are sick so he made one for me. Awwww, what a sweetie!

So it is off for Finding Nemo (to show my son that even though he was being a smarty pants; I will watch it anyway!!) and some jelly! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some garden pictures

I thought, in the absence of any crafting, I would show you a couple of the pretty things we have flowering in our garden.
First off is a kangaroo paw, which I am allergic to but these ones seem to be not so bad.  And as i have no plans to roll around in them, I think it will be fine.
Like many things we have planted, these have taken a couple of years to really get established. It didn't help that they were eaten quite badly after we planted them (which has happnede again to some new ones we put in not so long ago - darn rabbits).  But these ones have come up well and they are so pretty along the front of our carport.

In a recurring rabbit theme; we planted pencil pines down our driveway and left a space between each, where we alternated some dwarf lavender and some of these;

The tag says they are called dianthus but I know them as carnations.  They are looking very pretty, most have at least one or two flowers; one is covered in them.  As for the rabbits; well they have seen fit to feast on the lavender so we will have to rethink that option.
Lastly is one of our roses:

They are all looking so nice this year, but I do need to go out and do some deadheading.  I love the garden this time of year. it is alwasy so green and pretty. 

As for the lack of anything crafty; I have come down with the flu, or something like it.  I spent the weekend resting and yet still had to call in sick yesterday.  I spent yesterday on the couch which is todays plan too!  I haven't been sick in aaaages (except for my ear problems) so I am not happy! Over the weekend I wanted to knit a bootee to match the single, lonely, one that has been sitting on my table for a few weeks now. it took me all weekend to get it done, obviously my energy levels are not where they should be.  So today and tomorrow will be spent resting and then hopefully it is back to work on Thursday.  My scarf is looking good; I have almost reached halfway, and ia m really really pleased with it. But it has been put away at the minute as well.  Maybe tomorrow I can get it out and plug away on it again.

It is going to be quite warm today; over 30 degrees. I have the house opened up this morning, catching the cool early morning air.  I would much rather have the house opened up than closed but with the heat expected today the doors will be shut shortly.  It does look like being a beautiful day though.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Some knitting to show you

Well i really should be finishing off some christmas presents that are almost done, but instead I bought some beautiful wool last week and couldn't resist so have been plugging away and knitting until my hands are too sore.
I am not sure if I have told you but i can't wear wool. We have some gorgeous baby alpaca where i work so I bought a skein of 2ply, hoping I could wear it and guess what: I think I can!! It is oh so soft.  it is a basic feather and fan pattern but done on 4.5mm needles so it comes out nice and lacy. i can't wait to finish it, by which time it will be well and truly Summer and it will be put away for next winter. it will be something I can look forward to.
So anyway, here it is.
The colour hasn't quite come out right but it is close enough.  On the skein all you really see is the lighter colour and I wasn't too fussed but I took the gamble. I am so glad I did as once it is knitted the darker colours ome out more and it is really lovely (i think so anyway!)

oops, just looked at the time, it is past time that i should have dinner on so off i go.  we had a wedding on Saturday, an old friend of mine (her family were very fond of saying on Saturday when I was introduced to anyone that I had known the bride for years and years; was starting to make me feel very old!! Anyway, I will get on tomorrow and share some pictures; if there are any good ones, I haven't checked yet.  It was a fun night and hey both looked very happy which is good as it was not either of their first marriages.

Monday, November 14, 2011

More Dr Seuss

How can there be more you ask?  A friend asked if I would make quilts for her nephews for Christmas to which I promptly laughed and said catagorically NO!  I do love her dearly but the quilting of the Dr Seuss quilt was a nightmare, and that was before the drama with the washout pens. So i compromised (as she is a very good friend LOL!) and offered to make her a couple of cushions for her to give to her nephews.  So, in a first for me as Christmas is six weeks away my kids tell me, I did not leave it until the last minute and have done them and handed them over yesterday. Phew, that is one thing off my list (well two actually).
So here they are:

I am really happy with them and am thrilled withhow they turned out. I made the blue one first and really just made it up as i went along.  When I was finished i stood back to admire my crafting genius. Obviously DH had seen that particualr look in my eye before as I was told sternly that I was NOT to keep them LOL!  The red one came next and was easier in one way as i knew what i was doing but it was harder i that i was trying not to just use the same material as the first one.
One of the good things about this whole project is the material is left over from the quilt, except for the centre panels, the zips and the cushion inserts. 
My friend seemed quite happy with them so hopefully her nephews like them too.  They are aged two and five I think. She is going to package them up with some cat in the hat books too. A great idea I think.

The other quilt that is being made is coming along nicely (shhh it is still a secret!) and it is being sent away hopefully next week to be professionaly quilted which I am loving the idea of.  I will still have to handquilt a section in the middle; something I haven't done before.  I have decided that trying to quilt anything larger than a table runner in my normal little sewing machine is a fool's job and so I am excited to see how this goes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

strawberry bootees

Over the weekend I managed to whip up the strawberry bootees that are on the front of my little knitting book (yes, i do have other books, but this one is so sweet that I am slowly working my way through it).
So here they are (and aren't they simply adorable????):
I have no-one to give them to at the minute but they can sit and wait for a suitable recipient. They are oh so cute and very easy; except the flowers that require a basic knowledge of crochet which I do not have.  So a big thank you to my boss who kindly whipped these up for me. They do finish them off beautifully. 

The other thing I have managed to whip up last night is this; yes another bag. Also from Keykalou.   It is a little camera case, and I have to tell you, it fits my digital camera like a glove.  Just perfect.  I didn't make it for that however as we have a little case for our camera, but I htought it would be handy for the days when I go out just with my keys and phone.  It is sadly just a tad too small for that but my plan is to enlarge the pattern by 50% and see how that goes. 

 If the material looks familiar, it is not the same as the fabric I used for the last bag, but it belongs to the same range. The design is much smaller, making it perfect for such a small bag
 Please excuse my post today, I cannot seem to arrange the photos where i want them and it is messing up with where the text goes.  Anyway, doesn't matter i suppose.
So, this is my weekend's work, I am very pleased with both projects.
And now back to the christmas sewing I go.  The two table runners are not far from being done, the quilt I am making for the shop is also almost done (the quilting is being done by someone else thankfully). Then I need to make the quilt I am doing for a personal present; that one I will have to do. And by hand by the look of it.  Not sure if it will be done by christmas but I think the person receiving it will forgive me. 


Thursday, November 3, 2011

More bags

sigh, do I really need more bags?  probably not but I was chatting to Linda the other day and she pointed out a website to me that has bag patterns; bags, bags and more bags!  What a great site, with patterns that you pay for and then download; no waiting for mail to come.  So off to Keykalou i went and found some great things i couldn't do without.
i did love the clutch purse pattern, which I see Linda at Billabongs to Bling has also made.  I bought the pattern on tuesday morning and spent tuesday and Weds dreaming about some fabric we have at work that I was dying to use. So after waiting two days, off to work I went and bought the material and voila!, my new bag.

I love the stained glass fabric range we currently have in and this material just called to me. It is a little unusual though as I am a soft pink and blue girl, not hot pink and bright colours.  I am not sure what is happening in my "old" age but my tastes are definately changing.  Or maybe they aren't changing, maybe I am just more confident to wear/do what i want without worrying what others think.

What I do know is this: I have a wedding tomorrow and then another one in two weeks where i will be wearing black and silver, and this bag is going to look fabulous with that!!
I will point out quickly before i go that I wanted straps on this bag and there wasn't any in the pattern so I am joining one on. I dont want to have to hold this all night.
The pattern was great, easy to follow and the bag went together well. The only problem I had was the interfacing. Being in somewhat of a hurry to do this, I didn't have time to look around for some decent interfacing for bags so found some in a shop that was thick and nice and stiff. Great. Only the stiffness isn't the problem but the fact that it is papery so the bag isn't soft, it creases like paper and is really annoying.  it shouldn't matter as it is going to be used as a going out bag and not for every day.  I did buy more interfacing than I needed though, I was sure it would be wonderful stuff, and better than what I had used before. i think the lesson I will take out of this is that the interfacing should work better if I sew it in rather than ironing it.  Life is just a series of lessons I think and I will learn this one and hopefully get a better result next time.
I am looking forward to using this tomorrow.
And now it is back to the Christmas sewing!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dr Suess quilt

It isn't a great photo; red is not a good colour for getting proper photos but you will get the idea.
The binding wasn't done yet but besides that it is done.
I am happy to report that while none of the remedies worked, the blue pen is finally washing out and losing it's blackness. So it is not half as obvious and I am much happier.  And while my children were very bemused when I brought the material home, it hasn't stopped my 14 yo from snuggling under it at night to watch the tv. So much for "my" quilt LOL!!!

So now I am frantically working on christmas things; two table runners which are getting there, not much to do now; two quilts; one for work and one for a present (time is ticking Karyn!!!!)  and also a couple of cushions out of more Dr Seuss fabric for a friend to give to her nephews.  They wont take long but I better not leave them until the last minute.  Is that it i wonder?? I really really need to make a list; I am useless without one.

Friday, October 21, 2011

bootees; at last!!

Okay, I did promise photos of the bootees i have been knitting so here goes:
These are all out of this book:
that I showed you last week, or possibly the week before.  i really want to have a go at the bootees shown here on the cover but haven't got any red 4ply wool in a nice dark shade, so i will wait until i do before having a go.  So these are what I have done:

Arent they so cute?  There is an error in the pattern for the white ones. I noticed, to my very great frustration, that the pattern wouldn't work past row two and after emailing the author, who is very lovely, i recieved a wonderful reply with the error in it. A simple one but necessary to get it right.  She has since emailed me with another error in it; what a shame as this book is just so sweet and lovely; it is a shame that somewhere in the printing process errors have been made.  Nonetheless, I will be pushing on and making more out of this book.  I have some exciting news about Val's next book but you will have to wait for that... (more to come later)

So what next? Well i still have too many things on the go; I did not fulfill the promise that i made to myself at the start of the year to get some finished. And with Christmas coming up I have things to do; some presents for friends, I am also making two quilts for the shop; more on those later (one of them is a secret for someone I know, so shhhhh!. I have achieved many things though this year so am pleased about that.  I tried to take a photo of the Dr Seuss quilt yesterday but it was windy and the camera batteries were flat (it was not to be) so hopefully over the weekend I can try again.  the dark marks have not come out properly but are fading a little each time I wash it.  I am not sure that they will ever go away but all the remedies i tried failed, so I am stuck with it as it is.  They aren't as bad so that is all good.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

some knitting

I have been knitting away like a madwoman lately (still no bootees to show you; I keep forgetting to take my camera to work where they are now hanging).  But I have been knitting scarves, as the weather turns beautifully warm, with no need fro scarves LOL!!
This scarf i have finished this morning, it is very similar wool/yarn to the white scarf I showed you all ages ago. This one has been on the go for ages in the shop, I have been using it to show people how easy these things are to make.  But, we need a display one as we have sold all the ones we had made up so I brought this home yesterday to complete.  i do like this one; the colours are so soft and pretty.  I guess it will be off to do one of the brighter ones now.
For myself, I recently knitted a scarf with some beautiful Japanese wool (Noro) from work.  Now i must tell you all that I have never been able to wear wool and growing up I had some beautiful hand knitted jumpers made out of cotton.  But I do love nice wool and couldn't resist so bought this Noro.  Made a lovely little scarf and presto; can't wear it!!!!  Some days I can and some days I can't depends on many things I think.
It is called a tippet and the idea is that it is short and crosses over just in front of your neck; perfect for me as all my shirts seem to be a little lower in the neck and I get chilly.  But it means that this is often sitting on bare skin; and it itches!!!!  So, while this expensive scarf sits idly by, I have started knitting another one over the weekend, this one made out of a nylon/acrylic blend and is oh so soft!! i decided to put cables down it which I think look really nice. Where the one cable stops and the two starts will be hidden where the scarf crosses over and loops through itself.  I can't wait to have it finished, i am nearly on the home straight now. I am just deciding on how long I want it as the pattern calls for one that is very tight around the neck and the purple Noro one I made I did longer.  Now I want this one to be somewhere between the two.
I have become quite addicted to wooden needles and after buying a couple of pairs of bamboo ones that we have in the shop, now i have been buying these ones that are made out of Birch wood. They are lovely to use, they feel so soft, not sure why. So slowly I am replacing my needles with these. I know that they do not have the longevity of metal or even plastic but they are so nice to use, they are worth it I think. And if we enjoy using our tools, we are sure of using them more often don't you think?

before i go, just a quick word on our ride on mower:
Who knew these things were so much fun?????  Honestly, we should have bought one years ago; not even for the fact that they have cut our mowing time down from literally an all day job to an hour or so, but because they are so much fun! I finally got to do our lawns on the weekend and had a blast; doesn't stop the hayfever though: I still got that!  Doing donuts around the clothesline was so much fun I kept doing them (with washing on the line). How often do we get to be kids?? So once in a while I am happy to indulge!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Show success, and a disaster

Well the show went well last weekend.  My two boys helped out with being stewards this year in the art and craft pavillion. My eldest boy had a section all to himself (a huuuuge section) of kids art and craft. My youngest helped me with the knitting, crochet and needlework (also a large section).  I wasn't sure that we were going to get it all done but as usual, it all comes together and we were done earlier than I thought.  It helped greatly that we both had someone writing out our certificates for us; a job that takes longer than you would think.  I am proud of both boys and of what they managed to achieve.
I did well, and won the needlework aggregate; which is my seventh one. I have to say though, to anyone out there; needlework entries are slowly dwindling. To all of those ladies (and men) who do these crafts but think they are not good enough to go into shows; think again and have some faith.  Without entries, our shows will wither and die.  And it would be such a shame to lose this valuable community event.
My eldest son did well too; he won two rosettes for Best in Section; they give one out to each section to the item that they think is the best overall.  So he got two which he was very happy with.  One for photography and one for woodwork. I told him the photography one should go to me as I was the one who liked this photo and printed it off and made him enter it!!  I am just happy for him.
So, the rosettes look like this:
And my ribbon looks like this:
Very nice things to bring home!

And now to the disaster:
I have had a few people this week turn their noses up when blue washout pens are mentioned. Can I just say that I use them often and have never had an issue with them. I have even ironed over them and still find they washout.  So, i used two of my pens on my quilt to rule straight lines for the quilting. I started doing the quilting without and noticed a few of my lines were not straight.  So i used the pens and did the quilting and then washed the quilt, only to find that the blue pen has bled into the fabric and turned a nasty shade of black. I am devastated. This has never happened before, and as they were not new pens they both had been used here before. But here is the weird thing; it has only bled into all the red. Nothing on the yellow or bue and even the white has no marks whatsoever. I would assume it was the material, the red I used to shash it all together with, only it has also bled into the red Dr Seuss fabric.  Bizarre.  So now I am going to try a couple of home remedies to see if i can shift them.  Any ideas out there?  Yoghurt will be my first port of call today I think.  I was told the other day that it makes a great stain remover so will see how it goes.

So we have had highs and lows in our house this week!  One good thing is that now the show has finished, and the next show I will enter I already have everything, now I can relax and do some sewing, and knitting, that I want to do just for fun.  I have been knitting bootees this past week which has been fun.  And there is a scarf at work that I would love to knit, so with my prizemoney from the show, I will get the wool I need for that.  i think I have promised you all photos of the bootees; hopefully I might get some tomorrow for you.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A quick update

No, I promise I have not forgotten everyone.  As i am sure everyone out there can understand, life is just busy.

So, to the news...
There really isn't much. the ride on mower is going wonderfully well. I really dont know why we didn't do it years ago (exept for the fact that they are expensive little items).  The lawns used to take DH much of the day but now, oh my, it  takes no time at all.  Wonderful.  We even got my younger son to do some gardening with a ride on the mower as a nice little carrot to dangle!!  DH is frustrated though; he is itching to get out into the yard and mow it again but with all the rain we have had this past week, the ground is much too wet.

As for sewing stuff: the Dr Seuss quilt is almost finished. I have a little bit of quilting to go and then the binding and then it is done.
This is what the top looks like (on a windy day)
I am very happy with it; even if it is not what I would normally choose.  The only problem I am having is with the quilting; it is so difficult to do the quilting with a normal domestic sewing machine; the arm is just not long enough. So i have battled away but am not happy with it. If I had rushed it then I would think it was the right result but I have been so careful and still my lines are not straight and perfect enough.  I am hoping that when it is finished everyone will be looking at the pictures and not the quilting!  I am looking forward to using it (and keeping it away from the kids; who couldn't understand the attraction when I brought the material home but now it is almost done seem to be eyeing it off quite a bit. it seems they are not too old for Dr Seuss after all LOL!!!)

I also have this to share; yet another book from the Book Depository.  As usual I had only seen the cover but took the punt and am so glad I did. I bought it a month ago when it hadn't been released and was a preorder.  It has such cute things in it to do.
It came on Friday and I have already made a pair of bootees over the weekend; no photos as they are now hanging up in the shop.  these are what I made though, only I did  a nice white edge around the top; set them off really well IMHO.  I promise to take a photo of the next pair. this is what they look like in the book:
They have used such cute babies (although I have come to the conclusion that they always do in knitting patterns!).  Check out this little gem; don't you just want to eat her up??
Cute as a button!!!

So now I will be spending the next two days finishing off a couple of things for the local show which is on Saturday, but the kids and I will be working there from Thursday onwards. I am hoping to get the quilt finished; I wasn't planning on having it in the show (and with the shocking quilting, maybe I shouldn't!!)  but it is all but done so I will put it in.  And i just have a little lavender bag and a coat hanger to finish, both of which will not take long.
Hopefully the kids have fun; they have been looking forward to being a steward so we will see how that goes.
Have a good week, and i promise not to take so long to come back again  :-)

P.S. Why do i always see spelling mistakes once I have published my blog posts and when i go in to edit them, I can't find them anymore??  You will have to put up with I guess!!

P.P.S. found it!!  Although there may well be more!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Broken promises (a sneak peek)

okay, i did promise myself i would NOT start anything to do with my Dr Seuss material until I had other things done. Well, of course that promise was not kept, and this morning I have been playing away with it. It is not quite half done, but all the pieces are cut out and waiting so it wont take too long to finish, although not today: i actually have housework to do   ;-( .  It was lucky that I did start playing with this or else the washing I put in the machine this morning would have already been hung out on the line, and it is raining.  So it is a good thing!!LOL!!
The corners aren't all exactly straight which is annoying me, as each join has been pinned, but I think I have finally nailed the method of pinning that works the best.  The more the merrier is my new motto. So hopefully each new strip will go on just a bit better.

Other news in our house is that DH is out at this minute buying a ride on mower.  We have been here for fourteen years and a ride-on was always on the list of things to get and I am surprised it has taken this long, but then again, they are expensive items.  So now the 3/4 acre yard will be done in a twinkling and not the whole day that it currently takes.   So DH gets his new mower and I get the trailer for it; after talking to friends, it seems to be the thing that you dont need often but when you do; priceless. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A bit of fun

I am not sure if I told you but at work we have a wonderful range of Dr Seuss fabrics.  I had to cut a fat 1/4 from each of them, leaving us with a spare fat 1/4, so what else is a girl to do - i snapped them up as quick as quick!!  Once these things go, they aren't generally reprinted, so I just had to!!  My kids are a bit bemused and can't understand why I would indulge in Dr Seuss.  they are, of course, too old for it. Or so they think!  I already know what i want to do with it and am very eager to start but it is show season and I have other fish to fry currently.
Isn't it great??  Much of it is A Cat In the Hat, but it is so bright and cheery and takes me back to when the kids were young.    i am going to cut it into 5 1/2 or 6 inch squares, sash them in red, with a little square of the print at each corner (make sense?).  I will be good and wait until some other things are done first.

And now, speaking of show season; I entered the first one of the year (well the first of the ones i usually enter) yesterday. Our local CWA opens up their spring show to non members as a fundraising exercise, one which I am happy to support. it isn't a huge show but it is fun and I have friends who enter in different catagories. So here is a little photo of how my entries went. besides these I had two smocked dresses and the christening gown, eight entries in all.  The smocking won first and second but that is nothing to brag about when you are only competing with yourself!!
And while I only enter this one just for fun, I am pleased my little beanie won a first; it was my second attempt at cable knitting. It is a wonderful pattern from an old little knitting book that I have.  The seam runs along the edge of one of the cables so when it is sewn up, it becomes invisible.
I only had one entry that won nothing, a knitted scarf. it was up against a dozen others so that is fine by me.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

knitting needle roll

I recently saw a post from Jillian at Always stitching who had made a roll for her knitting needles.  While my collection is a bit eclectic and much of it is made up from various hand me downs; mostly from my grandmother, I thjought it was a great idea.  The idea sat in the back of my head until earlier in the week when I found some material at work for 50%off that I thought would be perfect. I couldn't let the idea go so hunted around for somehting for the outside and then last night, with nothing better to do, off I went.  So here it is; it isn't as gorgous as Jillians, who used the most lovely material, but it will do.

I added a flap to mine to try and hold the needles in, and put some pockets on either side for my stitch holders, needle guage, double pointed needles etc.  I am really happy with it, especially for something I was making up as I went along.  it will certainly do the job.
On the subject of knitting needles, i must point out the bamboo ones over towards the right; these are new; I bought them on Monday  (no, not much of my pay came home that day :D ). I used them on my days off during the week to make a scarf (which I promise to show you in a day or two) and they are wonderful. I really liked using them and I know why they are so popular.  My goal is to replace many of these needles over the coming weeks, with bamboo ones.  They really are lovely.

So a big thankyou to Jillian for her inspiration, and the idea.  I love that we have the internet where we can all share ideas and inspirations; I do thank all of the talented people out there in cyberworld who are generous enough to share things with everyone else.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

first communion photos

Finally, some photos. Last Sunday the weather was quite perfect; not cold enough to really need a jacket and not too warm either. A perfect day for the kids to do their first comunion. The small church was packed tot he rafters; an apology to the usual parishoners who had the hordes descending for the day.
Anyway, here are a couple of photos.

So what now? I have been knitting some bootees for the shop; but shhh, it is a surprise for my boss when she gets back this weekend form her overseas holiday. But it is also the start of Show season and I have so many things i want to do before my home show in four weeks time.  Today I might be able to finish two covered coat hangers.  I have smocking ready to go and some children's garments ready, sot hat is good. Now I just want to do some bits and pieces to add tot he collection. Soon my son and I will have to wrok out which photos we want to enter; I love entering photography.  i have mixed success but there are some wonderful photos out there.

Speaking of my son, we had an information night at his school to sort out subjects for next year, and for the two years after that. I was sceptical before we went but am so glad we did go. We have a clear idea of the rest of his high school, although he can change things around if he changes his mind.  We were told if he keeps his grades up he may be eligable for a scholarship for his chosen university so that was all good news. It feels good to have a plan in front of us and now the whole VCE doesn't seem like such a foreign idea (it was the HSC when I did it).

Work is good, was busy yesterday so that is good; when it is slow the day tends to drag, and your feet hurt more.  I am back to three days a week now, instead of the four that I have been doing while my boss was away.
So for now, life goes on as usual. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


As well as the First communion dress that i have been making, over the last two weeks i have been busy with a quilt top for my work.  My boss gave me 10 embroidered panels and asked me to put it together into a quilt, using one of the jelly rolls.  i hadn't used a jelly roll before and must say that I loved it!  i loved the way i could pick up any two pieces and someone else had already done the thinking for me and it always matched perfectly.  I do understand that that is the whole idea but it is fabulous!!  
I didn't have a pattern so made it up as I went with some help from a friend who had done something similar recently.  Thanks Ann.
So without any further ado, here it is:
The colours aren't quite right but it is the best I could do on an overcast day.  This is what one of the blocks looks like up close; the embroidery is so neat.

I would like to give them full credit but have no idea who it was.  So no i guess it will go off to the lady who quilts the quilts for the shop and then it will come back for me to do the binding.  I hope my boss likes it, I think it has turned out quite okay.

As for the first communion; that was on Sunday and it all went off without a hitch.  Photos to follow soon hopefully.
I must remember to take my camera with me next time I go out; the local farmers' canola crops are all flowering beautifully; it is such a happy sight when the sun is out.

That is about all that is happening in this neck of the woods.  I am occupied with work and this week with helping son no 1 choose subjects for year 10 next year; what a big job that is. Luckily he knows what he wants to do when he leaves school, it is a bit hard to expect 14 year olds to have their life mapped out and know what they want to do for the next 40 years.  Oh well, it is easier for us, we just have to find out what subjects he needs to have to get into the university course of his choosing.  Three more years and he will be out of the house and on his own. Where does the time go and does it have to go so fast?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

looking like Spring

The weather here has been cold and wet but some of the bulbs have decided after a few warm days that Spring must have come.  these are in the garden; I have some planted in a pot that dont even look like flowering; maybe they know something that these ones dont?
I have other bulbs that have come up but they haven't flowered yet either.
On the sewing front, I have finished the First communion dress that i was making. The communion is this Sunday and I an looking forward to it.  I dont have any good photos; they have all come out blurry so far so I will show you this one.  It is not a great one but it will do for now.  I will have the camera all set to go on Sunday and take heaps more.   It took longer than I had thought; I was forgetting that I am working now so not as much free time to sit and sew.
And while it is not as exciting as the dress; this is a quick little tea towel i whipped up to advertise some material we sell in the shop. Ignore the girl who is listing a little to the left; oops. I wasn't taking enough care when i ironed the transfer on. Oh well.
It was quick and easy and seems to be working as we have sold some of the fabric already.
Any other sewing I am doing is also for the shop. I have just made two aprons, no photos!! they are hanging in the shop. And I am in the middle of piecing a quilt together. Someone at some point had embroidered some jungle animals on panels so it is my job this week to make it into a quilt top using a jelly roll. I am making it up as I go along so hopefully it looks okay. I am hoping to have much of it done today.  I am also about to put a dress togehter; no smocking; just a little party dress. this is for the shop too.

Show season is coming up quickly, and all the sewing for the shop will be good as I can enter these things in the shows if I want to.  Now all I need to do is some pretty coat hangers, a cushion or two, some lavender bags.  Not sure where I will find the time though!!

Sorry about the tardiness of my blog; it has been so long since I blogged but I guess life just keeps getting in the way.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Christening gown done

Yes, finally, the christening gown is done. But more importantly; we have heat again!! My thanks go to the plumber who came out here after work (after his boss promised to come out in person during the afternoon; wrong), to fix it for us. So after six days without proper heating, i am happy again. 

So, to the gown.  The original had little cap sleeves but after trying and trying and being unable to get them in without puckers, I changed them to these puff sleeves. I do like the cap sleeves and being unable to fit them drove me CRAZY! So I had to give up, for my own mental health!!LOL!!  These sleeves look fine though.  It has other original touches, such as the placement and pattern of the smocking; they smocked the bodice, not the skirt.  The embroidery is not the original design either.  (also, I might point out, not my original design, it is from the Country Bumpkin christening gown book). 
I am very pleased with how it came out. the seams are all bound with home made bias binding.  Makes for a lovely finish; a bit more work than a french seam, but I couldn't do French seams with the way the pieces fit together so binding the seams was the next best thing.
Okay, enough waffling, to the photos:

So what to do with it now? I will show it, in the upcoming Show season and then I might just sell it.  Who knows.  I have two others here; one is too dear to my heart to sell and the other is not something I would really be happy to sell; there isn't anything greatly wrong with it but it does have flaws so I wouldn't sell it.  This one i might though. 

What next for me? Well i have started making a dress for the daughter of a friend who is making her First Communion in a month's time. It has a lot of smocking and beads on it; it should be pretty.  I have also bought some more material for the shop to make another smocked dress for the window. I heard today that someone was interested in the dress i have already made but we will see if that comes off or not.  I don;t mind if it sells or not really. i was hoping to have another one made before selling the first one but I will not complain (or knock it back!).  But this second dress will have to wait a couple of weeks until I have the communion dress under control. 
My quilt blocks are also still sitting here; lonely and waiting for the last three to be done.  They are not far off but might also have to wait.
A friend came into the shop the other day and marvelled at how I have been very restrained and have not bought much. Now don't get me wrong; I would looooove dearly to buy so very much from the shop where iw ork but it would cost all of my pay, and more, and I am really trying to get some things done; i have too many things on the go as it is.  Someone asked me today how many things I had on the go and I couldn't count them; shocking!!LOL!!  So i still want to get some UFOs out of the way, as I still work on new things; there should be a balance i can strike between them both.  And while starting something new gives such a rush, so does finishing something off. Although, it is August already and I have not achieved half of what iw ould have liked to by now.  Oh well, it will wait for me I guess!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

not quite colourfast

While i waited for the plumber yesterday (who still hasn't seen fit to show up; day six without our central heating and counting...), I was in no fit mood to do much and in the end sat down to play with some embroidery.
My 12 yo son is still finding the days at high school to be quite long and the days I work i drive them home instead of them taking the bus. During the half hour drive he usually puts down the armrest in the middle of the back seat and tries to nap.  So I made a little cushion to make it a little softer for his head.

And while he is too old for Pooh Bear, I certainly am not; so Pooh Bear I did (it is going in my car so is cute and girly!).  I think he turned out so very cute, but take a look at the thread; so much for colourfast!!

  this bleeding happened when I washed it in cold water to remove the blue marker pen.  Oooops!  I have given it another rinse, to no avail, so it will stay as is.  Now i will have to wash my skein to get out the excess dye. it is such a prtty thread; i have been buying Threadworks threads over the last few months; I only have a few, but I love the way they change colours so much more often than DMC or Anchor. 
I managed to cut out way too many pieces for the prairie points, so I am thinking of another little cushion. And yes, Pooh bear may make another appearance.