Monday, August 8, 2016

The urge to create   has been getting a workout in the last little while.  These are a few of the things I've  been making.

This year I'm taking part in a trans-Tasman birthday swap and have received lots of lovely gifts, including these.

I've done some Christmas  shopping

- these are from my dear clever Pommy friend Mrs Moog's recent destash - and I need to get cracking  on some Christmas  crafting .

And as usual there's  been a lot of cooking and baking (and eating  too, of course). My favourites have been Ottolenghi's roast chicken  - absolutely delicious  and it got rid of some of the preserved lemons I'd made previously then had no idea what to do with - and Belinda Jeffery's divine buttery almond cake.

It's  been a great month so far. Hope yours has been the same.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Christmas in July

It was Christmas in July in the No Fuss Swappers group's  latest  bit of fun and here's what Helen sent me.  Thanks, Helen  - the Christmas decoration and buttons are so cute and I really like the fabric too. And yes, that big chocolate bar is still intact  - saving it for 'ron - must hide it from the husband though!)
The group organises little swaps every few months - they're quirky,  fun and easy. Thanks, girls! Check out the blog - sign-ups are now being accepted for the travel swap. Who doesn't need sweets, a luggage tag and a drawstring bag or similar for socks, undies or shoes while tripping about?

Monday, July 4, 2016


I joined in with others taking part in Friday Night With Friends - nice to think of us all beavering away at our various projects.

Although I have  a few deadlines coming up and I really should be in my very messy room machining away, the past few days have been all about knitting. My scarf  is coming along nicely and will soon be long enough to wrap twice around my neck. The pattern, found on Ravelry,  is easy - just one row repeated as many times as you like. It doesn't  take much concentration  so it's  a perfect telly-watching project (although I have to admit I've had to backtrack on a few rows from time to time).

When it's  finished, the scarf will be a good reminder of  a very happy  day in London with expatriate  Aussie Trash and my  new friends Lesley and Cathy.  We met at the Liberty café  and spent all afternoon in this most beautiful  of buildings. My purchases included some lovely  Liberty fabric (because it would have been rude not to buy some!) and the Rowan Tetra cotton yarn I'm  knitting with.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Late to the party

I dropped in briefly to Chooky's  party at the weekend but it was soon obvious that for this little red hen sewing just wasn't  going to happen. I've been out of action with the worst cold I've ever had - the unwanted souvenir of my recent and very wonderful trip overseas - and even the small effort required to put a few hexies together was beyond me.

Yesterday was a different story though - the hacking cough has disappeared and the energy levels were up and I found myself at the sewing machine thinking "I wonder if I can do this?" Among the (untouched) projects prepared for stitching during the trip was this little piece to be appliquéd in hand blanket stitch. With some trepidation - because I haven't  tried it before - I began raw-edge appliqueing  by machine and yes! It worked!  So sometime soon my little cuppa will become a mini quilt. Next up will be putting together  the hexies as a rosette to decorate a covered hanger, one of the project in Lisa Cox  new book A Spoonful of Sugar. I follow Lisa's blog of the same name; she  has such pretty projects to share and her book is just delightful.

The book is among the recent happy mail received lately - birthday gifts from my three brothers, a pretty Liberty purchase and another good book - Krista Fleckenstein's Beyond Cotton, with lots of detail on printing and stamping your own fabrics.  A few years ago  a couple of friends and I had a hugely enjoyable fabric stamping day with lovely Leslie of Maze & Vale and while I haven't  done any more since that day I'm  keen to get going again.

For the past few months  I've been taking part in a series of No Fuss Swaps organised by stitchy friends in Queensland. They're  the simplest, easiest  fun swaps - the photo shows what I happily  received from Christine  in the Kitchen Kapers swap (minus the giant homemade Anzac biscuit, which was delicious - thank you very much, Christine). I'm running a bit late with mine so will have to rug up tomorrow   and go shopping for the tea towel, biscuit cutter and special biscuit and choose a favourite  recipe to send to my partner.

Apologies for the dismal quality of the photos by the way - the camera on my tablet isn't playing nicely right now.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter

Whatever  Easter means to you, I hope your  long weekend is enjoyable.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


I hope you all had a good time last night, stitching or knitting  or whatever else you got up to.

I signed up for last night's FNWF before realising that I 'd be out. Ballarat's city council had the first in this year's series of Backyard Taster events  promoting multi-culturalism and community. It was a lovely evening to be outside enjoying music, dancing (we saw a performance by young Aboriginal girls and a Maori haka), a display of rare trades and chatting  with  friends. Earlier in the day I'd responded to a last-minute appeal for cakes for a fund-raising stall at the event so spent a hot afternoon in the kitchen. There was a long queue for food at the event so we ate dumplings at a nearby restaurant  instead,  (yum!) then came home to watch the first episode in the new series of the Dr Blake Mysteries. Have you seen this show? Are you a fan? We love it - good plots plus it's set in beautiful Ballarat, so how could we not?

So - my FNWF was really a solo knitting session  during the day, finishing a teeny weeny beanie and beginning another. Isn't  it ridiculously  small! Of course it is - it's  for a premmie baby. Earlier this week I came across an appeal from  Li'l Aussie Prems Foundation for little green beanies for its  6th annual Wear Green for Premmies event and these are the results so far. I'm  looking forward to more craftiness today.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hello again

Here I am again - just sneaking in for a January post - better late than never. I hope everyone had an enjoyable festive season and that 2016 will be kind to us all.

This first month has been to my liking, apart from the hot weather, which always makes me tired and cranky. Still, it's the perfect excuse for staying  indoors and reading or stitching (or having a nanna nap - you don't have to be a nanna to enjoy a nanna nap!)
Little projects make me happy and there have been a few of those so far - a wool pincushion, a linen and Liberty pouch, a mini featuring a little red hen (no surprises there) and a few other bits and pieces. The pouch was a gift for Anorina of sameliasmum, who designs and makes lovely things and is very generous in sharing her tutorials.  I'm in a year-long trans-Tasman birthday swap this year and she was our first birthday girl. I must admit to having been a little daunted to be making for her but it turned out well and there was such a lovely response from her and others. You can't beat the combination of linen and lovely Liberty.

Gail Pan is one of my favourite designers and when she announced late last year that she was having a summer school in January there was no way I was going to miss out. Apart from plentiful food and drink, it was a BYO sort of day for whatever project you wanted to work on. I took the wool applique pear design that became the pincushion, as well as some simple embroidery. There were stitchy treats in a bag and the potential for  lots of shopping to be done - Gail's latest Stitch It For Christmas came home with me, as well as other goodies. It was such a pleasant, friendly, chatty,stitchy day and I enjoyed it so much.

Each year ace blogger and all-round good person chookyblue hosts her Secret Santa Christmas Swap which is looked forward to by crafters all over the world. My partner to make for this year was Josie at dillydimple, whose blog is always fun to read. I was really chuffed to have Josie as my partner because she's in Scotland, where I was born. Nice one, Chooky! If you want to see what I made for Josie, visit her in blogland.
And making for me was Marion in Germany
( I received a cute cardboard Christmas tree ornament with gold lacework in the middle - so unusual and lovely - and these fabulous oven gloves. I've never had handmade oven gloves before, and certainly not two of a kind of shop-bought ones.  They're so practical and I use them a lot - and they look good hanging up in my kitchen too.
So - the year has started well and there's lots more fun, crafty and otherwise, to be had. Bring it on!