Thursday, August 23, 2012

There are lovely white blossoms on the Manchurian pear trees in my street and daffodils are blooming in my garden. But apart from a little sunshine - just enough to make us think for a while that spring is just around the corner - it has been grey, gloomy, cold and wet. Today began with thick fog in the morning, cleared a little and degenerated big time this afternoon. An icy blast and a sudden hailstorm turned the garden into a scene that reminded me of an old-fashioned Christmas card. All that was missing was the robin red-breast and a spray of holly.
Spring can't come soon enough.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Christmas is coming

This year is flying by - it'll be Christmas in no time. What a scary thought. I've already signed up for a Christmas swap and tonight while watching the All Blacks beat the Wallabies I finished a sweet little table mat. The border and binding fabric is from my stash and the cute Sunbonnet Sue stitchery was an internet freebie. There are such treasures out there.
Other than making a few more triangle pincushions (great pattern, another freebie) and some secret stitching it's been pretty quiet craft-wise at my place. I must crank up the gears otherwise I'll have to BUY Christmas presents - and as I have lots of makes in mind for various recipients, that would be a shame. Oh, I forgot something else I made - a plastic bag holder. Boring. But it was a special request from my daughter Rosy, back from China on holiday last month. She's not a crafty girl herself so I always like making for her (although it's safest to ask first, I've discovered.) It was so funny to see her choosing her fabric at Spotlight. She found a bright, funky cat fabric first, then another two she liked. One was quickly discarded then she held a piece of fabric in each hand and I heard her say "Eeny, meeny, miny, mo -oh no" as she realised the one she didn't like quite so much had won. That one quickly got the flick and she now has a new plastic bag holder with cute, funny cats all over it.
While she was staying with us, lamenting the ever-present cold, wet weather but enjoying our warm house, hot meals, the company of our gorgeous dogs (and that of her parents, I hope!) my lovely husband and I flew to Cairns for a few days of much-needed R and R. It was a lovely break. We strolled around the town, took a boat ride out to one of the Barrier Reef islands and then on a glass-bottomed boat (and yes, we found Nemo!) ate (mainly) delicious food, admired the gardens and relaxed in our colonial-style hotel. The highlight was a trip to hilltop Kuranda by train and returning by Skyrail. Skimming high above the treetops and the valley floor was scary at first, then delightful. I hate heights generally, and felt very brave - and surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
My lovely friend Jeni, who has made quite a few quilts since discovering patchwork a few years ago (and thoroughly putting me to shame - I make lots of little things but find quiltmaking rather daunting) gave me this box of fabrics last week after mentioning that she had put aside some scraps for me. I didn't realise that 'scraps' was another word for fat quarters and bigger pieces...
I can feel some making coming on ... PS: I've spent ages trying to get links to work, without success. The Christmas mat is on the Little Quilts blog, November 15 2011 and the pincushion is in the tutorial section of the In Color Order blog.