Sunday, November 18, 2012

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

It's been a long time between posts. Time and inclination don't always coincide. But I'm a haven't-posted-for-ages blogger and participant in Chookyblue's global Secret Santa Christmas swap and Chooky is cracking the whip, so here goes. No photos, unfortunately, because my photo system thingy isn't working. This is the third SSCS swap I've taken part in and it's always so enjoyable. Last year I made for a lady in Norway and received from the USA; this year I'm sending to ?? The parcel is wrapped and ready to go tomorrow, along with a few cute gifts for my new great-nephew in Queensland - that's NEW as in just over a week old. How exciting. Apart from that swap, there's been some Christmas crafting, mainly decorations (a gorgeous one by Marg Low, who is one of my favourite Australian designers, and the cutest little bird, framed in an embroidery hoop and designed by Aneela Hoey). I'm hoping to make more Christmas gifts but am not going to let it stress me if it doesn't happen. I've made myself a handbag and appliqued some T-shirts for my little niece and nephew in NZ. And it's way past time to come to grips with the mess in my sewing room. Isn't it amazing how little space you can craft in when there's stuff all over the place! And there have been lots of fun times playing with the dogs, enjoying our garden - lots of lovely scented blooms and the veges in the new plot are doing all the right things - and good times with friends. The highlight of the past few months was Emmylou Harris' concert at St Kilda on Saturday night; she was just wonderful in concert and we had to keep pinching ourselves; listening to her was a dream come true.

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.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New stuff

This is what I finished yesterday; it's the Spring Blossom stitchery from Leanne Beasley's  Vignette magazine (Issue 4). I love her designs; so fresh and pretty.  It's wrapped around a canvas and stapled at the back. You'll be pleased to know it looks much better hanging on my sewing room wall than it does in the photo.

And the little number below is a triangular log cabin pincushion  I made this afternoon. I found it on the Riley Blake blog; it's designed by Jeni from In Color Order who  designs and makes lovely stuff. I had fun picking which scraps to use; not so much fun filling it (I kept losing control of the bag of crushed walnut shells, which is my favourite filler, but boy does it travel  when you spill it...)

Two finishes in two days; I'm quite impressed with myself. Is it immodest to pat myself on the back? Probably, but I'm doing it anyway.
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Sunday, April 8, 2012


What a lazy blogger - I haven't posted since Boxing Day. Just as well I didn't make a New Year resolution to blog more in 2012, although that was my intention. Ah well.

There's been some crafting, some gardening and lots of reading (which is the main reason why there hasn't been much crafting - once I get my nose stuck into a book I'm in my own little world). A few little jaunts, including the annual pilgrimage to Port Fairy in March for the always-fabulous folk festival. It was such a treat to see and hear the legendary Judy Collins and we LOVED Abigail Washbourne and Kai Welch .

There's also been lots of lurking on blogs - so many lovely people and so much good stuff out there - and the usual boring-but-necessary stuff (like going to work). The PayPal account has had a bit of a work-out - lovely strokeable Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy (SUCH good quality) and Rouenneries Deux. One of these days I will have to stop admiring them (and all the other stuff in my stash) and actually do something with them...