Thursday, December 26, 2013

Let's Celebrate Christmas

This month Noela and I have exchanged our final gifts in Karen Martin's Let's Celebrate Swap.  As Noela has her birthday on Christmas Day, I made myself doubly busy making her gifts.  As seems to be quite normal for me, I forgot to take photos of the gifts I sent to Noela, but I'm sure she will post photos of her gifts soon on her blog called Quilty Bits from the Blue Room.

However I have taken photos of the beautiful gifts Noela sent to me
 There are two beautiful bags..the larger one is perfect for me to use this year to take my stitching to my has a lovely friendship verse on it and lovely Anni Downs fabric.  The little bag (which did carry some lovely chocolates) is so sweet.  Again, I recognise Anni Downs here and this is a little bag I'd often thought of making but never quite got around to it.
Then there are two half metres of is linen (or linen look) and the other is a beautiful shade of red..a Lynette Anderson Christmas fabric.
There is also a Lynette Anderson stitchery pattern and the buttons to go with it.

So how spoilt am I!  All the gifts Noela has sent to me this year have been perfect and I have loved them all.  So thankyou Mrs Martin for running this swap...for me, it has been very rewarding and Noela and I are very happy to have had the opportunity to get to know each other a little bit.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Let's Celebrate My Birthday

Despite being rear-ended on my way home from Armidale, my birthday was a really lovely day.  Lots of chatty phone calls, some lovely gifts that I really wanted (okay so I didn't bother hinting, I just said what I wanted and saved everyone the trauma of what to buy) and a delicious lunch with daughter Andrea at Olinda which is one of my favourite destinations.

My Let's Celebrate swap partner Noela, just knows what will make me happy and sent me a few really lovely gifts including chocolate, french-themed notebook, fancy scissors, thread and a beautiful threadkeeper that I will use for taking my bits and bobs to sewing days....and a lovely little pack of Nancy Halvorsen 5" squares.  Thankyou again Noela, and thankyou Karen Martin for running this great swap.  Now I really have my thinking cap on for Noela's birthday later in the year.

Once my birthday is over I know it is only a very short time until Christmas, so now my thoughts are focussed on what I need to make in the way of gifts, what food will be needed to help celebrate the day etc. 

 This year truly has flown by, but so much has happened including the house renovations which have all turned out so well.  This house that I used to detest living in has become a comfortable home that really works as we had envisaged. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Let's Celebrate Spring

My swap partner for Let's Celebrate, Noela, sent me a lovely parcel of goodies for our Spring swap last week.  I particularly love the stitchery she made for me which I am going to use on a new bag I have decided to make to take to my stitching groups.  It is so sweet isn't it?

Noela also sent to me a little collection of threads including the lovely pink variegated one in the stitchery, fabric, some thread cards and ring for holding them, some very pretty lace and two cute little decorations.  I may just see if I can incorporate the lace and decorative bits into the same bag I'll be making.  Thankyou again Noela, as usual your gift is just perfect for me.

Our next gift to each other is to be a pieced block...I've seen some beauties just lately in my travels around the internet, but before that can happen there has to be a major reorganising around the house following the renovation.  I know I have a great deal of sewing stuff...somewhere.  

The need to have everything neat and orderly drives me to distraction at the moment, but I just tell myself that if I attack some of the mess every day, eventually everything will be unearthed again and everything will be in its place.

The builders have done a fabulous job of the renovations and they finally finished all the work inside last week and are just finishing of some details outside.  The painters won't have time to paint inside till next year (more upheaval) so everything won't be pretty until then.  But it is wonderful to have the house fully insulated, to have new wiring so our lights don't do strange things anymore (the electrician said we had some 'very creative' wiring in the ceiling...not to mention an area above the kitchen light which had actually been on fire at some stage..yikes).  We now have two brand new bathrooms which makes things so much more pleasant, and all the damaged plasterwork has now been restored and lovely new doors too.  And cupboards!!!!  Bliss!  There was absolutely no storage here, so we've had huge builtin cupboards put in so that everything has a home.    The outside of the house looks amazing too.   I haven't taken a photo of that yet but will do very soon and then I can show you a 'before and after' shot.

And the very best thing....the possums in the ceiling have gone.  There is no way for them to get in any more.  The quiet is wonderful.  We had to trap the last little fellow as he was very reluctant to leave.  But eventually hunger got the better of him and he came down into the kitchen and went into the trap.  Didn't turn a hair when the trap snapped shut..just continued eating as Joel carried the trap outside and probably didn't leave the cage until every last morsel of food was gone.  It was such a funny ending to our possum problem.  They are such a cute animal, but not when they live in the ceiling.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The renovations continue

This will be a blog without pictures...pretty boring I know.....hopefully piccies will come next time.

The house renovations are continuing in earnest around here....I have days when I pray that the guys won't turn up, but it appears that nobody upstairs is listening.  The new roof was completed ages ago, the total rewiring is a work in progress (they are the worst days as the power is cut off for the day).  All the outside cladding and insulation has been done and now we barely know it is winter.

So now the guys have moved inside to make all their noise and mess.  At the moment they are working on the ensuite and dressing room for my is sanding...yuk.  But I am thrilled at how our truly revolting former home is now becoming very attractive.  Well worth the mess and noise I would say.

Just to add to the mix, daughter Andrea was kicked by a horse a couple of weeks ago which was very nasty.  Her arm was broken and her jaw isn't working properly.  I never realised there is so much pain associated with a broken arm, but most of that is behind Andrea now and she is starting to feel frustrated at being able to do very little.  Thank heaven for the internet and a laptop.

With all of that I have done absolutely no sewing at all for so very long...I really can't remember which projects I had been working on, but I'm sure it will all come back to me when I get a moment to open my boxes to resume my stitching.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Friday Night With Friends

Next month the Cottontales girls will be holding their quilt show which they do every two years.  We all make a few things to put on the sale table, so I thought I would devote Friday Night this time to making some mugmats.  They are so quick and easy and yet they are a lovely bright and practical addition to the coffee table.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Let's Celebrate and Renovations

I received another lovely parcel yesterday from my swap partner, Noela.  Noela and I are very much on the same wavelength when it comes to gifts which is working out really well as far as I'm concerned.  I received a gorgeous mugmat with the initial K embroidered on it, and my recipes were placed into a lovely journal which Noela had made a cover for.  My first ever journal it.  There is also a lovely pattern for some little embroidered pretties for the kitchen, some lovely choccy bikkies and a selection on coffees and teas.  I have enough here to throw a fabulous morning tea sometime.   thankyou Noela so much.

But the morning tea is going to have to wait a while...our house is undergoing some seriously big renovations and our front and back yards look like a war zone.   This is a photo of the house trussed up like a Christmas turkey with the scaffolding needed to do the new roof and outer walls.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A stitchery almost finished for FNwF

Last night as I stitched along with Friday Night with Friends I managed to complete the stitchery component of this little wall hanging.  There are still borders to complete which I will do later this week.  This little stitchery is one of twelve by Kathy for each month of the year. The series is called sweet Stitches.

Earlier this week I also put the binding on my little Christmas is very cute.

And now it is only two weeks from today that I leave for my holiday in San Francisco with my older daughter Rhyll.  We are basing ourselves in San Francisco and have rented a gorgeous apartment there for the whole three weeks.  From there we will take short trips to other places...last night we decided we would spend three days in Monterey so we can visit the wonderful aquarium there, and also spend a day whale watching.   How exciting!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all my friends.  I hope you are having a wonderful and peaceful Easter.  Mine has been just perfect...a bit of gardening, a bit of sewing, a bit of reading and a bit of chocolate.  Mmmm Mmmm.

The very sweet Easter Bunny was drawn by my younger daughter Andrea Michael especially to celebrate today...very cute isn't it.   

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let's Celebrate Easter

This year I joined in the Let's Celebrate Swap and my partner is Noela and our first swap has been our Easter swap.  We both decided to open our gifts a little bit early, so yesterday I took my unopened parcel to my quilting day at Mrs Martin's Quiltshop to share the fun a little bit.  I have to say I was absolutely delighted with what Noela had so kindly sent to me.  Her stitching is beautiful, fabric choices inspired, and the little extras were so much fun.  Of course photos were taken, and here is one we took with Mrs Martin and me.  Diet will begin today.

I forgot to take a photo of the gifts I made for Noela, so I've borrowed this picture from her website.

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's a three-ring circus here

Tonight is Friday Night With Friends and I was SO prepared to get so much completed.  But we all know about the best laid plans.

I have 2 dogs and a cat who know better than to interrupt a very important sewing night.  But my daughter and son in law have flown to Queensland today to attend a family wedding (lucky things) and I have now to look after a menagerie of 4 dogs, 3 cats, a rat and several fish.  Okay, the rat and fish know how to behave themselves...but that leaves the rest.  And I musn't be hard on them, they are missing their favourite people.

One of my projects for tonight was to complete the clamshell block which is a part of the Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt I am making.  I only needed to do the last two rows...but they took me forever with all the household disturbances.  Plus the fact that the final row was a case of 'if anything can go wrong it will'.   But here it is..done.  And so am
Thankyou Cheryll for hosting Friday Night With Friends, I really love taking part in it and then reading all the blogs by the other ladies and seeing their fabulous stitching.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Finish

These long hot and steamy days have at least had one good outcome for me.  I flee to the sewing room and stick at what I'm currently working on until it's finished.  The garden doesn't beckon me at all..what's left of it.

This morning I have ticked off another UFO.  I bought this kit while I was living in Tasmania and it seems to have taken so long to complete....that might be because it kept slipping to the bottom of the todo list.  Anyway, it is done now and ready to go off to the quilter.  I think it will be very cute to hang on the wall during the Christmas Season...nice and fresh.

I've completed a few other projects but for now they have to stay under wraps until the recipients have unwrapped them.   Like many others, I get a huge kick out of making gifts for others but am always a bit nervous about whether I am making something to their taste.   That's where blogs can come in handy though..they are a great avenue for stalking to find out what might be appreciated :)

Last night I was at Mrs Martin's Quilt Shop and bought a very cute little Mouse for the rest of this nasty hot day I might just see if I can do justice to this pattern.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Friday Night With Friends

I joined in with this delightful group thinking it would give me a bit of a boost along with my projects, particularly my gift making.  Last year I found myself frantically paddling to keep up with last minute gifts and decided that this year I would begin making small projects right at the start of the year so that I would be more prepared.

Last night I managed to complete this little trio which is now ready to go into my gift box...

And here is a photo of my gorgeous Puss..totally relaxed out on the back verandah

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Row of Stars

I really can't see this year lasting too long judging by how quickly the past week disappeared.  I've just completed this little row of stars from the Bee In My Bonnet rowalong.  There are actually 16 little stars but to fit them all in the picture I had to stand too far back.  Yes, I know, I could have folded the row in half...but didn't arrive at that solution till the camera was safely tucked away.  It's Sunday...I'm feeling lazy.  I've done a few other bits and pieces during the week, but nothing worth talking about at this stage.
There is also news on the house renovation.  We have found a builder we really like, and have decided to begin on the outside.  New roof, new wiring, new cladding, new double glazed windows...and all insulated within an inch of its life.  And finished to be the most fireproof it can possibly no places for embers to blow into or under as we do live in a very bushy area in the Dandenongs.   And the good news is that Mick says he should be able to begin work in late February.  So that makes my little heart very happy.
Once the outside is completed we should be able to stretch to a new kitchen and a new bathroom....that will be heaven after the tired old ones we've put up with for the past year.  I must get busy this week and take the 'Before' photos.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's A New Year

I can't believe it is so long since I posted.....perhaps moving house three times in one year has caught up with me.  Admittedly the last move was only from one end of the house to the other, but it took 7 hours with the three of us working like there were no tomorrows.  And now I've decided I like living at the other end there is still one more move to come.  I wonder what other people do for entertainment :)

But I've been a good girl and got some priorities worked out, and have finished a very fiddly row of stitching.
I joined in with Cheryll of Gone Stitchin' in her Friday Night With Friends.  It surely was a great motivator.
And for hours and hours of sewing, I have one very fiddly row of Mittens which are part of the Row Along with Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet.

I've also been working on some blocks from Green Tea and Sweet Beans.  I adore this quilt by Jen Kingwell from Amitie and couldn't wait to get started on it once I had bought the pattern book and the starter kit.  I must say I have heaps of fabrics that work perfectly with the starter kit, so I have a huge pallet to work from.
So here are a few piccies of my progress so far....

I am loving both of these projects and will enjoy working on them through the year.  I am going to try really hard not to begin any new large projects until I've completed a growing list of UFO's...apart from making gifts that are always needed at the end of the year.