Monday, December 30, 2013

Spoilt again!

I thought I'd make you all jealous and post a photo of my christmas parcel from Wendy.
Gorgeous santa and little bird felt ornaments, a table runner some choccies all topped off with a handmade card and red and white string. I have been so lucky, all year I have received the most thoughtful gifts and Wendy does the tiniest hand stitching, her work is just amazing. Thank you Wendy I have been truly spoilt this year!
On the training front I have been slack again and eaten far too much of this
I know it looks strange but it is totally moreish and very bad for the waistline! We make it ever year for Christmas, I use a small packet of Nutrigrain 1/2 a cup of peanut oil and 2 packets of french onion soup mix, pretzels and leave out the peanuts because I don't like them that much. This is what is left

Update on the quilt, the binding is still not finished, no progress on the other 2 quilts I mentioned, but I did tidy up my stash and the christmas decos are packed away. Time to get off the puter and do some stitching.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Little Bro

My Little brother turns 40 tomorrow, so today we left the beach to come back and rub it in and make sure that everybody knows! Now writing this I find I have hardly any photos of him, this is the best I can do.
 however I have many lovely photos of his boys
this is Oscar and Hunter with my Dad.
This after Christmas lull is always  relaxing and my favorite part of the year with the good weather, sandcastles and the cricket on, this year we headed to Walkerville and the Weathermans family dropped in for a beautiful day at the beach.
Now we are home for a few days I have the itch to finish off some projects that have been hanging around for a while, might be the guilty conscience before the new year! I have quilted my Granny Square quilt and the binding is nearly finished, then there is two more lined up after that! The garden is being a bit neglected as we saw a large snake in there just before Christmas and I don't want to run into it again, so that's a good excuse to get a bit more sewing done.
Also I really, really have to do some more training before triathlon pink at the end of January!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Presents are wrapped, the shopping is done, most of the house has been cleaned and the lawns are mowed Phew I'm nearly ready for Christmas....and a holiday!
We went to the children's service at church tonight, it's always entertaining, it's the only service I've seen where a donkey ( real donkey called Francesca)  walks down the aisle with Mary on her back and then stays for the service because she likes the singing. Tonight the children had to make the nativity scene by finding the figures around the church and of course there was the conga line following the (pretend) camel???? The service is conducted with help from Clary the cockatoo (a puppet) and finished off with a song from the donkey's point of view,

Hee-haw, hee-haw, doesn't anybody care?
There's a baby in my dinner and it's just not fair.

It's a lot of fun. Now I'm just waiting for the kiddos to go to sleep and listening to the end of the Carols by candlelight.
So what ever you are doing tomorrow I hope your day is special and spent with loved ones.
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 20, 2013

Woo Hoo!

School has finally finished for another year and it hasn't come a day too soon. I think we all just made it over the finish line. The past two weeks I have had to drag everyone out the door to school and really not much happened once they got there. As I heard one Mum saying yep we really wring em dry round here" It was Hayden's final day of primary school today and I didn't even cry! Maybe that's because I'm still running the playgroup at the school and then, the next year Tulley starts, so I'm not really leaving just yet I've still got 12 years to go!
Look I finally got him to smile!
No such trouble with Meg she's still smiling after 5 top of class awards and the Health and PE domain award which came with a rebel gift voucher.

 Now it is time to look forward to Christmas to wind down and do some proper relaxing! Yep that's just what I'll do, after I drop Jordan at work at 7.30 tomorrow morning, so much for the sleep in! Have fun!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Super Quick Tree Decos

I love to think I can make loads of handmade gifts for Christmas but in reality it rarely never works out that way. I made a few of these trees the other day and they were super quick and easy and used up lots of little scraps.
 I started with two 5"tall 60 deg triangles, the blue is felt and the red and white spot is fabric. You can also put fusible webbing on the back of one of them which would make it easier but I'd run out.
 Use a small piece of 1"wide ribbon folded over for the trunk, then place the felt over the top. Layer on ribbon and braids and top stitch them down though all the layers.

Put a loop of ribbon between the layers at the top point and stitch right around the edge.

 Trim the edges of your ribbons and braids and you're done!
My first bit of Christmas for this year, tomorrow I tackle the shortbread and mince pies!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Continuing on..

Ballarat went from a warm and sunny 30 deg to 9 deg overnight with drizzle, but by 8:00am Lewis was on a mission to destroy the motel room and Phill had gone off to work so it was time to go. One problem not much is open at 8:00 am, on a whim I tried goggling Ballarat Botanical gardens and much to our delight it was close by and open. We spent 2 hours strolling round the gardens, Lewis spent the whole time asleep in the pram and when it rained they had a lovely big glass house full of the prettiest blue and purple flowers (forgot to see what they were called) but they looked like a really big lobelia.
 A striking display of succulents.
 And lots of roses.

They had a really nice craft cottage too where we bought some finger puppets for playgroup. Next stop was gails patchwork emporium in Sebastapol, which is a very pretty shop with very pretty fabrics. It is jam packed with lots of lace, ribbons, trims and buttons  as well as fabric, patterns, gifts and christmas decos too at this time of year, cant show you what I bought there as it's all going into my chrissy swap parcel. Then it was off to meet the lovely ladies at Eureka patchwork Elisabeth has a very very wide rage of fabrics, if you are ever looking for that perfect fabric to finish a quilt this should be your first port of call, they have one of everything! At the moment they are in discussions with the council over how much of their floor space they can use for display, so there is a lot more fabrics out the back which can be seen on their website.

Hope you enjoyed my whirlwind tour of Ballarat, we certainly had fun!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Road trip

Yesterday was our 20th wedding anniversary. Yes how the heck did I get that old without noticing! Anyway the weatherman was working in Ballarat and suggested that seeing all our weekends are booked up until 2015 sometime why don't I drive up and stay and we could go out for tea. So after a quick phone call to see how many kids I could rent out for the night I took off with just the two little ones for a terribly romantic, well a night out. I even took a frock and heels!!! However that's not he exciting bit, on Monday while looking at the map I discovered I would pass right by Ballan and Mill Rose quiltshop!!!!  After listening to shez and Christine tell their stories about the place well I just had to have a detour. It's much bigger than it looks and the ladies were lovely and friendly, even though Lewis wanted to run after sitting in the car and was making his opinion heard! So we went for a run in the park, a banana and came back to have a second look with a much happier kidlet. I found a few things that had to come home, two repros and some orange, I find it really hard to buy nice orange and yellow. The orange floral and white  is for the background of a double wedding ring quilt with scrappy bright rings. I have been looking at one the Material Obsession girls have been making and fighting to resist but  thought this was a bit of serendipity, finding just the right background on our anniversary!
While we were talking I mentioned I worked for Karen, from Mrs Martins, they had her confused with someone else. We got it straightened out when I said "the one who wears the scissors through her head!"Ah yes now they knew who I was talking about and so will you if you've ever seen her out at a show! More about the Ballarat quilt shops next time......

Monday, November 18, 2013


Catching up with FNSI which I joined in with at sugarlanequilts I did get motivated to do a little stitching, after watching Miss Fisher of course. I made the centre block for a quilt and then started stitching the rows together.
It looks a little crumpled, it was trampled by a rampaging 4 yr old and her baby brother when I was out on Sunday.
Just a little bit more sewing and the top will be together.
Had some lovely weather today so we got out in the garden and I took some photos while the spring flowers were still blooming.
The Christmas lilies are out along with the alstromeras, I think that's how you spell it, and the pinks are always pretty, my philosophy is to crowd the weeds out, can you tell? I also found a strawberry thief or maybe a garden gnome?
There was also a lot of bike riding going on while I hung out the washing, gotta love a pink motorbike!
Tulley is always ready to pose for a photo, what a joy to be 4 and want your photo taken!

Friday, November 15, 2013


Another lovely parcel from Wendy, my swap partner in Mrs martins gift fairy swap.
Always beautifully wrapped, and inside a very clever block, just right for my sewing corner and a quiltmaker magazine.
ok hope you can see it sideways as blogger still likes to turn my pictures randomly. It's so clever and I think I will frame it to go up on the wall, and I have never seen a quiltmaker mag in the flesh, only online so I hope I will get a chance to hide away with that this weekend. It has an article on quilting feathers which is something I'd like to try. I'm also in for the FNSI at sugarlanequilts to try and get a couple of projects finished off. Here's a taste of what I have been working with, even the selvedge is cute!

Have a great weekend

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Expert needed!

My Anzac biscuits won't flatten and spread, they sit  there in little piles looking at me, out of desperation half way through cooking I get the spatula and flatten them down before they set, but I'm sure that's not how my Nan made them! Here's the recipe I use and it's the same as my Nan used, it's from the  Family Circle cookbook.
Hope you can read it sideways!
Here's the results, perfectly tasty but forcibly flattened!

I'm sure someone knows what's going on.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More books

This time from the local library. Material Obsession 1,2 by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke and Making Quilts the promise of joy by Kathy Doughty. I just happened to stumble upon one of these whist returning some books and with a little more investigating borrowed all three. I really like the way that for each quilt they have explained the fabric choices and how they contrast with each other, it means that anyone could apply their own fabric taste and using the guidelines keep the contrast in the pattern. The quilts are all bright, busy and fun, with lots of large scale prints, stripes and spots, I'm not sure I could be that bold with my colour choices but it might be fun to try!
This is one of my favourites Optical Illusion- Kaffe Fanfare from Making Quilts. I love the way a traditional pattern has been given such zing with modern fabrics. Might have to try this one even though foundation piecing isn't my favourite thing to do.
These Dresdens are given a big WOW factor with bold colour choices, again I'm not sure I could be this bold, but what a lively quilt. First off to finish the quilt on the quilting frame, then maybe I can look at one of these!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

School Holidays

Are over in the blink of an eye and everyone is back to school, we were blown through the holidays with huge winds, heaps of rain and cold temps, just right for our trip to the beach! Out of the 4 days we were away we made it to the beach three times and each time had to make a run for the car when rain squalls came through. We only managed 1 sand castle and that was on the last day! However we did pretty well considering we had 12 kids and 3 adults in one house for 3 of our 4 days. The kids got on well and spent their time between a very old xbox, singstar, playing pool and a very odd card game where they had to stick out their tongue. The weather was that bad I didn't even get a photo! Of course once we were home the weather improved, so we have been out getting the veggies in ready for summer.
Here's Lewis and the girls helping!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Quilts 1700 - 1945

No I'm not lucky enough to make it to Brisbane for the show but I am lucky enough to have a lovely friend, Brenda who did get to Brisbane and lent me her book to have a drool over.
This simple hexie quilt was the one that caught my attention, created by the girl guides in Changi prison for their guide leader it was made from scraps in secret.

Most of the other quilts are much older than this but I think that's why this tugged at the heart, these girls were only 8 to 16 years of age at the time and they would now be about 10 years older than my Mum which somehow made it more real. The Rajah quilt is there too, which I would love to see, amazing to think it was sewn in the bottom of a ship.
The other quilt that stood out for me was the  George the 3rd coverlet and it's pieced circles and round applique panel, made in 1803-1805.

It was very interesting with lots of the quilt's histories were known even a very utilitarian quilt which was made from offcuts from the pajama factory! If you're lucky enough to be in Brisbane it's a must see.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Friday 13th

And blogger wouldn't let me post, 2 days later and I've managed to get it to work through firefox, but I'm not superstitious which is just as well as the weatherman (husband) flew home from Tassie on Friday here's a pic of his ticket
Yep it's Friday 13th in seat 13A boarding at 13:05, needless to say he made it home safe and sound. When they booked his ticket they asked if he minded traveling on Friday 13th.
On to crafty things my spring stitchery in the celebrate swap arrived from Wendy and once again she has outdone herself, she does the most amazingly fine and even stitches I'm thinking I may need some granny glasses to improve mine!
With three fat quarters from the new Lynette Anderson range in pretty mauve and grey to match, now what to make up with it?
I have posted mine off with a small hiccup, I lost it....and found it again, when I was about half way through stitching a new one, greatly relieved I quickly packaged it up and sent it off and forgot to take a photo again!!!! But I did get a photo of my new quilt, I'm almost up to quilting, which I'll have to do without the quilting frame as it's not square, on purpose of course!
I guess you'd call it a stretched octagon, I think the quilting will be rather plain as it's a fairly busy pattern.
Happy stitching.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Party Time!

Lewis' first birthday party on the weekend and boy did he have fun, lots of friends and presents to open and cake, he does love cake!
Talking of cake here is the 10 minute masterpiece, well I should say 20 minute, 10 minutes on pinterest and 10 minutes decorating. I loooove pinterest!
I have been doing some sewing too. I forgot to take a photo of Wendy's birthday gift for Mrs Martins Let's Celebrate swap, but you can pop over to Wendy's where she has kindly put some photos on her blog.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

More Birthdays

To say the least we are over endowed with birthdays at this time of the year since we've been back from holidays (has it been 4 weeks already!!!) we have had Tulley's 4th birthday
At the Diamond Valley Miniature Railway, a fantastic place for kids of all ages! All the Dads and Grandpa's got a tour of the sheds and works yard. Then over the weekend we have had Jordan's 17th and my Mum's birthday, after looking madly through all of my photos I have realised all the photos of the cakes we made are on Meg's phone so they will have to follow later. Then next week is Lewis' first birthday!!! Yes where has that year gone!
We had a lovely meal out for Jordan and Mum's combined birthdays and so this morning I felt compelled by too much cake, to take Rosie out for a run walk, the sun was shining, the only time this week, and we had an accompaniment of kookaburras and even a cow mooing at us as we passed.
The wild flowers are out and they may not be as flashy as Western Australian wildflowers but they are very dainty and add a splash of colour
prickly moses this is a small rather prickly wattle that the blue wrens like to hop around in
white heath, Rosie got bored waiting for me to take photos and wandered through the background
and pink heath, yes it really is quite a startling pink. Must get back to some stitching I have the next swap to post off tomorrow.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Stormy Night

I did get a bit of sewing done on my Friday night with friends. We had a windy stormy night but in between waiting for the power to come back  on I did some quilting, then some binding and indulged in some rhubarb sponge, while watching the Hawks win. Couldn't get much better than that!

I can't show too much as this is off to NZ on Monday for Wendy but I did try using masking tape to mark some straight quilting lines, it worked well and didn't leave any residue, however I did use a good brand of painters masking tape and I removed it fairly quickly. This probably wouldn't work for my bigger projects because I tend to procrastinate once I get to the quilting stage and it might not come off so easily after a year or two!
Today was bright and sunny, such a change from last night, so I got outside in the garden to start to reconfigure my veggie garden before spring. I moved the rhubarb and a grapevine so I can realign the fence and put an extra gate in, this will make the access so much easier and I'll be able to get the wheel barrow in there too. Hopefully there will be nice weather tomorrow and I can restrain the fence and hang the gate. I also had a wander around and took a few photos of some of the bulbs.
Hope your Friday night was as good as mine.