Thursday, May 31, 2012

Long weekend anticipation

This weekend is a long one here in WA.  I am very much looking forward to it!  I'm piling a list of "My Favourite Things" to do.  It's looking ridiculously long...!  Saturday I'm going on a trip to a fabric and yarn shop.  I really want to look at great books with lots of knits etc.  Also crochet edges.  I've a yen to make a knitted shawl, knitted socks, beret and another crochet chevron rug, seeing as my previous one now resides in Doha, Qatar with my sister!  see previous blog gone to a new home! 

Anyway I won't bore you with my list - it's probably the same as most of my fellow bloggy crafters.  But I found a perfect little accompaniment for some of the activites ... a little sweet treat....

in a hexie box!  I bought a box of each flavour.  I'm hoping I can save the packaging to keep crafty bits in.  Imported from Turkey. I saw them and straight away though of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves... well I'll be stealing bits of delight all this long weekend. And dreaming of the day I actually get to Turkey...

oh and in case you're wondering... the yo-yos are multiplying...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend Review 2

so how did I go this weekend?  It felt really busy. Starting Friday night when I went to a friend's for dinner.  It was her birthday, but she insisted on cooking for us.  It's her favourite thing.  She loves to cook, so we just went along for her entertainment!  It was the least we could do! Armed with a great bottle of champers - thank you Mr Verve and a 2001 good for a winter's feast night... and stunning flowers for the birthday girl! It was a gourmet thrill of an evening.

Saturday was eaten up by taxi duties and grocery shopping, although I did sneak a coffee at Jamaica Blue on one taxi run (shhhh!) and read a bit of the paper.  Then it was rugby night.  We popped into Northbridge for burgers at Jus Burgers before the game.  They make a great burger, although the chips were my fave this time. The aioli dipping sauce was dee-lish!  Very unusual night at the rugby - our team won! Which was lucky because just between me and me, I didn't really want to go.  I was quite keen to have a sofa bound night with my crochet rug for company!

Georgia asked for my help making a prop for her performance on Sunday night.  Her technical stage unit final assessment was a show in the Hayman Theatre at Uni.  So I whipped up a stuffed bird, reminiscent of the bird from "Are You My Mother?" which their performance was based around.  Then it was taxi duties again.  A chat with my sister Angela (she lives in Chicago) so we don't get to chat that often!  Some cooking - this weekend was Bacon and Lentil soup.  A very simple Donna Hay recipe. Easy peasy japaneasy! Then some more taxi duties - George to Uni and Bridge to the library for an afternoon of study.  I popped out with a girlfriend.  Back to Northbridge to a bar where we had a couple of ciders and played Scrabble - I got THRASHED.  Then off to watch Georgia's production/assessment on Sunday night.  It was very entertaining.  AND my bird was the lead/starring role!  And I have no photos of my sweet little bird. 

I forgot to mention.  I was trying to print off an image from the computer to use to draft a pattern, but the printer has died, so I gave the tracing paper to George to put up to the computer screen.  I don't think she's ever used it before!  Kids in the digital age - what they've missed.  I grew up using tracing paper!  It's so useful!  My sister was very funny when I told her what we were doing.  Analog mother, digital children I think she said or something to that effect!

Somewhere in amongst all that I found time to make these littlies!

Four little itty bitty yo-yos or suffolk puffs.  I've had a yen to make them for a long time now and finally I just did it!  I have no plan for them.  They are just going to hang around until I decide what they would be the perfect embellishment for.  Meanwhile I have no doubts they will multiply.

One of my inspirational creative books is this one

Quilting in No Time by Emma Hardy.  I haven't made any specific projects out of it and I'm not sure I will, but it gives me lots of ideas.  Like this lavendar pillow.  See the connection?

Later, dudettes!

Tilly in Snooze Town

Saturday afternoon snooze time for Tilly.  She was dead to the world. Exhausted by a big morning walk.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Quilts in Situ

I love browsing magazines and books beautifully illustrated with gorgeous interiors. They are sooooo inspiring and aspirational. .....SIGH!  Why a sigh?  Because my house never looks like that :)) My home looks like a real home, you know, lived in by busy people and their pets.  As I did the morning twice daily sweep of the kitchen/lounge/dining to remove the excess dog hair floating around, I noticed one of my quilts crumpled on one of the lounges.  I'd popped it on my daughter who was unwell yesterday, getting her comfy with a couple of pillows and snuggled under a quilt.  Then I glimpsed another one as I passed her bedroom door.  It made me smile - the quilt, not the state of a teenager's room! 

So here are 2 pics - destined never to grace the pages of books or mags.  Only a handful of people will view them here on my blog. They are not "shoot ready".  These photos are lousy. Their destiny is merely to grace my home with their presence.  And do you know what...they bring as much, if not more joy, than viewing beautifully photographed quilts in books and mags, because they are part of my life and an integral part of our household.

My black and white and aqua qult

A teenager's bedroom.  I dread going in there.....:)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A beautiful surprise

I was sent these yesterday as a thank you by one of my clients.  I can't believe it.  I am so touched.  I have been working with them for months on a huge project which was launched yesterday. In my work I am usually the one doing the thanking - for their business and loyalty.  So I am savouring this and recording it to remind myself of a very lovely work moment.

And tulips too!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend in Review

Weekends pass by in a blur just as the weeks do.  I sometimes think I put too much pressure on "the weekend".  I want it to be the classic storybook kind of relaxing and fun time - you know a proper weekend ... off on a picnic, eating delicious home made food, lying on a rug, soaking up the outdoors, walking through beautiful scenery...yep I'm delusional!  That happens NEVER in my life.  My weekends are so rarely restful and rejuvenating. They can be busier than the week I just made it through and I end up completely happy to go to work where I get to see the stuff in the Inbox go to the Outbox.  My weekends are filled with errands, jobs, taxi-ing the girls and catching up so I'm ready for the next week.  But Monday comes and I don't feel ready for the week?  I haven't had my PROPER weekend.  But is there any such things these days where we're all so busy juggling, work, kids, home, fun? I don't know but I'm trying to deliniate between the 2. To find someway where I feel there is a little indulgence or down time or break from craziness.
This weekend was very rare though - my girls went away to a music festival, so I had a few hours alone in the house (except for the pets).  It was bliss.  I was conscious though that there is a lot more of this to come as they are both talking of travelling and living away in the coming years. So before too long I'll be missing them and having lots of alone time. So enjoy the busy times now.  Although I look at my mother who is one of the busiest people I know.
I actually felt as though I had a bit of a weekend.  I still did groceries, cooking and jobs, but I also sewed and crocheted more than usual . 

One border finished on the quilt - my first attempt at mitred corners.  Okay, I know lots of room for improvement. The black border really finishes the quilt off.  I'm loving the quilt all the more for the border. It makes it so much ...bolder.  The black fabric has some terrible fraying disease - I've never sewn with a cotton fabric like it.  Now for the backing...thought I had that sorted, but the piece isn't nearly big enough, so I'm going to have to piece the back as well.  I am going to attempt to hand quilt this one, so check back in a year or two to see how I'm going!  Ha!

Several rows of the border for my rug done.  Loving it too.  Sounds obvious probably but it is really really adding another dimension to the rug and I'm loving it all the more too. I'm not sure how many rows I will do.  I'm just trusting that the rug will tell me when there's enough.  Then an edging of some description.  Something new.

A bit of cooking - all scrummy.  A chicken curry on Friday night, a good ol' fashioned beef stew on Saturday, absolutely DElishous.  The smell filling the house whilst I sewed was divine.  The anticpation of the meal to come...

Saturday night watching New Tricks on telly crocheting away.  My colourful leftover quilt spread over me.

Sunday morning coffee with girlfriends at a patisserie in the Perth CBD.

We hadn't been there before - well worth a vist.  Busy and vib-ey on a Sunday morning.  I bought the girls a treat...ah memories of Paris last year....

Some more baking - my current favourite soup, Sweet Potato and Lentil and a banana cake. 

And some herb patch admiring...planted in an old wheelbarrow about a month ago and THRIVING.

And a then a Sunday afternoon rugby match in glorious sunshine.  My team lost by a point - their 5th straight loss. 

And then settling in with a cuppa and Sunday night tv viewing - the return of Downtown Abbey and some more happy hooking!

Knock me socks off... if it wasn't a proper weekend!  It just snuck up on me... just like that!

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Leftover Wool Crochet Rug

So the last couple of nights I've been sewing in ends on my stripey crochet throw.  Almost done, there are just a few strays left to go.  I left it folded and thrown over the sofa to greet me this morning.  Nothing like colour to make me smile first thing in the morning.  Walking into the living room this morning my eyes went straight to it.  Happy morning! Yes, I am actually making progress on some unfinished bits and pieces.  Not nearly enough crafty, creative fun time has been had lately. Perhaps it's the cooler weather that is helping me along?

 I snapped a few pics on my phone.  A few different views and close ups, so I could enjoy them all day. I might even make one my screen saver at work!

Not a great pic ...too close.  I wasn't sure about including the varigated yarn, but I have so much of it in my wool stash, and the idea was to use a bit of every colour.  Well that didn't work out - I still have balls and balls left.  I can probably make quite a few more RANDOM leftovery colourful rugs.

Tonight I will start the border.  This edgy is a bit wobbly.  I don't mind really but I would like to add another dimension to the rug.  She's telling me she doesn't feel finished yet, so I'm going to keep playing by adding a border.  Not sure what border exactly, just rows of double I think finishing a fluted edge... not sure but I'm looking forward to seeing what I come up with. 

another stripey view...

and another...

I like very much ... do you?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fabric Stash

Me thinks my stash needs a bit of organising!  My dilemma is .... HOW...?  Anyone got any helpful suggestions? 

The problem is I regularly play with it.  I pull out different fabrics and put them beside others and rearrange them.  Then another colour catches my eye and I start on another pile of cuts that might make a great quilt.

Like these... I so want to put these in a quilt. It will be a very dramatic colourful quilt.  The colours don't quite work for me just yet, a bit more playing and arranging...and I'll finalise it.  Squares  I think surrounded by a border, surrounded by rectangles, surrounded by a border.  Or is it time for me to branch out to triangles....?

Away I play, then I run out of time and realise I'm overdue to cook a meal or pick up a child or go to work, so I throw them back in the cupboard and shut the door.  And I don't think any amount of organising is going to change that habit.  My stash is destined to be one colourful, chaotic, temptress of a pile.

I'm beginning to think there will never be enough time for me to use all this fabric.  I had a one-day-a-week  job at a fabric shop where I got paid in fabric which is when I accumulated the bulk of it.  The job completely and utterly fed my fabric addiction, which had festered for years, but the job meant I completely lost myself to it.

And then there is my box of Liberty...

I think it's time to USE it not just admire it...

Then there's the Christmas stash and the black and white pile and the retro cowgirl range and a few pieces of Chinese brocade floating around the mezzanine.

I think this stash says a lot about me.  Chaotic, full of ideas and possibilities ......

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Autumnal Colour

These are taken in my front garden this morning.  The Ornamental Grape Vine is turning the most fantastic colours.  It is completely intermingled with the Plumbago.  I love the cascading colour over our fence and the neighbours.  It is absolutely stunning at this time of the year.  I love driving up to it every day.  It's a lovely feeling to admire your garden.  Such a peaceful oh-so-good feeling.  The wonder of mother nature.

Bloomin' marvellous!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Autumn Colour

Just a random photo snapped on my phone whilst I was out and about.  Some vibrant colour that caught my eye and gave me a thrill.  They were covering a bank in a car park I pulled into beside a highway.  Cars and trucks rushing past them constantly, but there they were quite still and glorious amidst  a very ugly suburban shopping precinct.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Black and white leftover quilt

A little teeny eeny bit of crafting has been happening on the mezzanine...I put together the left over squares from my black and white and aqua quilt.  An unfinished project getting a little bit closer to completion.  I'm thinking about whether to put a border on it...just a plain black border to frame it.  I think it will finish it off.  I wasn't planning it, but I think it needs it. Alas that will require a trip to my local favourite gorgeous divinely inspiring quilt shop!  Oh dear!  Poor me!

Spare time is in very short supply around here lately.  So I felt as though I was stealing a few hours away from other important tasks that require my time.  But it felt so good to back at the machine after months away.  Hopefully I can keep stealing more hours.  The weather is certainly helping.  Lovely lovely rain and cooler temps.  How I love autumn after our looooooonnnnng hot summers.  Rain falling after months of intense dryness is like a wonderful new phenomenum.  All of us oooh and aaah over it.  It's thrilling.  We talk about rain amongst ourselves.  Look out at it and marvel at it. Perth doesn't offer an integrated approach to rain.  You have months of dryness and not a lick of moisture falls. The sky is blue day after day for months on end and you truly begin to wonder if it will ever rain again.  You hear weather news for other cities and they mention rain and you begin to think how odd!  Rain.  Then it arrives again here and you remember rain.  Ah, yes, rain.  I think we're really lucky, because it's so fascinating when it arrives and we marvel at mother nature. the puddles, the gushing water on the streets. We don't take rain for granted.  I love the rain.