Monday, 30 June 2008

Children, thou shalt appreciate the beauty of a flower!

We are a month into winter in Australia, yet even amidst the bleakness, there are tiny flickers of beauty in the local Botanic Gardens:
The tiny bells of correa, or Australian Native Fuchsia.
Beautiful hellebores, spring up from nowhere & nod elegantly in the late afternoon sun.
A truly amazing Garrya elliptica, or silk tassel bush drapes it's hanging flowers spectacularly.
And, as usually happens when we visit the Botanic Gardens, our walk ends here! A reasonable reward for the kids I suppose, considering their mother has forced botany lessons upon them all in the gardens! The things they have to put up with!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008


I am going through another 'too busy for sewing' phase & am suitably out of sorts! So I will have to dig something up out of the archives to show you today.I made this little cot quilt about twelve months ago as a 'welcome to the world gift' for a newborn niece. Sorry, the photos are not great - if you click on them, hopefully you'll see more detail. It is Sweet Dreams Angel Quilt by Bareroots.It was fun to make as each panel has a different stitchery on it, with each second one being an angel of some sort. Very sweet for a little girl. The blocks were supposed to be needle turn applique, but I resorted to machine blanket stitch for a more speedy result. I needed to get it to my niece before her 21st birthday! The stitchery background is a soft beige checked sandcastle - wonderfully soft to stitch, but tricky to transfer the design as the fabric is so thick. And my favourite block? The cow jumping over the moon:

Monday, 23 June 2008

The passing of Jane McGrath

My condolences, & those of millions of others, go to the family of Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath today on the loss of his wife Jane to breast cancer. Jane McGrath has died at a 'too young' 42, the mother of two small children - we all feel the sad loss of this gracious & brave woman. As an almost 42 year old mother of young children, and with another friend recently diagnosed, the news of Jane's death is heavy on my heart today. It will be very special to see the Australian cricket team wear pink ribbons & use pink bat grips to honour Jane in their One Day International match against the West Indies on Tuesday. And I am sure the flags will be at half-mast today in Narromine, Glenn McGrath's home town.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Friday night at last!

Friday night is champagne night for me in our house - to celebrate surviving another week! It has become a tradition for our family to collapse in front of the tele, eat lots of antipasto & fruit & enjoy some bubbly - that's me enjoying the bubbly, not the kids! I am wondering whether Ric Rac might have imbibed a little of the fizzy stuff last Friday night when she wrote this post - very funny, & surely destined to be the official anthem of every Friday night, stay-at-home stitcher! In case you are wondering what the foreign object is in my glass, my lovely friend Wendy (& fellow champagne drinker!) sent me some wild hibiscus flowers. These are gorgeous real flower buds preserved in a luscious syrup which open amongst the bubbles in your glass - very special! Do try them if you ever have the chance. So not much sewing for me tonight - although perhaps it's just the time to give my stippling a go! Hmmm, probably safer just to settle in to watch Silent Witness & Spooks! Watching Rupert Penry-Jones save us all from terrorists is a whole lot more appealing than the bloody prospect of stippling my finger! Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Get-ty up there!

I have joined the lovely Peg at Happy in Quilting's challenge to finally complete all those quilt tops that are floating about the place. She is promising to finish at least five - I need to be realistic about my prospects, & would love to finish these two. You can see a little more of the slow progress of these quilts here, here and here. But then if I were to be a little more unrealistic, I could add this one to the stack: All of these quilts are ready to have borders added & then the dreaded quilting task looms. It is the quilting that always brings me to a standstill. Hopefully Peg's challenge (& public blog exposure!) will be enough motivation to get me over the hurdle!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Teacups, and a freebie!

I have made a start on the sweet little teacup stitchery design that I won on Catherine's blog, Willow Valley Store. She posted recently that she has been stitching one of her designs with a variegated thread. So that got me thinking! I found some very nice DMC variegated thread colours that I've not seen before. I am stitching with a blue DMC 4235. But the story continues! One of my local 'dens of iniquity & temptation' aka quilting stores had a 3 day sale during the week, and I scored myself some very gorgeous linen DMC threads for not very much! So now suddenly Catherine's design is just screaming at me to be stitched ON linen WITH linen. Ooooh, should be nice I think.I can highly recommend Catherine's iron-on transfers. They are so quick, a cinch to use & give a lovely fine & clear image to stitch. If talk of teacups has you boiling the kettle, be sure to visit Rachael Rabbit who is hosting a cupcake & tea party anniversary celebration. In lieu of a real-life tea party with her, she has arranged a 'Cupcakes & Tea' swap. So for all you organised creative girls out there not afraid of a deadline, join up before June 20th. The linen threads that I bought came in a pack with 10 bonus cross stitch charts. It is all but guaranteed that I will never get around to using these. I did cross stitch once upon a time, but these days I need quicker means of stitching. I am happy to post these charts to the first reader to leave a comment or email me that you would like them. If you click on the photo, you will see the designs in more detail. They are a series of heart designs. Just be aware I would only be sending the design charts - call me selfish, but I am keeping the threads for myself!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Cardmaking revisited

I've not made cards for months and months, & have used up my card stash that I keep on hand. So there was nothing for it but to break out the supplies.
I didn't get far, but it's a start!A long overdue birthday card for a friend.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Dear Baby Jane update

Raining here today which is lovely. Means we might get some crops sown after all. Just a couple of Dear Baby Jane blocks to show you. This is C1 Trooper Green's Badge - foundation pieced, a nice easy one. But then there is TR4 Bennington Cross - again foundation pieced, but tricky & time consuming with all those pieces. If the Dear Janers out there have any tips on trimming these triangles accurately, I would love to hear from you. I don't have the 'you beaut' Dear Jane triangle ruler. And I am a tad concerned about trimming the triangles too small - that would not be good considering how much blood, sweat & tears is invested in each of them!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Busy times

I have all that I need for some stitching therapy, except for some time. The lovely Catherine at Willow Valley Store offered up these fantastic transfers recently in a giveaway & I am so keen to stitch them, but the stuff of life has taken over for just a bit. Hope the 'stuff' passes soon!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Hey Mum, can you knit?

My 12-year-old blossie has put in an order for an iPod cover. She spotted this very cool felted number in the latest Inspirations magazine Issue 58 prompting the query, "Can you knit Mum"?"Well, yes my sweet, in another lifetime I do vaguely recall doing something click-clacky with needles & wool - perhaps you could ask Grandma?" I replied hastily, hoping to flick-pass the job to the wonder knitter of the family. Undeterred, blossie cajoled, "Oh no Mum, I'm sure you could do it. Now, I would like it in these colours if possible": And so, as any mother of a cajoling daughter with her heart set on a pink, lime, mango & sea breeze coloured iPod cover would do, I set off to look for some yarn. I fully expected to draw a blank on the colours, especially in pure wool required for felting. But blow me down, I found just the thing: And so I find myself a long way from my usual fabric & thread & have blown the cobwebs off the knitting needles. Yikes! Here is the progress: With an excited daughter at my side urging on every stitch, I expect it should be finished soon!

Thursday, 5 June 2008


Thank you for the migraine sympathy on my last post. The head is a bit doughy & sore today, but thankfully the worst of it is over. Little Miss 6 is sleeping over at a friend's place for the first time tonight, & she is super excited. Here is her packing list - see if you can decode it! And a code of a different type - a message left for me by my 9-year-old puzzle prince! Aren't children just the most precious gift?!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Creativity vs migraine

Not much news on the girly twirly skirt I'm afraid. Have been battling a migraine. So often for me, creativity and migraines seem to go together - very frustrating! I finished the latest of my Dear Jane blocks a couple of days ago. This is F5 Parcheesi. And my first 25 blocks, all together: I try not to think too much about how many blocks there are to go for Dear Jane, but am enjoying piecing them just one at a time. Hope your day has been more creative & productive than mine!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Girly, twirly skirt in the making?

Hmmm, I'll keep you posted! All that gathering on this bag has got me in the mood. And then I saw this photo & a creative spark flickered. Just hope the spark doesn't go out!
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