31 Oct 2009

Blogtober 31

Finally!

I can admit that this daily posting has been quite a challenge, and a good discipline.

It would have been more worthwhile if I didn't go away for a week during October too... so since the 25th, I've been relying on scheduled posts.

We're soaking up the sun (fingers crossed) and sand in Queensland, and will be back shortly.

30 Oct 2009

Blogtober 30

Last year at this time, I was enjoying happy things.




This year, my happy things are;
1. a doll's quilt almost completed, just like it was making me happy last year.
2. my knitting. It really does calm me when I make the time to sit and stitch.
3. my adjusted diet. I'm finally getting used to be intolerant to lactose, and making an effort to only eat appropriate food. My body really does feel different.
4. warm weather. No doubt I'll soon be complaining about the heat, but right now, it's nice.
5. preschool. I adore having time to myself three times a week.

29 Oct 2009

Blogtober 29

Blogtober's getting difficult now... so I think it's time for a meme.




You Are a Black Panther



You see through people. You understand others' motives and plans.

You have a knack for predicting the future. You just know what people are going to do.



People are attracted to you. You are naturally able to influence other people's thoughts.

You have the charisma to be a beloved guru or dictator. It's all about how you handle it.




Of course I'm a black panther - how couldn't I have realised!

28 Oct 2009

Blogtober 28


More of my Hancocks goodies - but this time I can use them straight away. Well, I could if it wasn't for the list of handmade articles I'm working on right now...

27 Oct 2009

Blogtober 27

On my quilting retreat, I ended up with a sore shoulder from doing so much hand quilting. To give it a break, I also worked on a new knitting project, which I thought would take some peaceful thinking time to begin.

As it turned out, the instructions which didn't make sense when I read them, made perfect, logical sense when I knitted them.



Now, the toes are done, and I'm knitting around and around for the length of the foot.

I've been wanting to start knitting another pair of socks - they're just such a portable empty-brain project!

26 Oct 2009

Blogtober 26

Jackaroo bikkies are are our most recent favourite treat. After reading (and testing out) Bakerella's Cowgirl Cookies, I changed our long time favourite choc chip recipe to come up with these delicious mouthfuls.



Cream 125g butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.
Add 1 egg and mix in.
Stir in 1 1/4 cups self raising flour, 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1/2 cup mini m&ms.

Dollop teaspoons of mixture onto a baking tray and cook at 175 degrees C for 10-12 minutes.

I know recipes are not a regular feature of this blog, but the blogtober pressure is getting to me!

25 Oct 2009

Blogtober 25

Apples were cheap, so I bought up, and up, and up. The slow cooker is full of apples, half a bottle of ginger ale and a cinnamon stick. Mmmmm...

24 Oct 2009

Blogtober 24

My temperamental daughter enjoyed the wind in her hair in the car this morning.



This afternoon she is crying because Daddy is cutting the grass, and I liked it long....

23 Oct 2009

Blogtober 23



The garden is looking fabulous - we've had lots of rain, and now a bit of warmth, and everything is growing like crazy.

Including the grass.

22 Oct 2009

Blogtober 22

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...



with the arrival of this sack of goodies from Hancocks.

DH has taken custody of my Christmas gift;



At a mere US$100, I consider it a bargain. Quilt Romance (currently retailing here for $55) and a 2 metre square quilt kit made completely of Kaffe fabrics... I can't wait for the new year (when I'll have time to sew!)

There were other items included, but I might save them for when I'm feeling bloggily desperate.

21 Oct 2009

Blogtober 21

A short time ago, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway from Toni at Make it Perfect - their new set pattern 'Playschool'. It includes patterns for a smock, bag, pillow and pencil roll - perfect, really!



Thanks so much!

20 Oct 2009

Blogtober 20

Today, Annabelle and I visited the Botanic Gardens. It's a lovely garden, and usually a great bird watching spot.


Not today, possibly due to Annabelle singing in her 'lovely voice' ALL the way around the paths.


Still, the weather was fabulous, the gardens beautiful, and the company happy.

19 Oct 2009

Blogtober 19

While on retreat, I did a class to make a Christmas decoration, which I absolutely love. It's made of cardboard, with thread wrapped around it, and is apparently called 'koma', and seems to be related to temari.


I also completed the applique and quilting of my latest doll quilt ready for the EBDQS - only the binding and label to go now.



The hours of quilting were quite hard on my shoulder, so I also spent some time knitting, and was very pleased to find toe-up socks quite logical (so far, at least.)

18 Oct 2009

Blogtober 18

Home from the retreat absolutely exhausted, but of course DH had the children, washing and dinner under control.

Not.

Here are some scenes from the weekend - pictures of actual sewing will be taken tomorrow, when the light is better.


17 Oct 2009

Blogtober 17

I'm very pleased with my nine patch blocks - don't they look great?

16 Oct 2009

Blogtober 16

Well, I've just been for a tour around the garden taking photos which capture our springtime. Unfortunately, the computer's card read suddenly won't work. Hmmm.

Instead, I'll explain my latest idea for a Christmas quilt. I'm thinking of making a Hawaaian style quilt, using Christmas motifs. Somewhere in my quilt books, I have a book explaining how to Hawaiian quilts, but since I can't find that, I'm having to be creative.

I think if I plan it out on paper, then draw it onto vleisofix, and then cut out through fabric and paper it should work. Ideally, I'd just plan and fold on the vleisofix, but I expect the stickiness would just lift off.

Better go pack some paper into my retreat supplies!

15 Oct 2009

Blogtober 15

Also known as my creative space.

Today, my creative space includes a stack of quilt as you go hexagons. They're the perfect project take away on this hand sewing weekend. I was horrified to find I've only done 29 -surely I'd reached half way last year?




More creative spaces here

14 Oct 2009

Blogtober 14

When we got home from swimming lessons this afternoon, a parcel was waiting on the mat. My 9 patch blocks have come home. I'm very excited, and will be spreading them out and playing tomorrow, when there's some decent light to look at them in.

13 Oct 2009

Blogtober 13

Firstly, the Mad Quilting Librarian is having a jelly roll giveaway - go sign up :)

Secondly, I'm going on a quilting retreat this weekend, which is very exciting. No machines are allowed, so I'm working like crazy so I have enough hand work to take. Of course, I could just start a new project.... or pull out an old UFO, I suppose.

Thirdly, school is back. This is my last term as a stay-at-home-mother, and I really need to start creating like crazy - it's time to start making lists, because this time is precious.

12 Oct 2009

Blogtober 12

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with my stitching group. I've made some solid progress on my quilt for the Holiday quilt swap. Actually, rereading the specifications, this may be too religious a theme.



I may have to start again. ******.

11 Oct 2009

Blogtober 11

My daughter Annabelle believes herself to be unfairly deprived of pets. So she's started acquiring them on her own...

10 Oct 2009

Quilt Festival

My favourite quilt was made as a round robin swap between my sisters, my Mum and I.

I made the centre block in 1998, and then we each followed instructions from the book "Rounds of Friendship" (by Debbie Herd, now out of print) for the surrounding rounds. At the time, my favourite designer was Debbie Mumm, and my block was made entirely from her dusty, country colours.

At the time we lived far apart, and the quilts clocked up a lot of miles between Wimbledon (UK), two sides of Sydney (Australia) and Nowra (Australia.) Neither of my sisters had a sewing machine, so their rounds were all done by hand.

In 1999, my UK sister was planning a trip home for a holiday, and we sewed like crazy so we'd be able to swap the completed tops in person. We each ended up with a fabulous top, which showed each woman's stitching skills and preferences, all to our own themes.

We then spent a day sandwiching and basting so each person could begin quilting immediately.

In 2001, I finished hand quilting this queen size quilt, and bound it. In 2002, I entered it in the Sydney Royal Easter Show, where it won a second prize (and I nearly burst with pride.)

It's also my favourite because my husband thinks it is terrific.

See more quilts, and read their stories;


9 Oct 2009

Blogtober 9

Today, I've been wasting time on Facebook, particularly with the brand new Bejewelled Blitz

Time well spent - look at this!


Does that mean I'm now one of the worl'd best at wasting time?

8 Oct 2009

Blogtober 8

Today I've been noticing...

Noticing that my flowering bush out the front is attracting all kinds of insects... and the only one I could satisfactorily photograph was a fly.


Noticing that when the flowers are new their stamens are yellow, and then they turn pink.


Noticing that despite days and days of rain, the tips of leaves are still covered in dust from the dust storms.

7 Oct 2009

Blogtober 7

My Hancocks of Paducah catalogue arrived today.

Since I placed an order with them last week, I didn't really need to shop the catalogue.

Instead, I cut out every fabric that really appealed to me, and stuck it in my creative journal.



Usually, I just write about what I am planning to do, or calculate fabrics, or write about what I have done in my journal. This was far more exciting, and even inspirational.

I also cut out any quilt pictures that appealed, and received a clear message - I'm keen on fancy star quilts right now. Maybe I should make one...

6 Oct 2009

Blogtober 6

Another day of school holidays, and I've resorted to a 3D movie.

5 Oct 2009

Blogtober 5

It's been another slow, rainy day.

I've been re-reading books about people who live with and study wildlife. They all seem to advocate ditching your life, and just going to where the action is... and becoming part of it. Possibly this only applies when you're 20. With no children.

Meanwhile, I'm focusing on observing the wildlife around our own suburban block, like this beautiful gum across the road.

4 Oct 2009

Blogtober 4

We're experiencing a cold, wet spring time in Canberra at the moment. Given that it's also a long weekend, the Puggle house had a very slow, snuggly day today.



I finished my stitchery, although I still have some machining to finish the project, and played a lot of Bejewelled Blitz. I also fed the children every 10 minutes or so.

Mr Puggle lay around, complaining about his shoulder which he strained while helping my sister move house yesterday, waiting for the football to start.

The kids ran around like crazy all day.

Early to bed tonight, especially since we have the assistance of daylight savings.

3 Oct 2009

Blogtober 3

Last month, I received a lovely surprise in the mail.

Some time ago, I was blog browsing, and thinking about what I should knit next... when I realised I could give away some of my unwanted stash to someone who could possibly would want it. Olivia makes delightful felted pears, amongst other things, and accepted my unwanted wool.

And look what she sent me;



They're adorable little pears, and so tactile... The children deeply covet these, but I am ignoring their requests, and enjoying these pears.

Thanks so much, Olivia.

If you'd like some pears too, the Craft ACT shop is the place to go.

2 Oct 2009

Blogtober 2

Today I;
* played with my nephews and niece while their mother packed her house
* delivered my children to their grandparents for a school holiday sleepover
* vacuumed my sister's new house, and then played with her children some more
* went out for dinner with my husband
* started reading the new Diana Gabaldon book
* didn't take a single photograph.

Tonight I will read and read and read and read and read and I better go do it right now!

1 Oct 2009

Blogtober 1

Also known as 'My Creative Space', being a Thursday.


This is my latest project from the 'Stitching Angel' swap. My swap recipient has already received and enjoyed (i think) her first stitched article, and I've completed the second one too, but have not yet mailed it.

Being school holidays, my creative space is small, since the rest of our house is filled with scattered toys, children demanding snacks and endless washing. Our time has been spent playing, shopping, watching a (free) movie with some cousins, sorting through the kids wardrobes, and of course eating every possible second of the day (that's what it feels like to the food provider, anyway.)