31 Jan 2012

The longest week

We've had 41 days of school holidays, with 6 to go. My husband is away for work. I'm decluttering, cleaning and rearranging half the house.

Tonight, we couldn't find Maggie the kitten for more than an hour. The kids were distraught. Eventually, she was found safe and sleeping in the bottom of the open linen closet.

I'm behind with my sleep, organizing, and (online) with attempting to make my life simple.

Luckily, our road continues. There's time. My family will visit no matter what the state of the house. The kids are loving watching Harry Potter while I push furniture around.

The sobs have subsided with kitty cuddles, and the children are asleep relatively early. Maybe I'll follow their example.

30 Jan 2012

Holiday Hexagons

Made using the same hexagons as my table runner, I have put together this small quilt for my mother's birthday. I think it will look fabulous on her round table.

Summer in the Snowies

We were intending to go camping for a few days.  Peace, wildlife, relaxation.

On the morning of our midday departure, I checked the forecast once more (with the Bureau and by ringing a local friend), and cancelled the camping plan.  Too much rain.

DH seized the moment and booked us a few days at Thredbo instead.  It's a ski resort in winter, in summer is reinventing itself with various adrenaline based activities.  The Kosciuszko Express chairlift still operates for walkers and mountain bikers, there's a bobsled track, a waterslide attached to the pool and a golf course.

The kids had a great time.  We rode the chairlift twice (hate, hate heights), the bobsled about twenty times, spent hours at the waterslide and went on several buskwalks.  The wildflowers were blooming, and the whole place smelt fresh and delicious.

I was pleased to find enough time to sew a hexagon table mat for my mother's birthday, and to finish knitting a cardigan that's been a long term project.  Not so pleased to break my glasses, or to miss out on camping, but we had a good, energetic time.

21 Jan 2012

Making a rainbow

I've finished my crocheted rainbow shawl, and am quite pleased with it.  Ravelry tells me I started it in July, which is a  bit of a surprise. I do remember it was my favourite project while waiting at ballet lessons.  I also took it to the US, where very little got done.
I'm not sure if I'll wear it - the Kauni feels quite rough still, but it's a great shape for a lap rug.  Actually, I probably don't need a knee rug any more - Maggie warms my knees enormously!

15 Jan 2012

Simplify your life 2 - defining core values

{Week Two has been much harder}

I've been attempting to answer the questions Deb posed in her guidelines to defining your values at Home Life Simplified.  It's hard work, and makes me feel nervous (what if I don't like me?  what if my values reveal all that's shallow and insipid? what if I find out who I am?)

I've come up with;

kindness, comfort, compassion, creativity, calm.

Not that I'm sure that calm is a value, but I think I'll leave it in anyway.

I've been working on this on and off all week - amidst the chaos of school holidays, and the ongoing decluttering of our home.  I've filled the bin, sold several things and sorted several problem areas out.  I've also found more craftworks started and never completed.  Next to decide on their destinies, and act.

And most importantly, I found my household control journal.

11 Jan 2012


My first WIP finish for the year is the hexagon runner.  It's a big table, and so this big runner fits it nicely.

The runner is all hand pieced and hand quilted.

Two of my favourite blocks;

That's one down, heaps to go!  I think my next challenge should be decision making regarding the next quilt I'm making for one of my nephews.

4 Jan 2012

12 WIPs in 2012

In response to AJ's challenge, here are my first Works In Progress I hope to be finishing in 2012.

In no particular order, this WIP is my Kaffe Fassett Log Cabin quilt.  Stalled when I cut the strips to join it with wrongly, and had to order more fabric.  It's big, needs cutting strips, joining blocks and quilting.

I did a class at Addicted To Fabric on these Quilt as you go hexagons.  I have 30 completed hexagons, so may join them as a table runner (or table cloth!)

Another achievable project, a half quilted cushion cover for my daughters room. Needs quilting completed, and turning into a cushion cover.

 And next is the quilt that the cushion cover is supposed to complement.  The quilt top is complete - just needs sandwiching, quilting and binding.  Just.

This the quilt I made for my husband's 40th birthday. He reached that milestone more than a year ago, so it's time to finish.  I've probably done 1/6 of the quilting, so need to finish that and the binding.

These are blocks for a Christmassy quilt.  The blocks are done, I just need to decide upon sashing and borders, sew them, sandwich, quilt and bind.

More beautiful fabrics went into this quilt.  With the benefit of hindsight, it's probably too much patterns all together, but I'd like to finish it anyway.  Top complete, needs sandwiching, quilting and binding.  A very big quilt.

In another class at Addicted to Fabric, I began this lovely tree of life quilt.  In a reversal of the usual, for this project, the quilting is already done.  I've also made around 200 clamshells.  I still need to applique the tree, leaves, birds and clamshells down.  There is a border, involving yet more clamshells, but I may leave it at the centre panel.  Oh yes, and it will also need to be bound.

These are the projects that have already begun, tomorrow I'll possibly dig out the 'piles of fabric with a plan' set of projects to complete my 12. 

2 Jan 2012

Simplify your life 1

The first task is to create a list of everything that went 'right' in 2011.

In 2011, I spent an average of 3 hours a week volunteering at my children's school. I quite enjoyed doing it, and felt great after having done it.  Similar to exercise, I suppose.

I felt good when I went swimming, while knitting, while shopping for fabric, while participating in a class, while sewing, while spending time with my family working (or playing) together, when I won fabulous prizes.

Things that worked for our family; menu planning, bulk buying, calendar use, limited afterschool activities, and having my in-laws over for dinner and cards twice a week. Holidays have also been an important part of 2011 for us.

I've been grateful for being able to be alone. For being able to choose to be with others. For the presence of my cat Maggie in our home.  For my undemanding husband. For my enthusiastic children. For the time and space to follow my interests.  For our supportive family. For wonderful presents that I use every day.

Things that have grabbed my interest have been exciting recipes, fabulous quilt designs and house decoration ideas.

****I've dithered over posting this for most of today - but then decided to go ahead anyway.  I think if you read this blog you'll soon notice how human I am, so it's not like I'm spoiling an image here.

1 Jan 2012

New Year!

We celebrated New Year's Eve with a bushwalk and barbecue dinner.  Walking from my parents place, we were in the bush, and spotting a snake within 10 minutes.  Fortunately, the snake wriggled away very quickly, and we could enjoy the wonderful day.

It was just lovely down by the river, and we met a suprising number of fellow bushwalkers.  Unfortunately, when we reached the traditional barbecue spot, the fireplaces had been removed by the local council.  Being law abiding types, we walked on.  We explored  a paperbark forest, licked mangrove leaves and then climbed many, many steps to reach the next barbecue spot.  This lofty spot required no wood, being all electric, and had a splendid view over the river.  Perfect.

I've been considering plans and goals for 2012.  This year, I'm trying to focus on value.  Spending time doing things I value.  I don't value cleaning or housework, but completing them gives me the physical and mental space to create.  So these tasks do have value.  I also have value.  I deserve nice things, including clothes that fit. I deserve time to spend on things I like. Having these things mean I find it easier to be kind.

To try and achieve these things, I'll be following along with Debra of Home Life Simplified on her 52 week challenge.

At the risk of overcommitting, I'm also planning to work along with AJ in her 12WIPs in 2012 challenge.  I have plenty of Works In Progress to choose from, so will be evaluating these over the next few days as we unpack and rearrange after our Christmas break.