Saturday, 9 February 2013

Followers and Word Verification

Pandy kindly told me that I didn't have a followers button on my new blog.  Thanks for letting me know, Pandy.  It was very much appreciated.  Word verification has been removed, too.

New Beginnings

The Missus and I went our separate ways a few weeks ago.  I have a new life and part of it means a new blog.  I will be deleting this blog sometime over the next week or so.  My new blog is Keep Calm, The Kettle's On!  I hope to see you there!

Peg, if you are reading this, I will email you with all the necessary details re OPAM.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Sunday Morning

Early this morning I photographed a couple of the pink bottlebrush in the back garden.

They were planted to attract insects and birds into the garden as well as be beautiful.

They are all a bit too small for both the nectar and insect eating birds, but in another 18 months time they will be just the right size.

While this was going on Tim waited patiently for his bath and pondered the meaning of life budgie style with a lot of chattering and excitement.

Wanda wondered if it was really necessary to go outside to have a bath at all, as she prefers to wade through one of the drink bowls.


I had an orphan hand pieced bobbin block I wanted to do something with.....A hankering to do something with red fabric, a space against a small, odd shaped wall in the ensuite bathroom which was crying out to have something done with it, a wicker basket full of loo rolls which needed something to cover them.  Something also needed to be done about needing a doorstop and I really wanted to have something finished early this month for OPAM.........I'm glad I could think of something to do about it all! 

Love Cats was started in January last year.  I think it is time for a finish!

Thursday, 31 January 2013

January OPAM Finish

From having watery cups of tea when I was very young......... 

Tea has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.........

Without tea, I'd feel like there would be something missing in my life.....

I've laughed, cried, celebrated, mourned and everything in between over a cup or mug of tea. 

I added to my tea pot collection today with a small, shiny, black number (cheaper than chips @ $5 from Kmart), which brings it to a grand total of twelve....and a couple of plungers.....but only one tea cosy.


So as I cut a piece of dowel for this little wall hanging, I will remind myself that no matter what happens, I need to......Keep calm and put the kettle on!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

OPAM 2013

Waaaayyyy back in 2009 and then 2010, I joined OPAM.  I'm looking forward to joining Peg, Kris  and all the other OPAMers this year.  My IPS is slower than a wet week tonight, so I can't get anything much to load, so I am going to have to leave you with a Threadbias link for my January finishes.  Hopefully it will be behaving tomorrow and I can get everything up on my sidebar!!!!!!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

No Go Mojo

My crafting mojo went to play out in the sunshine a couple of weeks ago and got lost!!!!  It seems to be playing hide and seek with me at the moment.

It ran back in and stayed a while for a knitted hat.  I like knitting in the summer....having reverse cycle air conditioning helps there. lol  I'm a slow knitter, so yarn sticking to hot hands isn't a problem.  Also, if I knitted during the cold weather, I'd be knitting for the next winter! lol

This hat started as Hot Head by Alex Zorn from the book Stitch 'N Bitch by Debbie Stoller.  I didn't have any 12 ply yarn, so substituted that with 8 ply Colorado by Heirloom and made the appropriate adjustments for the number of stitches.  Next, I decided that I had a hankering for knitting in the round, so changed to circular needles after casting on.  After knitting a couple of inches (following the pattern 2x rib pattern) I thought the yarn would shine if it was in stocking stitch instead of rib.  So I changed that.  When it came to shaping the crown, I used the pattern as a guide, until it came to the last few rows, where I completely ignored it and ended up with a little dimple at the top....I always say that more can be learned from making mistakes than getting it right all the time......It is not a disaster and I can live with it, but will remember for next time to finish it at eight stitches instead of four!

I like the hat and have decided to call it The 8 Ply Hat.  I am really happy with the fit and like how soft the wool is.....I'm so happy with it that I wore it all yesterday afternoon (in the was 38 degrees C/100 degrees F) before I washed it!

This is the only decent photo I can get at the moment of a little runner and tea cozy I'm working on.  This spooled ribbon will be used to make a loop at the top of the tea cozy.  It's been sitting in my stash for a few months, waiting for "something" to do with it.  

Lestat was being a pest because he wanted his tea two hours early inspecting my progress on Catz by The Chook Shed.  The plan is to quilt through the applique using the raw edge method, add buttons for eyes and hand stitch details such as whiskers, then quilt little hearts in a continuous line in the borders.  I'm not quite sure what that is going to look like yet, but I do know that I'll draw it on some cheap and nasty greaseproof paper (it has to rip out easier than the Glad baking paper I used recently for some fmq), then fmq it.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

This and That

This is a pile of 1/2 inch hexies.  The plan is to make a Grandmother's Garden wall hanging with an applique border.  This could possibly be a prim hare leaping around the sides. The flowers will all have yellow (from light to gold) centres.   

There are some things that might be great in your head, but no good in reality....This is one of them.  It is one of the blocks from Debbie Mumm's Retro Hoot Owls from her book 25 Years Of Quilting.  I want to make the quilt, but just not in these fabrics, so it will be unpicked, pressed and popped back in the stash.

Crochet has finally clicked in for me.  It is beginning to make sense!  This is my first attempt at Allison Hoffman's baby monster.  Her work is fabulous!  She has patterns for sale, as well as some very cute freebies!  

Last night I sat down and decided to go right back to basics with learning how to crochet.  My knitted facecloths are looking a bit ratty and need replacing, so I decided it was a good time to practise single crochet by making a new one.  This is NOT going to be it! lol  The stitches are so tight I can hardly get the hook through, so it is going to be ripped and started again....with a bigger hook.

I really like crochet motifs, so the plan is to make a few face/laundry cloths, become competent with a few stitches and get the tension right (in other words figure out what I'm doing lol), then move on to motifs and make a giant granny square blanket!!!!  It is something I've wanted to make for rather a long time.  

Tim (on the left) and Wanda were out with me the other morning enjoying the cool air.  It is lovely to have some cool days after the heatwave we had recently!

Lestat is terrified of the vacuum cleaner and always hides in the bed or under a quilt.  Then usually stays a little longer.....He looks very relaxed under there, doesn't he?

This is another honey eater which visits the garden.  I took this the same day as the one of Tim and Wanda.  My sewing table faces out onto the back garden, so I get a lovely view of this and another grevillia bush with all kind of bird antics!  

I'm not sure what kind of insect this is.  I've not seen one before.  I took the photo earlier this morning.  It is still sitting on the fence, so curiosity got the better of me. I ducked out and measured it.  It is 6cm long.  I felt very brave....only because it hadn't moved for so long.  If it had flown over, landed and then crawled on me I think I would have passed out with fright! lololol

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Squishy Goodness

My post office box was exploding with squishy goodness this week.  Firstly, I swapped a spare copy of a quilt calendar with Fiona for A Quilters Companion diary. 

I find a diary indispensable at work to keep a record of all the day to day goings on in my classroom, such as who are line leaders, helpers, power ranger etc....All VERY important goings on when you are seven or eight years old.  A bit of quilty eye candy never goes astray either!

As well as the diary, Fiona also gifted me a beautiful hand made needlecase.

Everything about it is so lovely.....the fabric, the ties and the perfect hand stitching!

The inside didn't stay empty very long...........

It takes pride of place in my portable project case.....

holding tiny quilting needles which I am using to sew a Grandmother's Garden using small hexies.

Fiona also included a sweet selvedge book mark.  I feel very spoilt.  Thank you very much for your gifts, Fiona.

My post office box continued to pop out squishes......These are the FQs I received from my partners in the You Complete Me: A UFO Group on Threadbias.

It was also the day my order from the Fat Quarter Shop arrived.  I ordered a FQ bundle of Seasonal Little Gatherings during the 12 Days of Christmas sale.  I've been a fan of prim and naive crafts for many years, so was delighted when this line was included....doubly so when I saw it was 40% off.  I can see a Kim Diehl quilt in my near future!

This is my first finish for the year.  The courthouse steps block in the middle of the placemat was calling out to be something.....There was a need for a place's been put to really good use since I finished it.

There's so much more I want to share with you....about Christmas, current projects, plans for the year etc etc but it will have to wait until next time!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

I started the New Year having breakfast outside watching a crazy group of eight New Holland Honeyeaters playing, eating and flying in and out of the grevilleas in the back yard.

As well as using the zoom lens, I was beginning to wonder if I needed to use the sports setting to get photos of the birds as they zoomed in and out of the shrubs.  They are little, noisy and fast!

I spent some time today dreaming about what I could make this year.  At the top of the list was this cute fq bundle which has been maturing in my stash for about a month.

It is perfect for Retro Hoot Owls from the Debbie Mumm book 25 Years of Quilts.  So today I planned, pressed, read and reread the instructions for the project, which will be my first for 2013.