Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sandi Henderson and sheets

Not together (Sandi and sheets) but I got two very fun parcels in the mail yesterday.
This is my favourite design at the moment and I seem to be collecting it in different colour ways- I also have it in pink.

This is called Henna Garden from the Meadow Sweet Collection.
The one click and you're away shopping combined with strong Aussie dollar and free shipping caused me to come a bit unstuck! Yes, I also bought this, from the same range.

These are destined for Christmas presents so I had better get a wriggle on. The only sewing I have been doing in the last couple of days has been 'refashioning' my neighbours workshirts- he asked me to make his two long sleeve shirts into short sleeve shirts. This is not fun sewing for me (boring I reckon!).

Back to the parcels- to balance out all that new fabric, it was appropriate to receive my parcel from Selina's vintage sheet swap on the same day!! (Good theory? For every piece of new fabric acquired one should match it with some vintage fabric...I can see it's not 'water tight'!)

What a fun parcel, combined with my vintage sheets (that I also sent fat quarters off in all directions via Selina) I am going to make a beach rug. Like the one out of 'Handmade Home' if you have seen that book. Not that we go to the beach that often, mine will be a picnic rug I think.
Saturday is my favourite day of the week, hope you enjoyed yours.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My place and yours- Home

'My place and yours' theme queen this week is Myrtle & Eunice and it's 'Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home. Hmm, an object that helps make our house a home.
I wasn't really planning to play this week but I have had that lovely word 'home' rolling around in my head and it hasn't got away, so here I am.
I think home is about the senses and the spirit and the emotions it evoke and memories it holds. Again, the things I love, the things you can't touch!
The people and the history make the home. I had the same bedroom for 18 years and my parents still live in the same house on the same farm. That is my home. I feel very at home there. That has got something to do with connection and place and soil- that is my place. I know I will feel very sad when they leave one day.
I have lived in lots of houses (obviously post 18!!) so of them were homes some were places to live, I was a bit sad a few weeks ago when I drove past 213 Mitchell Street Northcote and found my old home (first home post marriage) demolished and replaced with brand new units. But where am I now and what makes it home...

The woodstove in the kitchen and the kettle on it contribute to 'home', especially in the winter. It heats our space and our hot water and cooks a great slow cooked casserole. I love it.
Quilts thrown randomly over chairs and quilts on beds...

Softies- my mum's tradition of making those bears (at the back) goes back at least 37 years because I got one when I was born.

This table was apparently my grandfather's sisters. Now lives in my kitchen. Apricot jam in process on the table.

And a link to my younger days. I was in Berlin 20 years ago when the wall came down. Amazing. I saved up to get this print framed, don't know why I went with the red! The artist was a street artist sitting by the wall and has signed this copy.

See who else is playing at Pip's

Monday, December 7, 2009

Visitors, another hat and some food processing

There you go (see title of post), that's what I did on the weekend. Yes, I know some of you are getting abit more familiar with me now and realise that I could not be that succinct. I am a details girl (for example: and then what did he say, and what did you say etc!). I do try not to be too long winded because I don't want you to leave without finishing. I will give you lots of pictures today, in case you are tired like me and a bit beyond words.
Our friends stayed for 2 nights. It surprises me how quickly you forget the intensity of having little ones around, our two children are 7 and 9 and pretty independent and self sufficient. I was able to watch our friends care for their 3 young'uns (all under school age) with some distance (in time) from the experience. I wished a few things- that I had had more energy and mental capacity to enjoy my children when they were that little, they (young children) are a delight as they learn words, become so interested in the world and develop relationships. I also wished that I had more energy on the weekend to hang out with the kids more and give our friends a better break (although I don't think I would have cut the mustard with the littlies!). Instead, friend (Del) and I went and had a coffee and then stayed up late sewing a hat (bad influence?). Ms. Del and I were both happy to have completed a project.

This is my version.
While Del and I were sewing, the menfolk were extracting honey, they reckon they got about 21 kilos which is the most we have had for a while so they were both pretty chuffed. We share the work and the honey between our families, which is a great thing to do, I reckon.

Some of the bottled honey - didn't think to take photos of the process, next time.

And I also (hopefully) made our years supply of apricot jam. Four batches, 10 kilos of biodynamic apricots, alot of sugar...

one of the batches (preserving pan courtesy of chain super store op shop  $4.99)
to this

waiting to be labelled.
I am hoping to do another couple of batches because I reckon home made jam is a good gift. Well, except to my brother and Aunty who used to be regular receivers of my apricot jam until one day my mum told me they don't eat it, she eats it when she stays at their places! I don't 'waste' it on them now!!
And, remember all that garlic a few posts back- well, my lounge room floor is covered with this

Oh, I was just having a play with photo effects. 
Clever photographer managed to photograph her toes...

Friday, December 4, 2009

At last... a hat

I have been thinking, planning, plotting, dreaming of making a hat for a while now. You know, I have been 'gunna' do it. Like I am 'gunna' do a lot of things (no risk of me having nothing left on the 'to do' list!).

And now I have, and I know there will be more to follow, because it was quick and fun. Like the lipstick job on my hat model. I spose I should be thankful it's on the plastic 'do my hair' girl, rather than on the curtains, walls or anywhere else!

It is Make it Perfect's 'Lazy Day Hat' pattern which I used an American Jane print to create.

 Along with the pattern I bought a few other things including- my first Saffron Craig design, and my first Cloud 9 organic fabric (which feels soooo nice) - suggestions welcome, I often don't buy fabric with a project in mind. The pitfall here is that I buy it because I really love it and then get abit scabby about hacking into it. It just looks so nice there all in one piece.  I received a 20% of code via email, and I am a sucker for a bargain and that one click shopping is far too easy! Thanks Sam!

We have friends coming over this weekend and my crafty space doubles as our spare room- wonder if I can get another hat in before I make those beds up (really, which is more exciting).
By the way, to those concerned about the chickens in the toilet (see earlier post) they are now outside, on real grass chirping happily, where new chickies should be. It's just a bit weird they don't have a mum. Usually the chicks we get have hatched from one of our broody chooks and they so far have been great mums, teaching all sorts of survival tips. I do feel abit sorry for the incubator chicks having to go it alone, they are alot noisier (but also friendlier because we don't have to fend off a protective (scary) mummy chook for a cuddle.
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's nice, it's different, it's unusual

This week's theme queen is Toni from Little Suitcase and she picked a challenging theme- after all, things at my place are just so 'normal' (yeah, right!).
So what is nice, different and unusual my home?

When I was going to the toilet, I realised- hey,  it may be fairly usual to share your toilet room with 10 very cute baby chickies! We have the weirdest very large toilet room- what a waste of space. Ideal to house cute chickies in for a bit to keep them safe! They were incubator chicks so have no mummy chick to keep them warm. They came from Paul and Di's house in Melbourne so we had a fun 3 hour trip home with them in the car yesterday (no casualties!)


Being in Melburne on the weekend (more of that another time) reminded me that 3 hours in a car can be like 24 hours on a plane in terms of cultural differences, foods available, shops, Markets (yey, I went) etc. Yes, it had been far too long! I love Melbourne and miss lots of things about living there but then come home to silence (which I couldn't take a picture of) which, for me ,after being in the city is nice, different and unusal! Seriously, if I stop typing, I can hear nothing except the odd dog snore. Please note: I am not saying Pippi is odd, just that she snores on the odd occassion

In this context (city/ country), depending on where you live,  our back shed might look different to yours.

Mr. Apple and Tangerine doesn't tend to do things on a small scale and this year he planted 'abit of garlic'...this is not even a quarter of it I reckon. What was that you asked? Oh, yes, it is for sale! Great Christmas pressie, nice garlic braid. Grown 'according to bio-dynamic principals'- great soil, no chemicals. Our place isn't certified because the fruit trees are the main thing and we haven't needed certification for these. Subtle aren't I- she says with a massively indiscreet wink?! Email me if you are interested. I have to check with Mr. for prices. Fresh Aussie garlic- no talways  that easy to find.

If you head over to Pip's you will find out who else is playing.

Hey, Ms. Black Cardigan- note the nice neat links? Thanks for your kind bloggy help xxx

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Paralysed by indecision

I haven't done as much crafting as I would like lately. I have done alot of thinking about what I might do, how I should spent my crafty time (procrastinating, if you like to label).
The annoying thing about my unfinished projects is that lots of them probably only have under one hours work left. I have been thinking about whether I should-
  • Finish Annie's dress- need to do the elasticised side ties
  • Finish my wave bottomed quilt top (picture of wave bottom another day!)- needs stitching around the embroidery, 
  • Back and quilt my Christmassy quilt
  • Do some stamping on fabric (can you get  ink pads for fabric stamping? If yes- where)
  • Finish the shorts for me- the knees are uneven
  • Make a skirt for my sister in law for Christmas
  • Finish the 'nautical' cot quilt which really only needs binding.
So I thunk and thunk and thunk and then....

made some cards.
Read: started a new project! 

I just realised that the top left card is Cheryl's card and I must have nicked it (by mistake) which means that I didn't win in the productivity stakes- she made 9 and I made 8, not vice versa (or wice werser as my German friends say) as I had been suggesting (ok- in a bragging way) to Cheryl!! 

The good thing about cards is that you start and finish in one sitting and get that 'project complete' happiness that I haven't had for a while.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My collection

My hand is up as a first time participant in this business.  Kate (at was 'theme queen' this weekend and she came up with 'Collections' and she's nice and I have a few collections so I thought I would play.
I have spent time looking through peoples front doors, craft spaces etc, I thought today was the day for me to get abit un-shy and jolly well participate!
Okay, I am getting on with it!

A collection- well. you can collect and then you can accumulate. Collect, to me implies action. I accumulate fabric, especially lovely natural fabric, including beautifully designed 'patchwork fabric'. I COLLECT apple fabric. I love apple fabric and over the past few years my choice has exploded with amazing options.
These are some of my favourites

Sigh. I do and will use them, but, boy, I also just like looking at them and touching them!

Apples in a quilt

Okay, my second collection has rules.
Teacups, saucers and sideplates -who would have thought, I am not really a girly girl, but these do take my fancy. Think about the stories told over a cuppa- imagine if teacups could talk. I love it that they are old and have 'been around', they have been split up from their family and ended up at my house. With no sitting room- indeed!
The rules are that I don't have more than twelve full sets at any one time. Because I would have no more than 12 'ladies' over for a tea party at once and we have a small house with no display cabinet kind of things.

They can't be so expensive as to make me cry if one gets broken, and I have to really love it. I was abit hasty at the start and purchased a couple that I now realise I don't really really love, so they will be booted out when they become number 13. Sounds harsh but they will then go on to get more gossip at someone else house (or, on the flip side become a mosaic!).

I love it how some of them have pictures for you to enjoy as you drink your tea

Or, more specifically, for the right handers of the world to enjoy, of which I am not one.
And I love this one with a scene on it

It adds something to the humble cake and cuppa, don't you think.

I haven't even mentioned my 'ex' collections- anything Felix the Cat, hats of all descriptions.

My mum has 'accumulations' rather than collections and sometimes I am very thankful for her hoarding ability. Her vintage pattern stash deserves a post of its own. So, in time, I will give it due attention.

Thanks for looking at my collection, you can find more collection at Pip's place I am heading over to see if anyone collects smurf figurines, because surely someone should!

Friday, November 20, 2009

At the risk of being a 'blamer'...

okay, it's hot and peoples' brains are getting a little bit dehydrated, but really- is anyone at my house going to 'fess up to this

found this morning, as opposed to what it may have looked like last night

No, team, it is not the best idea to leave the butter out overnight.

Friday, November 13, 2009




and well, we'll be waiting for a while!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fabric- in and used in one day!

Amazing- fabric that didn't even make it into my stash. It arrived in the post, when I had ordered it I knew specifically what it was for, so got straight onto it. Canvases, my new favourite instant decorating thingo.

The range is Full Bloom by Bari. J Ackerman
It's strange because I really like the pink (don't think my photo does it justice) and I am not sure about the yellow, but I love teapots and cups and thought (and still think) these three canvases will really cheer up my crafty space.
I will hang them next to each other, but not this close together, that was just for the benefit of the photo opportunity!

Other hot day craft (had to move my sewing machine into the kitchen yesterday!)

Thanks to this tutorial
Baby Alive (circa 1977) has a new dress and she looks pretty excited about it too!! Thanks Deb

Monday, November 9, 2009

The three little pigs

Well, I think they are cute, anyway! I got up early to take photos to show you, now I smell like pigs and my Monday morning routine is ummm, slightly delayed AND I smell like pigs. Okay, shower and get ready for work whilst encouraging the youngsters to organise their own school lunch!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday sow-ing, no, it's not a typo!

Sorry but it's too dark now to run out and take a photo and I was too busy 'enjoying the moment' to take one earlier today. You see, today the 'Three little pigs' came to live out our house. It's a bit of a tease to tell you how very cute they are without showing you a photo, but maybe that will make you come back another time!
No Sunday sewing today (got abit distracted), I had plans to cut out some shorts for me- after putting my hand in the pocket of the ones I had on and putting my hand straight through- it was rather threadbare.
Cheryl and some of her family came for dinner though and 3 out of 4 vegies were home-grown, which is always nice- we had sautéed pumpkin slices, cauliflower with grated cheese and blanched snow peas and I used sage, chives and parsley in the chicken scaloppine dish that I made. How could I nearly forget- the other garden brag is that today we picked our first cherries. The taste of summer!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Homemade Lemonade!

This past Tuesday, being Melbourne Cup day,  we got a public holiday- despite living 3 hours away from Melbourne. This is what Mr and Master Apple and Tangerine got up to. They looked through recipe books, made two different recipes (we were keen on the 'blind taste test' idea). Decided that one was too sweet, one not sweet enough so mixed them together and bottled them. Master 9 wrote the labels and has been very proud of his drink, and happy that he had more cordial in the last few days than ever before!! Anyone got a great lemon cordial/ lemonade recipe to share (and any one know what the difference between those two is?)
It's Friday- happy weekend to you all.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I am not so good at the heat, I get a bit cranky! I was happy to get a swim in the Murray River yesterday- oh the feeling, after the first coldy getting in bit- of cooling the blood down. Just what I needed.
Saturday night though, we crafted at Carolyn's house which was fantastic because she has a lovely airconditioner and after many months I finally finished this.


It's for our friend Pepe, and I will give it to him on Wednesday. He's an older gent who lives by himself and I think (really hope) he will like it. I usually go in for lap size quilt but this is closer to a single bed size.
I think this means I can start the next project- to keep the balance of unfinished projects up!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Me and buttonholes...

Buttonholes and I are friends again! I have just learnt how to do them (manually sort of, not automatic as my machine manual promised- I will be speaking to my machine dealer about that). Buttonholes, sigh, I enjoyed doing them. I love buttons so now the buttons in my collection will have buttonholes to go with them. Assuming some action in the sewing room.


Modelling credit to Maisey the well loved doll. This top will be sent off as a present for Mairead, so I hope it fits. Alexander Henry fabric sleeves- love that fabric.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Craft and Spirituality

For me and I suspect, many fellow crafters there is a lot of meaning tied up in their creating. When I sew something for someone it is an excercise of my spirit way beyond the the'concrete-ness' of the fabric and the 'end product'.
I will give my quilts as an example. Often quilts choose me to be made- some random thought leads to a quilt...I generally don't make quilts for people who ask (is that mean?), they need to be 'given' of generous heart, not badgered for or expected (if by chance you are my friend and have asked me for a quilt, you may get one one day, but in my time, not yours!) It's the unexpectedness of the gift which is part of the loveliness. My quilts say what my words can't, and give presence, when I can't . As I spend hours stitching, I am holding the reciever in my heart, in my thoughts.
I made a quilt for my friend D (who may be my only 'real life' friend who reads this!). She had suffered for many years with chronic illness, and spent a fair bit of time in bed. There was nothing I could do to make her better, I didn't have a fairy wand, but I could give her my time and stitch with love, for her. I figured, if she's in bed so much a quilt would be of comfort.
I made a quilt for my friends after their baby was stillborn. It was for Hayley (the baby) in recognition of her short life 'on the inside' because I didn't get to know her 'on the outside'. The fabrics chosen were similar colours to the bridesmaids gowns we wore at their wedding. I said it was made to hug, to cry on, to throw across the room -whatever was needed! She said her children loved it and often sat under it together. She also told me it sat across the bottom of her bed and kept her company in the wee hours of the morning as she cried.
I made a quilt for my God daughter and her two siblings, upon their departure to Chicago to live. They wouldn't pack me in their suitcase, so I made sure that they packed something 'of me'!
There are the celebration quilts too- when you turn 90 in my family, you get a quilt (there have been 3 so far!)- a fair achievement I reckon, worth celebrating. I already told you about Great Aunt Betty's (she calls it her hug rug!), well, Grandpa got one too, he sits under it and watches the footy on tv.

This is the quilt I made for grandpa (who I inherited through marriage!). I wish I had taken a photo of all the quilts I have made, I do that now. I made it using fabric he would like (as close to yellow and brown as I could go for this Hawthorn supporter). It's a few years old now and has been well loved.

 I made one for my grandma, who died a few months later. She had moved into an aged care facility so I chose fabrics with big roses on it and called it (yes, I name my quilts) 'My grandmas garden'. When she died, I was planning to hand it straight on to my mum but some wise soul told me to hang onto it for a while and enjoy the connection between my quilt and my grandma as I got used to her not being around. A few years on and I still love having it in my lounge room.

I could go on, but I won't today, this has been a hard post to write, probably because it is about those things not tangible and it's hard to cover that in words.
If someone gives you something they have made with their hands, chances are you have their love as well as the present you hold.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday sewing

Well. What was I saying just last night about sewing mistakes late at night. Not the time to teach yourself how to do buttonholes, no matter how excited one might be about being sooo close to finishing a project. (Summer tunic top for a 9 month old little friend, my first creation out of an Ottobre magazine).

Aforementioned buttonholes- disaster. Sigh, okay, I get the picture, it's bed time...