Thursday, June 30, 2011

She's finally home!

I have no idea what to do with her yet but she has arrived. I have always, always, always loved old sewing machines. I bought this one from a deceased estate when I was fifteen. For a very long time now she has been hiding away at my Mum's house and just this week, Mum arranged for her to be delivered to me (thanks Mum). After a good clean and a polish, she's sitting in the entrance next to the piano looking very pretty and making me smile each time I walk by. I don't know if this is her permanent place but for now, I'm just happy having her in the house.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finish it up! Friday check in...

And what do you know - I'm late!!!

It's my first check-in for Meg's "finish it up" challenge and I'm checking in late. I got motivated last week and tidied the room before tackling any projects. Then I did tick a couple of items off the list including one pillow for a friend, my 3x6 bee blocks and dropping the baby quilt to the quilter but then the weekend happened - and what a weekend it was!

Thursday night, we got to go out for a real grown-ups evening. Our friend, an amazingly talented sculptor, opened a solo exhibition so we went along to check it out. Given we'd gone to the trouble of getting a babysitter and we met up with other friends there, we headed out for an impromptu meal with real conversation. There was no interruption of "Mummy", "Daddy", "I need to go to the toilet", just proper conversation and really, really good food.

On Friday, I had a wonderful day. I got to spend a whole day with my bestest ever friend, just us. We headed off to Sydney for the Craft and Quilt fair and took ourselves over to Calico and Ivy at Balmain. This shop is just stunning and has what must be the entire range of Liberty fabrics. I was in love but restrained myself somewhat and only came home with these:

Saturday found me in the kitchen baking for the cake stall at the school bushdance.
Plod and the smalls heel and toe-d their way across the hall and I managed to avoid exerting myself by selling cakes (and perhaps sampling a few of the offerings) while drinking hot chocolate. 

Sunday we all went to a birthday party for a very special little boy where all the smalls disappeared to the paddock. It was a divine afternoon spent eating too much with great company

Plod had a leave day Monday and we had lots of jobs we "had" to do. So, we ended up taking the girls to school and then sitting on the couch watching a movie together - the list can wait but snuggling on the couch for a movie on a cold day, well it was the perfect end to a perfect weekend!

What did you get up to?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Finish it up!

Well I'm three months today from my due date! The bubba is coming fast and I just know that means not much time for stitching for a while after that. In the spirit of nesting, I decided I needed to finish up a whole load of WIP's sitting on the shelf in the sewing room. And of course, I started my allocated sewing time with procrastination on flickr and browsing around blogland. In my travels, I came across this:
I'm sure there have been entire psychological studies written about people like me who even when setting their own goals, somehow then procrastinate until the last minute to meet a deadline! Well, now I have one. Meg (of Fashioned by Meg) fame is holding a "finish-it-up-a-long". And I've joined her group. Basically, I need to write a list of all my projects and each Friday, I check in with the other members of the group with what I've achieved that week.

The projects are to be those that have already been worked on - patterns and fabric don't count if they've not been cut into. So, taking out those, here is my (rather scary) list:

** Officer Plod's birthday quilt (for the significant birthday he had in February 2010! oops) - only one border to put on then off to the longarm quilter
** Australasian Bee - bee blocks
** 1st Wednesday Block Swap - bee blocks
** 3x6 Bee - bee blocks for 2nd and 3rd quarters
** Binding on quilt for small (given to her unbound for Christmas)
** Civil War repro quilt for my gran (nine-patch) - blocks are made, need to piece together and get to the longarm quilter

** Celebration of significant life event quilt for my Mum (large strip hexies) - cut out, need to piece and then off to quilter
** Red 1930's quilt (for me!!!) - quilt myself then bind
** Birds quilt - piece my blocks received in the 1st Wednesday Block Swap
** Buildings quilt - piece my blocks received in the Australasian Bee
** Bathmat - cut out, needs to be pieced and quilted
** Pillows for two friends birthdays (can't say who, they may be looking)
** Heather Ross Munki Munki log cabin - finish blocks, piece, to quilter

** Scrappy string quilt - finish blocks, piece, to quilter
** Lyrebird embroidery (design by Kate Ward)
** Vintage sheet star quilt (for my bed!!) - piece blocks, to quilter
** Baby quilt - to quilter and bind and then actually give to baby - this month

I'm stopping there - that's EIGHTEEN items. There are more on the shelf but they'll have to wait. Not all of them are going to be completely finished but I would like to make a significant dent in the pile!

Any words of encouragement??? I'll need plenty along the way


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gorgeous Bags - Received

Insert large squealing sound combined with me jumping up and down around the room and doing an incredibly uncoordinated ahem, graceful happy dance (ok, I'm six months pregnant, at least give me graceful!) and you will have an image of me this morning when the postie came a knockin'. Immediately, I knew this would be good and I was SO right!

I have been stalking this bag over in flickrland for a few weeks now. From the beginning when my partner posted fabric selections through to it's finality, I have had a sneaking suspicion it would be mine - and I am SO thrilled to say I was right!!!

I'm not so great at taking pictures of it but it is a nappy (diaper) bag and has a whole world of pockets inside and out as well as a key chain which is fabulous as I'm always losing keys at the bottom of my bag.

Also in the package was a matching coin purse - I think I'll use this for lipstick being the ever so glamorous Mummy that I am - you know, existing on less sleep than anyone ever thinks is possible and no showering or teeth-brushing before leaving the house an hour late with three children in tow - lipstick will be my first priority ;)

I digress. I am so, so happy with this - the bag is perfect, the pockets are terrific and the quality of the making is just amazing - this is one seriously talented stitcher! You can see a better picture of the bag here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Christine, this is absolute perfection. It is everything I could have asked for and I can see myself not waiting until the baby is born to use it - I'm just not that patient!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gorgeous Bags

Here I am again, I found myself in another swap over on flickr! I seem to hit the accept button before I actually think...

This time, it's the Goodie Bag Swap. Essentially, make a gorgeous bag, include a small ziplock full of fabric scraps, send to secret partner and wait for the mailman...

Please, please, please dear postie, come knocking soon...

NB: Although the only required "extra" were a few fabric scraps, I couldn't resist making my partner a small coordinating pouch. The bag is Meadow by Melly and Me and the pouch is the inset zip pouch by Keyka Lou. Do check out Melly and Me for fabulous patterns - these girls are Aussie designers and they have amazing stuff here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New artworks

I love the creativity of my children. The reckless abandon with which they just get into something. There's no big sit down sketching a plan, thinking about colours for hours, they just get into it and make it up as they go along. How I envy their ability to produce something so beautiful in a matter of minutes and their confidence that whatever they do, it will be perfect just as it is.

Today, we participated in a workshop for preschoolers held at our local museum and art gallery. The smalls examined objects from the past 100 years and then dreamed up unusual places to find those objects. Above is the result of active imaginations, painted in watercolours on canvas. Of course, we had to come home and hang them in the girls very own gallery - I think their bedroom wall is the perfect backdrop!

Left: An 80's white high-heel and an old wooden peg on a "flaming Jupiter wtih all it's colourful gas rings". (Mollie, 4)

Right: "A cricket ball in a storming jungle". (Lulu, 3)

The lesson: stop thinking and start doing!