Friday, August 31, 2007

Spring is sprung!

The cherry blossoms are out, as are the daffodils and the chill has gone from the air. Spring is here for another year, hooray, hooray, hooray.

Can you tell I'm a little bit excited?

So excited, in fact, that I turned this one pink!

Lots of stitching going on, but, alas it's more jeans, which are not the most exciting project to showcase! The pattern is excellent and much easier to follow than the last one I used. I should finish the first pair tonight and will finish the second pair over the weekend. Pictures to follow.

I heard from my sister-in-law that the jeans I made for my nephew Zach are a good length, but too big around the waist (and this was despite me making them more narrow than the pattern said!), so I'll be putting in a new waistband (elasticised) when we head down to Melbourne in a week's time. He is a skinny little rake that kid!

Work was much better this week. We had so many projects on the go in August and they're now all wrapped up - we got lots of accolades from senior people, which makes me feel that all the hard work paid off. It's so nice to be appreciated when you put in so much effort!

Looking forward to a lovely, relaxed weekend. It's father's day here on Sunday, so Carl will be treated to an extra-special day. My dad's turn next weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Red Moon Rising

Full moon tonight...scroll down to see what happened to it...

Phew. Life is not nearly so hectic this week :) Although possibly a little crazy with the full moon!

Have accidentally thrown the Summer 04 issue of Ottobre out with the recycling. Turned the house upside down looking for it before realisation dawned. Bugger, bugger, bugger, as I had wanted to use one of the patterns for pants for my nephews' birthday, which is coming up this weekend (don't worry I have a week up my sleeve, as we won't see them until the following weekend). I didn't want to use the same pattern as I used for my eldest nephew, as it wouldn't be cool at age seven to be wearing the same pants as your two-year-old brothers! (The upside of upending the house was that we ended up sorting out the various piles of papers/magazines that had sprung up everywhere like mushrooms after rain...) So I had to go down to my local sewing supplies shop yesterday and buy a new pattern. While I was there I just happened to pick up a couple of extras and some really sunny fabric to make a couple of sundresses/skirts for Romily. Oops.

I also ventured out today to my first choir rehearsal in around 20 years! The government department I work for has a choir and they've just started practising for the end-of-year Christmas concert. I love to sing (although I am not very good) - it makes me feel happy (ignoring that I am not very good) - and I thought I'd give it a shot. I only know two of the songs, and not very well, so it will be interesting. I am struggling to remember how to read music and I cannot for the life of me remember more than Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit. I also haven't sung in public since I left high school (hence the 20 years), so it will be a little nerve-wracking. I figure the 'voices' in the choir will compensate for any of my wobbly notes!

We were treated to a rare and unusual sight tonight - a full eclipse of the moon - and a red eclipse to boot.

I had fun with my telephoto lens trying to capture it on 'film'. Of course as the shadow of the earth engulfed the moon it became harder and harder to get a steady shot. It's times like these I wish I had a tripod and hand-held shutter. So, as always, apologies for the blur. I am quite pleased, despite any blurring, that I managed to capture some fine detail and some of the moon's many 'seas'.

Here's my red moon rising.

Pretty cool isn't it?

The cat is going crazy - wonder if he knows something's up?

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm back

And exhausted. Got back on Wednesday morning and was completely bombed out by mid-afternoon so I came home to see the two most beautiful people in my world. Absolutely no crafting done this week. I am hoping to get my mojo back tomorrow. We're off to the zoo in the morning, it's going to be a lovely day (so says the weather man) and we should have a good time, as Romily now knows all her animals. She's getting better at spotting them too!

I hope I can get some sewing done tomorrow - got to get some pants made up for the twins - we're off to Melbourne in a couple of weeks for their second birthday party. Should be lots of mayhem and lots of fun!

Could you resist this face? My daggy daughter hiding out in the shower!
Happy weekend everyone :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Some progress; something quilty!

We've had a lovely weekend. Some friends of ours popped around yesterday for some afternoon tea. I even got busy and baked a tea cake. Voila.
Afternoon tea anyone?

This morning another friend dropped around so our girls (both just turned two) could have a play date. I baked again, but mucked it up and forgot to add the flour to a fairly dry biscuit mix (Anzac Biscuits), so instead of nice crunchy biscuits, I ended up with what looked awfully like Brandy Snaps! (And no, I didn't photograph my failures!) My very polite guest ate a couple of flat biscuits anyway, god bless her! Her daughter, Lena, has two older sisters, so is much more confident and talkative than Romily. She did teach her a thing or two about cooking! Romily spent the rest of the day talking about her morning with Lena. Very cute seeing the two of them together.

Carl kindly offered to vacate the house with Romily this afternoon so I could catch a few hours of much-needed 'me time'. I put those few hours to good use and put in a cracking effort to get one of the tops of my Christmas Stars project finished (there are three in all).

Here's a blow-by-blow look at how my afternoon was spent (Mum, look away if you're watching):

Framed and looking good!

Topped and tailed.

Ready to be joined.

All stitched up (apologies for the flash - it got suddenly overcast).

With a cream border.

In hindsight, I wish I'd framed the green star with cream fabric. But I wasn't going to rip out all the seams and start over. It's my table runner and I'll cry if I want to! I think it's worked out nicely. Now that's one down, two to go! Then the quilting...!


I'll be missing in action for the first part of this week - crazy busy at work. I fly out tomorrow night to Adelaide, overnight there, set up a display at an event for work, fly to Sydney in the afternoon for the Eureka Prizes gala awards dinner, overnight Sydney, fly back to Canberra on Wednesday morning, work all day, head home to kiss husband and daughter and then head out to my local Neighbourhood Watch committee meeting (I'm the newsletter editor). Phew. Am tired just thinking about it! Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Two posts in a week! Must be on a roll!

Well since no one (other than Sarah) liked the landscape/art quilts, I thought I'd show off the finally-finished jeans I made for my nephew for his seventh birthday. This is the first piece of clothing I've made from the latest Ottobre magazine (04/2007, #29) and I found it quite challenging. Who knew you sewed the crotch seam before the leg seams when making jeans? I didn't and with terribly scant instructions, I didn't discover this until too late! I made some...ahem...adjustments, so I hope they actually fit him! We are heading down to Melbourne for a visit in September, so I can fix up hem lengths, etc. then, if necessary.

The owl is made from some leftover fabric I used in Wonky Geese. Isn't he cute?

And hooray it's hump day! The week is more than half done. Thank goodness. September can't come soon enough for me!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Quilty Inspiration

Part two, as promised! (Again, apologies for any blurry images!)

Banksia Pattern by Diane Firth

Bungle Bungles by Beth Miller

Icarus by Helen Godden

She sells sea shells by Judy Robinson

Pete's Dragon by Julie Roper

The Green Labyrinth by Elizabeth Rose

Eternity by Iris Hockley

Daggy Romily by Lily

Uh-oh. I just realised from looking at these photos that I haven't taken any of traditional quilts! The only one that could remotely qualify as traditional is Eternity, which is a string quilt. I confess I walked past most of the appliqué quilts (except for Tango in the Wind - in the previous post), as they were all in very muted colours, past the excruciatingly carefully foundation-pieced creations, and past the wholecloth quilts, which, while extraordinarily technically perfect, didn't 'do it' for me!

I just loved the landscape and abstract quilts. I think I might have to do a bit of experimenting one of these days!

I did enjoy just being surrounded by so many other quilters. It's a good feeling to know that there is such a great network out there. I look forward (around 30 years or so) to the day I retire and can do a lot more creating alongside lots of other like-minded women!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Quilty inspiration

Best of Show: Screeching Cockatoo by Helen Godden

Ah, it's that time of year again when Canberra's best quilters display their wares and so it was that Carl, Romily and I were out of the house by 9.30am today, heading off to the Canberra Craft Fair.

While possibly not up to last year's standard - where we were privileged to see some of Japan's best contemporary quilts - we still had a very enjoyable morning browsing the quilt show, as well as an interested wander through the 'Peaced with Love' exhibit - a bunch of quilts made by partners of Australian war veterans. Some of them were pretty terrible, some great, but all told a story about how war service had affected their lives.

We also had a bit of a browse through the stalls and checked out all the wares on sale. I only bought a couple of bits and pieces - some 'quilter cots' (kind of like the tip of a condom that you wear on your finger/s to help pull a loaded needle through when hand quilting), some tear-away stabiliser for embroidery, some photo-printing fabric (haven't tried this technique yet, so thought I'd give it a go) and a couple of half-metres of Christmas fabric for my Christmas Stars project, as I didn't have quite enough green.

Mekong Gold by Helen Godden

Here are some pictures of some of what I thought were the best quilts on show. Enjoy!

Tango in the Wind by Liuxin Newman (otherwise known as The Thimblelady) - each of those incredibly tiny leaves on this miniature quilt are needle-turned appliqué. Incredible craftsmanship...

Boabab Series II by Susan Mathews

Apologies for some blurriness - I was shooting without flash to get as accurate a colour reading as possible. Part two next post!


Thanks also to everyone for your lovely comments on Romily's birthday post. It's nice to know she has so many 'aunties' out there in the Land of Blog!

Here's Princess Romily, wearing her lovely tiara on her birthday! Enjoy your weekends.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Happy Birthday to my darling Romily

To my darling Romily, happy second birthday! I love you so very much, you are my darling angel and I am so glad you came into my life. You are blossoming into such a lovely little girl and I am feel so blessed to have you as my daughter. I love everything about you and cherish you deeply. Happy Birthday RomBom.

Happy 2nd Birthday Romily!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Too tired... sew. Sad, but true. Work is hard, long, busy and tiring at the moment, so I am a very dull girl. Bugger all sewing done this week - I did manage to cut and stitch some strips for my Christmas projects, but that's it. I also traced a pattern from the aforesaid edition of Ottobre, and washed and ironed the fabric I'm using, but that's it.

I did manage to find a bit more inspiration in a local second-hand books store and picked up two cool books: Japan, by Marion Elliot, described as 'global designs for new look interiors', and Rags to Rainbows by Miranda Innes, which has traditional quilt patterns from around the world broken down for modern use.

Very good inspiration in there and I might just get enough energy back in September to get some more done! In the meantime, it will be slowly, slowly, just trying to get through the busy month of August. I have to travel for three days in two weeks' time, which is the last thing I need right now. Ah well, I'll just have to make it all count and worth it.

Grandparents from both sides are arriving Friday night for Romily's birthday 'weekend'! Should be lovely - they haven't seen her for several months and she's blossomed a lot since then. Carl and I have bought lots of small gifts for her and one big one (not that big, but it's all big when you're turning two!). She's well primed on the issue of cake and candles, and keeps asking when we're going to have the cake! Well, she says, 'Cake? Blow candles?', but you know what I mean!

Will have some pictures to post after the weekend. Can't believe my baby is turning two! In her words: 'Big girl now!'