Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sewing machine for the Sewing room Door and a pouch

I have had some spare time to do craft lately, which has been very nice and relaxing.  A blogging friend had asked if it was possible to have a couple of larger sewing machine brooches. When I got those cut, I had another idea. I had few more cut even larger-- as buttons-- and this is what I have done with one of them.
To hang on the Sewing room Door
I then got carried away and painted them in different colours--- blue, red, purple etc and they are decorated with poppies, roses and lavender. I have not had a chance to take photos of them and will do so next week and show them on the blog. As I have not had a giveaway for ages, I will have 1 to give away if anyone is interested in having one.
A friend came over to have a sewing session. As I am not good with the sewing machine, I thought we should start with something small. Margaret (Solstitches) had shown a link to Noodle-Head and the pouch tutorial. So that is what we made. The zipper was a challenge, but finally got there. I used corduroy for the base, inspired by Stephanie from Loft Creations to combine cotton and corduroy. Thanks Stephanie, I think the combination turned out well.
The pouch showing the lining
The base is made with corduroy
I have also been busy painting buttons for Marilyn from The Patchwork Teahouse in Warburton Victoria. I have a new ice cream button and I painted some of them.
Anyone for Icecream? ( I don't know why it has come rotated )
A Parliament of Owls (also rotated! very annoying)
Of course Christmas is almost here and I started on some Christmas buttons and brooches too.

Sleigh and Rudolph
Some Christmas Buttons
Needless to say, I have a sore neck and shoulders today. I tell myself to only paint a few at a time, but I do get carried away and spent most of yesterday painting.
We have had the most glorious, warm day today and of course it was best to be outdoors on a day like that.

Friday, 5 September 2014

A Hexagon Medley in Blues, a Lap quilt and a mistake re Postage in my Etsy shop

I have been making this quilt for a very long time-- and it feels like a VERY long time. So I am glad I have finally completed the top.
Blue Hexagon flowers
This picture shows the border and corner. I decided to make a patchwork border as I have a huge amount of blue and white fabric that I have collected over the years. This way, I would use up the fabric. Well I still have a large stash of the fabric.
Border and corner
I counted up the number of rectangles I would need to make the border, and spent ages cutting and cutting. After I completed the quilt borders, I realised I had a large number left over. All I needed was to cut a few more, and I now have a lap quilt as well. The miscalculation-- by a mile-- was not wasted after all.

A lap quilt
I am making 2 small mats for the bedside tables as well. So my blue and white stash is decreasing.
I now have to send these 2 quilts away to be quilted.
I finally have my etsy shop up and running. Only to find a big mistake on my part re the postage. It was adding the full postage for additional pieces-- which was incorrect. I have corrected it and hopefully, I have rectified all the problems.
I am sure there are people out there who are miles better than me with the computer and don't have the problems that I seem to accumulate when I use the computer. I am slow with it and have problems working out the steps. So it becomes very time consuming. Lucky for me, my son was home and I managed to get him to show me how to do more with the site. Hence, I have learnt to put a banner up for the etsy shop-- a photo of my buttons. Well I decided that I will also change the header on my blog to match. Now I know how to do that, I will be able to change them more often too.
Tomorrow is Father's Day in Australia. A Happy Father's Day to all the  dads and husbands.
It has finally stopped raining, and I will take advantage of that and go for a walk before it starts up again.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The new addition to our family

These are the things hanging on our clothes line these days.

Pink quilt for a little girl

 We are kept very busy with cleaning up, washing, baths, walks, play time and early wake up calls.
Do I hear you say that she is too old to have a baby? Yes, you are correct. But not too old for this bundle of fur..
Penny with the toy that arrived with her

Her name is Penny. She came into our lives in January and she is now a boisterous 9 month old Labrador who dominates everything we do.

She is inquisitive, loves to garden and dig. Our garden thongs have been chewed every time we go out and forgot to put them out of reach. Funnily, she only chews the left ones, so consequently, we have many right thongs. Pity we cannot buy singles from the shop. She loves to "help" in the vegetable garden--- we have made many trips to Bunnings to buy material for a simple fence to go around the garden beds to keep her out. Her favourite vegetable was the sugar snap peas (I think we managed to get about 6 for our dinner one night ie the ones she missed),and raspberries are delicious too (we only have young canes and hence just a few fruit, but we have not tried a single one as she beat us to them too).

Penny discovering the garden

She has given us many sleepless nights from worry. When she was with us for 2 days, she developed an itch on her belly. What started as a minor itch became a major drama, with hair loss on her belly and she (and us) were distraught by this. We treated her for every itchy condition one could think of, and she was put on a special diet food. After what seemed like ages, her rash cleared and she is now back on normal dog food. We breathed a sigh of relief, but not for long.
She has had a soreness in her left hip for months. We initially thought it was from jumping over the temporary mesh around the veggie garden. But it has persisted. She has had X-rays and anti -inflammatories and this limp persists if she gets too active. So we have had to stop all ball games, play with her doggy friends had to stop and walks are 2 short walks a day. We cannot stop her running around the yard when she gets into the chasing mood and that gets her hip sore again. It is such a pity to limit her play which she loves, but we have to for her hip.

Penny asleep with her 2 favourite teddies

On the other hand, she has given us great joy. She is the first one to get a greeting when anyone comes home. She is our shadow when we are home and loves to be as close to you as she possibly can. Her foot rests on my feet when I am in the kitchen -- I guess to remind me that she is there for titbits. Despite being 9 months old, she still likes to climb up and sleep in someone's  lap! I cannot have her on my lap anymore, but there are other laps that she can still climb onto for a sleep.

A sleepy Penny

Before she came home, we said that she would have to sleep in the garage at night. Of course she started in the laundry as a puppy. When the time came to move to the garage, we put her out with great apprehension. Needless to say, she lasted ( or should I say WE lasted) 20 minutes out there. She has her bed in the lounge and rules the roost.

Penny on her bed

We got Penny from the same breeder as our Tess. Looking at the lineage, Tess is Penny's great aunt! Nothing like keeping it all in the family.

We have a beautiful sunny day today and we are enjoying it-- especially after the very wet few weeks we have had. The wettest August for 150years.  Needless to say, a wet winter has caused many people to have colds and the flu.Penny had a bath too today as we thought we should take advantage of the sunshine-- a nice clean dog, for a few hours at least.

Thank you for visiting and meeting our Penny.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

My own Etsy Shop and a gift for a Blogger Baby

I love designing new pieces for brooches and buttons and find painting them is very relaxing and helps me switch off especially after a difficult day. Needless to say, I have collected thousands of pieces-- all waiting to be painted and needing a home.

I remember when I first started painting the brooches many years ago, I had a painting friend who could not paint small pieces and she just loved my brooches ( or so I thought!). Every time I painted a new design, I gave her one. After about the 10th design, she looked at me and said, "I think I have run out of space on my chest and I cannot possibly wear another one!" Oops!

Someone suggested I contact some patchwork shops and see if they would have some. For years, I have supplied a few shops in Australia and that kept me painting and having an outlet for the painted pieces.  Over the years most of these shops have changed hands and often the new owners are keen to have something different.  I am grateful to 2 shops that have stocked my things for many years. Thank you to Marilyn from the Patchwork Teahouse, and Lynette Anderson from The Little Quilt Store for having my painted work in their shops.

I have been painting buttons as well as brooches all these years, but find that I tend to paint more buttons these days, (they are smaller-- you must have gathered by now that I like small things).

2 fellow bloggers have suggested an Etsy shop. One suggested it last year, and I could not get my head around it. Then recently, another fellow blogger, Margaret from Spain, (solstitches) suggested the same thing. I went to the library that day and what would I see there?-- A book called "The Complete Idiot's Guide to selling your crafts on Etsy". I came home with it and have now managed to open my own Etsy shop. Hooray. Next job was to put a button on the side bar to say that I have one. My son came home today and helped me with that.  Well it is now there officially.

I have not put the patterns on the site as yet and of course there are heaps of other Brooch and button designs too-- but I thought I would just start with these and see if it works in the first place. Please do visit the site and I am open to suggestions.

Another exciting thing that has happened is that a fellow blogger has had her first child in June, a baby girl. I made this for her and hope that she will stay nice and warm after her bath in it. A big Welcome to our first Blogger Baby!
An elephant in a shower of pink flowers
Thank you for taking the time to visit the blog.  Enjoy the rest of this glorious weekend.


Friday, 6 June 2014

A little stitchery

When Margaret sent me the bag, she also sent a card with it. Inside the card was this stamp.

Stamp in the card
That inspired me to do this.
Little stitchery with birdhouse
 Then along came this little birdie.
Bird in tree
Then it was joined by this little bird. They both want the bird house!

2 birds in the tree
 Now I will have to work out what I will do with the stitchery. A small needle book perhaps?
We have a long weekend , and the weather has turned out just glorious today. We had very heavy rain earlier in the week and looked like it was going to be a wet weekend too. However, a pleasant surprise this morning-- blue skies.
Enjoy your weekend too.


Monday, 2 June 2014

From the Postman

I went for a walk along the esplanade with a friend this morning-- another glorious morning with blue skies. I came home and what would be by the front door? a parcel. I opened it with great excitement! ( just shows how excited I was, I did not even take a photo of the unopened present). This is the most gorgeous bag from Margaret (, sent all the way from Spain, as a birthday present for me.

Bag from Margaret

I am delighted with the gift. I cannot get over the perfect sewing and finish. I am a very proud owner of this bag.
I have been lucky enough to get birthday gifts from my family which will keep coming over the year. I have a weekend away to the Southern Highlands later this month. There are patchwork shops and Victoria House along the way south, which hopefully will get a look in. My daughter and son in law have given me a ticket to Totem, Cirque du Soleil, and they have tickets too, so we will attend the performance together, which is even nicer. That is in November. My son has given me a subscription to Simply Vintage magazine-- and I am looking forward to the first one, which hopefully, will be here soon. We have gone out to my favourite restaurant for dinner, and I still have 1 more lunch next week with my Tuesday walking companion ( as we go out to lunch for each others birthdays). So I do feel spoilt.
I have had this on the wall for a few months, and realised that I have not put it on the blog. After all it is a craft finish and I should have shown it. I started it when I returned from our UK holiday in late October, and could not believe it when I finished it before Christmas. It is the fastest cross stitch I have ever done.
Danish flower thread Cross stitch

This is where I am up to so far re my Blue Hexagon quilt. I have umpteen small blue flowers to make, so it will be ages  before there will be progress.
Blue Hexagon quilt in progress
I am off to the shops now. Guess which bag I will be taking to the shops today!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Holiday in England-- Part 2

I have taken the day off work today as I am unwell, with a URTI, and the most annoying cough that just keeps on being there. I have been pottering around, as I don't have much energy to do much. Finally, I have the chance to do a blog post.

Our holiday to England was in October 2013. Here is part 2. Part 1 ended in the Lakes District.
We headed south to the Cotswolds. Along the way, we stopped at a village called Great Budworth in Cheshire. We stopped there as my mother and father in law went there in 1980 and there is a photo of my mother in law next to these stocks. Little did she realise, that 33 years later, her son and her grandson (whom she had never met and would have been her pride and joy) would stand at the very same spot.
Stocks at Greater Budworth
We did a walk in the Cotswolds from Upper Slaughter to Lower Slaughter. I admired the well maintained stone walls through out the area.
Stone wall in the Cotswolds
These cyclamens were growing under a tree in one of the National Trust homes we visited.

Wild cyclamens
We headed further south through Painswick to Somerset. I just loved these cute sights as you walk down the street.
Door knocker
A tiny window set in an old stone wall

We stayed a lovely little B+B and this was the door to our rooms.
The red door
I must say, I was fascinated by robins. The robins of our nursery rhymes always held my attention -- and to see them flitting around and hearing their call. I finally managed to capture this one.
A Robin
My favourite sheep
The autumn colours were just happening, and this was in a National Trust garden.
Autumn colours
We stayed at another B+B at a small place called North Brentor, in Dartmoor. This is the view from the B+B. Way in the distance in the picture, is a thatched cottage. The moors are just behind and can also be seen from the front door.

View from B+B
The weather here was foul-- it rained and rained and was windy. When we thought it was clearing, we went for a drive and drove over the moors. That was a silly mistake, as the fog just rolled in and we could not see a thing. We did drive over the moors again on our way back to London-- and it was a clear day and the view was spectacular. The foggy day reminded me of the Hounds of the Baskervilles--when we got back to Sydney, I found the book on the bookshelf and read it again. Interestingly, it was also set in October .
The Moors
We did a day trip to Port Isaac. I had not realised that this is the village where they film Doc Martin. It was picturesque.

Port Isaac
View near Port Isaac
Who can resist taking a photo of weeds?
We had a lovely holiday in the UK and I hope that we will be able to do another in the not too distant future. I will live in hope of that happening!
Now back to craft. I have not had much progress on my craft front-- but there has been some progress.
1-- I was doing an applique scene to be framed, and was contacted by the editor of Homespun to see if I was working on anything of interest. I showed her the photo of what I was working on-- and now it will be published in the January  Australian Homespun magazine. Currently, I am writing up the pattern-- a tedious process. Unfortunately, I cannot show you the photo just yet.
2--My daughter has moved out and we have re arranged her bedroom. I am making a quilt for the queen sized  bed. This will take ages-- as there is a lot of EPP hexie flowers, and I have heaps more blue flowers to go. I have now completed the larger hexagon flowers and am now making the small hexagon flowers-- I think I need another 36  of them! So it will be awhile before the quilt will be on the bed. I have collected a lot of blues over the years-- and am determined to use as much up as possible. Will do a border with the remainder blue fabrics.
Hexagon medley in Blues
3--I have been painting some buttons for the framed work-- painting them in different colours to see which colours work best.
I have also designed a new bird cut out-- and tried it in this colour combination.
Handpainted Bird brooch
Thank you to everyone who visits my blog. I would love it if you do leave a comment. It also gives me a chance to visit your blog and read about your crafting life. I have made some lovely friends by doing this and we email each other regularly as well.
Take care.