Thursday, 13 December 2012

Cupcakes and Christmas Decorations

I arrived at work yesterday and found these on my desk-- a gift for Christmas. They are so gorgeous, it will be difficult to cut and eat them.  I can imagine the amount of time it would have taken to decorate each cake, as each bit of icing has been coloured and imprinted to perfection.
Christmas Cupcakes
I have been painting lots and lots of these Christmas decorations. I had painted a few brooches in this shape and had put names on them. My daughter, who is a primary school teacher, saw them and decided that they would be great little gifts for her students. However, I thought brooch pins may not be a good idea for little 6 year olds. Next thing I know, I had these shapes cut out in a larger size and was painting 24  of them, one  for each child in her class-- each one with the child's name on it. I don't know how I got talked into it as it took me ages to paint them. After painting and varnishing and adding the ties to them , I forgot to photograph them before I handed them over to my daughter. Anyway, I was on a roll, and decided to paint a few more.


Christmas decorations
Melanie, I might use these decorations as my 3rd Olympic Challenge. I know that they are another painted item-- but they are decorations instead of buttons or brooches.


I would like to sew a couple of things as gifts, and am running out of time. I hope I will be able to achieve at least a couple of  items before the end of next week.
I had recently read a comment on a blog, that the blogger planned to make a  Christmas gift a month and hence by December would have 12 gifts ready without feeling rushed at the end. I don't recall which blog that was on. I have decided that I will try and do that starting from January 2013. ( Oh Oh! It does sound like a New Year's resolution--- have never made one before, and am told not many actually keep to their resolution!)
If I don't  manage another post before Christmas--- I would like to wish each and everyone of you a Very Merry Christmas and Best of Health and Happiness for 2013.
I would also like to Thank everyone who has taken the time to visit this blog and especially taking the time and effort to leave comments. I have made some lovely friends through the blog  and look forward to communicating with more in the future.
Take Care.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Jacaranda time and a day with a blogging friend

We have 2 jacaranda trees in our garden. The one in the backyard was already there when we moved in 26 years ago. The one in the front was put in by my husband some years ago and it is his pride and joy! This year, the flowers have been glorious and this photo does not do the tree justice. When one stands under the tree, it feels as if your world has a purple hue to it.

Jacaranda tree in front garden


Close up of jacaranda flowers

Last week I met a blogging friend. She was visiting Sydney with an overseas visitor and we decided to meet up for the first time. I decided that a walk along Sydney Harbour would be a nice way to see Sydney and also a visit to Nutcote ( May Gibbs' House) along the way . May Gibbs is Australia's  equivalent to Beatrix Potter. We met at Circular Quay and caught the ferry to Neutral Bay ( where Nutcote is)  and walked to Cremorne Point-- and caught the ferry back to Circular Quay.

2 visitors to Sydney 
View from Neutral Bay across to Sydney Harbour
A jet boat on the harbour trying to do a fast turn
A Masked Lapwing ( a new bird species that has come to live in suburbia in the last few years)
Kangaroo Paw Flowers ( an Australian native flower)
Kookaburra in the backyard
I enjoyed the day with a fellow blogger and we hope to repeat this meeting soon. We did conclude our time together by visiting the patchwork shop that I usually frequent. Of course a patchwork shop had to come into the meet.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Thimble No. 2 for the Olympic Challenge

Melanie, ( is hosting the Olympic Challenge and this is my attempt for the No. 2 Thimble.
Australian animals are quite unique and I have a few laser cuts that I have painted as brooches and buttons. The Australian flowers are also different and I have attempted the bottlebrush ( on the Australia brooch), Flannel flowers ( on the kangaroo and possum) and a small amount of wattle ( on the possum).
Kangaroo, possum,Australia, wombat, platypus,and echidna
Life is a little hectic at the moment-- painting these have been rather relaxing-- as it gets me into another space.
Thank you for visiting my blog and will aim for  a longer post soon.
Take care,

Monday, 15 October 2012

Sheep, a tiny treasure chest and an overseas parcel

My daughter and I had a few days in the country, visiting my son. The country side was looking very pretty. The canola flowers had past their peak colours, but still looked pretty.  I just loved taking a drive and looking at the patchwork of colours around me, and of course, the cute little lambs next to their mothers--- some feeding and their little tails whirling around as they fed.

Lamb having a feed
This ram was standing in the shade
Ruins of an old corrugated iron chapel
Wildflowers growing on the side of the road
Pretty yellow ones
This tiny flower was growing in the dirt

Tha canola when I was there in September 2011
The scenery reminded me of the patchwork cot quilt and wallhanging I had made. It was difficult getting the yellow fabric to match the canola.
One of the panels of my wallhanging
Tatyana, (  a friend I have made  through blogging, makes lovely bead work. I bought these stitch markers that she had made from her etsy shop. But I also had a lovely surprise when they arrived, as they were accompanied by this gorgeous treasure chest. It is only 4cm x 3cm and painted in a similar style to the Zhostovo folk art. I had attempted painting this style many years ago, but found that I preferred other styles of painting instead. Tatyana had a recent trip to Russia to visit her family and bought this as a gift. Thank you very much, Tatyana.

4 little stitch markers and the tiny chest
 Recently, I received an email all the way from Norway. Asne, the owner of Quiltefryd in Tonsberg, Norway ( contacted me to see if she could have some of my patterns for her shop. Of course she could! So I have taken a parcel to the post office and my patterns are winging their way to Norway.
The weather is warm and sunny today. Great day to air the house and dry the washing. I guess it is back to the household chores now.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Cushion pattern winner and Craft Olympics

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave a comment.

The winner of the Gingerbread man Cushion is Margaret who lives in Spain. I have decided that we should also have an Australian winner, and that is Dzintra.

However, Melanie, Shez, Hanne, Tatyana and Mama Bear  will receive a little gift. I am part of the Craft Olympics, hosted by Melanie.  And I have made something new as part of that.  I have written up a pattern for it and painted some buttons, so each of you will receive one of these instead.

Please email me your addresses. I will be away for a couple of days, so will not be able to post out the patterns until the end of the week.

These are 5 " in size and there are a few different ones and they have different buttons as well.-- eg pudding, stocking, tree etc.
If anyone is interested in joining the Craft Olympics, have a look at Melanie's blog  for details. It is
Enjoy the rest of the long weekend ( here in Australia).

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Gingerbreadmen Cushion

I have enjoyed making this cushion using Lynette Anderson's Christmas Fun fabric, and I am very pleased with the way it has turned out.

I have written up the pattern, and if you would like a chance to win a pattern (which includes the 2 gingerbreadman buttons) please leave me a comment.

Life has been rather complicated these last few weeks. Hopefully,things will settle back to the old routine again.

Spring is well and truly here. I saw a family of  wild ducks-- mother, father and 9 newly hatched ducklings walking down the street, in the middle of suburbia. The male magpie has been eating lots in the garden, the female is probably sitting on her eggs. The koel has arrived. It is a cuckoo ( one that lays her eggs in another bird's nest) and it migrates from Asia. It usually arrives by the long weekend in October, and this year we heard it's call on Thursday, so it is a little early.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


I am using Lynette Anderson's new Christmas fabric to make my new patchwork piece. I had bought one of her Angel Delight bundles ( fabrics are only 10"x 11" in size)  and added a couple of pieces from my stash ( as I needed longer pieces for the borders) and have made this pattern up. The frustrating thing is that I do not have enough backing fabric to complete it today! My intention was to make it into a cushion, but now am not sure if I should make it into a wallhanging instead-- What do you think I should do?

I have 2 of my little handpainted gingerbreadmen buttons attached to the piece.


 I have to wait until I can go to my local patchwork shop to buy the backing fabric-- which  may be the weekend or next week.

I have enough fabric to start on a second design-- thinking of Christmas parcel buttons to use on it, perhaps.

The weather has been beautiful here today-- it is warming up and spring is definitely here-- Hurray!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Beautiful Orchids

Spring is definitely here. The snowdrops have come and gone and the freesias are out-- and one can smell their lovely perfume when in the garden.

I love orchids. We lived in the tropics when I was a child, and my father grew the most beautiful tropical orchids. He had his special ones and he gave me a small part of his orchid house as my little orchid corner-- mainly the ones that were easy to grow and flowered well. We pottered around  in the garden together for hours tending to the orchids and the other flowers and fruit trees that grew in the huge garden. I loved collecting ladybirds etc -- poor ladybirds!

For some unknown reason, I did not take to growing orchids here in Sydney. The most common orchid grown here is the Cymbidium orchid-- and I tried growing them years ago-- with little success. Last year, I decided I would give it another go --I bought a few plants whilst     they were in bloom-- tended them in the garden-- and guess what-- not a single one flowered this year!! What a disappointment.

Also last year, a friend brought in the tiniest little rock orchid flower and I fell in love with them-- her husband then gave me a few plants to put in the garden. My neighbour few doors down the street also had some tiny rock orchids which I admired--a few days later she came around with some in a pot and I planted them in the garden. Well-- spring is here and they have put on a show. They are only tiny flowers-- but stunning in their beauty and I keep walking outside to admire them. Here are a few photos of them.
We also have some rock orchids from my husband's parents' garden.  When these flower, it brings back lovely memories of my mum in law who just loved them. They were planted at the base of an iron bark tree in our garden. The iron bark tree died this year and we had to move them so the tree could be cut down. I did  not think they would flower this year after being disturbed when we moved them. Lo and behold, they have produced the most number of spikes on them ever!



This purple flower is called  "The Happy Wanderer". It is a creeper and climbs over everything-- but the flowers are so pretty.
I recently bought Lynette Anderson's new Christmas fabric range-- I bought a bundle called an Angel Delight-- the pieces of fabric are 10"x11"in size. I am making another Christmas cushion with the fabric and have enough left over to design a second one. The first will have gingerbreadmen-- almost completed, and the second will probably    have some Christmas parcels on them. I took some photos and when   I loaded them onto them  computer-- found them all out of focus! So have no photos to show you today. Will try again another day. There will be another  pattern    give away when I have completed the cushion.
Enjoy the rest of the week.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Spring is in the Air

I woke up this am to a glorious day. The air had a warmth to it, the sky was a perfect blue. What was even better was that I had the day off as well! Mind you that does not mean a day off from the  household chores though. With the sun shining, even house work was not too bad. The blooms in the garden are just starting to come out. We have the best display of rock orchids that we have ever had-- but they are still in bud and I will post a photo when they are all out. The freesias are just coming out and their perfume is just there in the garden. I went for a walk and the sea was calm and blue-- very peaceful. 

I attended a class at a friend's house on Tuesday. It was to learn to do Japanese meshwork. We learnt the simple version using 2 colours. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hopefully will be able to master the more complicated version at a later date.

Simple Japanese meshwork

I have had a couple of emails enquiring about the Christmas Welcome cushion pattern, so I have decided to trial my pattern on the blog.

A Christmas Welcome pattern includes the 2 handpainted buttons

I am currently stitching the blocks for the SAL-- ie SKOW---am doing the Best Friends block at the moment. I have 2 other blocks to go after that and then will have to put them all together.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The winner of the Cushion Pattern

I am late with picking the winner of the cushion-- it should have been at the end of the Tour de Fibre!  I am a slow coach and taken this long to get to the end of the race!

The names were put in a hat and the winner is MAY BRITT. Please email me your postal address and the pattern with buttons will be on the way to you.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to leave a comment.

Happy sewing.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Tour de Fibre-- Cushion

I decided to make the patchwork piece I was working on into a cushion cover. This makes me want Christmas to be here soon so I can display it. ( I will be patient as time goes fast enough as it is!)

A Christmas Welcome

We wish for Love, Peace and Joy.

I have enjoyed making this cushion, although I did struggle with the machine work. I prefer to do as much as possible by hand rather than machine. I decided that the only way my machine work will improve is to keep machining.

I am in the process of typing  the pattern and have decided to have one to give away ( which will include the 2 buttons that I have painted). So if you would like to be in the draw, please leave me a comment.

It has been a glorious day here today-- the sky is blue with not a cloud in sight. Although I have already gone for a walk this morning, I think another walk this afternoon will be a great idea.

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Tour de Fibre 2012 -- more sewing

I could not help but start a new project! It had been raining on the weekend and sewing is a good activity when it rains. Instead of working on my current project-- I started a new one. I was in a Christmas mood, so I started with some Christmas fabrics.

I had bought Anni Down's new Christmas fabric range at the Darling Harbour Show in June and decided to use a few colours from it in combination with some from my stash. I started with an applique centre which will then have 2 of my buttons on it to complete it , and then worked on the piecing around it-- working out the design as I went. Machine work is not my forte, so I dceided I would challenge myself and try it.

 3 Eight pointed star 4"blocks-- they were a challenge alright!

Then I needed 1"blocks for the border.

I was cutting and joining and unpicking ( with lots of muttering under my breath) when my DH walked by. He had this look on his face which implied that I was totally crazy and he could not understand why I had to cut these big pieces of fabric up into small pieces and then join them up again. No wonder I was getting frustrated when the joins weren't right!

I have finally almost finished the top-- I have to decide if it will be a small wall hanging, or a cushion-- that is the decision now. Hopefully, will complete it this weekend and will put a photo on the blog shortly.

I went out into the garden for some fresh air to clear my head after all the unpicking I had to do-- and found this hanging from a branch of a Bottle brush shrub.

A cocoon-- I wonder what will emerge from it?

The pansys and violas have not done too well this year-- I think because it has been too wet for them. But this little plant does look rather nice--- the subtle purple shadeing at the edge is like watercolour.

The sky is blue today. I will have to go outdoors and enjoy the sunshine.
Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Tour de Fibre 2012

I decided to join in with  Hanne's ( and May Britt's (  Tour de Fibre 2012 to get me working on my quilts and embroideries and not be distracted by other activities. I have started with the SKOW SAL quilt that I had lagged behind with and have definitely noted some progress!

This is where I have been for awhile.

I had these blocks done but not joined-- so further progress.

I was struggling measuring the long 2 "strips and got a brainwave to join the 3 together and then cut to the correct length! Why had I not thought to do  that before?

This is where I am up to now.

I had been waiting for the weather to improve to photograph these blocks-- I thought if I pegged them on the line I would be able to get the whole lengths in the photos. Even though it is not currently raining, it is windy and no way would these pieces keep still long enough! So the floor is the next best thing.

I must add that I have only seen snippets of the Tour de France on the news, but it is still helping me concentrate on my sewing!

Have a lovely weekend.


Friday, 29 June 2012

The Bag Challenge

I was browsing this am and came across May Britts blog,( and she has a bag challenge on. As part of it, one has to have a blog posting about the bags one has made. I have only ONE drawstring bag that I have made-- but thought that 1 is better than none-- so decided to show it on the post. I had made this as a PJ bag to match the cot quilt I had made.

I have also just tried making a makeup purse-- made it in plain fabric as a trial and I must say it was OK---( am carrying my current stitchery that I am working on in it instead)-- so will now spend more time by making another with a patchwork design. Will post it on the blog when I have finally made it.

It is a glorious day in Sydney today-- the sky is a beautiful blue and it is chilly but not windy. So I am off to the shops for groceries for tonight's dinner-- will walk along the beach to the shops. I wonder if the seal will be there today? It has been using that same spot as a resting place for a few weeks but has not been there this last week.

Have a lovely relaxing weekend.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Wildlife in the city.

We live in a coastal suburb and I am amazed at the wildlife that we do see occasionally around us.

I went for a walk this morning ( I usually walk in the evenings, but rain has been predicted for today and it was already rather overcast) and was pleasantly surprised by this sight just a few feet from where  I was walking. I went home to get my camera.
Seal lying on it's back

Apparently it was sighted at the same area last week-- but I had not seen it , and there it was again today. My neighbour, who loves fishing in the bay from his kayak, tells me that there has been a lone seal around for years. I wonder if this is the same one.

Whilst I had my camera with me, I spotted a flock of seagulls and it was interesting to see a few of them just standing there on 1 leg!

Seal gulls at the beach

This is the pool that we walk down to for a swim in summer--- just a few minutes walk from home.

As you can see, the ocean is very flat today, and it is very overcast. In summer, this is a very popular spot with swimmers.

At this time of year, we also often see pods of dolphins.  There was a pod swimming in the ocean about 2 weeks ago.
The whales migrate up to the Queensland coast and they start now and will peak in about 2-3 weeks. They are too far out to sea to spot them from here, but occasionally, one will come in close.  If we drive to an area about 20mins away, we can see them from the cliff tops.


This kookaburra was sitting in the jacaranda tree just outside the bedroom window and was watching me make the bed. It continued sitting there quite happily and let me take it's photo.

By the way, whilst I was browsing the different  craft blogs, I came across Hanne's blog and the "Tour de Fibre 2012". If you want to join in, go onto Hanne's blog and find out more at  I thought that I would join in and it will help me concentrate on getting through my SKOW project and not get side tracked on other things.

The rain has arrived and I am glad I walked this morning. It looks like it is set to stay for awhile.

Have a lovely weekend.