Thursday, December 31, 2009

a little bit late and a little bit early

Wow. Christmas. What a wild ride that was. I had planned on sharing all the handmade stuff I was up crazily sewing, sticking, stuffing, stitching until the wee small hours but it all seems a bit late now! And also I forgot to take photos of most of it as we raced out the door on to the next Chrissy gathering.

I did thankfully take five minutes to snap some shots of this project. A beach blanket for my friend Antonia who visits the beach EVERY DAY with her little fella Max. Thankfully I started this a few months ago when I got my hands on a copy of Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule.

beach blanket

Antonia's beach blanket

The backing is a fairly sturdy old table cloth and the front is made up of pillowcases all sourced from my local Vinnie's. You gotta love that. All sewn together with some store bought binding. In fact I think the binding was the most costly part!

And because my friend loves red (and I couldn't find any red pillowcases) and because she is a passionate advocate for choosing only organic and locally grown produce I couldn't resist adding this

certified organic ....

A little scrap of fabric I purchased from Aunty Cookie way back at the Finders Keepers markets in May. See it pays to go through your entire stash sometimes ... especially when it all comes crashing to the ground in a massive pile when attempting to extract a bit right at the bottom of one of the towers!

So that's the late bit. The early bit is to get in and say a very Happy New Year to you and your family. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to be seeing the back of this year. Onward and upward and all that. Having said that this is the year that I started this blog, sat down at a sewing machine again and 'met' all of you! And wow, where would I be without this amazing community. A whole lot lonelier that's for sure!

I don't do new year's resolutions. The last one I made, to become a gym junkie with the hope of looking like Sporty Spice, went so far astray I figured they were best left un-resolved! But I do like to make suggestions to myself for how I might live and love better ... and I might share them in the New Year!

In the meantime perhaps you would like to share yours? I'd love to hear your plans for 2010!

Clinking my cyber glass with you all. Catch you on the other side!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

due date

When this happens there are so few 'concrete' things to hold on to. What I have is a stick with two purple lines, a birth centre card with one entry, a blurry six-week scan showing a heart beat that wasn't there six weeks later and an almost finished green tiles quilt.

And I had a due date.

And so it was yesterday that I awoke and the tears that I manage to hold on to most days just flowed as if I had already previously given myself some kind of permission that today it was ok to cry.

We went to the beach and we had lunch and it was in actual fact a lovely family day in an otherwise busy and chaotic time. And I couldn't help feeling all day like it would have been a beautiful day to have my summer baby.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

my creative space and sunday stash all rolled in to one

It is my firm belief that most people want to do something to help others but often it is hard to know where to start. That's where people like Pip at Meet Me at Mike's come in and mobilise us mere mortals into action! For the third year running Pip has called on the crafty community to get stitching (knitting, crocheting whatever) to create softie's for the Mirabel Foundation.

So, thanks to a beautiful parcel from Leonie of some off-white cotton fabric that wasn't quite right for her (this is the Sunday Stash bit),

a gift from a friend ...

and a tried and true pattern from the Meet Me at Mike's book I managed to find a few pockets of time during the week to come up with this fella

Zing the Cat

Good 'ol Zing the Cat. Perhaps looking slightly more sunburnt than I had envisaged but Luca did say "cat" when he saw it and really, a two-year-old is going to be your toughest critic ... except for the Mr who said he kinda looked like the devil *sigh*. You can see lots of other super cute Softie's for Mirabel here.

In my last post I mentioned it had been my Mum's 60th birthday. For months I have been making Mum a quilt and it wasn't until just before I went overseas that I finally admitted defeat and realised I would be giving Mum a quilt top at best. And that is what she got.


Loosely based on the cowboy pinwheel quilt from Material Obsession One only with slightly less cowboys ... actually none.

Some lessons learned through the making of this quilt:

1. Do not ever attempt pinwheels EVER AGAIN!

pinwheel detail

2. Do not choose fabric you think the person is going to like because far out, it makes the pinwheels even harder to construct when you yourself don't love the fabric you're working with!

But hey, at the end of the day she seemed genuinely happy and really that was the aim ;)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

my place and yours :: wherever I lay my hat, that's my home

Once again I am taking liberties with the term "Saturday" by posting this on a "Tuesday". But after a busy weekend celebrating my Mum's 60th Birthday (more on that later), I didn't get time to link in with this weeks "My place and yours .." but by gee, it's such a good one this week and by one of my favouritest bloggers, Tania, so how could I resist ...

So the theme is/was "Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home" - from Tania's blog,

"What are the treasures in your house that signify ‘home’? Is there anything that reminds you of a childhood, a life overseas, a loved one? "

Well, apart from the Mr and kids, who of course make anywhere feel like home (what with all the cooking and washing and nappy changing), I was surprised that there are really only two "things"  that I could find that fit the bill ... 

my Minnie

A painting by Minnie Pwerle given to me as a gift from my Mum, Dad and sister a few years ago. It was quite literally the only time in my life I have been speechless. I needed to be scraped off the floor such was my utter astonishment and delight. Being relatively new, it has only graced two walls so far but I know it would be the first thing to go up when we move again signifying we are "home".


Ok. Tania did it, so will I. This is Brissy. So named after the town I was born in and was mercilessly ripped away from in the prime of my life*, just when I found myself surrounded by the most awesome bunch of friends**. That bunch of friends threw me an excellent not-so-surprise-going-away-party where I was gifted this bloke. At the time he sported a blue satin ribbon and still had most of his facial features.

Over the years he has fitted very neatly into the crook of my arm while I attempt to sleep (crazy insomniac I am), and acted as a very nice wedge between the "girls" when laying on my side during my pregnancies  (I seem to morph into Dolly Parton at the first whiff of being with child. Too much information?). I keep saying that I will gladly hand him over as soon as any of the kids decide they can't live without him, but since that hasn't happened yet I shall continue to nudge him into place each evening***.

So there you have it. Two quite different items I guess but two items I would struggle without ;)

For more of these stories nip on over to Pip's place.

* fourteen - you can imagine the pain
** two of whom read this blog and are probably falling over themselves that TWENTY ONE years later (yes, really) I still have this bear!
*** whilst I don't take Brissy on any long haul journeys, though I have seriously considered it, I do find space for him on overnight trips. I have tried without and it's just not the same. Have Brissy, will sleep that kind of thing. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

my creative space ... and the winner is ...

Well folks here it is ... if your computer has not melted at the sheer photographic weight of this post while it loaded up then you are about to see proof that you can indeed take a crochet hook on a plane! Yes, the hosties may do a double take or two as they pass you by but not once was I questioned about my hook! Woo hoo! And so I give you ...

Double, Double Hook and Travel! 

en route!

preparing for take off on board QF6 bound for Frankfurt

granny in action

nanna took a break to enjoy a cuppa and a bickie (I did contemplate doing the tim tam slam but didn't want to draw even more attention to myself)

just chillin' in yet another hotel room ... Stuttgart perhaps?

the perfect way to unwind in yet another German hotel room after a busy days site seeing

in Stuttgart

the city centre of Stuttgart


in the beautiful town of Heidelberg

en route

on our way back to Frankfurt. The perfect way to avert one's eyes from the scary stuff happening on the autobarn.

BA flight to London

back on another flight (made it through another checkpoint!) bound for London

Pub meal

need I describe this one? The sausages were on their way ...

Buckingham Palace

trying to get the Queen's attention.

Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London

a kindred spirit on Portobello Rd

Ah and the best bit ... meeting a kindred crocheting spirit along the Portobello Rd!

A massive "thank you" to all the entries in my naming competition. By god they made me laugh! In the end I found it too hard to pick a winner so handed it over to my beautiful friend Antonia, who picked the above title by the gorgeous Christina ! Congratulations Christina! Can't wait to send of the parcel of goodies.

Now for more creative spaces pop on by Kirsty's place ;)


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