Monday, May 30, 2011

It's been a long week - or two!!

Wow!! Two weeks since I've written anything.  In terms of sewing - I've had some "bursts" but not a huge amount of progress on anything.

Yesterday was our daughter's birthday - 11 years old.  We had a lovely day at home.  Originally we planned to go shopping, but it's been so busy that a day at home seemed more of a novelty!  We are saving the shopping trip to next weekend.  Probably won't be any less busy, but it will be something to look forward to.

Our baby turned 3 on Friday.  She is such a joy to have - so bright and cheeky.  I think that having a toddler in the house helps keep everything in perspective.

The birthday girls together!

My daughter has been sewing with our local sewing teacher for about two years now.  Last year she made a dress and entered it into the Mt Gravatt Show.  She was placed second and then went on to the Brisbane Ekka. So the plan is to do it again this year and time is running out.  We've had lots of discussions over what to make and finally settled on a pattern about 3 weeks ago - can't buy it, so it's been ordered.  Last Friday we tried again and still "no", so we've gone to plan B.  We've picked the material - she's chosen a champagne pink colour.  Quite unusual for her - she's always been a pink and purple girl.  I'll have some pictures soon.  We spent some of yesterday choosing some accessories to make for the dress - a bag and something for her hair.  She's cut out the pattern.  Now to sew.

Esther was invited to the races by friends of ours.  So, of course, she needed a hat.  It was a rush but we through this together - the wonders of glue!!

One of the other events we went to was the World Record for the largest Ballet Class.  It was to be on one of the walking bridges in Brisbane, but it was raining so they changed it to the State Library - probably not as spectacular from a photography point of view, but lots of fun.  My daughter and her friend participated in it.  They think they have enough people to claim the record - but still waiting for confirmation.

After a week where I hardly sewed at all, I finally got back into it last week.  I had a day's class working on a quilt using Sewing Revolution and Sewing with Wendy.  It's all machine work and uses machine embroidery with applique.  I have blocks sorted out for that now - need to get some sewing done at home.

My second class this week was applique.  Once again with Wendy.  We've been working on fabric weaving.  This week we made a bag.  I finished it last night.

This was the bag.  Quite simple really, but lots of fun to make.

My third class this week was at Homespun and Beautiful - a class conducted by Patrizzio Di Marco (hope the spelling is right!).  It was a fun day - but lots of homework.  I contacted Terease at Homespun and Beautiful about doing the class and asked he if she could choose some fabrics for me as I knew my time was limited.  She has chosen the most gorgeous colours.  She had two different colour ways selected - both were lovely.  I'e gone with the brights, but would love to do it in the more muted shades as well.  We've been taught the best way ever to do Flying Geese.  In two weeks time we're going to be learning how to make mitred borders.  So the pressure is on to do lots of homework and get the top together!  Last night I completed 5/24 of one block and 3/15 of the other.

These are the blocks!

These are how they will be arranged.  Don't you just love design boards - already talking to DH about making one big enough for a full sized quilt.

In hand sewing I've been continuing with Gardener's Journal.  But making slow progress.  Hardly had any time to make hexagons at all.

My other BIG sewing commitment in the last fortnight was to make some costumes for the Rock Eisteddfod that my second son is performing in.  20 completed and about 8 to go.  It's a simple pattern and with an overlocker it was a breeze to make - but still took two days to finish them.  Not sure how much is left to do as I haven't been to the parent meetings.

DH's health appears to be improving.  He hasn't had any chest pains for over a week now.  The Stress Test Result was a good one.  It still doesn't totally clear him but the doctor believes that with the results it is unlikely to be heart.  May have just been a virus.  We're still taking it as a warning and making some health changes as a result.  Trying to get some more exercise in, etc.

I've missed lots of my regular entries in blogging during the week - Tuesday's Treasures, One Flower Wednesday, Teddy Bear's picnic.  Hopefully this week I'll be more organised.

I'm hoping to get back to my bear this week.  Hoping to get back to class with her this Friday.  Maybe some progress to report soon.

It's raining here today - wish we could send some to Chooky Blue and all the others who really need it.  We don't right now, but I know how quickly that can change.

Cheers - hope everyone has a great week.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Weekend - Teddy Bears' Picnic, Friday Night Sew In, etc

Well,  I missed the Teddy Bear's Picnic on Thursday.  I had to take our little two year old for a visit with her parents - hasn't seen them for 5 months as they keep cancelling visits.  This one was to be an assessment as the order runs out very soon.  I don't normally drive her there and back - one of the workers does.  But as that worker was going to be away it meant she would have to go with a stranger.  Just seemed too hard to ask - a stranger taking her to see people she hasn't seen for 5 months and then a few months before that!!  Lots to do before I went to make sure that everyone got to where they needed to go in the afternoon.  Hopefully this week's Teddy Bear's Picnic I will be more organised.

Friday was spent at the new shop of Homespun and Beautiful.  It was so lovely to be back surrounded by all that wonderful fabric.  I worked on Beatrice Bear by Debbie Magee - love her dolls.  I have a pile of her patterns on the to do list.  Saw the lovely dolls that Tereasa has made - Love Notes by Debbie Magee - one is for the shop and one is for the Beaudesert Quilters Biggest Morning Tea to raise funds for cancer research.  Worth going just to get a ticket and be in the running to win the doll.  Not to mention the good cause all funds are going to!

Friday night was the "Friday Night Sew In" but before that started I had to get my daughter organised for the first Debutante Ball of the year.  Our district has two.  I used to organise one of them for 26 years - only gave up 2 years ago.  My daughter was flower girl when she was 7.  She loves dancing.  So even though I wasn't going, she wanted to go with one of her friends.  My nieces look after them - they think it's great, so grown up.  So we were curling hair and getting organised.  I've got the photos on my camera and not my phone - so that will be a later blog!!

I did eventually get some sewing done.  Some more work on Beatrice Bear.  Happy with the pieces but not how I've put her together - but another trip to Homespun and Beautiful will rectify that.  (Tereasa is having a class for this particular doll - check out her blog.  She's a great doll teacher!)

Lots of work to do, but she's taking shape!

I also worked on one of my Christmas Quilts - it's all put together but needs some more stitching.  Mostly just   headings for each block.  
This is in my finishing list for this year.  It's a possibility.

Saturday morning the oldest son needed to be in Landsborough at a Scout course by 8am (that's about a 2 hour drive north from here).  Daughter needed to be at Canungra at a Scout course by 8.30am - that's about 30 minutes from here but east and not north.  2 sons had to be at Gold Coast by 9.30am for Rugby - about 1 hour - possible to do Canungra and Gold Coast, but not Landsborough as well.  So the eldest son found a lift  but we had to be at the Gold Coast by 5.45am for him to get the lift.  That meant daughter going with friends to Canungra (DH still not driving because of pains in chest!!).  So Rugby boys and eldest set off at 5.00am for the Gold Coast.  We met the lift and had some brekkie.  I sewed until Rugby time.  

Rugby game was going well and almost half way through.  Been getting some photos for their scrapbooks when one of the boys from the other team seemed to twist around to take the ball in the other direction and down he went.  He was screaming.  Not sure what he did to his leg, but it was painful.  Because they couldn't move him until the paramedics arrived, they had to abandon the game.  

Then back to Canungra to meet up with daughter.  Found out that the day there had ended early and she was already back home.  Then to Youth Group and then back to Gold Coast to pick up eldest son.

In my travels and waiting times of the day I finished another block for Tis The Season.  Here it is:

I've finished the quilt top, so not sure what I'm going to do with this one, but maybe a small wall hanging.

My second son had friends around for a belated birthday celebration.  They just amused themselves with DVDs and Hungry Jacks for dinner.

Yesterday - thankfully - was spent at home.  I even got a little more done on my Christmas Quilt and also some of the clothes for Beatrice have been cut out.  

This morning my daughter had to be at school by 6.00am to get a lift to go to a Netball Carnival.  She'll be back about 5pm.  Oldest Son has a meeting at the Gold Coast tonight.  So there'll be a few sewing opportunities throughout the day.  

One of the things I have to get organised on is the costumes for Rock Eisteddford.  My second son is dancing in that and there are lots of costumes to be made.  I've taken a fairly simple set that just involves overlocking but in many different sizes.  Patterns need to be cut out today!!  More blogging later.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Family Member

This is our newest family member - Laina.  She is a Scaly Breasted Lorrikeet.  6 months old and hand raised.  She loves baths.  Has just taken one and is the scruffiest bird ever when wet.  She is just starting to talk and whistle.  Should be lots of fun.  She will be out of the cage most of the time, but needs to settle in and get used to her new surroundings and, most importantly, let Sam our King Charles Cavalier Spaniel get used to her.  He's a bit of a bird dog - but his attention span is quite limited and sleep is more interesting!!

One Flower Wednesday

Here are my one inch hexagons.  I know that I've photographed some of them before, but can't remember which ones.  So this is all of them!!

Tuesday's Treasures - better late than never!

Been a bit of a week with doctors and as yet, no clear answers on what is wrong with DH.  He's not able to do much without the chest pain returning but still nothing clear medically.

So, I'm late with Tuesday's Treasures - maybe more aptly titled Wednesday's Wonders.

Here goes:

My daughter, Esther and her latest quilt.

My daughter was born in 2000 - after many heartbreaking years of IVF and losing many, many babies we decided to give up and foster children.  18 months into fostering (4 boys) and we already had our own son, I discovered I was pregnant.  Esther is the result.  Definitely a rose amongst the thorns - said very lovingly, of course.  She has been a joy to have and I know that I am her mother and therefore, I'm supposed to say that, but thankfully most others say it as well.  She loves life and has many and varied interests - swimming, running, netball, dancing, scouts, and horse riding.  Never sure where she got all these interests from - I can honestly say, not her mother!!  However, she also loves sewing and lots of other craft activities.  So I can see me in her in that.  She loves school so once again a shared interest.  She wants to be a vet when she grows up.  So, after lots of heart ache and disappointments Esther was sent to us as a very precious gift and definitely a reward worth waiting for.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What a Weekend

Well, the weekend wasn't what I planned.  DH ended up in hospital late on Saturday night with chest pain.  He came home yesterday.  They haven't found anything, but his symptoms indicate something is wrong so requires further investigation.  It's a warning and lots of people don't get those, so we should be grateful.  But it is a worry.  He is still not really well but better than Saturday night!  I told him if he didn't want to make me breakfast on Mother's Day he could have just said so, no need to be quite so dramatic!!

Anyway, despite that it was still a nice day.  The kids made breaky and then proceeded to make cup cakes.  They even cleaned up the kitchen - mostly, anyway!!

Here are some of the cakes.

This is Tish enjoying the cakes for Mother's Day.

This is Mother's Day for the other 364 days.

This is my 10 year old daughter's first shaggy quilt.  We finished it yesterday.  It went in the dryer overnight and so the finished quilt is now on her bed!!

This is one of my WIPS.  A Country Cupboard Design "Christmas Carols".  I've had nearly all of it done for over 12 months, just have to finish backstitching the writing on each of the blocks.  So when the opportunity came, that is what I worked on over the weekend.  I also added a few more hexagons to the pile.

So despite everything, it was an ok weekend.  Just worrying about where things will go with the health issues. Hope everyone else had a great Mother's Day.


Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Friday again!!

Another week is coming to a close!  Hoping for a Mother's Day spent doing some quilting.  I have a quilt top that has been completed for about 18 months - if only I can get to it this weekend I could have a Sew It's Finished Item to add to the blog.  That would be a nice Mother's Day gift.

My 17 year old said to me last night - "Wasn't Mother's Day last Sunday?"  "No", I explained "And if it was your attention was notably lacking."  He was away camping all last weekend!!  He shrugged and walked away.  You've got to love them!!

Hope all out there in Blogland have a great Mother's Day!

Jewel's photo

This is Jewel   I'm sure she'll be happier next week when she finally gets to go on the picnic and maybe she'll bring a friend!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Teddy Bear's Picnic

We're late, we're late!  Wrong story!  What a day.  Woke up with a migraine at 2.30 this morning.  Vomiting at 6.00am.  For whatever reason - probably my visits to the naturopath - these migraines are not as bad as they used to be.  6 months ago this would have been me for the day.  Now I'm able to be up and about in a few hours.  Not a good start though.  We had the start of the court process to extend the stay of our two little ones.  The order runs out in June and the formal assessment has started as to whether they should remain in care or return to their birth parents.  We've had them since August 2008 and the baby was only 2 months old so you can imagine where my heart is lying.....  So it was a big interview which will be presented to court as evidence.  Should be interesting times ahead.

So, the Teddy Bear's picnic is very late.  I'm hoping to get her photo on before I leave, but may not.  Computer not being very compliant tonight.

I will tell you about her anyway - her name is Jewel.  When our little one came to us in 2008 our "baby" was 8 years old, so we didn't have a lot of baby clothes around.  It was 9.30pm and I had managed to get to Woolies and get formula, bottles and nappies but not much else.  She came with nothing - a winter's night and she was picked up by the police in a singlet.  The workers had looked around and found a little jumper and blanket.  Luckily people were kind and gave us bundles of clothes.  Jewel was part of one of these bundles.  She is a Settler's Bear.  I think she is very cute so have put her with my dolls and special bears.  She looks a bit sad in the photo - I think she knows that the other picnickers have returned to their warm homes and she is there by herself.

Just realised, I'm not going to get her photo on tonight.  Have to dash off and pick up our daughter from dancing and take her to scouts.  We also have one at Guides and one at sewing lessons.   So it's taxi service at the ready on a Thursday.

Photo will happen but much later tonight and I'll get to meet all the other bears who were at the picnic today.  Maybe Jewel can come to another picnic in the future.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One Flower Wednesdays

Here are my flowers for this week.  I've started doing some 3/4 inch hexagons for this beautiful quilt I saw in The Quilter's Shack in Bundaberg.  All the girls there are addicted to them as well.  Hopefully some more next week.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday's Treasurer - My Pets

We have a menagerie of pets - dogs, a cat, birds of a number of varieties.  When we go on holidays most of them come with us.  So we arrive at a spot for a break and out of the cars comes kids, dogs, birds - much to the amazement of people around us.

This is Mintie a Maltese Terrier.  She's my daughter's dog.  A lovely natured little girl.  Loves a cuddle on the lounge at night - well any time of day really.

Mintie with Dimity.  Dimity is my dog.  Picked her up from her breeder when she was just a handful of white fluff.  She's the most loyal little dog ever.  Definitely my dog.  

This is Sam.  He's a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.  He's the most docile dog ever.  Puts up with all the pats our two year old can give him.  

This is Damien.  He's the shyest of our dogs - you can tell he really didn't want to get his photo taken.  

This is Noelle.  She's a Princess Parrot.  Just 6 months old.  She's a lovely bird.  Will sit on your shoulder and has lots of character.  We also have Conures, Red Rump Parrots, Cockatiels and Budgies.  

Finally a picture of my Christmas Gift!

Just to prove I did make a Christmas gift on the weekend, but just didn't get it onto my blog!!

One down and many to go!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Enjoying the long weekend

It's a long weekend here in Queensland - celebrating Labour Day today.  I've had a great weekend sewing.  Down to 3 kids - makes life so much easier.  DH is away with three at my brother's place.  One is on a scout camp and one is at a friend's place.  Lots of sewing done.  I even got a Christmas gift finished - but know that it's not in time for Allie.  However, it is a finish!!

Here are some photos:
This is a hexagonal quilt I've been working on for a few years.  Made entirely of 1/2 inch hexagons.  It was in Australian Patchwork and Quilting a few years ago.  It's been lots of fun, but very slow going.  But as Confucius says - every journey begins with the first step!

These are the hexagon flowers for the border of the quilt.  I've been making one of these for each diamond shape I make.  There is also a border of multi coloured hexagons, so I've been working on this as I've been going as well.  I didn't get a picture of this - next time.

These are my 1 inch hexagons.  Making these for the border of a quilt and also for the Vignette Hexagon Quilt by Leanne Beasley.  Once I get them all made, I'll divide up the colours.  I'm hoping to get the other quilt finished in the very near future.

I forgot to take a picture of the Xmas project.  I have to take number two son to rehearsals for the Rock Eisteddfod he's involved in through the High School and I believe that I am going to be involved in the making of 85 tutus while I'm there.  Never made a tutu before so it should be interesting.

Love long weekends!