"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A bit of this, a bit of that...


Mixed weather this week, from balmy 18C with lots of blue sky and sunshine, to cold, wet and blustery. Thought I'd make the most of a sunny day and drove to Emu Bottom, an old homestead just out of Sunbury. Got some nice shots, both in colour and b&w. It's a lovely property, and brought back memories from the 1980s, when we spent many a Sunday here, having spit roast lunch in the barn, and dancing to bushband music. Fun days with my airline colleagues and friends.
As I mentioned in the last blog,  my friends Marie and Ron gave me this beautiful cymbidium orchid. I finally got a shot of it, with all the flowers open. Just gorgeous. I hope the flowers keep going for a while, they brighten up the place.
And YAY! - it's a red-letter day, or better a redwork day, since I finally completed all 14 blocks of my Scandinavian Rose quilt. It only took about 5 1/2 years....  Now comes the serious business of cutting the sashings and borders. Feeling rather daunted by that. Still, it means I can now start working on my new Kim McLean quilt on Fridays (see below). That should keep me going for another 5 years. Mind you, I won't be doing the border as shown, will simplify things a little.





Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Arty-farty stuff

 Bit of a mixed week. The Macedon Ranges Photographic Society is having an exhibition/sale at MAD Gallery in Lancefield in August (do go and check out the entries! And the caf makes a very nice coffee). I submitted two pictures, both taken on our last holiday, in Hawaii. All the entries are for sale. The Society had a "get to know your camera" night last evening, and I went along, taking my new Canon SX720HS. I haven't had a chance yet to really explore the settings, so I managed to find the manual ones (with some help) and play with some of the subjects. I quite like the way the roses photo turned out.
 Here's another photo of the little quilt I finished recently, using up what Liberty fabrics I had. At the moment, it covers my comfy chair in the Owlery.
I've made a few more cards, two of them for friends who turn 70 later in the month. I must say, I do like the Graphics45 papers; I just need to learn some techniques for using them in a more versatile way. Hopefully, I can do a few classes at Paperific later this month, and learn some new tricks!
The thank-you card is for a friend who is extremely generous and presented me with a beautiful pot of Cymbidium orchids. They're just coming into bloom and are a wonderful dark
pink. I'll need some advice on how to keep them blooming, although I'm told they're very hardy. Well, I've killed ivy, so we shall see.... The little owl stamp was from another friend, and is just so sweet. Hoot!
Finally, there's my crochet scarf, which I might turn into a cowl. It has quite a few mistakes, so it will probably go to the Op shop. I'm not too god on concentrating these days...
Haven't decided yet whether to tuck in the ends or have a fringe. I just loved the pattern, so easy and quick to crochet. It would make a lovely
 baby blanket in 'baby' colours.



Monday, July 24, 2017

Another finish

 Another Friday afternoon with my quilting friends, and this time we celebrated Christmas in July, and the unveiling of the latest quilt challenge.
The ladies had outdone themselves with yummy festive fare, ranging from sausage rolls, dips, mini quiches, smoked salmon sandwiches, fancy cheeses, scones, and so on. Plus a little 'special' orange juice thrown in (also known as a Mimosa). Everything was very delicious, and enjoyed by all.

Most of us had done the "Miniature Quilt" challenge, and in the top photo it's some of the group and more in the last photo. Below are some more close-ups of the individual quilts. Again, everybody did a fabulous job. Challenges are such fun!
The first one was by Pat, a fun quilt in Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Once not a fan of KF, I'm now quite addicted to these fabrics.
The next mini quilt is by Helen, and it will be a dolly blanket once it is finished. Just perfect for a little miss. The two pillows in the background were Edwina's, one each for her granddaughters. Lucky girls!
The next photo shows a few of the quilts. Top row, left to right - The abstract quilt is Paula's, trust her to come up with a novel design. Beautiful fabric combinations. Next to it is a heart stitched by Julie, which will become a very pretty cushion. The tiny little pieced quilt is very intricate, made by Gabbie. So pretty! The big (mini) quilt is mine, and used up some of my Liberty fabrics. I found the pattern on Pinterest, and thought I'd give it a go. Marg made the sweet pears quilt, , quite gorgeous. Ann made the the black and white quilt with a dash of red, again very intricate and lovely.  Ann also made made the
small shadow quilt, which is really nice, great idea also for a large quilt. It's part of another challenge, to make something with Tania's Little square packs.
Janice made the tiniest quilt, a pretty nine-patch design with the tiniest pieces of Liberty fabrics. Amazing! Melva made the flowerpot quilt, a lovely traditional design. Maxine's was gorgeous, a little cottage, quilted and extensively embroidered, a real little treasure house.
Paula had also done another abstract piece, which looked so good! A very talented lady.
I'm very happy to be in this group, such a lovely group of ladies, and so very talented.
Finally, a quick photo of my ripple blanket, finished last week. It's very warm and heavy, made of 100% wool.







Monday, July 3, 2017

Catching up with myself

 Haven't blogged for a while; was actually thinking of giving it up or re-focusing the blog. But a couple of folks still follow my musings, so I'll keep it going for a while.
One of the reasons I haven't blogged much was because Wayne and I were on a cruise/holiday for nearly a month. We boarded the "Noordam" in Sydney, and headed for Port Vila, Fiji, Samoa, Hilo, Honolulu, and Victoria, disembarking in Vancouver. It was a lovely, leisurely cruise across the Pacific, and I had the pleasure of the company of a lovely quilter friend, Audrey. Also managed to catch up with our dear friend Nancy, who spent a wonderful day with us, showing us her Vancouver. We then flew back to Honolulu
for a few days of sunshine and surf (and shopping!), before heading home to autumnal Victoria.
Not long after our return, a kangaroo made a mad dash across the road right in front of me, and sadly, the roo died. However, her joey in the pouch survived. Just as we were frantically looking for wildlife rescue numbers, by some small miracle a wildlife officer drove past, and took the joey with her to be reared in a shelter. I could drive the car home, but there was quite a bit of damage, so I didn't have a car for nearly a month. I refuse to drive Wayne's car (the 'death trap'), so I had a rather boring month of not doing much. Thank goodness for the studio; it
gave me the opportunity to catch up on things.
I made a few cards, playing with different looks and ideas. I used my "Ladies Diary" papers for the first time (love them!), and a friend put me onto a foam glitter, available from the Chinese shop, which works perfectly well with dies put through the Sizzix. It comes in about 10 colours, most of them perfect for Christmas cards.
Sherman likes sitting with his friend, the Owl, as it is the warmest spot in the house, with the sun shining in, and directly underneath the heating vent. It's almost better than my lap.
 I've nearly finished my Scandinavian Rose panels, and I've bought my next hand sewing project, a Kim McLean quilt. It's made with Kaffe Fassett and batik materials, and I'll probably needle turn the pieces. It will no doubt keep me going for several years! In the meantime, I'm knitting another potato chip scarf (yes, again!), and just finishing off a miniature challenge quilt. More about that next time.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Quiet Sunday

Kind of a "meh" kind of day, so I played on the computer, working on some fun photos I got via an App on Facebook last week. I thought I'd turn Mum and Sherman into an artwork, while I'm at it. Might even do something quilty with this someday. Just wish Sherman's beautiful blue eyes showed up. (And he is a little more svelte than he appears in this photo).

Earlier in the week I made some more cards, a couple of Easter ones, and a Bon Voyage one for a friend.

 Today, I worked on a steampunk card and tag. Good fun, but it took forever to do. Used some of my favourite embossing folders too. My main challenge at the moment is using the right glue etc. to adhere things.

Well, I'd better head into the kitchen, making a turkey on request of DH (he's been salivating all day...). It's only a small one (2.8kg), so hardly worth the effort. But it will last us for a few days.



Monday, March 20, 2017

March-ing right along!

Had a fun day with some of the Friday ladies, celebrating Paula's birthday in Ballan and Ballarat. We explored Millrose Cottage and I certainly let the moths out of my wallet! Woohoo!
We had a lovely lunch at the Millrose cafe. Had a delcious mushroom tart, with exceptional pastry. Very yummy indeed.
My haul from Millrose was a delightful red fabric, to go with my Scandinavian Rose sticheries, now almost completed (one to go!). I'll have to be careful with the cutting - as you know, Donna and cutting don't go well together. Then I found a cool fabric to go with my bear
 panel. I was looking for grey, but liked this small check in greens and browns. I also found a cat fabric, and I just had to buy some because it has a Birman on it! Good reason, right?! The charm squares are just beautiful, lots of colours and rich with golden accents. My mind is busily plotting...
Then, in Ballarat, I found this unbelievable owl fabric! Now, is this awesome or what? The bolt was nearly empty, so I got the rest, about 80cm. No idea what to make with it, but something will occur to me. It's a beautiful linen. I thought I was very restrained at Gail's.
It's been warm and humid today, and Sherman made himself comfortable on the bed in the back room. Nobody can relax as well as a cat! He's lucky he didn't get his feet tickled.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March stuff

 Cool Labour Day weekend around here! Celebrated my friend Gudrun's 70th birthday on Friday. She even celebrated with two birthday cakes, lol!
Then my friend Kathryn visited, for some sewing, drawing, and cutting in the Owlery. I was inspired to draw Sir Basil, a cat about town. Very relaxing activity.
I cranked up the Accuquilt Go and cut out these tartan strips for my fox quilt. I wanted one more, a bright yellow tartan, and found one today at Millrose Cottage. And I must add my haul to the next post...
There was a nice sunset a couple of days ago, so I grabbed the camera and took a few shots. Not too bad, but I had major problems photographing that gorgeous big, red moon last night. Back to the drawing board!




Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thursday moose-ings

Felt inspired this week, and spent some time in the Owlery, makng cards, crocheting, and quilting.In between, I tend to read a lot. Just finished "The Little Paris Bookshop" by Nina George. It's about a whopper of a mid-life crisis, but beautifully written. I've started "Galileo's Daughter", but it's a little harder to get into. I shall persevere for a while.
Made some more cards, the 'fairy' one is for my little cousin, who turns eight later this month. I found a mag with all the stamps, and couldn't resist them. I used Gelatos for the background, they blended so well. I highlighted some things with my
Wink of Stella pen, but it's difficult to see on the photo. I really like this stamp set.
My friend Gabbi is a professional photographer, taking photos of newborns. She did me a favour recently, so I thought she might like these two crocheted baby crowns. They're tiny, for newborns' heads, and were easy to make.
The peacock card is for a quilter friend, it's her birthday next week. I hope she's not one of those people who think peacocks are bad luck...
And the pink one is for another quilter friend, whose birthday is on the same day...and she hates peacocks! It's just a bird. I used my new peacock
 die, with alcohol ink on yupo paper, which was left over after a fun day with Chris.
Finally, I started working on a new quilt top, which I'll probably turn into a large cushion. It's for a friend who has recently finished her degree, and the colours (black, red, apple green) are her graduation gown colours. The script fabric is a nod to her new librarian status. I thought I'd make a large cushion out of four blocks, so that she can "rest on her laurels".
In the meantime, I'm waiting for my KitKat quilt to come back, so I can do the binding. Kerry's picked a gorgeous quilt pattern, so stay tuned.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Awesome Autumn!

 Yay! It's my favourite time of the year, and already I feel a little nip in the air in the mornings. At the moment, it's more of a late summer, with the grass drying out and large flocks of corellas in the yard. Well, here's hoping for a bit more rain.

A few things happening on the quilting front. My friend Kathryn gave me this wonderful fabric - and it's got owls on it! I have a project in mind for it, must dig out the pattern.
My friend Gabbie gave me these bright fabrics and last week I found the perfect use for them - a needlecase, to replace the one that was stolen. The old one was given to
 me by a friend, so I didn't have the pattern. I drew a pattern, and it's not as nice as my first one. It's a bit wonky, but will do what it's supposed to. Now I just need to fill it with needles again.
I also took the Kitkat quilt to be quilted, and look forward to finishing it off. Now all I need to do is decide what to quilt next. It's a toss up between a fox quilt, a Kaffe Fasset quilt, an American quilt, or a modern quilt for a friend. Hmm....
Also made some cards, one (sadly) a sympathy card for a friend, and a 70th birthday card for another friend.
Finally, I was thrilled to get the large Swallowtail stamp in the mail today. I've been hankering for this forever! Can't wait to get a few cards done with this. It's a retired stamp, and I
 was lucky to get it (at a fantastic price, too). I think the seller might have had second thoughts about selling it, so I count myself lucky.