Sunday, 29 August 2010

Surf, Sand & Sunshine......

This is where I spent my afternoon today....

...with these gorgeous people....

..Matthew trying to escape the cold waves....

Sarah and Edie, sensibly staying away from cold waves, although you can see that the dogs had a good swim..

Em building her dam, every shot I got of her today was from behind..! The only way to get her face was to go into the water......errrr, no thanks.!!!!!

..eldest granddaughter Sam, looking very tired after her marathon 13th birthday party last night! A dozen girls stayed over watching scary movies, I think they got around three hours sleep..! Thankfully they were all in the games room out by the pool so apart from a few squeals and squeaks, it wasn't too bad..

..some beach flora..

..some beach wildlife...

Fish and chips for tea..! All in all a very satisfying day indeed.......

Thursday, 26 August 2010

"All my bags are packed I'm ready to go..

..I'm standin' here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin' it's early morn
The taxi's waitin' he's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go"

Well not really, I'm actually looking forward to getting on my particular jet plane in the morning, but when I started writing this post I wrote 'Leaving on a jet plane' as the post title. That was the end of that wasn't it? I couldn't leave it at that, I had to find the words so that you will have them running through your head for the rest of the day too...!! No, no thanks needed, honestly, it's my pleasure ;o)

I don't really have packed bags yet either, I've been getting my Sue Spargo BoMs ready to stitch while I'm away.

I've got April, May, June, July & August that I haven't touched. I've nearly finished the March block and that's in my carry on bag to stitch on the plane, I'll have four hours to listen to my book on my ipod and do some stitching..!!
I've prepped all the backgrounds for the blocks and joined everything that needed to be machine stitched, everything else is hand stitching! I know, ambitious or what..? I just thought that if I got them all ready to hand stitch then I could just keep going. Wool is really easy and quick to applique and I won't do any embellishing until I've finished them all.

This is the March block, gorgeous colours aren't they? 
I had thought about taking my quilt that I'm hand quilting but I just can't get it in my luggage, we (my railway man and I) went out yesterday and we picked up some little things to take over for the kids, it's over a year since I've seen them so a few treats seem in order..!

I'm hoping to catch up with a friend in Perth, I'll let you know if I do, and I would have really loved to have been able to have a cuppa with a friend from up North of Perth, but alas, distance is the enemy!!

I had better get back to my packing (see if I've got room left for some clothes!) I'm taking some of my techno toys, just the macbook and ipod, so I'll still be online and able to keep up with everyone, whatever did I do before technology ruled my life..??

See you in Western Australia.............

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Titanic trip.....

No, not a giant trip, a trip to the Titanic Artefact Exhibition at The Melbourne Museum......

I had booked ages ago so that we could go while John was on holiday and yesterday was it. We headed off on the train to the Big Smoke and were extremely lucky that it was the only day for a couple of weeks that it didn't rain! Today is looking like rain again so we seem to have timed it well there..!

No photographs allowed once you were inside the exhibition but as everyone entered the ship there was a 'boarding' area that had a green screen backdrop. Everybody boarding had to have a photograph taken for their 'boarding pass'!

Each person was given a boarding pass (no photo on there) in the name of an actual passenger.....

..I was delighted to see that 'I' was still named Elizabeth and I was only 9 weeks old, traveling with my mother, father and brother, so there was a reasonable good chance that 'I' survived..! John was a 32yr old Norwegian named Daniel Gronnestad, on his way back to Portland, North Dakota from a trip to his homeland..!

The exhibition is a timeline of the last day of the ship, along the way are the artefact's in temp controlled display boxes. There is a replica 1st class corridor and of course the famed 'Grand Stairway' where I looked and looked for Leonardo but couldn't find him anywhere so my railway man decided we would have a photograph taken of the two of us instead..!

I was a little overawed I think when looking at some of the artefact's recovered from the ship, some marbles that a child had played with, dishes, clothes, watches, personal things that signified life and pleasure. A young girl, probably about 13/14, behind us looking at a large watertight door remarked to her (I presume) mother - "Why don't they just bring the whole thing up so everyone could wander around it". Her mother made some remark about it costing too much money...??? The temptation to turn around and tell them how stupid that remark was, that the whole thing is a mass grave site, that people died there, it's not just a wreck it's a memorial, was so strong I had to walk away!!

The thing that really made it personal for me was the list of passengers and crew at the end of the exhibit, did 'you', your persona on the boarding pass, live or die..???

Daniel Gronnestad didn't, he went down with the ship.....

Bertram Frank Dean (Elizabeth's father) didn't, he went down with the ship.....

Elizabeth Gladys Dean "Milvina" however, was not only the youngest survivor she went on to be the oldest living survivor, passing away in May of 2009 at the grand age of 97years..!! I felt privileged to have 'been' her for a couple of hours...

Our boarding pass photo.............


Here's the link to the Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum....

Thursday, 19 August 2010

This week...........

It's been a sad week this week, we had to say goodbye to a quilting sister. Merle was an integral part of our Thursday Quilters but she has been a very unwell lady for a long time. Yesterday we said farewell to her with her family and friends, some tears and some laughter, lots of memories to take away. It was bitterly cold, windy and wet at the cemetery, miserable, sad and forlorn...

Today the Thursday Quilters met, stitched, laughed, remembered and toasted Merle with bubbly and cake....she would have heartily approved...!

This is what I was stitching today.....

I finished putting my quilt top together on Monday and spent Tuesday marking it out for quilting. I decided to hand quilt (again), I really must get some practice in machine quilting! It took me a while to sandwich and pin baste but by Tuesday night I could start quilting. I'm using Gutterman Sulky, I loved the variegated I found and it's almost the exact colours in the quilt. It's the first time I've used this and so far I'm loving it.....

I've just cut out some calico and batting to put on the frame, next week I'm going to spend a couple of days on the quilting frame just practicing my machine quilting. I'll only hand quilt at night and I don't want to start any new sewing as I'll be leaving the man and the dog in charge of the house while I jet off next Friday to the west to squeeze grandchildren, gee, that's gonna be hard .....!!!!!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Wet day timetable............

In my daughters classroom of grade 1/2s they watch DVDs, tell story's and do crafty things when they have a wet day timetable for lunch and playtime. I decided that yesterday I would do crafty things for my wet day timetable..!! I put my quilt top together, well almost!!
I ended up with 20 stars and 20 plain squares and I left it at the two large squares.

I have nearly stitched it all together, the bottom row is still loose and the large sections just have to be joined. Now I need to work out the borders..?? Hmmm?? Will I use an entirely different fabric or stick to the ones already in the quilt..?? I wonder.......

p.s. mother nature has just delighted me with a touch of alchemy. The cold, miserable, cold rain has just magically turned to snow!! It won't last I don't think, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be one of those days full of snow flurries............

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Looking for sunshine..................

Does this look like sunshine?

Not really I guess, but it's a lot sunnier than it is outside. These gorgeous warm oranges, sunny yellows and zingy greens remind me of summer.......... sigh! 

It's so cold, wet and windy here .......again, I'm really, really over this wet weather..!

Anyway, wherever there's a little pile of tiny offcuts, there must be something to show..

I was thinking about the remaining blocks from my Bee Balm quilting bee and decided to bite the bullet so to speak and cut into my gorgeous stack of Frolic fat quarters..
I might do one more large block yet, I've made 17 stars so far and 16 plain blocks, I'll see how large that makes it before I make any more decisions! I really like the stars, the brown makes the zingy frolic colours pop right out, loving it....

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Bee Quilt...

Last year I joined in an online quilting bee, The Bee Balm, this month is the last month. Sadly, four of the members dropped out! Well they didn't so much drop out, more dropped off!! Didn't bother returning fabric, didn't bother telling anyone, didn't bother at all really!!! So I only received seven blocks back. I asked all my fellow bees to make me a block that represented them in some way. I sent everyone the fabric that I wanted to use for the background and gave them all Carte Blanche for the rest....
This is the block I made to show everyone the colours and fabric I was using....

I used my brown and white background fabric and 'Frolic' by Sandy Gervais for Moda, this next photo is my block together with Tara's block..

sorry about the photo quality, the rain just hasn't stopped for two days!! Anyway, you can see that Tara used Frolic too. I've decided to use my block and Tara's block and make a different quilt, I have a fat quarter bundle of Frolic so I'll put these two blocks with that..

These are the other six blocks.........

The photo doesn't do any justice to the colours, it's just so dull today!! They're really bright blocks from all over the place, Texas, New York, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland and the Yukon in Canada....
There are so many different colours and textures in the blocks that I found I couldn't decide what to do with them. The original idea I had to put them together wouldn't work without having 12 blocks, I did think about making another four and the gorgeous Elaine from Texas offered to make a couple more for me :o) but I decided to sash each block with the background fabric and join them with the bright pink and black fabric in the corners. I needed something else to tie all of the colours together and I'm hoping this will do it.
It's really out of the box for me I know! Definitely pushing the boundaries as far as colour goes!! I'm not sure what to do now, it's sort of an odd shape don't you think? A bit too long for the width?? I was full of enthusiasm when I started putting this together this morning and now I'm stuck! I think I need to border it with something but I have no idea what??
Have to give it some thought, I'll look at it for a few days and see what happens....

I'm so over this weather, it's rained constantly for days now, it's cold, I don't think we've gone into two figures for well over a week and I just want the warm weather to get here! I'm going to Perth in two weeks so I'm hoping for some warmer weather while I'm there...........I need sunshine...............!!!!!!!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Mark II.....

OK, so here's the second bag! I'm not that happy with this one, I think I have to do some more work on it.

It still has the padded dividers inside giving you three compartments, it does have more (and bigger) inside pockets but no outside pockets.

I think it's just the handle that I'm really not liking!!

Perhaps I should just get rid of it (the handle) and make another the same as this.........

I've been carrying this around for the last week. I took it to Daylesford on Friday, I took it to my Photography course on Saturday, I've been shopping and to my patchwork group and I'm pleased to say that it hasn't been uncomfortable once!!

In fact, I've been inordinately pleased with it. The pockets inside could be a bit bigger (hence the bigger ones in the new bag) and I think I would put a pocket on the back too. A full size one, across the whole width!! But for me, the best thing is that it carries well! The cord handle and the soft padding makes it slip resistant on the shoulder and when I put it across my body it doesn't dig into my neck and rub!! It just feels really, really nice to carry. I know it sounds like I'm blowing my own proverbial trumpet but that's just the way it is!


That's the only way to describe the way it hangs...........
I'm happy, well, I am with that one, still thinking about the green one!!

Friday, 6 August 2010

I'm Speechless................!!

....picked up this months Homespun Mag at the post office on the way back in today, threw it on the coffee table whilst dealing with rapturous welcome from Miss Martha (only been out for two hours), turned on the computer, moved the kettle over to the hot side of the stove. Checked emails..................OMG!!!
There was an email from a blogger friend in Tassie saying congratulations about the photo in the magazine!! Mad scramble to rip open the plastic wrapper and this is what I found..................

That's me!!!!!  Honestly, it is!!!   
Oh yes, and my quilt, hehehe............

I think that I told you that I won the Quilt Challenge at our local show didn't I..:o)???? Err, just once or twice I hear you all saying, hehehe! I did do a bit of bragging didn't I? Oh well, I just put this photo on FB to show my grandkids - hey look at Nana!! They'll be impressed I'm telling you, LOL!

I met a fellow blogger who is now a friend, in Daylesford today, we had a bite of lunch, coffee and a good old chat and as we were going our separate ways I told her to check out this months Homespun as I had heard that there was an article about the quilt show in it!!!!!!!! Didn't know that it would be me though.....

Ok, I'm going to buy another copy for mum and dad because they will think it's just the bees knees then my 15 minutes will be over..........sigh!!

Back to Camera Bag Mark 2, it's nearly finished and I'm excited about this one too. Thanks to all of you that have left encouraging feedback, it makes me feel that I could be on the right track. I don't want to make a fortune out of this, as my friend said today...egg money!! That's it isn't it, I'd just like to make a really good camera bag that I would be more than happy to carry around and make a little egg money to fuel my addiction, err, that would be the fabric addiction!! :o)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

What do you think.....?

You know that I'm a camera addict don't you? Addicted to carrying a camera around with me everywhere! I love my Nikon DSLR and prefer to use it over any other camera, but it's so awkward carrying it because it's quite large, as are most DSLR (compared to point and shoots) and all my camera bags, and I have a few, are dark and quite masculine really!!

I've been looking for ages for a camera bag that I can carry most of the time, looks good enough to use as a handbag, doesn't scream 'look at me I'm carrying expensive camera equipment', fits my purse (wallet) and all those bits that we ladies have to carry and is comfortable on the shoulders.....!!!

I know there are a couple of places online that I can buy lovely camera bags for women, all are in the U.S. and quite expensive when you add in postage, insurance and the fluctuating exchange rate..!! Only one out of the three I liked is handmade, the other two started out that way and are now relatively mass produced, as in made off site by a manufacturer, made from fake leather, very good fake leather but still that's what it is! . The handmade one is for sale on Etsy and is lovely but has quite a long waiting list and is very expensive, gorgeous but not ideal. Paying well over US$250, going on a waiting list, then waiting for it to arrive is really off putting!

So I decided that being a bit of a bag lady AND a camera addict the only thing to do was to make one............... here's the first in what I hope will be a range of three or four camera bags for women.

..inside view. There are removable sections all padded with half inch foam and wool batting. It holds my Nikon D70s with lens and strap attached, my Nikkor 70-300mm lens, lens hood and various filters and extensions..

I've put little pockets on the inside for memory cards and to pop the lens cover in when you're using the camera (I'm forever putting them in jeans pockets or worse still on top of a rock or wall!!) There is a pocket for notebooks and stuff that I always seem to carry around, a couple of slim pockets for a spare pen or two and plenty of room for tissues, purse and whatever!!

You can see how much room is inside and the dividers can be taken out if you just wanted to use it as a straight out handbag..

I've put feet on the bottom so it sits when you put it down, the fabric is upholstery fabric and cord so its strong and can be lightly sponged.

... and the handle is strong but very well padded and long enough to go across your chest. It can be shortened too to just carry over your shoulder.

I'm not trying to sell you one, although you wouldn't know it would you ? :o)

I'm just looking for some feedback and honest opinions. Do you think it's a feasible idea? If you use a DSLR would you be interested in a camera bag that was also a bit fashionable and that didn't advertise that you had an expensive camera in there? Would you be interested in a bag that you can use everyday, that you could carry when you're meeting friends for coffee and that doesn't look as if you're off to do a DJ fashion shoot...?

I've been working on this for ages on and off, it's taken a while to work out the size, how to do the padding so that it's not bulky, how to do the handle/s for comfort and practicality. I had to be able to take my camera out and 'shoot' (yes, that's what I've called it) with the bag on my shoulder.

I didn't set out to create a camera bag for professional photographers to put all their gear in. I set out to create something that we female photographers, both pro and amateur, bloggers and snap happy mums, sisters and grandmothers could carry around our cameras, a couple of spare lenses, filters and memory cards without feeling that we are carrying around a suitcase......!!!

I have another style nearly finished, I'm hoping to show you that by the weekend. I'm also hoping that this rain will have cleared by then so I can go outside and 'shoot' some photo's in good light to show you how the whole bag looks.

I'm excited!!!!

So, would you mind very much giving me your thoughts, ideas and your usual wonderful friendly support..!
Thanks   :o)


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