Saturday, 31 July 2010

Ta Dah............

Don't you just love saying Ta Dah?? I do, it always means the end of something you've worked hard on and the beginning of something new, so.........ta dah..........!!





Cathy's wedding quilt which I've called 'Gypsies in the Square', because the fabric is Gypsy Rose by Figtree Quilts and the nine patch is framed in a square. Every time I think of the name of this fabric it reminds me of growing up in the UK and the Gypsies that used to come around selling clothes pegs and my Nana telling me not to talk to them (which I always ignored of course!), so the quilt sort of named itself..


I don't usually wash my quilts when they're finished and I wasn't going to wash this one, especially as the weather isn't very 'quilt washing' friendly at the moment! That was until I spotted the drops of blood that I'd missed when I stabbed my finger the other day!! Oh and yes, it is hanging sideways on the line, I couldn't hang it the right way as it would have dragged on the ground. I don't like using the dryer (far too expensive) unless I really have no choice, so as you can tell, the wind is really blowing today. Don't let those bits of blue sky up there fool you though! Can you see the clouds behind the top right of the quilt, that's our cold front heading in!! Forecast for tomorrow, snow down to 700mts (that's us) and a cold arctic blast for Victoria!!





So here it is hanging on my drying rack above the kitchen wood stove, looks nice there doesn't it? I might just have to leave it for a while..!!





Here's the label I made and can you see, proof of an early finish!! I made the label early on in the week and put the finish date as August as I really thought that it would be next week before I finished! Some good came out of the dreadful cold that I had at least....





I love this next shot, it reminds me of a stained glass window, deep rich saturated colours! It's nothing like those colours really is it??



So, that's it then!! Do you feel like that when you've finished something you've been working on for a while? Sort of empty? I've got other things I'm itching to do but I know I won't start today, I'll sort of mope around and keep admiring the quilt, a pat here, refold there. Move it around a bit, sit it on the coffee table then the chair, all the time thinking how much I love it. I didn't a week ago, I was totally over it, sore fingers, stiff wrists and then getting this cold! But as soon as I started stitching the binding on last night it was all 'Oh I love this quilt, I wish I was keeping it etc, etc...' Perverse woman that I am!!!! :o) 

I guess that spending all that time hand quilting makes me a little possessive, but I do love the look of hand quilting....!!!

Do you think I'll ever come to love machine quilting the same? 

Maybe it's time to start practising with my frame now.......???

Monday, 26 July 2010

I'm still here..........

I seem to have been AWOL for a little while, life just seems to take over sometimes don't you think..? At the moment I'm wishing this was me............





..Miss Martha is exhausted after running around in the wet grass like a fool this morning. We have a feral cat that wanders through all the time and since Gus has gone, she seems to have taken on the role of protector of all things within her domain!!! Of course, being a very spoilt member of our family, she tends to choose just where she'll take her well earned rest. The back of one of the lounges is just perfect as it brings her to window height and as you can see, she's on alert for marauding cats, LOL!
Anyway, I wish it was me sprawled out and fast asleep. I have the dreaded winter cold (I don't think it's contagious through the monitor!). On Friday night we took ourselves off to Geelong to see our grandson, Ryan, perform in the school production of 'Les Miserables'. It was an amazing performance by some very talented young people, fabulous night except for the elderly gentleman sitting behind us who spent the whole night coughing!! He  was obviously very generous with his germs as both John and I woke with sore throats and tickly coughs yesterday! Thanks a million is what I say.........
I spent yesterday sitting on the lounge (the one our security guard wasn't on) quilting this.....





I have finished all the centre squares and the sashing in between, now I'm on to the borders...





..a couple of days recuperating from this cold should see it nearly finished - I hope! Then I'll be able to get on to something that I'm really excited about, I'll tell you more when I've worked a couple of things out, but I'm hoping keeping my fingers crossed that it works out...


In the meantime this is what my sewing table looks like!





Bag dumped from Saturday when I got back from the Craft & Quilt Show in Melbourne, things I bought just dropped on the table, the mess from a couple of experiments (see the paragraph above) last week, not very productive is it?? I didn't buy that much at the show, just one piece of fabric and a few gadgets, as you do!! The quilt show was fabulous and there were a few quilts by blogger friends on display, all gorgeous of course, would you believe that I hardly took any photo's at all? A brochure sat there on the table from our local community house, I've just enrolled in a six week advanced photography course, that starts on the first weekend of August, can't wait for that....


Here's another photo of my gorgeous miniature Orchid..





...still going strong, I love it sitting on my coffee table, a little bright spark in the middle of a cold winter.
I'm off to put on the telly, Lifestyle food I expect, sit in front of the fire with a cup of chicken soup and my quilting on my knee....perfect! Except for the cold of course :o)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Classic.........................

......cute!

My latest pic's of Melbourne Zoo's baby elephant, Mali..



.......walking the elephant trail with all the female elephants and their keepers...


....trying to demolish a sand heap............


........kisses for the keepers.........


....told you it was cute didn't I............?
Photo's taken July 7th.


Classic...........
..................planning.........


From The London Times:
A Well-Planned Retirement


"
Outside England 's Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 buses. For 25 years, its parking fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant. The fees were for cars (£1.40), for buses (about £7.00)..

Then, one day, after 25 solid years of never missing a day of work, he just didn't show up; so the zoo management called the city council and asked it to send them another parking agent.

The council did some research and replied that the parking lot was the zoo's own responsibility. The zoo advised the council that the attendant was a city employee. The city council responded that the lot attendant had never been on the city payroll.

Meanwhile, sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain or France or Italy is a man who'd apparently had a ticket machine installed completely on his own and then had simply begun to show up every day, commencing to collect and keep the parking fees, estimated at about £560 per day -- for 25 years.
Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over £7 million pounds ....... and no one even knows his name."



Definitely classic, I wonder if anyone checked to see if he's an Aussie.........??? You know more front than Myers!! Sorry, totally Australian colloquialism!!!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Falling in love............

........with this.........





I've been a Pfaff girl for a long, long time so choosing a Brother for my new machine was a big decision, when I bought my first Pfaff way back when, it cost more than I just paid for this new machine!! How times (and technology) change..

This lovely machine does everything I could ask for and more. What I didn't realise when I ordered it was that it had a knee lift AND not only did I get $700 off the price because it was the end of financial year sale, the table came as a bonus!! Bonus, bonus!!!

It has over 400 stitches, 385 of which I'm sure I will never, ever use, it doesn't do embroidery because I didn't want one that did! I'm in love with the 'start/stop' button and the automatic thread cutter, sigh........I'm just in love!!!
He Who Works (the gorgeous man that bought it for me) is off to work today so I'm going to play with all the delicious buttons and gadgets on this pink wonder.......:o)


We went out for dinner last night with my brother and sister-in-law, beautiful food at the little restaurant in our village 'While the Billy Boils'. If you're a local within reasonable distance, you should give it a try, fabulous atmosphere, cosy with fires burning, great food and wonderful friendly service.





..my brother gave me this beautiful miniature orchid for my birthday, isn't it gorgeous......





..look at the tiny wooden ladybird on the leaf, love it!


That's the end of my extended birthday celebrations, not bad, I've managed to stretch it to 10 days, pretty good I think ;o)

Catch you later when I've got some sewing to show you........

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Birthdays and Thank You..........

First off, I would really like to say a most sincere and heartfelt thank you for all your wonderful words of encouragement, warmth and sympathy on the loss of our beloved Cocker Spaniel Gus. Your words meant so much. It was a tough morning with the only positive being he didn't suffer and he was surrounded by the people he loved most in the whole world...
We knew it was coming very soon, last year he surprised us by getting through the cold winter, then again in the heat of the summer. The last couple of weeks he had started to struggle so we knew his time was near. But no matter it's always heartbreaking. Miss Martha misses him and the house is quiet without him.

On Sunday we all gathered down at the waterfront in Geelong for my birthday lunch, the table was decorated with balloons reminding me of the grand age I've achieved ;o)...........


...this photo I shall be carrying in my purse in case I'm ever asked for proof of age. What you don't think I'll need it??????? Hmmm, we shall see ;o)

That's mum sat next to me, she was having a bit of trouble trying to push the lollies (candy, sweets) into her handbag!! I think she was hiding them for later, bless her....


Here I am trying my best to demolish the fabulous cake (two dress size cake it was)!


Mum, John, me and dad and yes, not only did they have a table full of balloons that ALL had 60 printed on them, they made me wear a button all day too......poor me!!!


The men in my life minus one! Young Matthew (aged 5) was the only one that wasn't there.
Just goes to show that it's not always the young ones that are the trouble makers!! The girls had a huge amount of trouble making their dad behave........!!!
Left to right at back, Chris, John, Ryan (who's showing his admiration for his granddad's sense of humour) SIL Tony and in front, eldest son Dave and grandson Josh.


..and here's the girls, still having trouble making their father behave, much to Caitlin's amusement this time!



John trying to squash Ryan down so he doesn't look taller than his granddad!!


My best of the best friend Jen.


Now you see why it's a two dress size cake...............!!!

Obviously I didn't take these photo's, I've 'borrowed' some of Jen's and Rebecca's from their facebook pages and I will be putting some more on to my photo blog here if you want to see some them, but be warned they are just family, friends and frivolity....!

Jen (who shares my birthday month) and I went to the zoo yesterday, so I've got some more shots of the baby elephant I'll show you later in the week, I'll have to get back to my hand quilting too this week, only got 6 weeks left to finish it and finally I will be picking up my new sewing machine tomorrow afternoon..........YAY!!
So I'll be back to tell you all about that too on the weekend.........

Monday, 5 July 2010

Goodbye to you my trusted friend...........



"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." 
Dr. Seuss.

Goodbye to our adorable, loving, loyal, playful, noisy, grubby, rabbit chasing and deeply loved Gus. We'll miss him so much..

Friday, 2 July 2010

Birthday winner....................

First up I have to say sorry, but I was so excited yesterday that I forgot to say which frame I had!! It's a Happy Jack from Brindabella Quilting, I still haven't been able to start playing yet. I did manage to get a square of fabric on with some batting and backing, it's all pinned ready to go but the machine hasn't been plugged in yet!! I'm sure once the weekend is over, children have gone back to respective states and homes, that you won't be able to get me away from it. On the sewing machine front, apparently Brother have said that that particular machine won't be in the country again for 3 months BUT, the gorgeous Lyn from Metro Sewing Centre has managed to find me one from another store and it should be in my sewing room sometime early next week, phew, thanks Lyn for excellent service............


OK, on to the important stuff, first off, thanks to each and everyone of you for all your good wishes and lovely words on my birthday. I am constantly blown away by the camaraderie of this blogging/crafting circle, by the support, kind words, advice and plain old fashioned friendship of this community. Thank you one and all...


I gave all the numbers (there were a lot last month) to Mr Random and he gave me number 34, which just happened to be Margaret who said:


"Happy birthday to you, a bit early! My birthday is later in July. :D I hope I win! lol!
I admit, I got those little chocolate bars too. Couldn't resist. It's terrible! :D Can't wait to see what you whip up with them this time!
I think you totally deserve to have all those followers. You definitely do interesting things!"


Well you totally say the nicest things Margaret, so if you email me your snail mail I can send you these little bits and bobs...........





.......and a few other things that didn't get in the photo.

That's it for today, I've got a really painful hand. Yesterday, I grabbed a couple of pieces of firewood off the verandah and thought my days were numbered!! Dramatic I know, but too true, I was stung by a wasp! This is a photo I took last year of the same thing, on the firewood of course! The pain was simply debilitating and I was really glad that our daughter and her family were here at the time. We sent the two kids outside to 'violently' kill the bl***y thing as it was floundering around on the deck. It's ok today, but quite achey (is that a word?) and feels bruised, luckily I'm not allergic to stings as is our eldest son.


Here's a totally not related photo of miss martha, just because she went to the beauty parlour this morning (she was so grubby and smelly, been eating rabbit poo again!!) and once again looks beautiful. The ribbon will last about 4/5 days then it's gone, Natalie always puts one in even though she knows there's nothing ladylike about this one....

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Stop Press, quilter is very spoilt.............

I am you know, very, very spoilt, read on for the full shocking facts...


So this is what my sewing room is looking like this morning, somewhat better than yesterday..





That huge box that I was trying to make room for yesterday was of course this..........







..looks impressive hey? Trust me, I've no idea how to use it yet ;o) I'm going to have soooo much fun learning!





Please don't look too hard at the grubby windows, it's winter, they don't stay clean for five minutes and I've got better things to do! But do look at the sewing table (please), can you see what's missing there? Could it be.........insert drum roll...........





.....this!! I took this off the Brother website as it hasn't arrived yet, it's coming down from Sydney (hurry up courier man, extra special, very important delivery)!! Are you impressed, I am! That gorgeous man that I married way back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, bought it for me. It's the Brother NV-600, it does everything except cut the fabric I think. Well not really, but it's very advanced. I chose this one because it doesn't have embroidery on it and is aimed specifically at quilters. But just because he can't let a birthday morning go with no visible sign of presents, these were sat on the coffee table when I got up....





..extra impressed. I knew I kept him for a reason :o)
I've decided that if this is what happens when you turn 60 I might do it again next year. I'm not going anywhere today except to the post office to pick up mail and the only thing I'll be doing is playing with my new contraption. It's a really good job that my new machine hasn't arrived yet, honestly how could you choose which one to play with first???


I'm really, really looking forward to the weekend, youngest daughter Sarah arrives from Perth (Western Australia) and youngest son (he of the generous disposition) is flying down from Mackay (north Queensland). Family lunch out at The Sailors Rest on Sunday. All the kids, three grandchildren and mum and dad, bliss!!

I'll be back in the morning to announce the giveaway winner, right now I have to go sort out some buckets to catch the water from the superdooper, never needs a new washer, tap that's dripping into the kitchen sink. Never believe it! It's three years old and dripping. John will fix it (hopefully) tonight when he gets home from work. In the meantime all the pot plants will get a good water today.....!!

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