Thursday, August 30, 2012

This week I am....

 Getting my head around the fact that I now have 2 teenagers......

 Not doing any sewing but keeping busy with a makeover of a fairly large piece of furniture and making it up as I go.......

 ....whilst listening and filling my head with some favourite music on full volume, much to my eldest's annoyance :-)
Also feeling pretty happy with some business cards from  Loving their products.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Work in progress....

 I've been working on getting this quilt pinned and ready for quilting today. I laid out the layers of backing, and batting last night taping them to the lounge room floor pulling them taunt as I went, then I laid the quilt top down on top and realised that 2 of the rows were around the wrong way. Very annoying but I'm thankful I noticed before I had pinned all the layers together. So I left the backing and batting taped to the floor overnight and this morning I unpicked the 2 seams and sewed them the right way around. Now it is all ready to quilt with straight and diagonal lines I think....although suggestions are most welcome :-)

It was such a beautiful sunny day today and I must say it was hard to stay inside and sew but this afternoon I took a walk around the garden and photographed some flowers that have just begun to bloom. The name of the flower in the above photo escapes right now but was grown from seed by my green thumbed Father. I have a few of these in pots. I hope they all come out as pretty as this one. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I am.......

Using up some fabrics from my stash and enjoying some improv piecing to make up the backing of......

 ......this quilt and then onto basting and quilting.
Maybe getting a little obsessed with eggs around here :-) We are now getting 2 per day and it feels good to have a dozen eggs in my fridge that are all from our hens. We have spoilt but happy hens I think.....
 Yes I even mark on the calender how many we get each day ...
....feeling very 'Martha Stewart' lately with these homemade preserves of Apple butter. So yummy on warm toast. This batch is quite spicy hence it's dark colour.
....And continuing with the 'Martha Stewart' theme we are also enjoying some Lemon Honey made with lemons from our laden lemon tree. It's especially nice swirled into plain yoghurt and served alone or on top of cereal.

Will be back soon with some quilt progress to share so I best get back to pinning those quilt layers together  so I actually have something to share sooner rather than later.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sweetly fragrant signs of a spring to come....

After what seems like weeks of rain it has been a nice change to finally have some fine weather and get outside. I had a walk around my garden on Wednesday afternoon just after yet another heavy rain shower and was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few things blooming in my garden. Several Camellia's are starting to flower and the above one is one of my favourites. 
The first Rhododendron in our garden to flower is this one with the little trumpet flowers catching a drink of water from the rain.
These Hellebores are growing right over a path that leads down the side of the house but they are just covered with flowers and buds so I haven't the heart to trim them back.
These Grape Hyacinth's grow in numerous places around my garden but they are one of my favourite late winter/early spring bulbs so I don't mind them spreading themselves around a little. 
I picked a good sized bunch of these sweet smelling violets yesterday and have them in a little vase on my kitchen window sill so I can enjoy their fragrance while I do the dishes or prepare meals.

I just love the smell of Daphne and used to have 3 Daphne shrubs in my garden but sadly one that I'd had for years and had actually moved from a previous garden died earlier this year so I'm down to two. This one has such a strong fragrance that can be smelt from quite a distance away.
When our garden was made-over 3 years ago a half a dozen deciduous small trees were planted in different spots that seemed quite pointless to me as they just had leaves every summer with no sign of any flowers. A neighbour at the time told me they were Magnolia trees but I didn't really believe her as the leaves were quite different to other Magnolia's that we did have in our garden. Well I'm pleased to say she was right as they are all covered in buds this year and are just beginning to show their beautiful white/pale pink blooms.

Every afternoon Caitlin lets our hens out to have a roam around our garden. They especially seemed to enjoy my freshly mowed lawn on Wednesday afternoon so much so that they escaped their fenced off enclosure the following afternoon, thankfully after they had laid an egg each. I'm really not sure how they got out but they were just pecking around our garden so I didn't have to search too far for them. Phew I had visions of them walking down the road! They now have both their wings clipped. Thanks Mum!
Mosaic favourites 10/08/12
1. mini hexi garden quilt, 2. Wreath #2, 3. Slow, 4. playhouse, 5. window seat, 6. O que os olhos veêm, o coração sente!!!, 7. Hairclips, 8. oilcloth bag, 9. Sampler Tree Embroidery

And here is a nice little mosaic of some pretty inspiration I have found on Flickr recently. One day I intend to tackle that Sample Tree Embroidery. The pattern can be purchased here.
Wishing everyone a great weekend whatever you have planned :-)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bedside lamp makeover...

Bedside lamp makeover 
Another wee makeover and a pretty dramatic one actually if only I had taken taken photos before I ripped the shade apart to show you....
but here is the old fabric which is terribly faded and stained and now I can't think why I put up with its sorry state for so long. It also used to have a blue fringing along the bottom edge the same shade as the braiding.

Bedside lamp makeover 
I used one of the unpicked segments as a pattern and used 4 different fabrics on the main shade in similar aqua colours. Above is a Michael Miller dot and an Amy Butler print.
Bedside lamp makeover 
And on this side a Heather Bailey print .
Bedside lamp makeover 
Some pretty ric-rac trim around the top or crown of the lamp.....

Bedside lamp makeover 
For the bottom edge I used some leftover bias binding and added the turquoise and green beading but when I put it back on the lamp base it just didn't look right... sort of like it had a crop top on.... so I added the white pompom trim which added the extra length it seemed to need. I was going to remove the beading once I'd added the pom-pom trim but have decided to leave it and it adds a bit of sparkle and did take quite a bit of time to sew on.

Bedside lamp makeover
Now the base was originally a very dark brown so I gave it a couple of coats of white gloss spray paint which I must say looks way better than the drab dark brown.
Now I have never spray painted anything until this project and I learnt the hard way to always read directions when trying a new technique or product. It says on the side of the can to shake for a minute before spraying and because I didn't do this to begin with I was wondering why I wasn't getting good coverage. :-D

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wet weekending.....

 For the 3rd weekend in a row we have had constant rain which has kept us inside keeping dry and warm. I don't really mind the wet weather apart from the challenge of getting any laundry dried. The above blocks are based on an old pattern called "Cracker box" and are easy and quick to put together. All the fabrics are from my stash that have been patiently waiting for probably too long for the 'perfect project' to put them in. I have them teamed with a solid white to make these pretty prints stand out. Hoping to put them together tomorrow since there is more rain forecast for the rest of the week ....
 I tried a couple of new recipes that I have pinned on to my Pinterest board "Devour" to fill our tins for the coming week. Above is a very moreish white chocolate blondie  topped with cinnamon sugar, which I don't think will last the week ;-)
And these are White chocolate and gingerbread biscuits. I used this recipe here but rolled them in sugar before baking and pressed in the white chocolate buttons while they were hot out of the oven as in this recipe. These are a new favourite in our house now.

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