Friday, 19 December 2014

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

'Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. 
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.'
 Dr. Seuss

Busy busy busy ...

The tree is up!
...a tiny tree for I will be interstate with my sister and children while the Grinch enjoys a peaceful time at home.

           Gifts are in the finishing stages 
 (others tucked away, finished and wrapped!

Op shops have been visited for perfect vintage stocking fillers (and a few goodies to keep!)

Stockings are washed ready to be filled for the trip South

and the Creche has come out of the freezer.

I found this beautiful set on Etsy a couple of years ago, hand carved in Bethlehem from local olive wood and Quarantine may have let a bug slip through with it... unless the little people were hungry in their first year in storage, for the following Christmas one of the sheep had been nearly devoured.

Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone. 


Friday, 12 December 2014

Dear friends bearing gifts...

'Fill all thy bones with aches'

My old school friend recently spent a week here while we worked on her house getting it ready for tenants. It turned out to be a bigger job than expected and while I wasn't enslaved or cursed, my bones were certainly aching and rather than the usual fervent prayer that work wouldn't want me, there was a hope that maybe they would...

However when I look at the wonderful thing she squeezed into her rather small car to bring a thousand kilometres to me, knowing that I had been longing without hope of fulfilment, I am touched and humbled and thrilled and all suffering is forgotten.

How beautiful is this!

and there's more...

she came with this beautiful chair...

with storage!

She is a lovely Bebarfald Bluebird from the late 20s or early 30s, made in NSW according to the embossing on the treadle. She needs a belt and I need some practice but she does a beautiful straight stitch with her vibrating shuttle bobbin and a few spins of her hand wheel. 

Her name is Bonnie (because she is pretty, charming and beautiful) and I am in love with her.

Thank you Angela, the angel you are.

(Oh and 2 finishes for December if you can count spool doilies!)


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The flowers that bloom in the Spring, tra la

'Earth laughs in flowers'
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lots of projects on the go but alas none to show at this festive time, so please, have a wander around my garden where the roses are scented and the wisteria is confused and making a return visit.

Even the letter box is abundant!


Monday, 17 November 2014


“Simple life and peaceful mind are very close friends!”
 Mehmet Murat ildan

Happy dance time as my boys were up on the weekend and the younger one got my computer working again! I'd downloaded a virus, disguised as an update.  Plus having also downloaded the most recent ipad update which, while not a virus, has been making me sign in, then sign in again, then just to be sure, sign in again, no wonder I was tearing my hair out! Thank you to those who continued to comment even though it must have seemed you were being ignored and I have to apologise because most of the comments I wanted to leave on your blogs disappeared during the multiple sign in attempts.

To combat these and other stresses, I've been trying to simplify my life which included attacking the UFO collection. With a few op shop frames empty and waiting most of the projects (including a few secret gifts) have been happily attended to. Of course, that has created a new problem because with this less cluttered style of living as I have nowhere to hang the keepers!

This lovely earring holder from a half price sale converted with a piece of dowel and some wire to make a perfect mini quilt hanger!

Now to get back to it and empty that box! 


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A Message from Lloyd George

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?" 
Eve Merriam

As anyone who reads my blog would know, I love vintage china. 
This plate, nearly 100 years old is my favourite, not because it has a beautiful design,  but for its poignancy reminding me of the women who also 'did their bit'. 



The front is a message from the Prime Minister to a nation already tightening their belts. While plain in design, it is encircled by a laurel wreath for Victory. 
This message appeared on all varieties of dinnerware and included an eggcup

 'Dedicated to the Patriotic Fowl'.

However it is the back which touches me.


 We will remember them all.


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Home Sweet Home

“No one realises how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”

Lin Yutang

Lots of catching up to do! 

Hubby and I have been a roving to NSW and while I unexpectedly had to return early, he was able to continue on to Melbourne where he helped our son move house - maybe I got the better deal there!

We called by some beautiful and nostalgic spots along the way. 

Through Moree, past the street sign to the old farm 'Kanimbla'  where my husband grew up, Mudgee where we stayed by the river (Mudgee is such a pretty town, I'd love to spend some more time there), the Blue Mountains at the glorious Katoomba  hotel 'The Carrington' (a nice break from our camper) and enjoyed the breath taking vistas from various lookouts.  

a day spent exploring historic Parramatta and revisiting my footsteps from my young and single years 

and a pleasant cruise up the Parramatta River to Sydney

It was lovely to come home to the garden where the foxgloves were coming out and the roses still in their Spring splendour.

With a few things on my mind it was bizarrely satisfying to do a house declutter - several car loads to the op shops and numerous emails to friends with a photograph;  'Do you want... ?'

(although I'm not sure anyone would look at my cottage and consider it clutter free)

 and with mind and space clearer it was a joy to continue a series of embroideries designed a few years ago and being reworked in fresher colours to be released as a pattern next year.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

A finish!!!!

"Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie..."
Robert Burns

Racing against the iPad battery...7% to go...will I get this post in before it turns off at 3%?

One finished pincushion designed by Natalie Bird of 'The Birdhouse'
 ...and I beat the battery!

Of course I could have plugged the iPad in but I am using the charger for the phone which I will need for my drive into the country for craft with the Fabulous Fiona! 

Have a great day


Monday, 13 October 2014

Old friend

"The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table."

With a weekend free when work didn't want me, I could continue on my 'Things to do this September' list. This project was to be the regular top up coat of varnish on our kitchen table. Alas... 'regular' seemed to have slipped from about  2 or 3 years to 6 or 7 years and the poor girl needed a bit more dramatic repair work.

As I sanded and choked and clamped and drilled and glued, I wondered why I was bothering but this table knows all my secrets and has kept them well and such loyalty deserves a reward. Since coming into our family 20 years ago via a Salvation Army store 
wearing a psychedelic purple paint job (the photo is a faded hint, baby!) she has been the quiet listener at intimate conversations over cups of tea, she has been at our birthday parties, family dinners, group lunches as well.

She has seen my children learn to cook...and me too. She has been the workbench for secret Christmas projects and has a few dings to prove it. She has held babies and day old chicks and knows the bottom of my sewing machine very well. She expands to 6 feet and shrinks back to 4 1/2 feet to suit the occasion.

and now she is ready to do it all again.
Tea anyone?


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Show time again

" 'I must be overtired' Buttercup managed. 'The excitement and all'.
'Rest then' her mother cautioned. 'Terrible things can happen when you're overtired. I was overtired the night your father proposed'. "
William Goldman - The Princess Bride

Off to the show we went last Wednesday, a bus laden with quilters and embroiderers eager for the sybaritic temptations and the inspiration of the Brisbane Quilt and Craft Show.
And inspired we were!

Despite all the delights on offer I bought only essentials,
then realised the next day I needed x to finish y and b to finish a and...

Of the quilts I only have a few photos to share.

This was part of a '10' challenge and I thought it would appeal to a mathematically/puzzle minded friend.

Audrey for my daughter

And this homely hanging made from aprons and domestic bits and bobs.


And of course it was lovely to put faces to a few of the bloggers I have been reading 
as well as some I haven't come across yet.

I started posting yesterday and technology defeated me! The email disappeared from my phone so photos couldn't be sent and my laptop is holidaying with my daughter so I am restricted to the iPad which is confused about my accounts. If anyone has been wondering who comments with this face are from, it is I in another incarnation! 

I have to apologise for not replying to comments as well, the email address for this account is in my lap top...

It's not only email accounts the iPad is in crisis about today so for the sake of my sanity...



Leaving work into the dawn

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Another month passed

'Oh, to be in Toowoomba now that September's there'
apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning

What a month September was! 
So many gardens...  so much craft... so much to eat... so many guests... and so many new projects started ...with so few completed.

Spring time in Toowoomba is Carnival of Flowers time and even though the main event only lasts a week, the lead up is thrilling as you watch gardens and projects bloom.

The first event of the month was Stitchers Dream Day Out with the most beautiful table settings, glorious projects and talented designers. How could I not start some more projects with so much on offer!

Enjoying sneak peeks at the public gardens and bursts of purple in my own filled in the couple of weeks before Toowoomba opened up in all its colourful glory. 

Two (!!!) quilt shows. One 'Creative Fields' from the Quilters Angel featured other crafts as well as quilts and I was lucky enough to be able to put in a couple of quilts as well as some dresses I had made for my children when the were little, bringing back all sorts of nostalgic mummy memories.

The Toowoomba Quilters show were having their 30th birthday, so I could pop a couple of quilts made in the late 70s and early 80s into their historical display - is it sad when you realise your work is old enough to be historical! No photo sorry, I seemed to have spent September looking at everything and forgetting to get the camera out. 

My owl banner was also included in a display of owl challenge quilts and won Viewer's Choice... however it was mentioned that lots of children voted and several times over, so I'm suspecting that it wasn't my dazzling mastery of the art that earned this prize! 

and while I didn't actually finish any fabric projects, I did get a chance to blow the dust from my beloved dolls house and make a gramophone table for its little imaginary inhabitants.

10 cent 'record' for scale

It was a glorious month off but now it's back to the night shift treadmill. 
...roll on retirement!


Monday, 1 September 2014


Spring is sprung,
the grass is ris,
I wonder where the birdies is?
They say the bird is on the wing...
how absurd! The wing is on the bird!

Glorious Spring, a glorious month off work and the season has begun with a birthday sale at the glorious Quilter's Angel!

So many pretties, it was hard to choose the ones to come home. Several trips around the shop, advice from quilty friends also stocking up, hanging around outside and even calling in for coffee and consultation at another friend's house nearby...

A pile to make my heart sing and my fingers itch. 

Welcome Spring.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

OPAM August

"For there is no friend like a sister..."
Christina Rossetti

Only one project finished this month but it was a special one 
for my sister who has now been in my life for half a century!

xxxxx Happy Birthday Karyn xxxxx