Friday, 30 January 2015

OPAM January

'Today is the perfect day for a perfect day'  
from a mug by Philosophy Artique

For OPAM my secret, no peeking, Valentine swap is finished and waiting to be posted and with the 3 coasters and the table runner I finished for 'a lovely year of finishes' I have 5 completed projects!!!!! Thank you Kris and Sweet Peg for running this again in 2015.

Much of my month has been typing and I was able to add another pattern to my Craftsy shop yesterday. This one hangs in my sewing room and it was born when I was teaching a 'learn to embroider and quilt' class at a local craft group (sometimes it really IS a case of the blind leading the blind!) 
It's listed at US$6 which the exchange rate converts to AU$7.63 (today) Forgive me for sounding like an ad!

Today the op shop called to me with a pretty blue and mauve theme. The wardrobe was thrilled to see my finds this visit. My old black comfortable, 'I can't throw them out', shoes have been a source of embarrassment for a few years so these new, in a similar style, will be a perfect replacement. We are lucky enough, for anyone who is thinking 'eeeww, smelly second hand shoes', that the local shoe shops send their end of season stock to the various op shops, although my own luck is limited as size 10 seems to be one of the best sellers. 

Oh for a delicate foot!

 My most loved and mended blue and white skirt which I have had for 7 or 8 years is once again in the mending basket, but as the last 2 mends have been fabric deterioration, perhaps this lovely one (in size 16! - even slightly loose!) is a message that it is time to let go..checking first in case bits of it are good for patchwork. Does anyone else have trouble replacing their old clothing friends with new unknowns? 

As usual I was able to indulge my love for books and china (thank goodness I did so much decluttering last year - so much space to refill!) Mostly magazines full of projects I'll never have time to make but a sweet little copy 'The Shoemaker's Holiday' is now snuggling nicely with other blue books - which I do actually read. (...okay, maybe not the shorthand book, but it's secret language intrigues me.)

A useful tray and a very pretty plate,
and this wonderful mug designed just for me!

 Now, when dressing with coffee in hand, I'll have to think twice before putting my cranky pants on!

Off out again, Secret Valentine parcel to be posted, so to everyone, 
have a perfect day.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A lovely year of finishes;January

'Out of clutter, find simplicity.'
Albert Einstein

My first completed article for 'a lovely year of finishes' and how lovely it is to have finally completed it. I'm not sure how many years the original embroideries sat in my sewing basket but you can be assured, it was too long! 
Thank you for the gentle nudge.

Having this on my kitchen/dining table makes me think twice about what else is being dumped onto it, so magically the whole room is tidier, although Teddy, who is NEVER allowed on the table did seem to think rules had changed when suddenly there was a perfect cat sized quilt laid out waiting for him to stretch out on. He was informed otherwise with no delay!
I'm hoping to get around to see other finishes before my laptop is whisked away for repair by the non procrastinating HP courier, leaving me to struggle with the also ailing ipad. 

Also now in my new Craftsy store, is the February pattern for the Bluebird of Happiness BOM quilt. 
February is romantically themed and can also be used individual projects.   
I love to see what people do with my projects so please feel welcome to send photos of finished items that I can share on this blog or gloat over privately if you'd prefer.

Thank you for all the encouragement I have been getting, it's been a real thrill!


Thursday, 22 January 2015


"Weaving spiders, come not here; 
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence! 
Beetles black approach not near; 
Worm nor snail, do no offence." 
William Shakespeare

This week seems to have had a theme of red.

 I found all these lovely red items at my op shop trip. 

Red paisley bag, red silk tie with peacocks, red(ish) flowers on a  blouse and this little lonely teddy with his red tie who I just had to adopt. Poor teddy, I think he must have been the much loved and only friend of a very incontinent child 40 or more years ago and has been soaking in a warm bubbly bath before he goes to live with my other orphans.

 It is the colour I see before my eyes every time my less than one year old computer decides to turn itself off or make the screen go grey and wibbly (would you believe it happened again as soon as I typed that sentence! Thank goodness for autosave) 

Again, I apologise for not visiting around as much as usual. It seems to be blogger that upsets it most!

It is the colour of the gorgeously scented roses in my garden, a glorious rose bush from the original owners, 
possibly Papa Meilland?

It is my Valentine swap partners favourite sneaky peeks.

It is therefore the colour of the fabrics I was fossicking for in my sewing basket when I found this: (prompting the immediate purchase of 6 pest bombs to let off in the house.)



It was also the colour my face was when I moved our fridge (a herculean task) to turn it off for aforementioned pest bombs. 
oops - a lot of fluff, a mate of the sewing basket dweller and a school note from... ummm 2008.

Fortunately I love red...but not spiders.

Meanwhile we have been loving our new lounges and have become slothful creatures. Teddy the cat in particular approves!

...and Tibby is happy to keep a seat warm too.


Thursday, 15 January 2015


'By all means, marry. If you get a good wife you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.'

I think I'm a bit late for the party! Sorry! 
I was unable to sew on Friday night after all and no visiting to see what everyone is up to yet. 
Naughty me!

My FNSI delay necessitated a trip with a friend to the lovely Fiona's house a few days later for some stitching fun with bonus heart shaped waffles. Yumm!  I was able to take my new precious layer cake for stroking approval and even got embroidery done amidst the laughing and sharing. Maybe I'll need an excuse every month!

On Monday my husband and I celebrated 30 years of chaotic, roller coastering, sometimes hanging on by the seat of the pants, marriage. 

It amazes me. 

30 years of marriage is what your parents might celebrate. 

Am I really old enough to have been married for 30 years! (a quick glance in the mirror assures me I am) Where have all those years gone and how did they go so quickly?! Was I ever really so slim!!!  Did he really have black hair once and me blonde! 

Rather than the traditional pearls we replaced our sagging lounges (if only the sagging bodies could be replaced so easily!) and are ready to  settle down, put our feet up and comfortably face the next 30 years.

Back to FNSI. You might remember that I bathed a rather disagreeable cat on Friday morning... by Friday night my right hand was swelling from a Saturday morning it looked like a blown up shiny red rubber glove. A three hour wait at the doctor - no magazines and my book finished and I was sent home feeling sorry for myself with a tetanus shot in the left arm and a pile of antibiotics. The weekend saw a very smug Mr Tibbs stroking his (very clean) whiskers and thinking no more baths.
Haha Mr Tibbs - you might have won this time but the war is not yet yours... 
I'll be heading off to the January fashion sales to find some chain mail and steel gauntlets for next battle da... um bath day.


Friday, 9 January 2015

Warm kitty, soft kitty

I gave my cat a bath the other day... they love it. He sat there, he enjoyed it, it was fun for me. The fur would stick to my tongue, but other than that... 

Steve Martin

Three posts in as many days! 

Queensland is a wonderful place to live. The sun shines nearly all the time, its warm, we have the most wonderful fruits, gardens proliferate and to pay for this glory we have only the tiniest problem...  fleas.

Over the years it has been a battle to find the best treatment for our boys. We've worked through collars, back of the neck drops, tablets...  each with success until the scientist fleas working away on the backs of Labs found remedies and vaccines so they could as a species continue their conquering march.

So its back to the old tried and true method - the flea bath. If the cat safe flea shampoo doesn't poison the microscopic beasts, it will drown them. 

First up was Teddy. He is the sort of cat who just sighs when you want to dress him up, put him in a box, make him dance - he is a perfect child's cat, even if the child is a score or more in age.

My tried and true, safest method is to take a set of legs in each hand and dunk the unsuspecting creature into a big tub or bucket of warm water. Two turns to make sure he is wet, then take him out for a lathering. Teddy loves being lathered! Being massaged with a soapy substance sends him into ecstasy...oh more please. In this state its easy to dunk him back into the water for several rinses. Then it's wrapped up into a towel and being told what a brave boy he is...

Now, lulled by a false sense of accomplishment, it was Mr Tibbs' turn. 

My Tibbs was a stray when we adopted him. He has led the street life and knows how to fight. He also knows he doesn't like water and has a long memory. 

15 minutes later, the laundry flooded, hangings clawed from the walls, scratch marks down my back and bites on my hands...

 the mission was accomplished!

We survived! 
...although the boys may need therapy for a few trust issues.


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Lovely Year of Finishes

'Success has no idle hands.'
Johnny Dent Jr

To keep the inspiration up I'm joining this lovely group with the goal of completing a UFO each month.

This month I have chosen a table runner which I started to put together last year so as to use two of the four lovely Bronwyn Hayes embroideries I worked years ago for yet another unfinished project!

There's only a few hours left to join for this month but you can join for other months. 
Now to work out all this linking science!


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A Fresh Start

'Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hello everyone and welcome to this lovely 2015 where we can make and break resolutions and draw a line under past mistakes for a fresh start! I love the fresh new days after the calendar turns from December to January.

 My resolution is to lose a fat eighth of me (and another next year...) Wish me luck!

Walking is high on the agenda but can I surpass this gentle stroll recorded by my phone in the closing days of 2014?  I could have been reclining in my seat in the plane returning from Melbourne it tired me so little...  oops, maybe I was!

The beloved, aka Steptoe began the year with a flurry of cleaning which necessitated a trip to the local dump (our first ever date was to a tip - such a romantic he is!). I had a lovely wander around finding treasures at the Lifeline shop - can you believe a retro styled lounge set like this was valued for a fortune on Antiques Roadshow and someone here just threw theirs away! 

I satisfied myself with this totally superfluous chair.

Originally the plan was to paint it but having given it a scrub, I rather like its authentic shabby chic quality.

By the next trip (he had a lot of clutter) I had worked out where those beautiful matching square pots could go but alas, someone else was quicker. The retro lounge had been snapped up too. 

After my sudden burst of productivity for Christmas gifts I needed a small and mindless project and at the same time we needed some coasters, so after a satisfying browse of Pinterest and with help from my trusty apprentice I whipped up 3 from some of the million or so 2inch squares left from a project never completed. When I say whipped up, it did take longer than expected but they have the look of something whipped up in 5 minutes.

  Three finishes for 2015 already...  better sign up to OPAM again so they can be counted!

My big news is that FINALLY I have started listing my patterns on Craftsy! I'm still feeling my way so have started with a Block of the Month which was released for one year some time ago through a local quilt shop. 

January is free and the following months will be $2 (US) each so if you only want one for a special project, there is no obligation to sign up for a year.
I'm really thrilled to have started because my very greatest skill is procrastination and I could win medals were that only a sport!

I've also been visiting around all your lovely blogs but am having ipad comment issues, grrrr. 
You are my inspiration.