...there is a univeral language between women when they craft and come
together in this passion. It unites women in a place that takes them from the
woes of everyday life and provides fortitude and strength to each other through
unspoken word - it is as if each stitch taken together strengthens our bound and
friendship. Please join me on the journey and let us inspire each other........

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gone scrap-happy again! :)

Yesterday I went to a 12 hour marathon crop with Andrea from Creative Memories. It was Karen and my first time at one of her crops and boy were we in for a surprise!! All day we were spoilt and entertained whilst we cropped. Just checkout the food we got treated to:
  • Morning tea: homemade scones, jam and cream.
  • Lunch: Build your own salad roll or sandwich with many choices to choose from. Followed by a selection of fruits - cherries, nectarines, apricots, bananas, grapes and apples.
  • Afternoon tea: pick of icecreams - I had a caramel swirl cornetto.
  • Dinner: pizza and garlic bread.
  • Supper: Cheesecake from the cheesecake shop.
  • All day drinks: not just coffee or tea but hot chocolate with marshmellows, packets of cuppucino or latte varieties and a host of cold drinks! YUM.
It definitely was not a low joule day!! It was so nice only having to pack scrapping stuff (which is a lot for us!) and not hae to think about packing food for meals too! :)

It took me a while to get back into it as I haven't scrapbooked for over 12 months now since I got my new quilting sewing machine and have been going quilt crazy ever since. But now I am scrap happy again and just want to do more! Here are the three layouts I created for our Christmas album.....

Here are some other layouts I did a while ago...........

Well some of you will remember that last weekend we had a bob cat buzzing around the backyard with a crazy husband driver. This weekend was the laying of stage one of the concrete. We only have a partial driveway which basically finishes after our backyard gate and so the back yard gets very muddy during winter. So hubby is on a mission to lay a concrete driveway from the existing one to the front of the garage so that the cars have a 'place' and the back yard is a lot better. So 7am the trucks started rolling! So much for Saturday morning sleep-ins!

It's at times like these I guess you find out who your friend's are when you ask for a little help. The only person who came to help was our neighbour Wayne who is always there when Kev asks. Thanks Wayne! :)

Kahle bribed a deal for himself out of this but unfortunately he got his end of the deal before all the work began and Kev and I struggled to ever find him working! Great supervisor!! :)

When I left at 9.30am for the scrapbooking marathon, it was just about over. The concrete was in and levelled, the tools were being washed and all that was left to do was some minor trowelling.
Looking good - the dogs are sure enjoying the cool of the concrete today as the temperature rises to be a scorcher. Hopefully we can do stage 2 in a week or two! :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In the beginning

I have been working very hard and have some more finishes to show you from this past week.

  • The next block of the month arrived from the Christmas Mystery Designer (fat quarter shop), so I thought I should get it done and out of the way. Isn't it sweet and cute. This is block 8 so only 4 to go and I can start to put it together - one ready for Christmas would be nice for a change!! :)

    • Next I decided to put together a sewing mat, thread catcher and pin cushion set that I spotted in the latest homespun magazine. So functional, I just love them and they have come up well with French provincial fabrics. Later on, I will sew the sewing machine cover that matches. Probably next holidays for that one I am afraid.
    • Next I cut and started to sew some blocks for a quilt I am calling "In the beginning". Apart from the fact that this range of fabric has that title, the blues and greens remind of land and sea like when God created the earth 'in the beginning'. It is also symbolic of a special friendship for which this will be a gift that started at a very early age and is still strong today. I completed 9 blocks this weekend, and sewed those together for the middle of the quilt. Next has to come the 5 borders that make it out to a queen size quilt. Later for those. Other more urgent things to do first.
    • Now have you noticed what the quilt medallion is sitting on? Hah, I am very proud of this one! This is my new design wall I just made today. I rushed in and out of my local Lincraft store the other day for supplies and on my way out nearly bumped into the stand of polar fleece offcuts. This white piece suddenly reminded me of a design wall idea and the fact that other bloggers had used flannel tablecloth backs, flannel sheets/fabric, tracksuit material and also polar fleece (I think). This looked about the right size for this space, so for $11 it was purchased. Today I put a sleeve on the top of it with some scrap ecru fabric, and had my clever son fashion some 'S' hooks. Although he tells me he has cleverly made '5' shaped hooks as these are more functional where I wanted them. Behind the white fabric is a quilt hanging on a shelved quilt hanging I had made at a local joiner. In the spaces on each side of the quilt I have placed a hook and using a rod (I have used an old telescopic antenna rod from the caravan aerial as this was what was available). Da Dah!! A removable/temporary design wall!!
    In my house I have to use spaces well as it is only small (2 bedroom for 4 people!) so this solution is fabulous along with the sewing mat, etc as it makes my small sewing space even more functional. My only issue is the lounge chairs in front of where I have set up the design wall but I will think of some solution.
      On friday I went to sew with one of my best friends, Karen. Each school holidays we try to at least spend one 'craft-to-you-drop' day, although we try to do it more often if we can. It basically means that we get together about 10am, usually at Karen's house as it is roomier, and craft, and craft, and craft all morning, afternoon, evening and into the wee hours of the next morning until we suddenly think sensibly that we had better sleep so we are sane for our families the next day! The latest (or earliest morning??) we have had is 2.30am, after which I try to drive home (around the corner, but because I always travel with a lot!) and tip toe into bed next to hubby without waking anyone.
      So this was one of the secrets to how I achieved so much this week. Although I also had some other sewing buddies - Tues with Joy, Thursday afternoon with Anneli, Friday with Karen (of course) and on Saturday quilt group recommenced. It is so much fun catching up with friends that I just don't get the time to do during the school term.
      Do you remember me showing you these photos a little while back after some heavy down pours in our area (Ballarat). Well recently we also had some flooding in our area, particularly those on the edge of town. Fortunately we did not have enough to cause any damage but it certainly pooled in the back yard and the front yard too on that occassion.
      Hubby, who works for the SES and usually doesn't have a lot of time for our dramas, finally had enough. He has worked very hard to get rid of all the water issues! He has been digging for days to pipe our storm water and run off back to the front of the block. It seemed to have been forgotten when the council changed the others in the area and ours still ran to the back to a now non existent spoon drain.
      With that nearly done, he called in his favor/barter from last year, and started to dig up the back yard with a bob cat. Our driveway just finishes a little beyond our gate next to the house and then you drive on dirt, or mud in winter. So he was determined we would finish the driveway to our barn shed which we added onto the block several years ago.
      Men and their toys - I think secretly he was enjoying darting around here and there, and playing with the dirt!
        He took 7 truck loads of dirt away and all I could say was "Gee it doesn't look that much different"! Think I have been forgiven since that foot in mouth comment.
      It's great to have a capable teenage son to help, otherwise I would have been needed! Aaaah! Kahle stood there all day in the heat holding the level for Kev and got some nice sun burn to show for it. And what was his motivation - Kev offered to do the dishes for him which was one of his jobs for the day! Talk about desperate not to do them!!
      Well next weekend I hope to show you more photos in action, as the boys and a couple of helpers pour the concrete in the now prepared form work. Can't wait. Meanwhile its a little challenging to fit 3 cars, a bob cat and truck into what's left of the back yard.
      Happy sewing to you all,
      Bye for now.
      Bonnie xox

    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    The Travelling Stash Give Away

    I just love this concept - the travelling stash give away. The idea is if you wish this stash, you commit to putting back into the box the fabric you don't want from the stash and adding some from your own stash, to refill the box and give it away to another winner. The hope is that the travelling stash travels the world.

    If you would like to participate, Ariane's Crafts are giving it away here - http://arianescrafts.blogspot.com/2011/01/travelling-stash-giveaway-has-arrived.html


    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    2011 and already ACHIEVING!



    In late December/early January we took our annual summer holiday. Each year we go to a different location as after all there are so many beautiful places in Australia to travel and check out. This year our choice was the lovely historic township of Port Fairy.....

    As you can tell, we had a great time! But alas, when I got home I came down sick.......that very night!! What a bugger! That certainly wasn't in the plan and it was quite annoying when I had all the best plans to craft and finish off ufo's when I landed home!

    Well after a lost week, I have made up for lost time this week and I am not finished yet. But I thought I would take the time to show you what I had accomplished. I have ticked 5 things off my to-do list!

    1. Lucy's Crochet Bag - as its known in blog world now! After the original one I made in May 2010, one of my close friends saw this bag and had a request of her own - earthy colors which haven't come out that well in the pick, but I followed the recipe of her requests for colors.

    This time I decided to not only stitch the flower via the button in the middle, but I decided to slip a stich into the outside edge of each of the flower petal to hold it down and stop them curling - I am happy with how it splays out the flower.

     My girlfriend also stipulated that it needed to have strong handles. Hmmm, tough since they are crocheted! I used single crochet to make the stitching tighter and add strength but sensed this would not be enough. So whilst stitching I gave it some thought.......what if I sewed webbing onto the inside of the handles to stop the stretch? Well this worked, but then I decided the web tape was too stark and noticeable so I tried to antique the handles with some walnut ink (thanks to my scrapbook supplies).

    I really enjoyed crocheting away on this over the hols! I was the old granny sitting in the caravan, sitting on the lounge chair, sitting on the beach......crocheting away! Everywhere I went, so did the bag. Talk about ACHIEVE!!

    2. Play with some stuffies - a new baby coming into the family, oops born yesterday into the family, deserves a lovely gift. I couldn't go past making these lovely stuffies! Congrats to Nikky & Perko on their bouncing boy.

    Unfortunately I can't seem to rotate these photos so my apologies. These came from a new pattern range from Melly and Me. She suggests you can put a child safe rattle or squeezie in it. I tried! First of all, I tried to purchase an insert like this from a number of stores. No luck. So I got some bells but notice they won't ring when held firm, as stuffing would do. So back to thinking it over - what about putting it inside a little bubble or something similar? So my family had to all eat kinder surprises so that I could have the plastic bubble inside. This didn't work either! It banged rather than rattled or rang. Frustrating. Then in the end, I had sewed up the fronts to the back and was stuffing them through the opening, when I realised I had not left enough room to get the bubbles inside! I was a bit over it by now so a couple got bells on their just in case it worked! It didn't! Oh well, move on.

    3. Noticeboard - No, you are not seeing double and I am not repeating an image I already showed you! I made one of these noticeboards (identical) for my sister for Christmas and never got to finish my own. So this was my mission. I am over having all unfinishes around the house!?!

    4. Completed block 6 & 7 of the Mystery Designer Xmas BOM (with the fat quarter shop).
    Life got a bit on top of my towards the end of the year with report writing, exam marking, professional developments, preparing for a change of work plan for 2011, Christmas and holidays. I am sure you can all relate in some way. So I needed to catch up on these BOM's - the 8th one is in the air as we speak on its journey from the US to Aussie land.

    This is most of the stash so far - looks great huh?

    5. Preparation for a very special quilt...........I have looked for years for just the right quilt for my beloved sister! She told me last year that she was very fussy when it comes to quilts and this only made the task even faster. Well, of course you can resist the urge to visit new (or any) quilt shops when you are out of town? I went to one of my favourites in Warnambool, Fragrant Cottage with no known intention of what I would buy but I should've guessed I would fall in love with something in there as the fabrics are all so gorgeous! And that is where I found it!! A new blackbird design book I had not seen before (I just love these designer's work!). The quilt is called Country Bloom and is a combo between old world charm and shabby chick I suppose. Big 24" blocks will applique up quick. So today I pieced the backgrounds and cut out the applique pieces for the first block so that I will be able to work on this over the year. No photos yet but very pleased with how it is coming up!

    Talking about going to quilt shops when you are out of town.......it is true that I often seek out a quilt shop but after my trip to Warnambool I knew I had spent enough and did not actively seek out any more (oh and a little visit to the Port Fairy shop too). But when I suggested to hubby or rather reminded him that I would like to Hamilton and we should travel back through the town since we had not made a day visit there whilst on our holidays, he seemed to think there was an alternative criteria!!!

    HOW DARE HE? ME? Me? Even when we got to Hamilton and we got out of the car, he wanted to know what we were going to do now. My reply - I don't know, have a look around at the shops I guess. He still wanted to know why we were REALLY here and where was the quilt shop? Accused but not guilty we proceeded around the shops, and what did we find at a steal of a price?.....................this beautiful piece.........

    I knew a friend who had a grand piece like this in their lounge/sitting area and I have wanted one myself for years. Well Kev (hubby) seemed to think alike. On sale, this was a real bargain and such a find. Now if we had not gone to Hamilton for a short visit........????

    Lastly, today I spent some precious sewing time with a dear friend and her family. I say 'precious' as this is probably our last sewing date for quite some time!! Joy is about to depart the country and join her hubby back in Saudi Arabia. I think we all achieved despite the talk!

    Joy finished this quilt top using moda charm squares - isn't it sweet?

     Elizabeth was working on a set of 6 stitcheries that she designed herself - very clever girl. This is the first one almost complete with some possible sashing options. Very nice. This is going to be very sweet and pretty.

    Okay well that is it for me for now. I need to jump onto my side bar now and update my first lot of finishes for 2011!! How exciting!

    I have also decided to add a block counter to the side bar too - I thought it would be interesting to know how many blocks I sew during the year! Why don't you consider doing the same too?

    More finishes to come before I go back to work.....

    with love, Bonnie xox