Wednesday, 28 January 2015

where did all the holidays go....

Two days back at work so far and I must say I am sleeping like a baby...
It's quite tiring having to think- remembering passwords, where you put things last year that you need now, where did my pen stash go, who was that again? etc etc.
Definitley a mojo killer!
Lucky I worked so hard on the weekend and Australia day that I got the Boy's story top all pieced together.
Phew! that was a job and a half...
would you like to see it?
the photo doesn't quite show the oomph of the bright fabrics as it was a gloomy grey day when I snapped the pic.
Just need to piece a backing and it's ready to go to the quilter.
 Second sweet william block appliqued too. It has a little lean but that is a minor concession I can live with!

 Maisie checking out the dolls in the girls' room!


hope you are having a lovely week.... Hope  I survive it. Craft group on Saturday, which I haven't made it to for a few months. Looking forward to catching up.
happy stitching.
Marina

Friday, 23 January 2015

last hurrah...

This is the last week of the holidays and I have been trying to cram it with lots of loveliness to ease the transition back to work.
There was a wonderful catch up with the City girls on Tuesday. A day of stitching and chatting and of course eating lovely food . I managed to get all my stitching done on my boys story blocks so that I could make a start on putting them together.
Wednesday it was to the movies with a friend to see 'Into the woods'. Not quite what I expected but not a bad movie.
Thanks to the hot weather we have been having, a lot of time has been spent indoors, which means lots of sewing time...
Two blocks done.....only seven to go....




Sweet William hasn't been neglected during this week.
I have a total of 19 basket blocks pieced ready for applique. (all the blocks are on my sweet william page) Last night I thought I should make a start on some applique too. If I can do at least two per month I think that will be a steady workable pace.
This block was the first one I appliqued when I first started the project but it has turned out smaller than all of the early ones. It has now been remade in the correct size. Loved making this block (twice).

Each basket has an excess of 1 half square triangle unit and also another when I make the basket base. I have been frugal with these and trimmed them up to use later on in a mini. They will be a scrappy reminder of this quilt. Aren't they sweet?

Now there has also been a squatter moved into my room. Someone who seems to have claimed it as their own!!
Maisie has discovered that there is a lovely comfy single bed with a snuggly woollen blanket on it in my sewing room. Of course it must be there just for her! She has been keeping me company while I sew some days and other times she just takes the room for herself as I often find her sleeping in there on the bed.
It's officially the 'girls' room'
Have a wonderful weekend
cheers
Marina

Sunday, 18 January 2015

sewing merrily along..

Well the relationship with Sweet William seems to be ambling along perfectly now. Those difficult times seem so long ago.......
I have a grand total of 13 baskets sewn so far and they are all of a uniform size. I am quite over the moon about this! A new 'Sweet William' page on my blog has all the photos of each block. There are another 8 to be made up in this batch then I will start to do some of the appliqueing. On Friday I got very organised and sorted all the patterns and applique bits that I had started to prepare, into a folder so that I will be uber-organised with this project now that I am in love with it once more.  (I think Elyte may have unleashed a monster)
Lesson-Never underestimate the power of the light bulb moment. Sometimes you just need someone to flip the switch.
 here are the latest blocks...

 On Friday I had a day out to Gisborne with Liz, Rosalie and mum. We had a great visit to Patch and Quilt, lunch at the new cafe a few doors up which we can happily recommend, then afternoon tea with lovely Karin from Kilmore quilters. Karin couldn't make the road trip so we detoured to visit.
Liz brought me two lovely gifties- one was this gorgeous pin cushion. It has already found a special place on my pincushion shelf. I love it and the colours are perfect, Liz knows my love of blues well.
 She also made this beautiful little angel ornament. It is so pretty. It has joined my treasures from crafty friends. It may go on the tree next year or just stay in my sewing room all year round.

Yesterday I had a great day with three of my nieces. 11 y/o twins and their 16 y/o sister. They are such wonderful girls. We made gnocchi together and then they asked me to teach them to crochet.
Well three students at once was a bit full on but I got them started with chain stitch. I told them once they perfect that we will move onto the next part of crocheting. They happily took yarn and hooks home to practice. I'm so happy to pass on some craftiness!
Needless to say once they went home I needed a big rest..... I did enjoy the girlie time a lot.
Well the sewing machine beckons, I need to make as much use of this holiday time as I can as it will end soon.
happy sewing!
Marina

Thursday, 15 January 2015

relationship counselling...

Things were getting desperate and it was time to take up the offer of a caring friend.
Sometimes you have to grab help when offered, don't be too proud.
Lovely Elyte came over yesterday to help me and Sweet William to try to reconcile our differences and forge a new relationship. As my crafty friends will attest to it has been a rocky relationship. Almost hitting the rocks as hard as the Titanic hit that iceberg!
I am very happy to say we are back on track, after both admitting our faults and even though we're not back to our honeymoon period I'd say it is a relationship that will continue into old age with that slow steady spark of affection.
Elyte and I started from scratch and went over each of my steps and thanks to my clever friend found a way to achieve the desired size, correct matching of top and bottom pieces of the blocks and without the addition of too many grey hairs on my part. Will have to make sure I haven't given any to Elyte next time we meet.
The original blocks that are too small will be put aside for a smaller project and it is full steam ahead with the correctly sized ones. I only managed to salvage one of the appliqued blocks but that's ok I am in a happy place  now.
I got one done yesterday with Elyte, one last night and I bolted into the sewing room this morning to make another one, just to make sure I was doing the right thing still.



As the song goes...... You got to have friends!
I'm so glad I do.
have a wonderful day
Marina



Tuesday, 13 January 2015

some starts, some finishes, some stuff...

Well the silly season has passed and we managed to survive it by keeping it low stress.
The year started off with a lovely get together with the Gisborne girls and City girls, with Melody thrown in for good measure. And what a super day it was!!
I have had some lovely time to myself in my sewing room, even though I had to share it with no 2 sone while he was in transit and staying here. He was amazed and said 'what happened to my room?'
I just let him know that it's my room now and while he can visit and stay in the room it must be left in a reasonable condition so that I can pop in and out as I wish to sew. That seemed to work ok. He did seem to move out quite quickly though? Hmmm
The best part of having my own space has been that I can leave the machine and mess out and just pop in  even if it's for just a few minutes and just leave it there till I get the chance to do some more.
Be prepared, this slack blogging makes for photo heavy posts when I do decide to post...

I thought this challenge was a great idea, similar to what I have done myself before.
You list your ufo's and each month you pick a number and that's the project that you work on for the month.
If you play along with the blog site they select the item number to work on.
I have one project down.....
can only give you a sneak peak! My shirt challenge is now a top. I need to work on borders but there is plenty of time.
Something new......I started a new Boys story quilt for a friend at work... Thanks to my 'new to me' machine it does beautiful applique stitch so I don't have to do it by hand. The hand stitching needs to be done. Excuse the threads everywhere, the fabric is fraying mercilessly.





Some progress..... I managed to complete the last row of my novelty hexies and then got so excited I did all the hexies needed to even up the sides. Just need to get some backing and decide how to quilt it. Was toying with borders too? It can sit like this for a little till inspiration strikes.
Of course I had to have some hand stitching on the go....
These two designs are by Urban threads. I love their quirkiness.
Such a great price too for a quick download.
Of course some time in the sewing room means some rearranging... I have been reshuffling and repurposing bits and pieces. I can get lost in there for ages.. Some of the hangings got shuffled around, I reorganised my pin cushions after rediscovering this little shelving unit (got to use that stash of little doilies that I have too) and put a crochet blanket on the bed after no 2 son moved on. My grandmother made this and I just love it. Even though it is old fashioned and daggy. The boys throw quilts got a wash yesterday while it was so hot they dried so quickly in the shade. Perfect!
The two that have moved out don't seem to want to take them with them and no 3 son still at home doesn't want a dinosaur quilt on his bed, he much prefers cars? What is with that, just because he's 19?? Whatever... so they will stay folded up on the bed in my room for now.

Hope everyone has kicked off the year well... Some more social outings planned for this week with crafty friends. Perfect!
cheers for now & happy crafting
Marina

Saturday, 20 December 2014

an Invitation...

to come and visit my Sewing room....
A sewing room has been my dream for a long time...but it is a dream no more.
A not so little bird left the nest a month ago and after the initial period of mourning of about 5 seconds the battle was on as to who would get the newly vacated soon to be spare room! Woo hoo I won!!
The room was mine and I took over with much enthusiasm and happiness.
We don't have the largest of homes so it is still a bit of a storage room with things belonging to the two fledglings being kept here. The room isn't huge but it will serve my purpose perfectly.
would you like to have a tour?



a place for all my treasures...I am so excited to have them on display in my room so that I can enjoy them. Lots of lovely items that have been gifts over the years.

the bed was a 3/4 bunk and we have left it as is for now as it provides ample storage under it at the moment.

 Well that's it. I know it's small, a little crowded and ecclectic in it's contents but it reflects it's owner well.
Hope you have enjoyed the tour.... but is there any craftiness to show?
Of course there is, it's not much but there doesn't seem to have been much enthusiasm or inspiration at the moment. I have some projects on the cards for these holidays and I will be sure to share.
These two toppers made their way to new homes for Christmas.
 Some loveliness has arrived her also...I will share a few of the arrivals
This gorgeous pin cushion from Robyn, one of the lovely city girls. It is in a vintage salt keeper.
She made it perfectly for me! It has happily joined my pin cushion collection.
 this pretty ornament arrived from Fiona,
 And this one was part of a gorgeous package from Els in the Netherlands.
 If you have lasted this long through all those photos-thanks...
I wish I could share the beautiful fragrance from these gardenias from my garden. They only last a short time but they make an impression to last.


 I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas shared with friends and loved ones.

Huge hugs to you all
Marina


Saturday, 22 November 2014

A finish and some Christmas crafting.

It seems the past month has just flown.. It feels like the whole year has flown by.
I haven't been idle in this past month there has been little bits of stitching and some socialising. There was the Mill Rose get together which was such a wonderful day. I call it Ballan Therapy! Laughing, eating, and crafting with a wonderful group of crafty friends.
I didn't take any pics but others had lots that were shared on their blogs after the day.
A finished baby quilt was delivered early in the month, I haven't heard yet as to how it was received but I am hoping it was welcome. I must say it was one I was very happy with, making it and once finished.


There have been a few Christmassy obligations to be met too. The first of which I forgot to take photos of..they were my swap gifts for the Mill Rose get together. I made a little brooch and a yo yo christmas tree.
After much swapping and stealing by  bad santa tactics Melody and I ended up with our own gifts and she kindly offered to take my gift and give me hers which was a lovely ornament and apron.
I thought I should get a little organised with some ornaments for this year's gifting too..
this pattern is a freebie from Rasberry Rabbits blog- Holly Hare. Couldn't stop at just one and had to make one a little boy hare.They were quite quick to sew up.
A bit of enthusiasm is a contagious thing so onto the next project.
These stitcheries have been completed for a few weeks just waiting to be made into tags..
I dug into my stash of ribbons and bells for all of these decorations.
But wait there's more....
These Theodora Cleave buttons have been hanging around for awhile and they just needed to get made up.
same theory.. why make just one. It's just as easy to make a few as to make just one!
That bell stash and felted wool stash is going down....
 These are the backs... Some pretty fabrics that had been waiting to be used too.

One last Christmassy item is for a swap gift too.
This is also a freebie design, by Crabapple Hill designs. I made it a little smaller than the pattern.

Phew there you go....
I think I am Christmassed out? I hope this makes up for the lack of Christmas crafting during the year Narelle?

Here is a pic which comes with a moral to the story..
On Monday I was pulling the retractable vacumm cord out so that I could vacuum. I usually put in a huge effort, as if I was starting a lawn mower to be honest, so that most of the cord comes out in one hit. Well....., now this is the lesson part of the story..... make sure you do this in an open space and not close to the open door.
I slammed my hand on the door handle behind me and it hurt so much that I couldn't even utter an expletive!
The ice came out and so did a massive egg on the back of my hand. It has been getting better all week but is still a little tender. No breaks in my hand just a lovely bruise that changes colour every day...
Today we have lovely yellow tinge and a lovely purply pink band across the knuckles. Thankfully the swelling is only slight compared to the past couple of days. I couldn't even wear my rings.
Mind you it didn't hamper my sewing much.
thanks for sticking with this long post.
Did I mention it is also my 500th post!!!
Thanks for visiting and listening to my ramblings and encouraging me along the way with my blogging and with my crafty endeavours and most of all thankyou for your Friendships.

Have a great weekend
Marina


Sunday, 26 October 2014

some holiday happiness

I have had the end of this week at home and it has been a mini whirlwind of crafting, not quite on the scale of term holidays but there were a few must do's that needed to get done.
 this little stitchery was finished a few weeks ago. It is stitched with the gorgeous cottage thread that I was sent by Cheryl in her giveaway. I couldn't wait to use it.
 I finished this stitchery this week. It was my project that I took to Queensland with me.
I wasn't going to sating stitch all of it but after some unpicking It was the only way to go. Just wished I had been a little more careful in my tracing...
I have been enjoying doing lots of stitching but I really need to purpose them into finished projects!
Maybe next holidays?

 I spent a day this week having a play with my shirt fabrics....it is meant to be secret crafting business but Tracee showed a peek of hers and to repay the compliment I will show a peek of mine....



what would holidays be without some retail therapy!
A work colleague has asked me to make a boys quilt for her 3 y/o. A trip to GJ's was in order but they are only offering their discount now on cuts of 50 cm for their 25% special. Still picked up some bargain fats though.
I am going to make the Boys story quilt minus the stitcheries.  I have also added some brights from my stash so I think I will have a great assortment.
 Thought I would try these to tackle some more applique with Sweet William. Still haven't plucked up the courage to get back to them.....but soon
I have done the borders on the baby's quilt that I am doing for a friend with the little vintage animals stitcheries from a previous post. I sandwiched it and basted it so it is ready for some hand quilting. I think I am crazy! It is only a metre squared so hopefully won't take too long. fingers crossed. I will share a pic once it is done.
 A last pic of a beautiful stitchery Teresa gifted me when we had our get together in Queensland.
Michelle's stitchery designs are so pretty and how about getting one already done? Sounds good to me.
I will need to organise this into a finish too...

well it's back to work tomorrow...
It feels like I have been away for ages.... is this a sign of a rested holiday?
Off to hunt and gather... have had no car for a few days so it will be good to get out in my car instead of having to walk everywhere.
Hope you have had a crafty weekend too
cheers
marina