Monday, 31 December 2012

wishing you all a very happy new year!

Well it's the last day of the year and time to reflect on the year that has been.
I have enjoyed a wonderful year of blogging. Thank you to all those people who visit my little corner of blogland, thankyou for your comments, your encouragement and inspiration and most of all your friendship.
Of course there will be the mandatory list of UFO's and WISP's that I would like to work on next year. More of them next year.

I wish you all a very safe year end and a bright and promising New Year and a very big hug to you all!
See you next year!

Marina


Friday, 28 December 2012

finding time to sew..

Christmas is over and it went smoothly and was very low stress, just as I had hoped!
Now it's time to find some sewing inspiration. A work colleague is retiring next year and I wanted to make her a throw quilt as a farewell gift. We have worked together for 12 years and she has been at the school for over 27 years. Not a bad effort I think. My mind was ticking over, I love having to think of a new project.
She admired my Down in the garden quilt and commented how much she liked the fabrics so seeing as there is heaps leftover the fabric choice was easy. Now for a design. I ordered some more of the white on white fabric from the sunkissed range from ebay so that's the next step done-I have enough fabric to make a stitchery and plate backings. I am thinking of using the centre stitchery from down in the garden for the centre of the quilt. For the surrounding blocks I thought some dresden plates might do the trick so I pulled out fabrics to have a go at making one.
I made a trial one from my red and cream stash and it turned out well, very encouraging! (oops is that a new ufo now?)
then onto the 'real' one..
didn't turn out as well as the first one but a little snip and press and it was sitting ok. I like these fabrics even more as a dresden plate!

Yesterday I spent a stitching afternoon with some stitchy friends Elyte, Annie, Anne, Robyn and Jo. It was a great afternoon chatting, sewing and of course eating and I felt very inspired when I got home and I made another plate and ironed on the heads and arms for my third dolly border that I finished appliqueing the dresses for at our crafty catch up. I so need some inspiration to get moving on my swan lake project.
now there are two....


Another reason for the visit with Elyte and the girls was to collect my prize from one of the Bluegum Quilters raffles that I had won. The raffle was to guess how many yo yo's there were in a jar. Guess what the prize was?
The yo yo's!!
Do you think I have enough yo yo's?
My original guesses were in the box. The girls were quite helpful thinking of projects that I could use them for. Thanks girls. I thought I would collect them already stitched into a quilt? Isn't that what friends are for?

It has been lovely seeing all the Christmas gifts that have been sent and received, lots of ideas for next year! Maybe I will be able to maintain the momentum for the 1 christmas item per month with Narelle.
Roll on 2013 I feel I am suitably inspired to finish some ufo's and make some progress on my WISPS, maybe throw in some random projects too just for fun.
Must make a list!
Have a great day
Marina

Sunday, 23 December 2012

getting ready for Christmas...

for the past few years I have hosted Christmas for my family and we have been lucky to have good weather so that we can have it under the pergola. Our house isn't the biggest so it could get quite squashy if it was inside. It so needed a freshen up so we have been topping up beds, getting a few new plants for the pots. I can only have pots or big established plants thanks to the dogs. They tend to pee on them or dig up the ground under them looking for treasures, so shall we say they don't last too long in the ground.
Here are some shots after the tan bark was spread...
minus the new plants

the camelias got a bit of a prune too (this is before).
 
Let's see how long before some naughty four legged people start digging?
Who Me???

I'm much too mature to be doing silly things like digging in the garden, unless there are treasures to be had of course.

Some last minute christmas crafting got done and gifted..
 

this little one stayed here....

I ordered some more Theodora Cleave buttons so that I can start making more of these decorations for gifting next year. The ones I did gift this year were well received! I do enjoy making them too.
A wonderful surprise gift was also received.....
Fiona from Bubz rugz sent me this magnificent mini for my hanger. 
I have admired this pattern when I have seen it on blogs and I am pretty sure Fiona has made one before too.
It is just too much and I love it!! I felt quite special receiving it
(the mini is perfectly square it looks uneven because of the way it was resting unevenly on the tree to photo graph it)
 here is a close up of the stitching it is divine! so little and perfect.

Thankyou so much Fiona!

Christmas is just around the corner... 
I wish everyone that visits here a very safe and happy Christmas and an especially low stress one. Christmas can be a very stressful time of year. 
I am looking forward to lunch with my family and time to catch up with friends and family. Of course there will be some time to chill and craft!
Big hugs to you all!
Marina



Monday, 17 December 2012

treasures for the tree....

I received a lovely little decoration in the mail today and thought I should show some of the home made decorations that are making my tree looks so beautiful.
This little munched on fellow arrived today. I just love him thankyou Fiona! He definitely puts a smile on your face.

this little fellow arrived a week or so ago from the lovely Michelle
this santa was from Fiona last year and this one on the right was from Els


 this ornament was made by my mum probably over 25 years ago. The little beaded bell was hand made in Indonesia.

 This heart is woven from beech tree bark all the way from Sweden.

this little star is also handmade by the same friend in Sweden

 this beautiful hanger came from Els in the Netherlands last Christmas.
 Here are some bought decorations. I found this jar of red cookie cutters reduced to $8 at Safeway! I bought two and emptied one jar by making them into decorations and adding them to a card for a gift for the craft group girls that I will be seeing this weekend. The rest will hang on the tree. They are quite cute.
 Here is a non Christmas item....This little treasure is something I picked up in the city on Saturday.
I just couldn't resist it! As you can see from the picture it is tiny and the detail is so pretty.
for those that are unfamiliar with Australian currency a five cent piece measures about 2 cm (3/4 inch) in diameter.
Not much craftiness to show and tell but I have managed a hexie flower for my Swan Lake stock pile.
I am so enjoying my Christmas decorations, they are so beautiful I want to leave them up all year!
hope your week has started well!
marina

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Christmas Angel gifts...

Lisa was my partner for  Mrs Martins quiltshop Christmas Angel swap.
I have showed my goodies that I received but have been saving a post about the items I crafted for Lisa till the 15th. This will be the last Christmas items post for the year. I need to start making a list for next year and I am looking forward to crafting through the year with the other crafters joining in with Narelle's 1 Christmas Item per month.
Here goes, lots of pics as I forgot to take a photo of the goodies all together.
an appliqued wallhanging...

a christmas ornament...
 a gift tag...
 A candle mat (or santa's biscuit plate mat)
 a kit to make...
 postcard...
 sewing item..
 Stitchery to frame
 a Christmas stocking..
I think this was my favourite item. Can you guess why?

There you have it...
I really enjoyed making these gifts for Lisa and she said she was very happy with them.
Thankyou Karen for a fantastic swap!

cheers for now
marina

Friday, 14 December 2012

last minute inspiration...

These past weeks I have been thinking about my ufo's, the little bits and bobs that have been forgotten about when the excitement and frenzy of something new comes along and I must say I have been feeling a little guilty.
Christmas gifts have been sent and I was grateful for the stash of home mades that I have made during the year. Some I parted with, others I couldn't and then there were the unfinished....
Well, these have seen the light this past week and a bit and I am determined to start the year without the baggage of the unforgottens.. (well not too many anyway)

Last year I made three stitcheries from Michelle's gorgeous patterns and only finished two. They have both been gifted but this little fella got left behind so he is staying right here. He even got finished into a table topper.

 some big hand quilting....
 and here is his new home.. pride of place on the entry table and in good festive company with other handmades..
there were some TTS stitcheries that I made extra as I thought they would make lovely gifts, plus the fact I enjoy stitching them. The binding needs to be sewn on one more and they are done! These will be gifties.
A cross stitch waiting to be sewn up into a pincushion got finished for a gift for my boss..
 the light is very dull today as we have a foggy mist from the cool change so the colours are a little dull but they are gorgeous purples..
Last but not least these little minis got hand quilted and they just need some binding. Then they will be ready to replace the Christmas project on the mini hanger for summer. 


I have a couple other lonely forgottens that I want to finish before I throw myself back into my wisps. 
They have been a little neglected too but I have prepared some hexies for my Swan Lake and have nearly finished another border of dolly dresses.
Roll on Christmas and I hope I get that extra stitching time I asked Santa for.
I have been loving seeing all the decorations bloggers have been sharing, I hope to share some too before Christmas.
Tomorrow I will post pics of what I sent in my Christmas Angel swap. 
For now here is a decoration I didn't part with...
He wasnt quite perfect as I put him together without a pattern. A few Weeks after making him I bought Marg Low's pattern for her decorations that explained it perfectly. If only I had waited I could have done it properly. I think he still looks lovely though.


Hope you have a lovely weekend and get some crafting time in!

Marina




Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tassie Treasures...

Thought I should show you my Treasures that I bought from the Quilted Crow.
firstly there were so many inspiring projects I didn't know where to turn.
I spied a few that really caught my eye and they all happened to be in their new book.  So that was a must have, then seeing as I was in felted wool heaven I thought it would be great to buy a bit of a starter selection of wools.
 I need to be able to make a start on a gorgeous project if I want to, Don't I?
these colours should be a good starting point.
Now they were my treasures, but what about the 'man treasures'...

Apparently these have a huge 'wow factor'. they are imperial measurement something or other, blah blah. I retained as much about them as what Hug did about the difference between felt and felted wools. But apparently they are really great and were a great buy. Yeah ok whatever rings your bell....

 I did love the tin they came in. the artwork around the sides is very art deco. I love the setters on the tin, shame it is so damaged.
 Hubs' next buy I can appreciate fully, it's this Gladstone bag. My dad used to take  his lunch to work in one of these as did Hubs' dad. I remember dads thermos with hot soup and one for coffee too, his sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper. It really brings back so many memories for both of us. It is in mint condition and the tartan lining is perfect, even has the key to the lock! Big winner here!
so there are my Tassie Treasures...
I think I managed to applique around four dollies while we were away. I definitely need a plan if I am ever to play with those gorgeous woollies!
I am working on a few last dash Christmas decorations. I just realised today that there are about three weeks till the end of the working year! OMG
Better get motivated on all fronts
Hope you are having a great week
cheers
marina

ps for those that are interested the man treasures are imperial screw taps, there you go.