Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Flowers in little pots

I have been making flower pot blocks. These are inspired by Freddy and Gwen Collaborate Again - although they use yo-yos for the flowers and I have gone with raw edge appliqué. I don't know why that suddenly decided to inspire me while I was flicking through the quilting books, but it did, and the blocks are rather fun.


The quilt in the book has the flowers in vertical rows, but I quite like the idea of horizontal rows, so they look like they are on a shelf. I will see what to do with them when they're done - of course I didn't think of putting them together horizontally while I was cutting them so they're all different heights, but nothing some random bits of fabric added on can't fix. For now I'm just enjoying cutting different flowers out of bright colours and sewing them together.

I did spend a solid few hours on my uni assignment on the weekend, so I thought I could indulge with some guilt free sewing. As opposed to procrastisewing, which is laden with guilt. In the past weeks I have done procrastibaking, procrasticleaning, procrastiwashing and I even went for a 5km run rather than work on my assignment. This is why I haven't been back to uni for 25 years.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The food

It's been all about the food this week - even more than a usual week - eating is one of the main pleasures of my life, which is why I am so fat. Oh well. It was my birthday, so we started off with dinner out at a Malaysian restaurant. We were going to go for dessert at a chocolate shop nearby, but it was closed, so we got chocolate from the supermarket and ate it on the sofa. Delicious. And this is the birthday cake my husband made me - fudge from the fudge shop interspersed with chocolate brownie he'd made. Isn't it pretty? And delicious. It took all week to eat.



My work also had afternoon tea for my birthday - I made a lemon drizzle cake because we have SO MANY lemons. And this weekend we went round to friends' last night for dinner and hear about their six weeks in Europe (looked gorgeous, very jealous), and brunch with friends this morning. I think breakfast out is my favourite meal. Bacon.

I went to the Canberra Quilters Exhibition this afternoon which was lovely as always. Lots of very beautiful quilts, and the one that won is stunning. There is definitely a trend towards very elaborate and detailed quilting, which looks fabulous but it's not something that speaks to my heart. Or that I would ever really be interested in doing. But show quilts are always a breed apart. I poked around the vendors and bought some wool for weaving - not that I have been doing much weaving lately. I must find something good to watch on foxtel and then I will no doubt get right back into it...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The geese that fly



Another finished quilt! I do not know what inspired this, other than an urge to make something simple, in not many colours, and light and bright. It is all flying geese, which are easy to make in bulk. I didn't plan the placement, just put them together in strips that seemed to make sense at the time - some are groups of four, and some are groups of eight, and they go in various directions.



It's quilted with a flower-type swirl that was very swooshy and fun to do.



And the backing fabric even matches! How weird is that, I had it there, enough for a backing, and it is the same colours as the front. The quilt is called "This is all a result of your own life choices" because it usually is.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A burst water main

It's back to work, and no free time, and dark winter days ... and the most exciting thing that happened this week was a burst water main up on the street. And it wasn't even that exciting because it burst about three feet from the drain and just happily flooded into it. Which is just as well, because if it had gone the other way it would have done some damage to our front garden, and possibly the house, given our feeble our drainage is.



We reported it to the water company, who came in an hour or two and chopped two large gum trees down. Well that was unexpected, we thought to ourselves, you would think they would have asked. We are assuming that the trees weren't on our property (it's quite hard to tell where our property line ends and the nature strip starts). But we still quite liked them - there's a little grove of gums with pretty pink blossoms up on the road. Or there was a little grove, there's only two trees left and I don't think you can call that a grove.



Anyway they chopped the trees up and left them on the front garden of the people across the road, which they probably weren't expecting either. And then a digger came and dug the ground and fixed the water, which was good, and that was the most exciting thing that happened this week! Other than our POSITIVELY LAST trip to Ikea yesterday morning when we bought more that could fit in the car, so had to leave number one son with the overflow boxes and $5 (all the change we could skerrick up) in the cafe by the checkouts for an hour while we went home and came back. We didn't think $5 was much help but he said it was five hot dogs, or ten soft serves, or two cans of cider. So he did quite well.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

And that was my holiday

Unbelievably, my three weeks leave is now over, and I haven't done half the things on the list. I haven't done the tax returns, or put all the photos in the album, or cleaned out the cupboard under the stairs. I did clear out the "random documents" drawer beside the computer, and organised a thermal assessment of the house, which was depressing. A guy spent a few hours crawling into the roof and and checking the insulation (not much) and doing thermal imaging of skylights and doors and windows to check the gaps (massive). The big room has no roof insulation at all and there's no room for any to go in, and the whole house has far too much glass in proportion to the house - which is lovely, but thermally hopeless, and it will cost about $50k to double glaze it all. Which is quite a lot of money. We don't know what we'll do but I think it might involve thermal underwear .... which is where our furry snuggly blanket on the couch comes in - yes Pam, we do have quilts as well, but cotton quilts cannot compare to the delight of four square metres of fake fur. It is awesome.


I went down to the beach on Tuesday following the moving men with our old sofa and armchair - we realised it was only slightly more expensive to get them to take it to the coast than to take it to the tip ... so the sofa and chair are down there now and we will retire some of the old recliners we got with the house. I then stayed down for four glorious days on my own. Didn't get lonely, didn't get bored, just did a lot of my uni assignment, ate what I wanted, went for lots of walks and did some sewing as well. It was lovely.


Very hard to come back, but I did, and went for a cold windy run around the lake this morning. Which was considerably livened up by the Santa Speedo Shuffle. Nothing like fit looking young men in budgie smugglers and santa hats to take your mind off your own athletic pain.



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hipster vintage retro cushions

When I was in Hobart I had a look through some pretty cool shops that sold all sorts of groovy homeware things. Way groovier than I could ever be, but I like to look. So when the new couch needed some new cushions I let the boys pick some covers, and I picked some covers, and then I remembered that I'd seen cushions in one of the Hobart shops made out of old commemorative tea towels. Hang about! I thought to myself. I have crap tons of old commemorative tea towels ... because Nana Joan did a lot of travelling and was partial to a nice linen tea towel, and I have them now for some reason that is not altogether clear to me.



Anyway this is the purchased cushion section of the sofa. I chose the fur one, number one son chose the plain one and number two son chose the stripy one. We already had the herringbone fur throw. It is in constant use, between me, the children, and the pets.



This is the hipster vintage retro section of the sofa. There is one rectangular New Zealand Birds cushion, and two square "Australian 1976" commemorative cushion. I am fairly confident Nana Joan went to Australian in 1976 - probably with her church, they did a lot of group trips - and this is from then. They are backed in a natural linen, so as not to detract from the awesomeness of the tea towels. I did fully intend to do piping around the edge like the ones in the shop I saw but I don't have a zipper or piping foot for this machine, and it was just too difficult without one. But I think they hold their own.



Should I do more? I have Australian Birds, Lake Windemere, two from Papua New Guinea, another New Zealand Birds, one with all the flags of the Country Women's Institute countries, Australian Flowers, Norfolk Island and Birds of the Countryside, which includes a wren and a pied flycatcher, so I'm thinking England again. They are all marked "pure linen" or "Irish linen" - I don't even know if you can get linen tea towels any more. I can't imagine using them to actually do the dishes.





Sunday, July 23, 2017

Some boring photos

First up is a very boring photo that I took at the beach - off-white carpet in a room painted ivory! Wow! The room gets zero natural light so we thought we would keep everything nice and pale. It does look much better with carpet in it, and much warmer. Now for furniture - cramming as many random boxes from IKEA as we can into the car each time we go down. Stylish no, economical yes. I hemmed the curtains after I took this photo, they are now above the carpet and straight. Well, straight-ish.



And this is the result of some winter gardening this morning. Chopping, pruning, coppicing, pollarding and trimming. And pulling dead things up. I gave the roses a very solid chopping, which they will probably be OK with, but the lamandras and the hakea might be a bit grumpier. But I like to see an empty-ish winter landscape with lots of room for nice things to grow back in spring. Hopefully.



I have kept going at a mad pace all week but I don't feel like I've accomplished anything. Lots of invisible tasks like re-hemming the curtain in the dressing room because it was fraying, hanging the last pictures from the hallway re-paint that have been poked under the spare bed for over a year, doing the tax return and organising the electrician to get the exhaust fan replaced. Once that's done I can re-paint the bathroom ceiling because it's gone mouldy with no ventilation... the fun never stops. I have also taken eight bags of clothes to the salvos, had two lunches with friends and spent FIVE HOURS with number two son getting an MRI on his ankle. His appointment was for 1.00 pm and they finally took him in at half past four. It was a free one at the public hospital so hard to be too cross about being bumped for lots of emergencies ... but it was a very long and boring afternoon. We will go and see the doctor in a week or two and get the results.