Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quilts for wee boys

Here is a top that does exactly what it should - a medium sized quilt for a little boy that's not quite a baby but not really a boy. This is very simple and was very quick to make. Clearly there is no thought involved in the colour co-ordination - I picked out fabrics that had things on them that a little boy might like to look at. Planes, trains and a few owls!

Here's a close-up of the plane fabric in the middle, it's a really pretty clear blue.

I'm watching the Olympic torch enter into the stadium in London as I type this. It's a cold and very foggy Saturday morning here, so perfect for sitting on the sofa and watching some spectacle. I think I missed the point of those British bands - who? why? when? but judging from the rapturous Facebook posts of my friends and acquaintances (some of who are actually there, the buggers) I may be alone in this. Oooh, I just saw the fireworks! Cool! Oh no, and here's Paul McCartney. I had $20 on Cliff Richard.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sinuses and samosas

Well, my cold turned into a sinus infection, and I've been sick and miserable for the last few days. I've never had a sinus thing before and it hurts! There has been much whining and moping and I haven't left the house since I went to work last Friday. Saturday wasn't too bad - we had friends over for dinner and I made samosas so I can't have been feeling too dreadful. They were potato based. This is the filling.

I love potatoes and will put them in anything. I think it's my Irish heritage - my mother's mother's grandparents were from the north of Ireland somewhere ... my grandmother never had much time for Catholics, from memory, but it had faded to a vague prejudice even by the time she was born (1903) and didn't last any more generations. 

I rolled the dough out with the pasta maker! This has not been used since we moved into the house nearly six years ago, but I knew where it was, and it was so much fun and easy to roll, and it made it very nice and thin. I must get the boys into this, I think they'd love it.

The actual samosas weren't very nice, too bland in the end. But the concept is good, the filling just needs more work.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Car quilt

We have car quilts. Not just for the long trips, but those frosty Canberra evenings when we're coming home late (from our hectic and glamorous social life! Hah!) ... Even quite grown-up ten year old boys can pull up a quilt and snuggle down for the trip home. I do tend to forget about them though, and they get trampled on by footy boots, and end up with mandarin peel in the folds, and then I pull them out in horror every few months, and wash them.

Which is why this one ended up on the line to dry, and I took a photo of it. It was based on this one - not that I bought the pattern of course, puh-leeze, why would you, it's just strips. Some of my dyed fabrics haven't perhaps held up as well as I would like but hey! It's a car quilt!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Home again

We took the back roads home - different back roads to the way up, there are a LOT to choose from. We only took two days this time rather than the three on the drive up, so it was two long days of driving ... but we wanted to get home. Some slightly hairy pieces of tarmac, but no actual off-roading. Lots of stretches that looked like this...

I finished off the Dresden Plate cot quilt (not quite in time for the baby shower on Saturday, oops, hopefully in time for the baby) and quilted it up. It is very nice to be home and back in the sewing room.

Here's a photo of it in the sunshine to show the quilting. It is frosty mornings and sunny days here at the moment. I am slowly recovering from some foul Kiwi bug my niece infected us all with - hacking and spluttering and barking like a seal. I left work early on Monday; a bit because I felt crappy but mostly because everyone was giving me evil looks for spreading my germs through the office. Fair enough.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A wonderful week

The point of our trip was a family get-together for my Dad's 70th birthday. I have two sisters, one brother and seven nieces and nephews ranging in age from 2 to 21 - and we haven't all been together in many many years. So Dad made us commit to doing something for his milestone birthday, but realised that if he wanted us to actually hang out together for any length of time we needed to get away. So - because he is both generous and a genius - he paid for us all to have a week on the Gold Coast. We drove up and the others flew over from NZ - Dad, four kids, three kids-in-law, three granddaughters, six grandsons and a delightfully laid back exchange student from Mexico.

We had a great time. Hung out by the pool, had seven meals a day, visited a few theme parks, walked on the beach, went shopping and tried to co-ordinate the sleeping and eating schedules of toddlers, teenagers and the middle-aged. This is me feeding the lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Park.

 The boys just loved hanging with their cousins, big and small. The last day was photo day - the men in our family run to a certain physical type of fat little toddlers, gangly boys, lanky teenagers and tall solid men. So here is the evolution in action .... although careful perusal may show an exchange student :)

The week went unbelievably quickly - my family are all really nice people who know how to have a good time. I have never understood those families that say Christmas always ends in a fight, or half the siblings are holding grudges or not talking. How on earth does that work? And why?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On the road

We're off travelling - packed up the car, shoehorned in the kids and headed about a thousand miles to the north-east ... without it getting noticeably warmer. Packing was like preparing for the Mars Landing - what if it's cold? what if it's hot? what if it rains? We left our house (and cat) with a friend who's staying until he finds a place of his own and I think he was very relieved when we eventually made it out of the driveway.

This photo can stand in for any of the innumerable frigid parks and brick public toilet blocks we've visited in tiny little country towns. At least there wasn't much traffic.

We went to the radio telescope at Parkes ... famous for receiving the broadcast from the first moon landing in 1969 (everywhere in the USA was on the wrong side of the earth or something). Kind of interesting, but really it's just a big dish on its side, and even the boys thought the displays were a bit babyish. Surprisingly, the aviation museum at Narromine was fascinating - they have a replica of the 1909 Wright Flyer which was hand made from wood and fabric a couple of years ago. And it flies, although it is impossible to see how!

The road, the endless road.