Saturday, May 9, 2009

Welcome....Take a Seat

Yes, take a rest and drink a tea as you read about my week in craftland.

Firstly, the wooden chair that I picked up very cheaply as it was damaged and the wood was very rough has finally been sanded and now it is waiting for me to decide if I will paint it a lime green or red .....or if I will give it a distressed look.

This week I also made a rug for my daughter and as I challenge myself to use fabric and other odds I have, I managed to pull apart a dress that I must have had in the 70s and cut up one of my husband's shirts and then added to these initial starting blocks. She wants it for a Queen size bed so it is quite large.

Here it is straight off the sewing machine. I have now caught a slight case of Fabricitis. I am cutting more squares to make another one. Hopefully, I will NOT be tempted to go to the Quilting store to buy more fabric .... must remember the goal to use up what I have!!!

The LIttle Voice in my head sometimes will not listen to reason especially when I cruise into BLOGLAND. This week I was dazzled by Aneela's work on her blog . My mouth dropped down to my feet and that's where it remained. I was also blown away by her generous giveaway.... an amazingly beautiful quilt in the most delightful colours!!!!!

I may rediscover patchwork and quilting as it has been quite a few years since I persued this art. Here are a couple that I made back in the early 2000. I did not have a digital at that time so these are scans of photos.

This was for my mum.

I love this one and wished I had made it for myself. This one was a quilt for my daughter's best friend. This one was HUGE !!! It is bordered in a paisley print.

For a baby girl.

What is happening in the yarn department? I finally completed a round pillow that has been in my "must finish" pile for about a year.

..... and I am 3/4 of the way with my Millefiori creation.

That's all folks for another week.
Signing off as I enjoy another Sunday of productivity .... hopefully:)


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Circles of Love


Saturday, April 25, 2009

April Antics

I love flower displays but as it has been very hot till now I tend not to have live flowers in my vases as they never can survive the day. The other day I picked up these roses that I just love. I have just "plonked" them in and they make me feel happy. Aren't they glorious?

As promised myself, I am on a mission to finish all the incomplete bits and bobs I have in my stash. I dug these squares out and decided to add 2 more rows on each plus a rose red border.

Then I spotted these hexagons. Unfortunately, I have since misplaced the pattern but was able to "read" my work and have since written the pattern. This one is next on the list.

Easter was relaxing and family orientated. Mr F and I went for long walks and then rested and rested.

As we were visiting my parents the vegetation is slightly different from the tropical verdant foliage of the surroundings where we live. We were in gum and savannah bush. Gum trees grow tall and many have trunks that are wrapped in a chalky white skin.

My mum was delighted with the rug I gave her. I finally finished the Calypso Rug in the car as we travelled to her place.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Entry

It has been a long time between posts. I have been busy doing life and all that entails. Holidays are here ... what a delight!

In between trying to declutter the house I have been relaxing with some colour therapy.

Here are the Easter Eggs I made:
and here is a Calypso Colour rug I am making:
Happy Easter to anyone who may wander by this blog!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My affair with craft

This week has been a rollercoast ride as usual. This year 3 of us who teach Italian are going with 20 students to Italy. The week has been filled with phone calls from parents who want their girls to go on this trip. We originally thought that in this economic climate we may have bitten off more than we could chew but that is not the case. So in September....The 22 September to be precise, the Italian ladies are off and away for 2 weeks to Rome, Venice , Florence and Siena. Below are the ladies - I am the short one.... there is MS F and MRS D and MRS F(me).
I love going to Italy and always feel at home there. I was born in Australia to Italian migrants so I always manage to catch up with family (near Venice) when I go with the students.

What has been happening with craft this week ? I completed this unfinished piece . ..

I love re-discovering ways to complete UFOs. The squares for the above Pink Daisy spread were made a couple of years ago and the design was modified for the finished product.

Don't you just love the possibilities of colour and design craft offers? I am almost always surprised with the end product as I rarely stick to the originally plan.

So on to my next one.... A bag of green/blue and lemon squares + a few left over motifs from the "Pink Daisy " = my Lilly Pond blanket.

and another drive to use up odd skeins is becoming a Razzle Dazzle Square Blanket.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wet and Wild

A quick check to see if I have sorted the blog date on my post. My friend Max was on the shed wall this morning. The first time I spotted him, he gave me a terrible fright and I was ready to call the Wildlife people to come and take him. Now , we have an understanding ... he stays out of my way and I let him reside in the shed where hopefully he will dine on any bugs.

The weekend has been gloomy and wet and there is a category 1 cyclone developing in our region. The weather bureau is predicting it will not intensify and it will cross the coast south of where I live. The weather is quite different to the last few weeks and with this cyclonic rain it is much cooler. Nice weather for delicious hot bread.

One of my nephews married his partner recently and this is the hex afghan I sent them.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Week that was

First week of school went by ... flew actually. The builders have taken up residence at the school so we, the staff, now walk many many steps to go from our main building to the classrooms as there are barricades stopping us taking the shortest distance from A-B.

It is so lovely walking around the school grounds as we are still in Summer and the trees are in flower. I had to snap a photo of this one , my favourite.

Celestial Skies-1996

My family- 1996
Treasures and colours seem to be a common theme. This afternoon I ran across a folder where I filed some artwork that my youngest did in prep. The date on these is 1996 and that would have made her 4 years old. She is now enrolled in an Art and Drama degree, so it is apt that I found these as they reminded me that she was always drawing and painting. I particularly love the family art piece - we look so well fed and zany.

On the topic of well fed, I am reminded of the figurine my eldest daughter gave me. You could say that at the moment I am experiencing the middle age spread. I have arrived at a point where I am becoming too comfortable with the extra rolls and padding that I carry around. She gave me this at least 6 years ago when I was having a fit about the extra pounds/kilos I had taken on board but at that time it was given in gest as I was by no means a rotund beach belle ... now sadly I can say it is a realitic representation of Sewlines. Walking my way around the school may help....wishful thinking....

I gave my hand the rest it demanded and completed the Posie blanket and then moved on to my Red number. Two down and more to go. Slowly, but surely, I am reducing the pile of unfinished projects I have collected in the last couple of years.

The Field of Flowers is also receiving some attention as I love this one.

But today will be a rest day.... an afternoon relaxing in bed ....reading.
Today is Saturday the 31st January- Why does my blog not register this date? My computer has the right date!
Can anyone tell me how I can address this? Thanks.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Serene Sunday

I say serene as tomorrow we celebrate Australia Day so I have a long weekend and no work preparation this weekend.

This week has brought me back to the reality of work and as we have a new Principal, there was no time allocated to lesson prep. We were fully engaged for the 3 days in other matters....I was worn out when it came to Friday. I am ready for Tuesday when the students begin diary is covered, my timetable has been colour coded and I have planned what I am teaching for the first 2 weeks.

I am introducing my new bedspread. This time it is yoyos (Suffolk puffs ) I have spent most mornings this week cutting fabric circle and finally last night I counted the last one. I set out to use some of the fabrics in my stash and did manage to cut up at least 10 metres of fabric. Yeh...10 less metres taking up space!!!! So far I like the colour combo. I have set it aside for a while and today I am working on.....
....the red blanket and watching movies. All the motifs are completed and have 3 more rows to attach. I will keep plodding ..... hopefully, it will be completed by tonight.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A new spread

In the year 2004 I discovered rag quilting and that Rag Quilt year many friends and relatives ended up with a rag quilt whether they wanted one or not. Rag quilts are quick to make and can be very appealing. So it was to be that I made one for our bed. At that time I was making quilts and had not yet rediscovered crochet so my sewing machine was clocking up many miles/kilometres.

It is now 2009 and .... I have decided is is time for a change, so I have commenced a new spread. This one will feature the colour pink and green. I am adding some shades of blue. The colour yellow is also asking for an invitation to be included. What do you think? Should I let it join the party?
My challenge is to use up some of the fabric I have in my stash so I cannot give in to temptation. I cannot and will not be swayed by all the gorgeous fabrics at the craft shop. I only allowed myself one length as I could not for the life of me resist. How could I not own this fabric that flirted its gorgeous colours and pattern of pink rosettes?

For a while I considered taming the colours to only pinks and whites...but that would not be my style.

Oh...there's yellow radiating its golden splendour ..... Will I or Will I not?????????

Friday, January 16, 2009

Time to play

In one of my shoulderbags this morning I found a treasure. I pulled out the packet hiding inside and wondered what it contained. It was a surprise as I cannot even remember purchasing these little critters. I immediately began poking my thumb to their base and they rewarded me with a merry dance. Although their movement is not poetry in motion, they entertain. Why did I buy these? Thinking back, I must have been captured by their whimsical nature that stirred a childhood nostalgia. Who can resist that Hippo's cute face or that monkey stance? And Charlie, the crocodile, is performing a tummy flip.

Chocolate Moments.........
Yesterday, Hubby and I celebrated 27 years of marriage. We enjoyed a coffee at our favourite coffee shop and that was it. I considered repeating the activity we did 2 years ago when we wrote each other a letter that listed all the little things we enjoy in our marriage and, yes, we also could include those "nigglies" that annoy us. It was a humorous experience...after sharing life together for this many years, there ain't many secrets. After years of endless energy and zest, my hubby woke up one morning in early September feeling very ill. It happened that quickly! Thank the Lord he has now recovered so enjoying our time together is a celebration every day.
I have had to take a break from my quest to complete the many crochet UFOs that take up space in this house but not for long. To give my hand a rest, I did some sewing these past few days. I will show some photos in due course.

This is the culprit!

I was merrily cruising along with this blanket when the pointer finger of my right hand let me know it had had enough. Now, you may ask how can I sew when this finger is part of the work package when it comes to sewing... strangely, it was fine.
Today, being Saturday, I am off to do some window shopping with my friend and I am sure we will not neglect browsing in craft shops.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It is all about colour

Time is a- ticking! Next week at this time I will be back at school for the 3 days inservice before the students return the following week. I am a Senior High School teacher and truthfully I must admit I enjoy my work. Let me count some ways:

  • I love the exploration of learning- it thrills me when I see that a student has finally arrived at an understanding. This is for me the colour green.

  • I enjoy some of the unplanned and unexpected moments - the colour purple.

  • It thrills me when a lesson runs smoothly and students thank you before they leave or say, "Miss, I enjoyed that lesson," as they rush out the door. Oh...definitely pink...a rose shade of pink.

  • I enjoy the fun we have as a staff and the support from other teachers. A warm yellow.

    There are many other aspects of teaching I enjoy. Sadly, there are those moments that cause anguish and hurt or those times when no matter how many years you have been teaching, you begin to question your professionalism and skills.

Holidays are my salvation. It is a time when I re-energize and evaluate what I can do better.

This year looks promising. I have the usual workload- Senior English and Senior Italian. We are planning our trip to Italy; this happens every 2 years, and hopefully by mid 2009 we, the staff, will no longer struggle to find a carpark. This year the school I teach at is due for some major renovations.

So this last week of vacation finds me trying to squeeze in as much as I can. What have I accomplished this week so far?

  • I made a sleeve for my pencil holder

  • I added to my Field of Flowers... as I mentioned before these flowers are blooming in no organised colour scheme and I have to admit the colours are screaming at me.

...and at the moment, I am making some mobile phone socks. These are not completed as you can see.

As I sit and work with the multi coloured yarns, I look out at my jungle that at the moment is so verdant and in need of some colour. Outside there is a constant buzzing as the cicadas fine tune their symphony.

I have a colour obsession - that is, I find it difficult to restrict myself to pastel colours or even co-ordinated colours. I tend to gravitate towards bright and gaudy. I mentioned this to my daughter who then sent me some quotes about colour to make me appreciate this idiosyncrasy.

"Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways."Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

So I leave you today while I go and continue my conversations with colours ..............

Friday, January 9, 2009

The rain

For most of the year we experience the "Dry Season" but when it rains it does so in style. It is pouring buckets of rain!

I woke up to the drumming on the roof and raced out to save my precious rosemary plant before it becomes to water logged. I love rosemary and for years I have had a bush that I could prune at my leisure and use in cooking. But last year it called it a day and turned brown and died. Since then I have been struggling to establish one and finally I had success.

This morning I had planned to go to the thrift shop to browse. I am searching for an old chest to store some of my wares. On second thought, I have opted to stay home and have a leisurely breakfast and then do some crocheting. I am enjoying the passionfruit my husband was given this week. They are the yellow variety (don't now the name) and I could eat these all day. You can see them on my kitchen bench beside a find I picked up at a thrift shop in Bristol last year. It was sitting there hidden behind some gaudy jewellery and other stuff calling my name. It cost me 1pound 50 and although my sister and daughter were no help whatsoever helping me decide if my choice should be the gaudy bling or the jar, my jar won the day. It travelled with me across Europe and now calls Australia home. It has an old worldy charm that pulled at my heart strings.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The arrival of the "Big Wet"

Living in the tropics is paradise in Winter -May to July. Every year I am reminded how close to perfect this place is when every day is crisp cool and the sky is so blue it dazzles. Come November and we all lament that we would rather not have perpetual saunas. It is hot,humid and the sun is ferociously hot. We live in airconditioned comfort and hibernate...only venturing out if necessary. (at least that's what I do) From January to March is our " big wet" season and this year it has lived up to its name. Everything looks green and my plants thrive in this rain. As I would rather spend my time with my craft, I have slowly replaced all the high maintenance plants with ones that came with" I am strong, I am invincible" tags. My favourite flowering ones are the orchids and the bromeliads. These are tough and can be thrown anywhere in this climate.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Can't help myself....

Finally, I have organised all my stash. I now should be able to work in a systematic way. No more cries of desperation searching for the hot pink or the eggshell yellow. No siree, I now should be free of those senior moments. Ultimately, I love the colourwash style so the basket I work from is usually filled with mixed colours but it feels great to know I have the yarn colour coded in bins.

Alas.... I almost went into shock when I saw how much yarn I have managed to acquire since I re-discovered crochet. I have been crocheting since I was knee high to a grasshopper but in the late 70s it was left on the shelf as I pursued other crafts. I attended a local craft show in the late 90s and saw 2 crochet blankets that mesmerised me. The very next day I went out and bought yarn and made one each for my daughters and one for my 2 nephews. I was hooked!!! Now, since I live in the tropics, one may say I am slightly crazy but one day when the big freeze comes, I will be warm and cozy.

2009 is the year for me...the year that will try to complete most of the WIPS. I love starting new projects and sometimes am interrupted by some other idea I have.

At the moment I am working on 3 incomplete blankets. A Granny's Flower Garden which is almost there. I just need to complete one more row of flowers, a multicoloured rug and a granny square blanket that reminds me of my childhood.

Shhhh... don't tell .....I started another one today with all the odds and ends of yarn. I am calling it Field of Flowers as it is made up of various coloured flowers... flowers bloom in no particular colour sequence or pattern.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Looking for a place to call home.

My youngest left home to attend university. Now, she could have enrolled at our local Uni but unfortunately it does not offer the courses she wants so it was with lots of excitement she moved over 2,000 miles away to attend Queensland Uni. She rings me every day, sometimes several times a day, to keep me tuned to her saga of finding a place to live. Cross fingers that her search may be over after she inspects a few more places tomorrow. There are times where I am so close to begging her to come home.

She asked me today what I was doing.... well, I have been taking ownership of her room. I have reorganised her wardrobe so that I can now store my yarn in there. Basically when I have completed this task it will be my craft room and will set up the other smaller room as her bedroom.
I also have been re-discovering some of the blankets I have made. This one looks quite attractive on my bed .