Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Acquisitions, a tidy up and more bunting.

Weekly wrap time.  There's been a few goings on.  Husband and son have been away on Somers camp so its been just us girls at home the sewing machine whizzing, visitors staying, slack meals and half the usual washing.

Copperpatch and her two boys came for a few nights.  The kids swapped a few germs, they all had the sniffles but we powered through, going through lots of tissues. 
On Saturday we rang and had the shop opened at Boort by appointment, we made a few purchases.  Here's my random pile of fabrics for skirts, bunting, a flannel pillow and hexagon cushions I'm making.  We bought lunch and sat by the lake and watched the skiers before we came home.


I've had orders for more bunting.  
This is the Christmas bunting I've just finished, my customer was thrilled and has ordered more for her daughter's  bedroom.  I've also heard today of a long lost girl friend having her first baby so some baby girl bunting might be on the cards there too.


In all my spare time I've also been organising my shelves.  I'm half way there.  Every time I've made something lately I've thrown the scraps into a pile which is a really bad habit. The pile was getting rather large, I needed to get things back in order.  I have a little card I press them around to get them all the same size so they stack nicely.  I know thats a little over the top but makes it easy to see and select fabrics for new projects.


In the garden the sunflowers were ready to snip off and save for seeds. We grew one enormous flower nearly 30cms across and many around 20cms.  the seeds were originally from the Diggers club about four years ago, I've grown and collected and grown and collected so have quite a bag of seeds now, well worth the couple of dollars I originally spent for about 20 seeds.


Off to tidy some more fabric and pull some colours out for MORE bunting and get ready for these boys to get home.





Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bunting, bunting and more bunting.

All my sewing since my last post seems to have consisted of making bunting.  One lot has led to someone else asking for some and so on and so on.  I have a couple more metres to make and then on to some other sewing.  I'm having some crafty company to stay this week so hopefully there will be some more blogable creations to show later in the week.  Here is some of what I've made this week.

A couple of lengths for a gift to our neighbour who has just had twin girls.


A string for an elderly lady in a nursing home.


Some bright coloured celebratory bunting.


Finally, 25 metres of satin rainbow bunting for the local shop.  It is not the best material to use as it frays so much.  I've overlocked and made up as best I can.  


Its looking good on the front of the shop and is apparently attracting trade so a job well done.




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fancy dress, a new desk and slippery bunting.

Its a mixed bag on the sewing side of things this week.  

I've started some costumes for a photo shoot I want to do with my little girl and her friend.  I've found an unusual old barn that I've been given permission to use.  I've been trying to think of something arty to do as the location is great.  I'm experimenting with creating some historical/bohemian type outfits for the girls.  I want them to look quite over the top.  I picked up some clothes at the op shop and I am just adding fabrics until I get the look I want.  The is my first prototype.  Its not finished but you can sort of get the look I'm going for.  I've used lots of cream, brown, gold and tan, no bright colours to go with the old barn and surrounds. I picked up a broderie anglaise bedspread which has provided a lot of fullness for the skirts.


In other news I started a job.  Just part time locally during school hours.  Perfect for our current situation.  I'm still picking up quite a bit of sewing work so between the two I'm fairly busy.  On my travels this week I saw this old sewing desk for sale for $40.  I had to have it.  Its crying out for a new paint job and handles but impatient me has cleaned it up and has it inside already with my overlocker on it.  Its a great little desk.  


Today I'm working on 22 metres of bunting for a local store to attract travellers to stop on their way to an upcoming alternative festival.  Its the first and last time I make bunting out of satin.  Its going to look good but I realise now why I like cotton fabric so much.  




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rainbow pixel quilt.

After finding my blogging mojo my quilting mojo returned. 
In the last few days I've created this quilt from the 2.5 inch (large) postage stamp squares I received in a swap from Copperpatch, Lifeunderquilts, PetitselephantsProcrasticraft, my Mum and another local friend.


I had a scribbled down idea of a pixelated rainbow swirl type arrangement that I wanted to try.
I started by sorting all the squares in colour order. After sorting there seemed to be an even proportion of each rainbow colour so I thought my idea might work.


I then laid them out according to my sketch, light colours to the centre graduating to darker colours around the edge of the quilt.  I sort of made a wedge in each colour and merged into the next.


There was some tweaking and photographing to make sure I had squares in the right spot. I added a few more rows at this stage as I still had quite a few squares left over.


Once I was happy I photographed small sections so I didn't forget my layout then sewed them into blocks of about 8 by 8 squares.  I thought some of these 8 by 8 blocks would have worked well as cushion covers.




With the leftover black, white and grey squares I made a pieced back, graduating tones as well.


I've quilted it already, just using diagonal straight line quilting.  
I think that is all it needs.
I'm thinking a black and white binding would look best but unfortunately I don't have anything in my extensive fabric collection that is going to work as binding so I'll just have to wait until my next fabric store visit to get some.  Once it is bound and I have my good camera back I'll take some more artistic photos.  
I-Phone photos will have to do today.
I can't wait to see what the other girls do with their squares.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Our library comes to us.

Every now and then I'm going to write a few posts on our life here so we can remember the things we used to do.

Every fortnight we have a visit from our mobile public library.  Its an 80km drive to our nearest library so we are very lucky to have it come to us.  It pulls up out the front of the school which happens to be out my kitchen window as we live in the school grounds.
The kids get to visit and borrow and sometimes the little ones sit down and have a story in the truck.  The service is offered to everyone in the community not just the school children.  Being such a tiny school its great the kids have access to a larger library on a regular basis.  

The school also has a weekly visit from an Education Department library truck and teacher to give our teacher their release time which is needed as there is only one full time teacher and one part time teacher at the school.  Told you its tiny! 


There were two lady librarians on the truck today.  I'm not sure how many female librarians there are out there with their truck licence but I was impressed.  They visit two towns a day on a fortnightly rotation.

Inside its pretty much like any library but on a smaller scale.  Shelves of books, a kids section, DVDs, magazines, seats, air con and a borrowing desk.  Well, they still have to hand write our borrowings as there is no Telstra internet service in our town.  (Good on you Telstra!!) 
It pretty good, if they don't have something you want you just place an order and they bring it on the truck next visit.  All the rural libraries must be connected as I've ordered titles and they have come from The High Country Library!


Today I picked up a crochet book, don't be expecting anything too exciting from me, and a Call the Midwife DVD….to have on while I learn to crochet. It might be wishful thinking.  Lets see if I get anything done before the truck comes back.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

So. (Sew)

So.  (Sew).
How about some crafty content after that long winded post.  Speaking of which, how nice was it to hear from some old bloggy friends and that they are feeling the same way about things as me.

The craft department around here took a turn for the worse after we moved and settled into our new house.  In the process of the move I lost my sewing room, thats what happens when you move from a five bedroom house down a three bedder.  Me and my crafty parephenalia now reside in a corner of the lounge room.  The husband thinks its more like half the lounge room!  Which at times it is half the lounge room, and dining area and bedroom……. but you have to keep the wife happy don't you.

  Apologies for phone quality photos while my camera is in for a service.

This is my corner of the house.
There are a couple of new acquisitions.

The tree.  I bought this at the Reject Shop for $40, I'm not sure why I bought it but I like it.  Its great to hang half made things on as I work and if I ever do markets again will be a great prop.

You will also notice Scarlet.  She was my last year's birthday present from the family and keeps me company while I sew.  I've jiggled her dials and we are now the same shape and size.  I'm yet to make a garment from scratch using her but gee she's handy for doing alterations on existing clothes.  I've been able to revamp a few older clothes and put them back into circulation.  Nothing harder than trying to pin alterations on yourself.


Another new obsession of late is Washi tape.  It looks pretty sitting on my shelf doesn't it.
I do use it, really I do.  I've lost many hours on Pinterest looking at the wonderful things people do with it.  Its really cute to use when gift wrapping, sticking up birthday cards and not leaving sticky bits behind when marking craft rulers, storage boxes, kids homework etc.  
My collection is small but growing.
Handy stuff.


After some Instagram chit chat late last year, a few quilty girls and I did a little 2.5 inch square swap with each other with the intention of making scrappy postage stamp quilts.  This is my box full of about 800 squares. I'm thinking I might group colours on this one instead of just random placement like my last one.  I'm still playing around with them.  I may need to cut some more squares too as the previous quilt I made had over 1200 pieces.
These are my co-postage stamp swap girls.


Lastly for today.  This is my Christmas hand piecing project.  I needed something small to take away with me so I gathered together my grey fabrics,  Ms Copperpatch also donated to my cause and I started a little hexagon project.  Its destined to be a cushion cover for the couch.  Everyone in blog land seems to have lovely couch cushions.  These are so relaxing to do.


So, thats a brief update on the craft front.  More to come.

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Blogging Block. (Writers Block.)

Sigh.

Where to start?  This will be a blurty type post but I feel I need to write it just so I can stop thinking about things.  Does anyone else do that?  
My theory is if I write it down, I will get what I'm thinking out of my head.  

I've been thinking about blogging, not just mine, other peoples, how blogging has changed, the good, the bad and sometimes ugly.  I keep trying to pinpoint why I stopped blogging and I think it has come down to three things.

1…Annoyance at people taking my stuff.
2…Change in personal circumstances.
3…and Instagram.

1...I haven't experienced anything overly bad, just a few icky feeling moments when you see other people using your images and ideas without acknowledgement, that type of thing.  Its not the end of the world but its not how I like to operate.  I think this is a part of the reason I slowed down posting as often as I did.  I became reluctant to put my thoughts and ideas out there for others to take without any thanks or recognition.  Thats harsh I know but every time I think about blogging it really bugs me.  I won't go into details.  I think we have all experienced it in some way by now especially after talking to a few ladies at Crafty Hijinx in Ballarat.  I don't want adoration just politeness.  I'm probably over reacting as it has only happened a few times but it still happened.

Its making me sad that I haven't been posting my latest brainwaves and projects like I used to.  So I think I need to get back into it, not worry about things so much and get back to sharing my ideas and learning from others.

(See, I do still sew)


2…In the last year or so we had some big changes in our personal life, new jobs, new town, new school and new friends so blogging for me has kind of taken a back seat while everything fell into place.  Its all been good.  Quite a change for all of us but something we are glad we have done career wise and for the kids education and life experiences.

We have moved to quite a remote area, a tiny school of fourteen students, its bloody hot here, its a tiny town, miles away from shops, miles away from family, miles away from anything really.  I think a few of my readers would be fascinated in our daily goings on.  I need to share more about our time here, even if its just for our own family record.  

(This is not our new house but kind of fitting.)


3…Instagram. I love Instagram.  I won't give this up.  Its so easy and instant.  I've reconnected with some of my blog readers over there, found a few new people doing lovely crafty things, other people living in rural areas that type of thing.  I've got a nice little bunch of talented people I watch over there and a lovely, helpful and amusing bunch of followers BUT I think I'm letting Instagram take the place of my blog.  Not good.  I think I need to do both.

(From the garden via Instagram.)

So after lots of pondering I've decided I'm really missing blogging and I need to start doing it again.
A few recent, random compliments on my writing made me realise other people like popping in here too.

I miss the record of our lives.   I don't put everything on here but enough to jog our memories of what we were up to at a certain time.   

I know things change, there is always something new to try on social media but seriously how many places do you have to be. I've nestled into Instagram but found Twitter and Facebook have fallen by the wayside.  I don't miss them at all.

Surprisingly I slowed up on Twitter, I read it sporadically, mainly the news and CFA updates and to get messages to my Dad. Twitter is good but you need to be on it frequently so as to not miss stuff.  I find I don't have time to check it that often.

Facebook irritates me, it really does.  I read what people are up to but find a lot of it is rubbishy jokes, quotes, games, competitions and challenges which I don't have time for.  I find Facebook quite confusing and don't trust it for some reason.  There are so many things I've learnt about my friends on Facebook.  Some I wish I could erase from my memory.  I keep toying with the idea of closing my account, the only thing stopping me is the occasional interaction with some long lost friends.  So I'll probably keep it open.  I won't look at it as often or just take it down to family and one or two close friends.

I read with interest the conversations regarding privacy and over exposure of peoples lives on the net.  In some ways I think its the new normal.  If people want to know about you there are plenty of ways to go about it other than reading your blog.  I'm comfortable with my level or lack of exposure.  I'm always wary of what I'm saying and the images I post. I don't cringe when I read back through my blog which I think is a good sign.  It makes me happy its there.  I must print it off into a book this year!!!

So, in a nutshell, now I've had a long think about things, I'm really ready to dust off my blog and get it ticking along again.

I'm really interested to hear what other people think and in particular why other blogs appear to have gone stale.  
Thats if anyone is still out there………..hellooooo………..

Lets resume normal programming.

Friday, November 29, 2013

November.

I can't let November go without a post.
Here's a brief catch up of our (non sewing) goings on.
I have a sewing catch up to come over the weekend.

We have had our local show.  The kids both entered art work and won prizes.  I entered quite a lot of photography and won several prizes as well.  (must do a post on them as well).  Miss Six came second in the Miss Junior Showgirl competition, wearing her new twirly skirt of course.



At the show there was a tent with a display of native animals.  In the photos below the kids are holding a betting which is like a miniature kangaroo.  It was so cute and quiet.  They had wombats that walked on leads, a dingo and lots of reptiles as well.  We had to keep going back during the show for more pats and looks.


 Later in the month we had Miss Six's dance concert.  Unfortunately no photos as yet, we are waiting for the professional video and pics to come back.  We have this one of the pre concert hair and stage makeup.    Very Cindy Brady we think with the pigtails.


I also recently had a birthday which in this house means pavlova.
This year topped with strawberries and home grown mulberries.
Quite delicious.  Makes up for getting older.


I've also had a few recent photography assignments.  
Our town has produced a 2014 calendar and I have contributed a few photos.

This is the train track heading out of town. 


Yarded lambs.


The Christmas puddings hanging in the church kitchen ready to sell.
I love this photo, its obviously the December picture!


I had another little job to photograph the local Catholic church. 
Isn't the timber inside amazing.


This photo below is of the same church, I took this picture last night.  We had the biggest double rainbow appear after an evening shower of rain.  I had people ringing me to make sure I got some photos.  I wish I'd had a bigger lens.  I couldn't fit the whole rainbow in but have taken a series of photos to stitch together in our photo program.
I'm not sure what the church goers will think of this picture but I couldn't resist taking it.  That little splash of sunlight at the top of the church makes it look quite special.


I believe I've also got a few photos in the Murray Electorate calendar this year as well.
Hopefully I'll get a copy this weekend.