Sunday, February 22, 2015

Amazing what you find when you aren't looking.....

To say nothing much is happening here is a gross understatement really - although I don't suppose you can have less than nothing going on?  One reason is the current hot spell but more whingeing about that below.....another reason was my one year check up following my surgery last January....this involved a day of prep and then the procedure for the surgeon to check his handiwork......I have to see him again in a couple of weeks, but his initial briefing while I was coming out of the anaesthetic was that everything looked ok and I might get to wait three years until my next encounter with the 'scope! Yay!!!   So ...to anyone reading this who have been putting off being tested for bowel cancer (or any other sort of cancer) please don't put it off any longer....end of sermon......

the weather for the past three weekends has been hot - really hot - which makes doing nothing really easy to achieve....roll on winter I say! 

The hot weather does have a couple of things going for it though.....

nice sunsets....


.....oh and the washing doesn't take long to dry....hard pressed to find many other good things though.....oh btw can someone please send some cheese and crackers to go with my "whine"......

I have done a little secret squirrel sewing.....but I can't show that yet....

I have also spent quite a bit of time in my sewing room just looking......not for anything in particular...just looking at some things I might like to do ...one day......

....I have found some really cool stuff..............like....

this Trish Harper pattern.......


.....and these zips for the Sew Together bag I plan to make ...one day....


..........and there are even some finished stitcheries hanging around .....just waiting.....to be made into something...one day.....


The only BOM I signed up for this year has been arriving and I am looking forward to making a start on it....you guessed it.....one day.......Natalie Bird's Bluebird Lane which I am doing with Linda at Gum Valley Patchwork......love this.....


I have also  been spending a bit of time on Instagram....well quite a bit of time actually.....and I found some stuff on there that I like as well......I think I have said before I love PDF patterns....and a couple of these have found their way into my sewing room as well......

One of these is the Tessa Basket by Pink Stitches.....you can find a lot of these popping up all over IG.....


I am also a big fan of Faith's work at Fresh Lemons Quilts - and I bought her Poinsettia pattern.....excuse the dreadful pic, but this quilt is amazing!  Hop over to Faith's site and check out her other work as well.......

This quilt involves paper piecing which to date has been one of my least favourite things to do, but for this quilt I am willing to have a crack at it again.......

 
So....even though there isn't much actually being stitched, there are plans afoot for that to change....soonish - I hope!
 
There are also some other plans afoot....but that reveal can wait for another day......
 
'til next time................Lorraine

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Nudge, nudge.....

I think that's what my sister was doing today when she phoned to ask me what was "normal programming" and when did I think I might really get back to it!?  I have had good intentions of doing a blog post, and we all know where that road leads! 

So where to start (it's been so long I had to go back and read my last post to see where I was......but before I fill you in on what I have been up to I tell you what Mark and Terri did last weekend.......


I am very excited and really happy for them!  ....I think I have a little while to choose the Mother of the Groom frock....and I guess it means a wedding quilt as well.....

....so back to what I have been up to......nothing quite as exciting as getting engaged, but ......I have had a couple of stitching days...one with the NTFW group....where Claire showed off some bunting made for Helen's new grandson...


and look how happy Shay was to receive some gingerbread paraphernalia ...tissues (who knew!) and a sure fire, no fail Velcro-together gingerbread house complete with witch and children!...
 

 I had better do this in some sort of order...because being orderly is how I roll.......the Tour Down Under came to the Barossa......and just as quickly left again on their way to the city....but the riders did come past the office a couple of times so I managed to get a couple of pics......it's quick, but colourful.......


 

A few days later it was time for the Australia Day breakfast.......again......I think I have been organising this for about 10 years now and every year I worry that I have forgotten some major component of the morning, but thankfully (to date!) I haven't.....this was my view from the stage as around 1,000 people filed in for breakfast catered for by one of the local service clubs......and the band played.....


 a very happy me after the event with Vincent who works with me and volunteers as MC each year.....
 

Work is pretty busy for me at this time of year but most evenings (the ones where I have stayed up past 8.30!) have seen me doing some hand stitching.....my little bird has quite a nest there now! 
 
 
I finished the stitchery and borders on the second of the Kathy Schmitz Easter stitcheries....
 
 
and in somewhat of a Gail Pan-athon I finished the little mini "in a pear tree" and the stitcheries for a couple of other projects....
 

The first of the Easter rabbits has been hand quilted and the binding is on ready to stitch down tonight.......

Yesterday I caught up with the girls for another stitching day and Linda gave us a sneak peek of a quarter of her QAYG quilt she is making for her son's birthday later this year.....(that's a shadow on it btw......)


I had a productive afternoon and played with some little squares of Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell......and now I have little hexagons....there is a plan for these which hopefully will come to fruition sooner rather than later......


I have never been a fan of Pinterest (and enough people have 'fessed up to how much time they spend on there that I have never bothered with it.....) but I do find myself spending a little bit of time on Instragram.....and have found some great projects and ideas for future projects on there...this one was on Molly Flanders IG feed as well as her blog...Mary also gave me the Flowering Snowball inspiration!! A blog and IG worth following IMHO.

The block is by Liz Harvatine and is the LAMQG (LA Modern Quilt Guild) Block of the Month for January 2015.  The block can be purchased from Liz and I love that PDF patterns are so instant!  I couldn't wait to get started on this and was very pleased with the way it went together.  I love curves!  (well, I could do with a few less of them myself, but for stitching they are awesome!) 
 


So....that's about it I think.......off to organise some dinner and then some hand stitching while watching the tennis.....

'Til next time......Lorraine

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Out of the abyss and back to normal programming......

Well, as normal as possible at this time of year which is always a little surreal I think.   The weather hasn't helped - it has been hot (low 40'sC) with fires burning in the hills.....then cold (17C) with lots of rain.....so a little bit of a mixed bag there!  I went back to work last week and put the final touches on getting all the ducks in a row for the Australia Day breakfast - it seems no time at all since the last one - which I organised, but didn't go to as I was still at home recuperating after surgery.  How time has flown by.......

The travellers are in Canada, in BC somewhere having a great time!  Thank goodness for Viber, Skype, FB and emails!  It is great to be able to keep in touch a little easier than when I went gallivanting overseas for a year in the early 70's! 

So.....I need to catch up a little......

I had the pleasure of the company of Alison and Chris for a few days after Christmas.....we had a great time and the days passed all to quickly - it was fun to play tourist/guide - I even went to a few places I hadn't been before......

There were meals to be had.....


some shopping......and sightseeing......regular readers of my blog would have seen this view before.....from Mengler Hill overlooking the Valley......this day started out to be overcast and gloomy, but soon brightened up......


No visit to the Valley would be complete without a stop at Maggie Beer's establishment....




Or a winery or two.....the Wild Witch sparkling shiraz seemed appropriately named for Cardy and I.......


Another winery had this fearsome looking character in the tasting room.....very cleverly put together with pieces of scrap iron........just the piece for the living room??


Chateau Yaldara.......



...and on to the lavender farm......



During our tripping around we stopped off at a couple of cemeteries which are always fascinating I think, and can tell you so much about those who have gone before.....

such as this ill fated fellow........."Killed at Adelaide by falling under the wheels of his dray....August 30, 1872 ....aged 21 years on the day he was killed".....


Beautiful, peaceful surroundings.....



 some with a great view like this one ......


All too soon it was time for the travellers to depart and the house was vewy, vewy quiet without them :(  I busied myself with taking down all the Christmas decorations (which took a while!!) and packing them away for another year.  The place looked really bare once they were all down!  A good chance for a good clean/dust and change around!

Not much stitching going on this past week, but I do have to show this cute bag which was part of my Christmas gift from Christine in our online stitching group......it arrived a few days after Christmas and was accompanied by some Lindt choccies...unfortunately, they didn't make the photo shoot!  Christine is a girl after my own heart with her love of red/white!  Thanks Christine!


I did get the stitchery component of the Leanne Beasley project from Stitch in Spring (in September) finished.....it should become part of a bag one day....it was fun to work on the stitchery and I may even just frame it...one day :)


Last weekend I traced this Kathy Schmitz design and finished the stitching during the week.  Today after the usual household chores were completed (why I can't just hang out in the sewing room if there are floors to be vacuumed and washing to be done is beyond me...)

I quite like this  little guy.....


he is one of a "set" .....and with Easter coming up in a couple of months I thought I had better get on with him........

I also spent a fair bit of time in the sewing room organising it a little better (read for that - so I could walk in here without climbing over stuff) ...I prepped some blocks for the Bring me Flowers BOM which was put down sometime last year and wasn't picked up again....so that is on the trolley next to my chair ready to be worked on.....and I won't be  shouldn't be subscribing to any more any time soon until I have caught up with those I already have.

That's about it I think......pretty much caught up now ......Looking forward to the year ahead - should be some fun times coming up!

Oh before I go..........I was reading  Libby's blog the other day and saw this link - what a fabulous idea....something to do on a cold wintery evening - or a hot summery day......and I love the look of the twisted cord!  Now to find the some time to sort and twist scraps!!
 
'Til next time.............................Lorraine

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I have fallen.....

into the post-Christmas abyss...but will claw my way out soon!  Not sure if you know what I mean....the days leading up to Christmas seem to be full on - planning/packing/preparing/baking/shopping...oh and of course throw in working! Then comes 'the' day which seems to pass in a blur - fun/food (usually too much of a good thing) and catching up with family. Boxing day arrives and I like to spend most of the day watching the cricket and the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race....with copious amounts of water and several naps!  Today I woke up not knowing for a minute what day it was.....this because my days are usually very structured with work so this time between Christmas and New Year is quite a surreal time for me....long summer days with no structure at all - which is lovely for a while but not sustainable - this morning I laid some really excellent plans for the day (in my head) - which didn't eventuate because I spent the entire day reading and watching the cricket.  As I said, not sustainable!  So tomorrow I will claw myself out of the abyss and make a start on cleaning the sewing room so I can at least get in there to sew! 
 
All too soon it will be time to go back to work!

Christmas Day was lovely.......Skype time with Rhi and Wade in Denver and some pics from their day on the slopes....they are having a ball and enjoying the novelty of a white Christmas.......
 
 
..and I think Rhi makes a pretty cute snow angel!
 

Mark arrived home safe and mostly sound from his Thai adventure...and Terri was pretty happy to have him home......

 
He spent some time helping Terri's nieces open their gifts....... 
 

Terri did a great job with the lunch and although I tried not to over-indulge I still didn't need to eat dinner that night! 

The online stitching group I belong to has a Secret Santa swap with five small advent gifts and a gift to open on Christmas Day......my partner Christine sent these gifts for days 1-3 ....


 and this fabulous table runner for Christmas Day....Aus Post obviously knows I love to make Christmas last so is holding on to the parcel with days 4 and 5 for next week........


So that was Christmas.....I hope yours was merry and bright as well.

Happy New Year.....!!

'til next time...........................Lorraine

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's the day before Christmas......

....and all through the house is strewn stuff from my making and baking.....which all needs to be cleaned up soon!  It's been a big week....lots of emotional stuff with the kids leaving and lots of tiring stuff with getting things finished off at work so I can have a couple of weeks off. 

Rhiannon and Wade arrived safely in Denver for the holidays and have been enjoying the snow and the chance to have a white Christmas......Mark is due back tomorrow from a 10 day visit to Thailand with some mates so I am looking forward to him being home! 

But I need to go back a bit and recap the last 10 days......

Breakfast of Champions on the morning after the annual Festival of Loz......


...and this is the type of pic you find on your camera when you leave the kids home and go to work.....

A couple more pics of Christmas decorating for 2014....the 50% off Christmas decorations sale at our local homewares store a couple of weeks ago might have been the reason for a few new decorations this year...


 the tree is the same though.....


with a couple of favourite decorations from overseas....



....now where was I.....oh yes.....the airport farewell for Rhiannon and Wade.....
 
 


 Rhiannon asked Wade to get her a magazine for the flight......his choice was an interesting one...which took the girls' mind off the imminent farewell....for a couple of minutes anyway.


On the way out of the airport Jessica and Jianna stopped off to be gingerbread people for a minute......
 
I drove home and went to work......always a good way to keep the mind busy and off other things (like kids departing for a year!) 
 
Saturday was spent with some of the NTFW girls - always fun and super supportive!  .....and a good feed guaranteed!
 

 
Which brings me to Sunday......I have to say at this point that my weekends are usually pretty quiet but I was pleased that this one wasn't......My sister and her hubby had family/friends visiting so brought them up to the Barossa for the day.....I played tourist with them and had a lovely time.....a few pics from the Yalumba winery...a beautiful setting on what was a very hot day......
 

This little fellow caught my eye....very unusual looking .....hard to tell if he was the predator or the prey!


..and the resident emus.....quite prehistoric looking among the agapanthus.....



Monday was back to work to finish off ready for the break and a bit of shopping.....and yesterday I decided (as one does) to make Christmas cakes....not my usual recipe and I will be going back to that next time...but ok.....I also had to go out for a couple of last minute gifts.....no crowded shopping centre for me......got to love having some amazing local shops! (not to mention Maggie Beer's Farm shop just down the road......where I went for my lunch....a tub of  vanilla bean ice cream....well a girl has to eat doesn't she?!)


So here is said cake ...oh and some mini cakes and some gingerbread as well......just because....


The cake topper is one I use every year...it was on our Christmas cakes when we were kids....love it! He is getting old and is a little battered, but still going....and it's nice to bring him out of the cupboard every year.  Which is why I had to make a cake - otherwise he wouldn't have gotten out this year!


So ......to everyone out there reading this I wish you a safe and happy Christmas and a New Year that is filled with health, happiness and creativity.

'Til next time...........................Lorraine