Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rainy days and tantrums :)

Today was rainy...the perfect weather for baking.

It's been a while since I've baked...what used to be an at least once a week activity for me has given way to work and house cleaning and many other much-less-fun things, but today I gave in to the urge :)

See that very cute cake tin in the background? I received it as a belated birthday gift last night from some very dear friends of mine, and the urge to fill it with something yummy was overwhelming. This cake is called "Never Fail Cake" from Julie Goodwin's cookbook...and to be honest, with my track record with creating stuff lately, a sure-fire, no-fail cake was just what the doctor ordered :)

Let me explain.

Things in my sewing room haven't been going along too well lately...just ask Linda and Tracey. They came over last night to make our April project for Sweetwater label Crew, and I had trouble from the moment we started.

What should have been an easy peasy little project gave me no end of frustration...and my perfection tendencies went into overdrive!

After unpicking and restitching almost every stitch that I sewed, I called it finished...and threw that bag into a corner of my craft room, never to be seen again :)

I stayed right away from the sewing machine today (to protect my sanity!) and did a bit of homework for my photography course...have I told you about that yet? I'm so excited to be finally learning how to use my camera, which was a birthday gift last year, in a class with Sharon Manning. It's going to be a case of slowly, slowly for me, but I'm thrilled to be getting a handle on aperture...and these raindrops make my heart skip a beat!

Love love love blurry backgrounds :)

TTFN xxx

Friday, April 27, 2012

Home Alone

Today...for the very first time in weeks...I find myself at home...alone.

As much as I adore my family, it is SO SO nice to have a little headspace, some time to breathe, some silence :) I also decided, very early this morning, that today I would do whatever I felt that sleep, sew, fiddle, eat chocolate and drink bottomless cups of tea, scrapbook or any other activity that I desired (between school hours, anyway!)...without pressure.

I found myself flipping through photos on my desk, and came across some quilt photos that I had printed for my quilt journal.

What is a quilt journal, you may ask?

My quilt journal is a little book that my sister gifted to me several years ago which I use to keep a record of the quilts that I complete. As well as a photo and the date, I include the inspiration behind the quilt, some thoughts about it, and anything else I think may be of interest.

While it doesn't contain every single quilt I have ever made, it does contain quite a few of them.

I have a little stack of photos at the back, of quilts that I haven't written in to my journal yet, and I found one of my very first ever quilt! Want to peek?

It's the one on the bed, called Attic Windows. I remember sitting in a class at my local quilt shop, aged in my early 20's, fighting back the tears because my joins just would NOT meet! A queen size Attic Windows was definitely not a good choice for my first attempt, and it's a small miracle that my quilting journey didn't end there :)

On a side note...this quilt perished in a flooding accident a few years later, and it STILL had safety pins holding the binding on. LOL!

Before I head off to fiddle some more, I must show you the morning sky that greeted me this morning...


TTFN xxx

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Project Life 2012 - Week Fourteen

Week Fourteen? Really? How could we possibly be that far into 2012? And imagine how awful it would sound if I was actually up-to-date, at Week 16? LOL Finally had a bit of breathing space today (have I really not blogged for over a week?!?) and pulled out my photos and papers to catch up a little...I'm now working on April (yipppeeeee)!
I've used a lot of American Crafts Dear Lizzie Neopolitan goodies for this week, but it was a happy coincidence that the number on the vespa basket was that!
Also love the concept of cute glass jars holding my little observations from the reminds me of a television advert that we have here in Perth for Lotterywest...a little boy captures all of lifes good things in a glass cute!
The two pages together look like this...
I have to say, I am getting a little better at pulling my camera out lately...or is that just because life is SO damn busy? Seriously, it has been crazy around here. Hoping things settle down a bit soon :) Have a great day TTFN xxx

Monday, April 16, 2012 point form :)

1. Happy to be picking up our gorgeous niece from the airport tomorrow...she's coming to holiday with us for a while, and we can't wait!

2. So happy to be featured on one of my favourite designer's blog last week...check it out here

3. Happy to be scrapbooking again...
...even if it is just one layout! I get so far out of the scrapping zone sometimes that even deciding on paper can be daunting (must pull paper out more often!)

The paper is "This and That" and "Dots and Stripes" by Echo Park.

4. Echo Park paper makes me VERY happy!

5. Happy to have told an important story about my girl. We decided to keep the journaling private this time, tucked away under the photo with a little tab to pull it out.

6. Happy to receive such lovely and encouraging comments on my last post...thank you from the bottom of my heart.

7. Happy happy happy to have the day off work tomorrow...WOOOHOOOOO!

TTFN xxx

Monday, April 9, 2012

I thought this day might never come...

I must have written this blog post in my head a hundred times or more :)

After all, it's been three years (almost to the day) since stitching commenced on my Little Bluebirds quilt, and I have been dreaming of it hanging on my wall for most of that time.

This quilt has spent A LOT of time in my work basket. And almost just as much time in my too-hard basket :)

Not that it was terribly hard. The pattern is by Janelle Wind, and she does the best instructions...I have used her patterns for many projects over the years, and she explains each step very clearly. No...I made this one hard all by myself :)

This Easter long weekend, with my fingers itching to stitch and my desire to start something new almost overwhelming me, I pulled Little Bluebirds down from the top of the bookcase, and assessed what needed to be done (my eldest daughter forbid me from starting something until this quilt was finished!)

I set up my workspace on the dining table, Easter eggs by my side, and haven't moved far from it since...please don't laugh at my PJs and bed hair :)

I quilted until boredom set in...quilting is NOT my favourite thing...and then quilted some more. Then came the scalloped binding...again, not my favourite thing...but I was determined not to put this quilt away until it was finished. When I needed a break, I would post an update on Facebook, or email my friend Hope, and the words of support and encouragement kept me going...thank you sweet friends xxx
(this is starting to sound like an acceptance speech LOL)

Finally, with fingers throbbing and my ipod playlist exhausted, I put in the final stitches....YAY!

And with that, I can officially cross Little Bluebirds OFF my to-do list once and for all :) pull out some new fabrics....WOOOHOOOOOOO!

TTFN xxx

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter...and happy stitching :)

Happy happy Easter to you!

The morning started early with the usual egg hunt, a chocolate breakfast, and lots of laughter and wonder Easter is one of my favourite holidays :)

I've been busily stitching, and have completed the April blocks for my Some Kind of Wonderful quilt...already! It's getting bigger and bigger...

...and the blocks are getting cuter and cuter :)

Hope you have a wonderful, chocolate-filled day

TTFN xxx

Friday, April 6, 2012

Project Life 2012 - Week Thirteen

First up, thank you for all your comments and suggestions on my "dilemma"...they definitely made me smile! After initially going with Jill's suggestion ("just eat the chocolate"), I made a firm decision and went with it! Hopefully I will have something to show you over the next little while, and my chocolate-induced headache will have subsided LOL

Onto Project Life, and for the first time in AGES I am actually up-to-date with my double-page spreads (and yes, I celebrated with chocolate...again. MUST stop doing that!)

I used quite a bit of "This and That", a new range by Echo Park Paper Company. The hot air balloon is super cute, don't you think?

The journal cards are from the Project Life kit, but I added some border lines and stickers for a bit of interest.

The blurred-out photo is my husband...when I took it, he was quite adamant that it not go on-line in any form :) I can live with that :)

So that takes us up to the end of March with Project Life...and amazingly, I have kept up with it. My thoughts so far? I sort of love it, but sort of don't :)

When I look back on everything I've documented, my heart fills with joy, and I am thrilled to have it all written down. When I look back on my blog lately, though, I notice that not much is getting done EXCEPT Project Life ( and a bit of stitching here and there)...which makes me a bit sad. This is probably more of a reflection of my lack of crafting time lately, but I DO spend a lot of time thinking about what photo I'm going to take each day, and what stories I'm going to tell etc etc...and then there's the photo printing each week! Will this be a yearly thing for me? Not sure at this stage :) Love the the record of stuff...but need to get into the swing of it a bit more, I think.

How are you going with Project Life? Are you loving it, or still struggling a little, like me? Would love to hear your thoughts :)

TTFN xxx

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Dilemma...chocolate required!

I have a dilemma.

I find myself at the beginning of a four day break from all, school (holidays started today...yipppeeee), even housework if I so choose :) I have a house full of chocolate to keep me going, and a stash of delicious fabrics to play with...and my fingers are itching to start something new. I'm touching the fabrics in my stash, I'm looking through quilt patterns that I want to make, I'm surfing the net looking at colour combinations.

Sigh. I love fabric.

Ideas are literally racing through my many beautiful fabrics just waiting to be cut into! And time, precious time, to cut, and piece, and sew, and dream! The possibilities!

And then I turn my head sideways, and see the quilts that I currently have "in progress" :( They range from the one that just needs a bit more quilting and then binding (Little Bluebirds) to the almost finished quilt top (A Family Gathering) to the one that I'm quite behind in (Farmers Wife)
to the ongoing one that needs a couple more stitches to be up-to-date for April (Some Kind of Wonderful).

And I know that starting a new project is probably NOT the go...not yet, anyway.


Better get searching for my "finishing off" mojo. I think it's hiding at the bottom of my M&M jar :)

What are you up to over the Easter break?

TTFN xxx

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Project Life 2012 - Week Twelve

There was a danger that Week 12s Project Life spread was going to overwhelm me totally :)

Our family spent the week on holidays, and the number of photos I took seemed...well, daunting to say the least.

I pondered for a while, and decided that simple was best. So I printed lots of collage prints at the photo lab... all with a white background...which allowed me to use lots and lots of them :) In my dreams, I plan to make a mini-album to document this week in more detail, but for now my photos are in an album (and that makes me happy!)

I also utilised the journal cards from my Project Life kit to tell the story, and linked them loosely to the photos by placing small corresponding number stickers on each.

Smaller page protectors are perfect for storing all the bits and bobs that I can't bare to throw pamphlets from the places we visited.

Embellishments were kept to a minimum...just a few small Jenni Bowlin butterflies scattered randomly across the two pages.

While these pages used a slightly different approach, I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out. I'm even happier that I can turn the page over to Week 13 and just move that about Project Life!

TTFN xxx