Sunday, 14 June 2009

Winter Projects

I've been making green "inchies" for a swap with an online group. These are my finished sets ready to send. I knitted little squares for the ones in the centre.

DH has been busy making this planter from old totara fence strainers and an engine sump tray. It is for a recycled garden art show organised by our local "Urban Care" group.

Even the plant is recycled. It is one of those very hardy things that gets moved round the garden and always seems to be happy. I had to remove several snails before we delivered it to the arts centre.

Have a happy week!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Long Weekend

We've had a productive long weekend.

Firstly I made this apron for Helen who is teaching a baking class at night school. This is the very cute *Apron In An Hour* pattern at Fapritopia. I used an old kiwiana tablecloth and a pretty stripe.

We drove to Utiku to the Wool Company which I love because they sell great New Zealand made woollen clothing and knitting yarn. I bought some wool to make a scarf for me and a ready-made scarf for Roy. The drive was very pretty because there is just the first snow on the hills.

We stopped at Sugar Plum Cafe - on State Highway 1 just past the Marton turn off - for lunch. Three cheese and spinach tart for me, tart nicoisse for Roy, and we shared the tamarillo cake! Divine. On the way home we stopped again for coffee - the sun way low in the sky making it hard to drive... and the feijoa friands were really good!

Today we replaced the letterbox. Our letterbox has been a sorepoint since we moved into the house six months ago, but it has been rather low on our priority list with all that has been happening. The trouble was, that when you opened the letter box to take the mail out, the whole fence wobbled and generally behaved as if it were about to fall down - which it was because it was only attached in 2 places. When it came time to tackle the letterbox we didn't want spent a fortune (some are $180) and preferred one that was made locally. We tracked down a man who makes letterboxes here in town from left over timber for $40.

The old, and the new:

Seeing this last photo makes me realise that now there is the fence post to mend, the fence to paint, some planting to do... Still, it has been a very productive weekend.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Autumn and New Links

Autumn has arrived in our little corner of the world though you can be barely tell from this photo from my window - not my garden, this is my neighbour's handiwork. We have had some of the frosted glass in our windorws replaced we plain glass and it has opened up our views of the the neighbouhood enormously.

The dogs are enjoying pretty walks around the surounding streets:

We are enjoying feijoa muffins. I love the gritty feeling feijoas have. My boss just bought in a big bag for me on Friday so it must be time I made another batch of these.

Allyson Gofton came to our library to speak and promote her new book "Bake" on Thursday. She talked about the emotional wellbeing that baking promotes, the sense of home that it creates. She was fantastic - she spoke for an hour and I could have listened for another hour.

Just recently I've found some great New Zealand blogs that I enjoy so I've added a "Close to Home" section to the sidebar. I used to think it didn't matter where blogs were from, the internet connects us all (and all that...) but I when I found these blogs I really liked the idea of connecting with local people. So check them out.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Favourite Quilt

Park City Girl is having a blogger quilt show of favourite quilts. I *think* this has to be my favourite. It's a "Saturday Sampler" from a quilt store which took me several years to get around to finishing. I had loved some of the blocks, hated others, loved the setting fabrics but hated the way the orignal setting came together... Eventually I decided to give it to my friend Sarah for her birthday and got on with finishing it in this simple setting. That's when I fell in love with it - I don't know why, I think it's just pretty fabrics and simple.

And Sarah? I finished this quilt and gave it to her

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Life Gets in the Way

I wish I could spend all my time quilting and creating, but sometimes life gets in the way. Over the last 6-8 weeks my job has been causing me to feel extremely stressed, which in turn made me feel somewhat depressed because I like to be in control. Last weekend, dertermined to do something for myself I made time to work on my journal quilt for March. This is the result.

I did a fabric dying class recently and made these fabrics. The background was my "spill cloth", which I threw into a bag of leftover orange and pink dye at the end for the process. I spilled quite alot during the class so I got a very piece of fabric. It seemed the perfect busy background for this little quilt.

Here's hoping April will reflect a more relaxed attitude.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Valentine Surprise

Last weekend we attended a family wedding in beachside Paraparaumu. That sounds like it should have been lovely, but the reality was something less than storybook. Not that the wedding itself didn't go well, it was just that the family experience was in contrast to the romantic public display.

This presented a creative challenge for me - my journal theme for February was, of course, LOVE and I didn't want my cynacism after the bad experience to overwhelm the journal. I did want to somehow capture the sense of things not being quite as they seem. My journal is called "Surprise Valentine"...The background is paper fabric, made using lost of postage stamps and envelop fragments, all colourwashed in light red. I just learned how to make this in a class I started. Once this was dry I added Valentines "rub ons" with cute greeting card type messages, and the lovely couple in the bottom right. Then I stitched and added the mesh heart, and pocket.

The "surprise" or contrast element is the postcard. Isn't it a pretty Valentine? It's not really. It is a postcard my Mum sent me many years ago. Mum was not a writer and the message starts:

"Dear Lisa, You kow how I hate writing on post cards but this one I picked up on floor in shopping mall and it would have been a shame to not use it."

This is the back - stamped calico, colourwashed with red paint.

I think it still some kind of binding to finish and border it, and maybe some more stitching, but for now it's done. And I had fun making it even it I didn't enjoy the wedding that got me started on it.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Ta dah - Last One Done

I just got this one finished today, my last day of holidays. This is the October journal.

Theme - "Symbols/Movement". The little triangle are off cuts from making flying geese for a yearquilt (where you choose a fabric to symbolise each day of the year), some mine, some from friends.

The technique was "Stamping & rubbing plates" - the blue fabric is one I tried a paint stick on using the bottom of my slipper as texture. The light border has some random dabs of white paint (just to make it fit the criteria really!)

Back to work tomorrow. I don't know that I've acheived a lot in my month off, but have got the journals finished, started Bonnie's mystery (and got all my pieces organised in my drawer so I can just sit down and sew in the evening without having to work out where I am up to), and the puttying and sanding of the house is done so it is ready to paint.

Off to make dinner!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Monday, 12 January 2009

Last Year's Journal Quilts

I'm still finishing up my journal quilts from last year. I got behind with posting, and making these when we moved house. Now I'm catching up and only have October and November to finish.

July - "solvy" - my friend Helen came over for a quilting evening and taught me how to make leaves with solvy:

August - "Blooms" - I had a lot fun with this, and it was good to have some handwork to do because I had to pack up my sewing stuff to get the house tidy for sale:

September - "man and environment" - I couldn't think past the home envirnoment so made a very simple house using curtain and upholstry fabric samples. The words and from the 1941 plans for our new house which I scanned and printed onto lutrador:
Lastly for now, December - "family" - a photo of my Mum holding my eldest brother:

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

I'm so pleased to be finished with 2008 and into a new year. To celebrate I decided to do Bonnie's New Year's Eve Mystery Quilt. Gave me a great excuse for a fabric shopping trip :o) Clue one has kept my pretty busy today - cutting, sewing, pressing, cutting, sewing... 120 blocks takes awhile. I think I'm 2/3rds of the way there. Bonnie is posting clues daily. Could be a challenge to keep up this pace every day, but I'm going to try.

My fabric choices look quite Christmas-like in the photo, so I've added photos of our tree and cake (which DH is currently devouring 'cos I don't eat fruit cake). I swapped green for Bonnie's indigo cos it just seemed to work. I didn't put include my background fabric in the photo - it is scrappy creams and beiges, the only useful thing in my stash.

Back to the sewing now!

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