Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To take the sewing machine or not..that is the question!

Here's the classic quilter's dilemma...

If there were a chance of a holiday for 3 days in a gorgeous holiday house that may perhaps look like this....
Would you consider taking the sewing machine?
I really would be happy with some hand work, like this
lone star that needs appliquing and a baby quilt that needs binding...
if my Dh was coming on the holiday the whole time!
But because he is only coming down whenever he can spare a moment, then taking the machine is tempting me sorely. I could get the binding on the lone star, get another binding on a half finished one...all in the kids down time.
Then I would have a few things to go into May Britt's finishing challenge that i am meant to be a part of.
But I am not sure i am brave enough to face the possible storm that is my family over sewing on holiday....which is actually my holiday too!!!
What would you do?
It is meant to be the hottest week for a hundred years in the coming week, you can probably look forward to a few more pics like this....
DN Millie
Ausiie beach cricket-maybe we could win that!
and maybe a finish or two!
Have a good day, Tracey

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sorting and keeping memories...

Sorting through your stuff and tidying up for the New Year is great fun and you find lots of great stuff, but it does have it's downside.

My boy and I did his room, finding 3 garbage bags of stuff for new homes and the Op shop.

My girl then caught the bug and has sorted through every shelf and drawer and thrown out about an equal amount.

-And there's the downside...as more and more clothes come flying out the bedroom door to the "no further use" passageway, you really realise they are growing up. We were a bit sad about a lot of the things she had grown out of but at one point we were both standing in the passage holding pyjama leg each and saying, "ohhh, not the Pepe le Pew pj's!!"

I have kept some of her clothes over time for posterity, but couldn't really justify Pepe pj's so I raced over the the sewing room, dug through the chenille stash and put together a little throw... perhaps you should don your sunglasses now!!

Then the design consultant cum pj owner wanted something groovy in the middle, I tried the circles, she said not enough pink, so we have now moved to the pink flower on top!

I like the shabby chenille look, but can't believe how hard it is to make yourself sew the wrong sides together instead of the right. Seemed pretty easy to do that when i was trying desperately...and probably futilely .... to pass sewing class at High School!

Has served 2 purposes, reduced the "sew it...don't find a space for it" stash in the sewing room by another metre and kept a lasting reminder of the pj's. Now how do I just freeze the kids for posterity and stop this rapid growing up???

Jelly wares Jodie was the lucky winner in my comment prize, she had some great recycling ideas for sewers, well done Jodie...and congratulations on the lovely new addition of Millie Rose...my niece shares that beautiful name.

Jodie may get sent some of these folded notecards..

Or even a desk calendar........

.........Which would you like the best????

Off to the beach, have a great day, Tracey

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sewers are the new in-crowd....and comment prize!

So, at school...were you cool? Were you part of the in-crowd? Were you always hip and happening?

If you were, then good on you....

I wasn't, but don't start sobbing, i was totally happy with my own, similarly situated friendship group and we had an awful lot of fun getting to know the new and perhaps more unusual kids who floated in and out of our school...an experience NEVER shared by our "it" crowd.

But, big news has appeared in the main paper for our state.... I ...(and most of you, I would imagine)....am now cool!

Alright, they may not have said my name but they mean "US"!!

The Domestic Goddess who has chooks, veggies, composts, cooks and SEWS is the new in thing!

So this cute little egg and, Heaven forbid, meat producing duck of mine is as trendy as a pair of Carrie Bradshaw shoes! Who knew?

I am not sure that you can read the 'What's in' and 'out' sections, but basically everything thrifty and domestic is what the in crowd is doing. You can go to this link for more info.. and no, the girl is not actually me!

Of course, i will sleep so much better now knowing I have achieved an upper level niche (lol), but what i would really like to know is one of your favourite hints or tricks as a sewer for being environmentally friendly...a reuser or recycler. I suppose mine is using all the op shop chenille quilts, pre-quilted bedspreads and shirts to make a range of things...what is yours-and you can be as specific or general as you like. I would imagine there may even be some nice cards..or a bag for a lucky suggestion.

Good luck to all of you cool girls! Looking forward to seeing your ideas on this.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bags, gifts and buttons.

Had a great afternoon yesterday on the sew-in with Chocolate Cat. Lots of "talk-in" went on but we did have something to show for our time. I showed her how to make my easy bags. There is only one way to do that...and that's make one so here are the two we completed earlier...

They are 'one of ' originals..except there are two! I tried black webbing for the first time as a strap, found it at our local army disposal store (??). It worked very well.

After choccy cat left I was going to bath Archie but remembered i wanted to add a little something to my sister's birthday presents so i came up with this little "maintenance caddy".
She has lost over 10 kgs in the last few months, even with a baby and other kids at home, so now is the time for some pampering.
Hope your day is equally fun.

Just a note.....The Chocolate Cat handles the sales of these beautiful ceramic buttons for her designer friend, Robyn Allen Waters. I have some and they are gorgeous, really add something special to your stitcheries.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Suddenly...it's Summer!

After some relatively cool temps for January it has really warmed up down here. It is 6 pm, I'm watching kids and neighbors in the pool and it is still 37.5 degrees celcius. Same expected for tomorrow.

Have had a few more days at the beach-just little stints of a night here or there so the kids see their cousins as we need to do all our jobs before we go and get back to do them the next night. Seeing I help spend the money i need to be around to help during the busy times at harvest.
I have been working on the task of sewing through my sewing room stash rather than storing it...
Used about a metre of my lightweight cotton cell fabric and some blue gingham sheeting for a baby wrap and some of the chenille and general stash for the baby blanket. I actually sold the chenille one the next night when I took my cards to the market adjacent to the beach. Note to self....windy beach markets are not ideal for cards! But i went fine...just had to chase the odd one or two. I asked the lady if she had anyone in mind for the blanket she said, "Yes, ME!!I just love it" Fair enough..
The kids are still on holiday so have been requiring some entertainment. This is a cheap option....
They love yabbying. Yabbies are little freshwater crayfish (lobster?) that live in our dams. They get quite big as the weather gets warmer north but these are still worth catching. They are one of my favourite things to eat....behind the large version! We use nets to catch them on hot days, then they have to be added to the bucket.
That would be easy if it weren't for these....
-sharp pincers!
My girl wanted to be in on the fun but didn't quite enjoy those things waving around....
But was proud she persisted.
Archie, our water loving Japanese Spitz, doesn't like to miss any action but nearly got way too close!
I am expecting "The chocolate cat" tomorrow afternoon for a sew-in...we may give in and use the house rather than the sewing room-no A/C over there and I wouldn't want her melting!
Have a great day, Tracey

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Photo transferring and finishing stuff!

Does anyone do much in the way of photo transferring? I decided (late yesterday-like you do) that I wanted to make something special for the birthday girl my daughter was attending a party for today. She is moving to Queensland in a few days and has been a lovely friend. i had a few good pictures of her so thought a photo wallhanging would be good.

I have tried a few different methods for photo transferral and it has never been happy, so I usually just take the slightly expensive but mentally cheap option of 5 prepared calico sheets in a pack that can go straight through the printer. "Our one sewing shop always has them dear daughter, don't panic that you wont have something special...mum can do it!!"

So, did the one sewing shop have them?....seems others have realised this is good for their mental health and they were sold out so i had to come home, dig out the transfer paper, discover the instructions were gone (have hazy memories of stamping on them, tearing them up and setting them on fire last try...) and then go about using up half a thing-a-me-bob of coloured ink on trial and error!

This was finished in time for today's lunchtime party...there is a reason you can't see too close...and a reason I added in some horses!! It isn't just too bad, ironing the seams was almost impossible, I successfully melted the top of the middle right pic...if you look closely you can see I sewed one of my labels over it...only 15 minutes until party o'clock!!

I was originally thinking some more embroidery...but really, what was I thinking!! I did manage to properly bind it though-now if I could only get around to that on all my other quilts.

So do you have a preferred brand or method, i would love to hear.

Two things come to mind when i typed about the binding ; one, i found this cool little quilt name generator tool at Beth's blog and had to have a try....my name is

Grand duchess binding procrastinator!

Which I thought was fairly apt...I laughed at the grand duchess bit...it obviously read my last post about wanting to marry the Duke of Avon!

I also found something else good, May Britt and Kris have started a fabulous new motivational tool for finishing off WISPs. And I have joined because I have discovered just one or ten in my sewing room.....

You have to write up all the projects you finish in a month and put this pic and the list in your sidebar...there are even monthly prizes, but getting the things finished would be prize enough for me!

Speaking of finishing things......

sewing room update-

"we-e-ell" (As Samantha would say to Darrin!!) I cleaned off my sewing table... then got all excited I had room to move and decided there was still a lot of fabric on the floor needing a designated home and really, that's a bit like a big block of chocolate that wont fit in the pantry...I needed to start work on it straight away so am sewing my way through the pile!!!!

I'll see you in 2090!!!

Or a day ot two, whichever comes first!

Have a great day, Tracey

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Why does everything take longer than planned?

Okay ladies...the winners are in! My junior assistants LOVE it when i have a giveaway, they take the drawing process incredibly seriously....and tonight they decided upon Quilted Simple and Julie at bushbabyjag. I would love to tell you it was solely due to the wisdom of their New year's resolutions but I sadly fear it has a little to do with the fact they have chooks in their profile pictures....I shall ask no questions of my officials and be told no lies!

Well done girls, drop me an email.

I found a lot of new blogs from those comments, always great fun with a giveaway. Welcome to all of you and I am pleased you are enjoying the snippets from the farm.

Speaking of the farm, I seem to be having another surge of babies, very few of which are expected. I was walking past the haystack on New Year's day and heard some characteristic new mother clucking-yes, the cluck and "chat" from a hen with babies under her is completely different to without. )Just like humans really!) Of course she had hidden her nest (...of 24!!!) up the top of the stack and behind the bales where they couldn't get out and there were babies dropped and trapped everywhere. It took me a good hour of hanging upside down but I retrieved all the chickens...transferred a few neglected hatching eggs to another cluck and put the other 10 eggs left who look due over the course of the next week under the turkey!! I can see a future in foster care should farming ever go bad!!

Here she is...the perfect exponent of "ruffled feathers!!" She had issues with my rescue!

And here she is with the one who walked out with babies last week......Mums on the run...

I also forgot all about the shelly baby at my door when I was mentioning the invading pets the other night.

The kids were sure that this fellow wanted to watch TV with them in the house...

I was of course, then left to babysit him in a box while they jumped on the trampoline.

seems he really did want to watch TV...in the loungeroom not my kitchen!

And very determined he was too.....

Success!! For at least a minute!

And on the resolutions note...this morning I was starting the Sewing room at 8am...well, I did manage to start at 9.30 am-I think I forgot I had those things known as children!

I had some expectation of Hour 1, Hour 2, etc update shots.....

Here is the start......not much room to get in the door!

And everyone knows the only way to really clean is to get everything that's not on a shelf , out

Well, by 7.00 pm the outside was starting to clear but the idea of more a Day 1 progress photo seems more sensible than Hour 1!! Who knew assembling my new cutting table with just a screwdriver and no drill would take me 2 hours...and hanging the curtains so the fabric doesn't fade probably another 2...and shifting all the furniture around so that every stitch will be a joy....another 2....and sweeping and washing and dusting and throwing out the rubbish....
At least I know day 2 will be just on the tubs of fabric-and I am finding a heap of really great stuff that I thought was lost! Knowing me, by Day 3 I will be saying, "how about I just turn all this fabric I can't find room on the shelves for into quilts!!" and there will be another dozen flimsies waiting for action!
Perhaps, seeing the sewing room needs a name I should make it something like the 'Chaotic cubby.'..certainly it aint no H.Bailey Sugar Shack...maybe by tomorrow? (Ha Ha)
Any other name ideas and how's your sorting coming?
Have a great day, Tracey

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New year!

Okay girls, thanks for all who played along- if you are tuning in for a winner....well, better give me until tomorrow!!
We had a little New Year get together here last night...and while it was half of the almost 42 degrees celcius that saw us all in the pool until after 2 am last year...it was still 4 am before I hit bed last night and seeing it is already midnight again I will wait for a little more coherency for drawing winners!

But, who needs coherency for blogging...heck, it's never stopped me before!!!

I am well and truly on the New year resolution track, my 1200 messages in my inbox are gone, as are almost equal numbers in bloglines feeds...I feel less cluttered already and I have had some great catch ups, with a good few more to follow for while I am supervising kids in the pool..(THEY may be happy to swim until 10 pm at about 14 degrees externally but I am not!!!)

They did get out in time for sparklers at midnight, I had a little play with my camera and forgive me for the indulgence but I thought these were pretty cute!

But I am getting way ahead of myself! Before having a party I had to do a few chores...

-well, this wasn't a chore. My sister doesn't sew and my DN Millie loves her hand me down dressups I made my girl, but really needed a good party one, so I came up with this. I mailed it and it got there in time for her to wear it not just to the dress up birthday it was intended for but to their New Year party. She refused to give in to the fact it was a beach theme... the dress was NOT coming off! Notice the judicious use of shirring elastic...the tute is in my sidebar...do you know that is the most commonly googled thing that gets people to my blog!

Now, here was the chore...or part of it!!

If you are going to talk about cleaning and sorting ....and ask bloggers about resolving to clean and sort.... you actually need to start yourself!!

Thus (isn't 'thus' a great word... I remember my Year 12 English lit. teacher telling me off for writing 'thus' and 'mayhap'....said they were old fashioned words for a modern girl..I said, "but I don't want to be modern, I want to be in Regency England with the Duke of Avon from a Georgette Heyer romance trying to woo me."... think that meant he didn't mention the language again!!!! Poor man wasn't game!)

Anyway, thus...I ended up with 4 hours until people were due to show and the entrance to my home looked like -who am I kidding, it filled most of the loungeroom!!......

wait...are you really ready...I am working on the theory that women don't like other women who are really tidy because it makes them feel inadequate...well, you are really gonna like me!!!!

That is most of the baby nursery that needed to be taken over to the sewing room...all the little things I have grabbed and dragged across in the last few months that MUST go back so i can open the nursery door!! We wont talk about the sewing room door, that project starts tomorrow and I am really not sure whether you are ready for the before picture!

On the good side, all this organizing has helped me find out what I am!! No, no, I'm not being deep...I have quite often been asked to describe myself in 3 words, it seems to be quite a general thing in a new situation and i am hopeless!! I don't know where to start and I certainly can't contain myself to 3 words!! And what do you say, do you build yourself up-discuss the good bits, or put yourself down...TOO HARD FOR ME!!!

But i sat down for 2 minutes in between loads to read the latest Notebook magazine. They had an interview with Kristin Scott Thomas..who I love in 4 weddings, and they asked her to describe herself in 3 words. Well, I think she used slightly more than 3, but hers is now my new answer...I may even put it in my sidebar if that will ever let me reload it!!

And the quote..."Chaotic but well-meaning!"

Isn't that just great....as I look around at farm bookwork, school minutes, card orders, pool toys and ironing (and that's just in the office!)-with chooks trying to get in the back door and lambs and kittens in the side, I am thinking I may even turn it into a t-shirt!

I had better got to bed but you will be pleased to know that by the time guests arrived that whole area was spick and span. Thank goodness no-one had to go in the sewing room!

Hope your New year was great. Here's to a good one in 2009

Until tomorrow... Cheers Tracey