Thursday, May 31, 2012

A little thrifting and cabinet filling

I warned Rick that I would be on the look-out for new old china to fill the cabinet he built me.  Why did I have to warn him?  Because when we moved last year I gave away and sold (for a pittance) most of my beloved thrifted china.  I was in a bad place in my head and my hasty decisions have come back to haunt me.  It is only stuff though (so I keep telling myself) and now they are being loved by someone else.  I did give a very special teacup away to a lovely friend and that one is the only one that hasn't haunted me.  I know it will be adored and used which makes me happy and melts away the anxiety of that time.

Rick took me out for Mother's Day on the Friday before and indulged me in some op-shopping/antique store browsing.  He was remarkably patient.  The lady at the antique store asked if we were together.  I said "oh, really?  You think he'd be in here without me?  Of course we are together" to which she replied "He's good, husbands usually wait outside!".  Sigh, what a hubby.

I only found this beautiful plate (pictured above).  I actually don't mind coming away with only one thing, it makes it more special.  Sometimes if I find numerous treasures, I have to share the thrill across each item.

These are the only teacups that didn't get abandoned last year by me.  The front left teacup set was given to me by my mother when I was in my early 20s.  She stumbled across it in a little antique store on the north shore of Sydney and despite being on a low income, she spent a pretty penny on it.  It touched my heart that she would do that.  I love it and can't bear to part with it e v e r.  The middle one I found years ago in an antique store, somewhere in Sydney.  It is not the same brand as the one Mum gave me but it is quite similar inside and I imagine one day a friend will visit and drink tea from it with me.  And the set on the right is the last remaining teacup from my Granny's wedding china.  Apparently my mother (her daughter-in-law) smashed almost the entire set over the years but this one remains.  It makes it even more special because I have a giggle when I think about my mum's clutzy ways and how my Granny would have tsked tsked tsked!

So you see, the cabinet is filling up nicely.  There are only a few thrifted items in it, the rest are from my Granny or Mum.  Below decks I proudly keep a knitted blankie my Granny made for my offspring (before I was even spoken for!  Years before in fact).  Some yarn, yarny craft books and my circles quilt.

And today, while out and about I popped into Vinnies.  I am on the look-out for vintage sheets for a new venture I am planning.  I just adore vintage sheets, don't you?  I can't wait to get my collection in order and processed.  I am continually thinking about the quilt designs I want to make with these treasures.  Yes, I think I am obsessed.

What are you obsessed with? 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday WIP Out :: Liam's vest

You know, I haven't knitted any garments for my boys E V E R!  What a slack mummy!!  Unless you count the odd beanie. . . but definitely no jumpers.

So I am madly knitting up this vest so that Liam can wear it over his nice shirt for church.  The delightful Jodi sent it to me with compliments of her mum.  You would have seen a couple of versions of it being sported by young Che.

I'm thinking of going with no hood this time but adding a couple of stripes in grey, white and yellow? Orange? Green?  What colour combo would you go for?

It's getting quite chilly so hopefully this will be off the needs soon (and yes, I am using the correct size needles this time!)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Frame it! Instant Masterpiece

You see what I am getting at?

Liam painted these at age 3

Whack it in a frame and it looks like it can be dissected, discussed and pondered.

I love that Liam painted these.  I love watching him at it.  Such passion and concentration.  But don't get me wrong . . . I have called these "Intervention".  If I hadn't intervened, that is, taken them from him, they would have ended up black.  He likes to paint in layers of colour then finish off with black, and hide it all!  I guess he paints for himself.  That is cool.  But saving the odd one for others to see is good too.   Don't you think?

Have you framed your kids' masterpieces?  What do you do with them?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Aunty Nanna

Meet my step-grandson Jacob.  What a cutie-pie. I have fallen head over heals for him.

Rick is a Pop.  He can't believe it.  We are so proud of Jacob's parents.  

I am now officially no longer reproducing.  I promised Rick that once the grand kids came I will stop production.  I am sad but feel so tired that perhaps it is a good thing!

Liam and Dean are uncles but really, they will be more like cousins.  And to be honest, I feel like an aunty, not a Nanna.  I think the love is the same, don't you?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I love being in a bind!

Well, only this kind of bind.

The first quilt :: Disappearing 9 Patch

my Circles quilt

Hannah's Quilt

Jacob's (MJ's Quilt

Every time I do the binding, I think, this time I will get it.  And then it just seems like it is up to luck.  I have made 4 quilts now and out of a possible 16 mitred corners, only about 10 are any good.

I will use this tutorial next time which I hope is soon although I am knitting more than sewing right now.

Are you like many crafters and get influenced by the seasons?  I knit all year round but I certainly have a sense of urgency when the weather cools!  But I like to mix it up so I'll be back to sewing real soon (fingers crossed).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pyjamas of an artist

Can you believe I actually made these pj's?  Yes, I selected the fabric, cut it out, ran it through my little brother (aka my noisy but ever-so-lovable sewing machine) and hopped on the Aldi overlocker and voile!  Please don't mistake this as a show-off as these pj's are quite imperfect.  I have never made pants or completed a shirt before (this one is still incomplete at Jen's somewhere hahaha).  I'm delighted in them.  They look so cute on Dean and they go with this pair that Jen made for Liam. And really, this all couldn't have happened without Jen's help.  Everyone needs a Jen for a friend I say!

via - thanks Jen :-)

I made Dean's a little while back but only got round to doing the buttons a few days ago.  Meanwhile, Dean has been wearing the pants so they are more worn looking than the shirt.

The pattern is Oliver & S - Sleepover PJs.  The fabric is a space invaders flannelette from Spotlight which they have run out of at my local.  The trim is just some Spotlight quilting weight white dots on red.

I had plans to take photos of Dean in them this morning as the light was beautiful just by our front door, but during Liam's morning lessons (yes, I am attempting home preschooling!), Dean discovered his artistic talents and soiled them.

Dean is truly a talented little artist.  I can't show you his artwork though because the inspiration to photograph it didn't come to me.  Why?  Because his choice of medium left much to be desired.  Poo.  Yes, Dean has moved on from painting his saliva on anything that doesn't move to  . . . poo.  Perhaps he likes actually having a colour to work with.  Who knows.  Hopefully it is a one-off!

Apart from it being smudged all through his pyjamas, I found it on the floor, walls and furniture in almost every room!  I have wiped and disinfected this entire house and sprayed almost a whole can of deodoriser . . . I can still smell it. Pong.

I took this on my iPhone when I first finished the pants.  How can I be cross with such a cutie-pie?

And because I am so thrilled to bits with myself, I have just made another two pairs of pj pants.  One for Liam and one for Dean.  They are awaiting the waist band so I will show when done. I really don't like having too many WIPs or as my neighbour calls them UFOs (un-finished objects), so keep watching this space.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Green Tea Leaves :: Finished

Just as I suspected, it is too small and it is all my fault. The needles I used were way too small.  Nevermind.  It is warm.  A bit snug but no where more evident that on the arms.  I'm scared I am going to rip a hole in it everytime I pull the sleeves up.

I will knit it again seeing as I popped along to Spotty on Sunday and picked up the correct size needles.

The pattern is Tea Leaves by Melissa LaBarre for Madelinetosh (I've seen a few of you knitting this one up!)

The yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8 ply in Bracken (dye-lot 014 + 015!!)

Ravelled here

And its journey into being here and here

I don't think blocking will save this one, so its lose weight or give it away!

How are your knitting projects going? 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Made It Monday :: Hannah's Quilt

Done!  I so enjoyed making this quilt!  See it's beginnings here and here

Despite loving it, I have made a blunder or two.  The lack of a walking foot has meant quite a bit of fabric pinching.  And boy oh boy, what's with my binding technique?

But that's it really isn't it?  Every error is actually an opportunity to learn.

Hannah says she likes it and has already had a few snuggles under it.  I told her that if she ever needs a hug from me, just to put the quilt around her shoulders and think of me as it is my virtual hug for her.

I can't wait to start the next two quilts but there's a heap of knitting to get through too!  First thing's first. . .

Edit: 31-5-12 
joining in with Life On Planet Baby's Post of the Month Club


I've included this post in this month's POTMC because I am so fond of this quilt :: collecting the fabrics, designing, piecing, quilting and binding it.  I am also thrilled that my step-daughter loves it.  I was so thrilled in fact that I now have great plans to indulge my new obsession further!  Keep watching this space. xx

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday's WIP Out :: Hannah's Quilt

I cut the sheets into 5" strips and then again into 5" squares.  When I set up my piles of fabric on the living room floor ready for assembly, Rick thought it wasn't going to work.  He didn't say anything.  But as I was laying them together while he was watching the telly, something amazing happened.

Rick looked away from the telly during an ad break and exclaimed "wow, it's looking good!".  He then went on to say that he initially had doubts and couldn't believe how well all the fabrics were working.  He even said that he would keep it if it wasn't destined for his daughter Hannah.  That is a huge compliment from Rick.  He is really quite good with colours and is a bloke's bloke.

So this is it in its development.  I will machine quilt it even though I don't have a walking foot.

What are you working on?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother Love

via Shell Designs

It's true.  Mother means love.  It does.  
Some don't realise that, I know. I have not always shown it myself.  
And today, I feel so unworthy of being my sweet sons' mother.  
But beyond my shortcomings are blessings that only God can give.  
He entrusted these souls into my care and I will not let Him down, by keeping the faith.

‎"Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you."

~Isaiah 49:15

And everyday since I have become a mother, I have marvelled at what a job my Mother did.  
I never did appreciate it until now.

For an inspiring story of maternal determination, click on the link below the image

Oh and what did we do today?  Well, it all began Friday with a surprise date with Rick without our boys.  
Then flowers (I love love love chrysanthemums for Mother's Day, I think its a lovely lovely lovely tradition!- but please, they must be white)
On Saturday I met my step-grandson.  And held him.  And fell in love.  Possibly ovulated (I have no control over these things!)

And despite waking up to Dean's gorgeous 2 year old nappied bottom on my face and a wriggly snotty 3.5 year old Liam kicking around in the bed at 4.30 am (geez looweez!), I have had a marvellous day.

Rick took care of the kids, then made me brekky, then took us out.

When we came home, they fell asleep and I went shopping here (bargains!)

Dinner is thawing out on the sink but I suspect takeaway could still be an option.

I hope you have celebrated motherhood in style today.  I hope that today did not bring you mourning. 

Motherhood is such a blessing for me.  My biggest challenge in life yet, and I suspect, it will never be topped.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday's WIP Out :: Green Tea Leaves Part 2

She's coming along.  Autumn blew in on ANZAC day and I resented not spending more time on knitting this cardi. You can see that I am on the first sleeve which is knitted in the round.  The red yarn is just a marker, it was holding my stitches while I completed the cardi's body.  I love that this cardi has no seams!  I am knitting it on smaller than recommended needles as I didn't have the right ones.  This means that the yoke doesn't look as it should and hopefully it will still fit me!

Using the wrong sized needles isn't the only error I have made due to my lack of experience.  I have run out of yarn.  Sadly, Bendigo Woollen Mills have run out of this dye-lot and I am on to the next.  Thankfully it is almost a dead match.  So I have learnt not only to read the pattern properly but to remember that Bendigo Woollen Mills do run out of dye-lots quickly!

I have also discovered that I haven't been doing M1 stitch accurately.  I stumbled across this fact when thumbing through my knitting bible looking up another stitch.  I was not twisting it before knitting it.  Oh well.  Explains all the holes I was getting in my garments thus far.

I am looking forward to trying out this increase technique too.  I discovered this after I made my increases under the sleeve so I will have to try it out next time.

Ok so I am going to knit like the clappers and get this on for Monday.  What do you think my chances are?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I've had a pang of anxiety today.  My chest feels tight and I feel listless (which is ironic as I have dozens of lists written in various notebooks and scraps of paper!)

I did the washing and made the beds.  Still it is there.

I posted this and then felt bad for not putting any effort into it.  Even though receiving this order of yarn was thrilling, it hasn't eased the grip in my chest.

I've watched my boys play with playdough.  I am happy, they are adorable, but the feeling is still there.

I made a cup of tea, my favourite brew:

One packet of Twinings Lady Grey tea leaves mixed with ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon and ground ginger. Brewed in my little aqua tea pot, a colour that usually eases me and poured into a little mug with soy milk.  Yep, the gripping feeling is still there.

I pondered this pile of knitting projects.  Wondered if I should stick to one thing at a time- is this making me uneasy?

I want to keep going with this bullseye blanket but my crochet tension is too tight!  Probably due to bouts of anxiety.  Hmph!  I seem to crave crocheting when I am at my most wound-up!  Would explain the tension issues hee hee.  Any advice, crocheting friends?  Should I abandon these and start again with a larger hook or can these be saved? Please help!

I've been smelling a mouldy smell in my wardrobe since all the rainy weather was here so I investigated that this morning.  I found the source!  Three pairs of shoes are now in the bin as they were white with fur.

These are my 'good' shoes.  Thankfully a quick wipe down with clove oil has done the trick.  Quick job really, seeing that I only own 7 pairs of 'good' shoes.  I have 3 pairs of thongs/sandley things, 1 pair sneakers, 1 pair ballet flat type of shoe, 1 pair knee-highs (bought years ago when they were crassly called FMBs) and 1 pair of casual shoes that look like bowling shoes.  I think that is not many shoes . . . is it?  14 pairs of shoes?  How many do you own?  Most of mine are years old!

Finding and removing the mould was satisfying, but not anxiety relieving.

I should go for a walk but the boys don't like sitting in the pram.  Plus they are jolly heavy little creatures to push up hill in a pram that has leaky tyres!

The celery leaves are drying out in the oven for celery salt.

I want to bake happy bickies, happy granola and an apple crumble.  But my mind is shifting.

I haven't spent time with God.  What's a bet that is what is causing this angst!  Yes.  That is it.  But the tension is high.  I know! . . . some gentle music, instrumental hymns  . . . . and perhaps the boys will calm down too!

What do you do when you need to spend time alone with God but you have the little people crawling all over the place?

"I have loved thee with an everlasing love and with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" Jeremiah 31:3

P.S.  this is what I found on my phone.  My little phone hijacker: <3

Cuteness to the max!
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