Monday, May 30, 2011

Cushion arrival.

My postie brought me something special today.
It came all the way from New Zealand.
Leonie made it, for me. Actually this is the cushion living at her place, I haven't taken a photo of it living at my place yet. She worked out that I am in love with apple fabrics- and introduced me to that white and red one, I hadn't seen that before. 
What a bright, fun and happy cushion. I really like how cheerful it is. It's practically yelling- take me outside, sit on a seat in the sun with me, grab a cup of tea and the newspaper, some stitching or a jolly good book- don't you think?
Thanks Vic for organising a fun swap, I have been coasting around looking at other peoples cushions and it seems to me that people have put a lot of thought and love into their creations, which makes me smile and enjoy some goodwill in the world.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I haven't participated in a swap for ages. Then Vic announced she was keen on a cushion cover swap and I decided I was quite keen on that idea too.
So mine has been sent off to it's new owner, and my fingers are crossed that she likes it. It's always a bit of a gamble! Surely she has it by now- I did send it off on Monday at 4.30pm but was informed I had already missed the post (I think it's a country thing!). 
I wanted it to be a surprise and thought she might guess it's for her (I am hoping there are a couple of favourite things in this cushion), but I think it will be in her mailbox before she reads this, if she ever does!
and the back...

I was umming and ahhing about whether to add a zipper closer or pillowcase closure. I ended up going with pillow case because, if she really doesn't like it, it's reversible (with more rounded corners)...this is the back, the front is the purple all over. 
It's quite a heavy cushion cover because I added batting and lightly 'stipple' quilted it, but that's hard to see in the photos. 
I wish I had better photography skills...or maybe I should blame my equipment?!
Cross your fingers with me that my cushionee likes it, wont you. It's kind of nerve wracking. 

Oh, OOPS,  I nearly forgot to say, the patchwork block is out of Elizabeth Hartman's book The Practical Guide to Patchwork, it's a pretty nice book! This is the first thing I have done out of it- and only one block, not the whole quilt...hmm, I'll just add it to the want to do list.

Speaking of which, the Tanya and Nicole project is boiling along and I have a wristlet to show you...but, well, it's kind of a long story, and well, I have misplaced it. There, I have said it.
I took it to Melbourne to show a friend (and forgot to show her!) and haven't seen it since. I have the strap. So, if I don't find it before to much longer I will be grumpily showing you my wristlet strap!
Does anyone else lose things? Drives me crazy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Free range

Seriously, these pigs are taking the concept of 'free ranging' too far for my liking...
This is my front yard...
Front deck (poor puzzled Pippi dog- they are not scared of her!)
And my front door!
Usually they have a generous piece of paddock fenced off by a solar powered electric fence...but it hasn't been that sunny and well, obviously the battery backup is rather ineffective.
I am abit scared of them (they are pretty big!), Mr. Apple is away today (he's bringing home fence adjustments).
So I have shut the gates and am trying to remain 'alert but not alarmed' while the 3 little pigs have a jolly good forage in my space.

Note to dear friend Tan- do you still want to abandon your city life for a week on the farm- playing in the garden, enjoying the quiet and drinking cups of tea? The reality is not all sunshine and may involve some pig wrangling! On the other hand, if you were wanting to practice your circus skills this may just be the place for you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

As we speak

Welcome to my house.
Oh- wait, did I say welcome? I must have been mistaken...

As I sit here there is a lot of noise around me.
Chainsaws, trucks and other nasty loud things.
'They' are chopping my trees down.
Someone 'just doing his job' is chopping our trees down. 
And creating a lot of noise pollution in my usually quiet neck of the woods.

I don't like it.

A neighbour had 8 over 50 year old eucalypts cut down by the same people last permit required. 
next post...the therapeutic benefits of having a blog?!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

For those it's hard for

This blog post has written itself really, I wasn't planning to write today, but here I am.

I wanted to be a mum for a few years before I got to be one 
(I have PCOS, if anyone is familiar with it, it's a tricky hormone thing that can affect fertility)
Mothers Day was always hard.
Now I am a mum, and I feel thankful and grateful and I appreciate my two.
I don't take them for granted. I don't take being a mum for granted.
Today, I am enjoying being a mum.
I am also holding in my heart my friends (and those in general) who want to be mums, but aren't for various reasons.

I also don't take having a mum, alive, well, living 20km away, for granted.
During Uni, 4 of my friends mums died over a few short years.
Since then, some of my friends mums have died, some have got dementia.
Today, I have seen my mum and made a lemon tart for her.
For those of you whose mum isn't around, I am thinking of you, and holding you in my heart too.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I don't think I have been accused of being too quick in my life. Ever. Until the last few days (I secretly quite liked it!). It has been suggested that I am whipping through the Tanya and Nicole/ Julie and Julia project too fast. 
And, perhaps that I have got off to a head start because I actually have the book in my possession.
It seems, my postie is more efficient than some and others, well, it sounds like they are having a very disciplined wait until Mother's Day.
I did assure those commenters that I have been getting my confidence up with some of the smaller projects and that things will find a more reasonable pace soon.

But I will tell you about something entirely different today. 
Compulsory acquision of land- you know, like in the film, the Castle.
Well it's happening to us, to our farm- just a small bit of it, but our farm is only small to start off with and it all counts.
Can you tell how much fun is had in and around this tree.
Well, it's going to be cut down (probably- no details have been finalised). My children and their friends have spent hours up this tree, having all sorts of adventures (and surprisingly, no broken bones).
These trees?

Going as well.
Oh, I can feel my blood pressure rising as I start to think about it.
I feel- powerless, frustrated, sad, annoyed and a trillion other emotions in the mix as well.

We live in a farming area that has irrigation channels. Farmers irrigate their crops using this water. Some bright spark (?) has come up with the idea that if the channels are lined with plastic less water will be lost through it seeping out... (lined with plastic? Really? I wonder what will happen to the plastic in 10 years...)
Our house is basically right on the channel (you can see the house in the bottom photo). Over the next 3 months workers are going to be on our place (7.30am- 6pm because they have a tight time frame), rebuilding the channel and lining it with plastic, chopping down our trees and then they are going to fence it off and 'compensate' us for the land (to the tune of 30-40% of the land value). Apparently, according to the Water Act, that's all okay...they don't need our consent.

Just telling you how I feel. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The novelty of a finished product...or three!

Over the past couple of years, I have come back to 'garment construction'. I am now sewing clothes, hats, bags etc. after basically exclusively patchwork and quilting  for years before that. 

I am still getting used to the fact that, with abit of care, effort and attention I can 'whip up' a complete project in a few hours. Huh, who knew? 
This is my third project for my Tanya and Nicole/ Julie and Julia challenge.
A quick, snappy kids belt which was met with a pleasing amount of happiness from a newly 9 year old birthday girl this morning (my 8 year olds 'bestie').
Interestingly, because I am now using my fabric stash and regularly delving into 'the riches', I have realised that as well as my 'out and proud' total adoration for any fabric with apples on it, I seem to be a closet (unknown even to me!) mushroom collector. 
I realise that I have just admitted that my fabric collection is in total disarray with bits and pieces everywhere...

You know the other thing I am still getting my head around- Nikki talking about mm all the time, anyone would think inches weren't our unit of measurement. 
What's that? Oh, they aren't in Australia, are they...
I am a 1/4 inch seam girl (for patchwork) so I am getting used to wider seam allowances (why are the seam allowances wider in garment making?) and using the 'conversion' page in the book regularly. I am glad that page is there!

Project number for is for me! Hooray.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Zwei. (pron ts-vy). Two.
Zwei in celebration of my German friends coming to visit. Arriving on my birthday- hooray, what a present. Not till July but I suspect the time till then will go rather quickly. Because life does seem to at the moment- go quickly.
What I wanted to show you though, was article number 2 from the  'Tanya and Nicole' project, the baby's hat.
(oh hello hat model, we haven't seen you here for a while...)
Vegie patch fabric- see, beetroot, red cabbage, tomatoes- all that good stuff.
And, if the intended recipient is not into the vegies, it's reversible
At this stage (below) Mr. Apple's comment was 'oh I see, bit of a Russian influence huh?'

"Ummm, no. It's just not finished (please tell me you are joking)"

So my hot tip for this pattern is that all the pattern pieces fit (individually) onto an A4 page. I worked out (through trying) that our printer (which is also a photocopier) can copy onto thin cardboard- so I have got a lovely solid cardboard hat pattern which I suspect I will use again and again. And, the original fits back into that nice neat little pattern envelope there at the back of the book.

New rule
I have extended the challenge to include a new rule. All projects made from Nikki's book have to be made from current fabric stash. No fabric shall be purchased in the completion of this project. I am allowed to buy interfacing and bag hardware as required. Interfacing, because well, if I hoard that, it's likely to go in a cupboard and I will pull it out months later and go- hmm, medium, light...heavy interfacing? Can't remember...can't tell.