Friday, 31 July 2009

Well, What Did I Buy?

Soooo, you all thought I was buying a new sewing machine aye? Well, that would be a nice idea, wouldn't it? No, I just bought some new needles for my old machine...

and some new spools because you just can't have enough. And since I was in the shop, I thought I might as well buy this...

aaaahhhhh!!!!!!!! You were right!!!!!!!

A new, very flash, very fantastic, very speedy, very clever, very amazing, new sewing machine. A Bernina Aurora 440 Quilters Edition sewing machine no less! Oh I do love my darling husband so veeeery much!! Isn't he a sweetie for buying my this? It's not even my birthday. I wonder if I will be getting a present this year? Mmmm. Who cares!!!

Oh my goodness, it can do everything I wish it to. Well it will when I actually work out how to use it. I was all ready to show it off last night and all I got were flashing symbols. Wow, really amazing! Not!!

I got there in the end after referring to my computer disc that came with it. Just as well really, as the manual really didn't explain too well.

Look at the lovely case to house all my bits and pieces. Cute little drawers, dinky holders for the spools and tiny cubby holes for the needles. Oh it's all so cutie cutie.

It has a nice panel that tells you what you are doing, providing you actually know what you are doing!

A huge extension table for my quilting. See the sliding ruler for getting my edges just perfect? Actually I have no flippin' idea what it is for but I'm sure it must be jolly useful. Do you see my new walking foot?!! Quilting, here I come!

And some sewing, well stippling mainly. Not bad for a first time is it? It really shows what a fabulous machine it is, if this is what I can do without ever trying stippling before.

I guess I'll have to get on with my first quilt now and finally get it quilted.

Now a couple of you have asked my where I bought my lovely fabrics from. Here we go...

Now all I need is a bit of time to play with my new toy. Too busy yesterday, too busy with the supermarket this morning, too busy this afternoon taking the girls swimming, so it will have to be tonight I guess.

Nearly forgot to tell you. I also received my first ever parking ticket while I was in the sewing machine shop! I guess I had only one thing on my mind, and it wasn't the 10min parking sign. It could have been a lot worse, as I only got charged for half an hour over-staying, when in actual fact, I was there for well over an hour. I win!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Have A Guess

I actually cut into my new fabrics last night!! Oooh it was fun. I thought choosing the fabrics, and paying for it too of course, was the hardest part. Wrong!!! You actually have to put a lot of thought into where each fabric goes. It's all about contrast apparently. I'm not sure if I got it right or not, so any help is appreciated.

Daughter No. 2 said all the right things this morning, so that's a major 'yes' from her. In fact each time I showed her a new flower, it was better than the one before, which was already gorgeous to her. Sometimes she is so easily impressed.

And guess what I'm doing today?

Hmmm, any guesses? Yes it's a purchase type of thing. Aren't they always the best?!!
I'm not telling, I'm going to let you guess! No, no, no you can't beg for the answer.
Bribe? Yes sure! What you got???
Well I guess I'll see you all tomorrow then. Sorry!!! I'll have pictures I promise.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A Prize!

I decided on having a quiet morning today, as Daughter No. 3 started afternoon kindy at a new kindy yesterday. The last attempt at kindy was a huge disaster!! So far she is having fun and she has a lovely little friend that has been going there for quite a while so that certainly helps. I stayed the whole session yesterday with No. 4 as well. The girls had a ball and are very keen to go again this afternoon.

Lets hope I am allowed to leave her there tomorrow. No. 4 will not be impressed though I'm sure!

So today we just played at home quietly and popped out to the supermarket for essentials like apples, bread, milk, bananas and a small treat sneaked in! I am so naughty at the moment. Must be the cold weather this week. Jeepers, I deserve a treat after having to attend kindy standing around in the cold!!

Look at all these lovely little cards sent to me by the Lovely Liz. I joined in a game a while back and was rewarded a prize for giving it a go. It was jolly difficult!!

There are so many cards! I picked out my two favourites to photograph but all I got was a lovely flash shine. I think I need a few lessons on cameras! I just point and shoot. Luckily it is a very good camera, so probably quite forgiving at times.

I wish I had these cards when I was studying fashion design. We had a class called History of Costume which I really enjoyed. These cards are quite old themselves. They were issued with Brooke Bond Tea in England. You could buy a card album from your grocer for 6d. On the back of each card is a description of the outfits and a bit of history about them.

She also sent me these pretty polka dot ribbons. Aren't they nicely presented? I wish I gave that sort of thing more thought sometimes. Apparently it's all about the presentation, well that's what I hear on the cooking programme the big girls adore.

I think Liz has a thing for spots, because she sent me this spotty fabric a while back too. I've used it in a large quilt and now in this dolls quilt too. It's quite lovely.

I guess I should get moving and make sure we are ready for the afternoon. I've had lunch, sort of, an apple and some chocolate!! I bet you can't wait to come home from work A? Yes I promise there will still be some left. I know sometimes you miss out. We'll try and be good! And yes there will be a sandwich in your lunch tomorrow, we bought bread. And fruit.

Monday, 27 July 2009

A New Quilt!

Oh my goodness, have I got a treat for you!!! Well actually it's for me and Daughter No. 2 really, but you get first peek at it, because she is still at school. She is going to be very pleased with her Mama when she sees what I have for her!

This is where we spied the perfect quilt for her. I love my new book 'Material Obsession' and was very keen to try one of the beautiful quilts in it.

And the quilt she eventually decided upon is this one, Fanciful Flowers. It seems to be in the advanced category which is interesting. Interesting because I've only made one other quilt and it was a nine patch quilt. Apart from the hand applique which I can manage just fine, it looks rather simple really. Maybe it's the hand quilting that makes it a bit tricky? I don't think I'll actually hand stitch it anyway - too time consuming.

I do like her choice. The flowers are really going to make it beautiful, not to mention the gorgeous fabrics!!!
Fabrics, did someone say fabrics??? Oh I just love them all!! Let me show them to you. Here we have a lovely selection of florals...

some bolder choices, and some plainer ones...

and some wonderful blues and greens to tie it all together...

Don't you agree they are quite something? I was planning to cut into them this afternoon, but I think I might just wait a while and enjoy spreading them out and organising them a bit. So much fun!
This striped fabric is going to be the binding around the whole quilt. The lemon one will be the background colour under the flowers instead of the brown. Much softer looking and more young ladyish. I really love the colours of the one in the book for myself though.
And an added bonus, loads of fabulous selvages for another project or two. Such pretty spots and scripts.

So are you ready to see them all together? Yes? Just one last look...

Ooooh aren't they so divine?!!!
Some of you may be wondering who the designers of these fabrics are. They are a mix really. But the ones I really love are from Michael Miller.

The little girls are running around the garden in the glorious sunshine just now. It's such a beautiful day and the sun is shining brightly. You just can't beat it, quite frankly!
Well, now that I've shown you my bag full of loveliness, I can go and have my lunch. I've just remembered Daughter No. 1 has her first clarinet lesson after school today too. It really is a good day.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Book Week at School

Ah, it's book week at school again. Another excuse to dress up in fancy dress. We do enjoy putting these outfits together! Daughter No. 1 (above) knew exactly who she wanted to be straight away - Hermoine from Harry Potter. Unfortunately her hair wasn't long enough for her liking, but she looked fabulous anyway.

Daughter No. 2 changed her mind a couple of times, but in the end, since she can't keep her head out of the Potter series for long either, decided to be Ginnie Weesley. I have no idea if this is the correct spelling as I've not actually read the books. I have seen a few of the movies though and they aren't too bad. OK, number one is really good. I have a feeling the books must be so much better than the films, as usual.

So off they went with my blouses, op shop skirts and capes, Daddy's expensive dowel wands, and horrid $1 ties! And they were very pleased with themselves. There were quite a number of HP look-a-likes at school, not surprising really.

Just had a quick browse through some old photos and came across last years efforts. Gosh children change so much over a year don't they? They really do keep loosing their young look a little bit each birthday. Here we have Cinderella in reality...

Judy Moody the traveller...

and last but not least, the Cat in the Hat!

I hope they have a good day today. It's so fun for them to do special things at school, keeps it interesting. I remember those dress-up days when I was their age. My mother always found or made something amazing for us. This is what we remember in life, the really fun times.

Well it's just started bucketing down outside so I think I may just stay put this morning. Probably should do a spot of cleaning, or sort out the masses of piles of junk in the hall. I'm not too good at getting rid of things we no longer need. I can sort out the rooms fine, but when it actually comes time to deal with the piles, I freek out.

Ok, see you all later!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Spring Is In The Air!

Look what is out in the garden! This says to me that spring is on it's way. Yay!!! We have had our three months of winter, as it started a month earlier this year. Oh it all looks so promising.

See the leaf buds all over the flowering cherry tree? There are bulbs flowering too, except it was too windy to try and photograph them, they kept blurring. Maybe tomorrow they will let me take their pickie. I didn't notice that dark cloud while I was out there! It's been such a beautiful morning. We had two other families over for the morning and all the kids were playing out there.

Now look what arrived in the mail box for me yesterday...

a beautiful card with lots of writing in it, which is always a treat, and I'm feeling bad that I only enclosed a quick note in Floss's parcel. Sorry Floss! And look at the pretty cross stitch flower that she bought at one of her fairs she frequents. I will sew it on something soon.

Now these two cards are both really old. The Pompeta one has a calendar on the back from 1932. Imagine having something so fragile around for so many years. My birthday would have been on a Tuesday, or Mardi, as it is in French. How delightful! I wonder what sort of a party it would have been?

Oh and see all those precious buttons? Lots of mother of pearl ones that Floss knew I wanted, and some other ones she has picked up along the way. I love old buttons but hardly have any, so I am very pleased with the arrival of these.

So thank you very much for those little treasures Floss. I do love them!

And an addition to the silver ware this week too. It really is a time of presents it would seem. Gran gave me this silver chalice - I guess you might call it that? The one at the back anyway. Isn't it lovely? She and Grandad were given it for their wedding 60 something years ago.

You know I'm always drawn to the silver at op shops. I just love it and always borrow my mother's silver at Christmas to decorate the table with. I think I will start buying up a bit, as it is so cheap, at only a couple of dollars a piece. Seems wrong for it to be so cheap. I've been looking at one particular vase for ages now, but it's about $15, but I do love something about it. Maybe I should buy it.

Look at this heavenly box full of Clarinet! It just arrived this morning just as the girls were leaving for school. We just had to open it quickly and take a quick peek. There is something rather amazing about owning an instrument. They look so flash. So who is the proud owner of it you are wondering? Well me of course!!! Yes I'm quite musically minded and play several instruments.

Alright Liz, calm down I'm only joking!!! Oh I did enjoy teasing you. You seem to think I can do everything but you are soooo wrong! I am absolutely useless at music. Can't even sing.

No this clarinet belongs to Daughter No. 1. Not sure where she got the gift of music from, but she is a natural. She learnt the recorder last year at school, and she practiced all the time without being asked to, she loved it so much. Her first clarinet lesson is on Monday and she can't wait.

We will have to learn how to put it together this afternoon. Luckily the nice man put a beginners book in with it with instructions on what to do. I'm sure we will all have a bit of fun trying to make a sound later on.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Glass Angels

Look what little treasures our girls were gifted yesterday! Aren't they just the sweetest? They are Venetian glass angels for the Christmas tree. My Aunt and Uncle have just come back from the UK and also enjoyed a few days in Venice. Lucky, lucky them! I have always wanted to travel there but never got around to it when I lived in the UK.

Here are two of them up close. The glass colour is actually painted on. It's so nice when you can find four different things that are similar. We generally struggle to find more than three of a kind. One of the struggles of having four children I guess.

I just love coloured glass, so I've been around the house this morning seeing what I can find. The older three were sent a Glass Deco kit each from their Nana in the holidays. They have thoroughly enjoyed painting pictures with the paints as you can see.
I have to be careful what I do in the kitchen at the moment as there is usually a painting drying. It's quite easy to put ones finger into it by mistake, isn't it Daddy??? We had a bit of an accident with the purple too, and now the iron cord is rather pretty, as is the tea towel and bench! Don't you just love how these things just seem to spread everywhere?!! Honestly it was everywhere, on the fingers, the sink, cloths, (but only the new ones of course!) but not on their clothes, because I'm cleverer than that, and I made them strip off first!

Looking at all this pretty glass colour reminded me that I had made a stained glass hanging years ago at an evening class. I had to search high and low for it, but eventually found it kind of bent over some large pictures. Luckily it straightened up. The glass is cracked in two places, but it has travelled an awful lot over the years, so not too surprising.

We had playgroup this morning but it wasn't too busy again. Think there are too many bugs going around. Hope we don't get any, but then, the girls are back at school now so could easily pick one or two up.
I'm going to get out the bucket of hot water and a cloth out to go around and clean all the windows in the bedrooms in a minute. Well that's the plan anyway! These things don't always go to plan do they? Hopefully I won't get any little helpers.
Thanks for all your very lovely comments. I do enjoy reading them, so keep them coming please. Have a great day!!

Monday, 20 July 2009

A "P" Evening!!!

When the girls and I drew up a list at the beginning of the holidays, we decided to have plan a special dinner where everything had to start with a certain letter. It was decided by one daughter, that 'P' would be the most suitable, as it is the initial of our surname. So 'P' it was.

It wasn't until I told my mother about it, that I realised how bad it sounded!! Oh well, it has been a good laugh talking about our 'P' evening.

Well, we had quite a feast to celebrate the end of the holidays. For dinner we had PIES, gluten free bacon and egg PIE for me, PEAS, POTATOES, PLUM sauce and mini PALONIES for the little girls.

And for PUDDING there were PANCAKES...

PINK PUDDINGS with PINK marshmallows...

homemade PAVLOVA with fruit salad containing PEARS, PEACHES and PINEAPPLE with PASSIONFRUIT sauce drizzled over it...

PEPPERMINT creme biscuits...

and PLENTY left over to be eaten for supper too!

And of course no PARTY would be complete without PRESENTS!!!! I wrote each of our names on to pieces of paper and we each took turns picking one out. I ended up with Daughter No. 2.

We took a trip out to the bargain shop and took turns going in and choosing something with the recipient in mind. Quite difficult really!
Anyway, here is what got opened...

Daughter No. 1 received a paua dolphin ring from No. 2.
No. 2 received pink cheerleader pop poms from me.
No. 3 received fancy bike spoke reflectors from Daddy.
No. 4 got Happy Birthday stickers from No. 3.
Daddy got a BEST FATHER key ring from No. 1.
Mummy was gifted a set of screwdrivers from No.4 (Daddy's idea as I think he is sick of me borrowing his and not returning them!!)

So all in all a fabulous evening. Nice full tummies and something special to remember it by. We might have to do this at the end of each holiday time. I love funny little traditions, we have quite a few now and they do love them. I probably love them the most though!
Now I have just received three messages on my posts from the lovely 'Lace Hearts'. Thank you so much!

I'm having a little bit of a difficult time over the sewing machine thing. Got myself into a right tizzy over it after reading some 'not so good' reviews about Brother machines. A real bummer really as I was so excited about it!! I also checked out the local Bernina stockist, and golly aren't they ugly those machines??? I do see that they are an extremely good brand and everyone seems to rave about them. They are more expensive too which is never good. To get one slightly better than what I showed you, would be another $900, and that's on special!

I think I'll just stay put at the moment and reconsider what I really need. Oh the joys of decision making!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Holiday Fun

Well the school holidays are just about over. On one hand, I am grateful for a little time of rest without four children asking for things, or all wanting help at the same time. On the other hand, I am sad that they will be at school all week, as I will miss their company and fun times we have shared over the past two weeks.

My goodness we have been busy these holidays! This is the first real holidays we've had where we have been able to go out for as long as we have wanted without having to worry about someone needing to come home for a sleep. Still it's taken it's toll on me at times. There have been a couple of naps on the couch for a certain Mama! Gosh, I just don't know how they keep going!!

So what have we been up to? Well, my memory is not the best, but I will do my best. We went to the museum, indoor rock climbing, movies, shops, train into the city to have lunch with Daddy, visits to see Nana & Papa and Gran, crafts, had friends to visit, Butterfly Creek, Sky Tower, airport on two occasions, lunches out, DVD watching, playing games, plenty of PJ and slipper wearing, loads of junk food consumed, baking, sewing lessons and probably more too. Can you blame me for being exhausted???

I did, however, manage to catch up with a bit of sewing in the evenings. I love 7.45! That's the time the big girls have their lights turned out. It's piece and quiet from then on - usually. Oh we get the odd drink of water trick at times, or sickness, but usually that's it. Then it's cup of tea time with the husband and on to 'our' time.

I'm still in the sewing mood, so patchwork has been keeping me busy this week. As you may know, I offered to sew a quilt patch for a charity, hosted by Bumble Beans Quilts. It was meant to be a challenging piece, but with my patch working skills I opted for something trickyish, but fairly foolproof. I would hate to cut into the fabric and then stuff it up.

The first patch with the cherry in the centre was my practice piece. I love these 'Recipe for Friendship' fabrics. Such lovely colours aren't they? The pink, white and green patch is the real one, and I have just sent it off today. Considering I only received the fabrics from the States yesterday, I am quite proud of myself. I thought the little girl was rather cute, so decided to centre the block around her. The green and pink fabrics are the same design.

The big girls are at the new Harry Potter Movie at the moment, with their Daddy. They are both really into this series but never seen them at the movies. Very exciting! So I have a little time to myself for a change. The little ones are very happily playing together. So what better way to spend it, than chatting with you! And how are you anyway? Life treating you well I hope? I must catch up with a few messages around blogland too. See you next week anyway, when things are quieter.