Monday, 31 January 2011

A Party and a Special Friend

Well Miss 10 sure did have a lovely birthday.  Thank you all so much for all the kind messages you left.  We even took a photo of her when she was exactly ten years old.  It's easy when you are born at a reasonable hour, 12.59pm to be exact.  She was a fairly quick arrival.  Well not completely, she was eleven days overdue!  But from arrival at the hospital, to induction, to birth, she was here in two hours.  
Check out the party girls cupcakes!  What a lot of fun they had with these.  There were some very busy ones and lots of cake swapping as well which was lovely to see. 

The scrapbooking boxes went well.  Look at my baby (pink hair clip one) sitting up with the rest of them making her box so neatly.  She's going to be four next Sunday.  Yes seriously!  How wonderful for me!  Two parties in a week, woo hoo!!!! 

I'm looking at her in the photo and she looks so much older suddenly.  I do hope she doesn't grow up too quickly.  We have just over a year left together before she goes to school with the others.  I'm not looking forward to that day at all. 

Now onto another subject completely.  I have recently met a very dear friend Lara who has a very sweet blog Sew Many Stitches Later and she's made heaps of fabulous quilts, among other things.  She lives in Wellington but is moving up to Auckland very soon - lucky me!  Anyway she's the sort of friend that everyone loves to have.  Recently she went through all her WIP's and decided to give a few away to reduce the feeling of guilt.  How funny, not sure I'd be able to do that myself.  Well she picked me to take over this baby boy quilt.  I've never make anything boyish before, having four girls myself.  What a refreshing changeIt will go to Retromummy's Quilts for Queensland when completed.

Wonderful fabrics, Moda from the Odyssea range.  Well I was expecting everything from the top picture, but not the extra charm pack as well!  I've unpicked her white border and added the extra charms.  She neglected to tell me the quilt was prewashed due to vegemite stains!  Now I know why none of the seams matched up when I added the new squares.  A quick wash later and they match up better, but not perfect.  Not to worry, once it's quilted no one will notice.

Now the stripy backing fabric has become the binding because I adore stripy bindings.  Loving this fabric range so much.  I just need some backing fabric now and it will be ready for quilting.  Thank you so very much Lara!

Now when Lara heard of my disaster of running out of white cotton fabric for my girl baby quilt, she immediately contacted me and suddenly a metre of the stuff was flying my way as well! See what I told you about the type of friend she is?  I can't wait to meet her and her two boys.  Isn't it neat how you can be good friends with someone without meeting them?  You've got to love the computer for that kind of thing.  The saying comes to mind "I love my computer because my friends live in there".  And I sure do have a lot of them in there.

Now I'm back in the sewing seat again.  Well only for a little while, I have another cake to make, a party to plan and things to shop for.  Oh heck, she's going to need some presents too!!  When I asked her what food she wanted at her party she said "party food I guess".  Guess I can arrange that!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Happy Birthday No.2!

We have a new sewing machine at our house.  It's very fancy!  It's for No.2's tenth birthday tomorrow.   Two children over ten is a little hard to imagine really.  I still remember making a cake when she was a baby. 

I drew a basic shape of a sewing machine and she added the all important details.  Pretty cute aye?  Pink and red are very nice colours for a party.

Now we are going to need some very important equipment for this cake.  It's only the second time I've done this fancy piping thing.  We have the usual items and then we have the medicine measuring cup and a baby bottle cap.  These are all important pieces to make this machine work. 

I remember it falling apart at the beginning of the first cake ten years ago.  I can still clearly remember the evening.  Baby 2 was screaming the night away, No.1 was in bed on her 2nd birthday eve, the cake still yet to be done.  Me feeding baby every half hour and hubby and I sharing the cake decorating.  We finally got to bed at 1am.  It was a very cool Tigger cake though.

I think I'll shout myself a new grown up piping kit soon.  I'm sick of icing oozing all over the show!

No.2 was very interested in what I was doing and took some 'in the process' photos.   The amount of compliments were continuous, she's such a sweetie.  She told me when she's a mum she's hoping that she'll be able to make her children cakes like this.  I'm very sure she'll be doing just that.

This piping thing is so much fun!  Lots of pretty flowers all over the cake.  The inside bit was very tricky, but we got there in the end.

Now it's time to thread up the machine, and let's take this baby for a whirl!

I wonder what Lucy's making?  I see she's prepared with a spare bobbin ready to use.  Not like her Mother who is constantly running out.

Not long now honey!  The presents are wrapped and she's very excited about the big day.  Double digits are very special.  She has two best friends coming for a very delicious afternoon tea, a crafting session consisting of cupcake decorating, and scrapbooking a box for their treasures. 

Following that we will be eating fish'n'chips on the floor with the spotty picnic blanket, finishing up with pavlova, yoghurt, ice cream and cake.  Sounds like a very lovely day for our special girl. 

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Tea Dear?

Well you ladies came through for us once again.  Thanking you all kindly.  I think we'll probably go with that carpet.  Well it's only for one room at the moment, we can always change our minds later on.

Now, Mr Red Gingham LOVES his cups of tea.  I think it's the English boy in him.  Apparently he even had it in his bottles when he was a wee lad!  What is a more fitting present, just for the fun of it, than a cup of tea coaster? 

And since I am frequently given a cup of tea on the holiday mornings, 8.30am sharp (thank you big girls!), I though I'd better make myself one.  Oops, I forgot to add the steam!  Well I'm quite used to having it cold I guess.

And look, it works!  A wonderful addition to our new bedroom and magnificent looking with my fav CK mug.

Now these next photos are going to shock you.  This was our front garden.  It might look lovely and lush in this photo, but in reality, just to the left it was a tip of dead plants and overgrown madness.  Oh and agapanthus galore!  You've never seen so many, I swear.  So anyway, Mr Digger rang this morning at 7am!!  Yes before my tea had even been thought of! 

And at 8am he arrived with the help.  It was a cracker of a day for them.  Well they made mince meat of our plants.  Trees ripped from the ground like they were made of paper.  Oh to see those dreaded aggies loaded into the truck - it was a welcome sight I can tell you.

Anyway the roots of these Robinia's were very exposed after a bit of hauling and in the end we decided that...

they must go too!!!!!

Oh my goodness, what have we done?!!  There's no going back now is there?  Actually this photo is taken from my kitchen window and I feel like I've just been given a wide screen TV.  I think I can be the neighbourhood watch person on patrol full time now.  I quite like it.  It makes our section look huge.  Oh and check out No.1 helping!!  It's a rare sight, there must have been something fun in it for her.

We are going to plant up pretty quickly to hide some of our expansive view.  A nice hedge along the front, big bushes along the fence line, more parking space/bike riding area, and some nice soft grass at the front.  The girls are so excited about the grass bit.  We don't have a blade of grass here!  We'll have to get one of those clickity clack hand mowers, how neat. 

On the left you can see the remains of our letterbox.  No.2 was dreadfully upset seeing it this way :(  I had no idea she would feel like this!  She used to stand on it to wave people goodbye.  But I have to say, it was getting a little cramped up there when all four of them wanted to wave!!

They'll be back tomorrow to remove the big pile of soil.  At 7.30am.  Yep.  No cuppa once again.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Tough Decisions

You are such a bunch of loves aren't you?  You always have such lovely things to say about what I've made.  I really do appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, I know how busy you all are.  Of course I don't want you to leave me a comment every time, I'm thrilled even if you've just stopped by to read my ramblings. 

Remember my yoyos from the weekend?  Well now they are a cushion.  With linen covered buttons no less. 

I also think I love it on my bed.  Yes I know I made it as a present...  but...

You have to agree, it does look good on our bed, don't you?  Do you also think it looks great on the carpet?  Now you think I've gone potty in my head don't you?  Please let me explain...

We need your opinion once again.  Yes, you see we value your opinion very much.  You did so well with the curtain choice last year that now we want to use your fabulous knowledge with something even more important than that.  Carpet.

You see it's not easy to choose carpet.  Especially when men see colours so differently to us.  I just don't get it quite frankly.  And they say carpets look two shades lighter when down.  How on earth are you supposed to imagine that?!! 

Anyway the nice carpet man, who just happened to fall down the office stairs racing to his appointment with us and ended up with two slipped discs and sustained a large hematoma on his nether region (ooops!), found a really big sample of this colour for us.  The very colour the man of the house liked best (and I didn't agree).  I have to say it looks pretty good in the photo.  Do you think it looks OK too?  Neutral looking?  It's actually got browny bits mixed with whitey natural bits. 

It's only for in our bedroom at the moment, we had to as there were large bits of carpet missing after ripping out the mini kitchen.  We aren't ready to do the whole house yet.  If we end up having to change it in a few years time to have matching carpets, well that's just the way it is.  In NZ we have the whole house lot of carpet the same.  We just do!

So if you would like to give your two cents/pence worth, go ahead.  We won't mind if you don't like it a bit.  Honestly! 

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Hello, hello!  Wow what an auction!  The wall hanging went to a lovely lady named Sarah.  How funny is that?  And no I didn't buy my own wall hanging!  Sarah very kindly donated $265 to her fellow Australians who I'm quite sure will benefit hugely from this. 

The auction was a wonderful experience and it was run extremely well by Toni and her helpers.  Well done ladies!!  And now you are going to be super duper proud of me.  This afternoon I sent it off to it's new home.  I know, how amazing is that??  I'm getting there, I'm getting so organised.

Now I can safely show you what was in the present from Sunday's post.  A dolls quilt and matching pillow.  The recipient was rather more interested in unwrapping her gifts than what was in them, well you know, four is a bit like that!  But her mother was thrilled with it and assured me that her daughter will love playing with it. 

I stippled the quilt and it has that nice and bubbly feeling.  I do love stippling.  Our girls do too so I mostly quilt this way.  I must do some straight lines soon. 

And I finally got the New Beginnings sewing kits finished.  The needle books are my favourites.  I cut up an old doily, now please don't be cross with me, it wasn't a very useful one as it was a cross shape.  And I haven't wasted any of it.  And biggest excuse of all, it is going to some lovely ladies who I'm sure won't mind a bit.

Here is the inside of the book.  I have included a packet of embroidery needles in each kit.

And those jolly scissors cases were made in the car on the way to the party and back.  Yes the party was quite a wee way away!  I actually thought they weren't to bad to make in the end.  Of course a yoyo always makes things look a little smarter don't you think?  And I do like the little scissors in them.  Very sharp indeed.

And here is the full monty.  You can have it this way with everything on the outside... (which seems a bit dilly)

or this way so you can access things easier.  I could probably do with one myself.  Perhaps that's what I could keep myself busy with tonight.

And another big shock for you all.  I sent them off today as well!!  Woo hoo!  I've got plenty to tick off today.  I'm not sure what's come over me.

Time to start something new now.  Maybe I'll have a bit of a play with some new wall hanging ideas?    It feels good to have these projects finished with completely.  I hope they make a few ladies a bit happier to know that we are thinking of them 'over the ditch' and sending our love. 

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Weekend At Our Place

It's rained non-stop here since yesterday afternoon.  Luckily it remembered to stop a wee while ago.  Now the girls are all out there having a fabulous time.  It's so muggy the windows are fogging up.  There are long worms in the puddles too - yuck!

Mr Red Gingham went out to try and save his bark garden from floating away.  He gave up.  The levels are all uneven in the wrong places and the drain refuses to work.  It was a good laugh watching him try though!

It's been a busy weekend on the sewing front.  Making presents and finishing up projects.  This is one that I thought would be a big pain to make.  I can't believe how quick and easy it is.  I do love yoyos and these ones look sweet in a heart shape.  It's a present for the girls Godmother who shares a birthday with our No.2.

My baby girl quilt has had to come to a stand still.  It appears that the suppliers are not supplying some stock anymore to Spotlight due to the recession.  I think the manufacturing company may have gone under.  So sad.  It certainly pays to make sure you have everything you need to complete a quilt before starting!!  I'm sure I'll be able to get some more white cotton from a quilting shop, at twice the price.

I remembered I still hadn't shown you my new recipe book cover.  Remember I bought this neat retro fabric from a quilting show a while back?  I do love my revamped book.  I even made new dividers for it.

The kits are nearly ready for the New Beginnings project.  I spent a good while collecting all the bits for it.  Loving the colours.  Hope the new owners do too.  I'm working on the scissor holders at the moment.  I'm not enjoying them at all.  They are making me cross!  The needle books are finished and looking very sweet, forgot to photograph them sorry.

No.2 is trying desperately to get me more organised this year.  We have meal planners, shopping lists, and now a birthday card book.  You will be please to know that I did send my Christmas cards out last week.  We'll try for an earlier time this Christmas.

And here is a sneaky peek at our new ensuite.  The tiles just went down and they are looking very flash.  Terrible photo sorry, but it's quite dark today.  The wind is getting strong too which is scary.

Later today we are off to a 4th birthday party.  I'll show you the present next week as her mum is rather sneaky at times!!  I ended up making the present as I lost the one I bought before Christmas!  I told you I need to be more organised.  Really I'm very good at hiding things.  I think I need a box to put presents in that's easy to get to.

And that's about it from me.  My auction is now up to $190 which is fabulous.  There is still time to donate.  The auctions finish on Monday night our time.  So for you lovelies on the other side of the world that would be Monday morning I think.  We are ahead of you so I think that makes sense? 

I know that lots of you aren't connected to the Queensland Floods and won't participate, and that's just fine.  Australia and New Zealand are sister countries and we help each other out when necessary.  They aren't a poor country but lots of people didn't have flood insurance so need an enormous amount of help.  I just can't imagine having waters up to our roof. 

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

What's Happening Here?

Well my auction is going very nicely thank you.  It's now up to $160 $170 which is fan flippin' tastic!  A huge thank you to all my lovely bidders so far.  You are wonderful!!

Pop over here if you fancy my wall hanging and place a bid.  You have to be in to win!  The auctions are all doing very nicely and I heard today that so far they are up to $45,000 and we are only up to day 2!!!  Isn't that fabulous?!  If you click here you will be sent to the full list of auctions.  Boy there are some wonderful items there.  Please be generous and remember all the money is going to be used to help the flood affected Queenslanders.

I've made the four pincushions for the Sewing Caddies.  They were fun and are now attached to the caddies.  My dear Gran gave me $100 to use to buy the necessary bits and pieces for the kits.  Isn't she a sweetie?  I'll pop over to Spotlight with my little list tomorrow I think.  I'll have four of those... four of these... oh won't it be fun!

I bought some very lovely fatties earlier in the week.  Let me just go and see what the range is called...  Modernmeadow by Joel Dewberry.  They go beautifully with linen so my head is spinning with ideas.  I also know that sewing with linen can be messy.  Still if I use a simple design the fabric shouldn't fall apart too much.  I hope!  Perhaps some old linen cloths too?  With pretty edging?

I had a couple in my hand and then thought, what the heck, and decided to just get the whole jolly package.  They just go together so nicely and I can see such a pretty quilt in them.

Oh here's another wee quilt I'm working on.  Nothing like a few things on the go aye?  It's actually been stitched together since taking this photo and looking rather lovely.  I think I need to make another row on the bottom unfortunately.  Don't you hate that when you think you're done? 

This is just a baby sized quilt.  I'm just trying out new techniques and having a bit of fun.  No I'm not having another baby!  Although we did enjoy teasing the girls a bit!

Our ensuite floor got a bandage or two yesterday.  Tomorrow, super duper early, the man is coming back to lay the tiles!!!  Oh my, that's going to be so exciting!  They are so lovely too.  Nice and natural looking in an off-white colour.  Gosh I hope I'm not still in bed when he arrives! 

My mind is excited about the thought of playing with different techniques.  I've seen this quilted hanging in the Australian Quilters Companion magazine and I'm keen to give it a go.  You have to use water soluble paper.  Never heard of it before. 

And just in case you are wondering how the house is holding together with all this crafting going on...

well I think this says it all really.  I cracked up when I saw Miss Barbie folding the washing, but then Miss Barbie 2 arrived to do the ironing!  Fantastic! 

These chicks aren't just beautiful, they're handy too.  I wonder if you look that glamorous when you do housework?