Friday, April 30, 2010

What happened to Friday??

Where has today gone?? This morning I had a cuppa with Tammy, had a nice chat, before heading off to part 2 of the beginners patchwork class I am doing. Managed to finish the table runner, bar the hand sewing of the binding, which I will do at home. While there, I purchased the few bits and pieces I needed to finish off the few UFO's, and some material for the keyboard cover we are starting on next week. After that, I went over to Jessica's and had both my and Kasey's hair cut. If feels sooo much better. I have gone back to about shoulder length and have a fringe again, it looks so much better. I know I have squeezed a fair bit in to the day, but the days/weeks/months just seem to go so quickly at the moment. I am so glad it is the weekend, I love not having to get up and rush out the door in the mornings. I am hoping to do some more sewing over the weekend and catch up on some more of my UFO's, and perhaps start a couple of new projects I would like to do...hehehehe.......goodness knows I have so many things I would like to make, and so many things I would like to week will be a bit busy, as I am off to Sydney with Ann for a couple of days, and then have sewing all day on Thursday, and cuppa morning with Tammy on Friday morning, as well as an appointment with the accountant. The following week will be busy as well, as I have a few things in the diary for that week already, as well as a wedding that week. So overall, May is looking to be quite busy, but then it should settle down again for a couple of months with just a few weddings,  before really busying up for the wedding season....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Family Table - my new cookbook

 I purchased Julie Goodwin's cookbook "Our family table" today, and I was lucky enough to meet Julie and have it signed by the good lady herself!  I have also purchased a copy for my Mum and Mum in Law, which I had signed for them for Mothers Day. This is a lovely cookbook, and just by the design of it, and the recipes included in it, it will become a treasured keepsake in my kitchen, and to eventually hand down.  I must say the kids will be very lucky to get this from me!!  Julie is a lovely lady, very obliging and she has a beautiful smile for everyone she meets.

I have to go and get my hair cut and styled....I'm getting desperate. Usually, Jessica (my niece) cuts my hair for me, but she had her first bub a couple of months ago, and I haven't wanted to harass her to cut my hair while she has been settling in, so I have to find a new hairdresser for a little while. I spent the day at home yesterday, I caught up on paperwork on Tuesday and tidied up the office (finally) and caught up on the bank recs and BAS etc, so I am now finally up to date! So yesterday, I worked on the many (growing) unfinished sewing projects. I finished off the piecing on the patchwork for tomorrow

I am really impressed with the frilly cushion I am working on from this months sewing club. The sewing club is mainly about learning techniques, not necessarily about the project itself. I only really like to make things that will have a practical purpose in my home, or that will fit in with my decorating style, or that I can use for a gift. If it has no use, then I don't make it. This cushion is not something I would normally choose to make, but it is really turning out nicely, and the techniques are really great. This has been my first attempt at doing piping, and using the piping foot etc on any sewing machine, and considering I have never been shown what to do, I think the piping has turned out fantastically. 

I went to the sneak peek day at the sewing centre today, and then we had a demonstration by a lady named Betty Johnston. She is a local craft lady who gave us the story behind her designing a beautiful Australian animal quilt and subsequent childrens book titled "Mrs Echidna's Dilemma".  She was a lovely lady, and her story was sooo interesting. The work she has put into this quilt is absolutely amazing, and all of it, and I mean ALL of it is completely hand sewn. The detail in it is absolutely amazing, and the book she has written and published is absolutely gorgeous. I have ordered one for Kasey, which I will get signed, and this will hopefully become a treasured family heirloom, to be handed down to future generations. The link to this lady is here Her story is absolutely fascinating, and she is a great storyteller in person as well! The pages in the book are all photos of each individual quilt block she has made, and it is just beautiful. I certainly would not have the patience to do all of this, but she says she used to sit on a train for and hour and a half each day, and this is the time she used to do the blocks. Each page is in 2 parts, the colourful part for the story to read to the children, and the other page is the story of each of the characters in the book, and the story of that particular animal. It is well worth buying.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Feeling better

I am currently sitting on our lounge with the laptop catching up on some blog and website reading. I spent a bit of time yesterday watching a few movies, and doing some of the needlework on the vintage pin cushion I am making. It is coming up ok for my first effort and needlework. My tummy is feeling much better today, and I have had no painkillers since I got up this morning.  I have also managed to do a bit of vacuuming, as the floors really needed it, and did a little clean up and vacuum in the office. It has been very slow going with the vacuuming, but I am pleased to be a little on the move again. I have a little bit of paperwork to catchup on over the next few days while I am still recuperating, and then will be back in to the full swing of things hopefully.  I was a bit naseous this morning, and have been a bit off food etc, so I hope that goes away soon. Anyway, onwards and upwards :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I had my surgery on Wednesday to have my gall bladder taken out. It was done by keyhole surgery, but I am still very sore. 

I am gradually getting a little better day by day, but if I try to do too much, I end up in too much pain and have to sit back down on the lounge to recover. I can't drive as yet, and I don't think I would want to, as the Lancer is a manual I think it would be too much of a strain on the stomach. I am still on painkillers every few hours, and I am still quite bloated, I think from the gas they pump in to the abdomen so they can access everything. I also have to watch what I eat at the minute, and can only eat really simple things, as otherwise I get very nauseous. I have read all of my craft mags, and I am doing a bit of needlework on my vintage pin cushion, and Toni is going to go and get a few movies for me to watch. I will probably spend a bit of time with the laptop today on the lounge catching up on a few blogs etc.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I purchased a new mobile phone yesterday, as my other one has been playing up for quite some time now. I ended up getting a Nokia N97 mini, as I could get that for free on my current plan, which was a bonus! It has a touch screen as well as a qwerty keyboard, and a 5 mp camera, which will be great for when I am out and about without my SLR camera. I did the scrapbooking classes with Ngaire Bartlett yesterday, they were great fun, and the ladies that went as well as Ngaire were all really good, fun company, so everyone had a great time. These are the pages we made:

I had a huge sleep in this morning until about 10am... I must have been tired as I didn't even stir until about 8.30, and then easily went back to sleep until later. I spent most of the day catching up on a bit of washing, I also packed up the older sewing machine to give to Kerrie, and then I called around to Ann's to pick up a wedding bouquet to start the preservation on. Ann was at a wedding yesterday, and told the bride about my preservation services, and the bride booked in the job there and then, so I have put all of that in the drying chambers and it will happily dry away for the next few weeks, ready for the next steps in the process. Tonight I have cut out some more fabric for a 2nd purse insert, as I am going to make one for Mum for Mothers Day, and I wanted to get the basics done before my surgery this week. I also sorted out some of the other projects coming up, and got some of the fabric together from my stash, and have stored each project in it's own large ziplock bag, which is much neater.  I have been having this absolutely foul, chemically taste in my mouth the last few days, I don't know what it is, but I think I need to go to the dentist to see if I have some sort of infection or something, I have never had anything like this, so I think it needs to be investigated. 
I am planning on being home as much as possible this week, tomorrow I need to drop a preservation off to the framers, but other than that, I will be at home all day, I am actually really looking forward to a couple of weeks at home, as I have nothing in my diary other than the surgery for about 11 days or so...bliss :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

The beginning of the patchwork journey......

Yesterday I spent catching up on a bit of paperwork and general bits and pieces. I tidied up a little bit, did the washing and folded up the washing that had taken over the laundry! Don't know how that I caught up with a friend for our weekly coffee, haven't caught up the last couple of weeks due to Easter and other commitments, and could only catch up briefly this morning as I had my patchwork beginners class today.

I have quite enjoyed this class today, as I really wanted to do the beginners class and get the basics on cutting out even squares and the general idea of patchwork. We are just making a table runner initially, so that it is an achievable project first up, that we can all finish over the 2 classes. This is what I achieved today

 I have decided I wanted to do mine in country colours, but I think it will end up being Christmassy. I am going to try and make another one in conjunction with this one in different colours, maybe something definitely a bit more country, so I finish 2 at the same time.  I will see how I go. Or else I might go with something in the white tones to give to Mum for Mothers Day, as she wants to change her bedroom furniture to white...hmmm....not sure now.....might have to make 3!!!!

Tomorrow I will be scrapbooking all day, :) Blossies have a guest designer Ngaire Bartlam coming, so I have booked in for both of her classes, which should be good fun. Ann is doing the morning class as well. Ann and I are going to a scrapbooking convention in Sydney in a couple of weeks, and I am really looking forward to it. I have to catch up on loading a few photos on here from the last couple of weeks, I am planning on spending the entire week at home next week, catching up on officework, I have my surgery on Wednesday, so will spend the last half of the week recuperating and catching up on some reading, and will have the laptop inside to catch up on blogs etc and online stuff. I have to also go and buy a new phone some time over the next few days, as mine is playing up, and I am unable to do anything at all with messages. Not sure what I will get yet, but Ithink it  will be a Nokia as I find they are better for getting service here, just have to do a bit more research before making a final decision. 

I am also hoping to start on my large pincushion as I want to start on the hand needlework so I have something to do while I am in hospital, and when I come home. I haven't done any needlework before,  but I think I should go ok with it.This is the pattern I am using


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Getting back in to a routine??

Back to school yesterday for the girls. I think they are both glad to be back...they are both fairly social people. I spent most of the day in the office doing paperwork, and last night I went to a sewing class to start on making a handbag insert, I can't wait until I finish this, as I really need some organisation  in my bag. I have taken some photos of the construction so far, but they are on my phone, and I'm not sure where my USB cord is to download them to the computer. When I got home I stayed up until nearly 1am putting my back on the farm quilt first block components onto the backing, so I could sew them today at the monthly quilting class. I have actually really enjoyed sewing this today, it has been mainly free motion sewing, which I am certainly no expert in, but is is coming up really nicely, and has actually made me a lot keener to continue on with the other blocks now that I have started on the sewing. I will post a photo soon of what I have done so far.

I am definitely reaching the time where I wish to spend much less time on my computer and more time actually doing all of these tasks, which is a really good thing. It has been about 8 months since I gave up work, and has taken me most of this time to get over my stress, anxiety and depression that I was suffering from due to my employment. Now that I have returned to working part time for myself, I would really like to start to make better use of my free time, and spend more time on my craft, vegie garden and house and garden in general. I just need to make the commitment and actually do it! It has been very hard to actually get in to some sort of routine again after working full time for most of the last 20 years around kids, I have really found it difficult to actually know what to do at home. I thought it would have only taken me a month or 2 to get back into the swing of things, and I am surprised by how long it is actually taking. Making the effort to get back into sewing and attending these classes is really helping as it is making me take the time out to do these things.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pumpkin Soup and a quiet end to the weekend

Last night I made a yummy batch of pumpkin soup for dinner. I have modified a cookbook recipe, which I have listed on my recipe blog here 

We had this with home made bread. I made the bread in my break maker, but I find the texture of the bread is much better if I make it completely by hand, it seems much lighter than with the breadmaker, more like the commercial bread texture, so I find Damian everyone  accepts it much more. Yesterday was a relatively quiet day here, I had a sleep in as I didn't get to sleep until nearly 2am, as Kasey kept interrupting my sleep, and both Damian and I were quite tired, so it was quite a lazy day. Damian did go up to the chook pen in the afternoon and improve the access ramp to the chook pen as Sam has had a lot of trouble trying to get in, he's not very good at climbing up or flying up on to things, even flying up on to the perch is an issue for him, I don't know if this is normal for silkies, or if it is just him. Today I have had the pest control people come out and quote for termite barrier protection as we had termites a couple of months ago, and we want to ensure they don't come back, and they are going to include the general pest control in the price. We had a company come out on Friday as well, and I think I will end up going with them, as they seemed to know what they were talking about a bit more than the people today. This afternoon I need to get some paperwork and maintenance manuals done for Damian, and I am getting through the never ending mountain of washing that we seem to produce here again. It's back to school for the girls tomorrow, so things will be back to the usual hectic morning pace again, but it gets me going a lot earlier in the day, which is definitely a good thing.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Craft room, op shop finds and some scrapbooking

Wow, what a busy few days it has been! Time has just flown by, I can't believe it is halfway through the weekend already....
Thursday, I transferred my craft things from the office to the spare room. Here is how it looked after I had moved everything in, and before sorting...
Here is how things looked after sorting :)

This cleanout took me all day. I haven't managed to get to cleaning up the office as yet, but having all of the craft things out has made things much less cramped already, so I should get to the cleanup next week. On Friday I had to do some running around, I called into Endos, and picked up a fantastic little binder case for $6, which is exactly the right size for scrapbooking cardstock and paper.

I also picked up a hair straightener for $4, it has ceramic plates, so is really nice to use. I then went to Lifeline and picked up a lovely chair for the desk in the craft room, I am going to paint it white and shabby chic it.(Photo to come) After that I went to a scrapbooking crop, we went to a different place at Woody Point, as our usual place cancelled their crop as she wasn't well. The ladies there were all really lovely, and one of the owners there is an ex florist, so we had a great chat about the industry in general and particular florists and what they are doing now. The shop was very, very small though, and we were all pretty cramped, this was the only drawback though, and both Ann and I had a good night there. I started on a paper bag album for our Easter photos. I managed to get all of the pages covered, and a couple of pages completed, but it will probably take me a few crops to finish it off. This is what I have done so far:

This is the front cover:

This page is one large page and a smaller fold over page attached, it is quite eye catching.The colours haven't really showed up that great, they are much nicer in real life.

Today, I went to a card class, and made these cards

after that I went a did a couple of 
wedding quotes, I didn't end up getting home until nearly 7pm with dinner, so it has been a long, few, tiring days. I did finish this dishcloth while sitting down after dinner..

I think I will be having a sleep in tomorrow. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Some recent wedding bouquets

Some recent wedding bouquets I have done:

A bit of room organisation...

Yesterday morning I went to an overlocker inspiration session at the sewing centre, they had a husqvarna rep there showing us all the different ways you can use your overlocker and the different feet you can use, I didn't realise how much extra you can do with the overlocker other than neatening edges, it was quite worthwhile, even though the focus did seem to be on that particular overlocker and a bit of a sales pitch, but if I can transfer the information to my overlocker and play with the settings a bit, then I should get quite a bit out of it. I caught up on a bit of paperwork last night, and finished another bouquet preservation, so that is now ready to go to the framer.

Today I have had a sleep in, thought I would take advantage of school holidays....I am in such a positive mood today, I think it's because I haven't really got too much on this week, and I have time to breathe...

Today I would like to give the office a bit of a cleanup and transfer some of my craft things into the spare room and tidy that up a bit, with Damian and I both working out of our office now, it really seems very cramped in here, and has become a bit frustrating, so I am going to see if I can sort it out a bit. I also have some more washing to catch up on....I had piles of it after our time away...but should get through it today, and I want to get all the sheets washed as well. I have also made a start on my recipe blog, I have been collecting recipes over the years and have been keeping them in a word document, and I made a start on trying to index it all out, but it will take me months, and as I keep adding to it, it alters all the page numbers and index etc....arghhh...just too I thought I would keep a separate blog for this, and add all of my recipes into that and use separate labels to index them. I would like to eventually do it up into a recipe book for my children to have with their favourite recipes. I have only put 1 recipe in there so far, but will add to it over the next few months so that it becomes quite comprehensive.

I have to remember to ring my sister Kerrie, it's her birthday today.  Okay, off to do some organising. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter 2010

We had a fantastic Easter break. Our friends have 100 odd acres at Kolonga, and we always head up there for Easter to avoid the Easter camping crowds at the many camp spots around. We camp in a lovely shaded area beside the creek, and our friends who own the block camp down there as well in their caravan.

All of the kids came, and had a great time. They did quad bike riding
Motorbike riding (ahem.....fixing...)


Easter Egg Hunting

Swimming in the dam

 Relaxing with friends

I had lots of time for craft and reading

We arrived at Kolonga at about 4pm on Thursday, as we didn't leave home until about 10.30am, and we had a stop for lunch, it was a long trip

By the time we got there, we had a quick catch up with Rick and Marina, and then settled back for an easy dinner and drinks around the campfire. Saturday, the kids went swimming in the dam, and we spent the afternoon riding the quads and reading and doing craft etc. We had a roast in the camp oven for dinner, and then did firetwirling with Lyle and Faye supplying the equipment. Then we finished off the day around the campfire. Sunday we did the yearly easter egg hunt for the kids, and then had a little birthday party for Adam who was turning 6. We also did a tug of war

After this we did the yearly Kolonga Golf tournament, put on by Lyle and Faye, the kids had a balll, and came home with a couple of trophies.

Sunday night we had steak and vegies for dinner, and settled back by the campfire (again) Monday morning was spent around the campsite with the kids playing, and I baked a loaf of bread as we had run out, we cooked it in the camp oven

The boys went fishing in the afternoon at Lake Monduran which backs onto the property here, and Marina and I went up to the shed to do some scrapbooking, didn't achieve too much but did 3 pages

After this we just had an easy dinner of sausages and vegies, and did a bit of packing up as the holiday has just about come to an end. Tuesday morning was up early, and we left by about 8am, and headed into Gin Gin for breakfast, and then started the long journey home. We got home about 1.30pm. 

Another Easter holiday that has gone way too quickly....but we had great fun :)