Thursday, September 30, 2010

No more ball and chain

As of today the mortgage is gone..........woop, woop

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Handmade Library bag

Kasey was getting some comments about her alphabet and pooh bear library bags being too babyish from peers at school.....grade 1 for goodness sake!! So, she asked me if I could make her a new one, so of course I she is now the proud owner of a personalised, very girly girly library bag...

That should do the trick.  She loves it and is proudly hanging it on her desk, waiting for school to start on Monday..

Declutter challenge day 2

Well, I am still on track.  The 2nd load of clutter from the end of the garage was taken down to Lifeline yesterday afternoon, so now that is all gone.  I also managed to get my clutter plan done up and posted on my blog.  Rebekkah's boyfriend came by this afternoon and picked up the old fridge/freezer from the shed now that I have replaced it with the chest freezer, so that is gone as well.  I have a busy few days coming up, so I probably won't get to day 3 of my challenge until next week, which can only be in the early part of the week, so I will pick something small on my list to keep up the momentum. If I can find something on my declutter plan that will only take a 1/2 hour or so, then I will do it tomorrow or Friday, but I'll just wait and see how I feel.  I went to Kingaroy today with Toni and Kasey for Mum's birthday, and took her out to lunch at a chinese restaurant, which was nice. We also went out last night to Hog's breath for dinner, and then went and saw Despicable Me at the movies, so had a nice evening out, as I was feeling pretty down during the day and even when I got up this morning, but I am feeling much better tonight.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Declutter challenge day 1

I am setting myself a challenge to do some serious decluttering before the end of the was day 1, and loaded up in the back of the car is 2 very large boxes of stuff from the garage that has been taking up room in there for the last 6 months, and prior to that, it was taking up room in the lockup area of the shed for about 2 years....waiting for me to have a garage well as some small trikes, 2 beanbags, a pram and a stroller and a few other bits and pieces....these WILL be dropped off at Lifeline in the morning on my way to coffee with Tammy.  When I get home I will be loading up the other half of the garage clutter, and that will go down on Wednesday morning on my way up to Mum's.  This will be 2 large 4WD loads of  clutter gone...I have kept a sand kingdom outside sand and water play table and will give this to Tammy in the morning for her little boy, and the rest of the stuff is really good quality baby and toddler toys, so hopefully someone who really needs it will get more use out of it than we are by it sitting in our garage.  I have also loaded up the Little Tikes playgym that is toddler sized, as well as the large rocker/seesaw thing for Tammy's little boy as well.

Day 2's challenge - get the 2nd load of clutter in to car ready to drop off Wed morning
                                 - Work out what will be on day 3 of this challenge's agenda

I have decided that the day's may not necessarily follow each other each day, but it may end up being 1 or 2 day's each week, followed by more or less the following week, depending on my schedule for that week and how I am feeling.  As October is quite busy for me work wise, I don't want to take on too much, but I don't want to lose the momentum of decluttering either, I have also come up with a decluttering plan that I can follow and mark off, with the idea being to have it done by the end of the year, I have this as a separate page here on the blog, so it is now written down, and I will mark each one off as I do goes....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mobile Ironing board and craft mat case

I have been looking at buying one of these for a few months now to take to sewing class, as they come in handy when sewing a project that requires a lot of getting up and down using the iron, and I can also use it next to my sewing maching at home.

 These are also great for taking to sewing retreats. One this size is $60 or so at the sewing shop, so I thought I would use up some materials that I already had here, and make my own.  The only things I purchased were the craft mat for $20, and the ultrabright heat resistant wadding, approx $3.  It would have been a lot cheaper if I had been able to find the craft mat at one of the discount stores, but nobody seemed to have them. If I had been able to find one, then I probably would have only spent about $10 all up....  here is how it was made:

The materials I needed were:
craft mat, heat proof wadding, fabric, fastener and a sheet of foam board from Office works and some wadding.

I cut 2 pieces of foam board the same size as my craft mat, the one I am using is 18" x 24"
I then laid my 2 foam pieces on the wrong side of my fabric.  I cut my fabric to allow about 4 - 6 inches extra all the way around, with an inch gap in between the 2 sheets of foam board.

I then drew a line marking the gap in the middle of the 2 sheets of foam.

At this point I cut from the top of the fabric a slot to meet the top of the gap, to make it easier to fold, but worked out later that I didn't need to do that, I could have just folded the whole top and botton section over.

I then cut a piece of fabric to cover the inch gap between the 2 pieces of foam.  I folded the top and bottom raw edges over, and then pressed a hem at the top and bottom so that the top and bottom of this piece sat in line with the top of the foam board on either side. I then sewed this strip in place top and bottom and along each side where the foam board meets, wrong side together.  This piece covers the edges on show after the craft mat and ironing mat are glued in to place.

 I also cut a piece of fabric 2 1/2 " x 7", and folded this in half, right sides together, and sewed along the long edge and 1 of the ends.  I attached 1 side of my metal fastener, and turned this piece right side out, and put it aside.

I then folded over the top and bottom edges of my large piece of fabric, so that they were even with the piece that I sewed in, which is level with the top and bottom of the foam sheets. 
I then placed the foam board in 1 side of my case, so that it butts up against my sewn edge, underneath this piece of fabric,  and placed the other 3 sides of fabric over this, and stapled in to place firmly and neatly with my staple gun.

All sides of 1 side of my case are now stapled to my foam board.

 I then took the piece that I have attached my fastener to, and secured the raw edge to the foam board, 1/2 way up my case on the right hand side, with the fastener facing up , with my staple gun.

 I then took my other piece of foam, and cut my heatproof mat, approx 2 inches larger around all sides, and I also cut a piece of contrasting fabric the same size as my heatproof fabric.  I then layered them, first the fabric, wrong side up, then the heatproof fabric, then my foam board.  I then pulled the fabric and heatproof fabric tightly over the foam board, and stapled with my staple gun.

I then cut a piece of wadding to the same size as the foam board, and attached it to the back of this piece, covering all of the fabric and heatproof mat, to create an even surface, as this will be against the front of the outside of the case, so I wanted it to feel smooth and even, and not have any bumps from where I folded the heatproof mat and fabric over my foam board.
I then temporarily placed my craft mat and my ironing pad inside my case to estimate the thickness, to work out where the 2nd side of my fastener was to be placed, and then attached it in place to the front of the case.

 I then used hot glue, and glued the back side of my green craft mat, and glued it to the inside  right side of my case. I could also have used construction adhesive of craft glue for this. I then glued my ironing pad to the inside left side of my case.

That's it....all done.  I now have a great portable ironing board and craft/cutting mat to take to my sewing classes...I'm very happy with how it has come up.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Block 1 of my Swirling Roses quilt....a new block of the month project

I have started working on a couple of quilts, they are called "Swirling Roses" I am doing one in purple for myself, and a cream one in Dupion silk as a gift.  I have so far completed block 1, and I am probably a little over halfway with finishing blocks 2 and 3.  The blocks are all embroidered, and is teaching lots of embroidery techniques along the way.  I have already learnt so much about stabilisers and positioning, so by the time they are all finished, I should be pretty advanced with my embroidery skills on my machine.  Here is block 1:

I am doing the purple one in greens, purples and pinks, and the cream one in lilac, purple, pink, burgundy and olive greens.  It is amazing how different 2 identical blocks can look in different colours.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

21 Years today

Damian and I have been married for 21 years today...Happy Anniversary you lots :)

PS: You had better call the florist, they haven't arrived with my delivery yet!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The sodastream

I purchased a soda stream a couple of months ago, and it has been brilliant.  It makes excellent quality softdrink, and I have even gotten used to the taste of the diet cola syrup, as opposed to the brand name diet coke, and I am quite happy to drink the soda stream brand now.  It has also been great for refreshing flat soft drinks.  It also saves on the packaging that regular soft drinks come in, and I make it up as we want it. I mainly drink tea and water, but in summer I do definitely drink more soft drink.  I have definitely saved a heap of money by not  buying soft drinks since I purchased it, and also in the amount of softdrinks I haven't had to throw away due to them being flat. I can change over the gas cylinder at Big W for $11.80 when this one runs out, saving even more packaging. Overall, a fantastic investment in both monetary and environmental issues....I should have done it years ago...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Handmade Sewing caddy

I finished off the sewing caddy I started last week.  It is from a Joypatch pattern called "Honeybun Fun sewing set".  The pattern has been altered slightly by using a special ruler to create the diamonds on the front and handle.  It was quite easy to make, the little diamonds on the handle were the most fiddly part because they are so small.  I am going to make a couple for different purposes, Kasey wants 1 in pink for dance, and I have downloaded some ballerina stitchery patterns to stitch out on to it.  I am also looking at making a larger one to put my thread cases in to take to classes, which I will make to specifically suit the size of the cases, as they are quite cumbersome to take to class.  I have so many projects I am wanting to make at the moment.......I have to stop looking at patterns....the craft and quilting show is on next month, so I will probably accumulate more projects there!!

I have had a nice day sewing, and Toni went and got a few movies and we all sat down and watched a DVD this afternoon, and I handsewed the binding to the caddy while we were watching the movie, so a nice relaxing day.  I was going to go to the markets this morning, but we were having showers here, and I didn't want to go in the rain.  I wanted to get some indoor foliage plants as I am replanting up our indoor planter box.  I transplanted some of the many bromeliads that are in the greenhouse in to it yesterday, and the Anthurium lilly which has not been doing very well in the garden, so hopefully it will fare better inside.  I am now looking at getting a few nice big plants to finish it off, so will post about that later when I finish it off. Hopefully I will get to the markets next Sunday to get the plants and finish it off. I am looking forward to that, as it hasn't had any plants in it for about 6 least....I have to sit down tonight and work out some school holiday activities, I have a couple of trips to the movies planned, and I am also looking at going to the zoo with a picnic for the day, and also packing up a picnic and taking Kasey over to one of the big playgrounds for a day well as some relaxing days at home of course

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Raspberry Ripple Bags

I made 2 of these bags yesterday.  It is a Melly and Me pattern, and is really, really easy. The pattern is very well written and very easy to follow.  I made 2, production line style, and I did piping on the pleats of each one, which probably added about 40 minutes each to each bag, so without the piping they could be made in a couple of hours from start to finish per bag. I can't see me ever buying a handbag again!

It's getting quite cool here at the moment, so I think I will go and fill up the firewood box, and light the fire for tonight.  I went and purchased my 500 litre chest freezer today, and it is being delivered on Monday.  After doing the calculations with how much power the current large fridge/freezer out in the shed in using, I have discovered it is using basically all of the power being generated by the solar panels! So the new freezer will only cost about $60 a year to run, which is about 1/5 the cost of the old fridge/freezer. I also went to Spotlight and purchased some Dupion silk, which was on special for just under $15 a metre, which was half price,  to make up the 2nd Swirling Roses quilt I am currently doing as a block of the month project. I will post some pics of this in a later post. I also have the climate smart people coming out on Monday, to wire up the wireless power monitor, and provide new bulbs and an enery report etc, so that will be an eye opener, look out, I will be the nazi power monitor very soon, turning off all the appliances as soon as someone leaves a room.  It will be nice to know which appliances are guzzling the power though, and try to improve on that so that we get the most value we can from our solar system.  Water tanks will be the next major purchase, so will start looking in to this soon, we are looking at concrete ones that can be put in the ground.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another finished project - my elegant evening bag

I finished this in time for the wedding we attended on the weekend.  It was all embroidered on my machine, and the flowers were embroidered as well on a wash away stabiliser, which just leaves the stitching behind when washed away. The bag itself is made from black dupion silk. It is large enough to fit my regular purse in it as well as my mobile and lippy etc.  I love, love, love it.....

Monday, September 13, 2010

My unique handmade laptop bag

I finished my laptop bag a couple of weeks ago.  I have made it in matching fabric to my sleep over bag made a few months ago, and have a couple of other projects planned with similar fabric coming up, so will have a complete matching set.  I really like it, and it was quite a quick project really, the longest part was hand sewing the binding on the inside, and hand sewing the handles on. It zips up from either side, and has pocket on the inside and 1 on the outside which I put my power cord in.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lots to do....

Thursday already??  I've been pretty busy this week, Monday I was in the office all day, but managed to catch up on paperwork.  I also managed to clean out the filing cabinet, and bulk store last years files, so lots of room in there now, so I won't have to keep struggling to do the filing and trying to fit them in the drawer!! Tuesday I spent all day out in the yard, I got all of the mowing done, and also managed to spray all of the weeds, the shoulders are a bit sore though as it is a 20litre backpack and gets pretty heavy on the back and shoulders.  Toni also helped me move Kasey's trampoline out in to the backyard where it was supposed to be put 3 years ago....that was a struggle, just about turned my legs to jelly! Michael turned up at exactly the right time, after it was moved!  I also caught up on all of my wedding phonecalls to next months brides, as October is a really busy month it took me a few hours on the phone. Yesterday was my block of the month for my "back on the farm" quilt.  I managed to get all of the pieces on to the last couple of blocks, there is a couple of pieces here and there missing over the last 4 blocks, as there are some really tiny pieces, so it will probably take me about another hour or so, to cut out the new pieces for the missing parts and get it ready for free motion sewing.  Once that is done, it will be time to put it all together!!  I had a virus of some sort on my laptop yesterday, so that took me from 4pm yesterday until 11pm last night to get rid of.  I now have my antivirus all updated, as well as Microsoft Security installed and updated, so any viruses will have 2 lots of antivirus software and firewalls to get through...that should fix em! I have flowers coming this morning for my 2 weddings this weekend, as well as embroidery club this morning for a couple of hours.  This afternoon I will start on the weddings, and then tonight I have a sewing class to make a double diamond's quite a nifty little bag, will post pics when done.  I have quite a few finished items I have sewn over the last month or 2, I just haven't managed to upload them to my blog yet...I also have a few projects planned for the next few weeks for some interesting take along to sewing class items....which will make life a little easier for some of the things needed at club and classes.  Now, I just need to find about another 8 hours to each day to get everything done!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Weekend wrap up

So, I had a productive weekend.  I didn't do too much when I got back from delivering the wedding yesterday.  I did a little weeding in the garden, there was some big horrid, prickly weeds growing in there, and I didn't realise how many there actually were until I started digging them out...lucky I got to it, as otherwise I would have been really struggling to contain them, as they were spreading like wildfire.  Mum popped in briefly, and then, other than the necessary daily stuff, I just plodded along. Made up a lovely beef chow mein, from the new Annette Sym cookbook, it was really yummy, except Toni and Kasey thought it was too spicy. We then sat and watched riverfire on the tv, and spent the rest of the night relaxing.  Today, we rang Damian for fathers day, and surprise, shock, Michael had already rung him, only because he hadn't been to bed yet from the night before!  I then spent most of the day cleaning the house, and it is now a peaceful, tidy haven again....we then moved Toni's old desk in to Kasey's room, as she was begging for it to be in her room, and moved her bed and chest of drawers, and threw out some rubbish, and took her little dressing table out.  Because I have moved her bed back against the wall, it makes her room look so much bigger now. After dinner, I tackled the sewing cupboard. I went to Bunnings today and bought 8 wire stacking racks and put them in the cupboard beside my sewing cupboard, and moved all of my fabric, stabilisers and patterns into that.  I didn't realise how much fabric I actually had, so this tidy up should save me quite a bit of money over the coming months with the sewing projects planned, as I can see what is there and get to the fabric really easily. Unfortunately, my camera batteries were flat, so I wasn't able to take a before shot, but this is the end result:

I can't believe how quickly I filled up my 8 shelves...ooops....   The cupboard where I have my sewing maching and overlocker is so much more organised now, so it will be much more pleasant trying to get some sewing done in there, as I can't work for too long in a disorganised area, as it drives me a bit nutty.  I cleaned our office earlier in the week as well, before the accountant came, and that is so much nicer to work in now also.  so, that's my weekend done and dusted, ready for another busy week. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Today's Wedding

Today's wedding flowers for Rachael....
Bridal bouquet of white oriental lillies and white roses:
Bridesmaid bouquets of white oriental lillies and muscatel roses:
Groom's white rose buttonhole flower:
Groomsmen's muscatel pink rose buttonhole flower:
Ladies buttonhole flowers of white spray roses:
Off to deliver all of these shortly....