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05 November, 2013

Almost Another Quilt

This is my take on the Craftsy Block of the Month 2013 with Laura Nownes

Still a work in progress ~ hope to finish it soon!!

24 September, 2013

My Latest Quilt

Twelve months later and this little quilt is so close to being finished but I've still got some work to do, namely squaring it and binding.  Anyway I just have to post it here and now, the other will happen later. [I hope]

I learnt how to make this spread by enrolling in  Craftsy Block of the Month 2012.   All up I made twenty blocks and I love the final result.

There is no way I could do the machine stitching, I had to call in the experts for that.

Loving the quilting stitch, it's super cool.  For a quilt made out of scraps it sure did turn out to be expensive. I had the machine stitching done by the professionals and  it was worth every last dollar.  I'd like to give a shout out to ladies at The Sewing Bee Cafe for the beautiful heart machine quilting.

22 September, 2013


 From Around the World

What do you do when your mother-in-law hands you a dusty, dirty cardboard box and says, ‘Here, do what you want with them.’ 

Well, I gingerly opened the box and carefully removed the old newspaper packing and behold I found an interesting treasure trove of assorted items. 

I think these two might be Greek.  They are so well made with heaps of attention to detail and they are in perfect condition only slightly browning on the costumes which just adds to the character.  They are close to fifty years old.  They make me jump with joy they are so beautiful.

Hand painted miniature wooden jugs from Peniscola in Spain and tiny dolls from somewhere around Germany [I’m guessing].

Sweet little birds made from felt with hand painted tails and felted bodies, just so cute.  I have no clue where they may have originated but I’m guessing France because they were originally gifted from an aunt from France.

Miniature hand carved and painted wooden clogs from Holland.

Finally an old cow bell from Tirol deep in the Austrian Alps.

There was no way I going to put them back in the cardboard box so for the time being they are mounted on the wall in my front entrance. 
I used 12 inch canvases turn wrong way out and decorated them with paint, paper, stamps and washi tape, keeping to the colour scheme from the dolls clothes.  

11 September, 2013

Hearty Arty Inspiration

Life Book 2013 with Tamara Laporte is my favourite place to be at the moment.  I'm getting so much inspiration watching all the videos and 'having a go' using all kinds of mixed media.  This piece was inspired by Effy Wild's tutorial in Life Book 2013.

But there's more, Joanne Sharpe of Whimspirations is amazing and her art work inspires me just as much and it's such a great way to unwind after a tough day or two.

I've taken several of Joanne's on-line classes last year and recently I came across these wonderful prints which Joanne created and here's my spin on her work.  I just love using Nicholson's Peerless Transparent Watercolors ~ Joanne Palette.  I discovered these when taking a class with Joanne.  I'm also enrolled in a class which Joanne is featuring in with Strathmore Art which starts next week.  Looking forward to getting heaps more inspiration from Joanne Sharpe and of course the Life Book 2013 is a whole year course with lots of great artists showcasing their many skills.  

11 July, 2013

Four Little Elephants Sitting On A Wall

Meet the recent addition to my family. 
From left to right
Henry, Etta, Kit and Caboodle

The pattern for these cuties was designed by Jodie Charlton from RicRac and you can find her and her patterns here.

Not sure what destiny has in store for these guys yet but it sure will be sad to say goodbye.

08 April, 2013

H is for Handmade - A to Z Challenge

Today is about my involvement with handmade crafts.
I'm always short on words because I know anyone who may visit and take the time to read this doesn't have time for a lengthy post, therefore this will be short and sweet.
I've been making handmade items for years, since I was fourteen ~ make that many, many years I've been making handmade items! 

Handmade by me

I give all my work away, I've never sold anything. Too scared mostly and everything I do has been done before, so who would want to buy my stuff.  I love giving my stuff away and I would never give anything that I wasn't truly happy with.
Sewing is a breeze for me and not much of a challenge, so I find I'm moving more towards drawing and painting (Oil) and I know that the only way I'm going to improve is to practice and one day I hope my paintings will be as much a breeze for me as my sewing is now.

Like I said in my post yesterday, I am very grateful to have found so many clever internet people. I have paid for and mostly enjoyed hours of tutorials on painting and drawing and I've enjoyed sharing my efforts ~ however humble they may be.

Handpainted by me
So for today, my point is all things handmade make me happy, especially if I'm the maker.


07 April, 2013

G is for Grateful - A to Z Challenge

I spent hours yesterday and today trying to create my own 'Grateful' quote.  It was what I really wanted to share but I ended up trashing my work, [3 times!].  I think I was rushing.  It really matters to me not to get too far behind in the A to Z Challenge but inevitably it will happen, I can manage it without help, it's my destiny to lag behind.
So, rather than get all stressed about my lack of talent and wonderful 'G' ideas, I decided to go to Pinterest to save the day. 
I am truly grateful to all the wonderfully creative and arty people I've met on the internet and so this is my tribute to them. I am grateful for all the things I have learned and grateful particularly for the friendships and strong bonds I have made throughout my journey.  

Source: via Leah on Pinterest

05 April, 2013

Flowers - A to Z Challenge

My Yucca trees are in flower for the first time.
It’s the end of Summer here and whilst the weather is still warm, the season is definitely moving towards Autumn, if somewhat slowly.  I’m not complaining, I love Summer but Autumn is just about the next best thing.

The flower is sensational but I can’t get close enough to be able to tell if there is any perfume.  At first I thought the flower would be short lived [maybe a couple of days] but after three weeks it appears to be continually developing.

I have no desire to remove the flowers, they can stay exactly where they are, and I can enjoy them day in, day out from my kitchen window and naturally when I sit by the pool to enjoy a good book and a cuppa.

04 April, 2013

Embroidery - A to Z Challenge

I didn't think I would make it to 'E' in the A to Z Challenge, but I’m here and I'm so happee!!
Purchased on a holiday in Vietnam

  This year has reignited my interest in embroidery.  Alas, I find embroidery challenging for the following of reasons:-

"     It requires attention to detail,

"     The thread gets tangled easily,

"     I run out of thread at the crucial time,

"     I’m always losing the scissors,

"     Impossible to do in average light,

"     My fingers are tortured by the needle,

"     I don’t know how to do all the fancy stitches.

Purchased on a holiday in Vietnam

I do have a positive spin on embroidery for me for the following reasons:-

"     It’s transportable,

"    Fills in time, i.e. waiting at the doctors surgery,

"     I can take it outside on a beautiful day,

"     It’s a conversation starter,

"    A finished piece has multiple uses, i.e. cushion cover, frame it, panel insert for many sewing projects etc.

Embroidery and herb garden by me
So, I will continue to explore the positive aspects of embroidery and on my bucket list is the desire to design my own amazing story to embroider.

Embroidery by me ~ design by Cinderberry Stitches

03 April, 2013


In 2009 I did a bit of travelling and for the A to Z Challenge today, I would like to share some pics of D for DOORS






Christine - What's in a name

C is for Christine the A - Z Challenge

Source: via Keri on Pinterest

My current book mark reads:- 
Christine, From the Greek word for 'annointed'. 
With the face of an angel and a personality to match,
she is heaven sent. 
A sensitive friend.
But I like to think it means

02 April, 2013

Billabong Bliss

Billabong (pron.: /ˈbɪləbɒŋ/, BIL-ə-bong) is an Australian English word meaning a small lake, specifically an oxbow lake, a section of still water adjacent to a river, cut off by a change in the watercourse.[1] Billabongs are usually formed when the path of a creek or river changes, leaving the former branch with a dead end. Billabongs, reflecting the arid Australian climate in which these "dead rivers" are found, fill with water seasonally and are dry for a greater part of the year.[2]
Coronet Bay - Victoria, Australia
This is my secret wonderland, a small billabong hidden behind a quiet coastal beach.  Walking distance from my beach shack. 
This billabong is home to a large paddling of ducks, several white faced heron and I've been warned, a haven for a slither of snakes.  I tread carefully when navigating my way around this tranquil environment.  The Jack Russell pups are on a very short leash when we walk along the track.  The water is fresh and clean [I know, I've tasted it] and far on the other side of this oasis is rich farm land occupied by a herd of wet nosed, sweet faced dairy cows. 

Blue, cloudy skies are a feature of my wonderland and quite frankly, this part of the world, top and bottom, is a tiny bit of heaven.

The billabong flows quietly into the ocean, stretching across the sandy beach, digging deep crevices into the sand.  The Jack Russells have finally learnt that sea water does not quench a thirst and a playful race to the meandering billabong overflow will fortify them on their journey home.
Ah such bliss ~ my billabong wonderland
Sweet dreams ~ Goldie and Lilly

27 March, 2013

A Crazy Quilt

Machine quilting gives the quilt a bubbly effect

After much huffing and puffing about the effort and constant negative thoughts about how I don't have the time or the patience to make a quilt, last year I finally made a quilt.  In fact, I made one and a half quilts.  This is not my first attempt but compared to what I've produced days gone by this is more like what a quilt should be.  I think!  You see this quilt is as stiff as a board and whilst colourful it lacks the comfort factor, a bit like cold soup.

I never really follow a pattern and have little regard for instructions of any type, [probably because I used to write technical training manuals in my hay-day].  Since I'm not a 'quilter' I decided I really needed to at least watch a couple of videos [absolute preferred way to learn these days] if I were ever going to make a 'real quilt' just like the experts.  

I'm ever so grateful for the videos I've sourced on the Internet and I appreciate the time, skill and energy required to create these masterpieces.  [I appreciate them because I used to make video's on how to use databases ~ OMG so boring how did I ever do it?  I cringe whenever I think about those days], and for this reason I'm addicted to purchasing crafty videos in my quest to learn.

I gave my cardboard crazy quilt to my MIL and she really appreciates it and I know it will one day be re-gifted back to me.  I'm mortified that it's not snugly and smoochy and cozy and warm and as comforting as a bowl of soup, but at least I quashed the negative thoughts and got on with the job and FINISHED IT.

My next adventure into the world of high tech teaching videos is MIXED MEDIA.  I just have to get into the zone [whatever that is?] and create something that gives me a warm glow all over.  It's exciting, can't wait to share. 

22 March, 2013

A Picture Book

Nothing better to do today but clean out some cupboards and what a nice surprise to find these cute treasures.  The book that I took these photos from date back to about 1951 and whilst the binding has all but disintegrated the pages within have survived the test of time.

26 February, 2013

Red Nose Day Dolls

My friend Jodie from Ric Rac is a pattern maker of many things, in particular soft toys and even more particularly she makes very small things.  I have made two of her tiny teapot pin cushions, (as well as heaps of her other stuff) they make perfect gifts for friends, pins included.  I think I'll blog about that effort and give Jodie another shout out, another day.  There's a pattern here (pardon the pun) but I am repeating myself.
Well, it really is best to visit Jodie's blog to see all that she is doing for the Red Nose Day Doll project.  You won't believe the things she gets up to unless you take a peek yourself at Ric Rac, never a dull post, that's for sure.
I love the idea Jodie's gal friends have come up with, Emma Mitchell and Ros Badger and you can see and read all about their fundraising project here at Red Nose Day Dolls FB page.
Another lovely blog to read is the  Red Nose Day Dolls Blog, really cute and full of fun and happiness. 
Below is an amazing YouTube video you just have to watch and if you like it, why not click the 'Like' button there too.

How clever is this video?
Karen Boatwright must be one of the most patient souls on this planet. 
I love it so much and keep watching it over and over.
Cheers from me here

03 February, 2013

Beachcombing and a Dragon

 Last week when I was out walking along this peaceful stretch of beach I came across this dragon. 

Isn't she a beauty?

She sleeps in a gorgeous coastal bay in Victoria, Australia.  She's my new BF.  I can sit beside her and take in the beauty of the ocean, the cliffs and amazing bird life and feel at peace with my life.  She let's me talk with interrupting, keeps me warm and asks no questions.

This is her long and awesome body. See her short legs at the front?  Her beautiful snoozy face is hidden and she just lies there protecting the ocean and yes, letting every living soul walk all over her!!

Such is life - she is my beauty.

Do you see what I see?  Or do you think I've been in the sun too long?