Wednesday, December 30, 2009


There is a terrible mess on the living room floor, but considering the fun ALL THREE kids have had for the last two hours, who cares?

No explanation required

Our camping trip was made with 'just' our own little family. One of the things I like about camping by ourselves is that I don't need to explain or justify to anyone why I have brought along a bag of stuffing and another bag full of assorted elephant body parts. These various body bits were machine stitched at home, and stuffed, embroidered and assembled by hand at the campsite early in the mornings and after the kids went to bed. Now for some clothes...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm back!

Sorry for dropping off the scene without notice! The last days of school and holiday preparations got away with me, and I never managed a 'see you later' post. I hope you had a blessed Christmas!

We thoroughly enjoyed our 10 days of camping. In addition to lots of beach and pool swimming, there was a good amount of this...
and this...
and this...
and on Caleb's part, a whole lot of mess-making!
And yes, I also took some handwork along - a last minute decision, at Phil's insistence, for the sake of his and my sanity! I'll show what I was working on when I get around to taking some photos. Right now, we are off to swimming lessons...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Battling on

There are days when I would love to get rid of everything related to my quiltmaking and sewing, and live a much simpler life. Seriously. Although I believe that the point of everything that I do is to give glory to God, some days I still struggle with the 'point' of my quiltmaking, and then I also find it hard to enjoy what I am doing*. Yesterday was like that. Maybe its my mental state for the day, or maybe its the circumstances in which I am working at the time (such as, engaged in a power struggle with my one and a half year old). Maybe the step I am working on also comes into it... like this little lady...
She nearly had me beat yesterday... With artistic license to give her any hairstyle under the sun, what on earth possessed me to do plaits, and at this scale? If I'd had any doubts about the design of this quilt I think I would have binned it at this point. But I am very excited about this quilt design, so we pushed on...
and she was conquered, and before bedtime too! Now to 'conquer' the one and a half year old...

* Admittedly, on such days I also find it hard to enjoy other jobs and projects.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fun for all

Just showing you some of the kids craft activities we have been keeping busy with:
- this particular drawing of Caleb's is definitely for keeping. He worked at it so intensely that he was huffing and puffing!
- Hannah's collage kept her busy for several days - that's the sort of craft project I like! First she covered the background of her large paper with magazine paper, sort of representing sky, water and grass. Then we drew lots of pictures for her to colour, cut and paste. And then she enthusiastically kept on drawing her own pictures as well as cutting out magazine pictures.
- the sequin-covered balls were inspired by this post. Be careful - this is VERY therapeutic and you might just find yourself distracted from the various chores that need doing!

Meanwhile, we are down to 1 more sleep!! Yes, Phil's coming back three days earlier than expected, which we're all rather excited about. I must say, though, that all those 'sleeps' didn't look half so daunting in the form of Hannah's lovehearts!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ticked off

Well, its Thursday, and my goals have been met... the elm quilt is quilted, the house has been springcleaned from top to bottom, the car has been washed, the baby clothes have been pulled out of storage and washed, the herb garden has been planted, the christmas cards are stamped and ready to drop into the post box, the bulk of the holiday groceries have been ordered and packed away, and the birth announcement cards have been designed...
Now I'm waiting for the kettle to boil so I can enjoy a coffee, while I eagerly anticipate new projects! I'm hoping that the next week will hold a nice variety of sketching, piecing a new quilt top, sewing elephants, reading and probably some kids craft thrown in for good measure... sort of a little stay-at-home holiday as we count down towards Phils return!
One less-anticipated project will be to cut out a new quilt top, for when I have spare time to sew after the baby comes. I know, go ahead and laugh... but just imagine how frustrating it would be if I DO get spare time to sew, only to find there is nothing to sew! I like to be prepared! Last week I dyed some browns and skin-tones for this, with good results. After my recent experiments with red, I am now using a better quality homespun, and managed to find a source where I can get this at wholesale prices, which I'm rather happy about!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Any helpful tips for removing half a pot (no exaggeration!) of Vaseline from a head of baby hair?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Free stuff

In a moment of clarity: "Mum, it doesn't cost money to think!"...
...sometimes I would give anything to see into that little mind for a day!

Goals broken and made

I'm well and truly behind the unofficial (and probably unrealistic) quilting goal I set myself this week, but making progress all the same... Maybe there will be more sewing next week? (I'd love to have this one quilted by Thursday... for no other reason than that there are other exciting projects waiting to be tackled).

Friday, November 27, 2009

One job down

One of the odd jobs I needed to get done was to make Christmas cards. I found pre-cut cards (with matching envelopes) reduced to clear, and screenprinted these images onto them. The designs are inspired by old Japanese textiles, and I love how they turned out. I used my textile paint, which actually gives the cards a 'flocked' look.
I always try to make extra prints onto 'scrap' paper when screenprinting... this time there I also managed to remove the paper stencils from the screen without damaging them. They have dried nicely and I will be able to use them again!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The life of the idle rich

Now for the highlight of this week... I just had my groceries delivered to my front door! That's right, I sat at home enjoying a coffee while someone else pushed a trolley through the supermarket, collecting my groceries and delivered them all nicely boxed and bagged to my front door. Although this whole concept puts a smile on my face every time I think about it, I do feel a bit bad for them. I console myself with the fact that he/she probably didn't do it with a twirling, dancing five year old, a gravity-defying one year old, and one-yet-unborn squirming and kicking in his/her belly...

But still, isn't that just the height of luxury? Thanks heaps for the tip, Leanne. This will work wonders when the baby arrives! Now please excuse me, I have an appointment at the beauty salon while my maid cleans my house... tee hee....

P.S. you don't actually need to be rich - I thought the $8 delivery fee was well worth it in my current circumstances - grocery shopping has been my most challenging household chore lately!


There hasn't been a whole lot of sewing happening here, just very brief fragments of time snatched here and there. There are other priorities to focus on. Caleb and I are busy sorting out who is boss. And there is also a whole host of odd jobs to tackle in preparation for summer holidays and the coming baby.

Hannah has been busy though! Phil is in Botswana and Hannah wanted to count down to when he comes back. So she spent the afternoon drawing and cutting lovehearts......and carefully copying numbers onto sticky labels to make her 'counting-down calendar'...
...with lovehearts "because we love Daddy" afternoon well spent...
...only 17 sleeps left!...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Sometimes there are moments in the day when everything is blissfully quiet, and you revel in it for a moment, until you realise with a fright that the quiet probably means that the one and a half year old is probably deeply occupied with something he shouldn't be...

This time the alarm was unwarranted... it's hard work reading all about The Very Busy Spider!

Reflecting on a journey

I have been putting off writing this post, I suppose because its a little embarrassing. But because I want this blog to record my quiltmaking journey, here goes... As I already alluded to in an earlier post, my work has been blessed with much publicity recently. Last week I received several copies of duQ138 in the mail, with my work featured. I didn't know what to expect here, but am over the moon with the look and feel of the article. Also, a week earlier I picked up duQ137 at the local newsagents, when I noticed that another WA artist was featured, only to find images of three of my quilts in that issue. I also received a box full of calendars featuring quilt images (including two of my quilts. And the colour catalogue for Art Quilt Australia (including my quilt 'What does YOUR family look like?') also arrived by post last week.

We (Phil and I) often stand in awe of how God has blessed my work to date. I never dreamt five years ago that my quiltmaking journey would have been so exciting to date. I am so thankful that I have a supportive husband, as well as the resources (time, opportunities) to have developed this interest. While the opportunities continue, I certainly hope to make the most of them, and look forward to seeing where the journey goes from here, especially which quilts are going to appear over the next years!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Perfect weather for elephants

Seems that I didn't have to wait till next winter after all, to get rain photos... It's been like winter here today - perfect weather for cutting out elephants! I got this pattern from Jodie, and can't wait to sew it up, especially after I rediscovered this old op-shopped blanket in my boxes of fabric -made at the old Albany Woollen Mills once upon a time, and perfect for elephants!

Monday, November 16, 2009

1089 - 1

The golden elm quilt is pieced. I hope to layer it tonight when everyone is in bed! Interestingly, there is a piece left over (not sure where it is supposed to go)... I guess that technically, there are actually 1088 pieces in this quilt!

Tea party

Grandma treated our kids to some little containers full of 'tea party treats' last week, so on Saturday they enjoyed their tea party in their kitchen, while I enjoyed my own little tea party behind my sewing machine. Do you like my new red teapot?
I have to confess, the packet of chamomile and cinnamon tea in the background was staged. I was actually drinking a nice spicy blend from T2. The chamomile was bought on a whim recently. I haven't tried it yet, as I actually have absolutely no need for anything soothing and relaxing to help me sleep... I think I fell for the packaging :). I look forward to trying it some day, though.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Exciting discoveries

There are so many exciting things to discover in life!
Like dees... and durds, didas, dods and dats (or bees, birds, spiders, dogs and cats)...
(Bees not visible, but they were definitely there, collecting pollen from our roses)
...and playing in the rain...
...and of course, Tim Tams!
The idea of capturing the joy of rain has been in the back of my mind for a while now, so I loved seeing Caleb's pure joy at having escaped out into the rain for a while this morning. Now I just need to work out how to photograph rain. I wanted to capture drops trickling down the window, but none of our windows actually got wet this morning. Might have to wait till winter to try again!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


There are 1089 pieces in the 'golden elm quilt I am currently piecing. At last count I had pieced 330 of those, but I think I've done at least another 200 since then. Making progress!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What does YOUR family look like?

Please meet ours:Starring Aaron, Hannah, Grandad, Aunty Arls, Ted, Caleb and others!

As promised, this is my Art Quilt Australia 09 entry. The statement that goes with it is:
Little children love to draw themselves and others near and dear to them. Tongue between teeth, they concentrate oh-so-hard on getting all the important features in place. I am privileged to observe such artists at work every day!

I believe that Art Quilt Australia catalogues will be available for purchase via Ozquilt Network Inc after the exhibition closes, if you can't make it there in person!
Enjoy your day!