Friday, December 31, 2010

Meet Froggie

Meet Froggie. He came to life in the week before Christmas. I 'just happened' to be walking past a most beautiful fabric shop when the thought 'just happened' to enter my head that Daniel must absolutely have a handsome new froggie to replace his current, grubby-looking favourite. Fabric was purchased, and patterns were drafted, and here he is, an early birthday present for an almost-one-year-old. I thoroughly enjoyed making him, too! Unfortunately, though I don't think the grubby frog is going to be handed over any time soon.
I want to thank you all for taking the time to read along this year! I wish you all the very best for the new year! I am eagerly anticipating the new year with the comforting knowledge that God who sees and knows all things has the whole world in His hands.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In summary

I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas. We led up to Christmas with the kids by reading 'The Jesse Tree' during the month of December, as well as enjoying a Christmas concert and an hour of Christmas praise at church. Christmas weekend was enjoyed in Albany, with a family potluck lunch after church on Christmas Day (and leftovers for the rest of the weekend). The kids got their beach fix, and now we are settling back into our at-home routines.

God has blessed us all in so many ways this past year, giving us so much for both body and soul. We are thankful for the happy, healthy family we have been given, and for the things we have been allowed to do and enjoy together this year. We have had opportunities that other people may only be able to dream about (I think especially of our housebuilding project, and my quiltmaking experiences). We trust that God will also give us what we need during 2011, and pray that we may live in a way that brings Him honour.
As far as my sewing goes, I've been spending some time making plans for the new year - setting priorities and goals, and mapping out how I might achieve them.
This includes things like:
- revamping my website
- maybe setting up an online shop (bigcartel?) through which to sell my work
- working towards an exhibition of my childhood quilts (starting with submitting an exhibition proposal to my preferred galleries)
- entering my quilts into art exhibitions

On top of that, I have calculated that I need to sew about 40 blinds for the new house, along with a range of cushion covers, and pouffes. Then there are six pieces of furniture awaiting reupholstering, and a whole lot more wanting to be sanded back and refinished (painted or stained) in some way. So I'm sure I'll be keeping out of trouble for at least the next year or so.
I'm looking forward to it. Getting stuck into it all, that is.

And if I do maybe get a bit carried away with it, there are these four little darlings to give me a daily (hourly?) reality check.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Can you hear my cheese eating?

I think we have mixed messages reaching that little brain up there. We are trying to teach Caleb to eat with his mouth closed, but he seems to consider it an accomplishment if we can hear his cheese eating! Hmmm...

Writing stones

There has been all manner of sewing and making around here in the last month or so, but I haven't been so diligent about sharing it with you here. One project I really enjoyed was these writing stones. Hannah is enjoying the challenge of learning to read, so it was the perfect time to make these. The idea comes from somewhere on The Write Start (check out her Writers Workshop), and I love that these look beautiful even just sitting in a bowl. (They are made by putting alphabet rub-ons onto river pebbles, and sealing with varnish).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Teacher totes

I made tote bags for Aaron and Hannah to give to their teachers to show appreciation for all their work this year. I figure extra totes never go astray around here, so hopefully they'll find a use for them too.

I started with 'I like my miss because...' and got Aaron and Hannah each to finish the sentence off for their respective teachers. I particulary like Hannah's statement, below: (The bags are lined to hide the back of the embroidery).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stitch, stitch, chatter, chatter

Caleb and Aaron have had itchy fingers watching Hannah stitch away. So we remedied that - access to my pins, for Caleb.....and a nice red toolbox containing good quality pins, needles and scissors for Aaron.
They have all sorts of grand stitching plans for the summer holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The point of no return

I did it. That series of five quilt tops which I wasn't entirely happy with (shown all nicely stacked, above) now looks like this:
and this:Only the first cut was difficult. After that it was all systems go. Hopefully there will be further progress to show you next week.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

21 months on

I'm currently working on this quilt as I contemplate drastic action on these, and it occurred to me that I have been working on it for around 21 months. I started drawing it when Caleb first started playing 'peekaboo' with us, uncoordinated baby style. And this week we snapped Daniel, 21 months younger than Caleb, playing peekaboo at the dinner table for the first time. Still a bit hit and miss!These are quite timely really, as I need to do some sketches for stitching into the background of this quilt.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A note for Aunty Arls

Dear Aunty Arls, thankyou for your parcel. Mummy made us wait till Daddy came home, to open it, but it was worth the wait. We are all very excited about our treasures. We love you, and look forward to seeing you at Grandma's house at Christmas! Love from Aaron, Hannah, Caleb and Daniel.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Someone should learn to control her kids

I took a sanity break this afternoon. Meaning that I sat onto the couch for fifteen minutes with a cup of coffee and a magazine and tuned out. That was after trying in vain to get both of these two monsters to take a monster-sized nap. They've been doing really well until today. Naturally - because today I really needed them to sleep, so that we can all go to see Aaron and Hannah perform in their school Christmas concert tonight. So here you see them both, sleeping like babies while I rest on the couch......or not...On the bright side, I was just wanting some handwork for travelling and so on, and this non-ball of twine should keep me occupied for many more hours than it took Caleb and Daniel to unravel! :(

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Taking shape, and shaping our day

Nothing drastic yet.
On a different matter, I played with my alphabet stamps yesterday. I need to focus on establishing a good daily routine for Caleb and Daniel (something we have struggled with ever since Daniel came along). That, and numerous people wondering where I find time to sew, has had me putting a lot of thought into what our days currently look like, and what I would like them to look like. So here's my plan:
It's those green Z's that we're focussing on for now - getting the boys' sleeps happening at regular times, and getting their afternoon sleeps coordinated, so that I have some time out during the day. Trying to find a good regular time between school runs, errands and appointments has been a real struggle, and I think I'm going to have to let the errands and appointments take second place to the sleeps for a while, until things improve!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

FRCSR Fine Food and Craft Market

I've posted twice already today with the intention of talking about the market on Saturday, and managed to forget both times! I blame it on the fact that I left the market all inspired to make new things, and my mind is preoccupied with all these ideas. A big thankyou to everyone who dropped by my stall. It was so good to chat to you all, and its always nice to hear that people enjoy dropping by this blog. After selling out of picnic blankets, I have been dreaming up new quilts for the future... we'll see what comes of that. Thanks to all your purchases, proceeds could go to both Amos Aid Australia and Nulsen Haven.

The market was so enjoyable. It was a very well managed, happily bustling affair, and is a huge credit to the organisers. If you haven't been yet, be sure to come along to the next one!

Contemplating something drastic

I am currently working on quilt #4 in a set of five. I was happy with #1, but not as much with the following two. I think this current one may also be a bit mediocre, although I have high hopes for #5. I'll make my final assessment once all five quilt tops are pieced. As I have been sitting piecing, and berating myself on not spending more time in the design phases of these quilts (i.e. ensuring that I'm 100% happy with the design before proceding) I have been contemplating something drastic for these quilts. Actually, after mulling over this for the past week I'm almost hoping that the quilts don't pass the final assessment, as I kind of like the idea of some drastic action...

Special privileges

I'm feeling awfully privileged lately. I have received permission from the parents and teachers of Aaron's class at school to take photos of the kids throughout the day, for the purpose of making a quilt! Not only do I have many nice photos to work from already, but I'm also rather enjoying the free license to quietly duck into the classroom for 10 minutes or so at random times during the week - I always enjoy watching the kids interacting with each other and the teacher!My original intent was to take a batch of photos now for some time in the future when I am ready to work on this quilt, but ideas are sprouting, and I don't think they will wait for the future. I'm looking forward to some sketching and designing over the next few weeks!

Friday, November 19, 2010

All grown up

Somewhere in the busyness of the past month our beautiful, wild daughter turned six!
She suddenly seems a whole lot more grown up, too. Where she used to spend a good part of everyday hanging around chattering or not doing much at all (with a constant chorus from me to go and do something useful), all of a sudden I notice that she is self-motivated and I never have to direct her to a certain activity to occupy her. Where she has shown little interest in books up till now, all of a sudden she is learning to read by leaps and bounds, and picking up books to read of her own accord, throughout the day. Needless to say, we are very pleased and thankful to see this growth.

Although it's a bad photo, the one below is one of my favourite recent shots of Hannah. She got a sewing basket for her birthday and here she is laying out her fabric so that she can select the right ones for the project. I love that she arranged her workspace just like I do when I am starting a new quilt.
The sewing basket was the best present we could have given her. Of her own accord she has been making all sorts of little stitched items. Every project so far has involved tears because its not as going as neat or as perfect as she would like (she doesn't learn perfection from me!) but to her credit she persists until the project is finished. So far all the projects have been given to favourite people before I have had a chance to take photos.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

FRCSR Fine Food and Craft Market

IT's only one more week till the FRCSR Fine Food and Craft Markets! I had a practice run at setting up my market stall a couple of nights ago. I'm pretty happy with how it all works together, and am looking forward to market day!
I will have picnic rugs, baby t-shirts, note-pads, drawing bags for the kids, gift tag kits and fabric panels, all incorporating hand-printing in some way.
I do hope to see you there!