Saturday, May 29, 2010

What a week!

Checkout these two...
Adorable, aren't they?... Ha! Between the two of them they have been giving us the time of our life (in a bad way) over the past week or more. Both have been unwell, and they've set up a bit of a roster to make sure that we all share in their misery - Caleb goes from 5:30am till 7pm, with some help from Daniel in between. Then we get a few hours respite, designed to lull us into thinking everything will now be OK, until we get into bed and Daniel starts his shift...
...but never mind, we are still hanging in here and doing what we have to do, including a little bit of drawing......(briefly) revisiting forgotten quilts......and baking...lots of much baking that even walking continuously for a month would not begin to pay for this bout of baking... But, the week is over; the birthday is behind us (and we thoroughly enjoyed it); the kids are (slowly) getting better. Today was spent in 'recovery' mode, with my 'recovery' project: a scarf. I think that I get a knitting urge every winter. Phil sighs and tells me to stick to sewing, as my knitting projects are not generally too successful. But I still can't help myself. And anyway, how hard can a scarf be? Actually, it's not a scarf, its a cowl - so no loose ends to be sucked on by babies or stitched over by sewing machines. I'll keep you posted! Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pretty pleased

With another quilt completed, various outstanding jobs and projects are being tackled this week. This new outfit for Hannah was one. Leggings: Big W. Skirt and blouse: free fabric and Ottobre patterns. T-shirt: from my large stock of t-shirt fabric, also with an Ottobre pattern. Smile: model's own, developed specifically for photo shoots. Thankfully Arlene captured some genuine smiles in our recent family shoot. Checkout some of the amazing photos she took here. I am in awe of what Arls can do with a camera!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Caleb do it!

Caleb was adamant, in his own forceful way, that he was big enough to make cards with Hannah and I this morning...
I guess he had a point! Here he is using a toothpick to put a drop of glue onto the card, and then sticking a 'pwetty thing' on top. I was actually quite surprised that his fine motor skills were up to this already. He was most satisfied with what he accomplished, and I'm happy to have another rainy-day activity up my sleeve for him!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Done, with 10 days to spare

It's finished! And over a week to spare, too. I suppose I should say 'almost finished' - still have to stitch the label to the back, but I'm still thinking about the title. The working title has been "It's a big wide world out there in my backyard" - sort of title/artist's statement rolled into one. But this is probably too much of a mouthful for a title, so I'm still deciding how to abbreviate it. I was going to ask for your thoughts, but I suppose that would be a bit rude of me, without first showing you a picture of the quilt. And that can't be done, so I guess I'll have to nut it out myself...

I'm very happy with how the whole process went with this quilt. Often quilt ideas stew in my mind for far too long before I finally get around to making them. I tend to hesitate/procrastinate before tackling a large quilt, wanting to be sure that the design is what I want, given the time investment involved. But this latest quilt was completed in just over four weeks (including the design process) and I loved the experience of just plunging straight into a new quilt without too much forethought. The design process was tackled much more decisively because of the time restrictions. Maybe it won't be visible to others, but to me this quilt seems a bit more spontaneous than earlier pieces. Probably mainly because I haven't worked on it for half as long, and am therefore not sick of the sight of it yet!

I was also able to further develop the use of screenprinting within the quilt design and quiltmaking process and love the results. I'm extremely motivated to move on to new works right now. So all in all I'm proclaiming this quilt a huge success in terms of my personal development. Huge thanks to Bronya for sparking the whole project by referring me to this exhibition!

Sorry I can't show the quilt here. If you live local, just pop in for a cuppa if you'd like a peek. Otherwise I'm afraid you'll have to wait till November at the earliest...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mmm, yummm!

Saturday mornings here usually involve baking something special for Sunday morning coffee. But it is always SO hard to wait till Sunday...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mind elsewhere

Tonight I am working on a particularly tedious stage of my quilt. Other times, that means that my evening is spent dreaming up new quilt designs and ideas in my head as I'm working. (Oh, the quilts that are dreamt up on a good evenings stitching!)

Tonight though, for no particular reason, my mind is focussed firmly on people. On dear friends. Friends struggling with mental illnesses. Friends confused about the path they are travelling in life. Friends torn apart by the path their children choose to travel. Friends battling cancer, or just niggling little health issues that won't go away. Friends longing for life partners. Friends praying for the gift of children (when I sometimes have the audacity to consider my four as 'too-much-of-a-blessing'). Friends who grieve. Friends who miss loved ones far away. I also think of other people. Of the man down the road who doesn't appear to have any family. Of the shell-of-a-woman I passed in the shop today, obviously undergoing serious struggles in her life. Of the young mum I met in the park, longing for interaction with others. I feel these burdens in my heart and I would like to fix them, but clearly I can't. I am just so thankful that I may hand my burdens (including the heavy heart I bear for my friends) over to the Lord, knowing that He has all things in His hands. Will you do the same?

"Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Playing together

Hannah and Caleb enjoyed a tea party this morning, while I worked away at my quilt with my sewing partner...We did get a little bit done, in between holding hands and sharing jokes. Promise!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Demonstrating my complete lack of self-control

I went to the shop for a skein of red embroidery thread, and came back with five, because I love them all! In my dreams I own a complete palette of DMC embroidery thread, just to look at for inspiration!Meanwhile the quilt deadline looms ever closer... but I think I'm winning here. Progress is further-than-expected at this point.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Magical afternoons

Glorious autumn weather and bubbles make for magical late-afternoons!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Monkey faces

I knew there would be an uproar this morning when I suggested that seeing as we were all so nicely busy, we should just skip coffee time. "No way", shouted Hannah, "I'm already rumbling!" Actually, the biggest problem with skipping coffee time would have been missing out on these monkey faces, made by Hannah yesterday, from Donna Hay Kids Issue 5.Quite appropriate, I'm thinking.

Some days and other days

Some days I don't know how I'll ever make it through till 7pm (kid's bedtime). There have been far too many of those lately. Yesterday was one. There was isolation in the bedroom, time-out in the laundry, and encounters with the spatula. For the first time ever, I had to abandon my shopping trip due to a screaming toddler. After several minutes of trying to settle him it was clear we were in for a long session, so we quickly put back the few things we had gathered and raced out the shop, apologising to the checkout lady. (A couple of hours later when things had settled down somewhat, we managed a more successful shopping trip.)

It was one of those days, where there was not a moment's break from dealing with one child or another. Dinner too was eventful, involving the disciplining of all three children. We did manage a good talk with the kids about how the day had gone, and then rounded off with singing a hymn together. The kids picked the longest one we know (which is also our statement of faith, and doesn't have the easiest tune) and sang with all their heart. In Hannah's case, that is quite something to behold - loud, no tune, and random speeds, but heartfelt all the same. Never mind that it makes it very difficult for anyone to sing with her. By the time we were 2/3 of the way through, we had the hymn happening in four different keys, and Phil and I had all but given up (with tears of laughter in our eyes). Hannah was oblivious, though, so Phil had to stop her. After a few minutes we tried again, with instructions to sing with all our heart, just not quite so loud. We made it through that time, and Hannah said, rather seriously, 'that was just like grocery shopping this morning, wasn't it, Mum' (having to start again). Yes, it really was one of those days!

Other days, just when you brace yourself for the worst, roll along rather nicely. Like today.We had home-made books.We had oil-pastel artworkWe had ambidextrous drawing (we still don't know which hand he favours)......and baby gurglings.We had sandpit fun......and coffee and quilts enjoyed in the sun. Not sure why today is so different from yesterday, just making the most of the fact that it is!

Go check out Caleb

We had a photo shoot with my sister Arls on Thursday. Check our her pics of Caleb here. Isn't she clever?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I've got a little something to show you...

You know how my days are spent cooking meals, changing nappies, washing nappies, wiping noses, and cleaning house, all with several whingeing kids hanging off my legs... well, Phil spends every spare minute like this - abseiling...
...and just generally fooling around...Just kidding! Truthfully, while I spend my days stitching away and having a grand time with my fabric and paint and the kids (and the housework) Phil (matched hour-for-hour by Dad dV) has been slaving away for the longest time to build this: That's right - our new house! Still a good year away from completion, but very exciting nonetheless! My new studio is going to take up a sizable portion of the upper level seen below. My most favourite thing about this new house is all the storage we have planned - a place for everything! The other most favourite thing is going to be the wall space on which to hang artwork. Another most favourite thing is... (and so ad infinitum).Anyway, just thought I'd share for now! At least you can rest assured that I don't let Phil sit around bored while I'm busy sewing! (Photos by Mum and Dad de Vos)

To swing on a swing is a wonderful thing

Not sure if there has ever been a more popular IKEA purchase in this household (and that's saying something!)