Thursday, July 29, 2010

My kind of girl

Aaron and Hannah are allowed to spend half an hour on the computer each week. Aaron likes to watch video clips on the National Geographic website, while lately Hannah chooses to spend her time browsing this fabric shop. Some (many) days I wonder just where Hannah came from, as her logic and thought patterns are light years away from mine, but when she chooses to spend her computer time browsing through fabric swatches and drawing the ones she likes, then I think she might just have something from me after all!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A cast of storybook characters

We had princesses, knights and pirates, little girls and boys, and fishies and mousies grace our dining table today. I want to quilt storybook illustrations into the background of my quilt. It would have been so much more straightforward, and looked so much nicer, to take favourite illustrations from the books we love. I don't wish to breach copyright, however, hence the laborious process of making my own storybook illustrations... They're certainly not of publishing quality, but I think they will serve their purpose well on the quilt. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

Rest day

I'm having a rest day today. The last weeks have been rather crazy around here - so busy that there has been almost no daytime quiltmaking, which is quite unusual us. So today all regular chores have been cancelled for the day. I find this hard to do, knowing that I will have to play catch up tomorrow, but right now I am enjoying the slowness of the day - a bit of drawing, snuggles with the 6-month old, lots of coffee-drinking, some time spent with the potty and a certain 2 year old spending his first day in jocks, and in between, tying of thread ends on my latest quilt. Although I am not as far into this quilt as I had hoped to be at this point, thanks to the Tour and long evenings of stitching, the first stage of the machine-quilting is complete. I need to tie of all the existing thread ends before I can start the next stage. Hoping the quilting will be finished by the end of this week... I need to allow time for binding, photographing, and posting the images to arrive in the US by early September.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New 'do

Baby Elise's hair is finally starting to grow...She is very pleased about this because she wants to look as glamorous as her big sister Star (formerly known as little Hannah).Sorry for the overkill of photos, but this sequence makes me smile!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Habits, routines and traditions

Phil and I were talking the other day about how small children seem to thrive on routine, and enjoy the little habits that make up daily life. For example: when I have to pop into town for something, I have made a habit of walking, rather than taking the car. Daniel, Caleb and I all thoroughly enjoy this. Sometimes Hannah comes with us, and she adds her own little 'habits' to our walking routine - like ducking under the bicycle obstacles along the footpath (while we have to maneouvre around them with the pram. Caleb always thinks this is hilarious, and even when Hannah is not with us, he talks about what Hannah does. "Hannah, through, under, beat you!" he giggles, everytime we pass those obstacles! Hmmm, I wonder how I can interpret this facet of childhood into a quilt?Today the routine changed a little, as Hannah's baby was allowed to come along too. I wonder if Caleb will talk all about that next time we go walking.And of course, the best thing about going for a walk around lunchtime, is fresh lunch from the baker!

Sshhh! Artists at work

Our new houses

We finished our houses early last week - I just never got around to sharing them. This was such a worthwhile project. The kids took a lot of pride in their work. I gave them a design brief - each face of the house had to portray scenes from in or around our house and garden - and they put a lot of thought into what they would paint. This kept them busy for a long time, and we're all very pleased with the results.
I think childrens' art makes a great addition to any home. These sit on our coffee table, and the kids like to rearrange them into new configurations, or just sit down with them and admire the handiwork.I actually thought these were beautiful in their white state, and was certainly tempted to leave them that way. They would have been more classy, but I guess it would have defeated the purpose of giving the kids a form of artistic expression!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Arranging the post

Paperwork is so much more bearable when you get to arrange it and take sculptural photos of it!

Friday, July 16, 2010



I had the privilege of joining in an art quilt critiquing session this morning. It was a valuable experience, and I look forward to more! Phil babysit all four kids for me, and when I came home, Aaron and Hannah were busy making and playing a new game - Treeopoly - with 'go straight to beehive, do not collect $200' and 'free shopping' and 'ant hotel' and all sorts of other interesting touches (including tree-sensitive colours).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Just because it is the middle of winter...
...and the water is freezing cold...
...doesn't mean, of course, that you can't play in it. In your underwear.
(Maybe Caleb needs a trip to Houston.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I have been ruthless in my packing. I've done most of what I can, at this point. That includes my fabric stash (well, everything except those upholstery remnants, and the hand-dyed fabric I use for my quilt-tops). I told myself rather decisively that it would be a nice change not to sew any clothes for us for the next 6-9 months. It would give me more opportunity to focus on quiltmaking.

And then this came in the mail today......the latest issue of Ottobre. Inspiring as ever.Oh, dear.I think I might just have to break-and-enter those boxes in the next few weeks. So much for being strong and decisive.

White paint

Well into the second half of school holidays, it is high time for a kids' art project. We completed stage 1 today - coating our houses with undercoat sealer. Fun!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Juggling and cycling... and sewing, of course!

For some time now I have felt like I have been juggling a few too many balls, and am barely keeping them aloft. Well, another big one just came bouncing in and sent the others flying in every direction! It looks something like this...We have decided that it is time to put our house on the market. That means a whole lot of sorting, packing, chucking, bringing-to-the-opshops, cleaning, patching, painting and so on. I actually feel ok about this one. I have spent the last two days packing away a whole lot of stuff - our house is cluttered up with all sorts of 'stuff', so I'm emptying the cupboards of the gear we don't often need, so that everything else lying about can be put behind cupboard doors... On Friday I packed 14 boxes of books - and that was just the books that didn't fit on our bookshelves anymore... :) ...
While I feel like I can manage this new work, I do know that having my space turned upsidedown is going to affect my creativity and productivity in the next little while. One factor in my favour though, is the fact that it is 'tour-time'. Phil and I have developed a little tradition of a 'working-stay-at-home holiday' during the Tour de France. Usually our evenings are spent working, but for three weeks in July, our teeny-tiny TV comes out of storage, the pantry is stocked up with chocolate, and we enjoy three weeks of late nights and France and cycling... and sewing... I like to make the most of the three weeks of late evenings to get some serious sewing in, so while my days are chaos, I'm counting on many evenings of the Tour to get my latest quilt-top finished!