Monday, January 31, 2011

A bit of a cover up...

Like many crafters, I have a bookcase full of pattern books, magazines and bits and pieces torn from magazines with the thought that maybe, one of these days, I might just make that! Fat chance! The several lifetimes I have mapped out to sort my stash would have to be extended to infinity in order for that to happen.

However, I do enjoy looking at them from time to time, to get inspiration and continue dreaming.. and just occasionally, to make something.

The book in the photo is one that I love and I have made quite a few items from it. Two of them are in the picture, one with dark blue beads and one with light blue. I have a bit of a thing for vintage linen, especially items used for serving afternoon tea. The cover with amber beads is one I picked up years ago from an antique fair and the net one with red beads came from my grandmother's house.

Along with my goal for 2011 of sorting my stash, I may have to include making at least one thing from some of the books I have received as gifts or purchased on a whim; after all, something must have attracted me in the first place.

I suppose this idea could be extended to all those recipe books I have in the kitchen.... but maybe that's a thought for another day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Furry friends

They live in my shed roof and often disturb my nights by galloping over my tin roof. I rarely see them during daylight hours, although I sometimes hear them moving around if I'm in the shed. I heard a kerfuffle the other day and the cat was behaving strangely- when I saw this I ran for the camera.

My granddaughter calls them Mr & Mrs Cheeky.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lavender Ladies

These little cuties have been a long time in the making. Eons ago my sister gave me a kit for one and the materials to make extras. The kit was from a shop which has since closed. The project became stalled when I ran out of stuffing partway through, then they were packed away carefully. At that point I had to move house (twice), before finally moving to my present abode. The poor dears have languished in my cupboard until recently resurrected when I was in a sorting mood.

They are "lavender ladies" because they also have lavender mixed in the stuffing. Now I'm not sure what to do with them. I thought to make a garland, but didn't like how it looked. So, any suggestions?

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Paragon

This is the latest addition to my collection of china cups and saucers. I like to collect trios- cup, saucer and plate- but this was a Christmas gift from my sister and is missing a matching plate.

For those who may be interested, the maker is Paragon, pattern #66467x, and it was probably made between 1936 and 1952.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


With some time on my hands last week- no power and cut off- it was a good time to finish off projects not needing the sewing machine. The bracelet was begun at a workshop at the Craft and Quilt Fair last October. To prevent me from buying stuff to add to my stash, I usually try to find a class or workshop which will give me a new skill or allow me to make a one off of something I might like to try once but not necessarily continue with.

I was interested in the technique of knitting with wire. It was a bit tricky to begin with but not as difficult as you might think. Not sure if I would do it again, although my granddaughter is quite keen on jewellry so you never know.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Keeping busy

With all the devastating flooding and aftermath that has been going on around me, it has been a struggle to keep busy and stop thinking about things I can't change. The effect on me was minor, the road at the bottom of my street was cut for about 24 hours and the power was also cut for around 36 hours. I feel bad about doing "normal" stuff, when lots of people are putting their lives on the footpath.

I was forced into doing something with a container of lilly-pilly berries that was in my freezer. They were gathered from trees near Wolston House (see previous post) before Christmas and I froze them as I was too busy to make jam. I make a lot of jams and preserves but had never tried lilly-pillies before. I went on the internet and adapted a couple of recipes I found.

First, I covered the berries with water and cooked them at a simmer for about half an hour.

Then I strained off the liquid and pushed the cooked berries through a sieve to extract all the juice, then discarded the pulp and seeds.

I measured the liquid and added sugar, cup for cup, plus the juice of one lemon.

I then boiled the liquid until it was at jell point.

Isn't it a gorgeous colour! Tastes nice too.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wolston House

In spite of the miserable weather we are having at the moment I went volunteering at my favourite place today. Wolston House is a National Trust property at Wacol, an outer Brisbane suburb. The house dates to the 1850s and is open twice a month. I love going, and work with a lovely group of like-minded volunteers. Together we give tours, hold High Teas and Devonshire teas, make and sell craft as well as help to maintain the gardens and the collections displayed in the house. Surprisingly, today we had visitors who braved the rain and came to check out the property.

These clothes are on loan and were made by this very talented seamstress, who, by the way, insists that she is "just a mum who sews!"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Twelfth Night

For a number of years I have followed the tradition of leaving my Christmas decorations up until Twelfth Night. This falls on January 5th or 6th, depending on whether you start counting from December 25th or 26th. I have always waited until the 6th.

Anyway, I thought I would share some of my decorating vignettes before they are packed away for another year.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Not so shabby

I have long been an admirer of the 'shabby chic' decorating style and philosophy of Rachel Ashwell. Unfortunately her ideas have been misinterpreted by many decorating magazines and their representations often bear little resemblance to her original ideas. (Grab some of her books from the library and you'll see what I mean.)
I was very excited a couple of weeks ago to discover that Rachel has a blog. After reading it I was inspired to create these baubles using vintage fabric, ribbon and lace (from the stash of course). The clear glass baubles had also been waiting in the cupboard for quite a while so it was good to see them finally liberated. I used them as Christmas decorations but they could be displayed all year I suppose.


Wow! A big thank you to all those who took the time to post such encouraging comments. Hope I can come up with the goods!!!
Be back later after my camera batteries are charged.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Something new

About six months ago, my daughter ran a little campaign on her blog, trying to convince me to begin a blog too. I was interested but reluctant. Lots of encouraging comments from her followers still wasn't enough to overcome the hesitation. "What could I possibly blog about," I wondered. At the time my crafting was in a bit of a slump and my goal for the year of finishing UFOs and diminishing my stash was definitely on the back burner; way, way back!

Anyway, new year, new goals and here I am!

So, for 2011 I hope to

  • rekindle the crafting flame
  • sort out my stash (it would take another lifetime to use it all up)
  • stop wanting to try every craft under the sun (another lifetime needed)
  • work on the garden
  • etc etc etc.....