Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I'm Following the Leader

I've been watching a lot of you posting about cleaning through your sewing spaces lately. Tidying and re-configuring seems to have swept blogland like some kind of sewing room plague. Kudos to you all.  I did that last year and I'm pretty happy with the way everything is laid out. It's functional, everything is easy to get to and I know where everything is. That is...I thought it was functional, and easy to move around in and that I knew where everything was until I went looking for something on Saturday.

Not being able to find the repro triangles I cut on Thursday or the yellow sashing for Little P's Superhero blocks drove me over the edge. (I eventually found the yellow sashing stuffed in the scissor drawer) I also had no idea where the hexie flowers that had the paper so painstakingly removed were or where any of the blocks I'd completed for the recycled shirt quilt had got to. Let's not even talk about opening the wardrobe because that presented the very real risk of being crushed to death by falling debris. 

I showed Little Miss Sunshine the mess via Facetime and even she was shocked, gleefully informing me that my mess was far worse than hers. When you get to that point the only thing to do is catch a big old dose of the same illness everyone else has and get infected by the tidying bug.

So on Saturday night Mr. P whacked Pearl Harbor into the DVD and I set about re-organising all my fabric back into their respective boxes while watching Kate Beckinsale wait for missing Ben Affleck for three whole months before she decided his best mate was a better deal because at least he was alive before Josh Hartnett gets heroically killed and she goes back to Ben Affleck even though Josh Hartnett is her baby daddy. I figure everyone has seen Pearl Harbor by now so I hope that didn't spoil the movie for anyone who was possibly planning to catch up on movies they've never seen in the imminent future. If so, that's one you won't have to watch now. 

Cleaning up for some reason always seems to result in a whole load more mess being made. In fact I'm still cleaning up in there, but I'm happy to report that most of my fabric has been re-folded and stored back in it's respective hidey holes. And that as the result of all this activity all of my current projects have their own boxes instead of being left to live where I last got sick of them until I decide I want to work on them again. Hopefully  that will help me avoid another "I can't find a f****** thing " scenario like I had on Saturday. 

I've made a rule that I can only open and work on one project box at a time but we all know that wont last, and that within a fortnight my sewing room will probably look just as dire as it did before I did this monumental clean up. And I still haven't worked up the guts to open the wardrobe door yet.

In amongst all of this I managed to do bits and pieces on some of my projects as I was going along because it's apparently impossible for me to pick one task and not get distracted. 

All the triangles are cut out for my new quilting project. The big question is whether I can resist sewing them together until I've finished the quilting on Superheroes 1....

I cut up the rest of the old shirts I had laying around (literally-on the floor) ready to make the final hexie blocks and the backing for the quilt. Look ! Don't they look organised in their little box? 

I finished all the yellow blocks for Little P's superheroes quilt top and started the red ones. Yes I'm aware I haven't pressed them yet just as I'm well aware of the vow I made that I was going to finish the entire quilt top this month. There are still two days left - so I might do it , although that's looking very unlikely. 

And I fixed a 3 inch popped seam in the crutch of Mr. P's favourite shorts. He's been wearing them like that for weeks until I finally refused to be seen in public with him wearing them like that. You could see his undies when his shirt rode up. Try not to think about what it would look like if he didn't wear undies because that visual will give you nightmares. And he's actually incredibly lucky I didn't sew them directly to his crutch since he came to me as he was putting them on and asked if I could do them right that minute-right that minute being 10 minutes before we were due out the door for dinner at Sister Of Pyjamas house.  No pictures - be thankful I spared you that! 

Monday, February 25, 2013


I'm guest posting over at Feeding Big and More today,as part of her "Around the World in 80 Sundays" series so if you've always wondered what Aussies really eat pop on over for a look . Tell Cynthia I sent you!

P.S. There may be a picture over there of Mr. P in another ridiculous T-shirt...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Favourite Things Friday

Another week draws to a close. I'm passionately in love with weekends.  I'm looking forward to a bit of a sleep in tomorrow (wishful thinking on my part I'm sure since Little P is coming for a sleepover tonight) and I'm planning to sew a lot this weekend too. 

This week my favourite thing is something I'm sure everyone who quilts , creates, sews or makes things can totally identify with. Out of nowhere in the last 48 hours I've had a rush of inspiring "I have to make this" ideas popping into my head. I ignored them for as long as I could (that was about 12 hours , six of which I was sleeping )since I have 7 other things sitting staring accusingly at me from the WIP pile but I found resistance was futile. The idea just wouldn't go away. 

That happens to me a lot. I have a list of things I want to make and usually I try to finish something I'm already doing before I start something else. But when I get an idea I feel really excited about I just have to act on it. I keep thinking about the finished item in my head and how pretty it's going to look and I cant help myself. And the only way to get that idea to stop taking up precious space in my brain is to start making it a reality.

So yesterday morning when I got up before I went to work I started cutting fabric. And last night when I got home from work I cut some more. In fact I was so excited about cutting this fabric I did it in the half dark because our power was out. That's commitment to a cause.  And this morning I'm about half way through cutting fabric for my new project and it looks like this. 

That lot seriously needs more green and some yellows. 

I also pulled these charm squares from my stash because I have been eyeing off a quilt design for about two years that I want to do and I finally decided which fabrics to use. But I solemnly swear I'm not starting this one until I finish something else. I just want to look at these for a while. And fondle them. That might be enough to stave off any more "I have to start this NOW " feelings. Gosh I hope so.(imagine me rolling my eyes here at my own lack of will power) 

The thrill of starting something new. That's my favourite thing this week. Because having 8 other quilting projects on the go isn't enough.  Please tell me the rest of you creative types struggle with this affliction too!

Maybe you'd like to share one of your favourite things this week. It doesn't have to be a confession. It can be anything you like. Write your own post and link it up below. And don't forget to visit anyone else who links up so you can see what rocked their socks this week. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weekend Tales

I enjoyed a lovely weekend. On Saturday, The Posse congregated at my crib for a sew-fest. As always the day was relaxing and laced with a smattering of chocolate and a lot of gossip information sharing. 

Loz treated us to show and tell as well as a fascinating story about how she doesn't see the point of Pinterest. After I'd washed her mouth out with soap and water she showed us this gorgeous antique quilt she recently bought home from her US trip.

But wait! There's more. 

Loz delivered a long awaited package foe me from Annie which contained Fudge Oreos (my absolute favourites )  and this cute gift tin. 

This is what was inside. A vintage thread spool that unrolls to show this saying. I love it Annie!

I spent the forenoon grizzling (loudly ) about how many hexies I had to separate from paper. I also announced I was going to publicly name and shame anyone who didn't help unpick hexies during the course of the day. Blackmail is awesome . By the time everyone left every single one of those hexies was naked. I was also crowned the Queen of Over-gluing. Thank you ladies for helping me and not battering me to death with one of my own chocolate dipped double stuffed Oreos. 

I crossed another February job off my list. Meet the fabric for my armchair re-upholstery project. It's hopefully on a plane as we speak and heading for my house. 

On Sunday I hit the ball out of the park when I made this cake. Looks pretty and  tasted good too. Score! 

And I got the urge to challenge myself on Sunday and shelved my plans to finish the quilting on the Superheroes quilt (yes I have started !) and decided to make myself a lunch pail for work instead.  Psttt...If you want to make one the tutorial is over at Pink Penguin

That's what I call a jam packed weekend. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Favourite Things Friday

I don't know about you , but I've been waiting for Friday since Monday.

In the mornings things get measured in "coffee time" here not by the actual clock.  Despite the fact that I'm an early riser, I'm not quick to get going in the mornings. Nobody is allowed to talk to me before I've had my first sip of coffee.  I have to follow my morning routine before I can get my act together for the day. I get up and make a coffee, and then spend two (sometimes three !) coffees reading blogs, sorting through email, writing my list of goals for the day and tidying my house. Only then am I ready to start facing the actual reality of the day. 

Here's a sad confession. I'm so much of a coffee addict that for me even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all. And instant coffee is big in my house because it's quick and easy and not complicated to make. I do love those fancy schmancy coffees available from Hudsons, or Cibo, or Gloria Jeans, I'm just too mingey to pay over 5 bucks for a cup of coffee.   

Mr. P had been nagging me to go and get a coffee machine. He bought me one about 7 years ago and it was so complicated to use that it just sat on the bench taking up space. I never used it once because it entailed going back to uni to get another degree. I've been resisting the idea of another coffee maker because complex kitchen appliances throw me. I refuse for anything in my kitchen to have an higher IQ than I do. 

Fast forward to my holiday to Little Miss Sunshine's. She has a coffee maker.  I felt so cosmopolitan and worldly sipping coffee maker coffee every morning while on holidays.  

So when I got back I announced to a very surprised Mr. P that we were getting a coffee machine, and we went out the very next day and bought the identical model to the one at Little Miss Sunshine's house (mainly because I already knew how to use it). 

I have to say - this little gadget makes my mornings just a little brighter. It's idiot proof. So the instant coffee is just going to have to keep sulking in the pantry because it may never get used again.   

So that's my favourite for this week. Being able to have classy coffee whenever I like. What about you? Do you have a favourite to share this week? Link it up below so I can come and have a nosey.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A mixed bag

It's been a challenging week so I'm wandering in here for a little whinge and whine. Please feel free to wander out again until half way through the post. 

Our automatic sprinkler system decided to stop functioning so we've had to replace hoses and sprinkler heads. The heads that we were told would fit didn't, and we ended up having to buy ones that were twice as expensive. $150.00 for three sprinkler heads is a bit rude in my opinion. 

Mr. P's car needed new tyres which are obviously essential and wasn't unexpected but spending the cash for a full new set still bites. To add insult to injury the very day we got them fitted the water pump went on the car so we're in the process of having that replaced. And then , just to really piss me off , we discovered the alternator is stuffed too.  

Last night we had a temporary internet outage just as I went to write this post.  Now our wireless internet wont work. I'm typing this from our actual computer. I'm hoping Mr. P can just re-set the modem or something ( I don't understand these things at all ) because if we have to buy a new modem I think I'm going  to have a complete meltdown. At the moment my I pad is virtually useless and I'm starting to suffer Jewel Mania withdrawal. 

This space is where I was hoping to show you pictures of the basted Superheroes quilt. That was on my list of things to do last night when I got home from work. At 7.30 I went to find my clips and clamps so I could get started and I couldn't find them anywhere ....a frenzied search ensued with no success (during which I threw a minor tantrum and used the word "ludicrous" a lot to describe their disappearance ) Eventually I gave up. The last time I saw them it was Christmas and I am starting to suspect they got inadvertently thrown out with the wrapping paper or something. Either that or one of my family members has kleptomania.  Not being able to find them put a huge crimp in my plans so I'm going to dash out today in my lunch break to buy some new ones. Wanna bet I'll trip over the missing ones as soon as I get home tonight? 

In happier news, I've  actually made significant progress this week on that MASSIVE list of things I want to get done before the end of February.

I completed the Superheroes quilt back. Let's hope I can get it to lay flat when I start basting. One spot looks a little dodgy. 

I reached my goal of 15 more hexie blocks for the recycled shirt quilt. I am so over these blocks at the moment. Hopefully I'll regain my love for them in March which is when I plan to finish the last 10. 

The blue blocks for Little P’s quilt top got finished this week. 

The last hexie flower got done. I expect cheers and clapping from you all for this incredible achievement. 

And I've started picking the paper out of the hexies. Worst. Job. Ever.

Goals for this week:
  • Slap on my happy face 
  • Baste Superheroes quilt and start the quilting 
  • Finish 10 more blocks for Little P's Superheroes quilt top 
  • Pick the paper out of  10 more hexie flowers 
  • Buy fabric for the chair re-do ( I think I have my final choice nailed, I just have to get over the shock of the massive increase in US postage costs before I commit to hitting the buy button) 

Friday, February 08, 2013

Favourite Things Friday

I went back to work on Wednesday. It's always a culture shock going back to work after holidays. Its not the going to work part I mind, its the getting out of my pyjamas to go there part. But people were happy to see me after an almost three week absence and I guess work is a good thing because it helps you appreciate your weekend more. For better or worse my real life has apparently re-commenced. At least until the next lot of holidays. 

I've had a lovely week peppered with potential front runners for my Favourite Things Friday post. After much deliberation, I've chosen this weeks mail as my absolute favourite because I had some lovely unexpected mail surprises that completely made my week. I've been smiling ever since this mail arrived. 

From Beck over at Sarcastic Quilter a box of goodness which included chenille and babushkas. I've been rolling around in the chenille since it arrived. I already have plans for that gorgeous blue stuff. 

And for Little P -cookies. 

I don't mind admitting that Little P had some help eating these. C'mon. Did you seriously think I was going to have Oreo's in the house and let the three year old scoff them all? 

Fudge covered Oreos - how I love thee.  

From Thea at California Dreamin I received the mother load of generosity and Oreo-ness. 

Just check out that Babushka fabric (and all those Oreos) I literally squealed when I opened the box. Triple Double Oreos? Are you freaking kidding me? I'm either moving to the US or starting a petition to have those available in Australia. And I've hidden all those Oreo's because they're MINE , MINE all MINE!

These utterly gorgeous handmade snowflakes have taken up residence in my dining room where I can have my own little bit of snow all year round. 

Ladies thank you for making my week with your fabulous surprises. Gotta love any mail that includes my favourite cookies and babushkas. 

The hits just kept coming this week mail wise. From Tasmania I received this postcard from V as part of the postcard swap that was hosted by Clare at Clare's Craftroom. Thank you for your newsy postcard V. Loved it. 

And I got a new winter coat via mail this week too. Hey if the Northern Hemisphere is having winter sales who am I to pass up the opportunity of a new winter wool coat at a third of the price I'd pay here come April?  And I've already spent the money I saved on a waffle iron because I've been coveting one of those for months. 

Now if you'll excuse me I have to have some Oreos for breakfast. 

Got something that rocked your world this week? Something you'd like to share? Then link up to this post to show us your favourite thing this week. 

Sunday, February 03, 2013

I have a plan ...

The down side of putting my sewing/crafty/quilting goals out there every month is that I feel like an abject failure when I don't cross everything off. Such was the case for January because I failed to finish a couple of things on my list. That one lone hexie that needed to be completed remained undone (!!!) and I didn't finish the Superheroes quilt either. I finished the other 4 things on that list but somehow that seems less important than that which remained undone. Obviously I'm a glass half empty kind of gal. 

I've finished the actual quilt top for the Superheroes quilt but I suck at making backs if they aren't two pieces of fabric sewn together and so that's where I got stuck. I really admire those of you who do fancy schmancy backs because often I just can't be bothered. And when you have to cobble a back out of leftovers it seems to take so much longer to put together than the front. What's up with that? 

So here is my ambitious list for February which includes the things I didn't finish in January(insert eye rolling here) 

  • Finish Superheros quilt (pictured here laying on my sewing room floor with the dogs thinking that's an open invitation to sleep on it)

  • Make Superheros quilt top for Little P (who saw the original Superheroes quilt top and asked excitedly if it was for him and since it isn't, I feel compelled to make him one too- nothing like doing two almost identical quilts back to back )  
  • Finish that last damn hexie! 

  • 15 more blocks for the recycled shirt quilt (shirts pictured here living on the computer room floor ) 

  • Baste and quilt Briar Rose quilt 
  • Finish re-upholstering Miss P's outdoor chairs. I get to break out the staple gun so that should be motivation enough to get those done (pictured here stuffed into a wardrobe because I couldn't stand looking at them anymore ) 
  • Buy fabric for lounge chair re-do. Its only been sitting there waiting to be done since January 2012. I know what I want - its just a matter of getting on line and finding it. Larri , if you're reading maybe we could do this as a March challenge together since I happen to know you have a chair re- do that has to be done too. We can share the misery. 

  • Pick the paper out of half the paper pieced hexie flowers ...ugh..so not looking forward to that.Does anyone wanna come over and do it for me/with me? I can provide a comfy bed and large amounts of hard liquor as compensation if that will swing the deal....

Friday, February 01, 2013

Favourite Things Friday

Well...last Friday came and went and the hostess didn't make it to her own linky party. How rude! There’s nothing like being on holidays to make you forget your usual routine. I swear I fully intended to do a post but somehow it just slipped my mind and by the time I remembered again it was Monday. Oops !

This week’s favourite has been a long time coming.  I get decorating ideas stuck in my head and then find it impossible to deviate from my original idea, no matter how difficult it is to find the thing I want. Is anyone else like that?

Confession: My dining room has never had a light shade .Ever. In the twelve years I've lived here.  Yep... I'm from the bare bulb hanging out of a batten camp . Classy.

But when we did the kitchen and dining room renovations I decided I wanted a chandelier for the dining room. And since I'm as fussy and hard to please as  Goldilocks, it couldn't be too big or too small ....and it couldn't have too much or too little bling ...and it couldn't look cheap and nasty or be too expensive ...and it couldn't look pretentious or ostentatious...it had to be just right. So Mr. P settled in for the long haul of me dragging him round to every light shop in town and constantly surfing the net until I found just what I wanted. And from past experience he knew that might take a very long time. I think I blitzed my personal best on waiting time for this light fitting because we did the kitchen /dining room reno in August 2010 so I’ve been waiting almost 2 and half years for the perfect light fitting to find its way into my life. 

Let me just say there is some really hideous and ugly shit out there in the chandelier department  people. I've seen ALL of them.  But  when my waxer announced she was closing her shop last August my first response was to ask  what she was going to do with the chandelier in her ante room (before I even had the good grace to say "I'm sorry you’re closing") and she and I came to a mutually agreeable (read- very cheap) price for a slightly used but oh so pretty French Provincial looking chandelier .

It sat on the pool table getting dusty until Christmas when it got packed away so we could use the pool table as a serving table for Christmas day. And this week we finally got around to calling in an electrician to do some work around the house that's needed doing for about a year (you cant rush these things) and this morning my chandelier finally saw the light of day once more. 

So that's my favourite thing this week. Finally being able to cross having a light fitting in my dining room.. I think it looks so pretty and sets off the rest of that space perfectly. And it's Mr. P's job to keep it clean. Double win!

If you'd like to share a favourite  this week feel free to link up. And don't forget to visit the other participants to see all their favourites for the week as well!