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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sewing machine workshop

A few weekends ago, I went to a fantastic Ruth Jarman sewing machine workshop with the Marsh Quilters. It was designed to help you get to know your machine & I have to say it was fantastic for me & the problems I have been experiencing with Gretchen.
Ruth is so incredibly knowledgeable about all types of machines & as she is not trying to sell you one you get an unbiased view of the issues.
The upshot of her advice means that I will persevere with Gretchen for the time being but have a plan if she continues to misbehave.
Here is a block that was put together by some of the Marsh Quilters at our last Linus evening. It is a terrific way to use fabric strips from your stash or purchased jelly rolls.
I love the colours in this block & hope to make something similar at some stage. Yeah I know, more to add to the list LOL.

Doing what I love

Lush x

Loving what I do

Lush x

Monday, June 25, 2012

I really should buy shares...... shaking head!!

The last 2 weeks have seen me feeling very flat & the narcolepsy has been kicking in Every. Single. Day!!
Now don't get me wrong, this is not the kind of narcolepsy that some people suffer from relentlessly all day, every day. No, this is the one that comes & goes as it pleases, so you can have periods of thinking you were imagining how bad it can get & then whammo! back it comes with a vengeance. I am finding it is getting worse the older I get.
It is one of the myriad annoying symptoms of PCOS.
Usually it can strike at any time but for several days in a row last week it hit me at exactly 1pm. Not a minute before, not a minute after. Just to keep things interesting, and then it went back to erratic. Phew! Funnily, I consider myself lucky to get a warning as I know several people who don't get any idea & they just drop. I can at least get to a sofa & warn whoever is around before it hits.
Last night, the last thing I remember is watching TV with The Prince & the next I was suddenly awake asking how for long I had been out. I had been off for around 30 minutes. Dead to the world!
Usually I can make it to the couch so it is not that bad but I do remember when I was pregnant with my son it used to strike me as I drove home. Now that was scary. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to pull over to the side of the road & have a nap. Thankfully, once born, my son was always very well behaved during these attacks & we muddled through somehow.
The thing that goes hand in hand with this is the insomnia. *face palm!*
Can you see why women with these symptoms are written off as neurotic? Usually for years before they are correctly diagnosed. I still have people in my life (admittedly, on the periphery now) who don't believe this is real, nor that I have no control over this. My boss used to be one of them! Le sigh)
Anyhoo, the reason for this rant is to explain what can happen in this erratic world & why I want shares in Doctor Power.
As I have not achieved as much as I wanted to in the last 2 weeks (I know, I am my harshest critic!) I decided today to get a few things on the burner.
I have had this cane basket for longer than I care to admit & wanted to get it done!!


So off to the garden today to spray the cane with fresh white paint. Looks much better. Now I just have to decide which fabric to cover the top with?? That could take some time :/
Anyhoo, at least I can get rid of the cardboard I had been saving for use as a drop sheet. (taking up lounge room space!!)
So feeling like I was on a roll, (read I had some energy left over) I decided to tackle another project I have had in mind. For some time I have been thinking I should paint the inside fridge cupboard door with magnetic blackboard paint.
Seemed easy. That purple sheet has a list of the contents of the freezer listed. I find this really handy when planning meals as I no longer have to root around almost upside down trying to figure out our next meal.
So after using what has to be the most useless masking tape on the planet, I mixed the paint and prepared to get the first coat happening. Then. IT. happened!
YEP! Dropped the lid of the paint tin. Managed to splatter all over the front of one of the other cupboards. SH#T!!!
After trying to wash this off with a regular cloth, scourer, steel wool, etc, I was thinking I was going to have to paint this one as well I remembered the old Doctor Power sponges.

Seriously, they may be a bit expensive but they are the BEST. CLEANERS. EVER!!
All you need is plain water & a small amount of elbow grease. I am yet to find anything they can't remove. Since discovering them, I make it a habit to always keep some on hand.
I usually find they don't last past one use but as you can see they are worth every penny! No need to try to match the paint on the cupboards, or paint. I could see me having to paint ALL the bloody cupboards so they matched!!
Doctor Power, I love you!!
Oh and I made a banana & walnut loaf. Off to have some now with a cup of lemon tea.

Loving some of the things I do LOL

Lush x

Surprise Gifts

I have been blessed with several surprise gifts lately. Some of them from family some from nature.
This is one from nature, random poppy came up in the garden
Gorgeous birthday flowers from my Sister.
Look at that electric blue
I moved them so I could see them more often. Thank you Sister! I love them.
 Here are our very first potatos from the garden!! We had them for dinner with salad completely from the garden & some lovely chicken. Feels so good to be growing our own food again. At this stage I can only dream of a house in the country where we can have a huge vegetable garden & chickens.

That is a 1 pound coin for perspective - about the same size as an Aus $2 coin
 We had a fantastic day of gleaning yesterday. We had both spotted a cherry tree loaded with fruit in a small park on the way up to Stratford. So off we went with the ladder & a box for the bounty and didn't we attract some strange looks & comments! My favourite was the guy who asked if they were cherries like you get in the shop? 
I recently read some statistics that discovered that only 60 % of those surveyed knew that milk came from cows!!! I believe they were surveying schoolkids but I have to say that the questions we get when gleaning, this is unfortunately a common occourence.
How can it be that we have become so removed from our food? It is truly astounding & sad.

 They were very small cherries & were a little sour but after about 2 hours of pitting, we had them in the pot & cooking away into jam. It only made one jar of jam but that little jar is bursting with flavour. You should have seen my hands though, I look like I had been at the salon getting a WAGs tan!

Doing what we love

Lush x

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I was finding that the ironing left me with a massive backache as the board was far too short & I was constantly stooping. It was also really narrow & ironing anything took forever.
I finally cracked, decided to hang the expense, just bite the bullet & buy a new one.
I am so glad I did the research & spent the money on a new ironing board.

So is Flynn. LOL

Loving what we do.

Lush x

Monday, June 18, 2012

Finally the V & A!!

Even though I have always wanted to live overseas & was extremely keen to get here, looking back, it has been an extremely stressful year.

Like loads of people in the world, changing fortunes have been firmly in the forefront of our minds. We are lucky that The Prince has had a job here & I had some money from leaving my job in Oz but the truth is that circumstances have conspired & what I thought I could eke out over 3 years has pretty much depleted in less than one! So we have made some gut wrenching decisions & changed tack.

My emotional reaction to this has been to hunker down & pretty much entertain myself at home for as close to free as much as possible, consequently my plans to haunt all the galleries & museums has taken a distant back seat.

However the time has definitely come to get myself out & start living not just existing or else there is no point right? So in the spirit of adventure I have finally managed to make a trek to the place I could quite frankly move into - the V & A!!

So on Thursday last week when the Prince was working from home, I decided it was a great day to get out of the house. I firstly walked through the glass gallery & then saw the Ballgown exhibition.

I love this piece by Dale Chihuly, looks like it was ready for a clean.

The photo does not do these justice, so delicate & gorgeous

These are glass tiles but have a definite quilty look

How small are these wine glasses?? No wonder we have drinking problems with our buckets!

Another fragment with quilty looks

The penny is on the glass to give perspective - so small & just lovely!

More quilt thoughts

And again with the quilt thoughts LOL

This was an amazing frock!! Silvered leather

Thousands of small loops in rows

Loved the pearl necklace decor
More quilty thoughts with the floor tiles

Interesting reuse installation at the entrance

This is the only thing that tempted me at the gift shop though I did not capitulate.

I have to say that one gallery & one exhibition was more than enough for me & I arrived home shattered!
I intend to make a trek at least once a fortnight for a few hours & make my way through a gallery & a special exhibition on each visit. Lets see if I can keep up with that promise.
Wish me luck.
Still loving what I do.

Lush x

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Belated FQR or Fashion Anxiety Society!

I had a wonderful time at the Fat Quarter Retreat last weekend My I have meant to blog this for soooo long!! It has been 3 weekends since I had such a lovely time.
Anyhoo, as this is predominantly a record for me, here goes!

I was so nervous about attending the retreat, I nearly talked myself out of going. If it had not been for my Darling Prince I would have been at home cursing myself for wasting money. As it was I had a major fashion crisis on the morning and went through 3 outfits, did some grooming (read eyebrow/moustache stuff) & coloured my hair before I left the house!! This gave Claudia a good laugh when I mentioned I probably still had blue ears!! Smurf's anyone?

I should not have worried as everyone was absolutely lovely & I finally met some of my "imaginary friends" (as they are referred to around here) especially Helen who was just as lovely in person as she is on her blog
Funnily as the weekend wore on I discovered I was not the only one who was nervous & worried that no one would want to play. This effected young & old alike & I came away pondering the whys of this situation. No answers yet but I have been thinking deeply on this & some other issues that arose for me from the weekend. Talk about the ghosts of childhoods past, phew!

The organisers did an excellent job & I have to say a big shout out to the crew; Lily, Tascha, Brioni, John & Katy. Also to the helpers Lu & Mandy. I & many others can't wait till next year & I suspect it will sell out very quickly.

So what did I do on my weekend? Well I made 2 things that I have found mindbogglingly difficult to get my head around but have been on my sewing bucket list for what seems like forever.
Katy showed us how to construct a frame/clip purse & Claudia taught us how to construct a zippered pouch. I have already decided to make tons more frame purses but I think the zip pouch may be my one & only. Let's just say that despite fabulous instruction from Claudia, I found it a little confusing but I do intend to have another go at my own pace with the pictures in front of me, so never say never?

I found the weekend very relaxed, a great pace & the projects managable without feeling pressured to complete something. Mind you, I did finish both purses & could have made more if I chose to but I decided that chatting & meeting people was a better idea & this was just fine with everyone. It was a very relaxing weekend & a great chance to get to know people in person.

Sitting around having dinner after a trip to Waitrose was great fun & led to some hysterical conversations. My fave was hearing one of the tutors describing her "catchers mitt" method for stealth pooping!! My god it is a wonder any of us EVER leave the house!! I was seriously in danger of falling on the floor with split sides!!

Anyway here are some pretty pictures of some quilts that were made as part of the several challenges for the weekend. I am sorry but I have no idea who made what but you may find that info on another blogger who attended.

These were the Iron Man Challenge entries. Great fun was had by all who entered.

These are a couple of show & tell quilts. Really lovely work.

Trash, in the green shirt. Was great to find a fellow Aussie & enjoy a similar sense of humour.

Loads of time for chatting & getting to know one another.

These quilts were part of the session on shapes as a basis for a design challenge. Loads of fun & a great starting point for a top.

Some medallion centres or possible for placemats??

Some of the uglies - some of them came home with me to be put into tops for Linus quilts. Photos to come.
I had a great weekend, thanks to all concerned. See you all next year.

Doing what I love (even when I have to be pushed!)

Lush x