Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas wishes

Hi everyone,
Just a quick post to say we will be taking a couple of weeks holiday. Some of us are heading off to the beach and then Christmas with the family. It is going to be really lovely sharing the day with our baby.
I have finished the quilt top.....just a peak for now. It's bright, fun and was very easy to do....Holly designed 'Dotty' and we have used the toy pattern as an applique on this quilt. While away I will be writing the pattern so it should all be ready for the new year.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a safe entry to 2010.
See you next year!
ps. I have a doll project in Australian Homespun Mag - out January.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Playing with chooks!

Hi everyone,

Great plans and all that! I really wanted to start the month off on the right foot, but ...somehow I got side tracked. School has finished for the year and there are so many plans for the holidays with new designs at the top of the list. Holly and I have been working on nursery items and the theme for our first cot quilt and toy is......drum roll please.....chooks! Well, crazy, colourful and fun chooks at least.
This is 'Dotty' -She has been thoroughly road-tested by our little bub and we are well underway with the cot quilt. Can't wait to share some pics of the finished work very soon .

I have been busy sending out the last Doll Club pattern for the year. As we have had a Christmas Angel and knowing how quickly 2010 will be upon us, I'm wishing everyone a blossoming New Year with Ada -

I love how she turned out and she is quick and easy to make for all skill levels.

For now, happy sewing

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick post......

It's a mad house at present, Holly is getting ready for a night market and every surface that can hold something is covered with goodies she has made. It's hard to resist my daily cleaning routine.....not really!!

I did come home from the latest craft & quilt fair though laden with yummy fabrics and clever new materials. I bought some shrinking film that looked interesting. This product (looks a bit like stiff silk) gives a great effect when quilted to fabric ( & batting) then hit with a steam iron to cause the shrinking. That little experiment is on the 'to do' list. More beautiful coloured roving for felting ( going to a workshop soon) and a new lamp with MAGNIFYING glass so I can see what I'm doing.
Had to show you this photo of knitted bathers we took while visiting the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney....wonder how heavy they would be in the surf?

These are some of the fat quarters I picked up to add to my stash. You just can't come home empty handed.

The school year is almost over once again...around four weeks left before holidays. I love them just as much as the kids. Back to study though for me in December. I am looking forward to starting another unit..... think it will be drawing....better sharpen my pencil.....and find an eraser, ha ha!

Almost forgot...This is what I sent to my stitchers angel swap partner...hope she like them. I made a zippered case to hold all the things we like to cart around, just in case the stitching urge grabs us, a quilted and appliqued journal cover and a cute little pin cushion that Holly found the pattern for on the internet....I'll have a look later and find details on that. The theme for the swap was roses so I just had to use this beautiful fabric. Holly wanted to send some of her cute little buttons too.
Almost finished a new angel...a little bit of inter-crafting ( maybe a new word!) happening on this one. Show you soon.

Have a lovely day
ps. Stuffnthings I think is a very apt name for Holly's creations so she has renamed her blog.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sydney part two & a lovely surprise!

Hi everyone,
Something special arrived in the mail from my stitchers angel all the way from Germany ( I now know). The paper Heike wrapped the parcel in had the dearest little quilt blocks printed on it so I was really excited to open it up. As this is the first time I have participated in the swap I was touched by the generousity of spirit and the beauty of Heike's skill.
I now have a very special needle case for travelling, a beautiful Christmas wall hanging and the perfect bag to hold all my buttons. Thank you Heike. My swap items are on their way too, I really hope my swap partner enjoys her parcel as much as I have. Will show you what I sent after she receives them...can't spoil the surprise yet!

It's about time I finished my Sydney saga . Okay, I did mention the visit to the ABC studios last post but I have to show you a sneak peek of BIG TED from Play School ( an iconic Australian children's television show that has been on air forever ...well almost!) having a rest in one of the corridors. Couldn't not take a snap of that.
Our trip ended on a very high note with front row seats ( thanks to our very savy group organiser) to Street Car Named Desire - Sydney Theatre Company. It really was a fantastic performance by all and we really were excited to see Cate Blanchet up close and personal so to speak. Beautiful theatre and surrounds as well.

A bit of a walk, but a perfect evening. Lovely old cobble stones, walls and fixtures heading to the old docks. I'm pretty sure there was a fancy restauraunt on the other side of that door.

Creepy old stairs, but oh, so much character!

And we're here.

A little bit of inner city fun.
Bye for now

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To Sydney & back

Hi everyone,
Timing is everything and our Sydney trip was no exception. We had perfect weather for all of the planned activities. Roaming around the Sydney CBD yesterday on our last day the sky appeared completely grey as if we were surrounded by a veil. It felt as if something was about to happen. We were literally in the dark, without watching or listening to the news we were totally unaware of the encroaching dust storm that stopped flights out of Sydney this morning. We woke today in Brisbane to a red glow. The atmosphere was incredible, you could see and taste the dust in the air. People were forced to stay indoors with windows closed. This is a link to a news report which is quite interesting and has amazing photos.
The itinerary was pretty full so we were on the ground running for most of the time. Our first taste of the cultural treats awaiting us was at the Museum of Contemporary Art. After an insightful and stimulating introduction to some interesting contemporary artworks we strolled around the buzzing art/ craft world of the Rocks. I picked up a small print by a young 16 year old, autistic savant artist. His name is Ping Lian Yeak. The work is vibrant and full of life.....jam packed...just like Sydney!
Our evening entertainment was Fire - A Retrospective by Bangarra Dance Theatre which is one of Australia's leading contemporary dance companies. Someone was smiling on us that night as we made it JUST in time.... running up the MANY Opera House steps (then down again), some of the students with shoes in hand, trying to find where we needed to be. Above is a photo of Circular Quay. Cameras were not allowed in the Gallery or in the theatres etc so not too many of the fun shots but the links have beautiful images.

Sunday was completely mad but so much fun. Brett Whiteley's Studio in Surrey Hills was incredible. I honestly wouldn't have been surprised to look over and see him working on an unfinished painting. The studio is as he left it and the gallery showcased some beautiful work. I hadn't taken enough notice of his work to that point. This painting Balcony 2 was stunning to see 'in the flesh' it was so vast; the colours so vibrant and the images so delicate and true. This image doesn't really do it justice but you can see what I'm writing about.
This sculpture of two matches stands to the right of the door to his studio.
The 'mad' part of the day starts now - dressed and off to the musical "Wicked" ( which by the way was incredible) at the Capital Theatre, haven't laughed and clapped so the end of the trip my arms were sore. Clever, witty, funny and a touch sad...yes, I wiped away a tear or two. I must confess though to crying during the movie Chicken Run when they finally went over the fence..well it was a very emotional moment, wasn't it! Anyway, straight after we were on the street flagging down cabs to take all 23 of us to Fox studios and Australian Idol. It was amazing to see how the production of the show is organised - what happens during those annoying add breaks - and cameras flying everywhere. Didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as I did. I know I was asleep that night as my head hit the pillow.

Monday included a tour of ABC TV & Radio Studios at Ultimo. We visited the studio where Play School was filmed and bought Oliver a Little Ted. Today was a special treat for the Drama students as our next stop was NIDA - The National Institute for the Dramatic Arts where we had a tour and workshop. I can't say Acting is my forte so I just watched, but I did fall in love with the costumes displayed. I can show you pics of these.
This is the costume design studio at NIDA.

A gorgeous work board in the props room...filled with vintage bits and bobs that I'd love to play with.
These two costumes are entirely made of amazing!

Lots more to write about another night.

best wishes for now,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Special Times

Hi everyone,

So sorry for being so quiet. How did that month slip by so quickly? I write in my head all the time but just didn't quite get to sitting here and writing as I am now.

It has been a month of waiting, waiting and more waiting, but at last our precious little bundle has arrived. Oliver arrived safe and sound last Sunday and in our totally unbiased opinion he is absolutely beautiful. Mum (and dad) are both well and nan & pop (us) totally besotted. Dad is already planning the fishing rod he will make for him...hope he'll like fishing! Now I can get on with making his quilt. I wanted to wait and choose colours etc that will suit. He will be living by the ocean so a fishy, watery theme sounds perfect.

It will be a mad rush tonight packing for our trip to Sydney. Getting anxious already.... I'm not really a comfortable flyer. Thank goodness it's a fairly short trip though. Lots to see and do and good company so I'll be happy when we land.
I'll have lots to show & tell next week, so until then...
have fun & be safe.

P.s forgot to mention a really creative blog, Cart Before the Horse, that just happens to be having a gorgeous give away! check it out.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

cough cough!!

Hi everyone,

Well, best laid plans and all that. Taken a little more time than I expected to post but who didn't want to have a flu shot? And, who was sick last week with the flu? Of course it was me. Actually half the family in turn has been left feeling like you know what. Never mind, we're a pretty tough old bunch usually so everyone will be back to normal soon.

Thank you for the lovely comments on my last post I really appreciate it. Marianne and Wendy W were the lucky two Pin Angel pattern winners this time, but there are more new patterns coming soon. Please let me know your address/ changes etc and I'll pop them in the mail.

Just wanted to share the new Doll Club pattern for October with you. This is Peace Angel and she holds a small appliqued quilt ( extra stitching) and has hands that are a little more challenging.

I have received the name of my swap partner so I'm pretty excited about joining in this year. We've exchanged some nice emails ( stitchers are always nice people) and it's fun swapping with someone from the US so I'm looking forward to the whole project.

Better get back to choosing fabric for Helen's swap project and finishing my last essay for this study period. Yeah!!

Bye for now


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Felting madness

Hi everyone,
This is not my new profile photo. It was actually our dinner. Well, it was pizza dough I left to rise and when I next looked it was staring back at me, magic! Had to wait all of 2 seconds until someone started to laugh and I had found the culprit. Silly sausages in this house.

Now I have to say...what happened to July! It's the first of August and I have been madly trying new things. Such new felting/ embellishing machine....fav new toy. So far it's lots of fun and I have been making flowers for embellishments on items and packaging them as little fun trims to add to handmade goodies. They look really good on beanies and certainly dress them up. Just as well really as I have been collecting wool roving and felt for ages and only touched the tip of the iceberg/pile to date with some other projects, so everyone's happy.

Holly & I spent time today organising clothes for an up-coming trip to Sydney . Trying to find suitable items that are travel friendly and right for our adventures has been a challenge. All black and mixable seems to be the way to go....I can add scarves etc to dress up or down. We're both really looking forward to this trip as it was arranged by school and is mean't to be a cultural experience. Drama, Visual Art and Music are on the agenda with art galleries, Sydney Opera House back stage visit, Brett Whiteley Studio workshop and all sorts of exciting things. We didn't have excursions like that in my day and I'm tagging along this time. I plan on taking lots of photos so I'll bore you with those after September.

For now though....Just finished another doll project for Australian Homespun Magazine. I always love working with Homespun and will look forward to seeing the project in print's out early next year.
I have also just sent off a large order to my friend Bohdana in Prague. She is running a very successful doll club over there and she puts a great amount of time into the workshops. All the patterns need to be translated by her and that takes quite an effort. Anyone interested in joining living near by -this is her site - Český panenkový klub
The boys have returned from their annual fishing competition at Rainbow Beach and a good time was had by all, and I do mean all. Us homebodies can relax and enjoy some alone time too. It's always nice to have them home though. The weather for the comp was lovely, which is a change from the wind and rain in previous years.
Almost forgot...the pin Angels ( pin cushions) pattern is in the Wattlebee Shop now, I was alittle slow in getting it there.
Best wishes

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Over the line

Hi everyone,

Does anyone know what happened to the first half of '09? I can't believe it is July already....better get used to it I suppose.

We had a great week away. The beach is always relaxing and I needed a de-stresser. How would you feel after this...... Oops!! .....You can drive on the beach, in places, but things can go wrong. Makes for an interesting walk though.

On a calmer note ....

First seagull that actually stood still long enough.

Pin dolls are completed and the pattern will be available very soon. This is the cover ..........

They turned out really cute..........I guess they could just be collectable mini dolls if you didn't want to stick pins in them, eitherway they are fun to make and would be great gifts for crafty friends. There will be ready made versions available online too.

Australian Homespun magazine has asked me to contribute another project, so I'm busy drawing up some ideas for that....I love doing those projects. It won't be out till next Feb, but everything needs to be ready by the end of this month....I'm such a sucker for punishment!

Doll Club project No.3 has been sent mid June....hope everyone is enjoying making up Fairy Queen. I would love to see your finished work, so don't be shy, send a pic and I'll pop it on the blog for show and tell.

I have decided to sell some of the dolls made especially for magazine projects to make way for newer ones. These dolls are the originals that were used for photography in Australian Homespun & Aust. Country Threads mags. They will be available in the ready made section of the Wattlebee Shop as soon as I can get them on ( next few days). If you are interested in any in particular please let me know before they are posted. Also, I will be adding some of the original Doll Club dolls in the ready made section as we are running out of room in the studio.

Until next time,

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Hi everyone,
Just a quick note -
I'm not complaining...I always wish for the cooler weather, but it is surprisingly cold at the moment. I'm sure it's a direct arctic wind that blows. Out came the black tights, boots and maybe even a pair of gloves could be put to good use in the morning. Actually I love it when it's cooler. We don't usually have much of a winter and quite often anything heavier than a light coat is a waste so I bought flannelette sheets again today ( last purchase probably twenty years ago) and a new yummy blanket. Bed all made and looks inviting.....Medium ( a favourite tv show)is on tonight and I do have an essay due Monday so unfortunately not an early night ahead.

This is truly wacky, but I was cooking dinner the other night and saw this.........

The Yin Yang of onions! Maybe you need to see it from a distance....I thought it was amazing.

Okay, back to crafty things. I've been working at finishing the last pin angel and she should be ready to unveil very soon....that will be my next post.

Take care


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend endeavours

Hi everyone,

This weekend is almost over....they always go far too quickly! I do have something to show for it though. I finished Pin doll No.2. She is a little cutie and I'm making quite a few for our Etsy Shop.

We had our first sale on Etsy, and lovely feedback, which was pretty exciting.

Here she is - all 5 inches of her ( I've been playing with Photoshop and having fun with brushes).

She has a tiny elastic topped pocket in the front for small things like buttons that you may like to keep safe while sewing. I love sewing with felt, so naturally I use it when I can and I had the perfect colours for her wings. It's officially the first day of winter tomorrow in this part of the globe so we are starting to think 'cosy'.

I would like to show you a couple of beautiful dolls made by Angela in Brazil. She has used a Wattlebee pattern called Daisy and made it in her own style. A very talented lady...thanks Angela.

Took a train into the city on Saturday to visit the Qld Art Gallery's latest exhibit - American Impressionism and Realism. Absolutely loved it! I had seen The China Project during the week with a school excursion, so we had a quick look again in GoMA ( Gallery of Modern Art) then across to the Impressionists. Certainly nothing like in a book, you really appreciate seeing these beautiful works in real life.
We all agreed our favourite was a painting by Charles Conder titled -Departure of the Orient- Circular Quay.

Today was quieter and a little cooler but all in all a great weekend.
The boy's went fishing again...they called to say it was raining where they were, so that was a bit of a shame. I'm sure they had fun anyway...better crabbing so I'm told.

Well, almost time for bed and setting alarms..... I don't want to sleep in and late for school. It's so easy to do that when all the early risers are away. Everything will be back to normal Monday and I'll be looking towards the next weekend.

Hope your weekend was a beauty.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pins & thingmybobs

Hi Everyone,

Can't believe it's taken me so long to write but I have been working on some things and at least now I have something to show. This little item was a lot of actually only took a couple of hours to put together from drawing the pattern to finish, but there will be 3 sizes and styles in the one I'm pretty excited about showing the whole set when ready ( nearly there).

Here's a peek...........

I love working with's quick and always looks neat, warm too! The weather is really starting to cool down on this side of the planet. Blankets and slippers are being employed and yummy cooler weather comfort foods such as braised lamb shanks are on the menu. Did I mention porridge.........I love porridge, very good for you too.
This is the top of Inskip Point at Rainbow Beach. You can see two of the large barges that go across to Fraser Island. It's quite a wide expanse of beach and drops off to the water so you can only see part of the barges. This was taken a couple of weeks ago and the weather was perfect. I spent some time taking macro photos of mangrove shoots, drift wood and water patterns on the sand as inspiration for some Collograph printing plates that I am working on. All new stuff but I'm learning.
Just prior to that the boys spent some time building a back fence...they did a great job. Also went mad pruning!

Holly was playing catch and release with soldier crabs. They were absolutely everywhere until you moved and then they would quickly dig into the sand and hide.

Well, off to sew some more little thingmybobs.

Happy weekend


Monday, April 27, 2009

a little more...

Hi Everyone,
Feeling pretty good even though it's only Monday. The weather is glorious and it looks like a good week ahead. Health on track and I've been trying to fit some sewing into the mix. Totally forgot a doctors appointment, remembered my hair appointment and started a new bag and it is only Monday! ( lovely pattern I am test sewing for school). I'll take a photo if it turns out okay.
It's about time I popped a free pattern on here so that's my next project. I'm thinking Christmas ornament? Any suggestions? More on this soon.
Here is a peek at Little Bird complete. She was so much fun to make. I made her a little taller so that you can arrange her with other dolls etc for display. She keeps me company at the moment as I have her on the shelf above my computer.
And a little detail..........

Well, I'm off to bed now so....

Sweet Dreams


Monday, April 20, 2009

Little Bird

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give you a little update on my latest design - Little is a sneak peek. I'm delighted with how she has turned out. Sometimes a design draft doesn't always translate very well in fabric so I'll be very proud to send her off to club members in August.

I used bird wings as inspiration for her hair and she will have a lovely little bird in hand.

With only 4 months till our grandchild is born I've been very busily drawing up cot quilt designs. So many beautiful fabrics to choose from but I may wait until he or she is born before I decide on prints and colours. Maybe I'm putting too much thought into it but I would like the quilt to suit the child. Found a beautiful fabric with gorgeous little bugs on it that I love ( they have beautiful fabric for everything). More on the quilt soon.

Meanwhile, back to work.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What's Next?

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all enjoyed a relaxing Easter break. The coast was cool and fresh after all the rain and surprisingly the days were pretty good with rain mostly falling at night....... perfect sleeping weather.
We had plenty of long walks and explored rock pools which are forming again on the beach.....used to be there years ago ......natural cycles and all that! Every man ( and his dog), as the saying goes, was there too!
This is our little black dog Lily( she thinks she's human), who just loves a run on the beach, actually she loves a swim too.
The boys caught quite a few mud crabs so we were pretty spoiled. The Easter bunny found us, bit worried he may have had to row across flooded rivers etc, as we only just made it home before roads were cut due to the flooding.

Just before the holidays I made Labne which is a Lebanese cheese made from yoghurt. If you like cheese and have a savoury tooth you will love this and it's so easy to make. I took a photo to show and used this recipe - Warm crust bread and Labne spread thickly....yum!!

If you try it let me know what you think.

This little Sugar plum angel will be on the website soon. She was a project in Australian Country Threads many moons ago, so in case you don't have early copies ( probably 4-5 years ago) of that magazine you will find her in the Wattlebee shop. She's very sweet and doesn't mind me arranging her legs in silly poses when It's time for a moments distraction.

Tomorrow hopefully will be another day for sewing. I have No. 4 project Little Bird to make up and she will be the next show and tell.
Take care

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some News!

Hi Everyone,

Just thought I'd share a little news........Catherine Sanchez is back as Editor of Australian Homespun Magazine and I was very happy to oblige with the Breast of Friends promotion ( hence the logo on right) which will link you to the Homespun Blog and all the updates.
I also got up bright and early to take a snap of Fairy Queen. Here she is -
I'll be away for a short break and wish you all a very safe and happy Easter.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sewing at last!

Hi everyone,

At last, everything is as it should be. I had a great weekend, sewing, sewing and more sewing madly. I really missed this.
Now, what have I got to show for it? Fairy Queen is finished and I'm thrilled with how she turned out. There are a couple of new designs that sprung from this fabric and I'm hard at work on those too ..........a good holiday project I think! Here are some closeups of her for now and I'll take a full photo in daylight for next post.
I just love embellishing fabric and felt is wonderful to work with. No need to hem the skirt either!

We've been having a lot of rain and everything is growing ...actually too much as the vegie garden resembles a jungle. I have quite a bit of weeding to do.....and mulching and adding some chook poo before I plant these guys. The new tomato is a berry variety, sounds cute. More cucumbers, zucchini and lots of herbs to plant.
You really can't help being inspired by all the beautiful fabrics out there. These are some of the gorgeous fabrics I have added to my stash recently.

The red and navy are destined to be made into a new bag design I'm working on. I have some gorgeous buttons that I brought back from Melbourne last year that will be perfect.
Well back to work, I have a printmaking unit to complete now. Learning about Monotypes and Lino / wood cut printing. Lots of fun but pretty messy.
Take care


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