Thursday, June 26, 2008

So much to show and tell............

I decided I was going to try and be a little better this week and post more frequently. Surely I must be able to find something in my day that is newsworthy!! Well today I probably have enough material for a few posts (although short!) but in case I forget them I will share them now!

The 'horsey one' spent a few hours with her Nan this morning and decided to take her horse fabric and make a cushion! Think she decided if she waited for Mum (me) to do it she may be in a nursing home herself!! Well she came home with the most wonderful horse cushion and also a pin cushion she made out of one of the scraps. She did a great job and Mum said although she gave her some advice she basically made it herself.

While she was there Mum gave her a little sewing kit she has just finished making. Said it was time she had her own 'tools of the trade' so to speak! It is a gorgeous little box thing that collapses when you take off the lid to reveal the needle / pin holder and the scissors , tape measure etc. Mum has used a gorgeous cat fabric to make it. Hope the photos are clear enough to see what I mean!

The other excitement for today was that I received another parcel in the mail, this time from Norway. Some weeks ago I had commented on a table runner that Anne Heidi was making and queried where I could get the pattern from. She suggested a 'pattern swap' which I very happily agreed to. I sent her Leanne Beasley's 'two brown chickens' (and in the process bought the pattern for myself as well!!) and today my cow runner pattern arrived. Anne Heidi was so generous and also included some fabric so I could stick to the original colors. Gosh this blogging world is full of the most amazing people!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blogging Friends are great......

I received a parcel in the mail yesterday from "Our adventures in Korea" which was just lovely. She sent a panel of fabric for the 'Horsey one' - can you guess which piece it is????? and some lovely fabric for me. I feel very spoilt.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bon Voyage!

My 'Handsome Son' is at this moment in an aeroplane on his way to Hong Kong for the school holidays!! He has gone with a friend 'Sam' to stay with a schoolmate 'Sing' and his family for almost 3 weeks. Sing is an international student at our kids school and often escapes the boarding house for holidays, weekends and dinner once a week at our house where he proceeds to eat us out of house & home and become one of the family. On a Friday evening he will be found watching 'Aussie Rules' football with SH! A lot of the International students don't intergrate well and stay as a little tight formed group - not Sing, he really is friends with all the Aussie kids. He always has the most beautiful smile, lovely manners and is ready to help but is frustratingly unorganised and vague!! His parents visited him at school last year and we enjoyed a dinner together. They are lovely people and so eager to repay the hospitality shown to their son. To say I have not had a few anxious moments about this trip would be untrue. I realise though that I must let go at some stage and what greater gift could I give a child than independence. My 'HS' is generally sensible and so is his friend Sam. They have some preparation for this trip after taking part in the school's compulsary trip to China last year (they then travelled with a parent doctor and nurse and teachers!!). I hope they make the most of this holiday and enjoy the opportunity they have been given. I am sure there will be some hours spent playing computer games, shooting the basketball and lazing around - they after all are 16 year old boys!! We at home are hoping for some regular contact to say they are okay and as the 'horsey one ' says 'some decent presents'!! I wanted to take a photo as they left for the airport with Sams parents yesterday afternoon but it was raining and noone had counted on how they were going to fit 5 people and 5 lots of luggage (Sams parents are going on their own holiday) into the car!! I stayed inside and waited until the menfolk had shut the boot tightly and were sure nothing would escape!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

At peace.....

On 10th June I asked for prayers for 'Olivia' and her family. Olivia is the sister in law of one of my closest friends. Olivia lost her fight for life on the weekend and is now at peace and I am sure looking after her two precious little girls from heaven. Please pray now for her family as they try to make some sense out of her death, particularly her husband Marc and Ebony and Hayley who will grow up without their Mum .

The Birthday Lunch.

Yesterday was Mum's 70th Birthday lunch which we hosted at a local cafe / restaurant. It went off really well and she enjoyed her day which was the most important thing. She hates being centre of attention but there were only the family and friends there that she wanted. Some of her cousins travelled 6 hours to be there, her sister had come from interstate ,and everyone else had travelled some distance to be there so think she felt very special! It was a shame my only sister and her family could not make it but as Mum is about to head to London to spend time with them soon I am sure they will do something special to celebrate then! My Aunty did flower arrangements for the tables, the food was wonderful and the cake YUMMY so all in all a great day.
(the photo is of Mum - in the centre, with her cousins)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Owlie!

I feel so lucky! I won a giveaway on 'Little Mysteries' blog celebrating her birthday and my gift - a little 'Owlie' arrived in the mail yesterday. He is so cute and at the moment is living on my desk where I seem to spend a lot of time doing paperwork of some kind!
This post is going to be short and sweet this morning as little cat (Fred) is curled up on my lap and making it very hard to type!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

She loved it!

This is my darling goddaughter wrapped in her quilt celebrating her 2nd birthday. We gave her a 'Curious George' dvd, a little monkey purse and her quilt - yes there was a monkey theme! She immediately wrapped herself in the quilt and wore it as a cape and then later snuggled under it watching her dvd - what more could I have asked for? She is a very bright and intelligent child (must take after me) but will give her parents a run for their money in the years to come. Her Mum is my best friend who I have known since kindergarten.

After the birthday celebrations we made our way to the airport to put Sebastian on the plane home to Hong Kong. He has lived with us for the last 15 months and had become one of the family. Although he frustrated Aunty and Uncle to distraction at times he was a very young 11year old with a wicked sense of humor. We will enjoy having just our own family unit back ( especially being able to make the dash from bathroom to bedroom without having to wonder where he is!) but will miss him. He cried saying goodbye and so did I. It was a rewarding experience having him stay with us and taught us all a lot about patience, sharing, and understanding a different culture, it also taught us all children are basically the same no matter what their culture and appearance. I feel for his Mum who has only her 5 children together for a few weeks each year. She will never get those missed years back.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I must be crazy!!!!!

It is my beautiful goddaughter 'Bianca's 2nd birthday today and I have had it in the back of my mind for a few weeks to make her a snuggle quilt as part of her present. Unfortuantly I had run out of time but in a moment of extreme madness I decided yesterday it just had to happen! This is as well as the 'horsey' one playing netball, riding, trying out for country week hockey and playing hockey out of town. This is also as I am packing up everything for Sebastian to leave us to travel home to Hong Kong today and then on to school in Adelaide. He has spent over a year with us and is not the most tidy or organised so that was a challenge in itself. This was also as my house is both a fire hazard (with piles of junk everywhere) and about to be condemned by the health department for its untidy, unclean state.....This was also as I needed to make 2 lots of cakes (one a new recipe) to take down to Bianca's birthday party today. Anyway it happened. I sewed the last part of the binding down at 7.30 this morning and it will be wrapped and delivered on time! and I blame it onto all of you who regularly show the most amazing quilts that seem to have just happened and frequently. If all of you can manage it then I should be able to as well!! I did cheat a little. I used a charm pack of Moda's 'Monkey'n Round' and did nothing special, just blocked them together. I backed it with polar fleece (to make it snuggly) . Had terrible trouble with the corners, something I definately need to work on. If it wasn't for a littlie I would of popped a button on each to try and cover them.
( the matchsticks at the bottom of the photo belong to the 'horsey' one, doesn't take after her mother in shape!!)
I drew the winner of my tiny giveaway (the lavender pattern) this morning. Congratulations to Cathi from Celtic Knots.
Must go and finish packing to head off to Melbourne, don't think I've put Seb's passport in yet so that best be next on the list!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Happy Birthday and a prayer....

Wishing my Mum and sister both a very Happy Birthday for today. Hope you both have had a lovely day and wishing you every happiness for the year ahead xxxx

Please say a prayer for 'Olivia' and her family. Olivia is the sister in law of one of my closest friends and has just been diagnosed with numerous secondary cancers, the future looks very bleak. Olivia is the mum of two gorgeous girls aged 2 and 3.

Home again!

Well it was SO nice to sleep in my own bed last night after a huge weekend which was lots of fun. Started with the trip to the hairdressers on Thursday. Mum was thrilled to bits with her new 'do', a cut and color is very good for the soul! An early morning Friday to travel to the airport to catch our plane to Sydney. Arrived in good time to meet Robyn (the button maker) and her husband Rex and share a taxi to the show. It was a trade show - the 'Quilt and Craft Expo'. Set up in record time and made our way to the hotel we stayed at and enjoyed dinner before turning in for an earlyish night. Spent Saturday and Sunday at the show, wasn't a great show, not a huge amount of exhibitors and not a huge number through the door but Robyn had interest from a number of businesses who have not seen her product before which is great. Her and Mum were able to work on the next designs in person and that was invaluable. Mum stitches most of Robyn's samples. I enjoyed looking at all the different stalls and picking up just a few things!! (What is a trip without some shopping?). I bought a new mat and also some new rulers which I am really impressed with. I am not very good at descriptions but they are adjustable rulers that make measuring very precise, something that will make my life much easier! I bought the straight ruler and also a 'half square triangle' and a 'quarter square triangle'. For Australian readers they will be on 'New Inventors'(?) on 2nd July. If you are interested have a look at this website .Now all I need is some time to have a play! I also bought some fabric.....surprise surprise! I bought a package of 40 fq of Moda 'prairie paisley' among some other bits and pieces and NO I haven't planned the projects yet! Saturday night we met Robyn's sister and her husband and went out for dinner at 'the rocks'. We walked around from the Opera House and although it was cold it was a beautiful evening and a lovely meal but a very late night!

I have a tiny giveaway of one of Robyn's patterns from her 'French Collection'. It is the lavender and includes a small stitchery pattern and a button. If you are interested leave a comment and I will draw it sometime on the weekend.
(Just so you know I am not in any of the photos! They are Robyn, Rex and my Mum)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane........

Sounds much more exciting than it is!! but I will be away for the weekend. Mum and I are flying up to Sydney tomorrow for a few days. A very close friend of mine who now lives in Queensland makes ceramic buttons and we are meeting her and her husband to help them at a wholesale Quilt and Craft Expo. We went to one in Melbourne with them in November and had so much fun, it was like a pair of kids let loose in a candy shop!! Not as much fun as if it was a retail show but still plenty to look at and ooh and aah.......There may be a few purchases!! and the camera is packed so hopefully I'll have lots to report next week. Of course it means I will be leaving SH at home with the kids for the long weekend. It doesn't phase him at all, he is wonderful and because it is a holiday weekend ( Queens birthday ) there is not the usual sport to ferry them around to . I actually miss them a lot when I'm not there and if we'd thought of it earlier maybe they could of come too and done some exploring in Sydney. Mum will arrive today as I finish work at midday and we are off to the hairdressers. She is always complaining about her hair (neither of us are blessed with a good head of hair - very thin and straight ) and her hairdresser and the lack of imagination used so we are shouting her a cut and color as part of her birthday present. Hopefully we will then have time to have a look for something for her to wear to her birthday lunch in a few weeks! Should be a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The recipe at last....

A very quick post this morning! A while back I promised a few people I would post the recipe for the ' Pear and Ginger ' cake I posted a photo of. It is very easy, mixed by hand (a plus in my house-slightly fewer dishes!), large so good for a gathering and most importantly yummy! Would be lovely served warm as a dessert, with double cream of course!!

serves 16

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
250g butter, melted, cooled
3 (600g) packham pears, peeled,cored, cut into 2cm slices
1 cup golden syrup,
2 eggs,
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
2 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons ground ginger, sifted
1 teaspoon mixed spice, sifted
200g light sour cream

Preheat oven to 160'C / 140'C fan forced. Lightly grease a 6cm deep, 23cm(base) square cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over base of prepared pan. Pour 1/3 cup butter over sugar. Arrange pear slices in a single layer over butter and sugar.
Place remaining butter in a large bowl. Whisk in syrup, eggs, soda, flour, ground ginger, mixed spice and remaining sugar. Stir in sour cream. Pour batter over pears.
Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes. Turn out on to a platter. Serve and Enjoy!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another present!

I travelled to Mum's on Friday and we went out for lunch to celebrate 'Mothers Day'. It has become a tradition to celebrate on another day as for the last few years one of us has had other committments on the day. We had a lovely time, ate too much, had garlic overload for days but really enjoyed each others company. I was even spoilt with a box of my favorite choccys and Mum loved the present I gave her. Just as I was about to leave Mum gave me another present! - this beautiful box she had made. She'd attended a workshop for 2 days recently. She has made the box itself and it's beautiful inlaid lid. She is pleased she has learnt the methods but is very disappointed in the finished product!! As a perfectionist it is not up to her standards!! I love it, cannot find any faults with it and accepted it happily to enjoy in my home.