Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend sewing

This applique set was given to me for my birthday. I'd seen it hanging in the local Craft shop and loved it from the first. It's my first ever attempt at applique so we'll not linger too long on the size of the blanket stitch or the beak that's on upside down. I am pretty happy with a first effort. It's taken me a while and really if I hadn't volunteered to do four duties over the Christmas period it would still be unfinished. Being on base for 24 hours gave me a perfect opportunity to draw, cut and sew to my heart's content.

I learnt a lot along the way, namely that you draw the pieces individually. I drew two owls before I discovered this gem of information.

I learnt that batting and wadding are very different materials and will give very different results.
I learnt that corners are fiddly, critters that so far elude my patience and experience level.

I also learnt that I thoroughly enjoy applique and so when I received a heap of gorgeous lilac fat quarters from my magazine swap partner Laurie I knew it had to been an applique project.
This is a Sunbonnet Sue pattern that I found free here
The background material was really hard to pick. It didn't seem to matter what colour I tried they all seemed to clash. Finally we took the quarters of to Spotlight and spent hours holding them against pretty much every fabric choice they had until it was decided that the beige with small white flowers while not perfect was the best choice.

I have proper batting to finish it off this time and I'm thinking of making it a wall hanging by threading wooden dowels top and bottom. It will then hang in my bedroom so I can admire each morning when I wake up and each evening when I go to sleep.
Two more sleeps until Social knitting start again. Can you tell I've missed my weekly sit and knit time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Beginnings

Always start for me with new bedding. Usually it's enough for the bedding to be just washed. I love the crispness of freshly laundered sheets, their coolness against skin still pink from a too warm bath. The comforting presence of a duvet settling like a hug over me, enveloping me into a world of refuge and sweet dreams scented by the aroma of soapy suds. Passing a laundromat always evokes a sharp pang of nostalgia for me.
But this time I decided that just washing the bedding was quite significant enough. I needed to be radical and so I gathered my girls to me and we headed for the sales. We oohed and ahhed over pink and purple bedding, lace and frills, floral and plain until we found the perfect bedding for me at the perfect price, reduced to below half its original price.

At last my bedroom feels like a space I can relax in. I keep walking in and admiring the bed, touching the rose pattern and smoothing the cover. It's fully reversible with the other side being a pink paisley type pattern which can be seen at the edges of the pillow cases and the matching sheets.
even my teddies have been able to come out of hibernation and take up their place again.
Knitting and crafting has really taken a back seat over the last few weeks, partly the beautiful summer weather that has had everyone heading for the great outdoors but also home events. Still social knitting starts up again on Monday so it's time to dust off the needles and get cracking on finishing a couple of pieces.

Thank you all for your kind words. I am feeling incredibly light and full of energy and hope for a very bright future.

Friday, January 23, 2009


When I joined the navy two years ago I had no idea the impact that one of the core values would have on me. Courage.
I didn't realise that the navy would teach me how to stand up for myself, how to protect myself and ultimately how to have the courage to say enough. I didn't know that their emphasis on courage would resonate through my own life causing me to want to change things for the better. Of course it takes two to change a marriage and ours had been one of power and control for a long time. It was never going to be easy to realign the balance.
It takes a lot of courage to say no more even when you know it will cause pain to others.
I have found that courage.
2009 will be the year I teach my girls that insults and derogatory comments are not acceptable behaviours. I will teach them that emotional blackmail is unacceptable and that we all deserve to be loved and treated with dignity and respect. I wish I'd had the courage years ago.
It will be a courageous year.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thank goodness for friends

Remember my temptation issues, wanting to buy the third and well yes the fourth as well, in the Twilight series but not being able to partly because finances wouldn't stretch that far, not when they weren't essential and I already have so many other books to read, not to mention the use of two very good libraries.
So in the course of conversation I shared my dilemma with a friend at work and do you know what she did? She went out and bought book three and book four and gave them to me to read before she even read them. She said she knew I'd read them way quicker than her and she was going to buy them anyway. I feel totally blessed that someone would do that for me. I fully understand how precious books are and how hard it can be to lend a book out.
I read book three last night and thoroughly enjoyed every word. I am starting book four tonight.
So today I count a friend as a very special blessing.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The very talented April of Cake makes the world a better place has awarded these to all her followers and I am one of those

Here are the "rules" for sharing these awards with eight other bloggers:

These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to be friends.
They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.

Please give more attention to these kind writers.
When you pass the award along please include these guidelines.
I am to choose eight friends to share this with....

So many wonderful blogs.
If you visit me and I visit you then conside yourself awarded.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A to do with a difference

MAny thanks to April for this one
Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: in red
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a Meteor Shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld/Land
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in Paris
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snowfort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden a Gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michaelangelo's David in person
41. Sung Karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold girl scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching
63. Received flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a cheque
68. flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a Quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swum in the great salt lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


“But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”

This is very apt as I struggle already not to lured into buying the third book in the Twilight series,some more Stella bamboo because I've discovered how luscious it is to work with and more fabric for another applique. Not to mention other areas of temptation.

I deal with it by avoiding the places I love to be but that's not really a solution. How else can I not give in?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How I spent my holidays

Using my lovely sewing machine to complete an owl applique wall hanging I got for my birthday and to make clothes for a Baby Born boy. All very well but given my limited ability to sew and the lack of a pattern it was all a little challenging and something I wish Santa had thought long and hard about before delivering the aforementioned to our house.


Supervising and controlling, badly my four children.

and when it all got too much lying in my hammock hoping they would all simply go away

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Resolutions

Usually I don't bother with these. After all it seems that most are abandoned a few days or weeks into the year and all you're left with is the awful burden of guilt. But I have discovered that part of the secret to resolutions lies in the motives behind why I make them. Once I know why I need to stop/start something it throws a switch in a remote part of my brain and I find I can stick to it. Last year I counted how many unread books there were on my bookshelves. 68. I had bought each book desperate to own it and read it, but it then went into the huge pile of to be read. So I could see that while buying new books was immensely enjoyable for me, it was actually starting to be wasteful. So no more new books until the ones on the shelf have been read. Of course that meant that everyone had to buy me books for my birthday and any other occasion.
This year I am going to stick to the same resolution. I now have only 36 unread books on my bookcases, I have not ever been without a book to read and I have not suffered. I would say I am almost cured of my book addiction in that I can spend twenty minutes in a book shop pick up at least five books and then decide not to buy any.
I am also going to not buy any more yarn until my stash is almost zero. It is the same waste factor. Some yarn has sat there for so long I can no longer remember what project it was bought for and while ravelry helps with my memory it doesn't help with the empty purse syndrome.
Nor am I going to by any more fabric for the same reason.
I will however attempt not to turn into Mrs Scrooge by next Christmas.