Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crazy or not?

Yesterday I heard wonderful news. A dear friend has been accepted into a nursing position at the hospital where she did her practical training. That reminded me of a bag I made for her birthday, earlier this year.

I hummed and hawed about colour, and pattern. A magazine article demonstrated crazy patchwork, and as I had several lovely blue fabrics, all crying out, "Use me!" I decided to oblige.

Not wishing to have a bag without a defined back and front it was an easy matter to find a design to put on the front. This up and coming nurse loves her garden ... hence my choice of design.

The bag was duly completed and forwarded in time for the birthday.

A few weeks later I receive a telephone call. Evidently the bag was just the right size for textbooks; several of her collegues admired the bag, which of course is a one off.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Aprons and Hexagons

Back to craft. The past week actually saw me sewing!

For some obscure reason I caught the 'apron bug'. Perhaps it was because in sorting through my stash I found [hiding under lots of other stuff] some reasonably sized pieces of fabric. Looking and wondering an idea emerged. These were just the size for an apron providing I supplemented them with contrasts.

Three aprons were completed mid-week. I am sorry to report that the third apron cannot be shown on this blog. That elderly Aunt Alice swears she not only designed it, but made the whole article. As she is slightly eccentric who am I to argue? To have a peep at it you will have to visit Aunt Alice's Secret Diary, but please, be careful not to be found out! She can be a right tartar when thwarted.

The Craft Forum runs several swaps, and while I haven't taken the opportunity to join many [I don't wish to find I have run out of time to complete a swap project], I have opted into the Flower Hexagon Swap. This entails the making of a flower hexagon and forwarding it on ... a flower hexagon doesn't take too much time, and is rather fun.

As it is many years since I constructed a flower hexagon I made a couple as a trial run, before tackling one for my swap partner. I fear a bug could be on the rounds, as several folk have reported the rampant spread of the hexagon bug! I will try to avoid such a contagious disease ... the apron bug saw me lying awake at night contemplating colours ... just imagine how the hexagon bug could affect one!

Monday, August 16, 2010


This blog is a non-craft blog; instead I intend taking you on a small journey around this area. Nature presents us with a wonderful kaleidoscope of colour and texture that soothes the senses and increases creativity.

Yesterday we went for a drive, what once could have been classed as a Sunday Drive. You remember the Sunday Drive? After a huge roast lunch [a roast of beef, perhaps served with Yorkshire Pudding, roast potatoes all brown and crunchy, roast parsnip, roast onions, carrots and green peas, followed by jelly and fruit, and sometimes icecream. Does your waistline expand with the thought?

While winter has not completely left us, spring is knocking on the door. The weather is supposed to turn cold later in the week, and it was this promise of a few more days of winter, that sent us in the search for fire wood.

Recently the roadside trees were lopped mainly to improve visibility for motor vehicles, and the increasing number of trucks carting iron ore from a mine to ships. These trucks rumble past our place night and day, but as is the case with any noise that is repetitious, the mind learns to close them out.

Our main purpose was to locate suitable fallen trees that can be collected later. At the moment the verges are wet, small lakes have formed in depressions, their muddy waters providing a swimming pool for birds and a bath for creatures. Many trees had fallen; there is an abundance of wood suitable for firewood once sawn into sizes that will fit easily into the pot-belly stove.

We drove along the tar-sealed road turning onto a gravel road that would take us back in a loop to home.

Hardly had we hit the gravel than a wonderful 'picture postcard' presented itself. For once I had taken the camera! We stopped and I clicked. High on the top of the rise grain silos stood, like sentrys on guard; the brilliant yellow of the canola flowers making a golden carpet in the foreground. Australia is yellow and green ... I always thought these colours represent the wattle flowers, which are coming into bloom at this time of year, and the green, perhaps the green of the countryside in winter and spring. After capturing this photo I now wonder if perhaps the yellow is not canola!? I know it isn't, but sometimes it should be.

Half a kilometre along this gravel road another view caught the eye. Once again we stopped; once again I clicked the camera.

Having experienced a little rain over the recent weeks, with more expected this week, the wild flowers of Western Australia are beginning to make their appearance. According to those in the know the best of their blooms won't be visible until next month, that is if the promised rain does arrive. However at the moment there is a wonderful shrubby bush out in full flower. It is unremarkable for much of the year, but at the moment this bush, whose name I do not know [maybe you do?] frames a delightful view, make more delightful by the frame; a flummery of candy floss.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cotton Pod

Recently a mystery challenge was offered. I, like most, are intrigued by the word mystery, and combined with challenge, it was a challenge not to be missed.
I posted my self-addressed envelope, and after it was misdirected by the Post Office, the instructions, along with a pretty piece of fabric and matching buttons arrived. I read the instructions; they seemed simple enough to follow. Rather than risk messing up the pretty blue and green fabric I decided to make a trial mystery item. It turned out OK.
Next I worked on the blue and green fabric, which cried out to me for a little embellishment of lace.
The mystery item turned out to be a cotton pod, a simple enough structure that evolved from the designer having difficulty in keeping cotton tidy in her sewing basket. The cotton pod is an ingenious way of storing cotton; the pod can be made using a small piece of fabric and could be made to 'match' your sewing implements.
You are interested in making one? It is not difficult. The pattern, which is free, is available HERE.
Make one or two, or more!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's a cats life

Earlier in the week I acquired a pattern for a 'cat block', and after a trip to the city have purchased the beginnings of another project. While this will be on the back burner for a few days [or longer] my idea as to its final look are solidfying. At the moment I have no plan for the borders etc, it all depends on what I decide is needed. This of course makes for an interesting project ... it is one that will go which ever way the mood takes me along the journey.

One of the most interesting facets of any craft is the one undertaken with a sudden urge. Last weekend the construction of the pot holder gave a clear picture of how one can begin and complete an article in a short time; giving the creator a feeling of a job well done. A short sweet project gives one a fillip and pushes forward the idea that a few of these are worthwhile ... even though I do have projects awaiting attention.
While sorting through, or tidying up, my fabrics I realised I had enough for another pot holder. Not long after I first bought my sewing machine in an effort to become familiar with it, I made a pot holder, one that I find immensely useful. I remember at the time thinking that if I make it again I would do the binding different. Of course I forgot that stored information, and blithely followed the pattern. It wasn't until I began sewing on the binding I remembered. Too late! I had no desire to unpick half the binding, so plodded on. Now I have written 'my correction' on the pattern, for future reference. This pattern is particularly useful and adaptable ... I will make it again, and soon.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Today saw me celebrating, although in a very low key manner, two wins. One ... the All Blacks beat the Wallabies in rugby, which is a feather in the cap of the smaller nation. As I have spent most of my life in New Zealand it is not difficult to guess who I favour! That such a small country, population wise, should have such dominance in this sport is nothing short of incredible.

The other win ... Fremantle Dockers won the AFL Western Derby, hugely, over The West Coast Eagles. Least said about the score the better ... I felt sorry for Eagles' supporters.

I dislike sitting listening to football and not keeping my hands busy. Today I decided to combine Australia and New Zealand in a project. My 'pot holder' that we use to pour hot water from the kettle [boiling on the pot belly stove] into a cup of coffee needs washing. For some time I concluded I needed another holder for that express purpose, and today I sorted through my stash for suitable fabric.

A green background with ferns and kiwis was appropriate to represent New Zealand, and as green and gold are the colours of Australia, a plain gold fabric served to illustrate Australia. Green and gold together is just too Australian; a dividing shade was required. A beige paisley suited that purpose admirably.
While the Dockers demolished the Eagles I sewed. By the end of the game a new pot holder was completed. A small project, but one that profitably filled in the afternoon, and in colours that have some meaning for me will remind me in days and weeks ahead of the 1st day in August.