Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Bitses and pieces

I have a new member of my sewing machine family. He has been thoroughly inspected. Along with the box of bits that came along with him.
Once that very important task had been completed Mr H was allowed to get on with the job of servicing. Oh boy! Did he need it There was loads of fluff!!
Have you ever seen the insides of your machines?
After a good brush and vacuum and a wee drop of oil, he went back together just so and I have to say he is a little quieter and runs more smoothly now.
 Meet Andrew.
All my other sewing machines, (Don't ask) have female names.
Naomi Janome
Jenny Janome
Sally Silver....
But this one is a Brother, so I think a male name is appropriate.
Besides ha must be a boy, he's wearing blue! LOL
Oh yes, and the box of bits fits just perfectly, once you take the bits out!
And now for some real stitchy content.
I have finally finished stitching my wee guardian angel, and today I plan to get on and finish her ready to send to her new home.
She was a free chart produced by Lavender and Lace and you can find her here.
Once I was done with my wee friend, I should have picked up my Spring Queen, who has waited patiently since before Christmas. But instead, I picked up an adopted UFO.
Debbie started work on this piece a long time ago. And this was as far as she got.
 It looks like she has completed half of it. Not quite, the other half has a lot more work in it! LOL
 Here is a closer look at what Debbie had done so far.
Her stitches are tighter than mine, and her top stitch goes the other way!!
I did try to stitch backwards, but spent more time ripping out than I did putting stitches on!!
After chatting with Debbie, we agreed that in the interests of just getting it finished for her, it would be ok if I just let myself stitch in my own natural way. 
We don't intend to let the cross stitch police anywhere near it, so no one will know right?
Girls day out today.....

Sunday, 11 March 2018

A whole new outlook.

I hinted some time ago that there were changes afoot in our garden. Well finally we have a Tada!! 
A  big reveal.
When we first moved into this house, all you could see was the front door and the garage door. The rest of the front of the property was hidden behind a jungle.
There were so many shrubs, and they were so high,the view from my sewing room was obscured and very little light got in.
One beautiful day, we set about clearing it all out.
 Out came trees, bushes and shrubs, we found an old gravel pathway through the middle of it.
 And kept on clearing. It took a few weeks to get rid of it all.
 Even with help and a big chopper!
Eventually I could see through my window.
Then, after the last of the growth was gone, all except the big old Robinia tree. (Lace Lady)
We got stuck, we didn't really know what we wanted to do with the area.
 So it got used as a dumping ground. Lots of rubbish was piled up here, some of it even got taken away!! But some of it stayed. And of course, the weeds grew, one or two of the shrubs even tried to make a comeback. 
There was also this little area, just hidden away behind the fence, with an ugly little wall. It was too small to do anything much, It felt poky and closed in.
 With not much to look at.
 Eventually we decided to combine the two areas and knowing we couldn't do it ourselves, we called in a landscaping team. 
What a beautiful job they did. We are delighted with our new outdoor living area.
There are still two levels, with a timber retaining wall holding up the new lawn under the lovely Robinia tree, sadly they did have to take one or two branches off him, but I'll forgive them. They brought in their arborist to do it as we had stressed that no damage was to come to our tree. 
They laid tiles and created a sloping pathway up to the drive and the front door.
 It gives the front of the house a whole new feel.
 We couldn't wait to 'move in'.
 Our patio table that Tony's parents gave us and the bench that Joe made look great.
 Kokopeli was gifted to us by friends from the US and finally has a home.
 He will eventually get a shelf, so that the man at the BBQ has somewhere to rest his beer!
 The outlook from my wee room is very much different.
 I've added one or two final little touches.
 Joe bought me this rabbit sometime ago, but he never really had a home, I think he looks happy sitting there beside the lavender hedge that is planted along side the path and right under my window.
 I'll be able to hear the busy bees as I sew.
At the other end of the lavender is this wee chap. Joe bought him for Tony. And I think he looks pretty happy in his new spot too.
The only problem now is...
It is making the rest of the garden look untidy!
Loving our new space.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

And they're done!

Tony and I have had a week off work. It's been fun jut hanging out. We both got to spend time with our hobbies, and time in the garden, as well as a couple of days out. It is wonderful, but sadly almost over now.  I took some time to get my Daisies quilt onto the frame and in between bouts of gardening I got her quilted. Look you can see that autumn is coming, the leaves on the cherry tree are just starting to turn yellow.
 But through the other window, the wedding cake tree still looks resplendent. 
 I had fun with this one and did a meander pattern, which included Daisies.
 Well the fabric collection I used to make it is called Pocket full of Daises. 
It got another inspection as I was trimming it, before adding the binding.
It does worry me when she does that though, she was watching my scissors very closely and on occasion she has tried to play catch with them!
I thought that as the sun is shining it would be nice to take a photo outside, but maybe it's just a bit too bright. LOL Though it does show my daisies. 
I came back indoors and tried again. Here is a closer look at the quilting. 
And the big Tada!! Moment.
 Next up I had to close the binding on my Christmas table quilt. All work stopped while to inspector did her bit. I was able to finish it this morning, without her help. She hopped into the warm spot I left in the bed!
This was the one I did some custom quilting on. The borders were fun and much easier than I thought. 
 And here is it's big moment.
 Two Ta da! moments. 
Because it's double sided. I love this green backing fabric I found on a visit to Cathy at the quilting shed.
As I mentioned earlier, we've also spent some time in the garden, which continues to reward us, every day there is something to collect and either eat or freeze or preserve in some way. 

I had a go at my butternut patch and found 14 that were ripe. I sat them on the corner of the deck in the sunshine for a few days, today I'll hide them away in a cool dark corner. Then I'll go see if any more have ripened. At last count there were still 10 on the vines. That's 24 butternuts!!!
And three cute wee pumpkin hiding right at the back.
We've been picking corn cobs a couple at a time, but the other day Tony got right in there and pulled a bucketful for the freezer.
The courgette are still going, but thankfully a little slower now and I'm able to keep up with them, before they become marrows. The three varieties of beans are also still going strong and many are finding their way into the freezer. Recently, our meat free Monday has been produced entirely from our own garden. What a wonderful feeling.
The green house is also still going strong. The tomatoes have slowed and are almost done, but now the peppers are ripening. This bowl has a few tomatoes picked last night, along with five different varieties of peppers.
Red capsicum, mad hatter capsicum, candy cane capsicum, wild fire chilli and habanero chilli . 
 This is the second time we have tried to grow habanero chilli, the first time they were only tiny fruits and did not ripen. These fruits are much bigger and I'm told very very hot.
Mr H said I was to use them sparingly. Only tiny amounts per meal.
he also advised me that I shouldn't try them.I'm not one to shy away from a bit of spicy heat, but knowing his tastes and seeing his reaction to it....
I just might take his advice. 

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Girly day.

On Monday we three girls got together at my place, for our usual stitch n b1tch.
We had previously pinned 'The Village' and Claire shared progress pictures. She has quilted this one at home and is I believe ready to add the binding.
I didn't manage to get a picture of Mondays project, but she was doing some applique on an amazing mariners compass top.
Debbie had brought along her sewing machine and some kiwi fabrics. She hosts international students and wanted to make some gifts for them to take home. She cut out and made this table runner. Then took it home to add a back and quilting.
Then the following day she cut out and made herself a needle roll.
 She had seen mine and decided it was a cool way to store her knitting needles.
I was busy too, I sat and buried threads in the Christmas charms table cover. I've since added the binding, but didn't close it yet.
There were a lot of them.
Tony and I are off work this week, we have been busy in the garden, which is still looking good and giving loads of produce. We had a day out yesterday, and of course we have both made time for our creative hobbies. Which is what we have planned for today.
If you want me, I'll be in my quilting room, my Pocket full 'o' Daises quilt (Scroll down) is loaded onto the frame awaiting my attention the forecast is for a fine day, so it will be warm in there with the sun shining in.