Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adelaide Northern Lights

I just had to share this with you. It's Fringe and Adelaide festival time here . As part of the Festival many of the old  buildings on North Terrace , in the heart of the city are lit up with an amazing light show. It's completely awe inspiring. The lights on the face of each building change , and this is what it looks like. It really is amazing and thousands of people flock to the city each night to have a look. (Best viewed as a full screen)

If you don't want to run the video you can go here  to see still pictures of the buildings in all their glory.

Goodbye February

It's the last day of February , and the last day of the Australian summer, and I know you're all DYING to know how Fabulous February  went. I'm going to give you a re-cap  since  I feel like I should be accountable because  I made such a big deal out of it and not because it's wildly interesting.

Drought like sewing conditions were experienced during all of  February , aside from the ottoman cover and 5 blocks I did for “A quilt for Illene”. I didn’t even come close to finishing anything from my WIP's. I did however have time to plan another project. Several actually.  I'm learning imagination and quilting vision are terrible things when you have two or three UFO's staring you in the face. I want to start something new but my conscience won't let me. On the up side, at least I have a conscience.

From planters , to garden cleanups, a re-purposed coffee table which metamorphisised ( is that actually a word?)   into an ottoman , and the start of our laundry renovation I feel like we made a dent in some of the projects that have been  germinating ideas for a long time.  So I'm doing a happy dance about having finished some of those things.The desk I'm going to re-finish is still sitting on the patio taunting  me. It's cool isn't it, that inanimate objects speak to me? Please tell me that's normal.

Those poor dead people are just going to have to wait a bit longer to be found. I started out with the best of intentions and did a bit of  genealogy but sputtered early in the month. It’s not like a 200 year old dead guy is going anywhere –he’ll still be right where he is in March. Deceased ancestors are reliable that way.

Damn you McDonald’s for building within easy walking distance from my office – I can practically see the Golden Arches from my desk. I’ve done multiple Macca’s runs for work lunches and have become increasingly  friendly with other junk food retailers in my local area. (Hello Vietnamese Takeaway , Local Cafe/Sandwich Shop, the place that sells those mini sache tortes, and the local Bakery  - you should probably be sponsoring my blog  )  I gotta confess I 'aint feeling very foxy. Ronald and Hamburgler are gonna have to find some new playpals in March.  I need to make water,  fruits and vegetables my alternative friends.

On the frugal front if you don’t count my slip with the fabric from last week (which I forgot to mention to Mr. Pyjamas) we've done pretty well. Grocery savings this month amounted to a couple of hundred dollars which went towards the new computer.  I know we could still do it better, so I'm particpating in a grocery game/challenge at 1 Crazy Journey in March. Flamingo Mama is posting the rules Thursday so come check it out - it looks like fun.

I’ve been a social butterfly this month. Fringe is on here  and we've been to two events so far, as well as doing something else every weekend.   All this socialising has been very challenging for me but I’ve survived. Watch me play hermit for the next month.

And dammit - I am going to finish something quilty before March 31st. I promise.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ignore this post -I'm just procastinating

I am a list person. It's the Virgo in me. I crave order and predictability. The sick thing is I really like to cross things off the list as I get them done. (With coloured  highlighters if you don't mind)  I feel like a failure if I don't get everything crossed off the list by the end of the week. Sometimes I'll write a daily list of my chores and give them an actual time frame for completion. I know that borders on obsessive. Don't comment telling me it's obsessive ...I already know that ( see ? I wrote "obsessive"  back there <<<<<<<<<<<<)

Today I have a long list of things to get done. And yet I'm sitting here procrastinating. I've been up almost three hours and have managed to achieve two cups of coffee, a play with my grandson, and  feeding  the dogs. Slack as.

I really want to post my list of things to do because it'll shame me into getting off my butt and doing some of the things on it. But I like you  and don't want to bore you  to death. Plus I  don't want you to find out I don't live a totally glamorous life sipping cocktails and skydiving and that I do laundry (when I have a laundry ) and heart worm my dogs and other boring chores. 

I will tell you that shaving my legs is on that  list (I will seriously have to bring out the whipper snipper to do that ) and my toenails need cutting because they are starting to look like dinosaur toenails they're so long. (Was that TMI? Sorry if that was TMI.) And I only mentioned those things because it gave me another  30 seconds to procrastinate.

Now I'm eating my toast and vegemite and if I chew really slowly I can probably waste another 20 minutes or so.

Fine! I'm going then and I'm not coming back until everything on that list is done.

(Stomping  off to find the whipper snipper)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mercury Retrograde ?

In the words of a  cartoon I used to have above my desk- "I try to take one day at a time but lately several days have attacked me at once".

That pretty much sums up the week really.

Everyone I talk to this week is  telling me how bad their week has been. It seems the universe is conspiring to make many feel they have received a cosmic  arse whooping.
Universe 87  People 0 . Touche Universe. You're the winner.

(Miss Pyjamas sent me a text once with the message  "Tooshay Mother, Tooshay"- I laughed so hard . That probably makes me a bad mother for laughing at her spelling. If it makes a difference I didn't laugh in front of her )

I too have unfortunately fallen victim to the arse whooping universe malady. This week has officially been a total shocker.   My house looks like a bomb hit it , I still have no laundry, I can't get my sewing  machine in for a service until March 9th,  I think there is a pac man living inside our bank account, and aspects of work have been very challenging culminating in all sorts of nasty today that I will have to address Monday and will no doubt spend much of the weekend thinking about.

Is all this feeling out of sorts of everyone I know  because we only officially have two days of summer left and Autumn will be here Monday? Are planets aligned somewhere over Mercury? Have I completely lost the plot in some sort of group downer? What the heck  is going on?

Let's hope the weekend presents some pleasantness. Or I might have to pick up my bat and ball and go home.  

The highlight of my week was the rather large glass of wine I poured myself 30 seconds after I got home tonight.
And I really must check to see if I last felt like this four weeks ago ...maybe a pattern is developing ...maybe I have EOMS (End of month Syndrome)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waxing Nostalgic

I'm about to let go of something precious and special to me. Something that has been in my life for a long time. So I'm sitting here remembering all the special times we had and asking myself how we got to this place where I've made the decision we need to part.

We used to share everything. I can recall our first ebay purchase together, the holidays we arranged,  and the fabric, craft and home renovation projects  we discovered together. We set up internet banking together and you helped me apply for a housing loan. We've spent countless hours being with one another, laughing, sorting photographs, playing games. We even surfed together.

Somewhere in there you got tired, and you got slow. It happens to all of us when we get older. I could handle that. Eventually your memory started to fail , and you started to forget details. We'd be doing something and it would take you so long to do the simplest of tasks.  It was so frustrating to watch you struggle with things that used to come so easily to you.  

And so I made the hardest decision of all. It was just your time. No recriminations. No regrets. I just outgrew you. Nobody is to blame . It's just time to move on. To something bigger. Something faster.  Something more in tune with my needs.

I want to download at the speed of light. I want to be able to watch video without buffering and I want to input a command and not have to wait 10 seconds while you think about it. I want high resolution graphics. I just need more from this relationship.  

I'll always remember the good times. You taught me to blog, you helped me to learn how to bind a quilt, you were with me when I found crazy bargains. I'm grateful but It's just not enough for me  anymore.

So goodbye 2 GB ram, 40 Gb memory computer. Tomorrow you're being replaced with a 4 GB RAM, 500GB memory, Windows 7 ready, 1 terrabyte external hard drive whiz bang really  fast computer , but we'll always have the memories.

It's as if the computer knows this is it's last blog's even slower than usual. Maybe I should  check it's not being powered by guinea pigs running round on a wheel  or something.... 

Sunday Bloody Sunday

The quilting gremlins were out in full force on Sunday at the Pyjamas residence. Jodie over at Ric Rac calls this EITTTS. (Everything I Touch Turns To Shit) I’m sticking with the gremlins story. Plus I’m trying to limit my use of profane language. My Mum used to say it’s not smart or clever, and doesn’t make you sound cool –it just makes you sound uneducated and a bit of a slapper.

By the way Jodie isn't a slapper - she's actually very cool , and you should definitely go check out her crafty blog.

Peeps vacated before my 1 pm deadline for our family breakfast. I was rubbing my hands in glee. Miss Pyjamas arrived home with a bout of gastro. (Charming) I‘m sure somewhere in my house there is a secret stash of germs, that people purposely dip into to foil my plans for quilting and other pleasurable pursuits. Given that these same people can't find their socks without my assistance I’m left to wonder why they can find the germ stash. I’ll probably spend next Sunday ruminating on this little mystery.

Miss Pyjamas goes to bed. At least she's in another room, breathing in her own germs.  Since I work in an area closely affiliated with child protection we can’t leave little Pyjamas to fend for himself so Mr. Pyjamas did babysitting duty.

For the life of me, I could not  get my machine to sew properly. I break two needles. I wreck 4 half square triangles. I chuck a tanty. I do weird things with tension knobs. I blow into crevices. I test sew. Eventually I forget it’s not cool to swear – and I don’t care how uneducated it makes me sound. I really hope little Pyjamas first word is not something that starts with “f" however I fear it is a distinct possibility.

The problem was never really resolved 100% satisfactorily. The machine is booked in for a service. And I still didn't sew anything.

I'm suffering from sewing withdrawal.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I'm feeling mutinous and rebellious.

Today has been a less than perfect day on multiple fronts. Vomiting Miss Pyjamas,  Vomiting Little Pyjamas  and a sewing machine that refused to bend to my will.

I just bought this...

Let's pretend it's March 1st.

Alert the Media

I’m creeping in here early to make an announcement. (OK maybe not so early but you get the idea)  All of this is typed in whispers so Mr. Pyjamas can have a bit of a sleep in.

We’re having a "family" breakfast for 10 here this morning, so I have a lot to organise before people get here. But when everyone leaves, which will hopefully be around 1.00 p.m I’m going to spend the rest of the day quilting because this is supposed to be a quilting blog you know….

See you later this week hopefully with some goodies to show.

P.S I hate it when my sewing mojo returns and I'm already committed to doing something else.

Blog of the Week- Better After

If you want to be completely inspired by all the crafty, handy , amazing decorating - type -peeps in Blogland you really need to wander over to see Lindsay at Better After.

I’m sure this is probably quite an obvious choice for Blog of the Week, but I love, love,  love reading this. What some people come up with is totally inspiring, and often the makeovers are jaw dropping. I’ve almost been inspired countless times to rush out and buy furniture just to make it over – only to realise that we live in a cute smaller house and I don’t have anywhere to put lots of furniture. Bummer!

The concept : Take a before picture of something , a chair, a dresser, or a whole room and then provide an after picture of your finished product.

Some of the creations Lindsay highlights are simply amazing in their transformation. That someone can take a dresser found on the roadside and turn into something useable and gorgeous just blows my mind. There are lots of $2.00 Goodwill makeovers as well! (How come my local Goodwill doesn't sell things so cheap?)

What I love  about this blog is that it shows you can give something a new life, that you can  re-use or re-purpose almost anything, and that creativity is only limited by your imagination. And there are so many creative, imaginative people out there!

Check out the Sheet Music Desk  by Miss Mustard Seed, and White Armoire by Fabric Floozie and then I dare you not to spend most of the next hour saying things like "Wow" and "Incredible" as you troll through some of the other posts  on Lindsay's blog.

Better After – you are my Blog of the week. I have a feeling I'm going to be stealing ...err copying some of those ideas very soon.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Extreme Sports

After drooling all over Bakerella’s website for days I decided on a variation of this  because I like a challenge and coincidentally am half insane. And that was before attempting this cake.

I had a chat to my bank manager about a second mortgage on our house (those alfoil pans are $4.00 bucks for three!) but he would only loan me enough to make a 9 layer cake, which in the end was just as well.

These are Willow Bake and Take containers. At that price they should  be called" Bake and Hand Down To Your Children as family heirlooms containers".  O.K I’ll stop whining now and move on.

I made a basic triple batch vanilla cake mix.  It took about 30 minutes to get all 9 cooked. So far so good. Nothing curdled, burned or fell on the floor in dog hair. I was contemplating stopping at this point because as far as I'm concerned that's success.

Yay ! First hurdle conquered. 9 perfect cakes.

Here is my assistant baker. Big on babbling advice in baby speak. Short on hands on work. He had to keep taking important calls on his pop up pets.

When I stacked 9 cakes one on top of the other I realised this was one BIG cake. My cakes were bigger than Bakerella’s.  I decided not to push my luck. 9 cakes this big in a stack is asking for trouble. Maybe my cakes rose a lot because we live above sea level Or I overfilled the pans. Whatever.

I went with 5 cakes with ganache between the layers and over the top. Yum!

And then I put chocolate cream cheese buttercream icing all over the outside.

This is what cake guts looks like

The verdict: We had cake for breakfast. Everyone made "mmmm" noises while eating.  It's lunchtime and nobody is dead yet. I'd say that's success.

P.S Baking is clearly an extreme sport- I broke a finger nail in the creation of this cake. Left index finger in case you're interested. Yeah I’m a whiny princess –deal with it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Step Off Betty Crocker

I’m blaming the beautiful  Becky over at Sarcastic Quilter if this all goes pear shaped. Earlier this week she mentioned the website of Bakerella on her blog and I have spent hours poring over the website and more hours subsequently sending Becky death threats for posting the link. Like I need cake. I'm already the shape of a wine barrel with a head. Like I need the stress of feeling completely inadequate because I could NEVER make something so fabulously gorgeously pretty. Case in point: I’m sure you’ve all read my post about the flying ho ho cake.

The sad truth is I consider myself to be baking challenged. And while it’s mildly irritated me over the years, I always consoled myself with the idea that I was a “career woman” and that I “sew” and “quilt” and that I didn’t need to be able to bake fabulous cakes to be a whole human being. My sister on the other hand is a whiz at cake baking and scones in particular. Plus she’s thin. I pretty much hate her as much as I dislike Bakerella.

I did make a Dora birthday cake for Miss Pyjamas birthday one year. Dora looks seriously pissed off rather than smiley. This chick isn’t about to whip out a Spanish phrase book, she’s about to grab an Uzi from that overstuffed backpack of hers. 

I didn’t do chemistry in high school, so for me there is something in the equation of flour + eggs+ milk that = glue. It doesn’t matter how carefully I measure or follow the instructions. My blog buddy Leslie from A Clever Title Goes Here asserts that cooking and baking are the same thing. As much as I respect many of Leslie’s opinions, I beg to differ. I’ve never killed anyone with my rendang curry for example.

Usually when I bake, the family pretend enthusiasm, it sits in the kitchen growing mould on a pretty cake plate and 3 days later I feed it to the dogs, who will eat pretty much anything. Indy and Lola rock at helping me dispose of the evidence of my baking misdeeds.

Once I got over my Must Kill Becky For Posting phase… and got rational and sane again I decided maybe I’m not crap at baking. Maybe I just need to practice to develop confidence. Maybe I have wonky measuring cups from a land where ½ a cup is really a whole Australian cup. Maybe my oven isn’t possessed by evil baking spirits.

I’m pre-warning Blog-dom that I intend to bake a cake this weekend. I’m pretty sure I can throw some eggs and flour and other mysterious ingredients into a bowl and transform them into something that doesn’t resemble a pancake and is edible. And if I can't - I'm hopping the first plane to America to kick Bakerella's arse.

This time it’s personal.

I never did drugs growing up

Mum if you’re reading this – I hope you realise how easy you really had it when I was growing up. I was pretty much a saint. If I had done drugs, and then gave them up, I imagine coming off them would be a little like my self imposed “No Fabric for Frugal February “ ban. Not Pretty.

Girls ...(I’m pretty sure I don’t have any male readers) this is killing me.

Damn Hancocks of Paducah for trying to tempt me by popping in a massive catalogue of their fabrics with something I ordered last month that arrived last week. I was strong sistahs! I gave the catalogue to a friend for the month so I wouldn’t waiver, right after I turned the corner of all the pages down that I want to look at on March 1st. I told my friend I want the catalogue back at 11.59pm on February 28th.

It’s not helpful that Fat Quarter World keep sending me email updates screaming “Last Days to Save” and offering me 60% off fabric. And Kimberley from Fat Quarter Shop, I truly, truly love ya girlfriend but maybe I should have emailed to let you know I’m on a mission this month. Stop emailing me about your crazy bargains. March 1st Kim…I’ll be back March 1st.

I’ve saved 40% off our grocery bill this month by not buying a whole cow every time I shop. Mr. Pyjamas and I have a “Save the Computer “ fund that we’re stashing all those savings into and we’re finally going to treat ourselves to a new computer next month. I’m pretty much sitting here typing blog posts on an abacus. No. Really. Our computer is about 10 years old. That’s about 100 in human years.  I'm looking forward to having a computer that doesn't protest by seizing up when I open more than three blogger posts at a time. It's going to be bliss.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How was I supposed to know what kind of wood it was?

Scenario: You buy a coffee table on EBay that the seller swears is solid wood and is in fabulous condition. When you get it home your husband informs you it’s veneer. (I'm not a forest ranger - how do I know what kind of wood it is?) You throw it out the back in disgust because you just paid 20 bucks for a  piece of crap you can’t use.

Confession relevant to this post: With our current computer desk, I sit in the reclining swivel chair, lean back and have my feet on the desk. All. The.Time. I'm doing it now. It’s comfy. It’s an old desk. I’m a slob. Take your pick.

We're planning  to renovate the computer room this year.  Our current desk is 18 years old, and we inherited it from my parents when they upgraded about 5 years ago. My Dad made it out of packing crates. It’s lovely, and  it’s quirky and  I’m sentimental but it’s time for change. I have a vision. The vision does not include me having my feet on the desk in future or the packing crate desk. What to do? Inspiration! We need an ottoman.

The ugly veneer coffee table might just have a second life after all.


Armed with only with an ugly coffee table,  black spray paint, freecycle foam, a voracious command of swear words and 3/4 of a metre of material, I create. Stand back...this could get messy folks. My vision is sometimes less than visionary.

Voila- the finished result

I'm on a roll peeps...projects are working out almost like I planned left, right and centre. And I got to use my staple gun. Lots! There's 862 staples in the bottom of this baby. This ottoman weighs 400 pounds.  Now I just gotta keep the mojo going for the desk re-do.

It appears Miss Pyjamas is sentimental too. She has announced her intention of taking the packing crate desk when she gets her own place in the next few months, so my Dad’s desk will get a third owner and live to be a desk another day. Sentimental me is happy.

This post is also linked up to Lit and Laundry  Finished for Friday

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Project Tease

This is part of my latest project...

I'm in love with those circles.

Not very practical but sometimes you just have to follow your heart.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A quilt for Illene

I finished the 9 patch blocks yesterday for Illene's quilt and will be posting them off today. This is pretty much the only sewing I've done for a fortnight. Slack huh?

If you can spare the time to make a block or two head over to Bluebird Quilts to read all about it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fabulous February Update

As part of Fabulous February I looked at the household projects that needed to be started or finished (or both) The back patio was looking a bit like a second hand yard. Not pretty.  My big priority was getting my hands on a staple gun for one of the projects. When I think of one of us wielding a staple gun I am transported to a memory of my childhood and my mother saying "Put that down or someone's going to lose an eye " We didn't own a staple gun in my childhood, but the "Put that down or"...rule applied it seemed to almost everything.   Both of us  kids managed to get to adulthood with the right number of eyes so the naggng paid off. Thanks Mum.

We lashed out and bought  a staple gun and how freaking awesome is this tool? I’ve been running around ever since looking for things to staple. I’m going to select projects from now on purely on the basis of whether I can somehow work my staple gun into the process and I’m pretty sure I can sell my sewing machine because now I can just staple a quilt together. Love , Love Love the staple gun.

As usual, I digress. But thanks for sticking  there with me, waiting for me to get to the point. Did I mention how much I love my staple gun?

So far Mr Pyjamas and I have managed to finish two of the million projects I had in mind for this month. Whooooooo Hoooooooooo we’re on fire!

This is the side of the house BPC. (Before Project Completion). We all have an area like this – a neglected area that nobody ever goes to and nobody ever sees, except the neighbours, so you completely ignore it – and said neighbours whisper about how lazy you are and how awful your garden/yard /house looks.

See how the dogs look surprised because they've never seen us in this part of the yard before?

This is the same area now....after one hour on a Sunday morning. I'm going to get some mulch for those garden beds.

Completely inspired by Chad over at Bald Man Mod Pad , the second project really appealed to me for the back wall of our house. I saw it a while back and thought "I'm so gonna do this". It was a true recycling project. The filing cabinets cost us nothing. They were being turfed out at my work because they were occupationally unsafe as filing cabinets, and when we removed the drawers and runners we offered those bits on freecycle. Someone took them for shed storage.

Take two condemned filing cabinets, rip the guts out and paint them

Take a messy part of your back yard and clean it up thereby limiting opportunities for your neighbours to talk about your laziness.

Finished  planters. Gorgeous. Pat yourself on the back, and enjoy the envious stares from the neighbours.

Paint was a leftover from a previous project, pavers to raise them off the concrete were leftovers, and plants were moved into the planter from another part of our garden. This project cost us $36.00 for dirt. (Does it seem strange to anyone else we had to pay for dirt?)

Projects three and four are under way as we speak. One is being accompanied by the copious use of profane language by Mr. Pyjamas. Apparently that helps with the process somehow.

By the way I had an awesome childhood and my mother wasn’t a bigger nag than anyone else’s mother. However she was a worrier about safety. We weren’t allowed to play with guns, knives, sticks or any other sharp objects. (Go Figure!)We still found creative ways to injure ourselves, like the time my sister rode her bike off the edge of the verandah into the rose bushes and the time I had an 8 kilo rock drop on my head. Mum  also had an abnormal obsession about us getting our fingers trapped in slamming doors. Aside from that she was completely normal and an ultra-cool Mum.  Love ya Patty. Thanks for giving a rats about whether I had to go through life as a cyclops.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Blog of The Week -Queen of Fifty Cents

As part of my Fabulous February Series, I'm highlighting some of my favourite blogs. And this post is a double celebration. Not only do I get to share an amazing blog with you , I get to say ...this is my 100th post!

If you’re into animals or thrifting  or you just like a good read you have to hightail it over to Queen of Fifty Cents . I love reading this blog and look forward to reading her  garage sale adventures for the week.

Reading about the Queen's thrifting trips is like actually being there.  It's like going Saturday morning garage snooping with a friend. None of my real life friends do garage sales so I love tagging along with the Queen. And Crazy Bargains! I can never get stuff for as cheap as she does.  And sometimes she finds quilts and quilting stuff really cheap! I never find that stuff! I have a serious case of garage sale envy.

Another thing I really enjoy about this blog is that not only do we get to hear about the garage sales (and whether what they were selling was overpriced , or whether the person was a crabby so and so ) is that each week I get to meet new dogs , without leaving my chair. Some of those dogs are so cute!

If you're not familiar with Queen of Fifty cents wander on over and spend some time looking at her bargains and living through her garage sale mornings. She is a complete hoot.

Long live the Queen of Fifty Cents.


Mr. Pyjamas is in the laundry.

Well, it used to be my laundry. Right now it is a room with nothing in it. Not even a ceiling. Heads Up: There is gross stuff inside a roof that hasn't seen the light of day for 30 years.

Today is going to be a fun day. A third of one wall  lost it's plaster in the process of bringing down the ceiling  ... and I have yelled out "Are you alright?" at least five times already as a result of banging,crashing and sounds of things falling. (One of those falling things was probably  Mr. Pyjamas)

And given that anything that we think will take two days usually takes three weeks I imagine the local laundrymat and I are going to become very intimate over the coming weeks.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stuff Happens in Threes

Something you don't know about me ...I am addicted to shoes. For years people have been telling me I have a shoe problem. I was in denial. Last year at my work Christmas  function we all got awards. Mine was for "Being the Imelda Marcos of our office". Soon after that I found a picture my girlfriends took of me on a shopping trip to Melbourne. I'm standing in front of a shoe store pointing to a  massive sign which proclaims "If the shoe fits buy it in every colour" Apparently I take that literally. I did come home from that shopping trip with 5 new pairs of shoes, but heck , they were crazy bargains. And I get a lot of compliments on my shoes.

I personally don't feel owning 55 pairs of shoes constitutes an obsession. Boots, thongs, flats,  kitten heels, slides, chunky heels, sparkly shoes, work shoes, sedate shoes, high heel shoes. You name them - I have them. Can't find the perfect pair of shoes for your outfit? Call me. I can probably help you out.

Flash forward to today. My fave little op shop is having half price week. So I rip up there after work hoping they'll have a large ornate picture frame I want for a project I'm hoping to do later in the year. No luck today. But....look what I found instead.....Manna from Heaven

The red shoes on the right are brazillian leather. I loooooooooveeeee red shoes. These shoes look barely worn. Price: $7.50 total.

See ....stuff really does happen in threes.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A snippet from my RL- Proud Mum Moment

Usually I'm blogging about my day , or my quilting or my Meatless Mondays or whatever. It's usually mildly amusing for you as readers , or at least that's my hope.   Today, I'm going to give you a window into a part of my life.  Today I'm going to get real with you. Not real as in look-at-the big-pimple-on-my butt-real. Even Real-er than that.

A brief bit of background. We have only the one child who from age 14-17  was a total wild child. She was the poster child for all the things you don't want your teen to do. Seriously. I was beside myself on a regular basis. Seriously.

I know people have judged her. People have judged us.   There have been many times where my daughter's actions have limited her experience, her acceptance and her opportunities. She moved out of home at 17.  She left school, having scraped through Year 10 and pretty much lived hand to mouth.  Six months after she moved out of home  she announced she was pregnant.

Some thing happened to my daughter during the pregnancy process. She came out the other side of that a wiser person. A nicer person.  A likeable person. She adores her son. She has learned lessons about not putting herself first. About not living completely in the moment.  About what it means to be responsible for yourself, for your child, for your life, for your choices. Sure, she struggles some days. I don't know a parent who doesn't. She isn't perfect. I don't know any other person who is, so I don't expect her to be. Parenting is a lot of work and a lot of random luck. She's doing better than OK at this point.

For one teeny weeny moment I want to have a small brag. I don't do it very often and I want my daughter to have her moment in the sun after many moments on the dark side.

So, what do you do when you are an 18 year old single mum, with a 6 month old baby? What are your prospects? DD has narrowed her choices down to  1) you can sit on your behind and get on the welfare roundabout or 2)  you can take control of your own life.

Last week, she announced she's going back to finish high school. She chose a school. She did the interview and picked her subjects. She has organised it all herself.  She's found great childcare for her son. She's worked out how she's  going to get to childcare and school using the bus because she doesn't drive. She bought  all her  books and supplies herself. She's got a plan for parenting while she works at passing the final two years of high school.  She has acknowledged it's going to be hard but that she can do this.

And she starts next week.

How fabulous and gutsy and terrific is my daughter? 

Monday, February 08, 2010

Back in Business

Look what arrived today.

Backing for the Gobble Gobble quilt

& the rest of the Moda Kashmir IV fabric for my half square triangles quilt. 

Now I have no excuse. Time to take thee butt to the sewing room and CREATE!

I may have a February finish after all!

And the Winner is.....

One of these days I'm going to teach myself how to do screenshots  and centre them properly and get rid of those page lines ...  picked the following winner of the two Moda Vine Creek scrap bags.

Comment Number 12. Breanna. Congratulations!

I'm about to send you an email (and work on my screenshot skills) Thanks to everyone who left a comment.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

It's All Go Here

So it turned out to be a productive day.

Aside from the usual Saturday stuff , watering pot plants, washing and the like, we painted the old filing cabinets in preparation for their new life as garden planters.  I had fun spray painting an old table with black gloss paint to turn it into an ottoman, (I  now have fingernails that make me look goth and we're going out to dinner tonight) I popped out to buy new sunglasses and came home with two pairs for the price of one and I got some blocks completed for Bluebird Quilts 9 patch quilt for Illene. I'm pretty sure my 1/4 inch foot isn't exactly 1/4 of an inch.

Needless to say I didn't touch my HST quilt. There's always tomorrow before the Rob Thomas concert.

I'm off to put on black eye liner, black lipstick and heavy eye shadow to make it look like my black fingernails are a fashion mistake and not a painting mistake.

Lost: My Sewing Mojo

I'm in  a sewing slump. I haven't sewn diddly squat for about 12 days.

I'm hoping to rectify that today and get cracking on pairing up some HST's. I'm posting this because hopefully it will make me get off my butt and actually do it! Theoretically this quilt top and the pieced backing need to be finished by about the beginning of March. I'm still waiting for fat quarters to arrive which are needed to complete it, so I have a feeling it's going to be mad dash at the end of February to get it done.

My backing for the Gobble Gobble quilt hasn't arrived yet.  So that's still on hold. AAAAARGHHH!!!!!  Thankfully I'm not working on a specific time frame for this quilt. Although I'm not going to have a finish for the end of February if it doesn't arrive soon!

I had a quilting party at home yesterday afternoon with Debbie and Lucy, two of ma' posse from work.   We ate good food and talked about all things quilting. Then we helped Debbie with ideas for a quilt she wants to make. I love the planning process, and visualising the finished product even when it isn't my quilt! We're planning to make this a regular get together. It was fun and a way to be inspired by each others creative processes and thoughts.

My giveaway is still going until late Monday. Leave a comment on this post to be in the draw for 2 scrap bags of Moda Vine Creek fabric.

And if you have time to help out someone in need pop over to Bluebird Quilts. Lyn is doing a giveaway but more importantly she's looking for people to contribute to a quilt she is coordinating for a friend of hers who is having a bad run at the moment. I always worry my work won't be up to scratch for other people, but since 9 patch blocks are pretty easy I'm  going to have a go. It won't take long to run up a couple of blocks. You can click on the link below for all the details.

And on that note , I'm off to start doing something with my weekend.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Material Obsession

I went and bought myself a gift tonight after work. Miss Pyjamas and Little Pyjamas gave me a book voucher for my birthday last September, and I've been waiting for the perfect book to come along before I used it. I finally decided on this:

This book has a proliferation of quilts made from multiple colours and patterns which is probably why I liked it. You know me- I'm Random Quilting Chick! Everything I liked most in it  looked either scrappy or had circles.

I'm hoping to get some serious crafting/quilting/decorating done this weekend. I'm heading off to the Rob Thomas concert on Sunday. And did I mention I got tickets to Spandau Ballet when they went on sale this week? I think 2010 is actually the year I finally get to live my mid to late 20's....

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Blog of the Week - An Inch of Gray

Ok, this is a shabby, economy  version of Blogs of sue me.  I never professed to be an innovator of new blog concepts.

One of my Fabulous February goals was to write about one blog a week that inspires me.  I'm sitting here with a large pack of Monte Carlo biscuits so you can bet your bippy Blog of the Week isn't going to be a weight loss blog. Maybe next week...

I follow so many blogs and the contents are really diverse. I like to think that's because I have many interests. In reality it's probably because I have major issues with staying focussed on one thing and have to be juggling ten things at once, including my blog interests. The people who write the blogs I follow are geographically scattered. Some use humour and profanity in order to make social statements. Some people talk about their daily lives. There are home decorating blogs, before and after renovation blogs, cooking blogs, thrifty blogs, sewing, giveaway  and quilting blogs. All this diversity makes it hard to choose a blog to blog about....or so I thought, until tonight.

In the space of a week , Anna, from An Inch of Gray has taken me on a journey which has included inspiring me to recognise and  to be grateful for my strengths and to suck it up when life throws me crappy stuff, completely cracked me up with her tear provoking post about getting her eyebrows threaded and gave me a wet-your-pants-funny look at her family weekend away and her  own perception of her parenting.  

(I dare you to tell me you haven't been right there with her if you're a Mum)

I work with stressed out, harrassed, on-the-edge parents every day Anna, and I want to reassure you, you're completely normal.

On top of all this Anna writes about her hilariously funny sex ed talk with her son, her criteria for car buying, and the guts this woman has in posting a picture of herself first thing in the morning defies belief.  ( I dont even like photos of myself  that have photo shopped out all my wrinkles, bags and saggy bits )  

An Inch of Gray -Q.I.M.P. salutes your fabulous-ness. Thankyou!

 P.S. 5 Monte Carlo's and half a bag of spearmint leaves were canibalized during the making of this blog post.

Monday, February 01, 2010

An Hour a Day and a Giveaway.

I had the brilliant idea sometime in the last couple of days that with going back to work this week, and the everyday routine kicking back in that I need to dedicate one measley hour a day to doing something that I WANT to do. I thought I was an absolute genius until  I realised I got this idea from Quixotic Crafter, who made it one of her 2010 "guidelines" . So, thank you Susan for inspiring me to think I was really brilliant for about 24 hours and for sharing your idea in the first place so I can now add that to my Fabulous February lineup.

I’m also going to kick Fabulous February off with a giveaway. I recently discovered Moda Scrap Bags and want to share the scrappy love. I’m giving away two scrap bags of Vine Creek by Kansas Troubles Quilters for Moda. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered into the draw. I’ll choose a random winner on February 8th (Australian Central Time) and this giveaway is open to anyone who wants to enter, worldwide. Spread the word and Good Luck!