Monday, July 26, 2010

Snowball Night -Week 8

It's Week 8 of the Snowball Quilt-along and I really wanted to show off what this quilt might look like when it's all put together so I actually cleaned my sewing room over the weekend. And then ran out of time to lay the blocks out. This is not poor time management on my part - but rather a complete lack of free time this week. And probably next week...and the week after. I suspect my sewing time is on hold for the next few weeks, until the room that must not be named is finished.

So I started the week with 59 blocks  left to do. And after a monumental effort for the week I came up with this...

Yep - one block. And that was only because I raced home from my brother in laws birthday 10 minutes ago and banged this up, specifically so I would have something to post.

I figure by this time next week, if I can even find the sewing room around all the boxes it'll be a miracle.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

LIttle P has a birthday party

When you're young there are lots of firsts. Today Little P had his first ever birthday party. I know this is not interesting to everyone so feel free to skip this post. (but if you hang around you'll get to meet the rest of the Addams Family Pyjamas Clan)

It was a busy day from first light. After assisting Miss Pyjamas to make a birthday cake at 11 pm last night,   we were at it again by 9 am in preparation for the festivities which were due to commence after lunch. Making fairy bread, ham and cheese sandwiches and Vegemite sandwiches (yes we torture our young even on their birthdays) is hard work, as is packing two cars with enough food and supplies for a two hour party. Here is some of the spread. (We did have lots of savoury things but sweet things look so much more appealing in pictures)

Little P tried party pies for the first time. He ate 3. On top of 3 slices of fairy bread, two cakes, two hot dogs  and who knows what else. Party pies won hands down.

Little P got lots of presents.  It was all fun and games until Little P got violent and started poking Iggle Piggle in the eye. At that point the decree of no more fairy bread for Little P  was made. Eye poking is not manners.

Mr. P got upset because I told him he couldn't have a 9th cupcake after 12 party pies and 18 sausage rolls  and Little P knew what to do to make it all better.

Miss Pyjamas basked in the reflected glory. Why else would you have children if you can't take credit for their amazingness every now and then?

MOP and DOP came down from the country for their great grandson's birthday. (Yes I look like my Dad, who  needs a knee reconstruction now after playing horsie with Little P for 30 minutes. He has been doing horsie with grandchildren and great grandchildren now for 23 years)

NOP (Nephew of Pyjamas ) and NOP's lovely girlfriend also attended. They are a lovely couple who have been together for ever and will probably make my sister a Bella one day (in the very distant future)

And SOP also came to lend Pyjamas moral and practical support because when you are the Bella of the birthday boy , you always seem to get stuck in the kitchen cooking. She kept me company while I stressed out about whether we had enough pies, sausage rolls, pizza and hot dogs and other important life changing matters.

SOP always looks like that , her eyes got glued shut in a terrible pasting accident when she was 3. But doesn't she have pretty eyelids?

Joking...there was no accident. She just decided to close her eyes one day and hasn't opened them yet. 

This is BILOP (Brother in Law of Pyjamas ) who is a pretty cool guy.

Mr. and Mrs. Pyjamas -Proud grandparents of Little P. I've said it before and I'll say it again. That kid totally rocks. Happy Birthday Party Little P.  Can't wait for your second party! 

I'm off to SOP's for tea.  I believe she actually means to cook...I think I may have eaten too much fairy bread to do justice to this momentous occasion.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Allsorts

I signed up for my first ever Friday Night Sew in hosted by Handmade by Heidi  and it happened last night. Everyone in the Pyjamas household was briefed on the sew in rules I am unavailable between 7 pm and 11 pm unless someone dies  or requires serious  medical attention. If you disturb me you better make sure you have your running shoes on and the phone number for medical attention because you'll need it by the time I'm finished with you.  Everyone played the game -well mostly. I did wander out of my sewing room at one point and Little P and I played a game of chasey around the ottoman in the lounge and another game of "lets turn the floor lamp on and off for around 20 minutes" because that's heaps of fun. Have I mentioned in the last 5 minutes   how blessedly cute my grandson is? No ? Well he is. I love that he's learning he can influence his environment  and the people in it. That kid said Na- Na about a thousand times yesterday and pointed at bananas because he learned earlier in the day if you ask - you  will receive. Genius I tell you - that child is a genius and everything he does is one step closer towards the germination of an amazing human being.

Any-hoo. Focus. Sew In. I decided to start something new because I simply don't have enough on my plate at the moment.   For all my bitching about Christmas in July at work this week , I was inspired to start a Christmas quilt , mainly because I have approximately 187 yards of Christmas fabric in my stash and have never done a Christmas quilt before. Not being completely insane, (yet)  I decided to keep this one simple. I'm planning a second Christmas quilt this year that'll be more complicated but for now, I'm about a bee's whisker away from a complete meltdown. KISS (Keeping it simple stupid ) is the way to go.

So at 8 pm last night, I started with this pile of Robert Kaufman Sparkle All the Way Jelly Roll bits. Yes I was late to the sew in.  Have you ever noticed jelly rolls look sublime when they arrive but kind of look like spilled guts once they're unrolled?  They don't look nearly as pretty. They really are a case in point for clever marketing because if they slopped bits of random fabric strips in a baggie nobody would buy them.

And hey Presto by 11 pm last night I had this...lots of strips for a Christmas stacked coin quilt.

In other fabulously gossipy news this week, the delectable Jenni over at Baa Me Kniits had a giveaway recently for this lovely shawl and I won. Whooooooooo Hooooooooooo. I'm so going to parade this lovely at work and make everyone jealous. Thanks again Jenni. (and to her son who drew my name !)

Elizabeth over at Such a Sew and Sew  is having a giveaway  to celebrate her 200th post. You can win this abbey bag made by  Elizabeth  herself.  Don't you just love the fabric and cute little pin cushion?  Pop on over and have a gander about  how to enter and to congratulate her on the 200 posts thingy, which is actually a really big deal.

And I had a cook-a-thon this morning because it will be the last time I do one in my old kitchen since this time next week , it will no longer exist.  Plus we will need to eat while we are waiting for the new kitchen to go in, but we'll pretty much only have a microwave so I made enough spaghetti sauce for three meals, beef koftas for two meals, and enough curry for three meals. Then I made 7 dozen party sausage rolls for Little P's birthday party tomorrow. 

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Rendang

Little P's sausage rolls

Yesterday , I primed the meat safe (again) and today Mr. P decided I wasn't painting fast enough or well enough or something and took over doing the top coat. (has anyone else ever noticed every picture of Mr. P is on an angle? )

I've decided you can all suffer through the kitchen re-do with me in real time from here on in. So much is starting to happen that I  want  to spread the misery as far as possible   to share it with you in infinite detail. This week I contacted 5 tilers, two of whom actually turned up to quote me for a 40 square metre tiling job. The kitchen installer contacted me today and came out to do his final measure and walk us through the process. He confirmed they would be arriving early next Friday morning  to take out the old kitchen (and they'll even remove the sink splashback tiles for us while they're doing it.) The plumber will be coming next Friday as well to start installing the new plumbing for the dishwasher and to cap our old tap connections and put the new ones in since we're moving the taps...whooooooooo hooooooooo, it's actually happening! That's progress.

Have a fabulous weekend. My Saturday night will be spent looking at what other particpants got up to for Friday Sew In and I'll be partying tomorrow with the one year old crowd and all of the Pyjama's family.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Slack Tea Thursday

OK, first off today I was exposed to the ridiculous-ness that is Christmas in July...I think this is some weird arse Aussie invention specifically so we can experience  what it's like to eat traditional Christmas fare when it's cold outside like all you Northern hemisphere people do when it's actually the real Christmas. As if once a year isn't stressful enough.   It's also a time to do secret freaking Santa, (I don't even do that at real Christmas ) and eat a lot of food that is usually reserved for one day of the year.  I do wonder what Christians think of this extra Christmas- are they offended by us making this special event into an eat fest? If you are offended I would like to point out I didn't eat much in silent protest and thought about having an asthma attack before dessert so I retired to my office and did some actual work once the threat of imminent death had passed.

Anyway  we all had to bring a plate - and I baked a ham. That's my usual Christmas thing. I sustained injuries carving it with the shitty blunt work  knives , but nobody is dead from eating the baked ham (yet ) so it was a rip roaring success.  Here is a picture of my injured hand . I know that wrinkles and spots aren't injuries, I was talking about the bandaid-ed fingers...but totally off topic when did my hands get to look like little sausages ? Don't email to tell me that my hands look like kid hands- everyone tells me that (and in fact I do fit into kid gloves...not the goat kind - the little person kind )

Anyway . after getting home sometime well after my usual time, I couldn't make a decision about dinner, or whether I was even really hungry. It's getting to be slim pickin's here as we try to get rid of our pantry contents before I am cupboardless next week. OT again,  I'm actually finding it really hard to think at the moment. It's like my brain only has just so much space and it's already full of other crap .. really important details, some of which are threatening to leak out and be lost.  So when I opened the fridge I decided to have the first thing I saw. Thank Goodness we didn't have pickled herring or goats eyeballs in there.

*****BORING ALERT*****

Crumpets with Vegemite and chocolate milk.

I was hoping the food fairies might have snuck in and left me Vodka and lobster but no such luck...sigh.

A teeny tiny brag ...Little Pyjamas  turned one year old yesterday and got lots of presents. Little P - my birthday wish for you was that you have a happy life and end up a well rounded human being. And develop a sense of humour kid,  because being part of this family you' re going to need it. Bella and Grandpa love you so much! 

Little P's Party is on Sunday. I'll post pics then, because MOP and DOP  (Mum  and Dad  of Pyjamas )   will be there as well as SOP, and BILOP. (and all the other OP's) Wow I hope I can remember how to make sausage rolls before then because apparently I need to make about 100 of them...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Snowball Night-Week 6 and 7 and Other Projects.

Since I was computer-less last Monday, I'm doing a two for one post this week and doubling up to tell you about  some other sewing I've been doing. I  am  amazed at the fact I can fit all this  stuff in, maintain a blog, work,  run our household, and renovate a kitchen all at once!  And we even have clean underpants to wear occasionally - I am truly superwoman. And so are all of you. Unless you're a man - in which case you're superman. Obviously.

When we last checked my snowball progress, I had 74 snowballs left to get done and a mother load of squaring up to do.  In the last two weeks I've managed to do 15 more snowballs and give my rotary cutter a workout squaring about 50 snowballs up. I was kind of hoping to get more done but that's the way life is from time to time.

 And this is what a stack of snowball blocks looks like...109 of them to be precise.

And this is what the guardian of the snowballs looks like.

I also managed to get this pretty quilt top together for the Spread the Cheer project. Cot quilts come together fast which is very cool.  Considering this was my first attempt at triangle piecing I'm pretty happy with the way it's coming together. I'm less pleased with my blurry photo..but meh ...

And the unpicker and I got jiggy  while I fixed some mistakes from my aborted attempt at spray basting on Little P's quilt and the subsequent two lines of quilting I managed to do  before the glue decided that it didnt want to stick. Back to the drawing board on this one , with some taping to the floor and pin basting. I've always pinned on my kitchen floor but since I dont have one at the moment I'm going to have to find an alternative. Finding a clean space at the moment is also a challenge.

I decided to make Indy and Lola a new quilt and started with the idea of wonky blocks from my scrap stash. I got this far and decided it wasn't wonky enough, and that it just looked a bit cobbled together. I'm putting this one on the backburner for a while until I sort it out in my head. It just looks wrong. Maybe I should just go for a string quilt instead. Log Cabin and I have never had a warm and cordial relationship.

I've set goals for all my WIP's and if I don't wind up dead from stress, you should be seeing lots of quilting finishes between now and the end of August. It's  really important for me to have a pleasurable  creative outlet at the moment that I can disappear off  and do for a while every now and then.  And on that note  I've decided to put Translation Tuesdays on hold for a while until things are a bit more settled here too. I just need to be real about what's manageable for me  at the moment.

Happy Creating !

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Look Away Now- Kitchen Update-Nothing to See Here

Forgive me bloggers- it has been two weeks since my last confession update.

We have been doing lots of final organisation-y kind of things and a little work. Things seem to be moving slowly but I guess that's because we haven't done any of the "Oh my goodness what a difference that made" work yet. Replacing your ceilings and pulling up tile doesn't give you the "Wow" factor I'm looking forward to seeing  at the end of this project. Assuming we ever finish. I'm expecting at this point to do an unveil for you all around Christmas. And so , because I don't have anything much to show you, I'm going to show you some of the colours we've picked out.


Bench tops

Kitchen cabinetry in this colour and style but I picked nicer handles. And I'm not having glass doors because I dont want to have to clean them.

We met with the kitchen designer (sounds impressive doesn't it ) last weekend and were informed that because we have requested some non standard stuff our kitchen components will take at least a week longer to be done than usual.   So we're now looking at an install date of around August 9th which is only 3 weeks away. The old kitchen is being ripped out in 12 days, so we can tile before the new cabinets go in.  Living here is going to be just like camping, which is not usually something I say "Oh goody" at the prospect of. Yeah I'm a princess. If I don't have a place to plug in my GHD as far as I'm concerned you're in the stone age.  So,  if you live close by you might like to take pity on us and invite us over for dinner. Or you  can save the favour for when we do the bathroom and need a shower. Those of you who don't live close- you can send  me dinners via mail.

With the exception of the ceilings and floors and the continual mess,  the kitchen doesn't look all that different at this point. The new ceilings are in. Mr. P did a load of boring putty-ing (I'm sure there is a technical name for this I'm just not interested)  on the ceilings to cover the seams.   This is one of those necessary evil type things. I'll get excited when we have cornices again and the ceiling is painted. And my light fittings are in. And the kitchen is finished.

I have ceilings ! Ugly ceilings...

There are currently  no lights in my kitchen because we are completely changing the configuration of the lighting for this area, which naturally can't go in until we have finished the ceilings   so we've been using a 500 watt halogen to see.  It's awesome because  I get to work on my tan, kill the environment with power usage and stay warm all at the same time. It's like having the Australian summer inside in the middle of winter.   The risk of blindness if I look directly at it is just an added thrill.

We have ordered our floor tiles. I went with an off white Italian ceramic. There are those among you who will tell me I am crazy for going with off white because it will show up all the dirt. Let me tell you it doesn't matter what we get it will show up the dirt, because we have two dogs the size of Shetland ponies who never learned to wipe their feet and I want off white. If you had lived with disgusting chocolate brown floor tiles for the last 8 years you'd want white too.  And just to freak you all right out white tile haters , we got enough to do the entry, hallway and computer room as well. This is them. Rustic and textured.

And this is what we pulled up...(I'm selling them cheap if you're interested)

And this is what my kitchen floors look like right now. Pretty isn't it? I have no idea why it's green. There are floor boards under that muck somewhere. Quick- cover it up with white tile.  I am seriously considering getting someone in to do the tiling at this stage and bugger the cost.

I have no splash back because I pulled it out already and I haven't decided what to replace it with. And I have no range hood either. This is the gorgeousness that is currently my cooking area.

I have ignored all the sanding I have to get done. I started doing something totally unrelated to the kitchen telling myself it's stripping and painting  practice before I tackle those  chairs, and the dresser  ...and the table. I have changed my mind over what to do with the table about 30 times and think I've finally settled on something but I'm not going to say what it is so I can change my mind again later and not look flighty. This is what I have been working on today. I have realised I despise painting which is unfortunate because I have stacks of it left to do.

And after two coats of primer I have this...(Miss Mustard Seed said I had to keep this piece and she knows what she's talking about so I'm making something pretty out of it )

I have worried about whether everything is going to come together. Will the walls match the floors? Will it be too much white ? Am I crazy for trying to match two different styles in one space? Will warm white REALLY go with stark white ? This has been my crazy thought process this week. I am driving myself and everyone around me INSANE. Poor Mr. P. I think he's thinking about the "till death us do part" bit of our marriage vows  a lot this week and not in  a good way.  

I am at a point where I think this is never going to be done, my life will never be normal again, my house will never be clean again , and I will never know where my plates and Tupperware have disappeared to . Conversely I am cacking my daks that I won't have things done before the installers  get here. When I mention the bathroom reno in 6 months can someone slap me in the side of the head and point me towards all my  posts about the kitchen.

Yours sincerely,

Princess whiny-arse.

P.S. I completely get that in the grand scheme of things this is so not a big deal compared to famine, terminal illness and world poverty. However I am a Virgo and we like order and cleanliness and predictability and control and I don't have any of those things at the moment. And Patty, I know you're reading this and all I can say is you'd better bring some good wine and some Valium next weekend. I need both of them.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fabric Love and Quilty Things

Anyone who is obsessed with fabric understands that as soon as fabric arrives you're planning to cut it for the next quilt-even if you have five  quilts on the go already. New fabric  arrived this week in my PO box and I'm itching to start something new,  but I think I'd better finish one of my WIP's first. ( I give that resolution about a week because I already have several quilty visions running through my head )
More Christmas Fabric  to go with the layer cake that arrived last month. This is Robert Kaufman -Sparkly Christmas. It's just so funky and happy. Not sure how to do the layer cake and fat quarter pack justice in a Christmas quilt but I have an idea of what to do with those jelly roll bits.

I love fat quarter packs they always look so pretty  all stacked up.

I went mad on Hallmark Evergreen Ornaments fat quarter bundles. I bought two. At this point I am seriously questioning whether I have a Christmas obsession. You should see my stack of Christmas fabric (it's hidden in the sewing studio away from Mr. P. I love calling my sewing studio a studio rather than a room. It just sounds so much more crafty and like I actually know what I'm doing in there)  

And I bought matching stuff to do a backing and I even bought contrasting fabric  for the binding . Wow! I was on fire the day I ordered this ..usually I worry about the backing later and then curse the fact I can't find anything that works. I'm looking for some Hushabye at the moment due to this disorganised approach to quilting and fabric purchasing.

And oh my goodness....

I'm completely kicking my own arse that I didn't buy three of these Rumba fat Quarter packs  instead of one. I LOVE this fabric. I'm imagining this as simple squares with chocolate sashing. I really wish I knew how much I would love it when I saw it in person.  How freaking cute are these birds?

I'm biting the bullet and joining in the Friday Night Sew In hosted by Handmade by Heidi next Friday night, July 23rd.  Click on the picture in my sidebar if you want to play too. I've never done a sew in before. Should be fun!

And here is s snippet of what I've been up to in the sewing studio the  last couple of weeks...yes that's a crafty  mess.  All will be revealed in a forthcoming post! 


I am seriously glad it's Friday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Slack Tea Thursday

I'm not going to make a big song and dance about Slack Tea Thursday this week. There's always a back story to Slack Tea Thursday but tonight I'm going to use as few words as possible. Stop laughing immediately.

Arrived home from work at 5.30pm. This was entree....left over cold lamb chops from last night's dinner.

Off to the Plaza to buy Little P's birthday presents, and dropped into Macca's on the way back home. I had a it was slack, fast  AND free.

I added Slack Tea Thursday to my work team meeting agenda today.  Nobody batted an eyelash and immediately launched into suggestions. Technically we were  finished and we didn't have to minute that part of the meeting. Probably just as well....