Monday, May 26, 2014

Tears and Tantrums

The biggest tragedy of my week was accidentally washing my hair in anti -dandruff shampoo on Friday. I've been walking round looking like a scarecrow every since. Don't believe me ? Have a look at the result. Anti dandruff shampoo is just nasty! 

In my own defence, I thought it was a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner in a sample bottle because the writing was so tiny I couldn't read it without my glasses ,(and obviously refused to get out of the shower to put them on to read the teeny tiny bottle). Kirsty helpfully pointed out that it could have been worse, particularly if I had used Nair instead of anti dandruff shampoo. 

Mr. P came up with an interesting solution to ensuring such an incident did not occur again in the future, because even regular sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner are getting increasingly hard to read without glasses (and who wears glasses in the shower?) He wandered off to the shops on Saturday and came back with these. That's right - they're bottles that are 4 times the size of the regular bottle on the right ...

Now I have to take up weight training so I have the strength to lift these damn things when I want to shampoo and condition my hair. 

I had a finish of the quilty kind this weekend. You know when you have an idea and can't wait to get started on a new project? You cut and sew fabric and it comes together like a dream. It looks just like the vision  in your head and you can't wait to see it finished and snuggle under it. Your quilting comes together perfectly and the project looks fabulous. Yeah - well that wasn't this project in any way shape or form. 

I'm afraid the triangle quilt and I were at odds with each other from the very start and our relationship degenerated into name calling and teary scenes along the way. I think I have referred to this quilt as the Mexican wave quilt once or twice because during the process of sewing it became quite fluted. I unpicked and re-sewed and points simply refused to match up despite my best efforts. In desperation, I halved the size of it mid way through putting the rows together just to be closer to a finish because I was So. Over. It. Smaller quilt does not = feeling more love. This is one seriously dodgy quilt - from the piecing to the quilting to the binding. Henceforth you are getting a long shot of it so you cant see how dodgily bad it is. 

May I present to you the quilt I have now named "Craptastic". I couldn't even be bothered making it pretty for the photo shoot (why flog a dead horse?) ...I just kind of threw it on the lawn and snapped a shot. If I didn't have to have evidence for the FAL at Katy's this one may never have seen the light of day. 

And in my final news for this week , Sister of Pyjamas is in the US at the moment. She's going to be travelling around the country for a while so if you see someone that looks like the girl on the far right and she's speaking with an Aussie accent go up and say hello. And she does have actual teeth although fear obviously sucked them back into her head somehow in this picture...

She is so going to kill me for posting that....

You can see my original FAL post here

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival- May 2014

My regular readers are well aware that this quilt has been a long time in the making. I suspect they will be as glad that it’s finished as I was to put the last stitch in the binding at 1.27 pm this afternoon! Not bad when you consider I started this in mid 2011....

If you’re visiting from my link at the Bloggers Quilt Festival- welcome to you and thank you for taking the time to swing by when there are so many fabulous entries for you to look at . Feel free to have a squizz at the rest of my blog while you’re here and make yourself at home. 

All of my quilts seem to come together a bit like a greek tragedy ...there’s love(Ooh I like that I think I’ll make one) and hate (I'm so fed up with this quilt – why wont it go together the way it looks in my head) , pathos (Oh woe is me , will this ever be finished?) and tragedy (Crap! I just sewed over my own finger –again).  But in the end every quilt feels like a triumph just for the finish factor if nothing else. I'm pretty sure I heard angels singing and trumpets blowing this afternoon!

I should point out for those that don’t know me- I’m that loud, brash, swearing Aussie girl your mother probably didn’t want you to hang out with in high school. And my quilts are usually a lot like me too. An abundance of colour, modern, big personality quilts, so when I decided three years ago to make this quilt I was as surprised as anyone that a traditional design had caught my fancy. I had very real fears that I’d get to the end of it and not really love it.

But my fears were unfounded, – I’m totally and utterly in love with everything about this quilt and I’m so happy to share it with you all. I'm utterly dreadful at naming my quilts (and quite often get my blog friends to name them for me) so if you have any suggestions I’d be glad to hear them. 

I also tend to waffle a lot (Really ?You hadn't noticed ?) but today I'm just going to let the pictures do the talking for me. 

Daisies in each block corner 

With a daisy in each centre 

The quilt back 

The whole shebang

Finished Size: 60 x 86 inches 

Pieced by: Moi!(I still cant believe I made that!) 

Quilted by: My amazing quilting fairy

Dresden fan blades: made from 4 charm packs. Its been so long since I started this quilt I cant recall exactly what the fabric was (sorry !)

Backing Blocks : Old recycled bread sacks that I got from Freecycle(seriously)

Sashing and Binding: Pretty sure this was a Darlene Zimmerman fabric...

Backing : Something I got on sale at Spotlight and it was cheap but perfect for this project. 

Entered in: ROYGBIV Category. 

Thanks to Amy for hosting this little soiree . She really does an amazing job of coordinating it all and giving us all the opportunity to revel in each other’s creativity. I'm really looking forward to seeing a ton of eye candy this week. Thanks for dropping in to see mine. 

PS.  This is my second finish in Katy’s Finish Along for the 2nd quarter of 2014 (two more finishes for this quarter are looming but  fortunately I haven't shot my big mouth off about any more nudey runs if things on my list don't get finished ) and I'm linking this post up to Elizabeth’s "A Stitch in Time " Finishes linky party for May. YOu can see my original goals for the quarter in this post . 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Houston - We Have a House !

So after several weeks of intensive searching and much gnashing of teeth , tears and temper tantrums (that was my Dad, by the way) my parents are signing on the dotted line to buy their new house today. I'm superstitious, so no pictures of the house until the deed is officially done, but we did take time out to crack open a bottle of champagne last night when the agent phoned to say their offer had been accepted.

I'm as thrilled as my parents (if not more so) because with time ticking away until they have to be out of their old house, it was starting to look more and more likely that they might have to move in with us on a more permanent basis. I love the idea of them being 15 minutes away though. Now the job of packing can start in earnest. Thankfully with them three hours away, I get to miss that mess pretty much entirely. 

Mother's Day was all about food....(and spending time with those I love) 

And since Sister of Pyjamas has tagged this picture of me completely makeup-less on Facebook at Mother's Day dinner I may as well share it with you too. It's rare to get a picture of my sister, My Mum and myself all looking at the camera at the same time without one of us looking demented. 

Mother's Day also involved using enforced labour to get my get part of my front garden done....

My Dad is doing his hulk impersonation in that last picture.

And aside from going to work on Monday, I spent some time taunting Little Miss Sunshine on Facebook with my latest Haighs acquisition. Sucks to be somewhere where Haighs doesn't exist doesn't it LMS? 

Things started getting a little weird when I took my chocolates for a walk, got a picture of them kicking back on my miners couch , and snapped them strapped into the car seat in the back of my car so I'll spare you those pictures...

Sunday, May 04, 2014

In The Wars

It's been an interesting week. Indy starting hobbling last Monday but by Thursday he was his usual loopy, active self. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Lola managed to cut herself (who knows how) and is sporting a one inch war wound on her inner thigh and has managed to lick all the fur off the offending spot. One dog formerly hobbling - one dog sporting a bald patch and since I'm not about paying for my vets kids to do another skiing trip to Gstaad this year, they've both had to practice self healing.

While I was busy avoiding vet visits this week I needed a doctor's visit after one of my shoulders decided to start hurting over a week ago, for no good reason that I could see, progressively getting worse not better. Thus I have spent the last week off work ordered by my GP who also thoughtfully prescribed a really cool cocktail of anti inflammatory and pain killing type drugs which left me only able to play my Ipad one handed while laying on the lounge or in bed. My Pinterest account has been getting a real workout. If you follow me -I'm sorry about the 400 food pins that have popped up on your feed this week. It was either that or systematic phone calls to each of you boring you to death with the details of my malady.  Back to work tomorrow which is just as well because I've been completely bored out of my mind. 

In other very exciting Maison Pyjamas news, Parents of Pyjamas have sold their house three hours drive north of where I live and are house hunting here in Adelaide. Let me tell you there is some utter garbage out there masquerading as livable abodes. And I really question some people's decorating taste (and I use that term very loosely) but on the positive side I have realised how unappreciative I've been about my little house and am therefore vowing not to move ...ever....which means Mr. P is doing the happy dance. He has moved once in his entire life and isn't keen to do it again. 

I finally felt normal enough today to engage in some baking activity. And I was batting two for two - these both turned out perfectly ( perhaps the universe thought I was due for a win?) 

Banana with Cinnamon Buttercream for Mr. P 

And Chocolate Pound Cake for me because I don't do banana anything except actual fruit or paddle pops. 

And for those of you that are having nightmares about the possibility of me doing a nudey run down Rundle Mall as per my vow here ...breathe easy because the Dresden is back from the quilting fairy and by my calculations I have about 6 weeks to get the binding on before I have to make good on my bet (despite the threat of our Finish Along Hostess, Katy,  to bring the deadline for the quarter forward in order to force me to flash my bits in public ) 

Sneak Peek for you all below. Its the least I can do since I've subjected you all to a mental image of me naked...

Friday, May 02, 2014

The Quilt that Every Man and His Dog Had a Hand In

Once upon a time, (in 2011 to be precise) I fell in love with the idea of making a hand sewn hexagon quilt. I must have been temporarily insane at the time because I'd never hand sewn a whole quilt in my life....

I consulted everyone I know about paper piecing and debated the merits of  glue basting or thread basting and read so many tutorials on the subject that I almost went blind.

I finally screwed up the courage to make a start in October 2011, when I went to visit Little Miss Sunshine for the very first time.  Her daughter, BP was pressed into service and admirably basted about 170 hexies for me (without complaint might I add !) and the hand sewing began. 

And went on and on and on ....forever.

Somewhere in there I decided that I was going to applique the individual hexagon "flowers" to backing blocks because I knew if I tried to hand sew an entire quilt of hexagons I'd still be doing it in the retirement village, or handing it down to Little P to finish as an ancestral WIP.

When it came time to take the hexagons out of their basting papers, I realised that I'm a classic over gluer. I pretty much needed a crow bar to pry those things out. The Not The Farmers Wife sewing group girls took pity on me and helped me take all the papers out one day, while making rude comments about how much glue I'd used.  Suckers...I had the last laugh because I didn't have to tackle that little job all on my lonesome.

I was all for machine sewing those suckers onto the backing blocks but a couple of my "friends" (I'm looking at you Val and Tara ) made "that's the most stupid idea ever" faces when I mentioned it so I bowed to peer pressure and started hand appliqueing them onto the backing blocks. I've never hand appliqued anything in my life so Val taught me how to do that after I made it look incredibly difficult one day at another one of our sewing days. I think the phrase she used was "Do you want me to show you how to do that an easier way" which roughly translates to "I cant stand to see you doing that completely wrong you idiot".  After my success in suckering them all in to taking out the backing papers I was kind of hoping if I made the applique part of the process look hard that they'd all take pity on me and do a few each but alas that was not to be. I think they'd gotten wise to me by that stage.

So hand applique I did - and that went on and on and on- forever. 

I finally finished (amid loud vows to never listen to well meaning "you must hand applique" friends again) and ignored it for a couple more months then screwed up the internal fortitude to sew the whole hot mess together into a top. 

By that stage I was really liking it again and since I was shit scared if I quilted it I'd do something to completely wreck it I prevailed on Val to quilt it for me with the brief to do whatever she wanted.  And I'm oh so glad I did ...

Look at this utter feast for the eyes ....

Variegated dragonflies - adorable!

The back 

In all her glory on my king sized bed. 

I'm thrilled with how it looks so thank you to everyone who helped, cajoled and threatened me into this finish but a special thanks to Val who really made this quilt come alive. 

This is my first finish for the 2nd quarter of Katy's FAL 

Finish Along 2014
 and I'm also linking to Elizabeth's finishes linky party for May

May Finishes

Now I just need to get that Dresden finished since there was the small matter of the threat of a nudey run down our main shopping precinct if it was still lurking by the end of June...

You can see my original FAL goal list for the quarter here