Tuesday, June 28, 2011

High Tea

I've had horrible thoughts recently that I may wind up one of those women who slipcovers her sofa in plastic for fear it will get dirty.  I already insist people don't use my sofa cushions as actual cushions. They're for looking at - not using. Duh, I don't want them all crushed.  But it's just a hop skip and a jump to a plastic sofa cover from not using the throw cushions and  I don't want to be known as the crazy sofa lady.

I recently showed off some of my china collection . I freely confess I think tea cups are way too classy for someone like me to use every day. So they sit in my kitchen dresser, looking pretty but neglected.   One day I'm going to die and all the beautiful things I've been so carefully treasuring are probably going to end up at Goodwill or in a rubbish bin somewhere. And I'm going to be looking down from heaven (see how I neatly assume that's where I'm going ?) and I'm going to be seriously annoyed with myself that I didn't use my treasures in real life. And I'm going to haunt the person who chucked them but that's beside the point.

I need to take drastic steps. My china is taking up valuable space I could be using to hoard fabric and I've decided that action is necessary.  I'm creating an excuse to use them. I've decided I need to do High Tea so I can use all my pretty things at once.

One of the things about High Tea that really rocks is cake...and scones...and petit fours and other things that are bad for you  but apparently if you eat them at high tea they have no calories. It's a fact of the universe.

So I'm planning my high tea party for the weekend of July 9th /10th and if you'd like to join me with your own high tea party you're more than welcome. I'd love to see other people's teapots and doilies and pretty tablecloths.

You all know I'm really doing this for the cake don't you?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

This post is  brought to you by Little Miss Sunshine and Pyjama Party Sunday. The hottest Sunday linky party. Pyjamas optional!


Our hot water service exploded in the small hours between Friday and Saturday so when I went to jump in the shower early Saturday we had no hot water. Joy! You may recall our thermostat went in October and we spent 5 days without hot water during which I whinged loud and long. Thankyou-it's a talent.

Saturday was spent in a frenzy of trying to get someone to come and tell us that our hot water service was completely stuffed and that it was going to cost several thousand dollars to replace. I completely understand  that we need to do something about carbon emmissions and switching to more ecologically friendly energy for the fate of the planet but when the price of a hot water system goes from 1500 bucks to nearly 4 thousand because of it - Im less concerned about the environment and more concerned about my exceedingly slim purse. To add insult to inury we only replaced the hot water service 6 years ago so I'm not a very happy camper. If it wasnt about 5 degrees here at the moment I'd give cold showers a go but unfortunately that's not an option since I dont want my bits to ice over. Meantime I'm popping over to my in laws to get clean and ensure my hair remains cootie free. It's just like camping and we all know I'm a 5 star resort kind of girl.

My plan for Sunday was to sew like a crazy demon. Pressing seams makes me crazy so that part of my mission was accomplished early Sunday morning. Scarily, my iron kept making cracking and snapping noises. Im going with the idea that the iron  thinks it's really rice bubbles (snap , crackle, ) and will wait for the POP before I really worry.   If I stop blogging unexpectedly  it's not because I've decided you aren't worth the effort- it's because I've been electrocuted.

Lots of pressing, cutting and  sewing later and  the BWR quilt was finally laid out. There's more sewing to do yet ...but I'm making progress.

For one awful moment I thought I'd sewed the cat to the quilt  but he was just being nosy and putting his cat stank on it. Apparently it got the Mordecai stamp of approval.

And voila! The cupcake project is done.

Mid afternoon  I got distracted by the idea of a table lamp for the loungeroom.  Those kind of thoughts usually mean we spend the next fortnight  running round looking for a mythical lamp that only exists inside my head. I guess the universe decided to cut me some slack because I found this at the second store we went to.

And I bought these beautiful sparkly lights too. I now have so many lights in that room that the drug helicopters will pick up abnormal heat patterns on their infa red scanners and we'll probably be raided in the middle of the night by the drug squad.  

Dinner was home made pizza...rosemary with  sea salt and lightly drizzled with olive oil

And proscuitto  , potato, spanish onion and rocket

I'm going to leave you with something I bought with Little P in mind yesterday . Does anyone else see the irony of us making and eating T-Rex cookies or is that just me?

Enjoy what's left of your weekend.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

I'm saying TGIF wholeheartedly this week. It's been a long week and it's not quite over yet . The antidote to getting through one more day of work  is to think about something that makes me happy and that must mean it's time for Favourite Things Friday.

I bet my Mum is laughing her head off right now because despite her best efforts in my formative years this isn't something I would have classed as a favourite until quite recently.  It's like it was  hardwired into me during kidhood and finally came out all these years later.

I have always done my quilt binding by machine, basically because I'm lazy and by the time I get to that point I'm itching to move on to the next project. About 10 months ago someone (I think it was Elizabeth ) convinced me to try hand binding this quilt. I wasn't convinced but I gave it a go.

I hated how slow it was but I loved the results and so, almost every quilt I've made since then has had the binding done by hand. As far as I was concerned hand binding was a necessary evil. Sure -it made the binding look better but was it really worth the time and effort?

Something has happened to me over the last few months.

I've come to appreciate the art of hand sewing. There's something quite relaxing about the time it takes and how you can let your thoughts wander all over the place while you're doing it.

And while I don't think I'll ever be a genius at it ...

There's something about just sitting , slowly, peacefully stitching that makes me feel like a proper sewing person.

Emboldened by my binding successes I've moved  onto different sewing pastures.

And then onto to something different again ...

And while the end result isn't perfect there 's something about talking a needle and thread and your hands and making something pretty that just speaks to me.

Now when I look at something like this - I don't see hours of slow, boring sewing.

I see an opportunity to create something with my hands and my heart. And it makes me feel closer to the generations of accomplished woman who came before me and used their hands in the same way. So I'm just going to puddle along , doing hand sewing whether I'm fabulous at it or not and enjoying the ride.

Feel free to link up and let us know about your favourite thing this week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

15 Minutes A Day-A Challenge with Kate

I had other fish to fry this week. Like wardrobe cleaning and household chores which took precedence over creativity. Bummer.  I hate it when I have to act all grown up and sensible. It stinks.

My week wasn't a total bust in the creativity department. I focused on making slow but steady progress on a couple of projects.

More work on  the black and white and red quilt , which really needs a name because I'm fed up with typing black and white and red quilt every time I mention it.  I've lost sight of where I'm going with this because  all I'm doing is sewing strips and pressing seams. Once I'm done with that part the whole top should come together pretty quickly. It's just excruciating getting there!

Cupcake anyone?   

The Dresden's were completely neglected.I feel like the Flying Dutchman doomed forever to sail but never reach port with that quilt. By hook or by crook I'm going to make some progress there this week or die trying!

I stared at some Christmas fabrics , played with them a little bit and then stared at them some more, trying to decide what I want to use for a couple of new projects. I think I have it all squared away in my head. It's almost July so it's time to start thinking Christmas sewing. Maybe then I'll actually be finished by Christmas! I like the idea of Christmas quilting much better than the reality usually. I have yet to make a Christmas quilt I adore. Maybe this year?

I took possession of some new fabrics for my stash which doesn't really count as crafting but I'm including it anyway, mainly because I spent some time lovingly stroking them and dreaming of new projects. I suspect Little P is going to benefit from this lot of cute-ness.

And Little Miss Sunshine donated some extra fabrics to the cause from her stash.

And in crafty mail news this week Lisa from Calicos in Bloom sent me this fabulous hot pad from a giveaway I won on her blog recently  .  Matches my kitchen perfectly. I love it! Thank you Lisa.

I'm planning a sewing assault this week.  We'll see how that goes. Meantime pop by Kate's place , Life in Pieces to see what other people got up to in the sewing arena this week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

This post is brought to you by Pyjama Party Sunday. Pop on over and have a look at how other people spent their day.

I hope you haven't dropped by to see any amazing craftiness emanating from the weekend because you're going to be really disappointed. I know people think I live a wild and crazy life but I spent most of my weekend organising things. It didn't leave much time for crafty pursuits. BORING!

My day started early by  turning on the computer when I got up which is what I do every morning. I ended up fluffing  around for two and a half hours on Blogger commenting on posts , seeing what people had been up to and then responding to emails. Sometimes I think blogging is like having a second full time job.  However I love reading your posts so I keep coming back. Plus when I get up at 5am it's too quiet to do anything else.

By 7.30 I was ready for action. I tore myself away from the computer and did some sewing for an hour.

Confident in the knowledge I'd get back to sewing after I'd done some chores, I pressed on and did 30 minutes  of tidying up. Someone wanders around this house making mess....enough said.

Inspired by Sara who cleaned out her wardrobe this week I decided to do the same. I felt the hour spent would be a worthwhile investment since I've been wearing the same 6 outfits for weeks because I cant find any of my clothes in there. So dragged it all out and chucked it on the bed ...the floor...the chair...and discovered I have way too much stuff.

3 hours later ...

Somewhere in there somewhere I stopped for brunch so I could find the strength to continue.

Then I spent 15 minutes coming up with my menu plan for the week. Can you tell I wasn't feeling creative? 

Then I rewarded myself with 30 minutes on the computer...fabric shopping. I figured I deserved it. Plus I hadn't bought anything for two whole weeks which could just be a personal best. 

I cleaned out my handbag (which is actually more the size of a suitcase) And then I really lashed out and checked that all my pens work ....I counted them. I have around 200 which is probably more pens than I'll use in my lifetime.  These are just the ones I dragged out of my handbag.

Then I defluffed and sticky papered all the dog hair off just about every piece of knitwear I own  and sewed some buttons on things that I haven't been wearing because they were button-less. I know - you're asking yourself how I could hack this crazy pace.

I never did get back to  any fun sewing and this post was about as exciting as my Sunday. I fell asleep at 8.30pm on the lounge,  exhausted ...

Let's hope slightly more crafty activity occurs next weekend  because frankly this weekend was a bust. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

Friday is the day we roll out some positive thoughts and give thanks for one of  our favourite things. Feel free to join me in this humble little linky party by writing your own post and linking up below.  I love seeing your favourites each week.

Winter is only 17 days old and I've already done my fair share of grumbling about the cold. I'm green with envy reading blog posts about  people having  fun swimming, and picnicking and generally wearing practically no clothes. Last time I saw my own arms was in about April. I'm sorry if I  made fun of you when it was snowing at your place and I was talking about fun in the sun and tank tops and shorts.  It seemed so funny then but payback is a bitch.

In an effort to get through the next few months of cold, rain, and wind, I decided this week to focus on the things about winter that I actually like. If I'm going to have to endure  months of this nonsense I might about well try to enjoy at least some of it. So here are the top 5 Things I Love About Winter.

There's something about winter that encourages comfort food.  Casseroles, stews, crumble , hot fruit  pies, curries, roasts, and  soups. And the smells wafting through the house as you cook these Epicurean delights are amazing.  

Let's face it. I'm a coffee addict. But on a cold frosty morning,and mine start very early usually when it's still very dark outside , there's nothing better than a cup of coffee( or three ) to warm you up. Hot chocolate is good too although I mainly drink that so I can legitimately eat 20 marshmallows with every cup. 

Rugging up on the lounge  when it's stormy outside and listening to the rain belt down while I read a good book. I get to use my quilts and chenille blankets. The danger of falling asleep while thus ensconced is fairly high. In winter people expect you be sluggy. It's all good.

Nothing screams winter like a scarf, hat, jacket and a pair of boots. And I love me some layers. This is my latest winter find. I wonder if I'll be brave enough to wear it in public .  I love the idea of hats but I'm not sure they suit me. Plus I worry about dorky hat hair.

Need I say this? Pyjamas. Getting into a warm bed in warm pyjamas on a cold night is heaven! Slopping around all weekend in your pyjamas is bliss. It should be socially acceptable to wear your Pyjamas in public with fluffy slippers especially in winter. And since my current pyjama collection although large, is fairly manky, I've spared you a visual.

So that's my winter round up. They're my favourite things this week .  What do you love about winter?