Friday, July 29, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

First - a thank you to everyone who linked up last week. I was blown away by the level of link-iness and loved popping around and having a squizz at what your favourites were. There were some corkers! If you'd like to play "show  me yours and I'll show you mine " this week , all you have to do is write a post about something you love and link up to this one. Easy Peasy.

I don't have any particular style or theme for my house and so I've ended up with an "eclectic" mixture of furniture. Please note: Eclectic is what you call things when other people might think your house looks like a conglomeration of stuff you brought home from the tip. I  try to have theme or colour scheme for each room but I love mixing old and new and seeing what happens. I love using accent pieces that draw your eye to a particular spot in a room. 

My favourite thing this week is the old dresser mirror in the entrance of my house. This is the first thing you see when I open the front door and say "Come on in -Let's crack open that wine ". 

It came to be mine through a series of unusual circumstances. About 10 years ago I was antique shopping with Mother of Pyjamas  and  we came across this. MOP fell in love but it was a slightly expensive piece to buy on a whim. She hesitated and so I said "Your birthday is coming up - if you really want it -I'll pay for half" . Faster than you can say "Done Deal" , she bought it , took it home and started auditioning spots for it round her house. I'm going to confess I was secretly  jealous because I  loved this piece too. It's old and someone took a lot of time hand cutting those dovetail joints to make sure it would last a lifetime.

For the next 4 years that mirror got moved around while she attempted to find the perfect spot for it. I swear it was in a different place every single time I visited. And eventually MOP ran out of places to try it in and rolled up to my place one day with it in her arms when I opened the front door. 

She was almost crying when she said to me"I cant find anywhere for this to go in my house. I've brought it to you to see if you can find a spot for it" All of which  was said with the same air of sadness and regret  that you might use if you were giving one of your children away.

I lovingly took it out of her arms , walked two steps and put it on top of the hallway table where it matched perfectly and said "Thanks Mum". 

It's equal parts of scary and really funny when you see your mother practically spitting blood. For 4 years she'd been trying to find the perfect spot and I'd just found it in less than 3 seconds. I'm pretty sure she still wants to hit me every time she comes to my house and it laughs at her as she walks in the front door.

Sorry Patty-Finders Keepers. You can have visiting rights though.

P.S. I would like to point out my mother would never ever give any of her children away . Not even when she threatened to on a daily basis while we were in our teenage years.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

15 Minute Challenge with Kate

Found- some quilting mojo. Result - a plethora of projects this week.

When I woke up on  Saturday I decided I needed to do some serious swearing sewing. Things have been a little quiet on that front at Maison Pyjamas lately.  Whenever I quilt I swear. It's like cheese and crackers , or toast and vegemite- I can't do one without the other. I want you to know every single thing I make is a hard fought battle. A triumph over potential tragedy. I want you to be amazed I survived. When I sew it's like a Die Hard movie.The quilts are the bad guys and I'm the hero trying to save the quilting universe from quilts that refuse to bend to my will.

The BWR quilt will now officially be known as the Flying Dutchman quilt, thanks to Marti who came up with the name. I'm not calling it "That ****** piece of ****" which is what it got called several times while I was putting it together.  It simply refused to come out square unless I sacrificed  about 6 inches of it to square it up. If my nephew doesnt love this quilt and dance a jig when I give it to him  -Im going to smother  him with it. And I swear this quilt has picked up every bit of crap and lint and thread in the known universe while I've been making it. The damn thing weighs about 37 linty kilograms.

I am seriously considering using invisible thread to quilt parts of this. Any experiences you'd care to share ? Anyone care to talk me out of it?

Along with the finish of the Flying Dutchman I also finished  the main part of the Flurry Quilt top  and started and finished another quilt top with fabrics gifted to me by Larri over at Seams Inspired. I'm feeling pretty darn good about my efforts.

And on Monday I pushed the envelope and  threw together this Christmas stocking for Little P . Thea and I talked about Christmas stockings a while back and decided we'd give them a crack. Easy Peasy!

Aside from the fact I forgot to put my hanging loop on and I put a seam smack in the middle of the cuff. I'm not sweating the small stuff this week. Im calling this a prototype. Little P wont notice the seam and I can hand sew a loop on.

Pop on over to Kate's for a look at other people who have a 15 minute attention span.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday - I finished something! No ..Really...

I signed up at the very last minute to do Friday Night Sew In and then did so little it wasn't worth writing a post about. Sorry to anyone who came looking for creative inspiration. I was all out.  It was far more satisfying to curl up on the lounge with my pink chenille blanket than spend time  in my cold sewing room. Yeah I'm a slacker. Wanna make something of it?

This morning I woke with the resolve to finish something. Since I'm short on  action lately, I didn't recognise the feeling at first. I thought I  was coming down with ebola or bubonic plague. A quick check of google informed me I was feeling MOTIVATED.

Really quickly (just in case the feeling left me as suddenly as it had appeared ) I put all the rows for the Flurry quilt together and cut all the strips for the pieced border before I decided I needed a nap.  Sadly I realised as I was sewing rows  that when I was squaring up the blocks  I'd made some grievous cutting errors and that if I stuck with 1/4 inch seams I was going to cut the tops of my bows off. Presents with half bows are pretty ugly so I decided to sew 1/8th inch seams and keep my fingers crossed it'd all turn out OK. It didn't.  It looks like it's Flurry's turn to be my hated quilt this week. I'm an equal opportunity quilter. All my unfinished quilts get their turn.


The over achievers of this QAL have already started their borders and blogged about it. Don't you hate show offs?

The day wasn't all doom and gloom and quilts that give me the shits. I showed you this pile of fabric on Tuesday. 

I'm happy to say that today I worked my bum off so that pile of stuff could end the day looking like this.  

Originally this quilt was going to be for me because Larri sent me the fabrics as a gift. Then I was going to make it for my sister in law. Now that it's made up I don't think I can let this one go. I love the way it turned out.

It has the cat inspector seal  of approval. Mordecai must roll all over every new quilt top . It is the law. 

I'm pleased to say there was very little mo fo-ing during the putting together of this top since it was so easy trained monkeys could have done it.That's just what I needed though - something fast and easy to kick start my mojo.I think I'm back !

On my list for this week is to make Little P a placemat for when he comes to visit because I'm over having to wipe whatever he's eating off my white pristine dining  table. I'm also planning to make a start on the Christmas stockings I've been avoiding for fear I'll stuff them up. It involves sewing and turning things inside out which usually ends in tears at Maison Pyjamas.

For more creative weekends pop on over to see Little Miss Sunshine and her crafty peeps.Better still, link up and show off your creative side!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

It's time for Favourite Things Friday which is a happy little linky party where you have the opportunity to write a post about something that rocks your socks. We'd love for you to join us. Pick one of your favourite things and spread some happy thoughts around the Blogisphere.

My favourite thing this week is the Internet. I know this has been done by other people but I realised just this week how much I rely on the Internet for almost everything. The Internet has made the world more accessible for all of us. I can buy fabric from another country, try recipes I may never have otherwise made (think butter tarts and about half of what Kirsten posts on her blog  ), check out other people's ideas and thoughts  and converse with people half a world away where it's still day time when it's dark at my place. I can read the news with the click of a button, surf eBay and buy things I didn't know I needed and learn about just about anything that piques my interest. There is always someone kicking round the Internet doing something because the Internet never sleeps.

I can read about people's adventures, be inspired creatively, and stick beak around seeing how other people live. The Internet has just about everything. It teaches, it inspires and connects us.

The Internet has Blogging.  When I started blogging, I had absolutely no idea of the impact blogging was going to have on my life. I've been blessed to become a part of a community where I can pick my friends, share my interests and be inspired by other people's ideas, creativity and lives. I've met some fantastic people who have become real friends either via email , phone or in real life. Every single person I've met has been extraordinary.   The Internet has been responsible for pushing me out of my comfort zone and making me try new things. I've drawn strength from the experiences and support of others. I've laughed, I've cried and I've been amazed. I've  had so much fun and it's become an integral part of my daily life. I love hanging with you guys.

The Internet gets a lot of negative press but honestly I cant think of one negative thing about it. It's opened up a world of possibilities and wonder for me , and I'm glad you're all sharing the wonder with me. 

And as much as I love the Internet I'm not sure why Blogger insists on it being capitalised in print. I just checked and it doesn't make you spell God with a capital letter... what's the deal with that?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

15 Minute Challenge with Kate

I'm like the long shot  at the track this week. You know- the horse that comes out of nowhere to have a brilliant finish?  OK technically  I didn't actually finish anything but I did make progress on the Flurry QAL.

and I started something new because I need another project to make me feel guilty and mock me...but I'm hoping this project will be quick to finish and look really snuggly and cute. It's not technically challenging and since my mojo is in sad need of some fine tuning I thought this would be perfect.

I really do need to stop ignoring the BWR quilt though. Time is ticking away and it needs to be finished since it's for a birthday gift in less than a month.

For more craftiness pop on over to Kate's for this weeks round up of the 15 minute challenge.

PS. I finally downloaded the latest version of my browser a few days ago after ignoring the prompt daily for the last three months and now I'm having no end of trouble accessing blogs to comment again! Aside from the fact I cant find anything and I dont think it's better - I'm feeling very frustrated.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

Little P came for a sleepover Saturday night and I had to sing "Roary the Racing Car" at least 673 times along with the Bob the Builder theme song.  I flashed back to when  Miss P's made me watch Aladdin at least 1092 times between 1995-1996. Robin Williams is hilarious but even his comic genius gets old after the 400th viewing. Ditto Roary the Racing car ..Roary you're my number one star ...see? I still have that song running through my head.
Aside from singing myself hoarse , it was Party Central on  Sunday with the family here to celebrate Little P's second birthday.I took very cute video of Little P riding his birthday trike up and down our hallway and chattering away like a magpie  but I  can't show you because Mr. P is in his underpants. I'm sparing you the agony and showing you a carefully selected photo instead.

Miss P made this birthday cake all by herself. I think she did a brilliant job.

And as a testament to my brilliance I even managed to  get in some sewing. My bizarre sleep patterns continue to throw a crimp into my sewing/blogging/life mojo and I'm heartily sick of it. I have a plan to turn it all around this week.

I just had an epiphany that I've sewn some of those blocks together wrong...bugger. At least it's fixable.

I hope your Sunday was full of creative things. After two weekends of social activity I'm looking forward to spending all of next weekend doing my pyjamas.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

Good Grief ! I'm not sure where this week has gone  since Friday is here again already. How is that possible? Wasn't it only Friday the day before yesterday? No matter- If you have a favourite thing this week I'd love to hear all about it. Feel free to write your own post and link up at the bottom of this post so I can come and have a squizz.

Op Shopping is  the art of buying things at a fraction of retail price, finding unique and unusual items, and adding pretty things to an already over flowing house. There is nothing I like better than toodling round the local op shops and scoring myself crazy bargains. It's absolutely true that one (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure.

Sometimes I see things that make me run across the length of a shop in order to get to it before someone else gets their hands on it.  In this case I elbowed my own mother out of the way to get to these. Sorry Mum.  I am a vintage chenille freak and it's possible that I have cornered the market in the Southern Hemisphere. When I die it's going to come to light that I was the crazy chenille lady. Even Mr. P doesn't know how much of this stuff I have stashed all over the house.

Ditto on vintage sheets .....I have about 40 of them ....I don't have any plans for them . I just collect them. I might need them one day. For when I open a vintage sheet shop.

Op shops are a mecca for all sorts of cool fabric. I found these curtains and pounced on them like a seagull on a chip.  How cool will these be for applique or the back of a quilt? 

I love old glassware . This is a recent find.

And this is an antique butter dish I found on another trip. My sister loves this and it lives with her now.

Lace and Linen. I have big plans for these. Oh- the possibilities!

 I picked up a pair of sizzling platters on one of my recent expeditions.One of the thrills of op shopping is that you never know what you'll find.

Among my all time favourite finds is this soup tureen.

And this very cute shabby old chair...

Do you op shop? What's the best thing you have found? Do you go with a plan in mind or just wander aimlessly waiting for something to catch your fancy?

Happy Friday to everyone. One more day until the weekend. Whoooooo Hoooo!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

15 Minute Challenge with Kate

I haven't linked up to Kate's 15 minute challenge the last couple of weeks because there hasn't been much going on here in the creativity department. There wasn't a whole lot happening this week either but I did manage to get the bases for my Christmas gift boxes sewed together.

I got one block to completion and I'm liking the way it looks. 15 more blocks to go. Lots of seam pressing in these blocks which we all know I love(insert sarcasm here)

In pondering my lack of significant achievement  again this week, I have realised that having an actual paying job that I'm expected to attend daily really interferes with my crafting. As does hosting birthday parties, having house guests, and falling asleep on the couch at 9 pm every night. How do other people manage to find the time to be so crafty? I don't have kids to worry about and still can't get my shit together.

I would also like to point out that Ms. Seams Inspired is kicking my butt in our Quiltalong with these blocks. Little Miss Sunshine and I are lagging way behind so if you want to join in you're still not too far behind to catch up!

Pop on over to Kate's to see more creative peeps and their achievements this week.  I believe there is a Christmas giveaway going on there.

P.S. If my awesome boss is reading this I LOVE my job. I just wish you'd come to the party on the idea of me hand stitching during meetings.

Monday, July 11, 2011

High Tea

A few weeks ago I decided to actually use all the things I buy and hoard and never use. I have the most beautiful tea cup collection and some delightful bowls and glassware that never actually get used and it seems like such a shame not to create a reason to use all that gorgeousness instead of hiding it in a cupboard and so the idea of High Tea was born. I am  a tea mug and eat the biscuits from the packet kind of girl so much research was needed to ensure we did this properly. Oh google I love you so.

So on Saturday I dressed in my best girly clothes (jeans and a polar fleece vest with my fluffy white slippers ) and dragged out the tea set and all my pretty china for High Tea. Many many hours were spent baking and I bought a new table cloth for the occasion. I invited my best girlfriends and we sat down to an afternoon of gossip and sipping tea.

Peppermint slice and caramel slice

Gluten free goodies for the wheat challenged.

 I'm sure that in the  days of old they had chocolate at High Tea.

Teeny tiny one bite sandwiches- ham and mustard and fish paste (not all in the same sandwich because that would be too gross)

Scones - courtesy of Sister of Pyjamas


Butterfly cakes.

Our resident expert SAJ showed us how to class it up because she's actually from the land of High Tea.

Sister of Pyjamas confessing her scones are made from a box of CWA mix. Just add water.

Patty Pie (Mother of Pyjamas ) showing us the correct way to use a tea pot. 

Lamington sponge. An Aussie favourite.

Aside from the fact I traded both my lamb barrah kebab and cinnamon bun pancake recipes for the scone "recipe" (I'd like to know exactly how long she's been cheating for) and also the fact that I stuck my left boob right in one of those butterfly cakes reaching across the table in a very unclassy fashion it was a very high brow afternoon. I think this is something I need to do more often!

PS. I totally cheated. Aside from the sandwiches everything else came from Bruce the Baker. Thanks Bruce.