Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Plodding Along

Since I last gave you an update about my sewing prowess there has been some significant project progress. Finally. I've been a little bit inspired by Kris who has become the Finish it Up Queen of late. 

It seems this "working on one thing at a time " actually yields results. So much so that I've been encouraged to write a list for June and have vowed to only work on two quilts for the entire month. I'm itching to get that WIP list down to something manageable. It's driving me spare looking at it. 

My Lilac Hill Jelly Roll Race quilt is finished. It wasn't really so much a race as a leisurely stroll to the finish line with this one. (even if it did feel like I was doing a marathon) I had originally bought chocolate brown floral fabric for a wide border but frankly once I cut it the whole thing looked hideous. 

I put the final stitches in the Colour Bar quilt last night. 

And the hourglass quilt has been basted and quilting is well under way. I'm trying to talk myself out of doing diagonal stitching on this one because I'm feeling lazy.

I'm linking up to Kate's 15 minute challenge this week because I actually have something to show for a change! 10 WIPS - 2 finishes = 8 WIPS to go! 

And I know my posts have been very few and far between lately. It seems I can blog or sew but apparently can't do both simultaneously.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

I've been AWOL this week. There have been other things going on that just seemed to suck the week away. Which got me to thinking that I need to work out how to save some time or at least shift some time to create a bit more balance.

Like everyone else on the planet there are about a bajillion things I need to fit into any given week. Work. Sleep. My blog. Catching up with people. Email. Craft. Cooking. Cleaning. Washing. Bill Paying. Personal Appointments. Grocery Shopping. There are 168 hours in a week and it feels like I spend 180 of them with something on a list somewhere dictating something I have to get done. So this week I started thinking about how I can make life flow a bit more smoothly because I can't keep up this pace until I retire in about 25 years time.

I took the plunge on Tuesday night after playing the "Will I, Wont I" game for months. With much trepidation,  I did my grocery shopping online and organised for it to be delivered the next night when I got home from work. And while my initial order didn't save me any time (it took me about an hour to shop online for the first time because I had no idea how to do it  ) I can see that next fortnight will be much faster. I'm pretty confident that I can get my grocery shopping time down to about half of what I spend doing it myself. And  I don't have to schlep it to and from the car because a personal shopper does my shopping and then the guy comes in and puts it all on my kitchen bench for me. And while he's doing that I'm already starting to put it away!

Other things I loved about the experience were that I can do my online order at anytime that suits me (Think 9.30pm Tuesday night in bed ). There was a  distinct decrease in impulse buying things I didn't really need because I'm not being assaulted by yummy stuff in my face everywhere I turn. My shop offers the option of buying a mixed fruit and vegie box for a set price (small, medium, large , jumbo ) and it was great value. You don't know what you're going to get but when my large box arrived for 40 bucks it had so much variety and quality of  fruit and veg I was mega impressed. And there wasn't a thing in there I wouldn't have bought myself. And since I bought tomatoes and avocados separately they made sure they didn't put any of those items in my mystery box.

I don't think my poor fridge has seen this many fruit and vegetables in one hit in forever. Yes that's green shit in there. I bet you didn't ever think you'd see that at Maison Pyjamas. It was worth it just to make my fridge look pretty. 

So my absolute favourite thing this week is online grocery shopping. I'm ridiculously excited about it and completely converted!

Do you guys have any tips for saving time? I'd love to hear them so I can add them to my list to try out. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

I've had a much calmer week this week . I haven't skidded into Friday feeling like I only just made it by the skin of my teeth which is exactly how I felt last Friday. I'm ready to gracefully tip toe into a weekend of sewing and relaxing and doing some of the things I love that make me feel good. 

I've  had a few favourite moments this week. All low key but they made me happy all the same. Some weeks it doesn't take much.

I got a free rice sample in my mail box. That was a bonus because I'm trying not to spend money on groceries at the moment. 

Making the decision that I need to work on one project at a time until the end of the month (ie actually having a plan ) Since I'm not scuttling round doing bits and pieces of things I'm actually seeing progress on the project I do choose to work on.

And snuggling up in my warm bed at night when it's freezing outside (Australian freezing not Northern Hemisphere freezing ). The down side of that is having to get out of bed in the morning when it's cold This morning I actually laid there for a while internally debating about whether I should get out of bed or just stay there for a bit longer... until I  realised it wasn't going to be any warmer until about lunchtime and that I needed to be at work long before then.

So no earth shattering faves - just a nice week filled with a few pleasurable moments.  It's nice that rice can make me so happy don't you think? Simple needs people- simple needs. 

Stay tuned because I'm going to attempt a complicated cake this weekend courtesy of a recipe sent to me by Lane. I could be writing a post about how to clean cake mix off the ceiling....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Farmers Wife, Fudge and a Finish

I spent Saturday in the company of my lovely Farmers Wife Quilting Buddies (Claire, Val, Denise, Kris, and Tara) at the House of Loz. Much gossiping, eating and a little bit of sewing ensued.  My contribution to the day was my signature fudge because I figure if I'm going to get fat in my old age I'm taking my friends with me. By the way I didn't do a darn thing on my FW blocks. And as usual I forgot my camera.

Loz presented me with a stitchery that she made just for me. Isn't this one of the most darling things you've ever seen? Thank you Loz. I ADORE it. The quandary is whether I make it into a cushion nobody will ever be allowed to use , a wall hanging or whether I pop it in a frame under glass and hang it somewhere I'll see it often.

I finally rocked up to the post office for my tri-weekly pick up on Friday and the post office guy asked if I had a trailer to take home all my packages. He's such a comedian. Most of it was fabric that was ordered three weeks ago for quilt backs but in amongst all that was this package of selvages from the lovely Erin at My Patchwork Life. Thank you Erin. I keep worrying about running out of selvages and this will keep my concerns at bay for another 5 blocks or so. 

And Little Miss Sunshine donated to my Hometown fabric fund.

And she sent me some other cute stuff too...that I'm going to make into other cute stuff (eventually) 

I basted the jelly roll race quilt this morning. It's half quilted. Not a bad effort considering we went out for a large chunk of the day. 

Crinkly look courtesy of Little P who thought it was great fun to jump all over it just before I took this photo.
And while we were out for lunch today I managed to finally get the last  bit of binding down on the Contrary HST Quilt. My sister in law commented that it reminded her of Strawberry Shortcake and so the quilt gained a much groovier name than it's had throughout the production stage. This one is going to be gifted to a friend.

Yes- I have functioning oven again. No I haven't used it to bake a cake yet. But two hunks of meat have been slowly roasted in it and they were both wonderful. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mum's out there!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

I slept in this was practically morning tea time by the time I got up. Which is kind of cool since it is my day off but is kind of sucky because now my whole day is out of whack. I'm theoretically running about 3 hours behind with everything. Including this post. 

Originally when I drafted this post this morning there was a short  paragraph right here that was full of grizzling about my week. When I read it back I realised that this post is all about happy things , so I took it out. It would have been ironic to leave it in don't you think? Would that have made this post a technical oxymoron?

My favourite thing this week is a conversation I had with Miss P last weekend and the outcome of that chat mid week. 

Miss P was talking to me last Saturday about some of Little P's recent behaviours. What he'll eat today he won't eat tomorrow. He may just tip his plate on the floor  for kicks(usually when it's something hard to clean up , like spaghetti) He won't sit for longer than 12 seconds anywhere. He goes into melt down at the drop of a hat when he doesn't get something immediately. He'll become hysterical when Grandpa drives Bella's car.  He'll make a big deal out of having two specks of dirt on his hands but is happy to walk around with three foot booger strings hanging out of his nose and refuse to let you wipe them off. He'll touch things he knows he shouldn't touch , the word "no" has become his absolute favourite but only if it's coming out of his mouth and he has a love/hate relationship with everyone and isn't shy about telling you when you're not in favour for that 3 minute period. 

So Miss P and I  had a chat about why Little P does some of the things he does.    This stuff is my bread and butter. I have conversations like this with other people at least three times a day in my work life. And I often use an example to illustrate what I'm trying to say.

So I explained to Miss P that she has to imagine Little P is a cup. He's learning things all the time. Every experience, every movement,  every interaction, every emotion he has every day goes into the cup to be emptied into different parts of his brain when he goes to sleep at night so he can store it away and bring it out to use another time. That's how kids learn stuff and retain knowledge. 

But sometimes the cup gets full or something goes into the cup during the day  that doesn't make sense or that can't wait until night time to be sorted into his mental filing cabinet, and the cup spills over. He needs help to process what has spilled out of the cup right there and then. And often that's when "Houston,  we have a meltdown" happens. And part of helping a child to re-fill their cup is to stay as calm as possible because if you don't, they're going to take that experience and file it away and it's going to come back and bite you later. 

Miss P nodded in all the right places with only an occasional eye glazing over. I think she got it but I wasn't really sure. Maybe I made her cup spill over.  But I came away hoping that I had helped her realise that when Little P is being difficult to get along with that it's not personal. He isn't doing things with the conscious intent to piss her off. He's just learning how the world works and where he sits in it all.  

Fast forward to Wednesday when I got this email at work with the subject line "The cup is full. The cup is full" 

That's Miss P's new makeup that she hadn't even used yet....And the text that accompanied this message?

"The cup is full! My damn cup is full!!"

Funniest thing that happened all week. And the best thing? She gets it! Or at least she did till he got a bit unruly during after tea play and smacked her with a bottle. I believe he got sent to bed to "process" the days events at that point. You have to know when to fold. 

Today is oven D Day and my oven fixit guy still hasn't shown up yet , which is a pity because I've already mixed 15 cakes to go into that oven. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A Pointless Post

After a few weeks where I've worked on multiple projects like a 12 year old kid with attention deficit disorder and have appeared to get nowhere I resolved this week to stick to one thing. OK - two things. And to see at least one of them through to a finish. Or close to a finish.   I'm utterly fed up with showing bits and pieces of progress and I'm sure you're equally sick of seeing the same crap over and over and having to come up with new adjectives in your comments.

I had such high hopes on Friday . I was full of enthusiasm and planned to hit the sewing room as soon as I got home from work that night. 

Didn't happen.

Saturday I did manage to get the inner borders on the jelly roll race quilt. And I made the second wider borders for it ...and then decided I really hated them.

So one border it is.

I planned to get the Jelly Roll quilt basted over the weekend so I could work on the in the ditch quilting this week after work. It sounded like a grand plan . 

It didn't happen... Because every pin I own was still in the Contrary HST quilt which was waiting have the quilting finished.  So I sucked it up and continued the quilting on that confident that I could finish that off by Sunday. 

Didn't happen.

So what we have here is post where nothing much really happened, where I don't really have anything of consequence to link up to Kate's 15 minute challenge for this week , and where I'm refusing to show you pictures of my limited  progress.

 I could have got away with a post that just said 

"Didn't achieve a thing."

Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Hangover and the I Phone

Yesterday Miss P and I had planned to have a cooking day. Since she didn't get out of bed until nearly lunchtime o'clock and I didn't get my act together to do my grocery shopping until about 1.00pm the idea kind of fell by the way side. By the time I got home, packed the grocery shopping away and made lunches and a menu plan for this week I was shattered. Miss P didn't have a shower until tea time so the whole day was pretty much written off. I traded cooking for quilting instead.  I ended up spending most of the night playing logo quiz with Miss P and planning our attack for an early start on Sunday for Cookfest 2012. 

Mr. P went out last night to celebrate the 40th birthday of twin friends of his. I  elected to stay home because I've met one of the twins once when he came to clean my windows and have never met the other.  My  logical thought process around situations like this are that I have a more significant relationship with the dude who serves me at the supermarket each week and I wouldn't go to his birthday party either.  I don't think Mr. P really gets my attitude to social gatherings because frankly that man would go to the opening of an envelope. 

I offered to drive Mr. P and one of his mates to the celebration but they insisted on taking a taxi so I didn't have to go out in the cold.  Their thoughtfulness was rendered completely pointless 15 minutes later since I got an emergency phone call from Mr. P asking me to come out in the cold to deliver his wallet because he'd left it at home. Yes folks-  it's hard to buy drinks at the pub with no money. Especially if you don't have boobs. 

I think it was creeping close to daylight before Mr. P actually made it home. He came through the door to the delight of the dogs who were sharing the bed with me. Indy tap danced all over the bed in glee(and when 100 pounds of dog is happy and using your bed as trampoline you're bound to get woken up) and Lola, who is definitely short sighted, barked and snarled until she recognised it was Mr. P.  All this kerfuffle was accompanied by the  sounds of Mr. P attempting to be quiet by shouting "Be Quiet-Don't wake Mummy" for at least 3 minutes at the top of his lungs. He then stomped off to the lounge (I'm pretty sure he thought he was tiptoeing )in a vain attempt to pretend he had nothing to do with all the noise and immediately passed out in his chair. He finally made it to bed about 1/4 past 7 and then started making "I'm going to chuck " noises in his sleep. I gave up and got out of bed. 

I decided to spend a couple of hours quilting while I waited for Miss P to rise from the dead. A couple of hours turned into 4 and by that time it was almost lunch'o'clock again. 

At this point I decided brunch was in order and Miss P finally surfaced, serenaded by the smell of cooking bacon. Mr. P staggered out of bed. He took one look at the frying bacon and headed for the toilet. Once he was done he decided it was the perfect time for romance and attempted to kiss me. Blerk- no thanks. He stomped back to bed feeling very sorry for himself after telling me he couldn't recall what time he got home, how he got home, or how he sustained the graze on his wrist. His genius deduction was that he fell over. Move over Sherlock Holmes, there's a new super sleuth in town! Have I ever mentioned that my husband used to be a P.I?

Over brunch Miss P and I planned who would do what with the cooking. I obviously wasn't listening too well because here's how it actually went down.

I collected all the ingredients 

I mixed all the ingredients 

Miss P played with her I Phone 

I cut up a chicken and told Miss P to watch because she was doing the next one 

Miss P ignored me and played with her I Phone some more. 

Miss P had a whinge about how she hates cutting chicken ...

I cut some more chicken 

I put some of the chicken bones in a pot to make some stock 

And drowned the chicken pieces I had just cut in marinade 

While Miss P played with her I Phone a bit more 

I washed the dishes by hand if you don't mind, since the dishwasher was full of dishes getting clean.

while Miss P went and hid in the toilet for a while 

Then I started collecting the ingredients to made Indian meatballs (which are made from the flavours of India not actual Indians ) 

At this point, Mr. P surfaced again to watch the football. Doesn't he look refreshed and healthy and not at all hung over (cough , cough ) 

And then I literally bullied Miss P into helping by confiscating her I Phone and threatening to lose her sim card in the toilet.

Mr. P saw all of 10 minutes of the football before he crashed like a 12 month old baby who has been at Playgroup all morning.

I went shopping for essentials . As of tomorrow Loz and I are going to torture ourselves by not shopping for at least the next month. I had to buy a cow and a bread making machine and some seeds so I can have fresh vegetables. I have no idea what Mr. P or Miss P  did in my absence. I'm assuming it involved something to do with I Phones and snoring.

When I came home I made up some chicken and vegetable soup 

While Miss P straightened her hair 

and then I rolled up the meatballs and cooked them 

 while Miss P put on her makeup.

And all the while Mr. P napped in bed 

Then I cleaned up the soup and meatball mess so I have room to cook chicken masala for dinner and then drive Miss P home. 

Lessons learned in the last 48 hours :

"Lets do some cooking together Mum" really means "How about you cook my meals for the week Mum while I talk on my I Phone and make myself beautiful"

"I promise I wont do anything stupid " really means "Im coming home so drunk I'll be lucky to be able to tell the cab driver where I live". ( I suspect the cab driver snuck a peek at his drivers licence to find out) 

All I want right now is a shower and a hair wash because I've looked like this all day ....

Saturday, May 05, 2012


Michelle was kind enough to email me yesterday and tell me that she was getting a malaware warning from trying to access my blog. 

After doing some research last night it seems this has become a wide spread problem in blogland for some people who use Shabby Blogs backgrounds. Their site has been hacked so google is posting warnings on some blogs that use their content. 

It looks like at least some of my Saturday is going to be spent trying to find a new background I like that 's not from the affected site. I've removed shabby blogs content this morning  but meantime it's going to look a little weird and half finished around here. 

In the meantime thank you for your patience as I clean house !

Friday, May 04, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

 This week Friday seems to have appeared at the speed of light (which is far better than  feeling like I was living Tuesday over and over again and that Friday was never going to get here) I'm looking forward to the weekend and spending some time with Miss P and my sewing machine. I'm also counting down the days until I have a functional oven again. 7 - in case you're interested. What do you think the chances are of you all being bored senseless by multiple posts next weekend about cupcakes and woopie pies? 

For my fave this week , I'm going down the chocolate road people. Get out your chux or steal a burp cloth from somewhere. 

While I am not the rampant choco-phile I know some of you are , I do like my occasional forays into the land of brown yummy goodness. I can go for a month without capitulating but when I'm on a chocolate kick there are no holds barred. I'll eat it for breakfast , lunch and dinner if it's laying round. And if it's not-I'll go buy it .  It's like Woolies and Coles are my personal drug dealers. 

I have a few favourites. Chokito's. Cherry Ripes. Rum and Raisin chocolate - but only Old Gold. But probably my most favourite are these little morsels of marvellous-ness. I feel slightly unpatriotic posting this because this is American chocolate. Made in America. Shipped all the way to Australia. Eaten by me. 

I have managed to munch my way through two large bags of these this week. The closest thing we have to these are Smarties which are still not technically Australian and take forever to suck the coating off. I'm lazy. I don't like to put much effort in , so it's M and M's all the way for me. I should probably do a scientific experiment about the length of time it takes the sugar coating to dissolve on M and M's vs Smarties. I could probably get a grant to do that kind of research and become internationally famous. 

That's it for this week. Simple chocolatey goodness. 

Do you have something you'd like to share this week? Link away!

PS. I know I'm meant to traditionally write a BIG, EXCITING , MEANINGFUL post for my 500th.  But let's face it . All my posts are big, exciting and meaningful . It's pretty hard to top myself for special occasions.