Monday, September 29, 2014

Life is Good

Spring has really sprung here at Maison Pyjamas. Less than two weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that our cherry tree (which didn't lose its all of its leaves until August - slacker! ) was still bare and barren. Today it looks like this which makes me happy because it means long, lazy, warm days will soon be a regular occurrence. I busted out a T-shirt this weekend and it felt sublime. 

Saturday saw the Not The Farmers Wife Gals congregate at Loz's house for our monthly stitching party. Loz made me a very special cake to celebrate my birthday. Oreo Birthday biscuit cake ...How stinking cute is this? I have to tell you it was one of the best things I've ever eaten. Seriously! Thankyou Loz for your thoughtfulness. (and the inevitable sugar rush. I didn't get to sleep until 3am) 

I got all the remaining circles basted for my Moroccan Tile Quilt 

and then started working on an idea I had for a re-do of that old cushion I inherited from my Mum recently. Remember this? 

Kay (no blog) very kindly unpicked some stubborn remaining thread from the cushion cover for me. She said she likes unpicking - frankly I think she needs some sort of reality check medication- but who am I to argue with free unpicking? This cushion cover has been a source of great indecision for me but yesterday I decided to go with some large applique paisley shapes and lots of pretty embellishments. 

But once I got it home - I didn't really like how it was panning out at all ...

So I went with one of my original ideas and spent Saturday night putting it together and I have to say I think I've made the right choice. 

Sunday I finished my postage stamp donation quilt top - and then basted it - and quilted it - and put the binding on. Yep - Another finish, and my third donation quilt done for the Mary Potter Foundation.

I'm hoping to make some headway on the Moroccan Tile quilt this week as well as finish my two blocks for the Seabreeze Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler. Oh and I have to fit work in there somewhere as well. Looks like I have a busy week coming up! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Pink Dress

Im going to put this out there for anyone who hasn't picked this up through my 663 blog posts and almost 5 years of blogging ...I am not a girly girl.  I am all about having beautiful hair and I wear undies every.single. day. but clothes wise my tastes and lifestyle tend to run more to "smart casual",pyjamas or jeans than dresses or skirts. I don't own a single skirt. I do own two dresses (both of which I actually wear with leggings because that's semi trendy and because I don't have to worry about wearing pantyhose because pantyhose are the invention of the devil) and a ball gown that I've worn once on New Years Eve 2008. I think that might be the last time I wore a dress without leggings underneath....

Part of my dress aversion arises because I don't have the hips for dresses. When they were handing out hips I thought I was standing in the cocktail line and so I accidentally got served twice. I also got in the boob line at least three times but thats neither here or there, unless you were the poor sucker behind me who missed out completely, sorry about that. However today I went dress shopping because I frigging well had to. Grudgingly, and without any pleasure about it at all. 

My nephew is getting married in about 5 weeks. His fiancee is a girly girl, as are her sisters who are organising some of the stuff around the wedding.What do you get when you put all this girly girl stuff in a blender along with pre-wedding festivities like kitchen teas and Hen's night celebrations? You get an invitation that stipulates you have to wear a pink bloody dress to one of those events. And that sucks when you don't own a variety of dresses- let alone a pink one. A pink dress that you will never ever wear again as long as you live. A pink dress that will make you stick out like dog's balls in a room of lithe young things who will be able to rock their pink dresses while you look like a big fat middle aged good year blimp. 

I'm all about making the best of a situation. My plan was to find something demure and non noticeable and cheap (since I was never wearing this darn thing again) and to sit in a corner for the afternoon sipping tea and sucking my guts in.  I imposed a time limit on my shopping (2 hours) and a set amount of shops in which to look (3 maximum) and if I hadn't found something I was coming home and going to this shindig in pink jeans dammit! (Yes I do have a pair of pink jeans)

Sometimes life has a way of surprising you. Just when you think you're on an impossible mission life throws you a bone.  At the very first shop I spied a dress I actually liked and it was the only one left. With trembling hands I sussed out the size tag and almost cried because it was my size. I tried it on still not convinced that I wasn't dreaming and I didn't feel like breaking down and crying when I saw my own reflection in the mirror.  I'll have to shave my legs before I wear it because they look like a Mediterranean mans armpits but I can handle that. They haven't been done since about May so it's probably time anyway.

Behold the perfect dress...(which I already have a matching clutch bag for in my cupboard !!!!!) 

I've decided I WILL wear this again since it's cocktail length and I have a gala dinner coming up in a couple of months and this dress will be very forgiving when its rolled up and chucked in a suitcase for our overseas trip. Serendipity I tell you! 

The best part? It cost me less than a Maccas meal...which means I have plenty of money to go buy me some spanx. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Celebrating Being Me

This weekend was my birthday weekend and it started perfectly as if it was an omen for how the rest of the weekend would pan out. Friday morning my work colleagues and I received a thank you gift from a family we work with. KK's for morning tea! Bliss. Some people who hadn't had KK's before thought Krispy Kremes were overrated. I'm not talking to those people anymore because they clearly have no taste buds. Nobody thought they were so bad that they handed me their half eaten donuts however, so frankly I think they were just taking the piss. 

 Friday night involved sewing

Unusually for me I decided not to cook(no laughing from the peanut gallery!)so we ordered gourmet pizza for dinner ...

Saturday breakfast...don't judge me.

Saturday lunch at 3pm was a hunk of cheese which I shared with Indy and Lola. Mainly because Indy was resting his head on my leg and threatening to drown me in drool. It seemed easier to give him some than to have to find a life preserver to ensure my survival....

I spent all day Saturday putting some of my Moroccan Tile blocks together (and managed to crack two whole rows) while intermittently sobbing and repeatedly unpicking. 

Saturday night was spent in the glorious company of my fabulous husband, staying at a hotel on the beach for the night.

We went to Esca for dinner and it was fabulous. (Pictorial evidence of fabulousness below) I didn't think to take a picture of my pancetta wrapped prawns , in red pepper coulis with zucchini and rocket salad, but that was also delicious. I'm a big fan of good food, especially if someone else is cooking it. 

Sunday we had Maccas for breakfast

I opened presents

and I spent three hours meditating in this space , checking out the inside of my eyelids to make absolutely certain they were still there.

Later in the day I spent some more time putting together a couple more rows on my Moroccan tile love for that is passing rather rapidly. I'm a pattern dumbarse and I've done something wrong and I'm having to re-measure each individual block before I add it to the's driving me spare. The possibility of a finish before the end of September is ever diminishing. 

Later I noticed that  the first border is not right and I'll have to unpick it again. At about that point I called it a day. (more sobbing and swearing also occurred at this point)

Birthday Snack time was more salt and vinegar chips and some Haighs chocolate oranges. I'm all about healthy eating most of the time ( excuse me while I roll around on the floor laughing) but on a birthday weekend I just let it all hang out.

Mr. P gave me the coolest gift ever for my birthday. Its a scale that you pair with an app on your Ipad that walks you through how to make hundreds of cocktails. You choose the one you want from the app, put the glass on the scale and hook it up to your Ipad and it guides you through making the drink by weighing the liquor for you and telling you when to stop pouring, and what to add next  ....pure genius. I had to try it out - twice - to make sure it worked. 

Dinner was spent with my family at a little hotel in the hills not far from my house. It involved more present opening, a couple more cocktails and a lot of laughter with the people I love most. I don't think you can ask for any more than that for a wonderful birthday.  

And there endeth my weekend was perfect. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014


My days off this past week have been filled with pleasant stuff, faffing about and doing pretty much exactly what I felt like. That included a lot of sewing, minor amounts of housework, limited cooking and a fair bit of sleeping. I had one day in my pyjamas and forced myself to get dressed in actual clothes the rest of the time. I swear if I didn't ever have to go to work, pyjamas would be my uniform. 

During my week off, my grand sewing plans mostly came to fruition, and I even managed to squish in a shopping trip for fabric, dragging Patty Pie (Mother of Pyjamas) along for the ride.  It took 3 shops to get everything I needed, but I'm all set for another three quilts to be started (and finished-fingers crossed). I've left out the boring white fabric I bought and well as a ton of batting, which is currently residing on the sewing room floor being used by Lola as an impromptu dog bed. Miss Lola is such an opportunist.

My rather eclectic and out of character purchases 
I started and finished a simple baby blanket/play mat /change mat on Monday. I think I've nailed this FM meandering gig and need to move on to something else. One side is for a girl and one side is for a boy because I don't know what kind of baby its going to be, as the parents have chosen to be surprised. I'm assuming they have had an ultrasound and already know they aren't having twins because that'd be one heck of a surprise and I've only made one quilt.

My second Irish Chain quilt is done and ready to be donated to the Mary Potter Foundation. Quilted in a simple diagonal serpentine stitch in wonderful 50 weight Aurifil thread. I've started using Aurifil for piecing as well not just quilting because yes - it just rocks that much.  As an aside , having now made two Irish Chain quilts in a row , I am so over them that I'm ready to move onto something completely different. I see curves in my future. And swearing and tantrums due to the curves. 

I've made progress on a third donation quilt as well. The postage stamp sized bits were driving me slightly batty but I finally have enough cut and sewed to the point where I can sew them into 16 patches. Once this quilt is finished I'm going to give donation quilting a rest for a bit and concentrate on some of the projects on my FAL list for the last quarter (my efforts on that list for this quarter have been seriously abysmal)

Lucy Boston has been stuffed in a bag and I'm now working on Miss Elizabeth instead from a pattern by Cherry Pie Designs that I saw at the Quilt Show in Melbourne in April and immediately fell in love with. Progress has been made cutting a bajillion hexies and honeycombs. Mental note to self: When glue basting these suckers don't forget all the rude things everyone said last time they had to help you unpick the paper bits from the hexies.You probably don't need to glue everything to within an inch of its life. I'm feeling more optimistic about this project, although I'm sure it wont be finished until sometime in 2016. That's OK -hand sewing is all about slow going in my book. Its the journey - not the destination. 

And this morning I sucked it up and cut out all the bits for the Moroccan tile quilt that is meant to be finished by the end of September and I'm delusional optimistic enough to still think I can pull that off. 

This is where I left things before calling it a day. 

I'll leave you with some gratuitous food shots...I made up for my lack of cooking this week by pulling my finger out and hand making pot stickers from scratch for dinner tonight with a honey ginger sauce. My confidence took a battering the first time I made these which was some time last year I think. The hot sauce was so f****** hot even Mr. P had tears streaming down his face. His power of speech was affected for about two hours after dinner, or perhaps that's because he couldn't think of anything nice to say about them?  I gave up and ate a sandwich and have been too chicken to make them again up until now. New recipe- much better result! 

And for dessert we had chocolate cupcakes with mint cream cheese frosting dipped in chocolate. You can never have enough chocolate.....

And while I'm on a sugar theme- this should send you into overload. I received a care parcel this week from Little Miss Sunshine which contained all the Halloween Candy I never had as a child in one box. For my Northern Hemisphere friends- don't bother looking for any Halloween Candy in your neck of the woods- I have the worlds supply at my house. I'm kind of hoping we get some Trick or Treaters this year because I will have the best supply of candy in Australia to give them. I'm pretty sure it will make me a neighbourhood legend. 

I'm back at work tomorrow but I'm determined to finish that Moroccan tile quilt under my self imposed deadline so it looks like its going to be a busy week. Enjoys yours. May it bring sunshine and good things. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Case of Attempted Murder

I had a sewing play date at my house yesterday with Sue from Mother Patchwork. The thing I love about sewing days is that you can get hand sewing done while gossiping and swapping stories, and its pleasant to spend time sewing with people that enjoy doing the same type of things that you do. You can legitimately sew and nobody looks at you slitty eyed like they do when you drag your sewing along to other social events where non sewing individuals are in attendance. 

Everything was going swimmingly. I went all out ( cough cough) and did a make your own roll platter for lunch and chucked some non Krispy Kreme donuts on a plate for dessert. Sue brought awesome home-made cookies and I chucked those on the plate as well. I wolfed down a donut and was contemplating a cookie ( and just how many donuts and cookies I could eat before I had to stop out of politeness sake so I didn't look like a complete pig and I had just decided two donuts and two cookies wouldn't be too much ) and was moving my hand towards the plate when Sue leapt across the table in slow motion yelling *"Noooooooooooooooooooo" and rugby tackled the plate to the ground which left me thinking "Sheesh -she must love donuts more than I do". From the floor where she landed, amongst the debris of the plate, the donuts, the cookies and the cat water bowl she explained that she had forgotten my deathly nut allergy and that there were Macadamia nuts in the cookies (but informed me specifically that there were also white chocolate chips as if somehow that would cancel out the nut stuff). 

I'm calling that attempted murder in the second degree and I'm assuming that at the last minute she decided she couldn't go through with it.  I'm not sure what her motive was - maybe she wanted to rifle through my stash but realised after seeing it that we don't have the same fabric tastes and that it wasnt worth of potential jail term for a load of Amy Butler and Bonnie and Camille. I've forgiven her because thats the kind of person I am, but when we next meet up I'll be taking a CSI kit to test all the food prior to eating and my Epi-Pen. 

Death Cookies (and yummy non lethal donuts)
Sue did bring me these gorgeous patchwork Chicken oven mitts as a gift , so I'm not really all that mad she tried to kill me...

* Some poetic licence has been taken in the re-telling of the facts of this story. The leap across the table didn't occur, nor did the crashing to the floor, or the breaking of a plate or the loss of donuts, cookies or a cat water bowl. Technically, that's not lying - thats embellishing a story to make it sound more interesting to your readers. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Food and a Finish

It was a lovely weekend. The weather has been glorious. I slept when I was tired, sewed to my hearts content, and spent time yesterday with three Dad's who are among the finest men I know(my Dad, my father in law, and my husband). 

We hosted Father's Day lunch and rather than making it an all out, full on affair like I usually do, I went with simple, classic, low stress food that I've cooked a million times so there was minimal chance of any disasters.

That is, with the exception of my gingerbread chocolate ganache tart with raspberry cream. It refused to set which made getting it out of the tart pan a real bitch. We just used a spoon because we're all class here at Maison Pyjamas. What it lacked for by not being an actual tart it made up for by being the most delicious sauce on a gingerbread base I've ever eaten. (F****** Gingerbread gets me every time - even when it's not a house) 

Mordecai decided that my strawberry pot is the perfect place to soak up some sun. Too bad there are plants in there trying to grow. 

and my Dad decided the lounge was the perfect place to watch the football elimination final. Richmond, what happened? I wanted you to win so badly mainly because I wanted Port Power to lose. 

This past week I finished the Joseph's Quilt of Many Colours Irish Chain Quilt, and on Saturday I popped around to my friend's place and gifted it to her. I really enjoyed making this quilt and I love the finished result. It came in at 65 " by 65" and I meandered and serpentine stitched my way across the top and borders to quilt it.  

I've got some time off work this week and I'm planning a serious sewing assault. Two donation quilts and a whole cloth baby quilt are on my list of goals. Let's see how long the mojo lasts!