Friday, 18 July 2014

My Little Sewing Corner

Growing up, Mum always had a sewing room.  Sewing was her passion and also her way of making a little extra income while being a stay at home Mum.

I always enjoyed sewing and all sorts of crafts, but when Mick and I bought our first little house, a sewing room, as such, was not on the wish list.  We had a little desk in the spare room and a cupboard to keep my bits and bobs in.  My sewing machine was my little, portable Elna Stella (which I still have) and it fitted nicely  on a shelf in the linen press.  Any sewing was done on the kitchen table.

After we were married we were kept busy renovating our house, restoring old furniture and the like.  When we planned our current house, a sewing room, as such, was still not on the wish list.  We did however, set up a room as an office/sewing room/spare room.  By then we had our first computer.  However, any sewing still seemed to happen on the dining table.

It was only a couple of years after we moved in here that I got the quilting bug.  I think it was really the first time for a long time we hadn’t been fully occupied with house related things. 

My sewing has always happened in the lounge room.  There are two tables in there and I seemed to commandeer one.  I have a lovely little chest of drawers with my sewing notions and threads close by.  Cutting took place on the dining table and the ironing board was set up in the lounge room too.  Not very efficient.  Lots of walking  too and fro when working on something.  Once I bought my bigger Janome, it lived permanently on the sewing table.

The storage cupboards in the office or “Orifice” as it is generally known filled to overflowing and then fabric started to take over other parts of the house.  It was becoming a big mess.  Not a good look when you are wanting to sell your house.  I have “before” photos, but I am too embarrassed to share them.  Just take my word for it, it was a mess.

We have had a big declutter.  Some stuff to the tip, some to the op shop and rather a lot boxed up and moved “off site”.  Not the best way to deal with things for once we move into our new house, but it was the best way to deal with things at the time. 

The “Orifice” looks decidedly bare now……..but oh so lovely.

We removed a big cupboard and a couch which created an empty corner.  This is now MY corner.  It is rather spartan, but that suits me for the moment. My chest of drawers that I painted early last year, finally have a home and are full of (some of) my fabric.  The pretty pink boxes and magazine files were cheap as chips at a discount store a while ago, so I snapped them up.  Perfect for storing my craft books.

I just have my sewing machine and a box of my most often used bits and bobs on the table, which we brought in from the lounge room.  My light box and Featherweight sewing machine are beside the table.  I’m even putting everything away when I’m finished.  Shock.  Horror.

June 2014 002

When I was sewing my quilt top the other week, I set up my ironing board at right angles to the table.  Why, oh why haven’t I done this before?  Oh yes, because it wouldn’t fit where my table was in the lounge room.  It made pressing all the little blocks so easy.

June 2014 031

The only downside I have found is that I’m always working in my shadow, so I have now been out and bought a little fluorescent desk lamp.  Not terribly pretty, but I was more interested in function.  It has made the world of difference.

Another thing I have done is stored all my rulers together.  I’ve often seen racks made of timber to stand up rulers, so I thought outside the square and tried a letter rack from the discount store and a cute Swedish serviette holder from the white elephant stall.  Perfect, although a bit messy.  I now have all my rulers together and out of the way on a shelf in a cupboard.  You can see a spare letter holder at the right of the photo.  I’ve even used my little table top ironing board for the first time.

June 2014 011

Yes, I still have stuff stashed all over the place, but our new house is going to have an office and a sewing room.  How times have changed, from when we just had a little desk in the corner of the spare room.  I can’t wait to have a place to keep everything together and to prettify…. just for me.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Nice Bright Sewing

I’m still here, just hibernating during this bleak winter’s weather.  Far too much time has been spent sitting in front of the heater in the lounge room.

A few weeks ago, after spending far too much time looking at Pinterest I felt the urge to make a quilt – Now!  So, off I went to my little sewing area, which I will share with you shortly, and found  some nice, bright, cheerful fabrics in the stash. Twenty five of them, to be precise. Oh, and some white homespun.

June 2014 007

I then did lots of pressing and cutting.  Next was a little sewing.

June 2014 025

And some more cutting.

June 2014 026

Then some more stitching.  By the end of the afternoon I had this nice little pile.’'

June 2014 029

By then I was about stitched out, so I played on the floor until I settled on a layout.

The next day, while I was still enthused, I stitched all the blocks together.

June 2014 033

I must say that I am rather pleased with how it turned out.  The best bit is that I didn’t have to use my quick unpick once.  That would nearly be a first.

So far, everything came from the stash.  However, I thought a cute backing was required so had to go shopping.  I was finding it hard to pick anything, until I saw this fabric.  There was just enough on the roll.  Well, I think there is just enough. I haven’t double checked as yet.  If not, I’ll be able to wing it.  It’s a match made in heaven. Don’t the fabrics look lovely once they have all been folded properly, almost too pretty to put away….almost.

June 2014 036

Hopefully, I will get to finish it off this weekend and will have it in the gift box in plenty of time for a certain little one to be welcomed into the world in a couple of months time.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Winter Solstice Run 2014

It has become a bit of a tradition around here for a few of us to go on a “Winter Solstice Run” each year on the Sunday closest to the Winter Solstice.  That would be today.  The deal is that we go rain, hail, shine or snow, or you’re a big wuss.  Here are a couple of our previous escapades – 2013 and 2012.

These rides are generally a “Mick’s Magical Mystery Tour”, and today was no different.

This year saw a relatively small gathering, due to legitimate excuses, so we will let them off this time. Coincidently, they are all members of the Historic Car Club.

Things did not bode well when we woke to rain at about four o’clock this morning.  It eased off, but just as were about to leave home it started again, so on with the wet weather gear.

June 2014 041

We left town at about nine o’clock, and it was dry. 

Remember the tunnel of autumn trees we went through a few weeks ago, well, they look a little barer now.  I’ll have to try to take a photo of them in summer when they have their green look.

June 2014 042

To our delight we did not get wet on our run at all.  Just look at that!  Hardly a cloud in the sky.  Who’d a thunk it?

June 2014 044

The only downside was lots of road works, but it wasn’t slippery or sloppy, or dusty.  Here come the rest of the crew.

June 2014 047

Yes, there were only four bikes this year and six people.

Gotta love a windmill.

June 2014 054

We travelled through the small town of Woodstock, which seems to be dwindling.  There would be no stopping at this cafe, although they were replacing the verandah on the pub.

June 2014 055

Our first stop was at Wyangala Dam for morning tea……way down there in the park.

June 2014 058

We then travelled up onto the dam wall for the obligatory photo. I didn’t do a very good job with the time delay, as I cut me out of it.  Oh well, not to worry.

June 2014 057

The dam isn’t looking too bad.  Last time we were here it was really low.  You can just see the very tops of the old wall parapets, whereas last time you could see the entire old wall.

June 2014 060

You have always travelled across the dam wall to get to the village of Frogmore and to travel the most direct way to Cowra, the nearest town.  However, a few years ago, for security reasons, the powers that be decided that the road across the dam wall was to be closed.  That was well and good, but the locals thought it might be handy to firstly have an alternative route to the other side of the dam and river.  This is very near completion, and you can’t get right through at the other end of the wall.  To tell the truth, we were surprised that we could ride up there at all now.  Sadly, it will probably be the last time.

Anyway, we had a new road to explore and a brand spanking new bridge to cross.

June 2014 063

We continued on our way, towards Cowra.

June 2014 065

Taking in the stunning scenery and enjoying the warmth of the sun on our backs.  Yes, I said “WARMTH”!  It was really the most delightful day for motorcycling.  We almost felt guilty having such wonderful weather on what is supposed to be a ride in bleak weather to sort out the wusses from the real motorcyclists.  ALMOST!  Truthfully, we were grateful to have such a perfect day.

June 2014 070

Finally we arrived at our lunch destination.  Canowindra, and another lovely old cafe.

June 2014 074

A fortnight ago we were at the “White Rose Cafe”, today “The Garden of Roses Cafe”. The interior is not as pristine as the one in Dunedoo, but there are still a few lovely features remaining.

June 2014 076

June 2014 077

June 2014 075

Sorry for the dodgy photos, but they were very quick snaps.

The food was good, traditional cafe food and went down a treat.

We continued to enjoy perfect weather on the way home.  Look how low the sun is.  We were a little worried about the clouds building on the horizons, but they seemed to burn off, thank goodness.

June 2014 078

It wasn’t a late day, but the shadows were certainly lengthening as we neared home.  This was taken at four o’clock.  Still nice and bright, but there was starting to be a definite nip in the air, as we climbed back up to our beloved central tablelands.

June 2014 088

Another great ride with friends.  We now have tentative plans for a weekend away on the bikes once the days start to lengthen.  Bring it on.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Funny Things You See

I don’t usually take photos of graffiti on the back of public toilet doors…..but graffiti doesn’t usually look like this, seen at Coonabarabran.

June Long Weekend 2014 269

You can’t help but smile when you see that.

In the White Rose Cafe  at Dunedoo there was this sign.

June Long Weekend 2014 275

That’s good enough reason to keep an eye on your kids.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Homeward Bound

OK, this is the final instalment of our three days away.  Yes, we packed a lot in.

As time was running out, we headed home by the most direct route, down the Newell Highway.  A nice distraction was seeing quite a few vintage cars on the road, on their way home from a Vintage Car Rally held at Narrabri over the weekend.

June Long Weekend 2014 268

We had a stretch of the legs at Mendoorin, which is a lovely little spot, with lots of murals painted on the shops.  There was a new business open too.  Castlereagh Collectables is housed in this lovely old building.

June Long Weekend 2014 270

There has also been a little bit of love going on next door, with the Mechanic’s Institute Hall receiving a freshen up of new paint and new roof sheeting.  The lovely old Spanish Mission style facade is looking fantastic.  I wonder what it is like inside?

June Long Weekend 2014 273

One of the old cars was also having a wander around.  Very tasty.

June Long Weekend 2014 272

Our next stop, as usual, was Dunedoo.  On the Monday I think that everyone travelling home from the coast had the same idea.  The street was packed with cars.  Mind you, it was lunch time.

June Long Weekend 2014 281

I’ve mentioned the White Rose Cafe previously, having visited there once and then finding it closed the next time we travelled through.  Well, we had read in “Country Style” magazine that it had reopened.  Great.

Mick waited outside while I ordered old fashioned hamburgers and milkshakes, served in metal cups. The signage has been given a revamp since my last visit, but still retains a similar feel.

June Long Weekend 2014 278

Inside everything was still there.  I heard one fellow asking if there were any marble topped tables out the back for sale, to which the owner advised that three had been sold before they took over, so there are now only seven left.  What a pity that had happened.

June Long Weekend 2014 277

It is so good to see an old fashioned cafe with the fittings intact.

June Long Weekend 2014 276

I do hope the business does well for the new owners.  Call in if you are in the area.

June Long Weekend 2014 274

Then we were on the homeward track.

What a welcome sight it was to see a rainbow over our lovely valley as we reached home.

June Long Weekend 2014 282