Saturday 31 July 2010

Little Bird Challenge

Just call me “The Late Jannimary”.  I always seem to meeting deadlines by the skin of my teeth.

Jenny put out a challenge to embroider her Little Bird design and make something with it during the month of July.

I decided to make a little  cushion to sit on a bed and only use what I already had.

It is a sweet little design and reminds me of the lovely old traced embroideries that our mother’s worked in their youth.  Therefore, I thought it would be nice on crisp linen. I don’t have any, but, I do have an op shop shirt made out of Ramie with the same look and feel, bought for something like this, so I finally took the scissors to it.

July 2010 008

I wanted the cushion to be pretty, English cottage garden pretty, so raided my stash.  Some of these are vintage, a couple even being only 36 inches wide.  Some are dressmaking scraps.  There is the scraps from a skirt Mum made me when I was about ten and some spots from a frilly mini skirt I made as a teenager. Some are also from my patchwork stash.

July 2010 008 

The back had to be in keeping, and this fabric from the 80s fit the bill.  I had another really old fabric in mind, but it was lawn, so not strong enough.  The vintage buttons are from my freshly sorted jars.

July 2010 007

So, I suppose I’d better show you the finished product.

Ta Da!

July 2010 003

I’m really happy with it. It looks so lovely and fresh (although somewhat washed out in these photos).

Thanks Jenny for sharing the pattern and giving me the incentive to make something so lovely. It also is another finish for Early Bird Christmas and One Project a Month.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Another Early Bird Finish

Just a quick little Early Bird Christmas gift finished.

Another wash cloth.  This one will be nice as either a dish cloth or a face washer.

July 2010 026

All folded up.  Tie it up with a pretty ribbon and it will be a lovely extra little gift.  The lemon verbena soap gives it a lovely fragrance.

July 2010 030

I’d better keep it separate to all the lavender sachets I made or it might all smell a little strange.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Tuesday Treasures

Today I thought I’d share some lovely little brooches that I have.

The gorgeous little bluebirds were my Mum’s when she was little, so they date from the 30s.  She very kindly passed them on to me when I was little, so I’ve had the use of them, more so than Mum when I think about it.

The little gold brooch is my baby brooch given to me by Granny Johnson.  She died when I was eight months old, so it is very special.

July 2010 003

The next brooch has a lovely story.  Just before I did the Higher School Certificate exams in the early 80s I received a little package in the  mail from my Aunty Jess.  She is Dad’s eldest sibling and is still going strong at 94.  It was her mother who gave me my baby  brooch.

This little box was nicely wrapped up with a little note attached.

July 2010 009

I still have the note but just can’t put my finger on it this morning.  Anyway, I know it off by heart.  This is what it said.

                   “ Luck is pagan

                    Faith is Christian

                    So have faith and do well in the HSC.”

Isn’t that just so nice.

This is what was inside the box.  Isn’t it gorgeous.

July 2010 010

And this was inside that box.

July 2010 011

To reveal this.  This is Aunty Jess’s baby brooch. Apparently it had a pearl in it originally.  I don’t know what the little red stone is. I just thought that was the loveliest thing to receive. 

July 2010 007

And, yes, I do wear all of them at times.  I’ll wear Aunty Jess’s today as it looks so nice on the blue jumper.

Pop over to Clare’s to see more Tuesday Treasures.

Monday 26 July 2010

While the Cat’s Away…

Mick and a mate went to a motorcycle rally on the weekend and left me home all alone. 

So, I played!

I bought this little bundle of fat quarters last Christmas because they were cute.  They don’t match our house at all and I had no idea what I was going to do with them.

July 2010 010

Now I have a nice little parcel for someone.

July 2010 011

Through the year I have seen a couple of versions of Skinny Verna, so this is my Christmas version. I just love it.

July 2010 017

I had fun playing with moving the needle on my machine to get the exact 1/4” with the walking foot for the quilting and for the first time put a binding on all by machine.  I wanted a narrow binding so had only cut it 2” wide.  This was a bit too narrow for this technique, so I ended up doing a little top stitch on the front instead of in the ditch.  I think it actually suits the runner better anyway.

I still don’t know what I’ll do with the rest of the fabric, but I’ll think of something.

Then I made these placemats for my brother and his wife for Christmas. They will suit their dining room well and should also suit this month’s Early Bird challenge.

July 2010 025

They are also very different colours to what I would usually use but I love the look of them. 

As I wanted to quilt them within an inch of their life rather than a quarter of an inch (or I’d still be going at Christmas) I was looking for a suitable marker.  Then I remembered that I have a Hera Marker which I have never used.  It worked well, although I had trouble seeing the mark once it was under the light near the machine needle.  I sewed the binding on by machine as well.  The first couple are a bit dodgy on the back, but by the end it was going pretty well.  I think I’ll use this technique a bit more.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Killing Two Birds With One Stone

Firstly, I have finally made something for this month’s Early Bird Christmas Crafting and it will fit the bill for Judith’s challenge of only using two colours with a cream. 

July2010 002

There is a story behind this runner.  When I was cutting out my black and cream quilt (yes, I will finish it soon….) I made a boo boo.  I cut a heap of strips 8 1/2” long instead of 10 1/2”.  Oops!  A quick trip to town solved the problem for the quilt but I have quite a few extra strips.  This has used some up and I think it looks pretty good.  Mick liked it as soon as he saw it.

Now to the second bird.  Today is Tuesday – Treasure Day.

Have a look at the other things in the photo of our dining room.

July2010 004

As it turns out, everything in this photo is a special treasure.

I’ll work my way through them.

Firstly, the “Escape” sign was rescued from the little country hall in the village where Mick grew up, before it was to be sent to the tip.  Much better than “Exit”. True county quirkiness.

Below the sign is a very special chair.  When my grandfather bought his farm in 1910, he only had one chair.  The other seating was apple cases.  Whenever he had visitors he always offered them the chair, but no one would sit in it.  It was his special chair.  He died long before I was born.  When I was a child it was in the apple packing shed, looking somewhat forlorn, and I always dreamt it would be mine one day.  It eventually came our way and was brought back to its original condition and is much loved.

The sideboard was Mick’s grandmothers.  We received the phone call from his aunt not long after we were married advising that it was going to the tip, did we want it?  You bet we did. We also ended up bringing home his grandmother’s firescreen as well.  It was already in the trailer to go to the tip.

Mick remembers that there was always a china German shepherd dog sitting on one end of the sideboard, but we have not been able to track it down.  The dog we have found is a lovely old plaster one that matches the one on the firescreen, so it is pretty special.

The decanter set was found at Vinnies by Mick’s mother some years ago. She paid a whole $10 for it!  What a bargain.

The naked lady lamp was one of early auction finds when we first started haunting auctions and garage sales well over 20 years ago.

And finally, the painting on the wall was our house warming gift to ourselves.  We built our house ourselves and it took two and a half years.  We found it just after we moved into our new house and it was just perfect for the dining room.

So there you go.  Far too much information I’m sure, but I couldn’t mention one item without telling about them all.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Tuesday Treasures –Meet Golly and Ted

My little brother arrived eight  weeks premmie back in November 1966 when I was 22 months old.  Mum was in hospital for quite a while and that was back in the bad old days when children were not allowed to visit their parents in hospital.  I was one sad little girl. To cheer me up my Dad bought me Golly. 

July 2010 002

I spent quite a bit of time with our next door neighbour “Aunty” Merle during that time and she took me to see Santa.  Of course Golly went along too.  However, even Santa didn’t cheer me up.

Janice with Santa 1966

Golly had a bow around his neck originally, but I have no recollection of it.  For some reason I think it was yellow, but I’m not sure.  I’ll have to check with Mum.  I love this little play suit I had.  It was pink and white with an appliqué flower and made by Mum.

Janice with Golly and ball 1966

Golly was always my favourite toy.  I was never really into dolls.  The ones I had were hard plastic.  Mind you, the couple I had are still in good nick and on show in our lounge room.  I think I like them better now.

Due to much love, Golly’s gingham shirt wore out.  Mum carefully created a replacement, which unless you look closely at the neat whip stitching you wouldn’t realise wasn’t original.  Then a couple of years later his velveteen trousers lost their nap and Mum also replaced them'.  His eyebrows were a red straight stitch, but they have worn away.  Actually, his face is starting to show his age.

July 2010 003

Golly has a tag on his foot stating that he is a “Jakas Toys” and to “Wash in luke warm Lux”.  I always hated to see him hanging on the clothes line.  He had a holiday at Grandma’s once when I left him down there after a school holiday. I was very happy to see him come back home after the next time we visited.

Then, when I was in fifth class Golly had a good friend join him.  Meet Ted.  I never had a teddy bear when I was little, so I made my own in Craft at school.  I was always going to make Ted some overalls, but it never happened.  They do each have their own cardigans knitted by Mum which for many years were worn during winter.

July 2010 001

This photo was taken when I was nineteen.  Ted is hiding behind Pussycat. Don’t you just love the ballerina eiderdown!  I was not at all “girly” but the eiderdown came out every winter.  I had shelves full of vintage bits and pieces and books even then.

 Golly & Pussycat 1984

Golly and Ted always slept next to me until Mick came along, when they were relegated to just sitting on the bed when it is made. 

I’ve always said that Golly would be the first think I grab if the house was on fire.  He is very special.  Oh, of course I’d take Ted too.

You can find other Tuesday Treasures over at Clare’s.

Sunday 4 July 2010

Sweet Cherry Delight & Bling

Yesterday was my niece’s third birthday, so on Friday night I did a mad rush to make her a little bag and purse for her gift. They turned out so sweet.

July 2010 001

I was a little reluctant to let them go.

July 2010 003

I made a similar bag in pink for my other niece for her third birthday a few years ago and had to remember how I had made it.  Fortunately I was able to find where I had made a rough pattern shape to work from.

Yesterday was our little craft  afternoon.  We have had a few weeks break, so it was good to catch up with everyone again.  This is what greeted us a the front door.

July 2010 004

The first daffodils I have seen this year.  They are in a nice protected north facing spot.  We have a few jonquils out but that is all so far.

I had to come up with some hand stitching to do, and as my button jars are now sorted (so very much better) I had an ideal project.  A few weeks back I commented on a lady’s  bangle and she showed me how it was made.  So easy, I just had to have a go. I started it yesterday and finished it off this morning sitting in the sun on the verandah.  I love the way it turned out.

July 2010 011

It was so simple to make.  Just make a bangle of black elastic and sew on lots of buttons to completely cover the elastic.  What a great way to use some buttons and show them off. 

July 2010 006

This afternoon, as the weather was so nice (after another big frost this morning) we took “Snubby” for a run.  Mick has been tinkering with the position of the tow bar and wanted to have a test run towing the camper trailer.  We were away for about an hour and half and tried out all different road conditions, sealed, loose gravel, slippery clay, straight, steep and windy. 

July 2010 013

I was as snug as a bug in the sidecar with my picnic rug wrapped around my legs under the  weather cover. 

We are rather lucky here to have a great network of little back roads all over the place without having to travel far. I’d have been rather unhappy on some of the roads if I had been sitting on the back of a solo, but the bike with sidecar handled all conditions really well.

And just to top off a lovely afternoon, when we got home I made a batch of scones for afternoon tea.  They were beautiful, straight from the oven.  I wonder how many ladies are making scones as a result of the Masterchef fiasco.  One of the ladies took some to patchwork yesterday.  I’d say lots of us are showing that even if we aren’t the flashest chefs, we can at least cook the basics OK.