Thursday 31 July 2014

Weekday Wanderings

On Friday I didn’t go to work.  It felt rather naughty.

We had a leisurely start to the day and then hopped in the ute and drove down the mountains. 

It was one of those days where there was no hurry.  Time to stop and take a photo or two.

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To poke around an old house.

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To stop at one of the many little places along the way that you always drives straight past.

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To eat decadent apple pie and ice cream at Bilpin accompanied by good coffee.

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Yes, rather naughty.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Mackerel Sky

Not long ago I read on one of the Pommy blogs (I can’t remember which one) that a Mackerel Sky has a saying about the weather, but I couldn’t remember what it was.  Mind you, before I had read the blog post I didn’t even know what a Mackerel Sky was.

Well, there was a beautiful Mackerel Sky when I left work on Monday afternoon.

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It had changed by the time I arrived home.

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And then again shortly afterwards.  Rather lovely.

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I asked Mum what it meant and she wasn’t sure either, so I looked it up on good old Wikipedia.  It appears that a Mackeral Sky is an old, disintegrating frontal system.  Little, if any rain most often follows a mackerel sky.

There seems to be a few sayings about a Mackerel Sky. "Mackerel sky, mackerel sky. Never long wet and never long dry" seems to be the most popular.  “Mackerel in the sky, three days dry” is another and the one that was on the Pommy blog was “Mackerel Sky, not twenty four hours dry”.  So, take your pick from that lot.

The verdict is that we have had beautiful warm, though breezy days on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but apparently Friday is going to be somewhat feral. So maybe the first two sayings are the most accurate (at least on this occasion).

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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And some more cutting.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.