Wednesday 31 March 2021

My Stitching Progress for March - Or Lack Thereof

After setting myself some goals for March that I thought would be very achievable I had a great big fail.

Why?  Well, the fact that we were away for two weeks at the start of the month and then another four days away last weekend didn't help, but I seemed to have lost my motivation.  Why?  I think the chaotic state of my sewing room has a great deal to do with it.  

Oh well, April is another month and I expect that I will pick myself up, dust myself off and venture into the temple of doom, do the ironing, try to excavate my cutting mat and find a home for the plethora of "Stuff" burying my sewing table.  Wish me luck.

Having said that I do have a little to share.

It is hard to tell, but Joey is sitting on my Doiley Quilt that I received back from my quilting fairy at the end of last week, just before we went away.  Therefore, I haven't had time to add the binding.  I am so looking forward to having this completed. Don't you love how cats make a bee line for any quilt placed on the floor and act as if it was there just for their pleasure.  After I took the photo, poor Joey was sent packing.  I don't want cat hair all over it before it is finished.
My One Monthly Goal and my WOOFA Challenge goal was to finish the Scrub Stitchin' bag, ready to take to this year's Scrub Stitchin' the week after Easter.  I needed to applique the EPP panel to the bag, then applique the stitchery before constructing the bag.  All I have achieved is to complete half the applique of the panel.  I still want to have it finished for Scrub Stitchin', and it is quite possible.  Therefore, a fail for OMG, which I am really sad about, but I made a little progress, so a win for WOOFA.  I'll link up over at Cheryll's blog, so you can see what the other girls achieved.
I do have one little finish for Kris' One Project a Month.  I added some trim to a tea towel to cover the stove top in our caravan.  It has turned out rather cute.  It was very satisfying to actually have something completed for the month, especially as it was not on the radar at all.
I had hoped to complete three Christmas blocks, but only complete one.  
I had grand plans of hand stitching for at least 15 minutes each day.  I did too, for the first half of the month.  One needle full of thread each night.  What I didn't bargain on was how much I now rely on my magnifier light for hand stitching.  Therefore, the fiddlier parts of the two other stitcheries have been left until I returned home, when, as I said, my motivation flew out the window.  It won't take a lot to finish these blocks, before working on the next ones.

Oh, and as I can't see my cutting mat, I didn't get my blue quilt cut out.......again......  I will soon, I promise.

So there you go, a little achieved, but not much.  It doesn't matter.  I'll get back to it when I'm in the mood and there is always Scrub Stitchin' in just a week's time to get me motivated.

Tuesday 2 March 2021

My Goals for March

I cannot believe how fast this year is going.  Here we are in Autumn already, and the girls at work are marveling that their kids are already half way through first term.

That means that it is time to set my goals for the coming month.

For my stitching goals I'm keeping things rather simple, as I won't have access to my sewing machine for part of the month.

It's rather a strange feeling at the moment, as I have no long term WIP in the go.  I'll start another soon, but not this month.

My goal this month is to complete the Scrub Stitchin' bag that I have been working on for the last couple of months.  

I have broken the back of the hand stitching, except for some applique, so it should be very achievable to have it completed by the end of the month.......just in time to take it to Scrub Stitchin' 2021 in April.

As you can probably guess, my Scrub Stitchin' bag is also my WOOFA Challenge project.

This month I will keep on working on the Love and Hugs for Christmas stitcheries from last year.  
My aim is to have at least three completed. Yes, I have made a tiny start already.

Funnily enough, I hope to add the Scrub Stitchin' bag to the finish list this month.


If the planets align and my lovely quilting fairy has completed the quilting on this one, I do hope to have a finish to add to the list. Fingers crossed, but she did have quite a line up of quilts to work on.  


As I have often said, it takes a bit to get me motivated to do hand stitching.  However, a couple of my current projects do require it.  It works out that one needle full of thread when working my Christmas stitcheries takes about fifteen minutes.  Surely, I can manage at least that much each day.  Of course, often when I do get started I stitch for much longer.  This should also work when I don't have my sewing machine around.

Those Jocelyn Proust fabrics still have not been cut.  I hope to get cutting and make the first five blocks.  There, now that there is a definite goal, it should happen.

If you have a few minutes, click on the links above to visit our lovely hostesses of the challenges.  They really keep me motivated.
Now for my non stitching goals

I'm sure this will happen.  Hopefully, more than one book.

As usual, nothing specific, just find something that looks tasty and give it a go.

Well, we will have at least a couple of fun Fridays, as we will be travelling, but it would be nice if there could be another Friday Fun Day as well.

Who knows if this will take place.  However, as autumn arrives we have beautiful weather here, so we may get enthused and go for a ride.

We will smash this, as we are headed off for a bit over a week. We have been rather cautious in our anticipation of this trip, but everything is looking good to go.

We will also have another weekend away as well, if all goes to plan.

That explains why my stitching goals are rather simple, but I intend to still make progress with my hand stitching.

I'm looking forward to being able to check in with some progress during the month.

Monday 1 March 2021

My Other February Goals Check In

Now that I have checked in with my stitching goals it is time to see how I went on out other goals for the month.


Happily, I can report that I read two books.  Not high brow literature, but still two books.

We popped into the local library earlier in the month and they were having a sale of their obsolete books, along with books that have been donated to the library.
I was very pleased to see this book.  This is from a series of books written by the author of the Phryne Fisher series, but features Corinna Chapman, a size 20 baker who lives and works in an art deco apartment building in Melbourne.  There are crimes to solve, and has a cast of the interesting characters who live in and around the apartment block.  A good fun read.  I think I only have one more of this series to read.
The second is a book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for some years.  It even survived the major book cull of a couple of years ago.  There is a story behind this book.

You see, neither of my parents enjoy reading books.  My Mum is a crafter, so she has always been knitting, or crocheting or sewing while sitting down.  My Dad didn't have a great education, and although he could read and his spelling and grammer were spot on, he didn't enjoy reading as he said he was too slow.  When we were kids Mum always took us to the library, but Dad insisted that we read non fiction books.  I must say that to read a book full of words seemed rather daunting to the young me.  One of my friends owned all the Famous Five and Secret Seven books, but I thought they would be too hard to read. 

We did have one book at home "Reach for the Sky" by Paul Brickhill.  The story of Douglas "Tin Legs" Bader.  When I was about 10, I read it.  That was my introduction to reading "big books".  I then discovered the Billabong series and then Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and my favourites "The Dana Girls Mysteries". I was hooked.  We had a great library teacher in primary school and she made the library a fun place to hang out in.  A few of us became "Library Monitors" and were able to put the books away and check them out when being borrowed.  We also had a couple of fund raisers and purchased a carpet square and a few bean bags for the library.  I loved it all.

When I went to high school the library was quite a different place, although, as it was a brand new school, quite funky in a late 1970s way.  There were however, no Dana Girl Mystery books.

Over the years I have come across plenty of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books, but not Dana Girl Mysteries and no one seemed to have even heard of them...... until one lady I know announced she owns the complete collection.  I didn't even know who the author was.  It turns out to be the same author as Nancy Drew.  Eventually, I came across this one book and keep it as a reminder of my introduction to the love of reading.  When I re-read it, I found it to be rather corny, as expected, but can see why a ten or eleven year old would enjoy it.  It will stay on the book shelf.

Yes, "Reach for the Sky" is sitting quite near it, and I have pretty well all of the Billabong series, some of which I have never read.  That may have to be a goal for the future.

Now......back to February's goals.......

Jenny of Elefantz shared a recipe for Matrimony Slice on her blog earlier in the month.  It sounded tasty, and most of all, easy to make, so I just whipped it up one afternoon, using home made cumquat marmalade we made last year.  They were rather yummy, and as they were still warm out of the oven when we first tried them, Mick requested ice cream to accompany them.  Yep, good.  The recipe has been filed in the recipe folder for future use.

Well, sort was just on a Saturday morning.

A few weeks ago we had a bleak, damp Saturday morning, so we went into town and had a nice morning tea at a new coffee shop/bakery.  Then we adjourned to the art gallery.  There was an exhibition that looked intriguing that was to finish fairly soon.  The artist was Adrienne Doig and the exhibition was entitle "It's About Me". I had seen the poster advertising the exhibition, which caught my attention, but knew nothing about what she did.
It transpires that she hails from Katoomba and is a textile artist, among other things.

These are the two pictures featured above.  Just about all of the artworks have a self portrait of Adrienne included in them.  I was fascinated, and loved seeing the vintage quilts that she had incorporated.
Upon closer inspection, the vintage quilts are real make do and mend scrappy quilts.  Check out the joins within the block pieces.
There were some pieces where she had European tapestries with Australian flora and fauna embroidered on them and then her portrait appliqued.  So clever.
This is the piece that was on the advertising poster that initially caught my eye.
And another with a vintage quilt in the background.
There were a couple which were thrift shop tapestries where she had then added herself into the scene.
This one was actually petit point and I noticed had a red sold sticker on it.
This collection made us smile.  The background of all these works are souvenir tea towels.  
This was a project where she started to make a cardboard cutout of herself every day, but it has now become more of an ongoing, slower process.  There are some fun ones in there.
And, finally, a collection of little dolls of herself and sometimes her husband.

We had no idea what to expect from the exhibition, but both came away having really enjoyed, it and with a smile on our faces.  One very clever lady, with a sense of humour.

I thought that Mum might like to see it, and when I requested she be able to visit from the nursing home they allowed us to go to the art gallery, as it is pretty easy to socially distance there.  I was very pleased that Mum also enjoyed it.  

The following Saturday we had another nice coffee break.
This time the weather was much nicer and we enjoyed the park like area at the old Tremains Flour Mill precinct, which is being rejuvenated.

Then, on the Friday just gone, we went into town for the "Picnic on the Parade" as part of the lead up to the Super Cars racing at Mount Panorama on the weekend.  This is the first time they have had racing in the format of two races of 250kms, over two days, with lots of support races.  You can thank COVID-19 for that.
Anyway, we wandered down late in the afternoon, and as it was hot, treated ourselves to a nice Annie's ice cream.
The gardens are looking a picture in Kings Parade, especially after the garden beds being bare over the last 18 months, due to the drought and water restrictions.
Of course, the carillon is the feature of the park and was looking good in the afternoon sun.

Sadly, the actual event was very low key and pretty much a fizzer, but we did go along and do our bit.

So, no actual Friday Fun Day, but we did have a couple of nice little interludes.


No, once again, nothing to report.


No, but that was expected.  That is all about to change.  We can't wait.

Now, what else did we get up to during the month?

Our garden has been doing well and the tiger lily is always spectacular.
We picked tomatoes and made a batch of sauce, a batch of relish and froze heaps.  The plants have now been removed for the season.
On our walk up the hill we noticed that the one little patch of blackberries were fruiting, so returned with a container to pick them. This reminded us or our last trip to the UK, where we picked wild blackberries at lots of different places.
They were only small, but were delicious with some ice cream.  So much tastier that store bought ones.
We were treated to a very faint double rainbow.  Our raspberries, hiding under the netting in the above photo are just starting to fruit.  Yummo.
Our peace rose was glowing in the afternoon sunlight one day.
And we were treated to some stunning sunsets.

That about wraps it up for the month.  

March will be a busy month, so hopefully lots to report soon.