Monday, March 28, 2011

Wish'n and hop'n......

Quite some time ago I spent an age cutting out 5" squares of Hope Valley and Kona Ash.
Then I stitched about 95% of them together to make 1/2 square triangles. Then because I was a bit short of Kona Ash squares, about 12 I think (!), the whole lot laid idle in a plastic bag at the back of my cupboard. But with an urge to progress some of my UFO's I recently pulled out that plastic bag. And I cut those remaining grey squares and finished piecing the 1/2 square triangles. Ahh....progress. Then, a little (actually a lot) overwhelmed by the prospect of trimming and squaring each of those squares, I decided skip this part and opted to just cut off the 'ears' and started to piece them instead. I wish I hadn't been so lazy and so impatient to get started. It's not easy to line up 1/2 square triangles that haven't been trimmed and squared. But it's all too late and that's hindsight speaking, so I'm taking this project bit by bit, first of all piecing in pairs, then 4's, then 8's and now 16's and aligning as I go. My quilt top is looking OK but I know the process could have been easier and given a better result if I'd taken the time to trim. Here's to hop'n that everything lines up because this Hope Valley fabric is just gorgeous.

Eddie at the Thebby.....

1999 people and I sat in awe of Pearl Jam's front man last night at a packed out Thebarton Theatre. Performing their stuff, his stuff and some other people's stuff mostly solo and with the fabulous support act, Evil Jane and St Celia as encore back up. I'm going as far as saying it was the best concert I've ever been to (sigh). Thanks for coming to our small town Mr Vedder.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My topsy turvy world.....

Back in October last year we held a Halloween party and at great expense purchased two 'Halloween Pumpkins' from one of the two major supermarket chains. These pumpkins were the gorgeous orange and pumpkin shape that I'd read about on US blogs and even though they cost a fortune, and the insides were inedible, they made a huge difference to the decor.
After removing the insides for carving, the seeds and pulp were thrown into our compost....which is essentially a process of burying our scraps in a spare patch of garden bed.
After a few weeks the seeds started to sprout.
I thought the green shoots were fresh and pretty, so I didn't bother to pull them out.
Then they started to produce flowers. At the time I dismissed them as I figured for a shop bought pumpkin, obviously kept in the cooler for months on end, nothing would come of them. I really figured that any chance of reproducing fruit would have been hybridised out the plant.
Admittedly Joe was out there in the morning doing a spot of 'fertilising' transferring pollen from one flower to another.
The first fruit died off. I'd actually blogged about it, so I reckon I jinxed it.
But then, more and more fruit started to take hold along with some Jap pumpkins that are more accustomed to our climate. Before long we had pumpkins running amok in our backyard. It was spectacular!
When we got back from FNQ recently, the 'Halloween' pumpkins had started to turn orange. Now they're fully orange and they're the perfect shape. We're waiting for the stems to dry off before picking them. It's just a shame that it's months to go before Halloween celebrations and I'm sure any attempts at storing will be in vain....and certainly not for that long. We really are at the opposite end of the seasons to be ready for October and Halloween.
In the meantime, we'll have Jap pumpkins laid on for Autumn.....our Autumn.
(PS. this is my 200th post!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sheee's baaack!....

Twelve months or so ago I posted about a hen that flew over to our house, laid a few eggs, then disappeared.
Well, she's back.....BIG TIME.
Last year she arrived around Easter time (which was a little earlier in the year) and we nick-named her 'Haighs' after the famous Adelaide chocolate brand.
Right now we have an abundance of figs dropping on the ground, so I think she started to visit for breakfast treats (going by the poo trail), then she decided to stay a little longer, peck around a bit more, found a few more know how it goes. Now she drops in for hours at a time. We go outside and ask, "Where's Haigh's"?
She's been dropping in for a few weeks now. And whilst we were away she must have had free-range (pardon the pun) of the yard. There were enough tell tale signs to confirm her presence.
My mum came over today and we were telling her about 'our chicken'. She asked about eggs.
Whilst we were shaking our heads, Joe just happened to look left....serious...and he noticed some eggs under a bush. Eight of them! We tested them all and they're perfect. All fresh and edible.
Thanks Haighs.....drop in any time! I know you want to!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rule Brittania.....

Have you ever walked past a shop window and seen something adorable and thought, "oh I could make that", only to come home and discover that your attempt was a disaster and you wished that you'd bought the thing that you saw in the window in the first place!
It happens to me all the time.
But not this time!
Yesterday R and I saw some fabulous Union Jack pillows that we both really liked. So I made some by paper piecing the blocks. I know the layout is not true to real Union Jack layout but they're pretty damn cute regardless.
So cute in fact, I made some pin cushions which really tested my paper piecing skills on tiny bits of paper and with tiny seams.

The cushions measure 28x36cm and the pin cushions 14cmx18cm.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

And then there was a quilt top....

A few weeks ago I was inspired by Aneela's Blocky quilt to cut up my bits of Munki Munki scraps to make similar blocks using her tutorial.
I had originally bought a 'starter' pack of assorted Munki Munki peices so I only had small bits in my collection and didn't have a great deal to work with. I felt my blocks were too small to make a quilt so hit on the idea that I should frame them.
Then I had small 5" strips of white fabric left over from framing and because I hate to waste bits of fabric I used them to join the blocks....kind of connector pieces.
I'm working with the last of my Kona Celery and have had to cut and piece carefully so as not to waste it. This was made all the more difficult when I didn't like my original layout which caused a round of unpicking and adjustments to sashing.
It's a bit scrappy....which is fine but I'm not sure about the colours in each of the blocks. It's my problem....I just can't break out of 'too much matchy matchy, needs more contrast' mode! However there's no denying, for a small pile of scraps it's grown into quite a fun quilt top which someone has already laid claim to....and that's the main thing!

Friday, March 11, 2011


We were lucky enough to vist Far North Queensland recently, staying at Port Douglas and Trinity Beach. A very wet (200mls in 1 day wet!), hot and humid stay in a very beautiful part of Australia. Lots of swimming (doesn't matter if it's raining....except if you're trying to read a book by the side of the pool) and ice cream consumption had by all along with many new experiences including the whole family snorkelling in the Coral Sea! A great way to spend my birthday....without having to clean up after a party!(Warning photo heavy!)
Day 1....hit the pool!
Beach, Port DouglasNot our Port Douglas accommodation!
Mossman GorgeSugar Cane near Newells BeachSugar Cane Railway carriages
Barron Falls (pumping to say the least!)
Our Trinity Beach view
Joe on the hunt for exotic Queensland fruit. He got the taste for something that we had at the Sheraton on the night of my birthday and spent the rest of the time searching for it! R and Joe getting ready for the first snorkel of the day. (It's hard to smile with that thing in your mouth!)Now it's L's turn!
L inside the underwater viewing platform.
On the way to Cape Tribulation....pouring with rain! Luckily it stopped when we got there!