Sunday, 27 July 2014

Stitchy Weekend

Hi everyone,

I was hoping for a finish today but didn't quite get there. I've been sewing a LOT but my OPAM total so far this month is ZERO :)

I've finished sewing most of the honey bun strips, more than I will need for this project.
This is the back of the bag.  It is backed with iron on interfacing for body and I did the quilting today.
I also prepped the handles today, so they are all ready to attach.  
I wanted the stitchery on the front to have strips around it.  I still need to add above and below and to the sides to make the bag front the right size.  Would you do stripes as on the back, or cut them into  patchwork squares? They are 1 1/2 inch strips and I have them in strips of four at the moment.
Dear Mel (pinnylea) was my partner in the Fat Quarter swap this month. We have become closer by regular emails and so I thought this brown print she sent me would be nice to have for the bag lining.  The colour isn't showing as nice here as it really is.  It actually goes quite well with some of the other prints. Anyway, it was barely half an inch  too small for the two pieces I needed, so I added one of the 1 1/2inch strips to the top. Once it is pressed, I will trim the little bit off the bottom to make it the right size.  Seeing this print will be a lovely reminder of our friendship.  I did have some left from the width, which I am using to make inner pockets.
I recently got the papers I needed to make this cute little turtle that everyone else made ages ago. My dear friend De gave me the base too, so now I have everything I need. I will soon be ready to do the hard part...the head and feet!  xx debbie

Thursday, 24 July 2014

What a Week!, Thank You, Boy 14

Hi everyone,

Hope your week has been good.  Sunday was a huge day out for Boy 14 and I and we are only just recovering from all the excitement.  

Remember the tomatoes I showed earlier? I've been picking a few every day.

They are sweet as candy and I have been eating them that way along with this way:

This was my lunch a few days ago: everything except tomatoes from Aldi.

Last Friday, I received this amazing parcel from  Mel K.  She had a few issues with her overlocker, but she won and made these gorgeous nursing pads for the charity drive  I was sorting.  Thank you Mel for your generous donation. 

I emailed my Sunday Stitchers group to ask them to bring donations to our meeting last Sunday and the response was amazing!  There were so many items that I didn't get to take pictures of them all.

The donations were collected by Kat, who helps out the volunteers.  The volunteers collected the donations from Kat yesterday and then sent me the most amazing text messages.

"Debbie I just collected the items from Kat and I'm bawling. How can we ever thank you all? You are Angels. We are overwhelmed. Thank you soooooooo much".

"I've just posted a heap of photos on our Facebook page".

So, thank you to the bloggers who sent donations, and thank you to Sunday Stitchers too for helping me to help these volunteers.  You can see more pictures here.  They posted 17 pictures, wow!!

We always have a table of goodies that we bring in to snack on during the day. I made a veggie pie (not pictured) from the rainbow silverbeet I showed earlier, garlic chives from my garden too, and cheese.  I brought home an empty plate that night :)

Do you know what is wrong with this picture?  The "special dogs" are never allowed on the furniture, but it appears this one was before he came to me.  He has two dog beds in different rooms, but never mind!  He actually jumped up on the sofa when I was sitting there and tried to cuddle me...(not ok) then I found him here on the daybed, so I put a blanket down for him.  Labradors shed a LOT.  See that lump beside his head? That is a newborn size porcelain doll that needs a repair but apparently makes a perfect dog pillow too ...

Here he is on another day...I don't mind him sleeping here instead of the dog beds, BUT!!!
Yesterday I briefly considered changing the sheets on my bed and while I was standing there, I thought to myself "that looks like a LOT more dog hair than what would fall off my pyjamas (and a suspicious looking dog size lump left behind) ....but then I got distracted and moved on to something else.  Last night, I fell asleep on the sofa, got up during the night as I always do, and found him sleeping in MY bed!  NO, NO, (his name).  He went to the daybed right away and now I am keeping that door closed LOL.  I really adore Boy 14 and I am hearing the clock ticking louder now.  I will miss him a lot when he goes, cheeky guy that he is...He will go to his new family next Friday am.  xx debbie

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Stitching, Tomatoes, Boy 14

Hi everyone,

Well, I SHOULD be working on hexies for the row along quilt, due by Sunday.  I am finding the hexie row the biggest challenge so far. The row is only 5 1/2 inches wide, thus giving less than 5" work space maximum.  I've made one design of  (23)  hexies and I am still working on 4 more items (7) hexies each.  I am using half inch hexies and I still can't show you for a couple more months! It's a good thing I like hexies...I know some of the other ladies don't.

When my hands get a bit cramped from hexies, I've been working on this stitchery by Anni Downs.  I've finished it now with a few extra embellishments and I am loving it.  I thought about making it into the little zipper bag as shown in the pattern, but I then I had another idea.

The last time I went to Texas, of course I went to my all time fave quilt shop ever: Cabbage Rose.
I found this pretty Honey Bun roll on sale. I have no idea who it is by, because the cuts are so narrow. I can work out Minick & Lauri, and  Moda.   The book in the background is " A Thankful Heart" by Natalie Bird.  My plan is to use this stitchery and the Honey Bun to make the bag with patchwork instead of "LOVE YOU" as shown.   I especially like the style of the handles and the detail of the little ties on the side of the bag.  Cute and a bit different too!

Where I live, recently we have had record low temperatures, even breaking a record 103 years old.
I am pretty happy the tomatoes don't seem to mind.  I've been eating from this "Tumbling Tomato" plant every day lately.  It is in a hanging pot just outside my front door.

Same plant, the other side.  I will definitely be saving seeds from this beauty.  There are well over 50 tomatoes in various stages on this one plant.

I've mentioned before my much loved Grandma always planted pansies when the weather cooled, so I have followed her tradition.  I have 5 pots full at the moment. (She is 97 and still quilting)!!

On the left is rainbow silverbeet and on the right are spinach seedlings.  I've been eating from the rainbow silverbeet plant for over 6 months now.  I cut some, and more comes back :)  These leaves just might become part of a veggie quiche to take to Sunday Stitchers this weekend (with garlic chives, not shown).

This is called Pineapple Sage. It has been blooming for months now.  I recently cut it way back and brought a bouquet of flowers inside for a vase. The leaves smell like pineapple when crushed.

This is a different kind of cherry tomato and this one is in the back, hanging from the deck roof.   This is in one of those upside down hanging bags.  I haven't tasted this kind yet, as this is the first one to turn.  There are many more on the same plant but it is hard to get them all in the picture.  I have had good luck with the upside down bags for years now.  The bugs don't seem to bother them near as much as in regular pots.   It's pretty cool to have the taste of fresh tomatoes every day despite the cold temperatures.  The pot below has potato seedlings in it, an easy way to water two plants at once too.

Boy 14 a little while ago....  Last night, I got an email that made me cry because I am a silly old girl!! There is a family that wants to adopt him.  He will stay with me until the morning of 1st August, then he goes... Of course, I knew this was coming as it does every time, but he is such a sweetie that I will be sad to see him go.  I know where he is going and a description of his new home and family, so that does help a little, but he will be missed for sure.  xx debbie

Monday, 14 July 2014

Travelling Treasures Winner

Hi everyone,

The Travelling Treasures guessing game ended last night.  There were some great guesses for Boy 14's weight.  Just a little info first though....When a new foster dog comes to me,  they always have an appointment with the Vet for a health check first.  On the day they arrive, they come with whatever items I will need, such as food, medications, bedding, whatever.  They are all weighed just before they come to determine what their diet will be while they stay with me.  They also come with paperwork that tells me their individual quirks or habits, their birthday, current age, and weight.

This isn't Boy 14, but this picture came in my email and I thought it was super cute!!

Anyway, according to the official paperwork,  Boy 14's weight is 39.9 KG.  Translated on my phone, this is 87.96 pounds.  The previous 13 dogs have all weighed around 29-33KG, so he is by far the largest visitor so far!!

This is another cool picture that was in the same email. Love it :)
I would like to congratulate LisaV in Perth.  Lisa guessed 39KG which was the closest to his actual weight.  Lisa, please email me with your details and I will post the parcel to you by Friday.
Thanks to everyone who played along. Hopefully, Travelling Treasures will go smoothly from now on.  xx debbie

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Travelling Treasures Giveaway

Hi everyone,

Just a reminder, you have until Midnight AEST tonight to enter for a chance to play along with the Travelling Treasures parcel.  Here is a peek inside...

A selection of patterns: a cross stitch called "Birdhouse Row", quilts and other projects by  Chook Shed Patterns, Elefantz,  Designs by Fee, and Sweet as Cinnamon.  Plus......

More patterns, (some from USA), two fat quarters,  variegated thread by Threadworx,  lavender thread by Sullivans,  one yard of crochet look lace, and one more pattern not shown so there will be at least one surprise!!   I've weighed this parcel and it is under 500gms, so I expect postage should be just under $4 with my own envelope.

It's easy to enter: just leave a message with a guess at Boy 14's weight.   The hint is that he weighs more than half of what I weigh.  Any questions,  email me or see my previous two posts.  Ends tonight!

These two pictures were both taken today, Sunday 13th.  

Next Sunday, 20th of July, we will have the collection box at stitching group for donations to give
to this charity: dreamalittledream .  They are collecting items for care packages for premature babies and their mums.  If you have a moment, there is still time to send a little something on to me to pass on and help with these care packages.  These ladies are volunteers with no outside financial help, so they rely on donations to make up the care packages.

Here are a few ideas: small pamper items for mum such as lip balm, purse size hand gel, tissues,  snacks.  Nursing pads,  gently loved premmie clothes, simple drawstring bags for baby keepsakes,  pens, journals, crayons/activity books for young siblings.  Thanks for your help.  xx debbie

Friday, 11 July 2014

Apples and Travelling Treasures

Hi everyone,

I've been working on several projects this week. I do a few minutes on each here and there.

I've been wanting to make an apple quilt for a long time now.  Although I have made many quilts over the years, I've never made a snowball block before.  I followed a pattern for the snowball part.

The top section and the leaves I made up myself.  Once I applique the leaves and tidy up the edges, I will work out how much I want to add to the sides to make them into squares.  Then I will make patchwork squares the same size.  I will applique the leaves by machine next.  I am just making it up as I go.

I usually only work on this at my monthly stitching group, but it has been calling to me lately.  I have a jelly roll that I think would go well with this, but I won't be making it as shown on the pattern by Anni Downs.  I have a Natalie Bird bag pattern that I might use instead :) There are a few flowers left and this will be finished.  I used DMC 4210, it is variegated and one of my favourites.

I've also been working on hexies for the row along quilt. I have made 30 so far and that is not enough.  I think I will modify my original idea a bit....still a secret for now though.

It has been very cold lately. Boy 14 is from FNQ, so I think he is really feeling it.  I tucked him in with wool blankets above and below him.  He didn't move when I turned the light on for pics!

I hope you will leave a guess for a chance to win Travelling Treasures.  I would love to see more bloggers playing along.  To win,  just reply with a guess for how much Boy 14 weighs.   The hint is that he weighs more than half of what I weigh.  You can read more in my previous post.  xx debbie

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Travelling Treasures Time at Last!

Hi everyone,

I am excited to let you know the Travelling Treasures parcel  is ready to travel again.  We had a rough patch earlier this year, but it's finally time to get the parcel on the go at last.  There are some nice goodies in the current parcel.

If you don't know what TT is, you can read my original post  from March 2013 here.   As TT grows, there has been a need for a few tweaks to the guidelines.  If you have any questions, please ask :)

TT is now limited to Australia residents only, because of postage costs. 

Please be an active blogger so you can offer the giveaway and let everyone know who won.

The due date to announce the giveaway is the second Tuesday of the month.

The parcel needs to be posted to the winner  by the 20th of the same month so they will also have time to choose what to keep and send on in time for the next person.

You can choose randomly or do a fun guessing game, up to you!

You can choose to keep what you like from the parcel and add back equally nice things to make it fun for the next person.

I have 3 requests:  1. Have fun both taking and adding. 2. Please keep on time with offering giveaway and posting to the next person. 3.  Please email me with a quick update.   That's all!

Have a good look at Boy 14.  He is long, tall, and has a big head....For a chance to win Travelling Treasures,  I am accepting guesses for his weight.  It doesn't matter if you are over or under, the closest guess will be the winner.  You have until Midnight Sunday night AEST, 13 July.

Here is your hint: he weighs more than half of what I weigh.
No idea how much I weigh? There is a picture of me here. .  I am the one with the most buttons!

xx debbie

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Sunday am news, Boy 14

Hi everyone,

You might know by now how much I love dogs and helping the special dog place with foster care.

Tomorrow morning, from around 7am -10am, the channel 9 news will be filming their weather breaks at the special dog place. I'm not sure what all will be happening, but I have been invited to attend from 6:30-9:45.  Then, from 10-3 is open house day for the public.  There will be food, dog demonstrations, booths, wine tasting?!, have your picture with a puppy, etc.  I've been looking forward to this for weeks! It should be a very fun outing.

Boy 14 arrived Friday morning. He is a joy to have around.  He is 8 1/2 years and being retired.  He is also very overweight and so I have instructions for a strict diet for him.

He is a gentle giant, the biggest Lab I have had so far too.

He loves a good game of bunny bowling and teddy toss down the long hallway. He looks like a pony galloping to get the toy. See that chair there, I hold on when he comes running back so he doesn't knock  me right over!

He gets very excited when I play with him. He isn't just heavy, he also is long and tall.   I think a guessing game about his weight will be a good way to choose a winner for Travelling Treasures.
I am expecting him to be adopted to his forever home very quickly.

So, maybe you might like to see the puppies on the news in the am, or even go to their  open house if you live anywhere near Bald Hills.   xx debbie 

ps. The fabric in the first picture is discontinued, but I would love to have more. I think I got it at one of the shops in Melbourne at LGS. If you have any or know who does, please let me know, thanks.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Travelling Treasures, etc.

Hi everyone,

Do you remember Travelling Treasures?  I started this as a bit of "pay it forward" after I won "Tuesday Treasures"  over at Melody's place.  Melody sent me a pattern along with a few other goodies.  After I made the pattern, I knew if I wanted to make it again, I would remember by looking at the one I made. 
Instead of filing it away, TT was born.  I offered a giveaway for the pattern, along with another one, and some other goodies.  This parcel  is meant to go to a new person every month.

There was a bit of a hiccup earlier this year, but I have the parcel back with me now.  I would love to
get the fun going again. It's really easy:  the parcel will contain a combination of fat quarters, patterns, and some extra goodies.  If you are the winner, you choose what you want to keep, add a few goodies, arrange your own giveaway, and pass it on.

There is a notebook in the parcel for you to sign.  You can do a random giveaway, or a guessing game.  I will be posting a guessing game question sometime before next Tuesday.  It's easy to play along, so I hope you will be watching for the question....Due to postage costs, this giveaway is limited to Australian or New Zealand residents only.

I am counting the sleeps now until Boy 14 comes on Friday morning.  He is probably between 8-10 years old, which is when the working dogs are retired.  He might be here a week, or months.  He will stay with me until his adoption to his forever home.  He is #14 foster pup for me.  He is also by far  the LARGEST one I have ever had...think baby cow size LOL.  The lady rang me last night and she hasn't met him yet either, but she told me his weight...which is more than half of what I weigh!

I  had a bad reaction to a new medicine I started last Monday.  I stopped it on Friday and I finally feel ok now.  I still managed to sew a tiny bit  the past few days. My stitching group row for the row along quilt theme for this month is hexies.  I can't show you anything yet until the quilt top is done as we are all sworn to secrecy until then. The rows are only 5 1/2 inch wide and the design I want to make takes 23 hexies... plus extra on either side.  I am using 1/2 inch hexies...still enjoying so far!!

I've had apples on the brain for ages and I've made a start on my next baby quilt.  The basic design is snowballs made to look like apples, then I will applique the leaves. I managed to get 11 of them to the snowball stage before I ran out of squares for the corners. Each one takes four 1 1/2 inch squares.

Last,  I am still seeking donations to help a charity group. Perhaps you can spare a moment to make a little drawstring memory  bag or two, or some nursing pads?  The donation box will be passed on 20th of July, so there is still time to help these volunteers.  I sent them two pairs of premmie pants last week and they have posted on their facebook page that one pair is on the way to a 32 week prem bub  in Tasmania. Thanks to everyone who has offered to help and helped already. xx debbie