Sunday, 31 August 2014

Scraps, Boy 16, Orange Oil

Hi everyone,

Hope you are enjoying this lovely Sunday.  The weather where I am is absolutely gorgeous.  Blue sky, fluffy clouds, light breeze...not too hot or too cold:)

My dear friend De recently went to a retreat. While there, she completed a quilt top, and when she came to visit me soon after, she brought me a bag of scraps and asked if I wanted them.   I tried to contain my excitement as I said "yes, please"...

I have no idea how many triangles there are.  Every other one was a white one and this stack of white ones is around 4 1/2 inches tall.   My first thought was "little bitty baby bunting quilt"  :)   I just love when others offer me their unwanted scraps.  I always end up with fabrics I would not have considered myself.  Thank you, De.

Boy 16 is keeping me busy.  He is doing so well with his training and his newest trainer said he is working very well with the harness too.  If he continues to pass all of his testing, he could possibly be matched with a blind person in the next few months.  The trainer also told me last week that Boy 16 will be with me for 1-2 more weeks and then will go to another home.  They don't want him to get too attached to me or anyone else. 

Friday is bin day here.  After he came home from work Friday afternoon, I went for a shower and this is what I came back to.  The bin had a fresh bag in it except for this one lot of teabags.  There were more in his bed too....*sigh*  He is super smart, but he is also still a puppy so I must remember to put the bins up as he cannot resist them.

This bin is in my sewing room.  I usually keep this door closed all the time because there are too many puppy temptations in there.  Today I forgot while I was visiting my neighbour across the street and this is what I came home to.   Naughty Boy 16!  This bin is mostly applique paper and fabric trimmings.

During the week, I used the orange oil and polished the whole baby bed.  (I have told the story about the bed  in my previous post).  The bed finished up with a beautiful shine and the whole room smelled divine too.  I like this product so much that I emailed the maker. (made on Gold Coast, QLD).

This is not the final doll arrangement.  Some need clothes, some need clothes washed, some need their hair brushed and dusted.  There are probably at least 10 more dolls around the house that need attention.  I've also been gifted a couple of old wooden ladders.  After I scrub them, they will hold some of my dolls, quilts, and doilies.  I am working on getting them all in one place so I can plan where to go from here.  There are at least 3 more porcelain dolls that I can think of and even more cloth dolls that will look cute on the ladders once I get them washed.   xx debbie

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Birthday Stuff, Boy 16

Hi everyone,

August is my birthday month and it has been very nice. I have been receiving fat quarters in the mail from a birthday swap I am in. The bills still came too, but that can't be helped.

Some years ago, De came to visit me in Texas and we went to a quilt show in Dallas.  This fabric came from that special day.

We have a tradition of bags for birthdays, so I requested the sew together bag this year.  I loved it when I saw it a few months back at Sunday Stitching.  Since I've learned to do paper piecing, I am getting a collection of different sizes and shapes of papers.  This bag has 7 sections inside so it will be great to have all the papers in one place at last.  Thank you De, I love it!!

We also celebrate birthdays with a fq when we meet once a month for Sunday Stitchers.  I made out very well :)  My wish list mentioned Tilda, pastels, Lynnette or Anni,  beachy colours... I love each and every fabric, along with the other goodies...DMC,  Labrador coffee cup, pretty jar.  Thank you everyone. 

This is my first weekend with Boy 16.  He goes to work Mon-Fri and he is gone for over 9 hours. I was a bit worried that he might be bored being home with me and mostly inside due to the rain.  This is how he looked most of Saturday HAHA....I think he was exhausted and ready for a good rest!

It's starting to look a bit like a daycare centre here.  You might remember teddy and bunny, top right, and the little lion king one by the antler.  Friday night, Boy 16 came home from work with this giant giraffe that his puppy raiser started him off with.   He had some serious testing all day Thursday and Friday because he was at that crucial time where he is ready to go to the last and highest level and a new trainer if he passed.  If he didn't pass, he would be withdrawn and be adopted to a regular home.  I am so happy he DID pass and he possibly only has a few more months before being matched with a blind person and being a real working dog. 

This picture is an outtake, but hey, it made me smile, so here it is :)    Anyway, back to the toys: I had the 3 here (they have survived 16 dogs so far).  De and Lynda came over on Friday and we went out for Thai food at a very good place close to me.  We also went to my fave op shop and I bought the red and blue teddy and the nemo toy because I was thinking about Boy 16 and his testing.  Then he came home with the giraffe, so now I have to look where I am walking as they won't be in one place for very long!  

My lawn guy also does estate clean ups. I asked him to be watching for an old wooden high chair.  He said he hadn't seen one, but he had a bed that he was taking to the tip soon. I asked a few questions, which led to him bringing it to me. 

There is also a canopy that goes at one end, but it needs the dowel replaced.  This is the bedding base...I've never seen this kind before.  A lady from the family came along with him and she told me it was brought over in the 30's from Austria to Australia.    I have some orange oil cleaner/restorer so I will show more pictures when it is done.  What a tragedy that would have been taking this beauty to the tip!  It is in fantastic condition and will be perfect for my dolls.    xx debbie

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Huge Sigh of Relief, and meet Boy 16!

Hi everyone,
The past few weeks have been crazy here at the cottage.  The sweet young mum that contacted me via my shop has been keeping me super busy and I am grateful :)  Little "E" will turn two this Thursday, so I  had some deadlines to meet but I am happy to say that after many long hours, I have turned everything in yesterday and "E"s mum was very happy with my work.

"E" loves the Hey Diddle Diddle story, so her mum provided me with this fabric panel front and matching backing fabric. 

The backing fabric is just as adorable as the front.  I cut the gingham on the bias for the binding and mum was very happy with that too.  This quilt was hard to give up...I could have used it myself :)

She bought this cape from another online shop but the ties were way too short to tie in a bow and the topstitching was awful.  I unpicked the topstitching and replaced the ties extra long so mum can cut them to the length she likes.

"E"s mum also requested toddler butterfly wings. I made a prototype to the measurements she gave me (picture in my last post).  She provided me with this special fabric to make the wings from.  The first set of wings was handed over last Friday to be mailed to another girl turning 2 in Melbourne this week.  This is the second set of wings for little miss "E".

Due to the hand and shoulder elastics,  these wings have a definite top and bottom.  I had to keep checking I had the fabric turned the right way, because this pattern looks upside down to me from a distance.  All the butterflies are facing the same way, but they just look wrong to me LOL.   When I turned in the first set of wings last Friday (exactly as the wings above),  the mum gave me the gingham for the quilt binding, the ribbon for the cape, more elastic for the wings, and also asked me to alter another dress that she just  brought with her  by Sunday.      (  : |   !!!  )   Anyway....I managed to alter the dress (Dorothy from Wizard of Oz),  prepare the quilt binding,  unpick and resize the elastic on a tutu,  unpick and remake the LRRH cape, make 2 sets of butterfly wings, finish the quilting, repair some toddler size leggings, and make a matching patchwork pillow and new mattress cover to go with a doll quilt she bought from my shop.  Except for the first set of wings last Friday and the Oz dress on Sunday, I completed everything else and handed it over yesterday.  PHEW!!  What a huge sigh of relief for me yesterday.  I will say this mum has paid me very fairly for rushing me LOL and she is a joy to work with.  She knows exactly what she wants and I really like that, no guessing!!

Meet Boy 16.  This guy is adorable!! He wakes up so happy in the morning, like he is excited for each new day that he has.   His sweet personality just makes me smile.   He is 14 months old and he came to me on Monday.  He gets picked up every morning for work and comes back late afternoon, so he will be with me nights and weekends.  He is at the very end of his training.  Next week, he will go to the next level of training to see if he will be matched with a blind person very soon.  He must have done great to make it this far.  Only 50% of the dogs actually pass all of the training to the point of being a real working dog.

He is so lean and  healthy, and has a beautiful  shiny coat.  He has great manners and I am happy to look after him.

One last much loved pansies are doing great!  There are heaps more, but this was the prettiest picture of the bunch.   I am SO behind on reading blogs, but I will slowly catch up very soon. xx debbie

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Travelling Treasures and a Tutu

Hi everyone,

Lisa V was the latest recipient of  the Travelling Treasures parcel.

Lisa has posted pictures of what she would like to keep and what she has added, and she is all ready to send the goodies on to the next person.  She has put in some adorable fabric with little bikinis on it, some cute ribbon that would match, and the cutest little charms too.  It is easy to enter for a chance to be the next person to get this parcel.  Just pop over here and leave her a message as soon as you can.

Boy 15 was adopted to his forever home last Friday.  He went to a family with a big yard and 3 children, which will be perfect for him.  At only 14 months old, he was a handful for me to look after and he was getting into mischief all the time.  He really needs a more active life than I could give.  I didn't cry this time was more like a huge sigh of relief!

I know I should eat more vegetables, so to meet that goal, I made a carrot cake.  There are over 2 cups of carrots in this cake and I cut the sugar back to 1/2 cup and increased the cinnamon and nutmeg a tiny bit.  The icing has fresh orange zest, which made it delicious and fragrant.  I finally have a decent grater after all these years, so I will definitely make this again.

I've mentioned a young mum who contacted me via my shop for some custom sewing.  These are butterfly wings for her little girl who will turn 2 next week.  I made this prototype from scrap fabric and measurements she gave me so she could take it home and be sure of sizing before I cut into the nice fabric.
There will be elastic on the inside top body so the wings can be worn backpack style.  There will also be elastic loops at each top outer corner that go around the hands/wrists.  "E" loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar".  E's mum has provided me with the VHC fabric for the wings, body, and trim, and it is super cute.  It has butterflies all over it and I will show pictures later.  E's best friend has a birthday only 2 days apart, so I will be making 2 sets of VHC butterfly wings.  It's a secret, please don't tell!

E's other favourite thing is the "Hey Diddle Diddle"  story.  This is the backing for a cot size quilt all prepped and ready for the batting next.  There is a pre printed panel for the quilt front and it is super cute too.  I need to have this done by next week. Do you think the person who cut this backing was drinking that day?! That is what I was thinking!

Her mum already bought a small quilt from my shop made from this patchwork.  I had some left over, so she asked me to recover the foam mattress and make a matching sheet and pillow with fancy stitching. This is for a doll bed, another birthday present.  All finished!

She also bought this cape from another online seller.  The ribbon ties are way too short and the sewing around the hood is all wrinkled and none of the inner seams are pressed flat.  She wants me to unpick it, replace the ribbon, and sew it so it looks nicer. I can do that :)  What started as a list of 6 things at our first meeting has grown...VHC butterfly wingsx2, remake cape, repair size 2T pants, resize waistband on tutu, Hey Diddle quilt, patchwork quilt, Golden Books quilt, new doll bedding, silk Super Hero cape.  I am so grateful she found me for so many reasons.  I always wanted to sew for a little girl but didn't have my own,  I am happy I can earn some money, I am loving all of her ideas, and I can also  make some patterns from this tiny clothing here for future use. 

She said E wears this darling tutu with tights and she will be wearing it with a special shirt for her birthday.   The only trouble is that the waistband is too big, so I will make it to the size she needs.
So glad I finished my patchwork/stitchery I will be busy for some time to come :) xx debbie

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

That Wet Dog Smell

Hi everyone,

I've done a bit of sewing, but Boy 15 is keeping me super busy!!  I am used to the elderly or unwell dogs that like to lie in the sun on the deck out back, or sleep most of the day. Boy 15 is only 14 months old and it is like having a 2 year old toddler again...

He is allowed to have a will be gone in less than a minute, though.

Here he is in a rare quiet moment a few days ago.  Why isn't he in his bed?

Possibly because he is a bit of a hoarder.  The balls are dryer balls that I bought because they couldn't be popped like the other balls that lasted only a few seconds each. (I don't even have a dryer).  The biggest thing is the deer antler, the other is a nylabone.   Not much room left in his bed for him LOL.

Here he is today, complete with that "wet dog smell".  I took him out the back so he could have a run and I could water the tomatoes.  Turns out a running hose makes him CRAZY.  He is soaking wet from his head to the tip of his tail.

It's not a horrible smell, but it is definitely there and he is still wet an hour later.    Boy 15 did not pass his training to be a special dog for a blind person, so he will be adopted and his new family has been chosen.  He will be going to his new forever home on Friday.  They have 3 teenagers, which is great!  He needs at least 3 to entertain him and keep him busy.  He has good manners inside the home, but when he is outside, he is always getting into trouble.

I've mentioned a sweet young mum who contacted me via my Etsy shop for some custom orders.  She has a little girl turning 2 later this month.  She already bought a small quilt from me that was made from these fabrics that will be a birthday present to go with a doll bed from EBAY.  This week, I am working on a patchwork pillow to match, recovering the foam mattress for the doll bed she bought with fresh fabric, and making a sheet for same that is removable and washable.  The fabric on the bottom right is a cute print of tiny pineapples.
The new mattress cover is up to me.  She would like the sheet to be white with decorative purple stitching as was on the quilt.  I am considering this fabric either for the ruffle on the patchwork for the pillow shown above, or for the mattress cover, or for the sheet.  It is pretty, but a bit more sheer than normal patchwork fabric and I have plenty to use for any or all.  xx debbie

Saturday, 2 August 2014

OPAM, Meet Boy 15 !?!!

Hi everyone,

This month I made snowball apples with applique leaves, a few more Dresden Plates, 51 hexies + secret stuff I can't tell you for the row along quilt,  more hexies and pentagons for the turtle pincushion, and this bag.  The bag is my only finish for OPAM, but I have received some custom orders through my Etsy shop, so I will have more finishes in the coming weeks.

I wanted to use a special button from my dear friend De, but I like to wash my bags and I was afraid I would forget to remove it and it would be ruined.  I am happy with this ladybug button though.

Here is the back of the bag.  I love the handles as they have pellon inside which gives nice body.

I was able to use this pretty print fq from dear Mel K for the lining. I only needed to add the one strip at the top to make it large enough.  There was enough left from the sides to make 2 large pockets (not on the pattern).  I made two pockets this size and then sewed down the middle of each.  The entire bag is also lined in pellon so it stands well.  This is much larger than my usual handbag, so I am not sure if I will use it for that or a stitching project bag.  I am so happy with how pretty it turned out.  Stitchery by Anni Downs, bag pattern by Natalie Bird.

As was the plan, the nice lady from the special dog place came for Boy 14 at 6am Friday.  Imagine my shock when she asked me if I was ready for another one :)   She brought Boy 15 at 6pm Friday.
First, let me tell you she was VERY happy when she came back.  Boy 14  had his health check before she took him to his new home. He came to me weighing 39.9kg, and yesterday he weighed 35.6kg.  I followed his strict diet and he is now at a much healthier weight.  She told me about his new home and it sounds very nice.  I think he will love it there.  I really enjoyed looking after him though.

Meet Boy 15.  He is a Lab/ Retriever cross.  This is what a dog at a healthy weight should look like.  Of all the dogs, this one has the softest fur I have ever felt.  He is like petting a minky quilt LOL.

His nose is on overload in the back yard since Boy 14 was only gone for 12 hours.  He is hard to get a picture of unless he is sleeping because he is always moving!

He came with the deer antler that is in the bed with him.  The special dogs are allowed to have these.  The antlers are collected after they are shed naturally by the deer.  They are also not near as messy/slobbery as rawhide, etc.

My fave picture so far. Don't let that innocent appearance fool you though.  He is only 14 months old and I have been advised not to leave mobile phone, tv remote, or eye glasses within his reach.   So far, I quite like him :)  xx debbie