Friday, 30 May 2014

Happy News

Hi everyone,

I've been a bit quieter lately than usual. There has been plenty happening here at the cottage though!

This letter came this week.  My mother always told me I had a fascination with Australia since the age of 5. She told me she watched a movie while pregnant with me (The Sundowners), and she thinks I was imprinted in the womb LOL.  My first visit was in 1998 and I have lived here continuously since July 2005.  I am excited and happy that I passed the test last week and I now have dual citizenship.  I've waited for this moment for a very long time.  The swearing in  ceremony will be in around 3 months time.  (You can click on the pic for a closer look if you want)

My career (while I was still able to work) was neonatal nursing.  I've always had a desire to make clothing and other things for these tiny bubs.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard over the years at work from the parents  that there is no clothing small enough other than poorly made doll clothes.  I've done plenty of research, and didn't find anything like my own ideas, so I am hoping my soon to open ETSY shop will have some success.

I've been head down, tail up, for weeks making these things from special premie patterns.  I've finished 8 pairs of pants, ready to put in the shop.

I had a newborn size bonnet that I bought many years ago for one of my dolls. I used that to make my own design for a smaller bonnet that will fit a premie baby. I used eyelet fabric and eyelet lace.

I ordered some super cute labels from an ETSY seller who just happens to live only minutes away from where I am originally from. I couldn't be happier with the labels.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought another doll.  I was so happy when I saw her in the box.  I wanted to use her as a model for my premie items. Her head seemed the right size, and her limbs and body were also in proportion for what I wanted.  I didn't notice until I removed her from the box just how bent her arms and legs were!  Her head is bent up at an odd angle too.....oh well.  Yesterday, my dear friend De came over and I was telling her about the doll and she had an idea...

She asked me if she could pull her legs off....

Then she poked around the kitchen and found these...(there was plenty of hysterical laughing from both of us by this time)......

See how much the arms are bent?  The legs were bent that much too.  I will spare you the actual surgery photos, but this is her after recovery...much less bent legs than before.

She does have a scar (and the remains of a chopstick)  on the back of each knee, but she is in a much more natural position now than she was and much more photogenic for my needs.   I can work around the bent arms, but the bent legs were scrunching up the pants too much.  Much better now!
xx debbie

Monday, 19 May 2014

Pretties and Secret Sewing

Hi everyone,

Some sewing happening here, but it seems more yard work than sewing these days. Although I can't do heavy lifting or hauling off or mowing, I can stand and chop branches and plant things in pots.  Fortunately, I have a few nice guys that I can ask for help with most of the rest.  That bloom just on the right is looking like it will be gorgeous too once it opens.

Every year, my dear Grandma used to plant pansies when the weather cooled off.  I've been continuing this tradition myself and the first blooms are appearing now.   My Grandma was born in 1916 and she still lives alone and gets picked up to go to quilting once a week.   Amazing lady :)

One day last week as I was looking at this, my very first pansy bloom, I found a blob of raw meat in the dirt. Hmmm.... A couple days later, I heard a commotion at the front door, and it was this visitor with another beak full of raw meat. 

The day I found the pansy seedlings, I also saw this (new to me)  tomato seedling called "Tumbling Tomato".   I put it in a hanging pot and it seems to be very happy in that spot. I've never seen that many flowers on one plant.  Good thing I love tomatoes!

Here is a peek at the dinosaur quilt. The binding is on, but not joined yet.  Soon.

The blue and white zig zag quilt is all quilted too, and the binding is on ready to hand sew.  I made the label on my machine with the same variegated thread I used for the quilting. 

There are nine of these little cuties which are part of a secret sewing project that I will reveal soon.  My other secret sewing project was the row for the Sunday Stitcher's Row by Row quilt.  I can't show that at all because it is all a secret until the end of the  year.

This was a little gift to me yesterday at stitching day from dear Susan.  Susan brings me thread cuttings and once, there were some quite usable pieces.  This was an op shop find and although I won't be saving every last thread, there are some large pieces in here too.  Thank you so much Susan for your thoughtfulness.  I put  the little thread offcuts in glass jars just because they are pretty.  Now I wonder who stored their thread collection in such a jumble...this would never work for me LOL.

One last little sneak peek of another project...I bought the bottom bonnet many years ago for one of my dolls.  I've been using it as a model for my own bonnet pattern with a few changes to the design.  I made the top one last week, although it is not completed just yet.  I just love eyelet and eyelet lace, I only wish they were not so costly!   Bye for now, xx debbie

Friday, 2 May 2014

Dinosaurs & FNWF

Hi everyone,

Both dinosaurs are finished now, happy dance!  I was worried about doing the boy dinosaur because of the tiny bits on his "hands" and "legs", so I asked for advice and several bloggers gave me some tips:  Go slow, and experiment with stitch width and length. I have learned so much from others, so thank you, each of you for your help.  My confidence with machine applique is slowly growing now.

I did plenty of samples to find the right combinations. I also tried out some other stitches for the first time, and I liked this stitch for the eyes, so they are done by machine too.

I want this quilt to have a touch of whimsy, so the girl has a bow and some red lipstick now.

Now that the dinosaurs are done, the next step is to add the blue and brown patchwork rows above and below.  Maybe tomorrow... I want to look at something else for awhile.

Tonight is FNWF hosted by dear Cheryll.  There is still time to sign up over at her place.  I think I will put on my fave BeeGees cd and work on the plates I showed in my previous post.  I had enough fabric to make 6 more plates  to go with the first 5. I cut the remaining fabric into 4" squares to have on hand as leaders and enders.  Cya tonight then,  xx debbie