She’s making a list and checking it twice…

Put away the books, we’re out of school
The weather’s warm but we’ll play it cool
We’re on staycation, havin’ lots of fun
S-T-A-Y-C-A-T-I-O-N in the summer sun

Can you tell I’m getting a little excited?   Only 16 more sleeps before I go on leave and I don’t go back to work till the end of January – 43 days off – woo hoo!

This will be the longest continuous break I’ve had since I was diagnosed with glandular fever 20+years ago, and I spent 5 weeks at home feeling cruddy and the only energy I had was to cross stitch while getting addicted to Santa Barbara and Days of Our Lives (I watched the first episode that Patch appeared in and was hooked, lol).

But like then, I’m going to be predominantly housebound, apart from some small trips and a quilt class or two… and a friend coming to stay for a few days.   May actually be forced to be housebound, as my nephew’s car is off the road and he’s regularly borrowing mine to get to and from work.

Flossie (Mum) coming to stay for the 1st week of the New Year, we’re going to have a ‘bee’ between putting together some quilt tops and finishing off some small projects like wallhangings and bags.

It’ll be the usual deal of her using the machine, and my cutting and pressing…though I am thinking of getting her to help me make a start on either one of these gorgeous quilts by Roslyn of BloomSimply a Bloom or Sweet Menagerie.

A bit inspired by Blessed’s version of Simply a Bloom and the bundle of Allspice Tapestry Charm Squares and Jelly Rolls I found when sorting out the stash for the sale of surplus items!

Both of these seem like relatively simple projects for someone who is less than comfortable on the machine, as it’s just straight sewing…

Am busy getting organised and things prepped with the intention of sewing something every day!

Things I must do while on staycation:

  • Get my blocks finished and posted to Aunt Pitty Pat for the Holly Jolly Christmas Block Swap – have got all my backgrounds cut, just need to sit down this week and start to prep the appliques, I’m doing Christmas Wreaths, Plum Puddings and Christmas Ornaments

  • Make softie book/s of this panel – I commented on the Busy Thimbles blog and as a result the panels arrived today and I get to have a play… already have ideas swarming through my head
  • Finish my South Seas Lace cross-stitch… as usual I’m lagging behind behind on this SAL, both Claire and Sandra have finished theirs… and I’m still stitching on mine, making slow progress… got bored with the narrow border and wanted to see what the final border looked like.

Actually, check out Sandra’s Grand Marquoir finish post… isn’t it gorgeous?   This is another project I’m lagging behind on, I’ve done 3 letters…sigh…

  • Keep up to date with The Parsonage Dresden Plate Exchange – I’m working on Kylie’s at present … you can see one of her blocks below, I didn’t make this one, Jules did.    I’ll also have Jules handed over to me in the next fortnight.

  • Start my Blackbird Design Stocking Series – I’m hoping to be part of Dragon My Needle’s Christmas Design SAL – a year long stitch along working on particular Christmas Designs.  I got the January 2009 kit from Stitches and Spice for these gorgeous little stockings, and hope to get the rest of the series during 2010.  So the aim is to stitch at least 1 stocking a month during 2010.

Things I’d like to do while on staycation (and more likely towards the end of my 43 days will be getting lots of things prepped so that I can just pick things up and work on them once I get back to work… including:

  • Prep Aunt Millie’s Garden blocks – I’m using a white with black pindot background and lots of spotty/dotty/striped bright fabric
  • Prep Love Letters blocks – I’ve got 2 lots of fabric for these, deep navy, burgundy, browns on tan backgrounds for Mum, and the 3 Sisters Chocolat range that was used in the original quilt for me.   Not going to make both – will get the blocks ready for Mum to stitch hers, and will prep and applique mine

  • Organise cross-stitch patterns for Aury’s Bride’s Tree SAL.  The Bride’s Tree is a German tradition. It is believed that a couple’s Christmas tree needs twelve specific ornaments for happiness in their life journey together. My eldest nephew and his girl get married in November 2010, and have asked us to give them money towards their honeymoon in lieu of gifts as they are funding the wedding themselves.   This seemed like a nice idea, to make them 13 ornaments for their 1st tree as a married couple, and I thought I’d look for quakerstyle patterns for each months theme, and have found some freebie patterns already i.e. the quaker heart to represent true love and love of family.

I’d also really like to aim to do a blog post a day… either a progress report on what I’m working on, or maybe dragging out some WIPs/PIGs and posting in more detail, in an attempt to shame me into progressing some of these.

Anyway, off away to do the dishes and to bed… coming home tomorrow night to progress the embroidery on some Christmas ornaments for a catch up with some girlfriends weekend after next.

Will blog a Christmas themed post at the weekend, hopefully to show the finished ornaments, and my first blocks for Holly Jolly as well as some show and tell as Mum has started decorating the house today, and I realised none of her Christmas quilts are recorded on the blog.


Sunday Studio Sightseeing… Ms. Domestic’s Place

Haven’t blogged at all this week, neither have many other Victorian bloggers, I suspect – it’s been so, so hot!

But, can’t miss the Sunday Studio Sightseeing… today the tour bus is heading over to Ms. Domestic’s place.   Oh, and she makes the cutest aprons, you can see them here in her etsy shop!

Is this not the best built in sewing/computer workstation you’ve ever seen? All made by Ms. Domestic’s Mister!

And the overhead cupboards and shelves are a must, as are the baskets and file folders and pretty bits.

Unfortunately, I can’t build anything in or hang anything from the wall at my place as I’m renting, but lots of ideas brimming after looking at this space.
Like having glass jars full of buttons and ric rac and notions. Have seen this a few times now, and think its a great idea, why not let your toys be your decoration as well.

I think I should be concentrating not just on getting my fabric out of cupboards but also my wool, knitting needles, embroidery cottons and buttons.

By the way, it now appears to be all the rage to either recover books or sort books on shelves by their colour.  Check out this COLOURlovers blog entry or the Rainbow of Books Flickr Group for same amazing bookshelves.

In talking to a friend, who is a librarian but now works in IT on Friday night as she was unpacking her books onto shelves, she rolled her eyes.   But I actually think it would work for me, because when I go hunting for a book I nearly alway visual its cover!

Not sure that I’m up to completely reorganising my crammed 5 full height bookshelves in the living room, but if I’m sorting fabric on to shelves in colour groups in what will be Atelier Frou why not my books.

Already thinking of sorting my buttons into jars of each colour, and possibly also my knitting needles!

***Methinks COLOURlovers would be a great resource in regard to putting colour schemes together.

Sunday Studio Sightseeing…Treasureup’s Place

Spreading the Craft Studio love again… a very different feel to last week’s studio, but I really like Treasureup’s space… it gives me a sense of the owner, her likes and dislikes … it’s also quite obviously a working space… so lots of busyness and clutter… Have a look at her quilt photo’s on flickr – but get yourself a cuppa first and sit down to a wonderfully diverse slideshow of loveliness.

These lovely old cupboards, made to look the same with painting and changed door handles, and the gorgeous curtains and walls… all the colours in this room work!

As do the framed vintage  needlebooks (what a fantastic idea!)

And lovely collections of vintage tins and baskets to hold treasures.

What a great use for an old computer cupboard for sewing machine and supplies.

And every quilter needs to have a design wall… and the quilt in progress is lovely.

Disorderly Orderly

Pepper Cory on a comment on yesterday’s post (still haven’t come down to earth that Pepper Cory read/s my blog!!!)

“The UFO virus is carried by every quilter but be of good cheer-the ratio is about 6 to 1, as in, six projects started for every one finished. If your odds are better, you’re simply showing off!”

Well, I never did say I was normal did I?   I’d expect my ratio of finished to started is – infinity to 2!

Today was meant to be a day of preparing various project blocks, DJ Marple, Morrell Quilt, A Christmas Wish, Bunny Hills BOM etc.

BUT, at 12.30am this morning, I still was sorting out fabric – and knowing that there must be more floating around in various tubs… so I pulled everything out of the Narnia wardrobe, and from under the beds etc. and sorted through it all and yes, there was stacks of fabric hiding all over the place…

While I was it, I took photo’s of various Works in Progress or Projects in Grocery Bags and quilt tops and created pages here on the blog to track what I’m up to!

imag0617Nobody can every accuse me of having nothing to do…or not doing my bit for the economy!

Nor, can they accuse me of being a negative thinker – I obviously believe I’m going to live in to my dotage with a clear head and nimble fingers, I’ve started or anticipate starting so many things.

I don’t feel guilty about any of the above, these things will be finished when they are finished, or handed-on to others to be finished if I know that I really don’t want to finish them (have boxes of fabric and blocks to go to the Tarrangower Women’s Prison Quilters) or else my friends are going to be able to play to their hearts content with my projects and stash after I’m gone.   And each of the things started have been learning experiences, and enjoyable in and of themselves – for me it’s the journey not the destination that is important.

Being serious though, I think the problem is that everything lives in boxes, in the wardrobe, under the bed etc.   The old adage out of sight, out of mind applies here… if it’s not sitting under my nose, then I don’t think about it.   Hence, wanting to reorganise my space to turn the study into a proper craft room – and those boxes can then be stacked in plain sight, and easy enough for me to get to.

Question: How do other people manage to keep track of projects and progress them?

Sunday Studio Sightseeing… Hummmlan’s place

In talking with different friends over the last week, and also in thinking about wanting to participate in a couple of free BOMs, I’ve realised one of the reasons why I’ve struggled to do much crafty work this last year is my stuff is everywhere, and it’s hard to find anything!

And a workshop I did on innovation and creative last year, talked about your workspace having a significant impact on your creativity – that using colour and changing your space inspire creativity.

So, I’ve been looking at what other quilters and crafters have been doing to create inspirational workspaces, while I don’t have a dedicated room, I’m going to try to do something to organise the spaces I do have** to enable me to access my work and encourage creativity and thought I might share some images with you (with permission from these wonderfully creative people).

So, this Sunday we’re paying a visit to Hummmlan – not only is this craft room gorgeous, if you wander around the blog you’ll also see some stunning other rooms and better yet, lots of gorgeous made objects. I’m a bit in love with this desk and shelf unit…also love the soft green walls.

Also, check out See Jane Run, See Jane Go‘s transformation!   She’s also got a giveaway of some stunning Andalucia fabrics on her blog

** I’m thinking now that I am no longer required to do work from home or study, I could downsize my huge workstation to a smaller desk which means I could convert my small study into a proper crafty space (at present everything is crammed into the spare wardrobe or under beds)!

Drooling and dribbling… bloggy goodness

Oh… be still my heart… I seem to have immersed myself in other people’s quilty goodness this week… updating my blogroll and discovering all sorts of wonderful things… following bloggy trails that have taken me hither and yonder… only fair that I share… but be warned, you’ll be dashing for your stash…

OH, YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE FRIENDS – sometimes you meet people and you just know that they are meant to be important to you – Jayne is one of those people.  We worked together, and now we play together often… and I love her to bits… and I’m not just saying that so that she’ll make me a quilt!   She’s just started a blog, and you can see all of her quilts here – I keep telling her she should draft Makara’s Quilt up as a pattern – I’d make it!

ANGEL IS A CENTREFOLD – I spotted this great fabric folding technique on the Happy Zombie’s blog last summer, and after a major washing fabric blitz neatly folded all of my 30s fabrics, and for a very brief while, they looked mega-organised on my white bookshelf… was going a bit for a look like this but didn’t quite manage it… I can dream can’t I!   But when I moved midyear I used my fabric stash to wrap all my crockery and other precious things instead of newspaper – a brilliant idea, if I may say so, cause I had to pack the fabric anyway, so it saved on boxes.  But, then I rewashed my bits and they’ve been dumped in a tub ever since.  As I’m starting to prep. for a major quilting onslaught, I might find sometime to get a bit organised again.

MISS POLLY HAD A DOLLY WHO WAS SICK, SICK, SICK – there isn’t just one thing on Crazy Mom’s blog to inspire me, there is a whole stack load of things… every quilt is gorgeously bright and cheery, with lots of great tutorials, but the doll quilts with matching pillows and pillowcases are sooo cute… Jayne, I’m sure Princess M would love some of these!

MY COAT OF MANY COLOURS – AAAND Crazy Mom’s blog led me to Bella Dia and the Vintage Vertical Striped Crochet Blanket- my Nana taught me to knit and crochet, but Nana was too impatient to finish the crochet lessons, so I never did learn to turn corners, so this is ideal.   The colours of this remind me of a maxi-dress with hood my Mum made for me to wear to a cousin’s wedding aeons ago, all brightly coloured stripes – not very flattering on all my pre-teen lumps and bumps… but the bridesmaid’s were worse… lemon mini-dresses and semi-bouffant hair and pale lipstick.    There is a great pom pom tutorial here too… and check out the THINGS I’VE MADE pages… you just have to smile!

SWEETS FOR MY SWEET, SUGAR FOR MY HONEY … this is a great idea of Moda’s – The Moda Bakeshop – some freebie patterns to use jelly rolls, charm squares, layer cakes etc.   I particularly like the tablerunner (The Parsonage gang are making tablerunners for each other this year) and the travel mug.

SUNSHINE AND LOLLYPOPS, RAINBOWS EVERYDAY… am I showing my age, that everytime I look at Don’t Look Now‘s blog I want to start singing this song.   I love the Flower Garden Pillow tutorial as well as all the other gorgeous things.

BAUBLES, BANGLES AND BEADS… and Don’t Look Now lead me via Amitie to this gorgeous thing on Audrey & Maude’s blog … not too early to start for Christmas 2009 is it?

And to finish off… continuing my ongoing love of red and green quilts – isn’t this a stunner!

applique green and red on light background

Tempted by the fruit of another…

As if I didn’t have enough of my plate, a surf of blogs and websites lately have unearthed a treasury of wonderful freebie patterns…

First one that took my fancy was Red Delicious, a gorgeous RED Block of the Month designed by Esther Aliu and available from her blog.  Missed the first block, but will buy it on etsy…

And then there is Anne Sutton’s A Tisket, A Tasket Twelve Months of Baskets! Mystery BOM.   As I love baskets, and love Anne’s Bunny Hill Designs, how can I resist!

And then I discovered Gail Pan’s A Christmas Wish – a lovely little stitchery BOM she’s offering too…

I want to do them all – BUT what colours?   Red Delicious – well Red of course, but wondering what it would look like if I used 30’s fabrics.

A Christmas Wish? – well, I’ve got a collection of Roman Holiday fabrics from a few years ago, that haven’t been assigned to a project…

And Bunny Hill Designs?  Well, Anne’s original block is very, very cute, but then I saw finished blocks on the Flickr group, and must admit I’ve fallen in love with the Happy Zombie’s gorgeous bright block.  And I’ve got some yardage of a red pin spot that might work as a background… argh…

And then Bloom posts a link to this gorgeous thing available as a free download from Moda for the Aviary range.


Except, I’ve got three jelly rolls of Fig Tree Quilts Allspice Tapestry Range, and I’m wondering if I can fit those leaves on to the 2.5 inch strips and use them for this.


What do you think?