Saturday, December 17, 2011

First Baby Surprise - love it

I've been out of blogger real reason..but just had to share my first baby surprise jacket..Wonder if Elizabeth Zimmermann way back in 1968 would have ever envisaged how the internet would bring her pattern back to life. I guess Elizabeth was a 'blogger' of her time. I loved the challenge and had to resort to Youtube to solve some problems. Seriously can't wait to make another one. The plan is to keep adding a different colour. Lots of babies on the way so should be interesting. My very first Baby Surprise Jacket is for Noah Francis Lloyd..grandson of my friend Cher..and luck has it I can deliver it personally to Brooke (the mum) in London. Heading off to London very shortly to spend Christmas with Nick and Shannon in London. What a fortunate life I lead.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Presents for Shannon

I had an excellent flight to London..Business class to Hong Kong..then Premium Economy to London..Sort of spoils you for any future travel that I have to do in Economy. So lovely to be able to stretch out on the flat bed and go to sleep. The very efficient Heathrow Express took me to Paddington and after a short taxi ride, I checked into the New Linden Hotel . Then Shan and Nick turned up...excitement, tears, etc. etc. But I was able to give her the presents in the bag. Besides a skirt and a top from Metalicus, I had made her a cardigan. I loved making it...few challenges..few glasses of red wine..few Sundays sitting in front of the fire...but I did get it finished..and best of all she loved it.

I bought the wool and buttons from Tangled Yarns. Shannon has proudly worn the cardi..on our visit to to follow.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Not Just Thinking About Holidays

I have been doing some sewing/knitting as well as planning my holidays..This little skirt was my prize in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway..which was ages ago now.

And this little vest winged its way over to Elliott in New York.

And this little frock (Daisy Day Dress) from Little Bird Patterns is off to little Clare.

What's in the Bag?

It all started when Shannon sent me a link to a vest she particularly fancied from Metalicus. Decided I would check it out. Metalicus has a new, smart shop in Queens Plaza and I was lucky enough to be served by the lovely Rachel. We decided on the vest..(so happened her sister lives in does my Shannon). Thought while I was there and feeling so comfortable with Rachel..why not try on some stuff for myself. Well..what fun that turned out to be..not to mention the dent in my bank account. Absolutely no regrets though. Rachel was just fantastic...and I loved every minute I spent with her trying on things. At no time did I feel pressured to was a real fun experience.

I even went back the following Sunday and bought some more pieces to go with this and that.

Then, with the incentive of a $50.00 gift voucher, thought I would buy my gorgeous girl something as a to cut a long story short that's what's in the bag! Just over a week and I'll be there..I am so excited and can't wait to see my darling girl.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Travel Plans Falling into Place

I decided today to try and finally sort out accommodation and train journeys for my forthcoming visit with Shannon and Nick. I'm not too adventurous (maybe I'm getting old) felt compelled to book trains and accommodation. Shan, Nick and I are all pretty easy about what we do on holidays, but all agree that it must be a 'holiday' as well and not just racing around 'ticking boxes'.

The internet, in one way, makes it easy to do your own travel plans..But on the other side, it provides way too many choices. There are a number of excellent websites that provide an incredible number of options. Most owners respond quickly and it doesn't take long before you find yourself chatting away with Fabio, Walter, Mario, William, Elizabeth, etc. etc.

So accommodation now booked in Spello, Umbria; Menaggio, Lake Como, Venice and Ghent.

After hours of research and emails with Shan, finally booked train tickets today..breathed a sigh of relief...thought I'd done pretty well...but then got an email saying train tickets not confirmed...seems some of the tickets (at the quoted prices) might not be available! Anyway, fingers crossed, all will be fine...and the tickets will arrive via trusty Australia Post before the end of the week.

Our Menaggio house (on Lake Como) was recommended by friends and it looks gorgeous. We've got the little house on the bridge.

In Spello, we are staying here: We have the flat with the terrace...

In Ghent we are staying on a boat: Bon Vivant on Travellerspoint.

Wonderful, hey..but how easy it would have been just to give dates, budget to the travel agent and let him/her take it from there. And we would have been happy with that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another Milo

Tried as I did to get this one finished in a week or less, I didn't quite suceed, eventhough I indulged in one Saturday afternoon in front of the fire, knitting and enjoying a nice glass of red.  This is my second Milo and the first PDF pattern I bought (have bought several since though).  The next one I make, hopefully I won't have to unpick any..getting the hang of it and bought some shorter needles today as the next one is much smaller.  I didn't notice until I finished it, that the dye lots were different..never mind..just adds to its character. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"When I'm Sixty-Four"

When I get older, losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
 Birthday greetings, bottle of wine.

I was just turning 20 when this Beatles song was first released in June 1967.  Little did I know that when I did turn 64,  my much younger work colleagues would all be able to sing along with me to celebrate my birthday. To help with the celebrations, I provided the cake..a beautiful butter cake from the Shingle Inn.
My birthday celebrations (on the actual day - which was a Sunday) started with a yummy breakfast with my sister and family and ended with a long walk through Toohey Forest with Liam and Addy.  Roast lamb was on the menu for dinner and Liam had made a beautiful Italian dark cherry tart.  

These were the leftovers that I also took to share with my colleagues.  It had a lovely light texture and the perfect sweet with which to end my perfect Sunday.  To add to my delightful day, Shan and Nick skyped me from France..and you can see what they got up by checking out her blog.

But the celebrations have continued...and today I went with some friends to the Spirit House at Yandina for a sensational lunch.  We shared some entrees....this was the pork belly...

 And this is the pork belly..all gone:

 And the whole fish..bit gruesome for me but Tom said it was delicious.

June seems quite a popular month for birthdays amongst my friends and family..and my other Shannon (from my work) turned 30 a couple of weeks ago.  I knew she loves chocolate cake, so chocolate cake I made her.  This is a cake I have made lots of times from a very easy recipe which you might like to check out.   I doubled the recipe on this occassion and filled it with fresh cream with chocolate icing on the top.  Please excuse my dismal attempt at writing...won't be trying that again.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My First Fire for Winter 2011

What a gorgeous weekend..
Sunday was cool enough that I could justify keeping the fire alight all day!! A rarity here in Brisbane.  The house was ever so cosy..just right for knitting, reading papers and a nice glass of red wine.  Addy and I did go for big walks through Toohey Forest, though..and I worked on another to follow.
Just to ensure that I didn't become a complete hermit over the weekend, I took myself to a movie today..Angele and Tony  A thorougly enjoyable French film set in a fishing village in Normandy.  Go see it if you get a chance.

Twirly Skirts and Sherbet Pips

 I just loved Moda's Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey from the moment I saw it and just had to buy the range.  It has been sitting in my stash for a while..just needed an excuse to put it to use.  My work colleage, Ivan and his wife were heading off for a family visit to the north of Scotland.  So what better use then to make a little twirly skirt for Ivan's niece, Valia.  Ivan and Bernie headed off today with the little skirt in their luggage. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mastering the Milo

I'm not sure where I first saw the cute Milo vest..maybe on Tikki Facebook's page..maybe I was checking out Ravelry.  But as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to buy the pattern and make one.  I have been knitting on and off for years, originally taught by my Aunty Glady when I was about 9..but never have I used circular needles.  I had a few mishaps along the way..but after the third attempt, all went smoothly.  Lots of lessons were learned and I am sure never to make the same mistakes.  So enthusiastic am I to get into circular needles and 'top' down knitting that I intend to enrol in a course at Tangled Yarns.  There is a whole other world of creative knitting just waiting for me to discover. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Faux Fur for Homeless Dogs

Just thought I would share a good deed.  My friend at work has made these cosy dog coats for the homeless dogs being cared for by the Animal Welfare League of Queensland.  This is the second lot of  jackets she had made for the dogs awaiting a new home.

 Just a bit of background to the Animal Welfare League:

 The Animal Welfare League of Qld takes care of approximately 10,000 strayed and abandoned animals a year throughout South East Queensland. The AWL receives no state or federal government funding, relying predominantly on the community for support. It is through the continued support of the community that we will achieve a brighter future for every companion animal in need.  \\
But just couldn't help sharing this gorgeous 'family' photo of my friend's pets..the dogs looking very glam in her creations.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sew Mama Sew May Giveaway Day - Custom Made Girl's Skirt

The Sew Mama Sew May Giveaway Day has arrived.  This is the first time I've participated in such an should be exciting. 

Give Away has now closed...Winner advised shortly

If you would like to win a little girl's skirt (sizes 1 - 8), please leave a comment on my blog.  I will email the winner and check on sizing, colour preference, etc. The little skirts above are an example of what I love making.

I am happy to post internationally. 
Give Away now Closed..Thanks for coming to look, though.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Sydney Launch

I decided just a few weeks prior to pop down to Sydney and surprise Liam on the occasion of the launch of his new book of poems.  The launch took place at Glee Books and I am quite sure Liam and his friends got a shock when I wandered up the stairs.  Vagabond Books, through the Rare Object Series, have published more than 50 short collections of Australian poetry since 1999 to the present.  Liam was fortunate to share the launch of "Career" with Felicity Plunkett's Seastrands.  Felicity and Liam read several of their poems and we all shared a nice glass of wine.  How special it is to hear poets read their own works, and hear the stories that lead to the poems.
The little anthologies are indeed "Rare Objects" and are all signed and numbered with a limited print run.

The afternoon didn't end with the launch.  After a drink and a game of ping pong at a very cute bar up the road from the bookshop,  (I didn't play ping pong!)..(photo of Liam and I watching the playing of the ping pong).......

  we headed off to the Red Chilli Restaurant. Now that was an experience. 
Our cooking pot of very hot (chilli) stock
What we cooked in the pot of very hot stock!

 One would think that would be enough to celebrate the launch..but no..we headed off to Chocolateria San Churro for a hot chocolate - Spanish style.
Thanks to Libby, Lucy and Elrig for making the afternoon/evening so special (and Liam for being such a fine poet!). Just have to give Shannon's friend, Phoebe a little mention here.  She made the fabric necklace I was wearing and  I get so many positive comments whenever I wear it.  Another talented young person and you should check out her blog.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Finally Finished the Little Skirts

 I was asked ages ago to make some phil and jack skirts for some special little girls, Zoe, Hannah, Sheldon and Chelsea.  Other things seemed to interrupt my sewing, like going overseas, finishing a long awaited quilt, getting my sewing room in order (will post some photos of my sewing room, which I am just loving).  I love making these little skirts and I ensure that everyone is different.  Such fun choosing the fabric and trying the match colours, themes to the particular little girls. 
 For Zoe and Hannah

For Sheldon and Chelsea
Fabrics included Zoo Babies by Whistler Studios, Riley Blake Rainy Days and Mondays, Riley Blake Sugar and Spice by the Quilterd Fish and Saffron Craig Squiggly Flowers.  And to finish off the 'look' I made some brooches to be worn on a plain Tshirt.
What an enjoyable hobby...and more material came in the mail today.  Can't wait to get started on some new creations.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Things I Found in the Spring (Autumn) Clean

I must say I had a wonderful day cleaning out cupboards and drawers which took way longer than it should of as I kept stopping, reading, reminiscing and occasionally shedding a tear.  But mostly it was a day full of wonderful memories.  This little vest was my first discovery.   I remember making it for Shannon whilst I was working in Cairns for two weeks...and amazingly I found this photo of her wearing it.  This photo was taken on the occasion of their baptism.

Then I uncovered my dad's "Motorist's Record Book".  Dad would write in this book every time...and I mean every time..he bought petrol.    It seems to begin in about 1982 when petrol was 40c a litre and I think this coincided with the purchase of the Holden Commodore.
 Speaking about Dad, I came across this card Shannon had made for grandad..absolutely priceless find:
In amongst some papers, I found a copy of a creative writing magazine where some of Liam's early writings were ;published:
This post could go on many forgotten treasures were unearthed..but will finish on this email from Liam which he sent to Shan and I after competing in the Gold Coast Half Marathon in 2004.  It bought back memories of the finish of the half marathon and I was feeling pretty weary and was beginning to wonder whether it was all worth while.  I suddenly heard Liam calling my name from the stands next to the finishing line.  His presence there was totally unexpected.  It made me feel like a champion and when I found this email, the memories of that wonderful day came flooding back.

That's it..Time to put the stuff away and get on with the cleaning.

The Finished Quilt

I have been working on this quilt for Guy for way too long.  So set myself a deadline of Easter Sunday to have it finished.  Guy, who is three, had graduated to a 'big' bed and needed a quilt to snuggle under in the cooler months.  So finish it I did.  I used a Kookaburra Cottage pattern, Raspberry Shortcake.
And the fabric was a mixture of  Freespirit by David Walker and Traffic Jam by Allison Jane Smith.  The spots were from Spotlight.   I still have difficulty photographing my quilts and tried hanging them outside..but the light wasn't right.  Anyway, decided that any photo is better than no photo:

 And just had to share this one of Guy hiding under his can his tiny hands peeping out from the top.  Needless to say, he was very thrilled and enjoyed counting all the 'matching' squares.

Now to move on to the next quilt...can't wait.