Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Little Inspiration

A different way of seeing things

Its been quite a while since I've been around blog land - well sewing blogs that is. So grab a cuppa, there's a bit to tell.

I have been clicking from one site to another on a quest to find out more about autism and learning difficulties in general.

Our Master 9 (who only just had his birthday last week) has been struggling on at school since kindergarten (2009). He has coped amazingly well going to many appointments in the last 4 years to speech therapists, occupational therapists, GPs..... all in an effort to help him succeed at school......

A diagnosis of Auditory Processing issues didn't seem to be the complete picture. So finally after receiving some finalised reports from school last term, and also going to many appointments the last couple of months, it seems he has high functioning Autism. This basically means that he can function well in some areas and struggles in others. Having a 'label' is helpful so we now know how to help him. It feels like a very long journey getting this far, but at least we know where to go from here.

An Australian teacher Sue Larkey has some great information, recorded interviews, links and resources on her site and a facebook page too. There are many more sites out there but this has been a great start for me. It is wonderful to live in a time where helpful information and practical parenting tips are literally at our fingertips. So many wonderful families share their stories online which is a help to so many.

I stumbled upon this site when looking for some crafty gift ideas. On Bethany's blog I saw that she had a tab for Autism Awareness and also a link to this music video, which she says has been a help to her on her journey.

Raising a child with special needs is in deed a journey and I am thankful that I am not alone and God is helping me along the way. I am a much better person than I would have been without walking through this.

On the days running around to appointments I occasionally browse at fabric. Our VERY worn and gross looking cushion on the bench on our back verandah is in desperate need of replacing. I have hesitated as our rather large dog often likes to sit on it.

I did spot this bright and cheery fabric on the end of a roll - on sale is always a bonus too! It's called "citrus" - just the thing to brighten up our verandah (and help me think happy thoughts!).

Will post a picture when I get it done....don't hold your breath, that could be a while (but at least its sitting near my sewing machine being all very inspiring for the moment)

The glass doors on the cabinet I painted a while ago are in need of some fabric. I also found this on my travels. Love that it has a quilted look to it (although doesn't come up well in the photos).

love the detail...

A little more inspiration sitting on my sewing table....

Hopefully won't be too long until I get back to it. Plenty to read up on and Christmas is coming...

Looking forward to some family time and hopefully a slightly slower pace for a while.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Creative Urges....

I snapped this happy pic a couple of weeks ago of some bright sun shiny daisies blossoming on my back verandah. Loving the yellow! Just had to share it with you.

 .....and yes it sometimes takes me a while to get the photos from camera to post.


With one week to go before the school holidays started I decided that our tv cabinet (previously my parents') needed a freshen up. We have had it for about 10 years. Justifying Explaining to myself that it would be a good idea to have it all done before the kids were home on holidays I continued to set up the room with plastic sheeting, sand paper and paint stripper.

Here is the cabinet after removing the doors and fixtures (love the power drill!!) and spending a few hours spreading around paint stripper then proceeding to scrape it off. No exercise class needed that day!

Day 2 here it is all coated in primer - what a job.....and here I was thinking to myself that the whole job would take a couple of days (ha ha ha).

Day 3 & 4 I painted the two top coats on. I chose Stowe White from Dulux.

Saturday morning (Day 5) I rubbed back the edges to soften the look, refixed the doors and added some new handles.

Over the following day or two we slowly sorted our videos and dvds and added them to the cabinet.

Last job is to add some sort of curtain to both glass doors. I have bought some spring wire but that's about it at the moment. I am not wanting to put in the same as before (see pic above) and am thinking of a straight curtain, not gathered. Any design and colour ideas gratefully received.


 Close up shot here of some of the rubbed back edges.

This week I was finally reacquainted with my sewing machine......we have missed each other such a lot :)

A while ago I picked up this cute Italian linen with a bag in mind for my Aunty. She is English herself but married to my Italian uncle, and she loves all things Italian.

A quick look through my stash for some coordinating fabrics. (this pic is supposed to be the 'before' pic but I snapped it after the event for this post, lol)

This is my attempt at an outdoor photo - on a VERY breezy morning.

So, gave up on that idea and settled for an indoor shot before bundling it up into a post bag, so it hopefully arrives next week before they go on holiday.

And for FNSI....including a quick pic of some stitching work on my Gardener's Journal.

Plenty going on to feed my creative inner self......happy creating to you too :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Other Half

This gorgeous little bear is well loved. I finally remembered got around to showing you the other half to this cute little guy in this post. Lovingly made by my Nan, little Miss 6 was thrilled when this little package arrived.

Here's a little more too of the updated laundry.....this time showing the light blue on the walls.

The architraves will stay white. Might get around to freshening up the paint some time.

This metal hanger from a local gift store was just the thing for this spot.

Also during the last school holidays I had my eye on changing our tired looking power box.

Now I know that all power boxes look like this, but it was time for a change!

The holidays quickly came to an end, so it was when school went back that I picked the paintbrush back up again and went to work.

For a house that is covered in white metal cladding the old gal power box did stand out.....just a little.

I am happy with the result....just glad no one popped by when I was painting 'the power box'.....lol

The house is unfinished in many areas, that drive me crazy at times, so at least brushing a bit of paint around is something that I can do.

So not much patchworking here at the moment, but so nice that some little jobs are getting done.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Before the school holidays (which seem like quite a while ago now) I was hoping to get a little painting done....because no one else will do it! :)

The term rolled on and no spare time was found, so the holidays were just the spot to fit in some painting. I was brave enough to allow the kids to "help"....just a little, being the control freak that I am.

With a view to freshening up the tired old laundry I picked a medium shade of blue for the doors and a light blue for the walls. I am leaving the architraves white.....just because I know when I've had enough of painting.
 After the coats of blue paint and screwing the handles back on I am quite happy with how the doors have turned out. I will have to post another picture of the finished room with the walls done too. Amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a room.....and to your mood!

I have also done a little sewing recently too....amazingly. Some friends had their first baby boy a few weeks ago. So just the opportunity to try out this project on the Freebies for Crafters blog. I subscribed to this lovely blog a few months ago and am just loving the inspiring emails that pop in to my inbox. I loved the look of this quilted toy leash at Moda Bakeshop....so just had to give it a go too. Easy to follow instructions and they turned out very cute. I reinforced the stitching on the overturned end near the toy ring for a little more strength for a strong 'little man'.

Now off to have a look around blogland for a while......I have missed catching up with everyone's happenings and am always so thankful for your many inspirations. Happy stitching!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


On Saturday last week I remembered that a friend's birthday was coming up on Monday. Feeling quite exhausted that day and having a full day with my son's friend visiting I didn't get to put much thought into what to make.

On Sunday, I was still undecided but I really did want to make her something. My friend is fairly new to quilting herself and doesn't get much time for it, so a little pick-me-up was in order. She very diligently teaches Scripture each week at the local school, and is very gifted at it.

I considered making a table runner but then remembered I had seen a nice tote bag pattern. After spotting a charm pack of Glace from Moda in the cupboard I decided the bag was the way to go.

Here it is with the handles and tie ready to sew in.

The pattern is a combination of the Charm Pack Tote Bag from Teresa Down Under and the Mill House Inn Tote Bag on Moda Bakeshop.

After sewing with this range I just fell in love with it - absolutely gorgeous. It is a few years old but still so very nice.

I also thought I'd have a go at stippling again. I am a bit rusty and haven't quite mastered it yet, but it is fun.....just need the right music to get me going. Something like this...

I had changed the pattern a little to add a sashing strip behind the tie, and accidentally purposely measured the tie for a different look. The tie is shorter than the pattern but I think it looks quite cute.

The bag is lined with the same fabric as the sashing strip with a little pocket on the inside just right for a couple of pens and an iPhone....

I didn't make the deadline for the Monday but was able to deliver it to her on Tuesday.

Hopefully she can get alot of use out of it and it is a blessing to her.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Truly Wonderful

 After going to the quilting retreat weekend I came home with two cushions for my girls. I was undecided on what sort of cushions to make before I left so I went along armed with fabric, a couple of patterns, embroidery threads and other assorted embellishments.

I decided on the pattern in Annie Down's book 'Some Kind of Wonderful'....and they have turned out wonderful indeed.

The two colour ways bring out different fabrics in the girls quilts....and also suit their personalities.

 My youngest cherub can often be seen carrying her cushion around the house!

I almost went for a quick-finish simple backing, but was swayed by how lovely the pieced back looked in the pattern. I only started on the back on the Sunday morning....and was the last person left sewing in the afternoon (insert embarrassed look here)

I purchased the buttons from Primitive Willow in Dubbo. I was very pleased with the painted wooden buttons that Lee-Anne showed me....they have added that nice finishing touch to the cushions.

So in total I did not deliver on my 'other' projects that I took with me...and yes the layer cake in my last post is still a layer cake! More projects to keep me inspired for the next retreat or hopefully some time to sew at home.

This is another little project with my Master 8 that we finished this week. They are studying monotremes and we chose to do the echidna. He did very well with paints and crepe paper and bits of bark and leaves....with a few helpful suggestions from his older sister (love the googly eyes).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

You Know Life Is Busy When...

...you don't have time to smell the roses.

So I just had to make some time to do just that. I just love these burgundy Icebergs at home. Still putting on a bit of a show despite the lack of rain.

You also know there's alot on when it takes a couple of weeks to hem some new jeans...and the only action the sewing machine has seen for a while is mending and alterations. After going to work yesterday with some temporary pins in the bottom so I could wear them (LOL) I was determined to get them done.

So before heading off to a quilting weekend tomorrow (yay!) I set to work and finally finished the hems along with a pair of school trousers.

Here is one project I am taking with me to the weekend - a cushion (or two). The lovely scraps at the front are from my youngest daughter's quilt I finished last year, which is very special as my Nan gave me the remaining fabric from making my eldest daughter's quilt that she had made.

With some extra fabric I am hoping to make a cushion for both of my daughters to go with their quilts.

This lovely layer cake has been around for a while (and has done a few car trips with me too!!)  Let's see if I can turn it into a quilt top or if it comes home with me again just like this.

And just for something extra, a couple of charm packs are coming along too. Can't say I will run out of things to do.

 Just before I head off on my weekend I am helping the kids with their Red Shirt Day at school tomorrow, to raise funds for the Salvation Army. They all had a red shirt of some description except for little Miss 6. I found this at the local op shop this week and it was decided that a little embellishment might be nice.

So here 'tis.

My machine does not have a blanket stitch setting. The most similar looking is one with the horizontal stitch on a diagonal slant. But overall it has still come up okay. All ready for Red Shirt Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

On A Roll

It has been a bit slow going here for working on sewing projects. I have been wanting to have a go at making a pencil roll for a while now. Miss 12 had a birthday party coming up, which was a great opportunity to try it out.

She picked some pink cupcake fabric from my stash along with coordinating lining and binding. And this is what we came up with.
 The pencil pockets are fiddly but worth it. I would like to try a pencil roll with a flat pocket to compare the difference. The tutorial was from You Go Girl and very easy peasy to follow. The no snit binding is a great method, but I am yet to master it. A little tricky on this project with all the layers.

Miss 12 had a pack of 24 pencils she wanted in the roll so we changed the dimensions a little and were able to accomodate all but 1 pencil! To finish she picked a couple of blingy buttons for the clasp.

Surprisingly, it didn't really take that long for a great result.
Definitely on the 'do again' list.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

That Time of Year Again...

This is the latest finish for me - a handy basket. A last minute gift for a 12 year old girl. An applique or stitchery would be nice but time would not allow. Was so pleased to give something handmade.

 And as it is that time of year again, where we remember Jesus and the new life he brings, I have been inspired to make some thank you gifts for the teachers at school. In my usual style one idea snowballs into another and then I have more on my plate than I can handle.

I thought I would have a go at making chocolate truffles and putting them in these cute little "googy bags". It is one of Red Brolly's free patterns. As these were last minute gifts I didn't have the time for the stitched panel on the front or the gorgeous stitchery along the handle.

Here they are in their partly finished state, sewn together but unpressed.

These are some of the truffles I made. Dark chocolate and hazelnut, dark choccy and peanuts and my favourite - white chocolate and coconut cream with lemon and lime...yum! They are very messy to roll into shape but well worth it.

Here are the bags all finished complete with truffles. While I was finishing them off the school called me to say that Miss 12 had thrown up and was in the sick bay, poor thing. So as I had to go to the rescue I didn't get time to sew some ribbon bows on the sides....but despite this, the teachers were pleased to receive their little thank you gifts this Easter.

We are hoping to have some family time over the weekend and no travelling is on the agenda. Good Friday will be a solemn reminder of all that Jesus went through so willingly for each one of us, and then celebrating his victory and our new life on Easter Sunday. I am looking forward to hiding the eggs around the garden this year for the kids to find and watching their joy as they hunt around for them......had better make sure the dog is tied up first!!

Easter blessings for you and your family.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When you go down to the woods today...

 This lovely little knitted bear arrived in the mail yesterday for my youngest son. A lovely surprise from my Nan.

My Nan is a lovely quilter but is now finding it hard to sit at the machine for long periods of time. She is also a bit partial to knitting and for Christmas I bought her this book. It was a hit!

I think this bear is the fourth one she has made so far. Very special.

In my chat with her during the week she told me that during the war, she went with a lady to a group where they knitted the camouflage nets for the soldiers. That was something that I had never really thought about before.....amazing, and very humbling.

Apparently there is a girl bear on its way soon for my youngest cherub...will have to share that one with you too.

 Over the last few weeks I have also stitched a few more hexies...

and the garden now has 11 blooms. I am loving how bright and cheery they are. Will soon have to start on some stitched centres to put some together.