Monday, December 31, 2007

Out with the old....in with the new (Year)

I am opening with some pictures for a change!!




My REALLY small Santa Collection, I add a piece or two each year. Santa han't been about much (in small scale) this year





My new Christmas tree. The small grey bum in the lower left corner is my Chinese Crested dog, he pushes the quilt away to lay on the floor.

I'm using a Christmas Nine patch quilt
on the floor, in lieu of a tree skirt.





My collection of Lee Middleton dolls, and a Baby Chrissie peeping in at the back





I dug this UFO out, I have to applique the edges to the borders, and put it into the quilting queue. It isn't an easy task, I hve baasted the seam allowances so I can turn them under






Ethel, wearing her miiature tree. She and I are haveing tension issues, her timing needs to be re-set, and I need someone to talk Hubby through it, so he can show me. I DO NOT like telephones, unless I know who is calling, I don't answer.

I have been reading on some blogs, that the end of the year is a time to reflect.

On the whole, I didn't like a lot about 2007, but I will be sad to see it go. Mainly because I don't know what 2008 will bring.

It has become almost a tradition that tomorrow, I will be re-jigging the budget, and making ends meet where they may not be so close now.

I will be tallying what we have spent this year, and see if my money management balances out, re-aligning the categories we use to allot our money each fortnight.

Haven't done so well on the Ebay front, so I think that I will be re-assessing that too.

What has worked out is the IDEA that we need to put money aside for different things.

On the personal front, I am still not happy with my doctor, or my medication, will have to see to that in the New Year.

We had an OK Christmas, and the kids were happy. I still have to return my new pyjamas, they are too small!!

I usually don't make resolutions, they never seem to last, but I would like to address my weight, and my stash.

Also, I think I will just shred the old bills etc that are over 2 years old, unless they are VERY important. That will free up a ton of space around the computer and in the shelves

And one of the neighbours is letting off fireworks, nearly 30 minutes too early.

No Gratitudes this post, but I will be back and let you all know how things work out after tomorrow.

.....oh, and I almost forgot, Miss 19 dyed my hair for Christmas. Bright Purple.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas in Australia

Getting to be a habit, this blogging with no pictures.

Just wanted to wish any and all readers the Merriest of Christmasses.

....my studio is actually decorated.....or as miss 19 put it...... "Santa BARFED in here"

I promise to post pictures soon,today I am just going to be woken up in about 5and a half hours, start lunch 5 and a half hours after that, and maybe get some sewing in if I am lucky.

....at least that is the plan!!

....oh-oh, I forgot to make the trifle.......

no bed for me yet!!

Gratitudes

have some Christmas Spirit
persents are DONE
lunch organised
children (mostly) sleeping
rare quiet time with DH

Saturday, December 15, 2007

figured it out.....

after re-reading my last few posts, I have figured out what is wrong.

IT'S ME!!!!!

I am tired of being the grown-up. I run the budget, pay the bills, allocate the funds for clothing, school fees, everything, mostly do the shopping, admittedly, I have Hubby or one of the older kids with me.

I organize Christmas presents and birthday presents.

All the stuff that helps the house run........

I don't want to be the grown up anymore.

I KNOW what I'm getting for Christmas from my husband and kids....I BOUGHT it!!

I KNOW what m in-laws are giving me.....I BOUGHT it

....can we see a pattern here???

oh, and to mek me feel SO much better?? I went to my dr on Friday.......he has increased my anti anxiety medication.

But hang on, my anxiety has INCREASED since I started them.....

also.....I'm not comfortable being the size that I am. I want to lose weight. Dr says "don't worry about losing weight.....that will happen when we start to DECREASE the anti-depressants"

So, I can deduce that some of my "I feel fat, unloved and horrible" is actually caused by the medication that is supposed to make me feel NOT depressed.

Aha......

After the doctor visit, DH wants to cheer me up.......he says we can go buy some fabric for my Dear Jane quilt.

The budget-priced quilt shop is right near my dr's office.

I didn't know that their minimum cut is 20cm (8 inches, a fifth of a metre/2 ninths if a yard).

All I need is a 10cm (4 inch) cut, so no fabric acquistion(sp?)

I know that I can buy fat 1/16ths on ebay, (from a US seller, 50 per pack), but I try to support my Australian quilt shops.

I did find a store that had a bundle of 27 pieces, cut 10cm by half the width of fabric for $64.50

that would make each piece a fat 20th, costing about $2.39 each, or $47.75 per metre off the bolt.

YIKES.

I didn't buy that fabric either.

and believe it or not.......

Gratitudes

I DO have a wonderful husband and children
I have medical coverage, many in the world do not
Christmas *only* comes once a year
I haven't completely broken the budget yet
the REALLY expensive fabric stayed in the store


Monday, December 10, 2007

looking for

if anyone in the US reads this, I am looking for these two magazines

McCalls Magazine, Feb 2008

Quiltmaker Jan/Feb 2008

thank you

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Insanity runs in the Quilt World

Ok, after the last post I feel a little better.

Bonnie www.quiltville.com is in the middle of selling her house and moving, she runs a quilting business, is a licenced Massage Therapist...and had graciously turned one of her "in progress" quilts into a Mystery.

I seriously need some time-management skills.

Did I mention that Bonnie also set up a group so everyone can play along???....and there are some 800!! people doing just that......making a quilt along with someone who has SO much to do, but is ALWAYS so generous with her time.

anyway, if you want to look, hit the link above, the Mystery Quilt link is on her front page.

.....oh, and in other events, I am just going to bundle up fabric I DON'T love any more and sell it by weight on ebay. Will also re-list the books, and do Mystery bundles of magazines I don't want anymore.

I do not think that I can handle being a "business", so hopefully if I get rid of enough stuff, I can keep this quilting thing going for ME.

Possibly too much stress and life in general are taking their toll......and the new combination of anti-depressants/anxiety meds aren't doing doodly squat.

....now, with much searching........

Gratitudes

having the WWW to talk to my friends.
mystery quilts that have GREAT instructions
joining said groups to find that everyone else is getting a positive result
ranting on my blog, instead of at DH/humand/doctors
realising how much is "too much"

ps.......When I get the camera back from teenagers, and have charged batteries, I WILL post picures

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dear Blog.....I want Christmas to be OVER!!!

December has arrived in a rush.

DD is telling me it is *only* 19 days until she is 19.

....yeah....and I *only* have 19 days to do EVERYTHING.

Miss 1 is 2!! on Saturday. DH is 39 on Christmas Eve, miss 18 is 19 Christmas day......EVERYONE expects presents!!!!!, oh, and miss 11 months is 1..... 4 days AFTER Christmas.

Told DH that if everyone doesn't SHUT THE FREAK UP!!, I'm cancelling Christmas.

Kids want...., DH is looking at fish (that's what he wants for Christmas, so OK.....) MIL has sent money and tags for ME to buy all the presents, wrap them and have them ready for when her and FIL descend "about the 23rd"....

NO decorations or anything are up, I leave the outside lights to DH...he LIKES to put them over the roof.

I got SO PO'd with DS 15 that I mowed the front yard yesterday, got tired of his "tomorrow".

I even bought a new tree for the Studio....not so much as a tinsel is in place yet........

Oh, and just to top it off.....Ethel is having tension "issues"

.....somehow I don't think that the meds dear dr. had bumped me up to are working.......

I actually LIKE Christmas...., I even LIKE wrapping presents, just NOT this year.

oh, to add to my mood....I sold 1 of 10 books I put on ebay.......I covered postage and fees.

anyways, I am going to think CALM thoughts, and "do a Scarlett".......

"I'll think about it tomorrow, for tomorrow is another day"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Turkey Day




Just a quick not to wish everyone (well, everyone who celebrates this day)


Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 19, 2007

hello, testing, testing....1.....2.....3....

Well, so much for LAST Sunday.

For some reason, I feel like I've been spinning my wheels, doing nothing important (read blog worthy).

Well, unless you count tidying the house, sorting a GAZILLION things, and finding clothes that actually fit the youngest two girls.

I have finally culled clothes that dont fit DD's #6 and #5.

They are in size 1 and 2 now and I still had 00 and 000 things in their baskets.....
Everything's been sorted, DD #5 is 'short' quite a few size 2's....will have to dig in DD #4's tub and sort her clothes out now too.

and YES, I use baskets for the 3 youngest girls, far less fuss about putting things away neatly, as long as it's IN the basket, it's away

Now, onto the good stuff.....PICTURES






This is my booty from http://monkeemaker.blogspot.com/
I won one of the prizes in her blog giveaway. It's a Monkee Sock, and supposed to be a bottle type holder 'thing', but I put mine to use as a fish food cover.
*note* chocolates didn't last very long at all......



More lovely bloggy give-away gifties...
Kate at http://katesquilting.blogspot.com/ made these inchies ...one inch square pieces of art.I love that they are Halloween type colors.


For now they are on the card they were sent in, but I have plans to frame them for next year.

Also, but not pictured, Jeanne sent me cute Halloween socks, they are orange with spiders on them

Was going to post a new picture of Ethel too, but the camera pics weren't flattering at all. She doesn't look as good 'solo' as she does mid quilt.

.....and no, I haven't forgottten......

Gratitudes

Dh, for putting up with the madness that is our family
children who outgrow clothes...and pass them on
a noisy house...it means healthy children
being able to blog, however infrequently
friends...who's blogs I read and thoroughly enjoy

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

a brief word from the wilderness.....

Ethel arrived at 7.30 p.m. last Friday night.

I sucessfully quilted my first quilt on Saturday, it is bound and I'm taking it to guild tonight.

Putting the Studio back to "right" is taking longer than I thought it would.

SO.....

I will try to be wordy and wise (and picture intense) on Sunday.

Saturday, DH is off to a miniature games tourny, I will be wrangling children...not conductive to blogging!

....and I am debating the pros and cons of registering as a business....

quickly....

Gratitudes
the Short Arm works well
it actually fist well into the Studio
children are "helping"
friends with practise tops
time

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Houston.........we have a problem

Dear Moving Company informed the DH (this afternoon, and by SMS) that the Gammill will not be here until tomorrow afternoon!!

I am on medication, but even I can count.......it has been more that 2 (4!!) days since my lovely Ethel left Sydney, bound for Melbourne

Sent said company a polite email, but no response.

So......tomorrow is supposed to be "Mums in Stitches"....we grew out of a mom's support group of sorts....it's cancelled, the one who's turn it was to host had life get in the way of patchwork :>(...will be grocery chopping in the morning, and machine waiting in the afternoon

....in other news......

I spent $11 on 'things' to give to my Trick or Treat guests.....6 turned up!!....but they WERE cute, and I have put the non-lollie portion away for next year.

had pictures of the 'bounty' to show, along with my shelf of Hallwoeen Goodness, but the camera batteries are not co-operating.

The $2 shop did roaring trade, I bought one of most everything they had.......unlike the US, there wasn't a lot. Likewise, I went to three different stores to get a witch-y hat and a head band for DD's.

lastly, I was going to show handpieced achievements, but again with the batteries...so I leave you with...

Gratitudes

tolerant neighbours
children on a real sugar high
searching for Hallowen decorations
being able to find some of my handwork
only complaining once (to the moving company)about my overdue machine

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ethel (not Elvis) has left the building..

Houston, we have liftoff....

My new Quiting Machine is on the way.

I am calling her Ethel.

She left Sydney at 3 p.m. today, and will arrive at Studio Christine sometime Monday.

Evidently, a lot of owners name their machines.

Sometimes they even use that name in regular conversations.

I have no clue why I am calling her Ethel, it is just an old name, and seeing as I am buying her "used" I thought it fits.

The quilt isn't mine, this was the picture I saw when I decided I *needed* a quilting machine.


And, after a lot of budgeting, foofing about and applications, I will have one Monday!

The Studio looks like a bowling alley. A BIG piece of clean floor in the centre, and stuff banked up on both sides.

The camera couldn't cope with taking a picture of nothing between me and the windows...sorry, you will have to take my word for it.

The fun jigsaw-y part comes when I have to put everything away, and learn to quilt....


Gratitudes

having a room to clear
the internet, for FAST communication
a way of finishing all my quilt tops
an opportunity to learn a new skill,
and a friend to teach me said skill

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What does it look like?

The Studio that is...........

The room is 4.6 x 6.01 metres, or about 12 x 20 feet.

Should be loads of room for all my quilting fabric and stuff right??

Umm....not quite



This is the view behind me, if I turn around and try to look out of my windows. All you can really see is the sewing cabinet and the cutting table (under the pile of stuff) If you look hard at the picture, you may make out my bird on the middle left side




Next picture is the view to my left, shelves groaning under goodness-knows-what. A lot of random boxes and crates have been stacked on the shelves, my Lee Middleton dolls too. The 'plan' was to sort through one box or tub a week and get the job done slowly but thoroughly....as they say, the best laid plans etc....



The last picture is my current view, resident BIG white cat included. Charlie belonged to my quilting friend H. When she was diagnosed with cancer, she asked me to take Charlie. H has since passed, but its nice to have such a tangible reminder of her. And its ncie to think that H thought I was worthy of looking after him. cat.

Finally.........

I have a Short Arm Gammill Quilting Machine and table (3.7metres/12 odd feet) arriving in the next few weeks. Have to fit that into this space.

Have a sort-of plan for then......take all the easily moved "stuff" OUT of the room, put big table etc. IN, and fit all the other things AROUND it.

In the mean time......

Gratitudes

Space to create in

Being able to show my room to everyone

Having all of this stuff, in abundance

There are doors on this room, so I can close it from the rest of the neat-ish house

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In porgress news...

the top shown in the last post is half quilted and the binding is machined on, waiting for hand stitching

Unfortunately, I bent the needle arm on my new machine, and have a loaner.

I will finish the quilting on my hanging when my machine is back home, don't want to risk the loaner machine with my free-motion.

..........or I will take it all apart, and re-do it on my longarm..........

and I do have one kid out of 10 who likes Halloween. T is waiting on a BIG Halloween quilt for his bed year-round.

His only requests are that he wants a "cool" quilt, just like Tonyas, and could he please have it before he turns 15......

Monday, October 15, 2007

Halloween, what's NOT to like

This is my oldest Halloween related UFO.



It dates to sometime in 2001. The two colors of the trick-or-treat fabrics were the only two real Halloween fabrics I could find.

The orange cats and bats fabric was taken from my cat fabric stash, the blue allover pumpkins are from a chain store, plump orange pumpkins are blanket stitch applique. And the pattern was (I think) from American BH&G.





Look what I found in the $2 store!! They had this pumpkin head guy, a witch and (I think) a Frankenstein-type monster. Will go back later this week, and maybe get the others.

Have to take what I can get, Australia isn't too much into Halloween, but I LOVE it, then again, I like Thanksgiving and 4th July too (don't ask about the few US patriotic fabrics I have squirreled away, LOL)

Gratitudes

Having fun in the $2 with purse change.
Old quilting pieces that are still loved
Finishing something
having kids who roll their eyes, that mom is 'doing' Hallowen

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

House keeping

I have NO idea what happened, but for some reason, only my first post allowed comments.

Hopefully (thanks tonya) things are OK now.

I did edit the previous posts to allow comments, we will see what happens.

"Normal" blogging activity should resume shortly.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fun, and a new "baby"

This is the third try at putting pictures into the text I had saved.

After a lot of shopping (looking and talking,no demo's), I have found a machine that fits both my budget, and what I want a machine to do.




My new Brother NX400, sitting snugly in my sewing cabinet.









As well as what I knew I wanted, it has some things that are very handy....especially with kids around.

It doesn't need a foot pedal!! There is a brightly lit button, push to go, push to stop, a thread cutter, variable speed and LOADS of decorative stitches. It also has a knee lift which doesn't fit into my cabinet space

Best of all though, it *beeps* if something is wrong. Remains to be seen if it beeps when the bobbin is empty. (it doesn't)

Dear Husband (he who said I could get this lovely new machine)also bought me a new rotary cutter, the Olfa "Calanth Plum". It's supposed to be a limited edition, but I like it because it is purple.

Lastly, I have sewed!!!


It's the beginning of a Halloween/Spooky quilt for DS 11.

An asterisk from a tutorial at http://lazygalquilting.blogspot.com/

Tonya does a lot of freehand piecing, and her tutorials are very easy to follow, and have loads of pictures too.

It WAS supposed to turn into a spider, but I mucked it up after taking this picture

Added to the original post

I managed to bend the Needle Arm Mechanism on my new machine.

I now have a loan of a Brother NX600 from the store, it's the next model up from mine.

...and stay tuned, there is one more "new arrival" coming to the Studio soon....

Gratitudes
A husband who goes above and beyond to make my dreams come true.
Rain
A Studio of my own
Lots of time to sew









Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hoist the Jolly Roger......

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

...yo, ho, ho, and a cup of cappucino. LOL.

Seriously, it was a good day to meet up with the in-laws and have them see how active my three of my younger four children have become.

Lots of running and climbing at a near-to-home mid-week market. We had a browse, but apart from the Hub buying a computer game, we didn't buy anything.

Am on the hunt for a new sewing machine!! Again,the Hub went above and beyond and came up with money for the purchase.

Now all I have to do is fond one that is within the budget range.

...........oh, I started another stitchery project..."Journey of a Quilter" by Leeanne Beasley. Will show the first block when I am done.

Gratitudes...am getting good at this

a husband who managed to get funds for a new sewing machine
in-laws who can see that my kids are "full-on"
large play areas within easy distance of home
finally getting the cutting and sewing areas set up in the studio

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Echoes, kitty racing and bad days

The best laid floors for humans and kitties have been completed.

Rooms echo with cleanliness, no carpet to muffle the joyous skittering.

Cats who used to play chasey with each other are now losing control and hitting the walls...click, click, click...THUMP.

Nothing annoys a cat more that their Humans laughing when the ignoble crash happens,and it does happen, frequently.

We can now call the dogs and hear them coming. Pedicures all around I think.

Today has also been a bad day. There are statistics that tell you how much debt is incurred per capita in Australia. Apart from the mortgage, we are debt free.

Dear Husband thought it might be nice to add a little something to the pristine Studio...NOW!!

Despite his best efforts, he wasn't able to finance........a Domestic Quilting System. Seems we are not suitable fodder for even the leanest of high-interest-loan type companies to bite.

On the up side, I suppose, is the fact that we don't have the debt........but it would be wonderful to have a new quilt or three about thta I did, from fabric selection to binding and label......

in that vein......

Gratitudes

a husband that TRIED to get my machine sooner rather than later
new floors, and cats for our amusement
none of said cats hurt...apart from feline pride
friends who helped clear the Studio
being able to send the occasional quilt our for professional Long Arm Quilting

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Day of Destruction

Thursday.

The day before the floor goes in. Also the day that DH is pulling the OLD carpet and underlay up.

Went to the local hardware store, there should be a special word for the size of these buildings, the official name is a Warehouse, but "The Hardware Block" springs to mind. .

Was told I didn't *need* a crowbar, a pinch bar was sufficient....so I got it, and wandered off to look as the clearance rack. Found an ailing pink African Violet. I have a fe of these on my kitchen windowsill, so it will have company.

I have a *thing* for waifs, strays and clearance goods, whether plants or animals.

Also visited with a couple of friends who meet on Thursdays. We went looking for a new patchwork shop that we had heard about, but didn't find it, so went to an established shop nearby.

I was good, and only bought a skein of hand dyed floss, have a project in mind for the Studio.

Was so pleased that I didn't buy more fabric, but I did help the girls choose some pieces for their on-going projects.

...and now for something completely different......

Gratitudes

friends to shop with
a husband that doesn't mind me shopping
space for "me" to be creative
children who think of this chaos as just another adventure
other bloggers who encourage me

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

New blog, new place

After two years of talking about it, we are finally getting a laminate floor through the house.

Well, through the house, but not bedrooms. Wih 10 children, 9 at home, we need something tougher than carpet. LOTS easier to clean too.

So, this is my optimist blog. The one where all the good things happen in my improved sewing room, no to be known as the Studio.

I say improved because presently, it's a mess. Having to clear EVERYTHING out gives me a chance to start again.

I am only putting back what I love, the rest is destined for ebay, give away or garbage. My aim is to get enough "me money" to buy a second hand short arm machine set-up

There. I have put my goal up in public.

Now all I have to do is work like blazes to achieve it.

Try not to buy any more fabric. A lot of what I have has ben bought over the last fifteen years I don't love any more. The rest is just too much, it give me an anxiety attack over thinking about it.

I have a bunch of blocks from when bus-boy was born........he's 15 in a week or so.

So, without further ado, I am going back to the studio............to cull.