Sunday, 8 November 2015

Christmas Gift making.

Well whilst I've got the sewing machine out, I figured I might get some more sewing done. Back in early August when we were up in Brisbane, I spend a couple of days out at my brothers place. They purchased a little pop top van. I made new curtains and a table cloth in matching fabric for Donna. I took the scraps and promised I would make her some accessories for her and Peter for Christmas. So this is what I made with the scraps. Two place-mats, two drink coasters, two tea towel hanging towels and a pot holder. I did buy some extra fabric to match. The fabric that the curtains were made from is the same in the top of the tea towel holders. Love the colours, very bright.
 This shows the full set.

 The coasters
Two place mats
 A pot holder that was very fiddly to make. Certainly won't be making another one.... ever.
And two towel holders.

I'm pretty sure Donna will like them, as she is always appreciative of the things I make for her.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Last drawer now finished.

Last big drawer cover finished. The block I used for this one was from a round robin I did a few years ago. The work is exquisite, I think it was the Pearls and lace one, Kathy Shaw was one of the participants, along with Nicki Lee, Susan Locke and Rita Cruz. This one is my favourite, mainly due to the block and the colours, just love it.

Thank you ladies for giving me such a wonderful keepsake.

And close ups:

I will followup in a few weeks once they are placed in the van.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

What to do with CQ Blocks?????

I've been doing the  courses that Kathy Shaw has provided FREE of charge over the last year.

Well I emailed Kathy to say she hadn't sent me the next lesson of the last course, not realizing there wasn't another one to come.  So she suggested I go back to the start and redo it.  Well not quiet, but what does one do with all those blocks we've just embellished.

Well we have purchased our next 'mobile home' to continue our travels around Australia.
Old one:

New one:
My 'Craft room' consists of four plastic drawers and a sewing machine. In the previous van hubby had pulled out the lounge and my 4 drawers sat nicely there with a curtain that come over the top and latched into the wall at the bottom. This stopped movement whilst we were traveling.

But as this has a different floor plan we've had to re-think where to put my 'Craft room' - four drawers. So two will be situated at the front of the van in the bedroom area one either side. The other two will fit under the kitchen table. Now that they are separated we can't use the same curtain set up. This photo show's the back of the van where the table and lounge is. Can't pull the lounge out on this one, too difficult.

So I thought about it for a while and came up with the idea of individual slip covers for them. This way if they fall over during travel the drawers will stay in and the contents won't spill over the floor.
So using the blocks from this course I am making four covers. Here is the first one, three more to go.
Front view:
 The top, I will eventually embellish this, as it's also lined.
 Sides have the same fabric, the back is just calico (muslin).
 Close up of the block. Didn't end up putting a beetle on, would have gotten caught on a lot of things.

There is always different uses for our blocks, not just quilts or covers for books etc. Think outside the box everyone.

Thank you Kathy for another excellent class.


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Continuing our Journey -Newcastle-Coffs Harbour

We did our quick trip back to Brisbane to collect Rosey and my car, our white goods and pack up Chris and Rachel and send them on their way. After a day out at my brothers to re sort the container and put some more stuff away, we made our way down to Michael's mum to unpack and continue down back to Newcastle for another 3 weeks with Zacky. (The house owners had to do a dash to South Africa.
Whilst there we both got new bikes in Newcastle, mine is electric, pedal assist, meaning I still have to pedal to move, the electric part allows me to pedal up hills and hence keeping up with Michael. Michael bought himself one that has shocks, so the of-road riding is a bit more comfortable.
Newcastle has several good bikeways, one was the Fernleigh Track Bikeway, which the council has converted from the old railway line to a fully tarred bike path, spanning 16 klm, so when doing a round trip was 32 klm, which I did a few times. Another path we did frequently was the one that went around Lake Macquarie at the northern end, which is a 16 klm round trip, very scenic ride. 

Our routine would be Michael would ride from Holmesville over the hill to the park at the start of the ride (already an 11km trip for him). I would wait for him at Marmong Point near Teralba, after going to craft. (pictured above – one of my favorite spots on the lake, and below Michael at the lake end of the Fernleigh Track).
Unfortunately my bike has been back to the shop twice now, something to do with the relay, but we hope to be back on it soon, in the meantime I'm still walking and riding my other bike, just not in hilly areas.
As we had Rosey with us on our second trip back to Newcastle, she had to adjust to the cold, so I made her a new jacket and got a couple of extra baby blankets for her to snuggle up under.
 Find the Rose?????....
This is Rosey in her jacket, laying on Michael's dirty jeans and jumper, she does look comfy.
We did have some nice days to take her walking, here she is down by Lake Macquirie whilst Michael was trying to find some wind to Kite surf.

She's now staying at Michael's mum place and now that Aleesha (our niece) has arrived to live with Jan, Rosey is getting longer walks and a bit more company.
Before we moved onto Coffs Harbour for our next house sit we spent a week relaxing at South West Rocks, which is about an hours drive south of Coffs. We had a wonderful relaxing time, walking the beach, riding the bikes, reading and sewing. Michael even got a dive in and some kite surfing. The caravan park is right on the beach at Horseshoe bay.
 This was our view from our chairs outside the van, it got even better a few days later when more vans in front of us left.
 Walking the beach back towards the caravan park
 Out bike riding
The days were clear, bright and the ocean was just so blue. We even got to see a whale from the Goal just above these rocks later in the afternoon.

We have been very lucky so far with the weather, the last day we were there was raining and windy, so it was easy to pack up and move on.
We arrived in Coffs Harbour on September 18th.  We are here until Mid to late January. We have already started touring around the place and went whale watching a couple of weeks ago before they disappeared south.
 Michael and I on the boat.
We saw 3 or 4 pods of whales, this one was breaching, not far away from us, just amazing to see.

Well that catches you all up to now, I haven't added any craft stuff here, I'll do that in the next post, otherwise it will be too photo heavy.


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Latest Project - Stumpwork embroidered Crazy Quilted box.

I have to admit it is easier to make things in a house than in the caravan.  I was commissioned to make a gift for a friend for their friends up coming birthday.

 Embroidered Basket with silk ribbon roses and beaded flowers.

 Inside view of box
 Top view of box, Buttonhole lace Butterfly, Stumpwork Goldwork beetle in pink, Silk ribbon flowers.
 This is the brooch I made as an extra gift
Buttonhole embroidered butterfly.

And of course my signature beetle.
The lady who commissioned it has received, she is over the moon with the result as am I.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Bobbin lace - Did I score big.

Finally some posts, my computer died, the motherboard in fact, thankfully the hard drive is ok, but I back up all the time so I lost nothing, just had to reinstall programs.  So now all back to normal.

So over the next couple of weeks I'll be doing my catch up, but this post is one of the most important ones I needed to start with.

During our stay in Newcastle I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful group of ladies creating amazing pieces from Bobbin Lace.  Our hostess Janis lives in an amazing big house with her husband and opens her home to these ladies weekly for their regular get together. Janis also has an amazing collection of Bobbin lace dating back to the 15th century. All the ladies were so lovely and happy to share their knowledge and skills.  One lady in particular Joan Cruise who has been bobbin lacing for 35-40 years or more, is moving house. Downsizing from her large home to a over 55's retirement village.  Doing the same craft for so long you accumulate a lot of stuff (I know and certainly not doing the same craft for so long).

Joan was selling off most of her stuff.  I said I would love to buy some of her bobbins. (Light weight for traveling).  So my friend Lorraine and I went to her place and she gave me (Yes - gave me, would not take an offer of money), all of these following items. Her only request was to put up this write up on my blog (which I would have done anyway).  I am so humble to be the receiver of all these wonderful craft items.  Thank you Joan from the bottom of my heart.

A bag to carry my round cushion, beautifully made.
 Joan made this some time ago, a bigger roll than mine, and more room for accessories.
 And closed.
 A bobbin holder, this I am already using regularly.

A bobbin winder, which Michael has oiled up and we have put this into storage, as it's really heavy.

 And several books, this one I have kept out as it had the best information i though for my travels. Even though it's a hard cover and a little heavy I think it is worth me having we me.
 These next books I have put into storage.

So who's the lucky ducky.......ME of course.


Now we are in Coffs Harbour and I have found a small group here to do bobbin lace and Dot is very happy to pass on her knowledge.