Friday, 25 July 2008

Arty Week

It's been something of an arty week, with our daughter Maz Dixon (I'm the only one in the world who still calls her Marianne) having a successful opening of an art exhibition in Sydney.

She is fairly pleased with the reaction and an art agent has shown some interest in her work, so fingers crossed. As well as her fiance and friends, her niece and nephew (and their parents) were there to cheer her on.

I don't know much about art, Chris, but I know what I like.

And on another front, one of the BrisStyle girls, Amanda, a talented artist, is running a competition and the prize is one of her gorgeous prints. If your child is into space travel, take a look at her blog: Twinkle Star Art. You will fall in love with her artwork, so go to her comments tab and enter the competition - you could be the winner!

Oh, and that piggy bib? I've put it up for sale in my Etsy shop, with a pair of police boots thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Close Shave

Well, I had all the items put together for my baby bundle commission, when I decided to add a little embellishment to one of the bibs. How sweet it would be, I thought, to machine embroider something around the neckline- a little animal, perchance. So I chose a design stitch on my Bernina and set to work. Oh, it looked so cute. I was putting the bundle together and took another admiring look at the bib. I broke out in a cold sweat - what was I thinking of? The animals were pigs!!! The father of the baby is a policeman!!!

Back to the drawing board. I quickly made another bib.

Whew! Much better.

I did manage to finish a little sundress which will be in my Etsy shop tonight.

And I was overjoyed when I checked my PO Box and discovered a parcel of fabric had arrived from the States - some beautiful Anna Maria Horner delights which I can hardly wait to get stuck into.

But the highlight of the day was at Schoolhouse Quilters (I was off medical duty for a couple of hours). One of our members, Mollie Millis, had been persuaded to talk on the historic trip she took last October to Belgium. Mollie's uncle, John Hunter, had been killed in the First World War and thanks to Mollie's DNA, he had been positively identified as one of five World War I Australian soldiers whose bodies were discovered during some excavation work. Several of us had heard Mollie talk of her trip, but not in great detail. So today was really special. She spoke for over an hour, but the time simply flew by for us. Now, Mollie is over eighty and a great-grandmother, but not your usual great-granny crocheting quietly in a corner. Mollie plays comp tennis and whips up quilts like they were going out of fashion. You can read something of the story on:

On the day of the re-burial ceremony, attended by the Australian Governor General and the New Zealand Prime Minister, Mollie was advised that the BBC wanted to interview her. By this time she was a regular media tart. She wandered into the BBC tent, but was surprised that no one came near her. Eventually a young man said, "Are you Mollie Millis?" "Yes, I am." "Oh, I'm so sorry - we were told to be on the lookout for a lady in her eighties. I've got a couple of aunts in their eighties, and they sure don't look like you!" She was justifiably chuffed.

I only wish that you could all have been there to hear her remarkable story. We have pleaded with her to have it recorded on film, so that not only her family, but the rest of us can benefit from hearing the remarkable part she took in our military history.

As a footnote, a mutual friend was in the States last October and arrived at the airport to travel home. She glanced up at the TV screen to see the evening news, and there was Mollie!

Friday, 18 July 2008

On the mend

Well, all went well and I picked up Tony from the hospital this morning - at least I think it was him. He was sporting two very swollen black eyes, so it could have been anyone. Whoever it is, he gratefully tumbled out of the wheelchair at the hospital entrance and into the car, and he seems to like my cooking, so that's all that matters.

It's a little like Rear Window right now, minus the binoculars. Hopefully we don't have a murderer living next door. All going well, the leg will be mending nicely during the coming week and he will be able to walk around - and take a shower!

To finish off Pink Week, I made a burp cloth for our expected granddaughter.

I guess that's one advantage of knowing if it's a boy or girl - at least you can plan the wardrobe. So now I have made a quilt top (yet to be quilted) and a burp cloth. A soft toy giraffe by Melly & Me is waiting patiently to be made and then I can relax.

I have also been busy this week making a baby gift bundle on commission. The expected baby is a boy and his father is a policeman.

First of all I made the booties:

Then came the bib:

Then the carry bag:

And finally the burp cloths:

I thoroughly enjoyed making this gift bundle and will probably make a couple of sets for my Etsy shop.

I was gobsmacked this morning when I received a message that I had received an award from Bec, whose blog The Small Stuff ( is a firm favourite of mine.

If I gave my acceptance speech I would be here till midnight, so I will be passing this award on to some of my favourites over the weekend. The Stranger in the Room is stirring and it's time to put on the evening meal.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

In the Pink

Can it be six weeks already? Here we are at Pink Week in Fede's colour challenge. I had in mind some lovely, frilly pink creations and while searching through the Floor Stash (not to be confused with the Wardrobe Stash or the Cutting Table Stash), I came across some beautiful pink laminated toile fabric which I bought in another eon with grand plans to make aprons.

How I could have neglected this gorgeous fabric for so long is beyond me, but the timing is perfect, as I have just updated my aprons and this laminated fabric fits in perfectly with my plans.

And there in the Ribbon Stash was the perfect co-ordinating pink spotted grosgrain ribbon.

Laminated fabric is very hard to photograph and it's almost impossible to avoid a harsh, shiny look which doesn't really do it justice. But at least it's pink and it's something new for my Etsy shop, which has been neglected over the last few days. Oh, and I have the same fabric in turquoise - bonus!

It's been an extremely busy week and there will be no let-up over the next couple of days, as my husband Tony goes into hospital today to have a couple of nasty skin cancers removed, one from his nose and the other from his shin. The leg will require a rather large skin graft, so that means an overnight stay in hospital to ensure that the graft takes. Naturally, the specialist's hospital is over the other side of the city and the checking in time is 6.00am. Consequently I am up early and filling in time until the official wake-up time. I can never sleep properly when I know there's an early morning alarm waiting to arouse me.

The monkey and elephant I had made for our little grandson Chris (he of the broken wing) and his big sister Emily arrived safely in Sydney and a very excited Emily promptly christened the monkey Ouch and the elephant The Mother Elephant - apparently she's in charge of "all the other elephants".

Chris takes it all in his stride ...

... while Emily is really excited. She even donned the tiger outfit I made her for Christmas to complete the menagerie.

I have some other really cute Melly and Me animal patterns, so I had better get cracking and make them for the Brisbane grandchildren!

Well, it's the official wake-up time, so I had better get going.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my colour weeks and have made things that I probably would not have attempted, so thank you Fiona of Fede for the challenge. Go to her link (listed right) and see what the other challengers have been up to.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Greensleeves ... minus the sleeves

Hot off the machine comes my entry in Fede's colour challenge for this week.

After all the machine work was completed, I looked around in my button collection for four suitable buttons. No joy. I was so disappointed and I didn't want to drive all the way to the nearest fabric shop to buy new ones. Then I remembered Bec ( earlier this week talking about having her grandmother's collection of buttons in an old tin. I had my mother's collection and I immediately found four buttons that worked perfectly.

And they're green!

Even the lining is green.

So I have managed to make an item for Green Week and I have something new to put in my Etsy shop. Yay!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Mid-week Blues - or should that be Greens?

OK, it's cold. Even here in sub-tropical Brisbane it does get cold on occasions. The top temperature predicted is 17 degrees Celsius (around 63 degrees Fahrenheit). And it's windy - but at least the sun is out.

All my plans to get on to making green items for Fede's colour challenge have flown out the window, as I completed the cuddly toys to send to my wounded little grandson and his big sister in Sydney.

I have had at the back of my mind for some time to make a toy from a quilt top image I had created in a workshop a couple of months back. Hidden away in my Stash Cupboard (wouldn't you love to see it?) was a stack of Liberty prints and I decided it was time to break them out. They worked perfectly for my project and with the high thread count the toy should hold together reasonably well.

Well, it does have some green in it...

... but it tends to get lost among all the other colours!

It was love at first sight.

So I packed them in a box and hopefully they will reach their new home in a day or two.

And now back to the Green drawing board.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Mister Magoo

The family room was covered with a fine mist of toy stuffing last night, but it was well worth it.

I finished my last item for the Red Week challenge (see Fede's blog: and am delighted with the results. Magoo is a design by the talented Australian sisters Melly and Me ( and is so adorable with his snazzy board shorts. I was going to keep him as a Christmas gift, but our little 16 month old grandson in Sydney broke his arm on Monday and if we can't be there in person to give him lots of comforting hugs, perhaps Magoo will step in as our substitute.

Of course, that will mean making something for his three year-old sister and I'm in the midst of working on a prototype which I think she will like.

And now I can start planning for Week 5 - Green Week. It's not a colour I use very often, so I will have to put on my thinking cap.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Simply Red

I am on the home stretch with my Melly & Me pattern and hopefully will have it ready tomorrow in time to make the Red Week deadline. Meanwhile I have made two new items for my Etsy shop using the Red theme:

and ...

I sold this dress at a recent exhibition and all I needed was a challenge to lull me out of my complacency to make a replacement, so thank you Red Week.

I know they are not entirely red, but to my eye it is the predominant colour!