Monday 28 September 2009

Help! Do you know what this is?

I have inherited some vintage treasures from my Grandma's sewing box.
Vintage treasures from my Grandma's sewing box
An old thread box, and many wonderful buttons, many still on their original cards.
But then there is this mysterious (to me!) tool. It is about 3.5 inches long.
If anyone knows what this tool is and how it is used, I would love to know!

Friday 25 September 2009


I am drawing breath today after what seems to have been the busiest school term ever for my three kiddies. Term 3 at our school culminates in musical performances. I help out with the costume making which is great fun.
It is always such a privilege to work with the children & get to know them a little.
And of course, there is enormous satisfaction in sitting in the audience, enjoying the sea of colour and watching the whole show come together.
This year's musical was a Zorro inspired work, so lots of bright colours, sombreros & twirling skirts.

Monday 21 September 2009

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb ...

Determined that no son of mine will leave home not being able to cook, I drag my 10-year-old, computer-and-lego-mad son kicking & screaming into the kitchen occasionally. Yesterday, he outdid himself!

Yummy rhubarb cake made from this delicious recipe. It doesn't take too long before he is admitting, "This is fun, Mum". His favourite bit is measuring out the ingredients & of course, consuming his creation. "Now, can I go back on the computer Mum"?!

Saturday 19 September 2009

Pom-pom poochie

You only get the chance to write a post title like that once! Monica over at The Happy Zombie has come up with an ingenious little bag made from three fat quarters. She has christened it 'The Poochie Bag'. Thanks so much Monica, perfect timing - I needed a cute little birthday something to make for one of my daughter's good friends.
The only alterations I made to Monica's Poochie pattern, are the addition of some white pom-poms, the smallest bit of gingham trim and some pellon. The fabric combination is entirely inspired by Monica - bright & cheerful!
I won't even attempt to explain why she has called it the Poochie Bag - read The Zombie's hilarious explanation here! If you've not read The Happy Zombie, pop over & visit. She is guaranteed to leave you in stitches & brighten your day!
Unfortunately, I can't give you any details about the fabrics I have used as I picked them up in a local furnishing store & there is no selvedge info.
And for Monica who is keen to know the contents of the bag ... a copy of Roald Dahl's 'The BFG' and the latest in accessory 'must haves' for eight-year-old Australian girlie's, a Smirk pencil case! A bright & happy weekend to all, Bloom.

Sunday 13 September 2009

The names people call me!

My excitement can hardly be contained as I write this post - and I'm not easily excited! Some months ago, the lovely Angela invited me to be a designer (DESIGNER, I SAY!!) for Moda Bake Shop. I know, get out of town! Could it be true? Had she accidently sent the email to the wrong person ...? Well no, the name 'Bloom' and the word 'designer' were used in the very same sentence!
Of course, there are very few people that I actually know in my 'real world' that have any understanding of how exciting this invitation was. Even my family think I'm a bit loony! So I am relying on you all to share the excitement with me, because I KNOW you will 'get it'!
This is my debut project for Moda Bake Shop, my 'Simply-a-Bloom' quilt. You can find the tutorial for this quilt here.
It is a single bed quilt, made from a layer cake of Bonnie & Camille's gorgeous 'Simple Abundance' range by Moda. It is very simple quilt, and to call it a 'design' is generous in the extreme - but I really love how it has turned out. I love the simplicity of it. And of course, it is perfect for using up all those beautiful layer cakes stacking up in the cupboard. I really think this pattern would work with any range of fabrics.
The quilt was quilted beautifully by Belinda Betts of Eucalypt Ridge Quilting, who I am fortunate to have living nearby. The quilting design incorporates blooms & birds and is called Aves b2b by Anne Bright.
In an ever-deepening love affair with pieced backings (Red Pepper Quilts is to blame!) I have pieced the back of this quilt. This meant that only the tiniest scraps of fabric remained from my layer cake.
I feel so honoured to have been asked to post for Moda Bake Shop. It has been great fun to 'dip my toes' in the big world of quilt designing without having to 'jump right in'. I now appreciate the work & time that it takes to write up pattern instructions!
Have fun with my tutorial, & let me know if ever you make up your own 'Simply-a-Bloom' quilt. And please remember to do a little happy dance with me to celebrate! Best wishes, Bloom.

Saturday 12 September 2009

A spot of card making

My sadly depleted stash of handmade cards has finally been replenished thanks to some newly purchased Heather Bailey papers.
This is one of my all-time favourite cards to make - quick, simple & all-purpose.

Friday 11 September 2009

Another birthday party survived!

We put together an 8th birthday party for our youngest blossie this afternoon. She chose a red & white theme. All fifteen girlies came dressed in colour - very cute! I abandoned the single big cake idea & went with the ever-so-popular cupcake stack.
All credit for these little cakes goes to the excellent instructions in this book:
I'm not sure who had more fun - me making the cakes, or the girls devouring them!
Have a great weekend everyone.
Bloom x

Monday 7 September 2009

The evolution of a garden

Eighteen months ago, we left our small farm and its garden that we grew over 10 years from a bare lucerne paddock. We still own the farm, and return as often as we can. I miss my farm garden terribly! Here it is in its 'glory days':
We purchased a house in a new estate in town, so that we could be closer to school for our children. This was the backyard when we moved in:
True to my name, it didn't take long before I was planning to set the yard 'a-bloom'! It has been a long, slow process, but yesterday I took photos of my first town garden blooms - quite momentous for me! This is Prunus 'Elvins' blossom.
I thought the gardeners of you out there might like to see some progress shots of our 'baby garden' over the last 18 months.
Step 1: Intall bore in backyard for water supply.
Step 2: Install garden shed - a critical step to keep husband (aka 'my garden slave') on side!
Step 3: Bring in some serious digging implements. We landscaped the yard into two levels at this point.
Step 4: Two levels in a garden necessitates the building of a retaining wall. All hands on deck for this job. Coerce children into some bricklaying - nothing like a bit of child labour!
Step 5: Get creative & mark out garden beds.
Step 6: Lay turf - at last some green, after months of moonscape.
Since the previous photo, we have painted the wall & planted lots of trees & roses.
As we wait impatiently for plants to burst into leaf & bloom, we can look back and at least see where we have been in the last year and a half. It is such fun to build garden - hard work, but fun!
So at last I have my very first blooms from our garden in town to share with you.
"The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies." - Gertrude Jekyll
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." - Greek proverb
"How sweet is the life of a gardener." - Bloom!

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Feeling inadequate?

I have made a start on 'Sweet & Spotty' pattern by Cinderberry stitches, free pattern available here as part of Stitchers' Angel Project 2009.
The satin stitch is testing me out. I am eternally grateful to my mother & grandmother for instilling in me a desire to hand craft. But I have to say, they have also 'psyched' me out of a couple of significant life skills. As long as I can remember, I have been solemnly warned of the difficulty of baking a good sponge cake & mastering satin stitch. To this day, I've not been brave enough to tackle a sponge, and it is with much trepidation that I attempt this little design & all its satin stitched flowers. Wish me luck & do let me know if you have any inadequacies you can blame your forebears for!
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