Thursday, 29 April 2010


I am at my computer today, supposedly doing farm accounts. I have 'North & South' playing on YouTube while I sort through the receipts and do the mundane cross-checking with bank statements. As I was loading episodes of 'North & South', I came across this:
I am a long-time fan of Richard Armitage, initially from 'North & South' and then 'Spooks' and 'Robin Hood'. This has just made my day. Funny! And oh so hard to watch!! Must do accounts ... must do accounts ...

Monday, 26 April 2010

The liabilities of a frilly handbag

I have two Frilly Dilly bags (one and two) which I use constantly. There is hardly day where I go out with one or other of my bags and they do not draw comment. I have been picked out from a crowd by my Frilly Dilly. "You must be Bloom - I recognise that bag!" All credit for this goes to Janelle Wind for designing such an amazing pattern. It is my favourite, and everyone else's too it would seem!

I promised my niece her own Frilly Dilly for her 21st birthday. She turns 22 this week!!

My brief was to create something in blue, green, yellow and orange. I failed on the orange, although there is the smallest amount in one of the prints.

For poor Suzi-Q, who was so exasperated when I didn't give fabric details a couple of posts back, the fabrics I have used are as follows:

1,2 = precious 'Flea Market Fancy' by Denyse Schmidt
3 = 'Ginger Bliss' by Amy Butler
4,5= 'Charm' by Amy Butler
6 = Michael Miller 'Dum Dot' C2490

The foundation fabric is a seeded Osnaberg. I would usually have used linen or linen/cotton, but the Osnaberg was just the right shade of 'neutral'!

I wandered down to my local Botanical Gardens to take these photos, thinking it would look quite at home amongst the newly fallen Autumn leaves.

And as so often happens with me, I was soon distracted by blooms, and what should have been a ten minute excursion turned into a leisurely & meandering stroll from one flower to another. But I will save those photos for my next post!

Happy 22nd birthday Niecey!

Edit - Janelle Wind has a complete list of stockists for her patterns listed in the left hand column of her blog.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

My road to 'Hope Valley' love

I have been cavorting about in 'Hope Valley' lately.
When Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley was first released, I confess I didn't immediately feel the love. I think I was still in mourning for the passing of 'Flea Market Fancy', and was hoping for a reincarnation. Like so many others.
But then I saw this stunning Dresden plate made by Katy of I'm a Ginger Monkey. (Check out her brilliant version of 'Dotty for Dresden'). Oooh, I like that!
And then this! How very special. Gina of Ginabean Handmade chose to make my Sweet Menagerie pattern up in 'Hope Valley'! The love was gathering strength ...
After seeing this gorgeous little quilt from Amy of A Commonplace Life, I was all but convinced that I should purchase some 'Hope' before it all sold out.
This lovely thing from Brioni at Flossyblossy, a stunning Jewel Box quilt, merely strengthened my resolve. 'Hope Valley' was destined to be my new favourite.
And just by the way, Brioni & Katy, along with some other talented bloggers are releasing an exciting new ezine called Fat Quarterly on 27th April. You can snatch an enticing glimpse of projects in Issue #1 over at their blog.
Finally, the clincher in my 'Hope Valley' journey? Z&S Fabrics had a 20% off sale. I was done for. Here is my little stack of loveliness. The colours are unusual and intense and they work beautifully together. Thank you to all the aforementioned bloggers who inspired me to fall in love with this range!
Unfortunately, the project I am working on with 'Hope Valley' is under wraps for a while, but I will certainly share it with you the moment I am allowed to!
Definition of cavort?
ca·vort (kə-vôrt')
verb. To bound or prance about in a sprightly manner; caper; to have lively or boisterous fun; romp.
Yep, cavorting over here!

Monday, 19 April 2010

The creative energy of a small boy

Just yesterday, we saw this amazing origami ball in a gift shop. It is made from the pages of an old copy of Tom Brown's School Days. Cool!
My mathematically-inclined 11-year-old was smitten and has thought and spoken of nothing else for the last 24 hours!
Armed with help from the internet, a quick Google search for 'modular origami', this YouTube tutorial and a whole lot of patience & determination, my young man has emerged from his room with this prototype.

He is working on his vintage book page version as I type! Hmmm, can't imagine where he gets his obsessive creative tendencies from ...

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Daybook entry #3 - Down at the farm

I am ... just back from a busy week at our farm.
Outside my window ... this was my view from the dining room at the farm house where I had my sewing machine set up for the week. Beautiful autumn day. I love being there!
I have been thinking ... about the logistics of sowing 300 acres of lupins at the farm! Yes, you could say I live a 'rich & varied' life. Perhaps otherwise known as having 'too many irons in the fire' or just plain manic!
In my garden now ... the warm copper of autumn chrysanthemums.
I am thankful for ... family & friends who persist in liking me despite my 'stress-head' tendencies and show me undeserved kindness.
I am creating ... something from this luscious stack of fabric:
... and this one. Mmmm, delicious!
From my picture journal ... I love this photo of my brother down the paddock teaching my nephew to ride the 'big bike'.
And just because ... it's beautiful!

Monday, 5 April 2010

New storage

My latest hair-brained idea in my never-ending quest to organise my stitching projects is this set of tins.
I had the good fortune to find these biscuits at my local supermarket in the post Christmas sales. They were filled with the most divine chocolate biscuits, but it was the tin that really took my eye. I love the embossed filigree-style pattern on the lid. I bought as many tins as remained on the shelf!
It took us a whole term of school lunches to eat our way through the biscuits (!), but at last they are ready for housing my projects. I have stuck strips of scrap booking paper to the outside of the tins with double-sided tape.
And the lid has a ducky little indent, just perfect for adding labels so that I know which tin contains what! I do love them. Not sure if it will help me get projects finished any more quickly, but at least they look good. And surely looking good is half the battle ... isn't it?!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy, happy Easter

To everyone, I wish you a very happy and blessed Easter. Christ is risen!

I am conscious of and very thankful for the fact that blogging connects me with likeminded women from all parts of the globe. I hope your Easter... wherever you are in the world ... has been a wonderful one. This clip is making me happy to be part of a wondrously diverse world. You can dance if you want to!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Quite possibly the cutest eggs you'll see this Easter

I couldn't resist posting about these. Lisa, at The Red Thread, makes and sells these brilliant chalkboard eggs from ostrich eggs. Ain't they the sweetest?
She also makes these dreamy hand painted eggs. The imagination of people to see beyond the ordinary to create something beautiful never ceases to astound me.
Lisa's shop might just be a nice spot to meander about today. She has some truly lovely things to sell.

Friday, 2 April 2010

'Good' Friday ... a dark day

"What shall I do, then, with the one you call the King of the Jews?" Pilate asked the crowd.
"Crucify him!" they shouted.
"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"
Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate ... had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Mark 15:12-15
'Crucifixion of Christ' by Stephen B Whatley, drawn Easter 2010
See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown.
Isaac Watts, 1707
And when the centurion, who stood facing Jesus, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said,
"Truly this man was the Son of God!"
Mark 15:39
A true and enduring message, recorded by Mark soon after Jesus' death, inspiring hymn writers through the centuries, and as relevant and challenging today as ever.
I am thankful that God didn't choose to end the story on 'Good' Friday. The 'good' was to come two days later!
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