Monday 31 October 2011

Fabric storage regime #173,905

A regime of a different sort for this post. I have embarked on a new storage system for the larger cuts in my stash. This was necessitated by a frustrating search of my fabric mountain for a piece sufficiently large to back my most recent quilt.
The system? I intend to fold any cuts larger than one metre, to stack them immaculately, and label with ducky little tags detailing the meterage. I will then be able see, at a glance, what I have. Easy peasy!
That's the plan. Could take some time to accomplish. No appreciable dent in the mountain as yet :)

Monday 24 October 2011

Regime #5032

As a mother, I am continuously reviewing the lifestyle of my family, and coming up with new and improved means for ensuring that my three children somehow emerge from their upbringing as well rounded individuals. Concerned with the increasingly excessive time spent by my three in front of the computer (Facebook, online games etc) or on their iPods (more games), I have imposed a new regime: one half hour ONLY of techno gadgets per child per day. Homework related use is exempted. Of course, it takes a whole lot more energy on my part to impose this regime than to give in to their pleading, but that's parenting huh?!

On the upside, I witnessed the first fruits of the new regime this week:
My eldest daughter and her friends love to exchange birthday presents. My eldest daughter is usually skint, spending her pocket money with abandon (mostly on her friends, I have to admit). 
I told her she could have free reign with my fabric stash if she wanted to sew gifts for her friends. And so her 'Love' pillows were born.
They are a simple, but sweet design - a single heart, raw-edge appliqued onto linen and finished with running stitch. They are a hit with her friends as she carefully colour coordinates them to her friends' bedrooms - important when you're sixteen :)

These pillows exist only because of my new 'get-off-Facebook-and-do-something-productive' regime. So proud!

Tuesday 18 October 2011

A brief distraction

I have a thousand things to do, but have been briefly distracted by this clever little clip - a fantastic journey in 90 seconds of fashion, music and dance in the last 100 years.

So at the risk of distracting you too, I thought I'd share it :)

I could also distract you with this ...
... but that would be bordering on irresponsible. Have a great day!

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Feeding the fabric fetish

Since moving to town four years ago, I would guess I have visited my local quilt shop at least once a week. Yet in four years, I've not managed to spot this treasure ... until today! It is a rare piece of 'Up Town' Paint by Number by Erin Michael for Moda, and incorporates two of my favourite things, birds AND blooms. If your heart misses a beat at the sight of this fabric too, I'm sure the girls at Marally can help: their email is
In other fabric news, I picked up these pieces over the holidays. I am loving using grey just at the moment, and I have these ear-tagged to make up a boy's version of my Little Abracadabra. They are mostly Michael Miller fabrics ('Zoology', 'Play Dot'  and 'Play Stripe' in sea, 'Dumb Dot' in grey, 'Feeling Groovy' in charcoal) with a little bit of Jenean Morrison's 'Silent Cinema' thrown in.
Before the holidays, I had the enormous pleasure of playing with some pre-release fabrics from Amy Butler's new line, 'Lark'. This line is everything you've come to expect from Amy - dynamic, bold, large-scale, colour-saturated gorgeousness.
This is another one of those annoying 'secret projects', I can't reveal too much just now. But I can tell you that there was some applique involved ... 
 ... and that there is much excitement afoot for next year's issues of Australian Homespun. Just sayin' :)

Monday 3 October 2011

May I introduce ...

... some of my farm beauties to you? School holidays usually mean some time in our farm garden. And the October holidays mean sitting back and enjoying the benefits of working hard with the winter pruning.

The lovely Margaret at The Home Patch reminded me that I should take some photos of the garden for the blog. Well Margaret, you asked for it :)

I love to take macro shots of my flowers, but I thought with these photos that I would also pan back and give you a sense of place - some context as to where each of my flowers sits within the garden. Enjoy!

This is our lovely David Austin rose, 'Golden Celebration', a favourite.

She sits proudly at the very front of the house, nestled next to the beautiful strong pink 'Othello' rose.

The roses are quite early this year, and I think this lovely is called 'Jumpin' Jack'.

It shares its bed with some delicate mauve irises, the soft grey foliage of Russian sage and sedums, and the sparky lime green of Duranta 'Sheena's Gold'.

Robinia pseudoacacia 'Purple Robe' is wowing us with its display this year - beautiful pendulous purple blooms hanging gracefully from its branches. 

It is planted at the entrance to the garden with the intent of draping across the driveway to welcome visitors. It stands sentinel at the end of a row of standard 'Iceberg' roses.

Looking at it from the house you can perhaps get an idea of how stunning this robinia is. I love the contrast it achieves against the purple berberis on the right and the lime greens of the pom pom tree and salvias in the foreground.

The Betchel crabapples are just starting to bloom and have the bees a-buzz.

We have these planted close to paths so that we can admire their prettiness up close.

Oooh, we interrupt the garden introductions with some noise and frivolity - the cousins are over from next door and there are some serious chasings in progress ... I love that we have a garden for them to enjoy :)

The very first 'Burgundy Iceberg' rose is blooming and will soon be joined by its neighbours.

Forty roses form a hedge along one side of a lawn path and are protected by a taller hedge of Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Stirling Mist'.

Callistemon 'Perth Pink' is also just starting to flower, and is promising to be stunning. 

We hacked this gorgeous thing ruthlessly in the winter, and it hasn't looked back.

I think this sweet thing is Lavandula stoechas 'Marshwood'. It is neglected badly, but rewards faithfully with blooms year ofter year.

It sits at the foot of a purple foliaged prunus tree and is next to yellow flowering irises.

I love these tiny gladiolus. They too are terribly hardy and pop their cheerful heads up despite how little attention I give them.

Their bed fellows are arum lilies, irises and roses, with some mondo grass nipping at their toes, threatening to take them over.

Poor Margaret ... are you still with me? Never again will she suggest I take some more garden photos! I'm almost done :)

Hot pink valerian is pretty much a weed, but it earns its place.

It contrasts wonderfully with the yellowy lime of the gleditsias which tower above its head.

And finally, this wondrous plant, a gift from a gardening friend. She said it is called a cardoon. It is the most fabulous and flamboyant thing.

I love how it lends some serous architectural interest to this corner of the garden. See it standing splendiferously in the background? "Look at me, look at me", it yells.

So you see, there are many personalities in my garden. Some are as common as muck, but resilient to the death. Some are show stoppers, stealing the limelight from their neighbours. Some rise to the occasion, no matter how poorly you treat them. Some selflessly provide a stage for others to shine. But many are there quite simply for their unadulterated beauty, having survived a hard winter prune and bouncing back cheerfully to gladden my world. My garden, how I love thee!
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