Sunday 31 March 2013

Easter weekend at Bloom's place

A very Happy Easter to you! I hope that you are finding some time amidst the holiday celebration to wind down and relax. For our family, it is also a time to give thanks for Jesus and His unparalleled sacrifice and offer of forgiveness for humanity.

Sent of heaven God's own Son
 To purchase and redeem
 And reconcile the very ones
 Who nailed Him to that tree

Hillsong have released a new song for Easter this year. I am posting the song with the words - a sort of karaoke hymnal! - so you can sing away to your heart's content if you wish :)

Otherwise, our Easter weekend has been filled with lots of gardening ...

... and too many of these!

My boys have contented themselves with indulgent doses of Need for Speed.

Grandma is happy so long as she has a cup of tea and Wordwarp!


Although she and I have also spent an inordinate amount of time working on the 'random' placement of these blocks! This will be a flannel shaggy quilt for winter from mostly Anna Maria Horner fabrics. It will be scrumptious if we can ever conquer 'random'!

The youngest two have spent most of the weekend in their tree house. They have transformed it from its former 'three-doors-up-a-tree' look, to a more sophisticated model with a blackboard panel, and a purple feature wall. They are very impressed with their renovation skills.

Poor Miss 17 is very out of sorts with an assessment English speech hanging over her head. It must be going badly as she recently emerged from her room muttering, "Quite frankly, I'd rather be doing Maths"!

Enjoy what's left of the Easter weekend. I'm off to pull some more weeds. Bloom x

Monday 25 March 2013

Dahlias and a discount

I invite you to subscribe to my newly instituted newsletter by clicking on the link to the right of my blog. There is a discount code for use in my shop, perfect if you're planning on sewing up a storm across Easter. Rest assured, the newsletter will be occasional :)

My daughter and I walked into our local supermarket the other day to be greeted by this happy scene:

The local dahlia society had set up a cheerful display of the most perfect blooms.

I was quickly informed by the enthusiastic growers, that these blooms were mere understudies to the main performance at their Annual Show which was to be held the following weekend. 

Surely they were not telling me the truth. Could this really be the reserve list selection?!

I received a thorough lesson on dahlia types, earnestly taught by an older lady whose passion for her blooms was evident by the sparkle in her eye as she spoke. 

She spoke of pom-pom, and peony ...

... anemone, and cactus forms. Who knew?!

The blooms varied in size from tiny sweet things, 
barely a half inch across ...

... to monster heads, wider than my handspan.

My teacher was evangelical in her horticultural enthusiasm, and I felt like gently patting her arm and assuring her, "It's OK, I get it ... I know the passion"!

But it was the perfect form of these flowers that left me gobsmacked. And while enormous credit goes to the growers, they are, for me, evidence of the creation of a higher being!

Have a blooming lovely week.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Coquetterie cosmetic wallet PDF pattern

Many moons ago, I posted about stitching this cosmetic wallet. After many hours (and a considerable amount of wrestling with Adobe Illustrator!), the PDF pattern is at last 'shop-ready'.

Of all the projects I have designed, this remains one of my favourites. It incorporates some things that I love to work with: linen, embroidery, botanical fabrics, and a vintage buckle. I was aiming to replicate the ethereal feel of antique French monogrammed linen with this project.

The wallet is able to be folded for travel, and unfolds (above) to hang conveniently for easy access when you reach your destination. 

It has specialised compartments for storing all your makeup needs: two clear vinyl pockets;

three elasticised pockets for storing compacts;

seven narrow pockets for brushes and pencils, with a felt cover that flips down to protect your brushes;

and an elasticised lipstick keep.

I made the wallet from a jelly roll of Moda's fabric range 'Etchings' by 3 Sisters which conveniently has a very French feel about it.

I especially enjoyed the embroidery on this project. The pattern includes a full alphabet for personalising your monogram.

Writing this pattern up was quite a task, and the instructions are very detailed which is reflected in its higher price.

The tone and meaning I was hoping to convey by calling this pattern 'Coquetterie' was variously: ‘vanity; concern for one’s appearance; a knack for fashion; flirty; playful behaviour'. So flirt and play to your heart's content with this pattern.

Bloom x

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Local loveliness

On Saturday mornings, regional produce markets pop up in country towns across Australia. We visited ours on the weekend.

It is a colourful snapshot of what is in season; produce freshly picked and sold by the growers direct to the public. As a farm-raised girl, I love to chat with the farmers, and tease them into divulging their secrets for growing such quality produce.

I have recently discovered one lady who champions quality produce in our region. Sophie is a food writer and has a blog called Local is Lovely. Her blog is a visual feast that celebrates the very best food in our region, including her family's own venison.

Sophie's blog is a genuine source of inspiration for me on the days when I'm stuck for something interesting to cook, or when I need to pull something a bit special out of the bag. 

She generously posts many seasonal produce recipes, and a brilliant Friday List of foodie 'must-reads'.

So when my fruit bowl was spilling over with late summer peaches, it seemed inevitable that they should be transformed into Sophie's peach & custard shortcake. A very lovely way to end a stunning central west Autumn Saturday!

Sunday 3 March 2013

A special gift from Grandma

My Mum stitched this sweet little zippered pouch as a special gift for my youngest blossie. The design is from Anni Downs' book, 'A Simple Life'. Anni's books are always packed full with gorgeous projects, and are great value for money. I think I own almost all of them! The fabric kit was purchased from Anni's shop, The Home Patch.

I love the boots on the end of these skinny, stripe-y legs, scooting through the blooms ...

... and what's not to love about the plump pooch?!

Even the pouch lining is delightful. Anni has a wonderful eye for colour and print.

When my daughter was so unwell last year, my Mum spent a lot of time with her, willing her to be well. They have an especially close relationship as a result, and this little gift is treasured.
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