"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Monday, May 31, 2010

A cooking course, and a new challenge for June!

It's May 31st - another month has passed and as I look back over these last 4 weeks I wonder at how I could possibly have fit in so many things. Life really rushed past doesn't it? One of the things that dissapoints me about my obsessive sewing habit is the way my love of cooking wholefoods has sort of slipped by the wayside with each month and year that passes. 
Time to get back on track.
I am very excited because I decided to sign up for an online cooking course that begins tomorrow!  Jenny at The Nourished Kitchen will be holding online classes over 12 weeks - How to CookReal Food : An online cooking class

This is exactly MY kind of food, but I need to learn by seeing, because reading about this in books just doesn't do it for me. Jenny will have video lessons and print outs, so I am pretty sure this will be great for my kind of learning. I think sign ups close today, so if you are interested you'll have to be quick. I know it's going to cost $$'s initially but in the long run it will be worth its weight in gold for my family and our health.
I've decided against doing a hexie challenge in June. Why?
This is why...
Mr Elefantz has grown out of his jeans. Now as soon as they landed on my sewing room floor I had an idea! 
Nearly everyone has an old pair of jeans somewhere in the house, and if you don't they can be bought at an op-shop for a couple of dollars.
My June Challenge is 'what can you make out of a pair of jeans!?' 
I may even try and make as many things as possible out of ONE pair of jeans - what do you think? Want to join in?
Leave a comment on this post to let me know if you'll take up the challenge! I'll put a list of links to participating blogs so we can all have a look through June and see what everyone has made. :-)
(I might even offer a prize for one lucky participant....)
Don't forget, the ~ A Christmas Story ~giveaway closes tomorrow night! Look HERE for details if you haven't entered yet.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Grade 12 Home Ec, a present, something new, and that health thing...

I showed you the projects our Grade 11 girls are working on earlier this week, so tonight I'm sharing what is keeping the fingers of our Grade 12 Home Ec girls busy...

A pieced quilt top with scattered chenille pieces, so lovely and soft...
A faux leather jacket (I so admire people who make clothing!)...
A sweet embroidered pillow (this student has never embroidered before)...
An appliqued baby blanket in soft white flannel...
A bean bag with appliqued panels...
And a polar fleece rug with a special name appliqued across the front!
The girls are all learning these stitches for the first time, and as they only get a few hours per week in class they are doing wonderfully!
Along the way each student writes a journal...
...and together at the end of the term the journal and project will be graded. 
They are such lovely girls, and our teacher, Jodie, is wonderful! I have really enjoyed this term. :-)
Today we Gum Tree girls all received our swap doilies in the mail so finally I discovered who my swap partner was! (remember my darling Blossom wouldn't tell us?)
Darling Dawn made this doily for me, and she embellished the yoyos with tea stained flowers and beads, AND she used gorgeous 'Rouenneries' fabrics - I feel very spoiled indeed!
I sent my doily to sweet Vikki, who loved the ruffled edging.
We are all VERY happy Gum Nuts tonight with our swap pressies in our hands - it's a very special thing to own something so beautiful made with hands that love you. Being a Gum Tree Designer is pretty awesome when you have friends like these. I love you girls! :-)
Today I finished a new Christmas design, a wallhanging with something extra....
....a label on the back for everyone around the Christmas table to sign.
You can add a new one every year and imagine the heirloom this will be 20 Christmasses from now?
Before I go I have to show you the fabric I bought for Blossom. She has had a dream to visit Italy since she was a toddler, and when I saw this fabric I decided to get it for her. I'm going to make her a 'dream' pillow and add a verse from an Italian-themed film she loves, just as a reminder to hold on to her dreams. 
Thank you everyone for your concern about my health - how truly kind-hearted each of you are. {{{hugs}}}
We're not sure what the problem is yet, but I am being tested for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Barmah Forest Virus, and Ross River Fever Virus, amongst a few other things.
(For those overseas - Barmah Forest Virus and Ross River Fever Virus are both mosquito borne viruses unique to the far north tropical area of Queensland, Australia)
My fingers, wrists and ankles are pretty swollen and quite painful at the moment, so although slow hand stitching is good for the mobility of my fingers, I cannot do anything that requires weight bearing or pressure.
I appreciate those prayers.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sweet 16....

She had a wonderful day! 
Thank you to everyone who has left birthday blessings for Blossom - she was very touched and felt quite embarrassed that you would care so much. Our little family of 4 is very close so birthdays are very special indeed with just ourselves in attendance.
She loved the tower of cupcakes and sparkling grape juice...
...and the lamb and potato curry. She always chooses her birthday menu.
Her favourite gift (so far) was the silver pendant she has been looking at in a local boutique for the last 8 months. It's called a 'poison bottle', but to Blossom it reminded her of Lucy's precious bottle in the Narnia movies. She had no idea I was getting it for her ...
She also loves owls, so a beautiful shabby chic ceramic one was found...
...as well as a 'wise' paperweight.
This exquisite hand mirror is another item she has oohed and aahed over for months...
Did you guess that I bought those three items at *that* shop?
She also received other sweet gifts from her dad and I, as well as a beautiful charm bracelet from Auntie Dawn, and computer *stuff* from her big brother, but her main gift cannot be purchased until Saturday. I bought it  over 3 weeks ago and when it did not arrive in the mail by Monday I contacted the company only to be told they had overlooked my pre-paid order and had now sold out!
I am still waiting for a refund and pray it will be given swiftly, as it was not a small amount.
So on Saturday Mr Elefantz and I will drive to the big town on the coast and purchase a Wacom Bamboo Graphics Tablet and Pen....THEN Blossom will have her big 16th present at last. \o/
She's very excited as she'll be using it to design my new pattern covers and logo.

We ended her birthday at the cinema where we watched the new Robin Hood movie - it was fabulous! 
On the sewing side of life I have been finishing a lovely Christmas project for those who like to keep things as heirlooms...
...and I am slowly restitching my Shabby Country Roses blocks in fresher fabrics, the lovely VERNA. I have also enlarged them as I think they will look gorgeous as pillows. To see the original blocks go HERE.
My doctor has just sent me for a barrage of tests, and this may well affect how I approach my designing and sewing in the months ahead. There is a part of me that is full of sadness, but another part telling me I just need to diversify and 'find another way to create'....
I shall listen to that soft, gentle voice.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GIVEAWAY time!!!


It's Blossom's Sweet Sixteenth birthday tomorrow (May 26th), and to celebrate my baby girl's big day I am having a giveaway!
There will be 3 prizes to win!

1st: Six fat quarters from Robyn Pandolph's "Roses de Noel"fabric range, PLUS, a paper copy of my new Shabby Roses styled ~A Christmas Story~ pattern!
 2nd: Six fat eighths of Robyn Pandolph's "Roses de Noel"fabric range, PLUS, a pdf copy of my new Shabby Roses styled ~A Christmas Story~ pattern!
3rd: A pdf copy of my new Shabby Roses styled ~A Christmas Story~ pattern!

What do you have to do to enter this giveaway??

1 entry:  leave a comment on this blog post and be sure to leave your email or blog address for me to contact you.
3 entries: leave a comment on this blog post PLUS  put the button below on your blog and link it back to me!
(To make this easier for me to count please leave 3 comments for your 3 entries. Please be honest as Blossom will be checking all your blogs and if you do not have the button on your blog she will remove your comments from the draw. Sadly, there are people who do not play fair in giveaways.)

(To save the button just alternate click on the photo and choose 'save image as' before saving to your computer. You can then add it to your sidebar on your blog or use it in a blog post)
Remember, leave your comments on this blog post only! 

But wait - there's more!!
When you spread the news on your blog ask your readers to mention your blog name when they leave a comment here and if your name is mentioned more than any other I will send you a fat eighth bundle of Roses de Noel and a pdf copy of the pattern as well!!

If you have already purchased the pattern for ~ A Christmas Story ~ from me, you can still enter. If you win I will refund to you the cost of your pattern. :-)
If you would like to see photos of the complete quilt top and all the stitched blocks you can go HERE.
The entries will close at midnight June 1st.
Winners will be drawn on June 2nd.

Now dear friends, please go forth and spread the good news...
Good luck everyone!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Secrets...and some clever Grade 11 girls!

Don't you love it when you can finally share a good secret?!
Some of my Gum Tree Designer sisters and I have been keeping a secret from another Gum Tree Designer sister for the last few weeks. 
About a month ago, Fiona posted all of us a copy of her Florentine Doily pattern, (cause she is the sweetest friend!) ...
...and we thought it would be heaps of fun to all make one and then swap amongst each other - but without telling Fiona until we'd posted them off to our swap partner! 
So, Fiona, the secret is out! We all loved making your doily design, and each of us will soon have a fellow Gum Tree Designer's version of your pattern displayed in  our homes!
I finished mine on Saturday, and because I'm not the biggest fan of yo-yos I added a ruffled edge instead. 
The fabrics in my doily are Aster Manor, and today I posted it off to ..... more secrets. LOL!
You see, Blossom drew the swap names on Saturday and she would only tell each of us who to send TO. We don't know who we'll be receiving FROM until the mailman arrives. Cheeky girl she is. ;-)
If you have a look at the other girl's blogs you'll find photos of their doilies in the next day or so.
Click on their names to visit their blogs - Vicki, Vikki, Dawn & Joy
I'm having a lot of you asking about our little Lily Rose. Well, at 14 weeks old she isn't so little anymore...
She likes to lay across my feet when I sit out the back. They go numb after a while...
This morning was the Grade 11 class in Home Ec, so I took some photos of what the girls are making for you to see. They are all working so hard, and the projects they are making are so varied! 
We have a hat...
...a skirt
...some tie-dyed pants
 ...a t-shirt
...a sports shirt

...some felting

...a pencil case (Blossom's)
...a floor pillow
...a bean bag
...and even things with faux fur!
Considering the girls only do 9 weeks of sewing per year they are doing fabulous! This is only week 6, but in week 9 I will show you their finished projects.
Tomorrow it is the Grade 12 class so I'll take some photos of what they are doing to show you as well.
On Wednesday it is Blossom's 16th birthday!
To celebrate I am having a giveaway...more details then!
Do you remember her 15th birthday? The photos are HERE and HERE.

Have a lovely week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lazing on a Saturday afternoon....

Sweet friend Vikki sent me this tea at Christmas. When  you open the packet the air fills with the aroma of plum pudding...
We thought we'd try it now instead of waiting till next Christmas, so Blossom had the idea to move the table and chairs from the back verandah to the front yard for our afternoon tea....
Only two chairs? Bob-the-dog wondered where he'd be sitting...
A favoured un-pressed vintage tablecloth was added to transform our rustic table...
...then bit by bit we carried our tea things outside to the table. 
Sweet 'Iced Vo Vo' biscuits look tempting...
If only you could have joined us. You would have been most welcome. Maybe next time?
Jenny & Blossom