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

Thomas Moore

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Belated Show and Tell, and pink flowers...

I must apologise for being two days late with Show and Tell this week, but my hands have been pretty unco-operative when it comes to typing. The triggering in two other fingers is worse than ever, and the only way to ease the pain is to keep off the laptop.
Anyhow, we all enjoy Show and Tell, so I really want to show you projects that some very lovely ladies have made of mine...

Vickie in Humpty Doo has been a blogging friend for ages and is such a sweetie. Recently she made my 'Save The Trees' bag for a bag swap!
 Carla Louise is up to date with Daisy-Do, and her block 4 is so sweet...
...and she has also stitched my 'I Wish You...' Shabby Roses blocks as a wedding gift!
 I designed these stitcheries to be used in many ways, and Carla Louise has done me proud!
It's just the season to be sewing my 'A Christmas Story' quilt, and today I received photos from Lynelle down in Burnie, Tasmania, who has hers all finished and looking beautiful!
Lynnelle, I love your fabric choices, and the gold applique edging is perfect for our Baby Jesus' manger!
Lynnelle also won 2nd prize at the Burnie Show for her quilt, and she won 1st prize with another of her quilts! Well done!! :-)
I think you all know how much I love flowers? And perhaps you have realised that pink is my favourite colour?
Well have a look at what I bought myself this week...
This exquisite pink bouquet was purchased to help raise funds for Breast Cancer research. I'd never seen pink day lilies before.
I saw these roses in buckets at Woolworths, reduced to $5. As soon as I saw them I thought of my mother. I was just 3 when her life was taken in a car accident, but I wanted to buy these roses for her. I was quite emotional as I tried to explain my reason to Mr E...
"If life were normal, and she were alive here today, I would have bought her those roses. Then I thought to myself, well why don't you buy them for her anyway. So I did."
I love you Mum.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Those new designs are ready!

It's a lovely thing when you form a picture in your mind, transfer it to paper, then bring it to life with a needle and thread, and some perfect-for-this project fabric.
That's how designing is for me. 
I can be inspired by something I've read, a conversation over a pot of tea with my family, the sound of birds busily nesting in our trees, or perhaps just a wistful idea that stops by for a moment in my thoughts. There are often weeks that pass when no new pictures form, and where once I wondered if I'd ever design again, now I relish those times as long moments when I can indulge my desire to make other people's wonderful ideas. 
But then, my time of creative drought passes and a flurry of mental activity reignites and I am filling pages in my sketch book and wondering how many of them will see themselves dressed in thread anytime in the near future. Such fun!

Today I have two new design sets to show you!

~ Tea 'n' Toast ~
...a set of three simply 'country-fied' waffle-weave and redwork breakfast delights!
The tea cosy....
...the tea towel...
...and the bread bag!
These are so pretty and very quick to make up for gifts, or for your own home. Wouldn't they be a special Kitchen Tea or housewarming  gift? Or perhaps for friends who travel in their caravan?

~ Heart and Home ~
...a pretty duo of lavender scented door hangers!
These are so pretty, and a wonderful way to let people in your home know what is most important to you. They are also perfect for housewarming, engagement, or wedding gifts.
You can purchase either of these patterns today for $4 each, or both sets for $7.
PLUS, I also have a bonus!
If you purchase one or both of the sets above I will give you this pattern for free!
I have made up my Little Bird stitcheries into a journal cover, address book cover, and notebook cover! 
Your free pattern will include the instructions for making all three, along with the Little Bird designs!

Tea 'n' Toast Set $4 USD

Heart and Home Set $4 USD

Both sets of patterns $7 USD

I will email the patterns to you within 12-14 hours of purchase.
Hope you like them. :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Feels like I've been on a holiday...

...from blogging! 
I think I needed it. :-)

Wiving and mothering are my full-time occupations. Some days, some weeks, some months, it requires more of me than usual. The last few weeks have been testimony to that. A great privilege was given when God chose me to be Mr E's wife, and the mother of our children...a privilege and a joy that I never want to take for granted, something I try hard to not diminish in value. 
Designing and sewing is one of those 'extra' joys that life offers me, but it must always be just that, an 'extra', not the main focus. If I think too highly of this hobby, or I think too highly of myself, then I have robbed myself of the real and unique role I am to play out in this life. 
It's easy to stitch. 
It's easy to blog. 
It requires much more of me to sew the threads of motherhood and spouse into a beautiful tapestry that I can call my life, and be proud of the ever expanding landscape it creates. Being a wife to my cherished husband is a gift that continues to bless me each and every day, and having children that want to come sit with me and talk about their day, their concerns for the future, their dreams - well, that is the icing on my family cake. 

Today I want to thank you, really thank you, because I have reached 1100 followers. You are so lovely to want to keep coming back and reading along to my rambles of life and see what new fabric scraps have taken on one of my designs. May you be blessed as you have blessed me. {{{{hugs}}}}

But as wonderful and encouraging as that number is, and how lovely it is to read your comments, it will never match the feeling I get when my family walk through the door at the end of their work day and the first thing they do is hug me tight, kiss me, and say, "I love you". Every day. Every single day I am hugged and loved by these immensely precious people God gave into my life. In that, I am more than abundantly blessed.

Little snippets of new designs that I have finished, but am still in the process of writing patterns for...

 More photos and patterns in the coming days. Do you love the sentiments on the door hangers? 
They are straight from  my heart.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blossom has a free design for you!

Today my sweet Blossom is the guest designer for our Gum Tree Designers 2nd Annual Christmas Freebies, and it's something very pretty indeed - in fact I am wearing her designs at the moment (a wonderful advantage of being her mum!).
Blossom has designed two pieces of simple jewellery, but she's used gorgeous Red Coral gemstones, and added some bling with stunning Swarovski crystals.
~Crystal Christmas~
To read all about Blossom and her crafting journey, and to download the pattern for the bracelet and earrings just visit our Gum Tree Designers blog HERE!
You will also find a link to download some stitched jewellery gift tags that I designed!
I'll be back later today with some gorgeous sneak peeks of new designs!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finishing up gifts, and on to new designs...

I can almost say that I have finished making Christmas gifts! I have two big boxes full now, and it has been more fun that I could have imagined! 
There are a few more 'big' gifts to complete, but I have time for them before December...it was just so good to make all the smaller gifts before October nodded goodnight. How are you going with your own gift-making? 
With still 1/2 of that sweet bird doily left to play with I thought a lavender filled door hanger would be perfect...
...and then I got the doorhanger-bug and made a few more from other designer's stitcheries I'd already finished and had put aside 'for something'. (Do you do that too??)
You can see how easily these gift boxes are filling, I'm sure! :-)
How are you going with your British flag cushions?
I've finished Blossom's Italian flag one! I even added a little passport so she could remind herself that her dream of a trip to Italy will happen one day. 
This is the fabric I used for the backing...
...Rome, Venice, Pisa - one day we'll be there!!
I'm back to playing with my own designs today. One part of design is to choose just the right fabrics to bring the design to life - and my worst habit is to design and stitch before I match the fabrics!
I'm thinking this 'Scribbles' print would be lovely with the baby quilt stitcheries...
....and a pink paisley print I've had for ages would really bring my newest Dill Dally Daisy design to life!
Not sure yet about my tiny and sweet Shabby Roses sampler blocks...
...although some romantic Robyn Pandolph would be gorgeous.
Look what Fiona of Bubz Rugz sent me this week!
The softest chenille washcloth and soap with a fragrance that lingers and lingers...quite sublime. I think it's Lemon Myrtle - am I right Fiona??
Thank you so much for your kindess, Fiona!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

SALE! 25% off for Australians!

News for Australian ladies!!

I am serious about closing down my Ebay store at the end of October, so I've reduced everything by a whopping 25% until midnight on the 20th!!

You can visit my store HERE to grab serious fabric bargains!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A simple gift tutorial!

Today I'm sharing another very simple tutorial for Christmas gift giving. 
Did you find yourself a pretty saucer??
I bought mine for 10c at the op shop. It's blue and white spots, a perfect match for the blue and white pindot fabric scrap I've been saving!
Using your saucer as a guide, draw a circle onto the back of a piece of complimenting fabric, making sure you still have enough fabric around the circle for a 1/4 inch seam.
Fuse a piece of Whisperweft to the reverse of the circle, and add some applique or embroidery to the centre of the circle. Cut out the circle 1/4 inch outside the drawn line. 
I used a flower shape from another project I am making, then added some backstitch and cross-stitches. 
Cut another circle the same size from your fabric (or a piece of solid cream or white homespun), and hand sew a gathering stitch just inside the edge.
Fill the inside with polyester toy filling or something similar...
Draw the gather in tightly and secure the thread, but leave a bit of an opening as I have done.
Hand sew a gathering thread around the outer edge of your appliqued circle and place the stuffed circle inside...
Pull the gather in tightly, but again, leave an opening just slightly smaller than last time.
You will have a 'ball' like this...
Using a hot glue gun, position in place onto the centre of your saucer.
Take some red fabric and make a tie. Wrap this around the bottom of the pincushion.
Add some gorgeous pins (mine are from Pincess Pins HERE) and you have a beautifully simple gift!!
 The saucer keeps the pin cushion stable, whilst also allowing you room to rest your embroidery scissors and threads!
If you make one of your own be sure to send me a photo, or leave a comment with a link to your blog post! :-)
Enjoy your Sunday,

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Simple vintage gifts to make...

Kathleen was way ahead of me though - she's been making them for a while now, and here is one of her beauties. You will find another HERE on her blog. :-)
This morning I made up two more cushion fronts (from my slowly reducing stash of Rural Jardin) in just under an hour. 
 I'll finish them tomorrow, but tonight I'm going to add to my collection of quick, vintage themed gifts, and I thought I'd show you as you may be inspired to make something similar.
Most of my regular readers know that I love anything vintage - doilies, tablecloths, quilts, hankerchiefs, etc. I really enjoy giving new life to cast offs I find at the op shops. If you saw THIS blog post in June you'll already have an idea of how I use old doilies.
Last Thursday I found a recently donated box of doilies at the local Salvos store overflowing with precious hand-stitched delights and all for just 50c a piece. I came home with 5, two of them to keep whole for my own household use, and three to cut up and make new again.
With this pretty doily I was able to make two 2011 diary covers, and two bookmarks!
With a second doily I made another diary cover and bookmark (and I still have 1/2 the doily left to use in other projects!)...
The third doily had the sweetest little birds cross-stitched at both ends, so with one of the ends I made a scented soap sachet...
I still have the other end to play with tonight, but in the centre section of the doily were some sweet cross-stitched flowers so I used them to make two scented coathanger sachets - one with rose pot pourri, and the other with lavender.
Now that is a lot of lovely gifts (with still more to come!) at a cost of just $1.50 - everything else I had in my stash. 
I have another simple tutorial for you tomorrow. (You'll need a very pretty saucer for it, though. I bought mine for 10c at the op shop)...
Have a lovely weekend,