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

Thomas Moore

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Show & Tell Friday (oops! Saturday!!), and a few other things...

Just as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland ran past shouting to himself, so I will declare also, "I'm late, I'm late, I'm very very late...!"
Friday's Show & Tell is a Saturday this week because I got so caught up in my new quilt design yesterday! I have good days and bad days with my fingers, but yesterday was a good one so I made the most of my reprieve and traced, fused appliques, and even began stitching one of the blocks...
A "Shabby Circle of Life" should be ready to show you in January, along with two other new Shabby quilts. Can't wait!
Now, Show & Tell!
Carla Louise has added her own style to my Daisy-Do blocks and made this beautiful version for a dear friend. Visit her blog for more photos - they are a treat!
And Gaby in Germany sent me photos of her newly completed Shabby Roses quilt! I think this quilt will always be my favourite design, and it has blessed me so much to see so many of them made across the world and all done with the stitchers special unqiue signature. 
 Gaby, this is beautiful!
 The pattern for Shabby Roses is still available through my Etsy Shop HERE.
If you are in Australia or NZ you can find some of my designs published this month in these three magazines...
The project in Patchwork & Stitching is a Christmas recipe book cover. Christmas in Australia is a summer affair so I appliqued a trifle to the front and used lovely summer colours! I made this back in May and had to post it off to the magazine so it was wonderful to receive it back again last week as now I am going to be filling the plastic sheet pages with lots of my family's favourite Christmas recipes - I even added our surname to the cover so I can pass it down 'one day'.
If you are not able to purchase the magazine but would like to purchase the pattern for this recipe book cover, please email or leave a comment and I'll add the pattern to my Etsy Shop for you. 
A gift arrived yesterday from Anna! Aren't I the blessed girl!?
Anna showed on her blog how she had made these beautiful ornaments and now I have one of my very own - thank you Anna, I will treasure it. :-)
Time now to make a cappuccino for Mr E and myself, then settle down to some soul-nourishing reading before the busyness of today begins.
 God bless and hugs,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My best friend's wedding...

Migraines are once again a way of life for me. The weather patterns here is the tropics for the wet season are playing havoc with my head. 
Thanks to all who have offered ideas for relief from them, but I will assure you all that I have been a chronic migraine sufferer for 39 years (since I was 12) and I have tried more pills, remedies, treatments than you can imagine. Not a single thing has ever helped apart from identifying and avoiding my food triggers. the weather pattern, though? I cannot control it.
Fortunately, I can still sit quietly and hand sew for a couple of hours after each lot of painkillers. This week I have almost finished two designs I sketched up last year. They have a vintage 30's feel about them...
I also had a wonderful inspiration on Sunday and drew up a number of blocks for a new Shabby Roses quilt...
 ...which I will make from these lovely fabrics! 'Fresh Palette' by Carrie Nelson.
On my reading table I'm enjoying the wonderful ideas in this book...
...it's filled with projects that can be made and donated to various needy groups across the world or in your own community. What a wonderful way to use up those fabrics hoarded in our stashes, don't you think? I also thought this would be a fabulous book to purchase as a gift for your local church group, and you could donate some stash fabrics - you could even help to teach newbies how to sew simple items for charity from this book. Giving really is the better part of crafting. :-)
I bought my copy HERE, and I also bought extra copies for Christmas gifts. Visit the Craft Hope website for more ideas HERE.
On the subject of gifts, I can now show you what I made my best friend in the whole world - my soul sister since we met at age 16 - for her wedding next month. She lives too far away for me to attend, and that's breakin' my heart, but she received the gift yesterday and was so emotional, so happy...
Vicki and Pete are a beautiful couple, and I'm so excited that she found the man of her dreams! (Love you, mate!!!)

Have a lovely day, and be sure to smile at those you meet along the way.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Some Show & Tell, and catching up with a friend!

This week has been a quiet one for blogging, but very busy behind the scenes at home.
I decided that I would get all the birthday, and Christmas 'swap and friend' gifts finished by Friday, and hopefully all the overseas ones posted away by then. I almost achieved my goal! \o/
I can probably finish the gifts this weekend, and then...I'll be free to sew gifts for my beloved grandsons.
This week on Show and Tell I have another Daisy-do finish!
Sabine has completed hers, all in lovely, soothing blues...
I really like how Sabine has added those little mother-of-pearl buttons down the side, don't you? :-)
The reason I fell behind in my goal for this week was because I took a day off!
Wendy emailed to ask if I could drive to the coast and meet her in Townsville. Blossom thought this would be a great idea, so off we went!!
Wendy had a doctor's appointment, and Bloss and I needed to do some Christmas shopping, so we finally got to meet up at lunch.
Here we are, waiting for lunch...we look happy because we were!! We were so excited to see each other again!!
~Jenny & Wendy - Nov 19th 2010~
My girl Blossom...
...and Wendy's boy Nic were there too.
 (another reason Wendy & I are so happy...we sure have gorgeous teenagers, and we got to show them off to each other! LOL!!)
And here's Wendy's husband, Joe...
He doesn't like his photo taken, but I am cheeky so I took one of him buying the Cokes. :-)
We all had a great lunch together, laughing all the time. It was just all too short a visit. 
Next time we catch up it will be for some serious stitching time together, don't you think Wendy? LOL!!
Have a lovely weekend!
I'll finish those gifts...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This 'n' that on a Sunday afternoon...

"Drip, drip, drip, drop, splotch..."
That's the chorus Mr E and I listen to all night, every night, lately.
It's the wet season, and it's really wet alright. I don't mind rain, honest, but when there is a moat around the trees in your backyard and you can't drive your car past the front gate because it will get bogged - well, that's a wee bit more rain than I'd choose. 
And then there's the hole in the roof guttering, just ONE hole. And where is it? Right above our bedroom window. And what's above our bedroom window? A pretty, tin canopy. But what happens when water from that 20c sized hole in the guttering drips onto that canopy all night????
Mr E and I walk around like zombies all day from lack of sleep. That's what happens. And why is it that a noise which is tolerable all day, sounds like a thunderous herd of elephants all night?
The guttering is very high (two story Queenslander) so we can't get up there, however we're praying that the owner of the house will show mercy on us and get that hole plugged as soon as possible. There is no end to the rain in the forseeable weeks (months??!!).
Our plan at the moment is to pop our iPods in our ears and listen to something nicer all night. Tonight I'm tossing up between Enya, or an audio book. I know it's strange but I love falling asleep whilst listening to a book...maybe because I was never read to as a child?? I wonder. 
The final scallop trims are on my Flower Fairies...
...and two are wrapped and ready to be posted away to their new owners. The other two are Christmas gifts. 
A number of you have asked me to share this pattern, but as I showed you a couple of weeks ago HERE, the pattern is not mine. You will find the pattern in an old copy of Homespun magazine, issue 66. 
More new designs are being completed in my sewing room, some for magazines, and some for a book I'm writing that will be published next year. 
Do you like my new blog header? Little by little I make time to stitch a few of my Shabby Roses alphabet blocks, and I loved the photo of a few I'd finished as scissor keeps (more gifts)...
 I also made this tea towel as a gift, using one of my Oopsie Daisy designs on one end.
Do you like having bright, hand embellished tea towels? I love them! :-)
Last night I wrapped all 25 gifts for my partner, Carol, in Fee and Jo's Advent Swap. Tomorrow this box will be posted off to her, to arrive in time for her to unwrap one gift per day from December 1st till Christmas Day. By December 1st I'll have my own box of lovely presents from Carol to enjoy!
My Block pattern, Rainbird, from our Gum Tree Designer's "Springtime" quilt arrived on Friday - the cover all corrected. :-) 
You can contact Mary at Fresh Hope HERE to enquire about purchasing the Springtime quilt as a BOM, or the entire 9 block pattern set.
Look what arrived in the mail last week?!
These are the sweetest lavender filled handbags! The gift sender has asked me not to identify her, but she knows how much I appreciate these gorgeous bags. They are now hanging in my wardrobe scenting my clothes in delightful lavender. Thanks so much V!! :-)
Last but not least...
Something is happening next year, and I'm sooooooo excited!!!!!! 
Have a lovely Sunday evening. We've got ourselves a 400g box of Maltesers to share while we watch X-Factor. What are you up to?

Friday, November 12, 2010

16th Friday Show and Tell...with lots of daisies!

How exciting it has been this week to see completed Daisy-Do quilts dropping into my email box!
How are you going with yours?
Fiona was thinking outside the box with hers and used some fun and funky, chunky beads for the flower centres, and what gorgeous fabric she chose!! So lovely and bright!
Jytte in Denmark has made her Daisy-Do more subdued, with a Makower Zen Flowers print and DMC 4210 thread. As soon as I saw her photo I felt that this was a very calming place to hang out...love it! She couldn't find mother-of-pearl buttons so she used little beads instead...
Amanda in the UK chose Kaffe Fassett blues for her version of Daisy-Do. It reminds me of some wonderful bohemian inspired fabrics I bought ages ago - carefree and filled with wanderlust. Beautiful!!
Now, if you're looking for inspiration you should visit Carla Louise! She's always making up wonderful projects! I love this little cosmetic purse of hers - she used the design from my 'Fresh As A Daisy" bag (a free download on our Gum Tree Designers blog in September) and stitched it to the front of her purse. Love the beaded zipper pull too!
It's been a busy couple of days here after Sam's 18th. 
On my boy's birthday I was contacted with the exciting news that I will have a project published in he Spring issue of STITCH magazine in the United States! But, then another email arrived and I will also have a quilt design featured as Homespun's web bonus for their Garden Issue next August! (I also have gorgeous projects being published in the March and April 2011 issues of Homespun too!!) 
How exciting is that! :-)
You will also find my designs regularly published in Creating Country Threads, Patchwork & Stitching, and Handmade magazines here in Australia. 
If you are not in Australia but want to order Creating Country Threads magazines you can purchase them through the Fat Quarter Shop HERE
To order Australian Homespun magazine you can order through HERE
For Australians who want to order the US magazine Stitch, go HERE.

Well, its bucketing down rain here in the tropics, so I'd best be off and enjoy a nice relaxing soy decaff cappuccino. I have a new toy, you see. :-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pressed flower gift wrap tutorial!

I used to make this beautiful gift wrap with my children when they were small. My husband was at University retraining as a teacher and we were living pretty close to the breadline so every cent counted. 
We had a lovely garden filled with flowers so this wrapping paper was easy to make with barely any expense, and to the recipients of our gifts the wrapping was the best present of all!

You'll need a roll of waxed lunch wrap paper...
...and a bowl of flower petals. I have roses...
...plus an ironing board and a warm iron.
Cut a piece of the waxed paper about 20 inches long and lay it across your ironing board. Make sure that the waxed side is facing upward. 
Scatter some petals across the paper...
Cut off a similar sized length of waxed paper and lay it down on top of the petals. Your petals should be sandwiched between the waxed sides of both sheets of paper...
With your iron set to warm, glide it across the paper quickly but firmly. This will melt the wax and fuse the petals between the paper. 
You can make as many sheets as you like, and even add some soft small leaves. I tried a sheet with some hibiscus flowers and leaves that I had just plucked from the tree...
This worked, but the leaves were too fresh so some of the colour bled out later (barely noticeable but thought I should warn you - my rose petals were two days old and perfect).
I also had a play with a gift card. Isn't it sweet?
Before I finished I scattered the very last carnation onto a smaller sheet with a few remaining rose petals, perfect for a little gift...
I finished with 6 large sheets of petalled paper, and 1 small. The best way to store them until you need them is to wrap them around a cardboard roll (those from the centre of some lunch wrap would be perfect)...
....tie with a ribbon, and store in a postage tube.
If you make a pretty cover for the postage tube, this would be a beautiful and inexpensive gift to give for Christmas!
Be adventurous and use all sorts of flower petals. In the past we have used violets and petunias, daisies and poppies...all looked gorgeous wrapped around a simple gift! Just wrapping a small piece around some scented soap is incredibly special, don't you think?
PS: There are just 3 more days left in my 'buy 1 get 1 free' pattern sale on Etsy. You can visit my shop HERE.