Friday, December 28, 2007

Meme for 2007

1. Was 2007 a good year for you?
2007 was a good year. Nothing bad happened which is always good. It feels like I just coasted along with the flow with and nothing significant happening.

2. What was your favorite moment of the year?
Partying with Jen at Melbourne Casino.

3. What was your least favorite moment of the year?
All the time spent commuting to/from work.

4. What are your plans for 2008?
To organise working from home permanently so that we can move to Mudgee.

5. What countries did you visit?
We didn't go overseas this year.

6. What date in 2007 will remain etched in your memory?
Australia Day - my brother, sister-in-law and nieces came to stay with us and we had such a great time.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Learning an instrument. I completing a whole year of violin lessons and actually did lots of practice.

8. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting Christmas cards and a Christmas picture done.

9. Did you suffer any illness or injury?
A few weeks ago I was off work, sick for 3 days. I had a chest & ear infection which triggered Asthma. Other than a mean sunburn and some muscle knots I have been pretty healthy.

10. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane ticket to Melbourne to see Jen.

11. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Just the usual horrible news stories throughout the year. And less severely, some people at work.

12. Where did most of your money go?
House & Land payments and we got ducted air-conditioning.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sewing. I had been very unmotivated all year so I re-organised my sewing room, got some great looking books and have been sewing lots now.

14. What songs will always remind you of 2007?
Probably all of the songs from my Year 1 violin book!

15. Compared to this time last year are you:
a) Fatter or thinner? I'm not sure, either the same or slightly more plump
b) Happier or sadder? Probably neither - content
c) Richer or poorer? I think poorer.

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
More holidays.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating sugary foods.

18. How will you be spending Christmas?
We had a wonderful Christmas with my family in Colignan.

20. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Yes, I got two adorable kitties, Pixie & Milly.

22. What was your favourite TV show?
The New Adventures of Old Christine

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't think I *hate* anyone - but there's a couple of people at work that would be pretty close.

24. What was/were the best books you read?
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. Also, Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evonovich. The Stephanie Plum series just cracks me up.
My favourite sewing book of the year is Bend-The-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol.
Another favourite book is Trinny & Susannah - The Body Shape Bible.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Seether - One Cold Night

26. What did you want and get?
A cat - and I got two!

27. What did you want and not get?
To win the lotto so that I didn't have to work. And if I didn't win the Lotto to find a job I liked - or start my own business.

28. What was your favourite film this year?
Hot Fuzz

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Hmmm, I can't remember what I did on my birthday. I probably went shopping and then had a yummy dinner followed by birthday cake. I turned 31 this year.

30. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Enjoying work.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Trying to look more feminine and also trying to steer away from baggy jeans.

32. What kept you sane?
Jeff, Pixie, Milly & Jen – plus my medication

33. Which celebrity did you fancy the most?

34. Which political issue stirred you the most?
None – I don’t get very excited about politics

35. Who did you miss?
Jen, Sam, Kat, Sarah & my family

36. Did you treat somebody badly in 2007?
Probably – but it wouldn’t have been too bad. I think I got cranky at a couple of people at work when they didn’t deserve it. But it wasn’t a hit-and-run or back stabbing or anything like that. I’m pretty nice & easy going I think.

37. Did somebody treat you badly in 2007?
Yes – but I try not to dwell on it

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year?
When someone says not to worry about something and that it is all under control - it usually means that they haven’t done anything about it at all.

39. What would you like to have in 2008 that you didn't have in 2007?
More fun, less commuting, more time to sew, a pergola/patio and if I’m lucky a second hand long-arm quilting machine.

40. How many one night stands?

41. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year...
Geez, that’s a hard one. Probably the following lines from some of my favourite songs:

“It seems like every day’s the same”

“I’m sympathetic, never letting on I feel the way I do”

“The pressure is building I want to break away
Motivation is lacking the point starts to fade
I look to the bottom still empty still the same
I'm waiting for something to show me the way
To the path that I should take”

Best wished for a happy & healthy 2008. May all your dreams come true - or at least one of them!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Silly Kitties

Phew - I'm on a roll today - lots of new posts!
I was working from home yesterday and the kitties were trying to get as close as they could. Lazy buggers slept all day, waking only to have a fight over the best spot in the sun, and then falling back asleep. Needless to say I now have cat hair in my keyboard and all over my cutting table/temporary desk.
Defining their 'personal space' & Pixie having sweet dreams:

Pixie being her usual cute self:

Sweet Dreams

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Snail Farm

For something different, here are some pictures of the first snail pen. My hubby is doing a test run to see if it will work as a business. Aside from the slimey-ness they are kinda cute. We have lots of babies now too.

Baby snail getting a ride:

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Christmas Shopping ...

Errr, I haven't got round to wrapping all the presents yet but I got some lovely new clothes:
NYE Party DressChristmas Day Dress
Cotton Cardi to wear over the dresses

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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree ...

Jeff is very particular about the Christmas tree and it's decorations. It has to have red bows, candy canes and plain lights. No tinsel allowed. I have been getting a Christmas bauble each year with our names & the year on it. Although this year I didn't want to stand inline waiting for our names to be glittered on so I used gold paint to do it myself. I also have a couple of ornaments, a really cute mouse and a silver 'B' my friend Sarah sent me. I also got an angel this year. She has real feather wings. Here's the tree:

And some ornaments:

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'Tis the season to be ... gardening??

After being sick for a week and a half I was a bundle of energy last weekend and tidied up the backyard. It was 34 degrees and sweat was dripping off me. (Yes, I had plenty of water Jenaveve) I pruned the trees, weeded the garden beds, cut down a tree and loaded all the offcuts into the trailer. By the time I filled up the trailer it was taller than me! Which reminds me. I need to take it all to the dump tomorrow. My muscles were so sore this week though.
Here is the result ...

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Xmas Card Holders

I finally finished my first Christmas card holder. It was all pretty simple except I had only ever put binding on quilts. Getting the mitering even on the points was a bit tricky. Once I worked out how to do it though it was pretty easy, just fiddly. The binding and hand stitching the binding down is the most time consuming part of this project.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

cute buttons and things

I went to spotlight last week and couldn't resist these cat themed buttons. They would look great on a bag - not all on the same bag though :)

This first button says 'Queen of the Jungle' underneath the kitty. It's a bit blurry because my camera wouldn't zoom in properly on the small button.

I love the colours and designs of these buttons:

I saw this felt for 50c and thought that it would be great for applique.
The hanger is for a christmas card holder I'm making. I just noticed that the wire hanger cat shape looks a bit weird. I wonder what the bump under the cat's face is supposed to be? It's chin? Stump from a missing leg?

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ooooh, Pleated Beauty is complete!

I finished sewing the bag together last night. I was like a kid at Christmas when I finally got to turn the bag inside out to see what it finally looked like. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. The pattern & instructions for the Pleated bag were from Amy Karol's Bend-The-Rules Sewing book.

No show without punch of course. Milly had to climb in and investigate.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

What is it going to be??

I started making this yesterday. I'm really happy with the way the cat stitching turned out. The butterflies were raw edge appliqued from some pretty material I had in my stash. I roughly cut around the butterfly and then ironed some double-sided interfacing onto the back. Then I carefully cut around the butterfly, peeled off the interface backing paper and ironed it onto my material. I then used a beige metrosene thread and made made tiny stitches all the way around so that it doesn't fray too much. I used a gold metallic thread and backstitched the butterfly antennas. I'm still halfway through making this project so I will keep you posted - literally!

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I made this xmas tree skirt on Saturday. It was really easy. I didn't have any major problems at all. When I was trying to sew a decorative stitch on the fleece, my needle kept jamming. I just left it as straight stitch. I need to get a 'blue tip' needle - so my sewing machine manual says.
Anyway, other than that it was super easy. The snowmen and holly were mostly glued together which was really quick. My tips: Don't put too much glue on the back of the fabric as it can seep through to the front. The glue says it dries clear but you can still see it on felt.
The fabrics I used are really nice and soft. The cats thought that it was awesome and everytime I turned around one (or both!) would sneak in and curl up on it.

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Felt Bunnies

I got the pattern for these bunnies from 'The Cute Book'. They are really easy to make. The instructions say to hand sew it all together but I machine stitched mine. The larger one was going to be for a toddler so I wanted it to be strong.

I photocopied the patterns from the book and then enlarged it by 200% for the small bunnies. For the larger bunny I just free-handed it bigger when I cut the pieces out. I stuck the pattern pieces onto cardboard and then cut them all out. That way I can re-use them.
Tip: I save bits of cardboard from packaging, boxes etc and put them in my sewing room to re-use for making templates.

I traced the pattern pieces on to felt and cut them out. The instructions say to glue the legs, arms and ears to the dress & head but I just pinned them. I used the small buttonhole stitch on my machine to stitch around the dress and head leaving an opening for stuffing. Then I stuffed the two pieces and buttonhole stitched the openings closed. The stuffing makes it a little difficult on the machine but if you stretch the opening out, pin it and hold it stretched while you sew the ends meet up. For the small bunnies I just sewed the head to the front of the dress. But I didn't like the look from the back.

For the larger bunny I cut the dress slightly longer at the top and slipped it into the head opening. Then I sewed it together. The head is a little floppy though so I sewed a couple of hearts onto the neck and that stabilised it a little better.

The felt I used was just cheap craft felt. I think proper felted wool would be a lot nicer, fluffier and softer if you are making them as toys. I'm going to get some real wool felt and see how that turns out. I'll have to enlarge the pattern again though as they are still too small.

Here they are ...

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ready for my new home

Here is the completed Lil Lucky Duck quilt ready to go to its new home.

And here's what the back looks like:

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Ta-Da! Finished

It took me a couple of hours or more to snip all of the raw seams at 1/4" intervals. It was worth it though because the seams came out nice and fluffy after being washed & dried.

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Label Binding

To make up for my short binding I created extra binding out of some leftover white flannel from the side of the duck panel. I attached the binding so that it was the length & width of the corner square. I then made up some labels and reverse printed them onto transfer paper. I ironed them onto the binding and viola, disaster averted. The side label says "Lil Lucky Duck" with pictures of ducks in the background.
I was a bit worried that the labels would come off in the washing machine but you can see below that they survived the washer & dryer!

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