Saturday, 29 November 2008

Blury pictures.

In true Loulee fashion, I've uploaded these in the wrong order!
First up a fake cushion front! This was a pattern idea in Popular Patchwork magazine and I love it.
I could have done with making it a little larger, but what the heck, I still love it. Well, them, cause I made two yesterday.
You simply tie the flat piece around your everyday cushions, no need for zips or Velcro and easily removed when it's time for the decorations to go away.

As you can see, I finally got around to using Janet's fabric, and the design is raw edge applique with a zigzag machine stitch. The leaf stems are quilted and a single line of echo quilting as well as my usual vicinity of the ditch, finished it off nicely.

I also made this yesterday! This is just a small piece also from an issue of Popular patchwork magazine. Raw edge applique again and some of that missing the ditch stuff! LOL

I'll use this as a little mat for the table through in the sitting room. After I close up the binding that is. I also still have to finish the binding on 3 of mums robin mats.
Not sure where I'll be going next, I still need to finish the Skinny Santa and the fan quilt. I like the sound of the Red Delicious BOM and may just have to gather the patterns as they are released. I'm also looking at starting on the Cathedral window quilt, it's nice to have some hand work that doesn't require a magnifying glass.

Gratitude's
1) An easy dinner tonight. (Veggie Broth)
2) Coming home to a cosy apartment.
3)A cup of tea that Hunney made.

Friday, 28 November 2008

The Gold Robin

Yesterday I mentioned wanting to do something with some fabric which Janet had sent to me. I already had the fabric out and went looking for a project,

I had a table runner in mind, but came up with something completely different! LOL
Made a shopping list and headed off out to meet Hunney. Here's what we bought.

Do you think it will go with Janet's fabric? LOL Never mind, I will get around to doing something with Janet's fabrics one of these years!
The red at the bottom of that little bundle is the one I need to finish binding the last of Mums Christmas mats, here is one in the gold colourway. (It's red counterpart had a looksee yesterday).

The picture has ended up looking really washed out, I assure you it is very pretty and much more colourful in real life, I've tried four times to get a better picture, it must just be one of those days. I'll have to have another go at getting rid of that awful crease too.
I finished all of my Christmas shopping yesterday, well the gifts I have anyway, the foody stuff can wait a little, I have made a start and have a few goodies stashed I don't want too much.
Hunney went off for an hour on his own and came back with one bag! He admits he's not very good at Christmas shopping, but hates it when I drop BIG hints, because he says it's not a surprise then, but he still is lost and doesn't know what to buy! LOL
DD Kay will be home at lunchtime ish today, she will come with me to the supermarket to get a few items I forgot yesterday, but aside from that, my day is my own, so I'm going to sew.

Gratitude's
1) A nearly finished project
2) Christmas shopping is complete.
3) A new project.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

The red red robin.

I set too yesterday after work and made a start on mums placemats. Nothing fancy, no piecing. I bought this robin fabric in red and gold, cut it to a handy size and backed it!
To quilt I've simply stitched around the central image with gold thread, job done. I'll have to go back to the shop to get a little more of the fabric I've used for binding though, it seems that a fat quarter is just not quite enough. I have only one mat left to bind though,and this little pile to close up!

Hmm, I forgot to take a picture of the gold colourway. Maybe next time. There are three of each, gold and red. I'm sooooooo tempted to get more robins as well as the binding fabric, they are so sweet I wouldn't mind a set of these myself!
I have some fabric that Janet sent to me some time ago, I have plans to make a table runner with some of that, must get it out and play, I may need a little something to add to it.
Right, I'm off to play for a couple of hours, it's my day off and Hunney has a half day, I'm going to meet him at lunch time and go Christmas shopping, as well as fabric shopping.

Gratitude's
1) The weather forcast says the yuck will be gone by lunchtime!
2) Quick and easy projects.
3) Pretty fabrics to play with.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Don't judge a book....

By it's cover.
This boring reddish diary was transformed yesterday..

Into this beautiful butterfly covered tome.

I love this fabric and may just have to find some more of it.
While I was in book binding mode I also made a cover for DS Joe's ring binder.

This is not quite finished, I want to slip stitch the folds closed. I'll stash it away and it will do as a part of his birthday box in a couple of weeks. The fabric is some that was left over from his dragon quilt.
Who would believe you could do so much with off cuts of wadding? While I was having a sort out the other day I found all these bits and pieces, so they were patched together for use in my diary and Joe's file.
There is plenty left so I'll be using those as wadding for Mums Christmas place mats. She got wind of my plans and has approved, so now I'll have to go from thinking about it, to actually doing it! LOL I took a bit of time off my office job today to go and find some fabric for them. I found robins! Pictures soon.
Gratitude's
1) Lunch, on the boss!
2) New fabrics to play with.
3) Two days off!!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Stitchy content!

Here I am as promised, with pictures of some stitching. On Sunday morning I got the urge to get some place mats made. I've used a set of Christmas charms and a few slices of a Christmas stash pack I got from somewhere. The charms are of course 5 inches square and the stash pack was 10. So that worked nicely.
I've done 6 place mats, each backed with a 10 inch square

And a larger mat using four of the larger squares and backed with a fat quarter I would never have used otherwise. Then at Hunneys insistence I bound everything in red. I was auditioning gold also, but Hunney wanted red. It looks right to me. Oh! the quilting? Is a very simple stitch in the vicinity of the ditch! LOL

They were so quick and easy to make, all seven done by bedtime, that I may just make another set for mum.
For those interested in cross stitch, Santa is still skinny, but at least he has his beard, head and hat!

That black blob, just at the tip of his beard is the button on his coat, I'd say he is about half way done now.
I have to scoot out to the post office again today, call in somewhere and pay the balance off Hunneys big prezzie and buy a new kettle, ours has given up! So not sure how much sewing time I'll get. I want to make a cover for my new work diary, why are they always so boring? Plain burgundy this year, not for long though! LOL DS Joe wants me to cover a file for him too, I have some of his dragon fabric left. I may do those today.

Gratitude's
1) A dry day
2) A morning off work.
3) The first cuppa of the day.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Monday!

First things first, I had a lovely weekend, very productive. I've done some sewing! And some cross stitch. I'll have pictures of all of that tomorrow, I want to wait for daylight before taking any photos.
I also supervised some baking. Joe was keen to make cookies so we got my book out and he choose Anzac's, because, as he says, 'Hunney will like them, he talks about them, he said to me all about Gallipoli'
He was very proud to present them to Hunney, after he had carried out the quality control test of course.
He then went on to pick a tickling wrestling match with his sister

I think she won. There were wails of MUUUuuuuum and lots of giggling going on.


If you don't want to read personal stuff, look away now.
I had my appointment with Maria today, it was all positive, no upset this week. I told her all about you, about my posts and about your wonderful supportive and loving response. She agrees that I may have turned a corner and was delighted that I seemed to have a lighter heart this week. She asked how much of a difference it had made to my week, well, you only have to look back to see how little I was doing recently and here I am today boasting of sewing and quilting and making cookies. I think you ladies have made a big difference in my life. Maria also said that she feels I did manage to say it out loud, if so many people responded to my statement then it must have been loud and clear. My dad is a bully.
Gratitude's
1) A wonderful weekend.
2) No snowy showers today.
3) A finish! (I'll show you tomorrow)

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Skinny Santa.

He is rather skinny, but not quite as bad as he looks here, this is only one half of his skinnyness!
I didn't get quite as much sewing time as I would have liked on Thursday, so nothing was done to Santa until last night when I spent a couple of hours up in the study with my Hunney.
It was a breeze, just filling in the red of his coat, no counting at all, just stitching to and fro, and to and fro. My mind got to wandering and ended up at the many kindnesses shown to me this week, more of that in a moment.
I do hope I get Santa finished in time, he's meant to be a gift.
Speaking of gifts, the Christmas tree did get completed on Thursday and last night it was packaged up with one or two other items and will be on its way just as soon as I'm done here.

It's a dry, bright if freezing cold day, so I'm off to the post office while Hunney does some overtime at work, I may even shop my way home. retail therapy is almost as good as stitchy therapy.

Speaking of therapy...25 people left 41 supportive comments following my posts at the beginning of the week. Thank you all. I was amazed at the response and I do very much appreciate it, your kindness wrapped itself around me, like those virtual hugs so many of you sent. I'm not sure if I've turned a corner here, or if your support has made the world brighter, but this week has been very much easier. I love you all, thank you.

Gratitude's
1) 25 people
2) 41 comments
3) Hunney of course!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Thats enough of that.

The last couple of weeks may have been pretty miserable, but I have made some slow progress.
I wanted to do so much more with this little Christmas Tree, but I've run out of time. It's just machine appliqued onto the back ground with some brass charms as the baubles, then last night I quilted around the tree and added the binding, which I just need to finish closing.
Then I'll add a couple of hanging tabs. It will be ready to post. It's got a long way to go.

I've also added two petals and a leaf to my floral trio.

And made a start on another Christmas gift. Guess who this is! LOL

I did this little bit you see here last night. Hunney and I sat up in the study, I didn't stay long cause I was tired.
I have a rare late shift today so plan to close the binding on the tree this morning and then do some more to Santa before going in to work.
Thank you all for your support and kind words, if it's ok with you I might post every week after seeing my therapist, because this week has been so much easier, and I'm sure it's thanks to you ladies.
Gratitude's
1) A better week.
2) A late shift!
3) Sleeping late.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

More personal stuff.

To those who don't want to see personal stuff, I'm sorry, yesterdays post was unexpected and unprepared, I really just wrote what came out and it is confused in places, that said, today will be more of the same, because I feel that I should answer a couple of questions.

My therapist feels that I'm really not ready to share yet, and I thought I had absorbed that information, obviously not!

First and foremost, I'm safe now, please don't worry about me, be strong with me. The violent nasty husband I mentioned is NOT my Hunney. I left my husband nearly nine years ago. He still tries to manipulate and control me, but thats not so easy now.

As for my father, he hasn't beaten me since I was about 21 - 22, I hit him him back one day, he set about me with a rolled up newspaper, which I took off him, I whacked him twice with it then threw it at him told him never to hit me again and walked away. I think he got that message. He has continued to be cruel though, all my life he has pointed out failings and weaknesses, he always told me what I would never be, he never encouraged me or told me what I have done well. I grew up in a negative world of fear, my mother couldn't help me, I think she was just as scared, my teachers who saw bruises and the policeman who lived next door and must have heard what was going on, all let me down badly, but I guess times were different then. To this day my father criticises me and never has a nice word. Slowly gradually with support from my Hunney and from my therapist I have withdrawn from my fathers life. I used to cook dinner for him every Sunday if he was home on the island, if he was away I would keep an eye on his house and pick up his mail. Now even though I literally only live around the corner I refuse to look after the house and I have stopped inviting him for dinner. I try to blank out his voice in my head telling me what I can't do. Instead I listen to Hunney, my boss, you ladies....all the people who point out my strengths, good points, and the things that I can do.

After talking with my Hunney and then my therapist, I think between us we have worked out why now?
My ex husband never really liked my father, he encouraged me to stand up to him. I didn't see much of Dad in the years I was with him. By the time I left my ex, mum had left Dad, I went to live with mum, so still didn't see much of him. It was after Hunney and I had got together and we out grew the space we had at mums and got our own place that things got stressed for me. Mum sulked cause we had moved out, she wouldn't visit us, and for some reason that was when I got into the habit of inviting dad round for his dinner and had a lot of contact with him. The cruel taunts and negative comments awoke old feelings and before I knew it my boss at work was expressing concern and suggesting that I seek help. Thank goodness he did.

I am depressed and constantly tired, the therapy is adding to the tiredness and I don't sleep well, some days I don't even want to get out of bed, never mind get dressed and go out through my door, but I tell myself that the bullies have won if I stay at home and mope. When I get home from work in the afternoon I'm too tired to do much more than a load of washing and get the dinner started. (I like my mornings off for sewing and housework, I can get loads done, if I can just focus) If I'm up to it in the evenings I'll sit with Hunney in his study, we took my cross stitch table up there in the hopes that being with him would help.(He is doing a distance learning course, a degree in IT and computing) Some nights I can sit and stitch and stitch, but more recently I have no concentration left after 7.30 pm so even that has slowed down.

Usually Tuesdays are very hard for me, the day after therapy when sometimes things are still a bit raw and maybe I didn't manage to put everything away and feel like crying at nothing, but today was different, today was the first positive Tuesday I've had since April and I'm sure that all your kind loving emails in my mailbox had something to do with that.

There, I've gone and done it again, prattled on and said far more than I intended. Thank you for staying the course and reading all of that. Maybe you're right, if I talk about it here in blog land, then it will get easier to say it out loud, I think my colleagues need to know why I've been so wobbly this year. I also feel that by being able to talk here I have turned some sort of corner and maybe after Christmas I'll be on the way down again, it's been a long hard climb to the top of this mountain.

Gratitude's
1) So many shoulders.
2) Kind words from all over the world.
3) Hunney. ;-)

Monday, 17 November 2008

Nothing Stitchy! A very personal post.

Is it too early to have an end of year thing?

I want this year to be over. It's been awful, well not totally awful, I've found so many new blogs to read and inspire me, and I've also had new visitors and readers finding my blog. I've loved your support and feedback, but over all of the warmth and friendship I've found here, there has been a dark cloud, something that gets in the way of my life and which takes away from my sewing time.

Earlier this year I began to see a therapist, every Monday at 3.45 pm! I'd waited almost six months and completed two questionnaires before I eventually got an assessment interview. Ever since that day we've been awakening my demons. My father is a very cruel, cruel man, even now at 39 I'm afraid of him, he can flatten me with a look or a few words. My entire life has been affected by his cruelty and his bullying, I probably ended up with a cruel husband because I have a cruel father. I know I'm not the only one and I'm coming to terms with the fact that I did nothing wrong and it's not my fault.

For the last month I've been looking in the mirror and practising saying the words ''my father is a cruel and violent bully'', I can say them out loud to the woman in the mirror, I can mumble them to Hunney, just about, but if I try to say them elsewhere, my eyes fill and my throat seizes up! But I can say it here!! Maybe because it's easier, if I chicken out, I can delete the whole post, (If you're reading this, then that obviously didn't happen) I don't have to say it aloud here, in order to be heard, I just have to type a few words.

Some weeks are good, I manage to put it all away in the box, others are not so good, I spend half the week getting over Monday and the next half of the week counting down to next Monday! Last week with no Internet and no lovely blogs to read was just a nightmare, I had very little to distract me and no late shifts so no sewing time.

My therapy sessions are far from over, I know I still have some work to do, but I feel like, if I get this year over with, then next year I'll have climbed all the way to the top of the mountain and I'll be able to go down the other side, which is always easier, isn't it?

I have massive confidence issues and a ton of self doubt, which is why your comments and encouragement are so precious to me. Thank you, for stopping by to read my blog, thank you for all your kindness and encouragement.

If you have a time machine, please rush us into 2009!

WOW!! Not what I set out to say at all! But there it is, that's me!

Gratitude's
1) Inner Strength.
2) Always my Hunney.
3) Every one who read this far.



Friday, 14 November 2008

No internet access

We're having problems with our Internet access at home. I'll be back as soon as it's all fixed.
You'd think I'd be getting loads done, lots to report when I return, but alas no, not reading your blogs and kind comments means no inspiration!

Take care all. xx

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Beautiful Batiks.

As I said last time, when I got home from Ireland there was a beautiful package waiting for me.
Lynda from Master of Patience? had promised and indeed sent some of her batik off cuts, many of these have more than one piece or are big enough to get two or three squares for my cathedral windows. Thank you Lynda, they are beautiful.
Yesterday I had a day out with my sister Moya, we headed to our favorite shop here on the island and while Moya spent rather more than she expected, I was well behaved, purchasing only these two batik fat quarters.
We also called into the local newsagents after lunch with sister Kirsty (The one between Moya and I in age), where I found the latest Fons and Porter Easy Quilts magazine. So I'll have plenty to occupy me this afternoon.
This morning we all went to the war memorial and took part in the annual service of Remembrance for those who have fallen in conflict and war.

Once again I was surrounded by people of all ages, it's nice to see children there. I shall never forget that some people continue to give their lives, long after the so called great wars have ended.
Gratitude's
1) Coming home to a warm house.
2) Help to cook brunch
3) The generosity of others.


Saturday, 8 November 2008

Dublin Trip.

I've been back for a day or so, but been busy with other things.
Dublin was grey. Very dull, grim and dirty. I'm really not a city girl so please don't be put off by my feelings about the place. There is a lot to offer and plenty to do, but it wasn't for me, and I shan't be dashing back.
We took very few pictures. These were all taken from the Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse tour, the highlight of the trip for Hunney.




For me the highlight was a trip to the cinema to watch Quantum of Solace, the latest Bond movie. The wonderful Daniel Craig lived up to expectations.
I got home to treasure in the form of some beautiful batik off cuts from Lynda, I'll post pictures next time.
Gratitude's
1) My green island home.
2) Blogger generosity.
3) My own bed.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Lots of pictures.

I had a rather busy weekend and didn't get much sewing time, but I do have pictures.

Here's Lala modelling her Halloween bags. Not a very happy young lady.....

Because up until that point she was happily posing for the camera and we couldn't see the bags. She started to pout when we insisted.

She was a little more cooperative when it came to her new ballet bag.


Hunney took me out for lunch on Saturday, and then we had a wander along the street to look at the shops. I found myself a new book. There are some lovely projects in here that I want to have a go at.
We're off to Dublin for a few days tomorrow. Yippie!!

Gratitude's
1) Annual Leave with Hunney
2) All the laundry is done.
3) Today I can have a lazy day. (LOL No I can't, I have to pack!)