Tuesday 31 December 2019

Yearly Roundup!

I feel like once again I have had a bit of a slow year. It started off well enough as I began a BOM I've had stashed away for many years. Down In The Garden incorporates stitchery, EPP, applique and patchwork piecing. I got as far as two and a half blocks. LOL
 Also early in the year I completed this chap. He is now happily living in his new home having been gifted for Christmas.

A lot of my year was taken up with various crochet projects.
 The huge pure NZ woollen monster which was gifted to my brother.
A pretty pink girly blanket for a colleagues new baby.
 And the very bright and colourful Cosy stripe blanket.
There was also some knitting, I started six garments, all for people younger that 4 years old! And one for me.
I finished five.
I made five advent calendars and sold or gifted four of them.
 They were fun to make.
Finally I got around to quilting my Flower box quilt just a few weeks ago.
No so bad really, not such a lazy year after all.
And I was slowed down somewhat by a repetitive strain injury in my left wrist and thumb, which is still having an impact on the amount of time I can spend at my crafts. I think the change of jobs also had an effect, especially in the last few months before Christmas as I switched from shifts to Monday - Friday and sort of office hours! That had a huge impact on my crafty time.

I have to say I have enjoyed your comments and encouragement along the way and have made sure to comment on your blogs when ever I got the chance to have a read and catch up with your goings on. If you are one of my many lurkers, (those who read but don't comment) please do leave me a comment so that I can have a peep at your crafty goings on and leave you some happy feedback too.

Moving forward....

1)Well, as Tony has signed me up for the I Stitch club, I do hope I am able to make progress on that each month, even if I'm not up to full speed.

2) I'd like to continue on with my latest scrappy project. I'll share photos another day.

3) I mentioned in my last post that I would like to finish cross stitching Spring Queen by the end of January......I might revise that to simply getting her finished in the first half of 2020. 

4) I'd like to get the blocks for Down in the Garden made up and ready for the stitchery, perhaps after Queenie is completed I can get back to the stitching part of that.

5) I chatted with Janice the other day and suggested that I would make one Christmas ornament per month!!!  The ones I'm planning could be quite time consuming, so that might be the way to go. Are you up for that Janice? 12 ornaments in 12 months?

6) Janice and I also chatted about the RSC.......I'm tempted, very tempted, but making no commitments at this time.... LOL

7) I have two knitting projects on the go. A sweater each for myself and my grandson Floki, I'd better finish them.

8) A new grandchild is due in late July.....I have one or two items stashed away ready to gift, but will have to make more, of course. ❤️❤️❤️

How many?
Better wish me luck.

Happy New Year to you all.
Thank you for joining me in 2019 and I wish you all the best in 2020. 

Sunday 29 December 2019

A Late Delivery

 Christmas day was a quiet one for us, Tonys parents joined us for a rather late lunch, then took off to visit the rest of their family. I spent a lot of the day knitting, I was determined to finish the back of a sweater that I'm knitting for DGS Floki. Which I did. Might have to give my wrist a bit of a rest from knitting for a while though. 
Boxing day I spent Cross stitching. Tony had purchased a collection of mini kits for me as stocking fillers. I have to say, they are not designs I would have chosen for myself. I will stitch them though and maybe gift the finished pieces. 
He also purchased another stitchy gift for me, one that he couldn't wrap and pop under the tree.
He joined the Gail Pan I Stitch Club on my behalf.
It looks a little different to previous years, it will be interesting to see what patterns turn up.
It looks like a good one for using up scraps and bits and pieces of left over trims etc. It also calls for old doilies and table cloths.... I have a few items, I'll have to dig them out.
The late delivery I mentioned in the post title arrived on Friday. The postie had tucked a package into our box and Tony brought it in to me.
A gift from Janice. Thank you my friend. It's wonderful.
There was a cute blue wall hanger, and ornament for the tree of course. A lovely towel with crocheted tab, to hang on the over door and one of those great wee shopping bags that folds away to nothing, great for popping into your hand bag.
I went to work right away, making sure everyone felt right at home.
 The blue wall hanger fits perfectly into this spot in my quilting studio.
 The ornament is in good company on my tree. 
Speaking of ornaments, I got into the habit of making and gifting them during the SSCS years. This year I made a nd gifted a dozen of them. I forgot to get a picture of them all together, so I'll share some of the images that have come back to me, showing them settling into their new homes.
 This is the first time I have tried this type of ornament.
 They were rather fun to make.
Tony even joined in and helped which was nice.
I do hope you all had a great Christmas and spent the time doing what makes you happy.
I'm off to join the I Stitch Club on facebook.
Then I might do some more cross stitch.

Saturday 21 December 2019

A surprise in the mail.

The postie left an envelope in my box the other day. I didn't recognise the handwriting and had no clue who it might have been from, when I turned it over and saw the senders name and address, what a sweet surprise.
The Lovely Maria from Life on the block had sent me a card and a delightful hand made ornament.
 Thank you so much Maria.
I rushed to add it to my tree right away.
See, settled in nicely and feeling perfectly at home.
As I have very little to report with regard to current crafting efforts, I'll show off some older ones.
 What you see here are two table pieces on my coffee table, one strategically places over the other, to make it look more impressive. LOL
And some cute wee gifted coasters. 
 It wouldn't be Loulee if there were not a collection of teddies to show off somewhere.
 Some were Mums and happily came to live with me.
Oh! I almost forgot!
I do have a crafty finish to show you.
I actually made and quilted this tree in 2018 and posted about it's journey in April of the same year.
I have seen many of these trees decorated with tiny quilt blocks. I don't think that was ever going to happen here so last week I decided to just get on and finish it. A quick visit to the sewing centre and I had buttons and a frame.
And they are the cutest buttons.
 I sat last night and sewed them on.
 Part of me says that's enough, and another part says go buy and add more.
I wonder if there is a skinny piece of tinsel in the box?  I wonder, I wonder?
And finally, everyone seems to love how even the light fittings get the Christmas treatment. 
 As we were placing the outdoor tree I notice that there were many, many bees visiting the lavender hedge under my sewing room window. 
The lavender is in full bloom and smelled beautiful, the sun was shining and the hum of the bees made for a wonderful moment.
Time to go and make mince pies.

Tuesday 17 December 2019

A quilty finish..

This little quilt started with all haste, but has taken a long time to finish.
It has hung around in the cupboard in my room since then, awaiting it's turn.
Then just a couple of weeks ago I finally found time to put it onto my frame.
It has taken me a while to find the time to quilt it. It's so small it should have been done in no time. But instead took two weeks. But finally yesterday I finished the quilting, and this afternoon after work I put on the binding. I had thought to use leftovers to make a scrappy binding, but decided this morning that in the interests of finishing it this year then it would be better to find and use a single fabric. Which I duly found in my local store before going to work. LOL
This evening I have put on the binding and closed it too!
Look, here it is all finished, it even has a Loulee label. 
As you can see I just did a very lose meander all over, though I did add some flowers, to the centres of the flowers!
Just for fun. And to practice.
I know I have had the frame for a few years now, and have used it several times, but I still feel very much like a beginner and in need of practice, practice, practice.
And here it is. The finished quilt.
Flower Box, by Laundry Basket Quilts.
A very pretty a girly looking lap size quilt.
Or maybe I'll add a sleeve so it can take a turn hanging here at home.
There is another similar sized quilt hanging in the cupboard, just hanging around waiting....
As they do....
Maybe tomorrow, after work.

Sunday 15 December 2019


Well my boy Joe has had his birthday, so it must be time to decorate for Christmas.
First things first though, my wee pagan fairy that DS Jiffy bought for me many years ago is to have a wing upgrade this year.
 They suit her perfectly.
 She flew to the top of the tree and sits very comfortably way up there.
 And here you have it, the whole tree.
I was very restrained when I decorated it this year and only used about half of my ornaments. LOL
All of the hand made pieces and a few very special purchased or gifted pieces.
Of course those of you who have been reading my blog for a few years will know that I have more than one tree. The blue one is in the corner of my dining room. The red and gold tree is in the sitting room. Again, I have used only about half of the ornaments, choosing the hand made and gifted pieces over the others.
But wait, there's more.
Last year I purchased a tiny tree for the corner of my sewing room and I've popped it in there again. Decorated with bells and nut crackers. It looks a little bare, maybe my efforts to be more restrained went too far on this one! LOL
Little tree has company this year.
And finally, my Anni Downs Christmas quilt has a hanging sleeve and a frame at last.
It used to have very long tab tops, so that it could hang at the end of the hall, but I think it looks much better like this.

Monday 9 December 2019

Feeling Sew Lucky

 Look what I got!!!
I'm sew lucky
It's even got my name on it!!
And was made especially for me. 
We had guests over for dinner last night. He is a colleague of Tony's and she is a crafty lady. She makes aprons and bags, using calico and beautifully painted with flowers, which she sells at the local markets. I wish I had pics of those to share...
We got to talking and I ended up doing a show and tell and we were all in my room at one point looking a projects and comparing sewing machines. 
She has never made a quilt, but would love to. Sew I gave her some of my old patterns and lots of advice. He must have noticed my rulers tucked in between books and propped up where ever there was enough space.
He came back today with a beautiful hand made stand, which has space for all of my rulers, and more.
It is beautifully finished, all the edges are so smooth.
I feel so very lucky to be gifted such a thing.
 For now, it fits perfectly on the dresser, just in reach if I'm at the cutting mat.
LOL I'm sure that will change!
I was hoping to have a finished quilt to show in this post, but that wasn't to be. However as it was still on the frame and in need of more work, I was able to show my guests how that all works. 
I only need to do a little more quilting and then onto the binding....
maybe next time.....
I have some interesting garden shots too...
Maybe next time...
Oh! And my new car should have arrived today,
Now it's due on Wednesday.
Maybe next time....
You will come back for next time won't you?

Monday 2 December 2019

A very busy weekend

I had planned all week on spending some time with one of my sewing machines this weekend.
Maybe make a start on a scrappy project. Maybe load a quilt onto the frame.
Things turned out a little different.
A couple of weeks ago Timaru was hit by a big storm. There was lots of thunder and lightening. Unusual for this part of NZ. There was also a hail storm, with huge hail stones. Many much bigger than those you see here in my hand.
As a result of that storm about half of town are having their cars assessed by hail specialists, and a lucky few are having their cars repaired. My poor wee car is not one of those. Every panel on my poor wee motor has sustained damage, there are so many dents, I lost count just on the bonnet, never mind anywhere else.
The silver lining is that I will get a new to me car.
So Saturday was spent out and about car shopping. I have to say I was over it after the first 2 hours!
Mr H had me sitting in so many cars.
Is this one comfortable?
Can you adjust the seat the way you like it?
Just try this one....
Finally we agreed on a model.
Now the real shopping begins.
I'll leave that to him and the internet.
But Saturday wasn't over!
After a cuppa at home and a lie down on the couch to ease my poor back, we were off out again.
Each year Timaru hosts a festival of roses. There is a beautiful rose garden here in town, it's a part of the Caroline Bay recreation area. 
 The rose festival features a display of many many roses and floral art competitions. These are in the hall, elsewhere in the grounds there is music and a craft market.
On the Saturday evening there was a night market, which I fancied a look at. I told Tony we could get supper at one of the food carts and he was in! There was live music playing in the rotunda and there were a few stalls, but to be honest, not much that interested us except the carnivorous plant stall!
I bought Polly the putrefying  pitcher plant. (The gentleman who sold her to me said I must name her).
Polly currently resides in a corner of the green house. I'm told she will love it in there, but I must keep her toes wet at all times. 
We wandered around for a while, chatting with a few friends and had some food.
By the time we got home, it was almost time for bed.
Not a stitch was sewn all day.
Sunday was no less busy.
First stop, the plant place for marigolds! Aphids have moved in to the green house!
Hopefully the marigolds will have them move out fast! (And of course Polly will help!)
I also purchased a punnet of capsicum. After planting our new friends we headed back to Caroline bay for another look at the rose festival. There were more stalls and more people there than the previous night, so a lot more to see and do. We had lunch from a different food cart to the previous night and while talking to some more friends learned that bikes and side cars were racing at levels raceway, just a few minutes outside of town. Janice, you and Mick should plan a long weekend sometime.
The bikes and sidecars were not what I was used to seeing on the Isle of Man. Wow, what an experience. If we go again I'll try to remember the camera!
We spent the entire afternoon out there.
After a later than usual dinner I mentioned to Tony that I was disappointed not to get a quilt onto the frame. He offered to help load one, right there and then!
It was almost 10pm by the time we had finished.
So she waited for me until this morning when, before work I made three quick meander passes.
That was fun. What a lovely way to start the day.
I had another quick go after work too.
Because I know you all love my tree, here it is laden with flowers.
The wedding cake tree at 07.15 this morning.
Now, it's almost 9 pm and my children have been chatting away on messenger. We have a family conversation going and all keep in touch there. It's been plinging away all the time I've been writing here. Better go and catch up with the happenings.

Monday 25 November 2019

A Crochet Finish!

At last!
I started this blanket waaaay back at the beginning of May. It wouldn't have taken so long, but I overdid something and an RSI settled into my left wrist. Well that slowed down everything.
But I did notice a couple of weeks ago, that my wrist is finally getting stronger again and thought I might try my crochet. At one point I couldn't even hold my work without pain. Finally I was back to being able to do just a little. So slowly, very slowly I was able to complete this wee blanket.
Two rows, or one colour per night.
I only had four colours left to do!
Then the borders, half a round a night.
Finally I finished it over the weekend.
That's it done. It is a good size for a single/twin bed. Tony wants to keep it. He thinks we should keep pretty much everything I make. I'm not so sure, I had intended to sell it at a craft market, but changes in our working schedules means that we three girls don't get to do those any more.  Maybe I'll pop it on a local facebook page and see what happens.
So what now? Well I've already started knitting a sweater for Grandson Floki. Slowly, just a couple of rows here and there. Want to look after my wrist now that it is feeling a bit better.
I'm also continuing to cut 2.5 inch squares, they are coming along slowly too, though I have found that if I hold down my ruler in a certain way, it's good physio therapy for my weak wrist, so long as I don't do too much.
The garden of course is taking up quite a bit of our time at the moment, I'll take and share some pictures another day.