Monday, December 31, 2012

Just before midnight?

I am making the mad dash to finish my "Lil and Will" quilt before midnight!  I have only 24 squares to quilt double lines around and then I am done!

I love the respite between Christmas and New Years.  It feels like the old year has gone and the new one yet to begin so there is time for self-reflection and dreaming (in between yelling at my kids to pick up their stuff and play nicely together LOL)

I went back and looked at my New Years List from last year and was pretty chuffed to note that I have learnt how to Navaho ply, and to knit socks on one circular needle, and to pin on pinterest (oh what a dangerous thing that was!) and to use social media more for my business.

Knitting wise I have finished the GG shrug and a Kina cardigan for Maddie, and Shalom for me, and no end of beanies and hats and socks and my first ever Baby Surprise jacket and a little baby jumper.
I have really enjoyed spinning this year and have also become a bit of a Ravelry addict - I have a very pleasant group of online friends who aid and abet my fibre fetishes.

Quilt wise I have finished 3 cot quilts, and 2 charity quilts, and my string piecing experiment, and the ticker tape dolls quilt and, fingers crossed,  I will add "Lil and Will" to that list tonight.

Along the way there have also been a few dresses and skirts for the girls, jammie bottoms for the boy, swimming bags and cushions and table runners and humbug bags.

All in all, craftwise, it has been a good year and I feel especially spoilt to have added a Ron Doley spinning wheel and a Quilt Expression 4.0 to my collection.  Our saturday Apple Piecers have spun off into a delightful Tuesday night group "The Night Owls" and I took great delight in watching my friends Chris and Yvonne rediscover the joys of spinning from our get-togethers too!

I feel like not much has happened on the scrapping front lately but working so much at kindy meant not a lot of free time.

So looking ahead to 2013: I would really like to finish the rest of the WIPS (especially my Patchwork Apple BOM, the needleturn applique, Maddie's strippy, and Emmy Lou's Braids)  I want to make Dr Seuss by October for Dan and an owl strippy for my niece by her birthday in April.  I've also been told that I have another niece or nephew arriving next September so there will be another cot quilt for then.  I really want to concentrate on doing lots more sewing for the girls (especially now that the new-fangled machine will make life easier!)

I really want to focus on a better balance of kindy and CM and life - hopefully 2013 will be about more quality time!

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing to celebrate the New Year, may peace be with you.
Here's to 2013!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Special Christmas

If you don't want to be bored with photos of family and more family then look away now.
We had a glorious Queensland Christmas (the first time in over a decade that all four of us Cox siblings have been home with our respective partners and kids!)

I think I must have consumed almost my body weight in mangoes.  I ate fresh crab sandwiches. We fished. We rode in Gumpy's boat.  We drank moscato by the dam.  The kids went horse riding everyday.  The kids went swimming every day. We met new cousins and reacquainted ourselves with old ones.  We hugged those precious great-grandies and were thankful for just one more visit.  It was soooo good to just be simple and unburdened by all the craziness we left behind.  It was the perfect downtime.
It was a VERY special Christmas.
Belated Christmas Blessings to you all,
p.s. Highlight of James' holiday was running into Mark Webber in a cafe in Noosa.  We were straightaway those abnoxious star-struck fans who had to get a photo but he was very gracious and photogenic about it!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November WIP finish

Finally a finish!!! This was a ridiculous experiment foundation pieced onto A4 paper (some crazy recycling idea in the days when I was sleep-deprived with Hannah as a newborn and I saw Alex Anderson's take on "Depression Era Newspaper Quilts")  You would not believe how often these blocks have been shuffled from place to place and how many times they ALMOST ended up in the bin.  What a relief to finally have them finished.  This quilt actually gave me the chance to really play with my new machine and I have to say that I have totally fallen in love!  No more cussing while quilting! No more losing the needle thread, or having stitches unravel, or even searching for the scissors.  I LOVE IT!!!
I love the 3 million fancy pants stitches (especially the one that looks like hand quilting) and I love the inbuilt walking foot.  It has totally re-jigged my sewing mojo (which is why you see that I've started my Lil and Will quilt!)
Maybe that will be my December finish?
Have a great week!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Tomorrow she is three.  This baby of mine. The last little one who was supposed to stay little forever.

I remember when she was newborn; my surprise tiny girl when I was expecting a big boofy boy, born with the cord around her neck and took the longest moment of my life to take her first breath.

Even as a baby she didn't like to sleep.  She didn't want to miss anything.

As a toddler she was inquisitive, feisty, and always up to mischief.

She is determined.  She is stubborn. She is a tough nut and rarely afraid of anything.
She is loving, and cheeky, and our little clown.
She is my little ray of sunshine and I love her to bits.

Happy Birthday Maddie Moo, I DO LOVE YOU!!!xxxx

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Cautionary Tale and Other Snippets

Remember I promised to tell you a cautionary tale?  Well, as you may have gathered by now we live in a comfortable state of domestic chaos.  I do try to clean up but at best our house is cluttered and at worst our floors are crunchy.  So anyway, the other night it was late, and I was tired, and I went to put a loaf of bread in the chest freezer only to find that there was the iron (freezer often doubles as an ironing board) and a couple of magazines, and a kids drawing on top of the freezer.  I know that any normal person would remove all of those items.  I just kind of eased the freezer open with one hand holding the clutter, and all was going well until one of the magazines started slipping down the back so I grabbed frantically at it with one hand and as I did so I knocked my sewing hutch...and the next thing I knew there was an almighty crash and the entire contents of the hutch (more clutter than you can possibly imagine) came hurtling down.  Luckily it wedged against my big table and didn't squash me flat but piles and piles of fabric and projects and bits and bobs hit the floor along with 3 jars of beads and buttons which smashed in spectacular fashion.

And it was frightening, and it was also mega-disappointing when all I really wanted to do was crawl into bed instead of cleaning up 3 million shards of broken glass and buttons.  I have to confess that I felt a little like having a sniffle.  As I was sitting in the middle of the mess beginning the cleanup my one small solace was that I found a scrap of paper left from a parenting course I did when Hannah was little.  I opened it and it read: "You have permission not to be perfect"  That really did make me have a little sniffle!

To cut my cautionary tale short.  I used the catastrophe as an excuse to move the hutch to a less dangerous area (part of the problem was that I was always reaching around the back of it for power points so it had crept forward) and to have a BIG cleanup.  This is the bit that will really make you laugh:
This is the FINISHED (ie. cleaned up) hutch.  Still a bit of decluttering to do me thinks!!!!

Not a lot of blogging happening lately because I have been flat out at work and with the kids.
Last weekend this little possum went to her first big-girl (by herself) party.

Last week this dear friend visited.  We haven't seen each other for almost a decade.  It was so good to catch up - even if the terrible selfie shows up all my wrinkles!

And then today I got to spend some time with my lovely friend Lea-Anne and we cast on our first toe-up socks on one needle (and got as far as the gusset increases!)  I think I am going to love this new way of sock knitting!

And what does the small boy think of all this?

Have a happy week!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spring Things

I get ridiculous about Spring.  I always have.  I always will.  I may have been born in Autumn but Spring is my season.  I love that first delicious day when you wake up and Spring is just "in the air".  I love getting excited by new growth and new discoveries in the garden.  I drive my husband crazy with plans for spring planting, and cries of  "come and look at this!" and while he is pretty good-humoured about it, it really is not his thing, which is why I have a blog of course.  I can ramble here and you can take it or leave it! I can show you new asparagus shoots (asparagus that I thought was dead after the small boy light-sabred it and the small rabbbit chewed what was left!)  It is now looking so healthy that I am tempted to pick a few crowns..

I can show you roses that were newly planted in the Winter before last and have now come into their own; huge swags of lavender full of sweet native bees that tumble and roll amidst the fat blossoms; armfuls of cut roses brought inside to be arranged in cheery blue jugs, and cut glass and tin cans; so many that I am thinking of leaving a bunch on every doorstep in the street with a note saying "come and pick a bunch and give it to someone who needs it"
I am excited, so excited, by our raspberry canes (3 out of 4 taken from cuttings from school) - will we have juicy berries this year or next?

And our cherry tree, our cherry tree - planted last season, has six cherries on it!!!!
The plums are covered in fruit this year too, and my clematis has run riot all over the fence.  Last night, on dusk, the birdsong was incredible.  Oh Spring garden I just LOVE you!!!!

I will be back later to share some sewing exploits (including a cautionary tale!) but before I go, just one more bit of Spring goodness - Kathy's Spring Fibre Club "Spring Bouquet" which was such fun to spin.  I'm thinking this might be a nice little shrug for the Madster.
Happy Spring!
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Yesterday I bought a sewing machine that was worth more than my first car.  I am shamelessly justifying this purchase as the last 10 years of SAHM bonuses and rationalising that if I get 10 years out of it then it is really only a couple of hundred dollars a year (or approximately the cost of getting one biggish quilt professionally quilted)  I am also justifying it by the fact that I have been working pretty hard lately and the next 5 weeks fulltime will more than pay for it (and I KNOW that when those kindy kids are being less than angelic, and those 27 school-leavers reports are looming I can smile serenely knowing that there is plenty of quality sewing time ahead.

I pick up "the new girl" Saturday morning.
Eeekk and YAY!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September finishes

Sneaking in a finished WIP for September.  I have had a headcold and been a bit blah lately so this sort of free and easy sewing was just what I needed.  I think there is a lot to be said for this kind of "no quiilt police" sewing.  This cushion uses up the leftover fabric from Hannah's Robyn Pandolph "Flirt" bed quilt and you can tell from the photos how much she loves it! Part of my problem with WIPs is that I have 3 mammoth projects on the go - the horrible machine quilting on the quilt I have lost interest in, needleturn applique borders on a quilt that probably should be hand quilted, and my Patchwork Apple BOM that needs lots of applique and intricate piecing.  I feel like life is so busy at the moment that I need brain dead projects. I need things easy to complete so I have started Maddie's strippy which will hopefully be my October finish.  It DID feel good to be able to use the shoebox full of leftovers to make this (and then put a few smaller bits into my sorted scraps!)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This week..

This week there has been lots of hangin' with the cherubs.  There has been some knitting.  There has been some spinning.  There has been jelly, and pizza, and sand (lots of sand!) and rain, and pirates, and no power, and card games, and blocks and Little People.  There has been sleep ins, pancakes, scrapping, and a little bit of decluttering.  James picked up a new work ute.  Daniel discovered a wobbly tooth.  Maddie left her dummies behind at the beach house for the baby birds.  There is a feeling of change.
I am just savouring the simplicity, the peacefulness of the slower pace of the holidays, knowing that in just one more short week we will be back to being crazy busy.
Happy holidays.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Latest fibre yumminess

This is my latest spinning.  First Editions "Spring" merino/silk blend.  It spun up a bit finer than my default spin (probably more a 6 ply than an 8?)  No idea what I will do with it but love the subtle colour changes.  Luckily I have 100g of First Editions "Autumn" merino/silk in my stash so there will more of this lusciousness to follow!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Show

I am not really into the Show.  I don't like crowds.  I don't like side-show alley.  I don't like the way everything is overpriced and ridiculously expensive.  I worry about food poisoning..
Thankfully, my husband is really just a big kid and he LOVES the Show.
I love to watch my kids loving the show.
I put my fears aside to eat dagwood dogs and reminisce about childhood show memories of fairy floss and fairy dolls on sticks.  I do enjoy the pavillions with cooking and crafts and animals.

How about you? Do you like the show?