Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Creative Space

IMG_0949 by AndreaAMM
It's back to Bee Bold, Bee Brave, Bee Helpful this week and I have made this for Bronwyn,  a '+ and
X' block . I love the simple, yet effective style and working with aqua makes the job even more enjoyable. The only thing I was disappointed with is the points, which could have been more precisely matched, but Bron did say that the quilt police aren't on duty this month, so hopefully this will fit the bill.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday Snippets

This week has been about taking advantage of a day off to cruise, cooking and catching up on some reading.  So much for all the sewing that I was going to squeeze in.
 A lovely morning view.
 Something worth investigating.
 Making pesto from homegrown basil.
 My favourite models.
 A glorious sunset from the deck.
The start of a cruisey day at my favourite watering hole (with a coffee, of course!).

I hope your week was as enjoyable as mine.

Tinnie Girl is taking a break from blogging so I'll be interested to see if anyone takes up the mantle of hosting this fun weekly theme.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Creative Space

It's all about babies at the moment.  My good friend S has just become a great aunt to a little girl, Mackenzie Rose.   Having known that the baby was going to be a girl,  this was a great excuse for me to dig into Alissa Haight Carlton's book 'Modern Minimal' in order to make this cute quilt, which screamed baby girl to me with its pink dominated pastel palette.  I've stuck to the colour scheme in the book but as I didn't have any pale green, threw in some purple.  I'm really liking the look of this and will bind it in purple as well.  The ladybird feature print fabric tied all the colours together and for about 10 seconds, I thought about using this for binding as well but, after Stos confirmed my doubts about this, will stick with the solid.  Now for the trimming and binding.  I have two seasons of 'Boardwalk Empire' to watch while doing the hand stitching so it won't be too much of a chore.

For more creative spaces, head over here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday Snippets

After a bit of the break, back to the lovely regular blog themes that get you thinking about the week that was.
 A fun dinner with visitors from America, family and friends.
 I didn't think we needed a coffee machine but even just one decent brew a day at home makes it worthwhile.
In a world of Masterchef, molecular gastronomy and other fancy schmancy dishes, the humble raspberry and coconut slice still holds its own.
Some vintage loveliness that we have on long term loan until its owner comes back to claim it.

See what others have been up to over here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Creative Space

After working on a bigger project (update next week), it's nice to be working on individual blocks again - back to the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild 'Bee Bold, Bee Brave, Bee Helpful' bee.  Lorraine is one of the issuers of fabric goodies this month and she has given us something nice and easy to work with - Kitchen Windows from Elizabeth Hartman's lovely book 'Modern Patchwork'.  Lorraine is working with colours that she normally would not choose and this is what I really enjoy about these Bees, in addition the fun of doing something different each month, you often get to work with colours outside your comfort zone.  I can't imagine that I would ever have picked this combination (although I do like the diamond fabric) but they have come together beautifully.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished quilt.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Simple Pleasures

I have always taken it for granted that everyone could cook if they tried.  As a small child, we 'helped' Mum in the kitchen and an early memory is of my sister and I using an old fashioned mincer to grind cold roast lamb to make Shepherd's Pie.  Later, both L and I cooked at home as kids (although I don't recall the sister who became a chef doing much in kitchen!).  At high school, Home Economics was offered as an arts option and, as I was complete rubbish at traditional art subjects, I quickly took this up and stuck with it as long as it was offered (four years at our school, in those days).  I don't remember being a top student but I did well,  managed the curriculum without any problems and remember making a rather impressive decorated fruit cake for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary.  However, recently speaking to an older woman about her plans to make a cheesecake for a special occasion, I realised that maybe cooking isn't something that comes naturally to everyone, and some people are very nervous about making things that I had always thought of as straightforward.  So I'm now not so judgemental and am perhaps starting to see my ability to cook well and do what seem to be the more advanced things, such as making pastry from scratch, as a skill, rather than something fairly standard.

On getting married and shortly thereafter enrolling for university, and subsequently spending many years studying part time, Stos became the chief cook and remains so to this day.  He is a good cook and also gets home earlier than I do, so it makes more sense for him to be in charge of the kitchen.  But I do enjoy cooking and generally make one meal a week.  I love to hold dinner parties and when we need to take a 'plate' to an event, I will always put my hand up to make a cake or dessert, as the sweet stuff is what I prefer to make.  And recipe books - well, I have more than I will ever use, but love flipping through them looking for inspiration.

So while this isn't a simple pleasure for some, it is for me and even though I don't cook a lot, I enjoy it when I do.  In fact, while I'm at home on leave, I plan to on trying out more recipes from America's Test Kitchen, my current favourite series of books, and hope that they continue to be hits, just like this delicious lemon bundt cake.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


As it is New Year's Day, I am going to be very brave and set some resolutions, but keep them real and achievable.  I don't need to lose weight, get fit or give up smoking (although drinking less would probably be a good idea!) so nothing earth shattering.  But these are things that I really want to address and I think are manageable.  Here goes:

 - Do one thing at a time.  Finish what you start.  This is a fairly ambitious one for a crafter, as UFOs (unfinished objects) are an unquestioned part of life, but, for me this more about finishing tasks and not dividing my attention to the point that things are not finished or not done properly.
 - Do more reading for the Day Job.  It's not the most exciting stuff in the world, but I should be more on top of this than I am.
- Be confident, don't fear failure and stop procrastinating about the hard stuff.
- Learn some new sewing skills.  I've signed up for a Block of the Month using foundation piecing, so that's a good start.  Now to re-learn zips.

There are other things I'd like to address but in the spirit of keeping this manageable, I'll add only when I've ticked something off.

Happy New Year.