Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jelly Roll Race

post signatureOne of my online quilting buddies came across this link not long ago and threw out the challenge for us to race each other.

I had a jelly roll of Sew Stichy by Aneela Hooey that I had been eyeing up for a while but not sure what to make with it :)  I also have a niece who is due a quilt.  I missed her 5th birthday so she will be getting it for her 6th birthday in July 2013.

Anyway I signed up.  The idea was to make another 24 hour quilt over Monday 17th & Tuesday 18th December.  However I had far too much to do in this last week to complete a whole quilt in 24 hours.  So I raced but have completed my challenge with the flimsy.  Timing begins after the initial joining of the strips.  I actually did straight joins as I really don't like those pointy bits in my quilt.

It took me over an hour in fact 1 hour 28 mins and I was definitely the slowest of the group BUT in my defence CT gave me very little sleep the night before and I was a little worried about sewing through my fingers.  Yes my level of concentration was that low.

Anyway at the end of that hour and a half I have this gorgeous top to show for it.


I do have to admit that it is my second race I have done although last time I raced myself.  I used the same technique to whip up a quilt for one of Jots childcare workers who has been looking after her since January.  The first time in 4 years that she has had one carer for the whole year.  I quilted it on my machine and came to the decision I HATE machine quilting.  Give me hand quilting any day.  I also added the binding by machine usually something I also loathe doing but yesterday it all worked perfectly.  I think it might have had something to do with the fact I cut the binding wider that usual so there was plenty of edge under the sewing foot.

Here is the finished quilt (complete with photo bomber). 



I love the batiks and have decided to so a similar quilt for Jot for her 5th birthday in September.  She said that it looked like the sea.  I already have a Bali Pop that we have chosen which has much more pink in it for a girly quilt for her I do need to find a good backing for it :)

Right I have 30 childcare lolly bags to complete and some binding to do and a class to listen to :) so I will see you later.



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

13 in 13 Challenge

I don't usually sign up for annual challenges as my track record is pretty dismal, but I am not going to rake up  those I haven't managed to complete in the past.

This one though is one I am looking forward to.

Little White Dove

Rachel over at Little White Dove is throwing out the challenge to read 13 books in 2013.  The only specification is that they are "of the no-pictures-not-for-small-people variety".  Given the way I read to my kids if they were included I could knock over 13 in about 2 weeks.

I do already have a bit of a list and it is split into two categories Fiction and Educational.  There is a lot of reading involved in my Life Coaching Study and what I have managed to read so far is pretty inspiring.  So here is my list as at 12 Dec 2012.

Fiction
A Trail of Fire - Diana Gabaldon
Dodger - Terry Pratchett
THE FIRST CONFESSOR: The Legend of Magda Searus - Terry Goodkind (ebook exclusive)


Educational
The 4 Hour work week - Timothy Ferriss
Awaken the Giant Within - Anthony Robbins
Coaching for Performance - John Whitmore
I'm Okay, you're a brat- Susan Jeffers

Go on over and join the fun at http://thedovenest.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/13-in-13-reading-challenge/ 

Keep an eye out for some book reviews over the year.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dolls Quilt Reveal

Yay I can finally reveal what I created for the Essential Quilters Dolls Quilt Swap 2012 (DQS).  My partner was Helen (who also made for me and you can see that beauty here)

I am very proud of this as I tried new techniques in its creation.  I used a Dresden plate template to make the feathers and appliquéd it one.  Both things I hadn't done before.  Add some raw edge appliqué for the body and head and the top was done.

I waited a while to start to quilt it but I knew what I wanted to do until my machine spat the dummy (it really must go in for a service).  Rather than have to keep unpicking I decided to try yet another new technique and hand quilt it.  My stitches are not very small (or for that matter very even) but I am really pleased with the results.

The Peacock
Front
The back

Close up of the hand quilting


Thursday, November 15, 2012

In other news

I made a decision!

Yes I really did, now those of you that know me know that I hate making decisions and in fact the work decision has been hanging over my head for about 3 months.  So I finally bit the bullet so to speak.

I have decided to go back to school to reskill as a Life Coach.  It is very daunting and exciting and I am looking forward to the ride.

It might mean (well it will definitely mean) that my crafty side will have to go on the back burner while I study and get my business up and running.  In that case this blog will get a little quiet but I will still be crafting in small doses and will post when I have things to share.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dolls Quilt Received

This is the beautiful dolls quilt I received from Helen of Patchwork of Mini Grey.  I love the pinks and purples.



With hindsight I should have opened it without Jot present as as soon as it was open she claimed it and was thanking 'Mummy's friend' for making it for her.  I managed to steal it back for a quick photo but I am surprised that you can't see her hovering in the photo she was so intent that I wouldn't keep it.

We had to put the 'babies to bed' with it that moment.  Which of course meant we needed a bed for 'babies'.   A quick cardboard box butcher and voila one bed.  

Rosie and Sleeping Beauty love their new quilt and slept all night through.  Wish Jot had followed suit.



Thanks Helen I can see a long life for 'babies' quilt ahead. 

I can't show you pictures of the one I sent yet as my recipient still hasn't received it.  I sent it on Monday and am now starting to get a little worried.  I know it had a fair distance to go but still it should have been there by now.  Fingers crossed it arrives on Monday so I can show it off.  I'm really proud of it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Leaving gifts

It felt a little strange not having to post yesterday.  I kinda missed it so I think you will be seeing more of me again although I will have to do some work on the titles of my posts.

Today I had the sad job of putting together leaving presents for on of Jots childcare workers.  Now this girl 'C' is amazing.  She has been working in Jots room since Jot moved into it over a year ago and she will be missed greatly by the kids and probably just as much by the parents.  I know I will miss her smiley face when I pick Jot up each night.  Anyway ages ago she mentioned she needed a hat that had owls on it (she admits to being a little obsessed by owls) so as part of the gift I decided to make her one.  As mentioned HERE.



Jot was saying last night that she was going to miss C and I asked if she would like to draw her a picture.  Then I struck on the idea of putting it onto fabric and using it as part of a gift.  So the bag was born.  Its a shame that the print shows through so much on the picture but it is still nice and of course owls on the inside (although different owls).


I hope she likes them.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{THIRTY ONE}

I made it.  When I started the month I really didn't think I would have enough to post each day but I logged on and wrote every time I thought of something I wanted to say and before I knew it we were nearly at the end of the month.  It has only been the last three posts that I have had to write on the night  so to speak.

Anyway Happy Halloween  and I will leave you with a couple of photos of Jots Red Butterfly costume and R as the Grim Reaper.  Next year they can make their own costumes.  Oh who am I kidding I loved it.



Please excuse the mess in the background.  There is only so much time in the day and I have better things to do than tidy up after my children.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

{THIRTY}

Didn't get any chance to sew today but have succeeded in completing R Halloween costume.  It took 4 hours yesterday and to be honest I thought it was going to drive me nuts.  There were a couple of occasions I would have been happy to chuck the thing in the bin.  I think I will have to wait a while before I attempt it again like maybe a decade or so :)  No photos yet but I will hopefully get one at some point to show you.

I also sandwiched and attempted to quilt my DQS yesterday only to find that my little machine is obviously in need of some love and attention.  The  tension has gone a bit iffy and it seems to be skipping stiches when I try to quilt something.  It happened last time I attempted to quilt as well but I had forgotten about it.  So tomorrow I am going to nip into GJs in Brunswick and pick up some thread to hand quilt it with.  Another new thing for me so a bit of a learning curve.

I did manage to cut out the hat for Jots childcare worker who is leaving on Friday but it is still in pieces.  I will finish that tomorrow when CT sleeps so I can focus on the DQS for the rest of the week.  It is a Nicole Mallalieu pattern and I am loving the detailed instructions.  I also have her A-Line skirt pattern waiting for me to get round to soon.  I am going to have to dedicate a month to me sewing i think just to get on top of all the things I want to make for me.

Today though I have been working on working again.  Lots of big ideas but I am not ready to share any of them yet.  Hopefully soon I will stop procrastinating.

In the meantime I am going to go join R on the sofa and watch Rock of Ages on DVD.  Night all

Monday, October 29, 2012

{TWENTY NINE}

Two more days to go and I will have posted every single day of Blogtoberfest.  I actually found it really easy this year.  Is it because I have more to say or is it just because I am procrastinating again :).

Two years ago we installed solar panels and today I got the last 12 months of bills out to see how worth it they are.  We had 16 panels installed in November 2010 and I loved watching the meter run backwards for a few months.  Then they put in a new meter and that is when the trouble started.  Every bill we had for about 9 months was wrong.  I drew the line in October last year and decided to just accept the stupid mess and move on.  So my first even remotely accurate bill was the October 2011 one.

I used the bills from October 2011 - September 2012 so just short of 12 months.  

Total Generated: 1809.475kwh
Total Used (Peak and off Peak): 4218.988kwh

When we installed we became eligible for the Premium Feed In Tariff (no longer available to new applicants)  of 66c per kwh this has now gone down to 8c per kwh in line with the wholesale electricity rate (you can see more about it HERE)  So in $ figures:

Total Generated: $1149
Total Used: $980
 Credit: $213

If they keep generating at this rates they will have paid for themselves in savings in 4 1/2 years from now.

However, would we do it now.  The answer is no.  With the new feed in Tariff in Victoria being so low the $ figures for last year would be:

Total Generated: $144
Total Used: $980

As you can see this would mean that we would still have had to pay $836.  At that rate it would take 55 years to pay for themselves.  In my opinion it is just not worth it.

Please note these calculations were done for our personal use only.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

{TWENTY EIGHT}

OK I may have been a bit optimistic about showing crafty stuff today.  But you will get to see some later this week as I have a lot to get done before Friday.

1) R Halloween Costume (by Wednesday)
2) Leaving Gift for Childcare worker (by Friday)
3) DQS (by Sunday) 

So I have already cut out R Halloween costume or at least the cloak.  I am hoping to do a tunic as well but I figure as long as I get the cloak done he can wear a black t-shirt and jeans under it with no problems.  There is still a couple of hours of work on the cloak to do so I will target this first and then have a bit more time to get my head round the other two items.

Jots favourite Childcare worker is leaving on Friday (she has been Jots carer for over a year which is rare).  I wanted to make her a quilt BUT I don't think I have time especially as I need to got on with my DQS.  I am thinking a sunhat and a notebook cover but the idea of a quilt keeps coming back to me.  Might see what I have in my stash that she might like.  

DQS - I can't believe it is a week to mailing day already.  Where did this month go?  Anyway the top is complete and after dinner tonight I plan to sort out the label and then sandwich it ready for some quilting on Wednesday.  I can see myself binding this next Sunday night in front of the TV before mailing on Monday.  I like it though and I hope my partner does too.

Right I am off to get some dinner sorted out.  You may or may not get photos tomorrow as I try to get most of this under my belt in my child free time while R takes the kids swimming.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

{TWENTY SEVEN}

I realise I got a bit heavy yesterday - sorry.

I am lightening it up today with another Blogger Boogie link (hopefully tomorrow you will have some pictures of craft :) )



This week I am going country.  I am a bit of a closet country fan as R hates it.  At least here I get to show my true colours.

James Taylor Fire & Rain

Lee Kernaghan Beautiful Noise

Luke Bryan Drunk on You

Dixie Chickx Not ready to make nice

Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch I'll Fly Away

Friday, October 26, 2012

{TWENTY SIX}

On Tuesday night I met up with a great group of girls for our Bible Study night.  It could also just be an excuse to get out of the houses with a few children as we can get away with.

Anyway this week we were pondering the fruits of the spirit in particular Patience.  For those of you who don't know this comes from Galatians Chapter 5

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

It was interesting to me how much patience is something that is being lost and at the detriment to our way of life.

In this world of instant gratification there is very little waiting any more and therefore no patience.  No savouring the wait for a letter or a parcel from relatives, doing other things to fill in the gap while being patient for something.  

This lack of patience is, I feel, contributing to the credit card usage in the world and therefore of course personal debt.  There is a view out there that we are entitled to things right now and to get the newest piece of technology then just put in on the credit card and worry about it later.  Imagine the satisfaction involved when you save and plan for an item then get it maybe 6 months after its launch but at a lower price and without any debt hanging over your head.

Patience is underrated and needs to be recovered for every ones sake.

Next time (in a fortnight) we will be looking at kindness - another underrated virtue.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

{TWENTY FIVE}

post signatureBlogger is eating my posts!!  I typed a long 25 post last night and when I went in this morning to change something poof it was gone.  Not impressed.  Also not going to rewrite it except to say

60 Days till Christmas

Are you getting ready?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{TWENTY FOUR}

WOW 167 visitors to this blog in one day.  All thanks to Sweet Poison linking my Day 22 blog post on Facebook.  122 visitors to that post alone.  Very cool.

Yesterday I attempted to get a good sibling shot of the kids.  I failed but here are a couple of ones I did get. I am not sure if CT is trying to get away from his sister or actually finding it funny.




I will keep trying :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

{TWENTY THREE}

I think I am getting bloggers burnout.  How do people manage to blog every day all year!

I got some more pictures of sewing stuff to show though - just as well this is meant to be a craft blog.

Firstly two pairs of summer pjs for Jot.  She wants to wear the elephant ones on Wednesday to childcare for PJ day.  Lets juts hope it is a nice warm day.


And this is the Grim reaper costume I will be making for R for Halloween.  It has 9 pattern pieces all of which are huge and the only place I have that is big enough to lay out the fabric is in the hallway so tonight once the kids are in bed I will be cutting on the hallway floor.  It is Simplicity 9887.


In addition I have been doing a fair bit of job hunting work over the last couple of days and am slowly getting my head round what I want to be doing.  Now to find a way to do it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

{TWENTY TWO}

I had Gestational Diabetes (GD) with both pregnancies and in between I was diagnosed with Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) this is also known as pre-diabetes.  It came as no surprise when I was diagnosed with GD when I was only 10 weeks pregnant with Connor (the test is usually performed at 26 weeks) or that I was on insulin injections from 11 weeks.  It has also raised my chance of getting Type II Diabetes by a lot and R and I are both aware that the diagnosis is in the future.

However, I am not going to let it take me without a fight.  So I have been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding pre diabetes and diabetes.  There has been lots of 'claims' that I am not sure I believe but one that I find interesting is the claim that Type II Diabetes can be reversed.  Now obviously I don't want to it to get that far but if you are reading this and are already diagnosed do yourself some research.  It will involve some changes some drastic but its worth doing.

My most recent reads which are prompting this post are The Sweet Poison Quit Plan by David Gillespie and the I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson.  Now there are both believers and critics of the Sweet Poison book but it rings very true with me and since reading it a couple of weeks ago I have been very conscious of my sugar intake and have been reducing it.  I would recommend reading it and making up your own minds.

With some very good timing Sarah Wilson is running a 8 week pre christmas program to help support people who have decided to go sugar free.  You can find more details here.  So I have signed up (without consulting R which I suppose I should do now) and will be starting on 29 October although I have already started to cut back.  

I am committed to the 8 week program to quit sugar and therefore break my addiction.  It will not be easy but it will be worth it.

Wish me luck

Sunday, October 21, 2012

{TWENTY ONE}

Bloggers Boogie again - this time I will remember to link it to Little White Dove

Little White Dove

This week I am going to be looking back through the years and picking five songs that remind me of moments in my life.

I kissed a girl by Katy Perry
This was on the radio on the way to the hospital when Jot was born.  I was terrified and for some reason this really made an impression.

You're Goregeous by Baby Bird 
This one brings back memories of the year I met R.

Everything I do by Bryan Adams
I have distinct memories of watching this on Top of the Pops every Thursday evening for the entire school term.  It was Number 1 in the UK for 16 weeks back in 1991.  By the way there are some great one liners in that movie.

We didn't start the fire by Billy Joel
This is one of those ones that takes me back to my first Boarding School but I have no idea why.  Possibly another one I remember from Top of the Pops in the common room.  This is 1989 so I was 13.

Africa by Toto
I vividly remember hearing this on the radio in Bahrain in about 1985 or 1986.  I also remember being on the way to (or from) Baskin Robbins.  I loved their Rainbow Sherbert.






Saturday, October 20, 2012

{TWENTY}

Wow this is the furthest I have ever made it with Blogtoberfest.  I am quite excited.

To celebrate I am going to turn the computer off and spend the day with my kids uninterrupted   I shall be back tomorrow morning with bloggers boogie (which I totally forgot to link up last week).

Hope you have a good Saturday.

Friday, October 19, 2012

{NINETEEN} Blogtoberfest

Busy Busy Busy Sewing.  Yay!

I have managed to finish Jots Halloween costume in the end we made her a red butterfly costume which I will take photos off on costume day (Halloween) to show you as I don't want her wearing it before then.

I also ran up a quick pair of summer PJs for her as it is PJ day at childcare next week and all her winter PJs have seen better days.  Photo to follow as I haven't quite finished the top.

Finally I finished another Swoon Block.  This is block 7 only two more to go.

 

Feeling very pleased with myself BUT I have been using it as a procrastination technique.  I really need to do the homework set by my career transition lady but sewing is soo much more fun.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

{EIGHTEEN} Blogtoberfest

post signatureI got my car insurance renewal in the post today OUCH!

Good prompt though for a financial health check.  So I got online did some quote filling in (OK a lot of quote filling in) and now have new car and household insurance.  And I managed to save nearly $700 per year over the two policies.

It has given me the boost to check out our energy provider and telecom provider (although we have to wait till January for this one).

I really didn't think we would save that much and I am stoked that we did.  Every cent helps when you are on a single salary.  It is going to be interesting to see what I can come up with on the other big bills.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{SEVENTEEN} Blogtoberfest

post signatureYay I made it to half way.  Now I am going to panic that I am half way through October already.

Got some more sewing done on Monday.   Finished off 1/2 of Jots Butterfly costume and finished the DQS Top (which I am really excited about now) and finished all four Santa Sacks.  Of course the only thing I can actually post a picture of are the Santa Sacks.

I adore this fabric range Winterkist.  In fact I think I might stock pile some more in my next order.   The Pink one is for Jot as the only girl the other three are for CT and my two NZ nephews J & O.  Baby Boy B is due in January so doesn't get a Santa Sack this year but I have enough of the fabric left to make him one for next year.


The other side has their names appliquéd on and there will be colour coordinated cord running through the snowflake top bit once I get to Spotlight.

Since I really want to show the DQS top I will throw in a sneak peek for you that isn't going to give anything away.  The good news is that is actually looks like what it is meant to, R took one look and could tell me what it was meant to be.  Now I just need to find a backing for it and figure out how to add a hanging sleeve or and make a label for it but I still have 3 weeks till posting so I think I have time for all that.


R has also commissioned a Halloween costume now although how he is going to cook dressed as the Grim Reaper is slightly worrying .  I have tracked down a pattern but a trip to Spotlight is needed to get fabric.  I am so used to making things for the kids that I had forgotten that adult outfits need a lot more fabric.  At least plain black homespun should be relatively inexpensive.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

{SIXTEEN} Blogtoberfest

post signatureI can't believe it.  CT is 10 months old today.  Yup 10 months old.  Where has this year gone?


My boy is a very happy chappy and is quite content to sit and play.  He is trying really hard to get onto his knees to crawl but so far he is just getting frustrated.  I will admit that I love having a sitter.  It was always hard to know where Jot would be 5 minutes after I put her on the ground but the boy will pretty much always be in the same spot (or within about 50cm) that I left him.

I thank God for him each day as he is such a blessing and a joy to have around (even after multiple nights crappy sleep).

Monday, October 15, 2012

{FIFTEEN} Blogtoberfest

Today I am excited to tell you about a Dinner coming up at St Georges Restaurant at NMIT in Preston.  The October MasterChef Dinner is being run by Josie Bones.

Chris Badenoch (of MasterChef fame) will be talking about matching beers to food and R will be in the kitchen providing a great spread.

The invitation can be found HERE.

Venue:  NMIT – St Georges Restaurant, Preston Campus

Date:  Wednesday 24th October 2012
Time:  6.30 pm
Cost:  $66.00 per person

Book by ringing 03 9269 1577.

Hope you can join us and if not pop in to Josie Bones in Collingwood sometime soon and sample the food and beer for yourself.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

{FOURTEEN} Blogtoberfest

On Friday morning I had a bit of a doh moment when I realised that Jot had one clean pair of undies left in her drawer.  I then got buried alive under Mt Washmore in the laundry and made a decision.  This has got to stop.

Laundry isn't my favourite chore (to be honest I don't have a favourite chore) so usually gets done when I realise I can't see the laundry room floor anymore or someone is out of undies.  Not the best method.  So I went googling for Laundry Schedules to print out and put on the Laundry room door.  My favourite of all was this one:


but not going to be too much help to me.

Then I remembered seeing one as part of the Organized Housewife 20 Day Challenge that I signed up for and never got beyond day 1.  Her post on cleaning and organising the Laundry can be found here.  It gave me a starting point and this is the beauty I came up with.



My washing schedule:
Monday – Linens (Sheets and Towels)
Tuesday – Kids Clothes
Wednesday – Nappies
Thursday – Day Off
Friday – Darks
Saturday – Kids Clothes, Whites
Sunday – R Chefs Uniforms, Nappies

In this house we wash overnight and at weekends to utilise the cheaper electricity   So starting on Friday night (after an emergency wash during the day on Friday to ensure Jot had clean undies on Saturday morning) the new routine was in place.  

OK so it has only been going for two days BUT so far the kids have clean clothes and so do we.

Now to work on the folding and putting away.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

{THIRTEEN} Blogtoberfest

Linking to Bloggers Boogie again today

Little White Dove




As I mentioned yesterday to find what tunes I am going to add in todays boogie all I did was open itunes and set it to shuffle.  These are the first five songs that were played and before you ask no I did not realise I had such a eclectic mix on there.

Ultimate by Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday

Sand and Water by Beth Nielsen Chapman

Empire by Kasbian

Mighty Quinn by Manfred Mann

Whereever Whenever by Shakira


Friday, October 12, 2012

{TWELVE} Blogtoberfest

Well the snot monster has come to visit here which has meant no sleep for the last couple of days which in turn has meant a cranky baby and no crafting time for me  (one cranky mummy).  I just hope the snot monster leaves and I get my happy boy back soon.  I can't cope with this amount of sleep for long.

However the middle of the night cuddles are a great time for new ideas, I just wish I could remember them in the morning.

I do remember one I had about a boys birthday present and luckily Jot has just received and invitation to a boys birthday party in a couple of weeks so I will make one up for him, in fact I think I will make two and one can go to my nephew for his birthday in November.  I promise to blog about it in fact I might even do a tutorial.

I was thinking about writing up a quick tutorial for the Aprons I made this week as I think I will run up another one for Jot and for my Niece in the UK for Christmas.  They are so quick and easy in fact I think all up they took about 30 minutes for two.  I plan to line the next ones which will add 5 minutes.

If you would like to see a tutorial for the aprons then leave a comment and I will get onto it next week.

Right I am off to give more cuddles to the snot monster that has taken over my son.  See you tomorrow for Bloggers Boogie  I opened my Itunes this morning and decided to link to the first five songs it played on shuffle.  There is an interesting mix.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

{ELEVEN} Blogtoberfest

post signatureThere has been plenty of sewing done this week.  Not quite everyday as the kids have been a wee bit difficult but I got probably 6 hours in total so far.

My Dolls Quilt Swap (DQS) quilt has stalled as the design I choose just isn't working.  I might tweak it a bit and start again with a different background which I think might be the problem.  Anyway I put it aside to think about and got out a couple of other items from my To Do list to finish up.

Firstly I did two aprons for 4th birthday presents (they are exactly the same).  I ran out of the fabric to make matching hats so I will doing a quick trip to Kmart tomorrow for kid sized kitchen utensils to add to the present.


I also finished off the first of 4 Santa Sacks.  I just love this fabric it is so happy.  There reverse of the bag has Jots name appliquéd on.  The other three are waiting for colour coordinating threads which I think I will be off to spotlight for tomorrow.


Finally I finished a quilt top for Baby Boy B who is due in January.  Now I just need to sort my machine out so I can quilt it myself.


I am hoping to get more time to sew this week too so you may get another post of completed items later over the weekend.

Now I am off to collect Jot from childcare.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

{TEN} Blogtoberfest

Some of you may already know I was made redundant in July this year.  Now this didn't some as a big surprise to me as with one thing or another the writing had been on the wall for 18 months or so.  However it did still affect me quite badly.  I have only had one role (or really it is three roles but one company)  since moving to Australia 6 1/2 years ago and it feels really weird to know I won't be going back after my maternity leave finishes.

Once I heard it the first reaction of most people was so what are you looking for now?  That is where I hit problems.  I decided to take a full year maternity leave and intend to stick by this (its only a few more weeks) and in fact am looking to extend it and am trying to find a new position to start in January.

As part of the Career Transition support I got as part of the redundancy package I have had a great deal of support in revising my resume (it now is huge and the 'master' runs to 5 pages) and advice on how to search for and apply for positions.  

One piece of advice was to update my LinkedIn Profile only to find I had two.  At some point I must have forgotten a password and set up a second account.  Anyway I reactivated the one with the most connections and have been hard at work updating it so that is matches my resume.  

One tool of LinkedIn I only discovered yesterday was the recommendations option.  You ask coworkers, boss etc to write a recommendation for you.  Like a mini reference I suppose.  It sits on your profile and is visible to anyone who can view your profile.  So on a bit of a whim I decided to try it out and contacted a couple of my old bosses to ask for a recommendation.  Now I have two recommendations sitting on my profile and it has been a huge boost to my self esteem which I will admit to being a bit shaky at the thought of the job market.

I like this tool.  If nothing else it has helped boost my morale which is flagging as positions are few and far between at the moment.

Wish me luck in finding the right job for me.  Something that will enable me to balance my work with my kids and of course my craft.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

{NINE} Blogtoberfest

When life hands you lemons you make Lemonade!

Well on Sunday night our wonderful Italian neighbour dropped this bag of lemons on our back doorstep.  There then involved some very amusing charades with Jot through the window.  All I could hear from the other room was 'No Costa I can't open the door till I ask my Mummy' repeated to whatever it was our neighbour was trying to tell her.



Now the same wonderful neighbour dropped over a box of Lemons about 2 weeks ago and a bagful about 2 weeks  before that.

The first bagful became Lemon Cordial  and Lemoncello which is delicious.  The second batch was zested and juiced and stuck in the freezer.  Part of that zest is currently soaking in vinegar to create a cleaning spray.  Not quite sure what this third batch is going to end up with but I have found some links which I would like to try.  I might have a big day soon to stock the freezer.

Lemon Loaf: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/breads/lemon-loaf-2/
Lemon Sherbert: http://www.joyofbaking.com/LemonSherbet.html
Lemon Curd: http://www.joyofbaking.com/LemonCurd.html
Lemon Bars: http://www.joyofbaking.com/LemonBars.html

I also want to preserve some lemons but I am not sure what to use them for.  Maybe Christmas presents?

Watch this space.

Monday, October 8, 2012

{EIGHT} Blogtoberfest

post signatureWe are off to a 4th birthday party at the weekend and I have added to my already overflowing list of things to sew by promising Jot we would make the birthday present.

One the plus side I have another 4th birthday coming up in November so I will just make two of whatever it is we decide to make now which will have that covered.

My initial thoughts were to make a dress but I think that might not be the 'done' thing to make for one of Jots 'school' friends.  So now I am thinking about an apron and maybe a chefs hat aswell.  Other options include a tutu or a personalised painting smock.

I never know how well hand made gifts are going to go down but I want to try as I enjoy the process.

At least it will give me something to show you in a few days :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

{SEVEN} Blogtoberfest

Halloween is on its way and usually we don't bother to do anything BUT this year Jot has a costume day at Childcare and has asked to be a 'Rainbow Butterfly'.

I have been searching this morning for ideas but nothing quite like what I had in mind so I am going to wing it (pun intended).

I think a simple t-shirt with the wings attached and elastic loops on the end of the wings to put over her wrists should make this simple.  However having said that it pretty much gaurantees it will be fraught with issues.

Now I need to figure out if I should dye the rainbow wings myself and if so how.  Luckily I have till the end of the month to get this sorted.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

{SIX} Blogtoberfest

Day six and I have blogger block.  Maybe it is the lack of sleep or maybe just the constant demanding attention seeking 4yo but I have no idea what to post about today.

I even did some sewing but then realised I can't post about my DQS progress every day.  Although I would love it I am sure it would be incredibly boring for you all.

Instead I have decided to jump on the bandwagon (literally) and join in the Bloggers Boogie that Rachel is hosting over at little White Dove.  This week I am only going to provide you with 5 songs that I have heard a lot this week.  Blame the Jot and her 'my music' chants from the back seat.

Little White Dove










Friday, October 5, 2012

{FIVE} Blogtoberfest

Have you heard of Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags)?  It is a initiative set up by Jan Maree of Cherry Red Quilter to provide quilts and laundry bags to our forces serving overseas.  It started out sending quilts in the care package mailings twice a year but has grown so much that they can now send at any time and quilts are also now being sent to HMAS Anzac.

I have made a quilt top (and also passed on the backing and binding) as well as three laundry bags and although it is unlikely I will get another one in this year I do have two planned for next year.

AHQ Blog Button


It is such a good cause and whether you agree with the politics behind the deployment of the armed forces or not it doesn't matter.  It is so very important to support our troops no matter where or how they serve.

Anyway check out the blog and see if there is anything you can be doing to join in.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

{FOUR} Blogtoberfest

On Tuesday we went to the Royal Melbourne Show.  It was a long hot day but such fun.  Instead of giving you a long wordy run down of the day I will tell my story in pictures.