Family & friends Feed

Life is busy

I don't know why I am so busy at the moment.  Put it down to spring being in the air.  Last week I attended a musical evening at a neighbors home.  It was only a couple of hours between 4 and 6pm but I did enjoy myself.



a group of local musicians led the singing and we all sat in the breeze way.


Everyone one came with plates of food and wine.


Jane's chickens got in on the act as well.


Then the kookaburras arrived I'm not sure if it was the music or the food that had attracted them.


They sat on the lattice behind the musicians and leaned in as thought they were listening.


They even gave us a cackle or two.



They were so amusing that they were rewarded with some food.



It was delightful sitting in that space listening to the music.



Both that of the humans and the birds.  I like this poem that Jane has on the wall in her kitchen.


As we left I looked in the window to find that some of the children had found the pianola and it was playing out some old tune. 


Simple pleasure are often the best ones.

I missed the 10 year celebration!

On the 25th August 2007 I wrote my first blog post.  Just where did those 10 years go?  My friends then are still my friends now and in a couple of months time I will meet up with them again in Houston at the Quilt Festival.

Wish I looked the same as this now.  My dark hair has changed colour and I have a few more wrinkles.  Pam still lives in the same place and jets around the world, Di has found love again and remarried after being a widow for a number of years and really grown her business and I have moved to Coochiemudlo Island and here I am still writing this blog.  Ten years seem to have just gone by in an instant.  Thank goodness for good friends and textiles.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 3.39.27 pm



Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning has begun.  It has to be done but it isn't some thing I look forward to.   I don't know why but everything seems to get into a worse mess than when I began.


I have set aside another 2 days this week to get through this lot.  It might take longer.  I keep finding old treasures and sit and spend time thinking about that piece.


Then I find things like this old piece of red work embroidery.  The design is by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly, who has been ill for a while now but you can still buy her patterns and there are a number of free downloads on her google + page.


Looking at this piece I remember why it is still hanging around.  I drew the design on my fabric in pencil and it is still very obvious.  Before I saw this I rushed and made a back for a bag.  I am going to try and get those pencil marks out and see if I can't make a bag with it.  I know Red Work isn't fashionable any more but I do enjoy stitching it.

So, progress to date.  All those messy draws are now tidy and I know just what fabrics I have.



The draws in the cupboard are sorted but I have to get everything out of the rest of the cupboard.  The bookcase and the desks will come after that.  I hope 2 more days will be enough?  There isn't anything much in the garbage or put aside to donate to charity.  I might have to go back and do this again.

A short break

I have been pouring over the International Quilt Festival Catalogue trying to decide just what classes I will do.  There are so many good ones.  The best classes are already full but there is still a lot of choice.  As I am travelling onto South America after the Festival I don't want any class which will require a lot of supplies and I want to have everything finalised today.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 5.40.13 pm

Because of all the difficulty with my husbands health I have delayed my enrollment for classes and missed out on most of the good quilting ones I would like to have done but there are plenty of others and the quilting ones require a lot of equipment that I would have to take with me.  So in a way I'm glad I missed them.  I have choosen quite a few technology and design classes plus some hand embroidery, which I will probably already know, but I wanted to do a class with these particular tutors.     I would love to have done Yoko Saito's class but that was full before it was announced.   I have learnt from past experience not to book too many classes, that leads to brain overload.   I still may have taken on too much!  

Update:  Everything is now booked, classes, travel, accomodation and insurance.


I am off to hospital tomorrow for a small procedure.  Hopefully it will just be an overnight stay but I have been told they won't know until they have an explore, Gall stones are not very exciting.    I am planning on just the overnight stay but am taking my knitting and embroidery with me just in case.  It is not an ideal time for this to have to happen with my husband still not fully recovered  but these things happen.  I have lined up my daughter to look after her father and the dog.  I should be back fairly soon.



Some normality for a little while

I was able to bring my husband home from hospital yesterday.  He is so pleased to be back in his own environment and I don't have that long drive every day.  He has a long way to go before he is back to his old self but every day sees an improvement.   I am the one who will have to adjust to sharing the house again.  I have set myself a routine I like and that doesn't go down to well with him.  You would think that after all these years of marriage we would have all this worked out?  But no, the push and shove continues.  At least it isn't dull.

I am still trying to finish all the kits for the Children's Class.  Everything is just one big mess at the moment.  My cutting table looks like a bomb has hit it.

Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 5.01.52 pm

If I look at the room for a distance it isn't too bad, but up close uggh.

Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 5.02.12 pm

And that bundle of completed kits is so small!

Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 5.02.02 pm

And when I went on my walk to the beach this morning I was hit by the perfume of freshias. 

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 9.09.32 am

I didn't plant my bulbs because I thought it was too warm but the wild ones are all in bloom. Blow!

Tea break

With all the stresses of the past couple of weeks I find that I can't sit and stitch.  I have tried but kept making mistakes, so I have put it aside until I feel I can handle it.  I also had visitors arrive in the midst of all the confusion.  I made cake and coffee for morning tea getting out an old dinner set that I haven't used for some time along with proper serviettes, not just paper ones.  I bought the set in Norway back in the 1970's.  (I keep seeing pieces of it in antique shops so it must have been on sale here as well. ) 

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 9.57.10 am

I was struck by how much I enjoyed drinking my coffee from a cup rather than a mug.  There wasn't as much coffee or milk or sugar as I would usually have and it got me thinking about how my mother and grandmother would have served tea.  (Coffee was hard to come by back then and everyone drank tea or used chickory.)  I went looking for the tea and coffee pots but they seem to have disappeared in the move.    (Now the hunt is on in the op shops for some replacements.) The driving 4 to 5 hours every day, the strained back and the stress have been playing havoc with my gall stones.  I have to have something done there but in the mean time I am going to limit coffee and stick to a low fat diet.

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 9.16.45 am

Image: C. H.H. Burleigh (1869 - 1956) The Geffrye, Museum of Home

what you are doing. Just look at the Japanese tea ceremony.

I think there is a lot to be said in favour of being 'mindful' about the things that we do.  The Japanese Tea Ceremony is a good example of this.


Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 8.58.05 am(image from Wikapedia)

So putting all this together I have decided to have cups of tea rather than my usual mug.  I bought myself a new tea pot, milk jug and a set of tea cups, so that if I have guests I can offer cups that are of a size somewhere between a traditional teacup and a mug and I will stop to have tea rather than drinking whilst I work.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 5.08.45 pm

 That tea really does taste different,  I think I will have to make a tea cosie for that new pot and I'm even considering going back to tea leaves after reading about the environment impact of tea bags. 

(Some tea bags have plastic in them !)











I have been working on my sprained back by resting, not lift anything heavy and not bending over too much.  It's working.  Now only going over speed bumps, coughing  and sneezing cause a lot of pain.  All the other pain is being controlled by pain killers!

Charlie has the idea of how not to do too much.

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 8.00.54 pm

I did finish the peace embroidery for August.  I don't really like it much.  I should have used an even coloured thread.   I think I will put this one down to experience.

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 7.47.52 pm

And because I have tried to keep still I have started some more knitting.  This is another shawl and I am trialing some wool that I bought a couple of months ago from 'Kaalund Yarns.'  (As you can see I am doing some 'reverse' knitting as well.)

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 8.00.27 pm

This is a really nice wool.  The spinning of the yarn is even and has given it a nice twist.  Very satisfying to knit with this wool.  Just wish I didn't make so many mistakes in the pattern.

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 8.00.40 pm

On the home front my husband has been raising my stress levels by knocking on the doors of heaven but so far St. Peter is keeping him out.  Not too good for my blood pressure and that 4 hour round trip to the hospital isn't too good for my back either.  Now that he seems to be out of danger I am going to sit at home today and sew.



I came across a Spanish website called totnens that had an article on recycling plastic toys.  There are just so cute that I am now on the look out for old plastic toys in the op shops.  Just look at this crockery.

Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 8.47.12 am

And this would make a great gift for any of the young (or old) kids in the family.

Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 8.44.55 am

But best of all (for me) are these Xmas decorations.  I can see them now decorating the dinner table.

Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 8.46.14 am

There are other great ideas for kids on this website, great time waster

Note to self

Please note Carolyne, that although it seems like a great idea to reorganise the house, when you husband is in hospital having another hip replacement,  it is not a good idea to try and move the keyboard on your own.  You might have got by on the flat, but those stairs.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 2.38.57 pm

You will put your back out and then the keyboard will be stuck half way.  Neither up nor down.  The pain will be terrible.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 2.39.12 pm

You will then have to find a neighbour to move it the rest of the way and give him a 6 pack (of your husbands beer) to thank him. 

Note: Remember to buy some more beer before he gets home.  He will be in re-hab for 14 days so you have time. 


The after effects of the eye operation

I was warned, but I didn't believe them.  I can see dust and dead ants and spiders webs and other things I have been missing. (Like just how many wrinkles I have on my face.)  I never knew that I had blue rings around my brown iris',  I thought my eyes were  just plain brown.

I finished a friendship block for one of my quilting friends.  Before the operation it looked good.  After the operation it looked terrible.  I have now re-stitched it and I can see an improvement.  The brief was to use blue fabrics on the base cloth provided and she wanted a basket of flowers.  I like the idea of a handbag.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 7.23.58 am

But I just had to add a little colour.  I used a deep red for the stitching around the handbag and added French knots to the centre of each of the flowers on the bag.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 7.24.14 am

I was tempted to use a bright yellow in the centre of the flowers but restrained myself and used a bright blue for the seed stitching.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 7.23.44 am

It is always a good feeling when you can tick something off the 'to do' list.