Monday, 14 July 2014

Christmas is coming.........

I hate to state the obvious but time is galloping by and Christmas will be here soon.
In preparation for our celebrations with the Wednesday Ladies I decided to set up a raffle;
the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes being massage with me.
 The idea is for participants to make a 5" (finished) block which will become the raffle ticket.

this is my sample to start the ball rolling
A name and contact number is written on the back in the selvedge so that when we draw the tickets at our Christmas breakup I am able to contact the winners.
It's a great opportunity to use bits and pieces out of the scrap box.
The Details are as follows:
You are invited to join us for a
Pre Christmas “Block Raffle”
Prizes to be won:  
Massage of your choice with Remedial Massage Therapist, Linda Bear.
st Prize   …….   90 minute massage of your choice
nd Prize   …….   60 minute massage of your choice   
rd Prize    …….  30 minute massage of your choice

To Enter :
*Make a block; 5” finished size
You may use any techniques that you wish
(a great opportunity to challenge yourself and expand your skill)

*Write your name and contact number on the back in
the seam allowance

*The blocks become the raffle tickets – Please hand the blocks into the ladies at the shop or to Linda directly.
They will be on display until the morning of the draw

Cost : Entry is Free

Entries Close :
Saturday , 29th November 2014

Raffle Draw :
 Wednesday, 3rd  December 2014 at 11 am.

Prize winners will be contacted by phone to organize collection of prizes
Blocks will be available for collection from Thursday, 4th December 2014
Prizes cannot be redeemed for cash

About Linda:
Linda Bear is a Remedial Massage Therapist and a member of
AAMT (Australian Association of Massage Therapists).
She is currently based at Elgar Rd Chiropractic Centre,
                645 Elgar Rd,
                                          Mont Albert North, 3129                         PH. 9890 1740
 Please call Linda on 0438 3000 if you have any questions in regard to Remedial Massage Therapy
If you are interested in joining in contact me on 0438 300045 and we'll sort the details
The more the merrier!
We will displaying all of the "Raffle Tickets" until the day of the draw.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Back to the knitting..........................

I've decided once again that knitting is just not my thing.
I've done a little bit more and have one bed sock finished but I have no inclination to do the other one at the moment.
 I don't like half finished projects however where knitting is concerned I can quite easily
find more pressing things to do.........
Maybe some pics on the blog will inspire me to do the other sock -worth a try!!

So, this is how it begins.
With size 10 needles cast on 40 stitches.
I know that I have more here but I was working on the idea that these would be for the lad
(long narrow foot)
Knit seven rows of rib stitch (knit 1, pearl 1. The alternate row will be pearl1, knit 1).
Row 8 = knit row on size 8 needles and increase on every second stitch to achieve 80.
Knit 50 rows and then decrease every second stitch so that you are back to 40.
Knit 7 rows in rib on the size 10 needles as before and then cast off. Leave a long tail of yarn for sewing the seam
Job done
Once you've finished fold the knitted piece in half stitch the ribbed edges together all the
way down to the folded edge of the sock.
(It looks a bit like a banana)

There will be a gap in the end of a longish bent tube. This is where you put your foot in.
The  idea of the shape is that the sock will come quite high up the back of your leg and wont walk/slip off in the middle of the night.
Here's the rub..........
Yes it was a good idea to increase the original number of stitches from 40 to 45 for a longer foot.
I did not expand on the thought process however. I should have also increased the number of knit rows by 5 or six because as much as the sock is the correct length it is not wide enough for the lad's foot.
I am not pleased. Those of you who know me well will also know how much I loath unpicking.
This extends to knitting too!
So, I'm stuck with one banana sock that's way too long for me and way too narrow for the lad.
That is also not addressing the fact that there is still only one.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

What's on in Melbourne........

I am thrilled to let you all in on a little secret.
I've been asked to take part in an exhibition of contemporary art and traditional quilts to take place at the
Media House Gallery
in Melbourne from the start of August to the end of September.
The pieces that I've chosen to exhibit aren't new ones but I felt that they filled the brief of
"Stitching Stories"
quite well.
As part of the Exhibition each of the participants will also include a
"Sentinelle" piece,
the basis of which is a Chartres Queen Panel - linocut and printed onto hand dyed fabric by
Dijanne Cevaal
this is my lady , pre-embellished

Once the Exhibition has opened I will put my stories and quilts onto the blog to give you a chance at a second peak

Thursday, 5 June 2014

And now for something completely different..............

Those of you who know me well
 will recognize that I have a strong preference for hand piecing.
I have been heard to say frequently that I am not an "Applique" girl
but that doesn't mean that I don't have a crack occasionally.
By the same token I am not a Knitting girl either; I find it awkward and slow.
However the mood took me the other day so out came the needles and wool and I made a start.
The Lad is going to the snow with his school later in the year so this offered the perfect excuse for some woolly bed socks and the chance to teach him how to knit.
(for some reason he's missed this experience, along with finger knitting and crotcheting)
The idea was to blog these gems step by step and give the instructions etc but this wasn't to be
Please enjoy my before and after shots

Apparently Bella likes wool - The knitting had been in the middle of the kitchen table before I left the house for a short time to get groceries.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Of flippers and fins............

I've just found these two photos of the lad and I -
Lovely photos and fantastic memories of a holiday a few years ago

I recall that in the afternoon I could smell a strong odour; a cross between fish and vomit.
I thought that I'd stepped in something at the beach -
turned out to be seal slobber
I hope they bring a smile to your day ,as they've done to mine

Of Fascia............

In my other life I'm a Remedial Massage Therapist. 
I developed an interest in the field after breaking a shoulder and having to do all the rehab. 
As a result I have a "special interest" in arm, hand and upper Thoracic issues.
The bonus of this for the client is that I actually know what it feels like and know the hard yards that have to be put in for optimal recovery.
Having said that a massage treatment doesn't have to be area specific; nor does it have to feel like you've been ten rounds with the rolling pin.
I like to think of my massage style as what I expect of a handshake, 
firm with intent but gentle, not the wet lettuce leaf variety.

My office
                        I'm based at Elgar Rd Chiropractic Centre
                 on Thursdays and Saturdays if anyone is interested.
Elgar Rd Chiropractic Centre,
645 Elgar Rd, Mont Albert North,3129

    "On the spot" health care rebates are available through Hicaps


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Memories to last for ever.................

From time to time I'm presented with fabric in one form or another which is just
too precious to throw away.
Usually there is a sentimental attachment that gives us joy; memories of happy times.
It might be scraps from the sewing box, garments and ties no longer worn or fabric that speaks to your inner sense for the need to create.
A while after my Dad died Mum presented me with all of his ties with the hope that perhaps the
 boys might be able to wear some of them.
Open neck shirts are now the order of the day for a Sales Rep and the only tie the
Lad will wear is a school tie so this wish wasn't going to be fulfilled any time soon.
What was I to do with a life time of ties?
I couldn't part with them, silks or polyester.
Tie for a Paymaster
 A tie from Dad's first day as Paymaster of Campbell Soups Australia,
  the tie he wore on his wedding day and the tie he wore to ours.
 - so many precious memories hidden away in the cupboard.-
A special one for his wedding day
I decided to re-purpose them (and a few others added in) and make them into a quilt for the lad, One that he could take through all stages of his life 
He's always been a tactile sort of chap and would enjoy the touch of  silk
So, after sorting the good from the bad,
 adding to the collection from other significant males in our circle and choosing a style, I set to work.
There is a great deal of fabric in a tie when you deconstruct it.
They're generally cut on the bias and are at least twice as wide as what can be seen.
After stripping close to 100 ties templates were cut and pieces interfaced with Weaveline
 to give the silk body but not stiffness and to reduce fraying. 
Corners were added in contrasting colours of silk dupion to complete the blocks and then the sewing began in earnest.
The backing fabric was a lump of something I had in the cupboard and fitted the bill nicely.
To get the correct size I needed to add a strip through the middle so I used up the left over tie blocks
(I always cut extras for "just in case" moments)
 and stitched labels from the ties across the back.
Once the top, batting and backing were sandwiched, I tied the quilt through the block centres with silk ribbon.

labels and more labels
silk ribbon bows
So there are approximately 90 ties chopped up here from
Pa, Dad, 4 Uncles, Mr Santamaria (awesome school teacher), Mr Agnew (awesome school Principal) Rodney Shire Council, and the Royal Australian Flying Doctor Service.
The finished product is queen size, and consists of 1300 pieces.
The batting is wool/poly mix.
The binding is made up of left over pieces from other quilts that I've made
Significant Ties

Monday, 19 May 2014

A few more things collected.........

My collections seem to be everywhere.
Each corner turned, each room entered presents another collection of stuff.


Tape measures

and hoops - embroidery, tapestry and quilting

All that's left is a bag of scraps..........

A few posts ago I talked about a special quilt that I had been asked to make out of 
Men's shirts.
Well, the sewing is done and the top is about to go off to the quilter.

It also has 3 small sibling quilts; similar lay out with uneven nine patches around the outside.

Of Scissors.................

Any dressmaker worth their salt will tell you that there are 
material scissors
 and the paper scissors;  the ones that are used for everything else.
As tools of the trade a pair of scissors is well taken care of and anyone caught misusing said tool does so at their own peril.
In my home the rules are simple
*Scissors with plastic handles and those that are in the stein on the desk
(another collection - pens and pencils)
are OK to be used for paper, tape, eyebrows, and fuse wire.
*Kitchen scissors for meat
* left handed people must use the left handed scissors
(rule for the lad)
*Scissors that are in the sewing room are there for a very good reason - 

My favorite pair are the ones on the right. I actually bought them in 
Victoria St, Richmond at an Asian grocer.
They're chicken scissors really but they are beautifully balanced and cut right down to the point.
The red handled ones are my serrated dress maker's, there's a pair of pinking sheers, scissors from my high school days and an antique pair of

I inherited these when my Nanna passed away in the late  1980's.
they still have a keen blade, having been well looked after for the best part of a century 

A collector of "Things".................................

I don't really know what the difference between a collector and a hoarder is.
 Some would say that the only real difference is that a collector is a bit more organised, categorizing possessions into groups. 
Probably it's all in the eye of the beholder as to which term is used.
I didn't see myself as a collector until recently when I started to sort the kitchen drawers and came across the wooden spoons that weren't in the utensil jar.
 I think at the time I pulled out the spares and put them aside so that there was breathing space for the other spoons, ladles, whisks, spatulas etc. The list goes on.
 (Our household is a foody household; the Lord has a background in the hospitality industry)
As I got more caught up with the sorting I saw collections of stuff, all very important and useful and very little of which I would be happy to be parted from.
There were the wooden spoons, ( and yes, I do have a favorite strangely enough)

these are the extras

Knives in blocks

there are more Special ones (japanese steel) in their boxes

Utensil jar

A spatula and whisk for every occasion

Cook books

the basic ones are mine; Andrew is more "Silver Spoon and Culinaria"

more cook books

ran out of room in the Cook Book bookcase

Travel books

where happy dreams are made

special tins  

Each Arnott's truck has a different number plate for the year that it was released - there's a few different models up in the bedroom cupboard

and then there's the bears, prints and last but not least, fabric.
My fabric is more catergorised than anything else in our home and I could tell you with a
98% accuracy where you would find the silk dupion, dress cottons, the stash from mum
 (kept for sentimental reasons just as much as anything else) or the retro/repro fabric.
Oh, I almost forgot

Sunday, 11 May 2014

What's in the box, what's in the box.......

The other day we went to an Auction Day for collectibles and antiques.
There were boxes of crockery, cutlery (old and new)
wigs, fur coats, all sorts of antique and retro furniture and even 2 chicken incubators!
We spotted a brass wood/fire box that would suit our fireplace nicely and the bonus was that it was full of "stuff".
I can hear you say that I don't need any more but it was full to brimming with
sewing things.

Ship on the high seas.
 After a wipe down with some warm soapy water the wood box came up a treat.

A thrifty person has built a tray with dividers into the top of the box to house all those little bits and pieces that a seamstress needs.
The tray had needles and pins, a darning mushroom elastic, shoe laces, buttons, hooks and eyes,
press studs and small scissors.

Underneath were wools and partly knitted jumpers, velvet cushion kits,

crocheted motifs, upholstery needles and a whole lot more.

A half finished tapestry as well as the magnifying glass.

Well kept pinking sheers and pins in mint condition

Alexander Beetle could 've lived in here
The local kinder is now restocked with wool, the charity shop has a couple of kits and tapestries and I'm the proud owner of a very serviceable wood box and various sundry sewing items.
I think we've all done pretty well.

Two sides to everything.......

A soldier and his mascot
The 25th of April marks Anzac Day for us.
Many get up in the wee hours to go to dawn services across the country and 90 odd thousand people go to the MCG to watch Essendon and Collingwood play Australian Rules Footy.

Footy crowds are always an interesting bunch; so many passionate, one eyed sports fans all mixed in together.

The great thing about a day like this is that we all stand together and sing our National Anthem, giving our thanks and respect to the Service Men and Women.
You can hear a pin drop as the Last Post and Reveille echo around the ground. The atmosphere is electric.

The siren sounds, the crowd erupts into an almighty roar and it's "game on"
Unfortunately, Essendon weren't at their best and Collingwood had their game plan well and truly sorted.

Happy Mothers Day to All....

I've had a very cruisy day so far.
 Apart from the things that just have to be done I've been able to put my feet up and be
 spoiled rotten.
 The Lord and Lad presented me with a breakfast of
 Toasted Panettone fingers,
Omelette on Sour dough
sliced apple and banana,
followed by a fresh cuppa made from leaf tea in my favorite Dunoon cup

It beats the dry raisin toast, boiled egg and an apple any day.
I believe that for lunch we're dining on Veal with Marsala/Cream reduction and roasted vegetables.
(Sorry - no pick here - I forgot the camera)
This afternoon I'm being pampered some more with a fragrant bath , massage and facial.
To all of the mums out there whether you be of the biological kind or someone who takes on a mothering role
Bless You
Have a wonderful and deserving celebration