Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I haven't been doing much the last couple of days except pottering around the garden and catching up on ironing and housework. But for the sake of a blog post, here is the little dress I bought for my neice for Christmas. I bought this at Morriset markets from a woman with lots of lovely handmade children's clothes - such a cute idea:

Olivia looked very cute in it.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and has a safe New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Introducing the Red Wattlebird

Thanks Bettsy and Caz for your help identifying the baby bird. While my poor photo didn't help, your suggestions got me searching and I think I finally found it here: I'm not sure, as I haven't noticed the red cheeks on the mother, but everything else is exactly like her. The baby just looks a bit odd at the moment. I'll try to take a better photo though soon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What bird is that?

Thank goodness I finished the little cardigan I was making for my neice in time for Christmas. I don't think it will fit - the arms look kind of long, but it is summer here anyway, so maybe it will fit in time for Autumn. I guess it is the thought that counts. I made this from a thick cotton blend I bought a while ago from Lincraft, it is so soft.

We are spending Christmas Day with my family this year, so on Sunday night we had Christmas with Jeremy's family. I was very spoiled by their thoughtful gifts and affection. I'll show the other gifts soon, but here is one particular favourite. This is actually a half-watering can planter. So the rear side is flat and has a screw hole so I can put it on a wall and plant things in it. It already has drainage holes too. I think this will be just perfect for geraniums.

And finally, are there any bird watchers out there? There is this lovely native bird with a long curved beak who likes to suck the pollen out of my grevilleas. This bird is quite large (probably a bit bigger than a magpie) and brown and tawny. I think the male has large red swellings on either side of his cheeks - unless I saw an symetrically deformed one! But it is the female I have seen around a lot over the last year. Anyhow, this bird has had a baby!! It sits around and cries constantly for food. And I mean constantly. Its cry sounds like someone winding a very rusty winch .... all day long. And the baby is actually bigger than the mother! The baby gets nervous if I get too close and flies off in a very wobbly and precarious fashion - hence the poor photo. I didn't want to alarm it as the last time it saw me it flew into a wall. The mother also came when I took this photo and gave me a very aggressive telling-off. The baby is more yellow-y than the Mum who is quite brown. So, does anyone know what kind of bird this could be or know anyone who could identify it?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Christmassy gifts

Wow! Thanks Kandy, my Fiona Marie swap partner, for the gorgeous gifts!

Kandy sent me one of her original bag patterns as well as a beautiful art card and snowman wallhanging.

Isn't this postcard just so clever:

And my hasty photography does not do this amazing wall-hanging justice:

The stitchery and piecing is just so meticulous and the quilting so fine. I feel very honoured to receive such a lovely gift from a very talented woman!

What I've been working on

I've been really busy with work lately, and very stressed, so haven't been doing much in the way of craft the last month or so except for managing to finish off my Christmas swap things.

One thing (or two things) I have managed to finish are these dishcloths from the scrumptious Peaches n Creme cotton Sue sent me in my Christmas parcel. I love this cotton, so I had to use it straight away and these took no time to whip up:

I've also been crocheting a cardigan for my little neice for Christmas. I hope I finish it in time. I only need to do the sleeves (and it is only a baby size!) but I'm kind of struggling with it at the moment. I'll take a pic if and when I finish it.

I did play with the disappearing nine-patch after seeing a lovely version by Gabbie, no blog, of Patch-n-Chat, a few weeks ago. Before I saw hers, I just didn't get the attraction of this technique! But something about her colour arrangement really worked, and her quilt was spectacular. And so I put together a little pink cot quilt top and a bigger lap quilt. But I haven't quilted either and haven't managed to take a photo. So maybe I'll get a chance if I manage to get a day off over Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Singer sewing caddy

My good friend Lyle found this at North Rocks markets for me on Sunday morning - isn't it great? An authentic Singer sewing caddy with heaps of room for lots of sewing bits and pieces, and in pristine condition.

It will make a lovely addition to my Singer collection - I already have 4 vintage machines ranging from treadle to early electric. I've stopped buying them because I have a small house and have no more room, but I can certainly find room for this caddy.

Jeremy and I also joined Lyle for Blacktown Markets and we picked up some aluminium pails to put some decorative greenery in (since Jeremy insists on using the vintage milking jug I bought for this purpose as an umbrella stand!) and heaps of Thorobred knitting/crochet cotton. All good bargains, but the best buy of the day was my sewing caddy. Thanks Lyle!

Ornament Swap

I took part in the Patch and Chat Christmas ornament swap again this year and look at the gorgeous ornaments I received from my secret swap partner.

This beautiful beaded ball must have taken ages to make, it is so intricate and perfect:

And I just adore this Prim Angel ornament. She is just beautiful in her simple, rustic elegance:

Thanks whoever you are! As usual, I am just humbled by the skill and generosity of the women in our group and am just so proud to be a part of this group.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

I love my tree ornaments - almost all of them were either handmade by me or patchwork friends, or given to me by patchwork friends. Each one is unique and precious, and reminds me of a special person.

Spoiled rotten

Gee, there are some wonderful, generous patchworky people out there! I have already been so spoiled and Christmas isn't even here yet.

Bennie sent this very clever ruler holder her husband Dick designed and made - and I know for a fact this kind and talented fellow made one for everyone in our patchwork group! Isn't it a clever idea - I just have to find all my rulers to put in it now. But now I have this holder, I shouldn't lose them again! Thanks Bennie and Dick!

Sue from Illinois was my Quilted Angels Secret Santa this year and she sent me some very lovely and useful gifts. Look at this incredible collection of pressies:

And not in the photo are these lovely ornaments she also sent:

Thanks Sue, you made my day!