Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Post

Merry Christmas to everyone!

The gorgeous little ornaments above came to me in an ornament swap. I was looking for a place to hang them, not having put up a tree this year, then decided they looked very sweet in this bowl of pot pourri in the centre of the table.

I was also spoiled by a Secret Santa swap partner who sent me a wonderful parcel full of goodies, including chocolates, cashews (my absolute favourite treat) divine soap and the sweetest cross-stitch gift tag. It also included this fantastic wall-hanging:

Another thoughtful friend sent me a lovely surprise parcel as well, full of beautiful handmade goodness and vintage charm.

As for me,  I just haven't been doing much crafting lately. I put aside my crinoline ladies for a while to work on a set of embroidered puppy dogs instead but I only finished two before putting that aside too. I must get back to work on these, they are sooo cute:

I have been very lax about posting lately and have very rudely also failed to respond to the lovely friends who left thoughtful messages or emails about my posts. I have been going through a bit of a low patch the last couple of months and have just not had much motivation to do anything at all.

Apart from the usual work and time stresses, both of my beautiful pups have had some health issues over the last couple of months which has really knocked me flat and I have just been unable to take an interest in anything. First Sugar was diagnosed with a mast cell tumour of the most aggressive form on her inner calf. It was very small but as they needed to take very wide margins to be sure they got it all, she had to undergo some nasty surgery.

This is a type of cancer that commonly affects Bull Mastiffs (and other dogs, especially Boxers). Many dogs get it but in most other breeds it is usually of a fairly low grade and removal is often effective. However, in susceptible breeds it is often very aggressive and fatal.

Sugar had an ultrasound and it had not spread to her lymph nodes or liver, where it usually mastasizes. However, statistically, for a cancer of the grade they removed, the long term prognosis is not good. They recommended she have chemotherapy but even then the prognosis statistically would not be good long term, and as she is prone to allergies and infections, I did not want to put her through a course of treatment that would shut down her immune system. Besides, she is physically healthy and mentally happy and if I am going to lose her, I want her last months or years to be happy, not to be miserable and sick from treatment.

On top of that, I found a lump on Spice I was worried about but as I was a mess with Sugar recovering from surgery, only got that investigated properly three weeks ago. This turned out also to be a mast cell tumour and, being on her hip, was going to be difficult to remove so we were referred to a specialist surgeon.

Spice had surgery on Monday night and because of the location and because her's had indistinct edges, they had to take a much wider margin than with Sugar so she has a massive wound almost 30cm long with about 40 staples in it. It is a ghastly looking surgery, but she is on painkillers and lots of other medication and it doesn't seem to be bothering her too much. She is refusing to rest and recuperate and wants to run and jump around and play. She is supposed to wear a bucket collar to stop her from licking it, but she has learned how to get that off and thinks she is very clever having done so. She is in a little bit of pain as she is a bit more clingy and needing more cuddles than usual, but it isn't stopping her from doing what she wants and it isn't stopping her from being active!

I am supposed to be keeping her confined until her surgery heals but that is near impossible! 

She has also had an ultrasound and her lymph glands and liver are fine at this stage. We need to go back over Christmas to get her stitches and staples out and get the biopsy results which will tell us how aggressive her tumour was.

It has all been a bit of a strain with several vet visits a week for the last couple of months with tests and checkups and surgery and everything else, and wondering how long we have left together. I have pretty much avoided most of pre-Christmas commitments this year, saying no to parties and barbecues etc, just not being in the mood.

But, nasty surgeries aside, both of my girls are happy and feel healthy and playful and energetic and don't feel sick at all, and that is the most important thing. And while the cancer most probably will come back, we can only hope it doesn't do so for a couple of more years at least.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The secret to successful child-rearing

I recently bought some iron-on embroidery transfers from Grandma's Attic. (Note to self: stop buying crafty things online, remember your car rego is due, Christmas is coming, pups are nearly due for their vaccinations etc! It is an addiction, and you need help!) These were so cheap, and they actually work, giving a clear, crisp outline with minimal ironing on! Unlike my experiences with iron-on embroidery patterns from here.

The above is from a set of 1930s tea towel designs, one for every day of the week. Only, I am planning to make these ones into a quilt, if I finish them all.

I also bought a set of iron-on puppies and herbs, so lots of embroidery to be getting on with.

I was restless on the weekend and started flipping through old, old magazines for some vintage inspiration. I love old women's magazines, especially from the 1940s, even the ads and recipes reveal so much about the period. For instance, lots of inventive and imaginative, if unpalatable, butter substitutes to deal with rationing. And lots of lard - yuck!

But the ad below came from a magazine in the early 60s and I laughed so much at it, I just had to share it - click on it to zoom in:

Drunkenness - the answer to all problems!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A couple of milk jug covers

Here is one of the beaded jug covers I made through the week. The pattern is one I found on the antique pattern website I referred to in my earlier post (and which I am too lazy at the moment to go and link to). I had enough thread to make another which I did last night, using this free pattern:

I love the little three dimensional flower on this one, although the loops (at least in my version) are a bit biggish and aren't going to stop pesky flies from getting through. Then again, I don't really have any jugs that need covering so I guess it doesn't really matter.

One of the goodies I bought online  recently was this little Christmas stitchery book by Natalie Bird. There are twelve 4 inch stitcheries, which can be made into a quilt, pillow or other things as well as another one for a stocking. One of my favourites is this little penguin:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Checking in

I thought I'd better check in and write a post so my poor blog doesn't feel abandoned.

It isn't that I haven't been doing anything worth posting about, but I certainly haven't been finishing anything. My house is a trail of half-finished little projects at the moment, none finished enough to be blog-worthy. I wish I could take some annual leave and just settle in for a few weeks and do some serious crafting - I have 4 1/2 months annual leave accrued which does not make our auditors and senior management happy, however I'm a project manager and there's no one else to manage my projects so I can't take it right now. Maybe I'll get some time off over Christmas.

Right now I am working on a little crocheted milk jug cover which won't take much to finish so that will be one UFO down. I've also started an embroidered little tablecloth which is one of a bunch of kits I bought in a sale a few years ago for the only reason that they were about 80% off and I thought they were too cheap not to buy, even though I doubted my ability to finish such a project. The one I am doing at the moment is a stamped cross stitch design on linen. The thread is pretty thick and the crosses pretty chunky so it actually doesn't take that long. It is just a little boring. It might take me a bit longer to move this one out of UFO/WIP status.

I've also had a couple of slowish days at work so have spent a naughty couple of hours Googling to fight off boredom. Apart from a few rash online purchases (well, not rash, as they are absolutely gorgeous, but hardly necessary in a house bursting at the seams with craft goods and a projects list about 200 years long. I'll post more about these new purchases soon) I've also come across a couple of fantastic free resources I haven't come across before:

Just what I need, more projects worth starting!

And apart from all that, I've been spending more time gardening now that Spring is here which is fun, but eats into my crafting time. My herbs and lettuces and spinaches and rocket and leeks and spring onions are all being very productive, my finger eggplant plants I'd left in since last year and just looked like sad sticks have bloomed back into life, and I've been growing a lot of new vegetable plants from seed. I've just transplanted tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchinis and am still waiting for some other seedlings to grow and mature to transplant - a couple of more types of tomato, another type of eggplant, rhubarb, beans, and I forget what else. Oh yeah, okra. I've never eaten okra before and am told it is quite horrid, but I wanted to grow something different.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's Raining Again .....

so forgive the dark photography! This is the first project in the Cookies and Cream Christmas Club which I finished off yesterday afternoon. Each month we receive a new Christmas pattern and a little gift to help us get started. The above, a Gail Pan design, came with some lovely hand dyed embroidery thread to use in the project. I've already received project four so I'd better get my act together and catch up!

I had mowing and weeding on the agenda today but it has been raining heavily since late last night, so I guess with it being too yucky to do anything else, I might just get some sewing done today.

I heard that my puppies were very heroic last week and scared away two potential burglars. A neighbour saw two unsavoury characters enter my property and walk up the drive toward the house (one, very heavily drugged and swaying). Before they could get to the front verandah my pups appeared at the gate and barked and growled at them aggressively, scaring them and alerting the other neighbours. One man ran away but the other was too drug-addled and staggered onto the front lawn and tried to hold himself up on the front fence, but collapsed. So my neighbours called the police who arrived in force (8 of them no less) and got the unconscious man taken away in an ambulance. He had dumped his drug paraphanelia (syringes etc) on the lawn but there was nothing there they could charge him with and as they did not touch the house, could not prove intent to burgle either. I am so proud of my baby girls for being so clever and brave!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dresden Plate Quilt Progress

I started putting together this on the weekend. It is made from a Moda Candy Bar and inspired by the free pattern that came with it, only I have added sashings. I still need to applique 8 half-plates for around the edges and piece them on and am thinking of piecing a star or something from the same fabrics I used in the sashings in each corner to tie it all together. I love Dresden Plates, they always look good.

I love a bit of hand applique and stitchery too, as it is something I can do while the pups are having a nap up against me and we can have some quiet snuggly together time.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sweethearts Stitchery Quilt

I finally put together those Sweethearts stitcheries into a quilt. Although I loved the way The Birdhouse pattern put them together, I didn't have enough of the right fabrics, so I did my own thing and used a couple of Amelia charm square packs. I'm not terribly happy with it - I hoped the pinks would stand out more and make it a bit more girly. And I wish I hadn't used the black fabric in the charm pack, it really doesn't go with the rest.

As you can tell, I'm in a bit of a stitchery mood these days! I've got a few more on my to do list. First up, I was so taken with Tarnyia's Little Birdie stitcheries, I am just going to have to join in even though this block of the month is already up to block nine. I was also googling the other day and came across the most divine doggy stitcheries at Bobby Socks Quilt Company - these really gave me a giggle.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Christmas wreath quilt

I was rummaging through my stash and found these 1930s reproduction Christmas fabrics (the range was called Aunt Grace's Christmas) and decided to use these to finish off my Christmas wreath. I wish I had more of the fabric, I would have liked to keep going and make this bigger. But I refuse to buy more fabrics (except for occasional lapse!) so this little quilt is staying at a humble 26 1/2".

Stitcheries everywhere

This is the Rosalie Quinlan stitchery I blogged about previously. I've finished the stitching now and need to decide what to do with it. The original pattern has it stretched over a frame or canvas to create a simple hangable artwork, but I'd like to use it as the centrepiece of a small table quilt or wallhanging, or maybe even a gift bag.

And I've put the Leanne Beasley stitcheries into a little runner with gorgeous Portobello Market fabrics.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some more stitcheries and ramblings

A couple of Leanne Beasley stitcheries I have been working on, from old issues of Homespun. They were a set of three and I haven't decided if I am going to do the third one or not. I've trimmed these quite ruthlessly so clearly I plan to piece them into something. I don't know what yet though.

I also received some goodies in the mail this week, including a Rosalie Quinlan Christmas stitchery in redwork which I started yesterday. It was quite expensive, but pre-printed on linen which saved me tracing what was quite a complex design. I'm looking forward to making it into a centrepiece or something for Christmas.

I also received a parcel from The Fat Quarter Shop which I had despaired of ever seeing. Their service has always been faultless and my last order, in early July was dispatched in 2 packages within a day of placing the order. One parcel arrived within a week and the other never showed up. I've been meaning to call the post office about it and never got around to it, and to my surprise it arrived today! It was just a few charm packs and things that were on sale. I wonder what stories that parcel could tell, where it has been on its travels. I live in an area with a lot of similar street names - lots of Aboriginal words starting with "B" - so I frequently get mail addressed to the same number in neighbouring streets and go around delivering them myself.

The pups and I spent a happy weekend in the garden, weeding and paving, getting our vegie patches ready for Spring. We were startled by an equally startled frog; tried to work up a level of murderousness to kill a snail but it looked at us too beguilingly so we just moved it to a plant we didn't care about; watched the antics of a Golden Wattlebird who was frolicking around the garden; and found an interesting stone that we like to think is an ancient Aboriginal flake tool. All in all, an exhausting but fun and productive weekend.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


It's turned cold again so I've been spending a bit of time snuggled up warmly with some hand stitching lately. The above needlecase is from an old issue of Country Threads. And wouldn't you know it, I've just tidied up the house and put the magazine away so I can't tell you which issue or who designed it.

I've also been whipping up these tiny stitcheries which are for for a Birdhouse designed quilt called Sweethearts, which I came across while cleaning last week and I had forgotten I had. (Does everyone else have houses where craft goods are stashed in every conceivable place, so you're constanly coming across a pattern or fabric or half-finished project every time you open a cupboard or a drawer, and wonder who put them there?)

I used a variegated DMC thread in pinks and red. I only had 1 skein and I just had enough to finish these.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One UFO down

I was really disciplined today - in the mood for a little sewing, instead of starting something new, I actually went to one of my many UFO drawers and pulled out this table runner. It was pieced and basted so it just needed some quick quilting and binding.

From memory, I pieced this simple runner from a charm pack, however, I can't remember the name of the fabric range.

Stitchery door pillow

My patchwork friend Caz surprised me with a wonderful parcel for my birthday, including the kit for the little Birdhouse door pillow which I made up yesterday. This was a fun quick project and the pillow looks so cute hanging from a door by its rick-rack handle. It has little bells on the ends of the prarie points so I there's a delightful little jingle too!

Caz also sent me a huge and gorgeous selection of vintage doileys, too many to picture here, as well as a cute knitting kit for a toy octopus.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Autumn is random .... and maybe a little ugly

Long time, no post! My boss has been away for a few weeks at work so I've been super busy and haven't been able to do much more than collapse into bed at the end of the day, so I am way behind on everything else - housework, gardening, crafting, emails, blog reading and of course, blog posting.

But in the little time I have had to sew, I've been back on a stash-busting mission. The above is one of the stash-busters I've been working on. This is a disappearing nine patch with two alternated colour blocks. It's in autumn colours although in the photo they don't seem very autumny at all. The colour placement was really random, and hence it has come out a bit clumsy and maybe a bit ugly. But what the hey, my goal at the moment is to use up fabric, not make anything gorgeous! The above used the equivalent of 18 fat quarters - yay! I still need to trim the blocks and sew them together. That is my least favourite part so I'm having a rest for now.

I'll have to post about the great birthday gifts my friend Lyle gave me too. The cutest sewing basket, a huge pack of mixed blender fabrics, a full quilt kit, a book on colour and composition (which maybe I should have read before piecing the above!), and some geisha panels. I was soooo spoiled! I started the kit yesterday as it was pre-cut and the pattern is super quick with big chunky pieces, perfect for showing off all the beautiful fabrics.

I hope my bloggy friends have been well, and I hope to catch up on your blogs soon.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness Gift

I got a lovely surprise in the mail this week - a gorgeous gift from Tarnyia as part of Maree's Random Acts of Kindness swap.

Inside these packages were the most wonderful gifts, including this absolutely gorgeous notebook slip-case:

It is just as beautiful inside as out, and has handy pockets in the front and the back:

Tarnyia also sent me a huge box of chcocolates, an equisite lace bookmark, a handy lanyard and some blue thread (I can never have enough blue thread!).

Thanks Tarnyia for spoiling me with your thoughtful and beautiful gifts!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fun with scraps and orphans

Yay! I think I finally got some of my mojo back!

I have been really uninspired and unmotivated lately, but today I was just in the mood to sew!

First up, this little yo-yo cushion. I made a few yo-yos in front of the television last night and decided to put them together into a cute little cushion. I really love the pretty, girly colours.

Then I had some fun with some orphan blocks. I put borders around them to make them the same size, and was going to make it into a table runner.

Then I realised the top was almost the same size as some duck feather filled body pillows I bought in a crazy moment on the internet, for no other reason than that they were on sale for 60% off. (Does anyone else do things like that?) So I changed my mind and decided to make it into a big pillow cover.

I've put some ribbon ties on one side as I may tie it to the headboard of my timber bed for extra cushiony-ness when sitting up reading or sewing in bed. Not sure how comfortable this will be, but I'll give it a go. 

Don't look too closely at the quilting. I haven't tried to free-motion quilt in a long time, and I was never much good at it to start with. The quilting on this though was a shamozzle even for me! I should have practised on some scraps to get my rhythm first. Although, I don't think I ever got my rhythm when quilting this, so it probably wouldn't have helped. Back to straight line and grid quilting for me!

Or even better, tying! Last weekend was rainy, and the only plans I'd made were outdoorsy so they were cancelled. So after houseworking (as little as I could get away with), I spent some time on an old quilt top tying. The quilt top was one I made almost 10 years ago. It isn't great - I was making it up as I went along in rounds, and some of my calculations were less than inspired, so some of the borders terminate in the middle of a pattern or block. My calculations were also so off that I planned to make it 240cm square, and it ended up closer to 280cm! I'd basted it, and started trying to quilt it but soon came to the realisation that it was too big for me to quilt on my little sewing machine. And I didn't feel it was good enough to bother sending out to be professionally quilted. I've got it out of the cupboard and played with it, given up, and put it back, many times over the years. To the point that half the basting was coming undone and it was in a very shabby state.

Last weekend I had the brilliant idea of trying to tie it instead of quilting it. And so far, it is working! I spent a fruitful few hours in front of the TV with the quilt over my ironing board, lowered to a good working height. The weight of the quilt over the edges helped hold it taut where the basting was coming undone, and the ironing board gave me a nice flat surface to work with. It's about half finished now and can't wait til its done. No photos at the moment, but will take some soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hexagon progress

I'm having fun with my hexagon cushion cover. I spent a couple of hours yesterday hand quilting the hexagons and hope to start quilting the background later today. Not sure how I am going to quilt it yet, but knowing me, probably just some easy grids.

I also finished my jumper this week. There are a couple of wonky stitches which really show in the chunky yarn, but I think I can fix it. I am happy with it because I never finish any large knitting projects, so I am just impressed with myself that I finished it at all!

I spent a little time weeding the vegie gardens this morning and putting in some winter seeds. I surprised a lovely, plump frog though so had to stop so I didn't disturb him. I wanted to take a photo but he was a bit upset with my attentions, so I decided to come inside and leave him alone. I think frogs are beautiful.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Works in Progress

It was a wet and miserable day yesterday so I spent a happy hour or two playing with those rainbow coloured spot fabrics I posted about previously. I had originally planned something plain, quick and strip-pieced but I was in the mood for some hand piecing in front of the TV so started these paper pieced hexagons. I don't know that I'll have the perseverence for a quilt top, but I have been promising my Mum some big cushion covers (as in 80cm+) for some months now, so maybe these will become a part of those.

I didn't have any die cut commercial papers, so I went to this site I have used before which I think is quite wonderful. You choose your shape, then your dimensions, then it generates a template for you in PDF. I printed off a few sheets, gave them a quick spray with adhesive (actually, the nearest thing to hand was quilt basting spray, but it worked quite well), smoothed them out on old manila folders and cut them out. I chose 1.25" which was the edge size of each hexagon, and got 11 templates to an A4 sheet. Quick and easy!

I've been doing a lot of knitting lately. I still haven't pieced together the grey cabled sweater I was making, but I have started several more projects since then. My favourite is this short sleeved sweater in a deep forest green:

The yarn is Jo Sharp Silkroad Ultra and the pattern is a free one from the terrific Lion Brand website. I bought some end of lot yarn from the Jo Sharp shop which was 40% off thinking I'd make a simple vest, but changed my mind and started making this which is bigger and ran out of wool (I bought a pack of 10 balls). This yarn is discontinued, but I was lucky enough to find another online shop which stocked it in the right colour. It most probably won't be the same dye lot so I am just going to have to cross my fingers that it will be ok. It better be, this is turning out to be a very expensive project!

The yarn is lovely to work with though, soft and supple and doesn't pill and has a very slight sheen. I also bought some in grey and am nearly finished a vest. Again I'm not sure I'll have quite enough, although it will be close.

With all this knitting I think I have developed knitter's thumb! My right thumb has been painful for more than a week now, and I can hardly move it. I have pre-existing RSI in my wrists, so I am used to them suffering if I knit or crochet too much, but thumbs?! Is this normal?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ooh I'm spoiled

My friend Beryl, who has spoiled me so much already with lovely magazines and books, saw the gorgeous tray mat Bev made for me as part of the Colour Swap and gave me this beautiful tea cup and saucer to go with it. Oh, I will look so dainty and civilised with my very own tea set! The tea set is just sooo pretty with delicate violets and butterflies. It goes beautifully with the mat. Thanks so much Beryl! You are too good to me.

I also received my present from Heather (also no blog as yet) as part of Jewell's Easter Swap. I certainly wasn't going to wait until Easter to rip it open! I got lots of yummy chocolates and these gorgeous gifts:

The tea towel is a lovely generous size and the fabric band has the cutest Easter print. The dishcloth is too nice to use on dirty dishes. I wish my knitting was this good. Oh, and don't you just love the hand-made gift card?

I finally finished my Easter swap presents to send to a mystery person who I won't name because she won't have received it yet. I hope she likes it. I feel I could have done much better. My inspiration has just been lacking of late.

I finished this little tea towel I blogged about previously, by giving the bunny a collar and adding a couple of rows of pretty braid:

And I gave up on knitting dishcloths so made two crocheted ones. They don't have an Easter motif but they are in bright spring colours, so I hope that counts.

Along with these little presents, there are the mandatory Easter choccies and magazine finishing off the Easter gift.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What I've been up to

I haven't been doing much crafting of late, so my blog has been abandoned for quite some time. I just lost my enthusiasm and motivation for a while, but I think it is on its way back.

I have been knitting this cabled top, the pattern for which was in the latest Better Homes & Garden magazine. Although I love the look of handknits, I am not a very quick knitter, so I very rarely finish any big knitting projects I start. This one knits up super quick though, so even though I only started this on Monday, I just have the sleeves to go now and they are short so they'll only take an hour or two.

I'm using the specified yarn which is Moda Vera Shiver. I kind of wish I hadn't. It is acrylic for one thing (I'd never buy an acrylic jumper!) and quite pill-y so I can't imagine this top is going to look new for very long. Also, the pattern called for 12 balls, so I diligently bought 12 balls. I was wondering why it looks as though I am going to have 4 or 5 balls left over and double-checked the pattern - it called for 12 x 50g balls. But the yarn comes in 100g balls so I have twice as much as I need. And my last whinge is that, unlike most patterns with a cowl or long neck, the pattern doesn't reverse so it shows on the fold-over, it is meant to drape naturally so the outside is still the outside. My neck is a bit big and floppy (the top neck, not my neck!), and making it drape right takes some care. If I were to do it again, I'd probably change to smaller needles for the neck to make it a firmer, tighter knit. Still, my fingers are crossed it is going to turn out ok! And one good thing is, I also overcame my fear of circular knitting needles in this project.

While I was at Spotlight looking for the yarn for this top, I also splurged on these bright and cheerful rainbow coloured spot fatties:

I am thinking something simple and quick and colourful. Maybe chunky four patches or nine patches with bright white sashings.

But my project for this weekend is going to be my washcloth and tea towel for Jewell's Easter Swap. I have been fiddling with ideas for weeks now, making false starts, becoming discouraged with ideas half-way through. I'm now running out of time, so I think I am going to be doing something wth these bits and pieces:

In the last week, I've changed my mind completely about taking a redundancy and accepted an ICT Project Manager job at my place of work. I realised I was only planning on rejecting it and leaving to make a point and to stand on my principles - which eventually were not good enough reasons to make myself unemployed. I officially start next week and will be moving to a new office and have been told they've been waiting for me to make up my mind as they already have about 10 projects that need managing that will be landing on my desk next week!

I've also said goodbye to my faithful old Suzuki Swift and welcomed this Toyota Corolla into my home:

I think it will take a while to get used to. It drives and feels so different. I had the last car for 10 years and knew it so well parking and everything was a breeze. I have no spatial awareness of the size of this car so it just feels weird and I have to concentrate and check mirrors etc to do anything and in the blind spots have no idea whether I am going to scrape against anything. I guess I'll just try to drive it as much as I can to get used to it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Colour swap parcel arrived!

I received a wonderful package in the post today filled with all these beautiful blue parcels, tied with gorgeous ribbons and labels. This was my gift from the lovely Bev Cooper, as part of Maree's Colour Swap!

The rules for this swap were we had to include a food, a fat quarter, some thread and something pretty in our swap partner's preferred colour. Mine was blue, as you can see. The fat quarter is just gorgeous, and the ricrac will come in handy. I am very impressed though with how clever Bev was in finding blue food!

And I was a bit gob-smacked at the beautiful gift Bev made for me - a wonderfully embroidered journal cover with this pretty matching bookmark:

Bev's machine embroidery is just incredible, just perfect. But there's more! She also sent me this gorgeous tea tray mat:

Which is way too nice to slop tea all over, so I think it might soon be found hanging on my kitchen wall.

Thanks Bev! You made my day with your generous and thoughtful gifts!

I haven't been doing much crafting at all lately. With everything going on right now, I just haven't been in the mood at all. But a couple of weekends ago I did go to the markets, bargain-hunting, with my good friend Lyle and bought this timber quilt rack.

I like the little cut out heart motif.