Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Tiny Footprint

You have to be a grandparent to know the feeling you get at the first sight of a new grandchild. It takes your breath away. You would think after five earlier experiences, you would become complacent, but that's far from the case.

Our much loved daughter-in-law gave birth yesterday to our sixth grandchild, Anastasia Marie, measuring 59cm (23 1/4 inches) and weighing 10 pounds 13 ounces! And yet she is not the heaviest baby born into the family - her two year-old sister was just on 11 pounds, but is now a dainty little thing and nothing like the Sumo wrestler she was at birth.

We restrained ourselves from rushing to the hospital last night, as poor Cathryn was pretty tired. However, we were there first thing this morning and, of course, my eyes filled with tears at the sight of our little granddaughter. Brides and babies - I can't help myself.

Tony, rather unreasonably I thought, wanted his turn at holding Anastasia.

But she had other ideas:

I want Grandma!!

Ah ... that's better.

So now I have a new House Model for my Etsy shop. I will ease her in gradually, perhaps the odd shoe shot, then her siblings can show her the ropes. She already has her first pair of designer shoes.

Ooo - so many cuddles ahead.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Mini Break

Ever had a mini holiday? You know - a three or four day break at a holiday destination. Well, that's what we did last week. We had been given a gift of free accommodation in a holiday unit at Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. The weather was perfect and arriving mid-week ensured that we avoided the weekend crowds. The unit was a block back from the beach, so we were able to take in the delights of the ocean at all times of the day.

Coolum is an unspoilt beach resort, a popular destination frequented by families both young and old. The beauty of the place is that it is a perfect jumping off point for many places of interest.

The next morning we drove to nearby Noosa Heads.

After a pick-me-up cup of coffee, we strolled down fashionable Hastings Street with its tempting shops full of high fashion, books, food and wonderful, stylish home wares.

Definitely nothing tacky here!

The beachside restaurants are legendary.

And now for something completely different. The next morning we drove to the pretty mountain township of Montville, about 30 minutes away.

The views are nothing short of spectacular and the gift shops are a delight. We soon walked off the coffee and lemon curd tart, which we ate at a beautiful restaurant/cafe with this magnificent view - bliss.

We always make a point of visiting the Swiss clock shop while we are in Montville. It's an amazing place, with cuckoo clocks going off every few seconds, and Swiss and Grandfather clocks of all shapes and sizes taking up every available inch of wall space. They range from touristy cute through to downright grotesque, but inbetween are some magnificent clocks. How the staff don't go starkers with the constant chimes, cuckoos, bongs, dings and rings is beyond me.

We packed up early on Saturday for our return journey, as we were anxious to get back to Brisbane in case our grandchild decided to enter the world a few days early. We took a detour to our favourite markets at Eumundi. These markets have been going for years and attract visitors from all over the country.

Seafood is sooo good for you - particularly Eumundi style.

So here we are back home, still nervously awaiting the arrival of the baby, but so refreshed after our mini-break. Try it sometime - I can highly recommend it!

Monday, 20 October 2008

EtsyKids BOGO sale!!

BOGO Me Baby!!

Friday 24 and Saturday 25 October be a part of a massive Etsy Street Team event. An EtsyKids BOGO sale of monstrous proportions!! With over 175 EtsyKids’ shops... read more

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Saturdays are better than Fridays

You know some mornings when you wake up that it's going to be a great day and yesterday was one of those mornings. What a wonderful time of the year it is, mid-Spring and the heat of Summer is a while away yet.

I had been trying to get together with fellow members of BrisStyle for some time, but one thing or the other prevented it. So it was decided to meet yesterday the Handmade Expo which is run monthly at Ipswich, west of Brisbane. Tony came with me for the drive, as we had plans to take in a movie later in the day. Silly me - I left my camera at home, so I can't show you the fun we all had. A few other BrisStyle family members came along and were very patient either looking after the young children, or taking in walks or reading while we girls enjoyed each other's company after such a long break.

Some BrisStyle girls had stalls at the expo and as we hadn't met a few of them, it was a great opportunity to drop by to say hello. If you are visiting Brisbane or Ipswich, check out the expo dates from their home page (link above) and you will be assured of a marvellous day, browsing through a wide variety of very tempting handmade goodies, from children's clothing to jewellery, hand-dyed yarns, and so much more.

Then Tony and I took ourselves off to the movies to see the Coen Brothers' latest release, Burn After Reading. If you are a Coen Brothers fan, don't miss this one - it's a classic. Of course, I won't give away the plot, unlike our five-year-old grandson Stephen, who on his visit to us last weekend was telling me how much he had enjoyed a movie the family saw during the school holidays. For obvious reasons, I won't name the movie, because you may want to see it. Stephen's eyes were glowing as he was recalling parts of the movie, which he assured me was both funny and sad, when his father said, "Now Stephen, don't say any more, because Grandma wants to see that movie." To which he replied, "Don't worry Dad - I wasn't going to tell her about the part where he dies!" What would you do without grandchildren?
I bought the latest issue (Christmas issue) of Australian Patchwork & Quilting while we were out, as I heard that there was a feature on Jems Quilt Sitters and our upcoming exhibition - the reason for my current quilting panic. Sure enough, the magazine somehow fell open at Page 82 and I found myself staring back at me from the pages, standing in the middle of a group of fellow quilters. I immediately resolved (again!) to get serious about that diet.

My daughter in Sydney had ordered some fabric overseas to be sent directly to me to make some clothes for her little three-year-old, and when the parcel arrived I fell in love with the fabric so much that I put aside the quilt construction (no panic - I still have a couple of weeks) to make a pair of pants out of some wonderful Echino fabric featuring Vespas.

I love this design so much that it really hurt to cut into it, but I was keen to see how it would look, so I took a deep breath and slashed away. I was really happy with the results.

Next on the list was yet another Echino design, this time for Emily's little brother Chris, who loves planes.

I decided that shorts would look best in this fabric.

I posted them down and in no time my daughter contacted me to thank me profusely, but admitted that she hadn't shown the clothes to the children yet, as there had been a little drama at the child minding centre that day, involving Emily, a pair of scissors, and a new hair style. However, after an emergency visit to a real hairdresser the next morning, calm was restored to the kingdom and I must say I love the new look.

As Shakespeare said:

All's well that ends well!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

BOGO - what's that?

ON FRIDAY 24 AND SATURDAY 25 OCTOBER be a part of a massive Etsy Street Team event. An EtsyKids BOGO (Buy One Get One) sale of monstrous proportions! With over 175 EtsyKids’ shops participating you’ll be sure to find huge deals on what you need this holiday season for children big and small.

I will be offering Buy One, Get One 50% Off Second Item (lesser priced item).

Get your shopping list ready today and beat the crowd by previewing the entire list of EtsyKids shops taking part in this colossal event.

A La Mode Fabric -
Ali Bug Bowtique -
Baby Friendly Beads -
Baby Hangers -
Baby Kay's -
Baby Peas And Carrots -
Bam Designs -
Black Eyed Susie -
Boo Roo's Bowtique -
Bossy Baby -
Bows & Things -
Bumble Belly Designs -
Chichi Boulie -
CiCi Art Factory -
Ciuccio -
Coco and Milk Weed -
Cozy Cabin Creations -
Cute And Sweet -
Daisy Chains -
Deedaloos -
Designs By Michele -
Dine.N.Doodle -
Doodies Booties -
Doodle Designs -
Ellie Beans -
Flora and Nicole's -
Francisbel Boutique -
Going-Ga-Ga -
Grandmas Girl -
Griffin Gear -
Happy House Quilts -
Hip Kids Tye-Dye -
Hot Fudge -
Hullabaloo Boutique -
I Luv U TuTu Much -
Itsy Bitsy Bunny -
Jennifer's Bows and More -
Joey And Aleethea -
Jus Shar Designs -
Kaching Design -
Kathy's Lil Creations -
Katie Bean Kids -
KeiKi Boutique -
Kim's Stitch In Time -
Kissie Girl -
Knit Style -
Kuddle Bugz Threadz -
Lemon Cadet -
Lilly Rose Bow Company -
Little Bird Creations -
Little Bit Designs -
Little Butterbeans -
Little Duckies -
Little Empress -
Little Prairie Designs -
Lizzypops -
Loco Mo Momma -
Loopy 4 Ewe -
Love 2 Sparkle -
Luca Bella Designs -
LuLu & Peep Children's Shop -
Madaline Jane -
Mami Girl Boutique -
Mary Had A Little Party -
Michele's Jewelry Designs -
MJD Boutique -
Mom N Mia Quilts -
Moochies Mama -
My Kangaroo -
My Sugar Plum Baby -
Nana McQuilts -
Ninkey -
Odannysgirl -
Olive & Ollie -
On Cottage Way -
On The Sweeter Side -
Once Upon A Cloud -
Oscar and Theodore -
Painted With Heart -
Petit Debutant -
Petunias -
Pink Dixie -
PJ Hill Co. Crochet -
Pretty Baby Boutique -
Pumpkin Head Baby Co. -
Punky Fae Designs -
Punky Fae Designs -
QB Tots -
Reilly Belle -
Retro 80's -
Retro Family Works -
Ribbon and Ruffles Boutique -
Rosey Posey Bowtique -
Rozzis Sweet Peas -
Scandeez -
Scissorstitch -
Seaside Quilts -
SewSoNancy -
Sheeps Clothing -
Snap Dragon Design House -
SoBright Designs -
Stella Bella Designs -
Sunny Day Tags -
Sweetbeets -
Sweet Pea Boutique -
The Bird & The Bean -
The Clever Kitty -
The Quilted Lion -
Thumbelina Boutique -
Tiki Tales -
Trendy Tot -
TuTu Cute & Moore -
Tweet Tweet Boutique -
Twinkle Star Art -
Whimzee Baby Boutique -
Wild Olive Kids -
Zwei Baby -

*Sale/sale items vary per shop, please read individual shop announcements before purchasing*

Monday, 6 October 2008

Pretty in Pink

Well, I think this will be the last dress for a little while, as I have to really get serious about completing that challenge quilt by this time next month. No pressure.

I loved making this little dress (Size 2), although the stripe fabric did present some problems. I had originally lined up a moss green and pink paisley fabric for the skirt, but after constructing the top and putting the skirt underneath it, something didn't quite gel, so in desperation I cast an eye over the mini stash (the one sitting on the cutting table, not to be confused with the one flowing out of the built-in wardrobe) and found this pink piece which came from the same range. Ah ... a bingo moment.

To make it a little more festive, I decided to add a big sash bow.

A dear friend had given me some buttons which she had bought in a moment of frenzied madness and decided later she would never use. So these little heart-shaped buttons have found a new home - they were just perfect for the finishing touch.

I know the quilt has to be made, but a parcel of the most gorgeous fabric has arrived and I am anxiously awaiting two more parcels which are due this week. Oh, the temptation to lay the quilt aside is almost overwhelming, but it's time for will power to take over and push aside these delicious distractions and get cracking.

Thanks to Bec of Special Small Stuff, I have discovered the amazing work of BettyNinja. Do yourself a favour and take a look at her beautiful photography. As an added incentive, she has a give-away for the month of October. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that, because I want to win it for myself!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

So that's what it's for!

IT HAD BEEN LYING SULKING, tucked away from view in my sewing machine tool box since 1995, waiting to be discovered. You know the sort of thing I'm talking about - it looks useful and you always mean to check it out, but life throws up much more important things and it remains in its hidey hole.

Well, I was reading one of my favourite blogs, Flossie Teacakes, the other day ( and there, under the heading of Gadgety Goodness, was the twin of my much neglected gadget. "Aha! So that's what it's for!" I said aloud. I can't begin to tell you what a difference it has made to my life. Prior to this, I had been measuring hems of hundreds of garments using my trusty old tape measure, continuously muttering under my breath, "Two and a half inches and a bit", or whatever obscure measurement I needed. Now, my mind is freed from the numbers mantra as I whiz around the bottom of garments with Super Gauge, which once set at a particular measurement, never lets me down.

And then the eureka moment came. I could also use it on buttonholes. My automatic buttonhole foot had a habit of dying and was revived by the sewing machine mechanic so many times that in the end I gave up. I had been using the manual buttonhole foot, but it was a minefield getting the exact same measurement on multiple buttonholes. Now all that is in the past. I set the gauge, line it up on the fabric to mark with a couple of pins, and away I go. Of course, you are probably well aware of the joys of Super Gauge, but to me it's almost as good as eating a cupcake with my morning coffee. Almost.

Flossy Teacakes also raved about the wonders of the quarter inch foot. At least I knew all about this little beauty, as I have used it for years making quilts. In fact, it is almost permanently attached to the machine and has earned its keep many times over.

Now if only I knew what this is for:

Perhaps I should look it up in the manual. I know it's lying around somewhere ...

I had sold a few dresses over the last couple of weeks, so it was time to get cracking on some new stock. I completed the first one using the Anna Maria Horner fabric which was crying out for attention. I decided it would look pretty as a sundress and made it in a size 4.

Next to grab my attention was the stash of Sandi Henderson's fabrics which I had recently purchased, and so I cut out two dresses. One is completed - size 5 ....

... and the other will have to wait a day or two.

I'm putting the left-over scraps into the challenge quilt which I have to complete by the end of the month. Well, I've made two blocks - but they're big blocks!