Friday, 26 July 2013


When life is getting you down and you don't want to carry on, stick around.  One day you may become a grandparent and then the fun begins.

This morning we were invited by two of our grandchildren to visit their school for Grandparents' Day.  Who could resist?

The parish church was packed to the rafters, the old mixing with the alarmingly young.  If the streets were devoid of seniors today, they were all here, or so it seemed.

After morning tea our granddaughter showed us around her classroom.

Quilt designs, surely.

Apart from all her special friends, we were introduced to the Class Plant.  'Ello, Vera!

There were lots of warm smiles and moist eyes when the class sang You've Got a Friend.

Complete with perfectly co-ordinated hand actions.  What stars.

Walking back to the car, we were stunned to come across a tree in full blossom.  It's mid-winter - what are you thinking of?  

But on reflection, it was so appropriate.  We had just left beautiful children blossoming into tomorrow's promise.  We are in good hands.

Friday, 19 July 2013


Some of our oldest and dearest friends came to lunch yesterday.  One couple had recently returned from a walking tour through England and France, so they had many happy tales to share.

During the course of the meal one of our friends asked what was the main reason for us leaving Brisbane after almost 21 years to return to the city of our birth.  That was a difficult question to answer as it was not one single reason, but a culmination of many.  The hardest and most emotional decision was leaving our son, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren behind, not to mention the wonderful friends we had made over the years.  However, it finally came down to the fact that Sydney always deep down in my heart was the place I wanted to be in my later years.  Here are friends we have known since early childhood or since our children were babies and here is where most of our family resides.

It is difficult acclimatising to the colder temperatures, but the Pollyanna in me is still delighted by the bareness of some of the trees in winter, the glorious colours in autumn and the sudden burst of blossoms in the spring.

To complete my day, while we were drinking our coffee the phone rang.  It was a gentleman from India trying to convince me he was calling from Australia.  He knew he was in Sydney somewhere, but couldn't quite recall exactly where.  Then I had a text message informing me that I had won $1,500,000 (US Dollars no less) and all I needed to do was advise my banking details to have the booty dumped into my account.

Oh happy day.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Sail on Sale

I love this fabric so much and I've just listed it in this sailor dress style in my Madeit shop.  The week of discounts is half-way over, so if you have fallen in love with this little number, you can find it here for $20% off the full price.

Listed at $50.00, it can be yours for the rest of this week for $40.00 plus postage.  Available in sizes 2, 3, 4 or 5, it will be custom made for you in 10 days or less after you order.

Simply type in the code MadeitParty20 at the checkout to receive the discount.  You can read the full details here.

Madeit is celebrating the launch of its new website and I am delighted to be taking part in its special week.

So don't forget to type in MadeitParty20 at the checkout to receive your 20% discount.  

Limited stocks, so don't delay.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Hot Fudge Discounts on MadeIt

Everybody loves a party, particularly one which offers a bargain.   MadeIt  is celebrating the launch of its new website and you are invited to join in the fun.

For one week only I am offering 20% off all items in my MadeIt shop.  Simply put in the code MadeitParty20 at the checkout to receive the discount.

Some are ready to ship while others will be custom made within 10 working days of placing your order.

It will be first in best dressed, so if you see something irresistible, buy it before it goes.

Spring is just around the corner in Australia, so now would be a great opportunity to start your summer shopping and grab a bargain at the same time.

These are just a few of the items available at 20% off, but remember it's for one week only and only through my MadeIt shop.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Quay

Every few weeks we get together with my brother for a feast of fish 'n chips.  It's something like an elongated pub crawl, without the fun of alcohol. However, the company makes up for that.  Today we decided to give Circular Quay the benefit of our esteemed presence.

If you were able to choose a perfect winter's day, today would be the one.  Clear skies were softened by the winter sun and the air was still.

We had completely forgotten it was the last week of school holidays, which was strange because my brother is a high school teacher.  The Manly Ferry appeared to be in popular demand and who could blame them?  We haven't been there in years, so it's now down on our list of places to eat fish 'n chips.

Speaking of which, today's version had to be the worst we have had since we began our quest.  As I sit here typing, I have to block out the upper part of the screen so that my stomach doesn't revolt at the sight.  I will go further to say that it's possibly the worst meal of fish 'n chips I have ever had, half cold and oozing grease from every pore.  I don't know the name of the take-away shop which is perhaps just as well.

I only hope these two little fellows don't succumb to Chip Belly overnight, because they seemed to rather enjoy my cast-offs.

A quick vote was taken and the decision made to walk off the meal.

 There was so much to distract us.  Street art ...

... didgeridoo player with his very modern music ...

... and of course the ferries.  The jaunty older ferries are named after the First Fleet.

The more modern ones are named after Australian female athletes.  I don't know how Olympic swimmer Nicole Livingstone feels about having a vessel with such a broad beam named after her!

What a stunning day and even better, tomorrow is Friday.

Monday, 8 July 2013

The Lions roar

Well, at least I got my wish.  The score wasn't close.  Not within coo-eee.  No need for paramedics to get my heart started again, unlike the two earlier games in the series.

It was the Rugby final of the Wallabies V. British and Irish Lions and my brother treated me a ticket to the sell-out game, where we were joined by over 83,000 enthusiastic fans.  This series only happens every twelve years and the Lions had been waiting since 1997 to win back the title.

As the pre-game entertainment cranked up, my brother smiled, remembering a time when he was at the start of his teaching career and one of his pupils told him that he was leaving school and was going to be a rock star.  Right.  His name was Daryl Braithwaite and true to his word, there he was centre stage entertaining a receptive crowd.

I don't know how this fan passed through security; maybe they were concentrating on the humans and lions weren't considered a threat. Obviously grannies were their target of choice, because my bag was given a thorough going over.  At least they found my tin of mints which I thought had been lost forever.  The atmosphere was electric and the British fans were in such good spirits and such numbers that you were caught up with their euphoria.   Thirty thousand of them attended the game and the cry of "Lions, Lions" accompanied by Nazi-like salutes was hard to ignore.

Ah well.  Back to the drawing board. At least the powers that be have twelve years to work out a winning strategy. The Brits are on a roll now that Andy Murray has broken the Wimbledon drought.  Good luck to them.

The first Saturday of each month is the time for the Sydney Southern Cross Quilters (SCQuilters) to gather at a local watering hole to quilt, talk, eat and generally have a good time, and this month was no exception.  So all in all it was quite a day.  Quilting and Rugby - the perfect combination.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

My week in the sewing room

Everybody loves a surprise, a pleasant surprise that is.   

Last week the Hawthorne Threads Newsletter arrived via email and as I scanned down the images of beautiful fabrics, I was stunned to see one of my dresses featured.  What a delightful surprise, particularly as it was such a gloomy, rainy day outside.

My fabric stash has been growing alarmingly, much of it set aside for custom orders, but all too many yardages suitable for one-of-a-kind dresses.  I had enough of a particular fabric which I knew would make a perfect sailor dress.

By coincidence I came across this pattern by Tie Dye Diva Patterns.  In the past I have tested down-loadable PDF patterns and some have left a lot to be desired - confusing instructions, poorly photographed and generally difficult to follow.

However, this pattern was a joy to work with - precise instructions and clear images.  

Some time back I bought this gorgeous voile fabric from Hawthorne Threads and was happy to simply look and admire, not wanting to cut into it.

Finally common sense kicked in and I realised it was time to let go.  There was enough to make a dress in size 4 and it's available here.

Image by ImageInCafe
As soon as I saw this fabric I knew exactly the style of dress would suit it perfectly.  Even in sunny Queensland it was becoming a little chilly, so I hurried off the dress to Sandrine of Image In Cafe, hoping that this adorable little model wouldn't freeze to death during the photo session.  She didn't and it's available here.

But it hasn't all been about dresses.  With so many scraps taking over my sewing room, the timing was perfect for the call-out from my quilting group to make some blocks for the quilts we are planning to give to a local women's refuge.  We now have enough quilt tops for several beds and the next step will be to get them quilted and on their way.

And now back to the machine to put finishing touches to a couple of dresses which will soon be on their way to be photographed.

At least it takes the mind off winter.