Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Motivation, Motivation, Creation!!

Gingham Girls coming together
Wow - cannot believe it has taken me FOUR months to finally find time to update my craft world.  So much has been happening around home since our return from Tasmania at the beginning of August that blogging has taken a deep plunge on the priorities list.

However, I have not been idle in all that time.  

On our return home early August it took some time for me to "re--locate" all my craft items in my Woman's Cave - just couldn't find anything for several days (almost a month actually) - and when I did locate items, I couldn't recall where I was up to with anything.

Then when I finally got the mojo going at the end of August we set off on another trip to visit the "new property" moguls near Finch Hatton. 

What a dream place that is - who wouldn't be motivated to be creative in such beautiful surroundings.  Sad to only spend a few days with Mr and Mrs K. but it was back to beautiful Toowoomba in time for a very busy Carnival time - and more inspiration gleaned from the annual quilt exhibition.

After Carnival I finally found time to return to my "Cave" and start work on gifts for my family.  Sadly I cannot show you any of these just yet as recipients of those gifts will be viewing this blog - who wants to spoil such lovely surprises!? Not me at least.

60th birthday gifts for my brother - Aug 2013
Two gifts completed since the beginning of August are shown below - a 60th birthday for my brother posed the question as always - so his gift was made with love - a travel bag and heat pack.  The other very important gift was the completion of a quilt for our eldest grand-daughter who turns 21 this month and will receive this beautiful quilt very soon. 
Isn't it beautiful?

Kaylani's quilt Nov 2013
Such vibrant colours
Never complete without a label
Country Romance finally coming together

Only the beads to add

Gingham Girls 3

Gingham Girls 1
Gingham Girls 2
Still you should know that I have not only been busy with gift-making, but I have been working on more of those UFOs that keep multiplying in the cupboard as the photo gallery above will show.

RR beginning Dec
At the beginning of December I will be starting a new Round Robin with fellow stitchers both overseas and in Australia- this project is also one of my UFOs - what better way to complete a UFO than with the help of fellow stitchers.  I also have a RR project that will need to be completed for the same date to be mailed to Victoria. So the next month will definitely not be without some interesting stitching challenges.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Channel Stitchers

Only one week in our 'temp' home and I was chauffered off to meet a small local quilting group known as the Channel Stitchers.  What a lovely welcoming group of ladies. There are only six in the group, but all very talented crafters - Jan, Chris, Sue, Heather, Barbara, and Ros.  They meet fortnightly in each other's homes and come from a variety of backgrounds.  It was lovely to share ideas and projects with them.
Birthday gathering Middleton

At the group on Tuesday discussion turned to the upcoming Quilt and Craft Show scheduled in Hobart for 28-30 June and who would be going on Friday.  Ros was the only one unable to go Friday as she is still teaching (Home Economics teacher!) and school hols didn't start until Friday afternoon.  So arrangements were made to take two cars up to Hobart (about 50kms) and we would meet at Jan's in Woodbridge at 9.15am.
Christine's QAYG Fan Quilt

The Craft Show itself was a little disappointing, but the Island Quilt Exhibition was absolutely stunning.  Unfortunately, no photos but I am sure there will be photos in APQ some time later this year. 

There were very, very few quilting or fabric stands at the Show, with only 38 stands.  However, I did, of course, manage to purchase a few small items, including a kimono placemat pattern and another sashiko project, as well as a lot more items for my cardmaking and scrapbooking stash.  After all, one cannot go to a Craft Show and go home empty handed can one?

The cool weather here is just perfect for stitching and I have managed to spend a few happy and warm hours in front of the log fire with my cross-stitch and my Red Brolly applique work.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Travelling and Stitching Again

After a long ten weeks in the 'Bush' we arrived home on Wednesday, 12th June - but only for a few short days as we headed off again on Monday, 16th June.  This time to the beautiful Apple Isle, Tasmania.  Yes, I know - it's Winter, it's cold, it's Tasmania - have we lost our minds!?  No, this will be another 'adventure' and another opportunity to meet with fellow quilters and stitchers, and a chance to attend the annual exhibition for the Tasmania Quilters Guild in Hobart. No doubt I shall return with another armful (or case full maybe) of fabrics, patterns and shared ideas - just what I need to restore that lost "quilting MoJo".

Apache Wedding Sampler
Without modern technology contact for almost ten weeks (only a very slow dial-up at the NP where we were on our annual caretaking duties for five weeks and nothing whilst travelling out west) there was plenty of time for some hand-stitching. True to form, I had packed more projects than I could complete, but I did enjoy the time working on another long forgotten UFO cross-stitch.  Still not finished, but pretty close, and I'm confident it will be completed before we return from Tassie - along with some of those applique projects sitting in the cupboard at the moment. 
Stitch-a-Month project
Since arriving in Gordon I have spent a few hours working on the Stitch-a-Month project from the Toowoomba Embroider's Guild which was started in April last year - might have it finished before we leave here!

Billy 'the Kid'
We arrived in Gordon late Monday afternoon and have settled into our 'temporary' home with our little companion, Billy.  There have been patches of blue sky but it is rather chilly and certainly great weather for those 'indoor only' activities.  

View from kitchen verandah
Looking forward to meeting fellow quilters and stitchers here in southern Tassie.

Another view from the kitchen

Friday, 19 April 2013

Arrived Longreach

Wonderful trip on train. Arrived Longreach Wednesday evening. 38 degrees yesterday. Explored small town of Ilfracombe and an evening of bush poetry around the campfire was a great way to end our first day in the Outback . No internet so no posts for next week.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Wanted - New 'Mojo'

Unfortunately very little progress on that UFO list during the month of February - just couldn't seem to find the same motivation that hung around in January.  Maybe it was because there were too many other things happening that this Creative Miss had no control over.

Although there has been very little, or next to nothing, done with my UFOs over the past few weeks, there has been some progress with Mr Bonney's quilt - despite some very frustrating issues with my lovely "Brother" over the past week or so --- not sure if they were machine or operator issues!!

The quilt has progressed from the design stage on the computer, as shown in my last post, to the 9 x 9 block stage ready for quilting.  This is a "man-quilt" so the plain blocks will just be very simply quilted.  In saying that, there is still a lot of preparation involved to get to the "join-completed-block" stage, and I'm beginning to think this will not be completed before we head off on our "adventures" in April!  So be-it - I'll just finish it when we get back in August and rely on Australia Post to deliver when and as required.

A little progress on one UFO was made over the last three days - the oriental design quilt, which I 'pinned' in late January.  After a few frustrating attempts at 'stitch-in-the-ditch' on my own machine failed to get any acceptable results, I decided to try another angle and sought some assistance from one of my local quilt shops - @MK's Sew-Able.  Marilyn, the store-owner, has a Sweet Sixteen machine that customers can use for an hourly rate.  So Thursday afternoon this Creative Miss spent two hours playing with the machine to get an idea of how it works.  Very enjoyable pastime. Booked in to use on Thursday this week to stitch the sashings.  In the meantime, I started the hand-quilting on the central panel and I am quite pleased with the result so far.  This is not a UFO that will be completed over-night (or even over a month for that matter), but it is one that I can work on during the evening and see some results.

With little motivation to work on the box of UFOs I spent a few hours on a small cross-stitch project - a patchwork owl - which I completed and included with the beautiful owl I stitched for one of the stitchers in my current RR group (photo in last post).  It was a small fun project and very quick and easy to do over a couple of evenings. 

 Of course, setting aside my stitching for awhile (with loss of 'mojo' that was easy to do), I decided I needed another outlet and have planned to host a fund-raising High Tea and Garden Party at the end of March. So I focussed my creativity on planning the event and spent time making individual invitations using my card 'stash' for a change. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Week for Stitching

My annual visit to the skin cancer "witch" doctor resulted in a week of forced "inactivity".  The mean old doctor found a nasty lump in my leg and decided it had to be removed - so out it came and there I was, forced to stay in my comfortable armchair with leg up for a week.   I prepared myself with a bag full of hand-stitching projects just itching to be finished - and the results are below.

The result of the removal of the lump was all good, and it's healing very well but we now have another dilemma.  With three more nasties on my face (nose and cheek) the doc prescribed the use of some chemo cream to remove them.  Of course there is a "down" side to the treatment - no exposure to the sun for two to three weeks!  Oh no - confined to the house, three weeks of boredom. Not bloomin' likely.  There's many a quilt to be finished, and even more hand-stitching to be completed, so methinks this will be a great opportunity to spend many a guilt-free hour in "The Cave".

With two days of constant rain this week it's not likely that I would have had much exposure to the sun anyway.  But the leg continues to heal and I ventured back into "The Cave" yesterday (Monday, 25 Feb) to tackle the progression of Mr Bonney's quilt (see Mach I and II in "New Beginnings" entry).  Certainly made a lot of progress with the design layout but not much with the actual stitching. Why? Because my wonderful 'Brother' seems to have lost its tension.   No joy with getting it fixed until at least next week.  Boo-hoo! But I have drafted the layout and the photo is below.

Whilst lounging about over the past week I made the decision to be a part of the "The Big Dinner Party to Fight MS" fund-raising campaign being held throughout the month of March.  We will be holding an event on 31st March that I have called 'A Garden Affair - High Tea in the Hills'. As a fund-raising event our guests will be asked to make a donation to MS Queensland, either at the event or through my profile on the web.  I will be aiming to raise at least $100 either leading up to, or at the event.  So if you are reading this and would like to make a donation this is the link

Completed this cross-stitch this week. It is part of a Round Robin that I am taking part in.  Stitched on 28 count linen it didn't take me as long as I expected.  It will be mailed on to the next stitcher at the beginning of March.

Embroidery Guild Stitch of the Month.
This 'beautiful' piece of work is the project we worked on at the Toowoomba Embroiderer's Guild stitch of the month class in 2012.  I missed five classes due to travelling and overseas visitors but I am very proud of the stitches I have completed so far. This UFO will be finished before the end of March.

 These three blocks are part of my Gingham 
Girls BOM by Bronwyn Hayes. Started in
November 2012. Finished all three this past week.

This is a Cross-stitch project I started two years ago.  It is quite a complicated chart which is produced over 16 pages.  There are 86 different coloured DMC threads used.  I completed a similar one to this which took me four years.  My darling husband thought it would be nice to have a "pair" on the wall!! No idea when this will be finished!!!!

  This is the design I have drafted for Mr Bonney's quilt.  I am
very happy with the layout and will be even happier when I
can get on with it.  It has to be finished before we go away
in April. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

New Beginnings

Welcome to my new blog.  In this special space I plan to share all those special, creative projects that I am working on and those I have completed.  Here you may also find some links to other creative sites and blogs such as the @KKPhotographics blog, where you will find fantastic photographic images by a young photographer from Sarina, Queensland.

UFO1 Completed Jan 2013
    Many visitors to this blog will understand the acronym - UFOs - in relation to all those "Unfinished Objects" of stitching sitting somewhere in a box in your workroom or cupboard.  So my first blog is dedicated to all those creative crafters who may have, like me, set a goal to complete some of those UFOs before the end of 2013.  Join me over the next ten months in sharing the satisfaction of seeing beautiful creations being completed.  

UFO1 completed Jan 2013
UFO2 Completed Jan 2013
BOM 2011 - Blocks completed Feb 2013
Disaster No.1 discarded idea

Of course, just because I have UFOs to complete does not mean I cannot start a new project when called upon to do so.  Hence in this first blog entry you will also see the beginnings of a very special quilt for a very special friend of ours living in South Australia.

Mach 2 - 13Feb13 - discarded
FINALLY - it comes together
This special quilt has taken me two weeks to pull together - including a dummy-spit and a complete revamp of pattern and fabric colour.  At least I now know where I am heading and the colours have finally come together, thanks to the assistance of a fellow quilter who spent 45 minutes of her precious time in front of rows of material matching colours for me.  Thank you Lyn - it's finally coming together.

Quilt top Aug 2012
So if you are a Creative Miss like me, feel free to share your comments and UFO projects over the coming months.  I hope this special space will Motivate and Inspire you to Create beautiful projects, be it quilting, patchwork, embroidery, photography, or papercrafts.